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The Best Tasting Greens Just Got Tastier

The summer is just around the corner and many of us are welcoming the warmer weather with open arms. Every season has its own qualities, but this time of year seems to put an extra bounce in most of our steps. It represents a time of year when we can get the most out of life; but does that ever really happen?

Life is often a blur through the summer months. At best, we end the season feeling like it hardly happened. At worst, you spend our favourite season overeating, stressed out, sick and too tired to get it all done.

What’s a summer lover to do?

One word: vegetables!

Surprised? Don’t be. Your mom really was right when she told you to eat your veggies. They are nutritional powerhouses that help to keep you at your best all summer long.

Vegetables are important for many reasons, but here are four to start.

Veggies Curb Your Appetite
Summertime is full of BBQ’s, picnics and potlucks, all putting you at risk of adding on extra pounds. Include a variety of vegetables with each meal and the fiber will fill you up before you eat too much. They also help to keep your blood sugar balanced, so you don’t have cravings throughout the day.

Veggies Boost Your Immunity
While you may associate the cold virus with winter months, it can take you out in the summer, too. If you’re more active than normal, indulging a little more in unhealthy treats or feeling higher stress, your immune system can take a hit.

Eating extra veggies means you get a whole array of valuable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that help to keep your defenses strong.

Veggies Battle Stress
All the summer activities can leave your head spinning. Join in on the fight against stress by upping your intake of nutrients like folate and magnesium from dark leafy greens (think spinach). Plus, you can get bonus stress-fighting points by adding theanine from green tea or omega-3s from fish oil!

Veggies Keep You Energized
Despite our best wishes, our bodies don’t simply possess energy; they have to make energy. In order to generate all the vitality you need for those summer adventures, you’ll have to consume a steady supply of the right ingredients.

This means plenty of Vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, thiamine, niacin, magnesium and more. But you guessed it! All of these nutrients are found in abundance in your daily dose of fresh vegetables.

It’s Just Not That Simple
It’s easy to agree that vegetables are important, so why do we find it so hard to get everything we need?

Here are three reasons:
1. A lot of us struggle with the taste and texture of vegetables, making it difficult to get enough down with each meal.
2. It’s difficult to find the variety we need from around the world, which all offer different health benefits.
3. Our modern food prep methods, like microwaving and boiling, lower the nutrient power of our vegetables.

For all these reasons, and more, many of us just simply don’t get enough good quality plant-based nutrition in a day.

There’s Hope!
Thankfully it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. There are many great recipe ideas that make vegetables more palatable for the picky eater, and more grocery stores are offering a wider range of organic and non-GMO produce from around the world. Plus, with a little more time and effort, a side of veggies can be prepared with minimum nutrient loss, such as with steaming.

Even with a better supply and countless recipe options, you may still struggle to get your full supply each day. If that’s the case, then consider the help of a green food concentrate powder. They’re designed to fill the gaps and ensure you get what you need.

Our Favourite Green Food Supplement
If you want a specific recommendation, you can’t go wrong with Progressive VegeGreens®. A single serving provides the nutrient equivalent of six to eight servings of fresh veggies – provided by ingredients that cover the whole rainbow of colours, from all over the world.

This includes green foods like barley and wheat grass, land vegetables like beet root and carrot, sea vegetables like spirulina and kelp, cruciferous vegetables, phytonutrients, herbs, extracts and a lot more.

Plus if that’s not all enough, VegeGreens® has an award winning taste with delicious flavours like Pineapple Coconut and Blueberry Medley.

By consuming a varied and potent green food formula, you can feel confident that you’ve met your daily needs for better energy, vitality and overall health.

Try This!
Here’s a super simple recipe to make your green food supplement even more enjoyable.

 

Colada Summer Splash
1 cup coconut milk
1 scoop Pineapple Coconut VegeGreens
Ice

Mix it up in a blender and enjoy!

Organic Grilled & Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipe


Read more →

No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Amazing taste, easy and fun to make!
No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Vegan, gluten-free, no bake/raw, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free
These no-bake fudge cookies are my quick and easy solution when a chocolate craving strikes! I start with a homemade coconut oil chocolate base (made even creamier with sunflower seed butter!), and add chia seeds for healthy Omega-3 fats, shredded coconut for a hint of macaroon flavor and texture, and of course rolled oats for the classic no-bake cookie ingredient. The cookies will soften a great deal at room temperature, so I recommend enjoying them straight from the fridge (yields 8 cookies).

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons (45 mL) virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons (30 mL) sunflower seed butter*
1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the dry ingredients:

7 tablespoons (50 g) gluten-free rolled oats
6 tablespoons (35 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons (25 g) chia seeds
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

Directions:
Line a large plate with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium pot, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Whisk in the sunflower seed butter, cocoa powder, and maple syrup until smooth. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
Add the oats, coconut, chia seeds, and salt into the pot and stir well until combined. The mixture will be thick, dense, oily, and gel-like (from the chia seeds), but this is normal.
Using a retractable ice cream scoop (approximately 2 tablespoons/30 mL) or simply a spoon, scoop the dough and place the mound onto the plate, leaving a bit of space between each cookie.
Place the cookies in the freezer to set for about 10 to 15 minutes, until firm, or simply chill in the fridge if you have the patience.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze them for up to 4 to 6 weeks. These cookies have the best texture/flavour straight from the fridge (rather than the freezer) so I prefer to store them in the fridge.
Tips:

* Instead of sunflower seed butter, feel free to use natural peanut butter or almond butter. I also recommend stirring the nut or seed butter very well before measuring (if it has oil on the top) to avoid oily cookies.

THE ABCS OF EFAS

 

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) sounds like a pretty important and complex title, when in fact it is simpler than you may think. They are an “essential” part of our nutrition just like vitamins, minerals, and protein. Essential Fatty Acids are nutrients our bodies can’t produce themselves, so we have to get them from our diet.

There are actually two EFAs. The essential omega 3 is called alpha linolenic acid, or ALA for short. The essential omega 6 is called linoleic acid, or LA for short. Omega 9 fatty acids, while not essential, are also healthy fats found in many foods. We can find these nutrients in vegetarian sources like flax seed, hemp seed, sunflower seed and sesame seed, various nuts and vegetables. Once we consume them our digestive system converts them into other forms of fatty acids your body uses as well, like DHA, EPA, and GLA.

Udo’s Oil™ Omega 3+6+9 Blend uses organic seed oils from flax, sunflower, sesame, coconut, and evening primrose oils to give you all the EFAs you need. You don’t ever need to worry about whether you are getting enough from your diet. Our diets are usually low in omega 3 so it’s a good thing Udo’s Oil™ is formulated with a 2:1 omega 3:omega 6 ratio.

These EFAs are needed in every cell and every system in your body. They are especially important for the health of your skin, hair, connective tissue, heart, and brain. If we don’t get enough of them in our diet, we have dry skin, heart problems, low energy, inflammation, and other issues that detract from enjoying life to its fullest.

What can you expect from adding Udo’s Oil™ Omega 3+6+9 Blend to your food daily?
Better skin texture
– Increased fat burning and building of lean muscle
– More sustained energy
– Sharper memory and thinking skills
– Reduced inflammation in the body
– Enhanced recovery from exercise
– A balanced immune system

Once you’ve added it to your diet, you’ll be amazed you ever managed without it!

What does holistic nutrition mean for someone who’s expecting?

Let's talk about prenatal health and the ideal supplements with Joy McCarthy,† holistic nutritionist...

What does holistic nutrition mean for someone who’s expecting?

As a holistic nutritionist, I help my clients to create healthy, vibrant lifestyles that nourish their whole being. I find that a holistic perspective is especially helpful for women who are pregnant or planning to be. When it comes to supporting your own health and that of your baby, an expecting mother should seek balanced nutrition, adequate hydration, and the perfect vitamins and supplements for her needs.

Whole Body Health & Pain Relief Naturally!

Whole Body Health & Pain Relief Naturally!

Purica Recovery - Formulations for pet and humans. Homegrown Foods, Stony Plain

Purica RECOVERY targets the root cause of pain, providing effective and sustained relief. It’s for Whole Body Health & Pain Relief.

The Path that led to the discovery of Purica Recovery®

Well over a decade ago when Jason Watkin was a student of molecular biology and nutrition, he began to question the precise mechanisms that cause the cells of the body to age and break down. Recognizing that much of this cellular breakdown was due to oxygen-induced molecular instability, he set about developing a formulation to inhibit this instability. The formulation, known as Purica Recovery®, consisted of plant compounds that are known to protect the plant from physical and chemical aggressors.

While in the Netherlands, he had the opportunity to test the efficacy of Purica Recovery® on many of the European community’s top professional ballet dancers. Like many sports, ballet often results in overuse injuries such as pulled muscles and tendons. Particularly vulnerable among ballet professionals is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) at the outer edge of the kneecap. This ligament is so vital to the proper movement of the leg that damage sustained to it can result in loss of mobility for a year or more and often ends a dancer’s career.

THE INSPIRATION

After taking Purica Recovery® for several weeks, doctors assessing the effects of the formulation noted a significant reduction in expected recovery times. Dancers — who would normally be troubled by stiffness and loss of mobility following the natural or surgical repair of the ACL — were able to quickly regain mobility and return to the stage.

Following his return from the Netherlands, Jason and his brother Trevor worked with equine veterinarians, horse breeders and trainers. In this field, horses are subject to numerous problems affecting their legs due to their heavy body weights. Their risk of injury, of course, increases if they are raced or jumped as in equestrian sports. In much the same way as with the European ballet dancers, the horses receiving Recovery also recovered more quickly from injuries and surgical intervention.

The results among people and animals were so dramatic that Trevor and Jason were inspired to create what is today Purica. With the help of their parents, they decided to form a private family company in 1999 to manufacture and sell Purica Recovery® to veterinarians. The veterinarians experienced such significant results with the animals they were treating that they began telling people that they should also be taking Recovery® which in turn led to the launch of the human version of Purica Recovery®.

HOW RECOVERY WORKS

How Recovery® works: Recovery® works in two distinct ways: 1. By increasing the cell’s receptivity to anabolic (building) compounds such as insulin and thyroid hormone, and 2. By reducing catabolic (destroying) action due to oxidation. The effects of treatment with Recovery® are realized throughout the body and include decreased pain, spasm and inflammation, improved circulation, improved drainage and improved healing.

Many clinicians find Purica Recovery® successful in alleviating conditions that are typically treated with corticosteroids. Conditions associated with chronic inflammation, spasm and degeneration of tissue such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, eczema, psoriasis, breathing problems, and chronic pain in the knees, hips, shoulders and hands.

Whereas corticosteroids merely act as a band aid and are associated with many side effects including osteoporosis and accelerated tissue damage, Purica Recovery® treats the root of the condition, halting the damage that leads to the discomfort.

For our full line of Purica Recovery products, including pets, horses and owners click here. 

THE LITTLE-KNOWN VITAMIN WITH BIG BENEFITS

 

Vitamin K2 is a little-known vitamin that is essential for strong, healthy bones and a healthy cardiovascular system.

The little-known vitamin with big benefits
Vitamin K2 might not be as well known as vitamins C or D, but it’s no less important. In fact, in recent years, researchers have revealed just how essential vitamin K2 is for the health of our bones, teeth, and arteries.

Vitamin K2 and the “Calcium Paradox”
Vitamin K2 is now known to play a key role in the “calcium paradox” – a phenomenon where a lack of calcium in the bones (osteoporosis) occurs even when there is an excess of calcium in the arteries (atherosclerosis). This is, in part, because vitamin K2 stimulates the production of a protein called osteocalcin which builds bones and helps them retain calcium.1

Vitamin K2 also inhibits the activity of cells that break down bone. In clinical studies, vitamin K2 has been seen to help maintain bone density in the lumbar spine and decrease the incidence of osteoporotic fractures in patients with age-related osteoporosis or glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.2

Vitamin K2 and heart disease
In addition to supporting bone health, vitamin K2 helps prevent, and can even reverse, arterial calcification, a process where arteries become hardened and inelastic. It does this by activating matrix GLA protein (MGP) which helps clear calcium from the arteries.

In The Rotterdam Heart Study, involving almost 5,000 people aged 55 and older, those with the highest dietary intake of vitamin K2 had a 57% lower risk of death from heart disease than people with the lowest intake of the nutrient.3 The same was not true of vitamin K1 intake, so what’s the difference between these types of vitamin K?

The most powerful source of vitamin K2
There are three types of vitamin K: K1, K2, and K3 (synthetic vitamin K). Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is made by plants and is found in foods such as green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is found in the fermented soybean food, natto, egg yolk, and dairy products from animals fed primarily on grass.

Menaquinone-7 (MK-7) is a highly bioavailable and bioactive form of vitamin K2 derived from natto, and seems to play a key role in the Calcium Paradox. Only K2 as MK-7 offers 24-hour protection with a single daily dose, helping to direct calcium away from the arteries and into bones and teeth.

Studies in human volunteers taking either MK-7 or vitamin K1 show that over a 24-hour period the level of MK-7 present in the blood was two and a half times higher than for K1. Over a four-day period, MK-7 levels were six-fold higher than K1.1

Vitamin K2 as MK-7 has a much longer half-life than lower menaquinones, meaning that it stays in the bloodstream for longer. MK-7 has also been shown to be three times more effective than vitamin K1 at promoting activated osteocalcin, suggesting more significant benefits for bone health.1

Are you getting enough?
For many people, diet alone does not provide sufficient amounts of vitamin K2 to support optimal health of the cardiovascular system and bones. Daily supplementation with Natural Factors Vitamin K2 makes it easy to obtain optimum levels of this important nutrient.

Natural Factors Vitamin K2 is an ideal one-a-day supplement for supporting strong, healthy bones while also promoting cardiovascular health. This vegetarian-friendly vitamin K supplement is gluten free, dairy free, and non-GMO – and it contains no artificial colours, preservatives, or sweeteners.

If you are taking blood thinners, consult a health care practitioner prior to using products containing vitamin K.

 

ALLERGIES: MORE MANAGEABLE THAN YOU THINK

Spring is here. “All nature seems at work,” as the English poet Coleridge so aptly puts it. Everything is coming to life once more in nature’s gloriously recurring cycle.

Unfortunately, for many of us this is a mixed blessing. Putting a damper on our enjoyment of the season and the advent of summer’s warm days is the dread spectre of allergies, which can rob us even of our sense of joyful anticipation. We know the misery and the symptoms: runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and even headaches, not to mention that general rundown feeling.

Allergies are an exaggerated reaction of the immune system to substances that would normally be tolerated. These are called antigens and include things like dust, pollen, moulds, animal hair and other substances that the body regards as invaders foreign to its wellbeing. Lifestyle factors like nutrition, diet, stress, lack of rest, environmental surroundings and others can exacerbate this exaggerated response.

The immune system is exceedingly complex and dynamic. It’s always striving for balance. This is particularly true of its T helper cells, which are key regulators of the immune system and fall into either of two categories, namely Th1 or Th2 cells, both of which fill uniquely different but complementary roles. Th1 cells defend against intracellular pathogens like viruses and bacteria, while Th2 cells defend against pathogens that come from the outside. A healthy immune system switches between these two as needed, but can become distorted by genetic and environmental factors. When this happens, very often the result is an immune related disorder of one kind or another. Allergies, for example, are typically associated with a Th2-dominant immune response.

There are ways, however, to restore this critical Th1/Th2 balance through nutrition and natural supplements. These include an adequate intake of vitamin E and vitamin C, as well as foods rich in flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids (good sources of the latter include flax seeds, walnuts, sardines, and salmon, not to mention supplements like cod liver oil and fish oils). Probiotics (i.e. beneficial microorganisms) and prebiotics (i.e. foods that promote the beneficial microorganisms) help to feed and promote a healthy biological terrain or backdrop in the body, which in turn aids in balancing this delicate TH1/2 high wire act … In addition, we can turn to herbs like astragalus, nettles, reishi, turmeric, ginger, boswellia, ligustrum, and licorice, as well as adaptogens, including ashwagandha, eleuthero, schisandra, codonopsis, white atractylodes, and rhodiola.

Enter also Deep Immune® for Allergies, the newest member of our best-selling Deep Immune family of St. Francis Herb Farm products. In its classic original version, Deep Immune® has long been used as an effective allergy remedy, mitigating the oversensitivity of the immune system to harmless substances that cause allergic reactions. For its part, Deep Immune® for Allergies goes one better and combines the best of two therapeutic worlds. In addition to being proactive and favourably modulating (i.e. balancing) the immune system, it is supercharged with special allergy-relieving herbs and gentle homeopathic ingredients to provide non-drowsy natural relief for itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion and all the other discomforts that accompany allergies.

There is wisdom and method in the design of this superbly effective formula. Its homeopathic ingredients address the acute symptoms of allergy, while its herbal components, including nettle (a classic anti-allergy herb), astragalus, reishi, schisandra, and southern prickly ash, tackle the underlying, chronic mechanisms by which such symptoms arise.

It’s a good idea to get the jump on allergies and begin treatment 4-6 weeks ahead of the season. The best chances of a cure occur from seasons of cumulative therapy of this kind. On the other hand, even if you haven’t initiated therapy in advance, you can still expect quick relief of symptoms.

Rest assured that you can finally look forward to shedding the shackles of allergy season. Remember that this is a condition that is indeed manageable.

OVERCOMING THESE 4 COMMON HOLIDAY MISHAPS!

Improve your holiday habits so you can enjoy every holly, jolly moment of the season. 4 solutions to common holiday mishaps – and, healthy ideas to make this the most joyful season ever!

The hussle and bussle of the holidays can have us picking up some bad habits habits! Check out these strategies to combat 4 of the most common holiday mishaps!

  • Stress & Sleep

If you’re laying awake, unable to sleep, rifled with holiday stress try German chamomile, valerian, skullcap, melatonin and California poppy, which are all natural sleep aids. Essential oils can have a calming effect. A 2015 study found hospital workers at a Vienna hospital successfully reduced their levels of stress with the use of essential oils.

  • Overeating

Grazing endlessly at festive gatherings can quickly make your holiday outfit uncomfortably tight fitting. For your bloated belly, consider digestive enzymes. Ginger chews can help overcome a bout of nausea. Probiotics help support digestive health. Plus, a recent British Journal of Nutrition study suggests some probiotics may promote healthier insulin metabolism during short bouts of eating an unhealthy diet.

  • Energy

From shopping, to shoveling to sledding ‘tis the season to be active! Have enough energy to enjoy it. B vitamins help your metabolism, and can be found in most multivitamins. Healthy snacking (nuts, fruits, energy bars, Kombucha, seeds, green powders or protein shakes) can keep you fuelled and ready to jump for joy!

  • Healthier Holiday Recipes

When the weather outside is frightful stay inside and try new healthy recipes! Try using coconut oil instead of butter. Give organic chocolate a try – it’s delicious! Experiment with new ingredients, such as chia seeds or hemp hearts. Visit our website for a delightful peppermint mocha hemp heart bite recipe!

Peppermint Mocha Bites recipe

Ingredients                               
 – 3/4 cup raw almonds
– 1/2 cup Hemp Hearts
– 1 cup dates, pitted
– 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
– 1 tsp. espresso powder
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract
– 1/4 cup candy cane chocolate

Directions
1. Add almonds to a food processor and blend until they are finely ground
2. Put Hemp Hearts and dates in and blend until it forms a sticky dough
3. Add the cocoa, espresso powder, vanilla and peppermint extract and blend to combine. Then add in chocolate chips and pulse a few times so they are mixed in.
4. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons and roll into balls. You can roll the balls in the crushed candy canes or Hemp Hearts if desired.

References:Essential Oils – Stress

Forsch Komplementmed. 2015;22(3):185-94.
Link to Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26338021Magnesium – Insomnia
J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec; 17(12): 1161–1169.
Link to Full Article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169/Probiotics – Insulin Resistance – Overeating
Br J Nutr. 2015 Feb 28; 113(4): 596–602
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339038/Health Canada Monographs: Probiotics, Multivitamins, Digestive Enzymes, Ginger
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=probio
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=multi_vitmin_suppl
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=enzyme.multi&lang=eng
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=99&

DON’T LET STRESS BRING YOU DOWN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Stress can affect us in different ways during different times, eve during the Holidays. Sometimes the Holidays can even increase our stress levels making it difficult to get through them. Don’t let stress bring you down – no matter what the season throws your way.

Stress. It’s something that all of us experience, regardless of job, geographic location or family situation. Stress is the body’s response to environmental stimuli (stressors). It’s natural and healthy to a degree; stress can motivate us and move us forward in life. Too much stress and an inability to manage it, however, can have dramatic health consequences for an individual. Nutrition can play a big part in how we cope and perform under stress.

B vitamins are coenzymes involved in numerous bodily functions in human health: the nervous system, brain function and the production of energy through the metabolization of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are essential to life and a deficiency of B vitamins can manifest itself as such symptoms as low energy, poor mental functioning or inability to deal with stress and anxiety.

The key to the B vitamins is that they work together – synergistically – in their functioning within the body. It is true that certain B vitamins may be needed in higher amounts for a specific condition – like Vitamin B12 for specific cases of pernicious anemia or a specific B12deficiency – but individual B vitamins still require the rest of the B family to perform their roles.  Often a deficiency in one B vitamin can be an indication of a deficiency in others.

For individuals who are experiencing low or normal levels of stress, a multi-vitamin containing basic levels of B vitamins, in the range of 5-25 mg/mcg of each, may be sufficient for daily needs. For those experiencing above-normal levels of stress, a “B-50” complex containing 50 mg/mcg per individual B can be helpful. And for those experiencing high levels of stress to the mind and body needing even more support, a “B-100” complex with 100 mg/mcg per B vitamin may be necessary, at least for the specific time period of excessive stress or anxiety. This group of highly stressed individuals can include athletes, office workers, and women experiencing menopause.

While additional B vitamins can be helpful to individuals undergoing stress, a traditional Peruvian food source can give further support. Maca root has been harvested and used in Peru as a nutritional food and natural medicine for thousands of years. Today, in the world of natural medicine it has become known as a “super food” for its wide range of health applications.

– Maca root is rich in a multitude of vitamins and minerals including B complex vitamins, vitamin C, iron, iodine, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. It is a true “super food.”

– Maca root is an adaptogen. It helps the body to perform normally during stressful conditions by balancing the body’s hormonal production. Hormones that are too low get regulated upward by maca root and hormones that are too high get regulated downward. Maca root nourishes the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. This balancing helps women to deal with PMS, menopause and hot flashes and men to deal with libido issues.

By combining high-levels of B vitamins together with the super food maca root, even the most stressed of us can find it easier to get on with our daily lives and the Holidays. 

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