Life's Abundance | Premium health products

The 5 Best Apps For Your Pet


man looking at phone with dog next to him in car

Pets are always there for us, whether we're looking for a cuddle or a laugh to help us wind down after a long day. For all they do to make our lives a little brighter, our furry friends deserve the best of everything, and that’s why we love the variety of apps that have popped up to improve our pets’ lives. Whether you want to make sure you never miss a vet appointment, keep your shoes from becoming a chew toy, or find new ways to have fun together “there’s an app for that.” Here are five of the best apps to download today for those with fur babies:

PetDesk

PetDesk helps you keep track of your pet's veterinarian appointments, vaccinations and lab results. You can request in-person appointments and/or launch virtual care appointments, all within the app. PetDesk is a great way to stay organized and make sure your pet is up-to-date on their shots and medications - truly a must-have for any pet parent!

GoodPup

GoodPup is a top-notch pet app that offers 1-on-1 video chat sessions with experienced trainers, which means you can get custom advice and guidance in the  comfort of your home. This app is great for anyone that needs a flexible schedule or wants to teach Fluffy not to jump on the counter without spending a fortune.  It also has a 24/7 chat feature that allows you to connect with an expert whenever you need it- for those late-night puppy woes. 

Pro tip: While using this training app, make sure to keep some delicious, healthy dog treats or cat treats on hand as a reward. Your furry friend is guaranteed to be on their best behavior!


woman looking at phone while playing with cat

Puppr

For those pup parents accustomed to a more ‘on-demand’ video service, the Puppr app is purrrfect. Puppr features over 100 recorded video lessons, and a live chat feature that connects you with trainers for a little extra help when you need it. There are other fun features like a progress tracker, photo entry challenge, and a built-in training clicker. If your pup could brush up on their manners, or you're looking for a fun way to bond, give Puppr a try.

BringFido

Love to vacation with your pet but find it hard to find pet-friendly getaways? With BringFido you can find pet-friendly restaurants, hotels, attractions, and more. Whether you're on the go or looking for local spots that welcome guests on two legs or four, BringFido is a great resource.

Buddies

Being a pet parent is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it's also a big responsibility. Now  you can earn actual rewards every time you take good care of your furry friend, just by logging their exercise, diet, appointments, and food purchases. You can also take and share photos of your pets, write updates about their day-to-day lives, and invite your friends and family to follow along - even better, you can redeem points for treats for your pet to enjoy. 

There are so many apps out there that can make our pets' lives better, and taking care of them a little easier - these are just five of our favorites. What apps do you use to improve your pet's life? Let us know in the comments below!

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What Scents Do Cats Love

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Chocolate Protein Pudding Recipe


chocolate protein pudding

Looking for a creative, healthy recipe to add to your sweet and chocolate-filled snack options? You might say “impossible,” but we created this chocolate ‘pudd-tein’ recipe with our Chocolate Plant Protein so you can have a quick and easy protein-packed snack, any time you’re craving one.

About Our Chocolate Plant Protein:

  • Contains 15 grams of high-quality plant protein including pea, chia, pumpkin, hemp and quinoa
  • Cacao sourced from the Dominican Republic, (where some of the world’s best chocolate comes from)
  • Free of gluten, soy, dairy, and grain (great for people with sensitivities)
  • Silky smooth texture, you can blend into any smoothie or add to breakfast or snack recipes - just like this one

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Add ingredients all together into a blender
  2. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until smooth
  3. Pour into container and chill for at least 1 hour
  4. Top with your choice of toppings
  5. Enjoy!

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Chocolate & Berry Protein Smoothie Bowl

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4th Of July And Pet Safety


dog with family on fourth of july

4th of July comes with a lot of festivities - from delicious BBQ’s to games with the family and of course, that special light show to end the night. Of course, you want your whole family to feel safe and have fun, but what about your furry friends? Did you know that July 5th is one of the busiest days for vets and animal shelters? Reasons range from post-fireworks shock, holiday food causing stomach problems and overly exhausted pets from a long day in the sun.

Luckily, there are many ways to prevent these issues from happening so you can keep your pet as safe and calm as possible during 4th of July. Here are our pet safety tips:

Be Cautious With People Food

We all love a good cookout on the grill for Independence Day! However, foods such as burgers, hot dogs and ribs aren’t the best for your pet to ingest. Bones can cause blockages in their digestive system and even pierce their intestines. Make sure that you keep these foods and any alcoholic beverages out of their reach, even when they’re giving you those puppy eyes. Also, be sure to keep them away from the grill where they can be harmed by the heat, smoke or even the matches used to light it.

When Possible, Keep Them Indoors

We understand that your pets, especially the pups, love to roam and play outside. However, your best bet for pet safety on 4th of July is to keep them inside. This will prevent your pet from bolting out of the yard and potentially into the street, when those startling fireworks start. If you’re leaving them home during the show, allow them to have access to an escape-proof, safe spot whether it is in your bedroom or in a crate. Also remember that the sun is beaming this time of year and your pet can experience heat exhaustion and even sunburn. Be sure to leave them in a cool spot with lots of water.


dog with flag bandana

Provide a Distraction

If you’re leaving your pet at home, you should provide them with a distraction to help pass the time and ease their nerves. It might be surprising to find out what calms their anxiety. This could be anything from soothing music to leaving the TV on to drown out the loud noises outside- Lassie usually does the trick Of course, you can never go wrong with a treat-dispensing toy filled with delicious, healthy dog or cat treats!

Check ID Tags And Keep Photos

In the worst case that your dog or cat does escape during the fireworks, you’ll want to take precautionary measures to find them easily. Make sure your pet is easily identifiable and check that they have their collar on with an accurate ID tag. If they are microchipped, verify that this information is correct as well including your name, their name, your phone number and your address. For an extra layer of pet safety, look at recent photos you have of them and keep them on hand to show to local rescues and neighbors should your pet escape.

Have a Chat With Your Vet

It’s always a good idea to talk with your vet if your pet is prone to anxiety. Sometimes, no matter what you do to keep your dog or cat calm, they’ll still feel stressed. Consult your vet to find out if there is a solution, such as prescribed medications, that can help keep your pet at peace for the holiday.

If you have a dog or cat that gets easily stressed during the 4th of July, don’t worry. With a little planning, you and your furry friends can have a fun-filled holiday sans stress. Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Keeping Your Pet Hydrated

Pet Safety While Traveling

8 Foods To Help You Sleep Better


woman having trouble sleeping

Are you one of 70 million Americans who experience restless nights where you’re tossing, turning, and constantly waking up? Maybe you’ve already tried a slew of things in hopes of getting a good night’s sleep - from turning off electronics to blackout curtains, to spraying your pillows with lavender, but it’s still a struggle. We feel your pain and we just might have a solution you haven’t tried.

What if we told you there are certain foods that can improve the quality of your sleep and help you get those well deserved zzz’s?  Science has shown that one key to better sleep starts at the dinner table. Tryptophan, for example, is an amino acid that encourages the release of sleep hormones and is found in some of the foods you love. It’s not only what you eat that matters though, but also how you eat. Digestion slows when you’re laying down which can cause discomfort as you’re drifting off to sleep. So eating a large meal late in the evening isn’t ideal.

To help you rest easy,  we’re sharing eight of the top foods to add to your dinner menu and a few bonus tips on what you’ll want to avoid.  Bon appetit and sweet dreams!

Foods That Improve Sleep Quality

Almonds + Cashews: These go-to nuts contain magnesium, a mineral which acts like a natural sedative. Even a small deficiency in magnesium can lead to trouble in the sleep department. 

Apricots: Not only pretty and deliciously tangy-tart, they’re chock full of vitamin C which can help relieve stress. Vitamin C-rich foods have been shown to help your body recover faster from stress, and fewer rattled nerves may mean better sleep. 

Asparagus: These green stalks are famous for helping us cleanse but they’re also high in folate, which is essential for cardiovascular health and has been linked to anxiety and mood regulation, both which can affect your slumber. 

Bananas: Sweet and creamy, this fruit is a rich source of melatonin, a sleep hormone - as well as potassium, which helps normalize your heartbeat. 

Cheese: Swiss or cheddar, more specifically, are a great source of tryptophan which encourages the release of melatonin. The hormone that helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. 

Nutmeg: Researchers have shown that nutmeg improves blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and it’s also earned a reputation as a home remedy for menstrual cramps and anxiety. 

Tart cherries: This fruit is loaded with anthocyanins, an important type of antioxidant that lowers inflammation, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But they’re sleeping beauties, too, since cherries are also a natural source of melatonin.

Oatmeal: Oats contain more tryptophan per serving than turkey, the food famous for making you sleepy. This amino acid is converted to the feel-good and sleep-controlling hormone, serotonin. Not only that, but just one cup provides you with 60 mg of magnesium. If you have trouble quieting down your brain at night, a lack of magnesium might be to blame. Optimal magnesium levels are needed for getting better sleep.


healthy dinner party

Foods To Avoid

High fat meals: Heavy meals loaded with unhealthy fats and refined carbs have been shown to cause disturbances in your sleep/wake cycle and disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythms which makes it more difficult to fall asleep.

Added sugars: The sweet stuff will affect blood sugar levels, giving you a short burst of energy, before a large drop. As your blood sugar levels fall, your sleep can be disrupted in the middle of the night.

Caffeine: That cup of coffee at night may cause insomnia and restlessness. Try your best to avoid soda, coffee, tea and chocolate after 12:00 p.m.

Alcohol: Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but your quality of sleep throughout the night will be negatively impacted and likely leave you feeling groggy when you wake up.

A lack of quality sleep can have many negative side effects, including irritability, difficulty focusing and an overall lack of ability to function properly. That’s why it’s important for you to try different things, like avoiding certain foods and adding others to your diet. It just might be your key to less tossing and turning at night and more jumping for joy during the day.

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Feeding Tips For A Picky Pet


dog taking kibble out of owner hand

Your pets are more like family members. They bring you joy, laughter, and snuggles, and you’d do just about anything to keep them healthy. However, that can be difficult when you have a pet that’s a picky eater. It may sound silly, but our furry friends can be just like us when it comes to food – they know what they like and what they don’t. Luckily, there are some simple feeding tricks you can do to help them become a better eater. Here are a few to get you started:

Be Consistent

For both cats and dogs, it’s important to have a consistent schedule when it comes to feeding. For picky pets especially, knowing exactly what to expect and when to expect it can help make mealtimes easier.

Choose a time (or times) for your dog or cat to eat and feed them at that same time every day. Rather than leaving food bowls out all day and allowing your pet to graze, instead try putting food down for 10-15 minutes, and then taking it away until the next mealtime. This will help coax your fur baby to eat at a certain time, rather than allowing feeding to be a free-for-all. Once you find a food that they love, stick to it. Don’t change up food or introduce new treats during mealtime. Once your pet knows what to expect (and what is expected of them) mealtimes tend to become a lot more manageable.


owner holding food bowl next to cat

Eliminate Obstacles

There’s a difference between being picky and having a true obstacle when it comes to eating. For example, pets can be allergic to different foods and ingredients. If you suspect your pet may have an allergy, you can bring them to your vet to be evaluated. If confirmed, you should switch to a food that doesn’t contain the offending allergen.

Additionally, some dry foods can be too hard for pets to chew, particularly for small or older dogs. There’s an easy fix to this! When using a kibble, like our All Stage Dog Food, add a small amount of water to the bowl of food and stir. This will soften up the kibble pieces just enough that pets with small, minimal, or sensitive teeth can comfortably chew them.

Spice It Up

Barring any allergies or physical issues, some animals just need their food to be a little more enticing. Adding different types of toppers or enhancements to regular kibble might be enough to convince your picky cat or dog to give it another try. Try crushing up our Turkey Hearts Freeze-Dried Cat Treats or Bison Kidney Freeze Dried Dog Treats and mixing them into your pet’s food.

Alternatively, you might consider adding a very small amount of fish oil to their daily food. Not only does the oil’s flavor and scent entice many animals to eat; it also is packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids that may help support your furry friend’s joints, coat, skin, eyes, heart, and brain. Our Fish Oil for Pets is a high quality fish oil that may just do the trick!

Our pets are silly, loveable, and oh, so quirky. Even when they give us grief about their food, we still can’t imagine what we’d ever do without them. We hope these tips and tricks will help your picky dog or cat work up a better appetite and make mealtime just a little bit easier for the whole family.

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

What Scents Do Cats Love?

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Vanilla Pro-tains Recipe


vanilla protains

Who said that a sweet breakfast can’t be healthy? Plantains are a staple in many tropical countries, and although they’re known as “dessert bananas”, they make a great breakfast side, and they’re packed with nutrients!

Why we love plantains:

  • They’re a great source of complex carbohydrates, which digest slower and keep you fuller, longer - helping you curb unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
  • They aid in your digestive health since they’re high in fiber.
  • They’re great for heart health as they’re full of potassium as well as antioxidants from Vitamin C.
  • They’re a non-seasonal crop, making them available for delicious recipes all year round.
  • They’re versatile! They can serve as a healthy side dish, be made into soup, or fried for breakfast - as in the recipe below!

Try this quick and easy plantain-inspired recipe today!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Peel the plantains
  2. Slice into 1/4" thick slices on a diagonal
  3. Coat each slice in Vanilla Plant Protein
  4. Shake off excess powder

Stove Top Instructions:

Preheat coconut oil in a sauté pan or skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add the plantains in a single layer. Cook for about 30 seconds on each side. Serve immediately.

Air Fryer Instructions:

Preheat the air fryer to 300 degrees. Add the plantains in a single layer and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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The Ultimate Puppy Behavior Guide


puppy napping on human lap

They’re snuggly. They’re adorable. They’re impossibly tiny, little, fluff balls, and they’re invading your home, yet there’s nothing like the joy, love, and excitement a new puppy can bring to your family. into your household.

Along with that love and joy comes a ton of responsibility, so knowing what to expect can make your transition, and theirs, a bit smoother. Here are five common puppy behaviors to be on the lookout for.

Nipping and Chewing

There’s no way around it, puppies are prone to sinking their teeth into things- it’s one of the ways they explore their world. That doesn’t make it any less aggravating, or painful, when they nip at your fingers, or any less annoying when they chew your favorite shoes to shreds, but remember that although it may seem personal, it’s not. They’re learning and it’s your job to teach them how to behave.

When your puppy nips at you, quickly and firmly stop them, so they know it’s wrong. When they chew on inappropriate objects, try to correct and redirect by offering a toy or bone for them to gnaw on instead.

Teething and Losing Teeth

Speaking of teeth, did you know that puppies lose their baby teeth, just like children? It seems obvious, but some people don’t even know that’s a thing until their first puppy is deep in the throes of teething.

Losing teeth and growing new ones can be uncomfortable for your puppy, so you may see them more aggressively chewing, along with other signs such as red, inflamed or bleeding gums, drooling, bad breath, or increased fussiness and irritability. You can help them by offering teething toys or softening food, if needed. And don’t worry, the teething phase goes by quickly.


puppy chewing on toy

Potty Training and Housebreaking

One of the most challenging tasks for dogs and their human parents alike can be potty training or housebreaking. Dealing with accidents around the house can be stressful for both you and your puppy, but it can be hard for young dogs to understand how to notify you when they need to go outside or how to go on a potty pad to relieve themselves.

One key component to proper housebreaking is positive reinforcement. Every time your puppy successfully goes potty outside, it’s important to reward them with a treat. This helps them associate going potty outside with a positive response, so next time they’ll be motivated to continue practicing this good behavior.

The Zoomies

Now let’s talk about one of our all-time favorite puppy quirks: the zoomies! If you haven’t had a puppy before, this may sound ridiculous to you, but hear us out.

Ever seen the Indy 500? You know how the cars race around the track at impossibly high speeds? Okay, so picture that, except replace the track with your home, and the cars with your puppy. These are the zoomies!

Out of the blue, puppies will get a burst of energy and careen around the room, the yard, or the house at breakneck speed. What to do about this puppy behavior? If your puppy is on a predictable zoomies schedule (many of them regularly get the urge at the same time of day or night), maybe move anything breakable out of the way. Otherwise, sit back, relax, and enjoy the adorable and hilarious show!

Napping

Sometimes, the zoomies will use up so much energy that you might find your puppy passed out on the floor shortly afterwards. That’s not the only time puppies sleep though. Puppies, especially young ones, need ample time and space to sleep, both during the day and at night.

It can be easy for us, their humans, to get so carried away playing with them, taking them for walks, and showing off their cuteness, that we forget to give them a break. It’s important to have a calm, quiet, comfortable place available for your puppy to take a snooze whenever they need. They’re working hard to grow and learn, and naps are an important way for them to recharge.

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for the whole family. We wish you and your new fur baby luck, laughter, and love as you learn each other’s behaviors and work to become one happy, united family!

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

5 Ways Getting A Puppy Changes Your Life

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The Best Beauty Regimens Have This In Their Arsenal


woman cleansing face

Your skin fully regenerates about every 28 days (and increases to 45-50 days as you get older). Skin cells are born in the bottom-most layer of the epidermis, and they continually mature until they reach the outermost layer, and end their lifespan where they’ll continually shed. And here’s a fun fact:

 

Dead skin cells play an important role in helping your skin retain moisture.

 

That’s why it’s important that you exfoliate regularly to preserve your skin’s natural function.

Supporting the skin’s natural exfoliation process

Your skin’s natural exfoliation process can be aided with the help of natural ingredients that work together with your skin. There are several ways to exfoliate skin gently to help slough away dead skin, encourage circulation and induce a radiant, even-toned complexion.

If you’ve ever seen the severe redness of someone’s skin after a chemical peel, it’s due the abrasive ingredients. Chemical peels use harsh enzymes or acids to break down dead skin cells while mechanical exfoliation is done by using products with small particles that help buff away dead skin cells. We suggest a facial exfoliator like our Hibiscus Mask & Scrub which gives you a natural glow with its combination of natural enzymes like raw honey that helps promote skin healing and provides gentle exfoliation. They work in tandem to reveal brighter, more even-toned and smooth skin.

All natural exfoliation

The Hibiscus Mask takes a two-pronged approach by using both chemical and manual exfoliation. This gives you a gentle-yet-effective cleanser that doubles as a mask and is safe for many different skin types. It combines natural enzymes of pumpkin pulp, sugar extract and hibiscus that work together to break down dead skin cells on the surface. Simultaneously, colloidal oat powder gently buffs away dead skin cells as you massage it into your skin. It’s a win-win for unclogging pores and revealing fresh, bright skin!


woman exfoliating face

How to get the most out of our 2-in-1 Hibiscus Mask & Scrub

Whether you need a leave-on mask or exfoliating cleanser here’s our step-by-step guide.

As a mask:

  1. Always start with freshly cleansed skin.
  2. With skin slightly damp, apply a dime-sized amount of Hibiscus Mask and gently massage across your face and neck. Aim for a near-translucent layer of mask on skin - you don’t need a thick layer for this mask to work its magic.
  3. Leave this mask on for 10-15 minutes. To remove, apply a warm washcloth to skin and rinse with cool to warm water.
  4. Finish with your favorite facial moisturizer.

As a cleanser:

  1. Wearing makeup or sunscreen? Double cleanse. We recommend first washing skin with a foamy or creamy cleanser before using your scrub. Remove as much product from skin as possible before moving on to step two. Leave skin wet after rinsing.
  2. With skin damp, apply a dime-size amount of the scrub and begin gently massaging the product into skin in circular motions. Use light to medium pressure and massage for about 30 seconds. Rinse with cool to warm water.
  3. Apply your favorite facial moisturizer to seal the deal.

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The Dr. Jane Foundation Funds Ukraine Animal Rescue


woman holding dog

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is now being called the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II, and it’s not only affecting the citizens but their pets as well.

When faced with making split-second decisions about what to take while fleeing their homes, it’s unimaginable to think anyone would want to leave their pet behind. However, unfortunately, it’s not always possible to bring them to their next destination, which has recently led to overcrowded shelters. Thankfully, there are some incredible organizations on the ground doing great work to keep these pets safe and fed, but they need help to continue their mission.

Luckily, The Dr. Jane foundation keeps an emergency fund on hand at all times. Although typically it’s been used to support natural disaster relief and recovery within the United States, and our hurricane-ravaged neighbors in the Bahamas, we’re honored to support one of these organizations in its mission, “Save Pets of Ukraine,” with a $5,000 donation.


dog coming out of cage

This organization, led by local pet food manufacturer Kormotech, has already distributed more than 146 tons of pet food in just 20 days, and has given assistance to 514 pet care volunteers and animal shelters.

Save Pets of Ukraine is requesting donations for food, medicine, collars, and leashes from US companies and shipping them to Europe. Plus, they have partnered with US-based Greater Good Charities, which is collecting cash donations overseas.

Kormotech was founded in 2003 by Orest Vovk and his children, with a mission to make high-quality, affordable food for dogs and cats - which is in complete alignment of our mission here at Life’s Abundance. If you’d personally like to help the organization further their mission, you can learn more HERE.

If you found this interesting, check out these related stories:

Our Foundation Gives Emergency Funding To 2 Rescues

CAMO Rescue: Finding Dogs Their Forever Home

Your Food Portions Depend On Your Goals


cutting up large meal

What’s the best choice when it comes to eating habits surrounding meal frequency: eating several smaller meals or three larger meals throughout a day? The answer might not be the same for everybody.

Many studies suggest that smaller, more frequent meals may be healthier overall. Yet, mixed results from other recent studies suggest there is no significant difference between several small meals or three large ones. Instead, you must find the option that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Here’s a little more on what the research has to say:

Metabolism

One argument for eating several small food portions throughout the day is that it keeps your metabolism revved. Your body uses energy to digest food, so the theory is that the more frequently you eat, the more calories your body is burning. Researchers fed study participants the same number of calories divided into either one or four meals and found that increased meal frequency also increased post-meal energy expenditure and fat utilization.

However, other studies did not find significant differences in resting metabolic rate or energy expenditure between low and high meal frequencies.

Weight Loss

Even if the frequency of your eating habits doesn’t have an effect on calories burned, does it influence how many calories you consume? The research is mixed as well. Two studies—one in obese men and one in lean men— assessed how eating breakfast as one meal vs divided into four smaller food portions would influence appetite and energy consumption. In both cases, increased meal frequency lowered hunger and appetite, which may mean that several small meals may potentially prevent you from overeating. That being said, only the lean men ended up consuming less in the following meal.


fork picking up food

Chronic Disease Risk Factors

Maintaining normal blood sugar and lipid levels is key for preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Some studies have found that eating smaller food portions reduces insulin excretion, while others did not find any significant difference in insulin or blood sugar responses.

Mixed results have been found with lipid and cholesterol levels, too. In one clinical trial, participants were randomized to eat either three meals a day or three meals plus three snacks a day. There were no differences in metabolic variables except for an increase in HDL (aka the good cholesterol) in the 3-meal group. Yet, another small study compared three vs nine meals per day and found that more frequent meals significantly decreased LDL (aka the bad cholesterol).

The Bottom Line

This one will be specific to each reader. With various findings on eating habits, likely due to varying study designs, more research is needed. Regardless, what’s most important is the quality of food you eat, the proportion of nutrients you eat and understanding your behavior and lifestyle.

If you tend to be a snacker or want to try out a more frequent eating routine, Life’s Abundance supplements are an excellent option. We designed them to fill the most common gaps with a variety of clean, plant-based and organic ingredients. Of course, it helps that they’re convenient and delicious!

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