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Food, Inspire-Me, Wellbeing


The next best thing to Fruit & Vegetables

The Next Best Thing to Fruits and Vegetables

Health and well-being are the most precious things we own, and in order to promote and look after them, the body needs an abundance of vital substances.  Nature offers us everything we need already packaged as sweet fruit, crunchy vegetables or juicy berries.

Juice PLUS+® is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 27 different fruits, vegetables and berries.  Juice PLUS+® helps bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat every day.

Fruit, Vegetables and berries contain the concentrated power of valuable nutrients.  But what exactly is under the velvety skin of a sweet peach? What riches do the deep green broccoli florets hold? and what great treasures do the small, bright red cranberries offer?

The answers lie in the complex composition of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.  The interaction of this wide range of substances make fruit, vegetables and berries into valuable ingredients of a healthy diet.

I have been taking Juice PLUS+® Premium for over four years now and have not looked back.  I just turned 31 and feel and look better than I did at 21. Juice PLUS+®, Healthy eating, meditation, juicing, exercise and supplemenation keep me feeling fit, fab and full of life :-)

Try Juice PLUS+® today… you wont regret it.


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7 things you didnt know about Chia Seeds.

Blog post thumbnailChia seeds are the superfood du jour. They’re not only popping up in every health food store and wellness blog, but are also making their way into just about every food category, from drinks to desserts and everything in between.

Whenever I talk about chia seeds, I can’t help but call them nutritional powerhouses. They’re jam-packed with fiber, omega 3’s, and minerals like calcium and manganese, they’re an excellent source of sustainable energy, they aid in weight loss by keeping you satiated longer, and they’ve been shown to support heart health. Yup, powerhouse.

But, I bet you already knew that, so here are 7 facts you may not have known about chia:

  1. Chia comes from the Mayan word for strength: Chia was an important part of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, where  the warriors ate it to improve strength and endurance. It was also eaten by messengers, who would run all day long with chia gel as their main source of fuel. If you’re into any sort of long-distance or endurance sports, adding chia to your diet may help with performance.
  2. Chia is a food valuable enough for the gods: Not only did the Aztec warriors eat chia, they also used it in their rituals as an offering to the gods. The Aztec’s reverence for chia was so strong that when Spanish conquerors arrived in the early 16th century, they banned the use of chia, citing its ties to the Aztec religion. Prior to that, chia was a major crop in Mexico, with its first use dating as far back as 3500 BC. 
  3. You can trace commercial chia production to one man: After the Spanish banned chia, it was wiped off the continent for 500 years, save for a few small family farms that grew the plant. In the 1990’s, Dr. Wayne Coates and a team of scientists, nutritionists, and agriculturalists began collaborating on the commercial production of chia in Argentina, in hopes of rediscovering the lost nutritional plants of the Aztec tradition. The rest, as they say, is history. Chia is now commercially grown mainly in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Australia.
  4. Chia Pets are indeed grown from chia seeds: Who would’ve known eating your chia pet could be so good for you? The popular potted plant of the 90’s, which would grow in the shape of Marge Simpson’s hair or a furry hedgehog, is indeed the same chia you’re mixing into your morning smoothie. While you could eat the leafy green sprouts of chia, the seed is traditionally consumed and revered for its benefits.
  5. You should always soak your chia before eating: They may be tiny, but chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water. Soaking them in water before eating them takes advantage of this fact, making them  more satisfying, filling, and hydrating. Plus, this avoids the issue of having the seeds absorb liquid in your stomach after you’ve eaten them dry, which may cause minor gastro-intestinal issues. Luckily, chia gel (the substance you get after soaking your chia seeds) really doesn’t taste like anything but water. Simply add 1 tablespoon chia seeds to 1 cup water, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. They’ll expand throughout the liquid, creating a beautiful speckled gel. You can drink as is, or flavor the water with a little bit of fresh fruit juice. You can also turn chia into a decadent and healthy dessert, like this coconut chia seed pudding, which calls for you to soak the seeds in coconut milk.
  6. Chia has an incredibly long shelf life: Without any added preservatives, chia seeds can last up to four to five years in a cool, dry place. While other nuts and seeds tend to go rancid more quickly, chia, with its high antioxidant content, is quite stable.
  7. Chia makes fruit juice healthier: Vegetable juice is great, but fruit juice is no longer considered a health food. That is, unless you add a little chia to it. Straight fruit juice is similar to sugar water with some added nutrients. Sure, it has vitamins, but without the fiber that is present in the whole fruit, the sugar is absorbed too quickly and can spike your blood sugar in the same way a sugary cookie would. Chia seeds add this fiber back in. This may very well be my favorite tip about chia seeds. Because they can slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, adding them to a sugary beverage, like fresh fruit juice, can help lessen the blood sugar spike, and the negative health consequences associated with it, without changing the flavor.

How do you use chia? Tell us in the comments below!

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7 Things you didnt know about Spirulina

Blog post thumbnailSpirulina, a single celled cyanobacteria (often mistakenly called a blue-green algae) that grows on the tops of ponds and is otherwise known as pond scum, is quite the superfood. While most people take it solely for detoxification purposes, more and more research is showing that its benefits reach much further than a detox.Whether you’ve been using spirulina for years, or this is the first time you’ve heard of it, it’s a truly fascinating superfood. Not only does it have unique and powerful health benefits, but it also has a long and interesting history, and has been used for a wide range of purpos—some of them pretty surprising!


Here are 7 things I bet you didn’t know about spirulina:

  1. The Most Ancient Food: You may have only recently heard of spirulina, but it is one of the oldest living organisms on the planet, believed to have been here for at least 3.6 billion years. Like a plant, it uses photosynthesis to make energy. As a single-celled organism, it reproduces quickly, making it a very sustainable food source that was used in both Central America and Africa for centuries.
  2. Warrior Fuel: In Mesoamerica, spirulina was made into cakes and consumed daily up until about the 16th century, when many of the lakes were drained for agricultural and urban development. It is believed that the Aztecs gave it to their warriors and runners daily for strength and endurance.
  3. Perfect Smoothie Addition: The concentrated, deep, dark hue of spirulina will turn your morning smoothie into a lean green detox machine, thanks to its high chlorophyll content. You only need ½-1 teaspoon, and when paired with sweet fruit, you can hardly taste it. I like it with pineapple or banana.
  4. Promotes Longevity: The Japanese grow and consume more spirulina than anywhere else in the world, and it looks like they may be onto something. They have the second highest life expectancy rate in the world, with an average lifespan of 82.6 years, compared to 79.8 in the US, which is ranked 35th.
  5. The Solution to Malnutrition? Because spirulina is so nutrient-dense (it’s 60% protein,  and contains all the essential amino acids and nearly ever vitamin and mineral, including B vitamins, vitamins C and A, calcium, magnesium, and iron, just to name a few) and it grows abundantly in Africa, it’s being used as an effective treatment against malnutrition in developing nations.
  6. Perfect Protein: Spirulina is a complete protein, which means it contains all eight essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein in the body. Protein is the building block of our cells, and so it’s crucial for every organ and function. Since essential amino acids are needed for protein synthesis, and our body can’t make them on its own, they must be consumed through the diet (hence the name “essential”). Without all eight of them, protein synthesis breaks down. While most animal foods are complete proteins, only a few plant foods are, like quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina. So it’s a great, easy add-in for vegetarians and vegans looking for more complete plant proteins.
  7. Natural Anti-Viral: If you go to the doctor for the flu, she’ll likely send you home with doctor’s orders to rest and drink fluids. Since influenza is caused by a virus, it can’t be treated with an antibiotic. That’s why I think that the most exciting aspect of spirulina is its anti-viral capabilities. It has been found to be active against several enveloped viruses including herpes, influenza, and HIV, and it works on two levels: by halting the virus from replicating, and preventing it from invading your cells.

Plus, unlike many other superfoods, whose purported health benefits are based mostly on anecdotal evidence, there is quite a bit of hard research to back up spirulina’s status as an incredibly nutrient-dense and health-giving food.

You can find it in health food stores as a supplement, ether in powdered or tablet form.

Have you tried spirulina? What was your experience with it? Leave a comment below to let us know!

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Fresh Flawless Finish


What they say: A multi-tasking formula for creating a gorgeous, flawless complexion.


The Sensual Skin Enhancer was created to mimic the appearance of healthy, radiant skin. It can be used as a spot foundation, concealer, all-over foundation, highlighter (choose a shade lighter than your actual skin tone) or mixed with your moisturiser for a tinted moisturiser effect – the possibilities are endless! Honey and jojoba oil create a soft, dewy finish as well as lend themselves to the formula’s silky texture. It may be applied with the fingers, a brush or a sponge (wet or dry) for any desired finish. Apply over The Sensual Skin Primer for a smooth texture, and top with The Gossamer Loose Powder if you prefer a matte look. No matter how you wear it, The Sensual Skin Enhancer leaves the complexion with a fresh, flawless finish.

What I say: Now this is one product I cannot live without! It is Absolutely Fabulous…  I like to call this my “little pot of magic”- taking me from drab to fab in a mere matter of seconds.  No doubt it is the ultimate concealer…hides blemishes, diminshes fine lines and wrinkles, and evens out the complexion.  A little goes a long way and it will become your favourite product in your make up bag.




Sweet and Savory Kale Salad

Blog post thumbnailThere is something incredibly satisfying about digging into a salad that tastes just as good as it looks. This sweet and savory kale salad is vibrant and has just the right amount of sweetness, tanginess, and crunch to every bite. I like to serve it as a side, or enjoy as a refreshing, light lunch. It also makes for the perfect first course to serve at your next dinner party. Not only will your guests be impressed by the elegance of this salad, but they’ll also be blown away by its amazing flavor.


  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups kale, pretty finely chopped
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (dried cherries are great, too!)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese (omit if you’re dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp raw honey 


1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper, then lay them flat on a lined, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Once cooked, let cool and set aside.

2. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Set aside and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

3.  Place kale in large bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt. Using your hands, massage the olive oil and lemon juice into the kale until leaves are soft (about 2-5 min should do the trick).

4. Assemble your salad. Pour the dressing on the kale and toss well to combine. Add in the roasted chickpeas, dried cranberries, avocado, goat cheese, and red onion, and toss gently. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Spoon the salad into bowls, serve immediately, and enjoy! By: Integrative Nutrition

Do you have a favorite kale salad recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!




Organic Burst

4107_4178_mYou might have seen maca at your local health food store, or heard someone asking for it in their smoothie at the juice bar. You might also have been asking yourself: what the heck is maca?  Maca is a leafy plant native to the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia. The root of the plant has been used by indigenous societies for nourishment and healing for thousands of years, and despite its superfood status, I bet there are a few things you don’t know about this special plant:

Maca fights fatigue: Maca provides energy without caffeine, thanks to its B-vitamins, iron, and complex carbs. Try replacing your morning coffee with a maca smoothie, and you’ll find yourself energized without the jitters.

Maca helps you deal with stress: As an adaptogen, maca supports the health of your adrenal system, which controls your body’s hormonal response to stress. When we are under stress, a flurry of hormones is released, leading to all sorts of negative consequences, from weight gain to decreased immunity. One study found that an active ingredient in maca can reduce or even eliminate the fluctuations in hormones and homeostasis that would typically be brought on by stress.

Maca boosts libido, sexual function & possibly fertility: Maca has been called the “Peruvian Ginseng” for its ability to promote sexual function in both men and women. While most of its sexy superpowers are based on personal anecdotes and ancient lore, there is budding scientific research on this aspect of the superfood. One very small study found it can improve sexual dysfunction, while another study found it boosts the libido in men after regular use of 8 weeks or longer. When it comes to fertility,a small study found that maca consumption increased the semen volume, sperm count, and sperm motility in men. While it’s also believed to increase female fertility, there is currently no scientific research to back that claim up.

Athletes love maca: Legend has it that Incan warriors consumed maca before battle, and athletes still turn to it today for strength and endurance. Again, large-scale clinical trials are lacking, but this study on cyclists found that consuming maca significantly decreased the time it took for participants to cycle 40 km, which is promising for athletes who turn to it to improve performance.

Maca is a supermodel favorite: Victoria’s Secret Model Miranda Kerr loves to use maca in her morning smoothies, along with a plethora of other superfoods, instead of drinking coffee. She credits her morning smoothie and overall healthy diet and exercise routine with helping her get the baby weight off quickly. Whatever she’s doing is clearly working!

Maca grows where most plants can’t: Maca didn’t get its super powers from being like all the other vegetables. Like many adaptogens, this plant grows in harsh conditions where most other plants would die. You’ll find maca growing at 12,000-15,000 feet, high atop the Andes Mountains, where it thrives in the cold climate and extremely high altitude.

Maca was used as currency: A root vegetable as precious as gold? After the Spanish colonists arrived in Peru, they accepted maca as payment for taxes (oh how I wish I could pay my taxes with vegetables!). The colonists came to value it so highly after the indigenous people demonstrated how the root boosted the fertility of their livestock.  Organic Burst is my favorite go to Maca Powder…. Wondering how to use maca? Try adding it to smoothies, homemade chocolate, or desserts—!


7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen R. Covey teaches a step by step framework for living with fairness, integrity, service, and human dignity. Adhering to these principles can give us the security to adapt to change and the power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. Programs teaching these seven habits have been implemented in schools and organisations across the world. Dr. Covey describes these seven  habits as set of universal, timeless, self-evident principles common to every enduring, prospering society, organisation, or family. By Integrative Nutrition.

Take personal responsibility and initiative.

In other words, be proactive. Make a decision to create change in your life instead of simply reacting to external forces.

Get clear about what’s important to you and set goals.

Have your own personal mission statement, and create both short and long-term goals. Write them down.

Put those priorities first and be disciplined.

Prioritize the most important things in your life. Make choices that help move you forward toward your goals.

Seek mutual benefit in all interactions with others – practice the Golden Rule.

Try to find “win/win” solutions to problems. Pursue situations and relationships that are mutually beneficial.

Seek to understand others from their perspective first before making your point.

First, seek to understand. Second, seek to be understood. Effective listening is not simply echoing what the other person has said through the lens of your own experience. Rather, it is trying to understand the perspective of the other person, listening empathically for both feeling and meaning.

Value differences and create third-alternative solutions to problems that are better than “my way” or “your way.”

Use individual differences to a situation’s advantage. Often, a better solution can be found by taking each person’s point of view into consideration.

Take care of and renew yourself in four areas of life: body, mind, heart, and spirit.

Maintain a balance between work and self care. Take time to rejuvenate and recharge.



The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People presents an “inside-out” approach to effectiveness that is centered on principles and character. Inside-out means that change starts within oneself. The idea is that if you work on your own character, then you will be equipped to handle any challenge that comes your way.


7 Foods for a Kidney Detox this Spring

Blog post thumbnailKidneys are two of the hardest working organs in your body, filtering about 200 quarts of blood every day to remove up to two quarts of excess water and waste. They are also in charge of three hormones that your body needs to stay healthy, including one that supports safe blood pressure, one that supports bone health, and one that prompts your bone marrow to make new red blood cells. So why not celebrate the season of renewal with a spring kidney detox that helps purge bacteria from your body and gives your kidneys some well-earned respite?  Doing so is easy: all it takes to give your kidneys a hand in performing its vital functions is increasing your intake of kidney-friendly foods. These seven yummy choices are the top performers for kidney health:


Why They Work: The many antioxidants in apples support heart health by battling bad cholesterol and quieting inflammation. It is no surprise then that they support kidney health as well, as inflammation is a hallmark of poor kidney function.

Tips for Tasty Treats: Apple slices are delicious on their own as a snack or a side at any meal. Cut up apples in your salad, bake them with a cranberry filling or simple sprinkling of cinnamon, or make your own sugar-free applesauce to increase your apple intake.


Why It Works: True to its name, watermelon is an amazing 92% water—compare this to bananas, which are only 74% water. This high water content makes watermelon a great choice for your spring kidney detox, as kidney health depends on water.

Tips for Tasty Treats: A watermelon smoothie is a refreshing way to start the day. Throw in some plain yogurt and a handful of berries for a refreshing and nourishing breakfast drink.


Why It Works: The fiber in kale is great for digestion and detoxification in general, and its glucosinolates specifically act to support both the liver and kidneys as they work to remove toxins from the body. And those are just a few of the many benefits of leafy greens!

Tips for Tasty Treats: Try lightly sautéing your kale for a side dish, or include it in soups and stews. Kale makes a delicious addition to pasta sauce, particularly when paired with whole grain varieties of pasta. A tender baby kale salad matches any main course, and this recipe for raw kale salad makes a perfect spring or summer lunch.

Broccoli & Cauliflower

Why They Work: Both broccoli and cauliflower have benefits similar to kale, particularly when it comes to your kidney detox. High in the glucosinolates that aid kidneys in their work, both of these veggies add variety to your diet while packing a nutritional punch.

Tips for Tasty Treats: Try steamed broccoli and cauliflower topped with lemon juice, or include these veggies in your juicing. They’re really helpful in cutting the sweetness of juices made exclusively from fruits.


Why They Work: Some of the chemicals in cranberries are particularly effective in keeping bacteria from sticking around your urinary tract. In addition, cranberries have a high level of the main ingredient found in aspirin, so including them in your spring kidney detox is helpful in reducing inflammation throughout your body.

Tips for Tasty Treats: Unfortunately, fresh cranberries are hard to come by in the spring, so you may have to go the frozen route. You could also enjoy no-sugar-added cranberry juice, or consider cranberry extracts and supplements to get the maximum benefit.


Why They Work: Perhaps the most neglected veggie in a kidney-friendly diet, the unassuming radish packs a powerful punch. Radishes have enzymes with antiseptic properties that work to destroy bacteria, fungus, and inflammation. This is particularly helpful for the hardworking kidneys, as their role is to filter these toxins from the body.

Tips for Tasty Treats: Slice up radishes in any salad—the extra spice will give your leafy greens a well-rounded flavor. Including radishes in your juicing is the best way to consume large quantities, which will multiply the benefits to your body. By Integrative Nutrition

How will you include these powerful foods in your spring kidney detox? Let us know in the comments below!

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