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How To Make Fat Bombs {Vegan, Keto-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}
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Supplements To Nourish Your Joints

As winter disappears in the rearview, we're itching to get outsid to explore the outdoors and participating in activities we wait all winter for. With the initiation of those outdoor activities, something I would like to avoid is joint pain. Hiking, biking, running, beach volleyball, ultimate frisbee, etc., etc. can cause joint point and whether it be your knees, ankles, hips, back, elbows, or all of the above, it doesn't feel good. Here's a list of strategies and food tips for supporting your joint heath.

Foods and Strategies To Support Your Joint Health:

Omega-3 Fats

These essential fats have been shown to help reduce chronic inflammation. Try boosting your intake with fatty fish (tuna, salmon, etc.), walnuts, and flax. If you can’t get it through food, then supplement with 1-3g of EPA/DHA per day from Fish Oil.  For more information, visit this blog.

Drink More Water

Water helps to lubricate the joints. Try to drink ½ oz. to 1 oz. of water per pound body weight each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds that would be 75-150 oz. of water each day. Too complicated? Then just strive for at least 20 oz. (typical water bottle size) of water every time you eat (~5-6/day). Check out these Klean Kanteens

Spice It Up

Certain spices, like curry, cinnamon and ginger have been shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties. Try curry with rice dishes, cinnamon with your oatmeal and coffee and ginger with your sushi and salad dressing. For more information, visit 5 Foods to Naturally Fight Inflammation

Eat from a Rainbow

Increasing the number of colorful fruits and vegetables you eat throughout the day, as well as overall amount, can help reduce inflammation in your joints. Replace your sugary and salty snacks with fruits and vegetables for better joint health.

Decrease Red Meat

Certain foods increase inflammation inside your body. Decrease the amount of 4-legged animals you eat, and increase weekly consumption of creatures with gills or feathers. This will decrease the amount of inflammatory proteins you consume that may lead to joint pain.

Antioxidants

They help fight free radicals, which may be damaging to the joints. Aim for a diet high in the antioxidants Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and selenium. Remember to eat from the rainbow often and for vitamin A, choose yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, and dark leafy greens. Good sources of vitamin C include red bell peppers, broccoli, citrus, papaya and raspberries. Avocados, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and whole grain breads are good sources of vitamin E, and for selenium choose brazil nuts, salmon, and brown rice.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, protecting joints against oxidative damage. Supplementing with vitamin E can help ease symptoms, including pain.

Bromelain

This active enzyme in pineapple has been shown to demonstrate anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Several studies have examined the effects of bromelain and other enzymes like papain in patients with osteoarthritis.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Carrying extra weight means more stress on your joints. If you are overweight and want to decrease joint pain, it may be time to take a look at your diet as a whole.  

Eat Clean

Processed foods do not contain natural combinations of nutrients. Make sure 80% of the food you eat is in its most natural form possible. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and lean proteins.

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

 

References:

1.  Natural Products Foundation:  Bromelain 

2.  Natural Products Foundation:  Vitamin E 

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Manuka Honey's Healing Effects

Here’s a remedy you won’t find in the first aid kit, but rather in your kitchen. HONEY! Something you may not know about honey is it has the ability to kill bacteria and heal wounds because it is very acidic. Although the idea of putting honey on a wound seems a bit strange, it has actually been used for treating infected wounds and other skin conditions for thousands of years.

Not just any Honey...Active Manuka Honey!

In particular, Manuka honey is an all-natural, organic honey from New Zealand and is used as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, and antifungal. 

What Gives Manuka Honey its Antibacterial Activity?

Methylglyoxal, or MG, is a compound found in higher concentrations in Manuka honey than other honeys. MG is thought to increase the antibacterial activity of Manuka honey.

The high sugar content of the honey produces an antibacterial molecule called hydrogen peroxide, which can be used as a disinfectant. The presence of both hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal work synergistically to make the honey even more effective as an antibacterial.

Kills Bad Bacteria

Active Manuka honey is highly effective against hard-to-kill, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” such as MRSA. Studies show Manuka honey has also been found effective against a wide range of bacteria including the very resistant stomach bacteria H. pylori., the wound-infecting bacteria staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and streptococcus pyogenes, which causes a sore throat.

Provides Relief...Naturally

Studies are showing Manuka honey with high levels of MG could be very effective in helping relieve stomach ulcer symptoms and gastritis, and when applied topically, in assisting the natural healing of skin ulcers, wounds, burns, boils, and cracked skin by diffusing deep into the skin.

Studies also show the MG in honey helps make Manuka Honey excellent for relieving sore throats and oral hygiene, like this manuka honey & propolis toothpaste.

As a reminder, honey should not be fed to infants under one year old.

Bottom Line:  Active Manuka Honey is promising as a natural treatment for many conditions. The higher the amount of MG, the greater the antibacterial strength of the honey which ensures the best results.

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

References:

http://www.manukahoneyafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/manuka_honey_as_a_medicine.pdf

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Reishi Mushroom's Health Benefits, Part 2

The reishi mushroom has been used for thousands of years in China. One of reishi’s most famous healing attributes is its ability to regulate the immune system; it brings the body into a state of dynamic equilibrium. What this means is reishi will enhance or stimulate a weakened immune system if necessary, or it will lower immune function in those who have a hyperactive immune system, such as an autoimmune condition like allergies or asthma. This activity is primarily the result of over 100 different polysaccharides, which are active components in reishi mushrooms. To learn more about reishi’s amazing effect on the immune system, check out this blog.

This part 2 blog is to further discuss all the different, amazing benefits of reishi mushrooms.

Reishi Mushroom Benefits, continued…

Healing the Liver

Reishi contain 119 different triterpene compounds. One of the most well-researched feature to these compounds is its ability to tonify the liver and enhance overall liver function. They help the liver assimilate and utilize nutrients and store excess nutrients as well. They help support the liver’s natural detoxification process it performs for us regularly.   

Ganoderic acids, in particular, have a very direct effect on healing the liver because they’re a beta-glucuronidase inhibitor. Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme in the liver that’s very prevalent and active in certain liver dysfunctions like hepatitis and cirrhosis, so reishi actually has a direct effect on inhibiting that liver enzyme and reducing the severity of these conditions.

Powerful Antioxidant Qualities

A lot of reishi’s other triterpene’s have shown very pronounced antioxidant qualities so they protect from free radical damage and enhance cell repair. They’re very anti-inflammatory so they’ve been used with great results in treating arthritis. They also increase the absorption capacity for oxygen within the body so they dilate the alveoli in the lungs. This allows the body to increase the flow of oxygen and utilize of it throughout the body. Because of this increased oxygen flow, reishi has become quite renown as a very effective natural treatment for asthma, bronchitis and other lung related conditions.

Tonic For The Kidneys and Heart

Reishi is also a very powerful tonic to the kidneys and the heart. For the heart, it can reduce diastolic blood pressure, which is the blood that enters the heart and does that without impacting or altering the natural rhythm of the heartbeat. It has been used for quite some time as a successful cardiovascular medicine in general. Not only does it have this tonifying effect on the heart, it also inhibits cholesterol synthesis so has been used as part of an overall treatment therapy for atherosclerosis.

Anti-Viral Properties

Reishi is also a powerful anti-viral medicine and studies have shown it can inhibit the replication of the HIV virus and good at repairing and healing immune cells that have become infected with the virus.

Overall Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

The entire human body seems to benefit from reishi mushrooms in one way or another. Reishi tonifies the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys; it modulates the immune system; it is involved in healing, repairing, and rebuilding the nervous system, it allows us to handle stress so much more easily by its adaptogenic effect on our physiology and metabolism; and it helps us detoxify from toxic, harmful substances we come into contact with regularly.

You can see why reishi has its great reputation and is known as “the great protector.”

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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So Much To Love About Sweet Living Co.

Any woman who loves to pamper herself won't be able to choose which of Sweet Living Co.'s products to try! I want them all! Our company is currently the only place in the USA where you can purchase Sweet Living Co. products. This small, Canadian, family-owned business is devoted to creating the best handmade, high quality, organic, skincare formulas. They're Paleo and vegan AND you’ll love them!

No matter how simple or complex your beauty routine is, Sweet Living Co. has something for you.

If you want ANTI-AGING, try these products:

Pumpkin & Seaberry Ultra Elixir

This is Sweet Living Co.'s most concentrated serum. It's loaded with naturally occurring vitamins and essential fatty acids that absorb quickly and deeply into your skin, leaving it plump and hydrated. This elixir is perfect for dry and mature or sun damaged skin. 

Frankincense Beauty Balm 

This concentrated treatment helps reduce the appearance of lines around the mouth, cheeks, and eye area while improving the look of skin texture and radiance. Frankincense’s healing properties support skin cell rejuvenation to reduce wrinkles and fade scars & sun spots. 

Rosehip & Frankincense Facial Elixir

This is a great skin firming, anti-aging vitamin C serum. Along with restoring your skin, it also fades dark spots and scars. Excellent for sensitive skin! It won't leave your face looking oily or leave any residue buildup.


If you want an ANTI-AGING EXFOLIATION TREATMENT + HYDRATING FACIAL MASK, use this:

Green Tea & Grape Seed Honey Polish 

Using the regenerative properties of raw honey and extracts of green tea and grape seed, this mask is loaded with anti-aging, skin-loving antioxidants. It sloughs away surface cells to reveal perfectly smooth, hydrated skin. Your skin will glow!


If you want ANTI-BLEMISH + ANTI-AGING, try these products:

Neroli & Carrot Seed Beauty Cream

This cream is unique because it contains grass-fed tallow, which is very nourishing for your skin. The cream practically dissolves between your fingers and rubs into your skin with a silky feel. By morning, your skin will be smooth and soft without any greasy residue. You'll also love the light citrusy smell.

Lavender & Perilla Clarifying Serum 

Did you hope your acne would go away after your teenage years? The botanical oils in this serum help balance and soothe blemish-prone and combination skin. The moisturizing fatty acid profile will also soften the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and scars.

Rosehip & Frankincense Facial Elixir

If you're looking for a serum to fade dark spots and scars + offer anti-aging powers, this is a great option. It's a skin firming, anti-aging vitamin C serum and is excellent for sensitive skin!  It won't leave your face looking oily or leave any residue buildup.


If you want a delightful facial CLEANSER, use this:

Grapefruit & Lavender Luxury Cleanser 

This cleanser is a wonderful whipped butter-cream texture and easily dissolves excess oil, dirt and makeup without over-drying your face. It works excellent for all skin types, from oily/combination/blemish-prone to dry/mature. Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin A, C, and antioxidants — all essential to healthy skin.

Your skin is your largest organ, so treat it with so much love!

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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5 Reasons to Love Chlorella

1. It’s Been Thriving on the Planet for Over 2 Billion Years

Chlorella is a single-celled freshwater green algae, known to be one of the first forms of plant life on Earth with a well-defined nucleus. This tiny organism (2 -10 microns in size) has survived major environmental disturbances, pollution, you name it - it’s vitality and strength are astounding. “Chlorella” is derived from the Greek words “chloros” (green) and “ella” (small).  

2. It’s Packed with an Array of Nutrients

Chlorella is a quality source of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids. It promotes optimal well-being and supports healthy immune function, liver health, cell reproduction and detoxification. In Japan, over 10 million people use chlorella regularly to support health.

Nutrients found in chlorella include:

  • Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 and folic acid
  • Biotin
  • Inositol
  • Vitamins C, E and K
  • Iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus
  • Beta carotene
  • Amino acids
  • Essential fatty acids (EFA’s)
  • Chlorophyll

3. It’s a Natural Detoxifier

In modern society, the toxic load on the average human body is quite high. We are constantly bombarded with pollutants, chemicals in our food, heavy metals - the list goes on. Chlorella gently cleanses and detoxifies the body. It’s molecular structure bonds to heavy metals (including cadmium, mercury, arsenic and lead), chemicals and pesticides in the tissues, whereafter they can be safely removed from the body. One of the perks of this detox process? It leaves beneficial minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc untouched.

4. It’s a Great Source of Plant-based Protein

If you’re looking for a quality source of plant-based protein, give chlorella a try. Its protein content is approximately 50-60% of its total nutritional makeup with all essential amino acids in tact, making it a great option for vegetarian or vegan diets. You can find chlorella in an easy-to-take tablet form, or as a liquid or powder to add to smoothies.

5. It’s a Concentrated Source of Chlorophyll

This green superfood contains more chlorophyll than any other known plant species. Chlorophyll regulates photosynthesis and imparts the green hue of plants. This compound has been shown to offer strong antioxidant activity, which fights cellular damage from free-radical scavengers. Chlorella also contains high amounts of vitamin C and carotenoids for additional antioxidant support.

 


 

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Choco-Matcha Drizzle

You've seen it in stores, you've seen it at coffee and tea shops, but you may not be that familiar with matcha. It's just green tea, right? Well, yes and no. It's actually green tea turned up a notch!

So what exactly is Matcha?

Matcha is made from the leaves of the green tea plant (Camellia sinensis). It's cultivated using centuries-old farming techniques, where the leaves of the plant are partially covered from sunlight for several days to several weeks prior to harvest. This increases the chlorophyll content and gives the leaves their vibrant green hue. It also bumps up the amino acid content of the leaves, particularly L-theanine.

Once harvested, the leaves are steamed and air-dried; these leaves are called tencha. If the tea leaves are of superior quality, they are then de-stemmed, de-veined, and stone ground into a fine powder. This final product is matcha.

Matcha is traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremony and is found in many other Asian dishes.

What are the health benefits of matcha?

Green tea has been hailed as an antioxidant-rich superfood, yet, a cup of green tea only captures a handful of the health benefits of the tea leaf. Since matcha is the entire tea leaf that can be dissolved in water or other liquids, you get all the healthful nutrients.

You'd have to drink ten cups of green tea to get the same benefits as one cup of matcha.

Matcha tea's antioxidant content blows other antioxidant powerhouses completely out of the water! It contains up to ten times the free radical-fighting power as superfoods like pomegranate, goji, and blueberries.  

Matcha is rich in a particular type of antioxidant called catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), which help to combat free radical damage from stress, UV light, and other chemicals.

As previously mentioned, matcha is rich in amino acids, especially L-theanine. This amino acid promotes a sense of relaxation, calmness, and well-being. This may explain why Japanese monks would consume matcha during long periods of meditation to remain calm yet alert.

Matcha is also used in detoxification, due to its high chlorophyll content, and given it provides a calorie-free energy boost, it's used to promote weight loss.

How do I consume matcha?

Traditionally, matcha is served as tea, whisked in a bowl; the flavor is described as grassy and very intense. However, matcha can also be added to a latte, smoothie, or other blended drink. It can be mixed with cereals and yogurt in the morning, and it has been used to cook with in Japanese and Chinese cuisine for many generations. You can even use it in desserts, such as this awesome drizzle!

Choco-Matcha Drizzle

10 minutes

1 cup white chocolate chips

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp matcha powder

Vanilla ice cream

Black and white sesame seeds

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat white chocolate and coconut oil in 20-second intervals, whisking in between until melted and smooth. Whisk in matcha. Let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle over ice cream; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Makes 1 cup. Keep refrigerated.

Recipe courtesy of rachael ray everyday

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Reishi Mushroom's Health Benefits, Part 1

Ganoderma lucidum, aka: reishi mushroom, is available in a number of different varieties—red, yellow, purple, and black. They all have different properties and each has a slightly different emphasis in a different area. However, what seems to be the most complete, well-balanced, and well-rounded variety of reishi is the red reishi mushroom.

Red Reishi Mushroom

Known in China as “the mushroom of immortality,” reishi has been used for thousands of years in East Asia as a life changing herbal medicine. The sheer beauty and presence of reishi has been written about and shown in sacred artwork for a very long time.

In more recent times, reishi has become a very well-studied mushroom, and scientific analysis has really started to validate and verify what a lot of the ancient wisdom surrounding reishi was telling us all along—it really is one of the most powerful adaptogenic, natural tonic medicines that exists.

Reishi Is an Adaptogen

Adaptogenic herbs are substances that, once ingested, work on creating a state of balance and harmony within the body. They enhance our healing and repair mechanisms and our ability to handle stress. Within the body they create a host-mediated response, meaning they create certain reactions that are beneficial for your individual situation so they never work the same from one person to the next. They may stimulate a certain aspect of one person’s metabolism whereas they’ll actually lower that in somebody else. It depends on what we need as individuals. Adaptogens truly are very intelligent medicines.

Consuming adaptogenic substances is one of the most beneficial health strategies all of us could implement and benefit from. Reishi mushroom is really one of the top adaptogenic herbs of all time.

Reishi Modulates the Immune System

One of reishi’s most famous healing attributes is its ability to modulate the immune system. It will enhance or stimulate immune function in those who are deficient or lower immune function in those who already have a hyperactive immune system or autoimmune condition such as allergies or asthma. As I said with the adaptogenic nature of reishi, it’s always trying to bring us into a state of dynamic equilibrium. This is primarily because reishi contains over 100 different polysaccharides, which are the active constituents that enhance immune function. They work by plugging into immune cells; more specifically, they connect to macrophages in the blood stream and macrophages “digest” these polysaccharides and redistribute them throughout the immune system so every other immune cells gets the benefits from them.

Triterpene Compounds

Reishi also contain 119 different triterpene compounds. All of these constituents have shown to upregulate the intelligence and the function of all immune cells (macrophages, lymphocytes, and natural killer cells). Reishi’s triterpenes complex has one compound in particular, Ganoderic acid, which has shown awesome results in treating auto immune conditions and allergies.

Upcoming Blog

The entire human body seems to benefit from reishi mushrooms in one way or another, so stay tuned for a second blog that covers additional benefits of reishi, including healing the liver, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-tumor.

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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