Superfood Spotlight: Wild Grasses

Really excited to be introducing a weekly series called ‘Superfood Spotlight.’ Every week I will highlight a superfood ingredient and talk about the key points of nutrition and what it overall does for us.

My passion for these foods is derived from Shakeology, a supplement product formulated by Darren Olien and Isabelle Daikeler. The easiest way to describe Shakeology is ’70 of the best known foods on the planet for health of the body put into one package’.

Whole food based, with prebiotics, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients and much more. I’m just so amazed with this product that I’ve dedicated a lot of my study to it and hope you find value in my sharing!

This week the ingredient is: Wild Grasses

After decades of sustainable farming, crop rotation, and other natural methods of restoring the soil, we’re getting highly potent and efficacious grasses. By understanding the plants, as well as the processes and care that go into their production . . . we can make sure the grasses we use are simply the healthiest that can be found, not just from North America but everywhere grasses are harvested.

Several of them provide amazing amounts of protein and amino acids, among other nutrients.

Here are just a few most common:

Wheat grass

Wheat grass juice powder is high in chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.  Along with the other components, it helps cleanse your system of impurities, which is an important component of the healing process. A side benefit: It can deodorize the body while helping to promote a healthy metabolism and thyroid function for improved weight control and indigestion. Wheatgrass is loaded with numerous vitamins and other minerals, including 17 amino acids.

Barley Grass

Barley grass juice powder has been used for centuries to help problems with the skin, liver, blood, and digestive tract. In Asia, Barley tea is a well-known fever remedy. And a recent study in Europe showed that barley may help regulate your blood sugar. Its 18 amino acids (including all eight essentials) complement significant amounts of vitamins and minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, beta carotene, and vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-9, and C.

Oat Grass

Oat grass juice powder has a calming effect on the nerves, helps promote healthy sleep, and can help relieve water retention. It’s useful in numerous therapies for joints, muscles, and bones, and eating oats is a well-known way to promote healthy cholesterol levels—which may reduce your risk of heart disease. Oat grass is also a superb source of protein (as good as soy, in fact). Oats are rich in vitamins, minerals, and all the essential amino acids . . . and if your kids have had the chicken pox, a bad rash, or sunburn, or gotten into some poison ivy, you know about putting them in a bathtub full of oatmeal-based relief.

Kamut

Kamut is actually a branded, specialized type of certified organic Khorasan Wheat, discovered by an American in Egypt about 60 years ago. It’s high in selenium (crucial for cell activity in your body), as well as protein and other essentials for high energy: zinc, thiamin, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, and complex carbohydrates. Because it’s an ancient grain (not modified by modern agricultural methods), its nutritional content is more robust than most other grains. Its low oxidation levels mean it doesn’t lose much nutritional content when it’s processed.

In Conclusion

Wild grasses are an amazing food providing amazing amounts of protein and amino acids, among other nutrients.

If you are interested in more or trying Shakeology, please contact me -Here-

Superfood Spotlight: Papain

Really excited to be introducing a weekly series called ‘Superfood Spotlight.’ Every week I will highlight a superfood ingredient and talk about the key points of nutrition and what it overall does for us.

My passion for these foods is derived from Shakeology, a supplement product formulated by Darren Olien and Isabelle Daikeler. The easiest way to describe Shakeology is ’70 of the best known foods on the planet for health of the body put into one package’.

Whole food based, with prebiotics, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients and much more. I’m just so amazed with this product that I’ve dedicated a lot of my study to it and hope you find value in my sharing!

This week the ingredient is: Papain, papaya extract.

Papain is a powerful digestive enzyme commonly found and extracted from the papaya fruit, it is also referred to as papaya proteinase. The papaya enzyme papain plays a key role in digestive processes involving breaking down tough protein fibers. For this reason, it has been commonly used in its native South America as a digestive support for meat eating.

Papain is also loaded with beta-carotene, folate, potassium and magnesium. It’s antioxidants team with its abundance of vitamin C to help protect your cells, warding off the harmful molecules present pollution and second-hand smoke.

Yet Papain goes even further. It’s been used for centuries in Central America as a natural remedy for indigestion, ulcers, fevers, and swelling. Even for insect bites (wasps, bumblebees, mosquitoes) and sea stings (jellyfish and rays), since it breaks down toxins. That’s why doctors use it here in the USA for some detox programs, and to help promote healthy wound healing.

In Conclusion

Papain is a power house enzyme that aids in digestive and antioxidant health as well as wound and muscle recovery.

If you are interested in more or trying Shakeology, please contact me -Here-

On Wealth and Freedom: ‘The Businessman and The Fisherman’

I love the following story because it puts wealth and freedom in a different perspective for each person. When is enough really enough and what do you truly want by having more wealth or freedom?

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-There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.

“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

Superfood Spotlight: Chaga

Really excited to be introducing a weekly series called ‘Superfood Spotlight.’ Every week I will highlight a superfood ingredient and talk about the key points of nutrition and what it overall does for us.

My passion for these foods is derived from Shakeology, a supplement product formulated by Darren Olien and Isabelle Daikeler. The easiest way to describe Shakeology is ’70 of the best known foods on the planet for health of the body put into one package’.

Whole food based, with prebiotics, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients and much more. I’m just so amazed with this product that I’ve dedicated a lot of my study to it and hope you find value in my sharing!

This week the ingredient is: Chaga!

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Chaga is a member of the mushroom family.

Rather than soft like a mushroom, chaga is hard, almost as hard as wood. It is unique, nothing like common mushrooms. In fact, chaga is the most nutritionally dense of all tree growths. Known by the Siberians as the “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality,” this vibrant growth has been used by humans to support health for thousands of years. The Japanese call it “The Diamond of the Forest,” while the Chinese deem it “King of Plants.” Despite this exceptional status, most Americans are unaware of it.

-Chaga has an abundance of Beta-D-Glucans which help balance the response of the body’s immune system. This means that chaga helps boosts the immune system when necessary, but slows it down when it’s overactive. This makes chaga a natural Biological Response Modifier (BRM).

-Chaga supports the integrity of blood vessels and provides soothing properties in times of irritation. This can be helpful for those suffering from pain, neuropathy, and even diabetes.

-Studies have shown that the betulinic acid found in chaga is able to break down LDL cholesterol–bad cholesterol–in the bloodstream.

-Chaga contains structural polysaccharides within its chitin walls, which provide energy, cardiovascular health, intestinal and liver health, and promote healthy blood sugar levels. It’s also said to improve one’s mood.

Chaga is not easy to find and people often mistake the mushroom for knots in the tree or burnt patches. You’ll find chaga growing predominantly on birch trees in cold habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including northern parts of Europe, Russia, Korea, Canada, and the U.S.

In North America, Chaga is almost exclusively found on birches in the northeast. In particular, it’s most commonly found on paper and yellow birch trees. Paper birch is a common forest tree with a white bark that exfoliates in broad, curling sheets. It’s found at low and high elevations in the northeast of North America. Yellow birch is another common forest tree and usually has a yellow bark that exfoliates as small, curling shreds.

To survive in harsh climates, chaga concentrates natural compounds for its protection, and that is why it is so powerful. To strengthen the tree, as well as heal, it makes potent phytochemicals, including sterols, phenols, and enzymes. Researchers have inoculated sick trees with chaga to strengthen them. People benefit by consuming these forest-source phytochemicals and nutrients.

In Conclusion

Chaga Mushrooms are a powerful Superfood responsible of SO many things for one’s health including antioxidants, bad cholesterol fighting properties, cell and tissue recovery, energy, cardiovascular health and more!!

If you are interested in more or trying Shakeology, please contact me -Here-

Superfood Spotlight: Astragalus Root

Really excited to be introducing a weekly series called ‘Superfood Spotlight.’ Every week I will highlight a superfood ingredient and talk about the key points of nutrition and what it overall does for us.

My passion for these foods is derived from Shakeology, a supplement product formulated by Darren Olien and Isabelle Daikeler. The easiest way to describe Shakeology is ’70 of the best known foods on the planet for health of the body put into one package’.

Whole food based, with prebiotics, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients and much more. I’m just so amazed with this product that I’ve dedicated a lot of my study to it and hope you find value in my sharing!

This week the ingredient is Astragalus Root.

The Astragalus plant is actually a cousin of the pea family, with more than 2,000 varieties. In China, they’ve used it since before the time of Christ for therapeutic healing. It helps strengthen the immune system, increase energy and vitality, and helps keep you young! Research shows that Astragalus extract can help enhance telomere strength, the parts of chromosomes that affect aging.

Astragalus root also helps to strengthen muscle mass and helps to improve your metabolism, circulation, and breathing, while it helps speed healing too.

The fibrous roots of the plant are sun-dried, then resoaked in water and cut into slices. At that stage, they can be redried and crushed into powder, which is what is widely available to us here.

In Conclusion

Astragalus Root is used in the aid of healing, increased energy, immune system health, any aging, and muscle recovery.

If you are interested in more or trying Shakeology, please contact me -Here-

Superfood Spotlight: Sacha Inchi

Really excited to be introducing a weekly series called ‘Superfood Spotlight.’ Every week I will highlight a superfood ingredient and talk about the key points of nutrition and what it overall does for us.

My passion for these foods is derived from Shakeology, a supplement product formulated by Darren Olien and Isabelle Daikeler. The easiest way to describe Shakeology is ’70 of the best known foods on the planet for health of the body put into one package’.

Whole food based, with prebiotics, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients and much more. I’m just so amazed with this product that I’ve dedicated a lot of my study to it and hope you find value in my sharing!

This week the ingredient is ‘Sacha Inchi‘.

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Sacha inchi is a native plant to Peru and contains more immunity-boosting vegetarian omega-3s than any other food on the planet! Sacha inchi is said to offer a variety of health benefits. Consuming sacha inchi can help reduce excess abdominal fat and promote weight loss. In addition, sacha inchi is purported to fight depression, reduce cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease, and aid in diabetes management.

Applied topically, the oil is used as a face oil and for hair.

That’s not all it does, though. Sacha inchi is naturally rich in protein and fiber, so it’s a strong appetite controller—nature’s diet. Then it goes a step further by helping to speed your metabolism, so you burn those fewer calories you’ve consumed more efficiently and rapidly. Sacha inchi is easy to digest, then fully absorbed by your body, so it all goes to work right away too.

Sacha inchi in Peru grows to be about six feet in height, with big green leaves, tiny white flowers, and, ultimately, small star-shaped fruit (about 2 inches across; they’re brownish-black when fully ripe). But the oil we use comes from the seeds. Unlike some other farming areas, the “nuts” aren’t processed there. They’re grown, picked, and packed up, then taken or shipped to processing areas.

In Conclusion

Eating sacha inchi seeds or oil as part of a balanced diet enhances overall health including promotes natural weight-loss through metabolism health, aids in preventing high cholesterol risk, aids in preventing heart disease and aids in diabetes management. 

Sacha inchi is best known to increase one’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are interested in more or trying Shakeology, please contact me -Here-

‘Emergency Food’ Guest Blogger- Diary of a Snacker

Really thrilled to have collaborated with Kristin in the past -here- for some food writing. I asked her to write something for my blog this time around and she happily agreed!

Kristin’s blog, ‘Diary of a Snacker’, is really unique because it tackles subjects from fitness and nutrition to living a busy life and not always having the answers but doing the best with what’s available. She regularly reviews her favorite snacks, fitness products, lends fun recipes and other insightful memoirs and research. She even does frequent giveaways!!

Please, please do me the honor and favor of checking out Kristin’s blog, subscribing, and sharing with friends!  -Diary of a Snacker- Enjoy the post!!

Emergency Food

Life happens. You get stuck in traffic and it takes you extra time to get home. You need to squeeze in laundry, soccer practice, and a ton of other chores. You have to work late or take on another shift and haven’t gone grocery shopping in 3 weeks (not like that one happened to me or anything). Fast food always comes to the rescue – pizza, burgers, tacos, Chinese food. No. Not this time. You’re prepared.

It’s helpful to create your own Emergency Kit – complete with a variety of healthy on-the-go foods. I started doing this about a year ago and now I always keep a few items at my desk, one or two in the car, and one in my purse for those “ah shit” moments. Anything to fight the temptation. Below are a few of my favorites.

Crankin’ Cranberry Snack Sticks by Chomps – $1.99 each

These are pretty freakin’ good – like a healthy SlimJim. And, man did I love my SlimJims when I was younger! It’s spicy and the cranberry gives it a nice tart flavor. However, the name “sticks” is a little misleading. Let me clear it up for you – you only get one stick per package. This was a bit disappointing, but hey, you live and learn.

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Mint Chocolate Bar by RxBar – $2.49 each

I love RxBars. They can, however, get out of control pretty quickly if you use them to feed your sugar cravings. I save these for dire emergencies, such as when I’ve been on the road for 5 hours and can’t find anything but a Taco Bell and fields of corn and soy in sight. (Have you ever driven from NY to Florida?) Anyway – this one is good. I like the cool feeling of mint in my mouth; it’s very refreshing. And since I’m not a chocolate fiend, I can handle it 😉

Fuji & Reds Apple Chips by Bare – $33 (for a 24-pack – can be found individually in store)

I can’t get enough of these apple chips. They are perfectly crisp and lightly sweet. You won’t find any preservatives or sweeteners in the bag – just apples.

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Pitted Kalamata Olives by Gaea – $2.59 each

Olives are a good source of healthy fat, which keeps you fuller longer. I like to add these to my salad or on the side of scrambled eggs, but they are also good to eat straight from the package. This brand sells black and green olives too.

BBQ Hickory Tomato Beef Bar by Wild Zora – $3.39 each

I love Wild Zora bars and recommend them to EVERYONE. They are so soft and yummy – not your typical jerky (you can read my full review here). I was really partial to the Chili Beef, but I have to say that this BBQ Bar is the bee’s knees! It’s small, but filling. I like to eat these with a extra side of veggies like carrot sticks.

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Beef with Cranberry & Sriracha Bites by EPIC – $6.99

I tried EPIC Bars and I can’t say I was impressed. Actually, all of them went into the trash and, considering the price, it hurt a bit. But these Bites are good. There’s something about the combination of beef and cranberry that I love, plus the spicy kick. They aren’t as soft as Wild Zora Bars (above) – in fact, they are a bit dry, but they work and can easily hold you over until you can get a real meal.

GoGo Squeeze Fruit & Veggiez Pedal Pedal Peach by Materne – $3.29

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These are surprisingly good. Technically they are for kids, but I like them because they are easy to take along and they have veggies hidden in every bite. This one is a sweet mix of peach and sweet potato, but there are 3 other flavors that are just as yummy.

Hint Water – $24 (for a 12-pack variety – cheaper in store)

16325771_10155526008210260_226744975_oThis is great for anyone who isn’t keen on plain water. This provides a subtle, but still noticeable, hint of natural flavor without any added calories, sugar, or crap. Hint Water comes in 15 flavors including green apple and blood orange.

If you notice that this list sounds pretty yummy – you’re right! I’ve made sure to stock things that are more appealing than a few lonely celery sticks, because when I’m hungry, I get HANGRY and plain water just won’t cut it. When selecting the foods to add to your Emergency Kit, make sure they are healthy options that you actually want to eat. You’ll thank me later.

What are your favorite on-the-go foods?

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16244516_10155526010395260_1816164427_nKristin Phillips is the founder of Diary of a Snacker, a food and fitness blog catered to the newbie. Just before she graduated college she decided to move out of her childhood home. There was only one problem – she didn’t know how to cook. Because it’s not healthy living on a diet of ramen and grilled cheese, she knew she had to learn – and fast! After a lot of practice, trial and error, and too many failures to count, she was able to find out what worked and what (definitely) didn’t. That long journey resulted in the creation of a blog that marries both her love for eating and writing. She lives in Hyde Park, NY and can always be found making a mess in the kitchen!

Fitness Revolution

I’m writing this blog post because I want to share with anyone who is interested what I feel is a revolution in health and fitness.

I started on this path a year ago because I saw my physical (as well as mental) health decline and I knew I needed to turn it around. We’ve only got one body and one life to live so why not enhance it and make it run more smoother to enjoy our lives! Like the old saying goes-‘Treat your body like a temple, not a woodshed!’

All that said, we are entering an age where literally everything is a click or tap away. You can stream movies off Netflix, find any answer on Google or Youtube, order anything off Amazon, heck, even have rare Japanese seafood or oysters delivered to your doorstep!

Now we can even stream fitness programs and take them on the go with us! ‘Beachbody on Demand’ is what I like to refer to as ‘the Netflix of fitness’. It has changed my life and I’m moved to share it with as many as I can who are looking for a change in their health as well. It’s targeted for ALL AUDIENCES-people with sedentary careers, travelers, athletes, injuries, weight loss, weight gain, yogis, chefs and more..

CLICK HERE to read more about this!

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Starting 2017 with Health, Help and Happiness…The Rest will Follow

in 2016 I made a simple resolution for myself to get healthy, accept help, and be happy. Although vague, I knew if I focused my mind on those simple concepts in multiple areas of my life, my actions would align.

Although it seems simple it was actually really hard. I ran in a lot of different directions, faced a lot of self doubt, resistance, discouragement, criticism and other signs pointing to, “Play it safe and just do what you have been doing up until now and hope for the best.”

Frankly, I didn’t want to be stuck there.

So I focused and worked. I worked at getting in shape, eating balanced, being vulnerable, being more present, expressing myself more, being happier, finding a spiritual path that I believed in, and working towards the things that I TRULY wanted in my life.

What a year it was when I put my focus on these three words: Health, help and happiness.

So for 2017 my resolution is to help others see their potential in this concept and join them to stay accountable towards their goals.

I am a firm believer that anything seemingly difficult can be broken down into simpler and more manageable systems.

Health, help and happiness.

Health is what fuels our bodies and minds to do remarkable things. Human bodies and minds were meant to do remarkable things!

Help is what everyone needs, I don’t care who you are. To think you can do anything alone is simply naive.

Happiness can be the result or goal in practicing the first two. By taking care of yourself first and then others, we can all be happier and more fulfilled in this life.

I thank all of my readers, contributors, and followers for being here and having a look from time to time and giving or taking what you feel.

Happy New Year!

My wish to you is health, help and happiness.

-Austin

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Healthier Comfort Food- Guest Contributor

A few days ago, I caught a picture from my friend, Brit, on good ol’ Facebook that stopped me dead in my scrolling. This bowl of bulgur wheat, mushrooms, veggies and spices just looked the the most perfect lunch, side or impromptu comforty meal.

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Here’s what Brit says:

“I don’t ever post foodie photos but this was too good to not share. Sometimes not having a plan for what to make and using only what you have kicking around is the most gratifying. Bulgur wheat, toasted pine nuts, onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, and a tablespoon of organic spirulina powder. This dish should take no longer than 10-15 total to prepare and cook! 🙂 Some other additions that would be great are chopped cauliflower and maybe some chicken!”

Recipe:

Makes about 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Bulgur Wheat, cooked
  • 7-8 Chestnut Mushrooms, chopped
  • 7-8 Mini Sweet Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Dash of Turmeric
  • Sea Salt and Black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Organic Spirulina Powder

Directions

  1. In a pan on medium heat, heat olive oil and saute onions until soft (3-5 minutes)t hen added in garlic and peppers and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add in pine nuts, salt and pepper and a dash of turmeric.
  3. Add in mushrooms and cover.
  4. Turn down heat and add in bulgur wheat. Cook on low until mushrooms are tender.
  5. Once mushrooms and veggies are cooked, add in spirulina powder.
  6. Stir on low heat for a couple more minutes, season to taste, and you’re done!