How to Ease and Prevent Menstrual Headaches

Headaches may seem like all you need is to take the occasional painkiller to keep it at bay, but when you have a monthly headache in correlation to your menstrual cycle, you may want to consider a less ‘band aid’ treatment in response to the underlying causes of a menstrual headache.

Like any headache, menstrual headaches can range in severity. From a minor dull ache to debilitating pain. Having them every time you have a period though can make women dread even the dull aches just for the sheer frequency.

With that said, there are preventive measures women can take to help ease and even prevent menstrual headaches. If you suffer from monthly migraines due to your period, or period pain in general, try these all natural and holistic lifestyle tips to help ease the pain or prevent them all together.

Time your turmeric
As we all know, headaches are caused by inflammation. Where menstrual headaches are concerned, this inflammation can be triggered by a drop or surge in hormones, depending on where in your cycle you tend to get your headaches. Usually, menstrual headaches come before, during or shortly after a period.

To help combat inflammation from sudden drops in hormones, take turmeric. As we all know, turmeric one of nature’s most potent anti-inflammatories. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory benefits and overall nutrient-dense profile make this golden root an ideal all-natural remedy to ease and even alleviate pain from hormonal imbalances.

Where headaches are concerned, taking 1 dose of turmeric is likely to not be enough when alleviating pain. The idea is to take turmeric frequently and consistently leading up to the days you usually have your headache to prevent the inflammation that causes it.

For example, if you usually get a headache during your period, try taking 2 tablespoons or 1000 mg of turmeric 5 days before your period and throughout the duration of your period. This should help ease and even prevent menstrual headaches and other various pains caused by inflammation such as cramps and depressive moods.

More Magnesium
Magnesium is a wonderful mineral to help ease the pain of menstrual headaches and can even prevent the headache from progressing in severity. Playing a key role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, think energy production, protein synthesis, neurotransmitter regulation as well as helping to calm the nervous system, magnesium can be especially beneficial in reducing the severity of headaches and even preventing the altogether.

Like with turmeric, take magnesium at least 3 days before you usually have a headache and continue to do so until your period ends to help relax your body and support that many vital biochemical functions that require this mineral. Check in with your healthcare provider for a dosage best for you.

Stabilize Blood Sugar
If you’re on a calorie restriction diet, practice intermittent fasting, forget to eat when you’re hungry and suffer from menstrual migraines, these all could be linked. Forcing a calorie restriction diet or intermittent fasting in the face of being hungry could be the reason behind your menstrual migraines. Subjecting yourself to hunger, your body’s most primal signal that it needs nutrition, can leave you at a calorie deficit and making your body suffer from blood sugar imbalances as well as a nutrient deficit subjecting your body to a lack of vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally, and yes that includes hormone balance.

Prioritize your body’s nutritional needs over following a diet. This isn’t a free-pass to gorge on whatever you want, but to reassess your eating habits. If you’re hungry, which usually comes with monthly cravings, give your body a healthy option and listen to what it needs. The idea is to give your body the extra nutrition it needs for a healthy cycle and to keep your blood sugar levels steady, which as we all know when they aren’t, headaches are likely to follow.

Eat Clean
Speaking of food and cravings, make sure that healthy snacks are at the ready for you, especially during the time when you know your cravings will crop up. Make a big batch of hummus, steam vegetables, wash fresh salad greens, stock up on fruits, grill lean meats. Focus on eating fresh whole foods so you can have them whenever you want as opposed to ordering fast food or grabbing the closest packet of instant ramen or bag of chips.

The idea behind eating clean, especially where menstrual headaches are concerned is to simply prevent more inflammation from unhealthy eating choices and opting instead for healthy and nutrient dense alternatives which will help your body cope with all the hormonal changes.

Support your hormone health and prevent headaches with the right nutrition. Give your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best with our Complete Multivitamin and ease pain by preventing inflammation with our potent Turmeric with Ginger for headache-free cycles.

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Cultivating Calm During Difficult Times

When you’re going through something difficult, facing the unknown, feeling unprepared, and doing things you didn’t think you’d have to do, it’s easy and also a normal response to feel anxious, depressed, and even scared amidst the difficulty’s life can bring.

Considering everything going on in the world right now amidst COVID-19, here are some healthy and holistic ways to cultivate calm during difficult times while you quarantine yourself at home.

1. Set a schedule
It’s easy to feel like you’re being swept up and feeling out of control, especially when you have to react accordingly to the difficulties you’re facing. Take control of your life by setting a schedule and doing your best to follow it, within reason, making room for flexibility. Having a schedule helps to keep you on track of your day, your goals, your accomplishments, and it can give you better insight on what you’re lacking in daily life.

Setting and following a schedule also reminds you how much control you have in any given present moment, and regardless of the difficulties you’re facing, having a schedule helps you to realize that the point of power is always in the ‘now’ and you can choose how you act accordingly.

2. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
When stress, anxiety, and depression crop up, inflammation is sure to follow. All these negative emotions bring about higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline which, when there’s too much can cause our body to be inflamed.

The good news is, eating anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, fish oil and other antioxidant-rich foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, give your body the necessary antioxidants to combat inflammatory free-radicals as well as the vitamins and minerals your immune system needs to stay strong seeing as inflammation and negative moods tend to dampen our immune response.

Going beyond their physical benefits, eating anti-inflammatory foods are known as well to be mood regulating and can help us have a more positive outlook on life regardless of any difficulties you may be facing.

3. Prioritize Your Mental Immunity
Cultivating calm doesn’t mean ignoring what’s making you feel anxious, stressed, or depressed. In order to truly achieve an inner sense of calm you need to acknowledge these emotions and work through them. Some emotions can clear out by simply venting it out, be it through journal writing, exercising, or calling a loved one.

More deep seated negative emotional states don’t mean you have to go through it alone, especially while you’re in quarantine. If need be, seek professional care. Therapy can be done through a digital call, whether it’s with a professional or somebody you trust.

Prioritize your mental immunity to keep you strong, emotionally resilient, and generally happy. Instead of letting your fear and anxiety get a hold of you, being on quarantine is the perfect opportunity to work on your mental health, however way works for you.

4. Cut out anxiety triggers
While you’re on quarantine, take some time to reassess your digital exposure and ‘Marie Kondo’ your social, news, and information feeds.

Often times, out of context headlines, fake news, and fear mongers can unnecessarily exacerbate our already existing, and valid fear. An easy solution to this is to simply cut it out. Delete, unfollow, mark as irrelevant etc. and reserve your digital exposure only for truthful and relevant content that serves your mental wellbeing. This isn’t to say of course that you should ignore the news, but to simply cut out the ingenuine information out there that’s doing you harm.

5. Be mindful of ‘true’ and ‘false’ anxiety
As touched on earlier, anxiety and other negative emotions can crop up from eating poorly and not caring for our mental health. Take some time to be more mindful if you’re really feeling low, or if you’re making yourself feel low.

Making yourself feel negative emotions is often unintentional and a result of passive choices. Lack of exercise, lack of sunshine, too much caffeine, bad diet, low blood sugar, and too much screen time especially before bed, and lack of quality sleep can all bring about unnecessary feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. While being at home on quarantine does take adjustment in your day to day life, take some time to see if you have any anxiety-triggering passive habits that you do throughout the day. Feeling better may simply mean having your cup of coffee earlier in the day and farther from bedtime even just 5 minutes under the sun.

Whereas genuine anxiety and depression is concerned, read back on number 3, concerning taking care of your mental immunity.

Keep calm and supplement. Try our Calm Anti-Anxiety Supplement to help you get through even the most difficult days. Made with immune-boosting Ashwagandha, calming lemon balm, anti-inflammatory Passion Flower, and clarifying and relaxing L-Theanine, this supplement’s synergistic blend of well-known calming components can help keep your mind and emotions centered.

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Healthy Dressings and Dips to Liven Up Any Meal

Dressings and dips have the magical ability to take a bunch of mixed ingredients thrown together, into a cohesive plate of goodness.

These dips and dressings go especially well if you like to meal plan where neutral flavored ingredients can be jazzed up with different flavor profiles. Simply place on top or mix into your favorite meals.

Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus
Hummus with an antioxidant twist. This roasted butternut squash hummus is incredibly creamy and brings together all kinds of dishes. Pile it high on top of grain bowls, dip into it with fresh carrots and roasted beets or even eat by the spoonful. This is a hummus well worth making in big batches to have throughout the week or to share with friends and family during special gatherings.

Ingredients:

  • 700 grams butternut squash, peeled and cubed.
  • 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place your squash cubes in a roasting tray and mix with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast your squash for 45 minutes to an hour or until soft. The smaller your cubes, the faster they will cook.
  4. Once your squash is cooked, allow to cool.
  5. Place your squash and remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency.

Miso Dressing
Miso is a fermented soybean paste and gives you a savory option to get your probiotics in. This dressing keeps well in the fridge and is fantastic at bringing in an Asian pallet to your dishes. Swirl it into buckwheat noodles and sautéed vegetables, mix into grain bowls with roasted meat and vegetables, or toss into fresh salad greens.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons brown miso paste
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2-inch knob of ginger, grated

Method:

  1. In a blender, blitz all the ingredients together. If you find the mixture thick, you can add hot water till you reach your desired consistency.

Garlic Cream
This garlic cream is so delicious and adds a savory and flavorful punch to anything you top it with. It can be completely vegan by using your choice of plant-based milk. Dollop generous servings on foods like falafels, meatballs, burger patties and baked potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 10 tablespoons milk of choice (dairy or plant based and unsweetened)
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves
  • Squeeze of fresh Lemon Juice

Method:

  1. Place in the ingredients in a food processor and pulse with salt and pepper until smooth.

Minty Yogurt Dressing
This dressing is inspired from the flavors of Greece and bursting with fresh and vibrant flavors. This dressing is creamy and cooling thanks to the yogurt and mint and can balance out spicier dishes. Dollop on top of curries and dahls, serve as a dip for roasted potatoes, or go classic and use it as a dip for fresh and crisp cucumbers and carrots.

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams plain full fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
  • 1 handful of mint, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, grated

Method:

  1. Simply stir all the ingredients together into your favorite bowl and store in the refrigerator when not in use.

Protein Avocado Dip
This hearty dip covers all your healthy fat and plant protein needs. Inspired from guacamole, pesto, and hummus, this ‘tribrid’ dip goes great with tortillas, crunchy pita, potato chips, toasted bread, or roasted veggies like broccoli and courgette.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly mashed
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
  • 4 large roasted garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of basil, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until you reach you desired consistency of creaminess or chunkiness.

Peanut Butter Dressing
Peanut butter is a culinary staple, both for sweet and savory dishes. Use the lovely creamy flavor of peanuts beyond your regular PB&J as the star ingredient in this delicious dressing. To use, simply toss this dressing into salads with heartier ingredients such as shredded cabbage and roasted vegetables, dip roasted sweet potatoes into, or toss in with your favorite noodle dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter, unsweetened
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Method:

  1. Whisk all the ingredients into your favorite bowl. If you find the dressing too thick, you can thin out the consistency with some warm water.

Did you know that dressings and dips are not only made to be delicious and to pair well with most dishes? Adding dips and dressings to your meals provides an addition of healthy fats to help your body better absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A,D,E and K. Optimize your body’s ability to absorb nutrients with healthy fats and compliment them with Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes to make the most of your meals.

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Meal Prepping Basics

Meal prepping is easy and isn’t quite the culinary obstacle course people make it out to be. Perhaps the only reason people feel daunted by it is the end result, when we see it done by others, ends up looking like so much effort and kitchen prowess is needed to meal prep. The truth is though, all it takes is time and little bit of planning.

With that said, you’re not alone with the challenges of meal prepping. If you have a busy schedule, don’t enjoy thinking of what to cook everyday for every meal, use this meal prepping basics guide to help ensure that you always have healthy and delicious food on hand.

 

1. Before you meal prep
Get ready for your kitchen to turn into a major food production. You’ll be bringing out a variety of fresh ingredients, prepping them to be washed, chopped, flavored and cooked. To help things run more efficiently, prep for meal prep by:

  • Gathering all the ingredients you plan to use, including your flavorings such as spices, to help give you a clearer view of what you have to work with.
  • Having clean cooking utensils at the ready (bowls, pots, chopping boards, knives, storage containers etc.)
  • Make space in your freezer as you’ll be storing many ingredients here.
  • Cook at the same time. While meal prepping, start with the ingredients that take the longest to cook but need minimal supervision (beans, grains, legumes) and prep other ingredients such as washing and chopping vegetables.

2. Start with a base
A base is usually the fiber in your meal which consists of whole grains, and provide a nutritious yet neutral tasting ingredient that you can easily change up with spices or sauces. Choose to rotate 2-3 bases throughout the week so that you don’t get tired of the same whole grain.

Some healthy bases include:

  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Farro
  • Freekeh
  • Sorghum

Not only are these grains filled with fiber, they also contain protein, are rich in B-Vitamins and each grain has their own unique texture to help bring alive any dish. To incorporate them into your meal prepping, choose at least 2 grains, and cook them simultaneously according to their package instructions.

All these grains require for cooking is a pot and filtered water and their good to go, allowing you to get on with the other ingredients in your kitchen.

3. Get Your Protein
Protein is a vital macronutrient that provides the building blocks for our muscles and tissues, gives us a full a satisfied feeling, helps to reduce cravings, and helps our body to repair itself from the wear and tear of everyday life and physical exertion. Meal prepping protein will be the ingredient that is most likely to ensure that you keep to your healthy diet as it will ensure you’re satisfied with your meal.

Whether you’re plant based, vegan, or have no dietary restrictions, here are excellent protein sources that you can meal prep with:

  • Non GMO Firm Tofu: Marinated in soy sauce, crushed garlic, and chili flakes and pan fried.
  • Beans such as white, black and kidney beans, which you can cook alongside your grains.
  • Peas: steamed
  • Chicken breast: Marinated with lemon, crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and cracked pepper and baked at 200 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes or until well cooked
  • Pork chops: Marinated in lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper, baked at 200 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes or until well cooked.
  • Tenderloin Beef, cubed: Marinated in olive oil, salt, and pepper, sautéed until you reach how well you like your beef cooked.

When it comes to protein, the idea is to marinate or rub them well with flavors that you enjoy. A simply savory mix of garlic, salt and pepper can liven up any ingredient, and we find this one of the easier yet delicious ways to prep protein.

Once cooled, protein, especially animal protein, can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days so we suggest picking 2-3 protein sources on rotation throughout the week, and putting the rest in the freezer. Simply bring out the night before and place in your fridge to defrost and have ready for the next day.

Veggies, Veggies, Veggies
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, vegetables are vital to your good health and should bulk up the majority of your meals. Fortunately, there are hundreds of vegetables for you to choose from that will make ‘eating the rainbow’ especially easy when meal prepping as you’ll have plenty of variety to choose from.

Take your pick from crisp salad greens like romaine and arugula, to heartier nightshades like courgettis, bell peppers, and aubergines, to earthy roots like sweet potatoes and beets. Denser greens like spinach and kale work great raw or cooked, and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli are versatile and filling.

On top of eating fresh vegetables raw, try a mixture of one tray oven baking and one pot steaming vegetables to bring out their flavor.

For oven baking, chop and cube your vegetables in even sizes so they cook evenly.

  • Sweet potatoes: mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and thyme
  • Potatoes: mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower: mix with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • Courgetti: mix with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano

For one-pot steaming, chop your vegetables in similar sizes as well for even cooking and simply pull out vegetables that are already cooked while waiting for the rest.

  • Beets
  • Green beans
  • French Beans
  • For washing and drying:
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Kale, destemmed
  • Arugula

Mix and Match:
When you’ve meal prepped, the idea is to simply mix and match your macros. Get your protein, fat and carbs on one plate for each meal of the day. Some great combinations include:

  • Roasted broccoli and steamed beans with baked chicken breast and Farro
  • White Bean, Arugula salad with baked pork chops and baked sweet potato
  • Asian pea, tofu and beef bowl on brown rice
  • Roasted vegetable salad with quinoa

A healthy and wholefood diet is well worth the effort that your body will thank you for. Make sure you’re getting the most of your food by digesting them properly and absorbing their nutrients. Have our Digestive Enzymes and Probiotic supplements before meals to ensure your digest your food properly and get the nutrients you need.

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What Your Skin is Trying to Tell You

With our skin being our largest organ, and an external one at that, it can provide valuable insight as to how we’re doing health-wise on the inside.

Check out the following skin conditions and see what your skin is trying to tell you:

1. Sun Spots
Sunspots are inevitable and a reflection of your lifetimes worth of accumulated sun damage. Unlike freckles, which can be hereditary, sunspots are darker and larger.

If you find you have an excess of sunspots, it’s your skin telling you it’s high time to start or be more diligent with an SPF routine. This is especially important if you find sudden changes in your skin such as enlarged moles or raised lesions.

To help lessen and prevent sunspots, find a broad- spectrum SPF that works for your skin type. You can opt to choose one for daily everyday use and a more water-resistant one if you plan on being outdoors for a prolonged period of time. For existing sunspots, while most are permanent, you can lessen over-pigmentation and brighten up and restore sun-damaged skin with a quality vitamin C skin care product which is especially known to brighten your complexion.

2. Dark Circles
They say that eyes are the windows to the soul. For whatever truth that holds, it’s a fact that the undereye area is a window to our health status. Before you pile on the concealer to restore a youthful and refreshed look, look into why you have dark undereye circles to begin with.

Although dark circles can be genetic, if you find yourself developing dark cycles, this can be for a variety of reasons such as smoking, lack of sleep, chronic dehydration, and even a nutrient deficiency. The skin on our undereye area is much thinner and more delicate than the rest of our body and has the potential to more easily show anything lacking in your body. If you find yourself with dark undereye circles when you normally don’t, it’s time to clean up your lifestyle starting with upping your nutrition intake with balanced meals (we’d recommend a multivitamin as a compliment), increasing hydration and getting some quality shut eye.

3. Red and blotchy skin
Your skin can turn red as a response to feeling embarrassment or physical exertion as blood flow naturally increases. If you find yourself always having blotchy skin though, it could be a sign of inflammation from irritation. Check your diet to see if any potential allergens are present in foods you may have overlooked, especially packaged goods. If you’re unaware of any allergens, incorporate more mindful eating and see if you experience any common yet mild allergic reactions to certain ingredients such as brain fog and bloating.

Whereas skin care is concerned, try switching to a gentler cleanser that doesn’t strip your skins natural moisture barrier. This tends to happen as the seasons get colder and drier, where oily skin types can too experience red skin by using cleansers from the summer that may be too harsh for colder months.

4. Dark Patches
Darker patches on your skin is likely to be a skin condition called melasma. The usual cause would be a surge in hormones, which is why pregnant women are known to experience this.

Dark patches don’t indicate any medical issues and it’s best to embrace it along with other bodily changes that are inevitable with pregnancy. If you find melasma bothersome, you can lessen the darkening by avoiding excessive sunlight (but daily exposure is still recommended for Vitamin D) and investing in a quality concealer to even out your complexion.

5. Acne Around the Jawline
For women, acne around the jawline, particularly large zit-like pimples are a common indicator of an imbalance in reproductive hormones, typically from a condition called Polycystic Ovarian syndrome, PCOS. Among the many symptoms that manifest from PCOS, pimples around the jawline are one of them.

To help manage this symptom and to clear up your skin, try incorporating adaptogens like Ashwagandha into a clean whole foods diet to help lower inflammation in your body and balance out hormones.

6. Dull and Sallow Skin
Chronically dull and sallow skin is your body’s way of saying your health needs to make a lifestyle change. Dull skin is usually caused by a buildup of toxins both internally and externally. Try cleaning up your diet to help your skin and body in general detoxify from complexion-dulling toxins. If your diet is fairly clean, your liver may be bogged down from toxin buildup and can’t detoxify properly. Try incorporating a Liver Care supplement to give your liver a boost and see if that helps brighten up your complexion on top of eating plenty of clean whole foods and drinking adequate amounts of water.

Bright and healthy skin is a sign of good nutrition. Take care of the largest organ in your body with the nutrients it needs to keep it looking its best. Pair our Liver Care and Multivitamin supplements to detoxify and nourish your skin and compliment it with our skin brightening Vitamin C Serum for an overall healthy glow.

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Eat Your Way to Beauty: A Day’s Worth of Beautifying Recipes

Beauty is more than skin deep and where nutrition is concerned, beauty is an inside job. Think that lit from within, radiant and youthful glow of health and vitality; that’s all attributed to a high quality and nutrient dense diet that even the most luxurious jar of cream can’t compete with.

With that said, eating and drinking yourself pretty doesn’t have to be a culinary obstacle course. Mindfully choosing simple and wholefood ingredients will have a beautifying effect that will get you looking amazing from the inside out.

What counts as a beauty food?

1. They’re delicious
Beauty foods are food that tastes good. That will vary among individuals. A good trick with eating beautifying foods is finding healthy foods that you naturally enjoy, and learning to cook with them as this will ensure you can easily commit to a healthy and beautifying lifestyle of eating.

2. They’re whole food ingredients
Food is best cooked in their most natural state as nature intended them to be. Refined and processed versions are more likely to make you overeat empty calories, spiking up your blood sugar and inflammation.

Whole foods on the other hand are nutrient dense and carry the most benefits and bioavailability of nutrients. Where eating for beauty is concerned, ensure you get a balanced amount of all your macronutrients for adequate nourishment and substantial satiety.

3. They don’t cause inflammation or allergies
Food is fuel, and everybody has a different reaction to different kinds of foods. Beautifying foods are the kind that don’t give you, as an individual, any type of inflammation or allergies, which can really make you looking worse for wear due to the various forms of inflammation it can cause.

For instance, where a slice of egg and avocado toast on sourdough bread may make the perfect beautifying meal for one person, somebody with a gluten intolerance or egg allergy is better off choosing avocado toast on gluten-free bread with roasted chickpeas instead.

Beautifying foods should work with your body’s natural chemistry.

Try this full days worth of beautifying recipes

Breakfast: Overnight Chia and Oat pudding
1 serving
This breakfast can be made the night before, all you have to do is garnish! Break your fast by giving your body all the macronutrients it needs to stay energized for the day ahead with extra attention to antioxidants and fiber.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ cup coconut milk or plant-based milk of choice
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts
  • ½ mango, sliced into cubes

Method:

  1. The night before, mix your oats, chia seeds and maple syrup in coconut oil until well incorporated in a mason jar
  2. Seal and place in the fridge
  3. Pop your pudding out of the fridge during breakfast time and top with freshly sliced mango and toasted walnuts

Post breakfast, take a multivitamin and probiotic supplement and consider yourself fully nourished and ready for your day.

Lunch: Lentil and Tomato Spaghetti
4 servings
This lentil and tomato spaghetti is hearty, plant-based and full of amazing flavor. It’s got the indulgence factor of a rich bolognese sauce with the benefits of a vegetarian meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 250 grams red lentils
  • 2 400 gram cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml water
  • 250 grams brown rice spaghetti or any spaghetti variant to suit your dietary needs
  • 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cheese garnish of choice (nutritional yeast, parmesan cheese, vegan cheese etc)

Method

  1. In a cooking pot over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, carrots and salt in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add in the paprika and cumin and cook until well incorporated, then add in the tomato puree, canned tomatoes, water and lentils.
  3. Allow to cook and simmer on low heat for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the red lentils have softened.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta according to the package directions.
  5. Once the pasta and sauce are ready, drain the pasta then mix in the pasta sauce.
  6. Serve in a large plate and garnish with your choice of cheese.

Dinner: Green and Broccoli Soup with a Basil Yogurt Chicken Wrap
This filling dinner is surprisingly light. We go lighter on the carbs and heavier on the greens and lean protein to end your day on a healthy and satisfying note.

Ingredients:
Serves 2
For the Chicken Wrap

  • ½ pound chicken breast, steamed and shredded
  • Lolo rosso lettuce, washed and dried
  • Alfalfa sprouts, washed and dried
  • Tomatoes, washed and sliced
  • Whole wheat pita bread
  • 1 large handful basil, washed and dried
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 125 grams plain yogurt, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Method:
In a blender, blitz the basil, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil together. Add salt and pepper to taste
Mix the shredded chicken in the basil yogurt
Arrange your pita and top with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts, and roll.

For the Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli
  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • Extra virgin olive oil and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

Method:

  1. Steam your broccoli and peas until soft.
  2. In a pot, place the brocoli, peas, coconut milk and chicken stock and gently heat.
  3. Once warmed, blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency.
  4. Garnish with a swirl of olive oil and sprinkling of sunflower seeds

Post dinner, ease your body into relaxation with a calming supplement to promote restful and restorative sleep.

Let us know your beautifying recipes in the comments below! To promote beauty from within, nourish accordingly with beautifying supplements like our Multivitamin, Probiotic, and Calming blends.

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Waste-Free DIY Body Care Recipes Pt. 2

Did you know that you could lower your carbon footprint by investing some time in your kitchen making your own personal care products?

The beauty about making your personal care products is, firstly, you lessen your environmental waste from throwing out single use plastic, and secondly, you have the luxury to customize your own ingredients that you know work for you.

As previously mentioned in our first article, Waste-Free DIY Body Care Recipes, it’s best to buy your raw ingredients from a package-free store. Simply bring your own recycled containers to take the raw ingredients home. If you don’t have access to a package-free store, an all-natural products store will do just fine as well. To still help reduce waste, buy your raw ingredients in bulk. This is more economical and will lower your waste as opposed to if you bought your raw ingredients in smaller quantities.

Mouthwash:
Making your own mouthwash is surprisingly easy and only takes a few ingredients. Additionally, you get to avoid all the questionable ingredients known to be found in commercial and store-bought mouthwash such as artificial coloring, alcohol, parabens, formaldehyde and even sugar!

You can get away with just 3 basic ingredients to create this mouthwash, but we like to sweeten things up and mellow out the mint with some sweetness from xylitol, which is an all-natural ingredient prized for its oral health benefits such as promoting remineralization in the tooth as well as preventing tooth decay. The main ingredients, baking soda alkalizes an acidic mouth protecting your tooth enamel while the essential oil gives your mouth that fresh feeling!

Ingredients:
· 2 cups distilled water
· 2 teaspoons baking soda
· 10-15 drops spearmint/clove/peppermint essential oil. You can mix and match too!
· Optional: 1 tablespoon xylitol

Method:
1. Place all the ingredients in a recycled glass bottle with a lid and shake until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
2. Use as you would conventional mouth wash; swish and spit!

Morning and Evening Body Scrubs
Body scrubs are a luxury in a bathing ritual and leave skin feeling fabulous thanks to the exfoliating and moisturizing benefits. Save yourself some cash and save the environment from empty plastic body scrub containers by making your own at home. It’s ridiculously easy, and if you jazz it up with a fancy recycled glass container, your homemade concoction can even feel more luxurious than store-bought versions.

Since body scrubs are incredibly easy to make, we have here two recipes that utilize the benefits of aromatherapy. We have a morning invigorating salt scrub to help perk up your senses to get your day going and an evening tropical body scrub to soothe your senses to help you unwind and destress after a long day.

Lime Morning Salt Scrub:
Ingredients:
· 1 cup sea salt
· ½ cup Jojoba Oil
· 5-10 drops lime essential oil
· 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin

Tropical Evening Body Scrub
Ingredients:
· 1 cup brown sugar
· ½ cup coconut oil
· 5-10 drops Vanilla extract
· 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin

Method:
1. In a mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients
2. Transfer the scrub to a wide brimmed container and keep it in the bathroom
3. Simply scoop out the salt scrub anytime you want to use it

Muscle Soothing Calming Bath Soak
Another luxury in the bath, we frequently find bath salts as one of the higher priced items in the personal care aisle to achieve that soothing and muscle relaxing feeling. Bath salts tend to come in beautiful containers as well, which sadly get thrown away. For a more eco-friendly option, keep those containers and refill it with your own custom made salt soaks instead.

This salt soak is a remineralizing and detoxifying experience with the added benefit of aromatherapy. We double up on the detoxifying and soothing properties by combining Epsom salt with sea salt and lavender essential oil with chamomile.

Ingredients:
· 1 cup Epsom salt
· ¼ cup sea salt
· 2 tablespoons chamomile tea leaves, emptied from the tea bag.
· 10 drops lavender essential oil

Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated
2. Transfer to airtight containers
3. When it’s time to relax, scoop out 1-2 large handfuls into your tub before soaking

Do you recycle containers and create your own personal care products? Help protect the environment more by sharing your personal care product recipes and tips on how to reuse empty containers in the comments below.

10 Overlooked Germy Places You Need to Keep Clean

With the growing concern and spread of the Coronavirus, watch out for these overlooked places that you commonly touch to help prevent spreading disease-causing germs onto yourself and others.

1. The remote control:


The remote control may seemingly be innocent, but with frequent use and being touched by so many hands (especially if you have guests over) be vigilant in wiping down this commonly held item with alcohol. If being held frequently isn’t enough, the remote control also tends to be wedged in between couch cushions or even on the floor where bacteria can thrive.

2. Your cellphone:


Your mobile phone can be the common culprit for carrying germs and potentially disease. Clean your phone regularly as you would with washing your hands. Whatever your hands touch, your cellphone likely does too. This is doubly important as the common tendency is to rest your cellphone on public surfaces such as restroom counters, restaurant tables etc.

3. Your laptop:


If you’re the office type or work from your laptop or computer, mind the cleanliness of your keyboard. It’s most likely covered in germs as it’s accumulated throughout the long hours you spend on it. Keep germs and disease at bay by taking the extra precaution to wipe down your keyboard regularly with alcohol. This is especially true if you like to work in public places such as cafes where you rest your laptop on a table.

4. Door knobs and entryways:


If you employ a no-shoes rule in your home, good! Removing shoes at home helps to prevent the spread of countless germs like e-coli that you may have picked up while walking on the street. Make the most of this good habit by keeping door knobs clean and sterilized regularly as well. Also, entryways where you remove your shoes, should be kept extra clean as well.

5. Kitchen Sponge:


Did you know that the very sponge you use to wash your dishes is likely one of the dirtiest things in your home? This is hardly a surprise as it’s wet, is exposed to food scraps and is highly absorbent. Be diligent with replacing your kitchen sponge to prevent literally rubbing disease into your home.

6. Your hand towel:


It’s quite unsettling to think that your hand towel, which ideally dries already clean hands has the potential to house salmonella and fecal bacteria. Keep things clean and avoid contracting disease from your own home by regularly replacing your hand towels. A simple way to tell is by smelling your hand towel. If it doesn’t smell clean, then replace it. Obviously!

7. Your grocery cart:


It’s no surprise that the handle of your grocery cart can host all kinds of germs and bacteria. Take a moment to wipe down the handle with alcohol or immediately wash your hands after using it to prevent the spread of bacteria. With the current spread of Coronavirus as well, we recommend skipping placing your child in the cart as well.

8. Your handbag and wallet:


The usual tendency with handbags and wallets is to set them on surfaces close to us. Whether this is at a table at a restaurant, on the bathroom counter as we wash our hands, on a chair during a meeting etc, the point is your bag and wallet tend to get as much exposure to germs from public places as you do. Keep in mind, where you go, your bad and wallet do too, so be vigilant in keeping them clean.

9. Your bed and sofa:


Your bed may be in the safety of your home, but it’s often an overlooked place to hold germs especially when you sit or lie down on your bed after a day out. Think of all the places you’ve sat on and walked through, germs could easily accumulate on your clothes which can also transfer to your bed and sofa. Keep things clean and err on the side of caution by regularly cleaning your sofa and using your bed when you’re clean and with a fresh change of clothes.

10. The ATM machine:


Think of all the countless hands that have touched the ATM machine buttons. Microbes, bacteria, and even viruses could easily be transmitted from the ATM machine to you, not to mention the money being dispensed that have been through countless hands as well. Wash or sanitize your hands immediately after using the ATM machine.

Regardless of the Coronavirus, keeping your immunity strong should be a top priority as the world is full of disease causing germs, no matter how vigilant you are at keeping things clean. Incorporate quality supplements into your diet to better protect yourself. Supplements like Turmeric, Probiotics, and a quality Multivitamin can make all the difference in how well your immunity responds to your inevitable exposure to germs.

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Waste-Free DIY body care recipes

Have you ever wondered what happens to your empty bottle of shampoo when you throw it out? Have you given a second thought to the plastic wrapped around a new bar of soap after you’ve torn it off? What about that tube of toothpaste after you’ve squeezed out the last bits of its contents?

Unfortunately, personal care products are a significant source of single-use plastic waste but the good news is we can easily create change from our own kitchens. Living a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t mean having to sacrifice your personal hygiene. With a handful of ingredients, you can easily lessen your single-use plastic waste with more sustainable and all-natural products instead.

Here are a few tips when it comes to creating your DIY body care products:

  1. DIY body care recipes don’t have to immediately overhaul what you currently have in your bathroom. Throwing out items that you currently have to make room for your ‘waste-free’ products defeats their purpose. Instead, slowly but surely aim to incorporate waste-free products that work for you, after you have finished with what you already have. You can even reuse the containers. Spray bottles from facial mists, body butter tubs can house your homemade version, and glass jars from moisturizers can contain a variety of your own homemade personal care items.
  2. While going ‘zero-waste’ hasn’t become the norm, it is definitely growing as people learn how empowered they actually are to help protect the environment by making small changes in their own home. With that said, these recipes do call for raw ingredients that obviously come in packaging. If a bulk natural-products store that uses refills and reusable containers isn’t available to you, opt to buy your raw ingredients in bulk instead. This way, you save money as well as lessening your waste from throwing away more packaging from smaller quantities.

Makeup remover:
The first step and crucial step in cleansing your skin is taking time to remove makeup. Removing your makeup allows the cleanser to follow to do a more thorough job, prepping your skin and pores to be more open and more efficiently absorb the skincare products that follow.

This makeup remover is ridiculously easy, nourishing for the skin and it does an extremely thorough job in breaking down even the most budge-proof and water-resistant of makeup. All you need are two ingredients and a wide-brimmed jar. To use, simply scoop out a small portion of the makeup remover and treat yourself to a facial makeup-removing massage.

Ingredients:
– ½ cup coconut oil
– 4 drops lavender essential oil
– 1 wide-brimmed jar, where you can easily scoop out the contents with your fingers

Method:
– In a mixing bowl, add the lavender essential oil to the coconut oil and gently incorporate together.
– Transfer the makeup remover to your choice of container.

Toothpaste:
The idea behind any quality toothpaste is to firstly clean and rid your teeth of bacteria that it has accumulated throughout the day and night. A clean mouth naturally doesn’t smell bad but you can opt to use peppermint or spearmint essential oil as well to keep your mouth feeling extra fresh.

This DIY toothpaste will save the environment from all the empty tubes of toothpaste you’ve accumulated as all this toothpaste recipe requires is a reusable container to store it in. We’ve added in baking soda to this recipe to gently help whiten teeth as well as turmeric powder which has been known to help remove stains and remineralize teeth. We recommend recycling an old popsicle stick or any sort of flat and sturdy piece to help you scoop out the toothpaste and place it onto your toothbrush which helps keeps things more hygienic.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 15 drops of spearmint or peppermint essential oil
  • 1 small wide-brimmed jar
  • One small scooper (You can make a scooper by recycling popsicle sticks)

Method:

  1. In a warmed mixing bowl, melt the coconut oil.
  2. Thoroughly mix in the baking soda, turmeric, and essential oils.
  3. Add to your choice of container.

Whipped Body Butter
If you read the label of some of the most luxurious body butters, you’ll realize that you can easily replicate it at home as making it is simply a matter of mixing and whipping up your choice of nutrient-dense plant-based ingredients.

What’s lovely about body butter is it isn’t complicated to make and your only limit to a custom-made body butter is your imagination. Essentially, all you need is a base moisturizer. That’s it! You can jazz things up by adding your own blend of essential oils and amping up the skin-nourishing ingredients with plant-oils. Try this lovely blend of body butter to save the environment from empty moisturizer tubs and you’ll never feel the need to use a store bought version again.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable glycerine
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 10 drops bergamot essential oil
    Tip: you can use whatever essential oil you like, aim for 20-25 drops for this ratio of ingredients.
    1 large wide-brimmed tub, jar or recycled body butter tub.

Method:

  1. In a double boiler, gently melt the coconut oil and shea butter.
  2. Turn off the heat and incorporate the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Allow to cool for an hour in the fridge.
  4. Take out the body butter and whip it using either a blender, an immersion blender, or an electric hand mix. This will allow your body butter to aerate and be more easily applied.
  5. Transfer to your body butter tub.

Do you save on single-use plastic waste by making your own personal care products? Share your recipes in the comments below!

Smoothie and Juicing Rules You Should Know About

Smoothies and juices are the poster child and quintessential health promoting food. To make the most of this wonderfully healthy habit and to maximize the benefits of incorporating smoothies and juices into your diet, here are a few trusted tips to keep things as authentically health-promoting as possible.

1. Wash thoroughly
Smoothies and juices are fresh ingredients eaten in their raw form. With that said, you need to be vigilant when it comes to prepping your ingredients, which as you know, have come a long way in getting transported from the farm it grew on to the shelf and market you bought it off.

Wash your fruits, vegetables, roots, herbs, and whatever other ingredients you want to use for your juice or smoothie extremely well. This is of course for removing soil, dirt and any residue that may be on your fresh produce, and to help prevent any foodborne illness.

Washing you produce is especially important if you’re using conventional produce, as there certainly is toxic pesticide residue. Something you definitely don’t want in your system. To ensure any unwanted residue is removed, soak your produce in water with baking soda and white vinegar for at least 1 minute. A good ratio would be a teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda for every 2 cups of water. Run your fresh produce under cool running water afterwards to ensure you have safe and clean ingredients to work with.

2. Opt for organic
When possible and where possible, opt for fresh, local and organic produce. Not only is buying organic and local better for the environment, truly organic produce is more nutrient dense. A standard of organic farming is to replenish and nourish the soil that is used to grow produce as opposed to stripping it of nutrients from continual harvests. Choosing organic produce for your juices and smoothies overall gives you more nutrients and therefore more benefits, without worrying about any toxicity from pesticide residue like their non-organic counterparts.

3. Mind the sugar
Juices and smoothies, although healthy, can be greenwashed. Yes, you’re getting in a host of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in one easy sip, but one major thing to consider and mind when drinking these healthy elixirs, especially with juices, is the sugar content. This holds particularly true for packaged smoothies and juices, which usually contain a high amount of sugar. Read the label if you’re buying them and avoid the ones that are high in added sugars.

When you put together your juice or smoothie, consider the amount of fructose your body will be consuming. Bananas, pineapples, mangoes, grapes, pears, cherries etc. are all delicious and bring to the table their own unique nutrient profile. But one thing in common these fruits have is they’re high in fructose, and like anything you consume with sugar, they can spike your blood glucose levels and send it crashing.

This is particularly something to mind when it comes to juicing fruit. If you think having a mango, pineapple, and peaches for a golden morning smoothie is a great way to start your day, you may want to reconsider the level of sugar you’re giving your body, especially if you don’t follow it up with some kind of protein and fat.

4. Don’t treat them meal replacement
Smoothies and juices are often associated with being a weightloss food, however you need to remember that smoothies and juices are not to be treated as a meal replacement for the sake of weightloss as they often aren’t nutritionally balanced. A balanced meal consists of all your macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Juices especially, although containing a lot of vitamins and minerals, don’t contain your needed macronutrients and certainly don’t make for a complete and balanced meal.

Where smoothies are concerned, bulk up the nutrient profile by ensuring you add nutrient dense foods to make it worthy of a full meal. Add greens like spinach and kale, some fruit like banana and/or mango, nut butters for healthy fats, and protein powders to make your smoothie a truly nourishing drink.

5. Add cinnamon
As previously mentioned, juices and smoothies tend to be high in fructose. If you enjoy the sweetness, and rightly so, help your body counteract the sugar more efficiently and prevent a sugar crash by mixing in Ceylon cinnamon, which is exceptional at helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.

6. Keep the fiber
Where juicing is concerned, it’s particularly beneficial on an empty stomach as you give your body a flush of easily absorbable vitamins and antioxidants as the liquid takes little effort to digest and reaches your system quickly. Juicing however leaves behind pulp, which often gets discarded. To make the most of your hard-earned fresh produce, keep the pulp from your juice which itself is loaded with gut-loving fiber. You can easily portion them into smaller parts and store them in the freezer. Leftover juice pulp goes great in thickening soups, adding as a base to fritters, making crackers, or even used as dip. With a little creativity in the kitchen, you can drink your juice and have your pulp too.

Enjoy the sweet side of smoothie and juicing life with a serving of our Ceylon Cinnamon capsules which is extremely efficient at keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Got any juice and smoothie recipes? Share them in the comments below!

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