Many health professionals sing the praises of probiotics: improved digestion, stronger immune system, even correction of diseases like Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. But what you don’t hear very often is how to pick which probiotics are right for you. What you should focus on is the issue you wish to correct or prevent, and your dietary restrictions.
Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSOs) have become a popular type of probiotic in the past decade. The idea behind these supplements is that they replace naturally-occurring beneficial bacteria lost in modern-day farming procedures. HSOs are still found in uncontaminated and undisturbed soil (like rainforests), but are not as available as they were hundreds of years ago. Scientists now culture this uncontaminated bacteria in labs to formulate probiotic supplements like Primal Defense. HSOs are especially hearty and resilient, making them ideal for those with severe digestive issues. They also do not require refrigeration.
Dairy-based probiotics are fermented dairy products like yogurt, kefir, and cheese, and are the most common source of probiotic supplements today. Fermented dairy is an excellent daily source of probiotics to promote a healthy gut flora and healthy immune response. For vegans, or those with dietary restrictions against dairy, fermented vegetable sources are also excellent probiotics for digestive maintenance. And unlike dairy-based probiotics, vegetable sources are more shelf-stable, and can remain unrefrigerated for longer periods of time. Fermented vegetables can include pickles, sauerkraut, miso, and kombucha.
Every body is different, and will respond to probiotics differently. This is why it’s difficult to tell exactly which probiotic is right for you. We recommend HSOs for more advanced digestive issues like Crohn’s, IBS, or Ulcerative Colitis because of their resiliency against strong pathogens in the digestive tract that contribute to those conditions. For daily maintenance and minor digestive issues, we recommend dairy or vegetable based probiotics. Use this as a guide in your trial-and-error to find the right probiotic supplement for you.
It’s finally pumpkin season and we’re celebrating with pretty much all the pumpkin we can get our hands on! Why? Because it’s delicious. Also, because of their health benefits you might not be aware of:
Pumpkins are a great source of antioxidants like beta-carotene. Our body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A, an essential nutrient which improves vision and helps prevent macular degeneration. Beta-carotene also eliminates free radicals, keeping cancer cells at bay. One more plus for this antioxidant? It nourishes skin, helping prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
Pumpkins are an excellent source of Vitamin C, keeping your immune system strong to combat this Autumn’s superbugs.
Did you know that 1c of cooked pumpkin has over 100mg more potassium than 1 banana? Stir some pumpkin into your smoothie after a workout to help replenish electrolytes for a quicker recovery.
Pumpkin seeds contain chemicals called phytosterols, which can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) for a healthier heart, and have even been linked to fighting off certain cancers.
Pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan, which plays an important role in the production of serotonin in our bodies. Serotonin makes us feel relaxed, proving pumpkin seeds an important part of holiday-time family gatherings (Thanksgiving turkey also contains tryptophan, thankfully).
Looking for a low-calorie snack? 1 c cooked pumpkin only has 49 calories, and a whopping 3 g fiber! Eating foods high in fiber and low in calories can keep you full longer, aiding in weight loss. Because pumpkin is high in fiber, it’s also great for digestion. And not just for people! If your cats or dogs are having digestive issues, add a spoonful of cooked, pureed pumpkin to their food.
So to recap: improve vision, prevent cancer, nourish skin, boost immune system, recover quickly from workouts, reduce bad cholesterol, improve mood, lose weight, improve digestion, and it tastes delicious?? Sign me up and call me pumpkin-eater. Here’s how I prepare pumpkin in my slow cooker:
Slice the pumpkin like you would a melon and scoop out the insides. But save the seeds (I roast them in the oven with a little sea salt at 425 degrees until they’re golden brown.) Place the pumpkin wedges in your slow cooker and cook on high until soft (4-6 hours). You can also wrap them in foil and roast in the oven at a low temp for 6-8 hours until soft. Scoop out the flesh and mash it, or run it in a food processor until smooth. You can freeze your pumpkin in batches or refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble, I understand. I’m lazy a lot. I recommend organic canned pumpkin, which you can find at almost any supermarket this time of year.
How to eat it? I mix it in with smoothies, yogurt, chili, soups, oatmeal, hummus, chicken salad…everything! I even mix in some garlic-y seasoning and dip veggies or pita chips in it. While you’re enjoying your delicious pumpkin this season, remember that your body enjoys its healthy benefits too. As long as you keep the pie to a minimum…but we’re not judging if you have a second slice!
When you change your eating habits, exercise habits, or are looking to lose weight, it’s important to consider your protein intake. Why is protein important in your diet?
-It is a component of every cell in your body: hair and nails are almost entirely made of protein.
-Your body uses it to build and repair tissue.
-It is an important component of muscles, bone, skin, cartilage, and blood.
Protein is a “macronutrient”, which means that you need to consume large amounts of it to stay healthy. And unlike carbohydrates and fat, your body does not store protein, so it’s important to consume it often to replenish. This is important especially after a workout, to fuel the muscles you’ve been exercising. Protein bars and protein shakes are an excellent way to supplement your diet to make sure you’re getting enough protein.
What are the benefits of a high-protein diet?
-Faster recovery after workouts
-Reducing muscle loss
-Increased lean muscle mass
-Helping maintain a healthy weight
If you have dietary restrictions, fear not! Protein can be found in many different sources, including milk, eggs, fish, soy, and legumes like beans and peanuts. Garden of Life’s RAW Protein consists of sprouted grains and brown rice protein, a highly absorbable vegan source of protein.
Garden of Life® RAW Meal was formulated to be a snack or meal replacement that satisfies hunger, is naturally filling and provides energy, all while providing the protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals that you would find in a healthy meal of raw foods. RAW Meal provides the nutrition of a well-balanced, healthy raw meal in one delicious serving.
Why Choose RAW Meal?
RAW Meal goes beyond organic by providing live probiotics and enzymes, Vitamin Code® RAW Food-Created vitamins and minerals, as well as nutrient Code Factors™ such as beta-glucans, SOD, glutathione and CoQ10, enabling natural recognition by your body.
Containing 26 superfoods from RAW organic seeds, sprouts and greens, RAW Meal provides 34 grams of protein, 9-16 grams of fiber (depending on flavor) and a healthy 2.5 grams of fat making it an excellent choice for “weight conscious” individuals. RAW Meal also offers 20 Vitamin Code vitamins and minerals providing at least 100% of the Daily Value of 16 key nutrients.
Just as important is what’s NOT included in RAW Meal. It is gluten-free, dairy-free and lactose-free. It has no fillers, no synthetic nutrients, no artificial flavors or sweeteners and no preservatives.
What are the Key Benefits of RAW Meal?
A convenient meal-on-the-go, RAW Meal is suitable for almost anyone including those on vegetarian or vegan diets, those on low carbohydrate diets or those with gastrointestinal sensitivities to milk, whey or other protein sources. RAW Meal offers the following:
Provides the nutrition of a well-balanced, healthy meal
Naturally filling, satisfies hunger, provides energy
Excellent source of RAW organic, plant-based protein (34g) – including all essential amino acids
Excellent source of 20 Vitamin Code vitamins and minerals – RAW Food-Created Nutrients and RAW Food-Chelated Minerals that enable targeted delivery and natural recognition by your body
Excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber (9-16g) depending on flavor
Provides live probiotics and enzymes for healthy digestion
Made exclusively from RAW natural, plant-based, whole foods – uncooked, untreated, unadulterated
Contains 13 RAW organic sprouts, 4 RAW organic cereal grass juices, 5 RAW organic fruits, spirulina and chlorella
No Trans Fats
RAW Meal naturally satisfies hunger and increases energy, making it great for those looking to manage their diet and looking for a convenient alternative to the pre-packaged or fast-food meals that dominate our on-the-go lifestyles.
Raw Meal Flavors:
Original 1,190g, 593g & 10 Single Serve Packets
Chocolate 1.2Kg, 606g & 10 Single Serve Packets
Vanilla 1.1Kg, 558g & 10 Single Serve Packets
Vanilla Spiced Chai 1.1Kg, 557g & 10 Single Serve Packets
To celebrate our nation’s independence (and a great run in the World Cup), we’ve thought up some healthy ways to show our American pride!
1. Eat only red, white, and blue foods. We’re not talking food dyes and bleaches, we mean raw, natural foods that sport our nation’s colors:
Berries: Raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, cherries…just stay away from red blackberries until they ripen up
Apples (although we’re partial to golden apples…)
Watermelon: delicious, ripe watermelon in July! Don’t forget to have a seed-spitting contest!
Milk: a glass of whole, raw milk is an excellent source of vitamin D and calcium
Coconut: try some shaved coconut on your fruit salad
Our favorite recipes for the 4th?
Red Pepper, Mushroom, and Red Cabbage slaw
1 large red pepper, very thinly sliced
about 6 white mushrooms, cubed
½ head red cabbage, shredded
2-6 Tbs olive oil
2-6 Tbs vinegar of your choice
Salt and Pepper to taste and spices of your choice
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.
Slice watermelon about 2 inches thick. Grill for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Top with soft goat cheese and blueberries, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar to serve.
2. Take a walk (or a run!) and count how many American flags you see.
Bonus Round: when you get home, do that many reps of your favorite exercise (we like jumping jacks because they look like fireworks)
3. Beat the heat and go for a swim (and don’t forget that patriotic swimsuit!)
4. Exercise your brain with a quick brush-up on American History. Here’s some facts you might not have known about the US of A:
- Alaska is the state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work
- Even though the grizzly bear is California’s official state animal, none have been seen there since 1922
- Montana has three times as many cows as it does people.
- The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper
- US Highway 550 in Colorado became known as Million Dollar Highway because its roadbed was paved with low-grade gold ore.
- John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826 – 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
- George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson were all born in Virginia, making it the birthplace of more Presidents than any other state.
- Venus Fly Traps can only be found natively in the Carolinas and nowhere else in the world.
- The British deployed the first rockets in America during their attack against Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Francis Scott Key witnessed the attack and immortalized it in a song he titled “The Star-Spangled Banner.” That song is now the national anthem of the United States.
We are proud and happy that our small American business can help you attain your best health at a lower cost. This holiday weekend, please celebrate America responsibly and healthfully.
We are so excited to say that we now have Garden of Life’s Kind Organics Vitamins in our warehouse and ready to ship! These vitamins are truly one of a “kind” (sorry, I had to). They’re the very first USDA Certified Organic and non-GMO Project verified multivitamins available. AND they’re 100% Vegan! Yep, that includes the Vitamin D3. The best part about this line is that they are whole food vitamins, created with Apple, Guava, Amla Berry, Sea Kelp, Holy Basil, Lemon, Beet, Broccoli, Carrot, Spinach, Tomato, Strawberry, Cherry, Blackberry, Bell Pepper, Brussels Sprout, Ginger, Blueberry, Garlic, Raspberry, Parsley, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Asparagus……and the list goes on. Reading the supplement facts, it even tells you where the vitamins are coming from (hint: it’s not a chemical isolate) Check it out:
(click to make it bigger)
Garden of Life partnered with actress and animal rights activist Alicia Silverstone to create this amazing line of vitamins (yep, that cute actress from Clueless and the Aerosmith music videos). But she’s come a long way: Alicia has written several books including The Kind Diet and The Kind Mama, which detail how to live the “Kind Life”. This lifestyle centers on veganism, a clean diet, and eco-friendly choices. In her own words, “it’s about living your healthiest and happiest life to the fullest, while taking care of mama Earth at the same time!” Alicia’s message is positive, upbeat, and full of love for the environment’s health and yours. To read more about Alicia and the Kind Life, click here to visit her blog.
Finally, a whole food multi that’s certified organic, non-GMO verified, from real, honest, nutritious foods. No Magnesium Stearate, no preservatives, just whole, organic nutrients for your body, your baby, and your well-being.
Those of you with Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes know how difficult it can be to regulate blood sugar levels. Diabetes can lead to uncontrollable weight gain, depression, and intense carbohydrate and sugar cravings. The best way to manage diabetes is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and regular exercise. Research now shows that several supplements may help regulate blood sugar levels as well. Before you try any supplements, however, you should speak with your doctor and find out if they’re right for you.
How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar
To fuel exercise, your muscles tap into glucose reserves for energy. When that supply is exhausted, your body begins to use glucose from the bloodstream, causing blood glucose levels to drop. In addition to lowering blood sugar, regular exercise (30 minutes of moderate activity at least 3 times per week) can increase insulin sensitivity. This means that your body will release insulin at the appropriate time to regulate blood sugar on its own. Exercise is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle: it helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve circulation, and burn fat.
A Healthy Diet For Healthy Blood Sugar
Nutritionists concur that the best diet to help regulate blood sugar is one low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Eating foods high in the antioxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) like liver, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes can help lower blood sugar. Polyphenols, another type of antioxidants, can help control blood glucose. These are found in teas and dark chocolate. Careful, though, because foods containing polyphenols often contain caffeine, which can lead to further health complications.
Popular Diabetes Supplements
-Cinnamon: can help lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides
-Diabetic Multivitamin: a good multivitamin can supplement a healthy diet which may be lacking in foods that help with blood sugar control. We recommend Garden of Life’s Perfect Weight Multi
-GTF Chromium: the most popular of diabetic supplements, GTF Chromium is the most effective form of the mineral in reducing cravings for carbohydrates
-Magnesium & Potassium: insulin resistance is associated with a deficiency in magnesium and potassium
Regardless of which methods you choose, monitoring your blood sugar levels to be sure they are within the normal range is critical. Whether you have diabetes and want to reduce your dependence on medication, or are healthy and looking to prevent future disease, following a regular exercise regimen and nutritious diet will help. You’ll feel and look better, too.
Recently, looking at ALL the supplement bottles lined up on my kitchen counter, I started to wonder if it was all really necessary. Antioxidants, vitamin A, B, C, E, enzymes, minerals….need I go on? My knife block would like it’s spot on the counter back. So I started researching the world’s most nutrient-rich foods, and found that algae is an amazing thing. Sea algae is super packed with nutrients and antioxidants so that it can withstand harsh conditions in the ocean. Next, I found this great supplement made up of 3 varieties of micro-algae. (They’re hydroponically grown in a lab so they’re not subjected to ocean pollution or unnatural elements)
1. Spirulina: you’ve probably heard of this one before. It’s a blue-green micro-algae not visible to the naked eye. It is a rich source of vitamins A, B, E, and H, enzymes, trace minerals, and is an excellent source of GLA (an essential fatty acid that plays a key role in tissue growth and regeneration). Spirulina is also comprised of 60-70% complete proteins. Your body recognizes these proteins as food, which means that all of those vitamins and minerals they’re carrying are going straight to where your body needs them most. Another great thing about microalgae? It’s got a soft cell wall so your body can easily digest and break down all of the nutrients.
2. Dunaliella Salina: this is a salt water micro-algae that accumulates large amounts of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, xanthophylls (zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, lutein), and glycerol. These mixed carotenoids are among nature’s best antioxidants. The beta-carotene and glycerol help protect this micro-algae from harsh salt water.
3. Haematococcus Pluvialis: is considered to be the world’s greatest source of astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant carotenoid. Research shows that its antioxidant benefits far surpass those of Vitamins C & E. It also supports a natural inflammatory response. The coolest thing about astaxanthin is that it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier better than all other antioxidants. The blood-brain barrier is a permeability barrier that separates circulating blood from the brain fluid and the central nervous system. It is made up of capillaries that form super tight junctions and a high electrical resistance to any harmful substance that may try to cross over into the brain or into the central nervous system (like bacteria or neurotoxins). Beneficial substances can, however cross over through passive diffusion. Astaxanthin is one of those special chemicals that your brain will let in. Once it can access the brain and central nervous system, its antioxidant properties go to work where no other supplements can venture.
The combination of these 3 algaes knocks all of those individual supplement bottles out of the water! After just a few days using it, I felt more energized during the day and had the best night’s sleep of my life. I liked it so much, we decided to put it on our website so that our customers can try it too. We’ll even throw in a free DVD and information/how to use booklet when you order BioAge.
The use of turmeric for coloring and flavoring food, for cosmetic purposes, and for medicinal properties dates back to the ancient Vedic culture of India. The wide range of turmeric health benefits come mainly from its main ingredient, curcumin. This widely researched component of turmeric is highly therapeutic and is used in various drugs mainly because of its immunity boosting, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties.
Oxidative damage of DNA and proteins causes free radicals in your body. This phenomenon is associated with a variety of chronic diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. Curcumin plays an important role in curbing these conditions. Curcumin down-regulates certain inflammatory transcription factors such as kappaB, enzymes such as cyclooxygenase 2 and 5 lipoxygenase, and cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1 (IL-1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) and hinders the development of these diseases.
The curcumin in turmeric has also been proven to
-Prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes by lessening insulin resistance
-Helps promote weight loss and prevent obesity by suppressing the activity of fat cells that can cause inflammation in vital organs
-Improves Rheumatoid Arthritis with no known adverse effects
Currently, scientists have reason to believe that curcumin may help improve overall memory in Alzheimer’s patients and may be an effective chemopreventive and therapeutic agent for cervical cancer prevention and treatment.
Now, what’s so great about Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength? Gaia’s turmeric formula provides the highest curcumins per capsule of all their available formulas. They also add supercritical Black Pepper extract to increase your absorption of the valuable curcumins.
Turmeric Supreme Allergy combines the power of turmeric with other botanicals including Nettle (a natural antihistamine that modulates the body’s inflammatory pathways and supports upper respiratory health), Quercetin (a flavonoid compound known for it’s effect on the body’s histamine response), and Goldenseal, which is added for support of healthy mucous membranes.
Turmeric Supreme Heart provides support for the heart muscle and vascular network that carries blood through the body. This blend includes Quercetin, Resveratrol, Coleus, and Hawthorn–all for their ability to support the healthy function of the heart (maintaining normal heart rhythm) and cardiovascular system.
Turmeric Supreme Joint includes Quercetin to support a natural inflammatory response in the joints, while Devil’s Claw promotes joint comfort and the management of occasional pain. Ginger, believed to promote healthy circulation and inflammatory responses, helps promote the normal production of inflammatory markers (proteins in your blood that increase or decrease inflammation).
Turmeric Supreme Pain supports your body’s healthy response to occasional pain with Feverfew, Devil’s Claw, and Ginger. Jamaican Dogwood supports a healthy inflammatory response and promotes comfort. The addition of Rosemary provides an array of antioxidants, while Wild Lettuce supports your ability to relax.
Turmeric Supreme Pain P.M. further enhances the formula of Turmeric Supreme Pain, adding additional herbs like Valerian root and Kava Kava root to support sleep and relaxation.
When you’re on a Detox or Cleanse program, we understand you can feel a little trapped by the foods you are or aren’t allowed to eat. While doing the Wild Rose Herbal D-tox last month, I discovered that you have more wiggle-room than you think. Once you start exploring all of the foods you can eat and not dwelling on the foods you can’t (sorry cookie. I still love you.) you’ll find that there are hundreds–no–thousands of combinations and recipes you can make so that you’re never bored or hungry. Here’s a few of my favorite culinary adventures:
Twice Baked Sweet Potato:
bake potato for 1hr at 400 F. Cut in half, scoop out middle and mash in minced garlic, sweet basil, and sea salt. Put mash back in potato shell then create a well in the middle. Crack 1 egg into each well and bake for another 10 minutes. (I roasted asparagus in the same pan at this time).
Grilled Lime-Marinated Salmon:
Blend juice of 2 limes, 4-8 garlic cloves (I like more), 4 chilis, 2 Tbs olive oil in food processor, then put in plastic bag with 2 salmon steaks. Marinade at least 30 minutes in refrigerator. Grill about 10-15 minutes skin side down, or until it flakes easily. Top it with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado.
Roast Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary:
This is one of my favorites because it leaves plenty left over for other meals. You should always use chicken free of antibiotics and hormones, organic if you can get it.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Start by removing giblets, then rinsing the chicken inside and out. Remove any leftover feathers and excess fat then pat the outside dry. Now separate the skin from the meat (gently, though. if the skin tears too much it won’t seal in the moisture to keep that breast meat tender). Rub olive oil into the meat under the skin, including the drumsticks on the side. Also rub in several cloves of minced garlic and chopped fresh rosemary. Add a large pinch of sea salt to really bring out the flavor. Now squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the chicken, then place the rind and a sprig of rosemary inside it. I roasted some sweet potatoes and onions with mine, but you use whatever you like. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under, then roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes to let it rest.
Old Fashioned Chicken and Rice Soup:
The best part of roasting a chicken is making chicken stock to use later. It’s rich in collagen, calcium, magnesium, gelatin, and plenty of other minerals. Start your soup with about 2 quarts of chicken stock (if you reduce your stock more, you’ll want to use half water, half stock). Bring it to a boil and add 2 c chopped carrots and 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley. Cook until the carrots are soft, then add 2 c cooked white rice, 2 c chopped kale, and 2 c shredded chicken (from your roasted chicken earlier). Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer on low for about an hour.
Carrot Almond Smoothie:
In blender, mix 1c carrot juice, 2 tbs almond butter, 1c unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and cinnamon to taste. Hello breakfast!