GREAT New Antioxidant Smoothie Mix-In (Even Kids Love)!

Written by: on Friday, May 17th, 2013
Berry Smoothie

Start your smoothie with organic berries (fresh or frozen)—and you're already getting a lot of antioxidants!

I am a HUGE fan of antioxidants. It’s the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth, in my opinion. Why? First, a very brief, but important, science lesson:

After we breathe in oxygen, it travels from our lungs to every cell in our body, helping to turn food into energy. But oxygen can also have negative effects. Body cells are stable when their molecules have a full set of electrons. When oxygen enters the picture, though, they can lose an electron, becoming unstable or oxidized—the same chemical reaction that causes metal to rust.

Stick with me here, the science lesson is almost over (but this is really important to understand, because free radicals are what trigger premature aging—of the body and the skin).

Losing an electron converts that cell’s molecule to an unstable, and damaging, atom known as a free radical. Free radicals can be formed in the body because of sun exposure; smoking (or exposure to secondhand smoke); car exhaust and factory pollution; exposure to allergens; exposure to pesticides (why organic is best) and chemicals (like home cleaning products); and even eating highly-processed foods. Exercise—while amazing for your body and mind—can also create free radicals in the body.

What to do? Well, that’s where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants are nature’s defense against free radicals; they donate missing electrons to free radicals and return them to a normal state.

That’s why I ingest as many antioxidant-rich foods as I can: organic berries; green tea; fresh herbs like oregano and cinnamon; dark

Healthy Smoothie Mix-Ins

Williams Sonoma also makes an Omega-3 Smoothie Mixer (with chia and flax seeds, and cranberries).

chocolate; almonds; beans; and brightly colored veggies like spinach, broccoli, and red/orange peppers. (I also slather antioxidant products on my skin—day and night.)

But I also look to other sources of antioxidants—and found this great Antioxidant Smoothie Mixer from, of all places, my local Williams-Sonoma (it’s also available online at williams-sonoma.com). It’s a brick-red powder that’s certified organic, vegan (and dairy free), and gluten free—and it’s made from crushed goji berries, pomegranate açai, blueberries, and camu-camu (all amazing sources of antioxidants).

Just mix it in with juice and fresh or frozen berries and some crushed ice (I added a frozen banana instead of ice). And you’ve got a powerhouse drink—for breakfast or a snack anytime. The only downside: it’s $24.95, but you only need one or two tablespoons per smoothie—so the bag should last you a couple of weeks, depending on how often you smoothie! (And if you buy three: one of these Antioxidant Mixers, the Omega-3 Mixer, and their Protein Mixer, you only have to pay $49.95—so definitely a better deal than just buying one.) If you’re into keeping your body as healthy as possible, this is definitely worth a try!

Bonus: my kids LOVE it. In fact, my 18-month old is having his second cupful as I type! But be forewarned: this is one smoothie that stains!

 

Who else needs to see this? Share it now.
Facebook0Twitter0Pinterest0LinkedIn0Google+0Email

The Healthy Deodorant I Swear By

Written by: on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant in Fresh Vanilla Lemon

A good natural deodorant—that smells great and works!

I simply cannot bring myself to use deodorants with aluminum (this cannot be good to apply near underarm lymph nodes and in areas where women shave and wax, exposing open skin to it) and other unhealthy stuff. Enter LaVanila’s The Healthy Deodorant. It comes in amazing scents (my new favorite: Fresh Vanilla Lemon) with soothing essential oils, antioxidants, and no harsh chemicals. ($18 for 2 ounces, which lasts a long time; lavanila.com). In warm weather, I apply before going to bed and several times during the day for added protection.

If you’re interested in other natural deodorant options, click here to read this great review of the most effective, aluminum-free natural deodorants on reviews.com.

Who else needs to see this? Share it now.
Facebook0Twitter0Pinterest0LinkedIn0Google+0Email

A Butt-Blasting Commute (Try It!)

Written by: on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
National Bike to Work Day

You can check your workout off your list when you ditch the car/bus/train for your bike.

So let’s get this straight: you get in your car (or onto the train or bus) to get to the office to…sit all day. Then you complain about not having time to work out. (Believe me, I’ve been there too!) Why not switch things up and take advantage of National Bike to Work Day (Friday, May 17): you’ll get your exercise in while you’re commuting (talk about multitasking!).

Okay, okay, I know the reasons why not (listed here), but I’ve countered with what I think are some pretty sensible (and practical) answers:

Women's Bike to Work Pants from Betabrand

Great stretchy Bike to Work pants from Betabrand; roll them up, and they have safety reflective strips. Plus, they have a higher rise in the back so you don't flash any motorists while you're riding!

I can’t bike to work. What the heck would I wear: sneakers and jeans? A valid point—which is why more men commute to work than women (it’s easier for guys to dress for the bike than women). But Betabrand is a company trying to change that: they’ve got super-great bike-to-work pants ($108; betabrand.com), above, and other clothing (for women and guys). But they also have a cool thinktank where you can send in your ideas about what you’d like to wear to work—and comment on design ideas: click on  http://www.betabrand.com/think-tank.html to give your feedback. (I’ve already submitted a few of my own comments!)

Where am I going to put my purse and my laptop—juggle it on my handlebars? Another good point! Even if you don’t travel with a laptop, you’ve still got your purse to

GiveLoveCycle Guilden Large Carryall Bike Bag

Handy carryall from GiveLoveCycle! It's waterproof, fits your helmet, and easily converts to a convenient backpack.

contend with. You definitely need a front basket (not so cool) or a back rack (much cooler; particularly the ones by Basil; www.basil.nl/gb/home/). But I also LOVE the GiveLoveCycle Guilden Large Carryall bag that doubles as a purse and backpack—and is even roomy enough to store your helmet! ($185; givelovecycle.com).

That’s completely impractical; I work too far away to bike. Okay, I get it. But how far is too far: 15 miles or 60 miles? 15 miles or 20 miles is actually very do-able—60, not so do-able. Assess and then dowload the free app, Everytrail (for iPhone and Android), which allows you to see your route and your current position on your phone via Google Maps or satellite view.

I own a clunker—this bike will never make it any long distance. One word answer to that: Rent. Inquire at your local bike shop for rentals—and you’ll have wheels in no time. (NYC just instituted bike sharing…as have many other cities, so if you’re city-bound, this is an option for you.) Then, consider investing in a bike for your body—and your sanity. (There’s nothing like riding in the fresh air to clear your mind of needless worry and clutter!)

There’s no place to store my bike at work. You’d be surprised how many work places have bike racks outside somewhere (you’ve probably never looked for them!). Or just lock your bike to a pole…or see if you can store it somewhere inside. You never know until you ask!

New Schwinn Swift Helmet

New helmet from Schwinn ($34.99; schwinnbikes.com) has patented EZ snap clasp technology (which means no pinching or under-neck discomfort).

Worst case, you can’t bike to work…so Saturday, make it a point to get out on your bike for a butt-blasting (and calorie-blasting) ride. The average 145-pound person can burn up to 600 calories in an hour. It’s a great, low-impact workout—and great fun! But don’t be stupid (sorry, the only word I can use here): ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET!! I have no idea why people don’t (maybe it ruins your hair, doesn’t look good…blah, blah, blah). There are simply NO excuses for not wearing one!

Now get out there and ride!

 

 

Who else needs to see this? Share it now.
Facebook0Twitter0Pinterest0LinkedIn0Google+0Email