RECIPE: GLUTEN FREE VEGAN CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BALLS

vegan gluten free chocolate protein bites

These gluten free vegan balls are the perfect protein packed snack for all occasions

This is a guest post written by Erica Streick, CNP  from Organika’s Blog

These gluten free vegan protein balls are a great way to get a kick of energy during you midday slump without overloading on processed sugars and empty calories.

The cacao nibs add a nice crunch while providing high amounts of antioxidants like polyphenols, which are great for anti-aging and cardiovascular health. This snack is fiber rich making it great for blood sugar regulation, colon health, as well as keeping you satiated for longer. I added a scoop of Organika® Vege Pro plant-based protein powder to offer 21g of plant-based protein. This protein has a unique blend of 8 medicinal mushrooms containing adaptogenic and immune-modulating properties to give your immune system a boost.

Not only are these energy balls full of nutrients but they taste like a treat and satisfy any sweet cravings you may have. I make these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer since they are great for work, pre workout snacks and sweet cravings alike!

gluten free vegan chocolate protein balls

Chocolate Protein Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop of Organika® Vege Pro
  • 1/4 cup organic gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup organic nut butter of choice (pecan butter is amazing)
  • 5 organic medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp organic cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp water (if required)

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or high speed blender, and blend until the mixture becomes a dough-like consistency.
  2. Roll the dough in 1-inch balls and place in a container in the fridge or freezer.

FEATURED PRODUCT: Digest-Force by Prairie Naturals

digest-force-120-v-caps-300ccDigest-Force Activates Healthy Digestion! 

Indigestion is a pain. Literally. More people suffer from chronic indigestion than from any other condition. Activate good digestion quickly with Digest-ForceTM Activated Coconut Charcoal & Ginger Root Extract, the newest member in Prairie Naturals Digestive Health product category.

What are the Ingredients in Digest-Force & What Do They Do?

Digest-Force combines the therapeutic power of activated charcoal from coconut husks with ginger root extract. Blending traditional practices with herbal medicine, this unique formula provides rapid relief from indigestion safely and effectively.

 

• Charcoal from Coconut Husks – It’s a fact that our planet’s original detoxifying agent is charcoal! Prairie Naturals coconut charcoal is “activated” through a carbonproducing process using high heat, pressure and steam. This process expands the therapeutic “adsorption” (suction) effect of charcoal by making it more porous and expanding its surface area. Prairie Naturals Digest-ForceTM formula with activated coconut charcoal has the distinct power to neutralize and eliminate various toxic substances (including allergens) by binding them unto itself and moving them safely out of the body. In fact, activated charcoal has proven so effective and safe that it is routinely used in hospitals as an antidote to drug and poison toxicity!

 

• Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale) Extract (10:1) – This traditional medicinal is revered as one of the world’s most ancient and effective digestive remedies. Extensive scientific analyses indicate that the primary active constituents (phytochemical terpenes gingerol and shogaol, along with oleoresin) aid & protect the digestive tract. The therapeutic use of ginger extract immediately reduces indigestion, gas, bloating and nausea.

 

 10 Important Things You Need to Know About Digest-Force

  • Digest-Force provides an adsorption function that has a detoxifying effect.
  • Digest-Force combines activated coconut charcoal combined with ginger extract to rapidly alleviate the pain and discomfort of bloating and gas.
  • Digest-Force neutralizes excessive stomach acid; relieves ulcers and acid reflux.
  • Digest-Force remedies the discomfort caused by overeating and eating irritating, allergenic foods.
  • Digest-Force is an integral part of every digestive health and detoxification program.
  • Digest-Force quickly and safely alleviates symptoms of indigestion and intestinal distress.
  • Digest-Force helps to heal intestinal inflammation.
  • Digest-Force combats food poisoning, toxins and pollutants.
  • Digest-Force reduces intestinal infections from viral, bacterial, yeast and mold sources.
  • Digest-Force corrects many of the root causes of diarrhea effectively.

 

10 Not-So-Obvious Signs Of Poor Digestion & What to Do About Them

enzyme-force-120-v-caps-300ccMost of us know the obvious symptoms of indigestion such as bloating, tummy aches, constipation and gas. You’d be surprised to know that the following 10 symptoms of enzyme deficiency might also indicate the need for supplemental digestive enzymes …

10 Not-So-Obvious Signs of Enzyme Deficiency

1.      Skin rashes and irritations. Incomplete digestion can lead to food sensitivities that manifest as skin problems.

2.      Fatigue and drowsiness. When so much energy goes to trying to compensate for a lack of digestive enzymes, is it any wonder that a body feels unbearably tired after eating?

3.      Bad breath. Our mouths are the beginning of a long digestive journey. Adequate enzymes, every step of the way, help keep breath fresher.

4.      Irritability. We all know how cranky babies get with colic. As adults with indigestion get just as irritable.

5.      Insomnia. Indigestion is noisy and painful. A happy calm yummy is crucial for a good night’s sleep.

6.      High cholesterol. All the way back in 1958, Stratford researchers realised that low enzymes and high cholesterol were linked.

7.      Weight gain. Fat utilisation is improved with enzymes, leading to less of it being stored in the obvious places – hips, belly, upper arms, thighs.

8.      Food allergies. Without adequate protein digesting enzymes, undigested food particles leak through the intestinal wall, triggering food allergy symptoms.

9.      Inflammation. Inflammation from injuries or arthritic conditions have been shown to respond well to the anti-inflammatory effect of bromelain.

10.    Sinusitis. An increased incidence of sinusitis might be related to chronic inflammation in nasal mucous membranes.

Eat More Raw Foods for Better Digestion

Eating enzyme-rich, fresh raw fruits and vegetables is definitely the best prescription for good digestion. Ironically though, improving your diet can cause some temporary indigestion. Remember, it takes time for your body to adjust, especially when drastically changing your diet to include the extra fibre consumed by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Fibre-rich foods can cause gas and bloating until your body adjusts.

Fortunately, digestive enzymes – especially Enzyme-Force with Fibrazyme™ can help with the transition. Bon apetite!

10 Easy Ways to Improve Digestion

  1. Take Prairie Naturals Digestive Enzymes at every meal
  2. Breathe deeply and relax before beginning a meal
  3. Be thankful for what you are about to enjoy
  4. Eat an abundance of fibre-rich foods
  5. Eat more raw fruits and vegetables
  6. Drink more water (between meals)
  7. Go for a walk after a meal
  8. Chew effectively and for a longer period of time
  9. Sit down to eat
  10. Eat less

How Our Digestive System Works

Just imagine a 30-foot maze-like passageway winding its way through the centre of your body. This miraculous food transport system is your digestive tract. The digestive tract, also called the gastrointestinal tract, has numerous connecting points along its route where food is broken down into simpler chemical forms (nutrients) by specialised enzymes. Digestion and absorption of macro-nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are dependent on enzymes and by the health of the duodenum.  

The Mouth & Stomach

The smell and sight of appetising food is the first signal the digestive system receives to begin the amazing process of digestion. Even before the first morsel of food enters your mouth, the digestive juices start flowing.

With the first bite, ptyalin, an amylase enzyme in saliva, begin the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose. Chewing food well (some experts recommend 100 times per bite) promotes better digestion even before food enters the stomach where the most active chemical digestion begins. Stomach muscle contractions assist the digestive process by kneading the partially digested food while gastric juices containing hydrochloric acid (HCI), pepsin, rennin and water begin the protein-digesting process. Some fat, and to a lesser degree, carbohydrates (which have been converted to sucrose) are also partially digested at this phase of the digestive process.

This potent mix of chemicals is so strong that the stomach’s membrane lining secretes a protective mucous barrier to prevent these corrosive gastric juices from damaging the walls of the stomach.  Without adequate mucosal protection, the stomach lining would be burned by its own acids, creating painful stomach ulcers. Digestive activity in the stomach lasts from one to four hours per meal depending on the combination and amounts of food ingested.

Liquids pass through the stomach most quickly; next come carbohydrates, then proteins, and finally fats. The secretion of intrinsic factor is another important function of the stomach. This protein substance is absolutely necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12 during the next stage of digestion in the small intestine. The pyloric sphincter at the base of the stomach opens to release this mash of semi-digested food, called chyme, into the small intestine.

The Small Intestine

There is not much that is “small” about the small intestine. In fact, this 20-foot section of the digestive tract is charged with achieving a huge task – the unlocking and absorption of micro-nutrients from macro-nutrients. The activity of enzymes in the small intestine is supported by enzymes contained within the food we eat or enzyme supplementation we take. Over the course of approximately three hours, the small intestine, with the aid of the pancreas, liver and gall-bladder, breaks down proteins into amino acids, carbohydrates into simple sugars, and fats into fatty acids.

As chyme enters the small intestine, the pancreas, nestled below the stomach, contributes alkaline pancreatic juices necessary for the successful completion of the digestive process. These juices contain numerous enzymes.

If fats have been eaten, the gall-bladder releases the bile it has stored. Bile is produced by the liver and is not really an enzyme, but rather a fat emulsifier that separates fat into small droplets that pancreatic enzymes break down for absorption.

The small intestine is comprised of three sections, the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Each of these sections absorbs different nutrients through the intestinal walls. For example, calcium, vitamin A, thiamine and riboflavin are absorbed by the duodenum. The jejunum absorbs fat and the ileum absorbs vitamin  B12.

The Large Intestine

Basically used as a holding tank for waste produced through the digestive process, the large intestine, also referred to as the colon, is largely an elimination organ, although vitamin K, water and some electrolyte minerals are absorbed in this final section of the digestive tract. A great many bacteria live in the colon, some of them friendly and beneficial, and others, harmful and disruptive. Inadequately digested food substances can be absorbed by the body as toxins or can feed noxious intestinal bacteria.

Proper elimination of waste and bacteria from the colon is dependent upon a high fibre diet, adequate water intake, healthy intestinal flora and complete digestion of food. Fibre literally binds toxins and aids their passage through the colon while water encourages smoother elimination. Fibre also encourages the growth of healthy intestinal flora (probiotics).

Having a clearer understanding and deeper appreciation of the way our bodies process and utilise the foods we eat will ideally help us be more mindful of the choices we make that affect this daily miracle that we simply call “digestion”.  Bon appetite!

No more PMS, Period Problems, Fibroids, Acne & More

Acne, period problems, ovarian and breast cysts, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, PMS and more are telling you your hormones are out of balance. ESTROsmart balances hormones using safe plant nutrients that make periods effortless whether you have heavy, long, scant, painful or irregular periods. ESTROsmart stops abnormal cell growth associated with uterine fibroids and polyps: breast lumps and ovarian cysts. ESTROsmart is a girl’s best friend eliminating acne and PMS. ESTROsmart brings your estrogen back into the normal range and elevates progesterone naturally. ESTROsmart is for, every woman every day, to make hormone problems become a thing of the past.

 

Stop Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

Smart women want to stop hot flashes and night sweats quickly and safely and that is why they have shied away from hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and estrogenic therapies. MENOsmart plus is a fast acting effective treatment that eliminates hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. MENOsmart plus contains non-estrogenic ingredients including sage, black cohosh, dong quai, gamma oryzanol, vitex and hesperidin to provide rapid relief of menopausal symptoms. Black cohosh is so safe that it has been used in women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer who were taking the drug Tamoxifen. Vitex, another herb in MENOsmart plus, helps to enhance progesterone levels and reduces male facial hair growth in menopausal women. If you using HRT (synthetic or bioidentical) and still get hot flashes and night sweats, take MENOsmart plus along with your HRT to ensure that you never have to suffer again.

 

Reverse Low thyroid, Stop Weight Gain and Constipation

Low thyroid affects 23% of Canadians. And another 30% have not been diagnosed due to problems with the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test. The common symptoms of low thyroid include: weight gain and stubborn weight loss, cold hands and feet, dry skin, hair loss, constipation, low mood, no sex drive and irritability. THYROsmart licensed by Health Canada to support low thyroid works quickly to bring your TSH back into the normal range, increase T4 and improve the conversion of T4 to the more potent T3. Low thyroid makes you feel like you are pushing yourself through the day. THYROsmart is safe and effective and works fast to optimize thyroid health.

 

Conquer Stress, Improve Sleep and Boost Energy

Chronic stress negatively affects the adrenal glands causing adrenal exhaustion. In women who are going through menopause the adrenals are the back-up hormone system making estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. Women who have good functioning adrenals have virtually no menopause symptoms. And if your adrenals are tired you just can’t handle stress, you develop belly fat weight gain, you fall asleep fine but wake up several hours later and can’t fall back to sleep and you need coffee to keep you going. The answer to adrenal exhaustion is ADRENAsmart. ADRENAsmart, is a powerful herbal formula that makes you feel calm and relaxed, aids insomnia and helps you deal with life’s stressors.

 

Buy any two Lorna products and get An A-Z Woman’s Guide to Vibrant Health FREE ($14.95 value) while quantities last.

Healthy Living – 5 Healthy Breakfast Ideas

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1. High Protein Smoothie

With the right ingredients, smoothies make a healthy and filling breakfast that are convenient to eat on the go. Give this smoothie recipe a try one morning for a delicious breakfast drink complete with  protein, healthy fat, and fibre.

2. Apple With Cottage Cheese and Walnuts

Combining a fresh, crisp apple with creamy, protein-rich cottage cheese makes an ideal sweet and savoury breakfast. Sprinkle on a tablespoon of walnuts for added fibre and the omega-3 fatty acid ALA.

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3. Steel Cut Oats With Berries

If you exercise in the morning, steel cut oats make a fantastic pre-workout fuel. Their low glycemic index, along with the healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein, provides a long-lasting source of energy. To boost the fibre content, sprinkle on *SlimStyles® PGX Granules.

4. Protein Pancakes

Swapping out high-flour pancakes for those made with lentils, additional egg whites, or Greek yogurt will rev-up the protein content, and help stave off hunger during a busy morning.

5. Avocado Egg White Wrap

Healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, and fibre; A satisfying breakfast that’s as simple as wrapping sliced avocado and a cooked egg white in a corn tortilla or low carb cabbage leaf.

*Drink additional water (8 FL. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®.

Healthy Living: THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has a long-established history as the go-to eating plan for people who want to get healthy and enjoy themselves in the process! Often called the world’s healthiest diet, the Mediterranean diet covers the basics in healthy eating, and then some. It’s based on the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean – but what does that really mean for your plate, and your health?

Here’s our crash course to the Mediterranean diet:

Veggie, Veggies, Veggies

Really, there’s not a list out there that veggies shouldn’t top. If you change nothing else in your diet, adding vegetables is a surefire way to get more nutrients – and feel better. Honestly, you can’t eat too many vegetables.

Try adding more vegetables into your diet by incorporating them into omelettes and soups, roasting them with dinner, chopping them into salads, and of course munching on them for snacks!

Get Oily

One of the central tenets of the Mediterranean diet is olive oil. It’s used for everything from cooking to dressing salads to dipping bread. A good source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, it’s the perfect swap for saturated fats such as butter. It’s not the only good fat you’ll find in the Mediterranean diet – anything with monounsaturated fats, including avocados and nuts, fits the bill.

Go Fish

Perhaps because of a lack of land for animals to graze on, fish make up a good portion of the protein in the Mediterranean diet. Fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, offer a wealth of nutrients, including heart-healthy omega-3s. You should try to aim to eat fish 2-3 times a week.

Other healthy lean proteins include chicken, turkey, beans, and nuts. This diet tends to be low in saturated fat, so eat red meat in moderation.

Feel Whole

Pair your fish and fresh veg with healthy whole grains that haven’t been refined (read: no white flour). Whole grains are full of fibre and other nutrients that get lost in the refining process, and are well known for their heart healthy benefits.

Go Nuts

We’ve mentioned nuts a couple times already, and for good reason. These little nutrient bombs are the ideal protein-packed snack. Of course, it’s easy to have too much of a good thing with nuts, so eat them in moderation.

Do Eat Dairy

Yes, dairy is ok! However, choose healthier options, like dairy from cultured milk, such as yogurt and kefir, and fresh curd cheeses, like ricotta. Steer well clear of “low fat” dairy products that promise fewer calories but sneak in extra sugar. Instead opt for plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit as a snack, or add a little lemon and dill for a tasty salad dressing.

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Dessert is definitely on the table in the Mediterranean diet – after all, this has nothing to do with willpower and deprivation and everything to do with embracing a healthy lifestyle. That means fruit and a bit of dark chocolate for dessert rather than processed treats. Drizzle pears with a bit of honey for a truly decadent treat.

Share Food – and Laughter

Healthy eating isn’t just about food, every aspect of the experience can have an impact on your well-being. In many of the cultures that traditionally eat a Mediterranean diet, meals are a family – or even community – affair. People come together to break bread, creating a rich experience that feeds body, mind, and spirit.

When you eat according to the Mediterranean diet, you’re building your meals around veggies, fish, whole grains, and loved ones. As a result, you’ll find yourself feeling better in no time. This diet is especially good for the heart, but the high nutrient density foods will benefit your whole body. So eat local, in season, and share meals with family and friends – and let us know how it goes!

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