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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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Garden of Life Grain-Free Protein GIVEAWAY!

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Garden of Life

This is a review and giveaway for Garden of Life Grain Free Protein.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Garden of Life’s Grain Free Protein:

Organic Plant Protein is a Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified plant protein supplement that is different to any other protein in the Garden of Life line. Organic Plant Protein is uniquely formulated to have superior taste and texture, ideal for anyone looking for a clean protein supplement that is free of common allergens such as gluten, grains, dairy and soy.

Key Benefits:

  • Unique Protein Blend – Organic Plant Protein is made with a new different innovative blend of certified organic proteins which gives it an exceptional smooth and creamy texture… with no gritty texture
  • Tastes Delicious – Designed for superior taste and texture when mixed just with water. Available in 4 mouth-watering flavors…Smooth Chocolate, Smooth Vanilla, Smooth Coffee (with Marley Coffee) and Smooth Energy (with Guayaki® Yerba Mate and added vitamin B12). All flavors are natural and organic, no artificial ingredients are used. Also tastes incredible with 8oz unsweetened almond milk.
  • Grain Free and Gluten Free – all Garden of Life proteins are labelled gluten free, however Organic Plant Protein is unique in that it does not contain any grains or brown rice, and is therefore the only GOL protein that is considered both grain free and gluten free.
  • Highly Digestible – Organic Plant Protein delivers highly digestible grain free plant protein with 13 enzymes and 1 billion CFU of probiotics. This is important for those people who have difficulty digesting grains.
  • USDA Organic Farms – Garden of Life is working closely with and supporting several family farms in North America and Canada to produce high quality clean proteins. Organic Plant Protein is made with a unique blend of seven nutritious plant proteins, five organic American seed proteins — organic pea seed, organic flax seed, organic cranberry seed, organic chia seed and organic pumpkin seed. We work with our farmers to ensure that these ingredients are top quality and the cleanest available.
  • 2 African Super Foods – Moringa and Baobab are rich in protein, minerals and antioxidants. We purchase them through the African Hub to guarantee Fair Trade.
  • Excellent Source Protein – 15 grams of quality plant protein per serving with Complete Amino Acid Profile – ideal for growth, building muscles and repairing tissues.†
  • Over 3g Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). Great for athletes, pre- or post-exercise, and anyone who wants to boost protein intake.
  • Less than 1g Sugar*, 2g to 4g of Fiber and Only 100 Calories per Serving – ideal macronutrient profile for the health conscious and for weight management.†
  • Cleanest protein on the shelf with DUAL Certification – All Garden of Life proteins including Organic Plant Protein are dual certified, Certified USDA Organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified (Independent, third-party verification). This is a gold standard for Garden of Life, yet it is surprisingly rare in our industry at present.
  • Vegan Certified, Kosher – No Dairy, No Soy. No Artificial or Chemical Ingredients.”

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My Thoughts:

Oh man…..I was SO excited to hear about this new product from Garden of Life. In case you are new to ROO, I’ll let you know now that Garden of Life is one of my very favorite supplement brands. Not only do they make amazing organic & raw products, but they are based in my hometown of Jupiter, Florida (West Palm Beach).

Grain free appeals to me because I just find that I feel better, more clear and less bloated when I limit my grain intake. I don’t seem to have a problem with Garden of Life’s brown rice protein, but I love changing up my protein game–giving my body a different array of nutrients each time.

Briefly, I also think that most problems with grains are the quality and source of the grain and whether it is sprouted or not. In other words, I don’t think grains are horrible. Most mass-produced grains are junk because they are genetically modified and hard to digest. However, is a grain is organic, non-gmo and sprouted, I do see it as having some positive benefits when consumed in moderation (not a huge part of the diet). With cruddy grains being so rampant, sometimes it is indeed helpful to pick grain free options to steer clear of the genetically modified, hard to digest grains that are most common.

The flavor of these Smooth, Grain-Free blends is sublime. It truly is smooth! You don’t need a mixer other than water, if you’re asking me. But, it makes it even more over-the-top rich and creamy when mixed with coconut or almond milk.

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GIVEAWAY!

This brand is always so generous and eager to get new people to try their products. Now is no exception, as they want some of your to give these grain-free proteins a try!

To enter:

1. Leave me a comment filled with some positivity–anything you wish! 🙂

Binka Girl Apparel Review: Supporting Local Dog Shelters!

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Binka Girl

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Binka Girl:

“Inspired by growing up on the beaches of Jupiter, Florida with her shelter dog, Binki, Jessica created the simple yet versatile in wear style of binka.

Binki was adopted from a high-kill shelter and given a second chance at life. Her amethyst charm dots the “i” in “binka” and her legacy continues to inspire Jessica to save homeless and shelter dogs and support the No Kill Nation movement. All excess fabric and a portion of binka’s proceeds are donated to various shelters and rescue groups. With your purchase, you are joining binka’s mission to support and save abused and homeless animals worldwide.

Binka’s mission is to support the rescue efforts of homeless and abused animals and to inspire people to adopt animals from local shelters and rescue groups.

You can learn more about binka’s current corporate partner rescue programs and fundraising efforts on our facebook page.
Please visit your local shelter, humane society or rescue group’s website for more info on how you can get involved or adopt your next pet!”

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My Thoughts:

I was (and still am) SO excited to connect with Binka Girl–a brand on a beautiful mission that is based out of my hometown: Jupiter, FL. Supporting Binka Girl warms my heart. The fact that they donate 10% of their orders to local pet shelters is such an incredible thing.

We rescued our dog, Kona from a shelter here in Kansas City called Wayside Waifs. Because of that whole experience, I became even more passionate about not only owning a dog, but getting them from a rescue shelter. My family has had many dogs growing up. Thus, my love for dogs has always been there and we are so lucky and blessed to have the best dog in Kona. We may be biased but she truly is an incredible dog. It just goes to show that you do not have to get a dog from a breeder to have a good one. Rescuing is the way to go!

I digress a bit, but, I believe that Binka Girl’s mission is just as beautiful as their clothing. They have a great thing going down there in south Florida!

I love having pieces of clothing that are unique, that I won’t see everywhere, that feel like home. This hoodie is just that. It makes me think of Jupiter, reminds me to stay anchored in who I am (I seriously love this anchor graphic!) and keeps me comfortable and uniquely outfitted. I also think it’s very figure flattering and I like how it’s a good length (as well as the sleeves).

I can’t think of a single woman I know that wouldn’t love one of these. They would make an awesome gift or just an addition to your own wardrobe. In addition to having a great piece of clothing, it will feel really good knowing you’re help supporting an amazing cause and helping Jessica of Binka Girl support local dog shelters.

I can’t rave enough about this brand. I was lucky enough to be gifted this hoodie–but they also make many other pieces such as bermuda shorts, pants, tees and tanks. It’s truly hard to close because they are all so unique, well made and designed.

Go get some Binka clothing! You’re doing a whole lot of good in doing so.

Use code BINKARUNONORGANIC for 25% off at www.binkagirl.com