Making a healthy smoothie or shake is a quick way for me to get a wide varitey of nutrients into my body. Here is a list of my favorite things to add to organic fruits and vegetable smoothie recipes for maximum nutrition.
Protein Powder– A plant pased protein supplement for building and maintainingg lean muscle mass.
Collagen – An animal based protein source for mainting healthy skin, bones and joints. Can be added to cold or hot drinks with no effect on the drink. I add it to my soups and teas as well.
Spirulina– With high concentrations of numerous vitamins and minerals Spirulina has been called the most powerful health food supplement ever. It is also a great sorce of beta-carotene which is an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system.
Coconut Oil- A source of healthy fats that contain anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Also contains lauric acid and is easily metabolized which can aid in weight loss and energy.
Acai- Acai berries provide healthy fats that promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
It is important to find these products in thier purest form possible for easy absorbtion and digestion.
The most obvious benefit of protein powders is the protein they offer users, but in addition to this benefit, high quality protein powders can also offer many other benefits to users. The secret to getting optimal protein and nutrition is choosing knowing what to look for in a protein powder.
Looking for an organic option free of artificial additives and high quality ingredients is the first step to choosing the best protein powder option. Protein powder is used for building blocks for lean muscle mass, supporting healthy cells, weight loss, and supporting bone health. For these reasons, it is important to consume only the best possible ingredients in a protein powder.
While the search for high quality ingredients is critical to finding the best protein powder option, research shows that how those ingredients are prepared is also important to get the most nutritionally advantageous powder. The heat used to process the protein sources in many protein powders actually destroys much of the nutritional content before it is ever consumed. Heat can also change the pH of some foods, resulting in the food being harder to be digested.
Experts recommend choosing a protein powder made with raw protein sources to gain maximum nutritional values. Raw foods typically offer higher levels of many enzymes, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients. Additionally, heat can alter the structure of foods, which can leave it harder for people’s body to utilize the remaining nutrients in the foods.
Consuming adequate levels of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is challenging for almost everyone. Protein powder can be a great help in achieving this goal, but if people choose a highly processed protein powder they may unwittingly be sabotaging the quantity and quality of nutrients they are receiving.
One of the number one things I have done for my health is plant based smoothies! Every morning, I mix 1 scoop of raw organic plant protein powder into a protein shake made with almond milk, bananas, strawberries, and sometimes greens like avocado or cucumbers. I try to avoid green smoothies made with vegetables that contain too much oxalic acid, such as raw kale.
Since starting to make plant based breakfast shakes, I have noticed that I have more energy throughout the day and I am able to accomplish much more. I spend all day working hard at my 9-5, and still have energy to exercise at the gym after work! I couldn’t have said that two years ago! I have also noticed that I am able to get more done at work throughout the day, and with less stress!
This article might seem like a bit of an exaggeration, but veggie protein shakes and smoothies have totally made a huge difference in my health. Right now, my favorite protein powder is made with USDA organic and raw brown rice, mushroom, and hemp protein and it is absolutely delicious! The best part is that it is enhanced with enzymes and probiotics that have greatly improved my digestion!
I learned the hard way that most conventional protein powders are expensive and totally overrated. What’s worse is that some of these protein powders (especially those made with highly processed whey or soy protein) can actually cause damage to your health! That’s right; a supplement that actually does more harm than good!
For this reason, I choose to buy only plant based protein powders that are as minimally processed as possible. I also avoid protein powder with synthetic nutrients and artificial ingredients. The only way to ensure that you are getting high quality protein is to READ THE LABEL! It’s as simple as that!
Because of my poor stomach lining and previous stomach condition, I try to avoid acidic foods and beverages. Coffee, though I love it, is one of the worst. When I began the journey of healing my gut, I cut out coffee entirely. I now drink coffee every once in a while, but unfortunately, it can never be a part of my daily routine. You are probably wondering how I stay energized without coffee, as most of the country is completely addicted to caffeine. Well, keep reading and I will share my secret!
I take desiccated liver tablets. Fresh raw liver is packed with B vitamins and other energy boosting nutrients that keep me energized throughout the day. Unfortunately, liver does not taste very good which is why I get my nutrients from liver in supplement form.
Since I started taking desiccated liver, I have noticed that I have way more energy throughout the day. It is even easier to get out of bed in the morning. I have also noticed great improvements in my level of endurance when simply biking or going for a run.
Desiccated liver supplements are made by taking fresh, raw, grass-fed, beef liver and dehydrating it at a very low temperature. The dehydrated liver is then milled into a fine powder and either pressed into tablets or poured into capsules. The result is a convenient and easy way to get the nutrients found in fresh, raw, beef liver.
The best dessicated liver powder will contain only 100% pure, non-defatted, grass-fed beef liver and absolutely nothing else. It should not contain fillers, flow agents, synthetic nutrients, or any artificial ingredients. The best supplements are as close to nature as possible, and you should look for this standard in a desiccated liver supplement, as well.
You started exercising… You switched to diet of mostly local and organic whole foods… You’ve cut carbohydrates and increased your protein intake… You started walking to work… After months of dedicating yourself to your new lifestyle, you step on a scale, and you see the SAME number staring back at you. You haven’t lost weight, you are frustrated, and almost ready to give up.
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. Literally 2/3 of our country is overweight. Many of these people have tried everything. They have changed their diets. They have started exercising. They have focused their lives on weight loss. And nothing has worked. This is the time that most people turn to fad diets and magic weight loss pills, but there are smarter and safer solutions!
In one of my recent articles, I discussed Green Coffee for weight loss. Today I am going to discuss African Mango Extract. This natural weight loss solution is designed for people who have a lot of weight to lose and I’m about to explain why. When people gain a lot of weight, it is often because they have become leptin resistant. Leptin is a hormone that tells your body to stop eating when you have become full. As people ignore this signal and continue to eat when they are not hungry, they become resistant to this signal all together. When someone becomes leptin resistant, weight loss is nearly impossible.
African Mango supplements are all natural, safe, and effective as long as you follow these simple guidelines: Look for an African Mango supplement that is 100% pure and contains zero fillers, flow agents, or artificial ingredients. The best supplements will come from a trusted company with sustainably sourced ingredients.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you already know that the health of your digestive system directly contributes to your overall health in more ways than you could ever imagine. If your gut is not healthy, your emotional health is probably suffering, and vice-versa! When you are stressed or depressed, it can wreak havoc on your digestive system.
Stress can cause your digestive system to work too much or too little causing either diarrhea or constipation. Constant stress can cause permanent damage to digestive system including ulcers and numerous stomach conditions such as gastritis. When you handle the stress in your life in a healthy way, your stomach conditions should get significantly better.
When I fixed my digestive health, my anxiety and depression melted away completely. The health of your gut is directly proportional to your mental health. But while I was in the process of healing my stomach, I needed a way to reduce my stress and anxiety, as I knew it was damaging my chances of getting better. This is when I discovered Rhodiola Rosea.
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen herb that reduces stress and anxiety while increasing overall health. It also has done wonders for my energy levels without making me feel jittery or keeping me up at night. Since starting rhodiola rosea, my anxiety was drastically reduced and I was able to heal my gut with greater ease and faster results.
I buy rhodiola rosea at Amazon because that is where I have found the best prices. When buying rhodiola, just be sure to choose a pure and natural product with no synthetic ingredients. Rhodiola can do wonders for your anxiety, and subsequently, your digestive health too!
When people ask me what was the number one thing I did to improve my health… I can’t come up with one single answer. My health has been improved by many small steps that have made a huge difference when combined. I stopped taking prescription medications. I switched to a local and organic whole foods diet. I started exercising. All of these small steps have made me the healthier person that I am today.
BUT if you ask me what is the number one thing I did for my gut health… the answer is simple: probiotics AKA beneficial bacteria. You can add probiotics to your diet in two ways: with fermented foods and with probiotic supplements. I try to incorporate fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut. I also take a prescription grade probiotic supplement called Prescript-Assist.
Our overall health and wellness is entirely dependent on our digestive health and our digestive health in entirely dependant on a balance of good and bad bacteria. When we take popular medications, especially antibiotics, we wipe out all of the beneficial bacteria found in our digestive systems. Processed food can also cause extreme upset to this ratio. Eating fermented foods and taking probiotic supplements can put your digestive system back in balance.
Adding beneficial bacteria to your diet can boost health in a number of ways. Probiotics boost your immune system, improve digestion, promote weight loss, promote healthy skin, and improve overall health and wellness. The best way to add probiotics to your diet is with fermented food, but if you don’t eat enough fermented foods or if you have a digestive condition such as mine, probiotic supplements can be life changing! I recommend finding a prescription grade soil based probiotic AND adding fermented foods to your diet. This is the number one change I made to heal my stomach.
Cod Liver Oil – Try taking fermented cod liver oil in a shot glass and chasing with freshly squeezed juice. You could also try mixing a bit of honey and cinnamon into your cod liver oil and chase it with organic whole milk. Some people even learn to love the taste of cod liver oil over time. If you are not one of those people, you could always try cod liver oil capsules.
Algae & Kelp – Algae and kelp supplements such as spirulina. chlorella, and kelp can be hidden in all sorts of different recipes. The best spirulina recipes are green smoothies. They are naturally sweet and flavorful and the flavor of the fresh greens blends well with the spirulina or chlorella powder. It is best to buy organic greens powders whenever it is possible.
Beef Liver – Can’t stomach liver and onions? Even after you’ve heard how nutrient dense they are? Well, that isn’t surprising. Beef liver is packed with protein and important vitamins and minerals, but the taste can be hard to stomach. Luckily, you can purchase grass-fed and hormone free desiccated liver supplements at many health food stores.
Fermented Foods – Not a fan of sauerkraut? How about kimchi? Pickled beets? You’re not drooling yet? Well neither are we. Luckily there are tasty and nutritious ways to get the goodness of fermented foods- even fermented veggies! You could try a sweetened version of beet kvass. How about some fruit and veggie kombucha? Try some yogurt or even some wine and cheese! Having a burger? Why not have a homemade pickle as well! There are plenty of ways to get the benefits of probiotics from a number of fermented foods, and if your diet is still lacking, you could always take a probiotic supplement!
Cordyceps sinensis is an adaptogen herb that you’ve probably never heard of. I know what you’re thinking; “Wait, what the heck is an adaptogen herb!?” Well, an adaptogen herb is classified as a natural, plant-based medicine that adapts to your bodies specific needs while improving overall health and causing little to no side effects. There are many adaptogenic herbs and each one has its own unique health benefits and qualities.
Cordyceps works to boost energy and endurance while fighting weakness and fatigue. It also boosts oxygen capacity and lung function. Cordyceps even boosts the immune system and sexual function. Pretty cool, right? Due to its many health benefits, cordyceps sinensis is a popular herb amongst athletes and anyone who needs a bit of extra energy. If you are interested in the health benefits of cordyceps, keep reading to find out how to choose the best cordyceps supplement.
Cordyceps grows naturally, high in the Himalayan Mountains. If you live in the Himalayan Mountains and love foraging at freezing temperatures and high altitudes, then you are in luck! If you are anything like the rest of us, the best choice is an organically grown cordyceps sinensis supplement from the United States. The supplement should contain 100% cordyceps sinensis and absolutely nothing else. This means no fillers, no flow agents, no preservatives, NO artificial ingredients. Period.
When buying supplements, it is incredibly important to read the labels and only purchase supplements from well known companies that you can trust. The supplement industry is unregulated, which means there are good and bad companies out there. To figure out which companies are trust worthy, check the organizations that they are affiliated with and read reviews online. Cordyceps Sinensis supplements can be found online and in local health food stores.
Without question, a vegan diet can be a healthy lifestyle to follow. Some people follow a vegan diet for a shorter time period and others follow a vegan diet for a lifetime, but regardless of the duration of the diet it is critical to be intentional about getting sufficient amounts of nutrients. Cutting out all animal sources of food can offer great health benefits, but it also removes some easy sources of critical nutrients. With careful planning, you can adhere to vegan diet guidelines and still have all the nutrients you need in your diet.
Take Note. When you are new to the vegan lifestyle, consider keeping a log of what you eat for two to four weeks. At the end of each week, go over your data for the week to look for strengths and weaknesses in your diet. Programs and websites are available to help you complete a nutritional analysis. By analyzing your diet in a more formal way like this, you will be able to adjust for any gaps you may have before a pattern of deficit develops.
Get Creative. Excellent, vegan friendly supplements are available to help you make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. For example, a spirulina capsule or powder can be added to your diet to increase your intake of multiple nutrients. Spirulina has significantly more protein than eggs, more calcium than milk, and more iron than beef. With a nutritional profile like this, it is easy to see that getting creative with your sources of nutrition may actually improve the quality of your dietary intake.
Be Wary of Processed Foods. Most vegans are already aware of the unhealthy ingredients contained in most packaged foods, but it is worth noting than many packaged vegan foods are still loaded with undesirable ingredients. Consider a flavored soy yogurt. Though it may meet vegan diet guidelines, most are still high in sugar content. Be a careful label reader and opt for unprocessed food choices whenever possible.