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Now Foods Immersion Event Recap

This post is sponsored by Fitfluential on behalf of NOW Foods.

NOW Foods Immersion Event​

NOW Foods was generous enough to fly out + accommodate a handful of bloggers and writers this year in order to allow us to get a deeper look into how their products are sourced + manufactured + tested + brought to shelves of health food stores all over.

I am at a loss for words on how to best summarize this trip, but I thought it would be the realest + clearest to share notes that I took as the trip transpired. They are essentially bullet point style quotes and factoids. This is how my brain works, so,  this is how I write!

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What stood out the most to me about my experience at NOW Foods was the quality of the people and the mindfulness + attention to detail with production. The neatest thing that blogging has brought me is a priceless set of experiences. I’ve met some incredible people on this trip, and that experience has enriched my life. There’s something about being thrown together with a bunch of people you’ve never met that awakens the human spirit. We gravitate to conversations where we find our commonplace. We feel profoundly connected thru this experience.

The coolest part of that is the staff at NOW Foods was a part of that. It wasn’t just the bloggers that I connected to. It was the people that make up the NOW Foods Team as well.

I think you’ll be able to tell how good of a time we had by these photos….

 

In regards to the quality of NOW Products as a whole (which I’m sure a bunch of you consumers are wondering about!), I felt assured and confident after seeing the rigorous testing that is done on the batches of supplements + food + beauty products that are produced. It’s impressive how much work is put into maintaining clean + pure products when they have such a large number of SKUs.

Perhaps the most profound thought I had in regards to product quality that I wanted to make sure I mentioned in this post was that: having an organic certification stamped on your label is not everything. It’s about: where are these ingredients sourced from + how are they grown + how are they processed? That ultimately dictates what the product ends up being. Not a label. It’s about the care that’s put into the whole sourcing to manufacturing process, from start to finish.

I say this because I know many people may overlook NOW initially because they don’t see the USDA Organic label on the packaging. Well, I’m here to tell you that I have witnessed many brands that throw the word “organic” around, but what they are doing is using that word, but then not practicing it. Whereas there are plenty of products that are not labeled as organic but are tested for pesticide content. Every brand is different, but it’s something to consider.

I am SO excited for the generous boatload of goodies that NOW provided to me (they even shipped it from the event to my home). It’s about $350 in value and loaded with supplements ranging from a Women’s probiotic to a Plant Protein powder to a Blender. The even-better news? They want to give one away to you!

To Enter:

-Just leave me a comment! (That. Is. It!)

Feel free to be funny and creative. You can leave a comment on here or Instagram or Facebook. All are awesomely acceptable!

I will notify the winner on 5/16 (one week from today!)

 

 

 

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Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Review

This is a review of Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Probiotics.

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve likely noticed that I sing the praises of this brand as much as I breathe. Okay, okay……not that much. But, I am a believer in what this brand does. I use their products daily and have been a lucky beneficiary of the health benefits they provide.

I was lucky enough to tour & hang out in their headquarters earlier this year in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and was blown away by the people, the passionate minds behind these products, and their commitment to quality.

Garden of Life teamed up with renowned Dr. David Perlmutter to create this line of products health that hone in on the mothership of all absorption: your digestive system. These probiotic supplements are unparalleled in the world of probies. They even ship them cold so that they retain their longevity.

Blah, blah, blah, right? Maybe some of you just want to hear the answer to: “Why do I need to take these and what are they going to do for my body?”

The short answer:

Probiotics will help you become healthier, get leaner, have clearer skin, sustain more energy and absorb more of the good food you’re eating. Better absorption means more health. I’ve lived it.

The longer answer: (I’ll offer this up because it left a lasting impression on me (something I learned from one of many lectures at the Garden of Life headquarters):

“Probiotics” is not JUST a buzz word. Your body NEEDS them to function optimally.

-The standard American diet, pharmaceutical drugs, etc. have diminished our bodies’ good bacteria population in the gut. The effect on human health is profound.

-Supplementing the diet with probiotics is key is returning this good bacteria population back to a point where the digestive system can assimilate, absorb and process nutrients as it’s supposed to.

-“At Garden of Life, we are greens, we are probiotics. It’s who are are.” -Sherri Gunn, Garden of Life.

-“So much more can be done with health & prevention.” -Dawn Jarvis, Garden of Life.

-There are trillions of microbial organisms in your body. You help the good microbes thrive by eating a rich, whole food based diet that limits processed foods.

-A natural, whole food diet without pesticides, GMOs helps heal the gut.

-Good bacteria in the gut helps protect against the bad bacteria. So, we need the good bacteria.

-Digestive health is responsible for absorption of all of the food we eat, which contributes to our overall vitality. That’s why gut health is such a focus.

If you made it this far reading this post, I am here giving you a virtual hug. Thank you. I know it’s a lot.

But, I say all of this to say: probiotics can REALLY help you in myriad of ways. I am a huge proponent of them. I use them and I feel a difference when I do.

Thanks for supporting ROO! Here’s to our health–cheers!

Garden of Life Summit Rundown: Probiotics + Protein + Organic Farming

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The notion of possibly summarizing my entire weekend at the Garden of Life headquarters is an incredibly overwhelming task. There are SO many ideals that were brought to my attention, many that were even more cemented in my thinking, and a ton of new ideals that I’ve been inspired to ponder. To sum up my general emotion triggered by being a part of this summit, I left Palm Beach feeling:

Inspired. Driven. Hyped on supporting organic. Enthusiastic. Invigorated. Energized. Healthy.

I ate so much good (both good tasting and good for me!) foods while I was there, I truly did leave feeling superpowered. I drank my weight in local, green juice, ate a plentiful amount of locally-caught seafood and even dined at a farm-to-table restaurant.

In regards to the information, knowledge and inspiration that I acquired, here are the main take-aways that I grasped from this weekend that I am applying and taking into my everyday life.

Before I get into all of the details, I’ll just add that I am a FEELER. By that, I mean that I am largely influenced by how things make me feel–both as a result of the information I hear and how I feel when using a product. Thus, a lot of these tidbits from the summit really resonated with me, or I related strongly to because I have experienced the protein for myself. Scientific backup is great (many desire solely that), and Garden of Life has that to back up their products, but, I am an advocate for these products because I have witnessed first hand the impact that they have had on my health. I feel like the best version of Jesica when I am eating loads of organic, raw, plant based foods. This kind of supplementation is a gigantic part of that. I consider each of the Garden of Life products to be beyond “just a supplement,” because the quality is supreme and they are whole food-based, they are in a league of their own.

I have bolded some of my favorite parts!

1. “Probiotics” is not JUST a buzz word. Your body NEEDS them to function optimally.

-The standard American diet, pharmaceutical drugs, etc. have diminished our bodies’ good bacteria population in the gut. The effect on human health is profound.

-Supplementing the diet with probiotics is key is returning this good bacteria population back to a point where the digestive system can assimilate, absorb and process nutrients as it’s supposed to.

-“At Garden of Life, we are greens, we are probiotics. It’s who are are.” -Sherri Gunn, Garden of Life.

-“So much more can be done with health & prevention.” -Dawn Jarvis, Garden of Life.

-There are trillions of microbial organisms in your body. You help the good microbes thrive by eating a rich, whole food based diet that limits processed foods.

-A natural, whole food diet without pesticides, GMOs helps heal the gut.

-Good bacteria in the gut helps protect against the bad bacteria. So, we need the good bacteria.

-Digestive health is responsible for absorption of all of the food we eat, which contributes to our overall vitality. That’s why gut health is such a focus.

2. Supporting organic is, indeed, so very important.

-“I do this because it means a lot.” -Jeff Brams, Garden of Life

-Traceability, sourcing, transparency and sustainability are so important in acquiring raw materials  ingredients.

-Supporting organic, family farms drives economic change. “This is the mission.” – Jeff Brams, Garden of Life

-GoL elevates the success of villages in Africa by sourcing from them.

-Biodynamic farming is utilized and valued. You must farm the soil, not the plants. It’s about the “symphony of the soil.”

3. Protein. Why so important?

-Your entire body requires protein to maintain itself, rebuild, repair and build.

-Whole food supplements are faster and more effective because they are assimilated like real food.

-Protein helps build muscle–then muscle helps clean sugar out of your system.

-Protein lowers ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger.

-Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) don’t have to go thru the liver. They go straight to the muscle. This reduces lactic acid, aids recovery.

-Protein isolates are not the same as whole food based proteins because they cause the blood sugar to rise.

-“High quality protein has a satiating effect on the body.”-Jeff Brams, Garden of Life.

-“Protein is the original energy drink–it just provides energy through a different mechanism.” -Jeff Brams, Garden of Life

-Assaults to digestive tract causes inability to absorb protein (processed foods, pharmaceutical drugs, gluten, excess sugar, lack of good bacteria in the gut)

4. Tidbits on Garden of Life Proteins

Organic Plant Protein (OPP) created because of “grain free” demand, because customers want taste & texture. Contains more fermented ingredients (& nutrients due to superfood content), whereas GoL’s Raw Protein contains more sprouted. Fermented & sprouted ingredients are more easily digested than an unprepped seed.

-Unprepped seeds do not want to be digested. They want to be transported and deposited in a new home. Nature’s example: squirrels plant acorns, let them sprout and then eat them.

-Variety of proteins in one blend makes it work–gives you a complete amino acid chain.

Organic Plant Protein contains the superfoods baobab (acts as a prebiotic) & moringa (combats malnutrition).

Raw Meal has more protein & acts as a meal replacement, with significant amounts of fat, carbs and protein. Contains high nutrient content, thus less cravings and helps you feel fuller longer.

Raw Fit contains Fucothin (green coffee bean extract) which regulates and balances blood sugar.

-Adding power packed protein & superfood blends like these to your diet helps proliferate good microbes in your body.

5. Inflammation

-“The cornerstone of all disease is inflammation.” -Dawn Jarvis, Garden of Life

-Sugar encourages inflammation.

-Keep out artificial sweeteners that are causing oxidative stress.

6. Ingredients

-“We are fanatical about ingredients.” -Dawn Jarvis, Garden of Life

-14 strains of probiotics makeup GoL probiotics products

-Made cold, shipped cold

-Dawn Jarvis has an incredible resume with experience being a nutritionist for Wimbledon, yet one of my favorite quotes of her lecture is: “We use the organic stuff.”

-A little “did you know” from this weekend…”Flamingos are pink because of the large amount of antioxidants that they consume.”

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The Garden of Life team was incredibly accommodating, helpful, inspiring and enthusiastic–infectiously so! A special thank you to every one of them that took time away from their work week to help me learn and grow in this field, especially Rhonda & Ursula who made it all happen! I will always treasure the memory of this weekend and know that all of the eye-opening things I’ve taken away will propel me even farther in a positive direction!

Also, thank you to Tess at Core Evolution Palm Beach for the challenging workout!

Here are the links to the sites of the other incredible talented ladies that I met! Check out all of the great info and inspiration they have to offer!

Meg Kelly  http://www.TheCompostCook.com

Keleigh May  www.WhereTheresAMeal.com

Roshini Cope  http://www.Glamazini.com

Michelle Sutter  http://www.powered-by-mom.com/

Dr. Pamela Reilly  http://goodworkswellness.com/blog-2/

Amber Gebhardt  www.yogabycandace.com

Rebecca Warner Schiffenauer  www.campwander.com

Chelsea Gilson  www.travelingfig.com

Dr. Marie Miczak  http://drmiczak.blogspot.com/

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