Health

If you can’t exercise, there’s still hope for burning fat through healthy living

I often hear from clients and evolved members that they can’t exercise due to an injury or limited time. “So how can I still lose belly fat?” The good news is, you don’t have to have an intense exercise to burn fat. You just have to really dial in on the other environmental factors or what I like to call “pillars of health”.

The following pillars are the foundations to achieving robust good health, a great looking body, a strong immune system, boundless energy, complete mental clarity, increased productivity, happiness and self-confidence.

Fat Can Make You Skinny

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I was at a party this past 4th of July and a woman standing next to me pointed out a dessert she had made. With a twinkle in her eye she said "It's fat free and sugar free." I sarcastically thought to myself, yum  and then I realized - some people still don't know. Fat still has a stigma attached to it which evident when shopping for full-fat yogurt. Good luck finding a yogurt that isn’t low-fat or fat-free. This is a shame because full-fat yogurt tastes better and is actually better for you.

Much of this is driven by the major food companies’ vested interest in fat-free options. They don’t want you to know the truth.

Here’s the truth – ever since the low fat craze in the 80s, Americans have gotten fatter and unhealthier.

As it turns out, fat does not make you fat but actually improves body composition, especially when eating a whole food diet.

In fact, our bodies need healthy fat. Completely avoiding it can be detrimental to our health. Fat is very nutrient-dense, it’s the building block of our cells and hormones, and it allows our bodies to absorb more antioxidants and other nutrients from our food. Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D and E need to be eaten with fat in order for your body to synthesize it properly. This is why many multivitamins recommend taking it with a meal.

That means every time you eat a salad with fat-free dressing, you’re not taking full advantage of all the nutrients in the salad! Same goes for green smoothies – if you load it full of fruit and spinach but avoid fat, you’re missing out.

If you juice or supplement with a greens food powder like ēRaw, I recommend you add a healthy fat with it. If you’re blending it, add some avocado. If you’re making it in a shaker, add coconut milk, coconut oil or MCT oil like IGNITE. I’m surprised by how many people just use water and miss out on the opportunity to get all the vital nutrients that need fat for absorption.

Fat also allows for food to digest slower so you stay full longer and it reduces insulin spikes, which can cause health issues over time. If you’re drinking a smoothie, and you’re hungry an hour later, it might be that you’re missing some fat or protein. Plus, fat makes everything taste way better!

Broccoli with butter or broccoli without butter? Hmmmm.

Here are several healthy fats you want to include in your diet. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of healthy medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs: - are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. This is especially important for those with digestive or metabolic concerns. - strengthen and support our immune system - are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat. - in coconut oil can actually help stimulate your body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss.

Avocados, which are actually classified as a fruit, are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. They also provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients. Previous research has found that avocados can help optimize cholesterol levels within as little as one week; contains compounds that appear to inhibit and destroy oral cancer cells, and those that protect against liver damage. They’re also very low in fructose and have anti-inflammatory properties. Avocados are one of the safest fruits you can buy conventionally-grown, and most experts do not believe you need to purchase organic ones.

Butter and Ghee I’m referring to real butter, not margarine and low-fat, low-cholesterol “spreads” since these often contain the unhealthy trans fats that should be avoided.

Butter contains omega-3’s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), beta-carotene Vitamin A, K, D, and E and even antioxidants. CLA stimulates thermogenesis, or the burning of calories by raising body temperature. This is one of the reasons why healthy fats don’t make you fat, and instead may help you burn fat. Butter also contains an anti-inflammatory fatty acid called butyrate. It's a great option for cooking because it's stable enough to resist heat-induced damage.

Butter has even made a recent appearance on the cover of Time magazine where it announced “Eat Butter”.

I recommend butter from grass-fed cows like KerryGold which is higher in the nutrients mentioned above.

Even if you’re intolerant to dairy, you may do well with butter since most of the proteins found in milk that often cause problems have been removed. If butter doesn’t work well with you, try ghee which is clarified butter, with all of the proteins completely removed.

Now, this doesn't mean you can eat all the fat-laden junk food you can imagine. What it does mean is that you don't have to be afraid of enjoying healthy fat. In fact, if you can find some full-fat yogurt, go for it! Just be sure to eat more fruits, vegetables, and properly-raised meats as well.

Fats to Avoid Avoid all types of fat that contain industrial and polyunsaturated oils. This includes soybean and other seed oils like corn, canola, sunflower, safflower, and grapeseed oil along with shortening, margarine, low-fat, low-cholesterol “spreads” or anything with “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients list.

What are your thoughts on fat? I'd love to hear from you.

10 Simple Habits that Burn Fat


I believe success begins with good habits. I never used to floss my teeth. It just seemed like such a pain and waste of time. Then I thought about how simple it was with such a big return (things like prevention of cavities and heart disease), so I decided to start. At first it was difficult, but after a few weeks of consistently doing it, it’s automatic. In fact, I can’t go a night without doing it. That’s how powerful a habit can be.

Here are 10 simple but powerful habits to help burn fat.

1. After your feet touch the floor in the morning, say your “WHY” – I know what you’re thinking “How is talking to myself going to help me burn fat?” Hear me out on this one.

Why do you want to improve or? Lose weight? You need a very strong motivation – wanting to have better health so you don’t suffer or set a good example for your kids. If looking good is not a motivator, feeling strong or empowered may be.

The fact is, if you don’t have a strong “why”, you’re much more likely to fail. By repeating your “why” first thing in the morning, you program your mindset for that day. So when something gets difficult (i.e. you get a sugar craving or consider skipping a workout), you fall back on your “why”. It motivates you to do what you need to do to burn fat.
2. Eat a high-protein breakfast (20-30g or at least 40% of your breakfast calories) – Consider this your battery’s jump-starter. Protein not only boosts your metabolism, it keeps you full longer, and decreases carb impulses. Starting with carbs in the morning can increase hormones that lead to fat gain. Protein also contains amino acids that build lean muscle, and muscle burns fat. So eat some eggs (with yolks), drink up a protein shake, or both in the morning.
3. Skip breakfast once in a while – It’s called intermittent fasting (IF). IF has a hormonal response that causes your body to release more growth hormone, which helps to preserve lean tissue and increases utilization of stored body fat. In addition to fat loss, IF’s potential benefits include improved cholesterol numbers and insulin sensitivity; promotion of cellular, increased lifespan (in animal studies), better athletic performance, and better appetite control.

There are many variations to this but the most common is a compressed feeding window, often eating all your meals somewhere between four and eight hours. The timing of this window varies depending on the individual’s schedule and preferences. After the IF period, listen to your body – you don’t have to make up for “lost calories” but don’t be afraid of getting the same amount of calories that you would normally get. This isn’t so much about total calories as it is about the episodic deprivation.

Once you become fat adapted (burning fat as fuel rather than sugar - learn more here), this becomes much easier than you would think. Try it once a week for a month and see if it works for you. I typically do this twice a week, eating from 11AM-7PM (16/8).

Note: Before attempting IF, make sure you’re getting good and sufficient sleep, minimizing or mitigating stress, and exercising well, as IF can be an additional stressor on the body.
4. Workout on an empty stomach – When you wake after sleeping for 8 hours, your body has most likely burned through its stored carbs and coverts to burning fat. When you work out first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything (except water, plain tea or coffee), your body taps into your stored fat for fuel.

CAUTION: You may not be able to immediately start working out on an empty. If you feel sick or don’t have the energy, try drinking a light protein smoothie before working out and eventually eliminate that. I like drinking evolved coffee before working out if I feel I need something in my stomach.
5. Remove all unhealthy (processed) food from your home and work – If it’s not there, you can’t eat it, especially when bored or stressed. This works. Since you probably spend a majority of the time at these two places, 80% of the temptation is eliminated. If you stick to this habit, treat yourself once and a while when you’re out.

The key is not to starve yourself but to replace processed food with healthy options. Having healthy snacks on hand and always available will allow you to avoid temptation.
6. Drink water and tea throughout the day – Water keeps you satiated and hydrated which reduces the possibility of binging or unnecessary eating. Water also ensures optimal liver function for fat loss. I like to use a water infuser like this one to keep my water flavored and boost its antioxidant content.
7. Get your cortisol under control (sleep and stress) – Cortisol is the stress hormone. If you’re consistently getting poor sleep or not managing your stress properly, cortisol can increase. This causes your body to store fat. Acquiring good sleeping habits and stress management techniques can put fat-burning on autopilot.
8. Try to get in at least 10,000 steps in every day – You don’t have to work-out intensely every day - just the act of moving often throughout the day can change your body composition. Pick up a FitBit or some other activity tracker and try for 10,000 steps each day. This is my secret weapon for fat loss and it’s really simple. Set reminders to stand up and walk if needed.
9. Read all ingredient labels - Familiarize yourself with everything that you put into your body. When you become cognizant of what you put into your body, you’ll be less likely to eat what makes you fat. Avoid labels that have ingredients with forms of added sweeteners, real or artificial (honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, sugar).

Also avoid forms of processed grains or gluten like bran, germ, malt, starch, modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), texturized vegetable protein (TVP), binders, fillers, natural flavoring. Avoid unhealthy oils like soybean and other seed oils like corn, canola, sunflower, safflower, and grapeseed oil along with margarine or low-fat, low-cholesterol “spreads.”
10. Mindfully eat – Mindfully eating involves chewing slowly (30-45 chews) and being intentional by putting your fork down after each bite. Taste all the flavors of your food – experience its feel, its weight, its appearance, its dimensions, its texture and taste, and don’t drink while chewing. Also, be mindful of the amount of carbohydrates and processed food you eat. You may be surprised. Being mindful can help you reduce the amount you eat (and probably need). You will become more conscious of WHAT you eat as well.

Commit to making small, incremental improvements - rather than pressuring yourself into thinking that you have to do it all at once. If you're interested in incorporating more fat-burning habits into your life, click here.

What habits would you want to incorporate into your daily routine? Are you interested in learning more about using habits to burn fat and live a healthier life?

Let me introduce myself


One of my fellow bloggers and a close friend suggested a write a post to help you all get to know me a little better. I think you will find some value in my story.

Here’s a before and after picture of me. The first picture is in my mid-20’s. I was following conventional wisdom; a low fat diet, worked out an hour a day doing lots of curls and lots of cardio (man did I hate running on the treadmill!). My 20’s… I should have been in the best shape of my life!

The 2nd picture is me now, at age 34. I am in the best shape of my life and I feel like I can only get better. I don’t have the energy crashes I used to and my mood and overall outlook on life is the best it has ever been.

How did I get here? I went against conventional wisdom through diet, exercise, and supplementation. I now only work out 2-3 days a week for about 20-30 minutes (here is a great program to get started on). I move a lot throughout each day, I eat pretty much what I want, which happens to be a lot of whole foods, typically sticking with a higher fat, lower-carb Paleo-style diet. Now that I’ve gotten to this point, there’s minimal effort required for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I have a lot going on these days and by embracing this “unconventional” lifestyle I have been able to make it work for me and my family. I’m a super busy dad, balancing a full-time job at a Fortune 500 company, running my own supplement company, writing 3 blogs, raising 2 toddlers, and I can't forget my full-time wife. With a 2 hour commute every day to work and everything else going on, it would have been easy for me to come up with excuses. And to be honest, if I had to put the same effort into it as I did back then with almost no results, the excuses would have turned into reality.

This self-discovery took a lot of time, research, and trial and error. I spent a lot of time focusing on diet, exercise, and supplementation individually and various combinations of 2 at the same time. It wasn’t until I honed in to all 3 that I was able to see results quick and easy with little effort when compared to what I was doing in my 20’s.

I take daily supplements but you don’t have to in order to live a healthy life (you won't hear that from most supplement companies). You can achieve health through the food you eat. Supplementation is only meant to compliment your diet in areas you may be lacking (although a multivitamin might be considered a must). I believe supplements can help you achieve results faster and help you get that extra edge. I feel it certainly has for me.

If you decide to supplement, know that not all supplements are created equal. That Centrum you take every day may be doing your body more harm than good (check out this post). Quality is everything yet it is one of the most neglected areas. Always know what you are putting in your body, whether it be food or supplements.

I’ve done the work and I am sharing my wisdom. I have helped many people reach the same success I have and I look forward to continue helping others. This is my passion. This is my life. And it brings me great joy seeing others succeed as I have.

I’m not trying to sell you anything except great health (although we do sell some of the best supplements on the planet if you’re interested ☺.)

Check out my personal blog if want to find out more about creating opportunity and staying young & healthy. Join Here.

Stay Healthy, Troy

Prebiotics – Possibly More Important than Probiotics

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Probiotics (beneficial gut bacteria) are the hottest term in the supplement industry right now. Rightfully so – they control many aspects of health as I discussed in a previous post. But there’s a lot more to the story then just popping a few capsules of probiotics. Probiotics have to be “fed” in order to survive. That’s where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and maintenance of our beneficial gut flora.

Properly feeding the good bacteria may prevent bad bacterial overgrowth, resulting in improved health. Recent research by academic and industry experts suggests that supplementing with or consuming prebiotic-rich food may be more important than taking probiotics.
There are 2 known forms of prebiotics: soluble fiber and resistant starch.

Soluble Fiber Soluble fiber is indigestible by humans but serves as a great form of prebiotics.

Some forms of soluble fiber are inulin and oligofructose, along with fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galactooligosaccharides (GOS), other oligosaccharides and pectin. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of soluble fiber as well.

Here are some examples with the amount of food required to obtain 6 g prebiotic fiber (the minimum effective dose): •Chicory root – 41.6 g/22.9 g •Jerusalem artichoke – 18 g/13.5 g •Dandelion greens – 13.5 g/10.8 g •Garlic – 12.5 g/5 g •Leek – 6.5 g/5.2 g •Asparagus – 2.5 g/2.5 g •Banana – 0.5 g/0.5 g

Resistant Starch Emerging evidence has revealed that resistant starch may be a great way to get prebiotics into our diet. Starchy vegetables and fruits (such as bananas) are good sources. Surprisingly, white potatoes and white rice that have been cooked and cooled, are also high in RS. You can try incorporating hard-boiled or converted rice like Uncle Ben’s original which tends to be higher in RS then other forms of rice.

Potato starch is another inexpensive and easy to use option. One tablespoon contains about 8 grams of RS. It’s mixes easily and doesn’t have much of a taste. Start with 1 tablespoons of potato starch in yogurt or a smoothie and increase up to 4 tablespoons a day. You may experience some gas in the beginning but this will subside as your gut biome becomes healthier. We recommend this brand of potato starch.

Benefits may be seen from as little as 6-12 grams/day of RS, but closer to 20 grams/day might be ideal. Potential effects of increasing RS include reduction in appetite, weight loss, lowered fasted blood glucose, and even lucid dreams!

If you decide to supplement with probiotics, ensure it has some type of prebiotic as well. When we developed eWhey, we included several forms of prebiotics to further enhance its healthfulness.

Feed your healthy gut bacteria for a month and see if you notice a difference.

ēWhey Organic Protein Can Boost Your Immune System

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Whey protein naturally contains immune boosting components. These components are usually destroyed in the process of making the whey. evolved Natural Solutions uses a proprietary cold-processing method for making ēWhey Organic Protein which preserves the maximum amount of immune components. Here are the different protein fractions and immuno components found in ēWhey.

Lactoferrin A multi-functional protein to which several physiological roles have been attributed. These include: • Defense against microbial infections • Regulation of iron transfer and metabolism • Anti-inflammatory activity • Regulation of cellular growth • Protection against cancer development and metastasis

  Glycomacropeptides (GMP) A casein derived peptide found in whey protein. GMP is a by-product of cheese manufacturing. Its beneficial biological roles include: • Stimulation of cholecystokin (CKK), a peptide hormone that regulates satiety, food intake and energy. The stimulation of CKK has been linked to early satiety from meals, reduced food intake and weight loss. • Inhibition of platelet aggregation, a cardiovascular protective property • Support of beneficial gut bacteria (bifido bacterium) • GMP rich whey is also a good source of branch chain amino acids (BCAA), which have shown to help promote muscle buildup and prevent muscle wasting

  Alpha Lactalbumin The most abundant fraction in human Whey, alpha lactalbumin plays a key biological role in the production of the sugar lactose, essential for growth and brain development of the newborn. Alpha lactalbumin is believed to possess antibacterial and anti-cancerous activities. A folding variant of alpha lactalbumin has shown to kill tumor and immature cells but spare mature healthy cells.

Alpha lactalbumin is generally low in bovine whey products but appears in higher concentrations in grass fed cows' whey.

Beta Lactoglobulin The most abundant protein in bovine whey, it is not an inherent part of human whey. Beta lactoglobulin's main biological function is being a carrier of retinol (a pro-vitamin A) and a nutrient source for the amino acid cysteine.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) The most abundant immunoglobulin in the body, with a distinct biological role of providing protection against pathogens. IgG can bind to bacteria, viruses and fungi and protect the body (fetus and adult) against them by agglutination, immobilization and neutralization of their toxins.

IgG also plays an important role in the antibody response system. There are 4 IgG subclasses (IgG 1, 2, 3, 4), IgG1 being the most abundant. Each of the 4 IgGs has its unique biological role in the immune/antibody response to pathogens.

Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) An important precursor for the body's most powerful antioxidant glutathione, a peptide with immuno-enhancing, anti-cancerous activity.

Glutathione – The Master Antioxidant

Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants in your body. It is present in every one of your cells. It’s different from other antioxidants in that it is actually inside your cells. It can maximize the activity of all the other antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, CoQ10, and alpha lipoic acid. Glutathione also helps detoxify the body by binding to harmful heavy metals.*

Quality whey like ēWhey, provides all the key amino acids for glutathione production (cysteine, glycine and glutamate) and contains a unique cysteine residue (glutamylcysteine) that is highly bioactive in its affinity for converting to glutathione.

Glutamylcysteine is a bonded cysteine molecule (cysteine plus glutamate) that naturally occurs in Bovine Serum Albumin – a fragile immune component of whey. This unique cysteine is exclusive to whey and rarely appears in other protein foods – which makes whey protein the best glutathione-promoting food source.*

Whey provides critical co-factors, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin and alpha Lactalbumin, which together help create the right metabolic environment for high glutathione activity.*

Why Use A Protein Supplement?

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Protein is the building block of life making it a vital component for an overall healthy lifestyle. All meals (including snacks) should include all three macro-nutrients (unprocessed carbohydrates, healthy fats and quality protein); yet most American diets are high in carbohydrates and low in quality protein. Without high-quality protein, you cannot create healthy heart and muscle tissue, hormones, enzymes, and many other vital body structures. Protein supports bone health, muscle recovery, and lean tissue growth. Current data suggests that protein needs are higher not only for active individuals, but also for: • Children and teens who are still growing • Dieters • Vegetarians • The elderly

Protein is especially important for healthy aging. Protein requirements for the elderly may be higher than that suggest for a young adult. This higher requirement may derive from a lower efficiency of protein utilization in advanced age, despite the associated decrease in muscle mass. Failure to meet these increased protein needs may negatively affect an individual’s immune-competence and recovery from medical complications. Additionally, the lack of adequate protein intake as we age, can actually encourage overall muscle deterioration and the loss of bone density, especially in the hip and spine areas.

As you age, your body gradually loses its ability to produce critical amino acids, the essential proteins you need for energy production, immune actions and protein buildup in the muscle. Therefore, the need to supplement with these amino acids increases as you get older and increases even more in times of high physical stress, like after a workout, or when recovering from injury or illness.

A protein supplement isn’t just for athletic men; many women do not ingest adequate amounts of protein. The common misconception that taking a protein supplement like ēWhey will bulk up a woman is completely false. Women lack the hormones that men have that allow them to get those large bulky muscles. A woman usually gets an overall toned appearance, and will likely lose belly fat in the process.

The Importance of Combinding Vitamin D and Vitamin K

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Recent evidence suggests Vitamin K is an important adjunct to vitamin D, and if you are deficient in one, neither works optimally in your body. Vitamin K2 protects against Vitamin D toxicity, and vice versa. Without the help of vitamin K2, the calcium that your vitamin D so effectively lets in might be working AGAINST you - by building up your coronary arteries rather than your bones. Vitamin K A growing body of literature supports the concept that increased intake of vitamin K both from food as well as supplements can have a beneficial impact on bone health. While the term “vitamin K” may imply a single molecule, vitamin K is actually a group of similar molecular forms including K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone). Liquid D and K has been specially formulated to include the most important molecular forms of vitamin K for optimal health.

Vitamin K1 is the most abundant form of vitamin K in the diet and is most often found in green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and broccoli. Often this source of vitamin K is difficult to obtain in sufficient amounts from the diet, as the molecule can be bound tightly to the chloroplast membrane in the plant. Vitamin K1 is well regarded for the important roles it plays in the body’s normal blood clotting mechanisms Vitamin K2 is not commonly found in the diet; as only a few products including meats and certain fermented foods provide this relatively rare form of the vitamin. Vitamin K2 is actually comprised of a group of several different molecules, abbreviated as MK-n, where n represents a number. MK-4, found in some animal meats and liver, and MK-7, found in fermented cheeses and soy products (Natto) are two of the most studied forms of vitamin K2. Supplementation with this vitamin is important as most people do not receive enough vitamin K2 from diet alone.

Human studies show that vitamin K plays important roles in bone health. Vitamin K has been shown to decrease calcium excretion and is involved in gamma-carboxylation of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is important for healthy bone formation, as it facilitates the binding of calcium to hydroxyapatite (bone matrix).

Additional studies also indicate that vitamin K2 may play important roles in supporting cardiovascular health and normal arterial elasticity. While Vitamin K1 has shown to be useful in some studies, vitamin K2 is thought to have additional, beneficial effects, as the body has a natural preference to accumulate this vitamin in tissues such as bone. MK-7, a natural form of vitamin K2, in particular has shown to have rapid bioavailability in the body and the low dosages required (45 mcg) can be effective for supporting bone health.

evolvedNS uses a natural vanilla-flavored liquid delivery system for Liquid D&K; this makes the vitamins much more bioavailable, sending the nutrients strait into your body. When Vitamin D is in pill form, almost none of the vitamin is absorbed into the body. Both Vitamin D and Vitamin K are fat-soluble vitamins which means they require fat to assimilate in the body. Liquid D and K’s delivery system includes medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and sunflower oil, two fats that further increases absorption.

The #1 Fat-Burning Meal (Eat This 2X a Day)

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There are very simple AND easy hacks that will help you lose fat, remove all of the guess work and also allows for daily "treats" that you'll love.
Hack #1: Harness the power of intermittent fasting. This is where you send your fat-burning hormones into overdrive by eating your meals within 6-8 hour window. I'll have an entire post on this in the near future.

Hack #2: Enjoy two, super-quick, 60-second fat-burning "milkshake" meals during the day (I'll show you how you can get our Unlimited Whole Food Smoothies & Milkshakes Matrix 100% FREE in just a minute).

Hack #3: Eat a balanced dinner of healthy fat, high-quality protein and unprocessed carbohydrates in the early evening.
MEAL ONE: Skip breakfast (what?!) and then eat your first meal at 11AM. Your first 60-second meal will consist of a fat-burning, all-natural, high-protein eWhey "milkshake." I change up the flavor almost daily, but here's my favorite recipe:

Sweet & Green Ingredients: 1 scoop of all-natural eWhey Organic Protein - Vanilla Bean ½ cup unsweetened almond milk ½ cup frozen berries 1 scoop of eRaw Organic Greens 1 cup kale or spinach 3oz coconut milk raw honey or stevia (to taste) ice cubes

Notes: Put all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!
MEAL TWO: Three hours later at around 1PM have your second 60-second fat-burning, all-natural, high-protein "milkshake" meal. Here's the recipe I used today: Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshake (YUM!) Ingredients: 1 scoop of all-natural eWhey Organic Protein - Vanilla Bean 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 1 cup frozen strawberries ½ TSP cinnamon Stevia (to taste) Ice Cubes

Notes: Put all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

MEAL THREE: Three hours later at around 5PM, I have a healthy dinner which consists of: 1. A portion of high-quality protein (like grass-fed beef or wild Alaskan salmon) 2. A half cup of a unprocessed carbs like half a sweet potato or quinoa 3. A serving of healthy fat (like ½ avocado or 2 Tbsps. grass-fed butter) 4. Unlimited fibrous veggies like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, greens or a dinner salad. (Use olive oil and seasonings to flavor.)
I also drink water and tea throughout the day… and I enjoy a cup of fresh-ground coffee most mornings. Then, one day a week, I take a day "off " and eat regular meals all day.
To keep things interesting, I constantly switch up my eWhey milkshake recipes and as mentioned, I'm going to give you the opportunity to get the same recipe matrix I use called Unlimited Whole Food Smoothies & Milkshakes Matrixfor FREE! Just order a 4-pack of eWhey which is currently on sale for $100!

The Secret to Taking Probiotics


What are Probiotics Probiotics are the good bacteria found in your gut. Interestingly, there are 10 times more bacteria in and on our body than human cells. This means that your body is made up of around ten trillion cells, but you harbour a hundred trillion bacteria. We’re 90% bacteria – CRAZY, huh!

This ecosystem of bacteria is known as the microbiome. It has become the next trend in the health industry, and rightfully so since it has been linked to a variety of medical conditions, including allergies, immune diseases, obesity, inflammation and even mental health.

Probiotic Supplementation In order to stay healthy, you want to prevent dysbiosis (having more bad bacteria than good bacteria). So if you’re not consuming food rich in probiotics like sauerkraut and kimchi, it’s important to supplement.

One of the most important things when taking a good-quality probiotic is ensuring it survives the digestive system. The more probiotics that survive, the better.

When you take a probiotic supplement can determine its effectiveness.

Probiotic Timing – When Is the Best Time to Take a Supplement There isn’t a whole lot of research on when the best time of the day is to take a probiotic supplement but the research that is out indicates that either 30 minutes before a meal or with a meal that contains fat is best.

Another indication as to when to take probiotic supplements is to consider how you would get probiotics normally (without supplementing). It would always be with food since probiotics are found in certain foods naturally.

Most probiotics can be destroyed by stomach acid and bile. If you take a probiotic on an empty stomach, the biggest concern would be the lack of anything to buffer the probiotics from the stomach’s hostile environment. Taking a probiotic supplements with food will help buffer the probiotics, enhancing their survivability.

In order for the probiotics to survive, they require their own “food” called prebiotics. Prebiotics are found in food that contains fiber. A starch like a sweet potato would be a great food to eat with probiotics. Other great prebiotic foods include raw garlic, onions and bananas. A variety of fresh vegetables, leafy greens like kale, chard, and spinach, as well as broccoli, cauliflower, and any other vegetable that contains soluble fiber, will also get you plenty of soluble, prebiotic fiber.

This is exactly why we designed eWhey Organic Protein to contain both pre- and probiotics. You get the symbiosis of both in one delicious shake.

Do you take a daily probiotic or do you eat fermented food that contains probiotics? Which foods?

How to Maximize the Benefits from Your Supplements


It’s important to understand that there are many types of nutrients that our bodies need to thrive. But they shouldn’t all be taken at once. Some work synergistically while others may prevent the absorption of another nutrient. Some require fat for maximum absorption, some need to be taken on an empty stomach and some should be taken at certain times of the day.

Recent data from Nutrition Expert from Healthspan, compiled from a number of studies sheds new light on the combinations to avoid, and gives valuable information about tablets to take with food and the capsules to squeeze in before breakfast.

To get the most out of your supplements, follow some of these recommendations. Not only will this prevent you from having expensive urine, it will also help increase the healthful benefits from the supplements.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that supplements should only be taken if you can’t get the need nutrients from a whole food source. Take our Core Health Assessment to determine your nutritional gaps and also consider your specific goals.

What Vitamins and Supplements Do I Personally Take? I’m often asked what supplements I personally use. So here is my daily protocol: Morning on empty stomach before working out: - evolved coffee (1 scp eWhey Organic Protein, 1 Tbsp IGNITE MCT Oil) - Klean Cognitive (2 capsules)
Post-Workout: - eWhey (1 scoop)
With Breakfast: - eOxident 2: Broad-Spectrum Blend (2 capsules) - Liquid D&K (1 drop – if I haven’t been getting sun) - eOmega (3 capsules – if I haven’t been eating grass-fed beef or high omega-3 fish)
Mid-Morning or Afternoon, if I need a “pick-me-up”, I’m traveling, or I have been around sick people: - eRaw (1 scoop) - IGNITE MCT Oil (1 Tbsp)
With Lunch: -eMulti (1 tablet)
With Dinner: -eMulti (1 tablet)
Check out the infographic below for specific details as to when you should take different supplements and some general rules of thumb.
What are your thoughts? What supplements do you take? Do you have questions about my daily supplement protocol? Do you think supplements are a waste of time? Leave your questions, comments and feedback below the infographic!

Take the Core Health Assessment for Optimal Human Performance


"Health is the ability to live your dreams." - Moshe Feldenkrais, Creator of the Feldenkrais Method
The Core Health Assessment is a comprehensive questionnaire based on the latest nutritional and health recommendations. It takes into account your current diet, level of activity and quality of life, focusing on the five most influential factors of healthy living and will identify your core health gaps so you can get faster and superior health and fitness results.
The Core Health Assessment covers the following five foundational factors: • Nutrition • Exercise • Optimal Sunlight (Vitamin D) • Stress • Sleep
Based on the responses provided, an analysis will be made to determine where you fall short in the five factors.
Lifestyle, nutritional, and supplement recommendations will be made to help you optimize your health. For any nutritional gaps identified, we always recommend you opt for the whole food route first. If you can’t, then we recommend going for the supplement.
Armed with the assessment results, you’ll be able to focus on your weak points and continue to strengthening your strong points.
Take the Core Health Assessment now for FREE!
QUESTION: How do you define health?

Boost Your Brainpower and Burn Fat

eWhey evolved coffee
eWhey evolved coffee

A Proven Path to a High-Energy, Fat-Burning Morning

On the days I workout, this is my ultimate protein shake for burning fat and gaining muscle. This recipe is a deliciously creamy iced coffee drink that makes me feel awesome! I get complete mental focus, better performance and it sets me up for the rest of the day.

Getting your nutrition right will seriously optimize your body and mind in the morning!

4 goals for a seriously evolved morning 1. Create and sustain peak physical and mental energy for the day 2. Stay in fat burning mode all day 3. Feel satisfied with absolutely no cravings 4. Preserve or gain muscle

You can meet all 4 goals by occasionally adding exactly the right protein to your cup of coffee.

If you need a pick-me-up or don’t like to work out on an empty stomach, this recipe is perfect. Drinking this first thing in the morning revs up your metabolism and prevents you from overeating later in the day. It will keep you fuller longer and help promote fat loss.

When I wake up, I drink 16 oz. of room temperature water and take Klean Cognitive. I then drink something I call evolved Coffee before working out.

evolved CoffeeIngredients • 1 scoop ēWhey (I prefer dark chocolate for this) • 2oz coconut milk or organic heavy whipping cream • 11oz fresh-ground brewed coffee (Here are tips for making the healthiest cup of coffee) • 1/2 tsp fresh-ground cinnamon • 1 Tbsp eliteNQ IGNITE MCT Oil • Ice

Directions Fill a glass shaker full of ice. Pour the coffee over the ice. It should come to the 12oz mark. Pour in the coconut milk, cinnamon, IGNITE and then the scoop of ēWhey. Shake!

Be sure to ice the coffee BEFORE adding the ēWhey. Heat can destroy ēWhey’s probiotics and immune components.

Here’s why this is such a kick-ass shake -

ēWhey Low-Carb Organic Protein For a great workout, especially first thing the morning, it’s ideal to eat foods that increase dopamine and acetylcholine – two neurotransmitters that boost drive and focus. High-protein foods like ēWhey will supply the amino acid building blocks from which these stimulating neurotransmitters are synthesized. ēWhey will also “feed” muscles during a workout because it digests quickly, preventing the body from burning muscle. Plus, it makes the drink taste delicious!

A study in the journal Physiology and Behavior compared the effect of a breakfast with either a balanced (1 to 1) ratio, a high-protein (1 to 4) ratio, or a high-carb (4 to 1) ratio on cognitive performance and blood sugar maintenance for 3 hours after eating. Results showed that the high-protein meal produced much better cognitive performance compared to the other two meals, and the low-glycemic nature of the meal allowed for a longer, better sustained attention span in participants.

Coffee Coffee has antioxidant properties, contains detox elements on the liver, is ergogenic, lowers blood-sugar levels, lowers risk of certain cancers and diseases, stabilizes certain symptoms of metabolic syndrome and has benefits to the cardiovascular system. Coffee is a good source of arabinogalactan proteins, which some types of good gut bacteria (such as the probiotcs in eWhey) use as a nutrient source. In some studies, coffee has been associated with lower incidences of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Research has even shown that coffee consumption — both regular and decaf — is associated with lower risk of death.

Coffee can be a great part of a pre-workout drink because, when consumed in moderation, can provide similar hydrating qualities to water.

Then there's the caffeine found in coffee. Caffeine can elevate fat-burning during workouts by as much as 15 percent and helps liberate stored fat. This helps your body burn the stored fat in your love handles.

Caffeine’s scientifically proven benefits include the ability to extend endurance, boost strength and performance, sharpen focus and bolster memory retention. It may even allow you to train early in the morning with the same intensity as you would later in the day when the body’s neuromuscular system is fully activated. Caffeine is lipolytic, meaning it binds to fat cells, encouraging them to release more stored fat for energy. Caffeine can also help you with your perceived exertion, allowing you to feel less suffering while training.

Coconut Milk or Heavy Whipping Cream This provides healthy fat, which helps deliver the caffeine and intensify the stimulant effect, reducing the amount of coffee needed. Coconut milk contains Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which the brain uses as fuel. MCTs also aid in muscle-building and recovery. Cinnamon Not only will cinnamon boost the flavor, but it will also help keep your blood sugar at a healthier level, which prevents dips in your energy and spikes in your hunger level. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cinnamon was found to slow the rate of stomach emptying after meals and reduce the rise in blood sugar after meals to negate more binging later. There is ample evidence that it can be used to reduce the glycemic index of a meal up to 29%, reducing a blood sugar spike.

Research has also demonstrated it may lower total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It even contains antioxidants and seems to improve fat metabolism.

Ice Ice drops core body temperature thus increasing metabolism.

NOTE: If you are under a great deal of stress, aren’t sleeping well, have adrenal, gut or other major health issues that may be impacted by caffeine, then you should avoid using coffee or any type of stimulant.

ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENT TIP: Take fish oil with breakfast. It will improve energy use and insulin sensitivity. It can also help make muscle gains improving gene activity.

QUESTION: What do you like to eat or drink in the morning?

6 Reasons to Switch to Grass-Fed Beef


Grass-fed beef has become more widely available but it is a little more expensive if you buy in small quantities. Here’s why it’s worth spending the extra money.
1. Lower in total fat – Because the cows graze/move rather than sit in a confined feedlot, they tend to be leaner.
2. Higher in Omega-3 - The fat they do have is higher in the healthy anti-inflammatory omega-3s and lower in the pro-inflammatory omega-6s. (1)
3. Higher in CLA - CLA is a healthy fat that research suggests may be protective against heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. (2) CLA has also been shown to reduce body fat (3)
4. Higher in vitamins and antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium. (4)
5. More humane – Grass-fed cows eat on a diet that they are meant to eat, aren’t confined to a small space, and live a much healthier, happier life.
6. More environmentally friendly - Think about all the processing and fuel required to grow and transport grain that is fed to grain-fed cows. By allowing cows to feed on grass, they have a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

There are a few ways to keep the costs low for grass-fed beef. We buy from a local CSA but you can also do a cow share where you go in on a cow with some friends or family.

What has prevented you from buying grass-fed beef or do you already buy it?

Sign up to the evolved LIFE blog. We'll be sending out a great grass-fed taco salad recipe!

7 Tips for Making the Healthiest Cup of Tea


7 Tips for Making the Healthiest Cup of Tea I’ve enjoyed drinking tea for a while now. My favorite is white tea. The process alone of making tea can be a stress-releasing time, almost meditative. Wow, I really sound like a hippie describing tea! ☺ In fact, tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes mental acuity. Combining L-theanine with caffeine can create a sense of "mindful awareness.”
After my post on making the healthiest cup of coffee, I received several requests from tea drinkers on ways to optimize the healthy benefits of tea. Here are my recommendations:
1. Avoid Bagged Tea - Some tea bags are made with certain plastic. These bags may leach compounds of unknown health hazards into your tea when steeped in boiling water. If you do use tea bags, avoid bleached bags which can also leach into your tea.
2. Purchase Loose-Leaf Tea – Tea in bags are typically leftover “dust” of loose tea. It’s more likely to be oxidized and contain far less nutrients. Loose tea can be steeped multiple times, sometime up to 20 re-steeps.
3. Pay Attention to Water Temperature and Steeping Time – There's no real perfect temperature or steep time but there are suggestions. Experiment often to discover the "sweet spot" with your teas. If your tea is bitter, reduce the steeping temperature. If your tea is too weak, increase the amount of tea leaves used or increase the steeping time. Use this infographic as a guide:
4. Use Good Quality Filtered Water – Using water containing chlorine or other chemicals are not only bad for your health but can impact the taste of the tea. I prefer using a Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter for my water. You can taste the pureness.
5. Add Fresh Ginger or Mint – Allowing these herbs to steep with the tea will not only infuse there unique flavors to the tea but they’re also a great source of antioxidants. Ginger is especially good for digestion and it works as an anti-inflammatory agent blocking prostagladins – the chemical messengers that cause a slight swelling in the brain.
6. Store Your Tea Properly - Store your tea away from light and hot air and in an air tight container or bag to reduce the possibility of oxidation. Additionally, keep the tea away from any strong scents.
7. Try To Drink One of the Following Teas -

*Tulsi Tea, which is a powerful adaptogenic herb that provides important therapeutic benefits, including the reduction of negative impacts from stress.

*Matcha Green Tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea, 10 times higher in antioxidants than traditional green tea. In addition to providing trace minerals and vitamins, matcha is a potent source of unique catechin polyphenols, compounds with high antioxidant activity. Studies have shown that green tea polyphenol compounds may inhibit cancer, help prevent cardiovascular disease, help boost immunity, and slow the aging process.

*White Tea is less processed than other forms of tea, therefore the polyphenols are extra potent. The antioxidants in white tea prevent new fat cells from forming and fights signs of aging, like wrinkles. Research indicates that these benefits may protect against colon cancer, among other cancers.
If you’re not taking advantage of the antioxidants found in tea, I recommend using a supplement like eOxidant Botanical Extracts.
QUESTION: What's your favorite type of tea?
I’d love to hear from you! Share your questions, thoughts and stories.

Top 9 Health & Fitness Apps


Here are my top apps that cover the entire spectrum of health and fitness: nutrition, exercise, sleep, supplementation, stretching, stress, forming habits, vitamin D, and brain performance. It’s all here!
My Plate by LIVESTRONG.COM (FREE) This is a great app for tracking what you eat. You can track your calorie intake, macro breakdown (fat, protein, and carbs) and set intake goals. What I really like about this app is that it has the largest database of food and restaurant items along with the nutritional content. So if you go eat at Chipotle, you can log that mega-burrito you ate. You can also set up an account online that syncs with the app.
RunKeeper (FREE)

This app is great for tracking your workout performance over time, while connecting with your friends to make your workouts social. You can set a training schedule like preparing for a 5K run and it has the capability to log your aerobic workouts (walking, running, rowing, etc.) as well as track your distance and speed. You can also sync a playlist to a workout.

My favorite feature is the ability to set up intervals. I have the following workout setup: Run for 1:30 Slow then 0:30 Fast repeating 8 times with a 5 minute cool down (which I usually only jog for 2 minutes). The the app will tell you when the next interval begins. This is a great 20 minute interval workout.
Yoga Stretch (FREE)

Create up to 5 of your favorite yoga sessions or play their preloaded sessions. You can also play your own background music with your phones iTunes music selection. Great for making a short 5 minute yoga session to do first thing in the morning.
Sleep Cycle ($1.99) Sleep Cycle uses the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement to determine which sleep phase you are in. Waking up in the lightest sleep phase feels like waking without an alarm clock – it is a natural way to wake up where you feel rested and relaxed.
My Dietary Supplements (MyDS) (FREE) MyDS enables you to keep track of dietary supplements and other products you use. MyDS also allows you to create multiple profiles so that you can keep track of the products you take as well as a list of any products that your family members may take.

MyDS includes accurate and up-to-date consumer-focused fact sheets about dietary supplements, developed by the Office of Dietary Supplements.
Lift (FREE) From losing weight to flossing your teeth, this app can help you develop healthy habits. All you do is set your goal - browse the most popular habits or create your own. Then track your progress through a personal report. And you can have your friends keep you accountable and cheer you on.
D Minder (FREE) This app will help you track and manage your Vitamin D. You setup basic information one time, like your height and weight and skin type and then any time you are outside, during the prescribed hours (and parts of the year), you can have it determine the amount of D you are getting in a stopwatch interface. It will also track how long you can stay out and warn you when the time is up or when it's time to flip to your other side.

The app will also notify you with the next opportunity to generate vitamin D.

Each day, you can see forecasts based on your location, and you can also see the solar position, your generated vitamin D vs. target etc.
Lumosity Brain Trainer (FREE but there is a fee to upgrade for more games) Improve your memory, attention, and overall brain performance through scientific brain workouts. Lumosity creates a Personalized Training Program that helps you achieve your goals. All you have to do is play fun games like Memory.
Calm (FREE) While it’s easy to put off meditation and relaxation, sometimes everyone needs a break from everyday stressors. Calm can help you reduce stress and increase calm. By downloading this app, you’ll discover how quieting your mind can improve your mood - and your life. Calm is an app that guides you through a quick meditation. You decided whether you have two, five or ten minutes, and what nature scene inspires you most. Then close your eyes, take a deep breath, and be calm.

QUESTION: What are your favorite health or fitness apps?

I’d love to hear from you! Share your questions, thoughts and stories.

Top 7 Low Cost Superfoods That May Surprise You


So you want to eat healthy but the acai berry is just too expensive. I agree! Honestly, there are plenty of nutrient-dense “superfoods” out there that don’t require you going broke. We try eating all of these foods every week.

Here are my top 7 low cost superfoods -
1. Eggs | Cost: $0.66/serving (2 eggs) When eating an egg, eat the whole egg, especially the yolk. Egg yolks are one of the most nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich and vitamin-laden foods on the planet!

Egg yolks are high in calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B12, folate, pantothenic acid and B6. In addition the yolk contains magnesium, all of the fat-soluble components, such as vitamins A, D and E, and the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Egg yolks are also high in choline, an essential nutrient for cardiovascular and brain function. Including eggs in your diet can reduce inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, and more.

Egg whites have nutritional value too. They are rich in protein and are an energy-sustaining food that helps stave off fatigue and hunger.

As mentioned in a previous post, go for pastured eggs, which have been shown to contain up to 19 times more omega-3 fatty acids than supermarket eggs! Organic is your second best option.
2. Lemon | Cost: less than $1/lemon Not only are these loaded with the immune-boosting vitamin C (1, 2), they’re low in fructose, the sugar that you want to minimize because when consumed in excess, it can damage your liver and make you overweight. Plus, there’s no need to buy organic.

The citrus flavonols found in lemons may also help aid digestion and cleanse the liver. (3)

The vitamin C in lemons demonstrate anti-inflammatory effects, and can be used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms. (4, 5) Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant (link), which combats free radicals that are responsible for early aging, such as wrinkles and damage to the skin. Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption in the body which plays an important role in immune function. (6)
3. Sardines | Cost: $2/serving (1 can) Where do I start? Not only are sardines high in calcium, phosphorous, have more iron than spinach, more potassium than coconut water and bananas, but they also have as much protein as steak. They’re a great source for omega-3s, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium. They also contain Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is a potent antioxidant and supports the immune system.

And it goes beyond nutrition. They have a long shelf-life, are usually sustainable, wild-caught and are low in mercury and other heavy metals. Plus, they taste good on salads. Get all this for less than $2 a can!
4. Beef Liver (Grass-Fed) | Cost: $1.00/serving (4 oz.) Liver is considered the multivitamin of food. It is loaded with a broad-spectrum of nutrients, many that are difficult to get elsewhere. Organ meats in general are between 10 and 100 times higher in nutrients than typical muscle meats. In fact, beef liver has exceedingly higher levels of nutrients than apples and carrots. It’s important to go with grass-fed/pastured rather than commercially-raised cows which are much higher in nutrients than cows that come from commercial feedlots. Additionally, hormones, antibiotics and commercial GMO feed are typically avoided with grass-fed cows.

Many people believe that the liver stores a lot of toxins but Chris Kresser, L Ac. reveals that “While it is true that one of the liver’s role is to neutralize toxins (such as drugs, chemical agents and poisons), it does not store these toxins. Toxins the body cannot eliminate are likely to accumulate in the body’s fatty tissues and nervous systems. On the other hand, the liver is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with some of the tools it needs to get rid of toxins.”

Liver may seem gross to some people, but if prepared right, you can hardly notice its distinct flavor. We like to grind a little bit of it up and add it to ground beef. Marinate it in lemon juice for 20-30 minutes for a milder taste.
5. Himalayan Sea Salt | Cost: $4/18oz. bag Typical table salt is "chemically cleaned" sodium chloride – really a chemical rather than a food, void of the vital trace minerals naturally present in salt. And it’s found in abundance in almost all processed food.

Himalayan sea salt, also known as “white gold”, is probably the purest salt available on earth because it is uncontaminated by toxins or pollutants and free of bleaches and chemical additives. It contains 84 minerals and trace elements, including potassium, calcium and magnesium.

The benefits of Himalayan sea salt include: 1. Sleep regulation 2. Prevention of muscle cramps 3. Regulation of blood pressure 4. Regulation of water content throughout your body
6. Garlic | Cost: $1/bulb Garlic is our go-to food when we feel the onset of a cold. It has antimicrobial activity which helps fight viral, fungal and bacterial infections. (7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

Garlic has been linked to cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, and cancer prevention. (12, 13, 14)

Garlic shows some promise for gut health as well. It contains prebiotics (inulin) that help feed the good bacteria in your digestive track. Research is revealing that prebiotics may actually be more important than probiotics for digestive health.

To use garlic for medicinal purposes such as when you feel a cold coming on or to treat foodborne illness, take a clove and cut it into four or more capsule-sized pieces, let them sit for 10-15 minutes, and then swallow them whole without chewing. Sounds gross but it works!

For our kids who aren’t able to swallow sliced garlic, we mince some, put in on a spoon and cover it with a little raw honey. This is what we call “medicine” in our house.
7. Sweet Potatoes | Cost: $0.50/serving (1/2 potato) People from Okinawa, Japan, some of the longest living humans in the world, enjoy a purple sweet potato they call imo with almost every meal.

Boasting 150% more antioxidants than blueberries, sweet potatoes are super high in heart-healthy vitamins A and C.

Sweet potatoes are also on the Clean 15 list so you can go with conventionally grown if your budget is tight.

Make sure you’re subscribed to the evolved Life Blog. We’re sending out the recipe for our favorite post-workout breakfast recipe: sweet potato hash!

QUESTION: What’s one of your favorite superfoods?

I’d love to hear from you! Share your questions, thoughts and stories.

7 Ways to Drink the Healthiest Cup of Coffee


I never really drank coffee until about a year ago - except for the coffee we had in Costa Rica 7 years ago…that coffee was amazing! I wasn’t a big fan of the taste and never really needed that morning kick. I was more of a green tea kind of guy.

After reading so many things about how healthy coffee is, I decided to introduce it into my diet - one cup in the morning, usually before a workout (see my evolved coffee recipe here.) Now, I love it and it’s one of the things I look forward to every morning, as many of you can probably relate to.

Drinking a moderate amount of coffee (1-3 cups a day) has been linked to several health benefits, including fat loss (1, 2), increased mental and physical performance, (3, 4) and lowering the risk of various diseases.

Do you think that cup of Starbucks’ coffee is just as healthy as a brew you can make at home? Convenient -yes, but health-wise -not even close!

Coffee is actually the largest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined (5) (beer is ranked 5th in the US! (5a)) But, did you know that not all coffee is created equal? In fact, there are things you can look for and do to improve the health benefits you get.

Preparation 1. Fresh Ground – Coffee contains oils that, like any other oil, can oxidize and go rancid over time. Pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you drink it. Buy whole beans and ground the coffee every day or at least once a week to limit the possibility of rancidity.

2. Greek Style – Greek coffee (similar to Turkish or French Press) has been shown to help protect the arteries, as well as lower your risk for diabetes and boost overall immune health. Greek coffee is made by boiling finely-ground (almost powder) coffee, rather than brewing regular course-ground coffee beans (here are directions.) The process of boiling coffee (vs brewing/filtering method) extracts much more nutrients from the coffee beans with less caffeine. Additionally, the finely-ground beans expose more surface area increasing the antioxidant extraction. I would recommend not adding sugar to keep the coffee healthy.

This style of coffee is one of the attributes to the long lives enjoyed by residents on the island of Ikaria who boast the highest rates of longevity in the world! (6)

Note: By not filtering coffee, a chemical called cafestol is maintained in the coffee which may be a potent LDL (“bad cholesterol”) stimulator. (7) This same chemical has also shown to fight colon cancer. (8)

Bean Selection 3. Dark Roast - New research found that dark roast coffee restored blood levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and glutathione more effectively than light roast coffee. The dark roast also led to a significant body weight reduction in pre-obese volunteers, whereas the light roast did not. (9) Darker roast coffee may also be easier on your stomach than lighter roast coffee. A study showed that it produces more of a chemical that helps prevent your stomach from producing excess acid. (10)

4. Single-Estate/Single-Origin Beans – Single-origin beans are pure, unblended coffees from one particular region (Guatemala, Kenya, etc.). Some companies will use coffee blends to hide low quality beans. They may also come from multiple areas, almost guaranteeing that you’ll get some moldy beans.

5. Avoid Artificial Flavoring – I had purchased a bag of regular Costa Rican coffee beans (no fancy hazelnut flavor) and looked at the ingredients which listed “artificial flavoring”. That’s a strong warning that something’s not right with regular beans. It’s so easy to just avoid artificial flavors in coffee; I don’t see a reason not to.

6. Freshly Roasted - Coffee oxidizes after it is roasted so you want the freshest you can get. I buy my beans from a local coffee shop, Bold Bean. They roast their coffee beans in house. It’s usually never more than a week old.

7. Avoid Mycotoxins - There is evidence that a majority of the coffee beans sold contain mold spores that form mycotoxins. If you suffer from brain fog, headaches or jitters after drinking your coffee, this may be why. I’ve never had this problem, so I can’t attest to it, but Dave Asprey from the Bulletproof Exec has extensive information on it. Check out this article if you want more information.

QUESTION: What do you do to make the best cup of coffee or tea?

I’d love to hear from you! Share your questions, thoughts and stories.

The Key to Staying Hydrated

hydration_suri


I received a request from a reader asking for help. Several guys at his work have been passing out from dehydration. This is obviously a concern with the hot summer is in full effect, especially here in Florida.

In fact, I was cleaning my car out over the weekend and within 10 minutes I was dripping sweat all over the car seat - to the point where my 4 year-old son Brixton, asked me why the car was sweating!

Sweat is our body’s simple way of preventing overheating. As you sweat you lose water and key electrolytes. If you sweat heavily during work or training, it’s important to replace the fluids and electrolytes lost. Hydration is key to keeping your energy levels high and healthy all day long.

Electrolytes help maintain a normal balance of fluids within the body. They assist in maintaining a balance of pressure between the inside and outside of cells and help to support the systems that regulate blood pressure. Hydration and electrolyte balance are also critical to nerve and muscle function. For example, muscle contraction is dependent upon the presence of calcium, sodium, and potassium.

Electrolytes lost during exercise, particularly workouts that are long lasting or strenuous, can lead to fatigue, dehydration, and muscle cramps. People who work or exercise in extreme heat or humidity, for three hours or longer, are at risk of dehydration.

Risks of Dehydration • Dehydration can lead to fatigue and muscle cramps which can interfere with your workout performance • Losing just 2% of body weight in fluid can decrease physical and mental performance by up to 25%. • Losing 10% or more of your body weight in sweat can put you at risk of death!
Signs of Dehydration • Your urine is ‘apple juice’ in color • Decreased urine output • Increased thirst • Dry mouth and swollen tongue • Weakness • Dizziness • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding) • Confusion • Sluggishness fainting • Fainting • Inability to sweat
Preventing Dehydration • Consider taking an electrolyte supplement that supplies sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium to help replenish electrolytes and retain hydration. We recommend Klean Electrolyte because it has all the essential electrolytes your body needs, without sugar or artificial sweeteners. • Drink fluids that contain electrolytes, like coconut water. Coconut water contains more potassium than a banana and other electrolytes which are key in replenishing what we’re losing during exercise. The one thing it lacks is sufficient sodium. • Don’t consume “sports drinks” high in sugar. • Many foods are great sources of fluid - drinks like tea and coffee can count toward your fluid consumption.

    • Coffee and tea are 99.5% water • Lettuce and cucumbers are 96% water; broccoli and cauliflower ~91%; spinach and cabbage ~93%; watermelon, grapefruit and cantaloupe fall at around 90-92%; peaches, plums, apricots, blueberries, pears and oranges ~85-87% • Soup and broth count too!


Here are some great starting points: How Much Water Do You Need Quiz and Human Water Requirements Calculator
QUESTION: What are your favorite ways to stay hydrated?

I’d love to hear from you! Share your questions, thoughts and stories.