Healthy Living

Getting Ready For Company?


family having dinner during the holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and your to-do list is probably starting to pile up. Of course, we all love the twinkling lights and precious family time that comes with celebrating together, but for now, it’s time to prepare. As you start going down your to-do list, it can become overwhelming - especially when you’re welcoming guests into your home. Don’t stress, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick guide to getting ready for company.

  1. Cleaning: Resist the urge to start your spring cleaning now. Between gift buying, cooking and holiday activities, you want to leave time to enjoy this time of year! We understand that once you start tidying up, it can be a slippery slope to a full clean out of the entire attic or basement. In a word, try to keep it simple. First, focus on decluttering. If it’s on a surface and it’s not decorative or functional, it’s got to go. This will instantly give it that more put-together feel.

  2. Next, put your energy towards the spaces where guests will spend most of their time - think the kitchen, bathrooms, and the family room. Skip scrubbing the grout and dusting in between the blinds, you can save that for after the new year! Use a multi-surface cleaning spray so you don’t have to switch between five different surface sprays. Freshen fabrics and other surfaces with this eco-friendly biodeodorizer. It’s safe to use around both kids and pets, and you won’t have to worry about noxious odors with its subtle fragrance.

    Last area - floors. Use this floorwash on almost anything - wood, ceramic, concrete, you name it! The friendly bacterias in it eradicate muck and grime completely. As an added bonus, you’ll get a deep cleaning in your drain lines as this keeps working after you pour the mop water down the sink.


    lifes abundance hand sanitizer

  3. Sanitize: It can be a little stressful when you’re traveling elsewhere for the holidays or finally gathering in small groups. Put your guests’ minds at ease and place some bottles of alcohol-based hand cleanser throughout the house. You can put them near your entrance, on your dining table, in the guest room and in other common places so visitors can frequently cleanse. For bonus host points, treat your guests to a comfortable feeling, rather than an overly drying sanitizer experience. Our Rinse Free Hand Cleanser includes organic aloe vera, provitamin B5 and organic D-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) that will leave their skin feeling more supple.In two convenient sizes, it’s free from methanol and contains 70% alcohol.

  4. Don’t forget your pets! We know how it goes - you get sidetracked in the kitchen and run out of time to bathe the dog. But, chances are that your guests will want to spend time with your pets too. Oh no, dog smell! If you need to save the grooming for another time, make it easy with a quick spritz. Your guests will appreciate your pet’s delicate scent and soft coat when they greet them at the door!

Bonus tip: If you’d rather not sit down to dinner smelling like a clove of garlic, try out this multipurpose stainless steel bar. Rub it between your hands to remove pungent odors, and even on your pets. The contoured nubs work to remove lingering scents and doubles as a mini massage.

Most importantly, remember that your guests are there to see you. The kinship of the holidays and shared feasts overshadows that one section of grout you missed that will distract you until the last visitor pulls out of the driveway. We promise, you’re the only one who noticed.


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#1 Yoga Mistake You're Making

woman rolling up yoga mat

People come to yoga for all sorts of reasons: injuries, stress, tight hamstrings, or even to help them get more sleep. To be honest, no matter how you get there, you’ll eventually notice the amazing benefits it has to offer.

Studies have shown that yoga does a lot more than just get you flexible, but because most teachers focus solely on the physical practice, we miss out on the many other incredible benefits that will serve us in more ways than touching our toes. 

So what’s the #1 mistake you’re making when practicing yoga?

You’re only practicing yoga on your mat.

Don’t get me wrong - flowing through a series of poses has its benefits, but the poses are only one of The Eight Limbs of Yoga, and I’ve yet to see Warrior 1 transform a life like what I’m about to share with you.

The Eight Limbs are like a roadmap for how to live your life in the present, not sweat the small stuff, let go of the things that aren’t serving you, to be content where you are, and to be happy for those around you, even if it seems like their lives are a gazillion times “better.”

Once you put all Eight Limbs into practice you’ll marvel at how you no longer are irritated by your kids fighting over the X-Box, or your jerky co-worker who stole your idea and presented it to your boss as his. Even the five pounds you gained on vacation won’t put you into a tailspin, because once you start living in the present without reacting to every outside obstacle, then you look at situations for what they are, figure out a way to handle them, and move on.

No complaining or eating a pint of ice cream necessary.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga work together as a team. They start off with practices that are more about being more mindful of our actions than perfecting the poses, and they’re taught to be followed in order. So ironically, nailing the first two limbs that deal with personal growth and serving others is more important than getting into that handstand you’re coveting on Instagram- because asana, or the actual poses, are number three.

Breaking Down The Eight Limbs of Yoga

  1. Self-restraints that teach us self-discipline. Ever heard of The Ten Commandments? These are just like them minus the religious aspect, and they relate to how we can best co-exist peacefully with our neighbors, and those aforementioned credit-stealing co-workers.
    • Non-violence
    • Truthfulness
    • Non-stealing
    • Self-restraint
    • Non-coveting

  2. Observances to guide us along our yoga practice and they’re important to be learned before stepping foot on a mat.
    • Cleanliness
    • Contentment
    • Discipline
    • Self Study
    • Surrender

    Can you see why it’s been said to practice those first two limbs before moving on? They have so much to do with how you treat people, and yourself, that these mental practices are given much more value than balancing on your head, as they should. Yogi masters believe that once you begin to practice those, you are ready to get “physical” on the mat.

  3. Asana is the physical part of yoga; the poses that most westerners are familiar with. The number one thing to remember when doing physical yoga is that the posture should be steady and comfortable, and the breath flowing freely- nothing else matters.

  4. Breath regulation is one of the most underrated aspects of yoga, yet one of the most powerful. The breath takes precedence above the postures, as it’s usually a mirror of what’s going on in your mind. If your breath is steady and comfortable then your pose probably is as well. If you’re holding your breath or gasping for breath then you’re probably pushing yourself past where your body should go.

    woman practicing yoga

  5. Sense withdrawal is all about focusing your attention inward so as to not be distracted by each buzz on your phone or mosquito biting your arm. On the mat, can you stand in Warrior II with your thigh on fire and stay focused on your breath without constantly having the urge to straighten your leg? Great, then you’re already practicing this limb. Concentration is a constant battle with the senses, so turning inward essentially prepares you for the next 3 limbs.

  6. Concentration leads us closer to peace. It could be a candle flame, a mantra, or a picture - whatever it is, you practice concentrating so intently on that object that time disappears. All this concentration is a set of training wheels for meditation, which is next.

  7. Meditation is uninterrupted focus - where the real magic happens. So what are you thinking of? Some teachers say nothing at all, but for beginners that can be discouraging as it takes years to have glimpses of concentrating on absolutely nothing without any thoughts of disruption. I’ve been taught and teach to use the same tools that you use to begin concentrating- your breath, a mantra, a candle flame, etc.

    Then what’s the difference you ask? Think of your object of focus as water flowing from a pitcher- in concentration that flow stops and starts and stops and starts while pouring into a glass, and in meditation it continually flows freely.

  8. Bliss is when they say you have reached enlightenment, the ultimate goal. (Uhh, I’m still working on this last one). But seriously, instead of looking at it like I’m aiming at some unattainable nirvana, I’ve made my goal something much more tangible, that of being present in each and every moment and in every interaction, and on some days I reach it, but not every day.

I promise, even if you focus on practicing just one of these limbs at a time, alongside your physical practice, it will have a profound effect on your mental well being as you begin to integrate them into your daily life.

It takes practice to stay calm on your mat—and in life, but if you ditch the notion of yoga just happening on that 8 x 2 foot rectangle, you’ll notice a radical change in the positive light that is you yourself and the world around you.


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5 Road Trip-Friendly Summer Recipes

bliss bites and map

What makes a recipe road trip-worthy? 

First off, it has to travel well - nobody wants to open their snack bag to find a wilted salad, a squashed sandwich, or warm fruit salad. These recipes are easy to pack and will not only keep their shape, but also their flavor along the way- while providing you with much needed nutrients to fuel your hiking, biking, or sunning at the beach.  

Second, snacks should give you the energy you’ll need to explore once you get to your destination. So although they should taste great and definitely include “treats,” you want to avoid sugar laden, fried or overly processed packaged snacks.

We’ve road tested our favorite recipes below and given them all the green light - they’re sure to keep you energized, hydrated, and happy on the go.

Sweet Potato Bread

sweet potato bread recipe

Bread travels well, but it’s usually just white flour packed with carbs that make you want to take a nap - not our make-ahead Sweet Potato Bread, packed with Life’s Abundance Plant Protein. It will give you a much needed energy boost after sitting on a long ride, instead of putting you in a carb coma.

Protein-Packed Brownie Cookies

Protein-packed-brownie-cookies

Brownies? Yes, when we said our recipes were healthy, we even meant this one. These Protein-Packed Brownie Cookies pack a double protein punch with the addition of almond butter and Life’s Abundance Plant Protein, so go ahead and eat two!

Bliss Bites

bliss bites recipe

Ever eat a kitchen sink cookie filled with chips, dried fruit,  pretzels and whatever else was hanging around the bakery? Yes, they’re delicious, but packed with sugar and full of empty calories you don’t need. These Bliss Bites are the same concept except they’re chock full of healthy add ins like coconut, almonds, flax seeds, oats and our nutrient-dense Greens Blend. Ok, they also include chocolate chips, but you’re on vacation - go for it!

Summer Wonder Slushie

summer-wonder-slushie

Hydrating drinks, (sorry not a latte),  should be on the top of your packing list, especially when traveling in the summer. Yes, you can pick up a bottle of water when you stop for gas but you’re more likely to be tempted by the slushie machines promising to make your taste buds do a happy dance. Honestly, that two second Cha Cha isn’t worth the red dye #7 and 54 grams of sugar it’s jammed with. Instead, take two minutes and mix up our Summer Slushie that includes our Minerals and Antioxidants powder packed with hydrating coconut water and super fruits to keep you refreshed until you reach your destination. 

Cherry Limeade Fresh Whips

pink-fluff-things

Craving a light and refreshing, crunchy and flavor packed cookie? We’ve got you covered. These Cherry Limeade Whips will keep your passengers happy and your car free from major cookie crumbs. These make ahead treats are so easy, make a double batch and save half as a hostess gift. You’ll be sure to get an invite to return next summer!

Why Your Cardio Needs Strength Training

two people doing lunges at gym

Don’t worry, we aren’t going to tell you to ditch your brand new Peloton bike (that you waited eight months for) but if you’re just “spinning your wheels” doing cardio, without adding strength training, you definitely want to keep reading.

Both cardio and strength training have many of the same benefits and play an important role in your wellness routine. Both can strengthen your heart and reduce your risk of developing a ton of other health issues, including high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis, but strength training has value-added where cardio falls short. Below are just some of those incredible benefits.

Strength training:

    • Can incorporate both your upper and lower body at the same time, unlike cardio which focuses only on 50% of your body. Bonus -  it can raise your heart rate on par with cardio zone levels.
    • Can save your joints, unlike cardio, which puts extra pressure on them. Strength training strengthens all the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and even our bones. Plus, it can create more fluid in the joints without placing those repetitive blows to the joint that running or other high-impact cardio does.
    • Fights bone and muscle loss from increased stress on bones. This is great news for people with osteoporosis, or for those of us who want to get ahead of the game and prevent it.
    • Improves flexibility, according to results from a 2017 study in the journal Isokinetics and Exercise Science.
    • Prevents injuries and falls, since strong muscles are important for balance and coordination.
    • Is more effective at preventing increases in abdominal fat than cardiovascular exercise, according to a Harvard study.
    • May be more effective at reducing cardiovascular disease risks than cardio exercise such as walking and biking, according to research from the ACC Latin America Conference 2018.
    • Can boost your metabolism, so you burn more calories 24 hours a day.
    • That last one gets most people excited, and rightfully so.  One study showed that after working out with weights, your metabolism can actually be boosted for up to 38 hours post-workout. That might not sound so epic, but If you add up every time you workout it can mean a few extra slices of pizza or craft cocktails every month.

person using kettle bell weight

The greatest news? It’s not just about the physical benefits, it also improves mental health. Research published by Jama Psychiatry found that not only do those exercise-triggered endorphins boost your mood,  but strength training provides an opportunity to overcome obstacles which helps increase mental resilience.

Think about it: something as simple as increasing your weights from 5 to 8 pounds can seem like a big victory - we’ll take it!

And don’t think these benefits are just for men. A 2015 Journal of Extension study of middle-aged women, showed that consistent strength training improves body image and perceived physical appearance even if the aesthetics don’t change. But in reality, another benefit to lifting weights is that the results are relatively fast and noticeable.

If you’re looking to tone up and get more definition from your workouts, you aren’t going to see those results just from doing cardio. Watching your clothes getting looser comes from building muscle, which takes up less space than fat, and that results from strength training.

Still worried you need to do cardio every day? You’re in luck!

Strength training can be turned into a cardio workout simply by adding intervals with lighter weights and more repetitions because as long as you’re increasing your heart rate and breathing, then you’re doing a cardio workout.

See, it’s a win-win!

If you love a challenge and want to take it a step further you can up the multitasking benefits by combining upper and lower body dynamic movements that also work the core- it’s like getting three workouts in one. Think about doing a squat with an overhead press, incorporating a twist.

Just think of all the progress you’ll make - in half the time.

The great news? Just 15 minutes of strength training 3 times a week will bring you all of the incredible benefits mentioned above - especially enjoying that extra pizza and margaritas with friends.


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Live a More Sustainable Lifestyle

woman holding bottle and bag

Going green is more than just a trending topic. If you truly want to have a significant impact on your own ecological footprint and improve your local community, then you should consider adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. On the surface, it may seem difficult to transform your entire life and begin living in an eco-friendly way. However, you can take small steps and slowly change your habits in a way that will eventually make a big difference in the world around you.

Here are five ways that you can live a more sustainable life:

Minimize Your Plastic Use

It seems that everything and anything can be made out of plastic, and that material has taken a serious toll on our world. It is often found washed up on beaches and has been known to cause harm to animals that come into contact with it. One of the best ways to combat this global issue is to reduce your own use of single-use plastics. A few ideas that can help you get started include:

  • Purchasing a reusable water bottle to use instead of buying disposable bottled water. Get fancy with it and buy one that really suits you.
  • Metal and glass straws which are super affordable, eco-friendly alternatives to using regular plastic straws that are not biodegradable.
  • Bring reusable, fabric bags to the store and give them to the bagger to use instead of plastic bags.

Shop at Thrift Stores

The process of manufacturing and distributing clothing products is incredibly draining on the world's natural resources, and the high turnover rate of new fashions has only compounded this issue. Rather than constantly buying a brand new wardrobe every season, you can shop at thrift stores to get great deals on clothes that are in excellent used condition. Even better, many of these stores have designer brands in stock that are still in season and in style!

Amp Up Your Recycling Efforts

One of the simplest ways to live a more sustainable life is to recycle as often as possible. If your community has a recycling program in place, make sure that you recycle every eligible product that you can. However, be mindful of what cannot be recycled as one tarnished recycling bin can compromise the entire load. In addition to participating in curbside recycling, you can also get creative and think about ways you can reuse the products in your house before you dispose of them. Some great ideas include:

  • Repurpose glass jars to organize small items like nails and pins.
  • Use egg cartons to start a gardening hobby.
  • Turn your empty paper towel rolls into a DIY bird feeder.

woman farming

Go to Farmer's Markets

At the farmer's market, you will be able to discover endless options for your next meal. There are tons of vendors available who sell fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products. In addition, you can find homemade pastries and baked goods as well as other locally-produced food items. By shopping local at the farmer's market, you can support your community and reduce the need for cross-country transportation to get food into your area.

Be Mindful of Your Water Usage

Thousands upon thousands of gallons of water are wasted on a daily basis, while many around the world do not have access to clean, fresh water. By being more conscious about how much water you use and when you use it, you can aid in the water conservation efforts that are taking place worldwide. Some things you can do include:

  • Take cooler, shorter showers.
  • Buy a rain barrel to harvest fresh water to reuse in your garden.
  • Wash your dishes by hand rather than using a dishwasher.

Buy from Sustainable Companies

Many companies are getting on the train of sustainability and incorporating eco-friendly practices into their daily operations. Choosing these green businesses over others that take a toll on the environment is just another way to live a more sustainable life. At Life’s Abundance, we aim to decrease our carbon footprint in just about every practice from product packaging to using solar panels. We took it an extra step with our Trees for the Future program by planting a tree for every clean beauty and clean body purchase. As a result, we will have planted over 1,000,000 trees by 2025!

As you take small steps toward a larger goal, it is important to know that a sustainable lifestyle is always within reach. By being conscious of the impact that you have on the environment and staying informed about the best ways to go green, you can improve your own health, reduce your ecological footprint and make the world a better place for the generations to come.


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Yoga At Your Desk

woman at desk with yoga mat

Unless you’re on your feet often as part of your job, it’s highly likely that you sit at a desk for hours on end - and you know what those new studies say, “sitting is the new smoking.”

The chronic stress and tension you place on your body by sitting at a desk, without taking breaks to get up and move, places unnecessary strain on the lumbar spine, overstretches the mid to upper back, and shortens the muscles of the chest and hips, leading to neck, shoulder, and low back pain - and who wants that?

Instead of sitting uncomfortably throughout the day, set aside just a few minutes in between calls to stretch your tight muscles with the quick yoga poses in the video below, take some deep breaths, and clear your mind.  Your body will thank you, and you’ll move through your day healthier, happier, less stressed, and more productive.

POSES

 

Arms clasped behind back to open shoulders

Start by sitting up straight in your chair and interlacing your hands behind your back. Micro bend your elbows and lift them without locking. Roll your shoulders outward to create more space in your front body, and then lift your hands away from your lower back, any amount,  and breath into your upper chest.

Seated pigeon

Crossing your legs while seated, especially when done on one side more than the other, can create imbalances in the hips and lower spine- this pose stretches the outer hips which tend to be super tight from all that sitting.  Flex foot, extend leg out if hips too tight, bend knee and lean forward if you want more of a stretch.

Seated side stretch

The side body tends to collapse when hunched over a computer, contributing to neck and shoulder discomfort. This pose helps you sit with a taller spine, and lengthens the muscles around the ribcage to create more space. Keep shoulders rooted as stretch and side body long.

Seated chair twist

The muscles and other tissues that surround the spine can become stiff over time. This will lead to a decreased range of motion, pain, and stress. Turn sideways hands on the back of the chair, twist from the ground up, and lengthen through the crown of the head.

Forward fold lower back stretch in chair

Forward bends calm the nervous system, so hold this pose for at least 10 long deep breaths. Sit in your chair and widen your legs so they are wider than hip-distance apart. From the hip crease, bend forward and allow your entire body to relax. You can round your back. Drop your head and completely relax your neck.


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Make Your Holidays Sustainable With Eco-Friendly Decor

sustainable wrapping ideas

How great would it be if you could celebrate the holidays while giving our earth the gift of sustainability? Well, that’s exactly what we want to do! We’ve come up with some eco-friendly decor ideas so you can deck the halls without the guilt (or expense) of waste. Here are some of our favorites:

Pressed Leaves

As fall comes to an end, take up the leaves from your backyard and get to pressing! Elevate this tried and true activity to make gorgeous wreaths or tie them to your wrapped gifts as a colorful accessory. There are a couple ways you can press your leaves. You can use a heavy hard book and put the leaves between the pages to flatten them or iron the leaves between wax paper, paper towels or a thin cloth.  To preserve your pressed leaves, you can coat them with eco-friendly epoxy so you can use them for holiday decor for years to come!

Dried Fruit

Another elegant eco-friendly item you can use for your gifts, wreaths, and ornaments is dried fruit! This is a colorful way to decorate your space while using what you already have in your kitchen! Some of the best fruits to use are oranges, apples, and lemons. All you have to do is slice up the fruits and be sure to dry them out as much as possible with a paper towel. Then, lay them flat, bake in the oven at 200 degrees Farenheit for 3-4 hours, and make sure to flip them until they are completely dry! And there you have it! Beautiful eco-friendly decor that smells good and looks even better.

Cranberry and Popcorn Garland

Need a new garland? Look no further! Make a new one that pops with color by using cranberries and popcorn. This is a classic to be sure, but if you’ve never tried it, it’s a wonderful homemade addition! You’ll need none other than popped popcorn and washed cranberries as well as craft string and a needle for threading. Make the popcorn a few days in advance so it gets slightly stale and is firm enough for threading. Thread your two snacks through the string in any pattern you like and then add it to your tree decor! If you really want your homemade garland to last a few more years, spray it with shellac to preserve and reuse!

sustainable decor ideas

Gingerbread Ornaments

Get the kids in on the eco-friendly decor with gingerbread ornaments! This super easy craft looks adorable on trees and gives off an inviting cinnamon scent. These gingerbread cookies are made with only three ingredients, making it the perfect homemade project. All you need is craft glue, ground cinnamon and unsweetened apple sauce. Combine these ingredients together into a dough, roll out and get to work with the cookie cutter. Don’t forget to create the hole at the top for the string to hang. Let it dry by baking, air drying, or using a food dehydrator. Then, whip out the glitter and any other gingerbread accessories for decorating! Once these have all dried, string a ribbon through and hang them up for everyone to enjoy. Even though these look good enough to eat, make sure that you keep them away from kids and pets!

Cloth Gift Wrapping

Traditional wrapping paper doesn’t have the best impact on the environment, especially considering over two million pounds of it end up in landfills by the end of the holiday season. A fantastic alternative to wrapping paper, which is reusable and looks just as festive, is wrapping cloth. Also known as furoshiki, the practice of using cloth to wrap gifts originated in Japan. You don’t need to purchase the exact kind of cloth traditionally used because you probably have something very similar lying around the house. Once you find a fabric, check out the easy tutorials online for the many unique ways to tie up your gifts.

Recycled, Personalized Greeting Cards

Need a fun holiday decor project to do with the kids? Instead of buying a bunch of greeting cards that could potentially end up in landfills, make your own! You can get recycled cards or paper and customize them using potato stamps. All you need to do is outline the desired shape on the potato and then cut around it with a knife so the design sticks out. Dip into paint and you’re all set! This keeps the same festive feel as traditional greeting cards while adding a unique touch, and serious crafty bonus points

By all means, continue to enjoy festivities and less-DIY holiday decor! Just by making small changes to your decorations like we’ve listed here, you can reduce your environmental impact while still experiencing all the warm, fuzzy feelings of the holidays.

Five Healthy Habits That Can Extend Your Life

young woman cutting vegetables

People have spent centuries looking for the Fountain of Youth, hoping to stay young and prolong their lives. We now know that the real gold is in aging as well as we can by embracing a reasonably healthy lifestyle.  We’re here to share the great news that there are some healthy habits you can adopt to help you live longer and better! A recent study conducted by researchers out of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that your lifestyle choices do indeed make all the difference.

The Harvard Study

This 2018 study looked at existing information on thousands of men and women to see if there were patterns that might tell them why some people live longer than others.

They found that a healthy lifestyle played an essential role in how long people lived. According to the study, certain lifestyle factors can reduce the risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease and cancer. The earlier you start, the better, but adhering to these five standards by age 50 could add 14 years to your life.

Five Healthy Habits That Can Extend Your Life

 

1. Refrain From Smoking

This comes as a surprise to no one. But it’s important to reinforce avoiding the use of tobacco products as this is the most influential factor in living longer. Although the number of people still lighting up continues to drop, cigarettes are not completely out of style. Just one cigarette a day can result in cancer and heart disease later on in life. Also, younger people, especially teens, have taken up vaping and e-cigarettes.  Studies are still emerging on this hot group of products, but fundamentally it is just another way to introduce chemicals from tobacco into their bodies. Lung disease and early death are a risk from use of any form of tobacco.

The numbers might surprise you, but about 12 percent of women and 16 percent of men are still habitual smoking. And an alarming 3.6 million high school students admit to using e-cigarettes for vaping. Estimates are that smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths each year.

senior family yoga

2. Remain Physically Active

If you’re reading this while sitting, let this be the little voice that reminds you to get up and move. A sedentary lifestyle is a contributing factor to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It also increases your risk of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, and mental illness.

Most people know by now that exercise should be part of their daily lives, but how important is it? The study found that the people living the longest did at least 3.5 hours a week, about 30 minutes daily, of moderate to vigorous activity. You can reach this goal by going swimming, dancing, or our favorite - taking a brisk walk with your furry friend.

3. Limit Yourself to Moderate Alcohol Intake

There has been some toss-up on the effect of alcohol on your life. Some studies say that drinking helps you live longer while others say it contributes to chronic illnesses that take years from your life. This study in particular shows that you can still drink, but there is a limit you should try to follow. The U.S Department of Health Dietary Guidelines lists moderate alcohol intake as one drink per day for women and two for men.

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Generally, body mass index (BMI) is the tool that measures healthy weight and excess body fat. The study lists a healthy BMI as 18.5 to 24.9, so you’ll want to be within this range. You can calculate your BMI manually, but the math is a bit tricky. Talk to your doctor about calculating your BMI, or use one of the free tools online.

5. Eat a High-Quality Diet

We all know nutrition is a big part of a healthy lifestyle, but it can be confusing to know exactly what you should include in your diet. The study used a tool called the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) to determine what a high-quality diet looks like. The AHEI allows you to develop a score based on the number of daily servings you eat certain foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. The goal is to follow a diet that is rich in foods that can help prevent chronic illnesses. The study suggests a score of 40% or higher as the standard for a high quality diet.

Along with following these guidelines, you can enhance your food choices and maintain a balanced diet by using high-quality supplements. One takeaway from this study is that even if we know the steps to take toward healthier living, we need support and reminders.  From probiotics to multivitamins and more, Life’s Abundance nutritional supplements provide key elements necessary for good health.

If you’re questing for the Fountain of Health, start by applying these healthy habits and you can potentially add more than a decade to your life.

The Nutritive Power of Mushrooms


family cooking mushrooms

Throughout history, humans have valued mushrooms as culinary delicacies and for their health benefits. In fact, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and many other healthcare traditions have utilized medicinal mushrooms for millennia.

In recent years, Western medicine has discovered medicinal mushrooms' nutraceutical value, as well. Research indicates that mushrooms have nutrients that offer a number of benefits, from specific nutrients (such as protein, key vitamins and numerous bioactive compounds) to properties that provide powerful antioxidants and fight stress while supporting the immune system.

Read on to learn about the nutritive power of mushrooms... and discover how you can reap the tasty benefits of adding organic mushrooms to your diet. 

Benefits of Eating Mushrooms

There's a reason why so many cultures have long enjoyed mushrooms as a food source. Not only are these popular fungi delicious, they're also nutritious! 

Mushrooms deliver a healthy helping of low-calorie, cholesterol-free protein and carbohydrates, as well as dietary fiber in the form of beta glucan. Research has found that this soluble fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels, and it has also been linked to heart health. 

Organic mushrooms offer vitamins such as B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and easily absorbed B12. Together, these B vitamins can benefit your cardiovascular health, give your red blood cells a boost, support the skin, and help balance hormones. Unlike many other plant-based foods, some mushrooms also offer vitamin D, which contributes to healthy bones, teeth and muscles. 

Mushrooms also provide necessary minerals such as potassium, choline, copper, phosphorus, and selenium, an antioxidant. And speaking of antioxidants, let's take a look at one of the most promising health benefits of mushrooms: anthocyanin compounds known as flavonoids that support the immune system. 


mushrooms on cutting board

Powerful Antioxidants

Multiple studies have explored the role antioxidants play in human health, and mushrooms have been discovered to be packed full of them! Why are mushrooms such a rich source of antioxidants? Unlike plants (which meet their metabolic needs through photosynthesis and drawing minerals from soil) fungi "feed themselves" by breaking down the plant matter around them, withdrawing what they need to survive and freeing key nutrients along the way. The more nutritious the growth medium, the more antioxidants the mushrooms will have!

This process creates antioxidants that benefit our health. Specifically, mushrooms are among the highest known dietary sources of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione, which have been linked to:

  • immune system support
  • performance enhancement
  • increased energy and stamina
  • improved mood

Another key benefit? Stress reduction. Certain varieties of adaptogenic mushrooms serve as nature's stress fighters. Commonly used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, these mushrooms may help balance adrenal glands, which in turn may help your body better handle the effects of stress. 

While many mushroom varieties offer health benefits, certain varieties may be even more beneficial when combined. Recent studies indicate that specific mushroom nutrients provide extra support to the immune system when blended together. The combination of shiitake, reishi, and maitake mushrooms offers outstanding health benefits. 

- Shiitake

Lentinula edodes, commonly known as shiitake mushrooms, may be best known as a tasty delicacy. But did you know that shiitakes contain nutrients that may support heart health and your immune system? 

- Reishi

Reishi, or Ganoderma lucidum, may support memory and improve mood. Known as the "immortality mushroom," studies indicate that reishi may also support immunity and even improve mood and reduce fatigue.

- Maitake

Maitake, or Grifola frondosa, are adaptogenic mushrooms known to support immune system function. Long used in Japanese and Chinese medicine, maitake contain high levels of antioxidants. 

Simple Way To Add Mushrooms To Your Diet

Life's Abundance makes it easy to add the benefits of organic mushroom nutrients to your diet! Our Greens Blend nourishes your body with a blend of raw, certified-organic grasses and certified, organic mushrooms for exceptional nutrient value. This certified organic blend of reishi, maitake, and shiitake mushrooms goes down easily in this lightly berry flavored mix.  Scoop, stir and enjoy your organic greens and mushrooms!

World Cleanup Day - Upcycle Challenge


dog and flower vase

Upcycling, or creative reuse, is finding a way of turning your useless, unwanted packaging or waste into something brand new. At Life’s Abundance, we’re all about going green — that’s why we challenged ourselves to find exciting ways to upcycle with our own product packaging!

Our employees competed to create the best upcycle projects using their leftover product packaging at home. Here are our five upcycle challenge winners, including a runner-up and a winner! Which one will you try to replicate at home?

Cardboard Scratcher Tray by Arin Roos


upcycled

Cat parents unite!  Satisfying your cat's need to scratch can be costly, but cardboard scratchers are a popular recyclable choice.  To save a little money, buy the refill version that does not come with a cardboard tray.  With help from a little tape, you can create your own backing from the trays Life's Abundance canned cat food comes in.   

What you’ll need:

  • Two Life’s Abundance cardboard cat food trays 
  • Tape

Tea Light Holders by Sasha Stephens 


upcycled

This upcycle project was inspired by the many evenings we have been spending in our garden. After serving my dog her Life’s Abundance canned food, I cleaned the can out with soap and water. Next, I glued strips of wrapping paper (but you can use any paper or even fabric) around the can and voilà, instant mood lighting for a dinner in your backyard! 

What you’ll need:

  • Life’s Abundance can food, can be dog or cat
  • Wrapping paper or fabric 
  • Glue 
  • Tea Light
  • Scissors  

Market Bag by Angelina Nava 


upcycled

Whenever I grocery shop, I bring my own bags and reusing my empty dog food bags are a great way to upcycle them! To start, just lay the dog food bag on the ground and decide how tall you want your tote to be, then cut off the top of your dog food bag. Next, take the bottom of the dog food bag and fold down the edges where you cut. Tape the folded-over flap on the bottom of your dog food bag and handles to secure them into place. Lastly, fold two pieces of tape in half (these will be your handles) and put them in place. Also, I found the best way to get rid of the dog food smell was a bit of dish detergent and a couple days of air drying. 

What you’ll need:

  • Life’s Abundance dog food
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors 

Upcycle Challenge Runner-Up:
Coasters by Stephanie Greenhalge


upcycled

I was very excited to participate in this challenge! I have always wanted to find a creative way to upcycle my Life’s Abundance dog food and treat bags and this gave me the perfect opportunity to be crafty. To make these coasters you will need cardboard (I used a wet can food sleeve) which you will want to cut into 4- 6” squares. Next, you will cut your Life’s Abundance bag to the same size as your cardboard cut out, you will need two pieces per coaster. Then, glue on your Life’s Abundance bag cut pieces onto the front and back of your cardboard, I used a glue stick. After the glue dries you will want to use a clear acrylic gloss sealer and let it dry for 24 hours.  

What you’ll need:

  • Life’s Abundance Dog Food or treat bags
  • Glue 
  • Clear acrylic gloss sealer
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors 

Upcycle Challenge Winner:
Amber Glass Vase by Lindsey Whitehead


upcycled

Since spending more time at home I have been filling my apartment with flowers to keep things cheery and found the Life’s Abundance Fish Oil bottle makes an excellent vase! Simply clean your bottle with a bottle brush and leave it soaking in dish soap and water overnight. Peel off the label or scrub it off with a scouring pad — you can also use some baking soda to speed up the process and get rid of any residue. 

What you’ll need:

  • Life’s Abundance Fish Oil bottle
  • Scouring sponge 
  • Dish soap 
  • Baking powder