Dinner Smoothie w Collagen Protein

The dinner smoothie. Perfect for days when you ate more than you planned throughout the day. Late business lunch? No problem – dinner smoothie. Load your smoothie with healthy fats and collagen protein – it will be easy on your gut and the glycine in Protein Essentials collagen can help to induce sleep.

1 heaping cup spinach kale mix
1 small frozen banana
1 T nut butter
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Essentials
1 T groud flaxseed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed combo
1/2 T chia seed
1 T chopped pistachio
1/2 c almond milk

Add all the ingredients to a blender. Process until desired consistency is achieved.
Enjoy!

Dinner Smoothie

 

 

Tasty Tumeric Collagen Drink

Tumeric is a powerful ancient spice that boasts a number of health benefits due to its strong anti-oxidant and anti-infammatory properties. Combine tumeric with Protein Essentials Collagen Peptides for a powerful punch. This tasty tumeric infused morning blend will help you face whatever the day may bring!

1 cup of almond milk
1/2 an apple
2 scoops Protein Essentials Collagen Peptides
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon each ginger cardamon, and cinnamon
1 teaspoon raw honey
a tiny pinch of salt
Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend until desired consistency is achieved. Enjoy!

Tumeric Apple Drink

What You Need To Know Before Running in the Cold

Regardless of the temperature outside, many runners prefer hitting the pavement to working out on a treadmill any day. While running inside is often perceived as monotonous, running outside keeps you engaged, and even results in more efficient exercise. Benefits of running outdoors include more calories burned and improvement of long-term heart health, among others.

Active senior man stretching

What does one do when he or she laces up shoes and opens the door to find frigid temperatures and unforgiving terrain (think icy sidewalks)? Running in the winter presents its own set of challenges, such as an increased risk of injury and simply trying not to freeze. Fortunately, with the right gear and proper preparation, running in the winter isn’t just doable, it’s fun, too.

We’ve rounded up the following advice to keep your outdoor run safe and comfortable year-round:

Find a Clear Path – Run where it’s safest.

Decide where you’ll go running before you leave the house. Chances are there’s a clear path somewhere near you, whether it’s a city park, salted sidewalks in your neighborhood or a nature trail that is cleared in the winter.

Even Boston, a city that sees some of the harshest winters in the country, maintains certain paths for runners in the chilliest months through a partnership with New Balance. Find out what initiatives are happening in your hometown. If running solo in the winter intimidates you, consider joining a running club, as the path will be predetermined.

Suit Up – Wear the right clothing.

Fight the initial desire to bulk up on heavy clothing. Whereas sweat pleasantly cools you down throughout warmer months, it’s not your friend in the winter as it actually makes you colder.

To stay warm and dry, start with a base layer of sweat-wicking leggings and a long-sleeved top. When it’s super cold outside, use a middle layer, such as a zip-up jacket that features a mesh insert to disperse excess heat to the rest of your upper body. Top it off with a wind-resistant vest. Don’t forget important accessories such as gloves and hats to avoid painful stinging from the cold. If it’s super cold, consider a breathable mask.

Lace Up – Wear the right shoes.

One of the main reasons running outside in the winter puts you at higher risk for injury is the increased probability of slipping. Even with a clear path, small patches of ice and snow or puddles are sometimes unavoidable. It’s absolutely imperative that you wear appropriate shoes with increased traction and warmth.

Visit your local sporting goods store or shop online to find the best winter running shoes.

Fuel Up – Eat foods that will serve you best before and after running.

Winter is hard on the body. Immune systems are suppressed, blood pressure rises (increasing risk of heart attack and stroke) and the flu is rampant.  The silver lining is that running will actually put you at a lower risk for these ailments. Even so, it’s still important to provide your body with the fuel it needs to feel and function its best.

Consider adding a protein powder into the mix, which will strengthen your immune system and give you more energy, along with other benefits. Treat yourself to a post-workout protein shake for recovery. Bone broth powder is also a good choice, as it’s a savory superfood that also satisfies winter soup cravings.

Warm Up – Stretch before and after your run.

Cold weather tenses up our muscles, making it easier to strain them. Before your run, be very careful when stretching, as your body hasn’t yet had the chance to warm up. Keep things light, with simple movements to loosen up. After your run, you’re in prime shape for stretching, as your body has retained heat from exercising.

Stretching will improve your daily life, lowering your chance for injury and strain, quieting antsy legs and maintaining flexibility.

Run Year Round

For many of us, there will always be a reason to avoid exercise. Winter shouldn’t be one of them. Working out with consistency achieves better results, an overall healthier lifestyle and a slew of life-prolonging perks. With the right preparation, running outside in the winter can be a fun and rewarding activity, especially when psyching yourself up for holiday meals.

What are some tips or tricks you’ve found that help you keep a running routine in the colder months? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

The 10 Best Foods to Improve Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in America, with over 50 million adults and 300,000 children currently living with a diagnosis of joint pain or joint disease. It does not discriminate, affecting people of all ages, races, and genders. With symptoms ranging from moderate to severe, and coming and going, arthritis has the power to affect lives in major ways.

wrist arthritis

Leading treatments include a combination of medications, joint surgeries, and other natural remedies. While such treatments are imperative, a lifestyle change may also be in order. Increased physical activity, like swimming and taking walks around your neighborhood, and adjusting your diet not only decreases symptoms of arthritis, but also leads to improved overall health. Choosing foods that are high in protein and contain anti-inflammatory properties are your best bet for combating symptoms of arthritis. Whereas protein strengthens bones, making you less susceptible to injury, anti-inflammatories help to relieve joint pain.

An altered diet isn’t a life sentence lacking in flavor or satisfaction, but actually leads to prolonged energy, potential weight loss, a stronger immune system, and enjoying whole foods that are as tasty as they are beneficial to your health. To take the guessing out of an arthritis-friendly diet, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best ingredients to combat joint pain and benefit you in the end:

  1. Fish

Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation, making it one of the most recommended foods for those with arthritis. Eat fish, like salmon, mackerel, and herring, at least twice a week for the most benefits.

  1. Fruit

Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries) and cherries contain Anthocyanins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Citrus fruits, on the other hand, are rich in vitamin C. Opt for citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and limes.

  1. Low-Fat Dairy Products

Low-fat dairy products have proven benefits, given that they’re packed with calcium and vitamin D. Choose products like skim milk, low-fat yogurt, and hard cheeses.

  1. Broccoli

One of the foods you were most reluctant to eat as a child also contains a compound called sulforaphane, which has proven to potentially prevent or slow down the progression of arthritis.

  1. Olive Oil

Olive oil contains heart-healthy fats and oleocanthal, which offer relief similar to that of anti-inflammatory drugs.

  1. Beans

Beans are a great source of protein and fiber, also containing other beneficial heart health and immune system helpers like folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Be wary of saltier options and choose red beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans instead.

If you don’t enjoy eating beans but still want to increase protein intake, consider protein supplements or InstaBroth, which you can add to your post-workout shakes and favorite recipes.

  1. Whole Grains

Products such as oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, and brown rice are proven to reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in blood, which is a marker of inflammation linked with arthritis.

  1. Garlic

Containing a compound called diallyl disulphide, researchers believe garlic has the potential to limit cartilage-damaging enzymes. Used for a myriad of homeopathic treatments, garlic is also packed with anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Turmeric

While this spice has a centuries-long history of being used to prevent and treat inflammatory diseases, recent findings have proven that an included compound called curcumic can assist in managing inflammatory-related joint diseases.

  1. Nuts

Nuts, such as walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios, are packed with calcium, magnesium, protein, and vitamin E. Filling and good for your immune system, nuts are also beneficial for weight loss.

Foods That Exacerbate Arthritis-Related Symptoms

Now that you are armed with the knowledge of the most beneficial foods for someone with an arthritis diagnosis, it’s also important to be informed regarding which foods to avoid. Understanding how inflammation exacerbates joint pain, along with other negative and unrelated symptoms, those with arthritis should decrease or cut out sugar, saturated and trans fats, refined carbohydrates, MSG, and alcohol from their diet.

Whole Foods for a Healthier Life

Ultimately, one of your greatest allies is a healthy lifestyle. Stick with whole, naturally produced meats, vegetables, and fruits. When planning your meals for the week, bring to mind the foods and ingredients mentioned above, then shop and cook with the confidence that the food you’re putting in your body is helping.

Which foods have you found to decrease your arthritis-related symptoms? Do you have any tried and true arthritis-friendly recipes? Please share in the comments section below!

 

Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Mug Cake

Need a little chocolate? Need a little chocolate and pumpkin?! We’ve got just the thing! Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Mug Cake. Super tasty, super easy, high protein, gluten free and dairy free.

3 1/2 T coconut flour
1 heaping scoop Protein Essentials Chocolate
2 T almond milk
2 T maple syrup
1 1/2 t coconut butter
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt

In a microwavable mug, stir together all the ingredients. Microwave for 1 minute. Garnish with non dairy whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!

Chocolate Pumpkin Mug Cake

 

Three Easy Ways To Have a Healthier Halloween Party

What’s not to like about Halloween? Whether you are a fan of the creative costumes, the super-spooky stories or the loads of sweet treats, there really is something that everyone can enjoy about the holiday. Unfortunately, it seems that we’ve been overindulging with candy over the past couple of years, and it’s starting to show. In fact, recent studies have found that the average American consumes 25 pounds of candy per year, with Halloween candy making up the largest portion of seasonal consumption. With candy being one of the most iconic elements of Halloween, how are you supposed to cut it out of your party? Below are some ideas to help you cut the sugar while still giving your guests a treat this Halloween.

Veg Out With Your Party Guests

Despite what you may have been told in the past, there are actually quite a few ways that you can use fruits and vegetables to create healthy Halloween party snacks. Most obviously, instead of serving candy packed with refined sugar, try putting out some treats that incorporate dried fruit. Just as sweet, if not sweeter than candy, dried fruit offers similar flavors and textures to everyone’s favorite candies. With its huge range of uses, dried fruit allows you to create a ton of satisfying party snacks that won’t overdo it with the calories.

Halloween child friendly treats

One great idea is the classic “ants on a log” treat that combines celery, peanut butter and raisins to create the illusion of ants walking across a log. For a vegetable snack, try arranging some veggies on a platter to look like a skeleton. Let your creativity run wild, and you’ll be surprised at how healthy you can make the snacks at your party. You can even recreate classic Halloween characters and symbols with just fruits or veggies.

Chocolate’s Dark Side

A cornerstone of Halloween candy is, of course, chocolate. However, we don’t necessarily have to abandon chocolate to have a healthier Halloween party. We often forget that there is more to chocolate than the sweet milky stuff that we see in trick-or-treat bags every year. Dark chocolate actually has quite a few health benefits when eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and has been connected to lower blood pressure and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Chocolate colored strawberries

One easy way to incorporate dark chocolate is to make chocolate-dipped fruit. These treats have the perfect amount of sweetness and deep chocolate flavor to satisfy your guests. If you can’t resist some of the more traditional chocolatey goodies like cookies and cake, try substituting dark chocolate for milk chocolate. You will be surprised at how much sugar and fat you’ll end up cutting from the recipe and how much rich chocolatey flavor you’ll end up adding.

A Protein Poltergeist

After all the sweet snacks you give your guests, they are going to want something more substantial and savory. Thankfully, there are loads of protein-packed snacks to fuel your party. Why not try a low-carb cauliflower pizza with melted mozzarella ghosts, or pretzel broomsticks with string-cheese bristles. Along with these conventional snacks, you can also add a protein punch to any treat by using our Hydrolyzed Collagen peptides blend. This unflavored collagen mix can be added to almost anything you want to serve your guests without affecting the flavor of the dish. Even though they can’t taste it, they are sure to reap quite a few health benefits like lubricated joints, improved skin hydration, rebuilt muscle and improved bone density.

As you can see, there are quite a few ways that you can put a healthy spin on your Halloween party without sacrificing the fun of the holiday. We hope that with these fun suggestions, you’ll not only create healthy habits for yourself and your family, but also introduce your party guests to these healthy options as well. Of course, Protein Essentials is always here to help you make health and wellness an integral part of your life, no matter the season. Who would have thought that Halloween party snacks could actually make you healthier? What are some ways you like to make your Halloween snacks healthy? Share with us in the comments below.

Running Tips for Seniors

runnerRunning is an activity that many people pick up later in life, and it’s something that can be improved upon at any age. If you’re already reasonably fit, adding running into your mix of cardio activities can provide some amazing benefits for your body, mind, and overall health. What types of benefits can running bring about for seniors? We will answer that question below, as well as provide some useful tips for getting started.

The Effects of Aging on the Body

We have a lot more power to slow the aging process than we may realize. Every decade that passes past the age of 30, adults lose an average of 5% of their lean muscle mass. However, we now know that older people who continue to train by engaging in weight-bearing exercises such as running lose much less lean muscle.

Aside from the loss of lean muscle mass, the aging process brings with it an increased risk of cognitive decline, depression, and a host of various diseases that tend affect seniors. While we cannot stop the clock from turning, we can live a healthy and active lifestyle that lends itself to aging gracefully.

The Benefits of Running

As mentioned previously, many people only begin to take up running after the age of 40. It’s possible to experience a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional benefits by taking up running as a senior.

Physical Benefits

Aside from adding lean muscle or preventing muscle loss, running can help you have stronger bones, a better immune system, and a lowered risk of a variety of diseases.

Let’s consider bone health, for example. Bone is made up of living material that undergoes continual changes. This means that by engaging in weight-bearing exercise such as running, bone can be made stronger. It’s been scientifically proven that the process of strengthening the muscles actually has a synergistic effect of strengthening the bones to which those muscles are attached. Since one in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis, developing stronger bones is a huge benefit that running has to offer.

Mental & Emotional Benefits

As we age, our mental faculties begin to decline, and we have a much greater risk of developing depression. Running helps to keep the mind active and engaged, and greatly reduces the risk of depression. This is partly due to the fact that running increases the release of powerful hormones in the body that have a mood-boosting effect.

Practical Tips if You Decide to Begin Running

If you are determined to give running a try, keep the following tips in mind to make the transition go a little more smoothly.

  • Start Slowly – Even if you are already reasonably active, it’s always best to ease into a brand new type of exercise. Get some properly fitting running shoes and start slowly for the first few weeks. By doing so, you will likely find that you adjust to your new workout regime quickly.
  • Listen to Your Body – It’s normal to experience a little soreness when you begin a new workout routine. This soreness shouldn’t become extreme, however, or it may indicate that you are working too hard or have done too much too soon. Be sure to stretch before and after exercise to reduce soreness and encourage muscle repair. If your body gives you signs to slow down a little, it’s best to follow its heed.
  • Find a Running Buddy – Running with a friend or loved one can help you remain accountable and keep you working out in the proper range for your current fitness level. It’s usually more enjoyable to have the company of a loved one as you embark on a new fitness routine.
  • Consume a Healthy Diet – Eating a wide variety of healthy foods will help you adjust to your new fitness hobby. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein will help you build lean muscle mass and quickly repair any minor injuries that occur. Supplements such as collagen peptides can help regenerate muscle and lubricate joints as well. Be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid sugary beverages.
  • Get Appropriate Rest – Sleep is essential to restoring your body to its full capacity after each workout. Without adequate rest, you will likely feel run down and sluggish. Rest allows you to work out at your peak effectiveness level. You will recover from workouts much faster and advance in running skill if you get adequate sleep.

Running is an excellent way to strengthen your muscles, gain confidence, maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, and stave off the mental decline of aging. If you’ve already been an active senior, you likely won’t have that much trouble expanding into running. It’s still wise to take it slow and listen to the signals your body gives you along the way. By following the advice and helpful tips outlined here, you can become a successful runner no matter your current age or fitness level. What are some tricks that worked for you or a friend after taking up a new exercise? Share with us in the comments below!

 

 

Eight Foods That Improve Skin Hydration

Dry skin on hands, back and frontDry skin can be unsightly and uncomfortable. From itching to wrinkles, dry skin can be a major problem during the colder months of the year. Luckily, there is plenty of healthy, delicious food you can eat that helps with skin hydration and youthfulness. As our calendar shifts to autumn, be sure to adjust your diet to include these eight foods proven to hydrate skin.

  1. Fish – Any fish that’s chock full of omega-3 fatty acids is what you should add to your meal plan. These acids help the body retain moisture and strengthen the skin’s outer layers. Look for recipes that call for salmon, tuna or trout.
  2. Avocado – Rich in vitamins C and E, along with monounsaturated fats, this superfood is a great way to retain moisture in your skin. Top your finished meals with it, add it to toast, or make some guacamole and dig in.
  3. Olive Oil – Like avocado, olive oil is full of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. Like fish, it has omega-3 fatty acids, as well. Adding it to your diet can protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays (don’t skip on the sunblock, though!) and helps fight dryness and eczema. It even has anti-inflammatory properties.
  4. Sweet Potato – Sweet potatoes are filled with beta-carotene and vitamin A to give your body nutrients it needs to prevent dry skin, repair tissue damage and prevent premature aging.
  5. Celery – This vegetable is full of silica to help boost your skin’s moisture and elasticity. Start adding it to your salads or smother some peanut butter on top for a quick snack.
  6. Bell Pepper – Another great ingredient for your salads is raw red or green bell pepper. These mild peppers are full of vitamin C, B6 and fiber: all the ingredients needed to prevent wrinkles and keep skin looking young and hydrated.
  7. Almonds – These nuts are full of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats to keep moisture locked into your skin. Eat a handful as a snack or add them to your fresh salads for a crunchy kick.
  8. Broccoli – This green veggie is full of vitamin C and E. It also has high levels of sulforophane to help your skin repair and protect itself.

With just a few adjustments to your diet, you can survive the dry days of winter and keep your skin looking healthy and glowing. Add in collagen peptides to your recipes and you’ve got a winning combination. What are some of your favorite snacks that promote healthy skin? Share with us in the comments below!

What Is a Stress Reaction?

Many people mistakenly think of bone as an inactive and inanimate object, but bone is a unique living material that is constantly changing. As old cells within bone die and are replaced by new cells, a balanced state can usually be maintained within the skeletal structure. Bone is incredibly strong and can adapt very well to the stresses placed upon it. But what happens when things go wrong with this process? What is a stress reaction within a bone? What causes stress reactions in bone, and how can they be effectively treated? Let’s explore these questions.

Every workout should begin with a warm-up

What Is a Stress Reaction?

Wolff’s law is the scientific explanation of the ability of living bone to become stronger due to stresses that are placed upon it in day-to-day life. According to Wolff’s law, the internal makeup of bone is initially weakened when it encounters a mechanical load or stressor. This initial weakening triggers the bone to begin a unique rebuilding process that causes the bone to become stronger. This process normally works well, and the bone increases in strength.

However, sometimes an individual will stress the same bone again before this rebuilding process has had a chance to make the bone stronger. This is common in athletes who push themselves beyond normal limits. This continued stress is what is referred to as a stress reaction.

What Causes Stress Reactions?

Stress reactions are very common among athletes who continue training or playing their sport after they have already placed an enormous amount of stress on the bone. This type of stress reaction can also occur at times in older individuals, as their bones tend to lose strength during the aging process. Stress reactions do not occur from singular incidents or bouts of trauma. As the very name implies, they occur from repeatedly placing stress on the bone before it has had sufficient time to become stronger. With each additional stress placed on the bone, it continues to weaken and damage occurs to its structure. Repeated stress reactions can eventually lead to a bone fracture.

Symptoms of a Stress Reaction

During the early stages of a stress reaction, mild pain in the affected area is a typical symptom. As the stress reaction continues to worsen, specific actions performed by the individual will result in a lot of pain. As an athlete attempts to push off, jump or land, the pain can become very intense as the condition progressively worsens. Bone stress reactions frequently occur in the pelvis, ankle, tibia, femur and spine.

How Can Stress Reactions Be Effectively Treated?

Realistically, there is only one way to stop a bone reaction from getting worse or progressing to an actual fracture. The stress or load that is being placed on the bone must be stopped completely. Complete removal of the offending stressor allows the bone to heal properly and get stronger once again.

As the patient stops placing the load on the affected bone, the rebuilding process will take over. The process should be given a sufficient amount of time to rebuild the affected tissue, making the bone stronger once again. Once this process has been completed, the individual can resume exercise. Of course, proper precautions should be followed to avoid reinjuring the area.

Outsmarting a Stress Reaction

The best thing an individual can do if he or she experiences signs of a stress reaction is to slow down. The symptoms of a stress reaction are the body’s way of alerting the individual to the problem. Failure to listen to the signals the body is providing will only make the condition worse. Recovery time will increase if the pain associated with a stress reaction is ignored. In a worst-case situation, the stress reaction may be ignored to the point that the bone will fracture, which requires a lot of down time to correct. Collagen peptides, while not a cure-all, have been known to assist in the recovery process of stress reactions. You should always consult a medical professional when deciding how to deal with injuries to a bone.

Stress reactions are common occurrences. They can result in pain and injuries that worsen over time, and the body may eventually require a great deal of down time to recover. By listening to the signals the body gives, many individuals can catch a stress reaction before it leads to a fracture. Have you dealt with a stress reaction before? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Exercising to Benefit Your Brain

The benefits your body experiences due to exercise are well known. From joint lubrication to muscle growth to burning of fat, exercise can do a lot of good for your body and your general well-being. How often do you think about what exercise can do for your brain, though? From boosting memory to fighting mental health issues, exercise can help the brain in so many ways. Here are just a few of the ways exercise helps brain health.

Fights Depression – Working out causes the body to produce more serotonin and dopamine, two chemicals in your brain that are used when experiencing joy. These chemicals help combat depression or anxiety, among other things.

Improves Blood Flow – Improving blood flow sends more oxygen and glucose to your brain while pulling away waste chemicals. In turn, this helps overall blood flow of the body and reduces inflammation, as the brain is often the trigger for inflammation.

Boosts Memory – The more you work out, the more your brain produces brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to stimulate growth of brain cells. This is particularly true in the region of the brain responsible for memory, the hippocampus.

Builds Brain Cells – As physical exercise helps to stimulate the production of BDNF for the production of new brain cells focused on memory, it also helps to produce new cells that can affect learning.

Fights Disease – As exercise helps produce more brain cells and neural connections, the brain can, in turn, better prevent the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Boosts Mood – Endorphins are released when your body works out. These feel-good chemicals help improve your day-to-day mood, which benefits overall mental health.

Regular exercise not only improves your mood but helps the brain in so many other ways, potentially fighting off disease and other ailments. As with any activity intended to improve your physical or mental well-being, it’s best to consult a doctor before beginning any sort of routine. What are some ways you’ve seen exercise improve your memory or mood or responsiveness? Share with us in the comments below.