Natural Skin Care

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I’m a firm believer that the products we put ON our bodies, are as important as what we put in our bodies.

Many cosmetic products products contain irritants, carcinogens and endocrine disrupters. I say go as natural as possible to avoid any problems.

Instead of lotions that are mostly chemicals, consider trying something as simple as coconut oil, almond oil or shea butter. (Choose organic if at all possible.) These items are so moisturizing. Coconut oil is my personal favorite – it’s light and absorbs quickly.
I like to add essential oils to mine, not only for the aroma, but also for the therapeutic effect. Lavender oil is a go to for many reasons – it’s soothing to irritated skin (bug bites, burns, etc) and helps soothe and can help you sleep. I’ve been using lavender oil with my kids since they were babies – just a drop on their pillow at bedtime.

Make sure when you purchase essential oils, that you buy from a reputable company. Quality counts. You want to look for 100% pure, therapeutic grade, organic essential oils that have not been diluted.

I was recently sent a sample of Lavender EO from GoPure Naturals. I’m really happy with the quality of this oil. And I think it;s one of the best values around – $17.95 for a 4oz bottle on Amazon.

I brought it to my yoga studio to add to the diffuser, and it was a hit with the entire class.

The company also sells a few other EO’s as well as natural skin care products. This is a small, family owned business – which is exactly what I like to support when possible.

I hope they offer more EO varieties in the future – I personally would love to see some blends.
Check them out, and let me know what you think.: http://www.gopurenaturals.com/

Vitamix Personal Blender – Discount

portable

Looking for a high speed blender designed for tight spaces and people on the go – that is built to last?

Look no further than the Vitamix S3o.

Vitamix® Introduces the S30, a Versatile, Portable Machine Offering High-Performance Blending

Vitamix, a world leader in professional-grade blending equipment for home and commercial use, presents the S30—the first high-performance, personal blender from the brand trusted by consumers and professional chefs alike.

Featuring the versatility and durability that are synonymous with the Vitamix name, the S30 offers a sleek, compact design that allows users to easily create smaller batches and individual servings and streamlines everyday kitchen tasks. Equipped with two perfectly sized containers for individuals and small families plus a lightweight base, the S30 makes it simple to quickly blend and take recipes to go.

The small but mighty S30 boasts a powerful 790-watt motor, metal drive system and the signature laser-cut, stainless-steel blades—a staple of Vitamix machines. The result is a smoother blend, even with tough ingredients. The machine also gives users control over blending, with a Variable Speed Control and a Pulse feature to effortlessly create a variety of textures.

Designed to perform like no other, the efficient S30 comes with two unique, shatter-resistant, BPA-free containers. Users can choose the right one for the task at hand, making it simple to prepare individual servings of smoothies and juices, quickly chop vegetables, grind grains and produce smaller batches of soups, sauces, vinaigrettes, frozen desserts and more. An interlock ensures the container is securely in place before starting the machine. The 20-ounce double insulated beverage cup quickly blends single-serving recipes and becomes an instant travel cup—perfect for most cup holders—with a flip-top lid.  Its double-insulated material maintains temperatures while on the go. The 40-ounce container offers fast processing, a mess-free pour and the versatility to create single and double servings of favorite Vitamix recipes.

The removable blade base on the S30 makes it safe and easy to extract thicker creations, like peanut butter and dips. For added convenience, both containers, as well as the tamper and blade base, are top rack dishwasher-safe.

“We have created the ideal machine for the on-the-go fitness enthusiast, the home chef who wants to produce small batches of sauces or dips, and the family who wants to make their own personal blends with minimal clean-up,” said Karen Haefling, vice president of marketing, Vitamix. “With the introduction of the S30, we’re redefining the personal blender by combining convenience and portability with the power and versatility Vitamix machines are known for. The S30 is adaptable enough to help create every meal of the day, yet small enough to accompany you anywhere.”

Because of its smaller stature, the S30 can conveniently be stored in or under kitchen cabinets and the containers fit easily on refrigerator shelves. This machine is also perfect for the gym, office, vacation home, business trip… or anywhere there is a need for personal blending.

Use coupon coupon code 06-008081 to save $25 at check out.

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www.eathealthyandthrive.com

Garlic Press Review

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I recently received this garlic press to try out – it came at a good time actually, since my garlic press was on it’s last leg. I’ve been using the Zyliss brand for many years. It’s worked out great, but the outer coating was starting to peel off, exposing the aluminum…and honestly I’d prefer not to use anything aluminum. Thankfully, the Orblue Propresser Garlic press is stainless steel.

I use a lot of garlic when I’m cooking and I’m not a fan of crushing or chopping it by hand, I prefer to use a press instead. Just a personal preference.

Here are the good points with the Propresser:

  • Easy to use. No need to peel the cloves.
  • Easy clean up.
  • Heavy Duty Stainless Steel. Very durable.

Overall, I am impressed. Given how solid this item is, I doubt that I’ll have to purchase a new one for a very long time.

Now…for the health benefits of garlic:

This info comes courtesy of Worlds Healthiest Foods –

With their unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, allium vegetables—such as garlic—belong in your diet on a regular basis. There’s research evidence for including at least one serving of an allium vegetable—such as garlic—in your meal plan every day. If you’re choosing garlic as your allium family vegetable, try to include at least 1/2 clove in your individual food portion. If you’re preparing a recipe, we recommend at least 1-2 cloves.

Garlic is a wonderful seasoning to add aroma, taste, and added nutrition to your dishes. We often recommend using raw chopped or pressed garlic in many of our dishes to take advantage of the benefits derived from garlic. However, if you cannot tolerate raw garlic, you can add chopped garlic to foods while they are cooking. It is best to add it towards the end of the cooking process to retain the maximum amount of flavor and nutrition.

  • You can increase the health benefits you receive from garlic by letting it sit after you’ve chopped it or crushed it. If you give your chopped/crushed garlic time to sit before changing its temperature (through cooking) or its pH (through the addition of acidic food like lemon juice), it will give the alliinase enzymes in garlic an opportunity to work on behalf of your health. For example, in the absence of chopping or crushing, research has shown that just 60 seconds of immediate microwaving will cause garlic to lose some of its cancer-protective properties. Immediate boiling of whole, intact garlic will also lower these properties, as will immediate addition of a very low-acid ingredient like lemon juice.
  • Some of garlic’s unique components are most durable in food (versus processed extract) form. Allicin—one of garlic’s most highly valued sulfur compounds—stays intact for only 2-16 hours at room temperature when it is present in purified (extracted) form. But when it’s still inside of crushed garlic, allicin will stay viable for 2-1/2 days.
  • Garlic may help improve your iron metabolism. That’s because the diallyl sulfides in garlic can help increase production of a protein called ferroportin. (Ferroportin is a protein that runs across the cell membrane, and it forms a passageway that allows stored iron to leave the cells and become available where it is needed.)
  • In addition to being a good source of selenium, garlic may be a more reliable source as well. Garlic is what scientists call a “seleniferous” plant: it can uptake selenium from the soil even when soil concentrations do not favor this uptake.
  • The cardioprotective benefits of garlic may partly rest on the production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Our red blood cells can take sulfur-containing molecules in garlic (called polysulfides) and use them to produce H2S. This H2S in turn can help our blood vessels expand and keep our blood pressure in check. Interestingly, some processed garlic extracts cannot be used by our red blood cells in the same way and do not seem to provide the same level of cardioprotection that is provided by garlic in food form.
  • While still in its very early stages, research suggests that garlic consumption may actually help to regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in our body. 1,2-DT (1,2-vinyldithiin) is one of the unique sulfur compounds in garlic that has long been recognized as having anti-inflammatory properties. But only recently have researchers discovered that some of our fibroblastic cells (called “preadipocytes”) only evolve into full-fledged fat cells (called “adipocytes”) under certain metabolic circumstances involving inflammatory system activity. 1,2-DT may be able to inhibit this conversion process. Since obesity is increasingly viewed by researchers as a chronic state of low-grade inflammation, the inflammation-related benefits of garlic’s 1,2-DT may eventually be extended into the clinical area of obesity.

Read more here: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60

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www.eathealthyandthrive.com

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Homemade Chocolate Almond Milk

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I received a sample of Freedom Super Foods Raw Cacao Powder…so of course, my first thought was – time to make chocolate almond milk!

The product was rich, chocolate-y and delicious! I give it a thumbs up.

If you’ve never made your own almond milk – you absolutely must give it a try. It really is quite easy and sooooo delicious. Once you’ve tasted homemade, you’ll never buy store-bought almond milk again!

Ingredients:
•1c raw almonds
•4c filtered water
•1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
•4 pitted Medjool dates
•2 TBSP Cocoa/Cacao Powder (to taste)

Directions:

Soak almonds in water over night. (8-12 hrs) Drain the water from the almonds.

In a *Vitamix, blend almonds and dates in 4c of filtered water.

Pour mixture through a cheesecloth or *nut milk bag into a large pitcher or bowl. Return milk to vitamix and add vanilla and cacao powder and blend until combined. Store refrigerated, in an airtight container. Can be stored for 4-7 days. Shake before serving.

*A nut milk bag works much better than cheesecloth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Benefits of Almond Milk:

•Almond milk is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, so it can help prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging. The flavonoids in almond milk also help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body, protecting you from a number of degenerative diseases that occur with again, such as osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
•Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol and no saturated fats, so it won’t damage your cardiovascular system. Almond milk is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which off many benefits including lowering your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
•Compared to soy and rice milk, almond milk has the highest concentrations of vitamins and minerals.
•Almond milk is a great milk substitute choice for those who are trying to lower their fat and calorie intake.

*Almond Milk is Not Safe for Those with Tree Nut Allergies

 

*Vitamix is one the BEST investments in your health that you can make!
*Enter code 06-008081 and get FREE shipping!

Eat Healthy and Thrive

www.eathealthyandthrive.com

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Looking for Healthy Cookware?

View More: http://kateandco.pass.us/360_quarter3

I am often asked about my recommendations for cookware. The way you prepare your food is just  as important as the food you are preparing. You want to retain as many nutrients as possible. It is a well known fact that non-stick cookware is an unhealthy choice. The chemicals leech into your food and are known endocrine disruptors. Yes, those teflon pans may be inexpensive and convenient, but the cost to your health is way too high.

Ceramic coated cookware really isn’t a better choice either due to chemicals in the ceramic and the possibily of lead.

Aluminum? Definitely stay away from it.

Enameld cast iron is a great choice (as is regular cast iron, depending on what you’re cooking) – everyone should have at least an enameled cast iron dutch oven in their cupboard. The only downside is price….these babies are tough on the budget.

For my day to day use, I am a fan of high quality stainless steel cookware. Some brands are better than others. My top preference is stainless steel waterless cookware. A brand that I recently became aware of is 360 Cookware. Manufacted right here in the great old US of A.

Not only is this brand made from high quality stainless steel, they use vapor technology. Which means, that you can cook at lower temps and without the need for oils or water. And to top it all off, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Featured Benefits

360 Cookware products are all made with the following features and benefits:
• Multiple layers T-304 stainless steel (highest quality) and alloy construction
• Ergonomic, stay-cool handles
• US owned and made by 1 of America’s greenest companies
• Lifetime warranty
• Vapor technology cooks food faster & more evenly with less energy
• No need to add grease or water
• Oven-safe to 400º
• Bakes on stovetop

I have used other high end waterless cookware brands before and I think the 360 brand is on par with those. Cooking with them takes a little getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll never turn back. Read more here

Eat Healthy & Thrive

www.eathealthyandthrive.com

 

Oatmeal Banana Muffins

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These muffins are delicious – My kids love ’em for breakfast or a snack.
They make a  great post-work snack too.
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not the quick cooking kind)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
2 ripe bananas mashed
1/8 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup  unsweetened almond milk (if mixture seems too dry, add another TBSP or so)
              *any unsweetened plant based milk will do
1/4 cup chocolate chips
*Optional nutrient boosting add-ins: 2 TBSP ground flax seeds, 2 TBSP hemp seeds,
Preheat oven to 350
Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl. Add the oats and chocolate chips and mix well. Lightly oil a muffin tin and spoon batter into each cup.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Makes 12 full size or 24 mini muffins.
These can be kept in the fridge for several days or frozen.
*options: use unsweetened applesauce instead of bananas; use your favorite nut butter in place of peanut butter.
Eat Healthy & Thrive

Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator Review

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I received some samples of Vega Sport Hydrator to review and since I’m familiar with Vega products I happily agreed.

The Vega Hydrator is one of my favorite electrolyte replacement drinks. I tastes great, mixes well and is easy on the stomach. I have used on many of my training runs and have a good experience with it each time.

As endurance athletes know, staying hydrated is crucial and involves more than just drinking plain old H2O. *FYI- drinking too much water can cause an electrolyte imbalance and can be potentially life threatening. Replenish those electrolytes folks!

As a plant based athlete, I am always on the look out for companies/products that support that. Vega is one such company.

The Vega Electrolyte Hydrator is a natural, alkaline-forming drink mix, free from sugar and artificial sweeteners, Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator is formulated with all the essential electrolytes your body needs to stay hydrated during workouts.

Available in Lemon Lime and Berry flavors – (I have tried both flavors and like them both)

Keep in mind that that the hydrator is just that – a hydrator, and has zero calories.

Overall, I was happy with the product and feel that it did exactly what it was designed to do. Check out the complete line of Vega products.

#fuelyourbetter

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