Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Friday 5

Happy anniversary to us! 🙂 Today is our 11th wedding anniversary, and we’re planning to celebrate on our family vacation this evening. Thankfully, Club Med has group babysitting in the evening, so Mal and I will get to have a proper date night to celebrate #11! And, of course, I’ll be sure to have a full wedding anniversary recap when we get home!

Speaking of anniversaries…

The early access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale kicks off today! Woohoo! Early access is only for Cardholders and Nordy Club Members, so if you’re not, be sure to mark your calendars for the official start of the Nordstrom anniversary sale on 7/19. There’s always so many great deals – you don’t want to miss it! I’ll also have a blog post with my favorites from the sale next week!

Since it’s Friday and all, it’s time for another edition of The Friday 5 where I share 5 of my favorites from the week. I wrote this blog post before we left for vacation, and I hope you enjoy it. See you next week! 🙂

1. Embroidered pug hat – I actually saw this hat on Big Brother a couple of weeks ago. One of the contestants was wearing it – and as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed it in my life. Thankfully, some Googling did the trick, and I found it on Etsy.

pug hat from etsy

It’s cool when you wear the hat of the pet that you own, right?

Mal said he wanted one too, so now we have matching pug hats! 🙂 The Etsy shop actually sells all sorts of dog breeds (and some sharks!), so be sure to check it out if you’re in the market for a cool embroidered hat! 🙂

2. Kohv sunglasses – You might remember my Kohv sunglasses from last summer. The brand sent me a few pair, and I wore them a ton! They’re super stylish, high-quality, and they’re just $20 a pair. You can’t beat that! I’m wearing the HALE style in the photo below and my other favorites are the ASH and MAPLE. You can save 10% of any pair of Kohv sunglasses with code carrotsncake!

3. Caslon Utility Shorts – These utility shorts have a hint of stretch, so they’re fitted without being super duper tight. They come in regular and petite sizes as well as other colors and a fun cameo print. I ordered them in a size 2.

4. Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation New Day T-shirt – The nice people from Mighty Well sent me one of their “New Day” t-shirts, and it’s so perfect for anyone struggling with a chronic illness. I love the message so much, and it totally resonates with me as far as keeping a positive outlook even when things get really tough.

This summer, Mighty Well is running a campaign to support the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of New England and donating 50% of all sales generated from two of their top products to support the Foundations research and work. You can read more and check out the products here.

Mighty Well created a line of apparel and accessories that enables patients to look and feel stylish while wearing and carrying their medical devices. You can learn more about their story and products in this short video.

5. Chernobyl on HBO – Did anyone else watch this mini docu-series? OMG. I had heard about Chernobyl, but didn’t know all of the details. Holy cow, it’s crazy. If you’re looking for a new series to watch, be sure to put this on your list. I’ve been obsessed with all things Chernobyl lately and can’t stop researching the disaster. Its impact even today is incredible!

Flashback Favorites

Sales of the Week

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Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine FAQs

If you’re new to clean-crafted wine, you might have some questions about why Scout & Cellar wines are different from others on the market. I personally think they are delicious, which, of course, is why I became an independent consultant, but I really love that they are better for you. Read on for some commonly asked questions and responses (aka Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine FAQs). If you have additional ones, please don’t hesitate to reach out, and I hope you enjoy this Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine FAQs post!

Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine FAQs

Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine FAQs

What does “clean-crafted” mean exactly?

The short answer: wines that are grown naturally—without the use of synthetic pesticides—and bottled consciously—without added sugars or non-organic chemicals to modify texture, flavor, color or aroma. The result is wine that is natural, delicious and provides an all-around better wine experience —just like nature intended!

How do you verify a wine is clean-crafted?

It’s a multi-part process. First, we find the most wildly delicious wines that reflect a sense of place. Then, we work with the grower and/or producer to understand their process in the vineyard and in the cellar. Third, we review detailed reports detailing the viticulture and vinification process of each wine. Fourth, we conduct two independent lab test on each wine to confirm that there are no synthetic pesticides present in addition to any other necessary analyses if not previously confirmed or provided. 

Where are Scout & Cellar wines sourced?

That’s the beauty of this program: our wines are sourced from all over the world! 

What are sulfites?

Sulfites are naturally occurring antioxidant and antibacterial compounds in grapes and are utilized to protect the wine from oxygen until it reaches your glass. Because of the slow-crafted, intentional way Scout & Cellar wines are made, they require very little sulfur additions to remain stable. Most have less than 50ppm, all must have less than 100ppm. As a point of reference, the FDA allows up to 350ppm.

How many calories are in a glass of clean-crafted wine?

How many calories are in a glass of clean-crafted wine? 

A typical 5-ounce glass of Scout & Cellar wine contains about 100 calories. Compare this to a conventional 5-ounce glass of wine, containing up to 200+ calories because of the residual sugar!

Are the wines vegan? 

For the most part, yes. Almost all of our wines use only vegan fining agents, and we are working towards all our wines being vegan-friendly. In the rare case that non-vegan fining agents are used, it will be notated in the wine’s description on scoutandcellar.com. The clean-crafted wine standard includes a strict list of approved fining agents backed by the promise of no harmful chemicals found in our wine. Ever.

Are the wines Keto-friendly? 

Yes. Those following a Keto diet closely monitor their daily carbohydrate intake. Since we select wines fermented to dryness and do not allow for added sugars, those following a Keto plan can enjoy our wines while still being aligned with their goals.

Are the wines gluten-free? 

“Wine as nature intended” means customers enjoy a gluten-free experience with every glass. Mass-produced wines use synthetic additives that sometimes contain gluten. Because gluten does not bind as well to organic matter (the good stuff!) when compared to other fining agents, our winemakers do not use it.

Does the price change for multiple bottle purchases?

As a matter of fact, it does! By purchasing six bottles, you receive a 5% discount. By purchasing 12 bottles, you receive a 10% discount!

I hope you enjoyed this post about Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine FAQs. If you have any additional questions or would like to become an independent wine consultant yourself (it’s fun!), please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Want to stay in the loop about special offers from Scout & Cellar? Sign up for my Scout & Cellar email list!

Scout & Cellar Clean-Crafted Wine Review

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Is 50 the New 70? How the Modern Lifestyle Is Remaking Middle Age

“Do not go gentle into that good night.” That’s one of my favorite lines in all of literature, and it informs my outlook on health, life, wellness, and longevity.

Live long, drop dead. Compression of morbidity. Vitality to the end. All that good stuff.

But I’m sorry to report that Dylan Thomas imploring you to assail life with boldness is becoming harder for the average person to fulfill and embody. People more than ever before are heading into middle age with a head-start on the degenerative changes to body composition and function that used to only hit older folks. They may want to go boldly into that good night, but their bodies probably won’t be cooperating.

Ignore the standouts for a moment. I’m not talking about that awesome granny you saw deadlifting her bodyweight on Instagram or the centenarian sprinter smoking the competition. I’m not talking about the celebrities with personal trainers and access to the latest and greatest medical technologies. I’m referring to the general trend in the greater population. All signs point to average men and women alike having more fragile bones, weaker muscles, and worse postures at a younger age than their counterparts from previous eras.

What Signs Point This Way?

Low Bone Density

These days, more men than ever before are developing the signs of osteoporosis at an earlier age. In fact, one recent study found that among 35-50 year olds, men were more likely than women to have osteopenia—lower bone mineral density—at the neck.

Why?

Osteoporosis used to be a “woman’s disease,” lower estrogen after menopause being the primary cause. That’s rather understandable; estrogen is a powerful modulator of bone metabolism in women, and a natural decline in estrogen will lead to a natural decline in bone density. Men’s bone density has a similar relationship with testosterone; as a man’s testosterone declined, so does his bone density. As long as a man or woman entered the decline with high bone density, the decline wouldn’t be as destructive.

But here’s the thing: these days, both men and women are starting the decline with lower bone density. In women and men, peak bone mass attainment occurs during puberty. In girls, that’s about ages 11-13. In boys, it’s later. Puberty sets up our hormonal environment to accumulate healthy amounts of bone mineral density—but we have to take advantage of that window.

One of the main determinants of bone density accumulation is physical activity. If you’re an 11-year-old girl or a 16-year-old boy and you’re not engaging in regular physical activity—running, jumping, throwing, lifting, playing—you will fail to send the appropriate signals to your body to begin amassing bone mass. And once that developmental window closes, and you didn’t spend it engaging in lots of varied movement, it’s really hard to make up for all the bone mineral density you didn’t get.

But you can certainly improve bone mineral density at any age. Even the elderly can make big gains by lifting weights, walking frequently, or even doing something a simple as regular hopping exercises. The problem is that physical activity is down across all ages.

Children are spending more time indoors using devices than outdoors playing. They aren’t walking to school or roaming around outdoors with friends getting into trouble. If they’re active, they’re more likely to be shuttled from soccer practice to ballet to music lessons. Their movement is prescribed rather than freely chosen. Hour-long chunks of “training” rather than hours and hours of unstructured movement…

Not just kids, either. Sedentary living is up in everyone.

So there are two big issues:

  1. Kids are squandering the developmental window where they should be making the biggest gains in bone density.
  2. Adults are leading sedentary lives, squandering the lifelong window we all have to increase bone density.

Another reason men are having newfound problems with low bone mineral density is that a generational drop in testosterone has been observed. Twenty years go, men of all ages had higher testosterone levels than their counterparts today, meaning an average 50-year-old guy in 1999 had higher testosterone than an average 50-year-old guy in 2019. Testosterone will decline with age. That’s unavoidable. But something other than aging is also lowering testosterone—and bone density—across the board.

Experts are now recommending that young men use night lights, avoid throw rugs on the floor, and do pre-emptive physical therapy—all to reduce the risk of tripping, falling, and breaking something. That is absolutely tragic. This shouldn’t be happening.

Text Neck

The smartphone is a great tool with incredible potential to transform lives, economies, and personal capacities. But it can wreck your posture if you’re not careful and mindful.

Try this. Pick up your phone and compose a text message. Do it without thinking. Now hold that position and go look at yourself in a mirror. What do you see?

Head jutting forward, tilted down.

Upper back rounded, almost hunched.

Shoulders internally rotated.

Now spend 6-8 hours a day in this position. Add a few more if you work on a computer. Add another 15-20 minutes if you take your phone into the bathroom with you. Add an hour if you’re the type to walk around staring at your phone.

It all starts to sound a little ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Not only are people spending their days sitting and standing with their spine contorted, they’re staring down at their phones while walking. This is particularly pernicious. They’re training their body to operate in motion with a suboptimal, subhuman spinal position. They’re making it the new normal, forcing the body to adapt. And it is subhuman. Humans are bipeds, hominids that tower over the grasslands, able to scan for miles in every direction, perceive oncoming threats, plot their approach, stand upright and hold the tools at the ready. What would a Pleistocene hunter-gatherer of 20,000 years ago make of the average 25-year-old hunchback shuffling along, nose pointed toward the ground? What would your grandfather make of it?

It used to be that the only person with a kyphotic, hunchback posture was pushing 70 or 80 years old. And even in that age group, it was relatively rare. Nowadays young adults, teens, and even kids have the posture.

Physical Weakness

Interest in effective fitness and healthy eating and CrossFit and paleo and keto and everything else we talk about is at an all-time high, and all your friends on Instagram seem to be drinking bone broth and doing squats, so you’d think that people are getting stronger and waking up from all the crazy conventional wisdom that society has foisted upon us over the years. They’re not, though. That’s the view from inside the Internet bubble. This explosion in ancestral health and fitness is a reaction to the physical ineptitude and torpor enveloping the modern world. A small but growing group of people are discovering the keys to true health and wellness because the world at large has become so backwards.

And no matter how many CrossFit gyms pop up or people you see walking around in yoga pants, the average adult today is weaker than the average adult from twenty years ago. That’s the real trend. It probably doesn’t apply to you, my regular reader, but it does apply to people you know, love, and work with. Here’s the reality:

Grip strength—one of the better predictors of mortality we have—of 20-34 year old men and women has declined since 1985, so much that they’re “updating the normative standards” for grip strength. Even 6-year-olds are weaker today.

New recruits in the military are weaker than recruits from previous eras. They’re even having trouble “throwing grenades.”

Everywhere you look—Lithuania, Portugal, Sweden, to name just a few—kids, teens, and adults of all ages are failing to hit the normative standards of strength and fitness established in older eras. People are getting weaker, softer, and less fit earlier than ever before.

Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t let it happen to the people you care about. You have the chance, the duty to your future self to go boldly into that good night, rather than wither and dwindle and fall apart. And it starts today, right now, right here. Do one thing today. What will it be?

How are you guys fighting the ravages of age and gravity? What are you going to do today to ensure you’ll go boldly into older age?

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References:

Bass MA, Sharma A, Nahar VK, et al. Bone Mineral Density Among Men and Women Aged 35 to 50 Years. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2019;119(6):357-363.

Fain E, Weatherford C. Comparative study of millennials’ (age 20-34 years) grip and lateral pinch with the norms. J Hand Ther. 2016;29(4):483-488.

Larson CC, Ye Z. Development of an updated normative data table for hand grip and pinch strength: A pilot study. Comput Biol Med. 2017;86:40-46.

Venckunas T, Emeljanovas A, Mieziene B, Volbekiene V. Secular trends in physical fitness and body size in Lithuanian children and adolescents between 1992 and 2012. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2017;71(2):181-187.

Marques EA, Baptista F, Santos R, et al. Normative functional fitness standards and trends of Portuguese older adults: cross-cultural comparisons. J Aging Phys Act. 2014;22(1):126-37.

Ekblom B, Engström LM, Ekblom O. Secular trends of physical fitness in Swedish adults. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2007;17(3):267-73.

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Are you a victim of healthwashing? (Find out the ways food companies trick you)

When I first started researching ingredients and food over 8 years ago, the industry was so different than it is now…

More people are aware of what’s in their food – we’re reading ingredient lists, juicing, taking supplements, and eating more real food. That’s why we’re now seeing a wave of new “healthy” products flooding the market as some food brands are hoping to cash in on the health food movement… 

But some brands aren’t going about it the right way.

You’ve heard of greenwashing, right? That’s when a company makes their product appear more environmentally-friendly than it really is. Well, the same is happening to our food. Health-washing is EVERYWHERE.

“Health-washing” is when a food company adds synthetic and processed additives to food to make it appear healthier and more nutrient dense than it actually is. Food companies will also add specific labels to the packaging, which imply a product is healthier than it actually is. 

They are targeting people like you with these products, people who care about their food and are trying to make the healthiest decisions. Health-washing is getting RAMPANT out there – that’s why you need to know how companies do this so you can protect yourself. Here are 6 ways food brands health-wash their products:

#1. They add synthetic vitamins & minerals to artificially pump up the nutrient content.

8Greens tells you it’s got “As much Vitamin C as 6 Oranges”… “As much Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) as 15 cups of Broccoli”… and “As much Vitamin B6 as 6 cups of Spinach”… but actually these nutrients in 8Greens are NOT coming from oranges, broccoli, or spinach. 8Greens adds in synthetic vitamins (i.e. artificial vitamins) that are made in a laboratory. Deceitful right? 

“The eight greens themselves (spinach, wheatgrass, kale, blue green algae, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass and aloe vera) naturally contain vitamins, but we have added extra vitamins to make sure that 8Greens is a more effective supplement. These are those extra vitamins and minerals that you see added to our formula and listed on the nutrition label. These extra vitamins on the label are synthetic… Any naturally occurring vitamins are not listed and such breakdown isn’t available however our green proprietary blend is 686 mg per tablet.” – 8Greens Customer Support (June 2019)

Right on the package it says “Made from Real Greens” but really the majority of the product is coming from synthetic vitamins. How much actual “greens” are you feasibly eating in that small 8Greens pill? You’d be getting a lot more by drinking a green smoothie, I can tell you that much! Products like this make consumers feel like they are getting their daily greens, but in reality, it is just a high-priced synthetic vitamin supplement. 

Now, you might be thinking this doesn’t matter. All vitamins are healthy, right? Not if they are made in a lab from a variety of questionable sources like coal tar, petroleum and GMOs. Lab-created vitamins differ from their natural counterpart, and thus aren’t often believed to be absorbed by your body as well as naturally present vitamins that you get from whole food and supplements with vitamins derived naturally from whole foods (1). Natural vitamins still contain cofactors that aid in absorption and bioavailability – enzymes, bioflavonoids, minerals, etc. Real food and natural vitamins are always best.

Here’s another example…

Good Health Veggie Pretzels look like snack-time gold! Right there on the package, they tell you you’re getting the same amount of Vitamin A as 2 ½ cups of broccoli… the Vitamin C in 3 ½ beets… the Vitamin E in 5 tomatoes… the Vitamin B6 in 7 cups spinach… and the Vitamin K in 2 carrots. Wow – sounds like you’ll be eating a ton of produce, huh? Nope. Turns out they are playing the same dirty trick as 8Greens by just adding all those synthetic vitamins in to make it look like you are getting nutrients from real food. MAJOR FAIL.

#2. They add probiotics to unhealthy sugary foods.

Adding probiotics to a Double Chocolate Muffin full of sugar doesn’t make it better for you. It’s widely known that sugar destroys good gut bacteria (2)… and sugar is literally the first ingredient in these FlapJacked Double Chocolate Mighty Muffins, essentially negating benefits that you might be getting from the probiotics added.

The FDA is not regulating how much (if any) actual living probiotics are in products like this (3). Probiotics are fragile living organisms that are typically killed by heat, so the type FlapJacked uses is heat-resistant designed to survive heavy processing (4)… but that doesn’t mean I’m not skeptical that nuking a Mighty Muffin in the microwave on high (their recommended cooking method) isn’t going to kill many of the probiotics. They claim the microwaved muffins have been tested and contain live probiotics. Either way – Wouldn’t you rather get your probiotics from healthy fermented foods and high quality probiotic supplements than from sugary processed muffins? There are much healthier and cost-effective ways to get your probiotics in each day and this is just one way food companies try to “health-ify” junky food. 

#3. They use the Certified Organic label on unhealthy food, especially targeted towards children.

There’s no doubt that organic food is the safest choice and I’m a huge advocate of organic farming. That being said… some organic brands make some really unhealthy products. This is where the organic label can be a bit deceptive. Many people equate “organic” with “healthy” – but that is not always the case. Even worse – I often see the most unhealthy organic products made especially for babies and children. Shouldn’t they be starting out with the healthiest food? If you find yourself assuming organic products are healthy and buying them without reading the ingredients, just remember to repeat after me: The organic label does not mean a product is healthy… 

Clif Bar Organic ZFruit Strawberry Snack is made with ZERO strawberries (maybe that is what the “Z” stands for? LOL).

To make ZFruit, they use heavily processed apple “concentrates” and flavor it to taste like strawberries because it’s cheaper to produce, but this is wrong because people assume they’re feeding their kid’s strawberries. People also think it’s a healthy snack for their child because it is “Organic” – but in reality – it’s heavily processed, full of sugar, and hardly has any nutrient value. 

 

Apple concentrates are not the same as whole apples. To make a concentrate, fruit puree or juice is heated into a syrup, which makes them higher in sugar, lower in fiber, and lower in nutrients than whole fruit.

 According to Vasanti Malik, a research scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, people should view fruit concentrate as an added sugar, similar to high-fructose corn syrup (5). 

 

To illustrate this… a Clif Bar ZFruit (made with apple puree concentrate and juice concentrate) contains 14 grams of sugar and less than 1 gram of fiber. They add in synthetic Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). If you were to eat 1⁄2 cup real strawberries instead, you’d eat only 4 grams of sugar with about 2 grams of fiber – and lots of valuable vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. This is why whole fruit is best. 

Stonyfield says YoBaby is “Made with only organic whole milk and the kind of ingredients you would use yourself” – Ummm not true. I wouldn’t add refined white sugar and “natural” flavors to yogurt…especially if I was feeding it to my baby (6). It’s super simple to add “flavor” to plain grass-fed yogurt at home by stirring in some mashed berries or bananas…YUM…and no sugar needed.  

Little Duck Organics Fig Bars are the perfect example of how some organic brands make healthy products, while also making some not so healthy ones. I’ve bought products by Little Duck before, but I wouldn’t buy these. When you look closely at the ingredient list you’ll find 4 types of added sugar before any actual blueberries or kale (Brown Rice Syrup, Dried Cane Juice, Concentrated Apple Juice, Coconut Palm Sugar) along with unhealthy refined canola oil and lots of processed flours/starches (1). You’ve got to wonder how much blueberry and kale are really in these too – I bet it’s negligible. On the other hand, Little Duck also makes “Tiny Fruits” that are simply 100% freeze-dried organic fruit that I buy for my daughter Harley as a little snack to have on trips or when we go out to an event. 

#4. They add protein to products with risky ingredients.

Taking a super unhealthy product and adding extra protein to it does not transform it into a health food – especially when it’s soy protein isolate. When soy is isolated to just its protein state, it becomes severely denatured and can cause hormonal disruptions because of the excessive amount of estrogen contained in it (1). Soy also contains an abundance of phytic acid, which leaches calcium and other vital minerals from your body. Plus – over 90% of the soy produced in this country is GMO and contaminated with Roundup herbicide. Kellogg’s Special K Protein Cereal is also spiked with refined sugar, fake flavors, and BHT (a preservative linked to cancer)(7) – not a good protein-packed way to begin your mornings. Try a healthy green protein smoothie instead!

Protein-infused Protein20 water looks like a health supplement, but it’s sweetened with one of the worst sweeteners out there – Sucralose (aka Splenda). This artificial sweetener is linked to leukemia and other blood cancers in animal studies (1). It’s also been shown that artificial sweeteners like Sucralose are doing little to help people lose weight and are actually linked to weight gain (1).

The type of protein in these is another popular protein supplement – conventional whey protein isolate – which is highly processed. Most whey protein isolates start from ultra-pasteurized “Monsanto Milk” raised on GMOs, antibiotics, and other drugs. This milk is then exposed to acid processing, which strips out alkalizing minerals and naturally occurring vitamins and lipids. This processing makes whey protein isolate overly acidifying in the body. And, chronically consuming whey protein isolate without appropriate balance of alkalizing foods can acidify your body, which over time can increase your vulnerability to degenerative disease.

#5. They imply their product contains healthy fruit, even when it doesn’t. 

Despite that big strawberry on the cup, there is not one strawberry in there. “Two Good” yogurt by Dannon is extra processed to remove natural sugars in the milk and then flavored and colored to look and taste like there is fruit in it – but it’s all fake. They also add thickeners (tapioca starch, gellan gum) to replace some texture lost from all that processing. Natural flavors used to make it taste like fruit are not actually “natural” at all (6). These fake flavors are made in a lab to mimic the taste of fruit and are designed to keep you coming back to eat more. As explained by flavor manufacturer Nature’s Flavors, “The trick to making a product taste good is to give the customer only enough flavor to tease their taste buds. You never want to completely satisfy their tastes” (8). Do you really want to eat fake flavors that were manufactured to keep you unsatisfied and wanting more, or would you rather just eat real fruit and all the nutrients that come with it? 

#6. They add processed fibers to increase the fiber content.

Sara Lee and BFree say their products are good sources of fiber, but they add cellulose to artificially pump up the fiber content. The type of cellulose that food companies typically use is made from wood. Cellulose is much cheaper to obtain from wood than fruits and vegetables, and is manipulated in a laboratory to form different structures (liquid, powder, etc) depending upon the food product it is used in (9). According to the Center For Science In The Public Interest, cellulose is a cheap way to boost the fiber content on food labels, but it isn’t as healthful as fiber that comes from natural foods (10). Recent research links this additive to weight gain, inflammation and digestive problems (11). Get your fiber from whole grains, fruits & veggies instead.

I’m so sick of seeing products like this, and that’s one reason I launched Truvani. We don’t health-wash our products…

We’re not gonna add probiotics to sugary snacks…

We’re not gonna add protein to junk food…

We’re not gonna add fake vitamins to chips…

We’re not gonna add wood to bread…

We’re not gonna use the tricks that Big Food uses to pull one over on you.

From the very start, Truvani’s mission has been simple: Real food without added chemicals. Products without toxins. Labels without lies. We will be transparent with our ingredient sourcing and pick the best ingredients available. 

I make sure that every product created is with integrity and not some “fluff” product to make money. Don’t you wish there were more companies like this? We are working as fast as we can to bring more healthy products to market for you… and I have EXCITING NEWS:

Truvani is launching BRAND NEW products on July 17th. Be the first to find out what they are: Sign up here

Voting with our dollars is one of the most important things we can do to change the food system. Now, I am finally able to create the healthy products that I always wanted to see in stores, not just for myself – but for you too. Your support is making this all possible.

Can you guess what our new products will be? What do you want us to create next? Tell me in the comments! Here’s a HINT from our product video shoot…

And, don’t forget to sign up here to get first dibs on our new products!

Xo,

Vani

P.S. If you know anyone who might be falling for junk food disguised as health food, please hit share on this post! 

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The Return Of Sunflower Butter

Remember when the blog world discovered sunflower seed butter? Nut butter fanatics everywhere went gaga. It was my favorite drizzle for over a year, and I barely ate peanut butter at all.

I think the trend went like this:

all kinds of crazy peanut butter –> almond butter –> multi butters –> sunflower butter –> –> Cookie butter –> full circle peanut butter

When Mazen started preschool, I had to pack nut free lunches for years. He ate so much sunflower butter that he stopped eating it. At the same time, I started buying the Sunbutter brand at Whole Foods so I didn’t have to make a second trip to Trader Joe’s. On my recent trip to TJs I picked up a jar of the original TJs sunflower butter and OMG I FELL IN LOVE AGAIN! It is NOT the same as Sunbutter – it’s way better! Drippier and not as earthy. SB is back.

Also on the breakfast train…

Smoothies galore. And peaches out of our ears. So summery good!

Lunches This Week

There was also a time, I think before I was even pregnant with Birch and into first trimester sickness, where I had lost my taste for salads. I totally lost my salad groove, which was sad because a salad bowl is my favorite kind of lunch.

Smoked Chicken Salad

Well that taste is back! We had really good smoked chicken that Thomas grilled on the egg on Sunday. I put that over a salad with honey almonds, TJs Unexpected Cheddar (you guys were right – it’s awesome!), and a simple homemade dressing with EVOO, dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Extra honey drizzle on top! Plus corn chips on the side.

DIY Roots Bowls

Another day Hillary + Ellen came over for a lunch date. We made DIY Roots bowls! Hillary brought BBQ roasted tofu and sweet potatoes, I made the salad base with greens, avocado, cheese, and tomatoes, and Ellen brought chips, drinks, and cookies! I think dried cranberries and honey roasted chickpeas were also involved. It was an epic salad!

Chip buffet!

Dinners

We generally have been ordering two Plenty entrees each week and having those on our busiest nights and then doing simple recipes the other nights. Life with two kids is no joke! Especially during the summertime when the neighborhood pack of boys is still running through one door and out the other at 6:00pm.

Ravioli with Peas + Leftover Smoked Chicken

Simple homemade meal. This was TJs lemon ricotta ravioli and it was AWESOME! Especially since I’ve been digging all things lemon zest this year.

Plenty Salmon Kebobs with Couscous Salad

Greek yogurt on the side!

Workout Highlights

Two treadmill runs, two soccer games! All sweat.

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