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To help you keep track

by Michelle on December 20, 2017

Regardless of what holiday you may celebrate this time of year, food seems to be a uniting theme of them all.  And if you’re trying to keep from gaining weight it can be difficult with all of the delicious temptations.  Here are some charts that will hopefully help…keep in mind these are just estimates, read labels carefully:


Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Olives (green) 1/2 cup 77 8g
Cheeseball (w/ nuts) 2 Tbsp. 246 20g
Mixed Nuts 1/2 cup 407 35g
Crackers 10 177 7g
Potato Chips (regular) 1 oz. (10 chips) 150 10g
Tortilla Chips (regular) 10 chips 140 7g
Onion Dip 2 Tbsp. 60 5g
Ranch Dip 2 Tbsp. 70 6g



Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Roasted Turkey (no skin) 4 slices (4 oz.) 190 6g
Baked Ham (fresh, cooked) 3 slices (4 oz.) 345 21g
Beef Brisket (cooked, lean) 3 slices (4 oz.) 291 15g
Beef Pot Roast 3 slices (4 oz.) 387 27g
Rib Roast 3 slices (4 oz.) 336 21g



Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Cornbread 1 square 152 5g
Biscuit 1 2″ roll 106 5g
Crescent Roll 1 100 6g
Cornbread Stuffing 1 cup 363 18g
Giblet Gravy (w/milk and flour) 1/2 cup 178 13g
Sweet Potato Casserole 1 cup 276 6g
Mashed Potatoes 1 cup 238 8g
Green Bean Casserole 1 cup 143 8g
Carrots (glazed) 1 cup 217 12g
Cranberry Sauce 1/2 cup 209 0g
Potato Salad 1 cup 277 15g



Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Cheesecake 1/12 of 9″ cake 412 25g
Apple Crisp 1 cup 402 9g
Pumpkin Pie (w/o whipped cream) 1/8 of 9″ pie 323 15g
Apple Pie 1/8 of 9″ pie 356 17g
Pecan Pie 1/8 of 9″ pie 456 21g
Sweet Potato Pie 1/8 of 9″ pie 295 14g
Coconut Cream Pie 1/8 of 9″ pie 429 24g
Bread Pudding 1 cup 311 10g



Food Item Serving Size Calories Fat Grams
Eggnog (w/whole milk and alcohol) 1 cup 439 19g
Eggnog (w/o alcohol) 1 cup 342 19g
Wine (dry, red or white) 7 oz. 142 0g
Wine Spritzer 7 oz. 91 0g
Beer 12 oz. 148 0g
Apple Juice/Cider 1 cup 117 0g



Winter keeps us all indoors (both at home and at work) more than we might like sometimes, and with that comes air that might not be so great to breathe consistently.  And considering that even the air outdoors is frequently deemed “unhealthy” it’s important to do all we can to help out our lungs.  Changing air filters on heating and cooling units is vital to having clean air to breathe, but you can also enhance the air quality indoors even further with a few powerhouse plants that also look quite nice as well.

Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC’s are potentially harmful pollutants that come from paint, furniture, printers, dry-cleaned clothes, and other household products.  They’re frequently in buildings, whether old or new, in rather high concentrations (sometimes nearly 100 times more than outdoors), and can cause dizziness, allergies, and breathing problems.  Using plants to purify the air (technically known as biofiltration, or phytoremediation) makes certain plants part of what NASA calls “nature’s life support system”.

Here is a list of 10 houseplants you might consider using:

  1. Bromeliad: removes acetone the most but is the “superstar” at removing 6 of the 8 VOC’s; an “around-the-clock” air purifier that works both day & night, prefers bright light without direct sun exposure, prefers humidity, and keep it moist but not soggy (with adequate drainage), fertilizing sparingly.
  2. Spider Plant: removes formaldehyde and xylene; one of the easiest houseplants to grow and loves bright, indirect sunlight.
  3. Draceana: removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene; comes in more than 40 different varieties but is toxic to cats & dogs when eaten so use caution.
  4. Ficus: removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene; grows 2-10 feet tall and loves bright, indirect sunlight.
  5. Jade Plant: removes toluene; flourishes in medium light at room temperature, and allow the soil to dry between watering.
  6. Peace Lily: removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene; blooms fragrant flowers throughout the summer, and grows best in shady areas.
  7. Boston Fern: removes formaldehyde and xylene; needs to stay moist, prefers high humidity & indirect sunlight.
  8. Snake Plant: removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene; one of the hardiest houseplants requiring occasional watering, prefers dries conditions, and some sun.
  9. Bamboo Palm: removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene; thrives in full sun or bright light, and grows 4-12 feet high.
  10. Aloe Vera: removes formaldehyde; allow for proper drainage (doesn’t thrive in standing water), and the leaves hold a fluid used for everything from wound healing to anti-inflammatory uses.

Besides being aesthetically pleasing, plants can do a lot for our health as well.  If possible, try incorporating a few of these air purifying superstars into your environment and “breathe ease” knowing how hard they’re working for your well being!







Right about this time of the year many people are formulating their “post-holiday fitness plans” to get in shape after overindulging during the holidays.  That’s a great idea, but statistics prove that making a drastic change in your routine and trying to commit to a strict diet and exercise plan right after New Year’s Day nearly always leads to failure.  That’s why with a little bit of preparation, patience, and the right products you can be more successful in your efforts and the long-term effect is usually better.

We have several products for general dieting that can play a very helpful part in your plans.  With these products, proper diet, and exercise you can reach your goals quickly.

Garcinia Cambogia:  Helps to reduce appetite & increase metabolism and fat burning.

Green Coffee Bean Pure:  Aids in fat burning and removing excess fats from the body while providing some energy from the coffee bean’s caffeine content.

Raspberry Ketone:  Enhances energy & metabolism, promotes fat mobilization, and helps “shrink” fat cells.

Forskolin:  Helps suppress appetite, boosts metabolism, and aids in removing fats from the body.

Africa Mango 1200:  Controls appetite, reduces excess fat storage, and helps burn fat.

30 Day Diet/30 Night Diet:  These can be used alone or together for an “around the clock” weight loss program.  30 Day Diet provides appetite suppression, increased metabolism, and some energy during the day.  30 Night Diet does the same as the 30 Day Diet without the stimulants so it’s safe to take later in the evening.  Together these products make for a very supportive 24 hour dieting aid.

All of these products can be used with any diet program that is reduced calories, no sugars or carbohydrates, and very limited healthy fats.  They can even be used with several diet plans/programs like Weight Watchers, Atkins, Jenny Craig, etc. as long as you don’t eat more calories than you expend each day (which is the key to ANY weight loss program).  Please visit our website and click on the “Products” tab to read all about every one of our products, their intended uses, ingredients, and to see current pricing and the specials we have.


Cold weather supplements

by Michelle on December 13, 2017

It’s always a good idea to take a good multi-vitamin year-round to fill in the gaps that your diet might leave.  But in cold weather there are some supplements that are especially helpful in keeping your system running properly and help your body to fight off illness.

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is always a good idea regardless of what time of year it is.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant helping to protect cells from free radical damage and boosting the immune system.

Vitamin D3 is necessary in general for the body to absorb calcium and promote bone growth.  Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin when you’re exposed to sunlight but in the winter months when sunlight is sparse it’s important to supplement with vitamin D so the body doesn’t develop a deficiency.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical damage.  Vitamin E is responsible for proper immune function and helps in the formation of red blood cells.  You can get a lot of this vitamin from foods like eggs, liver, nuts & seeds, and some fruits & vegetables.

Zinc helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses and the body needs it to make proteins and DNA.  It also helps wounds heal, helps boost the immune system, treats the common cold, helps with recurrent ear infections, and helps prevent lower respiratory infections.

Eating well is paramount to staying healthy overall and specifically in fighting off illness, but taking some supplements can help out your healthy diet and exercise efforts.  As always, check with your doctor and/or pharmacist before increasing any supplements in case you have a condition or take medications that wouldn’t allow for these items to be taken in higher doses.

Also, a good probiotic is always a great idea to keep your digestive tract (also known as the gut) full of the good bacteria that supports proper immune function.  After all…about 75% of your immune tissue is located within your digestive system!



As the temperature drops and the landscape becomes stark, the toll that winter weather takes on your body can sometimes cause problems beyond dry skin woes.  Your body experiences changes during cold weather that need special consideration to keep you healthy.  Issues like colds, flu, arthritis, asthma, allergies, and injuries all worsen in colder weather.

As my grandmother used to say “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that’s the best advice when it comes to health care in general and winter health care specifically.  It’s easier to prevent problems (when possible) than it is to try and fix a problem afterwards.

Here are some suggestions to mitigate the most common health concerns that winter weather brings:

  1. Skin Care: stay hydrated, avoid using hot water, take shorter showers/baths, moisturize right after washing, use heavier ointments or creams instead of lighter lotions, cover exposed skin when outdoors (to avoid frostbite), avoid rough or “itchy” fabrics, don’t get too close to heat sources, and add moisture to the air with a humidifier; also remember that you do still need to use sunscreen even in the winter.
  2. Cold & Flu: wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, get plenty of sleep, load up on fresh fruits & vegetables, get some exercise, avoid sick people, take your multi-vitamin (maybe add in some extra vitamin c), and stay hydrated; many over-the-counter products can help lessen symptoms and aid in getting much-needed rest.
  3. Arthritis: dress warmly (layer-up, covering sore joints especially), stay hydrated, let warm water help ease pain, increase vitamin D consumption, try
    a joint supplement, increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, try massage and/or acupuncture, and maybe use over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (Aceta
    minophen or an NSAID).
  4. Asthma/Breathing Issues: avoid breathing cold air (it dries out airways & increases mucus), don’t sit too close to heat sources, stay hydrated, avoid sick people, remove indoor allergens, prepare for physical activity (warm up, use your inhaler 10-15 minutes before exercise, wear a mask/scarf over your face), and try to control stress.
  5. Allergies: control indoor allergies (vacuum more, change linens often, wash items in hot water, etc.), avoid your known allergens in general, and try the many natural remedies available for relief or take over-the-counted remedies that work to lessen symptoms.
  6. Injuries: warm up before doing any outdoor activity, make sure to have good traction on shoes (and tires) to avoid falls (and sliding accidents), prepare for activities (stretch, wrap injuries, wear a helmet, put on gloves, etc.), and just stay indoors if it’s too treacherous outside.

Staying hydrated and dressing properly in cold weather are two of the most important things you can do to remain healthy.  Eating properly and getting plenty of sleep are also important along with properly preparing to enjoy the outdoors, whether working or recreating.  So avoid the downfalls and problems of the season and enjoy all that this time of year has to offer by incorporating some preparation into your winter plans…then go out and have fun!





Artificial sweeteners have been touted as healthy alternatives to regular sugar since they’re not loaded with calories.  However, what they ARE loaded with are various elements that make them far sweeter than regular sugar which increases the level of sweetness your body registers.  This makes it so your body actually craves more “sweet” as it offsets a proper level of taste.

Here is a list of some of the most common artificial sweeteners used in the United States and ones that should be avoided; each is far sweeter than regular sugar…they include:

Artificial Sweetener              Some Brand Names                       Sweetness Compared to Sugar

Aspartame                              Equal, NutraSweet                          180 times sweeter than sugar

Acesulfame-K (potassium)      Sunett, Sweet One                          200 times sweeter than sugar

Saccharin                                Sweet’N Low, Necta Sweet             300 times sweeter than sugar

Sucralose                                 Splenda                                           600 times sweeter than sugar

Below are some “natural” sweeteners out there that do the job better and without the calories, but use caution as for some they can cause nausea, stomach upset, diarrhea, gas, and bloating.  They also have a taste that many people don’t like.  Another issue is that not all “natural” sweeteners ONLY contain the “natural” element used for sweetness.  Make sure you read the ingredients and make sure there aren’t other ingredients along with the natural ingredient.  Here are some beneficial natural sweeteners to look for:

  1. Stevia: Look for ONLY the Stevia ingredient…a natural no-calorie sweetener make from Stevia leaves.  Avoid those that have “Reb-A” and/or “dextrose” (glucose); even if it contains erythritol you’re still not getting ONLY Stevia.  Straight Stevia may be the healthiest choice for a sugar alternative.
  2. Erythritol: This is a sugar alcohol found naturally in certain fruits (pears, watermelon, grapes, etc.)  It’s often combined with Stevia in packaged items.  Use caution in high doses as it can cause digestive problems.
  3. Xylitol: Another sugar alcohol found naturally in certain fruits & vegetables; often derived from corn cobs.  Powdered Xylitol can be substituted for sugar in baking, but it’s highly toxic to dogs so use caution around your pets and don’t feed them items made with Xylitol.
  4. Yacon Syrup: A new artificial sweetener from the Yacon plant that’s very high in fructooligosaccharides, which function as soluble fibers that feed the good bacteria in the intestines.  It can help with constipation and it has various benefits digestively due to its high amount of soluble fiber; overuse can cause stomach upset.

Artificial sweeteners can aid in weight loss and are helpful for diabetics to maintain proper blood sugar levels.  Used in moderation they are beneficial, just keep in mind the detriments associated with overindulgence. As with most things…too much of a good thing can be bad.


The benefits of probiotics

by Michelle on December 6, 2017

There is a lot of information flying around about the many benefits of probiotics and most of it is factual.  However, some of the “facts” just don’t pan out and weaken the argument for the benefits of taking them.  Probiotics play a key role in the body on many levels and keeping a good balance in the digestive system serves many functions.

The strongest evidence to date finds that probiotic benefits include:

  1. Balancing the friendly bacteria in the digestive system
  2. Boosting the immune system
  3. Preventing & treating urinary tract infections
  4. Improving digestive function
  5. May help you lose weight and belly fat
  6. Healing inflammatory bowel conditions like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  7. Managing & preventing skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
  8. May help fight respiratory infections & cold
  9. Fighting food-borne illnesses

You can get probiotics from dairy products, pickled veggies, tempeh, miso, kefir, kimchi, and soy products, but you would need to eat far too much to obtain the benefits in the proper amounts.  Supplementation is usually how many people get their probiotics as it’s easier to take a capsule than to eat the equivalent in food.  You also need some prebiotics for the probiotics to feed on and multiply to the beneficial levels.  Inulin from chicory root (a soluble fiber) and from fructooligosaccharides (used as a prebiotic) work together to “feed” the probiotic bacteria strains and cause them to multiply and do their important work in the digestive tract.  Both together are a powerful way to help you restore and maintain good gut health and aid your body in staying healthy.


Tis the Season…to get sick!

by Michelle on December 4, 2017

With the weather turning colder and most of us spending more time inside, it’s easy to see why getting that lingering cold and cough happens to so many of us.  If just one person at work, at home, or even in a crowded store or restaurant is sick there’s a good chance someone within their vicinity will get sick as well.  And the multiple germ-ridden surfaces are major contributors on the fast track to illness.

It seems no matter what you do there is still a sniffle, cough, and/or sore throat that makes an appearance at the end of the year.  Maybe this year you can not only shorten the stay of these unwanted visitors in your body but possibly prevent them from rearing their ugly heads all together!  With a few natural items and some purposeful behavior you might do better this year at staying healthy.




  1. Hand washing is the best way to rid yourself of the germs you pick up through contact, but also important is not touching your face…specifically your eyes, nose, and mouth. These are three easy areas for germs to enter the body and cause illness.  Avoid rubbing your eyes, wiping your nose without a tissue, and touching your mouth unless you are sure your hands are clean.
  2. Keeping an even body temperature is also important because that way your body doesn’t have to work as hard to regulate your temp. AND fight off germs. While being cold doesn’t make you sick (germs do) it certainly makes your body work harder to keep your temperature at 98.6 degrees which lessens its ability to keep you healthy.
  3. Eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep is crucial to keeping your body and immune system in the best state possible to defend you against illness. Avoid processed, fatty, calorie-laden foods and beverages and be sure you’re sleeping as close as possible to 8 hours each night.
  4. Vitamins and supplements are great at filling in the gaps of your personal nutrition that you can’t quite meet with diet alone. Besides a good multi-vitamin try taking individual supplements that are specific to aiding the immune system and fighting off germs.

Natural Remedies:

  1. Vitamin C: supports the immune system and fight off colds.
  2. Ginger: helps bring down inflammation, clear congestion, and supports the immune system.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar: helps to alkalinize the body (most people are more acidic) and being more alkaline may be more effective at fighting off viruses that cause colds and the flu.
  4. Honey: boosts the immune system and soothes sore throats and coughs.
  5. Eucalyptus Oil: breathing this potent oil helps open nasal passages for easier breathing.
  6. Neti Pot: this is a small pot that flushes out the nasal passages and can be effective in relieving sinus symptoms.
  7. Avoid Sugar: sugar weakens the immune system and can prolong a cold.
  8. Eat Healthy & Light: doing so allows for less energy going to digestion and more energy available for the immune system.
  9. Rest: The body needs a lot of rest and sleep (yes, they’re different) to allow it the time and energy to fight off germs and recover.  Overdoing it will only make the illness last longer.

Make this year the one that doesn’t end in illness, missed work, missed fun, and too much misery over poor health.


Happy Pets…Happy Holidays!

by Michelle on December 1, 2017

If you’re like me you just can’t believe it’s already December 1st!  Maybe you’ve waited until now to put up your decorations or perhaps they’ve been up for a while.  Whichever applies, if you have pets this means there is some important information you need to be aware of.

Pets of all types need to be considered both for safety as well as comfort when it comes to the holidays.  Here is a list of the main items to be aware of as well as some treats that we might love but must be kept away from our pets:

  1. Christmas Trees: Cats can climb up the trunk of the tree and dogs might try to jump up and get ornaments (or the climbing cat), knocking over the tree and injuring themselves.  Also, if you have a live tree the water basin it sits in poses another hazard.  Many times adding a preservative to the water keeps the tree fresh longer but is poisonous to pets who might drink it.
  2. Imitation Snow: Also called “flocking”…is poisonous and can flake off, falling to the floor where it’s easily ingested.
  3. Edible Ornaments: Cookies, cranberry and/or popcorn garlands, candy canes, etc. all are alluring to pets and pose a possible toxic problem.  Be sure to put them high up on the tree (out of reach) if you do wish to use them.
  4. Tinsel: Whether you like the single shiny strands or a garland it needs to be kept far away from pets.  It’s toxic and can clog their intestines and lead to poisoning.
  5. Light Strands: Keep lights out of reach since both cats and dogs might love to chew on the cords, posing an electrocution problem as well as a toxic hazard.
  6. Plants/Flowers: Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe, Christmas Cactus, English Ivy, and Amaryllis are considered toxic and result in gastrointestinal irritation & depression of the central nervous system.  They can even cause death.
  7. Foods: Chocolate, onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, most nuts (especially macadamia nuts), and dairy can cause everything from mild irritation to a fatal toxic reaction.

Our pets, like small children, are naturally curious and tend to put everything into their mouths.  Keeping them safe needs to be a priority and keeping them stress-free is also important.  This time of year there is more clutter in the house with the decorations and sometimes extra people so be aware of the stress that the altered surroundings and visitors can pose.  Pets can stay safe with some planning and hopefully stay calm when they’re needs are considered.  These things can make them more pleasant when socializing with house guests and save you from some stress as well.



10 Stress Relieving Super Foods

by Michelle on November 29, 2017

So much is going on this time of year…work, family, shopping mayhem, social engagements…it’s no wonder that the stress we’re under begins to take a physical toll.  Being short on time seems to make it nearly impossible to avoid the drive-thru or difficult to cook healthy food at home, so it’s no wonder pre-packaged items are the easy go-to.  However, if you try to add some of the following items into your daily diet you might notice you’re stress is less noticeable and you’re feeling physically better as well.

Here are some of the best “super foods” to help you feel calm and healthy:

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables: they contain folate, which produces dopamine (a pleasure-inducing brain chemical) which helps you keep calm.
  2. Turkey Breast: contains tryptophan, which may have a calming effect as well as amino acids (found in protein rich foods) and it helps produce serotonin (which regulates hunger & feelings of happiness and well-being).
  3. Oatmeal: a complex carb that won’t contribute to your already potential blood sugar spike in response to stress as well as keeping you full longer.
  4. Yogurt: full of calcium and protein in addition to probiotics that helps restore good gut bacteria (which is reduced when you’re stressed) so your digestive system runs well.
  5. Salmon: the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have anti-inflammatory properties that may help counteract the negative effects of stress hormones such as adrenaline & cortisol.
  6. Blueberries: the antioxidants and phytonutrients in this berry work in your defense, helping improve your body’s response to stress & in fighting stress-related free radicals.
  7. Avocado: might help shut down stress-eating by filling you up and making you feel more satisfied; also a great source of healthy fat.
  8. Pistachios & Cashews: pistachios have heart-health benefits and may reduce acute stress by lowering blood pressure & heart rate, while the zinc content in cashews may help reduce anxiety.
  9. Seeds: flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great sources of magnesium…a mineral that may help regulate emotions and has been shown to help alleviate depression, fatigue, and irritability.
  10. Dark Chocolate: a small piece (about a 1 inch square) has been shown to reduce stress hormones, including cortisol; the antioxidants in cocoa also trigger blood vessel walls to relax, lowering blood pressure & improving circulation.

Try incorporating some of these items into your daily diet and see if you’re feeling calm and healthy soon!