December 2017

Yoga poses for stress reduction

by Michelle on December 28, 2017

Sometimes more than breathing or a nap is needed to help us calm down.  Yoga is a good way to restore some balance and serenity to your life when things seem hectic and out of control.  Whatever fitness level you might be on there is a yoga pose and an adaptation you can do for stress relief.

Check out the website for step-by-step instructions on how to do these and many more poses:

Child’s Post:  quiets the mind and eases stress; benefits the nervous system and lymphatic system.

Bridge Pose:  provides gentle stretching of the back and legs, reduces anxiety, fatigue, backaches, headaches, and insomnia; may be therapeutic for high blood pressure.

Standing Forward Bend:  stretches the hamstrings, thighs, and hips; thought to relieve stress, fatigue, and mild depression.

Corpse Pose:  puts the body at ease and emphasizes total relaxation; can trigger a state of deep rest that slows breathing, lowers blood pressure, and quiets the nervous system.

Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose:  Helps reduce stress, and helps renew blood and lymphatic drainage back into the heart area.

Cat Pose:  Soothes and stretches the lower back, and relieves stress while massaging the spine.

Cow Pose:  Gently warms the spine, relieves stress and calms the mind; massages and stimulates the organs and creates emotional balance.

Dolphin Pose:  Quiets the mind, alleviates stress, and reduces anxiety; stretches the shoulders, neck, and spine.

Head-To-Knee Forward Bend:  Calms the mind, helps relieve mild depression, anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstrual discomfort, and insomnia.

Easy Pose:  Promotes inner calm, opens the hips, lengthens the spine, and increases serenity; eliminates anxiety, and relieves physical and mental exhaustion.


Foods that help fight cold & flu

by Michelle on December 26, 2017

It happens to us all at one time or another, and colder weather seems to bring it on even more.  Helping your body fight off the bacteria and viruses that cause the common cold and even influenza is easier when you eat items that aid your immune system…and can even make your symptoms better.

Here are some of the beneficial foods that can get you on the path to beating that bacteria and even in overcoming whatever virus plagues you:

Garlic:  Allicin, garlic’s major active component, is responsible for its antimicrobial & antibacterial properties.  Garlic helps promote healthy gut flora which rids the body of toxins, bacteria, and viruses.  Eating garlic is the best way to reap the benefits but you can also take a garlic supplement.

Beef:  An immune system booster and a good source of zinc (important in the development of white blood cells…the body’s defenders).  The extra protein in beef also supports the body in building antibodies & fighting off infection.

Sweet Potato:  A great source of vitamin A which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces (inside the nose, in the gastrointestinal tract, and your skin).  Keeping these mucus membranes healthy is key to keeping infections at bay.

Turmeric:  A superfood that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for a myriad of applications.  It’s high in antioxidants and is considered a natural anti-inflammatory that when taken on a daily basis is known to relieve the body of toxins.  People who consume turmeric are less susceptible to colds, coughs, and congestion.

Dark Leafy Greens:  Items like spinach, kale, Swiss chard & arugula are great sources of vitamin C (a cold-fighting powerhouse).  Getting adequate amounts of Vitamin C can reduce the duration of a cold.

Wild Salmon:  This food item is rich in not only healthy omega-3 fatty acids but also Vitamin D, which is critical or fending off colds and flu.  It’s been shown that healthy levels of Vitamin D helped people have fewer respiratory tract infections and aided in helping you feel better faster after getting sick.

Chicken Soup:  The hot broth raises the temperature in the body and airways, loosening mucus secretions.  The amino acid cysteine in chicken resembles a medication that’s used to treat bronchitis (keeping the lungs clear) while the protein and vegetables give your body a “super-vitamin” of sorts to aid in getting better.

What to Avoid:  Dairy (tends to promote mucus production), fatty foods (may cause stomach upset), sweets (sugar can suppress the immune system and cause inflammation), spicy foods (may cause stomach upset).


How to burn off those calories!

by Michelle on December 22, 2017

After a beautiful holiday meal the only thing on most people’s mind is relaxing…and maybe taking a nap!  That’s fine sometimes, but if you want to try and burn off some of those calories you might want to get moving.  With a full stomach it’s not advisable to be too active since your body is trying to process what was eaten, but some gentle activity is actually good for digestion.

Here are lists of some activities that you can try for about thirty minutes to an hour:

(Total calories burned depends on variables like gender, age, weight, muscle mass, etc. as well as intensity)

Yoga (light effort; NOT hot yoga) 86 calories burned 171 calories burned
Walking (light to moderate) 93 calories burned 185 calories burned
Cleaning (moderate activity) 113 calories burned 225 calories burned
Dancing (mild movements) 137 calories burned 273 calories burned
Biking (light, moderate effort) 197 calories burned 393 calories burned


(Please be sure to wait 3-4 hours after you have finished eating to try these activities)

Swimming (moderate effort) 202 calories burned 403 calories burned
Skiing (general downhill, moderate effort) 239 calories burned 477 calories burned
Ice Skating (moderate effort) 239 calories burned 477 calories burned
Basketball (moderate effort) 248 calories burned 495 calories burned
Running (moderate speed) 256 calories burned 512 calories burned


Even if you don’t feel like being active after eating a lot keep in mind that staying vertical is key to good digestion.  Even reclining beyond forty five degrees can cause problems.  So enjoy that delicious meal and those that you share it with!




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.