Whether shopping at the grocery store or farmer’s market, it pays to shop what’s in season. You’ll get the most bang for your buck and nutritional value when the produce you seek was just harvested out of the field.
Here’s what’s in season during May in the United States.
What is your favorite dish to make with what’s in season this month?
For the past few decades, we’ve heard all about the virtues of a low-fat diet and the dangers of dietary fat and cholesterol. But with the number of overweight and obese people climbing every day and statin drugs for lowering cholesterol the most commonly prescribed medications in the world, researchers have recently reviewed the low fat trend. Emerging research has shown that there is such a thing as healthy fats which can increase your good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol-think H for healthy) and decrease your bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol-think L for lousy).
But with so many so-called healthy oils and butter substitutes on the market, how do decide what’s best to buy? Here are 20 tips for choosing healthy fats in your diet:
Many things happen to the body when it doesn’t get enough exercise. Unfortunately, it goes way beyond gaining weight. It’s important to remember that even a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise at all. Continue reading to learn more about the dangers of inactivity. No one is immune!
Mitochondria are energy producing structures, which live in the cells of body tissues, organs and muscles. These amazing little structures need carbohydrates and oxygen to work properly. Since mitochondria are required for all bodily functions and movement, you definitely can’t live without them.
Mitochondria levels drop when your heart isn’t working at its full potential and your oxygen levels are diminished, due to lack of exercise. Fatigue occurs when energy production is slowed down and the body requires the same amount of energy to get work done.
Bones love a workout, almost as much as they love calcium. The lack of weight-bearing exercise causes bones to lose density and the ability to properly store calcium. Less calcium in your bones means more of a mineral build up in organs such as your kidneys, the cause of kidney stones.
If the period of inactivity is long enough bones eventually began to weaken. This oftentimes results in osteoporosis, which leads to a much higher risk of painful bone fractures.
Just like bones, muscles benefit from a good workout. One of the first signs of being out of shape, due to inactivity, is loss of strength and muscle tone. When muscles are idle, blood flow slows down and the exchange of waste products and nutrients decreases. Less mitochondria results in lack of muscle coordination.
Without exercise, the “electrical” connection between your nerves and muscles is sporadic at best. How does this affect you? You’ll typically find it more difficult to move around with the agility that you once could. It can also mean decreased strength and an increased risk of muscle injury, because of shrinking muscle mass.
Whatever your age, it’s important to keep your heart as healthy as possible. Even though your heart muscle is different from your skeletal muscles, the same health-related principles apply. Without proper exercise, the heart muscle shrinks. This makes it difficult to adequately distribute blood throughout the body and causes the heart to work much harder to get the blood to where it actually needs to go, especially in your hands and feet.
Sluggish blood flow can lead to plaque formation in the blood vessels. This, in turn, sometimes causes high blood pressure, dizziness and circulation problems. All of these conditions are potentially dangerous if left untreated.
As you can see, inactivity causes havoc in and damage to your body. This is especially true for individuals who already deal with chronic conditions, because it typically only makes things worse.
In many cases, periods of inactivity are inevitable. But, the sooner you can participate in even a light exercise regimen, the better off your mind and your body will be.
Are you new to Juice Plus+? Or have you heard about it, but not exactly sure what it is?
Juice Plus+ is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 30 different fruits, vegetables, and grains. It helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day. Not a multivitamin, medicine, treatment or cure for any disease, Juice Plus+ is made from quality ingredients carefully monitored from farm to capsule to provide natural nutrients your body needs to be at its best. Available in both capsule and gummy chewable form, this video provides a short introduction.
Juice Plus+ is 30 raw, vine-ripened fruits, veggies and berries in capsules or chewables. It’s juicing made easy! You get all the health benefits of juicing without all the mess and yucky taste. Don’t like to swallow capsules? You can open the capsules and pour the powder contents directly to a smoothie or yogurt.
Did you know that the current recommendation is to consume 12-15 fruits and vegetables EVERY DAY? I know that I don’t eat that many and definitely not the variety shown above.
The Juice Plus+ farmers grow sustainably with incredibly high standards. The produce is grown to the peak of ripeness which yields the highest possible nutrient content. This is a huge difference over the average produce you find in the store! Due to transit times from farm to store, most produce you find was picked well before ripening. And although produce can ripen during transit, it doesn’t produce any more nutrients during that time. That’s why vine ripened is so important! Take a look at this video of actual Juice Plus+ farmers!
In addition, each Juice Plus+ product is NSF certified. That means that a third party company randomly tests the products in 2 areas:
The products have to contain what is on the label and
They are stringently tested for heavy metals, mold, and bacteria
It is very rare for products to be tested with this standard. There is no nutritional product made in the world at a higher quality than Juice Plus+.
Juice Plus+ is THE most researched nutritional product in the world. For over 20 years, Juice Plus+ has been researched all over the world at the most prestigious hospitals and universities.
I love this graphic that shows what happens when you take Juice Plus+ for just 4 months. Do you know anyone with high blood pressure? Research has proven that after 80 days on Juice Plus+, there is a decrease in both systolic & diastolic blood pressure. And that’s in addition to the increases in key antioxidants and micronutrients in the blood.
Juice Plus+ Complete
Juice Plus+ Complete Shakes are one of the ways to get healthier and save time and money. It is a powdered shake mix that can be blended with plant milk or even water. It’s low fat, low sugar, low glycemic, gluten free, vegan and 100% NON-GMO plants. It has 13 grams of Protein, 8 grams of fiber and wonderful ingredients. And the Juice Plus+ Complete is delicious! Available in Dutch Chocolate and French Vanilla.
Click here to watch a 2 minute video:
My favorite preparation is to combine the Dutch Chocolate powder with almond milk and chia seeds, and shake! The chia seeds thicken the shake, depending on how long you let it sit, while also adding a ton of omegas. I typically shake it up at home before leaving work and then drink at work. And it’s so filling, sometimes I’m still drinking it straight up through lunch. No time to snack on something unhealthy!
Get Started with Juice Plus+
Before we jump right into getting started with Juice Plus+, I want to make you aware of the Children’s Health Study. This program allows for children ages 4-18, plus college students up to age 26, to get Juice Plus+ for free with an adult order. Just pay shipping. That’s better than the ‘Kids Eat Free’ specials at your local fast food restaurant, as Juice Plus+ is providing whole food nutrition in a convenient capsule or gummy. Talk about easy and fast!
Watch what one mom has to say . . .
If you are ready to start your family on Juice Plus+, place your order directly at stlouisjuiceplus.com or call Rachel at 314.496.8303.
We have customer care groups on Facebook too with education, information, and accountability for ongoing support! We are just an amazing community of health-minded people!
Share With Others
If you would like to share this with those you love and care about, you can host a Facebook event and have an opportunity to earn $200 plus a free gift! We are also looking for others to join our mission of ‘Inspiring Healthy Living Around the World’. For just $50, you can start your own Virtual Franchise. There is no inventory to carry and no quotas to meet. I’ll wrap up with this amazing video of why we share Juice Plus+ and the amazing life-saving nutrients that are in fruits and vegetables with everyone we love and care about!
Meal delivery services have become popular for combining convenience with fresh food. Our family has used 3 different meal delivery services and have enjoyed trying new foods and eating a variety of cuisines. The meals come in various stages of preparedness, usually just requiring some dicing and then cooking. The average estimated time to prepare is 25-35 minutes. This post will outline our experience with each company. For each company, we enrolled in 3 meals a week for 2 individuals.
Hello Fresh allows you to sign up for 3, 4, or 5 recipes for two people each week, or 3 recipes for four people. If purchasing less than 5 recipes per week, you choose your meals from the 5 total for the week. There is also a Veggie Plan with 3 vegetarian meals per week. Hello Fresh shipped their meals with all ingredients for 1 meal boxed together. This made it very easy to pull those ingredients when ready to prep the meal. The meal selection was good, but we no longer use Hello Fresh as the quality of their ingredients became worse and worse. We would receive rotten vegetables and meat that was brown. When contacting customer service, they would always place a credit on our account for a portion of the meal cost to replace the bad ingredient.
Blue Apron was the second company that we tried and one that we still use regularly. They provide a selection of 6 meals to choose from each week, but the selection of certain meals will eliminate other options. The meals are very easy to prepare with only some minimal prep, such as dicing potatoes, grating cheese, removing stems from kale, or pressing garlic. The ingredients for all three meals are lumped together in the delivery box, not separated by meal. Although, the ingredients are individually wrapped and labeled with the exception of garlic, lemons and limes. Pricing starts at $8.74 a meal.
Comment with your email for a chance to win a free delivery.
Blue Apron also provides how-to videos on their site, plus options to order corresponding wines and cooking tools.
We have only been using Sun Basket for a short time, but they are a great new entrant to the field. Each week you get to choose from 11 different recipes, with no restrictions. You can even select to receive multiple of the same recipe. This would be a great option for a dinner party or when having company. When selecting your meals, each recipe indicates if it is paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, or vegan. There is even a breakfast option. Like Hello Fresh, the ingredients for each recipe are packaged together in paper bags. Pricing starts at $9.99 a meal. Receive 3 free meals – https://sunbasket.com/3free/Rachel379552.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to review any of these companies nor did I receive free product, but these are all referral links which will credit me if you choose to sign up.
One of my favorite ways of building community and supporting a culture of healthy eating is to host Salad in a Jar parties. On a monthly basis, I invite families to my home, ask them each to bring a salad topping to share, and we prep up to a week’s worth of salad. I provide kale (straight from my Tower Garden), spinach, and mixed greens. It’s always fun to see what people will bring to share, everything from carrots, beans (black, garbanzo), onion, and peppers to chicken and various cheeses and seeds. It’s typically the ladies prepping salads in the dining room, with the men and kids playing outside, but the kids love to pick out ingredients for their own salads too! When they get to prep it, they are much more likely to eat it.
Prepping a Salad in a Jar
Jar Size – I prefer using pint size mason jars. You can stuff a lot of ingredients and greens in a pint size jar, but the downside is that you must empty into a bowl to eat. Quart size jars are good if you are prepping a salad for your entire family or want to shake it up and eat it straight out of the jar.
Dressing – You can always add dressing when serving, but sometimes it is convenient to have it all in one. So dressing is the first ingredient in your jar. It takes just a thin layer to cover your entire salad.
Wet Ingredients – These are ingredients that are already wet and can withstand soaking in dressing until served. Examples: Tomato
Hearty Moisture-Resistant Veggies – The next layer should be hearty veggies that create a thick layer between your wet ingredients and greens. You want to keep your greens as dry as possible until you are ready to serve. Examples: Carrot, Onion, Zucchini
Soft Veggies Examples: Avocado, Bell Pepper, Corn
Protein Examples: Chicken, Egg, Tuna, Beans, Salami
Greens – This is the main event. I recommend leaving half of your jar empty to fill with greens and you can really stuff them in. Examples: Spinach, Romaine, Kale, Mixed Greens
Cheese, Nuts, Grains – Just like your greens, you want to keep your cheeses, nuts and grains dry until serving. Examples: Walnuts, Quinoa, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds
Of course, every layer is optional and you can mix and match as much as you want. If the greens stay dry, the salads will keep for up to a week.
March is traditionally thought of as a green month, given St Patrick’s Day and spring coming soon, but greens are not always our favorite or easiest thing to eat. Given that kale, spinach, chard, and other greens provide a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and K, iron, magnesium, potassium, and folate and other B vitamins, it’s time to cycle them into our daily routine. Read below for some helpful tips on easy ways to eat more.
Add to your smoothie – Add spinach or kale to your smoothies. Whether making a green smoothie or adding to your fruit and protein, a little green adds a lot of nutrition without affecting the flavor much.
Add a small salad to every meal – No matter what you cook for dinner, throw together a quick salad with spinach, kale, mixed greens, broccoli, nuts and your favorite dressing. When dining out, ask for a small house salad. You’ll start your meal off right and get some greens in too.
Add to your breakfast – Spinach or bell pepper can be added to your morning scrambled eggs or omelet.
Top your pizza – Whether making your own or heating up a frozen pizza, throw some spinach on top.
Swap bread for lettuce – Make any sandwich into a lettuce wrap.
Buy bagged – If rushed for time, buying bagged greens can reduce the time it would take to wash and chop.
What is your favorite way to add some extra greens in during the day?
No better time to start a blog on family health & wellness than National Nutrition Month. Through this blog, I’ll be sharing recipes, fitness ideas for the whole family, and my family’s journey with Juice Plus+.
My 2 year old son and I began taking the trio capsules and gummy chewables in 2014. Although very skeptical, it wasn’t long before my husband jumped on board. I joined the Juice Plus+ company as a distributor in December 2014, thinking that I just wanted to share it with my family and close friends. But as a learned more about the research behind Juice Plus+ and my family’s own experience, I knew I needed to share with even more people.
There are currently over 30 published research studies from leading hospitals and universities around the world, with more being completed everyday. My favorite studies show that Juice Plus+ is bioavailable. That means that your body is receptive to absorbing the nutrients in Juice Plus+. Eighteen publications found significant increases in blood levels of antioxidants and other phytonutrients. There are also research findings related to heart health, healthy gums, immune system, DNA, oxidative stress, healthy skin, systemic inflammation, and lung health. You can read more about the research findings here – Juice Plus+ Clinical Research.
My Juice Plus+ Experience
With a 5 year old in preschool, the biggest thing we’ve noticed since taking Juice Plus+ is that he has never missed a day of school due to sickness.With all the bugs that go through early education (and school in general), this support to our immune system has been huge! With him not missing school, it means fewer days away from work for me too.
Since moving to St Louis in 2004, I was a daily Zyrtec user with year-round allergies. I am happy to report that I have taken 1 (ONE!) Zyrtec in the last 13 months!
What health benefits do you think that Juice Plus+ could provide for your family?