6 cups shredded zucchini.
1 and 1/4 cups brown sugar.
1 cup oil.
1 tbsp anthem gum.
3 cups EarthNutri Organic Gluten Free All Purpose Flour.
2 tsp baking soda.
1 tsp salt.
1/4 tsp baking powder.
4 tsp vanilla.
2 tbsp cinnamon.
1 tbsp nutmeg.
1/2 tsp cloves.
Add walnuts, raisins or dried cranberries. Even chocolate coated nuts can be added.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for +/- one hour.
Resolutions are big during the first few days of the year but as the weeks go by, very few are able to live up to them. Why is that so? It's easy to say "Focus more on health and fitness" or "Save more in 2019". These goals are too general and can sound a bit intimidating that you don't know where to start. Setting mammoth goals can overwhelm us and we could set ourselves up for disappointment if we can't stick to it.
But by breaking huge resolutions into small specific and doable tasks, you can save yourself from throwing a pity party. Marginal efforts can someday make a notable difference, trust me. They may seem insignificant in the beginning but as you move towards the end of the year, adding these tiny habits in your daily rotation will help you become a better version of yourself.
1. Do an act of Kindness at least once a day.Did you know that kindness can have positive effects on your brain?
According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, "Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller!". Their research has also revealed that showing compassion and doing something humane for another person, lowers blood pressure and stimulates the production of happy hormones such as serotonin. Serotonin helps in wound healing and calms you down. The simple Other studies, such as one from Emory University has shown that kindness towards another causes a phenomenon called, "helper's high". Helper's High is a state of euphoria experienced by those who engage in charity work.
There are so many ways to make someone's day. An act of kindness can be in the form of holding the door for a senior, doing a chore for your roomie, feeding a stray dog on the street, offering to take a photo for a solo traveler, or even just asking how somebody's day went, already shows that you care.
The singer and actress, Lady Gaga once gave a moving speech about kindness. She said that "The really fantastic thing about kindness, is that it’s free." and even if you don't expect something back, it has its natural benefits. If you make somebody's day even just once should keep you perky and produce positive impacts on your mental health in the long run.
2. Do something that gets your heart rate up.
Are you on crunch time and can't spare an hour for exercise? Or are you scared of injuring yourself in the gym and having to contact your fitness healthcare provider? You can still incorporate tiny workouts in your daily or weekly routines without you needing to put your gym shoes on. Sweat without you noticing that you are actually working out. Here are three things to help you sweat a little.
Take the stairs (unless you are running late, of course). Climbing the stairs burns calories without you noticing it. When you run out of breath, don't worry it gets better over time.
Clean your space. Organize your books, wash the dishes, take the trash out, do some laundry. You can also try scheduling a sanitizing session for every section in your room or pad. Take for example your living room on Sundays or the kitchen on Saturdays. Be creative and clean whatever you can as long as you get your butt off your seat.
Take yourself out for a walk. Not only does it burn fat but it helps you clear your head. Take your pet out for a walk if you have one. If you wish to add more cardio, do a brisk walk.
3. Set a budget for the day and stick to it.
By setting expected expenses for the day, you are certain that you know where your money goes. If you are really serious about saving and keeping track of your funds, you should set a limit to your spending. Saving should be turned into a habit rather than looking at it as a responsibility. By just being aware of your cash flow, it will be easier for you to manage and take charge of your finances.
4. Resist reaching for your phone first thing in the morning.
According to Tony Reinke, an author of 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, "whatever we first focus our hearts on in the morning will shape our entire day." Once our phones light up, it's hard to miss what's going on. We don't get to choose what we see first hand. We can manage our notification settings but of course, we don't want to miss messages from important people we want to hear from for the rest of the day.
The best practice is to spend the first new minutes either meditating, stretching, making your bed, or jumping in the shower to totally wake you up. Awful news or messages can sabotage your day. Don't let what's on your phone dictate how your day is going to go.
5. Don't eat your feelings out. Write them down instead.
Journaling became a popular habit among Millennials lately. It's a better alternative to binge eating when you're depressed. Sure a cone of ice cream can make you happy for a moment, but you still leave your brain in a clutter. A great way to organize your thoughts is to write them down. Scribbling your thoughts on a piece of paper or a notebook can raise self-awareness and can lead you to understand why you feel, what you feel. Nicolas Cole, a writer and founder of Digital Press confessed that writing down his feelings made him significantly better. He said that "After I’ve journaled, the entire ocean changes shape to calm. I feel at ease again."
You aren't required to note your feelings every day. It's only when you feel, sad, angry, frustrated, even a little too happy that you can't express it to anybody. Write it all down. You can stare at it. You can crumple it. Or you can reflect on it. The side effect? It won't make you fat.
6. Drink Lemon Water in the morning.
This revitalizing morning ritual gives you an immunity boost throughout the day. Lemon is rich in Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Vitamin C not only increases your immunity but the vitamin also helps you achieve a healthier complexion. Lemon water flushes out toxins, aids in digestion, and contributes to healthy weight loss.
An unorganized living or working space can lead to depression and anxiety. In the book called, "Life at Home in The Twenty-First Century", clutter was stated to affect our moods and can cause a lot of stress. CLAYGO stands for Clean as You Go. This is the first step to avoiding clutter. When we clean up after ourselves, there is order. Our domain is well kept and we spend less time looking for things. Now we have more time to focus on the next task at hand.
8. Make your to-do list the night before.
Listing down things you need to do the night before saves you time and helps you avoid clumps of thoughts when you wake up in the morning. Why spend time half-awake, thinking of what things to do within the day when you can just do them right away? Writing your to-do list at night will maximize your mornings and you are far more likely to remember things when you've organized them beforehand.
This habit is totally underrated. Arnold Nelson, an associate professor of kinesiology at Louisiana State University stated that "stretching may especially benefit people who need exercise the most but are too weak to lift weights or get moving". If people are too busy to exercise at all, they might as well do some basic stretches in the morning to start their day. This increases blood flow, mobility and energy levels. Nelson also said that "stretching can be a good place for them to start on a path to wellness."
You are only 5 minutes away to a better day. Watch this simple video from Joanna Soh.
10. Wear Sunscreen
There is a popular essay by an Australian film director Baz Luhrmann that was turned into a song called "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" that says, "If I could offer you only one tip for the future, Sunscreen would be it". The song tackles topics about how you should enjoy your youth before it is taken away from you. One way to preserve your youth is to wear sunscreen.
This advice is for people of all ages. Your skin is your largest organ and it's your first line of defense against the harmful effects of UV rays. Wearing sunscreen not only slows down the skin aging but it most importantly decreases your risk to skin cancer.
So that is it for the list of minor upgrades you can fit in your routines to help you improve the quality of your life in 2019! What's the first habit on the list that you would like to practice? Let us know in the comments below. Happy new, you!
Writer Nina Alexandra Palmares is a Cross-country Mountain bike racer for the Rhinohead Philippines team. Off the saddle, she loves to cook 'real' food and perpetually geeks about music, cult movies, bikes, and Game of Thrones . She graduated with a degree in Information Technology. You can follow her journey on Instagram with the handle @winkypalmares and check out her curated bike ride playlist on Spotify.
Make the Best Gluten Free Peanut Butter Sugar Cookie made with EN EarthNutri Organic Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour. EN flour is gluten free, nut free, Non-GMO, vegan, and certified organic.
The recipe for these delicious Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies is:
16 ounces peanut butter.
1 cup butter.
Cream those together.
Add 4 tsp vanilla extract.
3 cups Gluten-Free Flour.
2 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp of salt.
Smash them with a fork and spring with salt and sugar
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Through proper exercise, diet, and quality supplementation, such as Creatine, L-Carnitine, Beta-Alanine, Vasodilations, BCAA’s, and other numerous ingredients, that aid in the improving of your physique and performance, is there a difference between the generic ingredients (using only the generic given name) and the Branded Ingredients (using a Trademark name)? Is there really a difference in benefits and claimed results of the ingredient?
Yes, and in some cases, No.
For example, Creapure® is manufactured and produced in a facility in Germany. This is 100% German Creatine Monohydrate. Most all the current double-blind studies that are published in many journals use this form of Creatine. This is considered the Premium Brand not just because it improves Strength and aids in Muscle growth, this Branded ingredient is known for its Purity and Consistency. The amount of research and funding into just this ingredient is in the millions over the past 20 years.
Generic Creatine is produced all over the world, but mostly in China. Regulations, cleanliness, and cross contamination is always a concern at these facilities. Purity, along with consistency, are also questionable, when this generic form is used in many of the products you are taking. China had a massive pollution problem in 2018. The Chinese Government shut down many ingredient making facilities due to poor air quality. Poor air means contaminants are floating in the air at these facilities. Which means the Creatine Powder may or may not have contaminants within the powder.
We received samples of 200 mesh Creatine (generic) from 2 different major ingredient distributors. They were from 2 different facilities in China. The color was slightly different when in a side by side visual comparison. Even though it was 200 mesh, one was more like powder sugar, and the other one was normal, and in line with what was expected. The question is, do you still get the claim benefits. The proper way is to wait a few weeks and let the Creapure® clear my system, and then take the Generic Creatine. But I did not go that route because immediately upon doing the R&D with the exact same flavor profile, on both Generic Creatine’s there was a slight change in the flavor. Now common sense would tell you since it is Creatine, and at least on paper by the Specs and Certificate of Analysis, that everything should be exactly alike, and the flavor, or taste, should not change. But it did change. With Creapure®, there is never a variation or consistency issues. No matter what lot number, or when the batch was made. When we use Creapure®, the flavor and taste does not vary or even a hint of change. With Generics, you take a chance on getting a good batch one round, the second or 3rd round, not as good. This is just an example, of one of the factors, of why the consumer, buys a Supplement, then start to see and feel the results the first time, then maybe the second or third time, you don’t show any improvement in your overall performance or physique.
Many Brand Owners are not aware of these differences. Once the agreement is made with the Contract Manufacturer, the Brand Owner’s then leave it in the hands of the facility to make their products. When a new Client comes into the Supplement Industry, they know the Generic names of the ingredients, and that is what they ask for. It is hard to know how good an ingredient is, or even if the ingredient works as it design to do, with a just a simple taste test of one serving. Even if the Brand Owner purchased the ingredients on their own from a retailer or on-line, in order to do their own trial or experiment, there is no way of knowing where that brand bought their Generic ingredients from. Then the Brand owner mixes their own formula at home, and takes the idea to a Contract Manufacturer, talks to their R&D, and the process starts. Once the Brand owner gives the approval for flavor if there is one, then production starts. Then in many cases, R&D and the Brand Owner are unaware that some ingredients are not synergistic, or do not compliment each other in benefits, instead they cross each other out in terms of full benefits. For instance, this is what is rampant around the industry, especially concerning high caffeine per serving, and other stimulants. The higher the caffeine amount, the more you blood vessels constrict. So how does your body assimilate all the other ingredients when your blood vessels are almost closed? But it has a Pump Matrix with Citrulline, or other forms of pump ingredients. Do you want your blood vessels to open or close? Do you want a pump, or do you want your Central Nervous System on high alert? This is the environment that creates no muscle growth. If the Formulation is synergistic, whether it is a Generic or Branded Ingredient, many of the ingredients take time to accumulate in the body before you can feel and visually see any results. On the day of the Formula testing, a Brand name ingredient could be used for testing in the lab, or a Generic that is available in the R&D room. After approval of the formulation, the actual purchasing of the material that the client tried could change, or the Contract Manufacturer uses whatever ingredient they have in inventory. If not in inventory, the Purchasing Department then price shops an ingredient, it’s possible the price may be too high, and the purchasing department then must find the ingredient at an acceptable cost. And to keep cost down, ingredients are purchased in Bulk, so it could be used for other brands present and future. This could be over several facilities and distributors of ingredients. Now, not all generics are bad, but it only takes one or two bad generics in a formulation, to ruin the whole serving of benefits. For example, if you have a high- performance engine in your car, and it requires premium gas for your engine to reach its full potential and what it was design to do, would you put 87 Octane in your engine? What if you put some 87 Octane and mix some Premium 93 Octane (91 in California)? Would that combination still be good? There’s no way you are mixing the grade of gasoline. You work too hard to purchase your level of performance. You know the long-term effects if you put in a lower octane or mediocre quality gasoline. So why would you do that to your own body, something that is certainly more valuable than your car. The bottom line is unless the Brand Owner specifically ask for a Branded Ingredient, your ingredients are at the mercy of the Contract Manufacturer’s choosing. Trust me, there are many Contract Manufacturers that find the cheapest form of generics and could care less where it comes from.
Many Generics used “borrowed science”. Which means, the product or ingredient, uses science that was done and published by the Branded Ingredients and their rightful Patent Owner. In truth, you are not consuming the actual ingredient that was studied, but a copycat, a generic. This is not like a Generic Pharmaceutical say Tylenol verses Walgreens. The Pharmaceutical Industry has much tighter controls over their industry, compared to the Dietary Supplement Industry. Another problem unfortunately is some generics have documents by third party labs that don’t really exist from across seas. Forged, copy and pasted. Hopefully the Contract Manufacturer are on top of these documents and are protecting the consumer, and the Brand Owner. The Branded ingredients are the heart and soul of that Company’s Profile. Their reputation is at stake. For example, Lonza. One of their major Branded ingredients is Carnipure®. Carnipure® is worldwide. This is a very popular form of L-Carnitine. Many Millions of dollars and research is behind this Brand. The Generic form is simply L-Carnitine. But L-Carnitine can be made by many different facilities throughout China. How the cGMP practice and purity of the L-Carnitine, along with the consistency can be question with good cause, for many reasons. Much of the science used in Carnipure® are used to back up generic L-Carnitine. Are there certain Generic L-Carnitine that is good, of course. There also are low quality one’s too. You are at the mercy of the decision making of the Contract Manufacturer. But if you purchase Carnipure®, you are getting a high-quality ingredient, without the question of purity and consistency. And you take the power of choice away from the Contract Manufacturer, and put that power in your hands, the consumer.
Over 90% of the Brands you see on the store shelf don’t make their own product. Many are done at Contract Manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. If the owner of the Brand doesn’t specifically ask for a Branded ingredient from the Contract Manufacturer, then the Contract Manufacturer will have the purchasing department find the lowest cost generic ingredient they can find to put into that product. This helps keep cost down and margins up. Many of the Brand owners never think to ask, “where does the ingredient come from, and who made it.”
There are Generics that are good. A good Contract Manufacturer will have to search for them if the bottom line isn’t cost. There are reputable ingredient houses, but there are also questionable ones with a history of selling poor quality ingredients. There are many ingredients that do not have a Brand name or Patent. Some Amino Acids, or some Plant base ingredients, and Botanicals. For an ingredient to be Branded or Trademarked, extra steps are taken, and a higher standard must be used in the processing of an ingredient. The Quality is above standard, and they are independently studied, and in most cases, become published in numerous journals. The companies that provide Brand Ingredients put many years of studies and investment into making their ingredient top quality. The Company reputation is based on the Brand and Trademark they provide. In most cases, they are only made at one or two facilities where there is tight control on the process.
At the end of the day, it is up to the consumer to be as knowledgeable as possible. Really pay attention to the marketing and what they are not saying. Be careful of claims of “we have the best ingredients” when you have no idea where they come from. Also, don’t let the taste fool you, many products taste good, but does absolutely nothing for you. Pay close attention to the Supplement Label or Nutrition Label. Read carefully and pay close attention to the dosages. If a product, such as a Pre-Workout is under 10g, more than likely it will not help you achieve the improvement you’re looking for beyond being mentally jacked up. If so, then your diet better be completely on point. Most important pay close attention to the combination of ingredients. High Caffeine and Stimulants that are along side a Pump Blood Volume Ingredient means Zero. If you have a fast-acting Whey Protein Isolate, but it is combined with Gums with Creamers (from milk solids) and other additives, do you really think it is still fast-acting? Or you can take Vitamin K2 or Vitamin D3 alone, but for better benefits, take them together for better absorption of both Vitamins. This is true in Branded or Generics. There are good generics on the market, but you can take the second guessing out with a Branded Trademark Ingredient when it is possible. The Consumer then has control of what ingredient is going into their body, and the knowledge of the true company that made it. Do your homework before purchasing your next Supplement.
**Writer Chris Walden has been in Quality & Operations in Aerospace, Automotive, and the DOD. The last 4 years he has been in Quality/Formulation for the Dietary Supplement Industry.