Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Coconut Water the NEW SPORTS DRINK!

Okay, so I'm sure that many of you drink or have drank Gatorade, Power Aid, or any of the other popular sports drinks to rehydrate after a hard work out! Well, I am here to inform you that COCONUT WATER is going to become the NEW sports drink and here's why.....

Ingredients in Grape Gatorade: Water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural grape flavor with other  natural flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, red 40, blue 1 
50 calories and 14g of sugar in 8oz.

Ingredients in Powerade:  Water, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin (glucose polymers), citric acid, acacia, potassium citrate. salt, potassium phosphate, natural flavors, glycerol ester of wood rosin, brominated vegetable oil, yellow 5

The ingredients above do MORE harm than good, WHY? 

First, look at the first three ingredients of each drink: Sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, high fructose corn syrup. maltodextrin???? If you have read any of my past blogs you will know that even NATURAL fructose should be limited in our daily diets (they make you fat), and here you have 4 different types of sugars and fructoses as the MAIN ingredient in these sports drinks. 

Second, the amount of sugar and calories in these drinks FAR out weigh the benefits of "re-hydration." In reality they might have electrolytes that help rehydrate, but the sugar is canceling out the positive effects of the electrolytes. You'd be better off drinking electrolyte enhanced water from TJ's or Whole Foods.

Third, you should avoid COLORINGS in your food and drinks at all cost and here you have three different colorings listed in the ingredients. These are artificial and should not be consumed EVER! So, just because something looks PRETTY doesn't mean its good for you!

Lastly, these are a temporary, high calorie, high sugar fix that will do nothing to give your body the REAL hydration it needs! So, why compromise your health for artificial ingredients and fake sugar???

What your body REALLY needs after a hard workout is potassium and magnesium and a little bit of natural sugar to get your body ready to get rid of the lactic acid build up! So, what has all of this and MORE????  

COCONUT WATER

I have looked at the ingredients of all the top coconut waters and they are all natural, but some do contain a little more sugar and calories than others.  That is why I suggest VITA COCO as my #1 choice for coconut water. Although, all natural coconut water has magnesium and potassium some labels don't list these ingredients and that is very important. So, after that long run, hard workout, strenuous swim, or hard day on the field reach for a COCONUT WATER instead! 

You can find this at Whole Foods or your local grocery store. The 11 oz containers range between $1.50-$2.79. The larger size sells at Whole Foods for $4.99.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Best All-natural Face Products

My health is very important to me, but my skin even more so! As my friends know, I am very concerned with what products I use on my skin, especially my face. I have tried many different products. I am constantly in search of all-natural products that make my skin glow, soft to the touch, and reduces/prevents fine lines and wrinkles. Well, I think I have found some products that do just that!!

 The Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone

My friend and I were shopping at Sephora the other day and she convinced me to sit down and get a free facial with her. Okay, what's the harm in a free facial right? Well, the facial was amazing and so were their products; however, some of them were too amazing (and it showed in their price)! I explained to the facial consultant that my skin is very dry in the winter, but I don't want something that will make it too oily so that it breaks out. She suggested a face and eye wash that I bought and will continue to buy! The Super by Dr. Nichlas Perricone line is ALL-NATURAL and recommend for people with sensitivities to parabens and other radicals in our face products. After using the product for over a month I have noticed a severe change in my skins texture, smoothness, and over all complexion. My face is more hydrated, smoother, and brighter than ever. I will definitely be buying more of their products in the future. $30 at Sephora.  

Although I love this product, I am going to try Avalon Organics Lavender Facial Cleaner instead. The reason being is because I have found a few ingredients that I do not want on my face/body: Disodium EDTA, Benzyl Alcohol, & Dimethyl MEA (DMAE). The hazard levels are 3 and above on www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.


 Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner

After washing my face with the Super eye and face wash, I use Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner. This also hydrates my skin and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can be used anytime during the day to freshen and rehydrate your skin. $5.75 at Vitacost.com.
Vit. E Oil for Face and Body

My finishing product is Vit. E oil. I make sure I put the most oil under and around my eyes since I get more lines around that area. I then use the excess oil on my hands to smooth it over the rest of my face. I purchase my Vit. E skin oil from Trader Joes for $6, but you can find many different brands at Vitacost.com

Conclusion

Using this regiment daily has increased the vitality of my skin on the surface, but the true health of your skin is through your daily diet! So, if you want to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, smooth out your skin, reduce acne, and make it more vibrant and bright then eat an all-natural, organic diet and compliment that with all-natural products as well.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I take my Chlorella Daily, are you?

Read Dr. Mercola's article on the wonders of Chlorella and let me know your thoughts, opinions, and questions! I make sure to take my chlorella daily and here is more evidence on why you should be taking some too!

Chlorella - The Natural Wonder Supplement

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Trader Joe's Wines

Trader Joe's has some of the best wines at the best prices. Obviously, every person likes different things, but my blog is to show you what I like, what suits my tastes, and just give you my personal suggestions.

Now, the first wine I discovered definitely turns heads and it's because of its CRAZY label not its low price or ruby red color! Many people tasted this wine at TJ's wine tasting table and loved it; however, because of the label they wouldn't buy it. I found the label to be different, exciting, and very captivating which is just one of the reasons I bought it! Benefactor Cellars 2009 is a mixture of 50% Zinfandel, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignane (I personally am drawn to mixes). The color is a dark purple and the smell is acidic (from the cloves and cinnamon) with a hint of berries. The first taste is strong (tannins), but the fullness of the wine and the mixture of berries, cinnamon, and cloves leave your pallet craving another sip. The more you drink this wine the better it gets because the flavors become more pronounced. I would definitely recommend this wine especially at the price of $4.99. I had it with pizza and they went VERY well together.


My new favorite wine at TJ's is Cocobon 2009. It is a lighter wine, but the flavors are so unique that it will keep bringing you back for more. This wine is great to drink by itself. The only negative to this wine is that once TJs sells out of it it is gone (I hate when that happens to my favorites). This wine has flavors of coconut, mocha, and light berries (cherries). If you don't like coconut don't fret because you can barely--if at all--taste the coconut flavors, but having that added to the mix allows the mocha and cherries to taste a little sweeter and nuttier. But don't get the wrong impression this wine is not "sweet" or "too fruity" it has the perfect balance of fruit and light tannins to give a smooth, tasty finish.  This wine is comprised of 61% Zinfandel, 17% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, 6% Petite Verdot, 4% Petite Sirah. This wine is just $6.99 at TJ's--while it lasts.

Cristalino Brut Cava (new 2010 label) is a very refreshing sparkling wine that is perfect for any celebration or champagne lover! This wine is very dry and crisp, but has the added sweetness of apples and citrus that make it extremely appetizing. Add a splash of peach snapps to make a sweet Bellini! If you don't like dry sparkling wines then you will not like this one, but for those of you who love sparkling wines this one is a cheap (and not cheap on quality or taste) version of Cristal! $6.99 at Trader Joe's.

Hot Pepper Jelly Spread

As I was strolling through Whole Foods one day, I stopped at a local farm's sample table. The guy let me try all of their homemade jellies and mixes (unsweetened apple butter, apple butter, bloody mary mix, and HOT PEPPER JELLY). Well, the hot pepper jelly was very yummy, but the kicker was the fact that he had mixed it with cream cheese! This concoction is fantastic! I am now addicted! I combine Hot pepper jelly and organic reduced fat cream cheese and use it on EVERYTHING! Here are some ways you can eat it:
1) a spread on a turkey sandwich/wrap
2) as a dip for anything (pretzels, crackers and anything dip-able)
3) raw veggie spread (broccoli is very yummy with this)
4) use it on your breakfast toast
5) put it on a slice of cheese (I love goat gouda, but I def. don't discriminate when it comes to cheese I love them all). 

The creamy, smooth, sweet, and spicy combo is very addicting! Try it and let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gnu Foods Bars

Gnu Foods makes 7 different all natural FIBER bars. These bars provide over 50% of your daily fiber intake with NO trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, or anything artificial.

Flavors:
Peanut butter
Lemon Ginger
Chocolate Brownie
Orange Cranberry
Espresso Chip
Cinnamon Raisin
Banana Walnut

Nutrition:
They have around 130-140 calories per bar, 12 grams of fiber, 30-32 carbs, 4 grams of protein, and ZERO cholesterol.

My Thoughts...
I sampled these bars at Whole Foods and didn't really like them, but I decided to give them one more try! I bought a few the other day and really enjoyed the Chocolate Brownie Bar. The bar was very filling, but don't start thinking you are going to be eating something that tastes like a chocolate brownie, because it tastes nothing like that! Although, this bar doesn't taste like a chocolate brownie it is GOOD--well in its own really healthy way. It is VERY grainy (hence the 12g of fiber per bar and the blend of whole oats, flax, millet, wheat bran etc...).The chocolate taste is satisfying but not with your typical chocolate flavor. Lastly, this bar is made with chicory root which has many health benefits (Vit C, antioxidants,  feeds digestive floras in intestine, promotes blood sugar levels etc...).

I think the Cinnamon Raisin Bar is the best so far!  It was sweet with the perfect hint of cinnamon. It didn't taste as earthy as the other ones.  You would NEVER know you were eating 12g of fiber in this bar! My only concern is the ingredient wheat protein isolate. I have done some research and my understanding is that you want to eat protein concentrates NOT isolates. Here's why....


"Protein isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional cofactors. There are three problems with that...
  • All isolates are exposed to acid processing.
  • Your body cannot assimilate proteins in isolated form.
  • Due to over-processing, isolates are deficient in key amino acids and nutritional cofactors. (Dr. Mercola Whey Protein Powder)."


All-in-all I think that these bars are definitely eatable and tasty in their own EARTHY way. For the health benefits and low calories of these bars I say give them a shot, throw them on your morning cereal or yogurt and get that EXTRA fiber into your daily diet!

Where to Buy????
You can buy these online at www.gnufoods.com, at any Natural Foods store (Whole Foods), The Vitamin Shoppe, or www.Amazon.com.

Dr. Mercola's 13 Most Dangerous Drugs

I am a huge advocate of trying to cure everything through herbs and natural means and here is another reason why. Dr. Mercola gives us a list of the 13 most dangerous drugs taken my a majority of the American population. If you are taking any of these drugs I suggest that you stop and try to cure your problem through natural and holistic ways (i.e. organic foods, grass-fed beef, natural body products, Vit D3, and more). A person's diet is one of the BEST ways to cure many problems most people have.

Here is a list from Dr. Mercola's website of the 13 most DANGEROUS drugs that even most doctors probably won’t take:

1. Advair (GlaxoSmithKline) Used to treat asthma, Advair contains salmeterol, which can increase the severity of an asthma attack. Salmeterol-based drugs contribute to an estimated 5,000 asthma-related deaths each year in the U.S. alone.

2. Ambien (Sanofi-Aventis)
Sedatives like Ambien only decrease get-to-sleep time by 18 minutes and can cause somnambulism side effects – resulting in people driving, walking, having sex, or making phone calls while asleep.

3. Avandia (GlaxoSmithKline)
A diabetes drug that makes fat cells more insulin-responsive to control blood sugar levels, Avandia has been linked to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death among its users compared to patients using other treatment methods.

4. Boniva (Roche)
Women are advised to avoid lying down after taking this postmenopausal anti-osteoporosis drug, which can cause abdominal pain, arm pain, back pain, bronchitis, diarrhea, headaches, heartburn, indigestion, and leg pain.

5. Celebrex (Pfizer)
Used by arthritis sufferers as a painkiller, Celebrex has been associated with increased risks of kidney problems, liver damage, and stomach bleeding. According to a 2005 study, those taking 200 mg of Celebrex twice a day more than doubled their risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, while those taking 400 mg twice a day more than tripled their risk.

6. Chantix (Pfizer)
The FDA has received more than 1,000 reports of health problems and injuries among users of this anti-smoking drug during the first quarter of 2008 alone. That’s more adverse reaction reports than from the top 10 bestselling brand-name drugs combined! These include 28 deaths from suicide. Chantix is associated with agitation, anxiety, depression, dizziness, loss of consciousness, mood swings, muscle spasms, nervousness, suicidal behavior, impaired driving ability, and unexplained behavior.

7. Crestor (AstraZeneca) and Lipitor (Pfizer)
These are two ineffective and over-prescribed statins or cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statin drugs impair important biochemical functions in your body and deplete the supply of the coenzyme CoQ10, leading to fatigue, heart failure, muscle weakness and soreness.

8. Humira (Abbott) and Prolia (Amgen)
Humira is believed to worsen psoriasis – a disease it is supposed to treat. Both drugs are injectable biologics made from genetically engineered hamster cells that suppress your immune system. They can cause lethal infections, lymphoma, melanoma, tuberculosis, and cancer in children and teenagers.

9. Lamictal (GlaxoSmithKline), Lyrica (Pfizer), and Topomax (Johnson & Johnson)
Now prescribed for pain, these epilepsy seizure drugs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. All three drugs can result in memory loss and hair loss.

10. Premarin and Prempro (Pfizer)
Used for hormone replacement therapy, Prempro and Premarin cause a 50 percent increase in blood clots, a 26 percent increase in breast cancer risk, a 29 percent increase in heart attack risk, and a 41 percent increase in stroke risk. These have also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, cataracts, deafness, dementia, gout, joint degeneration, lupus, cancers (endometrial, gall bladder, lung, melanoma, and ovarian), scleroderma, and urinary incontinence.

11. Ritalin (Novartis)
Despite having the same pharmacological profile as cocaine, this drug is commonly prescribed to children diagnosed with ADHD. It stimulates the central nervous system, causing side effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate. Short-term use can cause chromosomal damage, while long-term use can lead to severe health problems including cancer.

12. Tamoxifen (Zeneca)
A powerful drug used to treat breast cancer, Tamoxifen is associated with birth defects and atrophy of the uterine lining, coexisting hyperplasia, and uterine polyps in women.

13. Yasmin and Yaz (Bayer)
In a study, these over-hyped birth control pills were associated with blood clots, gall bladder disease, heart attacks, and strokes among 18-year-olds.