Posts belonging to Category 'Organic'

Health Supplement Review: Plant-based Protein Powders + A Recipe!

Firstly, let me just say that in no way am I suggesting that a plant-based diet needs to be supplemented with protein powder – it is now common knowledge in the health and wellness industry that we can get adequate protein from a wholesome and varied plant-based diet.

I personally choose to include protein powder in my diet because I’ve amped up my exercise load, I’m trying to increase my muscle mass and because I like to include it in smoothies to create more substantial and filling snacks and meals.

Whilst it is easy to get lost in the endless shelves of chemical laden protein powders and meal replacement shakes full of false promises, more and more natural alternatives are popping up in Australia. I definitely do not consider myself a protein powder connoisseur but in my search for a healthy AND palatable post workout drink (let’s face it, natural does not ALWAYS taste best – especially where protein powders are concerned) I’ve tried a few plant-based brands and would love to share my experiences with you. All of the below protein supplements are dairy, gluten, soy and refined sugar free.

First up is vanilla flavoured Sunwarrior Rice Protein: Bio-Fermented, Raw, Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein sweetened with stevia, 16.8 g of protein per serve.

This was my introduction to the brown rice protein brigade and I have to admit, I nearly spat the first sip back out. I then pondered on how I was going to get rid of it and considered pushing it on to a friend. A month later I gave it another shot and actually slowly began to enjoy it. I think the trick with protein powders that are sweetened with stevia is to not mix them with sweet fruits, unless you’re after a total sweet taste bud assault. I enjoyed Sunwarrior blended with almond/soy/rice milk and loads of ice or with frozen raspberries. Once I learned to enjoy the taste the only downside I found was the slightly chalky texture. Which lead me on to my next tub…

Growing Naturals Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein Isolate in Vanilla Blast, sweetened with brown rice syrup and stevia, 24 g of protein per serve.

I like the fact that this one is sweetened with brown rice syrup as I enjoy the taste more than stevia. This would also suit someone looking to include more carbohydrates in their diet as brown rice syrup contains both fast carbohydrates suitable for muscle recovery and complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. It has the same texture as other brown rice protein powders but I enjoyed the taste more. I also used it in a banana muffin recipe which turned out well.

Ezy Protein: Organic, Sprouted, Bio-Fermented, Raw, Wholegrain Brown Rice Protein sweetened with stevia, 25.8 g protein of per serve.

This has the same texture as Sunwarrior but is a little sweeter and tastier. I quite like the tub that it comes in as your hand doesn’t get coated in protein powder as you try and scoop out the last few serves.

Vega Sport Performance Protein in Chocolate and Vanilla: A complete multi-source, alkaline-forming, plant-based protein blend sweetened with stevia, 26 g of protein per serve.

This is a little different to the above proteins as it contains a mixture of yellow pea protein, SaviSeed protein, sprouted wholegrain brown rice protein, hemp protein and alfalfa protein as well as a branched chain amino acid complex, glutamine and a digestive enzyme blend.

I like the fact that this contains a variety of protein sources and includes other ingredients which assist recovery and improve digestion. I found the texture to be a lot smoother than plain brown rice protein powders and it blends far more easily. Chocolate is my flavour of choice, I’m not a big fan of Vega’s vanilla.

In the end none of these protein powders are delicious, but they do contain high quality healthy ingredients which can compliment your diet and exercise program, and possibly boost your results.

Overall Vega has been my favourite protein powder based on taste, texture and ingredients, but there are still other brands out there that I’m keen to try such as Garden of Life RAW Protein, Juice Plus Complete and David Wolfe’s Raw Sprouted Brown Rice Protein.

Have you tried any of these or ones I haven’t listed? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Bonus: My Choc Raspberry Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

♥ 1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate plant-based protein powder
♥ milk of choice (almond, rice etc) I used around 100 mL in the one above but I like mine super thick
♥ 1 cup of frozen raspberries
♥ 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder (less if using chocolate flavoured protein)

Blend, serve and enjoy 🙂

Article by Emma Smyth, nutrition student & health coach who blogs over at This Sparkly Life!

Be well,

xoxo

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Product Review: Native Box, Organic & Natural Sample Subscription Box!

One of the loveliest presents I received this Christmas was a Native Box. It's such a great concept-every month a juicy array of natural, Eco-friendly, ethical and organic products are selected for inclusion in the box. I love the idea of getting a regular surprise like this – kind of like Christmas or your birthday every month.

The box I tested contained a diverse mix of products, from body care items like paw paw ointment and Aussie bush soap, healthy edibles including organic popcorn and delicious chocolate covered macadamias, along with various other body, soul and planet friendly fare.

All of the products have proved great, but just to highlight a few of my favourites from the fab fourteen:

Byron Bay Detox Foot patches: I've wondered about detox foot patches for ages but have always been a bit skeptical. I'm converted! I used these on Christmas Eve and woke up at 5.30 feeling extremely refreshed, before bouncing out of bed to do an early morning Bikram yoga class. Let me please note that this is not normal behaviour for me!

Phytocare Daily C: these are handy sachets of vitamin C powder sweetened with stevia and xylitol, perfect for people avoiding sugar. Very effective as a post-indulgence energy boost as I found over Christmas!

Bee Natural Lemon Myrtle Lip Balm: the summer heat is leaving my whole body parched, lips included. This is a lovely light balm with a fresh, subtle scent. It contains super-nourishing beeswax and macadamia oil.

Natralus Paw Paw Aloe Gel: I spent some gorgeous mornings at the beach over the holidays, Mettams Pool being my current favourite spot. Despite being slathered in factor 30 and sporting a very unsexy rashie top, the strong Aussie sun still managed to bake through and this gel proved a great skin soother.

From $12.75/mth plus shipping.

For more information on Native Box go to www.nativebox.com.au

What wellness treats did you find in your Christmas stocking this year?

Article by Karen, wannabe beach babe battling a serious case of shark fear!

Be well,

xoxo

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Beauty & Wellbeing Crushes: Healthy Frozen Treats, Blue Spirulina, Raw Skincare, Bali Delights & More!

Healthy frozen treats by Detoxinista

As the weather heats up I’ve been craving cooling foods and drinks, but on a sugar-and-dairy free diet reaching for the ice cream isn’t possible. So I’ve been on the lookout for some healthy alternatives and stumbled across a fantastic website with tons of inspiration – www.detoxinista.com

The website is packed with healthy, but indulgent and very yummy recipes. So far I’ve tried the frozen almond butter fudge, replacing the honey with liquid stevia (about 15-20 drops) and chocolate coconut milk ice cream, again with the liquid stevia replacement. Both are divine and don’t last long! They’re also really easy to make. I’ve varied the fudge with a tahini version (so yum) and also a macadamia nut butter option (see pic below). I also reinvented the ice cream into a citrus version, adding the juice and zest of half a lemon to the mix instead of the cacao.

Lifestream Spirulina Blue

I’ve reached the end of year with flagging energy levels so have been in need of a boost. Superfoods like spirulina are a great way to get some extra vitamins and minerals into your body in whole food, rather than synthetic, form. I’ve tried various spirulina powders, but they can be pretty unpalatable and I find that adding a scoop to a smoothie tends to overpower the other flavours. So these spirulina tablets are a great idea. Not only are they easy to consume, but the ‘blue’ version means they contain 50% more phytococyanin than other spirulinas, which has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Bali Love

I’ve recently returned from my second trip to Bali since moving to Perth, which again proved balm for the mind, body and soul. This time I stayed in East Bali at the gorgeous Alila Manggis. It was beautiful and peaceful, just what I needed, and I did very little other than relax by the pool and enjoy some blissful Balinese massages.

However I did take a day trip to my beloved Ubud for a bit of hustle-bustle, shopping and some raw food treats. I lunched at the Clear Café which has a fantastic and very varied menu with a mix of raw and cooked foods, including some fish options. I had the hummus trio with raw crackers which was delicious and very healthy.

Raw Essentials Skincare

I like to keep my skincare as natural as possible and this range is spot on. It’s also local, which I love, created just down the road in Fremantle. After the Bali holiday my skin was feeling quite dry and, well, a bit scaly!

The citrus body scrub, made with raw sugar and poppy seeds, has been really effective in smoothing things out again. I’ve also been using the light face cream which is packed with essential oils (like all products in the range) so it smells amazing and it’s a perfect lightweight but nourishing moisturiser for the summer. Since I’ve been using the face cream my skin feels really soft again.

Green Juice+Smoothie Combos

Trying to decide between a morning juice or smoothie, I’ve been experimenting with juice+smoothie combos. A ‘joothie’ maybe? Or a ‘Smuice’?? My current favourite is zucchini, broccoli and lemon juice with half an avocado blended into it. I’ve also created a thirst quencher with lemon juice and blended cucumber and avocado. The only downside is that you have to clean both the juicer and blender….

What are you crushing on at the moment? Leave a comment below to share the love!

Article by Karen, currently feeling very excited about the New Year and all the exciting wellness possibilities ahead!

Be well,

xoxo

Product Review: Notoxbox, Sample Subscription Boxes Just Got Greener.

Eating healthy is a bit of a minefield. It’s not even about cutting out junk anymore; it’s about carbs, salt, proteins, a million and one factors, and the whole ordeal is a perplexing and stressful one. Even more so when confronted with things like health food shops – and believe me, as someone still trying to puzzle my way around the preparation of chia seeds, there is a lot to learn.

♥ Halp!

I jumped on the sample box subscription thing when it kicked off in Australia – and while I enjoyed it, I ended up cancelling them all because I was just collecting masses of tiny products, many of which for whatever reason I wasn’t going to use. So a sample box that mainly consists of consumables? Makes infinitely more sense. It saves you from the sizeable cost of buying a full bag of a product you don’t know how to prepare and likely haven’t even heard of (Kale? Maca? Acai?) and allows you to experiment before pursuing the products that you respond well to. In fact I think the sample box thing is far better suited to food/nutrition than cosmetics.

Anyhow, subject at hand: Notoxbox is a monthly subscription box that combines healthy eating with some organic, healthy and naturally made products that all fall into that indefinable “green” category. All its packaging and padding is recyclable, there is no excess dressing up or ribbons or flounces or anything – it’s the box, a small explanatory sheet, and the products themselves. It’s rather wonderfully straightforward. The Notoxbox subscription is $25 a month – more than the beauty subscriptions, admittedly, but you’re also getting a fair few full sized products and a wider variety of things.

My box is the November one, and it’s pretty fabulous one.

One a beauty front, I got a 20g Kosmea’s daily facial exfoliant (the rosewater mist is pictured instead above) and a Giovanni La Hold hair spritz (hairspray). On a hygiene front I received a Melrose organic hand sanitiser and a Pure Bamboo sports deodorizer (who told them I was a smelly gymrat? Who?) – and in the noms category I got a fullsized packet of Eat Rite brown rice tamari seaweed crackers, and samples of aforementioned chia seeds (The Chia co.) and Vital Greens, a powdered nutrient supplement. I actually already own Chia Co. Chia seeds and can now confirm that the least intrusive way to get em in ya is to throw them in with your muesli or into a green smoothie. I haven’t mastered anything with more finesse.

So this is essentially the learning experience of walking into a health food store and ensnaring a really, really good store assistant to boil it down to the basics for you. It’s low cost, low confusion and non-pushy, and pretty much genius as far as I’m concerned. Those who have contemplated making a healthy change but have no idea how to start would be advised checking these out – they’re a very beginner-friendly step to making some positive changes.

Do the samples in the Notoxbox appeal to you?

Review by Suzanne, who also blogs over at Don’t They Know Who I Am?

Be well,

xoxo

Beauty & Wellbeing Crushes: A Fun Way to Meditate, Style Your Hair, Double Yoga & Gem Infused Body Wash!

My Diamond Days

I’ve been talking about the benefits of meditation a lot lately, here on Wellness WA, as well as going on about it to my friends a LOT! I’ve also been creating a few little morning rituals for myself – 2 sets of sun salutations followed by a couple of minutes meditating, and it’s incredible how much better I feel on the days that I do this.

If you’d like to start meditating but are not sure how, then you need to check out My Diamond Days, a delicious program which gives you access to a large variety of high-quality guided meditations that you can listen to on your computer, MP3 player or smart phone whenever you want. My Diamond Days sends you a daily email with a new guided meditation, so you never get bored, and there’s such a big variety of meditations that if you’re not so keen on one, then you can easily go through the archives to find one that suits whatever you need at that point in time.

I like to listen to mine before bedtime using their mobile app, that 5 or 10 minutes helps calm my mind and ensure a great nights sleep. Highly recommended! Find out more at www.mydiamonddays.com

Style Your Hair

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend the launch of a brand new smart phone and tablet app that promises to make the downtime between appointments at the hairdresser less of an ordeal. Enter – Style Your Hair.

Promising to teach you how to whip together a salon-worthy hairstyle in just a few minutes with its easy to follow videos, this app was created by two of the award-winning hairdressers from local salon Chilli Couture.

There are 67 videos in the paid version ($2.99) and there is also a free lite version which gives you a taste of the program! Available for both iPhone & Android products, this is one to check out if you need a little extra help keeping your follicles in check.

2 x Yoga in a Row

While I’m not quite at the level of the lass in the picture above… I’m a pretty big fan of yoga. You might know this by now. If you ever want to have a chat about yoga, get in touch! I’m lucky enough to go to a gym that has fairly plentiful, high-quality yoga offerings available, in fact it was the deciding factor in me signing up! One such yoga offering comes on a Sunday afternoon in the form of two yoga classes in a row. Most people attend one or the other, but there’s a few of us who’ve cottoned on to the fact that each class is different and that double yoga = double the benefits.

I can turn up frazzled and stressed, and walk out of class two hours later with a significantly lighter mind. A cheaper option is to do two different yoga DVD’s in a row – both are sure to have different focuses, and you’ll get a double hit of stress dissolving goodness. Let me know if you try it!

AEOS Beauty Body Shower

This organic/biodynamic body wash contains the gem & crystal essences. Yep. Amethyst, turquoise, emerald, quartz and more. AEOS stands for Active Energised Organic Skincare, and these guys know how to make some truly great, and very natural, products.

A gentle cleansing wash for the body, containing a blend of organic and biodynamic essential oils, plant extracts and the energies of gems and crystals. Rich in rosemary, white birch and gardenia to leave the skin feeling fresh and soft, whilst the scent of lemon myrtle transforms your showering ritual in to a refreshing and uplifting experience.

I’ve been enjoying using this in the mornings, and even though I don’t really know how the whole gemstone/crystal thing works, I can’t help but think it makes my mood a little more sparkly. Available for $18.50 from Be Genki Shop.

What’s making your beauty & wellness world spin this week? Share your crushes below, I’d love to hear them!

Be well,

Annette

xoxo