How to “Dress” Up Your Daily Fruit & Veggie Quota {Guest Post}

According to research backed by the American Heart Association, people who habitually consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables experience a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. In fact, this study revealed that, of the 2500 test subjects monitored, women who ate about 9 daily servings and men who ate about 7 were 26% less prone to develop clogged arteries in older age.

In addition to supporting cardiovascular wellness, fresh produce contains essential nutrients like protein, antioxidants, fiber, and a plethora of other vitamins and minerals. So, incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet can yield balanced wellness and physical longevity.

The simplest, most straightforward way to boost your fruit and veggie intake is to replace that typical lunchtime sandwich with a crisp, colorful salad. Then, top it with this healthy homemade dressing which features the antioxidant-loaded nutritional supplement, Nutri Maqui. Your heart, immune system and other vital organs will thank you for giving them the nourishment they crave!


Nutri Maqui Superfruit Salad Dressing

Nutri Maqui salad dressing ingredients

Ingredients

 ½ cup Grapeseed Oil

1 tbsp. Nutri Maqui Superfruit Juice

1 tsp. Whole-Grain Dijon Mustard

½ tsp. Lemon Juice

Nutri Maqui salad dressing preparation

Preparation

  1. Pour all ingredients into a small decanter, then whisk until they are thoroughly combined.
  1. Chop a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and raw nuts (e.g. carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, raspberries, avocadoes, almonds, cashews), then arrange them over a bed of leafy greens (e.g. spinach, kale, arugula).
  1. Drizzle the dressing on top, then toss the salad to evenly distribute all ingredients before serving.

So. Many. Colors. Amiright?!

Nutri Maqui salad dressing before   Nutri Maqui salad dressing after


Huge thanks to Nutri Lifescience, LLC, for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.

 

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Dealing with Fatty Liver Disease? There’s a Supplement For That! {Guest Post}

Citrus Bergamot

Fatty liver disease is a condition that develops when precariously elevated levels of triglyceride fat clog the liver cells. This fat build-up occurs due to a process called steatosis, otherwise known as the “abnormal retention of lipids within a cell.” [i]

Although this health concern can be linked to various causes, fatty liver disease is most commonly caused by alcohol excess or obesity. Poor nutrition, resulting from a diet high in saturated fats and refined sugars, is a prevalent issue within today’s “fast food” consumer culture. In fact, an estimated 70 to 90 million Americans suffer from fatty liver disease due to their unhealthy eating habits. [ii]

This illness is also associated with another medical condition called metabolic syndrome, which slows the body’s response to metabolizing fat, often leading to coronary plaque blockage, cardiovascular disease or Type-2 Diabetes. [iii] When fat isn’t adequately utilized, processed and absorbed, the liver becomes inflamed, lipids penetrate other organs, and blood sugar spikes.Bergamone capsulesDespite the risk factors of fatty liver disease, there are viable ways to reverse its harmful effects. For example, taking nutritional supplements to support cardiovascular and cholesterol health have been found highly advantageous in protecting against fatty liver-related damage. Nutri Lifescience’s naturally formulated Bergamonte supplement is particularly effective because it contains citrus bioflavonoids that promote healthy inflammatory response, safe blood sugar levels and optimal endocrine function. [iv]

Bergamonte’s wellness properties can be attributed to its active ingredient, extracted juices from the Bergamot plant. This citrus fruit is native to the Calabria region of Southern Italy where its polyphenol (i.e. micronutrients that fight degenerative illnesses such as cardiovascular disease) [v] content has long been used for cholesterol maintenance.

bergamot

In order to experience positive results with Bergamonte, those who suffer from fatty liver disease should ingest a recommended dosage of 4 capsules each day, either before lunch or dinner, over a minimum 4 month period. Then, to continue maximizing this supplement’s benefits, take 2 capsules daily throughout the subsequent months of usage.

Releasing bioflavonoids into the liver and targeting fat build-up is a gradual process (just like hair growth, for example), so Bergamonte users are advised to follow this regimen carefully while waiting patiently for these health improvements to become noticeable. However, with persistence and consistency, Bergamonte can support physical defenses against fatty liver development.

Bergamonte Supplement


[i] American Journal of Physiology, 2006

[ii] Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, 2014

[iii] Mayo Clinic, 2015

[iv] Natural Health Solutions, 2014

[v] American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004

Thanks to Nutri Lifescience, LLC for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post! Learn more by following this natural supplement company on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramPinterest and YouTube.

Bergamonte a Day Makes Your Heart Say “Yay!”

bergamonte cardiovascular support

image courtesy of Nutri Lifescience

If you’ve taken even a casual interest in my social media escapades lately, chances are you’ve noticed  I’m a big believer in Nutri Lifescience dietary supplements. These products, made with wholesome and premium-grade ingredients from around the world, are ideal for promoting both physical and mental wellness, vibrancy and longevity.

Right now, I’m particularly loving Nutri Lifescience’s Bergamonte vegetarian capsules. Conveniently sized and easy-to-swallow, Bergamonte can be ingested on a daily basis to support optimal cardiovascular and cholesterol health.

This supplement contains naturally pure properties from the juice and albedo of a citrus plant called Bergamot, grown in coastal Southern Italy where its nutrient-rich extracts have long been valued for heart health maintenance.

bergamot

image courtesy of Nutri Lifescience

So, that’s why I’m fan-girling over here — because Bergamonte fuels my entire body with nourishment, energy and invigoration, so I can tackle an on-the-go lifestyle.

But, don’t blindly take my word for it (although I do speak from personal experience)…Try this incredible product for yourself!

Incorporating a Bergamonte regimen into your existing routine couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how the process* works:

  • During your first month of usage, just follow the recommended dosage of 2 capsules twice daily on an empty stomach before lunch and dinner.
  • During your second and third months of usage, maintain the results you’ve already achieved by taking 2 capsules once daily, also on an empty stomach.
  • Keep going!!! At the end of those 3 months, I’m betting you’ll be so amazed by Bergamonte’s positive affect on your cardiovascular and endocrine systems that committing to long-term usage will be a no-brainer!

 *Nutri Lifescience strongly suggests that you have current lab results-on hand before beginning this process, then undergoing another lab test after 3 months of continuous usage.*

Easy peasy, right? This dietary supplement fits into every schedule and activity level. Just swallow, then go! Talk about foolproof.

Plus, from NOW–April 5, Nutri Lifescience will be offering 10% off  each 60-capsule bottle. This discount is an ideal opportunity to inexpensively test out Bergamonte’s 3-month regimen. So, click the Amazon link and place your order while this fabulous, limited-time incentive still lasts.  And did I mention FREE shipping? Holla!

Thanks to Bergamonte, cardiovascular vitality, cholesterol wellness and even weight management can be achieved the natural way.

Bergamonte bottle

image courtesy of Nutri Lifescience

Behold: the Not-so-Average Avocado

I’m an avocado aficionado. And not just because of Chipotle guacamole (Although, real talk: what’s more delectable than a creamy, gloppy mound of Chipotle guac? Uhhh…what is “NOTHING for 200,” Alex!)

But — I digress — there’s more to this superfood than a slathering of lusciousness on top of your burrito bowl.

The avocado is truly a nutritional powerhouse, which may just be the best news you’ve heard all day. Why? Because you can enjoy all that rich texture and flavor without  questioning your life choices afterward.

YAAAAAAAS!!!

avocado good fat

image courtesy of Theresa Garnero — defeatdiabetes.org

This wondrous fruit runs the full spectrum of health benefits, thanks to 15 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and a veritable pantheon of essential nutrients.

For example, in just a single serving, here’s what you’re ingesting:

  • Vitamin C (17% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B5 (14% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B6 (13% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin E (10% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K (26% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Potassium (14% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Folate (20% Recommended Daily Value)
  • Vitamin A (Trace Amounts)
  • Vitamin B1 (Trace Amounts)
  • Vitamin B2 (Trace Amounts)
  • Magnesium (Trace Amounts)
  • Manganese (Trace Amounts)
  • Copper (Trace Amounts)
  • Iron (Trace Amounts)
  • Zinc (Trace Amounts)

Sorry, butter. You should be so lucky to have these star ingredients on your nutrition label.

So, seeking weight management without compromising taste? Grab an avocado! Dying for a Loreal spokesmodel-worthy mane? Yup. There’s an avocado for that! Or, how about a clear complexion? Yet again…avocado for the win!

Now that’s one all-inclusive superfood, which is why I can’t resist sneaking avocados into practically everything I cook — from Asian to Mexican and even some Italian dishes. Versatility at its finest, folks!

And speaking of versatility, here are 5 reasons to make this oval-shaped stud muffin your body’s new BFF:

1. Antioxidant carotenoid properties reduce fine lines, wrinkles, UV damage and other visible signs of aging, while improving skin’s overall firmness and elasticity.

2. Monounsaturated fatty acid properties improve cardiovascular health by lowering harmful cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which cause heart disease.

3. Slow-burning energy properties promote weight loss due to a high density of healthy fats, which satisfies hunger and provides the body with expendable fuel.

4. Numerous protein and vitamin properties stimulate hair growth, while adding noticeable shine to otherwise lackluster locks when used as a deep conditioner. 

5. Anti-inflammatory properties decrease the risk of arthritis-related pain by alleviating joint irritation, while strengthening bone density with potassium. 

So, on the off-chance that sheer delight of shoveling down guacamole isn’t enough incentive to make avocados a regular fixture in your diet…

Oh, who are we kidding?! Of course, it is!

In fact, I might just bite into one right now. Skin and all.

avocados

Who’s judging? We’ve all been there.

*information compiled by authoritynutrition.com and healthiestfoods.co.uk

P.S. Got a favorite avocado recipe in your repertoire? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Believe the Hype: Juicing Is Your Brand New “Bestie”

…When it’s done right, anyway.

While I don’t necessarily advocate going on a 100% juice diet (there is something to be said for detoxing your system periodically…just not enough evidence yet to support this trend with science), juicing – as a nutrient-rich snack, sweet-tooth satisfier, or breakfast supplement – is a tasty way to sneak that recommended daily dose of fruits and veggies into your diet. So, blend up some wholesome deliciousness, and let’s drink to good health!

(Just be warned: juicing as a meal replacement should be cleared with your doctor beforehand).

juicing   

(image courtesy of healthyjuiceblends.com)


For a Metabolism Boost:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup strawberries (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup spinach (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup green tea (brewed)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. cinnamon (ground)

For a Clear Complexion:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup watermelon (cubed)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup kale (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1 tbsp. walnuts (chopped)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup coconut water (unsweet)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. turmeric (ground)

For a Healthy Heart:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup red grapes (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup carrots (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1 tbsp. peanut butter (organic)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup almond milk (unsweet)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. honey (raw & organic)

For a Strong Skeleton:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup banana (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup watercress (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1/4 cup oats (whole grain)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup rice milk (unsweet)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. ginger (ground)

For an Immunity Kick:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup apricots (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup sweet potato (mashed)
  • The Protein: 1/4 cup egg whites (whipped)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup orange juice (organic)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. cloves (ground)

For an Energy Injection:

  • The Fruit: 1/2 cup avocado (sliced)
  • The Veggies: 1/2 cup cucumber (chopped)
  • The Protein: 1 tbsp. almonds (chopped)
  • The Liquid: 1 cup beetroot juice (strained)
  • The “Extra”: 1 tsp. dark chocolate (70% cacao)

Quick-Fix Fitness: a Busy Girl’s Guide to Daily Cardio

So…not enough hours left in the day for exercise, huh?

Sorry. Not an excuse anymore!

A solid sweat doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Therefore, the following workout plan is not only unfussy and effective, it’s fast.

Ideal for an on-the-go lifestyle, knock out these moves in just 5-10 minutes, and viola! Cardio quota met. Without compromising that all-important schedule in the process.

You’re welcome.


  •     Ski Jumps (50 Reps):
  1. Stand with your knees slightly bent and feet planted shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your arms at the elbows, and tuck them tightly into your body.
  3. Clench your hands into fists, then stack the hips and butt behind the thighs.
  4. Jump approximately 1 foot to the left and land in the same starting posture.
  5. Rest for a couple seconds, then jump approximately 1 foot back to the left.

ski jump

  • Burpees (50 Reps):
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then bend down into a full squat.
  2. Place your hands on the ground in front of you to steady the lower body.
  3. Kick your legs into a plank position with the arms still supporting your weight.
  4. Lower the body into a push-up, then hold for a few seconds and lift your chest.
  5. Jump your feet back to a squatting position, then launch yourself into the air.
  6. Clap your hands above your head and land with your feet shoulder-width apart.

burpee 1        burpee 2   

  • High Knees (50 Reps):
  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and arms down at your sides.
  2. Clench your hands into fists and extend the arms in front of your body.
  3. Bend your arms at the elbows to form a parallel right angle on each side.
  4. Lift your right leg, bent at the knee and pull it into your chest at a left angle.
  5. Simultaneously, twist your upper body to the right and lower your left elbow.
  6. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then lower your leg back down.
  7. Shift your focus to the alternating left leg and right arm, then repeat Steps 1-6.

high knees

  • Glute Kicks (50 Reps):
  1. Stand straight with your feet touching and arms hanging down at your sides.
  2. Shift your weight over to the right leg, while bending and lifting the left leg.
  3. Point your left foot and lift it all the way up your butt, or as close as you can.
  4. Simultaneously, bend your arms at the elbows and pump them back-and-forth.
  5. Lower the left leg, then shift your focus to the right leg and repeat Steps 1-4.

glute kick

  • Jumping Jacks (50 Reps):
  1. Stand straight with your feet touching and arms hanging  down at your sides.
  2. Bend your knees slightly, then propel your body a few inches into the air.
  3. While in the air, jump your legs out to each side, about shoulder-width apart.
  4. Simultaneously, bend your arms at the elbows and lift them above your head.
  5. When your fingers touch overhead, plant your feet firmly on the ground.
  6. Jump your legs back to the starting position and lower the arms back down.

jumping jack

Have Your Starbucks And Drink It Too!

If a non-morning person is forced to rush out the door before 8 A.M. without having received her life-giving java jolt, will the day even progress past 8:15?

One of philosophy’s burning questions, ladies!

The answer, of course, is Not. A. Chance.

But just when you thought your caffeine addiction had – maybe, possibly? – reached the breaking point where you actually considered quitting (yeah, right!)…think again. Recent findings compiled by Medical News Today suggest that your trusty “cuppa joe” is more than a crutch to keep you semi-alert during staff meetings. Numerous health benefits in coffee might just keep you breathing on this earth longer too.


  1. Let’s start with the basics: 1 serving of black coffee only contains about 2 calories. Of course, if you load up on refined sugars or half-and-half, the calorie count will increase (not to mention, the nutritional value will decrease). However, by substituting all-natural Stevia powder or sugar-free International Delight creamer (35 calories per serving), your health will stay on track without skimping on flavor.
  2. A study conducted at Pennsylvania’s University of Scranton found that coffee is the leading source of antioxidant consumption among Americans. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free-radicals in the body and, therefore, are essential for fighting cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, researchers stress that moderation is still key, as coffee may also cause anxiety, jitters, or high blood pressure (2 cups every morning should suffice).
  3. Another study conducted at UCLA found that coffee increases the body’s production of a protein called SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). This protein keeps estrogen and testosterone at manageable levels, which consequently, can lower the risk of type-2 diabetes. In fact, researchers discovered that regular coffee drinkers are about 30% less likely to develop diabetes than non-coffee drinkers.
  4. According to the American Academy of Neurology, the abundance of caffeine in coffee may play some role in helping Parkinson’s disease patients control their movements. For those, who already suffer from the illness, caffeine can alleviate stiffness and fatigue. As for non-Parkinson’s sufferers, a moderate daily dose of coffee significantly reduces the risk of future development.
  5. And 1 final benefit of our beloved bean: according to the medical journal Hepatology, consuming 2 cups of coffee every day may prevent – or, at least, delay – cirrhosis of the liver (damage to the organ from excessive alcohol use) by 22%. Furthermore, although researchers haven’t yet pinpointed this, evidence shows that an ingredient in coffee lessens the chances of liver cirrhosis-related death by 66%.   

See…I knew there was an explanation for my inability to function before taking that first glorious sip. Seems legit.