You can protect your bones!

How can you protect your bones? Calcium is not enough on its own. #vibranthealthblog

Okay, so everyone knows that bones are one of the most important parts of the body.  Did you know that you lose about 1% of your bone mass every year after age 30? Peak bone mass is reached by around the time you reach age 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you will lose more than you gain. How ?

How can you protect your bones? Calcium is not enough on its own. #vibranthealthblog

       As you mature, your body may begin to reabsorb calcium and phosphate from your bones ~ instead of keeping these minerals in your bones. Now your bones gradually weaken. When this process reaches a certain stage, it’s called osteoporosis. Did you know that your likelihood of developing osteoporosis depends on bone mass that you attained up until that magic age of 30, combined with your rate of bone loss after that age? So, the greater your peak bone mass, the less your risk of osteoporosis.

       For women, the natural drop in estrogen at the time of menopause is a major cause of bone loss. For men, the drop in testosterone as they age likewise causes bone loss.

       Smoking puts you at higher risk and drinking too much alcohol can damage your bones.

Are there causes for Bone loss in addition to Aging?  Yes, big ones!

Antibiotics

       A new study showed that antibiotics cause oxidative stress in human cells, which accelerates bone loss.

       Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute published a study in October of 2013, which built on previous research and showed that antibiotics kill bacteria by triggering oxidative stress. They discovered that antibiotics trigger oxidative stress in the mitochondria that produce energy within your cells as well.

In the Harvard study, human cells were exposed to 3 antibiotic levels: ciprofloxacin, ampicillin, and kanamycin. After the first 6 hours of exposure, there was no harmful effect. But things changed after approximately 4 days. The researchers discovered something disturbing: the antibiotics had actually damaged the cells’ DNA via oxidative stress.

“Doctors should only prescribe antibiotics when they’re called for,” comments study leader Jim Collins, PhD, “and patients should only ask for antibiotics when they have a serious bacterial infection.”

Fluoride

There’s a wide range of studies which have shown that there’s more hype than help when it comes to the safety of fluoride.  In fact, many studies prove that a large percentage of the ingested fluoride accumulates in the bones, which leads to bone damage and in some cases, skeletal fluorosis.

This certainly explains the increase in hip fractures linked to water fluoridation, as shown by a review of 18 studies. And while the CDC continues to hype water fluoridation as a success in reducing tooth decay, after its review of the studies in 1993, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) observed that:

“The weight of evidence from these experiments suggests that fluoride added to water can increase the risk of hip fracture in both elderly women and men. However, questions remain due to issues such as the lack of information on trends in hip fracture and total individual fluoride consumption.”

Noteworthy Benefits to Bone Health ~ You can protect your bones!

Calcium is the most widely known supplement to assist with strengthening your bones ~ but consider this ~ Your Bone health depends not so much on calcium intake, but rather on its metabolism and utilization. The other major players are Vitamin D, Vitamin K, boron and magnesium. 

       At Vibrant Health we created our Super Natural Calcium using a concentrate of the Hydrilla, verticillata plant. We didn’t want to rely on the typically synthesized formats of calcium like: calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium malate, calcium gluconate, etc. Our plant-based formula provides calcium as it is found in nature, bound to carbohydrates, proteins and polyphenols. Calcium in this form is more compatible your digestion and metabolism.

     So if you're concerned about your bone health; in addition to reducing your use of antibiotic and fluoride; you may consider trying Super Natural Calcium.

About the author: Jeanne Ricks is a Holistic Health Coach & Clinical Hypnotist who provides personal diet, wellness & nutrition coaching combined with Hypnosis to help you achieve your personal best. www.NuDay.org

 

JV Creamsicle

Orange-Pineapple Vanilla Creamsicle using Joint Vibrance Powder. Who could ask for anything more? #vibrantrecipes

If you don't already know, Joint Vibrance version 4.0 has a natural orange-pineapple flavor. My dad is a huge fan, and the inspiration for this recipe. He is always telling me about how he mixes it with vanilla coconut milk and it tastes like a creamsicle. That mix alone is good, but I wanted to go even further. The result was more delicious than I even expected. If you're looking for a good way to drink your Joint Vibrance, you found it!

Orange-Pineapple Vanilla Creamsicle using Joint Vibrance Powder. Who could ask for anything more? #vibrantrecipes

Ingredients:

1 cup vanilla coconut milk

1 scoop Joint Vibrance

1 tbsp vanilla extract (or to taste)

1 orange

1 tbsp honey

Directions: Blend until smooth & enjoy!

About the author: Kate Shanley is the Social Media Coordinator & Pet Health Consultant for Vibrant Health. She holds a B.S. in Animal Science and is also a board certified Holistic Health Coach, has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, and she's a dog trainer. 

The Ginger Vortex

Step out of the polar vortex and warm up with this delicious smoothie #vibrantrecipes

If you live in the Northeast like we do, you're probably pretty sick of this seemingly endless winter. The mere mention of the polar vortex sends chills down my spine, and not in a good way. One day this week the heat in our office was actually broken for the entire morning. Brrrrrr!! So when choosing our weekly recipe there seemed to be a consensus that ginger had to be involved. This smoothie was so warming everyone said it was like comfort food in a cup. 

Step out of the polar vortex and warm up with this delicious smoothie #vibrantrecipes

Ingredients:

1 large carrot

1 banana

1 chunk ginger (to taste)

2 handfuls unsalted cashews

1 cup blueberry pomegrante juice 

1 cup coconut water

1 scoop Rainbow Vibrance

Honey & cinnamon (optional – to taste)

Ice

Directions: Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Ginger is so awesome, wouldn't you agree?

Ginger is the best! #vibranthealthblog

About the author: Kate Shanley is the Social Media Coordinator & Pet Health Consultant for Vibrant Health. She holds a B.S. in Animal Science and is also a board certified Holistic Health Coach, has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, and she's a dog trainer. 

Calcium Not Just 4 Bones – 4 Your Heart

Plant-Based Calcium for heart health #vibranthealthblog

       Back in 2012 researchers had warned that calcium supplements should be ‘taken with caution’ based on inconclusive data which suggested consumption of the supplements could double the risk of heart attack incidence. This story got picked-up by national news media and needlessly scared people. The bulk of scientific studies conducted on this mineral do not come anywhere near that kind of negative finding. To the contrary…

       In fact, a new study concluded that supplements of calcium do not increase the risk of arterial hardening ~ at all. This Harvard Medical School study led by Elizabeth Samuelson, used state-of-the-art CT scans of over 1,200 men and women.

       But, just how does calcium assist your heart health?

       First, remember that your heart is really a muscle. Calcium and magnesium function as ‘electrolytes’. This simply means that they impact the amount of water in your body ~ which then affects not only the pH balance of your blood but, also plays a role in your actual muscle function. Calcium and magnesium also play essential roles in the contraction and relaxation of your heart muscle cells.  These combinations of effects are what makes calcium and magnesium vital minerals for the regulation of your heartbeat and blood pressure.

How’s your Sar-co-plas-mic Re-ti-cu-lum?  Huh?

       It’s a machine inside all of your muscle cells. This sarcoplasmic reticulum releases calcium ions into the fluid portion of your muscle cell, which includes heart muscle cells and the cells lining your blood vessels.  This triggers the cell to contract. After that contraction, a calcium channel pump allows the calcium to move back into the sarcoplasmic reticulum to wait for the next contraction.

       AND…Because calcium impacts the actual force of heart muscle cell contractions, it can affect the blood pressure. In addition, calcium impacts the balance of fluids in and out of cells, which affects blood pressure.

The Role of Magnesium

       In the same way that your heart muscle cells rely on calcium to trigger contraction, they also rely on magnesium for relaxation. After a muscle contraction, when calcium is in the fluid portion of the cell, electrical charges which are produced by magnesium propel the calcium through the calcium channel pump and right back into the sarcoplasmic reticulum. This simple action allows your muscle cells to relax.

       It’s been shown that a magnesium deficiency can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, taking a magnesium supplement in the form of magnesium oxide, magnesium gluconate and magnesium chloride may be helpful in preventing the onset of high blood pressure.

       A delicate balance of both calcium and magnesium is necessary to maintain a normal heartbeat, and therefore a normal blood pressure. However, The Linus Pauling Institute reports that studies using magnesium supplements to treat high blood pressure have produced conflicting results.

Foods ~ glorious foods!

       Always the best sources for nutrients. AND…you can find calcium in many greater levels in a variety of foods that are not dairy…..

A cup of steamed spinach has 245 mg.

A cup of boiled collard greens has 266 mg.

One tablespoon of Blackstrap Molasses has about 137 mg.

One cup of raw kelp has 136 mg.

Two cups of steamed broccoli have 124 mg.

One cup of sautéed chard has 102 mg.

One cup of sautéed kale has 94 mg.

Two cups of raw celery have 81 mg.

One ounce of almonds (23 nuts) has 75 mg.

One medium papaya has 73 mg.

One medium orange has 52 mg 

      Plant-Based Calcium for heart health #vibranthealthblog Knowing that food sources are the most potent means of calcium supplementation we created our Super Natural Calcium using a concentrate of Hydrilla, verticillata. This plant based formula provides calcium as it is found in nature, bound to carbohydrates, proteins and polyphenols. Calcium in this form is more compatible your digestion and metabolism.

Bon appetite!

About the author: Jeanne Ricks is a Holistic Health Coach & Clinical Hypnotist who provides personal diet, wellness & nutrition coaching combined with Hypnosis to help you achieve your personal best. www.NuDay.org

VO2 Max Training for Heart Health

What is VO2 interval training and why is it important? #vibranthealthblog

Have you ever seen people do their cardio session in the gym or out on the streets or trail? I'm pretty sure you have. Now, have you ever seen people do their "cardio" session in which it's pretty clear that they are exerting very little effort? Maybe you have been in this same exact position yourself? Ever think about the word 'cardio' and wonder what it actually means?

Many people view cardiovascular workouts as a purely fat burning/weight loss type workout but in actuality, that's not what cardiovascular workouts are really for. The keyword here is cardiovascular. This is short for cardiovascular system, which consists of your heart and blood vessels. With a true cardiovascular workout, the goal is to strengthen ones heart. Often times, when people think of the heart, they just view it as an organ but they tend to forget that it's one of the most important muscles in the body. After all, it's responsible for pumping approximately 5 liters of blood (in the average adult) through your body to deliver oxgyen, nutrients, and hormones as well as transport away cellular waste products produced by the body. It's one of the muscles that is constantly contracting and works all day and all night. Just like any other muscle in the body, to ensure that it's strong and healthy, one should exercise it. What would that type of exercise be? A cardiovascular training exercise!

So how are the cardio exercises we see many people perform not cardio at all? The key here is intensity. We've all seen the heart rate zone charts at the gym, in a magazine, or on the internet, correct? Most of us are familiar with the "fat burning" zone and what do most people train at? They train within the "fat burning" zone because they think of cardio as nothing more than a method to expend calories. What should people actually be training at? They should be training at the 80%-90% zones, or more specifically, training their VO2 max capacity. What exactly is VO2 max? VO2 max is essentially you max capacity for oxygen consumption/uptake or in simpler terms: your max aerobic capacity. Does this mean that you should train at max capacity where your heart rate is dangerously high at 200+ bpm? NO! What one should aim for is VO2 max intervals.

What is VO2 interval training and why is it important? #vibranthealthblog

What exactly is VO2 max interval training? It's when you push at max intensity for a brief period of time, drop down to a more moderate pace for a brief interval, go back up to max intensity for a brief interval, and back down to a modest pace for a brief interval and so on and so forth. An example of this that should be very accessible to pretty much everyone is a 30/30 interval or a 60/60 interval. What is this? It's when you run at max capacity (at a pace in which should not be sustainable for prolonged periods of time, approximately around 95% max HR) for 30 seconds and then drop down to a modest pace (around 75%-80% max HR) for 10-20 minutes total. You would do this after a 10 minute light pace warm-up of course. 60/60 would be the same concept but done for 60 second alternating intervals. What would the goal of this be? To train both lung and heart capacity and over time, achieve higher intensity for the same HR. This will affect your HR at rest as well in a positive way (ever heard of an athlete's heart? that is a term for a very efficient heart in which the BPM is lower than average at rest due to training; helping the heart be able to pump blood more efficiently).

Is the 30/30 and 60/60 intervals only applicable to running? No! It can be applied to many different condition workouts such as hill runs, swimming laps, plyometrics, etc. The goal however is the same: to alternate intervals of max intensity with a more modest intensity.

Now, I know what some of you are now thinking, is it necessary to make ALL of your cardio sessions a VO2 max training session? Nope. From my own experience, it's effective to do your VO2 max training for 10-20 minutes (not including warmup and cooldown) 3 times a week. The only equipment you will need is a HR monitor and some comfortable and suitable workout attire! Also don't forget to mix it up, don't make all your workouts a cardio sessions (VO2 max or regular steady pace cardio). Your goal for working out is to make a stronger and more efficient you, not just to lose a few pounds, so strength training days should always be incorporated in with your conditioning days.

Weekly Food Journal

Keep a food journal and reach your health goals #vibranthealthblog

Our diet is THE link to overall health. Feeling tired and sluggish? Do you have acne or digestive pain? Bloating? Nearly any physical sympton you can think of is likely tied, at least to some degree, to our diet. For this reason, whether you want to lose weight or maybe pinpoint what is giving you that headache, a food journal is essential. I'm not talking about counting calories, and in fact that's something I would almost never recommend as a health coach. Writing down what you eat and how you're feeling 30-60 minutes (noting feelings at both of the times can be even more helpful) after eating is a simple process with huge benefits. For example, say you eat a bacon, egg, & cheese sandwich on a hard roll. If in 30 minutes you feel energized and great – you know that's a good breakfast for you. If in 30 minutes you feel lethargic, bloated, and overall not great – you would want to rethink your breakfast choice.

Here's a downloadable food journal you can use to get started:

Weekly Food Journal

Keep a food journal and reach your health goals #vibranthealthblog

About the author: Kate Shanley is the Social Media Coordinator & Pet Health Consultant for Vibrant Health. She holds a B.S. in Animal Science and is also a board certified Holistic Health Coach, has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, and she's a dog trainer. 

What’s in Ashanti’s Makeup Bag?

" It’s called Green Vibrance and it’s a bunch of wheat grass, frozen broccoli, kale, everything grinded up. You put it in a shake or juice and it gives you your greens for the day" - Ashanti #vibranttestimonial

" It’s called Green Vibrance and it’s a bunch of wheat grass, frozen broccoli, kale, everything grinded up. You put it in a shake or juice and it gives you your greens for the day" - Ashanti #vibranttestimonial

"My new thing that I’ve been on tastes gross but if you put it in juice it tastes good. It’s called Green Vibrance and it’s a bunch of wheat grass, frozen broccoli, kale, everything grinded up. You put it in a shake or juice and it gives you your greens for the day." – Ashanti

What Do Heavy Metal, Dirt and Protein Powders Have in Common?

Soil Depletion World Map #vibranthealthblog

Luv Doctor Oz ~ he’s made my job as a nutritionist SOooo much easier.  He helps people understand that they are in charge of their health.  He gets the conversation going.

Recently Oz's guest was Dr. Todd Cooperman, President of Consumer Labs, which tested 16 popular protein powders. Results showed that some brands contained less protein and more of both carbohydrates and calories than was stated on their labels. That’s a problem!

Another huge concern raised was over some products levels of arsenic and heavy metals including lead.  Of course the Oz show is limited in time and was only able to go into minimal detail.  So, let’s look a little deeper.  Dirt Deep!

Now, imagine that you’re deep within the Amazon rain forest.  The foliage and greenery is so dense that you can barely make-out the dappled sunlight beaming in between the trees and vines. It’s very humid and smells green and alive.  Let’s put you in some protective hiking gear and netting because there are some serious insects here.  Okay, reach down and pick-up a handful of the soil.  It’s nearly black it’s so rich with nutrients.  It’s moist and the scent too is dense and well…earthy.  That’s the stuff.  Plant any seed here that you want and it will not only grow ~ it will thrive!

How is our population affecting soil nutrient density? #vibranthealthblog

Now, zap yourself to any industrial agriculture farm. This is called arable land and we’re running out of it worldwide. Check-out this quick little video from the Farmland Trust. Every year we lose over a million acres of US farmland ideally suited to grow food. More than 75% of America’s fruit, vegetables and dairy products are produced on what are called urban edged farms. Go ahead, reach down and pick-up a handful of that soil.  More like plain dirt isn’t it?

Crops grow but, the plants don’t thrive. This soil has to be replenished with fertilizers because it’s been turned over so many times and provided so many years of crops for the American dinner table ~ it’s lacking in natural nutrients. That’s the reason why I and other nutritionists recommend that our clients use dietary supplements. The soil itself that your food is grown in is lacking in nutrients, next combine that with the travel and storage time it takes for the food to reach your table ~ there’s very little nutrient value left.

But, take another look at that farmland out there.  A field once used for corn, may now be used for soy plants etc. Again and again the land has been turned over and replanted. Also, seed is expensive.  Farmers can’t afford to have crops taken over by insects, other pests or plant diseases ~ So, along with fertilizers, insecticides are used.

This isn’t a US problem.  This is a worldwide issue. 

Soil Depletion World Map #vibranthealthblogBut, back to us in the US and this protein issue…

China is now facing a grave soil pollution situation. Heavy metals have severely polluted some areas, mines and factories have degraded soil in industrial areas and the amount of arable land is decreasing due to the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.  In May of 2013, The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) refused to issue data related to soil pollution and declared that related data remains a ‘state secret.’  They continue to use chemicals which were banned many years ago here in the US. With an estimated $3.1 trillion of cash reserves, China has already been eyeing farmland purchases in a variety of countries (particularly at Africa).  Already, China is becoming a net importer of food. According to a report from the US Grains Council, China will import as much as 15 million tons in 2014-2015.

All of the values (calories, carbs, protein etc.) on Vibrant Health product labeling are accurate; what’s more ~ we’ve ensured that the protein is the most bio-available possible.

At Vibrant Health we chose to use a plant based protein formula combining Non-GMO Rice, Pea, Alfalfa and Spirulina proteins.  We took an additional step to maximize the bio-availability of those proteins, by adding a few select free amino acids, and creating a purely vegetable protein with an amino acid ration that surpasses albumin and whey proteins, which is nearly equal to that of human muscle tissue.

Sure, Whey protein isolates are popular but, they share the disadvantages that you’ll find with any dairy based product, which is antibiotics and pesticides in the grain that the cattle are fed.  Another huge issue is that many people have lactose or casein allergies. Additionally, any dairy product sold in the US must be pasteurized which “de-natures” any Whey product, automatically reducing its nutrient value.

Dr. Oz and Dr. Cooperman raised valid concerns regarding heavy metals and arsenic. Yet, if you look closely at the Consumer Labs report provided by the Oz program, the rice protein product test results all showed: ‘Did Not Exceed Contamination Limit for Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic’.  But, how did these contaminants get into the rice protein at all?  Good question.

Response to Dr. Oz's comments on protein powders #vibranthealthblogThe major producers of rice in the world are China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Brazil, Japan, USA, Pakistan, and the Republic of Korea (in this order).  Can you already see where a problem could arise for US products using rice?  Many of them source their rice from overseas where standards for water safety and chemical usage are not as high as those in the US.

Notice in this chart the tiny amount of rice produced in the US?

The arsenic that Dr. Cooperman mentioned raises a very specific issue because the report is leaving out a very important piece of the picture. And speaking of Oz ~ Remember Dorothy and Glenda the so-called 'Good Witch'?  Just think how much better-off Dorothy would have been if Glenda had given her complete information about those Ruby Slippers from the beginning!

The report fails to take into account that there are two types ~ organic and inorganic.  This makes a HUGE difference.

Arsenic both organic and inorganic is more common than many people realize. In fact, arsenic may be essential for biological activity in many organisms, including humans, though nobody's officially named it as an essential nutrient.

Organic Arsenic is found in soil, rocks and water, and it presents no danger in small amounts. Looking at the organic arsenic that you may get from fish, seafood and algae; the specific arsenic compounds obtained from these sources are arsenobentaine and arsenocholine, which are relatively non-toxic and are rapidly excreted in unchanged form in your urine.

Inorganic Arsenic is a completely different story ~ with a bad ending. Disturbingly, low-level inorganic arsenic exposure continues to take place in our general population (as do some cases of high-dose poisoning) through the commercial use of inorganic arsenic compounds in common products such as wood preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and paints; through the consumption of foods and the smoking of tobacco treated with arsenic-containing pesticides; and through the burning of fossil fuels in which arsenic is a contaminant. Inorganic arsenic is known to be a carcinogen (a cancer-causing agent). It's also been linked to problems with the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, lungs and skin.  Bad stuff.

So you see, it's not enough to simply list something as a dangerous toxin, without looking at the complete picture. Partial information is as harmful to consumers as flying monkeys.

Practically every plant food has some naturally occurring metals in it. Why?  All plants absorb metals, etc. from the soil ~ which in turn absorbs it through ground water, rain water, etc. Carrots, corn, cucumbers, green beans, yams, potatoes, turnips, apples, tomatoes, artichokes, lettuce, spinach and many other fruits and vegetables contain arsenic.  A one cup serving of your favorite classic Green Beans contain a whopping 28.75 micrograms of lead. That level is 56 times the allowable limit! You’ll still live after a serving of green beans, because your body is designed to remove these modest doses.

Guess what? The same varieties of veggies found for instance in our Green Vibrance, are the very means that your body needs to remove toxins. Because the phytochemicals in them naturally help to detoxify your body, while providing your organs with necessary nutrients, cruciferous vegetables for instance are simply an excellent way to return your body to health. Also, with the presence specifically of the phytochemical glutathione, your liver is also positively affected, as this amazing element helps the organ excrete chemicals and heavy metals.

At Vibrant Health we test for heavy metals, arsenic and other contaminants at several stages of our product manufacturing:

1.    It begins with our careful selection of raw material supplier (who tests prior to shipping). We review their Certificate of Analysis (COA) on raw materials which test for microbiology and heavy metals. A COA tests for microbiology (yeast, e. coli salmonella and staff bacteria, mold, and fungus) and heavy metals (arsenic, lead, mercury, aluminum, etc.). Levels have to be below a certain threshold as determined by Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) and American Public Health Association (APHA) which set global standards for quality of ingredients. 

2.    We test again before a material is added to any dietary supplement formula.

3.    A third test for a COA is conducted on our finished product and reports reviewed for any anomalies.

At any of these three stages, a raw material or finished product showing excessive levels of any of the heavy metals will be rejected. We use outside testing labs, which are not affiliated with the seller of the raw materials or with our company, which brings a level of impartiality to the process.

Although we believe our products are already safe when used as directed, Vibrant Health has been looking for ways to reduce lead and other heavy metals for many years now. While our arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury levels fall below recommended thresholds, we are currently evaluating new materials and new potential formulas for Pure Green Protein, etc. with the goal of reducing the current trace amounts of inorganic and organic arsenic, lead and other heavy metal content even more. 

This is the whole reason behind our company’s Guiding Principal of Formula Obsolescense’.  Our Flagship product ‘Green Vibrance’ is in its 14th formulation. Why?  Every Vibrant Health product is expected to change as new discoveries in science come to light, and as new raw materials become available. Vibrant Health products are ‘dynamic by design’ to stay at the forefront of nutritional science.

About the author: Jeanne Ricks is a Holistic Health Coach & Clinical Hypnotist who provides personal diet, wellness & nutrition coaching combined with Hypnosis to help you achieve your personal best. www.NuDay.org