Healthy Recipe: Chai Tea Latte

Last week, we discussed the powerful health benefits of your favorite fall flavors — cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg. This week, we wanted to give you an easy way to combine all of these spices into one easy (and delicious) drink.

chai tea latte

 

The chai tea lattes that you get at the big name coffeehouses may contain all of these wonderful spices, but they’re also packed with sugar and artificial ingredients — two things that you want to stay away from. The good news is that it’s easy to make your own chai tea lattes at home, and you don’t need any special fancy equipment.

Serves 2

What You Need:
  • cups water
  • whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 black tea bags
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
What To Do:
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine water and spices and bring to a boil over high heat. As water comes to boil, whisk the spices in the water. Once the water reaches a boil, remove the mixture from heat and allow the spices to steep in the water for 5 minutes.
  2. After 5 minutes, turn the heat back on and add the black tea bags. Return to a slight boil. Once boiling, remove from heat. Allow the tea bags to steep in the water and spices for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and strain the tea through a fine mesh strainer.
  3. Put 2 cups of coconut milk in saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once coconut milk is hot, add chai tea mixture and honey. Whisk until combined and mixture becomes frothy.
  4. Pour into mugs and serve with a dash of cinnamon on top.

Five Fall Spices That Boost Your Health

People always talk about the change in weather when fall rolls around; but have you ever noticed that fall seems to have it’s own flavor? As summer comes to an end, citrus and watermelon move aside for cinnamon, spice, and everything nice. Notes of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves begin to pop up everywhere. While all each one of these typical fall spices gets your taste buds jumping for joy, their benefits go way beyond flavor. Spices contain powerful compounds that improve your physical health.

Fall spices ginger

Cinnamon

Inflammation gets a bad rap, but it’s actually an important physiological response that helps protect your body from infection and helps fight tissue damage. It’s only when inflammation becomes chronic, which can happen from a bad diet, lots of stress, or leaky gut (to name a few), that it becomes a problem.

Cinnamon is packed with powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation and lower the risk of diseases related to inflammation, like heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease. The antioxidants in cinnamon also protect the body from free radicals—unstable compounds that cause physical damage to your DNA that can lead to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Cinnamon may also improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

A specific compound in cinnamon, called CEppt, contains properties that can halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and the growth of the plaques on the brain connected to it.

Nutmeg

Like cinnamon, nutmeg has antioxidant properties that fight inflammation and damage from free radicals. Nutmeg goes a step further by helping ease digestive symptoms like gas, nausea, and diarrhea.  It also contains a natural compound called myristicin that can protect your brain from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

According to tradition, the reason our bodies crave nutmeg as the weather starts to cool down is  because it helps warm up and can fight off colds and stomachaches, which are more common in the fall and winter.

Clove

Cloves are anti-fungal, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiseptic and loaded with antioxidants. They’re also a good source of manganese, a mineral that helps metabolize carbohydrates and fats, regulates blood sugar, and keeps blood clotting normally.

According to Ayurvedic medicine, cloves help relieve sore throats and act as an expectorant, or a compound that helps you cough up excess phlegm and mucus.

Ginger

One of the most well-known effects of ginger is its ability to relieve nausea. It’s often used for seasickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, and even nausea following chemotherapy. In addition to soothing an upset stomach, ginger may help alleviate chronic indigestion.

Ginger is also a powerful pain reliever and blood regulator. In one study, ginger dramatically lowered both fasting blood sugar and A1c levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Ginger may also help prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and oral inflammatory diseases, like gingivitis and periodontitis.

Cardamom

Although it’s not as well-known as the previous four spices, cardamom has been used in both cooking and medicine for centuries. Cardamom is rich in antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer and it can lower blood pressure.

The sweet spice also has antimicrobial properties, so it can boost your immune system and help fight off unwanted bacteria and fungi, a property that is ideal during the cooler fall and winter months.

Product of the Month! Lipotropic Complex by Integrative Therapeutics

It’s OCTOBER! Fall is officially here and temptation, in the form of Halloween candy and pumpkin spice everything, is everywhere. Since sweet treats are lurking behind every corner, we wanted to include a powerful fat-burning supplement in our monthly special that will help keep you on track, even if you veer off course a little bit. With this special you receive 4 WEEKS of everything listed below for only $295 (that’s a savings of over $200)!

Physician Consult & Weekly Weigh-ins
Meal Plans
FDA Approved Medications
MetaBlast Supplements
Craveaway Supplements
Weekly Upgraded Injection of B-12
Bi-Weekly Injection of Lipo X
Full Body Analysis on our BODYCOMP Scale
Product of the Month

This month our product of the month is Lipotropic Complex by Integrative Therapeutics!

Lipotropic Complex

What is Lipotropic Complex?

Most environmental toxins and hormones are fat-soluble, which means that they’re stored in your fat cells. All of these toxins are filtered through the liver, which is made up of a lot of fat. Because of this, a lot of these toxins stay in the liver with nowhere to go. As you’re losing weight, or when you’re doing a cleanse or a detox, the liver often needs additional nutritional support to properly move these toxins from the body. Lipotropic Complex provides this extra support for the liver, which means tons of benefits for you, including:

  • A boost in weight loss*
  • A reduction in inflammation (which can decrease pain)*
  • Improved carbohydrate metabolism*
  • Lowered cholesterol levels and decreased accumulation of fat in the liver, heart, arteries, and brain*
  • Improved mood*
  • Regulated appetite*
  • Increased energy*

Lipotropic complex also helps improve liver function, helps reduce feelings of depression, and supports healthy growth and metabolism.* It contains tons of beneficial active ingredients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium, choline, black radish, dandelion, beet root extract, and ox bile extract, and inositol. These active ingredients work together to make Lipotropic Complex one of the most potent and effective liver-flushing supplements available.

If you have any questions about Lipotropic Complex or you want to take advantage of our monthly special, contact us TODAY! You can also try Lipotropic Complex on its own by ordering here.

DISCLAIMER * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Healthy Recipe: Prebiotic-Rich Leek and Bean Soup

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been discussing the importance of prebiotics for your gut health. While you can take prebiotics in supplement form, like anything else, it’s generally best to get them through your diet. We’ve put together this prebiotic-rich leek and bean soup to help you easily get the prebiotics you need to feed those good bacteria in your gut and keep them thriving and happy.

bean soup

What You Need:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 leek bulbs, chopped
  • 2 16-ounce cans chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 16-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups chopped chicory
  • salt and pepper, to taste
What To Do:
  1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in broth and spices and bring to a boil. Add beans and chicory, lower heat to medium, and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until chicory is tender.
  3. Remove bay leaves and transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender. Puree until smooth then transfer back into soup to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Probiotics Versus Prebiotics

Last week we discussed the role certain bacteria in the gut play in helping you lose weight where we briefly touched upon the subject of prebiotics. Many of you asked us to clarify what prebiotics are and explain the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, which are more widely known.

prebiotics yogurt

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live bacteria. They are found in certain foods and drinks, like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, and miso. There are also a wide variety of probiotic supplements available on the market in both powder and capsule form.

The term probiotics is used to describe any living bacteria that is beneficial to its host: you. In studies, probiotics have been shown to boost the immune system, prevent infection, improve digestive function, and boost mood.

Because probiotics are living organisms, they can be very unstable. They are sensitive to both heat and light, and generally must be kept in a cool, dark, dry place — the refrigerator is usually best.

What are Prebiotics?

Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not live organisms. Prebiotics is the term used to describe a specialized type of plant fiber that feeds probiotics. Basically, the probiotics (or live bacteria) feed on prebiotics in order to grow and multiply. The body itself can’t digest these plant fibers, so they’re left to promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Like probiotics, prebiotics come in food sources, like onions, garlics, leeks, and kefir, and as over-the-counter supplements.

Synbiotic Regimen

When you take both probiotics and prebiotics together — or consume both probiotic and prebiotic foods — it’s called a synbiotic regimen. The best way to ensure that the bacteria in your gut are flourishing — or that the probiotic you’re taking is working — is to take probiotics and prebiotics together.

Some foods, like cheese, kefir, and certain types of yogurt, are called synbiotic foods because they contain both probiotics and prebiotics. You can also purchase synbiotic supplements.

The Secret to Weight Loss May Be in the Gut

For years, health professionals claimed that the only thing you have to focus on when it comes to weight loss is calories. If the calories you eat total less than the calories you burn through regular daily living and exercise, then you would lose the weight. Simple, right? Not so fast. More recent research shows that it’s not that simple. Many people on restricted calorie diets and exercising regularly did not see results, which led to frustration and abandonment of a weight loss regimen altogether. So what gives?

While calories do play a role in weight loss — if you overeat, you won’t lose weight — they’re not the end all, be all. Other things, like genetics, metabolism, and types of food you eat, matter too. But researchers were not satisfied with this either, so they dug a little deeper, which led them into the gut.

Bacteria in the Gut

By now, you’ve probably heard about how the gut plays a role in your health. In fact, Hippocrates, often referred to as the Father of Medicine, went so far as to say that all disease begins in the gut. But your gut doesn’t just play a role in disease, or the absence of it, it also plays a role in how easily it is for you to lose weight.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, your ability to lose weight depends heavily on the amount of two types of bacteria — bacteroides and prevotella — in your gut. These two types of bacteria help digest the fiber in your diet and, based on research, people with higher concentrations of them in their gut tend to lose weight faster and more easily.

How Do you Measure Bacteria?

The bad news here is that the only way to know if you’re one of the people who has high concentrations of bacteroides and prevotella in your gut is to collect a sample of your stool and ship it off to the lab. But here’s the good news: you don’t really need to know because either way, you can do the things necessary to boost the number of these bacteria and improve your gut health and meet your weight loss goals.

Boosting Bacteroides and Prevotella

You can’t find bacteroides and prevotella in a probiotic supplement because they only have the ability to live outside of the human body for a short period of time. But what you can do is give these bacteria the nourishment they need to grow and multiply so that they take up residence in your gut in higher numbers. The way to do this is by consuming pre-biotics, which are plant-based fibers that feed them. Foods like chicory root, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apples, flaxseeds, wheat bran, and jicama contain prebiotic fibers.

Of course, even though you can’t directly increase bacteroides and prevotella through supplementation with probiotics, it’s not a bad idea to take them since they help balance the rest of the gut microbiome.

Product of the Month! CarbCrave Complex by Pure Encapsulations

Although the recent temperatures make it hard to believe, summer is coming to a close and we’re heading into fall; but don’t let the thought of cooler temperatures distract you from your goals. Now is the time to kick your weight loss efforts into full gear so you’ll be feeling good all winter and ready for that bikini next summer.

Our September monthly special is designed to help maximize fat loss, while giving you the tools you need to curb those carbohydrate cravings that tend to intensify in the cooler months. With this special you receive 4 WEEKS of everything listed below for only $295 (that’s a savings of over $200)!

Physician Consult & Weekly Weigh-ins
Meal Plans
FDA Approved Medications
MetaBlast Supplements
Craveaway Supplements
Weekly Upgraded Injection of B-12
Bi-Weekly Injection of Lipo X
Full Body Analysis on our BODYCOMP Scale
Product of the Month

VM CarbCrave2

This month, for our product of the month, we’re offering CarbCrave Complex with Sensoril®Trim by Pure Encapsulations. CarbCrave Complex helps curb excessive carbohydrate intake and to moderates appetite by supporting healthy brain chemistry and mood.*

The active ingredients in CarbCrave Complex include:

  • Chromium Picolinate – helps balance blood sugar and control carbohydrate cravings.
  • 5-HTP – a precursor for serotonin, the same neurotransmitter released by the consumption of carbohydrates. Serotonin is thought to be responsible for increased mood – which is why people, especially those under stress, tend to crave carbohydrates.
  • DL-Phenylalanine – supports dopamine and epinephrine production, which are two neurotransmitters responsible for well-being.
  • Relora (which is a proprietary blend of magnolia extract and phellodendron extract) – Like chromium picolinate, Relora® helps decrease carbohydrate cravings and leads to a healthier intake of carbohydrates in adults. In one study involving 49 volunteers prone to eating under stress, Relora® helped reduce stress- related snacking of sweets by 76%.
  • Sensoril® Trim Ashwagandha – promotes relaxation and maintains healthy cortisol levels, which helps support glucose and fat metabolism. Ashwagandha also helps improve the body’s response to stress and fatigue.
  • Pyridoxal 5’Phosphate (or activated vitamin B-6) – a vital component in the synthesis of neurotransmitters.*

CarbCrave

If you have any questions about CarbCrave Complex or you want to take advantage of our monthly special, contact us TODAY!

DISCLAIMER * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Healthy Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oatmeal

Fall is right around the corner, but for many of us (especially those of us on the west coast), summer temperatures are still in full force. At this point in the year, when it’s tempting to go without a meal instead of turning the oven on, healthy meals that don’t require heat are worth their weight in gold.

Overnight oatmeal is one of our favorites because it requires very few ingredients, it’s easy to make, there’s no cooking involved, and it’s ready to go in the morning when you might typically be in a rush. Another bonus is that you can really use any combination of ingredients to create an overnight oatmeal that you love.

This chocolate peanut butter overnight oatmeal is a real crowd-pleaser because, well, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together? Also, it only requires 6 ingredients, all of which we already had in our pantry. Win-win!

What You Need:

  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¾ tablespoon chia seeds

What to Do:

  1. In a sealable glass jar (mason jars are ideal for this), combine coconut milk, maple syrup, and cocoa powder. Stir until evenly incorporated.
  2. Add peanut butter, oats, and chia seeds and stir until combined.
  3. Cover jar with the lid and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  4. Serve cold or microwave for 30 seconds before eating.

Optional: You can enjoy the overnight oats as is, or add additional toppings before eating. Our favorite additions include sliced bananas and crushed walnuts.

How to Get Rid of Stomach Fat

Last week we discussed the different types of body fat and how they affect your health. The most dangerous type of fat, called visceral fat, is found deep within the belly area and surrounds your major organs. The bad news is that having a lot of this type of stomach fat can increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. The good news is that although it’s dangerous, it’s very responsive to weight loss attempt — meaning, you can burn it off pretty easily with the right strategy.

Calories In Versus Calories Out

The most basic strategy for all weight loss is this: take in fewer calories than you expend. The source of your calories definitely matters, but simply restricting your calories will have a significant impact on your visceral fat.

Move More

According to researchers at Harvard University, exercise can reduce your waist circumference and help get rid of visceral fat even if you don’t actually lose any weight. To reduce visceral fat, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or biking, on most days of the week.

Consume Calcium

A study done by researchers from the University of Alabama Birmingham reported that the more calcium-rich foods a woman eats, the less visceral fat she gains. Good sources of calcium include plain yogurt, collard greens, broccoli, kale, bok choy, figs, oranges, sardines, and canned salmon.

Avoid Trans Fat and Fructose

Trans fats and fructose (read: high-fructose corn syrup) encourage the storage of fat around the belly. In addition, foods that contain trans fat and fructose are typically processed, packaged foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients anyway.

Sleep Right

Finding your perfect sleep balance is important for reducing visceral fat. Studies show that both too much (more than 8 hours) and too little sleep (fewer than 5 hours) can increase visceral fat. Aim for around 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

Manage Your Stress

Stress increases production of the hormone cortisol, which prompts the body to store belly fat. If you want to reduce your visceral fat, you’ll need to get your stress levels under control. Try deep breathing, yoga, meditation, exercise, and/or journaling.

The Types of Body Fat — and Why They Matter

When you think about fat, you might not think about the types as much as you think “I just want it gone!”; but recognizing the different types of body fat is important in determining your risk of developing certain health problems. While some fat is nothing more than a cosmetic issue, other types of fat can increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia.

belly fat

Brown Fat

Brown fat, also called Brown Adipose Tissue or BAT, is found mostly in the back of the neck. This type of fat is beneficial and helps convert the calories from the food you eat into heat to keep your core temperature warm.

Brown fat acts like a muscle when triggered by a dip in body temperature. When it’s cold outside, or when you’re standing in a cold shower or swimming in a cold ocean, your brown fat starts to burn calories for energy to heat the body. On average, a normal weight adult stores 2 to 3 ounces of brown fat, which burns about 250 calories over the course of 3 hours.

White Fat

Your body holds significantly more white fat than brown fat. Unlike brown fat, which burns energy, white fat stores energy, but that’s only one of its jobs. White fat also plays a role in hormone production and the control of insulin. Having too much white fat can make the body less sensitive to insulin, and as a result, can lead to insulin resistance and, eventually, diabetes. White fat is categorized even further into two types: subcutaneous and visceral.

Subcutaneous Fat

Almost 80 percent of fat is subcutaneous fat. This is the type of fat that lies just below the skin’s surface. It’s the fat that’s measured when determining body fat percentage; and it’s also the fat that’s typically responsible for the appearance of cellulite (although cellulite is much more complicated than this and a story for a different day).

Subcutaneous fat exists all over the body, but it’s most common in the thighs, hips, and belly. Unlike brown fat, which burns energy, subcutaneous fat stores energy. That’s why, if you regularly eat too many calories, these fatty areas will continue to grow.

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is the deep fat that wraps around the inner organs and can cause serious health problems. Having a lot of visceral fat increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Typically, visceral fat is found in the stomach area. A big waist and/or belly is a good indication that you have a lot of visceral fat.

Women with a waist circumference of more than 35 inches and men with a waist circumference of more than 40 inches are the biggest risk of developing serious diseases.