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22
JUN

Meet Maca Powder: Your New Superfood Staple

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods at 7:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
If you are looking for a new superfood to add to your diet, look no further. Originally from the Andes Mountains of Peru, Maca is a vegetable related to radishes and turnips that contains high levels of protein, fat and minerals. Maca can be eaten baked, dried, or mixed with vegetables, and its popular powder version can be used for delicious and refreshing maca shakes. Let’s look at what makes maca powder a very special superfood.

1. It’s packed with nutrients

Maca is it a natural source of healing nutrition. Loaded with nutrients, maca has a higher calcium level than milk and is very nutrient dense. Maca root powder is comprised of approximately 18% protein, 75% carbohydrates, and 5% fiber. It has over 20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids and a rich source of phytonutrients. Maca also contains 20 free-form fatty acids (such as lauric, linolenic, palmitic acid, oleic, and steric acid), vitamins B-1, B-2, C and E, and a variety of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sulphur, sodium, and iron.

With so many nutrients, it’s no surprise Maca offers a lot of health benefits. Maca has a positive effect on hormone balance as well as energy levels and it can also help to enhance the immune system, stamina, memory and focus.

2. It tastes great

Maca flavor is another highlight as this pleasant tasting root is usually available in powder form after being harvested and grounded down. Maca has an earthy taste with a nutty flavor, making it a perfect complement to smoothies. Like the rest of the roots in the cruciferous family, it’s low in calories as one teaspoon of maca powder has only 10 calories.

3. It’s incredibly versatile

Versatility is another good word to describe maca. Considered an “adaptogen”, a name given to certain herbs and plants that help the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, illness, or stressful situations, maca has been considered a very potent aphrodisiac with the ability to increase sex drive and improve fertility, increasing semen volume and sperm counts. Consuming maca often makes people feel more energetic, and help them to restore proper hormone balance and elevate “feel good” endorphins.

Wondering the best way to get Maca in your diet? It’s an excellent choice for smoothies and shakes, and maca beverages can taste really good. Check out this easy-to-make peanut butter and banana Maca smoothie below!

Peanut Butter & Banana Maca Smoothie

Glass of banana smoothie on white wooden background from top view

Ingredients

Just add all the ingredients to the blender (add a little ice if desired) and enjoy!

Have you ever tried Maca? What are your thoughts? Let us know below!



20
JUN

5 Reasons To Add Acai To Your Diet

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods,Superfoods at 9:19 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Raw smoothie drink.

These days, everyone is on the hunt for antioxidant-rich, nutrient-packed superfoods—and it’s no surprise why! Purchasing food with the most benefits is not only great for your health but also ensures the most bang for your buck. Acai berries are increasing in popularity—you’ve probably seen vibrant, Instagram-worthy acai bowls all over social media—but are they worth the hype? While new and trendy in American culture, these berries have been used for their medicinal properties in Central and South America for centuries. Let’s explore some of the properties of acai and how you can reap all of their sweet, juicy benefits.

1. Antioxidants, antioxidants, antioxidants…

Acai’s best quality is its amazing antioxidant content. While a lot of berries contain high levels, none quite pack the free-radical fighting punch of acai. According to a study done by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (NSRC), acai has one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits in the world. Because of this, acai has powerful healing properties that earned them the superfood title. Adding Acai berries to your diet will help boost your body’s ability to fight free radicals, helping to prevent cancer and other diseases.

2. Skin health & anti-aging effects

Another amazing result of Acai’s high antioxidant content is its effect on the skin. It can help slow down the aging process caused by oxidative damage to the cells. It also increases the regrowth and regeneration processes in the body due to ample amounts of vitamin C and Iron and can help skin stay firm and youthful due to its fatty acids content.

3. Healthy digestion

If you’re in the process of switching over to a healthier diet, incorporating acai into your new routine can help cleanse the body of toxins collected from unhealthy eating habits. Like other berries, they’re a great source of fiber which helps keep the digestive system functioning properly.

4. Immune system booster

Due to its high vitamin C content, Acai berries are helpful at boosting your immune system. Their phytochemicals and antioxidants help increase the functionality of immune cells, making it easier to fight infections and ward off free radical damage.

5. Energizing effects

Acai berries can help increase the body’s energy levels and stamina. They contain amino acids which are incredibly helpful in boosting energy, as well as other properties that help improve cognitive function and focus—reducing fatigue and brain fog.

The best way to get acai…?

I’m all about the acai bowl craze. Not only do they taste as amazing as they look, but they’re an easy, versatile way to work the beneficial berries into your diet. I opt for the dried powder acai, but frozen works just as well!

Energizing Acai Bowl Recipe

Smoothie bowl with fresh berries, nuts, seeds and homemade granola for healthy breakfast

Ingredients

1 tbsp acai powder
1/2 avocado
1 cup spinach or kale (or another leafy green you prefer)
1 serving of plant protein (This one is my favorite)
1 dash vanilla extract
3-4 drops of stevia if you like extra sweetness
1/2 cup frozen strawberries or blueberries
Assorted fruits, nuts & seeds for toppings (i.e bananas, strawberries, blueberries, almonds etc)

Instructions

Add all ingredients together and blend away! The mixture should be thick enough so that you can eat it with a spoon. Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you like. I like to keep my sugar intake low, so my go-to toppings are chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sliced almonds, but many people add additional fruits like bananas & blueberries. It’s highly customizable to your nutrition needs!

Have you tried acai berries and experienced the benefits? What are your favorite ways to eat them? Let us know below!



18
JUN

Refreshing and Healthy Sparkling Water

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Nutrition,Water Purification and Storage at 10:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Ever wonder if drinking sparkling water has any health benefits? It sure does. It’s water in a very refreshing form but other than keep you hydrated, sparkling water has also a few other benefits to your health.

Proper hydration is key to optimal health and adding carbonated water to your drinking routine may help you meet your daily fluid needs to stay hydrated. Sparkling water is a calorie and sugar-free fluid that can maintain adequate hydration by helping your body cool itself, keeping your mouth, nose and eyes moist, promoting optimal joint and muscle function, maintaining healthy skin, cleansing your body of toxins, and improving cardiovascular health.

Additionally, sparkling water offers a little more.

It can help improve Indigestion, particularly if you’re feeling sick to your stomach after eating. Drinking a glass of carbonated water might help as it can reduce bloating and nausea, and may even prevent vomiting.

Sparkling water can help alleviate constipation as well. Research has suggested that carbonated water along with the intake of foods high in fiber help when you’re dealing with constipation. Fluids, such as carbonated water, can help enhance the way fiber work in your gut and make stools normal and regular.

Sparkling water is also a healthful alternative to soda as carbonated water is just plain water with dissolved carbon dioxide. When choosing a sparkling water, opt for a variety that’s high in minerals and free from sugar and artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colors. You may add fresh fruit to your sparkling water for some natural sweetness or even mix in with juices such as orange, apple, blueberry, or cranberry. You can also make flavored carbonated drinks with slices of orange, lemon, lime, cucumber, or sprigs of mint.



15
JUN

7 Reasons To Take An MSM Supplement

Filed Under: Supplements at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
close-up of adult woman holding her arthritic hands

Suffering from joint pain, muscle cramps or even wrinkles? Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) supplements may be able to help. MSM offers a variety of health benefits because it contains anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties. It’s found in green plants, animals and humans, and this naturally occurring mineral supplies sulfur to make other chemicals in the body. MSM supplements have gained considerable recognition for its results in relieving arthritis but MSM has much more to offer. So, let’s check out 7 reasons to take an MSM supplement.

1. Joint Pain

Known to help decrease joint inflammation, improve flexibility and restore collagen production, MSM has the ability to make cell walls flexible and elastic. If the concentration of MSM in the body is too low, the new cells lose some of their necessary flexibility, resulting in pain. MSM make cell walls permeable, allowing water and nutrients to freely flow into cells and toxins to properly flow out. Research has shown that MSM is highly effective in improving joint flexibility and reducing joint pain, and when combined with glucosamine, MSM is an excellent natural treatment for arthritis.

2. Muscle Cramps

MSM can also help reduce muscle cramps. Research suggests that MSM can act like a natural analgesic, helping prevent and treat muscle aches and pains, throbbing and swelling while improving range of motion and mobility. Plus, MSM may help muscle recovery after exercise, injuries and even surgeries.

3. Wrinkles

Essential for proper collagen production, MSM is one of the best products to prevent wrinkles as well as dry and cracked skin. MSM works together with vitamin C to build new, healthy tissues and can normalize collagen formation and radically improve skin health. Using an MSM supplement helps to hold on to precious collagen and keratin because sulfur is required for the production of these youthful compounds.

4. Weight Loss

MSM is important in insulin production and blood-sugar levels, directly affecting energy levels and carbohydrate metabolism, two important aspects to any weight loss program. Additionally, MSM’s ability to alleviate joint problems and reduce pain can help people become more active.

5. Hair Growth

MSM has been shown to help boost both collagen and keratin levels, two nutrients needed to form new hair strands. MSM can help reverse hair loss by providing the sulfur needed to produce collagen and keratin.

6. Detox

One of the most important features of MSM is that it makes your cells more permeable, allowing toxins and metabolic waste products to easily be moved out of the cells, while essential nutrients and hydration can be moved in.

7. Energy Booster

MSM is known to naturally increase energy due to the increased permeability of the cells, less energy is required to deal with the accumulation of toxins.  This results in more energy being redirected towards activity and necessary healing.



14
JUN

Health & Wellness Trends To Watch In Summer 2017

Filed Under: Ask The ND at 9:08 am | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor
Woman practices yoga in the jungle

With new superfoods and alternative health products popping up in the media every day, it’s hard to know what the cleanest, most effective product innovations really are. Dr. Jeremy Wolf N.D., Lead Wellness Advisor at LuckyVitamin.com, breaks down the trends and how to be a savvy wellness shopper this summer!

Gummies, Gummies & More Gummies

When you think of gummy vitamins you might typically think of kids vitamins. This is not the case anymore! These days you can find almost any type of vitamin in a gummy form. Just do a quick search on LuckyVitamin and you get over 200 results of different gummy vitamins. In fact, they are estimated to make up around 10% of the 39 billion dollar dietary supplement industry. This is partially because these vitamins offer a convenience and taste factor that regular supplements don’t. When shopping for a gummy vitamin, it’s best to be mindful of the ingredients list. Look for organic, all natural vitamins that limit sugar and don’t include harmful food coloring such as Red 40 or Yellow 6. Whether you are looking for a children’s, women’s or men’s multivitamin, digestive enzymes, CoQ10, Omega 3’s or even fiber—you can find all of these in gummy form. Many of the big supplement brands that you are used to seeing, such as Nordic Naturals, Rainbow Light, Jarrow Formulas, Carlson and many more, all make gummy vitamins!

Beans

We all know that common children’s song that goes, “beans, beans they’re good for your heart. The more you eat the more you…” This could be why beans aren’t just served in a can anymore and are starting to be incorporated into many different foods and snacks! Beanitos, one of our top selling brands, uses beans to make their restaurant style tortilla chips with hints of lime and even introduced white bean mac and cheese puffs. Banza, a new brand to the LuckyVitamin family, uses chickpeas to make different types of pasta that are 100% natural, non-GMO, gluten free, egg free and low glycemic. Lastly, BRAMI uses the ancient lupini bean, which has the highest protein-per-calorie of any plant and is also packed full of fiber, to make their flavored and delicious snacks. These come in flavors like garlic and herb, chili lime and hot pepper, and are also gluten free, non-GMO, low-glycemic and vegan-friendly. Make sure to check out all the other tasty bean snacks here!

Black Seed Oil

Nigella Sativaor more commonly known as black cumin—is a widely used medicinal plant throughout the world and has become one of the most popular oils on the market. This plant, native to southern Europe, northern Africa and southwest Asia, is one of the top-ranked, evidence-based herbal medicines, which could be in part due to the presence of thymoquinone in the essential oil. Thymoquinone is a major active chemical component that is believed to have a wide range of medical applications. It is thought to prevent liver damage, be a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, as well as have some anti-cancer properties. On top of thymoquinone, the black cumin plant seeds contain protein, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc and iron, as well as both fixed oils (fatty acids) and volatile oils. In the Middle East, India and northern Africa, the seeds of this plant are commonly used for asthma, diabetes, eczema, cough, bronchitis, headaches and many other inflammatory conditions. We carry a large selection of black seed oil from a variety of top selling brands such as Amazing Herbs, FoodScience of Vermont, Foods Alive and Biotics.

The Ketogenic Diet

Similar to the Atkins diet—though much more strict—the Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein and low-carbohydrate diet. The diet was first designed in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder and it’s commonly used as a treatment for children or individuals with epilepsy. However, now many researchers are starting to look at the use of the ketogenic diet as a treatment for other disorders. This includes neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, migraines, and autism. Like the Atkins diet, it too is also in the spotlight for its weight-loss potential. New research has shown that on top of weight loss, following a ketogenic diet may also help decrease total cholesterol, increase HDL (the “good”) cholesterol, lower LDL (the “bad”), decrease triglycerides and lower blood sugar levels. Even professional athletes and endurance athletes are catching on to this popular diet. The diet works by forcing the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is the result of ketones building up in the bloodstream when people eat a low- or no-carbohydrate diet. Because the body can’t use glucose for energy, fat becomes the primary fuel source. The diet isn’t as simple as just cutting back on carbs. There are specific calculations that go into figuring out the right percentage of fat to protein to carbohydrate ratio. LuckyVitamin’s new ketogenic specialty page is designed to help support your ketogenic diet needs. It’s important to note that you should be under the care of a trained health care provider during this diet, especially during the beginning stages!

Micellar Water

Why wash your face with boring, traditional soap and water when you can wash it with micellar water! Besides being one of the most recent trends in the skin-care industry, micellar water is made up of tiny molecules called micelles suspended in soft water. The micelles act like a magnet for fatty molecules (oils), dirt and makeup so it helps to cleanse your face without drying out your skin. These products tend to be great for people with dry and sensitive skin types since they are gentle and hydrating. Derma-E Vitamin C Micellar Cleansing Water helps to dissolve long-lasting makeup and dirt while improving the skin’s appearance. This formula also adds probiotics as well as rooibos for a little extra benefit. MyChelle Dermaceuticals also makes a Quick Clean Micellar Water cleanser that is cruelty, phthalate and sulfate free, gluten free and perfect for vegans!

Protein Sweets

We recently talked about the trend in plant protein, however, it seems the entire protein category is trending! With new sources of protein popping up every day and new innovations on how to get your protein, who knows where the protein industry will go next. For instance, one of the newest trends in the protein industry is protein sweets. While some of these sweets like protein packed pudding & cookies have been on the market for a while now, we are seeing a real surge in popularity and demand for these items. The Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie contains 16g of protein per serving and Cookie+Protein contains 22g of protein per serving. Many of the cookies are even vegan-friendly and non-GMO. Why stop there? You can now find all different types of protein rich ice creams to enjoy this summer as well!



8
JUN

8 Benefits of a Daily Chlorella Shake

Filed Under: Detoxification and Cleansing,Superfoods,Supplements at 10:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
The term “superfood” is definitely overused these days. Everything seems to be a superfood but when it comes to chlorella, the endless list of health benefits that this algae can provide speaks for itself. Green shakes have been a hot topic as a refreshing cold beverage may be one of the best ways to ensure you get your daily dose of nutrition. Let’s look at 8 benefits of a daily chlorella shake.

1. Detox

The phytonutrients in chlorella promote detoxification, especially heavy metal excretion such as lead, cadmium, mercury and uranium. Plus, chlorella’s high levels of chlorophyll have been shown to detoxify radiation by protecting the body against ultraviolet radiation treatments while removing radioactive particles from the body.

2. Anti-Aging

Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) is the algae’s capability to provide DNA. Known as the fountain of youth, CGF can rejuvenate every cell of the human body, slowing the process of aging. Chlorella contains 17 times the amount of DNA found in sardines, the second richest natural source of these nucleic acids.

3. Weight-Loss

Chlorella can be helpful in weight control by promoting weight loss and regulate hormones. Known to reduce body fat, chlorella supplements can help regulate your metabolism, total cholesterol, blood glucose levels, improve circulation, and boost energy levels.

4. Immune System

Chlorella can enhance immune system functions as this algae is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid, zinc, and vitamins A, C, B6, B12, and E.

5. Digestion

Chlorella has an alkalinizing effect upon the body, promoting the growth of lactobacilli in the intestines and, as a result, improving overall bowel health. It’s also packed with protein, a 100-gram serving of chlorella contains over 58 grams of protein.

6. Cholesterol

Chlorella supplements may help regulate cholesterol levels as studies have shown that taking 5–10 grams of chlorella daily lowered total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in people with high blood pressure and/or slightly elevated cholesterol. It contains niacin, fiber, carotenoids, and antioxidants, all known to supporte healthy cholesterol levels.

7. Blood Pressure

Chlorella may help with lowering blood pressure to healthy levels. Studies have shown that regular supplementation can regulate blood pressure as well as lowered hypertension-related symptoms.

8. Respiratory Diseases

Chlorella has some components that can help reduce inflammation. Research suggests that the antioxidants in chlorella may have anti-inflammatory effects, which can possibly improve asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory diseases.

 



8
JUN

How To Follow A Mediterranean Diet

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods,Nutrition,Recipes at 2:28 pm | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor
Salmon seasoned with salt, cashews, walnuts, sliced avocado, and olive oil on a butcher block, garnished with parsley.

Over the last couple of decades, the Mediterranean diet has been studied by researchers all over the world. The general consensus from these studies revealed that the diet is nothing short of amazing. The Mediterranean diet consists of increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains and fish, while limiting red meat and sweets. So, why has this diet become so popular? Maybe because it’s flexible and offers users ease of compliance. Maybe it’s because Mediterranean food is delicious and the diet allows users to drink red wine in moderation. Or, maybe it’s because all of the research over the past couple of decades shows an incredible amount of health benefits. One meta-analysis article showed that greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with significant improvement in overall health status.

Benefits of a Mediterranean diet to consider:

  • Prevention of major chronic diseases
  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity
  • Reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer
  • Low in processed foods and sugar
  • May help to lose or maintain a healthier weight
  • May improve mood and decrease depression
  • Naturally low-glycemic foods, which may help control blood sugar

Key components of the Mediterranean diet

Base every meal on these foods and eat them daily:

  • Legumes and Beans: chickpeas, lentils, and fava beans
  • Olives and Olive Oil: extra virgin olive oil is preferred
  • Whole grains and whole wheat pasta
  • Nuts: cashews, almonds and sesame seeds
  • Vegetables such as leafy greens, garlic, onion and other non-starchy veggies like eggplant cauliflower, artichokes and tomatoes
  • Fresh organic fruits such as grapes, apples, strawberries and avocados

Eat these at least two times per week:

  • Fish (wild caught preferred) and seafood

In moderate portions (daily to weekly):

  •  Eggs
  • Low-fat cheese & yogurt
  • Poultry

Eat these a few times per month in small amounts:

  •  Red meat
  •  Sweets

Organic Mediterranean bean salad recipe

Organic Ingredients:
◦ 15 ounce can of dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
◦ 15 ounce can of fava beans drained and rinsed
◦ 15 ounce can of black beans drained and rinsed
◦ 1 cup of organic corn
◦ 1 large organic tomato, chopped
◦ 1 small organic red onion, chopped
◦ 1 avocado, sliced
◦ ½ organic cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped.
◦ 1 cup of organic parsley, chopped.

Dressing:
◦ ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
◦ 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
◦ 2 garlic cloves, minced
◦ ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
◦ ½ teaspoon of cumin
◦ salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

  1.  In large mixing bowl, combine kidney beans, fava beans, black beans, corn, tomato, onion, cucumber and parsley. Mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, apple cider vinegar, cumin, salt and pepper and whisk.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss together.

Other helpful information:

  • On top of diet, the Mediterranean lifestyle encourages individuals to be physically active and enjoy meals in a relaxing environment with others vs. on the go. Try to set aside time to sit down and enjoy your meals.
  •  Most of the foods found in the Mediterranean diet can be found on the perimeter of the grocery store.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that vary in choice of colors as each color has specific properties and nutrients.
  • Replace butter and margarine with healthy, unrefined oils as often as possible.
  • The Mediterranean diet has broad definitions since there are many countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
  • In summary, the diet should focus on vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes and whole grains. Enjoy fresh, wild caught fish and seafood, while limiting poultry, eggs and cheese. Rarely eat red meat and avoid sugar.



6
JUN

Xylitol-Sweetened, Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Filed Under: Health Foods,Nutrition,Recipes at 9:05 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Fresh baked, homemade peanut butter cookies and milk.

If you’re trying to avoid excess sugar, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice sweet treats! Xylitol is a wonderful, all-natural sugar substitute with a number of health benefits. It’s metabolized without insulin, giving it a low glycemic index and can even help promote healthy dental hygiene.

This recipe uses xylitol instead of sugar and makes about 2 dozen small cookies.

You will need:
1 large egg
1 cup Xylo-Sweet
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy, natural peanut butter
1 tsp. water
1/3 cup chopped peanuts or these sugar-free chocolate chips* (optional)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric beater to mix the egg, Xylo-Sweet, baking powder and vanilla for about a minute. Then add in the peanut butter and water mix them together. *Note: the mixture is fairly dry. Be sure the peanut butter is mixed well with the other ingredients.
  • Add peanuts or chocolate chips if using and blend into dough.
  • Use a large non-stick cookie sheet. Measure out a heaping teaspoon of batter for each cookie, roll into a ball, and then smash down with a fork.
  • Bake 15 minutes, or slightly longer, until cookies feel firm and are slightly browned.

This is a quick and easy recipe when you’re in need of that sweet fix. If baking isn’t your forte, try these amazing low-sugar, gluten-free, dairy free cookies from Simple Mills.

What are some of your favorite, low-sugar recipes?

*recipe sourced from Kalyn’s Kitchen.



5
JUN

6 Items To Always Bring On A Hike

flatlay top hiking with shirt hiking shoes and wristwatch

I’ve been hiking for a few years now and I still ALWAYS manage to forget (at least) one essential item when packing. Hoping you can learn from my mistakes, below are six things I always double and triple check before heading on an outdoor adventure!

1. Water
This may sound obvious, but often water is easily overlooked. No matter how long or how far you’re hiking, water is a “must-not-forget” item. Opt for a reusable water bottle that’s light weight & can fit comfortably in your backpack. Refill at a ranger station if necessary, or along the trail if the water sources are clean and your bottle has a filter. This also minimizes the amount of plastic waste you could potentially leave behind with on-time-use bottles.

2. Food storage
If you’re planning to have lunch at the overlook, you’ll need something to carry it in! Bringing a food container with a packed lunch is an excellent solution. It saves money to bring your own food and cuts down on packaging waste from convenience store lunches (another win for the environment!).

3. Trash bags
Since you will most likely need some snacks to keep you fueled for the day, have a plan to store the trash and wrappers from any protein bars, jerky and other trail snacks. As the biggest rule of thumb in regards to nature goes: take nothing with you and leave nothing behind. Make sure you bring along something to collect your trash!

4. Natural bug spray
When exploring a new trail, it’s hard to predict what the bug situation will be like. Bugs are not only annoying, but can carry diseases, so it’s a good idea to slip bug spray in your pack. Make sure it’s natural so as not to expose your skin or the environment to harsh chemicals!

5. First Aid
You never know what can happen outdoors, so always be prepared for even the most minor cuts and bruises. I don’t wear my hiking shoes often, so I know from experience it is the WORST when your shoes start to give you blisters. Because of this, I always have extra band-aids or some moleskin on hand.

6 Sunscreen!
Hiking can often include large portions of uncovered trail, so don’t get caught without sun protection! Same as with your bug spray, make sure to opt for something natural to protect your skin and water-resistant to prevent it from running in your eyes.

What are some of your hiking/outdoor adventuring essentials? Let us know in the comments!



1
JUN

10 Minute, No-Bake, On-The-Go Energy Bites

Filed Under: Health Foods,Recipes at 10:00 am | By: Madeline Reiss

Granola bar on wooden background

Whether you’re packing for a hike or in need of snacks to power through the work day, these no-bake energy bites are incredibly easy and take minutes to make! They’re a delicious, healthy alternative to sugary granola bars.

Ingredients (makes about 20 bites)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter!)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
*Optional: Dried cranberries, cherries or other fruits

Directions
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Roll out teaspoon sized balls and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Pop them in the freezer for about an hour until they set. Enjoy as you wish, and store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer. You can customize these based on your favorite flavors or nutritional needs with dried fruits, raisins, chia seeds, etc! In addition to a healthy snack while on the move, these bites are great for curbing sweet cravings!
What are some of your favorite snack recipes? Share below!



31
MAY

All About CBD Oil And How You Can Benefit

Filed Under: Health Foods,Herbs,Homeopathy,Personal Care,Supplements at 10:33 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Image of health food, hemp oil

If you’re keeping tabs on wellness trends, chances are you’ve come across cannabidiol (CBD) oil. It’s all over wellness blogs and even landing on the shelves of health stores—but what exactly does it do?

CBD oil is derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant and contains the potent health benefits of the plant minus the THC (the psychoactive part that makes you high). Researchers find CBD oil extremely useful as an anti-inflammatory and has even replaced over the counter pain relief drugs like NSAIDs for some users. It’s being used both clinically and by health conscious consumers as it proves extremely effective at promoting an overall healthy balance in our bodies.

Not sure if CBD is right for you? Here are a few of the many benefits of taking a cannabidiol supplement:

1. Relieves pain
CBD oil often substitutes traditional over-the-counter pain relievers and has been said to reduce pain and discomfort from a number of health conditions. Scientists believe that when CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system, it creates an anti-inflammatory effect. It has even been useful in alleviating pain from chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

2. Helps ease nausea
The cannabis plant has actually been used for centureis to manage nausea and vomiting. In large doses, nausea can be a side effect of CBD, but when taken in small, therapeutic amounts it can actually help curb nausea. Researchers found that CBD indirectly activates what’s called 5-hydroxytryptamiine-1A (5-HT1A)—a very complex name for a compound that plays a major role in reducing nausea sensations. Because of this, CBD is often used to reduce queasiness and vomiting from chemotherapy treatments.

3. Can help manage seizures
While more research is needed to fully understand how it works, CBD oil has been said to have anti-seizure properties. One study found that CBD may have similar effects to current drug treatments for seizures and it may even be a safe and effective treatment for patients with schizophrenia.

4. Balances and supports mental health
While CBD does lack the psychoactive component (THC) of cannabis, it does have several effects on the brain that can possibly help ease anxiety. Research has shown that CBD can boost signaling through serotonin receptors, which is often the goal of mental health treatments. Evidence found in animal studies are paving the way for more CBD testing on humans to provide more effective solutions for mental health disorders.

5. Excellent for hair, skin and nails
In addition to its clinical uses, CBD is an excellent beautifying oil! it contains a number of essential nutrients that are helpful in maintaining youthful skin, hair and nails, such as vitamins E and C. It’s also been said that CBD oil is helpful in treating acne by controlling inflammation, and is also great at calming irritated scalps for soft, shiny, dandruff-free hair.

6. Can improve your sleep cycle
You may already associate sleepiness with THC, but CBD can help you catch some needed Zs in a different, non-psychoactive way. While it won’t make you drowsy, a therapeutic dose can help those with sleep disorders maintain a regular REM cycle by staying asleep once they’re dozing. Considering CBD oil can help you maintain a more balanced state of mind, falling asleep may prove easier while taking it as well.

How Can You Take CBD Oil?

Tinctures
If you’re concerned about taste and not a fan of taking capsules, CBD oil tinctures are an enjoyable way to take the supplement. Tinctures are dropper bottles of sweetened and flavored CBD oil designed to yield all of the health benefits and make you actually want to take it!

Capsules
For a more convenient way to get your dose of cannabidiol, you can purchase the supplement in capsule form. These are great for taking with you on-the-go or for adding into your daily vitamin and supplement capsule regiment.

Liquids
If pills are not your style, CBD also comes in liquid form. This is a great option if you were looking to add cannabidiol into your daily smoothie or if you wanted to use it topically. Many CBD liquids come blended with other fatty acids such as MCT oil for additional benefits.

Body Care
Cannabidiol is also finding its way into personal care products! There are more and more products infusing CBD into their formulas to leverage its amazing topical benefits.

No matter how you decide to take CBD (internally or topically) always be sure to test a patch of skin for allergic reactions or start with small internal doses and consult with your doctor to ensure it is a right choice for you.

Has anyone had success while using CBD Oil? Share below!

 



31
MAY

3 Effective Digestive Enzymes

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Nutrition,Supplements at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Digestive enzymes can improve the functionality of your digestive system and make you feel a lot better after eating a meal. The majority of digestive support supplements contain a blend of enzymes, but with so many ingredients on every label, it can be hard to choose the right supplement for your needs.

Below are three highly effective digestive enzymes to consider when choosing a supplement.

1. Papaya
Papayas are a rich source of valuable proteolytic enzymes, such as papain, chymopapain, caricain and glycyl endopeptidase, that can greatly aid in the digestive process. The enzyme papain is one of the most effective at breaking down meat and other proteins, comparable to the enzyme pepsin that we produce in our pancreas.

In fact, papain is often considered a more effective enzyme than pepsin. Eating the papaya enzyme papain in a meal containing meat can significantly speed up its digestion. It may also help with the breakdown of other troublesome proteins, such as the gluten in wheat and the casein in milk, that are often implicated in digestive problems.

2. Bromelain
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem and is known to improve digestion. Used for reducing swelling and inflammation, bromelain has been shown to treat a bowel condition that includes swelling and ulcers. Often used in digestive support products, bromelain can also help improve the absorption of antibiotics. Bromelain seems to cause the body to produce substances that fight pain and inflammation.

3. Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
Hydrochloric acid, also called HCL, is one of the many chemicals released in our stomach when we eat a meal. The role of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, along with the other gastric juices, is to break down foods and cause the release of enzymes that further aid digestion. HCl also protects the body from illness by killing pathogens commonly found in foods.

HCL supplements can aid the stomach’s acid to destroy harmful bacteria as well as relieve the symptoms of heartburn. Low stomach acid causes indigestion, gas, bloating, acid reflux, constipation, and diarrhea. Supplementing with Hydrochloric Acid in the form of Betaine HCL can dramatically help people with low stomach acid. Make sure you choose an HCL product that contains pepsin because, without it, the body can’t break down proteins into the peptides required for proper absorption.



30
MAY

New Brands Showcase: System LS

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Supplements at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
If you’ve tried to lose weight in the past and failed, Lucky Vitamin has great news for you. We are introducing System LS, a new brand that offers unique products which will help reach your weight-loss goals.

This time you will succeed. System LS do things a little differently, taking a completely fresh approach to leading a healthy lifestyle. The company does not believe that only one product can help you lose weight as well as counteract all the side effects of limiting your calories. That’s the reason System LS did not develop just the one elusive ‘all-purpose/easy fix’ product, the likes of which just doesn’t exist. Instead, this brand has developed a complete system of products designed to make losing that unhealthy weight not just easy, but actually pleasant.

Each of System LS products has undergone rigorous research and testing in its development phase, incorporating potent doses of natural ingredients, proven to reduce your weight, burn fat and boost your energy.

Additionally, System LS products are natural and organic, and won’t give you any unpleasant side effects, quite the opposite. From the very first day you should start to feel better, lighter, and more energized.

System LS includes six innovative products developed after rigorous scientific testing; each product provides natural and organic ingredients designed to support weight loss and a modern lifestyle. Further, the products include a revolutionary patented phone app, which offers ongoing motivation for consumers.

You can save even more when you shop System LS products at LuckyVitamin.com. No code needed at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand as savings are automatically applied.

Plus, take advantage of Lucky Vitamin’s BONUS BRAND, with 10% off future deliveries when choosing Stay Lucky Autoship.



27
MAY

Probiotics Promote Strong Gut and Immune System

Filed Under: Immunity,Supplements at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
If you are looking for a product that can help promote a strong digestive systems and at the same time enhance your immune system, probiotics are the answer.

One of the best supplements to be taken on a regular basis, probiotics are dietary supplements that provide beneficial bacteria which can prevent gastrointestinal infections and convert sugars and carbohydrates into lactic acid. Found in foods such as yogurt and dairy products, probiotics are known as the “good bacteria” and can fortify the immune system as well as help lowering cholesterol, managing lactose intolerance, lowering blood pressure, preventing colon cancer and reducing inflammation.

Probiotics are live microorganisms very sensitive to high temperature. The majority of products must be kept refrigerated in order to maintain high potency. During the summer months, hot temperatures may a problem for probiotic products but shelf stable probiotics are also available. Although shelf stable probiotics do not have the same potency as live products, you can still benefits from these products as they contain good amount of probiotics bacteria in their formulas.

Probiotics contain many different stains and they provide different benefits. Here’s a quick list on how to choose a probiotic if you are looking to improve you immune system or to enhance your digestive system.

Immune system

Bifidobacterium lactis

Lactobacillus reuteri

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus casei

Bifidobacterium lactis

Digestive system

Sacchromyces boulardii

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus casei

Bifidobacterium infantis

Lactobacillus plantarum



26
MAY

New Brands Showcase: VBurst

Filed Under: Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 11:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Lucky Vitamin is happy to present a revolutionary brand of vitamin products to our customers: VBurst.

VBurst aims to bridge the gap between quality and flavor. These unique vitamin shots are specially formulated nutritional blends, delivered in liquid form, to provide superior delivery and absorption of essential nutrients. Powered by 16 vitamins and minerals, and fortified with antioxidants and amino acids, VBurst shots offer complete and convenient nutrition with an uncompromising taste, so you can get the nutrients you want, conveniently bottled them into three delicious flavors for life on the go.

Recognizing that many vitamins on the market have poor rates of absorption, VBurst has created liquid shots packed with vitamins, minerals and three types of antioxidants to fuel your lifestyle. The idea for VBurst was born to offer a better vitamin product as most of the vitamins and nutrients in pills and capsules do not fully dissolve in our stomachs and many of those nutrients pass through the body unabsorbed.

Upgrade your vitamins and experience the benefits of liquid supplements. Easier consumption and better absorption with a smooth, refreshing taste. Each vitamin shot comes in a 2 oz. bottle with no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. In addition to 16 different vitamins and minerals, an antioxidant blend is fortified with green tea extract, grape seed extract, and panax ginseng, three powerful antioxidants that fight to keep your body happy and healthy.

You can save even more when you shop VBurst products at LuckyVitamin.com. No code needed at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand as savings are automatically applied.