Healthy Living

5 Fun Family Activities To Do At Home

Family Having A Dance Party At Home

Sometimes an unforeseen event can force you into a home office situation you might not be fully prepared for. When making the transition to working from home, some parents get caught short on one vital thing — how do you entertain the kids?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered — at least for a week! We’ve come up with five weekday activities you can do with the whole family when your kids are home from school — one for each day of the work week:

Monday: Have an ABC Day

Choose a letter and plan the day around that letter. For the letter G, you could eat Granola, drink Greens Blend, play in the Garden, and make drawings of Giraffes (you get the idea!). Set them on a scavenger hunt for things around the house that start with “G”. Keep a list of how many “G” related things you can accomplish in one day. This is a great teaching activity for parents with young ones, but it’s still a fun game for any age!

Tuesday: Grow Fruit Trees & Reuse

This simple project will encourage you to practice your green thumb while teaching kids about seed germination. Save up the seeds from your apples, oranges, or any fruit that you have in the house, along with the cardboard from your toilet paper rolls. Toilet paper rolls make excellent seed starters; they are compostable and can be directly planted into the ground. 

Instructions:

  1. Cut the toilet paper roll in half.

  2. Make four cuts in the roll, 1/3 of the way up.

  3. Fold the cut area on the bottom like you would close a box.

  4. Fill your new seed pots with a light potting soil, plant the seed and pack it down with your thumbs – it's that simple.

  5. Place outside in a sunny spot or inside a window sill and watch it grow!

 Wednesday: Spring Cleaning — But Make It Fun!

If you’re guilty of having a Pinterest board with organization ideas but no time to implement any of the tips and tricks you’ve been saving, this one's for you! Collect all reusable jars in the house and start transferring the contents of your pantry into them. Add a little fun to this project for kids or adults by getting crafty with your labeling. Use an eco-friendly cleaner to wipe down the insides of your pantry once you’ve taken all the contents out!

“Mason

Thursday: Dance Party

Create a music playlist for the family and have a dance party! Movement is important for the mind and body, and dancing is a wonderful way to have fun and connect with your family while moving. We love this activity because it’s something you can do even if you are alone — this is your chance to dance like nobody's watching! 

Friday: Start A Book Club

Start a book club with friends and schedule video chats to discuss. Book clubs promote reading, critical thinking and healthy socializing in kids. And with today’s technology, it’s easy to hop on a group video call and stay connected. Keeping up with a book club doesn’t end when they go back to school — this is an activity that can be permanently ongoing! 

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You can tackle these projects in the order your family wants to. Remember, assigning projects to kids at home is a great way to keep them engaged, entertained and finding success when they’re home from school. It also helps keep them on a schedule and gives everyone something to look forward to each day!

 

4 Ways To Support Digestion And Immunity

Woman Gets Probiotics From Eating Yogurt

Gut health has been gaining traction in the health and wellness world, and for very good reason. Gut health affects everything from your immune system, to your weight, to your brain function, so it’s really important to focus on what’s going on in your belly.

More and more research highlights the importance of the healthy bacteria that live in your gut.

Having adequate “good” bacteria has been shown to help regulate the digestive system and help support the immune system. Recent probiotic studies connect proper balances with healthy body weight and brain health too!

Here are four ways you can take steps to support your digestive health, a key to your overall well-being and immunity:

  1. Take a Probiotic daily 
    Think of this supplement as a bit of an ‘insurance policy’ to help make sure that you’re balancing the bacteria in your gut every day, no matter what. Support your digestive health and immune system with our Probiotic Supplement — it has a proprietary 5-strain blend with 25 billion CFUs guaranteed. Plus, it's made in the USA

  2. Add fermented foods to your diet 
    Try adding foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. They begin with a live active culture and are fermented, giving them the benefit of probiotics.

    Man Pours Water To Stay Hydrated

  3. Drink lots of fluids 
    Our bodies need water for skin health, immunity and energy, but also to push things along through digestion. So while we need the bacteria for gut health, we also need the fluids to keep everything moving as it should.

  4. Eat fiber
    Many fibers are considered to be prebiotics. This means that they feed the good bacteria already present in your gut. But different fibers feed different bacterium, so it’s important to get these prebiotics from multiple sources and from a variety of foods.

To ensure a healthy gut, you should take a premium Probiotic supplement for balanced gut health and a supported immune system. You can also include a serving of fermented food each day for extra measure. Once you take gut health into your own hands, you may be surprised how great you feel and become a pro-probiotic fanatic as well!

7 Ways To Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

Brother And Sister Washing Dishes With Eco-Friendly Cleaner

We should always be looking for new ways to be kinder to our planet — a great way to start is by making your own home more eco-friendly!

Having an eco-friendly home will help you contribute to a sustainable environment and also save some money. Every step you take helps reduce your own carbon footprint!

Here are seven ways you can put your home on an eco-friendly track:

  1. Save Water

    It’s time to get serious about saving water! Installing a water meter, checking your place for any leaks, and even just cutting down on shower time are ways to be conscious of your water consumption. A low-flow showerhead can save over 2,000 gallons of water per person each year! Remember: Use only what you need when it comes to water.

  2. Compost Food Waste

    Don’t waste your leftovers — turn your kitchen scraps into compost. Consider investing in a compost bin or building your own to start composting food waste. After breaking down kitchen scraps you will be left with rich fertilizer for your garden and a lot less food waste. Plus you’ll make insects such as worms very happy!

  3. Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

    Harmful chemicals are not only bad for the environment, they can be dangerous if you have pets or kids in your household. Luckily there are eco-friendly cleaners designed with kid and pet safety in mind. Check out our eco-friendly cleaners that are safe for the whole family, including our Bio-Base Floorwash and Bio-Base Biodeodorizer Spray.

    Man Mops Floor With Eco-Friendly Floorwash

  4. Proper Insulation and Ventilation

    If you are a homeowner, maintaining the temperature inside your house is crucial to energy management. The latest in insulation and ventilation helps keep your home’s temperature steady during all seasons, eliminates energy waste and saving you money in heating and cooling costs each year.

  5. Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

    This is a simple one — investing in energy efficient light bulbs isn’t very costly and they use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. They also last much longer, which means you don’t have to replace them as often. It’s a no-brainer — save some cash and energy at the same time!

  6. Buy Recycled Items

    Try to buy recycled products whenever you can. From toilet paper to paper towels and napkins, you can find almost any paper-based household product made with recycled materials. You can even buy recycled technology, such as cell phones and video game consoles.

  7. Install Solar Panels

    While it’s a long-term investment, solar panels are an essential feature for an eco-friendly home. Solar panels provide clean electricity — and in many cases you can generate enough energy to sell some back to the electric company. Deciding to install solar is a long-term financial investment. The big upside here is that at a certain point you will break even and be free from continuing to pay your utility every single month. Hands down, solar is one of the best ways to make your home eco-friendly.

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Here at Life’s Abundance, we are focused on reducing our own carbon footprint everyday. Our Florida headquarters is solar powered, our Texas warehouse will be powered by wind, and we’re constantly implementing more sustainable practices throughout our business. Thanks to these initiatives along with our tree planting program we are a climate positive company. Customers are a big part of this impact too. For each skin care product purchased another tree is planted!

Do you have other great ideas for eco-friendly living? Share them in a comment below.

Tropical Chia Pudding Recipe

Bowl with Tropical Chia Seed Pudding

This recipe has become one of our favorites because of its few ingredients, minimal prep time, and delicious flavor. Whether you’re eating it for breakfast or dessert, chia pudding is a guilt-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Recipe:

Makes 4 servings

For Serving (optional):

  • Diced fresh peaches
  • Sliced banana
  • Walnuts
  • Honey
  • Sea salt

Instructions:

  • In a mixing bowl add coconut milk, chia seeds, maple syrup (to taste), and Minerals & Antioxidants. Whisk to combine. We used the container we would be storing the pudding in for less cleanup.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours). The chia pudding should be thick and creamy. If not, add more chia seeds, stir, and refrigerate for another hour or so.
  • Layer your serving bowls with cut peaches and one serving of chia pudding per bowl. Next, layer bananas and walnuts. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with sea salt, and enjoy!

Chia pudding will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, making this a great recipe for anyone with limited kitchen time. Even better, kids love helping with this recipe since the pudding turns pink once our Minerals & Antioxidants mix is added — it's also perfect for vegans!

Bored of Water — Stay Hydrated With These Tips

Little Girl Drinking Healthy Juice

Do you know someone who says, “I’m tired of drinking water!” Maybe you even feel that way yourself. Getting past your taste buds can be a challenge, especially if you're not sure where to turn for healthy alternatives.

Whether we like the taste of water or not, hydration is an essential part of our health. Many people experience symptoms of dehydration and have no clue their body is craving water. Here are some telltale signs that you may be suffering from dehydration:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Extreme thirst
  • Dark, yellow urine

While these are the first signs of dehydration, they can get worse over time. If your dehydration is not addressed, you may experience more serious symptoms such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat, sunken eyes, fainting, dry skin and lack of energy.

Woman Bored of Drinking Water

How to fight dehydration

While flavored waters can be appealing, typically they include undesirable ingredients like artificial colors, flavors, and sugar.

A tasty way to enjoy water is with our Minerals and Antioxidants mix. Instead of a sugar crash from other “healthy” drink brands, our mix delivers a delicious boost of sustained energy from a blend of superfruits and sea vegetables with no added sugars, flavors or preservatives.

Here are some other foods you can try out that will help keep you hydrated:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Oatmeal
  • Juice
  • Soup
  • Coconut water
  • Yogurt
  • Popsicles

Don’t let the taste keep you from proper hydration. Without it, you won’t be able to function at 100% and it could even impact your long-term health.

Staying hydrated is a simple but important step to putting your health first. Put some of these healthy and tasty solutions to work for you and benefit from their nutritious qualities!

Candy Cane Protein Shake Recipe

Candy Cane Smoothie

Attention Candy Cane Lovers: The holidays are here! That means it’s time to indulge in a sweet peppermint treat with a healthy boost of protein.

Create your own Candy Cane Protein Shake this holiday season:

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add ice, blend, and enjoy!

Popular 'Fruit' Drinks For Kids Found To Be Unhealthy

Girl Shares Unhealthy Kids Drink With Woman

Parents around the country are always trying to make sure their children are eating a nutritious diet — that’s why it was so shocking when an eye-opening new study revealed their kid’s favorite seemingly-healthy drinks are loaded with added sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Researchers analyzed 34 sweetened kids' drinks and found that two-thirds contained no juice, but images of fruit appeared on 85% of the packages, according to a new report from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

Packaging with pictures of fruit and other nutritional claims have left both parents and kids thinking these drinks contain fruit and sources of nutrition. In reality, many kids end up consuming more than the recommended amount of daily added sugar.

“Labels on drinks are confusing and misleading, causing parents to think they are providing their children a healthy drink when in actuality they are not,” said Natalie Muth, MD, pediatrician and representative of the APP. “The American Academy of Pediatrics is alarmed that children consume so much added sugar.”

According to the study:

  • Sugary drinks make up about one-half of all added sugar consumed by children.
  • Fruit-flavored juice drinks with added sweeteners are the most common sugary drink consumed by young children, toddlers and preschoolers.
  • One serving of 11 of the top fruit drinks had more than 50% of the recommended amount of daily added sugar for children.

“I know that parents want their children to be healthy, but the sweetened drink market is just incredibly confusing to parents,” said lead author Jennifer Harris, the principal investigator for the study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Unhealthy Drinks For Kids On Production Line

Many popular kids’ drinks in the country contain 0% juice while plastering images of fruit on their labeling and advertising. Making a switch to something healthy seems like a simple choice, but kids will be demanding a flavorful alternative beyond the pediatrician-recommended options of water and milk.

If you are looking for a tasty replacement for the sugary drinks in your family’s life, look no further than our Minerals & Antioxidants drink mix. Meant for use as a dietary supplement, it’s packed with electrolytes, amino acids and other nutrients from a blend of nutritious sea vegetables and superfruits. With delicious Cherry and Tropical Fruit flavors, the kids will never know! As with all Life’s Abundance products, it does not contain any added sugar or artificial flavors. There are even fun recipe ideas to try, like Mango Tropsicles. As always, consider talking to your family physician before introducing new supplements.

The next time you are in the ‘juice’ aisle at the store being bombarded by vibrant packaging and maybe even your kid’s pleas, remember this study and feel confident in your decision to skip the sugary kids' drinks.

Creating Healthy Comfort Food With Added Nutrition

Family Making Comfort Food Together

For years, parents have been figuring out ways to sneak nutrition into meals, creating healthy comfort food for a generation of kids who didn’t know their brownies had actually been spiked with veggies.

And that’s a good thing! Food doesn’t have to necessarily taste healthy in order for it to be good for you. From gooey side dishes to decadent desserts, we all have our go-to dishes when we just need a little comfort.

Here are some popular meals that adults and kids agree are delicious — with a few tricks to boost their nutritional content:

Mashed Potatoes

We all know there’s nothing better in the world than a pile of velvety-soft mashed potatoes, layered with butter, milk and perhaps, a bit of sour cream. But you don’t have to take out any of your favorite ingredients. Instead, try adding mashed cauliflower to make some healthy comfort food. Cauliflower blends smoothly with the flavor of the potatoes and is loaded with vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.

Casseroles

Lasagna, green beans, cheesy hash brown breakfasts — there are so many delicious casseroles out there! The only problem with them is they tend to be weighed down by a lot of cheese, carbs and fats (of course, that’s what makes them comforting and delish).

But did you know that you can doctor up your casseroles with plenty of healthy ingredients to make them both palatable and healthy? Some examples include using steamed fresh veggies instead of canned, brown rice instead of white, whole-grain pasta and low-fat sour cream or milk.

“A casserole gives you an opportunity to mix a whole bunch of cancer-protective foods in a single dish,” said Melanie Polk, director of nutrition education at the American Institute for Cancer Research to WebMD. “It’s a way to combine beans, whole grains and vegetables.”

Healthy Dinner Casserole

Ground Flaxseed Meal

An easy way to get a little more fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids in your diet is by adding ground flaxseed meal to your food. There are plenty of ways to add a teaspoon here and there — try putting it in your meatloaf, baked goods or oatmeal.

It also tastes great (and by that, we mean undetectable) in an old lunchbox staple, the peanut butter sandwich. Just plop a spoonful in the peanut butter, stir it up … and voila!

Desserts

There’s many ways to make desserts a little more nutritious without losing the treat factor. Have you ever tried adding pureed carrots and spinach to a brownie mix?

One simple way to add protein to your dessert is to slip in some vanilla or chocolate plant-protein powder. You can add this to a milkshake, pumpkin pie or a batch of cookies for a sweet flavor boost that’s as good for you as it tastes.

We’re always sharing recipes for sweet, nutritious treats. Check out our recipes for Vegan Berry Nice Cream, Angel Food Cake, and Buttery Pecan Protein Cookies at home today!

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Remember — watch your serving size, eat a variety of foods and remember that treats, even comfort foods, should be enjoyed and not fully avoided. The key is moderation. Bon appétit!

How To Eat A Plant-Based Diet On A Budget

Woman Eating a Plant Based Diet on a Budget

While just a decade ago it was tricky and costly to go vegan or vegetarian, it’s much easier today to embrace a healthy plant-based diet. Some people still hesitate to take the plunge for one reason – the myth that eating a plant-based diet is just too expensive. Don’t you need a lot of costly exotic ingredients?

The answer is no! While investing in a healthy diet is a great idea for everyone, you don’t need to buy a lot of fancy foods to sustain this lifestyle. If you strip it down to the basics, you will find that anyone can afford a plant-based diet on a minimal budget. With a little bit of know-how, a healthy diet packed with nutrients and bursting with taste will fit your budget without breaking the bank.

Here are a few affordable plant-based diet tips to get you started:

- Prepare your own food

The surest way to rack up an expensive food budget is to eat out at restaurants all the time. Most restaurants, even fast-food joints, offer plant-based options at a premium. Dining out should be an occasional treat or avoided altogether if you're on a strict budget.

Save by packing your own work lunch and keeping a stash of veggie-friendly snacks in the car so you won’t be tempted to give in to expensive cravings. Try making a vegan smoothie with our delicious vanilla or chocolate plant-based protein powder and some frozen fruit for an inexpensive and healthy snack.

- Embrace whole foods

Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and unrefined. They are not only healthy and packed with the essential nutrients your body needs, but sometimes they can be the affordable choice too. For example, a banana is cheaper than a bag of chips and a baked potato is cheaper than fries.

These are some super-healthy and nutrient-dense foods to focus on:

  • Fruits – In-season fresh fruits are budget-friendly, so check out your farmer’s market for deals. Dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, apricots, and dates are a great, inexpensive snack that can satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • Vegetables – Leafy greens and fresh, in-season veggies are kind to your wallet. Expect to pay a bit more for organic food – they'll be less expensive when they’re in season, so buy them and freeze for later. You can even mix a drink with our Greens Blend for a blend of raw, organic grasses and mushrooms.
  • Beans and Legumes – Dried beans such as pinto, navy, black, and garbanzo are very inexpensive when bought in bulk, rather than the canned varieties. Lentils of all colors are also affordable and packed with nutrients.
  • Starches – Yams, potatoes, pumpkin, brown rice, oats, bulgur wheat, barley, millet, oats, and whole-grain pasta are inexpensive and filling. Starchy foods are an important source of energy and provide nutrients including B vitamins, iron, calcium and folate.
  • Proteins – Tofu, tempeh and edamame all originate from soybeans and are considered whole sources of protein. Nuts are packed with protein and are uber-portable.  For extra cost-savings, you can even grind your own tasty nut butter at home!

- Buy in Bulk

Whether you’re buying a larger family-sized package or browsing the bins at your local health food store, it can really pay off to up-size your purchases. You’ll get a much better value than smaller packages, mainly because you’re not paying for the packaging.

Check the store’s unit pricing labels to find out the exact cost per ounce, pound, or liter so that you can easily compare and find the cheapest option. Buying from the bulk bins can easily save close to half the price of a packaged product, and as a plus, you can determine exactly how much -- or little – you want to buy.

- Prepare Simple Recipes

Quick and easy vegetarian or vegan recipes are surprisingly inexpensive. Look for recipes that keep the ingredients list to a minimum – aim for 5 ingredients or less. Simple doesn't have to mean boring, though.

Start with a starch as your base and build your meal around that with flavorful ingredients, herbs, and spices. For example, rustic mushroom risotto with rice, mushrooms, veggie stock, and plant milk, or spinach, tofu, and cashew cream vegetarian lasagna. How about a spicy onion, bell pepper, tofu, and pineapple stir fry over rice?

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If you were considering making a change, these tips will get you started towards eating a plant-based diet affordably. Once you make the commitment and begin, we'd love to hear other creative ways you discover that help you stick with your healthy new routine!

4 Ways to Embrace Self-Improvement Month

Woman With Arms Raised In Victory

The myth that self improvement is difficult can lead you to put off your goals for way too long. It’s time to change that!

Given that September is Self Improvement Month, now is the perfect time, If you’re ready to focus on bettering yourself, start by making small changes. After only a month or two of attention to these new ways of life, they will rewire your brain and become habits rather than efforts.

Here are four easy adjustments to jumpstart your self improvement, find greater serenity and love who you see in the mirror!

1. Clear Clutter
Believe it or not, clutter is a reliable stress indicator. The more cluttered your environment, the less likely you are to feel mentally balanced and physically healthy. If you’ve wanted to tackle clutter for a long time, start now. You’ll notice a stress decrease immediately.

A clutter-free environment will also make it easier to assess what you have and what you still want. For example, many people are surprised to discover that once they get rid of half their clothes, they quite like their remaining wardrobe! The clarity then allows you to identify what you might add to your life — a new chair, a fresh fuzzy blanket, or even a replacement set of spoons.

Narrowing down your possessions to know exactly what you have rather than simply replacing everything that’s lost in the mess allows you to be much more intentional. You’ll find that buying items that you really desire and believe in is a much more cost effective strategy. You can even take this opportunity to pursue more environmentally friendly and less toxic purchases.

2. Adjust Your Diet
One reason you might feel physically drained is due to diet, but it’s easier than you think to make adjustments that lower your sugar consumption, keep you fuller and increase your nutrient intake. Here are four changes to start with:

  • Clean out the fridge and start using clear containers. This will give you an unobstructed view of the fresh, healthy food available to you.
  • Switch out soft drinks for seltzer water — if you want to switch it up try our Minerals & Antioxidants or Greens Blend mixes.
  • Replace white bread with organic whole grain options (many of which are just as soft and even tastier than white).
  • Add a veggie to every meal, even if it’s just a small pile of spinach, a handful of cherry tomatoes or sliced peppers.

Fridge Stocked With Fresh Fruit and Veggies

3. Tackle Your Finances
It’s hard to imagine a bigger source of dread than finances, but financial wellbeing is absolutely critical if you’re to be a happy and serene person. Again, start small. Clean out that teetering pile of old bills and file them in folders or shred them. Once you “declutter” your finances a bit, start tracking your expenses, categorize your spending, and set money-saving goals.

4. Begin Exercising
Because so many people find exercising intimidating, we’ve saved it for last. Once you have other habits in place, you’ll find it less scary to start a fitness routine. First off, don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately see drastic weight loss. Research shows that you need to handle that through diet, so when you start a regimen and don’t see massive pound shedding, don’t fret.

Instead, think of exercise as a gift to your heart, blood vessels, brain and muscles. Even a 10-minute walk around the block at lunchtime or a quick evening jaunt with the doggo is a great first step. If you keep it up, you will pick up steam naturally.

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See? There's nothing on this list that you can't do, and it’s not hard to see that small changes can have big benefits. Choose one of these to start today, looking not for perfection or huge results, but rather for consistency. With a little dedication you’ll be amazed by how these changes stack up over time, leaving you with an overall greater sense of fulfillment!