- Raw cacao
- Coconut manna (butter)
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Goji berries
- 1 serving of your favorite plant-based protein
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:
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!
-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.
-“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.”
-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)
–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.
-“The cornerstone of all disease is inflammation.” -Dawn Jarvis, Garden of Life
-Sugar encourages inflammation.
-Keep out artificial sweeteners that are causing oxidative stress.
-“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.”
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/
I’m so thankful to have forged this working relationship with Clif Bar, in which they keep me in the loop with new products to try. Their generosity exceeds just me, as they want to send TWO of you a bundle of goodies like the pictured stash above!
To enter this giveaway:
Two winners will be chosen and notified via e-mail on 2/17! Good Luck!!
“Raw Revolution was launched in Alice Benedetto’s home kitchen in 2004. A registered nurse and natural food chef, Alice was looking for something that she could give to her kids – a healthy snack that also tasted good.
Alice started slowly, feeding her delicious, natural snacks to friends and family, and then started selling small batches through local stores near her suburban home. When the first bars sold out within days, Alice knew that she was on to something.
With the encouragement of her husband Dave, Raw Revolution expanded. Alice developed new flavors and taste combinations. Dave scoured factories for used equipment, ultimately putting together a production line of equipment once used at pizzerias, chocolate factories and bakeries.
Ten years later Alice and Dave are producing millions of Raw Revolution bars every year. The bars are now sold through major retailers both in the United States and overseas. Each one is still made at Alice and Dave’s family owned factory just outside of New York City.
A lot has changed in the last decade, but some things are the same as they have always been. The ingredients are fresh. The taste is revolutionary. And the story is just beginning.”
“Organic Almonds, Organic Dates, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Sunflower Seed Kernels, Organic Chocolate Chunks (Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Chocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Cherries, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed, Organic Sea Salt, Organic Cherry Flavor. CONTAINS TREE NUTS. Made on equipment shared with peanuts. Chocolate Chunks made in a facility that handles milk.”
“Organic Cashews, Organic Sunflower Seed Kernels, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Dates, Organic Cocoa processed with Alkali, Organic Almonds, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed. CONTAINS TREE NUTS. Made on equipment shared with peanuts.”
“Organic Dates, Organic Cashews, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Chocolate Chunks (Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Coconut, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cranberries (Organic Apple Juice, Organic Cranberries),Organic Peanuts, Organic Almonds, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed, Organic Sea Salt. Contains Tree Nuts, Soy and Peanuts. Chocolate Chunks made in a facility that handles milk.”
“Organic Almonds, Organic Dates, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Sunflower Seed Kernels, Organic Chocolate Chunks (Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Sprouted Flax Seed, Organic Sea Salt. CONTAINS TREE NUTS. Made on equipment shared with peanuts. Chocolate Chunks made in a facility that handles milk.”
“Organic Cashews, Organic Sunflower Seed Kernels, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Dates, Organic Coconut, Organic Cocoa processed with Alkali, Organic Almonds, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed. CONTAINS TREE NUTS. Made on equipment shared with peanuts.”
“Organic Cashews, Organic Dates, Organic Sunflower Seed Kernels, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Almonds, Organic Spirulina Powder, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed. CONTAINS TREE NUTS. Made on equipment shared with peanuts.
“Organic Cashews, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Dates, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cocoa Powder Processed with Alkali, Organic Chocolate Chunks (Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Vanilla Extract), Organic Almonds, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed. Contains Tree Nuts. May Contain Traces of Peanut and Soy. Chocolate Chunks made in a facility that handles milk products.”
I’m always eager and open to discovering new, portable ways to consume organic, raw fuel. So many nutrition bars are rife with processed junk. Raw Revolution is a brand I’ve come to know that has a fantastic grasp on providing a way for individuals to carry around a bar of goodness in their car, purse, in their office, etc.
Not only are each of these unique flavors absolutely delectable, but they are jam packed with raw & organic ingredients that truly nourish the body. If you ask me, the best way to consume raw & organic fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds is to eat them freshly whipped up in a smoothie or salad out of your kitchen. That said, we don’t eat all of our meals in the comfort of our home.
Thus, I see Raw Revolution bars as the next best thing.
I see them as a snack and/or meal replacement when I’m on the go, at practice, commuting, etc.
All of the flavors totally rock in their own right, but my favorites are the Almond Butter Cup and the Chocolate Coconut Crave. You forget they’re a healthy food because they taste that good. It’s also worth nothing what Raw Revolution states about their ingredients being raw (which is almost as important to them being organic, to me):
“While there are a number of definitions and opinions on what constitutes something being “raw”, we take it to mean food that is uncooked, unprocessed, and organic. We do not heat any ingredients here in our facility. Some of our bars are 100% raw, such as the Spirulina Dream and the Golden Cashew, while others vary in their raw content, such as the chocolate flavored bars which contain dutch-processed cocoa. Generally, the bars range from approximately 80% to 100% raw. Since ingredient sources can change and there is no legal standard for “raw”, we do not claim a specific “percentage raw” on our labels.”
I do wish they used raw cacao powder versus using their processed cocoa, but 80% raw is pretty darn good and is one of the best options available on the market as far as bars go. Because of that, I give it a hearty two-thumbs up! (5 stars) 🙂
I’ve been lucky enough to try loads of Navitas Naturals products in the last few years. They never fail me–the quality is always excellent and new items I try often become new staples in my nutrition routine. You can read some of my other reviews here:
“Navitas Naturals Green Coffee Powder is an energizing, antioxidant-rich superfood made from young, unroasted Arabica coffee beans that are handpicked in Peru. Green coffee has been used for centuries to boost energy, support metabolism and aid digestion. Raw green coffee is a healthy source of chlorogenic acid (CGA), the powerful antioxidant linked to many of coffee’s health benefits.”
“Integrating superfoods into your day has never been so convenient and so craveable. Navitas Naturals Superfood+ mixes combine our most popular superfoods with nutrient rich seeds and nuts. Our organic Maca Maple Cashews are delicious ‘handfuls of goodness’ that feature our best-selling maca powder, raw cashews and a touch of maple syrup for a praline crunch.”
“Integrating superfoods into your day has never been so convenient and so craveable. Navitas Naturals Superfood+ mixes combine our most popular superfoods with nutrient rich seeds and nuts. Our organic Chia Rosemary Pepitas are savory ‘handfuls of goodness’ that feature chia seeds, crunchy pepitas (pumpkin seeds), rosemary and garlic powder.”
This trio of products did not disappoint. The chia rosemary pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and maca maple cashews are both incredibly delicious and unique in their own right. I was bummed when I finished each bag. I could have eaten both of the entire bags in one sitting–they are that good. I love the flavor choices and the fact that they serve as a healthy, good-fat rich snack. I definitely see myself stocking up on more of these.
The green coffee powder was another new product for me to try. I’m an avid coffee drinker, yet hadn’t delved into the realm of green coffee thus far. I added this powder to my morning superfood drink (that I shake in a blender bottle) that contains other superfoods like cayenne, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, maca and cacao. Since green coffee powder naturally contains some caffeine, I have forgone my cup of coffee on mornings when I add this to my drink. I’ve found that it provides a steady increase of alertness and energy, rather than a jolty, jittery feeling that many artificial energy drinks provide. I love the idea of consuming foods that naturally boost your energy levels and metabolism. This green coffee powder will be a mainstay in my routine as a healthy source of antioxidants.
As always, this was another tremendous experience with new Navitas products. I urge you to give them a try if you haven’t already. They make an incredibly diverse range of health products on their website.