Health & Wellness Posts from the Archives & Interwebs

10 Health & Wellness Posts to Read

Hi friends! One last roundup post while I wrap up vacation. These are health and wellness posts/articles from the archives, blogs I follow and from readers!

Health & Wellness Posts to Read

5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me before I Went to College

A good read this time of year if you’re heading off to college or have a child about to do so. Hindsight is 20/20, right??

Peace Pits: DIY Aluminum-Free Deodorant Paste via The Hippy Homemaker

I had the pleasure of meeting Christina in New Hampshire and she is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to natural home and beauty solutions. This is her DIY recipe for natural deodorant–check it out!

Pride in Ability vs. Pride in Appearance: Why Sports & Fitness Matter

A big change in my health and happiness happened when I shifted my focus to what my body can do rather than on how it looks. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely DO care about my appearance, and I think that’s absolutely fine, but my self worth isn’t myopically fixated to it anymore. My body can run a marathon, do push ups without modifying, hold a plank for over five minutes, finish a Barry’s Bootcamp class without throwing up (haha)–these accomplishments are so much healthier to focus on than what my stomach looks like in a bikini.

Tips for Working Out with Weak or Injured Wrists via Lifting Revolution

THIS POST talks about how to strengthen wrists and THIS POST talks about upper body exercises that don’t put as much pressure on the wrists.

I hear this ALL THE TIME from clients: I can’t do this [push up/plank/etc] because my wrists hurt. There are muscles in our wrists so just like any other body part, they can be strengthened. There are also ways to avoid putting unnecessary stress on them. Love these two posts from Lifting Revolution on the topic.

The Rich Roll Podcast

Ok, this isn’t an article but I couldn’t do a health and wellness roundup without including Rich Roll. I’m obsessed with his podcast! He interviews people across the spectrum of fitness, nutrition, business, thought leadership–if you’re not a listener, you’re missing out!

What Do We Deserve? by Erin Bailey

This post went viral the other week and showed up several times on my Facebook feed with HEATED comment threads. It’s about cat-calling and men making offensive remarks to women in public (scratching the surface of the whole rape culture issue, I’d say). Warning: The comment section on the article is … yikes. Some intelligent dissenting opinions but also some vial, offensive trolling. If you want to avoid the negativity, I’d skip it.

Does Alcohol Limit Muscle Growth? via Muscle and Strength

This article breaks down some scientific studies looking at the effect alcohol consumption post-exercise has on muscle growth.

Alright we’re officially back to our regularly scheduled blog program tomorrow. Vacation mode: Off. 😉

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Recipe Roundup from the Archives & Interwebs

10 Healthy Recipes to Try

Hello from Martha’s Vineyard! With three little maniacs running around, I wouldn’t say this vacation is exactly relaxing (LOLLOLLOL) but it is wonderful being back and getting to show Joe’s fam this beautiful island I’m lucky enough to call home. I’ve been getting in about 30 minutes of work each morning before the crazies wake up so here’s your second roundup from the archives, blogs I follow and readers. 🙂

10 Healthy Recipes to Try

Greek Yogurt & Crushed Almond Banana Popsicles

This healthier dessert is super kid-friendly. You can have them help you make them and customize their own toppings. Adult-friendly, too. 😉 greek-yogurt-almond-frozen-bananas

Clearly an old post based on this photo quality haha

High-Fiber Coconut Blueberry Breakfast Muffins from In Fitness and In Health

Drooooool. Blueberry muffins for the win … every time.

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Baked Zucchini Chips with Lemon Yogurt Sauce from Hungry by Nature

How delicious do these look?! Make these zucchini chips the next time you need a healthy snack. baked-zucchini-chips-angle-tall

Creamy Almond Garlic Sauce (Vegan)

This is a delicious sauce for pastas and stir-fries! Creamy Almond Garlic Sauce (vegan) - perfect for serving with pasta or quinoa and roasted veggies, or drizzled on salmon and brown rice

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas from The Healthy Maven

I make some version of roasted chickpeas almost every week–seriously my favorite snack. Adding spaghetti squash and pesto to the mix? Game over. Get in my belly NOW. Pesto-Spaghetti-Squash-with-Spicy-Roasted-Chickpeas

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

These are awesome for meal prep. Freeze a bunch to have on hand for weeks! Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers -- vegan, gluten-free and a great option for food prepping for the week!

Healthy Breakfast Casserole from Eating Bird

What an awesome baked egg dish idea!

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High-Protein Black Bean Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwiches from Ambitious Kitchen

This recipe looks easy and delicious! Also seriously check out Monique’s cookie recipes on AK: AMAZING. AvocadoTunaSalad-2

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars

Make these at the beginning of the week to have on hand as a grab-and-go snack! (No-Bake) Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bars -- easy to make and the perfect snack! | pumpsandiron.com

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

These are great for a snack or health(ier) dessert. I’ve heard they’re delicious microwaved but haven’t tried it yet myself. 🙂 Chickpea Chocolate Chip "Cookie Dough" Bites (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, no added sugar)

Try one of these recipes this week! And if you have a recipe of your own to share, leave it in the comments!

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A Quick Trip to New Hampshire: MegaFood Tour Recap

MegaFood TourI’m excited to finally share all the details from my trip to New Hampshire in June to tour MegaFood! I’ve now done several posts as part of my partnership with them, but I think this one will really tie all that I’ve said about the brand together and shed clear light onto why I’m such a huge supporter of MegaFood.

The trip was a quick two days, but wonderful. Blogging can be a little solitary at times so being able to link up with others doing the same (bizarre?) job is always a welcomed treat! And while I was excited about MegaFood from the start (otherwise I never would have joined them as an ambassador), by the end of the trip that feeling was hugely intensified. You know you really like a product line when you want to give it as a gift to friends and family. With each product we learned about I found myself thinking “I have to get Joe a bottle of that!”; “That supplement would be perfect for my dad!”; “This is right up so-and-so’s alley!” In a total oh-my-gosh-I’m-turning-into-my-mother moment, I contemplated the practicality of vitamins as Christmas stocking stuffers. #YouKnowYoureOldWhen…

MegaFood Blogger Trip Recap

The trip started out with a visit to the MegaFood office, which is a separate building from their production factory. There I met some of the MF team as well as the other bloggers: Amanda from Heartbeet Kitchen, Sarah from Making Thyme for Health, and Christina from The Hippy Homemaker. Jeanette from Jeanette’s Healthy Living joined us the following day. If you haven’t checked out their blogs before, do it! After intros it was time for a smoothie workout with Chef Steve. And let’s talk about this bike-powered blender in their kitchen …

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In this wonderful country of ours we have underwater spinning fitness studios, a mechanical surfboard-themed workout trend and yoga in which you hang from suspended cloth. Yet no blend-your-own-post-workout-smoothie cycling classes??! I may have to take this idea to Sharktank.

We added MegaFood’s line of Daily Nutrient Booster Powders to the smoothies and I was surprised to find that generous scoops of multiple different powders didn’t throw off the taste of the smoothie at all–they were delicious! Chef Steve also shared a little fun fact with us you can keep on hand for your next conversation starter. Any guesses what the most nutrient-dense part of a pineapple is? I know, I know, it’s something you think about frequently. 😉

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Turns out it’s the little nubbin of a stem that remains when you strip the leaves off the top. Peel off the leaves as if you were shucking corn, and then cut off the stem. If you have a heavy duty blender, you can chop it up and toss it into your morning pineapple smoothie.

After an info session with the MegaFood team and a quick refresh at the hotel, we went out to a delicious dinner at Mint Bistro in Manchester. I got a phenomenal sushi roll for my meal and we shared several of the appetizers around the table (vegetarian nachos, yes please!). Highly recommend this restaurant if you find yourself in Manchvegas.

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We kicked off Day 2 with a Q&A session with Naturopathic Doctor and Medical Director at MegaFood, Erin Stokes. Erin rocks. She’s infectiously upbeat and so incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to all things nutrition. I’ll dive deeper into what I took away from all the info sessions later on in this post, but for now I just want to recap the trip. Next up on the agenda: a trip to Whole Foods.

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CEO Robert Craven joined us as we window shopped the nutrition aisles of Whole Foods (look for the yellow MegaFood bottles next time you’re there!) and then enjoyed a delicious lunch. One thing MegaFood puts an emphasis on is educating consumers, and one way they do that is through in-store sampling. They feel (and I totally agree because it’s definitely the case for me) that if someone knows how their products are made and truly understands the quality difference between them and lots of other brands, the purchase decision will be in favor of MegaFood. You use organic oranges grown in Florida for your Vitamin C?? These vitamins and minerals are made right in New Hampshire?? There’s actual real food in this supplement?? Sign me up. If I saw them on the shelf along with fifty other brands knowing nothing about MegaFood who knows what’d I end up buying. Let’s be real, I’d leave the aisle overwhelmed and buy hummus and baby carrots and call it day.

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After lunch it was time to tour the facility. Our lab outfits were, as the kids say, on fleek. The fleekiest, if you will. The MegaFood production process starts with the farms with which they partner. Fresh produce is delivered to the New Hampshire facility where it’s prepared for drying. This part of the transformation is what really sets MegaFood apart. They use Refractance Window Drying which slowly dehydrates the produce–so slowly that the majority of the industry has moved away from the method. This gentle drying method, however, effectively preserves the nutritional content, removing moisture and nothing more.

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They were drying oranges that day and we actually got to taste the dehydrated result. They’re not BS’ing you when they say “real” food–we ate it right off the conveyer belt. LOVE that.

Side note: You can actually take a peek into the MegaFood facility right from your computer. They’re all about transparency and actually have live webcams set up. Check it out here.

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To finish off the trip we got the chance to record a podcast episode with Erin–this was a first for me! I’m comfortable with public speaking and interviews but I was nervous about my tendency to ramble. Sometimes I’ll get on these rambling tangents and before you know it something totally awkward spews out. I’m happy to report it went well and I’ll keep you guys posted when the episode comes out!

Takeaways from the Trip

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We learned a lot throughout the two days with multiple presentations, tours and Q&A sessions. To break it down, here were my major takeaways:

Slow can be a good thing.

The MegaFood team joked several times about how slow  their production process is. When I told Joe about the trip and how they produce their supplements, his first question was actually “How do they make any money?” (haha). Well, turns out that their pace is deliberate.

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The journey from the farm to the bottle of MegaFood supplements you have in your cabinet is indeed a slow one (they have a whole webpage dedicated to it if you want the details). If profit were the only goal, yes, inefficient. But in this instance, by slowing everything down, the quality is vastly improved. I talked about it a bit earlier in the post, but the time it takes a batch to go from fresh produce to bottle is 236 hours–almost 10 days!

Today’s advanced food science and our ancestor’s understanding of food can coexist.

And we all benefit when they do! During the trip we’d go from talking about how herbalism and Chinese medicine influenced the ingredients in one supplement to seeing the high-tech computer analytics program used in quality assurance of the supplement chemistry. Talk about the best of both worlds coming together! MegaFood manages to advance while sticking to its roots, something I highly value in a nutrition product.

Food first.

Not only is food the building block of MegaFood products, but it’s also at the center of the company’s core outlook on health. Over and over during the trip, from several different team members, the idea of food being of higher importance than supplements was emphasized. That’s how I’ve always felt and honestly why I’ve never taken supplements with regularity until recently. Eh I eat healthy, I get plenty of nutrients from my food.

And that’s true to an extent. You can’t eat processed junk food all day and then pop a multivitamin and be good to go. Food is the foundation. Supplements fill in the gaps.

Big thanks to the MegaFood team for a wonderful visit!

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post as part of my partnership with MegaFood. While I am a paid ambassador, all opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible! 🙂