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Collagen Hot Chocolate

by December 30, 2020

Serves 4


Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened oat milk
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 ounce dark chocolate, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional: additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of allulose, maple syrup, or honey
2 scoops collagen+ in chocolate
2 ounces bourbon**

Directions:


In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, oat milk, cacao powder, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and collagen over medium heat. Sweeten, if needed, to taste. When the hot chocolate begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the bourbon.
Divide among 4 small mugs. Enjoy immediately.

**Variations: Yes any brown liquor you prefer, or try a cacao or coffee liqueur for extra flavor. You can also enjoy this without alcohol.
*If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Quinoa

by December 16, 2020

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup white quinoa, rinsed 
1 cup water 
1 cup low-FODMAP milk (such as unsweetened almond milk) 
1 cup canned pumpkin puree 
3 tablespoons maple syrup 
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
• In a large saucepan, bring the quinoa, water, and milk to a boil over medium-high heat.

• Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer until the quinoa softens, about 10 minutes.

• Remove from the heat and stir in the pumpkin puree, syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in Mason jars for healthy, on-the-go eating.

• If you like, this quinoa is perfect topped with 1 tablespoon (7 g) of toasted pecans.

How Running Can Improve Your Mood & Mind

by December 9, 2020

Any run is better than none, when it comes to short-term mood improvement or long-term help with depression and anxiety. But some runs are more effective than others. Here is a little guidance on how to get the most out of a post-run boost.

Avoid the all-or-nothing thinking — the best run is the one you do for you.

Most studiesStudies find mood boosts after 30 minutes of running. The longer the run the more improvements are in your mood. However, a 20 minute run is much closer to a 30 minute run than not running at all. Avoid the all-or-nothing thinking about speed, duration or distance. For example, a “real run” has to be at least 4 miles or it’s not worth doing. The most important step any day is the first one you take to take you out the door. On mentally hard days run with a flexible route/routine that you can adjust to your preferences.

Run at whatever pace you need.

Analysis has found the best increase in endorphins is following moderate-intensity workouts; this is the getting your miles in at a relaxed pace. However, there is more to mood than endorphins; pushing yourself through a tough workout provided the sense of setting a goal for achievement. At the other end of the spectrum, allow yourself to run as slowly as you need to feel your own accomplishment. The most important thing about any run is that it happens.

Run outside whenever possible; choose an interesting route.

It has been reported mood improvements (more tranquility, reduction of: stress, anxiety and depression) when people run in a natural environment. Highly populated areas can cause more stress or awareness to the brain. A more natural route can bring an above-and-beyond boost to your run.

Have a designated running time that you can stick to.

Plan on running when you can actually most likely to do it. Many runnier with depression and anxiety say morning runs because it sets a positive tone and give a sense of success for the rest of the day.

Think about what you need from your run, and decide to go solo or with a friend.

If you have the option to run solo or with other, opt for whichever setup feels right for the day. If you’re needing to think through an issue, a clarity run sounds like it’s a good idea. Running by yourself gives you the option to run and think about your problem and clear your head. A solo run before and after a crazy day can also be more calm for your mind. Run with your peers when you need a break from your inner voice or talking through your difficulty with your friends. Another reason o run with friend is if you are struggling for motivation, running with others will help give you the chance of getting up and out the door.

Frequently mixing all of the above tips can keep your running more interesting—which will make wanting to go for a run more consistent—which means higher mental health benefits. Having runs of different distances, strengths, and places each week also helps free you from the common thinking trap that every day is the same.

Lion’s Mane Latte

by November 5, 2020

INGREDIENTS

1 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons unsweetened nut or seed milk of choice
1 packet of Four Sigmatic Lion’s Mane Elixir
1 teaspoon MCT oil

Preparation

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan and warm over low heat for about 10 minutes or until warmed through, stirring occasionally.
  2. If you prefer a frothy latte, then place the warmed beverage into a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds (optional).
  3. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

8 Signs You Might Have a Protein Deficiency

by October 21, 2020

Protein is an essential macronutrient that is essential for all living organisms. Found in a variety of animal and plant-based foods, it is vital in helping our bodies recover by building and repairing body tissues such as muscles, skin, hair, and nails. Protein also serves as building blocks for enzymes and hormones in the body. Proteins are composed of amino acids. There are 22 amino acids – your body produces 11 of them, however 9 amino acids cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through food.

You can see why it is imperative that you consume enough protein to maintain health. There are several signs that you might have a protein deficiency, which over time can lead to several health issues, including muscle loss, weakness, and impaired immune function.

  1. Muscle Weakness – Lack of adequate protein intake can lead to deterioration of muscle mass.
  2. Hunger & Cravings – Constant food cravings and needing to snack often may be a sign that you are not getting enough protein. Eating protein is important in appetite control and helps keep you fuller for longer.
  3. Hair, Skin, and Nail Troubles – Your hair, nails, and skin are made op of several proteins, including keratin and collagen. Lack of protein in your diet can cause thin hair, loss of hair, peeling skin and nails, weakness and ridges in nails.
  4. Brittle Bones – Because protein is essential for building and maintaining bone density and strength, you may be at an increased risk for bone fractures or breaks.
  5. Fluid Retention – Extreme protein deficiency may cause edema/swelling in the abdomen, feet, hands, or legs. Adequate protein plays a huge part internally in keeping fluid from accumulating in tissues.
  6. Fatigue – Not consuming enough protein can reduce lean body mass and diminish muscle strength over time, resulting in weakness and fatigue. It can also lead to anemia, a condition that results in inadequate oxygen-rich blood that can cause you to feel weak and fatigued.
  7. Compromised Immune System – Getting sick regularly could mean you have a poor or compromised immune system. A protein deficiency can increase your risk of infection since amino acids play a role in regulating immune cells. 
  8. Mood Swings – A lack of protein can affect your mood. Many neurotransmitters in your brain are made of amino acids. These are mood regulators and low levels from a lack of protein can cause anxiety and depression.

It is pretty hard to become protein deficient if you eat a variety of whole foods, comprised of protein (from meat, chicken, fish, or beans), fibrous fruits and vegetables. Many people can meet their protein requirements from diet alone, but some may struggle eating enough. Protein supplements can be beneficial and come in a variety of forms to suit a variety of dietary needs. No matter what diet you may follow, there are many ways to add more protein and protect our bodies and health.

10 Simple Habits You Can Do Now to Live a Healthier, Happier Life

by October 7, 2020

No matter what struggles you have faced in your past, you can start living a healthier, happier life now by practicing 10 simple daily habits.

1.  Eat Healthy & Nourish Your Soul

Good food = good mood. A healthy diet is not only good for your body, but also can determine if you are happy or not. Comfort foods, such as pasta and sweets may give you that feeling of happiness and euphoria, but that is short lived and can backfire on you later. In fact, those who eat diets high in processed meats, refined carbohydrates and sugar are at an increased risk for depression.

2.  Get Outside 

Enjoying time outside in nature, feeling the sunshine, walking barefoot in grass, and simply breathing in the fresh air really can enhance your mood and relieve stress.

3.  Be Mindful

Most of us are on autopilot throughout the day and don’t really pay attention to what we are doing. Wake, work, eat, sleep – usually all while staring at some sort of screen or mobile device. Being disconnected from our surroundings has a huge effect on our happiness. When we practice being mindful and focus on what we are doing and what is around us, we become more aware and begin to actually experience life instead of sleepwalking through it.

4.  Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Theodore Roosevelt once said that comparison is the thief of joy. In today’s world of social media, we tend to focus on what others have that we don’t. When we define our self-worth based on comparison, it lowers our self-esteem, body image, and makes us less happy. Take a break from checking your social accounts every once in a while and notice your mood start to lift.

5.  Meditate

Meditation does amazing things for your body. It decreases stress, depression, anxiety, blood pressure, and pain. Take 5 minutes each day to sit silently, without distractions, and mindfully meditate. This healthy habit will bring calm and more joy to your daily life.

6.  Practice Gratitude

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Appreciation for things or people in our lives will always make you feel good. Start a daily gratitude journal and watch your attitude toward life and others improve.

7.  Self-Love

Practicing self-love is very important in creating a happier and healthier you. Reminding yourself that you are good enough, believing in yourself, and showing yourself kindness is one of the most important things you can do for a healthy mind.

8.  Spend Time with Family and Friends

Spending quality time with people you love the most can improve even the worst of days and boost our mental health. Personal relationships really have one of the largest impacts on our overall health and happiness, as well as longevity.

9.  Exercise

It isn’t just for your body. Regular exercise reduces stress, anxiety, and depression while boosting self-esteem and happiness. Even a small amount of physical activity can really make a big difference in your overall health.

10. Smile

Most of us smile when we’re happy. But did you know that smiling actually causes the brain to release dopamine, which makes us happier? So next time you are feeling a bit down, try smiling and see what happens.

We all want to be happy. The happier we are, the healthier we tend to be. Try practicing these simple daily habits and watch your life become more joyful.

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