Happy New Year! We’ve been enjoying a break with our family down in Florida to start off 2017, but had a couple rainy days recently, so I decided to write this post about the things we’re loving lately. As I brainstormed items for our list, I realized that we had quite a few. Too many for this first post. Therefore, this is ‘part 1’ of our favorite items of 2017. This first part includes food, beverages, and supplements. Look for ‘part 2’ soon that will include our favorite non-food items!
Okay … these favorite food items are mostly centered around beverages. As you will soon notice, we take our coffee drinking very seriously. Most mornings, Matt and I have two cups of coffee … and those two cups have a whole lot of ingredients (including many of the items listed below). We have one cup made with Bulletproof Coffee Bean made in a French Press. To that, we add grass fed butter, Brain Octane oil (see #4 below), Himalayan Salt (#5 below), Bulletproof Vanilla, and collagen protein (#3 below). Our second cup of coffee is made with hot water and Mushroom Coffee Mix (see #1 below), Laird Superfood Creamer (#2 below). Our coffee drinking is a big part of our health regimen (which is why we hauled all our supplies down here to the island for our vacation).
- Mushroom Coffee: This is our current favorite item as we go into 2017. I realize that mushroom coffee does not sound good (at least to me), but it’s fantastic (it really tastes good, I promise). And the way it makes you feel is even more fabulous. I’m not a fan of eating mushrooms, even though I know they’re a ‘superfood’ and have all kinds of wonderful benefits. I just can’t get over the texture. That’s why I love that I can drink them … and it tastes like coffee. And I love coffee. Four Sigmatic sells all kinds of different mushroom products that you can drink (even if you’re not a coffee lover there are some blends for you), but there are two that we especially love. Our two favorites are the Mushroom Coffee Mix with Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushrooms (pictured above), and the Mushroom Coffee Mix with Cordyceps and Chaga mushrooms. The former, the ‘think’ blend made with Lion’s Mane, has been shown to improve memory, boost creativity, and help bolster concentration. Great before writing, studying, or working. It just might make you smarter!?!? (I added that last sentence … not sure if there’s any actual claims on these ‘shrooms improving your IQ, but it sure seems like it). The second blend I mentioned, the ‘stay awake’ blend made with Cordyceps mushrooms, is great before working out, or doing anything active. The Cordyceps help fight fatigue without additional caffeine, and speed up recovery. Both of our two favorite blends include Chaga mushrooms. According to the company, “Chaga mushrooms offer some of the most powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support you’ll ever find growing naturally in the wild, the chaga mushrooms might reduce joint and arthiritis pain, offer anti-aging support for skin and hair, and boost the immune system.” The benefits of these super foods in my morning coffee … yes, please. For more info on these mushrooms, their benefits, and other products, click HERE.
- Laird Superfood Creamer: Another coffee ingredient. While you can drink mushroom coffee black (as it’s much less acidic than regular coffee), we add this ‘Superfood Creamer’ to our ‘superfood’ mushroom coffee for even more benefits. This coffee creamer sweetens coffee (or your beverage of choice) just the perfect amount. It also has Aquamin which is calcuim (a mineral that your body needs for bone health as well as brain, nerve, and muscle function) derived from Red Marine Algae, and Red Palm Oil which, according to the website, is “One of nature’s most prized oils known for its naturally occurring nutrients such as antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E and the essential omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid.” Learn more about this superfood creamer HERE.
- Collagen Protein: Loving this form of protein! Pictured above (and available through Amazon Prime) is the kind we use, but there are plenty of options out there. This Collagen Protein comes as a white powder that adds absolutely no taste to any beverage you put it in. It dissolves in both warm drinks (our morning coffee) and cold drinks (I love to sneak it in the boys’ smoothies, and they have no clue). And the benefits collagen protein are amazing! The amino acids and protein in the collagen help to promote lean muscle growth as well as providing increased physical performance through repeated exercise. It also helps increase bone and joint strength and has even been proven safe to potentially aid the treatment of osteoarthiritis. The glycine in collagen hydrolysate can also lead to a decrease in stress, anxiety, depression and promote a better night’s sleep. Collagen has even been shown to improve digestion. Adding collagen protein to your morning coffee or smoothie helps keep you full all morning and curbs cravings! And, one of the favorite benefits of consuming collagen may be its ability to reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. What?!? Yep. This is due to the molecule being responsible for making the connective tissue in your skin, therefore able to thicken the skin and camouflage any irregularities. Hooray! If you’re interested in reading even more about the benefits of collagen protein, click HERE.
- Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil: Another ingredient to our first cup of coffee each morning, Brain Octane oil is an awesome source of clean burning fuel for your body (fuel that doesn’t come from sugar). It will keep you full for hours, increase both physical and mental performance, and curb food cravings. Adding this oil to your coffee is similar to adding coconut oil, only it is much more concentrated. Brain octane produces 4x the amount energy from ketones, and contains 10x more caprylic acid (supports immune and digestive system, and promotes a healthy gut) than plain coconut oil. Read more about the benefits of Brain Octane Oil HERE.
- Pink Himalayan Salt: Himalayan Pink salt is a great alternative to regular table salt. It contains the exact same 84 trace minerals and elements that are found in the human body. According to research (and this article), there are many benefits of consuming this salt which include:
- Aids in vascular health
- Supports healthy lungs and respiratory function
- Promotes a stable pH balance within the cells
- Reduces the signs of aging
- Promotes healthy sleep patterns
- Increases libido
- Prevents muscle cramps
- Increases hydration
- Strengthen bones
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves circulation
- Detoxifies the body of heavy metals
We add Himalayan salt to our morning water (adding salt to water helps your body absorb the water and hydrate your body more quickly). We also add some salt to our first cup of morning coffee, but this is just out of preference. On another note … we love this salt in our Norcal Margaritas (see below). Adding trace minerals to your water, coffee, and cocktails … why not?!?
- Our Meat CSA. We found an awesome farmer near us (we live just outside of Minneapolis) that provides high quality meat and eggs to us once a month. The farm offers offer farm-fresh pasture raised eggs, chicken, 100% grass fed beef and lamb, no-soygrass fed pork, heritage turkey, and hand-made organic spiced sausages. The meat is absolutely delicious and WAY better than the meat you can buy in the grocery stores (tastes better and is better for you and for the environment). Each month, we are able to customize our order to get exactly the types and cuts of meat we want. A friend introduced us, and we’re so glad we joined (as wish we would have found this a long time ago)! If you’re not near the Minneapolis area, it’s worth checking in your area to see if such a farm exists. I strongly recommend it! It’s so conveinient to have the meat stocked in our freezer to pull out when we need it, and a great feeling to know exactly where the meat comes from and the high quality standards to which it is held. If you are near Minneapolis, check out TC Farm HERE.
- Natural Calm Magnesium Powder: We take this supplement before bed every night. It comes as a powder form and tastes great mixed with water. Magnesium is great before bed because it can help quiet a racing mind and make it easier to get a good night’s sleep. It has been shown to increase levels of melatonin (the hormone that makes you feel sleepy) and decrease levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). It also helps with digestion and will help make sure you’re nice and regular (always a good thing). Other benefits of magnesium include: increased energy, reduced anxiety, reduced muscle aches and spasms, prevents migraines, and prevents osteoporosis. While you can get the magnesium you need from food, most people are deficient and in need of this mineral in supplement form. For more information on signs of magnesium deficiency, as well as the importance of getting enough magnesium go HERE.
- Naked Whey Protein Powder: According to Dave Asprey of Bulletproof Exec, “Whey is the king of post-exercise proteins. It increases muscle synthesis more than soy or casein protein, and it promotes extra muscle growth even when you get plenty of other protein in your diet. It decreases muscle soreness after you exercise, too. It’s the gold standard.” We love the brand above because it has nothing added … just pure Whey protein. It also comes in an enormous container from Amazon Prime. We add it to post-workout smoothies nearly everyday. We also use it to make protein pancakes (the easiest way to make ‘healthy’ pancakes … ever, recipe below). We buy the unflavored completely ‘Naked’ kind. It doesn’t taste great on it’s own (if you’re mixing it with just water, you probably won’t love the taste). On Amazon, other flavors are available and are ‘Less Naked Whey’ since they include all natural flavors and a bit of coconut sugar. These flavors are great if you’re mixing it with water alone! And here’s that Protein Pancake recipe:
- One cup Naked Whey Protein Powder
- 4 eggs
- 4 bananas
Combine the three ingredients well forming the pancake batter. Pour on a hot griddle and make pancakes as usual. Top with some blueberries, some grass fed butter, and a bit of maple syrup or honey. Delicious!
- Norcal Margaritas. Healthy cocktails!! Okay, probably not healthy, but much better than some other choices. We’ve been enjoying our fair share of these ‘Norcal Margaritas’ on vacation these past couple weeks. Best part: they’re super easy to make and are NOT full of a bunch of crap like some margarita mixes. All you need are limes, tequila, and club soda (and some himalayan salt if you like ’em salty). Click here for the recipe and enjoy a guilt-free cocktail (or almost guilt-free).
- Collagen Protein Bars: So … you read all about the benefits of collagen protein above. These are a fantastic ‘dessert’ option that has no added sugar, collagen protein, and healthy fat to keep you satisfied and full. With no dairy, no grains, and all non-GMO ingredients, these bars fit into most diets. You can buy both the ‘snack size’ mini bars or the full size bars. The full size bars have 12g of protein, 14g of fat (sounds like a lot, but it’s good fat to keep you full for a long time), and only 2g of sugar. They come in a couple of flavors; Vanilla Shortbread, Fudge Brownie, and now Lemon Cookie. We buy both the vanilla and chocolate bars, and are excited to give the new Lemon cookie flavor a try soon! A great option to satisfy a sweet tooth without much sugar!
So … there’s our top 10 favorite food … err, beverage items for 2017. If you haven’t tried some of them before, pick a couple to try out! I’d love to hear what you think. I’d also love to hear some of YOUR favorite food/beverage/supplement items! Stay tuned for part 2 of our favorite things to read about our favorite non-food products of 2017. In the meantime, head on over to Facebook or Instagram to see what we’re up to on our vacation.