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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.”

______________________

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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Jay Robb Protein Review

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Jay Robb Protein

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Jay Robb:

“When you follow your dream with passion, you will never work another day of your life. Even if I didn’t get paid for what I do, I would still do it. That is how you know you are fulfilling your purpose in life. Like Mark Twain said, “Make your vocation your vacation and you will never work another day.” Anyone can be successful if they will stop thinking about money, follow their dream with passion, roll up their sleeves, and go to work. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I merely have used what talents and gifts I have been given and made the most of them. That is life’s secret formula for success.

My love affair with health and fitness is a beautiful experience that will never end. Teaching others how to be happy by living in harmony with nature is my purpose on earth. It is truly an honor to share my knowledge and wisdom with the world. I have also been blessed with an absolutely gorgeous wife, Beth, who is the love of my life along with our four beautiful children. I live in Jupiter, Florida with my family and enjoy surfing, meditation, the beach, working out, writing, sunbathing, and spending time with my family.”

Jay Robb Whey Protein Powder

Jay Robb’s Description:

“Jay Robb’s Whey Protein is made from the finest natural ingredients available and delivers 25 grams of first class protein, 0-fat, 0-cholesterol, 0-sugars, and only 1 gram of carbohydrate per 30 gram serving. Only cold-processed cross-flow microfiltered whey protein isolate is used as the protein source and this material comes from farm-raised, pasture-grazed, grass-fed cows not treated with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH.

Whey protein isolate, which is used exclusively in Jay Robb’s Whey Protein, is created by microfiltering liquid whey through a special ceramic membrane to create the highest grade of whey protein possible. This unique process also yields a whey protein isolate that is much higher in protein than a whey protein concentrate and is also rich in immunoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumin, and beta-lactoalbumin and other immune boosting factors.

Unique natural flavors and the herb stevia are used to create a flavoring system that is palate pleasing and has made Jay Robb’s Whey Protein famous across the nation. Their tagline, “The Best-Tasting Protein on the Planet,” says it all.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I first learned about the Jay Robb brand through following professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and professional surfer Laird Hamilton. They used to sell these products on their website–and any product they advocate I will at least try. Most times, though, when I try what they recommend, it becomes a staple in my pantry. This protein is no exception. I have tried several different flavors and though I have my favorites, they are all excellent. Though I am aware that the egg protein has been deemed the gold standard for proteins, I would choose the taste of the whey protein over the egg white protein if I had to pick. Here is my breakdown of each flavor:

  • Vanilla: this one is definitely the most versatile for me. The vanilla flavor goes well with so many fruits and other ingredients that I add to my smoothies. The flavor is excellent–very rich and satisfying.
  • Tropical Dreamsicle: I am a big fan of tropical fruits, thus, this protein immediately sparked my interest. It goes well with pineapples, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, and any other similar fruit you can imagine. The protein itself is so yummy and you forget you’re drinking a nutritious drink when you add it to your smoothie.
  • Strawberry: This flavor is also very versatile. I like it best when mixed with bananas. Chocolate almond milk, or something similar is also yummy with the strawberry flavor.
  • Pina Colada: If I could pick a favorite flavor for a drink/smoothie/slurpie/snow cone it would, without a doubt, be Pina Colada. That said, this is my favorite flavor. It tastes like such an indulgence. It goes well with a lot of the same fruits that the “Tropical Dreamsicle” flavor does: pineapples, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, and bananas.
  • Chocolate: Who doesn’t love chocolate? I certainly do. The flavor tastes similar to the real thing. I like it best with bananas and strawberries. I made a chocolate shake for my brother as well (who is open to trying new health drinks, but gives his honest reaction and feedback) and he loved with bananas, almond milk, and ice.

Also, in regards to organic, Jay Robb states this on their website:

Is your whey protein organic?

We are guaranteed by our supplier in writing that the whey comes from cows not treated with rBGH. The product is not certified organic due to limited supply of organic whey protein raw material at this time. We hope this will change in the future as the demand for our product grows.”

I have come to learn that that there are some companies like Jay Robb that merely hold themselves to the same standards as companies that use the “organic” label. Jay Robb simply does not have the certification. They provide a laundry list of ingredients they never use, which is a lot more that can be said about many popular protein brands.

Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder

Jay Robb’s Description:

“Jay Robb Egg White Protein powder is unique and famous for its natural flavor systems. The egg white protein raw material is derived from chickens not treated with growth hormones. The protein is flash pasteurized for safety, with no additional heating used during the final processing.

We believe that nothing on the market out-performs Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder. In the world of protein, egg albumen is nearly perfect! And our egg white formula is chock-full of PURE egg albumen! plus our Egg White protein formula contains no cheap fillers or sweeteners like fructose, malto-dextrin and glucose polymers. Plus it contains NO FAT, making it ideal to blend with a high quality flax seed oil.

Our ingredients contain NO gluten, NO msg, NO casein, NO artificial colors and NO artificial flavors.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I first learned about the Jay Robb brand through following professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and professional surfer Laird Hamilton. They sold these products on their website, and any product they advocate I will at least try. Most times, though, when I try what they recommend, it becomes a staple in my pantry. This protein is no exception. I have tried several different flavors and though I have my favorites, they are all excellent. Although I prefer the whey protein flavor over the egg white flavor, I include the egg white protein in my routine because it, like the whey, is high quality and has a great reputation. Here is my breakdown of the flavors:

  • Vanilla: like the whey protein vanilla flavor, for me, this vanilla flavor goes with the most things. I have not come across an ingredient (fruits, milks, seeds) that it does not go well with. The flavor isn’t as satisfying as the vanilla whey protein for me, but it does provide a good dose of the egg protein benefits.
  • Strawberry: like the whey protein strawberry flavor, the strawberry flavor goes with many things, but I like it best with bananas. Again, the whey protein strawberry flavor tops this one. It does, however, still tastes a lot better than other strawberry protein powders I’ve tried.
  • Chocolate: this chocolate flavor isn’t as rich, to me, as the whey protein version–but it still tastes excellent and beats other chocolate protein powders I’ve tried. It goes well with bananas and strawberries.

Jay Robb High-Protein Jay Bar

Jay Robb’s Description:

“I’ve raised the bar on bars and created the JayBar—a great tasting protein bar without sugar, corn syrup, casein, artificial sweeteners, maltitol, acesulfame-K, evaporated cane juice, aspartame, or sucralose!

Gluten, wheat, Soy, MSG, hydrogenated oils, transfats, artificial sweeteners, acesulfame-K, aspartame, sucralose, splenda, casein, glycerine or maltitol.

About Xylitol
Our xylitol is naturally extracted from NON-GMO corn cobs (they are Kosher too) to produce pharmaceutical grade xylitol that is basically NON-ALLERGENIC due to the processing and purity of the product. Our xylitol is not derived from birch fiber. Xylitol created from birch trees must be extracted with sulfuric acid, which is a highly corrosive chemical used to manufacture paint, detergents, fertilizers, and explosives. We chose to avoid that.

  1. It is corn based (Kosher corn cob specifically)
  2. The corn is NOT genetically engineered, (Non-GMO) (GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism)
  3. Corn is used to avoid the use of sulfuric acid necessary in birch fiber extracted xylitol.
  4. The xylitol we use is naturally extracted, non-allergenic pharmaceutical grade.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I am normally not a huge fan of protein bars for several reasons:

  1. Normally they contain a plethora of preservatives to extend their shelf-live.
  2. They are not satisfying, have a strange taste, and are not fulfilling.
  3. They have very few natural ingredients and a lot of fillers.

These bars are different, and have thus changed my perspective on protein bars. They are free of the laundry list of preservatives common to other protein bars. They also taste really delicious and are convenient to grab when you’re in a hurry, traveling, or simply want the satisfaction of eating a fudge brownie, peanut butter, or a cashew-coconut flavored bar without the guilt. Here is my breakdown of the flavors:

  • Fudge Brownie: this is my favorite of the three. It’s really yummy and provides a nice chocolately flavor. It has just the right moisture to it and it will give you a healthy chocolate fix. Yum yum.
  • Peanut Butter: this is my second favorite of the three. It reminds you of the real thing, yet doesn’t contain all of the calories from fat like ordinary peanut butter does. This one is nice and moist also, and gives you a salty fix. Delicious.
  • Cashew-Coconut: This one was good, but was not AS good as the other two. I figured that it would be my favorite judging from the flavor names, but the flavor was not quite as satisfying as the fudge brownie and peanut butter bars. This is definitely a good change of pace and is excellent in it’s own right. This flavor is more unique than chocolate and peanut butter–which many other protein bar companies make.

I enjoy protein in my smoothies more than I like the bars, but you cannot replicate the convenience that these bars provide. As far as protein bars are concerned, these are the best protein bars I’ve ever had. 

Even though these bars are intended to be meal replacements, I had the idea to chop them up into cubed chunks and add them to yogurt to make a dessert. I do not normally include much dairy in my daily intake, so I would use a almond or coconut alternative yogurt.