This Popcorn Alternative Is Better Than Popcorn (GIVEAWAY)

This Popcorn Alternative Is Better Than Popcorn (GIVEAWAY)

I recently went on a scenic, life changing Ayurvedic retreat in the mountains at the Art of Living Center in Boone, NC with three good girlfriends, Sahara Rose, Rosie Acosta and Alyson Charles. Ayurveda is a holistic mind body life-science that believes that every individual is unique and no one lifestyle works for everyone. The foundation is based on listening to your body and doing what works for you.

Every day as part of our retreat, we checked in with an Ayurvedic doctor, who told us what we should be eating based on our doshas (I am a Pitta-Vata). The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production. The primary function of Pitta is transformation. Those with a predominance of the Pitta principle have a fiery nature that manifests in both body and mind.

During our morning check in, we went over my diet. What I eat at home during morning, noon and night, including snacks. I answered everything honestly.

And then my doctor asked, “You don’t eat popcorn, do you?”

I don’t. At least, I couldn’t remember the last time I had.

“Good,” she said, “Because you shouldn’t.”

That struck me. Since I kicked my sugar addiction years ago, I also stopped the habit of eating processed or ‘instant’ foods like microwavable popcorn. I haven’t owned a microwave since 2011, which helps.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I pretty much grew up snacking on salty Pop Secret every single night.

And I’m so glad that I stopped that bad habit. Because what I didn’t know was that my choices could have killed me.

During most of our childhoods, the buttery flavor of microwavable popcorns like Pop Secret and Orville Redenbacher contained the chemical diacetyl, which has been linked to cases of bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare life-threatening disease, often called popcorn lung. It wasn’t until consumer concerns arose in 2007 that ConAgra Foods Inc., General Mills Inc. and the American Pop Corn Company all promised to make the change and remove diacetyl because of consumer safety concern.

At the time, those companies accounted for more than 80 percent of the market for microwave popcorn consumed every year.

By the way, brands like PopSecret and Jolly Time still use trans fat today, which is considered one of the most deadly fats available because it is associated with 20,000 heart attacks a year and over 7,000 deaths, according to the CDC.

Surprisingly, my health assessments at the Ayurvedic retreat were already very in line with what I was already craving and consuming. Pretty much everything I was told to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks was already waiting for me in my fridge or cabinets at home.

That’s when I discovered was that my intuition about myself is pretty spot on, because I’ve been avoiding popcorn for years. Instead, I’ve been snacking on a delicious, vegan, organic popcorn alternative. With no guilt, health concerns or regrets.

Bohana has been my popcorn alternative and my favorite snack since I first tried it. Made from Popped Water Lily seeds grown on a farm in Bihar, India, this snack has been an Ayurvedic superfood staple for centuries. Water Lily seeds are one of the most prescribed seeds in Ayurveda because of their neutral character making them beneficial for all body types. Oh, and by the way, they’re DELICIOUS. I go through about a bag a day, and all my friends take one bite and are obsessed!

The founders Priyal and Nadine are both spiritual junkies, curious to learn about some of the world’s most ancient practices and traditional superfoods. On this journey, Priyal went back to her Indian roots and rediscovered her childhood snack – Popped Water Lily seeds. When Priyal introduced this puffed super snack to Nadine, she was inspired and made it her go to snack too! The two never looked back and vowed to bring this ancient super snack to free spirit snackers everywhere.

You know I love a company for plenty more reasons than it makes delicious food. I also love Bohana because of their relationship with their farmers, their commitment to fair wages, ethical, sustainable harvesting, and fully collaborative supply chain. The cultivation of lily seeds doesn’t destroy the ecosystem, the whole cycle is sustainable, seasonal and naturally occurring. This allows them to source the highest quality ingredients that you can be proud to eat.

I am officially hooked! I literally take a pack with me wherever I go, and it’s my staple go-to snack at night when I’m catching up on my Netflix shows. It tastes 100,000x better than popcorn, with a texture and flavor similar to puffed corn or those old Kix snacks (but savory!) Plus, the ingredients are amazing for you! Each 110-calorie serving provides three grams of protein and at no point are you subjected to artificial flavors, colors or additives. It’s vegan, gluten free and absolutely devourable.

Bohana Popped Water Lilly seeds come in 3 incredible flavors. My personal favorite are the Himalayan pink salt and Cheddar options, which both harken back to my childhood – without the health risks!

Today, we’re giving you the chance to try a box containing packs of all three kinds!

Here’s how to enter this giveaway:

FOLLOW BOHANA 

FOLLOW ME

We’ll pick one winner on 8/10!

Good luck – I can’t wait to hear what you think of my favorite delicious snack!

The Green Detox Drink Recipe

The Green Detox Drink Recipe

5 ingredients.

1 blender.

2 minutes.

It’s as simple as that.

Still indulging in some extra size holiday portions? Trying to quit coffee? Need a body reboot? This detox drink is for you!

Why these ingredients?

Ashwagandha is a powerful whole system balancer and adaptogenic remedy. It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to help alleviate stress, support physical and mental stamina, balance the immune system, support the nervous system, promote restful sleep, improve memory and support healthy adrenal function. It’s perfect if you’re trying to detox your diet or wean yourself off of coffee!

Ginger has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has been used as a digestive aid since ancient times.

Himalayan Pink Salt provides the body with essential minerals, balances electrolytes and pH, and supports optimal nutrient absorption.

Collagen is the protein that our body relies on to ensure the health and vitality of your skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones, and joints. Everything that connects our body, keeping skin tone and joints strong, needs collagen.

Our modern diets lack the collagen that was once abundant in foods. Without dietary collagen, our body can’t replenish what’s missing. This can have an effect on our hair, skin and nails, and joints, ligaments and tendons as we age.

Vital Proteins Vanilla Collagen Peptides are collagen molecules that are small enough to get quickly absorbed and used by our body. This bioavailability is the reason people see improvements in how they look, feel and move after using Vital Proteins Collagen consistently.

INGREDIENTS:

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • A blender
  • A cup

DIRECTIONS:

  • Add a scoop of the collagen mixes, one tablespoon of calming adaptogen blend and a handful spinach to the blender
  • Blend on high
  • Transfer your blend to your favorite cup & enjoy! Add organic honey for sweetener.

Enjoy your delicious detox drink!

Why Cannabis Works

Why Cannabis Works

Today, a PubMed search for scientific journal articles published in the last 20 years containing the word “cannabis” will reveal 16,614 results. Add the word “cannabinoid,” and the results increase to 22,122 articles.

That’s an average of more than two scientific publications per day over the last 20 years! 

Have you ever wondered how one little plant can help treat so many conditions — each one vastly different from the next?

The search to answer these questions has led scientists to the discovery of a previously unknown physiologic system, a central component of the health and healing of every human and almost every animal: the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a little known network of receptors and compounds that’s found in every mammal and maintains the body’s equilibrium — regulating things like sleep, pain, appetite, immune function, reproduction, neurogenesis, and stress.

Think of it like a series of locks and keys throughout your body. The locks (or internal receptors) are everywhere, waiting for their keys (or cannabinoids) to come along.

The key might arrive in the form of an endocannabinoid, produced naturally by the body. On the other hand, it might arrive as a phytocannabinoid (THC or CBD) found naturally in cannabis. Endo- and phytocannabinoids actually stimulate the body in the same way.

While cannabis has been used for thousands of years, scientists only disovered the endocannabinoid system in 1992. This marked the first time we understood why cannabis works. Many studies since their discovery have shown that endocannabinoid’s are found throughout your entire system and they play a role in the optimum function of many daily activities our bodies usually struggle with.

Appetite, depression, social behavior, reproduction, sleep, immune function, stress receptors, anxiety and our stress response are all positively affected by endocannabinoids. 

Historical records from ancient China and Greece suggest that preparations of Cannabis Indica were commonly prescribed to fight multiple sclerosis-like symptoms such as tremors and muscle pain. Modern research has confirmed these effects in a study on diseased mice, wherein studies showed impressive relieving effects on tremor and spasticity.

Jeffrey Egler, MD, of Parsley Health in Los Angeles says about cannabis, “It’s good science. The numerous benefits have been demonstrated and well-documented for years, if not decades… There are much cleaner products than others, as well as cleaner ways of dosing cannabis.”

Thanks to these advancements, today the plant remains a safe and effective tool to help treat anything from insomnia to anxiety and epilepsy to PTSD.

Oh the human body. What a trove of hidden treasure.

MY FAVORITE CANNABIS PRODUCTS:

  • Cannabis Essential Oil (a soothing blend for the skin, muscles and all types of massage. It is also supportive of mild skin conditions.)
  • Hemp Extract Gummies (Manage inflammation and pain relief naturally)
  • CBD Rich Hemp Oil (for pain management)
  • Organic Hemp Oil (for cooking + skin oil)
  • Hemp Seeds (Contains more protein and omegas and less carbs than the same serving of Chia or Flax)
  • Natural Hemp Cord (for candle making and household needs)
  • CALM NOW Stress Support Supplement (Herbal Blend Crafted To Keep Busy Minds Relaxed, Focused & Positive; Supports Serotonin Increase)
  • EndoCanna Care Extract (Ideal for managing inflammation, pain, stress & anxiety through naturally occurring phytonutrients found in this all-natural hemp extract.)
  • CBD Caragold (a natural, water-based personal lubricant infused with the powerful healing ingredients of organic CBD oil.)

11 Surprising Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

11 Surprising Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

I recently shared my favorite uses for Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with Readers Digest!

You likely associate apple cider vinegar with the kitchen, but this natural wonder also deserves a spot on your vanity.

From a banishing breakouts to treating dandruff, here’s why ACV should be part of your beauty routine.

1. Skin in need of a serious pore-purging? For a DIY acne remedy, combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay. You can use this as a face mask or a spot treatment! ACV is a natural astringent, so it balances out sebum levels, making it particularly well suited for oily and acne-prone complexions. And bentonite clay draws out toxins and impurities. Don’t miss these blemish-busting face masks.

2. The human body—including the scalp—has a natural pH of between 4.5 and 5.5, which is fairly acidic. Conditions like dandruff, bacteria, and fungus occur when our scalp pH becomes too alkaline. One way to fight flakes? Mix together equal parts apple cider vinegar and distilled water. Massage the solution into your scalp and rinse thoroughly. Repeat once or twice a week. ACV’s antifungal abilities help fight dandruff, while its acidic properties restore natural pH levels.

3. A weekly apple cider vinegar and vegetable oil soak can help strengthen weak, brittle nails. Added bonus: ACV also helps remove yellow stains and prevent against infection.

Big thank you to Readers Digest for asking me to weigh in on this super food that’s so great for all your beauty needs!

{Read the rest of the article on Readers Digest HERE}

How To Stay Inspired To Be Healthy + A Giveaway with Larabar!

How To Stay Inspired To Be Healthy + A Giveaway with Larabar!

Many people treat their body’s a lot like they do their car: they don’t bother to understand the inner working, don’t fill the tank, don’t change the oil, drive it into the ground, take it to the mechanic and say, “Fix it.”  Hardly a way to treat the vessel of your soul!

Everything you do counts. Unhealthy habits sneak up on us: from hard water to our movements to eating junk food, indulging in something that may seem harmless one day often leads to engaging in it all the time. This all adds up in our body’s until we are sick, tired, fatigued or looking at someone we barely recognize at all.

Your body and mind are meant to be a whole, and to make sure that they are, your whole existence is based on feedback loops. Body listens to mind and your mind listens to your body. Awareness is the key: every cell in your body knows when you are nourished, hungry, or imbalanced.

When I was first detoxing from my pharmies five years ago, I wanted desperately to listen to my body, which was begging for real, delicious food. However, because I couldn’t keep any solid food down, I had two options: I could make a smoothie and occasionally, I could have bars.

I came to appreciate Real Food in a way I never had before. And soon, I was able to discern the difference between real food and food that claims to be healthy.

Eating real foods can change your life. It can help your self-esteem. It can clear your skin. Eating real food not only help you with personal goals, it can cure you of chronic disease. In fact, I believe firmly that this method is the only way to long-term healing.

Larabar has been a staple in my nutritional plan for many years. It also has fond memories attached to it, as Todd used to fuel up on them constantly when we first met one another (they’re gluten free and dairy free, so he loves them!)

Larabar is truly what got me through my road trip from New York to California (I probably ate one an hour!) Now, we pack them on every single hike (which, if you follow my instastories, you know is every single morning.) They’re a MUST in my bag during day trips. Back in the day, I would scour the nearest Whole Foods in LA for them during my down time on set.

I honestly feel like these bars are truly unlike any other. I am so grateful that I found them, and am so stoked on their new flavors!

First of all, they’re delightful as well as nutritional, so you don’t have to sacrifice (or even feel like you’re eating a bar!) Larabar Fruits + Greens have a quarter cup of greens in each bar, and you taste the delicious and bright ingredients. This is a great way to stay inspired to eat healthy. It’s a convenient and delicious way to add fruits and greens to your diet that are made from real food!

Here’s some reasons why I absolutely adore them:

  • LÄRABAR Organic with Superfoods bars are 100% USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project verified, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free and kosher.
  • All of their core bars have just 2-9 simple ingredients.
  • Everything Larabar makes is gluten-free, Kosher and non-GMO, with many vegan, dairy-free and soy-free options.
  • LÄRABAR Organic with Superfoods are available in three varieties, including Hazelnut, Hemp & Cacao, Coconut, Kale & Cacao and Turmeric, Ginger & Beet.
  • The new re-sealable pouch is perfect for repeat snacking.
  • Found in the nutrition and snack bar aisles in four indulgent flavors, LÄRABAR Bites are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, kosher and have fair trade certified chocolate chips.
  • Larabar recently introduced its first organic line that combines superfood ingredients like turmeric, hemp, ginger, kale and cacao.

Today, we’re letting one Organic Life reader experience Larabar for themselves!

To win a prize pack filled with Larabar samples, simply visit Larabar.com and comment below the ingredients of your favorite LÄRABAR for your chance to win a Real Food Prize Pack:

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

Compensation was provided by LÄRABAR. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of LÄRABAR. 

Photos by Carie Cruz.

Pain Relieving Petal Cakes Recipe

Pain Relieving Petal Cakes Recipe

This beautiful petal power recipe is going to be your new favorite! The powerful ingredients have been proven to combat pain.

One simple, affordable ingredient is currently gaining ranks as the top choice for pain relief and pain management. It can be added to salads, breakfast or baked goods as an oil, the seeds make an amazing addition to your oatmeal or smoothie and even award-winning journalists and the nation’s top doctors are recommending it for anxiety, stress, inflammation, spasms and pain.
 
It’s hemp. Specifically, hemp oil, hemp seeds and CBD oil, which is now legal to sell and consume in close to 30 states.  CBD is considered to be non-psychoactive and is legal to purchase and consume in California. Personally, I consume hemp and CBD for combating acne, anxiety, to stimulate my appetite, to help with PMS (I recommend it for ANY feminine health issue) and for chronic pain management. It’s one of my favorite ways to relieve pain naturally and luckily, you can add it to almost anything – with (get this!) no side effects! 
 
The cannabis plant happens to be one of the most (if not the most) pharmacologically active plants on the planet, containing over 400 active chemicals. The unique active components of cannabis are called cannabinoids, which are found alongside active chemicals called terpenoids and flavonoids, which work together to provide a wide variety of therapeutic and anti-inflammatory effects benefits. Studies show hemp oil helps with pain management, cancer, insomnia, anxious feelings, worry, stress and more. Hemp oil has actually been proven increase your energy, so there is no lazy “high”.
 

I’ve suffered from arthritis for 12 years, so I combine hemp oil with my favorite supplement for pain and inflammation: collagen peptides! Collagen is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the go-to beauty secrets of the ages, but it’s also amazing for your muscles, joints and can help with stiffness and swelling. Collage peptides may also help increase muscle strength because they play the most important role in our connective tissues. Those who took collagen for 24 weeks found a significant decrease in joint pain while at rest, moving, changing directions, running walking and performing tasks. Another study showed that collagen can stimulate the growth of new cartilage tissue, which means it’s replacing old or worn cartilage. Amazing, huh?!

Here’s how to make your own mini petal cakes!  I was so surprised at how quick and simple these are to make – and they’re a huge splash at any holiday party! Cook time is only (approx.) 25 mins. 

INGREDIENTS:
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. To the gluten free brownie mix add the coconut oil, hemp oil, Sugar 2.0, Vital Proteins Collagens, cayenne, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate chips and toss to combine.
  3. Add gluten free mix to cupcake trays so they are each 1/4 full. 
  4. Optional: Add fruit such as raspberries or strawberries to the middle. This can also be done after.
  5. Bake for 25 mins or until moist when poked with a fork or toothpick.
  6. Remove and let cool.
  7. Add petals on top for decoration. 
  8. Enjoy immediately. Best eaten when fresh but also amaaaazing the next day! Store in fridge.
 
 *This post was created in loving partnership with Vital Proteins + Sugar 2.0, two companies I use daily and absolutely adore.