Morning Ritual for a Healthier & Slimmer 2018

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Happy 2018! It’s a brand new year—a perfect time to re-assess your priorities and set your intentions for a healthier and happier year ahead. Did you know that there is a simple and delicious way to tweak your daily routine without having to completely re-invent your lifestyle? Starting off each morning on a healthier note matters the most. Begin each day with a simple homemade detox drink and a nutritious breakfast within the first hour of waking up. Why a morning detox drink? How you end an all-night fast first thing in the morning is critical for your health and other food decisions you make throughout the day. As for the ingredients, nothing supports the body’s cleansing and elimination ability like water! The water and lemon combination helps your body flush out toxins, aids in digestion, supports metabolism and may make your weight loss efforts easier. Making your own detox drink can be easy and inexpensive. Here are a few recipes to try:

Morning Detox Recipe

Recipe and image by Jennifer Caroff, Natural Chef & Health Coach foodsoulutions.com

Ingredients

  • 1 glass Warm filtered water (12–16 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. Organic honey (optional)

Directions

  1. Stir well and enjoy!

Tips!

  • Use a straw so your teeth are not exposed to the acid in lemon and ACV.
  • Drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Within 10–15 minutes of drinking your detox blend, make sure to consume a full, balanced breakfast rich in fiber and yes, free of refined sugar and carbs. You probably have heard of the old adage, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. Well, this couldn’t be truer! Skipping any meals, especially breakfast, can actually sabotage weight loss efforts because your metabolism slows down while you sleep and doesn’t rev back up until you eat again.
Try out this surprisingly refreshing winter smoothie as part of a balanced breakfast or ready-to-go pre- or post-workout snack. Using raw ginger and turmeric is the perfect way to aid digestion, as well as zing and boost your immunity during colder winter months.

Turmeric Ginger Mango Immunity SmoothieTurmeric Ginger Mango Immunity Smoothie

Recipe and image by Jennifer Caroff, Natural Chef & Health Coach foodsoulutions.com

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe banana, peeled
  • 1/2 Mango, flesh ony (use frozen if you do not have fresh)
  • 1 cup Full-fat coconut milk (Full fat is where it’s at! It feeds your brain!)
  • 2 Tbsp. Whole flax seeds
  • 24 leaves Dino kale (remove tough stems)
  • 1 handful Parsley (ok to include stems)
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh turmeric root, peeled
  • 2 Medjool dates (or any kind you like)
  • 1 1/2–2 cups filtered water, vary amount for desired consistency

Directions

  1. Add ingredients to blender and process until smooth.
  2. Pour into a mason jar, grab a pretty straw and enjoy!

Tips!

  • Store smoothie in an airtight mason jar to keep cool for later use. Will stay fresh in refrigerator 12 days.

About Tigisti Weldeab

Tigisti Weldeab is a healthy living expert, lifestyle strategist and founder of Bella Diva Lifestyle. Through her coaching programs and blogging, she is on a mission to show busy men and women that healthy and beautiful can be simple, fun and delicious. Ms. Weldeab holds an MBA in management and wellness coaching certifications from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram under @Belladivalife.  

5 Move-More Habits for 2018

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Lady Jogging

Start Fresh in the New Year

Do you have big goals in mind for 2018? Maybe run the Route 66 Marathon (Oklahoma) … hike through the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest (Georgia) … or trek the Grand Canyon (Arizona). Often these big dreams start with the smallest of healthy habits. Whatever your goals, we’ve come up with a list of small habits that are a synch to incorporate into your daily routine. They’ll have you moving more and feeling great!
  1. Move More: In addition to exercise, it’s important to move throughout the day. Doing this is easier than it sounds—simply take it one step at a time. By taking a flight of stairs you can burn around 10 calories versus only 1.5 waiting for the elevator. Set reminders to get up and stretch, visit a coworker’s desk rather than sending an email, or park your car far away for a few extra steps.
  2. Take Deep Breaths: Stop and take a long inhale, hold it, then slowly exhale. How do you feel? Did your shoulders drop and your mind become clearer? Deep breathing should be a part of our everyday busy and hectic lives. Taking deep breaths activates your lymphatic system, which can help to fight off colds and flus by strengthening your immune system. Not to mention, doing this is a natural and always accessible stress-relieving activity.
  3. Exercise 10–15 Minutes at a Time: Your busy schedule just lightened up! It’s recommended to exercise 43 minutes each day, but the good news is you don’t have to do it all at once. Walking, stretching and light weight lifting are great ways to break up your 43 minutes of exercise into easy 10–15 minute intervals. This can help support bone health, heart health and weight management.
  4. Get 7–8 Hours of Sleep: It may not seem like much beyond counting sheep but getting your z’s (about seven to eight hours) is super important! While you sleep, your body produces and releases hormones that fight infection, repair cells and build muscle tissue. It also has positive implications for your mental health, as lack of sleep has shown to increase risk of depression. To ensure a good night’s rest, turn off screens before bed, avoid naps and caffeine after three o’clock and stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
  5. Meditation & Yoga: Many of us strive to be thoughtful, in-the-moment people but our constant go-go-go lifestyle makes this difficult. Luckily, all you need is a few minutes to meditate. By taking a breather, you can come back to any situation refreshed and clear headed. Apps like Pause and Headspace can help guide you through some quiet time while simultaneously debunking the notion that being on your phone “takes you away from the present moment.”
   

Top 7: Resolutions You Can Keep

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Resolution #1:

Incorporate three different colored foods a day into your diet. If your plate’s looking pale, that means you’re probably not getting a lot of nutrition from your food. One surefire way to make sure you’re eating right is by keeping it colorful. Brightly colored foods such as carrots, beets and spinach are nutrient-rich and packed with powerful antioxidants. Challenge yourself to pile on the purple, red, green and orange fruits and veggies.

Resolution #2:

Swap your sweets.­­­ Packaged, processed and high-fructose corn syrup treats gratify for seconds, but leave us feeling sluggish and bloated. This year, swap one of your go-to packaged snacks for the natural sugars of fresh and dried fruits. Fresh fruits like apples and bananas are fiber- and vitamin-rich, and dried fruits like apricots and cherries are great for snacking on the go. Basket full of tomatoes, snap peas, egg plant and spinach

Resolution #3:

Eat what’s in season. When produce is in season, the relative abundance of the crop usually makes it less expensive at Sprouts. It’s the basic law of supply and demand, and when crops are in season you’ll be rewarded financially by purchasing what’s growing now.

Resolution #4:

Buy your grains and pasta in bulk. Buying in bulk helps you save money, reduce waste and stay stocked up for a home-cooked meal. Bulk up on a few staple dry goods items such as beans, rice and pasta. But make sure you’re purchasing items you’ll definitely eat—a deal isn’t a deal, after all, if you end up throwing most of it away.

Resolution #5:

Cook at home at least three nights a week. Eating and cooking at home saves money and keeps you in control of what you’re putting in your mouth. And it doesn’t have to be time consuming. By planning ahead, you can stretch one big dish into several days’ worth of meals. Not sure what to make? Check out our archive of recipes for more ideas.

Resolution #6:

Start a vegetable garden. Growing your own food is a great way to get hands-on with your diet. Tomatoes are chock-full of antioxidant-rich lycopene and vitamin C. Plus, they taste great and can be used in everything from sauces to salads and sandwiches. Not a tomato fan? Our starter kits make crisp carrots or sweet peas that are easy to grow.

Resolution #7:

Swap a harsh cleanser for natural solutions. Sprouts offers a variety of natural and inexpensive cleaning solutions that are easy alternatives to harsh cleansers. Most natural products are versatile and can be used on everything from bathroom tiles to kitchen surfaces and wood floors.  

Happy and Healthy Travels

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Traveling can be stressful on both your mental and physical health. Whether you’re traveling by a plane, train or automobile, we’ve got some tips to stay your healthiest and happiest this season. Vitamin C, mints, hand sanitizer mints, herbal zap, chapstick
  1. Boost your immune system. Cold and flu season often get the best of you during the holiday season, but maintaining a healthy immune system can help. Be sure to get that extra dose of vitamin C and zinc to help boost and maintain a healthy immune system.
  2. Keep clean. Hand sanitizing wipes are convenient when soap and water aren’t available, which can happen quite often while traveling. Grab a small pack of wipes to keep in your backpack, carry-on or car to help prevent the spread of germs.
  3. Plan ahead. If you’re taking a road trip, make sure your car is in tip-top shape. If you’re flying, check the weather for unexpected delays. Making a list (and checking it twice) will help you stay prepared for anything this busy season may bring your way.
  4. Reduce stress. Catching flights, large crowds and exhausting errands create added stress to your daily routine. Take some time to relax with the help of essential oils and natural stress relief pastilles.
  5. Enjoy time with friends and family. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stresses of traveling, but remember, this is the time to be grateful for loved ones and the joy that they bring. Take some time to take a deep breath and appreciate the little things this season has to offer.
 

Tell Me About It, Spud!

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If sweet potato fries haven’t already convinced you, we’re here to reaffirm the greatness of this popular holiday root. Sweet potatoes are known for being staple ingredients in comfort meals, but they are often confused for yams. As you walk through the produce department, it can be hard to shake the question, “What exactly is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?”

Sweet PotatoesBag of Sweet potatoes and yams

Background:

Like the name suggests, these spuds are the sweeter of the two. Sweet potatoes will typically have a deeper and stronger orange color. They are members of the morning glory plant family and are tropical, long-season vegetables. While botanical yams are rarely found in stores in the U.S., you will find an abundance of options for sweet potatoes.

Varieties:

This is where confusion can come into play. Don’t be deceived by the names that these go by—they are actually sweet potatoes!
  • Garnet Yam (red sweet potato)
  • Jewel Yam (orange sweet potato)
  • Classic (white sweet potato)

Nutrition:

  • Sweet potatoes blow yams away with vitamin A!
  • Sweet potatoes are twice as high in calcium compared to yams.
  • The natural sugars in sweet potatoes will give you a quick energy boost.
  • Eating a sweet potato after exercise can aid in a quick recovery.
  • Higher in natural sweetener, the carbohydrates and natural sugars in sweet potatoes are released in the blood stream faster. It is good to pair with high-fiber vegetables or protein.

Yams

Background:

The name, “yam,” was first adopted from the word “nyami”—meaning “to eat.” In comparison to potatoes, yams can grow to be much larger. They are distinguishable by a starchier and drier quality. Unlike sweet potatoes, yams are related to grasses and lilies. They are typically available in countries like West Africa, Asia or the Caribbean. Fortunately, the availability of sweet potatoes in your local store will be handy for favorite dishes around Thanksgiving. The expectation is that around 1.25 million pounds of sweet potatoes will be sold during this particular time of year!  

Stone Fruit

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A variety of stone fruits Learn how to select, store, prep and cook your favorite summer fruits. We’re talking juicy peaches, sweet apricots, plums, mangos, nectarines and cherries. The fruits of summer are nothing but fresh, healthy and delicious. Try one of our recipes below or merely eat them on-the-go—juice running down your chin, and without a doubt, a smile on your face.

What is a Plumcot?

Just like its fun name implies, plumcots are a hybrid of a plum and an apricot. With dozens of varieties of apricots and plums to choose from, the assortment of plumcots is as diverse as it is delicious! Look for these extra-flavorful stone fruit in your neighborhood Sprouts.

Tips for Stone Fruit

Tip 1: Not quite ripe yet?

Place your stone fruit in a paper bag, out of direct sunlight at room temperature. Check daily for perfect ripeness.

Tip 2: Extend Freshness

When your stone fruit is ripe, store in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This will preserve freshness for an extra three to five days.

Tip 3: Whoops, too ripe …

Don’t toss your stone fruit yet! Roughly chop up the fruit, toss in a saucepan with a little water, a touch of sugar and dash of cinnamon. Cook down until fruit is soft and syrupy, for a delicious fruit compote to top ice cream, waffles, pancakes, yogurt and more.

Family Tree Farms

Men working on Family Tree Farms In the heart of California’s Central San Joaquin Valley, the Jackson family grows, packs and ships over 86 million pounds of stone fruits and blueberries every year. Their mission is to consistently produce, package and market the most flavorful fruit in the world. But it’s not just about how much they produce. After many conversations around the dinner table they came together and developed a vision for the family farm that focused on producing fruit that had a flavor profile like no other. Together, the family combined faith, hard work and integrity to create a collection of the most flavorful fruit, searching around the world for varieties with superior flavor. They partnered with many of the world’s top plant breeders, securing the exclusive rights to grow their best varieties on their farms. Sprouts had the pleasure of touring their farm and the Research & Development Center is truly one-of-a-kind, allowing them to bring the science of growing together with the art of farming. Their farming practices nurture the fruit to protect those tasty properties so they can bring extra delicious stone fruits from their family to yours.

Stone Fruit Recipes

Faced with a pile of ripe stone fruits, it’s natural to think of sweet cobblers and crisps. But foodies are also using summer fruits in savory applications like salsas and salads. Toss some in your morning yogurt or breakfast cereal, throw them on the grill alongside meat, experiment with some of the recipes below, or just eat them out of the palm of your hand.  

Ready to bring home these tasty seasonal faves?

START A STONE FRUIT SHOPPING LIST ORDER STONE FRUIT FOR DELIVERY

Picking Peak Peaches

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Picking ripe peaches and stone fruit

For a fruit whose lifeline is just a few days, and whose growing season is just a few weeks, peaches go back a long, long way. They have been cultivated in the U.S. for hundreds of years, but are originally native to China, where they have been grown for more than 2,500 years. They, along with nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries, olives and even almonds are known as drupes or stone fruits. A stone fruit is classified as any fleshy fruit with a single seed or pit in the center.

Types of Peaches

There are many individual types of peaches and nectarines, but the two major types are the yellow and white flesh varieties. Yellow peaches and nectarines have a yellow background with a pink to red blush; their flesh is deep yellow with a good balance of sweet tart flavors. Yellow peaches are best eaten when the flesh yields to gentle pressure. White peaches and nectarines have a creamy background with a pink to red blush overlay and creamy yellow flesh. They are usually less tart than their yellow counterparts and are ready to be eaten when still firm and crunchy. The white variety also ripens faster than the yellow.

Like peaches, plums also originated in China, though most of the ones sold in the U.S. are known as Japanese plums. This variety is usually small and round and comes in a variety of skin colors ranging from red, black, green and purple. Plums generally have tart skin with sweet flesh but some varieties are sweet inside and out. All three are nutrition powerhouses, full of vitamin C and A and potassium!

How Peaches Are Grown

Although peaches, plums and nectarines are harvested April through October and peak in June, July, August and September, the growing process is a year-round effort. In the winter, there are no fruits on the trees but growers are busy pruning the trees and measuring “chill hours,” which are the hours the outdoor temperature drops below 45°F (but not below freezing). Basically, these fruit trees need sleep to prepare for the next year’s crop. Chill hours can affect all stages of the growing process from pollination to harvest. The number of chill hours needed ranges from as little as 350 to as many as 900, but a total of 800–850 chill hours is considered optimal.

In the spring, the trees enter the bud and bloom stage. Once they are in full bloom, the pollinated blossoms start growing fruit. Peach and nectarine trees are self-pollinating but plum trees rely on bees and the wind to be pollinated. By the summer the orchards are ready to give up their bounty with some late varieties extending the harvest through the beginning of fall.

How to Choose a Ripe Peach & How to Ripen Peaches

The juicy yet firm flesh of peaches, nectarines and plums hold up well to heat, making them ideal for the grill, where their sugars will be developed and caramelized by the flames. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a fun, unexpected barbecue treat.
Video Description: When selecting a perfectly ripened stone fruit look for produce that yields to the touch and has a sweet fragrance. Avoid overripe stone fruits which are extremely soft or wrinkled.
 

Trick or Treat Yo’self DIYs

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Three different body scrubsWhy play tricks this Halloween when you can treat yourself to a DIY fall-filled spa day? From a snickerdoodle body scrub to a soothing oatmeal face mask, you’ll be surrounded by sweet fall scents and utter relaxation. Feel boo-tiful with these easy fall DIYs.
Video Description: Tune in to learn how to make Snickerdoodle Body Scrub, Oatmeal Face Mask and Soothing Body Soak recipes by One Lovely Life. Recipes included below.

organic coconut sugar

Simple Snickerdoodle Body Scrub

If cold season dryness is plaguing your skin, give this coconut sugar body scrub a try! It will help exfoliate and moisturize dry skin. For a 60-second pseudo manicure/pedicure, scrub mixture into your hands or feet for one minute, then rinse in warm water and pat dry. You won’t believe the difference! (Note that this mixture is a bit too coarse for the face and is meant for body use only. Also, if you’re using it in the tub or shower, know that the coconut oil can make things a little slippery!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Big Tree Farms Vanilla Coconut Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Sprouts Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor, combine coconut sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon and nutmeg until creamy and smooth.
  2. Transfer to a jar with a lid. Store at room temperature for up to one month.
  3. To use, gently apply a small scoop of the scrub to dry skin and rub gently to exfoliate and moisturize. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
  4. If your mixture separates, simply stir it a bit with your finger before using.

Soothing, Calming Oatmeal Face MaskVirgin coconut oil and raw oatmeal

If your skin is feeling a little dry or irritated, this soothing oatmeal mask will do the trick! Oatmeal calms inflamed or dry skin, and coconut oil adds a natural layer of moisturizer that will hydrate dry skin without clogging pores. If you need a little help clearing up a breakout, you can also add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the mixture!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Oatmeal (quick cooking or old-fashioned)
  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • Optional scent add-ins: 1/4 tsp. Vanilla extract and/or nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Pulse oatmeal in a blender or food processor until fairly fine (no big pieces).
  2. Add coconut oil, honey, vanilla and nutmeg (if using). Stir to combine until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a jar with a lid and store at room temperature for up to one week.
  4. To use, spread 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture over a clean (freshly-washed) face and let sit for at least 5–10 minutes. Rinse off and gently pat your face dry.
 
BAG OF EPSOM SALT

Soothing Body Soak

This soothing, detoxifying body soak is great when you’re tired, sore or overwhelmed. Try experimenting with various oil combinations for a different effect—cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus for a dose of fall aromatherapy, lavender for a relaxing effect, or a combination of peppermint and orange for an energy boost.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Sprouts Epsom Salts
  • 1/2 cup Baking soda
  • 10 drops Favorite essential oils

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and massage together with your fingers. (This will help distribute the oils evenly.)
  2. Transfer to a jar with a lid and store for up to one month.
  3. To use, scoop 1/2 cup of the mixture into a warm bath, sit back, and enjoy! Soak 20–40 minutes, for best results!
     

Meet Emily

Healthy Living Blogger and Recipe Developer

Emily lives, loves and cooks at One Lovely Life, where she shares healthy recipes and inspiration for living a happy, full life. You’ll find fresh, vibrant, allergy-friendly recipes that don’t feel like they’re missing anything. In addition to healthy recipes on her blog, you’ll find made-over sweet treats, book recommendations and tips for living a life you love.  

Non-Toxic Cleaners You Can Make at Home

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Now that spring has arrived, it’s time to freshen up our winter-weathered homes. Unfortunately, the often-toxic ingredients found in most conventional cleaning products can be just as harmful as the dirt and germs they are meant to eliminate. The good news is that spring cleaning doesn’t have to be dirty work. You can avoid the toxins in most conventional cleaning products by making your own. White, distilled vinegar is great for disinfecting, degreasing and non-toxic cleaning. It’s also extremely economical and readily available. Note: The smell of vinegar does dissipate fairly quickly, but if the stench bothers you, try scenting it with fragrant essential oils.different cleaning bottles

What You’ll Need:

  • Aura Cacia Essential Oils (we recommend lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree)
  • Sprouts Baking Soda
  • Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Clean distilled water
  • Toilet brush
  • Spray bottles
  • Cotton cloths

Disinfecting Surface Cleaner

Wipe away grime with this gentle, yet effective surface cleaner. Mix equal parts vinegar and water to disinfect walls, doorknobs, crib rails, and so on. If desired, add 5–10 drops of essential oil, per 2 cups of mixture. Dampen a sponge mop or cloth with the mixture and get to work!

Mirrors and Windows

To give your windows and mirrors a smudge-free shine combine 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar and 2 cups of water. Add 12 drops of lemon essential oil for added fragrance. Pour the ingredients into a clean spray bottle and shake well. Spray on surface and wipe with a clean cloth.

Multipurpose Cleaner

From the stovetop to the countertop, keep your home clean, fresh and safe with this multipurpose “greener” cleaner. Take an empty spray bottle and combine 1 tablespoon of liquid Castile soap, 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of water. We recommend lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus or lavender essential oils to create a sweet and wholesome scent. Put the cap on and shake well.

Toilet Cleaners

For regular toilet seat wipe downs, straight vinegar will do the trick. For tougher jobs, combine 1/2 cup baking soda, 1 cup distilled white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of tea tree essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray the bowl and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes. Sprinkle baking soda inside the toilet. Then, scrub with a brush and flush.

Bath and Shower

The best way to prevent soap and scum from building up is to regularly spray the bath and shower walls with vinegar. For a deep cleaning, make your own soft soap cleaner with baking soda and Castile soap. Use the baking soda in place of scouring powder. Sprinkle it liberally on porcelain fixtures and rub with a wet rag. Add a little soap to the rag for more cleaning power.  

Mother’s Day Mason Jar Vases

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Nothing says “I love you” quite like a bouquet of freshly cut flowers. This Mother’s Day, why not take it a little step further and create these beautiful, DIY hand-painted mason jar vases that you know she’ll love. Better yet, if you’ve got little ones of your own, get them involved too! Mix and match multiple colors or simply choose the ones that go wonderfully with her favorite flowers. Either way, these do-it-yourself vases are easy to make, plus, Mom will know that they were painted with love.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mason jars
  • Chalk paint in your preferred colors
  • Sandpaper
  • White chalk
  • Clear acrylic spray
  • Paintbrush

1. Paint the outside of each mason jar with chalk paint and let dry for one hour before applying another coat.

2. After the jars have completely dried, use sand paper to take the paint off of the raised, designed areas of the jar.

3. Rub white chalk over jar to create a distressed look.

4. Seal jars by spraying thoroughly with clear acrylic spray and let dry for at least two hours.

5. Once dry, add your mom's favorite fresh flowers.