Tag Archives: lean

Vital Proteins Marine Collagen + Collagen Peptides Review!

This is a review of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides & Marine Collagen.

Vital Proteins

Overall Rating: 5-stars

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Collagen Peptides

About:

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this ancient nutrient. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body ensuring the health and vitality of your skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones, and joints.** These natural peptides are highly bio-available, digestible and soluble in cold or hot liquids.

Uses:

    • Stir into water, fruit juice, or other beverages
    • Add to smoothies as protein booster
    • Mix with oatmeal, soups, or sauces
    • For fresh ideas and recipes visit our collagen recipe blog.

Marine Collagen

About:

    • Marine Collagen, Wild-Caught, Non-GMO Project Verified
    • From fresh wild-caught snapper
    • Non-GMO Project Verified
    • Promotes youthful skin, healthier hair, and stronger nails
    • Supports joint health
    • Natural glycine promotes healthy immune, digestive, and central nervous systems
    • 24 servings per container

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My Experience:

It’s a been a while since I began my stokageness surrounding protein. However, developing an interest and focus on getting collagen in my diet is brand new. The word collagen has been on my radar for a while. Just like any emerging word in the nutrition world, I had to sort the nonsense from the real. sense. Turns out, collagen is the real deal, and the benefits reach much further than the beauty perks.

Here’s what it is: you body needs three macronutrients in order to healthfully and effectively carry out all necessary bodily functions. These three macronutrients are carbohydrates + fat + protein.

Protein plays an integral role in helping your body to repair, rebuild and rejuvenate (even at the cellular level. Collagen is key in strengthening your integumentary system (hair + skin + nails) and also forms the foundation for repairing connective tissue (ligaments + tendons + bones). Soo, it’s a big deal.

I find that my body responds well to a diet in which I intentionally aim for 40/30/30, meaning 40% fat, 30% carbs and 30% protein. Some of my protein comes from fish, chicken and occasionally beef, but I habitually have a protein recovery shake after workouts to aid my body in repairing itself (thus, growing, thus making me more able to do harder workouts).

I’ve been using the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides  and Marine Collagen interchangeably for the last several weeks and I completely and utterly love them. Not only does my daily recovery feel great (I’ve even helped myself back from a herniated disk back injury), but my skin and hair feel healthier + stronger than they ever have.

I use two scoops combined with some nut milk or juice in a blender bottle after a workout. I found that a blender bottle is best for taking this collagen in a cold drink to go. If you don’t have a way to shake it up, it will “gel”, as they explain on their website. It’s no problem with a shaker bottle. I’ve also seen Shut the Kale Up” mix hers with hot coffee. Right on!

If there’s one dietary tweak that has made the biggest impact on how healthy I feel + how healthy my body looks, it’s been making sure I am getting enough high quality protein to help my body rebuild. When I am not on my protein game, I’m not my best. This I know. I commend Vital Proteins for their commitment to non-gmo. I would imagine that what makes an organic certification tricky for beef and fish products is all of the variables. I’d guess the cattle’s food intake could be controlled, but not for the fish.

It does appear like Vital Proteins is very forward thinking in how they are sourcing for their products. It would be insightful to learn more about how one successfully creates a beef-based collagen product and insure’s that it’s away from pesticides and herbicides. I couldn’t find this exact information on the Vital Proteins website, but I enjoyed reading about how the wild-caught snapper are sustainably harvested and the cattle are grass-fed in Brazil, and that is still the norm there.

I’d love to know more about YOUR experience with collagen!

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Recipe: Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie!

This post includes a recipe for a carrot cake protein smoothie!

Hey Everyone!

I’m off to the gym so I am keeping this brief–but this smoothie was so good that I have to share with you! This was a spontaneous creation (& Holy freaking cow–it’s better than the real thing).

I like to wing it in the kitchen (no measuring!) and this smoothie was done that way…

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Recipe: Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

Ingredients: 

All raw & organic:

-Almond meal

-Coconut manna

-Soaked cashews

-Soaked chia seeds

-Cinnamon

-Vanilla protein (I used Garden of Life’s Grain Free Vanilla)

-Stevia

-A handful of baby carrots

-Several cubes of ice.

Blend and boom! A healthy, rich, satisfying treat.

Navitas Naturals: Chili Lime Coconut Chips & Cacao Hemp Almonds Review 

Navitas Naturals

Overall Rating: images

Here on ROO, I write a whole stinkin’ lot about superfoods. This is because I truly believe in them. I live it,
I love it and I’ve seen the impact that they’ve had on my overall health.

Navitas Naturals is one of the superfood brands that I look to when I’m stocking up on the good stuff. Their quality is always excellent and I can expect to get organic ingredients from them (and the majority of the time, they are raw, too–the coconut chips are an exception). It’s such a neat thing to have a “go-to” brand like this one that you can look to with trust that they’ll provide an incredible product that doesn’t sacrifice quality for profit.

Not only is Navitas Naturals a leader in clean superfoods, but they are also a favorite of mine in regards to taste. They are masters at mixing several nutrient-rife foods/ingredients and creating a truly decadent, satisfying and rich flavor profile. I find myself turning the bag upside down to get every last morsel!

The way these chips could improve is it they were optimized for digestion (raw & sprouted, preferably). These snacks would not be considered “raw” as some heat and/or light toasting is used in creating these snacks. This is done to add a crispy, roasted flavor. However, nutrient-wise, I don’t think you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck, so to speak.

Chili Lime Coconut Chips

About:

“Chile Lime Coconut Chips are made by toasting premium coconut slices at low temperatures to create a rich buttery flavor and unique chewy crunch. These organic “Handfuls of Goodness” are a good source of energy, fiber and healthy fats that tame hunger. Chile Lime Coconut Chips are more than just a satisfying snack – try them on salad, in curry, with trail mix or wherever your culinary creativity takes you!

The chewy coconut in this snack is a good source of energy, fiber and healthy fats. It also contains minerals such as iron. Coconut is well known for its content of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) – healthy fats that are burned quickly by the body for energy and are not stored as fat. In particular, coconut contains lauric acid, a MCT that is known to offer many potential health benefits.”

Cacao Hemp Almonds

About:

“This chocolaty mix combines magnesium rich cacao and crunchy almonds together to deliver a new level of nutrition and flavor. These dark cacao almonds provide impressive amounts of protein and healthy fats from the almonds and hemp for a rich flavorful crunch.

Our line of Superfood+ snacks combines superfoods with nutrient rich nuts to make it easier than ever for people to gain the essential nutrition they need to power through a busy day. Grab a bag of Cacao Hemp Almonds and go!

This snack combines three superfoods in one delicious bite. Almonds are rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Cacao has been enjoyed for its healthy and invigorating properties in South American cultures for thousands of years. Cacao powder is a delicious dark chocolate source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron and fiber. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids, plenty of omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids and are also a good source of fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. Hemp is also eco-friendly – it’s one of the most sustainable crops on earth!”

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My Thoughts:

Holy freaking awesome superfood flavor goodness. That’s the best way to describe these two bags of heaven.

Navitas Naturals is one of my favorite sources to stock up on superfoods. The majority of their products are raw, while all of them are certified organic. Their standards for quality are up there–& they’ve earned a place on my “go-to” list for that reason. Navitas Naturals is also a very accessible brand, as you can find their products in Whole Foods, Natural Grocers & various other health food stores & markets.

Not only do they make big bags of superfoods like cacao, maca and goji berries, but they’ve concocted delicious & nutritious blends like these that are satisfying and good for you. The Chili Lime Coconut Chips are intensely savory & mouth-watering, with a zip from the chili lime flavor. They make the perfect healthy substitute for traditional potato chips. Being a hemp & cacao fanatic, I absolutely loved the Cacao Hemp Almonds. The bittersweet flavor of the cacao, the earthy taste of the hemp and the rich nutty flavor of the lightly-roasted almonds combine perfectly. I could eat the whole bag of each of these in one sitting. So tasty! (and guilt-free!)

The only thing I find myself wanting to improve with these snacks is that I wish they were raw. When I shop, I intentionally buy and often pay extra for raw coconut chips and raw almonds–this is to insure that I’m getting the biggest nutritional bang for my buck, so to speak. Thus, I find myself wanting these to be raw, even though the roasted flavor is indeed tasty. That said–nutrition is and will always remain top priority to me. Organic & raw is my gold standard.

Protein 17 Organic Whey Protein Review

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Protein 17 Organic Whey Protein

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Protein 17:

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My Thoughts:

Not only do I love that this protein is organic & from grass-fed cows, but I love that Protein 17 makes an effort to point out that the practice of injecting cows with artificial hormone treatment is harmful to the animal and ultimately harmful to us in consuming a product that is derived from cow’s milk. I admire the fact that they are transparent about their approach to whey protein–which is to create organic, non-gmo, whey protein containing nothing artificial.

It’s hard to find protein powder that is unflavored. I am loving that I can mix this protein with anything I want without worrying about the flavors meshing. I like it best blended with almond milk and a few strawberries.

This is not the only whey protein on the market, obviously, but it is absolutely one of the highest quality. There are a few other lines of organic whey protein out there–I am finding that amongst those brands, most of them are comparable. These top organic whey protein brands appear passionate about producing whey protein that you can trust, which is more than what your typical store-bought protein can say for itself.

Though I do not include other dairy products, I digest whey protein fine (in high-quality whey proteins, 100% of the lactose has been eliminated, thus it’s resemblance to milk is gone). Performance wise, I am on the top of the game in regards to running, lifting and requiring little recovery time. I believe that including organic whey protein in my diet has been a large part of that.

I’d recommend this protein to someone looking for a high quality, versatile protein powder to use along with a weight lifting and cardiovascular workout routine. Consuming doses of pure protein can help you recover quicker, grow muscle and keep you lean.

If You Do 5 Things for Your Health…

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It seems to me that many individuals are seeking a healthier lifestyle, but struggle with where to start. Some questions I often hear are: Is it bad that I eat this? What should I start eating? What’s the best work out? 

In my opinion and based upon my own experiences, I believe that there are 5 great places to start. There are no overnight fixes, but if you implement these small changes, then you will be on the road to forming habits that will serve your health, not hinder it.

1. Stop cold-turkey or ween yourself off of soda.

-I understand what it’s like to have a routine with what you drink (I’m a coffee drinker). That said, I also understand that some people fail at quitting soda cold-turkey. Whichever way you choose to stop drinking soda, do it. It’s worth it–and there are plenty of alternative drinks that are chock full of nutrient dense wonderment. Swap the soda for Kombucha, coconut water, or something as simple as adding lemons & limes to your water.

2. Fill your refrigerator with food you would be proud of eating.

-There’s nothing that will enable you to keep making poor food choices more than having that food around you all the time. Shop for good, whole, real food. Think: vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, plant based milk (coconut or almond milk), free range eggs & grass fed beef. Also, find a non-gmo protein powder that you like and keep that around for a quick protein smoothie. Buy organic when you can.

3. Practice the 90-10 rule.

-Nothing turns me off quicker than hearing about over-obsessed eaters who are on the verge of a full blown mental disorder because of their relationship with food. The point is not to fear food, it’s to focus on good food and eat that the majority of the time. Aim for this: 90% of the time, eat the good stuff–like I listed above. The other 10% of the time, let yourself eat dinner out at your favorite restaurant, or enjoy a glass of wine with your significant other. It’s about balance, not being neurotic about food.

4. Find a fitness routine that you have fun with.

-There’s a great quote for this one; I can’t say it better than Laird does:

“Fitness doesn’t have to be a duty. It doesn’t have to mean charts and graphs and heart rate printouts. It should be a pleasurable part of your life, and it should include things that you do purely because you enjoy them. Fun is an ingredient that people often forget in their fitness program.” -Laird Hamilton (professional surfer and world-class athlete)

I can tell you first hand that I have not been a runner since a young age because it’s a chore that I must do. I run PURELY because of how it makes me feel. I feel happy, relieved, de-stressed, empowered, strong and revitalized every time I run. Nobody else has to understand why you do what you do, or why you run 10 miles a day, or why you spend hours in the gym. The important thing is that YOU are being true to what makes you happy in fitness. So, find a routine that makes your inner light shine and do it daily. Turn on your favorite music, dance a little if you want to, and challenge your body. 🙂

5. Don’t forget to lift weights. (this elaborates on #4)

-I think this one is incredibly important because of my own experience with lifting. So, here’s a story:

I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember, training for various sports. The running aspect of my training was always easy for me–I went out and did it because, at the risk of sounding corny, it fueled my soul.

However, I knew that I “should” be lifting too.

But, I didn’t enjoy it as much. I was so stubborn. I thought, “I like to run, it’s good for me, so that’s what I’m going to do. Screw lifting.” Luckily, with age I’ve become increasingly less stubborn about fitness. I am more open to new things if I believe they will truly benefit me.

About a year ago, I started lifting. I mean, REALLY dedicating myself to lifting–making it a priority. I lift every day now, with a rest day every week or so. Despite being sore and feeling a little weak at first, I almost immediately felt stronger and more powerful. My body started to change, I was becoming a bit leaner.

But, how could I be enjoying this process? I didn’t like lifting. My point in all of this rambling is that sometimes if you step outside of your comfort zone or what you think you’ll have fun doing, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised. You’ll find out that you grow to love it because it is positively impacting your body.