Superfood Spotlight: Astragalus Root

Really excited to be introducing a weekly series called ‘Superfood Spotlight.’ Every week I will highlight a superfood ingredient and talk about the key points of nutrition and what it overall does for us.

My passion for these foods is derived from Shakeology, a supplement product formulated by Darren Olien and Isabelle Daikeler. The easiest way to describe Shakeology is ’70 of the best known foods on the planet for health of the body put into one package’.

Whole food based, with prebiotics, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients and much more. I’m just so amazed with this product that I’ve dedicated a lot of my study to it and hope you find value in my sharing!

This week the ingredient is Astragalus Root.

The Astragalus plant is actually a cousin of the pea family, with more than 2,000 varieties. In China, they’ve used it since before the time of Christ for therapeutic healing. It helps strengthen the immune system, increase energy and vitality, and helps keep you young! Research shows that Astragalus extract can help enhance telomere strength, the parts of chromosomes that affect aging.

Astragalus root also helps to strengthen muscle mass and helps to improve your metabolism, circulation, and breathing, while it helps speed healing too.

The fibrous roots of the plant are sun-dried, then resoaked in water and cut into slices. At that stage, they can be redried and crushed into powder, which is what is widely available to us here.

In Conclusion

Astragalus Root is used in the aid of healing, increased energy, immune system health, any aging, and muscle recovery.

If you are interested in more or trying Shakeology, please contact me -Here-

Superfood Spotlight: Sacha Inchi

Really excited to be introducing a weekly series called ‘Superfood Spotlight.’ Every week I will highlight a superfood ingredient and talk about the key points of nutrition and what it overall does for us.

My passion for these foods is derived from Shakeology, a supplement product formulated by Darren Olien and Isabelle Daikeler. The easiest way to describe Shakeology is ’70 of the best known foods on the planet for health of the body put into one package’.

Whole food based, with prebiotics, digestive enzymes, phytonutrients and much more. I’m just so amazed with this product that I’ve dedicated a lot of my study to it and hope you find value in my sharing!

This week the ingredient is ‘Sacha Inchi‘.

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Sacha inchi is a native plant to Peru and contains more immunity-boosting vegetarian omega-3s than any other food on the planet! Sacha inchi is said to offer a variety of health benefits. Consuming sacha inchi can help reduce excess abdominal fat and promote weight loss. In addition, sacha inchi is purported to fight depression, reduce cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease, and aid in diabetes management.

Applied topically, the oil is used as a face oil and for hair.

That’s not all it does, though. Sacha inchi is naturally rich in protein and fiber, so it’s a strong appetite controller—nature’s diet. Then it goes a step further by helping to speed your metabolism, so you burn those fewer calories you’ve consumed more efficiently and rapidly. Sacha inchi is easy to digest, then fully absorbed by your body, so it all goes to work right away too.

Sacha inchi in Peru grows to be about six feet in height, with big green leaves, tiny white flowers, and, ultimately, small star-shaped fruit (about 2 inches across; they’re brownish-black when fully ripe). But the oil we use comes from the seeds. Unlike some other farming areas, the “nuts” aren’t processed there. They’re grown, picked, and packed up, then taken or shipped to processing areas.

In Conclusion

Eating sacha inchi seeds or oil as part of a balanced diet enhances overall health including promotes natural weight-loss through metabolism health, aids in preventing high cholesterol risk, aids in preventing heart disease and aids in diabetes management. 

Sacha inchi is best known to increase one’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are interested in more or trying Shakeology, please contact me -Here-

‘Emergency Food’ Guest Blogger- Diary of a Snacker

Really thrilled to have collaborated with Kristin in the past -here- for some food writing. I asked her to write something for my blog this time around and she happily agreed!

Kristin’s blog, ‘Diary of a Snacker’, is really unique because it tackles subjects from fitness and nutrition to living a busy life and not always having the answers but doing the best with what’s available. She regularly reviews her favorite snacks, fitness products, lends fun recipes and other insightful memoirs and research. She even does frequent giveaways!!

Please, please do me the honor and favor of checking out Kristin’s blog, subscribing, and sharing with friends!  -Diary of a Snacker- Enjoy the post!!

Emergency Food

Life happens. You get stuck in traffic and it takes you extra time to get home. You need to squeeze in laundry, soccer practice, and a ton of other chores. You have to work late or take on another shift and haven’t gone grocery shopping in 3 weeks (not like that one happened to me or anything). Fast food always comes to the rescue – pizza, burgers, tacos, Chinese food. No. Not this time. You’re prepared.

It’s helpful to create your own Emergency Kit – complete with a variety of healthy on-the-go foods. I started doing this about a year ago and now I always keep a few items at my desk, one or two in the car, and one in my purse for those “ah shit” moments. Anything to fight the temptation. Below are a few of my favorites.

Crankin’ Cranberry Snack Sticks by Chomps – $1.99 each

These are pretty freakin’ good – like a healthy SlimJim. And, man did I love my SlimJims when I was younger! It’s spicy and the cranberry gives it a nice tart flavor. However, the name “sticks” is a little misleading. Let me clear it up for you – you only get one stick per package. This was a bit disappointing, but hey, you live and learn.

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Mint Chocolate Bar by RxBar – $2.49 each

I love RxBars. They can, however, get out of control pretty quickly if you use them to feed your sugar cravings. I save these for dire emergencies, such as when I’ve been on the road for 5 hours and can’t find anything but a Taco Bell and fields of corn and soy in sight. (Have you ever driven from NY to Florida?) Anyway – this one is good. I like the cool feeling of mint in my mouth; it’s very refreshing. And since I’m not a chocolate fiend, I can handle it 😉

Fuji & Reds Apple Chips by Bare – $33 (for a 24-pack – can be found individually in store)

I can’t get enough of these apple chips. They are perfectly crisp and lightly sweet. You won’t find any preservatives or sweeteners in the bag – just apples.

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Pitted Kalamata Olives by Gaea – $2.59 each

Olives are a good source of healthy fat, which keeps you fuller longer. I like to add these to my salad or on the side of scrambled eggs, but they are also good to eat straight from the package. This brand sells black and green olives too.

BBQ Hickory Tomato Beef Bar by Wild Zora – $3.39 each

I love Wild Zora bars and recommend them to EVERYONE. They are so soft and yummy – not your typical jerky (you can read my full review here). I was really partial to the Chili Beef, but I have to say that this BBQ Bar is the bee’s knees! It’s small, but filling. I like to eat these with a extra side of veggies like carrot sticks.

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Beef with Cranberry & Sriracha Bites by EPIC – $6.99

I tried EPIC Bars and I can’t say I was impressed. Actually, all of them went into the trash and, considering the price, it hurt a bit. But these Bites are good. There’s something about the combination of beef and cranberry that I love, plus the spicy kick. They aren’t as soft as Wild Zora Bars (above) – in fact, they are a bit dry, but they work and can easily hold you over until you can get a real meal.

GoGo Squeeze Fruit & Veggiez Pedal Pedal Peach by Materne – $3.29

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These are surprisingly good. Technically they are for kids, but I like them because they are easy to take along and they have veggies hidden in every bite. This one is a sweet mix of peach and sweet potato, but there are 3 other flavors that are just as yummy.

Hint Water – $24 (for a 12-pack variety – cheaper in store)

16325771_10155526008210260_226744975_oThis is great for anyone who isn’t keen on plain water. This provides a subtle, but still noticeable, hint of natural flavor without any added calories, sugar, or crap. Hint Water comes in 15 flavors including green apple and blood orange.

If you notice that this list sounds pretty yummy – you’re right! I’ve made sure to stock things that are more appealing than a few lonely celery sticks, because when I’m hungry, I get HANGRY and plain water just won’t cut it. When selecting the foods to add to your Emergency Kit, make sure they are healthy options that you actually want to eat. You’ll thank me later.

What are your favorite on-the-go foods?

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16244516_10155526010395260_1816164427_nKristin Phillips is the founder of Diary of a Snacker, a food and fitness blog catered to the newbie. Just before she graduated college she decided to move out of her childhood home. There was only one problem – she didn’t know how to cook. Because it’s not healthy living on a diet of ramen and grilled cheese, she knew she had to learn – and fast! After a lot of practice, trial and error, and too many failures to count, she was able to find out what worked and what (definitely) didn’t. That long journey resulted in the creation of a blog that marries both her love for eating and writing. She lives in Hyde Park, NY and can always be found making a mess in the kitchen!

Fitness Revolution

I’m writing this blog post because I want to share with anyone who is interested what I feel is a revolution in health and fitness.

I started on this path a year ago because I saw my physical (as well as mental) health decline and I knew I needed to turn it around. We’ve only got one body and one life to live so why not enhance it and make it run more smoother to enjoy our lives! Like the old saying goes-‘Treat your body like a temple, not a woodshed!’

All that said, we are entering an age where literally everything is a click or tap away. You can stream movies off Netflix, find any answer on Google or Youtube, order anything off Amazon, heck, even have rare Japanese seafood or oysters delivered to your doorstep!

Now we can even stream fitness programs and take them on the go with us! ‘Beachbody on Demand’ is what I like to refer to as ‘the Netflix of fitness’. It has changed my life and I’m moved to share it with as many as I can who are looking for a change in their health as well. It’s targeted for ALL AUDIENCES-people with sedentary careers, travelers, athletes, injuries, weight loss, weight gain, yogis, chefs and more..

CLICK HERE to read more about this!

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Starting 2017 with Health, Help and Happiness…The Rest will Follow

in 2016 I made a simple resolution for myself to get healthy, accept help, and be happy. Although vague, I knew if I focused my mind on those simple concepts in multiple areas of my life, my actions would align.

Although it seems simple it was actually really hard. I ran in a lot of different directions, faced a lot of self doubt, resistance, discouragement, criticism and other signs pointing to, “Play it safe and just do what you have been doing up until now and hope for the best.”

Frankly, I didn’t want to be stuck there.

So I focused and worked. I worked at getting in shape, eating balanced, being vulnerable, being more present, expressing myself more, being happier, finding a spiritual path that I believed in, and working towards the things that I TRULY wanted in my life.

What a year it was when I put my focus on these three words: Health, help and happiness.

So for 2017 my resolution is to help others see their potential in this concept and join them to stay accountable towards their goals.

I am a firm believer that anything seemingly difficult can be broken down into simpler and more manageable systems.

Health, help and happiness.

Health is what fuels our bodies and minds to do remarkable things. Human bodies and minds were meant to do remarkable things!

Help is what everyone needs, I don’t care who you are. To think you can do anything alone is simply naive.

Happiness can be the result or goal in practicing the first two. By taking care of yourself first and then others, we can all be happier and more fulfilled in this life.

I thank all of my readers, contributors, and followers for being here and having a look from time to time and giving or taking what you feel.

Happy New Year!

My wish to you is health, help and happiness.

-Austin

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Healthier Comfort Food- Guest Contributor

A few days ago, I caught a picture from my friend, Brit, on good ol’ Facebook that stopped me dead in my scrolling. This bowl of bulgur wheat, mushrooms, veggies and spices just looked the the most perfect lunch, side or impromptu comforty meal.

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Here’s what Brit says:

“I don’t ever post foodie photos but this was too good to not share. Sometimes not having a plan for what to make and using only what you have kicking around is the most gratifying. Bulgur wheat, toasted pine nuts, onion, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, and a tablespoon of organic spirulina powder. This dish should take no longer than 10-15 total to prepare and cook! 🙂 Some other additions that would be great are chopped cauliflower and maybe some chicken!”

Recipe:

Makes about 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Bulgur Wheat, cooked
  • 7-8 Chestnut Mushrooms, chopped
  • 7-8 Mini Sweet Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Dash of Turmeric
  • Sea Salt and Black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Organic Spirulina Powder

Directions

  1. In a pan on medium heat, heat olive oil and saute onions until soft (3-5 minutes)t hen added in garlic and peppers and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add in pine nuts, salt and pepper and a dash of turmeric.
  3. Add in mushrooms and cover.
  4. Turn down heat and add in bulgur wheat. Cook on low until mushrooms are tender.
  5. Once mushrooms and veggies are cooked, add in spirulina powder.
  6. Stir on low heat for a couple more minutes, season to taste, and you’re done!

Cooking Live Series

Since the beginning, my passion has always been not only to cook for people but to inspire and teach others.

Since I now work from home, the majority of the time I cook from home!

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Excited to be introducing a new series over on my Facebook page every Friday afternoon called, “Cooking Live”-half hour videos of me throwing together simple, healthy and creative recipes using seasonal and local ingredients.

Check out the archive of past videos -here-

 

Diary of a Snacker Collab

Pretty honored to have been featured on the blog, ‘Diary of a Snacker’!

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I had a fun time putting a little diddy together about snacking and staying accountable to healthier options.

Kristin’s blog is a lot of fun.! She is regularly sharing recipes, product reviews and has some KILLER informational articles.

I look forward to growing the relationship and future collaborations!!

Check out the post here- ‘Get Snacking!’

Nutrition Simplified

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*Read to the end to fill out a form and I will send you a single serving size pack on me!*

How many times have you been rushed in the morning and forgotten to eat what is ‘the most important meal of the day’?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to sound like a parent or an annoying doctor, but I’m writing from experience here.

I was the guy who NEVER had enough time in the morning for breakfast and would either go without or stop at some donut or coffeeshop for a ‘quick fix’.

Last year, I discovered Shakeology and it literally changed my breakfast habits, if not my whole life.

I was resistant at first, for sure. A shake instead of breakfast? Get out of town… But after researching the alchemy of ingredients and health properties from the shake and the guy behind formulating them, Darren Olien, I was convinced to give them a try.

Shakeology is a super food shake that has 70+ ingredients that lend to a balanced meal and nutrition.

Now. I’ll interject real quick and say that to me NOTHING can ever replace a big plate of eggs, bacon, toast and homefries for when you really want a breakfast. I’m not ever going to say these shakes are more amazing than that.

But they are incredibly easy.

And being a well rounded source of nutrients and vitamins, I rest assure that no matter where I am in the world or what I resort to eating on busy days, I have always started the day with  healthy dose of the essentials.

How do they compare to other shakes on the market? Well watch this little video from Tony Horton below.

Let’s take a closer look at the 5 proprietary blends of ingredients and functions in Shakeology:

PROPRIETARY PROTEIN BLEND: Whey, Pea, Sacha Inchi, Chia, Flax, Quinoa.

Protein is made up of amino acids, the body’s primary building blocks. Muscles, bones, skin, internal organs—and much more—are all made of amino acids. What’s more, we’re in a constant state of breaking all these things down and rebuilding them. Long story short, we’re made of protein and therefore we need to consume it to stay healthy. This blend is formulated with a variety of quality protein sources.

 PROPRIETARY SUPER-FRUIT/ANTIOXIDANT BLEND: Camu-Camu, Acerola Cherry, Bilberry, Lycium Berry (Goji Berry), Green Tea, Luo Han Guo, Pomegranate, Rose Hips, Vitamins A, C, E.

A number of your body’s vital processes depend on a series of chemical reactions called the oxidation-reduction (redox) cycle. Free radicals are generated by oxidation reactions. Antioxidants inhibit oxidation. When in balance, they’re both good things and necessary for a number of biological processes. Unfortunately, a number of 21st century issues, including lousy diet and stress, can promote free radicals, causing an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant levels. Consuming antioxidants helps bring balance back, therefore helping to fight free radical damage and helping support a healthy immune system. Vitamins A, C, and E are known antioxidants. Also, key superfoods in Shakeology have been specifically selected for their antioxidant properties.

PROPRIETARY SUPER-GREEN/PHYTONUTRIENT BLEND: Moringa, Chlorella, Spirulina, Spinach, Kale.

Phytonutrients are substances distinct to plants that also happen to benefit the animals that eat them (including us). They’re also what give fruits and veggies their various colors, thus the saying, “Eat the rainbow.” The nutrition science community has been gaga over phytonutrients for years, as new studies come out almost daily—most demonstrating how they help support human health and vitality. While it’s still recommend you eat your veggies, this Shakeology blend will give you a phytonutrient leg up.

 PROPRIETARY ADAPTOGEN BLEND: Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Maca, Maitake, Reishi, Schisandra.

Adaptogens are just what they sound like: substances that have traditionally been used to help the body adapt and respond to the effects of stress—and they’ve been being used by cultures across the planet for centuries. While there’s no shortage of science behind many of the ingredients in Shakeology, this blend focuses more on holistic approaches, traditional practices, and ancient wisdom to offer ingredients that can help promote homeostasis, or balance, in the body.

PROPRIETARY PRE- AND PROBIOTIC/DIGESTIVE ENZYME BLEND: Yacon Root, Chicory Root,  Bacillus coagulans , Amylase, Cellulase, Lactase, Glucoamylase, Alpha-Galactosidase, Invertase.

Your intestines are loaded with bacteria—and much of it is hugely beneficial in a number of ways, including helping properly break down food and creating important nutrients like short-chain fatty acids. Probiotics such as Bacillus coagulans are digestible forms of these beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics, including yacon root and chicory root, act as food for these important little critters. Consuming a combination of the two can help support the biome in your belly, therefore supporting a healthy digestive system.

So there you have it. If you would like to try an individual serving on me please fill out this form-here- or send me a direct message.

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Building Blocks of Good Nutrition and Life

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I recently became obsessed this piece of art by Dutch artists, Lernert and Sander. It’s called ‘Cubes’.

It stands out because it represents a few key elements in my passion for food, nutrition, the art of food, and the appreciation and enjoyment of excellent ingredients and stories.

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Rather than keep gushing on about this, I want to present the bullets:

  • Food is colorful. I cook, and present meals with the idea of colors and contrasts.
  • ‘Healthy’ or ‘boring’ food can be presented in a fun and creative way. (There is no such thing as boring food, only boring point of views)
  • Food is art. It’s a composition in the field, on a shelf, on a farmer’s market stand, on the plate and in our soul!
  • What we eat becomes us-our vitals, our muscles, our various systems, our brain and our heart.
  • This picture will last longer than the food.

Without cheating, how many food cubes can you identify?

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