That’s Yucca!

Those of you who are on my Simply Enrich FB page might have seen my post last Tuesday suggesting a ‘Try something new Tuesday” dinner tradition (and if you aren’t on my FB page, please take a second and ‘Like‘ it now! 🙂 It could be a product item, like a new fruit, vegetable, or fresh herb, or maybe tofu, or simply try a new healthy recipe! Well, I realized that I needed to get to the store because I wasn’t up for a whole new recipe, so a produce item was going to be it that night.
Searching through the produce department refrigerated wall at Kroger, I realized that there are several items that I have not yet tried, and hadn’t a clue of how to prepare. Then I saw it — THE try-it Tuesday item! It was a big, brown, bumpy, ugly root. Kinda resembled a fossilized elephant turd or something.Yucca Root Yucca root? What kind of name is that? I’m sure if it were tasty they would call it “yumma root”, so I could only imagine what I was in for. My kids were less than excited, to say the least.

Now how to prepare this…thing?!  I saw an older Indian woman looking at the same area, so I asked her if she knew how to eat it. She did, and she told me to peel it, boil it, and then cut it and eat it. Said it tasted like tapioca pudding. Mmmmm!! It didn’t sound so ‘yucca’ at all!
The journey didn’t end there. The check out line was even more interesting. Like 15 minutes of interesting ;). Of course I didn’t think to grab a yucca root with a sku number sticker on it, I mean, every cashier has the sku number for yucca root memorized, right? Lol
So the sweet cashier kept looking for the item up on the cheat sheet, but it wasn’t there — the sheet stopped at ‘T’ (what about ‘watermelons’ & ‘yams’?!) I sent my 9 year old to find another yucca with a sticker. Meanwhile, I’m apologizing to the cashier and the man in line behind me. They were both very understanding and patient…maybe even a little, dare I say… intrigued.
I shared with them about the try-something-new-Tuesday challenge I had posted and the reason behind my somewhat odd purchase. It was quite the conversation piece. When the guy behind me said that I was a very unusual American for trying new things like this, I shared about the International Cooking group that I’m a part of and how I actually love to broaden my taste buds’ horizons and try new things. He asked me for my card to give his daughter who loves stuff like that. I happened to have a few cards hiding in my purse and I handed him one.   The cashier asked for one, too (maybe you guys are reading this right now since the web-link is on the card, and if so, thank you so much for your patience last week!)
My son returned with another yucca… without a sticker. Third yucca was the charm. We could finally check out and be on our way, and was asked to report back how the experiment turned out.
The Yucca experiment.

Even though the kind Indian lady gave me great directions, I was a bit intimidated by getting the rough, waxed peel off of the root.  I mean, seriously — how in the heck?!  I knew I needed backup. Gotta love Google. Here it is for you in case you want to learn more or try a recipe:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/cook-serve-yucca-root-8371.html
I admit, even with my sharp Cutco© knife, I didnt quite chop the root into small pieces like the recipe advised:, so I gave up on that:IMG_20140325_185935_691To keep this article short, since I didn’t intent for it to become a cooking post, I followed the directions from the website above and boiled the yucca root. IMG_20140325_193339_763

I got kinda impatient after awhile and eventually settled for nearly-yet-not-all-the-way-cooked.  Then I added some milk, roasted garlic, and squeezed lemon juice, and salt. Potato mashed it as much as possible.  It turned out fine. I wish I would’ve taken the time to cook a bit better, but even at this point, I got to taste the ‘yucca’, and it wasn’t “yucky” 😉

IMG_20140325_195208_704

Gotta love trying new things – variety is the spice of life.

For those interested, here are some good nutrition facts on yucca root:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/341685-yucca-root-nutrition/

I’d love to hear from anyone else that is taking me up on this challenge!  I’ll report back on the recent Try-something-new-Tuesday episode here soon 😉

 

Cardio, Weight, Skin, and more!

3 More Reasons Soy is So Super

Soy is one superfood that continues to gain attention. Studies illustrate soy’s ability to improve bone health, alleviate menopausal symptoms and reduce risk of some diseases. Recent scientific breakthroughs have uncovered even further benefits of soy for cardiovascular health, weight loss and skin care.

1. Lunasin is nutritional “magic” for cardio health.

In 1999, the FDA approved a health claim that “25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” This claim was based on research findings that soy-based diets reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.

Meanwhile, science has uncovered the nutritional “magic” behind soy’s cholesterol-lowering abilities. Studies show lunasin, a naturally occurring peptide found in soy, is largely responsible. Lunasin works to lower cholesterol in two ways:

  • disrupts the production of cholesterol in the liver
  • improves the liver’s ability to clear LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream

2. Protein and peptides are heavy hitters for weight loss.

For years, dieters have relied on the mighty soybean to aid weight loss. It makes sense: soy is high in protein and fiber for satiety, while also low in fat. But a study showed that soy also has an effect on the mechanisms in the body that boost metabolism. In other words, soy packs a powerful one-two punch for weight loss by addressing both food intake and calorie burning.

3. Antioxidant promotes supple skin.

Studies suggest the combination of consuming soy and applying it topically may provide a host of skin benefits. Soy’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can reduce the redness caused by acne and sun exposure. It also helps promote the synthesis of collagen and improves skin elasticity. Soy even improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture.

Skincare containing soy, like Reliv’s r line of premium products, can help reduce wrinkles, skin discoloration and inflammation when used over time.

Discover how you can add soy to your health regimen.

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Reliv.

(Article written by, and compliments of Reliv International)

To order Reliv products risk-free through the 30-day money-back guarantee, contact your Independent Reliv Distributor, Renee Vidor, to obtain a customer ordering number:

To order, contact

To Be, or Not to Be – Gluten Free?

To Be or Not to Be — Gluten Free?

Over the past decade, gluten-free diets have moved from a relatively unknown concept to a mainstream way of life. Even Oprah went gluten-free for a while – and if she’s doing it, you know it’s only a matter of time before everyone is. But even with an increasing awareness of gluten and the FDA’s recent gluten-free labeling guidelines, many people are still confused about gluten.

Why go gluten-free?

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Most notably, gluten causes inflammation of the intestines in those with celiac, a genetic disease. People with celiac disease, gluten allergies or even gluten sensitivity can experience intestinal discomfort, diarrhea and unhealthy weight loss. The protein can even cause reactions in the skin, mouth and lungs of people with a gluten allergy. The best way to alleviate these symptoms is to simply avoid foods containing gluten.

Gluten-Free Risks

Nutritionists do not recommend eliminating gluten from your diet unless you absolutely must. This is because eliminating wheat and related grains can mean missing vital nutrients. Unless these vitamins and minerals are replaced through other foods or nutritional supplements, a gluten-free diet can be risky. These nutrients include:

  • Calcium – necessary for bone density and prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Folate – contributes to healthy blood glucose and blood pressure levels and helps the body ward of fatigue.
  • Iron – necessary for many body functions such as oxygen transport and metabolism.
  • Niacin – shown to help the body maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Riboflavin – necessary for normal cell function, growth and energy production as well as cognitive function.
  • Thiamin – involved in numerous body functions, including nervous system and muscle functioning.

Wheat Substitutes

You can substitute wheat flour with rice or corn flour. Also try incorporating gluten-free grains quinoa and amaranth into your diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to avoid fiber deficiency as well.

Supplement Solution

One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re getting enough of each nutrient is supplementing with a complete optimal nutrition formula such as Reliv Classic® or Reliv Now®. Both are gluten-free and contain beneficial nutrients for a healthy gluten-free diet.

Other Reliv nutritional products that are gluten-free include: CardioSentials®, Cellebrate®, GlucAffect®, Innergize!®, Reliv Now® for Kids, ProVantage®, ReversAge®, Slimplicity®, SoySentials® and 24KTM.

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Reliv.

Contact your Independent Reliv Distributor, Renee Vidor, for questions, or to order Reliv products:

Article written by and compliments of Reliv International.

Healthy Joint Habits

Healthy Joint Habits
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with arthritis – making it the most common disability in the country. The CDC projects 45% of adults will contract arthritis in their lifetime. Risk increases with excess weight, insufficient physical activity and joint injury. Joint cartilage becomes thinner and more vulnerable throughout your lifetime, so adopt these habits early for a lifetime of healthy joints.

Don’t “weight.” The weight-bearing joints in your knees, hips and back carry all of your body weight. One extra pound places four times the amount of stress on your knees. Adopt regular exercise and a healthy diet to lose excess weight. For women, losing just 11 pounds can cut arthritis pain in half.

Keep moving. Muscles and ligaments surrounding your joints absorb impact from daily activity. A sedentary lifestyle leads to a deterioration of muscle mass, leaving joints over-stressed. Strengthen your joint support system by varying your workouts. Try alternating low-impact aerobics like walking, biking and swimming with flexibility workouts like yoga and pilates.

No pain, all gain. Even minor injuries can weaken cartilage and make your joint vulnerable to inflammation and pain. The CDC estimates joint injury increases lifetime risk for arthritis to 57%. To prevent complications:

  • Wear proper shoes and protective gear.
  • Incorporate rest days into your schedule.
  • Ice joints for ten minutes post-workout to prevent pain and swelling.
  • Treat injuries immediately.

Vital nutrients. Support healthy joint function with key nutrients (available in nutritional supplements like Arthaffect®) :

  • Borage Oil – contains gamma-linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid proven to reduce inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Glucosamine – a building block for cartilage produced by the body; aids in joint growth, repair and maintenance.
  • Boswellin – herb used in Eastern medicine for centuries to reduce joint and muscle swelling. *

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Reliv. Order now.

Contact your Independent Reliv Distributor, Renee Vidor, for more information, or to obtain a customer or distributor number to order.

Article compliments of and written by Reliv International.

Let’s Be Real

Ok. It’s time to be real with you. You may know me as a person that is “thin”, “fit”, and “young” and as the lady who brings you healthy living tips to simply enrich your life. But do you know who I am… really?

When pursuing my own fitness goals, I’ve been told by some that I “don’t need to worry about that” or that I “don’t need to watch what I eat.” It’s time to address this sort of thing and BE REAL with you!
Sure, some people are born with different genes than others, but we ALL need to have goals to improve our health, and we ALL need to put good stuff in our body and limit the junk. And we ALL have issues!
Can you deny that everyone has SOMETHING that they struggle with, especially regarding their health? Perhaps it’s smoking, alcohol, soda pop or coffee addiction. Some may despise exercise or loath the word ‘cooking’ so instead they sit on the couch watching T.V. and eat out every night. Since I’m being real, I need to confess that I have problems, too. Sure, I can pass many great tips and ideas your way about how to stay healthy, but I need to follow them too!  So do you know what it is that I struggle with?

….drumroll….

Chocolate! In fact, death by chocolate may not be a cliche in my life at some point! (do you know how much saturated fat is in that stuff?! Bye-bye clear arteries & hello heart-attack!) Some days it’s not just chocolate, though, it can be any sweet thing that happens to find its way into my house, like leftover birthday cake  (and I do take strides to keep that stuff out!)
Yesterday I was sitting at my computer posting a healthy living tip while eating a mini candy bar left over from who-knows-when and it hit me: I need to practice what I preach! Even though I’m not personally worried about counting calories, or watching carbs for weightloss, and I do exercise regularly and eat my veggies….I should not be allowing this bad habit into my life! Chocolate in and of itself is not ‘bad’ and I don’t mean to say that I shouldn’t ever be eating it. But, my motto has always been “everything in moderation” – and my chocolate habit has been one lately that doesn’t depict my motto 😉
So today I decided to take a fast from all sweet or unhealthy foods. I may even carry that into tomorrow, and see where it goes from there! I started my day with my Reliv nutrition shake* and then off to 2 back-to-back intense exercise classes at the gym, came home (hungry!) and ate a usual healthy lunch. Oftentimes I’d follow that with a piece of chocolate, but today I refrained.  Sometimes I’ll crave it to self-medicate my stress & anxiety over squabbling kiddos (any moms out there relate with me??) but now I have 24k that nips that in the bud – stress relief, mental clarity, and energy all in one w/ only 5 calories. A much better grab all around.
By afternoon I usually start craving that yummy stuff right around the time that I am due for my next Reliv nutrition shake*, and sometimes I choose NOT to take my shake until later because I’d rather enjoy the chocolate than give my body the ‘good stuff’ that will help me fight those cravings. Well, today I took it on time and haven’t even battled the need for chocolate. See, I have tools in my bag that can help me and I know what I need to do in order to not have to struggle with this habit. I just need to use them and do it!

Is there something in your life that you’re struggling with? Be real with yourself! Do you know what you have to do to change it? Don’t do it alone — if you don’t have someone to help you, contact me and let’s work it out together! It’s so rewarding to come to a place of victory over even the ‘small things’ that we battle with.

Being real, what do YOU struggle with? Do you want to overcome it and what do you plan to do if so? Leave some comments below!

To a Healthier You,

Renee

*My Reliv nutrition shake consists of Classic, Innergize, & FibRestore.

Protect Your Heart

Two Vital Steps to Protect Your Heart
Heart health is part genetics, part diet and lifestyle. While you can’t change your family tree, you can make an impact on risk factors for heart disease such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber are also heart-smart steps. 

Let’s focus on two heart disease risk factors where you can make a difference: cholesterol and blood pressure. It may be easier to impact these than you thought…

Control Cholesterol.
Your risk for a heart attack rises with your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol builds up and narrows your arteries and makes them less flexible. To counter cholesterol, make plant sterols your friend. Plant sterols are found naturally in some vegetable oils, nuts, grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Soy is a significant source of plant sterols.

Plant sterols have been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 20 percent in people with metabolic syndrome even if they continued eating a typical “Western” diet. The study showed those taking daily doses of plant sterols also dropped their total cholesterol by 16 percent, and their triglyceride levels by 19 percent.

Reliv’s CardioSentials®, loaded with plant sterols and other heart-smart nutrients, has been clinically shown to reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides for people with high cholesterol, as well as increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol and reduce blood glucose levels.

While soy benefits heart health because of its plant sterols and other antioxidants, the impact of soy and fiber together are even more powerful. One of fiber’s key heart benefits is reducing cholesterol. The combination of fiber-rich FibRestore® and soy-based Reliv Now® create a one-two punch against cholesterol. A clinical study found these products together reduce average cholesterol by 14 percent while they also reduce LDL, triglycerides, and uric acid.

Bring Down Blood Pressure.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing heart disease and significantly increases stroke risk. One easy way to lower blood pressure is to bump up your soy intake. A combination of studies has shown taking soy isoflavones with soy protein each day lowers blood pressure as much as taking blood pressure medication.

Studies also show fiber can help reduce or even prevent high blood pressure. A Harvard study showed an intake of 24 grams/day or more of fiber provided significant protection against developing high blood pressure. FibRestore contains 10 grams of fiber in each serving to put you well on your way to reaching your optimum fiber count.

Get Your Heart Pumping
Your heart also needs a regular workout. Studies show adding at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three or more times a week can increase your HDL (“good”) cholesterol by 5-10 percent and lower your triglycerides.

For motivation, support and fun, join the Team Reliv Fitness Club to help reach your exercise goals. Join anywhere, anytime. It’s open to all Reliv Distributors and customers and offers prizes and a way for you to track your progress to better health.

Then add 24K™ to your daily routine to give you the healthy energy you need to literally go the extra mile. Its synergistic blend of 24 active ingredients in a caffeine-free, ready-to-drink shot provides energy, focus and stress relief — all important factors in heart health. Many of the ingredients, such as omega-3, CoQ10 and resveratrol, are proven heart helpers too.

Reliv’s nutritional products offer a variety of healthy solutions to benefit your heart — and the rest of your body.

 

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Relìv. Order now.
This article was written by Reliv International. If you would like to obtain a customer or distributor number so that you may order, contact Renee@SimplyEnrich.com

24k

Follow the Gold Standard
for Stress Relief and Healthy Energy

Is stress derailing your ability to get things done in a day? Zapping your energy? Making your mind foggy? Beyond finding better ways to manage your stress, such as getting more sleep, exercising, and taking time to relax and have fun, the lack of certain nutrients in your diet could be making the physical effects of stress worse. If you’re feeling enough stress to cause fatigue, you’re on the pathway to poor health.

Stress hormones can deplete the body of vitamins and start the snowball effect of fatigue, anxiety and mental haze. Here are just a few of the nutrients you need to combat stress, clear the fog and amp up energy.

Boost the Bs
Topping the list of energy superstars are the B complex vitamins, which include B6, B12 and folate. These vitamins are essential to help your cells carry oxygen to your brain and to keep you energized. B vitamins also help metabolize carbohydrates, a key source of fuel for your body.

Go for Omega-3
Essential fatty acids like omega-3 can reduce many stress symptoms and counter some of the damaging effects of high levels of stress hormones in the body, according to research.

Some evidence even ties the lack of omega-3 in our diets with the increase in depression in our society today. Omega-3 has been shown to regulate mood and improve mental clarity.

Run with Resveratrol
Resveratrol, found in red grape skin, helps muscles use oxygen more efficiently to enhance performance. Because energy is processed more efficiently, you’re able to work out longer and more intensely. Dare we say, your workouts could actually be easier?

Charge Up with Coenzyme Q10
Research shows CoQ10 (conenzyme Q10) boosts cell energy production and as a result can improve athletic performance. In addition, CoQ10 has even been shown to enhance physical activity in people with fatigue syndromes.

This is Your Shot
Your simple solution to stress and energy shortfalls is at hand. Whether you’re running kids around, running a business, or running a 5K, you can power through every day with new 24K™ from Reliv. Formulated with a synergistic blend of 24 active ingredients (including the four described above), 24K provides energy, focus and stress relief. And with no caffeine and only 5 calories per serving, it’s healthy energy for body, mind and spirit.

No jitters. No energy crashes. 24K is the gold standard to kick start your day, pump up workouts, improve concentration and prevent that midday slump.

Enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with Reliv!

(This article is by Reliv International.

Ready to order? Contact Renee@SimplyEnrich to obtain your customer or distributor number.)