Get on the plant-based bandwagon and shed those pounds with this skinny green smoothie! It’s got fiber, enzymes and nutrients to de-bloat and feel your best inside and out! Spirulina provides a full array of micro and macro nutrients including all the essential amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12, magnesium, iron, zinc, healthy fats and vitamin A which elevates your body’s nutritional profile. Chia seeds contain fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach, which should increase fullness and slow the absorption of food. Take this smoothie on the go in your favorite blender bottle, along with a healthy diet and exercise and you steps closer to a better you!
This hearty soup is perfect for cold days. It can fill you up and is packed with a ton of plant-based protein. There are eight grams of protein per cup of quinoa. Chickpeas contain twelve grams per cup. And lastly, a whooping eighteen grams of protein are in a cup of lentils. Now let’s get to the turmeric, it contains compounds curcuminoids found in curcumin which have amazing anti-inflammatory affects. Also known as “queen of spices,” turmeric is a potent antioxidant. Basically, this is one healthy soup.
TIP – You can make this soup on the weekend and portion in mason jars for your lunch for the week!
Sugar and creamer is so passé. Health connoisseurs are adding everything from collagen to butter and beyond – hey, the more the merrier. The great part is that you can run wild with tons of mix-ins and or experiment until you hit on a combination that works for you . Either way, the health benefits can be amazing. Either way it’s time to add mo’ to ‘yo cup o’ joe.
TIP – We suggest blending all the ingredients below for a smoother, more homogenous drink.
Collagen – Collagen peptides are short chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised collagen protein. Unlike gelatin, this brand of peptides easily dissolve in both hot and cold liquids. It’s a natural anti-aging supplement which makes your hair and nails grow as well as lubes up your joints and cartilage. It goes down easy in coffee but it also makes a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal and baked goods, too.
Ghee – Heal you gut naturally with ghee. Its high levels of butyric acid and vitamin k2 make it good for oral and digestive health. Those with dairy intolerances can handle ghee since it only contains small amounts of casein and lactose. Use one to two tablespoons in place of milk for a super creamy texture.
Mushrooms – Pump up your coffee with shrooms! Chaga mushroom is known as the “black gold” that grows on birch trees and is fantastic source of antioxidants and other immunity boosters. Try this blend of chaga, Siberian ginseng, and rose hips. The anise undertones make it a delicious addition to your next coffee break.
Coconut oil – This fatty brain food adds just a hint of exotic coconut flavor to your coffee. Unlike other oils, coconut oil is medium-chained instead of long-chained, which are absorbed faster and not stored as fat. All you need is 1-2 teaspoons per cup and you’re on your way to better nutrition absorption, pain relief, increased energy and a lot more.
Raw cacao powder – chocolate and coffee…heck yeah! Raw cacao has minerals — like magnesium and iron — flavonoids and antioxidants said to help prevent cancer and increase cardiovascular health. A little cacao powder goes a long way, though, so try not to overindulge, as hard as that may be (we’re talking raw chocolate here).
Winter is here which means it’s time for filling and hearty soups. And what’s easier than a crock pot dinner? This hearty combo of mushrooms and lentils will make you feel all warm and cozy inside. Mushrooms are a great low-calorie food that contain a variety of nutrients, enzymes and b vitamins. You’re also getting additional b vitamins from lentils along with minerals zinc, magnesium and iron. Add the greens and viola, dinner is done.
Chia seed is a superfood because let’s face it, it’s pretty super which is also it’s a great food for your little one. Even plain yogurt and squeeze pouches in the grocery store contain over 5 grams of sugar which is something you don’t want your kids to have very often. Well, why not make your own yogurty, pudding that’s gluten and dairy free with zero preservatives. This is so easy to make ahead of time and it can keep in the fridge for up to three days.
FUN FACT – Did you know chia contains five times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach and twice the potassium content of one banana.
In the words of my personal hero, Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Multiples studies and research has shown that plant-based diets can help prevent, and even reverse, chronic diseases ranging from high blood pressure and cholesterol all the way up to cancer.
So, here’s the issue: time – and it’s not on our side. How is a busy person supposed to stay healthy in today’s multitasking, instant gratification, on-the-go world? Say hello to “the bar”. No, not the one you hit up at happy hour for half-price apps. We’re talking about a condensed, nutrition-packed, powerhouse that you can take with you and eat in your car, at your desk, on a plane, or just about anywhere else. Check out our top five yummiest faves:
Vega One All-In-One Meal Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter
One of my personal favorite bars, this company was founded by Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling author on plant-based nutrition. Its layers of chocolate-dipped goodness will make you glad you didn’t reach for that second cup of coffee. Vega’s All-in-One bars contains 12 grams of plant protein plus fiber, omegas, one billion dairy-free probiotics and an absurd amount of vitamins and minerals.
Health Warrior – Chia Bar Acai Berry
For our money this may be the perfect snack. Think a smoothie bowl wrapped up in a pretty wrapper ready and that’s what you got with the low-sugar and 100-calorie Health Warrior Chia bar. It’s a fruity and tangy alternative to the usual expired vending machine suspects.
Vegan, soy-free and non-GMO, man does this bar deliver. Along with it being about a quarter of the recommended protein intake and reminiscent of your favorite childhood candy bar, this almond butter and chocolate combo is simply divine. Not only does it taste amazing but you can feel good knowing that proceeds of your purchase will go toward feeding the homeless.
Kind Bar – Healthy Grains Bars Oats & Honey
Oats, quinoa, millet. amaranth and supergrains combine with ingredients you can pronounce to create a perfectly chewy barwith a satisfying crunch. These bars are gluten-free and contain one whole serving of grains per bar! There’s health and tasty and Kind’s Oat & Honey delivers on both.
RXBAR – Protein Bar Peanut Butter
There’s no b.s. in this bar. Literally, the ingredients are printed in a large font on the front of its packaging showing complete transparency and pride in their product. RXBAR only uses five ingredients — all free of gluten, soy, GMOs, sugar and dairy and featuring 12 grams of protein. Real food and real ingredients, without compromising on taste.
Z!nt was created to help promote proactively healthy lifestyles. Eat well, exercise, be adventurous, positive and focused. Live a harmonious life physically, mentally and spiritually. Of course this isn’t always easy, but by sprinkling a little Z!nt throughout your day, it all becomes possible.
Z!nt was founded with the mission of delivering super ingredients for maximum nutrition while making them simple to integrate into your daily routine. Whether these foods are found at the far ends of the globe or in your own backyards, Z!nt is constantly on the search for the world’s most natural, nutrient-rich ingredients that enhance lives through vibrant health, increased energy and overall wellbeing.
Z!nt is a super-ingredients company committed to producing simple, natural, and high quality xylitol, gelatin, and collagen hydrolysate. All products are certified Non-GMO, gluten-free, and derived organically from pasture raised animals.
With the New Year “write” around the corner it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to accomplish in 2017. Not surprisingly, many people choose to take this time of year to focus on improving their overall health. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to assess your health needs is to create a daily personal health and wellness journal. This journal can help you to understand your current health status and inspire improvements to better your overall health. Research has shown that individuals who write about traumatic, stressful and emotional events are more likely to have improvements in physical and emotional health than those who do not.
Combine these experiential writings with a log of other daily events such as what you’ve eaten during the day, how you feel, time slept, sleep quality, medications/vitamins/supplements taken that day, physical activity and overall mood, you have the makings of a personal wellness journal that can help you discover causes or correlations among behaviors, symptoms and health issues. These findings can help you assess your current health and help you form goals on where you would like to be in the coming New Year.
Short Term & Long Term Benefits to Consider of Journaling
Identify personal habits
Identify potential allergens/sensitivities
Personal growth and development
More frequent exercise
Improved working memory
Reduced number of visits to general practitioner or health center
10 Tips for Successful Journaling
Commit to a journaling schedule
Keep your notebook or journal where you won’t miss it
Try using email or calendar reminders so you don’t forget
Write in a private place, free from distractions
Keep it short
Keep it fun and interesting
Don’t worry about being perfect – write what comes naturally to you
Make time for some reflection
How to Keep a Health Journal
There are pre-made health journals that you can use to keep yourself organized, but don’t worry, a general spiral notebook will also work just fine. To start, be sure to note the date and day of the week. You can record your blood pressure and sugar level if necessary, along with weight and body temperature. It is best if these are recorded at the same time each day. Record the total amount of sleep you had for that day including naps. You can also record the number of times you woke up during the night and your overall sleep quality.
Since many individuals feel that their health is affected by changes in the weather, you can note the temperature for the day along with any present weather patterns (such as sunny, cloudy, humid, rainy, snowy, windy, etc.). Log any medications you took as well as any over-the-counter items and vitamins, herbs or supplements. Indicate the brand name, the type of medication or supplement and the dosage or strength. As you get comfortable with journaling, you can simply write “same as usual” to save time and only make notes when changes occur. You should also write down any physical activity that you performed that day, including walking, running, weight training or even vigorous housework, gardening, dancing, etc.
Take note to any pain or discomfort that you feel throughout the day. You can log the area where the pain occurs and number it on a scale of 1-10 in terms of its severity (1 being very mild, 10 being severe). Sometimes pain occurs at the same time of the day, so be sure to take note if this happens. In addition to pain and discomfort, you can also note any symptoms that you felt throughout the day. These may include fatigue, nausea, gas, bloating, watery eyes, diarrhea, heart palpitations, constant hunger, etc. Focus on all the areas of the body (from your head all the way down to your feet) and don’t forget to include any mental or emotional symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, sadness or anger. You may also want to rate the symptom severity and take note to what time of day they occurred. If you notice any rashes, bruises, bites or other skin conditions take note of these and log them as well.
Finally, log your diet for the day including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Feel free to note the amount of calories, fat, sodium, protein, sugar and other nutritional information consumed at each meal. Also log your water consumption throughout the day. Keeping track of what you eat may help you discover trends in your day to day health to figure out if you are allergic or sensitive to certain food ingredients. For instance, every morning after drinking milk at breakfast you may have noticed excessive gas and diarrhea, which could identify lactose sensitivity. Leave a final section for comments or to include anything else that comes to mind. Congratulations, you’ve finished day one of your health journal!
After celebrating my son’s first year of life, I was torn about what to make for his infant class at school. One thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to whip up a batch of sugar-laden cookies or cupcakes for a classroom full of babies. Luckily, I was able to pull a few tricks out of my vegan baking bag which helped me swap out junk ingredients for healthier alternatives.
Did you know that applesauce and bananas make for great egg substitutes? It’s true, they do. And they also add a hint of sweetness, which is important if you’re reducing or cutting out sugar, entirely. After making a few other modifications I was able to create a cookie that passed my test…healthy, homemade and delicious. This recipe is a daycare must-have!
With childhood allergies on the rise, you can deliver a dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, sugar-free cookie that actually tastes good. Plus, any busy mom or dad can whip these up, end-to-end, in less than an hour.
Pumpkin seeds are as nutritious as they are delicious. Cholesterol-free, which makes them heart healthy, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, phosphorus and magnesium – that’s a lot of good stuff. Their signature crunch also helps lend an enjoyable snap to salads, soups and side dishes.
Here’s some additional health benefits:
– These small but mighty seeds contain L-tryptophan which may combat depression and help resolve restless sleep issues.
– A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a correlation between low dietary intake of zinc and osteoporosis of the hip and spine. Pumpkin seeds are zinc superstars which make them a great weapon against osteoporosis.
– A great source of Vitamin E, pumpkin seeds contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol per 100 g.
The great thing about pumpkin seeds at this time of year is that there is definitely no shortage of them to be found. Instead of tossing out all of those post-carving innards, set them aside in a small bowl or mason jar and try this simple recipe on for size.
Preheat your oven to 300° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the seeds out in an even layer on the baking sheet to guarantee a nice, even roasting. The ideal way to roast the seeds is at a low temperature – to help ensure that they crunch up nicely without burning – for about 20 minutes.
Once you have these bad boys all toasty, you can try some of these delish, sweet and savory flavor combos below.
Protein is one of the most important nutrients for a healthy breakfast as it makes you feel full and helps burn more calories throughout the day. Eggs are a great choice as an average size egg contains 6 grams of protein and only 70 calories. Just be careful with high-fat protein choices such as bacon or sausage, linked with higher risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
2. Whole grains
Morning hours are the best time for carbohydrate intake and whole-grain choices are the way to go. Whole-grain foods such as oatmeal, cereals, low-fat granola, breads, and English muffins are full of essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Fiber is really important for digestion and adding fruits and whole grains to your breakfast can be a great idea. Insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation and can be found in these traditional breakfast foods such as bananas, apples, cereals, muesli, and oatmeal.
4. Low Sugar
Choosing low sugar ingredients are not only a good choice for the morning hours but also for lunch and dinner. The time between dinner and the next morning’s meal is the longest your body goes without food and eating a full and healthy breakfast can improve the way you metabolize glucose, or blood sugar, all day.
Waking up thirsty is a sign that the body is naturally dehydrated after a long night of sleep. Breakfast is the best time to refill the tank and nothing better than water or juice to provide the cells much needed fluids as well as helping flushing out unwanted toxins out of the body.
These delicious sweet potato balls are packed with nutrition and easy for tiny hands to hold to practice hand/eye coordination. The nutty flavored hemp seeds give baby Omega 3 & 6 plus protein. Flax meal has lignans which, contain both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. And finally the one tablespoon of wheat germ provides your babe with one gram of dietary fiber, five percent of recommended daily value of folic acid and four percent of recommended daily value of phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.
The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, and the kids are back in school, this can only mean one thing. Fall has officially begun. One of the biggest highlights to fall besides enjoying the incredible temperatures is the fun that Halloween brings. Children and adults get to dress up in costumes, enjoy parties either at homes or in school and eat delicious treats. It’s common for people to focus on unhealthy snacks this time of year (Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween), but it’s important to note that healthy snacks can be just as enjoyable.
We know avoiding traditional, unhealthy candy is the best option for our health. Besides the high sugar content, there are also other unwanted ingredients you might not want yourself or your children to consume. While it’s understandable that we may indulge a little this Halloween, maybe we should all think about fueling those splurges with healthier alternatives instead.
The SpOoKy Ingredients Inside Candy
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup is a sweetener made from corn and an alternative to sucrose (table sugar). Much of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified, making high fructose corn syrup highly likely to be a GMO product.
Saturated and Trans Fats
Saturated fats come mainly from animal sources and can raise total blood cholesterol levels and LDL levels which can increase the risk for heart disease. While some trans fats occur naturally, most are artificial and made through the process of hydrogenation. Partially hydrogenated trans fat can increase unhealthy LDL levels and may lower healthy HDL levels which may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen to liquid oils to turn them into a solid form. Partially hydrogenated oils are full of trans fat which may negatively impact your heart health.
While natural flavors must be derived from plant or animal material, artificial flavors are synthesized in a lab.
Natural dyes have been used for centuries to color food; however, synthetic dyes can be mass-produced at a fraction of the cost. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have granted approval to just seven synthetic food colorings for use in food. These include; Blue #1, Blue #2, Green #3, Red #3, Red #40, Yellow #5, Yellow #6. Today, most synthetic food dyes are derived from petroleum, or crude oil.
Chemical Emulsifiers & Preservatives
These pertain to ingredients such as Polyglycerol polyricinoleate or PGPR and Tertiary Butylhydroquinone or TBHQ. These preservatives and emulsifiers may have detrimental health effects.
Artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose (splenda) and aspartame.
Make sure you leave some time this Halloween to be active. If possible walk from house to house when trick-or-treating instead of driving. Remember to be safe, wear reflective materials and walk on the sidewalk not in the streets.
Lifestyle Tips for a Healthier Halloween
Just because you fill up an entire king size pillowcase with treats doesn’t mean you have to eat it all in one night or even one week. Moderate the intake of candy and other treats by setting limits and discussing with children beforehand how much they are allowed to eat.
Balance the intake of candy with other healthy alternatives such as fruits, vegetables, crackers and pretzels.
Don’t spend the night filling up on candy and junk foods. If you are having a party, give your guests some healthier alternatives and more nutrient-dense foods.
Remember to eat a well-balanced dinner before trick-or-treating. This will prevent children from overeating candy and snacking throughout the night.
Remember that there are healthier choices for candy which have less fat, calories and sugar content.
Store the leftover candy in places that are “out of the way” so you are less likely to indulge in a treat.
There are plenty of options for parents and children besides throwing away leftover candy. You can donate to a local Ronald McDonald House, children’s hospital, or help support the troops by giving leftover candy to Operation Gratitude.
Nothing staves off the Fall’s early morning chills like a warm, comforting bowl of oatmeal. But let’s be honest, it’s hard to get too excited about what is essentially breakfast’s equivalent of a favorite pair of slippers. After all, oatmeal is just some cold flaky oats and some heated water or milk, right? In its purest form, sure. But it doesn’t have to be! Add a little flair to your oatmeal game with some of these healthy add-ins.