Why Are Leafy Greens the Superheros of the Veggie World?

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Why are greens so glorious?  While all fruits and veggies pack a nutritional punch, leafy greens hit it out of the park.  Here’s why:

Dark green leafy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses loaded with vitamins and nutrients.  The darker the color, the healthier they are.  Salad greens, kale and spinach are rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, and broccoli, bok choy and mustard greens are also rich in many of the B-vitamins. These vegetables also contain an abundance of carotenoids-antioxidants that protect cells and play roles in blocking the early stages of cancer. They also contain high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. As well, greens have very little carbohydrates, sodium and cholesterol.

Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods. Studies have shown that eating 2 to 3 servings of green leafy vegetables per week may lower the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancer. These same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease.

Filling up on dark leafy greens can help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy body weight as they are low in calories and have a low glycemic index.  As well, adding more leafy greens increases your intake of fiber which helps regulate your digestive system and keep it healthy. These properties are particularly helpful for those with type-2 diabetes.

So be creative and eat your glorious greens!

What are some examples of leafy greens?

Here’s a list:  kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, arugula, Swiss chard, broccoli, turnip greens and bok choy, to name a few.

Great ways to get more leafy greens in your diet:

Put it in a salad: Create a mix of kale, spinach and arugula, adding in different kinds of tomatoes.  Add cucumbers, peppers, shredded carrots and cabbage for an exciting and colorful salad.  Try a fresh dressing of lemon juice, garlic, a little Dijon mustard and olive oil.

Make a hummus wrap:  Put a layer of hummus on your whole wheat tortilla and add spinach or arugula, avocado, tomatoes and peppers.

Kale chips: tear kale leafs into sections and lay on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle a little salt and a tiny bit of olive oil over kale.  Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes.

Add to soup or stew: Add kale or spinach to any of your favorite soups or stews.

Veggie stir fry:  stir in bok choy, broccoli, onions, peppers, mushrooms and any vegetable you have in the fridge!

 

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Wellness Apps We Love

APPS

Now that the New Year is upon us, how do we keep the wellness resolutions we’ve made for a healthier and happier 2018?

Here are some apps that will help you navigate shopping, cooking and eating more healthily as well as trying to fit exercise and mindfulness into your daily routine.

Michele’s Pick:

Muncher Jr. (free)

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Muncher Jr. is a fun free app to help kids and parents on their wellness journey. Kids can track their servings of various food groups, water, and mood throughout the day.

Jenn’s Picks:

Forks Over Knives ($4.99)

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This is the essential recipe app from the makers of the critically-acclaimed film Forks Over Knives. Discover over 300 hearty and decadent whole food plant-based meals from over 20 leading chefs, with new recipes added weekly.  Forks Over Knives app helps organize your ingredient and shopping lists for streamlined and easy meal planning.

Stop, Breathe & Think (free)

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Stop, Breathe & Think is an award winning meditation and mindfulness app that helps you find peace anywhere. It allows you to check in with your emotions, and recommends short guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel.

Peggy’s Pick:

My Fitness Pal (free)

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Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, get healthy or change your habits, you’ll love MyFitnessPal.  Log your food and fitness and more daily to track your progress.

Zoe’s Picks:

Healthy Living (free)

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From food to shampoo, we are exposed to chemicals every second, yet we know very little about them. To navigate this complicated world and make safer choices, the Healthy Living app gives us health and safety ratings for over 200,000 food and cosmetics products.  Just scan the product to discover how healthy it is.

Headspace (free)

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Headspace has hundreds of themed mindfulness sessions on everything from stress to sleep with bite-sized meditations for busy schedules.

Happify (free)

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How you feel matters. Whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or you’re dealing with constant negative thoughts, Happify brings you effective tools and programs to take control of your emotional wellbeing.

Brianna’s Pick:

Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen (free)

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Michael Greger, MD, FACLM, has arrived at a list of what he considers the most important foods to include in a healthy daily diet. Yes, greens are good for you, but how much should we try to eat each day? Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen details the healthiest foods and how many servings of each we should try to check off every day.  Also, check out his bestselling book How No To Die.

Sam’s Picks:

Happy Cow ($3.99)

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This comprehensive vegetarian and vegan restaurant guide helps you find a local restaurant or cafe anywhere in the world, or search for reviews about a local vegan or vegetarian health food store.

Yonder (free)

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Plan your next adventure with Yonder. Created for everyone—from backyard explorers to backcountry adventurers—Yonder connects you to the people, places, and experiences that inspire.  Want to go on a hike? Maybe kayaking? How about rock climbing? Simply launch Yonder and it’ll show you the places and experiences that are all around you.

Daily Burn (free +)

Choose from a huge variety of daily workouts that you can do in the comfort of your home.  No need to worry about class fees and schedules or getting yourself there.  Our Wellness Foundation Team does a 10 minute brain break workout every day and it makes all the difference.  Just 10 minutes of exercise per day, in your living room, can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing!

Wellness Foundation’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017

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Check out Wellness Foundation team’s gift picks to keep your loved ones happy and healthy this holiday season and beyond!

Michele’s Picks:

The Oh She Glows Cookbook is filled with delicious and healthy whole food, plant-based recipes that the health conscious and foodie alike will love.  $21.60

With the Spiralizer you can swap pasta for zucchini noodles or just make pretty apple flowers. A must-have for any creative cook.  $39.99

Give the gift of mindfulness!  Cory Muscara’s 31-day Mindfulness Course is a perfect way to kick-start a mindfulness practice.  Cory’s mission is to make happiness easier for more people by blending eastern wisdom with western science in a way that is comprehensible, practical, and transformative. $27.

 

The Sprout Garden 3-tray Sprouter Kit has everything your loved one needs to grow their own super nutritious and delicious sprouts.  It includes an instruction booklet, 3-tier sprouter, and three packets of certified organic sprouting seeds: alfalfa, 5-part salad mix, and protein powerhouse mix.  Sprouting is so easy and is a great way to load up on nutrients!  $25.93

Jenn’s Picks:

Jenn loves New York Times best selling author Kathy Freston’s books and and her easily accessible and powerful messages.  The Book of Veganish contains everything curious teens and young adults need to help them navigate through the transition to a vegan lifestyle. The 70 simple recipes are perfect for those with tight budgets and rudimentary cooking tools (and skills). Filled with insights on the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet and how to best deal with parents and the rest of the nonvegan world, The Book of Veganish will allow existing and aspiring vegans to feel confident about their new lifestyle choices.  Also, pre-order her newest book Clean Protein: the Revolution that Will Reshape Your Body, Boost Your Energy- and Save Our Planet.  Sure to be her next bestseller!

From Jenn: “I can’t think of a better way to begin a happy, healthy new year! My friend, Kathy Freston has spent years researching the future of protein and her new book “Clean Protein” is going to start a Clean Protein Revolution! If you have someone in your life who is constantly asking you “where do you get your protein on a plant based diet?” this is the book for them! This book is going to revolutionize the way we look at protein forever. Tuck a note in their stocking and let the recipient know that this book is coming in January to help them have their healthiest and happiest year yet!”

   

The NutriBullet is great for healthy smoothies, soups, sauces, and sorbets. This easy-to-clean machine provides a simple, tasty, highly absorbable way to consume superfoods like spinach, berries and beets.  $69.99

NutriBullet 600 Watt Nutrient Extractor, Hi-Speed Blender and Smoothie-Maker

Tired of wondering what toxic ingredients you or your loved ones are putting on their skin?  Give the gift of natural skin products with Andalou Naturals .  This age defying starter kit is a great stocking stuffer.  $19.99

Jenn’s favorite appliance of the moment is the Instant Pot that makes plant-based eating super quick and easy!  Cooking money-saving dried beans in minutes, this amazing device is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sautér, steamer and warmer all in one!  $79.95

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Barbara’s Picks:

Give the gift of elevated mood and stress relief!  The Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser fills with any favorite essential oils.   Helps with allergies, sleep and cold and flu symptoms too.  $25.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

This lovely guest soap gift box from Southampton Soap Company  features soaps made by hand in small batches using the finest all natural, vegetable-based ingredients that are not tested on animals.  They use homegrown, wildcrafted, organic herbs and botanicals for color and scent.  There are no sulfates, parabens, phthalates or additives in their products.  Good, clean soap made on Long Island.  $25.

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Peggy’s Picks:

The Witmer Natural Peanut Butter Hand Mixer is a handy dandy tool for those peanut/almond butter lovers on your list.  It easily stirs the peanut butter in the original container without splashing the oil.  $10.

Get Warmies plush animals for the littles in your life.  Simply warm in a microwave for one minute to release the wonderfully soothing lavender aroma.  The bigs might want one too!  $24.99

Warmies® Cozy Plush Puppy

Zoe’s Picks:

These reusable glass straws make excellent stocking stuffers and help save the planet too!  Choose from a variety of colors and styles.  $8.95-$11.95

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The Harvest Food Box takes the hassle out of shopping and preparing and delivers healthy, ready-to-cook food right to your doorstep.  It’s a great gift for those on your list who want to be healthy but have little time.  Their delicious, plant-based recipe ingredients are ready to be thrown into a crock pot–it’s as simple as that!  Harvest Food Box delivers to the eastern half of Long Island,  NY.  $69.99 per week.

These Rawmantic chocolates are raw, organic, plant-based and handcrafted.  Choose from quinoa almond ganache, millet hazelnut chocolate or coconut energy truffles to name a few. Perfect for the healthy sweeties in your life!  Gluten-free and dairy-free.  $4. for one bar.

Quinoa Hazelnut Ganache

Sam’s Picks:

Do your WFPB peeps love to travel?  Get The Essential Vegan Travel guide filled with tips and tools on how to travel healthfully and happily.  $14.95

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Give a Spice House gift box filled with delicious, fragrant aromas to add rich flavor to any plant-based meal.  We love the salad and vegetable lovers’s gift box as well as the popcorn seasoning gift box.  $27.94 for salad & veggie lover’s.

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Vegan Cuts Beauty Boxes offer a monthly subscription to boxes filled with cruelty-free, natural products that don’t break the bank.  Each month your loved one will receive a delivery of 4-7 new products to try, ranging from unique cosmetics to luxurious skincare.  They offer a monthly vegan snack box too.  $120. for 6 months of deliveries -$20. per box.

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This Dessert Bullet is a must have for any health conscious person who wants a yummy and satisfying treat.   Made with only fruit, Dessert Bullet sorbet is a guilt-free indulgence. The kids will love it!  $98.

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The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living is chock full of tips to help you and your loved ones get through the winter with coziness, connection, contentment and a little coffee too!    Hygge is a Danish philosophy that focuses on having a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. It is about being with the people you love, a feeling of home and that you are safe.  Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table.  Find out why Danes are some of the happiest people on the planet and how to achieve hygge for yourselves.  $10.69

More Books We Love:

Vegan Under Pressure

Vegan cooking made fast, fresh, and flavorful with the convenience of a pressure cooker.  $12.85

How Not to Die Cookbook

Dr. Michael Greger’s first book, How Not to Die, a New York Times bestseller, presented the scientific evidence behind the only diet that can prevent and reverse many of the causes of premature death and disability. Now, The How Not to Die Cookbook puts that science into action. From Superfood Breakfast Bites to Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca to Two-Berry Pie with Pecan-Sunflower Crust, every recipe in The How Not to Die Cookbook offers a delectable, easy-to-prepare, plant-based dish to help anyone eat their way to better health.  $17.99

Plant-Powered Families

A plant-based diet can be easy, delicious, and healthy for the entire family. In Plant-Powered Families, Burton shares over 100 whole-food, vegan recipes—tested and approved by her own three children. Your family will love the variety of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and snacks.  $16.05

Vegan: the Cookbook  WF tested: an A+ grade!

The definitive and most comprehensive cookbook of traditional and authentic home cooking vegan dishes from 150 countries around the world.”—Vegan Magazine

With nearly 500 vegetable-driven recipes, Vegan: The Cookbook, inspired by cuisines around the work, brings vegan home cooking to new levels of deliciousness.  Featuring dishes from countries ranging from Albania to Zambia, it showcases the culinary diversity of vegan cuisine, highlighting regional fruits and vegetables, traditional cooking techniques, and universally delectable flavors. Home cooks will discover sweet and savory starters, soups, salads, mains, and desserts for all to enjoy, accompanied by straightforward instructions and gorgeous color photography.  $42.45

The Art of Extreme Self Care

This life-changing handbook by best-selling author Cheryl Richardson offers you 12 strategies to transform your life one month at a time. Designed as a practical, action-oriented program, each chapter challenges you to alter one behavior that keeps getting you in trouble.  A sane and sensible program that gives you the permission you need to dramatically upgrade your life!

Chick Pea Magazine Subscription

If your loved ones love cooking, DIY, personal stories, beautiful photography, unique hand lettering, modern design, talking about food, whole foods veganism, and much more, they’ll love Chickpea!  $65. per year, four issues .

Yearly Print Subscription

The Wisdom of Sundays

This beautiful and soul-expanding book is filled with life-changing insights from some of today’s most most-admired thought-leaders and visionaries.  Oprah Winfrey’s, The Wisdom of Sundays, promises to be a timeless keepsake that will help readers awaken to life’s wondrous possibilities and discover a deeper connection to the natural world around them.  $16.79

The Blue Zones and the new Blue Zones of Happiness are two books that show how you can live your longest, happiest and healthiest life with studies from the people in the world that are doing it best. Region by region, author Dan Buettner reveals the “secrets” of longevity through stories of his travels and interviews with some of the most remarkable–and happily long-living people on the planet. It’s no coincidence that the way they eat, interact with each other, shed stress, heal themselves, avoid disease, and view their world yield them more good years of life. Must reads!  Blue Zones: $11.96, Blue Zones of Happiness: $14.33

  

 

The Book of Awakening

This book will help you have the life you want by being present to the life you have!  Philosopher-poet and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo opens a new season of freedom and joy–an escape from deadening, asleep-at-the wheel sameness–that is both profound and clarifying. His spiritual daybook is a summons to reclaim aliveness, liberate the self, take each day one at a time, and to savor the beauty offered by life’s unfolding.  $10.97