Health & Wellness

Are You Eating Enough Protein? 0

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Proteins are literally the building blocks of life. They allow your body to run the efficient machine that it was meant to be. If you are lacking in protein, you may feel hungry, anxious, or fatigued. Protein helps your body to build lean muscle and burn more fat. When people are lacking in protein they often go overboard on the wrong kinds, aka protein bars and protein powders. Yes, they do contain protein, but they often contain chemicals and other things that our bodies cannot properly utilize. The CDC recommends about 46 grams of protein for women and 56 grams of protein for men per day. Aim for consuming real foods to get your fill of protein. Here are some great protein packed options…

+ avocado – protein, antioxidants and mono-unsaturated fats (the good kind)

+ chickpeas – a powerful protein boost

+ greek yogurt – protein and calcium

+ hemp seeds – protein and amino acids, sprinkle on cereal, salad, etc.

+ peas – protein, vitamin C, and fiber

+ almonds – a protein packed snack

+ tomatoes – protein and vitamin K

What’s your favorite form of protein?

Super Spinach 0

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It’s no secret that spinach is good for you. It ‘s full of essential vitamins and nutrients including vitamin C and phytonutrients. Consuming dark, leafy greens on a regular basis is beneficial to your health in so many ways. Studies have shown that spinach is one of the most potent and beneficial greens. It’s dark color makes it more nutrient dense. Furthermore it is extremely low in calories and has a low glycemic index. Looks like Popeye knew what he was doing. Here are some more reasons to love spinach.

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Health & Beauty Benefits Of Coconut Oil 0

Coconuts are a true superfood. They supply the body with so many health and beauty benefits. Coconuts have long been a staple for many people living in tropical climates, but they are finally becoming a staple here in the U.S. and worldwide. Here are some of the many benefits of coconut oil.

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The Holiday Stress Cycle 0

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and for many, the most stressful as well. The social, financial, and physical stressors that often accompany the holiday season can wreak havoc on your health.

Between the shopping, baking, entertaining, and traveling among many other demands, it’s no wonder people feel overwhelmed. The holiday stress cycle can be, well, stressful!

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Here are some tips to help you avoid the stress and enjoy the season!

Make time for yourself: The holidays are all about spreading joy to others, but don’t forget about yourself. Take a little time every day to do something special for YOU! Relax, meditate, practice yoga, go for a walk, have a cup of tea… do something that makes you happy. This will help you to better handle the holiday stress.

Put health first: Don’t abandon healthy habits! Make sure to eat right, stay active, and get plenty of sleep. When you feel well you will be more productive, therefor less stressed.

Just say NO: We live in a yes society, but sometimes you have to say no. Be realistic. You cannot be in twelve places doing twenty things at once. Try not to overextend yourself to avoid unnecessary stress.

Delegate, delegate, delegate: Delegate tasks and to-do’s to those around you. Hosting a party? Ask guests to bring drinks or dessert. The more you delegate, the less stress responsibility that rests solely on you.

Know that everything will work out: The shopping will get done, the gifts will be wrapped, the dinner will be cooked and the Christmas cookies will be baked.

Don’t forget to enjoy the season: Don’t get so caught up in the rush that you forget to take time and enjoy this magical time of year!

Why Sweet Potatoes Should Be On Your Thanksgiving Menu 0

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Sweet potatoes, once considered a strictly Thanksgiving food have taken the world by storm. It’s no wonder why everyone’s catching on to these sweet and healthy treats. They are jam packed with health benefits including…

– Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin C. Not only does vitamin C fight cold and flu viruses, it also produces collagen making the skin appear healthy and youthful. Vitamin C has also been known to help the body handle stress.

– High levels of vitamin B6 have been known to reduce a chemical called homocysteine in the body, thus reducing the occurrence of heart attacks.

– Vitamin D boosts our immune system as well as promotes a healthy mood, high levels of energy, and healthy bones, skin, and teeth.

– Potassium is a key electrolyte which helps to regulate the heart beat. It also supports healthy muscle and kidney function.

– Magnesium aka the anti stress mineral is present in sweet potatoes. It also plays an important role in healthy heart and nerve function. Magnesium has also been known to help with sleep disorders.

– Iron helps our bodies to metabolize protein, cope with stress, and function at their best.

– Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene which is said to strengthen eyesight, boost immunity, and even ward off certain cancers.

– The natural sugars in sweet potatoes help to regulate blood sugar,  combating fatigue and weight gain.

– Lastly, sweet potatoes are delicious! Enjoy them at your holiday meal, or any meal for that matter and take advantage of their amazing health benefits.

Crazy For Cranberries 0

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Let’s talk cranberries… yes, they are delicious on your Thanksgiving turkey, but did you know that they are absolutely packed with health benefits.

Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and essential nutrients. These little red berries have been shown to battle heart disease as they lower bad cholesterol, treat urinary tract infections due to their high levels of proanthocyanidins, promote weight loss by improving your metabolism, slow the aging process by fighting free radicals, relieve skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, and fight certain types of cancers by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.

When you sit down at this year’s Thanksgiving table it may be appropriate to give thanks for this wonderful red berry. 

‘Tis Flu Season 0

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‘Tis the season… for the flu! While flu season tends to peak between January and February, it typically starts to surface in late October. Though each season’s flu can be unpredictable when it comes to strain, severity, and length, we can readily predict that there will be a flu epidemic each and every year.

Flu viruses are constantly evolving and new strains seem to surface each year. The flu vaccine is intended to guard against the three major strains that are expected to cause the most illness. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months receive a yearly flu vaccine early in the season. Don’t forget to protect yourself and others by practicing good hand hygiene, keeping your distance from those who are already sick, and staying home if you yourself come down with the flu to prevent spreading it to others.

Sunbutter Benefits 0

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You probably wouldn’t think twice about spreading some peanut butter on your morning toast or maybe even eating it right out of the jar… but have you ever considered it’s undervalued colleague, sunflower seed butter?

Sunbutter packs a powerful punch when it comes to health benefits… high levels of unsaturated fat [the good kind of fat], zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E to name a few. A tablespoon of sunbutter contains around 100 calories, similar to peanut butter. It also contains similar amounts of protein and sugar, however, it contains less saturated fat and twice as much fiber.

The skinny on fat: While saturated fats can lead to heart disease among other things, unsaturated fats can lower cholesterol and help to fight inflammation. At 9 grams of fat per tablespoon and nearly 90 percent of those fats being the unsaturated kind, sunbutter can be a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet.

Sunbutter also contains high levels of vitamin E. Just one tablespoon contains 25 percent of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and battles inflammation. Vitamin E promotes circulation of the blood which is wonderful for your skin and hair.

Magnesium is extremely important in order for your body to function properly. Over 300 metabolic processes depend on it. Magnesium can help to fight osteoporosis, relieve PMS, and improve the parathyroid function. It also protects against cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Magnesium has been proven beneficial in the battle against diabetes. It can also help with migraines, insomnia, and depression.

All in all, sunflower seed butter can make a great addition to your diet. It is packed with so many health benefits and it’s tasty too. It’s a wonderful alternative for people with various nut allergies. Remember this post about MUFAs? Sunflower seeds are loaded with omega-3s making them a wonderful option.  Pick up a jar at your local health food store. You and your body are in for a healthy treat.

The Truth About Agave 0

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Agave is often touted as a super healthy alternative to sugar. We have been told over and over again that it is raw, all natural, does not contain glucose, does not spike blood sugar, and so on… however, these claims are not necessarily true.

Agave nectar is indeed made from the agave plant… but not the actual nectar. Agave “nectar” is actually made from the starchy root of the plant. It is combined with inulin, a complex carbohydrate comprised of chains of fructose molecules through a highly chemical process. By the time we consume this “nectar” it is in the form of a highly indigestible fiber. Furthermore, it contains 70% (or higher) fructose. To put this in perspective, high fructose corn syrup (also not on the “healthy sweeteners” list) only contains 55%.

Why is fructose frowned upon? Fructose in moderation, and in it’s natural form (i.e. fruit) is not the issue. The problem is when it’s ingested in high quantities. Fructose is metabolized for energy by the body and stored as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. When your ATP levels are high excess fructose will be converted into fat and stored by your tissues for future use. In our society, we rarely need to call upon these fat reserves, as new calories are constantly being ingested, stored as energy, etc. Not only is fructose stored as fat, an abundance of fructose can be very damaging to the heart and liver.

In short, agave syrup is highly refined, highly concentrated, and highly unnatural. Don’t fret! There are many healthy alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth. Opt for coconut nectar, palm sugar, or stevia in place of agave. Your body will thank you.

Featured Product Of The Week: Daily Physical Defense SPF 30+ 0

SkinMedica Daily Physical Defense SPF 30+

Fall may be in the air… but that doesn’t mean skipping the SPF. Most premature aging is caused by the sun and daily use of sunscreen is your best defense in minimizing skin damage. Remember our recent post about UVA and UVB rays? UVA rays are always present even on cold, cloudy days. They also have the ability to penetrate more deeply, so don’t fool yourself into thinking your safe just because the sun isn’t shining.

SkinMedica’s Daily Physical Defense SPF 30+ is unlike other sunscreens that use chemical agents as a form of protection. These chemicals seep into the skin and absorb the sun’s rays. Daily Physical Defense is a mineral sunscreen that sits on top of the skin and rather than absorbing these harmful rays, it reflects them.

This sunscreen utilizes Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These minerals are skin friendly and provide impeccable, broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Green tea leaf extract and caffeine team up to provide powerful antioxidant protection. The high concentration of antioxidants and polyphenols help prevent damage caused by free radicals.

Apply this product daily to the face, neck, and decollate. It’s sheer, oil free formula makes it perfect for every day use. Apply after all other products in your skin care regimen and before applying your makeup.

Doctors recommend this sunscreen for all skin types including those with sensitive skin, patients that have experienced allergic reactions to other types of sunscreens, those who are acne prone, and even those who have had a recent peel or aesthetic procedure because this product is so gentle in nature.

Daily Physical Defense SPF 30 + is also recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. In fact, a portion of all proceeds go to further skin cancer education and awareness.