The Hydration Situation



Winter is probably the time we think about hydration the least, but in fact, it is when we need to think about it the most. The weather is cold, we feel less thirsty, and our instinct to drink water is diminished when compared to the hot summer months. But even if you are drinking the traditionally prescribed 8 glasses of water a day, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re hydrated. To many people, the term hydration refers to water, but that is not enough when it comes to hydration on a cellular level.

A common belief is that you only need to replace electrolytes — which are minerals like magnesium, potassium, and sodium — after an intense and sweaty workout. Every cell in our body requires fluid to function properly. Electrolytes are responsible for regulating the fluid balance in each cell. “Hydration is very different from cellular hydration”, says nutrition expert, Sarah Wragge. “We can drink 3-4 liters of water everyday, which is what I recommend, but you need to add minerals to hydrate at a cellular level.”

“We lose water all day through sweat, urination, and even breathing, and in that process we also lose essential electrolytes and minerals.” Adds Sarah, “Our habits are very dehydrating. Things like coffee, sugar, alcohol, and all the fun foods we love are very depleting. Not to mention our food is no longer mineral rich because of modern farming processes and pesticides. We need to hydrate to replenish not just water, but minerals too.” Sarah has just introduced her own mineral replenishing supplement, Restore.
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What to Eat at the Vending Machine



It’s late at night or you’re stuck someplace… in a waiting room, at the office, in between classes. You’re hungry, a bit peckish, or maybe just bored. There’s a vending machine down the hall. It’s filled with chips, candy, cookies, and other snacks. You’d like to at least try to be healthy and are wondering what to have. Popcorn? Trail Mix? Pretzels?

The good news is most vending machines have much healthier snacks than they used to. You can generally find Skinny Pop, Sun Chips, Kindbars, and other more nutritional offerings. We asked our go-to nutrition expert Sarah Wragge what are the smart food choices when the vending machine is the only option. Here’s our guide to what to eat and what not to eat before you make your selection.


Sarah’s overall rule of thumb is: “If you are peckish or bored, push through. There is a time to feast, and a time to famine! Keep those insulin levels low and power through until your next meal to tap into your body’s fat stores.” BUT… if you are really hungry, and the vending machine is all there is: Read More


Trick or Treat – Part 2



Last October we did a story on Halloween candy and seemingly healthier alternatives to Trick or Treat favorites like peanut butter cups, Snickers, m&m’s, and gummy bears. After consulting with our resident nutritionist Sarah Wragge, we discovered many of the lower calorie, less sugar, and even “healthy” brands had so many fillers, fake sweeteners, and inflammatory ingredients you were better off having the real thing. A Snickers as compared to a Quest Bar was the perfect example.

A few weeks later I happened to be standing in line at CVS in the aisle with all the crackers, chips, and cookies. The Pepperidge Farm Milanos caught my eye. I LOVE Milano cookies, but would never buy them assuming they were high calorie, fat and sugar filled. Out of curiosity I picked up the bag and looked at the nutrition label. To my surprise, 1 serving of 2 cookies had 120 calories, 7 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of fat. Not that bad I thought! Sure there were a few ingredients that weren’t super healthy, but as an occasional splurge it wasn’t such a big deal.

“It’s not the calories that are of concern”, says Sarah, “but how those substitute ingredients affect the body.

Then I looked at the Lays potato chips. The ingredients were potatoes and vegetable oil. 1 serving of 15 chips had 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 15 grams of carbohydrates – again, not the worst thing, especially when I compared them to the supposedly healthier Baked Lays on the shelf. Yes, those had fewer calories per serving and less fat, BUT they were higher in carbs with long list of ingredients, additives, and SUGAR. I knew there was no way these Baked Lays were better for me than the regular potato chips. Read More


Guilty Pleasures


If there’s one food many sports enthusiasts try to avoid, it’s likely junk food. According to a study done by Kent State University researchers, it’s not so much for the nutritional value, but more the guilt associated with eating these foods. In fact, the study shows that one’s knowledge of the unhealthiness of fast food is not enough to stop people from eating their favorite burgers, pizza, or fries. Rather, it’s the guilt about fast food consumption that urges one to stop eating their favorite meals. But what if junk foods can actually be beneficial for your sports performance?

Junk Food Consumption for Sports Enthusiasts

Let’s be clear, junk foods are unhealthy when consumed on a regular basis. However, Lars Nybo of the University of Copenhagen shares that athletes and fitness enthusiasts might benefit from eating junk food, depending on their discipline. Nybo points out that athletes must combine the right diet with their training, which is why some athletes need to load up on carbs during the final 48 hours before an event, while sprinters or shot putters can get away with eating junk food for breakfast. Read More


Trick or Treat?


Reese’s or Justin’s… m&m’s or Unreal… the original or “healthy” brand… which one is really better for you? When it comes to candy what you think might be the healthier treat could be a trick. We consulted with our go-to nutrition and wellness expert Sarah Wragge to find out which is really the healthier version of the most popular candy and chocolate bars this Halloween.

PEANUT BUTTER CUPS (2 per serving)

If you stick with the Organic Dark, Sarah says that Reese’s is actually better on the ingredient list than Justin’s. While they have relatively similar ingredients, the soy lecithin in Justin’s, even though it is organic, is an ingredient you might want to avoid. Soy is a common allergen for many people. Lecithin is a food additive generally used as an emulsifier or lubricant, the processing of which involves chemical solvents. Read More


What a Jerky!


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Gourmet flavors, grass fed beef, no sulfites or preservatives… artisanal beef, chicken, turkey, and even venison, bison, and plant-based jerky have come a long way from your grandpa’s Slim Jim. And then there are Biltongs, similar to jerky, but actually cured and marinated air-dried meat. In sticks, bars, or bite-sized pieces, these tasty high-protein snacks are perfect for those on a Paleo or Keto diet — or anyone who enjoys a savory treat. Try them in a salad, on a pizza, or on your charcuterie plate too!

STRYVE BEEF BILTONG. Biltong is traditional South African cured and marinated air-dried meat, as opposed to jerky which is cooked. It is prepared with just vinegar, salt, and spices, and often a cleaner option than jerky. Stryve beef biltong is made with grass-fed beef (so no antibiotics or hormones), and without sugar, nitrates, or preservatives.

THE NEW PRIMAL MEAT STICKS. Chicken, Beef, Turkey… The New Primal uses only 100% grass-fed beef and hormone/antibiotic-free turkey and chicken in their all-natural meat sticks. High in protein and zero sugar, they are Whole30 approved, certified Paleo, Keto, and Gluten-Free.

BROOKLYN BILTONG. Brooklyn Biltong is handcrafted with grass-fed beef, vinegar, salt, and spices in mouthwatering flavors like Steakhouse and Lemon Pepper, along with Naked which is salt and vinegar only. Officially Whole30 approved, there are no sugars or artificial preservatives added. Read More


Guilt-Free Chocolate…


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If you’ve got a sweet tooth, chocolate is the best way to indulge. Dark chocolate has particular health benefits, as a rich source of antioxidants and minerals, beneficial for the cardiovascular system as well. Here are a few of our favorite chocolates we give you permission to try… but please consume responsibly!

ROW 1: QUEST FUDGEY BROWNIE BAR. Quest is best known for their protein bars, but have introduced a line of ridiculously delicious candy bars with just 4g net carbs, 1g sugar, 9g fiber, and 12g protein too.

SKINNY DIPPED SUPER DARK & SEA SALT ALMONDS. Take omega-6 rich almonds, dip them in extra dark vegan chocolate, and your day just got a whole lot sweeter – even with less sugar added! 1 serving of 16 almonds has 130 calories, 13g of healthy fats, 4g sugar, and 5g protein. Also try Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.

HU SIMPLE DARK CHOCOLATE. USDA Certified Organic, Paleo, vegan and dairy-free, Hu 70% cocoa dark chocolate bars are made with the simplest of ingredients and sweetened with unrefined, fiber rich, coconut sugar. 1/2 bar has 180 calories with 13g healthy fats, 13g carbs, and 3g fiber. Check out delicious Hu Hunks chocolate covered almonds too! Read More


Something Seedy


Missing those Crunchy Carbs? Look no further than these seedy snacks! Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, and chia seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, and those healthy Omega-3 fats, as well as vitamins and minerals. Plus, they are low in carbs, gluten-free, and keto-friendly.

Certain seeds like sesame and flax, have unique health benefits. They are high in lignans, which act as powerful antioxidants. In fact, sesame seeds are the best known dietary source of lignans, which along with the fiber and Omega-3 fats, can help reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and other risk factors for heart disease. Other seeds like pumpkin and sunflower are high in magnesium which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Then you have chia seeds which are one of the best fuel sources for endurance athletes. They expand up to ten times their original size when soaked in water, and form a gel-like substance that slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar to fuel the body longer. With their extreme absorbency, they also help prevent dehydration. Read More