10 Incredible Benefits of Turmeric (Curcumin)


Although turmeric has long been known simply as the main ingredient in many Indian curries, it has recently begun to gain prominence as a healthy powerhouse. Curcumin is the primary active component that provides the majority of the health benefits associated with turmeric. Recent studies indicate that turmeric can be a powerful tool for preventing cancer, inflammation, and diabetes.

10 Incredible Benefits of Turmeric

Although turmeric is most often praised for its anti-inflammatory properties, there are many other health benefits that are connected to the spice. In order to harness the power of turmeric, scientists have isolated curcumin. There are many benefits to incorporating turmeric or curcumin into your diet, including:

Taking Advantage of Turmeric

As a whole plant, turmeric is used as a powdered spice in food, but the isolated curcumin is available as a dietary supplement. So which should you choose? Turmeric is easy to incorporate naturally into your diet as a preventative measure, but Dr. Andrew Weil recommends using curcumin if you are seeking the benefit from the therapeutic possibilities.

If you choose to incorporate turmeric into your diet, it is easy to add the flavorful spice to many recipes. Soups and stews benefit from the flavor of turmeric. However, raw turmeric can be especially beneficial, so try sprinkling uncooked turmeric on steamed vegetables or mixing it into a fresh salad dressing. Some people dislike the taste of turmeric and therefore prefer to use supplements. Curcumin supplements are easily available and can offer a more concentrated dosage of the plant.

How do you like to incorporate turmeric into your diet?

For the Love of Dairy



When it comes to determining whether or not dairy is good for you, you’re probably confused! It seems like every few weeks there is a new set of ideas about which – if any – dairy products are healthy and good for you. It’s time to finally set the record straight on dairy products.

Full Fat and Organic: The Best Way to do Dairy

Conventional wisdom has it that skim and reduced fat dairy products are the only kinds a healthy person should consume, because these products have less fat. However, recent research has shown that organic, grass-fed, full fat dairy is actually the healthiest option. This can be hard news for fat-phobics to swallow, but the human body actually needs fat to function. In fact, the reduced-fat and skim dairy options that line the shelves of your grocery may actually be contributing to the obesity epidemic because they are full of unwanted sugar and calories.

CLA-grassfed-dairyNot convinced yet? Reuters recently reported that grass-fed cows produce milk that contains much higher levels of an unsaturated fat known as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLAs are healthy fats that are believed to improve heart health. In addition, CLAs can encourage weight loss and even decrease your risk of cancer and diabetes. Furthermore, organic grass-fed dairy products lack the antibiotics and growth hormones that can make conventional milk a health risk.

Raw Milk: An Even Better Option


While full fat, grass-fed organic dairy products may be your best bet for dairy products that you can find at most grocery stores, raw (organic and grass-fed) dairy products are the healthiest for you. The benefits of raw milk include higher levels of essential nutrients such as fatty acids and several vitamins, including Vitamin C. The pasteurization process dramatically reduces all of these vitamins and nutrients. Raw milk devotees also report that raw products actually taste better. If you’re interested in supporting local business endeavors, raw milk also lets you support local farmers and suppliers! However, it should be noted that raw milk can make drinkers very sick if it contains any bacteria or pathogens, since it is not pasteurized or sanitized in any way. You should only purchase raw dairy products from a farm that you feel is trustworthy.

There is actually some evidence to suggest that raw dairy products are suitable for people who struggle with lactose intolerance – raw dairy products have enzymes and live cultures that are not present in pasteurized options. Many people who suffer from lactose intolerance have found that raw milk is less likely to make them feel uncomfortable or sick. Perhaps this is because raw milk still contains all of the healthy bacteria that help your body to process dairy. Pasteurization actually removes all of the lactase enzymes that are known to improve digestion of lactose, the main sugar in milk!

It’s OK to Love Dairy!


So the set the record straight – dairy products are part of a well-balanced and healthy diet! The key is to find the right dairy products, which will give you the best health benefits while also tasting delicious. At a minimum, replace fat free or reduced fat items like milk, yogurt, cheese, and sour cream with the real, full fat versions.  Also, eliminate any margarines or other butter substitutes and replace them with the real thing.  If your budget allows, buy organic (and grass fed) dairy wherever possible. Finally, give raw dairy a try!

Yes, It Really is the Most Important Meal of the Day

Morning Power Foods

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do we really believe it? Lots of busy people routinely skip breakfast or resort to a sugary pastry with their coffee. The truth is that your body desperately needs a healthy, hearty breakfast full of vitamins and nutrients, because your metabolism needs a kick-start before you begin your day. In addition, if you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to snack throughout the day and overeat at lunch and dinner.

Skip the Cereal Aisle

bran cereal

Looking for a quick breakfast option? Don’t choose a bowl of cereal! Believe it or not, cereal is one of the worst breakfast options out there. All of those tantalizing boxes in the cereal aisle are filled with over-processed cereals that are essentially fake reconstructions of the original grains. Even if the box says “fortified,” you’re only getting synthetic vitamins that your body can’t process properly. Plus, processed cereal is full of sugar that will cause you to have an energy spike before your energy levels plummet.

Don’t use cost as an excuse for eating cereal every morning. Yes, boxes of cereal are cheaper than healthier breakfast options, but when your energy drops, your going to spend money on extra snacks anyway.

Morning Power Foods

Morning Power Foods

Instead of cereal, focus on incorporating whole foods into your breakfast routine in order to get plenty of protein and fiber. Protein and fiber work together to give you sustainable energy throughout the day, so choose whole grain bread or oats for fiber, and nuts, eggs, or yogurt for protein. It’s always a good idea to get plenty of variety in your diet, so make sure you have plenty of healthy options to mix together in the morning.

If you still crave a bowl of cereal, try making your own homemade granola. When you make it yourself, your can control what ingredients go into your breakfast. Use oats, nuts, and dried fruit to concoct a well-rounded cereal alternative. Oatmeal is another great option for a nutrient-rich breakfast. Choose steel-cut oats to make sure you’re getting as much fiber as possible. Add hearty toppings such as blueberries for antioxidants, nuts for healthy fats, and ground up flax seeds for extra fiber.

Tips For When You’re In a Time Crunch

Are you always in a hurry to get out the door in the morning? The key to making sure you still get a hearty breakfast is to plan ahead. Keep a selection of on-the-go options on hand at home so that you aren’t tempted to get a donut on the way to work. Try whole grain granola bars or yogurt with some nuts and berries on top.

Breakfast Smoothies

If you have a blender, why not make an easy and delicious breakfast smoothie? Throw in a mixture of whatever fruit you have on hand, such as bananas, oranges, apples, and frozen strawberries (even better, mix in some greens too!). Add some yogurt, almond milk or coconut milk for some extra protein, and you’ve got a well-rounded breakfast in a cup! Grab a piece of whole grain toast or add some flax to your smoothie to amp up your fiber intake.

Coca-Cola Life – Nice Try, but We’re Not Fooled


The Coca-Cola Company appears to be trying to respond to a growing market for healthy drinks and alternatives to chemical sweeteners like aspartame, with a new product they are calling Coca-Cola Life:


Nice try!

This product is only available in Argentina currently, however it’s our best guess that it will eventually make it’s way into more markets and we may see it on shelves in the US at some point.

They’ve gone to some effort to paint this version of Coke as being natural (which many people correlate with being healthy), but after doing some further digging we found that other than using a little stevia as a sweetener, it’s pretty much the same garbage as regular Coke:

Coca-Cola Life Ingredients List: Carbonated Water, Caramel Coloring, Phosphoric Acid, Natural Flavors, Steviol Glycosides, Sodium Benzoate, Caffeine

Note that the new “natural” version still has phosphoric acid (which can lead to osteoporosis and kidney disease, even if you only consume one can a day) and sodium benzoate (a lab-synthesized preservative which can cause cancer).

Coca-Cola Life is natural?  We think not!  We’ll stick to delicious and equally fizzy soda alternatives, thankyouverymuch.

Dr. Frank Lipman – Many Health Crises in America are Related to Digestive Problems


Excellent interview today over at Organic Authority with Dr. Frank Lipman, one of the leading physicians on blending “western” medicine with more “alternative” medicine to bring people to their optimum health.

As one of the co-founders of Nature’s Symbiotics as well as dealing with Crohn’s Disease my entire adult life, this article was especially interesting because Dr. Lipman really drives the point home about how so much of our health is linked to the gut.  Whether you have a condition like mine, or any kind of auto-immune or inflammatory disease, or are in generally good health but want to protect yourself from getting sick, this is great advice to take home.  Take care of your gut and your gut will take care of you! :)

Here’s the interview – definitely worth a read! http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/healing-from-the-inside-out-dr-frank-lipman-on-americas-healthcare-and-feeling-great.html

3 Delicious, Healthy Fats that Keep You Lean


Even the healthiest diet needs to include a small amount of healthy fats! Believe it or not, fat actually has a number of health benefitsas long as you choose natural fats instead of man-made, processed ones!



A great source of good fat is fish. Fish, especially cold-water fish such as herring, tuna, salmon, trout, or mackerel, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. There’s a reason so many people take fish oil supplements! Incorporating these oily fishes into your diet can provide excellent health benefits, including better heart health with decreased risk of heart disease, increased cognition and brain development, and improved mood. They may also improve insulin and blood sugar levels, which is great news for people who have type 2 diabetes.



Avocados are an excellent source of good fat, especially omega-9 monounsaturated fat – not to mention that they’re chock-full of antioxidants as well! Monounsaturated fats are a great way to help your heart, as they reduce the risk of heart disease. These fats are also memory enhancers. Avocados are one of our favorite fast foods – they are practically a meal on their own, and a healthy, satisfying snack!



Nuts are also a great source of good fats. Different nuts provide different benefits as well! Walnuts, like fish, are an excellent source of omega-3s. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios are all great sources of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, which are other great fats for help with heart health, blood sugar and cholesterol maintenance. A bonus is that nuts are an excellent source of protein!

The French Paradox: 5 Tips To Live Slimmer and Healthier


If you are looking to develop a healthier lifestyle, draw some inspiration from the “French Paradox.” The French have much lower rates of heart disease and obesity than Americans do – despite the fact that their diet is full of butter, cheese, chocolate, and wine. Why is it that the French are thinner with a much lower incidence of heart disease than Americans, despite the fact that they eat three times as much fat as we do? Let’s talk about how to follow that example.

Eat Less Food at Once


 Even though French foods are typically fattier and much richer than American foods, the French stay healthier by eating smaller portions, according to this article from Psychology Today. Did you know that even pre-packaged single serving food items, such as chocolate bars and yogurt cups, are much larger in the United States than in France? This is also very true for fast food restaurants, where American serving sizes are 25% larger portions than their French counterparts.

In the American food system, many selling points are based around bargains. Americans love all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants or “two for one” specials. In France, no matter what the restaurant, the mindset is about the quality of the food, rather than the quantity.

How can we control our portion sizes in restaurants? It’s not as hard as it may seem. Ordering for two? Get one entrée and maybe a small side dish to share evenly between the two of you. Ordering for a large group? Get a few entrées and maybe some smaller appetizers. And never underestimate the power of bringing home your leftovers – there’s no reason to eat what you can’t eat now if you can still have it later!

Enjoy Your Food More


For the French, eating is something to be enjoyed – every time. Dining takes time, and this is all a question of enjoying what you eat.

This is a simple exercise in taking care to enjoy your food more. Eat slowly and intentionally. If you chew each bite with full attention to what you’re eating, with a pause between bites to relish in the flavors, you’ll find that you’ll be satisfied much quicker. Pay attention to your food: don’t eat in front of the TV or while reading.

This is simple science: it takes about 20 minutes for food to pass through your stomach and reach your small intestine – which means it takes just as much time for your brain to receive the message that it’s time to stop eating. If you eat too quickly, you’re much more likely to overeat as a result!

Make It Yourself

female chopping food ingredients

In this Morning News article, several French women are interviewed as to how they do it. Other than portion sizes, one consensus is that processed foods are a bad way to go. For many French people, processed foods are simply unsatisfying and much less enjoyable than foods that you make yourself. For the French, this means buying good quality ingredients. In France, many people still buy their produce right from the source. They go to a cheese shop for cheese or a butcher’s for meats. When it comes to baked goods? The French are, as always, much more interested in high-quality foods. A box of Oreos is simply not as interesting as a homemade croissant.

When you make your own food, you know exactly what goes into it. In France, TV dinners and instant pre-made foods are something of a foreign concept. If they don’t have time to cook, the French would much rather make do with something quick, like pasta.

High in Fat – But What Kind of Fat?

woman choosing between pizza and orange

American food is extremely high in fat, but so is French food. So what’s the difference? According to this AskMen article, the key is the type of fat. In France, the fats are not processed (think: hydrogenated oils); rather, they come from natural sources like dairy and vegetables. Dairy is a surprisingly healthy form of fat, especially because dairy products make you feel full more quickly – so you’ll be more inclined to eat less.

Don’t Forget Exercise


Diet is not the only aspect of a healthy lifestyle, and any doctor can confirm this. Whatever you eat, it’s important to get out and exercise. In France, much of the culture is such that people walk everywhere, even when the option to drive or use public transportation is available. If you’re spending your leisure time lounging around being a couch potato, then it doesn’t matter what you eat; it’s simply not a healthy way to live!

Frozen Yogurt: Not Exactly a Healthy Treat!

Excellent article yesterday courtesy of our friends at 100 Days of Real Food and the Food Babe!  With the huge popularity of these refreshing, summer time treats, we’re glad they went the extra mile to look into what we are really eating when we buy from these popular chains like Red Mango, Pinkberry, and the like.  We’ve written about popular “healthy alternative” misconceptions before, so we weren’t surprised to discover that they found that frozen yogurt is not the healthy treat people tend to think it is.

pinkberry 2

The bottom line?  Low-Fat/Fat-Free, commercially offered frozen yogurt treats are full of processed ingredients, both to preserve them for large scale distribution and also to make them taste better (since the fat has been removed).  In fact, much like how fast food chains do their shakes and soft serve, they come in a box or carton full of pre-made, pre-mixed liquid or powder that the store then prepares and freezes.

And perhaps the most surprising bit of all is what these yogurts don’t contain – probiotics!  That’s right, the freezing process kills off all or most of the probiotics so much that they no longer meet the criteria to actually be called yogurt.

So at the end of the day, what you are really eating is a frozen, “milk-based” treat that bears little to no resemblance to actual yogurt and is full of processed ingredients.  That doesn’t sound super healthy to us.

The alternative?  Well, as always, reading the labels and doing a little research is really the best option and the only way to make sure that what you are eating is “real food”.  We did some research to try to find brands out there that are real food and it turns out it is difficult but not impossible!  As it turns out, sorbets may be your best bet.  We found one widely available brand, Ciao Bella, which is widely available at stores like Target, Safeway, and Whole Foods.  And while all of their products don’t fit the criteria, a lot of them do, especially their sorbet.  Deserving an honorable mention is Häagen Dazs, which we’ve always loved for their real food ingredients, although we were disappointed to see them using corn syrup in their sorbets.  Even so, in general their products are pretty good quality for a mass-distributed product line.

Here is an example of how Pinkberry compares to Ciao Bella:

Pinkberry Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Pinkberry Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Ciao Bella Raspberry Sorbet
Ciao Bella Raspberry Sorbet
Serving Size 1/2 cup 1/2 cup
Calories 110 120
Total Fat 0g 0g
Cholesterol 5mg 0mg
Sodium 50mg 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 23g 28g
Dietary Fiber 0g 3g
Sugars 22g 24g
Protein 3g 0g
Vitamin A 0% 0%
Vitamin C 4% 4%
Calcium 10% 0%
Iron 0% 4%
Ingredients Nonfat milk, sugar, strawberry flavor (strawberries, sugar, water, natural flavors, fruit and vegetable juice [for color], guar gum, sodium citrate), nonfat yogurt (pasteurized nonfat milk, live and active cultures), nonfat yogurt powder (nonfat milk, culture), fructose, dextrose, natural flavors, citric acid, guar gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, rice starch Raspberry Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Water, Natural Flavor, Pectin


Remember, though, it’s still a treat, so moderation is important – just read the labels and make sure the ingredients are real food!

You can read the article in it’s entirety here:  http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/06/12/food-babe-investigates-frozen-yogurt-gone-bad/

The Secret Behind my Favorite Fast Food

If you’re anything like me, you’ve found it pretty difficult to deal with hunger cravings, the desire to snack, giving up junk food, etc, right?  Especially when you’re busy at work, running errands, doing chores around the house, and all of the various other things that keep us busy each day, even on the weekends!

I really thought that getting rid of all the junk and convenience food would be super hard, but I’ve discovered that lots of healthy stuff is actually just as fast to throw together in a pinch.  The key is really to just keep a few great ingredients on hand all the time.  For example, I’ve gone from stocking my pantry with crackers, chips, noodle packets and the like to stocking my fridge with lemons, limes, and avocados (among other things).

And that brings me to what has become by far my favorite “fast food”:

avocado-fast-foodAvocado with lemon juice, Spike, and citrus sparkling water

1 Avocado
1 or 2 fresh lemons and limes
sparkling water
Spike (also comes in a salt and gluten free version)

This literally took me 5 minutes to throw together!  For the avocado, simply slice open and sprinkle some fresh lemon juice on top, to taste.  I usually like to make sure that the indentation in the center is at least half full of lemon juice.  Then sprinkle Spike, a fantastic all-purpose natural seasoning full of great herbs and spices, on top.  Then eat with a spoon!  I also like to make a quick pitcher of sparkling water and sliced lemons and limes as a refreshing, healthy and virtually zero calorie drink.

Here’s the secret behind why this is such a great fast food snack, especially when you’re feeling hungry and having cravings:

  • Avocados have only around 250 calories each – so even though they seem like a rich indulgence, they really aren’t!
  • They are rich in healthy fat and fiber, which means your cravings for rich, fatty foods will be satisfied and the fiber will help you feel full too
  • They are also rich in potassium, magnesium and iron as well as VItamins A, B6, and C
  • The citrus gives an extra boost of Vitamin C

Personally I’m thinking the whole phrase about an apple a day should’ve been about avocados. :)  Enjoy!

How Convenience Foods Make You Fat

No So Lean Cuisine

Looks pretty healthy, right? Wrong – this “healthy” meal has at least 5 ingredients either containing MSG (like yeast extract) or that create MSG during processing (like maltodextrin)

One of the most common ingredients used in diet foods such as frozen dinners is the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG). Whether it’s MSG or other glutamates, you’ll want to avoid these substitutes in anything that you eat. As little as 5 grams of MSG per day makes you 30 percent more likely to become obese than someone else who doesn’t eat it. In fact, medical studies also show that your liver suffers and the threat of visceral fat increases with an uptick of MSG consumption.

If MSG and other glutamates are so negative, why are they added to foods in the first place? Simple: they make the food you’re eating taste better. Similar to the artificial sweeteners added to diet sodas, MSG makes our bodies accustomed to robust flavor.

However, this heartier flavor from MSG and other glutamates has many negative affects including:

  • Making us dumber. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but MSG is medically proven to kill brain cells. The result? Excess MSG consumption can cause eye damage, fatigue, heart problems, nausea, and other neurological side effects.
  • Insulin resistance. Insulin is one of the most important chemicals in our metabolic process. Increased resistance can interfere not only with our efforts to lose weight, but other bodily processes.
  • Increased leptin production. Leptin is a chemical that is directly linked to causing fat storage. This is why it’s known as the “fat hormone.”  Our Garcinia Cambogia HP is designed to reduce leptin, so avoiding glutamates in addition to taking our Garcinia Cambogia HP is immensely helpful in fighting fat!

To avoid these negative side effects, it’s important to check the labels of all the foods you consume, particularly if they’re frozen “diet” dinners. However, keep in mind that MSG can be labeled in various ways including autolyzed yeast, textured protein, hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate, yeast extract, yeast nutrient, glutamic acid, and more.

Real food is good food!

Our rule of thumb – stick to foods that you’d actually have in your pantry, and especially avoid ingredients you can’t pronounce! Click the photo for more great resources on how to eat better.

Again, the best option for any diet is to focus on the quality of foods being consumed. Healthy, natural foods in moderation are always better for our bodies than processed low or zero calorie foods. While diet foods might be tempting, they’re short cuts that aren’t really short cuts – our bodies will recuperate those lost calories one way or another. Simply moderate your diet and stay healthy!

Here are some great tips for how to incorporate natural, whole foods into your diet - happy eating and good health!

Click here for Part 1 – Why Diet Sodas Aren’t Really Diet

Click here for Part 2 – Why Fat Free and Low Fat Foods Actually Make You Fat

Want to jump start your weight loss plan?  Try our 60% HCA Garcinia Cambogia HP for a super convenient (only 2 capsules per day) way to boost your weight loss!