Let’s chat about supplements.
While not everyone needs a dietary supplement, they can be of great value if you are lacking nutrients in your diet. As vegetarians, I am specifically talking about B12, calcium, iron, and vitamin D.
YES. I know, you can find these products in whole foods (except for B12) and don’t need to rely on supplements, but does your diet stack up? Personally, while I think I have a pretty good intake, I do take B12 and occasional calcium, D, and Omega-3.
For me, supplements are just that- meant to supplement healthy eating, not substitutes for a healthy diet. We still can’t eat mac and cheese all day, pop a multi and call it a day.
If you are one for taking supplements, do you know the source & purity? A lot of commercial supplements are junk, a sea of drugstore choices that can be pretty confusing if you’re not sure what you are looking for.
Whenever I evaluate nutrient supplements, I scan the product to see where it’s derived from. First off, is it a vegetarian source? Next up- does it contain the word oxide? Typically, the oxide form of any supplement is the cheapest source & poorly absorbed… Skip it!
There are some great supplement companies out there: Designs for Health, Thorne, Body Bio, & of course Arbonne to name a few.
I was recently introduced to Arbonne and highly recommend both their skin care & wellness products. My favorite part? Their commitment to purity. All products are vegan, not tested on animals, and are free from parabans, petroleum-based ingredients, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, or formaldehyde-donating preservatives. Whew! That’s a long list but a huge testament in the quality of their products.
As a beauty side-note, it is so so nice to find a brand whose makeup is not only flattering & wearable but also committed to the same standard I hold my food to. That’s another post though- today it’s all about dietary supplements.
I don’t know about you but I have tried a ton of different protein powders. As someone who works out almost every morning before work, I love the idea of grabbing a shake to take on the road with me or to enjoy at my desk. These individual packets or protein in either vanilla or chocolate deliver 20grams of vegan protein + 20 essential vitamins and minerals per serving. I mixed mine with unsweetened vanilla almond milk & handful of kale.
While some protein powders leave an awful, chalky feeling in my mouth- both flavors were silky and smooth. The one caveat? I don’t like stevia. I wish I did. I really try to enjoy the sweetener but can’t. I have noticed this with a few other products as well. If you like Stevia, you will LOVE these. They aren’t super sweet, but you can tell they contain Stevia.
Looking for a caffeine free energy fix? Try the Energy Fizz sticks! Packed with B vitamins, antioxidants and chromium they add a sweet boost to your water. Arbonne Essential Energy Fizz Sticks comes in two flavors, Pomegranate and Citrus.
Lastly, I want to share with you my new favorite produce from Arbonne: Digestion Plus
These single-serving sticks contain prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes that help support optimal digestive help. Those who suffer from IBS, digestive issues, halitosis can benefit from adding probiotics to the diet. Even those without GI problems can support their natural microflora in the gut by adding pro and prebiotics to the diet.
If you are looking for supplements, protein powders, skin care, make-up, Arbonne has it! As special DK readers, all new clients will receive 20% of their first orderand can sign up for ongoing discounts! Every order with a retail value of $150 or more will receive a complimentary single product of their choice!
Disclaimer: I have received samples from Arbonne but have not received financial compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. I don’t do product reviews often but when I find a company I like, I want to share! I have made a great contact at Arbonne, Karen Cunningham. Please contact her more information or to place orders. Karen is also running a Jumpstart 2013 – Healthy Eating Program. Find out more information on Facebook.
Not sure what to get the little foodie in your life? I’ve got your back.
Below are my favorite, mostly inexpensive, gifts for your friends & family who enjoy cooking as much as you do! Be sure to check back on Friday for my roundup of great gifts to make (or keep for yourself!)
I use a microplane zester for EVERYTHING: ginger, chocolate, citrus, garlic, it’s one incredible tool and a great price!
Yoga Cookie Cutters
Photo: Yummy Yogi
My favorite people love yoga & cookies; these cutters are perfect for those who enjoy either. Use them to make Warrior 2 sandwiches, tree watermelon wedges, triangle pancakes, the possibilities are endless.
Lunch Skins Bags
Photo: Lunch Skins
These might be my favorite gift idea. Cute, reusable lunch and plastic bags. Perfect as sandwich bags, holding trail mix in your purse, or giving goodies in. Free shipping until 12/31/12!
Mortar & Pestle
If your friend loves homemade sauce, pesto, and curry, a granite mortar & pestle is a must. Trust me, taking out the food processor and using an old fashioned mortar & pestle produces the best sauces ever. Plus, you get a bicep workout!
Silpat Baking Mat
Want more cookies? Get this mat! Gone are the days of painfully scraping burnt pieces of cookie off of baking sheets. These mats are non-stick and help to create the perfect baked goods.
Pampered Chef Baking Stone
I use my pampered chef baking stone almost daily. For roasting vegetables, there is nothing better! Cauliflower, potatoes, turnips, Brussels, onions, it ALL tastes better when roasted. Even those who don’t LIKE the vegetables I roast end up eating them when they are prepared this way. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
What are you gifting this year?
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight before, you are probably familiar with the concept of writing down your food intake. I am a firm believer in mindful, intuitive eating and more often than not we overeat because we are focusing on something other than what we are eating. This can be a very difficult habit to break, especially if we are used to eating for other reasons besides hunger.
Enter the food tracker, a simple 7-day food log designed to bring awareness to your eating and help you with your goals. I am a big fan of fellow RD Kati Mora’s Ultimate Food Tracker, a compact diary to track a month’s worth of intake.
The tracker is set up so you can be as successful as possible. There is space at the top of each day to write your goals and contains helpful tips along the way.
Along with becoming a more mindful eater, tracking your intake allows you to monitor your caloric intake. Losing weight, for the most part, is an equation of intake less than expenditure. Monitoring your caloric intake is the first step in lowering it.
You can check out the Ultimate Food Tracker, and all of the cool cover designs, online @ the Around the Plate boutique.
What’s your favorite way to track your intake?
I’m sure most of you feel the same way about take-out and to-go food like I do. I hate plastic containers, disposable cutlery, and plates. Besides the waste associated with using these items, I am nervous about dining on plastic plates that contain BPAs and/or phthalates. If that’s not enough to convince you to find resuable items, think of the money you save! I have even found a few mom and pop restaurants/coffee shops in Sacramento that will take a few cents off my order if I bring my own mug, cup, plate on my to-go orders.
As someone who packs her lunch (almost) daily, I am always on the lookout for cute resuable lunch boxes, plates, and silverware. I recently became aware of the ECO line of lunch boxes/trays and to-go ware and love their no-fuss design.
(photo credit www.davidallenstudio.com )
The ECO Lunchbox line has stainless steel bento boxes and lunch trays, much better options than plastic baggies or containers that retain flavor. I love the lunch tray and recently brought it to a community potluck event and I received so many compliments!
(photo credit www.davidallenstudio.com )
ECO lunchbox also has the cutest lunch bags. They are plastic free, BPA free, machine washable and sewn from colorful fair trade textiles.
You can find these products (and more) at the Around the Plate boutique and Eco Lunch Box
What do you pack your lunch or to-go orders in?
Disclaimer: I did not receive any financial contributions for this review; however, I did receive free products from the company so that I could test them out and then tell you my thoughts. Of course, these thoughts are my own, but I thought you should know.