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Prepared food displayed on snow - Plant-Based Winter is Here

Plant-Based Winter is Here

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Winter is here, so the days are short, the weather is cold, and there’s no shortage of excuses to stay inside to keep warm. As someone who loves fresh, wholesome foods, your choices might be a bit more limited than at other times of the year, especially if you prefer locally-grown produce. Your plant-based winter is here, but there’s no need to fear.

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

When it’s winter, it can be tough to stick with only seasonal fruits, but it’s not impossible. Much of the fall harvest can last well into the winter, but don’t be afraid to venture off into other fruit choices you might not normally try.

Foods from the fall harvest are great not only because they can last long, but also because most are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients you’d otherwise miss during the winter months. Apples, pears, and winter squash last well when stored properly, and potatoes, sweet potatoes, and root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and turnips are a great source of delicious nutrition throughout the winter.

While it’s great to stick with locally grown produce in order to support your local economy and minimize your carbon footprint, you’ll need to plan ahead and look into ways to store non-winter foods longer—dehydrating is one simple method. Raw and fresh is best for boosting your immune system through the winter months, but sometimes freeze-dried or freshly imported fruits and vegetables are too tempting to avoid.

And don’t forget the importance of good fats. A variety of nuts in your winter diet can help maintain your healthy fats and EFAs (essential fatty acids), and fresh nuts can last long enough to get you through the cold winter months. Plus, they’re a tasty treat whether they’re right out of the shell, mixed into your favorite recipe, or blended into a creamy nut butter.

Meal Preparation

As with any time of the year, when plant-based winter is here, planning ahead can make life much easier. Preparing meals in advance when possible can save a lot of time and hassle.

Eating raw foods is best, but a little heat is a tempting treat when the thermostat is working overtime. There’s something to be said for soups, hot ciders, and body-warming comfort foods. Even foods that are just slightly warmed can make a meal more pleasant when there’s a chill in the air. You can also add cayenne or other spices to boost your body heat and get your circulation moving.

Plant-Based Protein

We all like to eat the freshest food sources possible, but we also love convenience and versatility. When you’re on the go, in a rush, or just want something simple that gives you whole food nutrition from all-natural ingredients, RawFusion CompleteBars, or Protein can add a much-needed plant-based protein boost plus a good dose of flavor to fend off any cravings.

Plus, the RawFusion Complete meal replacement powder is nutrient-dense and filling enough to keep you fed for hours, and RawFusion protein can be enjoyed on its own, as a protein-boosting drink with meals, or it can be added to your favorite recipes to bump up the nutrient value. Who doesn’t love protein pancakes or muffins in the winter…or any other time of the year?

Kitchen Supplies

If you only eat raw, uncooked natural foods regularly, you’ve probably already got everything you need. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy some warmer foods and drinks through the winter, find yourself a good slow cooker or pressure cooker to make some nutritious and satisfying comfort foods without losing much nutrient value.

Get Out!

Sure, the frosty plant-based winter is here, but that doesn’t mean you should feel stuck inside to do nothing but eat. It’s important to stay active and get plenty of fresh air and a little bit of sunshine to keep happy and healthy. Grab your favorite cruelty-free winter gear and get outside, whether it’s for a vigorous run, a gentle jog, or a family walk around the neighborhood.

Don’t let the winter get you down. Look at it as an opportunity to try new things, stay active, and to prepare for all the rejuvenating excitement coming in spring.

Woman Measuring Waist - Ignore the Scale!

Ignore the Scale!

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When it comes to the quest for good health, everyone knows that excess body fat is a killer. Not only does it affect the way you look, it can also be a literal killer, negatively affecting your overall health. To fight off the body fat blues, it seems like common sense to try to lose weight. But body weight doesn’t tell you much of anything, so we’re here to tell you to ignore the scale.

How will I know how much weight I’ve lost without a scale?

The answer is, “It doesn’t matter.” That’s not to say you shouldn’t be concerned with your weight if you’re clinically obese – your heart can only work so hard, and you should obviously follow your doctor’s orders about striving for a healthy body weight. We’re talking about those who consider themselves just a bit overweight or who’ve started to gain a little more than you’re comfortable with around the midsection. You should ignore the scale not because you don’t care about your health but because the number on your scale is meaningless.

There are plenty of charts available that show healthy body weight ranges for people of a given age, gender, and height, but even those don’t take overall body composition (percentage of body fat vs. lean body weight) into account. What you should really be concerned with is losing fat, not “weight,” and when you’re on a fat-loss mission, there’s just no way to put this politely… Your scale is a liar!

When you’re eating well and exercising regularly, your body weight can go up or stay about the same even though you’re technically losing fat. That’s because you can be gaining lean muscle tissue at the same rate. That’s why you need to ignore the scale – it doesn’t give you any idea of what sort of weight is on your body. You might even consider getting rid of the scale or hiding it in a closet unless you’re involved in a sport that has classifications based on body weight. That’s about the only time it should matter. Oh, and if you’re just wanting to “tone” your body, don’t be afraid of gaining a bit of muscle. That’s exactly what toning is, and every pound of muscle helps to burn off 50 extra calories per day, even while you’re at rest.

How to track fat loss instead of weight loss

Fat Calipers

Rather than using a scale that gives you meaningless information, you’re better off getting yourself a cheap set of skinfold calipers and tracking those measurements. You just need to be absolutely sure to measure the same exact locations every time you measure, and use several locations to ensure the best tracking. Everyone loses body fat from different locations at different rates, but your caliper should come with instructions as to where and how to measure.

Tape Measure

Alternatively, an old-school flexible, cloth tape measure can also be a great tracking tool. As with the caliper, you need to be consistent with where and how you measure. Use the same location, the same pressure, and preferably the same time of day to measure. Places to consider measuring are both the smallest and widest sections of your waist, hips, thighs, and upper arms. Tracking numerous locations might also show you that you’re losing fat (decreased waist measurements) while gaining muscle (increased upper arm measurements).

Photos/Video

Lastly, one of the best ways to track your fat loss is without relying on numbers, although you can and should use this method in combination with either or both of the other methods. Tracking the way you look is one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated and on track.

While the mirror is immediate and convenient, it lies almost as much as your scale does. Well, the mirror itself doesn’t lie, but your own perception of how you look does. The fact is, you see yourself every day as you’re getting in or out of the shower, and it’s hard to notice visual differences on a daily basis. Because of that, photographs and/or video are perfect for tracking your visual appearance.

It’s crucial to use the same exact location, lighting, time of day, and camera to see realistic progress. Even slight changes in lighting can make you look considerably different. Once you’ve got your location and can guarantee that the lighting is always exactly the same, make sure to get photos or video of yourself from all sides, and you can even strike a pose or two so you can see the difference with your arms up or down and get a really good feel for how much your body is changing.

Measure your progress once per week

Regardless of what method you choose to track your progress in fat loss, remember to ignore the scale, and try to stick with just checking your progress once per week or even every other week. Daily checkups can be self-defeating. Your body can change considerably from one day to the next due to many factors, especially as you get into better physical shape.

One of those factors that can make you feel and look different from one day to the next is water weight, which can fluctuate by a few pounds within a given day (yet another reason to ignore the scale). These are just a few things that can cause those short-term changes:

  • Diet (sodium and/or water intake among other things)
  • Exercise (you’ll look and feel different right after versus later in the day, and soreness from damaged muscles can cause water retention)
  • Hormones (as these fluctuate, so can the way you look and feel)
  • Weather (hot vs. cold, humid vs. dry – both can affect how you look to a small degree)

Be patient, be ready to adapt, and ignore the scale

The changes from day to day may be minor, but they can make it harder to track variations, and the changes you actually want to track will take more time than just a day or two. Stick with any or all the recommended tracking methods once a week or once every other week, and then make changes to your diet and/or exercise program as needed to meet your goals.

Woman digging in fridge at night - Control Your Cravings

Control Your Cravings

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It can be tough to keep your appetite under control, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Even if you’re just trying to maintain a healthy body and avoid any excessive weight gain, hunger pangs or a sweet tooth can ruin your plans in a hurry. Luckily, there are some pretty simple steps you can take to control your cravings…

Drink water

This is about the simplest thing you can do not only to control your cravings, but it can also help with weight loss if that’s your goal. Drinking water before meals can stretch your stomach lining enough to send signals to your brain that you’re feeling fuller than you really are. That can help you avoid overindulging.

Plus, drinking water throughout the day can help boost your metabolism, and it can help flush toxins from your body. Water is vital to your health regardless, so it’s important to keep your intake high enough for general health, but it’s good to know you can use it as an appetite-curbing and weight-controlling tool, too.

Eat enough protein

If you’re worried about eating too much through the day or if you’re trying to avoid sweets and carbohydrate-dense foods, increasing your protein intake can help immensely.

Increasing the ratio of protein at each meal will help keep you feel full and satisfied and can help balance blood sugar levels. Protein makes you feel full by reducing ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry, and it boosts appetite-suppressing hormones as well. Both adding up to potent (and enjoyable) ways to control your cravings.

Protein also has a higher thermic effect than either carbohydrates or fats, which means the simple act of digesting protein causes you to burn more calories. And aside from helping control your cravings, if you happen to be exercising, adequate protein will help you build more lean muscle tissue, and each pound of added muscle helps you burn approximately 50 more calories per day at rest.

Fill up on fiber

When you really want to control your cravings, increasing dietary fiber goes a long way to making you feel full, and it’s great for your overall health, too.

A high-fiber diet is not only ideal for controlling cravings, it also works wonders for healthy blood lipid levels (cholesterol), has limited calories compared to the level of fullness it provides, and it keeps your digestive tract working properly.

Get rest

This one might seem like an odd way to control your cravings, but sleep plays a significant role in appetite control. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re much more likely to eat more and to eat foods you might normally shy away from because of a lack of self-control. Conversely, getting enough sleep maintains a healthy hormone balance and helps control hunger throughout the day. Plus, as an added bonus to feeling healthy and well-rested, you can’t binge on late-night snacks when you’re asleep.

These are some of the simplest ways control your cravings, so here’s a quick list of three easy ways to make sure you stick to your appetite-control plan:

  • Bring a stainless steel or glass bottle of water with you everywhere you go (when convenient)
  • Carry a RawFusion Bar with you for a quality plant-based protein snack when an urge hits, and add some RawFusion protein(or drink aRawFusion Complete shake) to keep up with your protein and fiber intake
  • Turn off the TV and electronics before bedtime so you can get a full night of sleep

Remember, whenever you really start craving something, drink a glass or two of water and give it a couple minutes before you act on your impulses.

Milk and cows in mountain pasture with plant protein insets - How to Mimic Milk Protein Without Dairy

How to Mimic Milk Protein Without Dairy

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Daily protein requirements is a topic that could be debated for days. Part of that debate would be the needs of sedentary people compared to athletes, and another part would be plant-based dietary needs versus meat-based diets. While many people will claim vegan and plant-based diets are inferior when it comes to protein, that’s simply not true. In fact, with proper planning, you can learn how to mimic milk protein without dairy. The one benefit of milk protein is that it does have a good amino acid profile compared to other protein sources.

Sure, it’s easier to follow a high-protein diet and acquire essential amino acids with animal-based foods such as milk, but there’s a slew of reasons to avoid dairy products and other animal protein sources. Milk protein does have a good amino acid profile, however, so many people want to know how to mimic milk protein without dairy products. It’s not as tough as it sounds.

When it comes to daily protein intake, plant-based diets don’t get the credit they deserve. Yes, overall protein quantity is often less than it would be for a calorically similar animal-based diet, but when it comes to quality, that’s a different story.

Finding Essential Amino Acids

Essential amino acids are those that your body can’t synthesize on its own, so they must be sourced from daily nutrition. Despite its decrease in popularity due to lactose allergies among other reasons, milk protein does have a favorable amino acid profile. That’s why it’s been so heavily marketed in the past as something you need daily. Milk, from nonfat to whole varieties, contains 18 amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids, so it’s easy to understand why you’d want to mimic milk protein without dairy.

Although it does have a high-quality array of proteins, many people avoid drinking cow’s milk for a multitude of reasons, whether vegan or not. Thankfully, there are several plant-based foods that deliver complete protein, including certain grains, beans, legumes, seeds, rice, and the combinations of various whole food sources.

Thanks to advancements in supplemental nutrition, maintaining a healthy protein balance with a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to carry around a cooler full of food. The most beneficial plant-based protein sources are listed below.

Pea Protein Isolate

Pea protein has gained popularity over the years, but that’s no surprise. As one of the best nutrient-dense plant sources of complete protein, it also delivers serious antioxidant effects, making it great for helping to meet your protein needs while also protecting your overall health.

Along with the essential amino acids in pea protein, it also offers high levels of the amino acids glutamine and arginine. Both of these aminos are known for their ability to reduce recovery time and increase protein synthesis. That’s great for everyone from young athletes to older individuals suffering from age-related muscle loss.

Pea protein is also highly useful to people who suffer from common food allergies. In supplemental form, pea protein isolate is the go-to source for the highest quality.

Pea protein benefits

  • Healthy amino acid profile, including glutamine, essential amino acids, and BCAAs
  • Curbs appetite
  • Supports cardiovascular health
  • Natural antioxidant effects
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Easy to digest

 

Sprouted Brown Rice Protein

Sprouted brown rice protein is another great source of essential amino acids, and it’s a great source of dietary fiber. This means it will not only help keep your appetite in check, but it’s also great for dietary and cardiovascular health and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Brown rice is easy to digest, so the protein gets into your system quickly and without intestinal discomfort. Being hypoallergenic means it’s a healthy choice for everyone. For supplemental use, make sure it’s sprouted rice protein isolate you’re using. The neutral flavor makes it great for mixing with other proteins and not competing for flavors.

Sprouted brown rice benefits

  • High essential amino acid content
  • High in dietary fiber
  • Natural antioxidant effects
  • Supports cardiovascular health
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels
  • Easy to digest

Artichoke Protein Concentrate

This is one you don’t hear about often, but artichoke protein (from both the artichoke heart and its leaves) is a great source of highly nutritious plant protein that supports strong health.

Artichokes are known to promote good digestive health, but they also support good heart health by promoting healthy blood lipid levels while fighting off toxins and fat accumulation. While not necessarily a high-protein food source, the protein found in artichokes is highly beneficial and promotes many aspects of good health.

Artichoke protein benefits

  • High in dietary fiber
  • Natural antioxidant effects
  • Supports digestive system health
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels

One Powder for All Your Protein Needs

Pea protein isolate, sprouted brown rice protein, and artichoke protein concentrate are good, healthy protein choices individually, but the right combination of these natural protein sources in a single high-quality powder like Rawfusion will make life a lot easier. The combination also delivers the same beneficial amino acid profile found in milk protein without any of the drawbacks, so you truly can mimic milk protein without dairy. This makes it a wholesome, health-benefiting protein choice for the whole family.

Healthy Fall Foods

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Fall is the season of cooler weather, shorter days, and a whole harvest of healthy fall foods to choose from. Not only are the seasonal foods delicious and full of good nutrition, but if you stick with mostly local, seasonal produce, you can also help with your local economy and reduce your carbon footprint. There are no downsides to healthful fall foods, at least not as long as you can keep your calorie intake at a respectable level.

Just about all the foods listed below can essentially be purchased throughout the year, but depending on where you live, that could mean they’re trucked in from far away in the “off-season.” By purchasing your produce from local farmers’ markets, you’re not only supporting local businesses, but you’re also reducing any negative impact on the environment when it comes to transporting them.

Many of the healthy fall foods listed below can be enjoyed raw while others require cooking to be their best. Of course, many can also be turned into deliciously addicting seasonal desserts. That’s where you need to be careful. The reasons these are considered healthy fall foods is because most are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite healthy fall foods:

Apples and Pears: You can find these year-round, but they’re still seasonal favorites you can enjoy on the go or cut them into slices as simple snacks. Of course, it’s also the time of year when apple pie and apple cider make great seasonal treats. Plus, there’s added family fun if you live near an orchard that allows you to pick your own fruit.

Winter Squash: The varieties of squash available this time of year are a bit more robust and can be stored longer than summer squash varieties, so they can also be used as seasonal decorations around the home until you’re ready to use them.

Pumpkins: Sure, they technically fall into the squash category, but with their popularity, pumpkins deserve to stand out on their own. They make great decorations right through the end of November and into December, but they also make the base for a lot of great food. Pumpkin pie is the obvious go-to treat, but if you’re up for the adventure of a pumpkin-curry soup, watch out. It can be addicting. And you can even give our Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal recipe a try but with fresh pumpkin rather than canned.

Sweet Potatoes: Mash them, bake them, slice them up and bake them into chips or fries, or make a good old-fashioned sweet potato pie. Regardless of how you prepare them, sweet potatoes have a wide range of ways they can be enjoyed.

Cranberries: Whether you like cranberry juice or tea, or if you prefer cranberry sauce or cranberries in your stuffing, these are the definitive holiday treat as the winter weather gets closer. Plus, they’re chock-full of health-boosting nutrients. So, as long as you avoid too much sugar to sweeten them up, enjoy!

There are plenty of other great produce products you might not even realize are in season right now, such as pomegranates, beets, dates, grapes, tangerines, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, pecans, pine nuts, and so much more. Get out to your local-only stores or farmers’ market and get ready to enjoy the fantastic flavors of fall.

Note: For on-the-go nutrition any time of year, keep RawFusion Bars with you wherever you go, and try RawFusion Complete meal replacement shakes… And yes, you can mix in your favorite healthy fall foods for even more delicious and nutritious flavor.

Couple on a Romantic Walk on the Beach - Feel Alive: Plant-Based Diet for More Sex Drive

Feel Alive: Plant-Based Diet for More Sex Drive

By | Blog

There’s no argument that a plant-based diet is beneficial to your overall health, but there’s one great side effect of healthy eating that should make everyone want to change the way they eat. To truly feel alive, eat a plant-based diet for more sex drive.

A typical plant-based diet gives you everything your body needs for a vibrant and healthy life along with all the built-in disease-fighting nutrients from whole foods. Plus, you generally find yourself in a better mood with loads of energy — the type of energy and mood that makes every part of your life better. For those already on the healthy path, you probably didn’t go with a vegan or mostly plant-based diet for more sex drive alone, but that positive side effect probably hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Why would being vegan or eating a plant-based diet have an effect your libido? Aside from meat-based diets making you feel lethargic, potentially clogging your arteries, and other potential negative effects, there’s a long list of reasons you should go with a plant-based diet for more sex drive.

  • Taste: We’re not just talking about the taste of food. A vegan/plant-based diet leads to fewer waste products in your body since you’re not dealing with as many toxins, and that means your skin, perspiration, and other bodily fluids take on a sweeter and more pleasant flavor.
  • Texture & Flavor: Yes, food texture and flavor can absolutely affect your sex drive. Sharing some sweet, juicy fruit as dessert with your partner is not only healthier than sugar-laden desserts, it’s also more sensual and can do a lot to alter your “mood.”
  • Energy: You won’t get a sugar crash since you’re not eating refined sugars, so you end up with more sustained energy and improved stamina for long nights together. Plus, when you don’t eat meat, you avoid the lethargic need-to-nap feelings that follow.
  • Softer Skin: All the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids from plant-based foods lead to less acne and skin roughness, leading to smoother, softer skin that’s more enticing and sensitive to touch.
  • No B.O.: As already mentioned, fewer toxins from your whole food diet mean fewer waste products, so you’re producing less body odor when you sweat and you won’t be masking your mate-enticing pheromones.
  • Clear Mind: When you’re on a healthy, non-processed, plant-based diet, you have more mental clarity and can focus on pleasurable experiences with your partner.
  • Mood: A healthy diet has countless health benefits, and when you feel healthy, you feel happy. A happy mood means less stress so you’re less preoccupied with other issues in life and can enjoy more intimacy more often.
  • Blood Flow: Vegan food choices are obviously good for your heart health because of beneficial fats and less artery-clogging bad cholesterol, and the increased blood flow is good for much more than just your heart. A lot of sexual dysfunction for both men and women is a result of restricted blood flow, so when you open up the blood flow, you’ll feel much more up to the task when things start heating up.
  • Healthier: The overall theme of is that you’re healthier and happier in everything you do. That goes for how you feel in the bedroom, and it also means that you simply feel better all the time. Less sickness from toxins, no bloated feelings or gas from hard-to-digest foods, and positive energy allow you to feel much more in tune with yourself and your partner.

Spread the word to your friends and family who struggle with their personal lives. Tell them to try a vegan or plant-based diet for more sex drive, and watch them come running to thank you for the life-changing advice.

Pumpkin Seeds - The Power of Pumpkin Protein

The Power of Pumpkin Protein

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Pumpkins are most often associated with fall festivals, Thanksgiving, and seasonal drinks and desserts, but pumpkin seeds seem to be more of an all-season snack, and they’re becoming more popular in the world of nutrition because of the power of pumpkin protein.

Pumpkin pie, ice cream, and lattes are packed full of fun flavor, but those treats don’t exactly offer much nutritional value. Pumpkin seeds, however, are packed full of protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fats. Plus, pumpkin protein is also full of flavor, so pumpkin seeds can actually be an enjoyable part of your daily diet.

If you’re athletic and active, the power of pumpkin protein is extra appealing. It’s full of beneficial amino acids, tastes great, and can be consumed in seed form as a simple snack, or you can use pumpkin seed protein powder in shakes and while cooking. The best all-natural protein bars on the market just so happen to be fortified with pumpkin seed protein, too.

More Benefits from Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds offer more than just a terrific source of tasty protein. The power of pumpkin protein comes with several other vital nutrients.

Fiber: The fiber found in pumpkin seeds is easy to digest and can help you maintain healthy blood sugar while working to keep you regular, and fiber is good at curbing your appetite if you’re counting calories.

Magnesium: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, a mineral that promotes good heart health, ATP (cellular energy) production, bone health, and healthy bowels.

Zinc: This mineral can bolster your immune system, promote good mood and restful sleep, enhance cellular growth (such as muscle repair), and aid in carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is particularly appealing to men, as it helps support healthy male sexual function.

Omega-3: Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of this healthy fatty acid which is high in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).

Amino acids: The power of pumpkin protein comes from the amino acid content in the seeds, and the amino acid L-tryptophan goes beyond typical protein benefits to help boost your mood.

Hormonal health: The zinc in pumpkin seeds is one aspect of how they promote good hormonal health, but they’re also believed to enhance prostate health, and the phytoestrogens in pumpkin seeds are good for increasing HDL levels (good cholesterol).

Hypoallergenic: For those with nut allergies, pumpkin seeds are especially helpful, as they deliver some of the required nutrients found in nuts without causing allergic reactions.

Pumpkin seeds deliver an all-natural, nutrient-dense protein source that doesn’t cause inflammation in the body the way certain animal proteins do, so the power of pumpkin protein is beneficial to everyone.

Woman drinking RawFusion plant-based protein shake - Plant-Based Post-Workout Meal Planning

Plant-Based Post-Workout Meal Planning

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It doesn’t matter if you’ve been working out for years or you’ve just started to work toward your fitness goals, information about workout programs, diets, and pre-workout supplements is easy to come by. But one of the most important components of exercise nutrition is completely ignored, especially for those who choose to avoid animal-based foods, and that’s plant-based post-workout meal planning.

When finished with a tough workout, most people tend to just go about business as usual without even thinking about a post-workout meal. On the other end of the spectrum, there are many people who use exercise as an excuse to indulge in a high-calorie meal, thinking they’ve earned the “reward.” That might sound fun, but you’re cheating yourself from results either way.

Make Progress with Plant-Based Post-Workout Meal Planning

It’s a tough concept for dieters to grasp onto, but even when you’re trying to lose weight, post-workout nutrition is vital to reaching your goals. You don’t necessarily have to have a prepared “meal” ready to go, however. In fact, plant-based protein powders, bars, and meal replacements are ideal when it comes to post-workout meal planning.

These are obviously more convenient than full meals, but they’re also usually easier to digest and get into your system more quickly, so the high-quality calories you ingest go to fueling your body rather than being stored as energy (i.e. fat). Plus, post-workout shakes or bars also put you in complete control of exactly how many calories you’re taking in.

The Ideal Plant-Based Post-Workout Meal

For most people, regardless of their goals, an easy-to-mix shake is the perfect post-training meal. If you’re on a reduced-calorie diet, you can use plant-based protein alone, or if your goals are maintenance or gaining strength and muscle, you can mix the protein with other ingredients, utilize plant-based protein bars, or even use a nutritionally balanced plant-based meal replacement powder. The most important factor will almost always be that you utilize a high-quality plant-based protein source.

The Best Plant-Based Protein Source

There are numerous protein powders to choose from, but some are considerably better than others. A quick look at the list of ingredients will usually tell you what to stay away from. When it comes to plant-based protein powders, RawFusion is above and beyond when it comes to quality and taste, with all-natural ingredients and no artificial sweeteners or flavors whatsoever.

For your friends who try to argue that milk-based protein is better than anything plant-based, you can confidently tell them they’re wrong. Thanks to the premium mix of pea protein isolate, sprouted brown rice protein, and artichoke protein concentrate, the amino acid profile in RawFusion mimics that of milk-based protein, so you get high-quality protein, great taste, easy mixability/digestion, and solid nutrition.

Depending on the flavor you choose, you can mix your protein with just about anything. Water usually makes for the easiest mixing and ensures that there are no added calories, but fruit juice, almond milk, or other liquids work for added flavor. The benefit of using fruit juice is that you get some good post-workout carbohydrates that get into your system immediately, but you can also add your favorite fruit, peanut butter, or other ingredients to turn your post-workout plant-based protein shake into a full meal.

You can also take the thinking and planning out of it all by using RawFusion Complete meal replacement powder which is fortified with all-natural superfoods, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, fiber, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Or for those times when you’re in a rush or simply want something quick, easy, delicious, and filling that you can take with you anywhere, RawFusion Bars are perfect for keeping in your gym bag or car so you never go hungry or risk missing out on your plant-based post-workout meal.

Woman with relaxing view - Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

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Life can be stressful, and when that stress builds up, it can be damaging to your health. A little bit of stress isn’t an issue and is simply part of life, but if times are too tough and stress goes unchecked, bad things start to happen. Luckily, there are some relatively simple ways to reduce stress.

Whether it’s work, family, relationships, or any other number of potential areas of stress, the negative effects can stack up against you and cause numerous issues.

Negative Effects of Stress

  • Disrupted sleep/insomnia
  • Muscle tension
  • Digestive issues
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Lack of focus/inability to concentrate
  • Reduced sex drive

All these negative effects can be bad enough on their own, but when combined and/or lasting for prolonged periods, the effects can be detrimental. Unhealthy weight gain/loss can occur, blood pressure and heart health can be impacted negatively, drug or alcohol abuse can become a problem, and outbursts of anger can damage relationships. These are all obvious things you should do your best to avoid for your own good and for the well-being of those around you.

Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

  • Listen to music – Calm, relaxing music can reduce stress and bring down your blood pressure as well as helping to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
  • Write it down – Putting your thoughts down on paper or typing them out on a computer or mobile device can have a therapeutic effect while allowing you to realize exactly what it is that’s causing your stress.
  • Reduce caffeine intake – If you drink coffee regularly, simply stopping may not be in the cards, but even reducing your caffeine intake will bring down the level at which your nervous system is taxed, and that can help bring stress levels down. Plus, when stress is acute, the stimulant effects of caffeine can make you feel as though your stress is amplified. Junk food and sweets should be reduced, too.
  • Laugh – Find a good sitcom, comedy movie, or stand-up comedy act to watch (or listen to). Laughing can alter your mood, reduce cortisol production, and simply make you feel happy. It’s hard to be stressed when you’re happy.
  • Exercise – One of the best ways to relieve stress is through physical activity. Hormones are released, your mind is occupied, and it’s a great way to simply let it out. A short walk is fine, but anything from a mild trip around the block to yoga to a full-fledged high-intensity workout can do wonders for reducing your stress levels.
  • Nap – Sure, you may have trouble sleeping at night if you’re overly stressed, but a midday recharge can be a huge help. If you can lay down somewhere quiet for a 20- to 30-minute power nap, great. If not, even sitting in a quiet car with your eyes closed for 10 minutes can be recharging and give you a chance to let some of the stress slip away.
  • Breathe – This one’s helpful at any point during the day when you need to bring it down a notch, but particularly in those moments when the stress gets nearly unbearable. Simply pause, take 5-10 slow, deep breathes, and you should feel a noticeable decrease in stress as you oxygenate your blood and clear your mind a bit.
  • Eat Well – Nutrition plays a vital role in hormone production, feelings of contentment, and feeding your body the nutrients it needs to fight off the effects of stress. Whole foods are always best, and when you’re in a rush, on the go, or just need a little snack or some extra nutrition, make sure to use plant-based protein like RawFusion or its nutrient-enhanced meal-replacement version, RawFusion Complete. The bars are also great when you’re on the go, and they fill you up enough to avoid any added stress from hunger pangs.

It’s not realistic to try to go through life avoiding stress, nor would that really be beneficial. Many good things come from normal amounts of stress, but when it becomes acute or chronic, stress can do much more harm than good. When it goes beyond just taking things in stride and you find the stress has become overwhelming, hopefully this list of simple ways to reduce stress can help you cope.