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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.

Jay Robb Organic Psyllium Husk Powder Review

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Jay Robb Organic Psyllium Seed Husks

Overall Rating: images

About Jay Rob Psyllium Husks:

“Jay Robb Organic Non-GMO Psyllium Seed Husks are a great addition to your protein shakes as a means to get organic fiber into your diet.

Made With 100% Organic Non-GMO Psyllium Seed Husks (steam purified) 

Jay Robb Organic Non-GMO Psyllium Seed Husks are a great addition to your protein shakes as a means to get organic fiber into your diet.

Psyllium seed husks, also known as ispaghula, isabgol, or psyllium, are portions of the seeds of the plant Platago ovata, (genus Plantago), grows worldwide but is primarily grown and harvested in India. They are soluble in water, expanding and becoming mucilaginous when wet.

Psyllium seed husks are indigestible in human beings and are often used as a source of dietary fiber. They can be used as a dietary supplement to improve and maintain regular GI (gastrointestinal) transit. The inert bulk of the husks helps provide a constant volume of solid material.

Jay Robb Psyllium Seed Husks are Non-GMO, ORGANICALLY GROWN, fumigated with CO2, and STEAM purified. Conventionally grown psyllium (most psyllium that is on the market) is often sprayed with malithion, chlorethoxyfos, endosulfan, parathion-methyl, and /or triazophos and fumigated with methyl bromide. Jay Robb Non-GMO Organic Psyllium Seed Husks are naturally grown without chemical sprays, artificial fertilizers, or toxic fumigation chemicals.

Suggested Use: Add 1 rounded tablespoon to your daily protein shake, or mix in 8 ounces of pure water.”

In regards to the products being raw, I’ve learned this:

“The psyllium in the raw is a powder and it would not handle the same as the husk. Psyllium in the raw is the seed portion that is powdered and doesn’t expand the same way that the husk would. The husk expands and becomes “gelatinous” thus giving you the full benefit of what psyllium is, a fiber. The husk offers a better dietary solution when used to treat constipation as a bulk-forming laxative. It absorbs liquid in the intestines, swells, and forms a bulky stool, which is easy to pass.

While the seed (raw form) can do the same thing, the husk does this process a little more efficiently. Psyllium fiber is not broken down as it passes down the gastrointestinal tract and so psyllium has no nutritive value other than as a source of fiber.”

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My Thoughts:

In addition to doing full-on cleanses every so often, I like to do things daily that help facilitate my body’s natural detoxification process. Keeping my fiber intake high is a big part of that.

I like to incorporate this psyllium seed husk powder (it’s in a coarse, powder-like form) by simply adding it to smoothies to make them more filling and satisfying. I have also found it handy to make a drink with a tablespoon of this powder + water in the evenings to help fend off late night “cravings.”

There is virtually no taste to it, making it perfect to mix into smoothies of any flavor.

I love the fact that this product is organic, & non-gmo and can appreciate the explanation provided by Jay Robb about why the fiber is not raw. I suppose it makes sense that fiber (providing simply a means of aiding detoxification) doesn’t need to be raw to be effective in doing it’s job. It’s not meant to provide a nutritional value, which is the main reason for desiring a raw product. However, knowing that this product was once unheated, I can’t help but think: why not leave it that raw? It seems like there must be some benefit to consuming it raw–just like any other plant. I’m assuming it’s not raw mainly to increase the shelf life of it.

I’d recommend this to someone looking for a doable way to aid detoxification. It’s a small, simple change you can make that will help you clear the “digestive fog” from your system and get your body back on track.

 

 

 

Organic Valley Protein Milk Drinks Review

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Organic Valley

Overall Rating: 3.5 STARS

About Organic Valley:

Always Organic & Farmer-Owned since 1988

If a company is going to make a difference in today’s world, it’s going to have to think differently. At Organic Valley, our philosophy and decisions are based on the health and welfare of people, animals and the earth. We’re a mission-driven cooperative, owned by family farmers, and we’ve been leaders in organic agriculture from the very beginning.

The Roots Support the Crown

Our story starts back in January of 1988—a time when family farms were on the brink of extinction. We were a handful of farmers in Southwestern Wisconsin’s coulee region and we shared a love of the land. We also shared the belief that a new, sustainable approach to agriculture could help family farms and rural communities survive. With a small poster inviting area farmers to join our current CEIEIO, George Siemon, for an informational meeting regarding the formation of the Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool (CROPP) at the county courthouse, we created enough momentum to carry us to this day.

Folks back then, just like you today, were concerned with food quality and environmental issues. They were looking for more natural, nutritious food—food grown without synthetic and potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. We began by growing organic vegetables, and soon added organic dairy products. When we found the demand we anticipated was real, we created the Organic Valley brand name and expanded our product line.

The Cream Has Risen

Our co-op, through the Organic Valley™ brand, soon became the number one source of organic milk in the nation. Once pioneers of organic agriculture, we’re now an established leader. Organic is all we do. We remain driven by our mission to promote regional farm diversity and economic stability by the means of organic agricultural methods and the sale of certified organic products. We maintain integrity through our commitment to consumer education and delivering the highest quality, strictly organic products to consumers, schools, and a variety of manufacturers looking for organic ingredients.

At our helm is one of our original seven farmers, George Siemon, our Chief Executive Officer. George prefers the title C-E-I-E-I-O. A lifelong farmer, he and his family have operated an organic farm in the Bad Axe River valley of Wisconsin’s driftless area since 1977. With his unique combination of having a hand in the soil as well as being able to see the big picture, George has been a leader in the campaign to establish effective national standards for organic certification.

We are committed to organic agriculture and building a future for sustainable family farming in America. Organic. It’s all we do.”

Organic Fuel

About:

Your motivation isn’t synthetic. Your recovery shake shouldn’t be either.

You work hard to push yourself to the next level – and so do we. Introducing Organic Fuel. It’s a game-changing, organic recovery shake packed with 26 grams of high-quality milk protein to help get your body to its absolute peak.

Ingredients

Organic Filtered Skim Milk, Water, Organic Fair Trade Unrefined Cane Sugar, Organic Cream, Organic Fair Trade Dutch Cocoa, Organic Chocolate Extract, Lactase Enzyme, Gellan Gum, Vitamin D3.”

Organic Balance

About:

Nutritious, wholesome ingredients to power you through your day.

At Organic Valley, we believe in keeping things simple. Use what you need, and leave out what you don’t. That’s how our family farmers have operated every day since 1988.

This belief is brought to life with Organic Balance, which consists of only 9 high-quality ingredients, 16g of organic milk protein and 50% of your recommended daily intake of calcium.

Like all Organic Valley products, Organic Balance is made without the use of GMOs, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or artificial sweeteners.

Ingredients

Organic Lowfat Milk, Organic Filtered Skim Milk, Organic Fair Trade Unrefined Cane Sugar, Organic Fair Trade Dutch Cocoa, Organic Dark Chocolate Flavor, Lactase Enzyme, Gellan Gum, Organic Stevia, Vitamin D3.”

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My Thoughts:

My interaction with Organic Valley has been nothing short of pleasant, and I had a wonderful time contributing to the Rock the Lunchbox campaign that helps inspire ideas and generate momentum for making children’s lunches healthier.

Looking at Organic Valley as a whole brand, I truly appreciate that they offer organic dairy products to the everyday consumer. These products are available in most of my local health food stores, thus I’d say they are readily accessible to most.

Both of these drinks are delicious. I definitely prefer the vanilla flavors in both the “Fuel” and “Balance” drinks; though the chocolate flavors are delicious in their own right. Though they are “protein shakes,” they were sweet enough to me to be a tasty dessert. They taste like melted ice cream (THAT yummy). The Organic Fuel shake has a higher protein content (and higher caloric content), thus is the more filling and satisfying drink of the two. The Organic Balance drink has a macro balanced nutritional profile with adequate amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates–and is a lighter option compared to the Fuel drink.

In regards to quality, these drinks are amongst the very best you can find in your local store, as they’re organic, non-gmo, free of hormones and antibiotics. However, I take issue (in general) with pasteurization, both in milk products and juice. Heat denatures protein and diminishes most of the product’s nutritional value. Pasteurizing increases the shelf life of milk and juice, making it a widely used method (unfortunately). To make up for this deficit, many milks have vitamins added. I also understand that raw milk is not legal in most states–thus, pasteurized milk is the norm. Without turning this whole post into pasteurization, I’ll just say: The whole process is something that I’m just not a fan of.

I want to drink and eat real food, close to the source. I understand this isn’t the reality 100% of the time–but, when I’m deciphering which products I’ll continuously come back to, they are the high quality, organic products that have been minimally processed, and if possible, raw.

When compared to other dairy options, Organic Valley products are a better alternative to most dairy that you’ll find in your local market. Not all dairy products are organic, non-mo and free of antibiotics & hormones. These Organic Valley drinks are delicious, convenient are an upgrade from most dairy products.

Raw Green Organics Supplements Review

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Raw Green Organics

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Raw Green Organics:

“At Raw Green Organics, we believe that without our health and planet – we have nothing. Since our inception we’ve tried to re-think how to create a business that promotes health and sustainability. It’s definitely a work in progress, and there is always more we can do.

OUR VISION OF HEALTH & SUSTAINABILITY IS TO:

  • Reduce the ubiquitous presence of toxic chemicals in our natural environment (air, soil, oceans, etc), man-made environments (homes, schools, offices) and our personal environments (industrial pollution inside our own bodies);
  • Protect natural resources by minimizing waste and maximizing use/re-use;
  • Promote diversity and productivity through all facets of life – from cultural to ecological.

PRODUCT & PACKAGING

We love plants and all things living. We design our packaging to maximize their usage with our products. One day we will be 100% plant-based and sustainably-sourced, inside and out.

With that goal in mind, we:

  • Source natural, organic, sustainably harvested, renewable, pure raw materials for our products
  • Closely monitor the quality-control standards & protocols in our manufacturing to ensure highest quality, cleanliness, and overall product & ingredient integrity
  • Test all raw ingredients coming in, during production and in it’s final state going out to ensure the highest quality and safety
  • Track all the materials, ingredients, and packaging used in our products.
  • Use 100% renewable and/or recycled materials in all products, packaging, shipping materials, and office materials when possible
  • Specify and Use re-usable packaging, higher post-consumer recycled or FSC-certified materials, shipping material, & fully biodegradable pillow pack materials.”

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Protein

About:

“Our Organic Vegan Protein is locally sourced and made with organic North American yellow peas, organic sacha inchi protein, organic hemp protein and organic flaxseed.  It’s mild tasting, naturally high in protein and rich in Omega 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids.  Certified vegan protein that’s organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and tastes great!”

B-Complex

About:

“Organic Vitamin B-Complex is a high potency organic formula which helps to replenish nutrients depleted due to strenuous physical activity.  B vitamins aid in producing energy from food, help support the healthy functioning of the nervous system and may be of assistance during times of stress.”

BCAA

About:

“Vegan BCAA or “branch-chain amino acids” are the building blocks of proteins. Some amino acids are made by your body naturally, but others must be attained through diet. Vegan BCAA stimulate the building of protein in muscle and possibly reduce muscle breakdown.”

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My Thoughts:

Raw Green Organics is a big breath of fresh air. Especially in regards to supplements that come in pill form, it’s so hard to find options that are very clearly organic and free of extra junk and fillers. There are a very limited amount of completely organic, complete supplement lines that are available. I’m so glad I discovered this brand.

The BCAA and the B-Complex were two new products for me to try. I’ve never taken a branch chain amino acids nor a b-complex supplement before, regardless of brand. I find that when my diet is up to par, I get adequate amounts of these things in the organic foods I eat. I value BCAAs for their ability to help the body recover, heal and grow–specifically in regards to physical training.

Many vegan protein powders have a brown rice protein base, which is a viable, healthful option for many individuals–but it’s nice to see Raw Green Organics change it up. They use gemma protein (which comes from peas) and is a nutrient-packed source of protein. The vanilla flavor of this powder is subtle, yet pleasant–& makes it pair perfectly with coconut, almond, peanut and cashew milk, alike.

In regards to performance & effectiveness: the BCAA and B-Complex are two of the few pill supplements that I’ve been taking every day, lately. Though I haven’t noticed a major difference, I do believe they have helped me keep up my momentum (without needing a recovery day) lifting and coaching volleyball. In the last month I’ve begun practice with my team and have also been hopping into the lineup during practice. Honestly, though I am a fit gal, I thought I’d be sore from the unique twisting motions that my body experiences while playing the game. I only had one day of slight soreness–and no other soreness to speak of. I have to think that these supplements have played a role in that.

I’d recommend these supplements to anyone that believe in investing in their health. Though the products aren’t cheap–they’re worth it. They’re amongst the very best that you can get your hands on and can really take your health and recovery to the next level.