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Hands holding a tree and hands holding the earth - Earth Day 2018

Earth Day 2018

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Earth Day 2018 is fast approaching (Sunday, April 22), and that means it’s the perfect time to remind yourself of the importance of our planet’s health. We often talk about focusing on one’s personal health and well-being, but we take for granted that many people don’t automatically affiliate their own health with that of the world around us.

Just about everything you do has an effect on the earth. What you drive, what products you buy, and what foods you eat all have a direct or indirect impact on the planet. The same is true for things you don’t do… If you aren’t planting trees, gardening, or disposing of and reusing recyclable products properly, you’re contributing to the diminished health of our planet.

As Earth Day grows near, make it a point to get outside and soak up some spring weather and the beauty of nature waking up everywhere around you. While you’re enjoying everything that nature is giving to you, think of ways you can give back.

Remember that everything you buy, eat, and grow affects the environment as much as it affects you. And just because you’re eating a plant-based diet, don’t think you’re completely off the hook. Regular store-bought produce items have been showing up with more and more pesticides. Now more than ever, it’s best to shop for organic products or simply grow your own organic plants if you have the room in your yard.

So, what can you do to celebrate Earth Day? Here are a few simple suggestions:

Ways to celebrate Earth Day 2018

  • Ride a bike or walk instead of driving if possible
  • Get a stainless steel, aluminum, or glass water bottle and stop using plastic water bottles
  • Plant a something like a small tree, a bush, or some sort of fruit or vegetable you can enjoy later
  • Bring reusable bags when you go grocery shopping
  • Shop for organic and locally-grown foods whenever possible
  • Find out if the companies you buy from are doing what they can to help the environment (such as using post-consumer recycled packaging, using solar or other renewable power when/where possible, and keeping shipping impact at a minimum)
  • Spread the word to others and remind them of how important it is to care for the only planet we have to live on

Meanwhile, get outside, appreciate nature and earth in all their beauty, and take every action you can to take care of your own health while working to promote the health of your loved ones and the planet we all live on. Happy Earth Day 2018!

Should You Say No to GMO?

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Watering plants - Should You Say No to GMO?

Genetically engineered foods have been around for longer than any of us, starting with selective crop breeding ages ago and followed by cross-breeding a few centuries ago. Modern-day genetically modified organisms (GMO) only came into use in agriculture in the late 1970s and early 1980s and have been a growing concern ever since. So, have they become a viable part of modern crop production, or should you say no to GMO?

Not all crops are subject to GMO processes, but the most prominent use of GMO tends to be for making crops resistant to herbicides such as glyosphate. Certain crops will also sometimes have the insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis incorporated into their genetic pattern as a means to fight off infestation from insects. As of 2015, it was estimated that 89-94% of corn, soybean, and cotton crops were herbicide resistant due to GMO use. That number would be even higher now.

Herbicide-resistant crops are sprayed with glyosphate to kill invasive weeds while preserving the plants. Unfortunately, the herbicides also kill the friendly bacteria which help fortify the health of plants and make them more resistant to disease.

The glyosphate sprayed on GMO-based crops has been declared a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the increasing use of it has also had the negative impact of creating herbicide-resistant “superweeds” that didn’t previously exist.

The main selling point of GMO-altered foods is that they’re necessary in order to feed our ever-growing population by increasing crop yields and improving food security through cheaper and more durable crops. The problem is that these GMO-based foods have never been fully tested for human safety which has caused 60 countries across the globe to either restrict or completely ban the use of GMO-based foods and crops.

The question of whether or not you should say no to GMO is a personal issue for you to weigh out. Despite the substantial growth of GMO-based crops, if you’re planning to limit or eliminate GMO in your daily diet, it’s becoming easier to do so thanks to health-conscious individuals and organizations.

Shopping for GMO-Free Foods

When it comes to shopping, the search for organic and GMO-free foods is becoming much easier. Natural grocery stores are becoming more abundant, and many chain stores even have an area dedicated to natural foods.

It’s safe to assume that bulk produce and labels that don’t specifically call out the use of organic and GMO-free content will be neither organic nor GMO-free. Otherwise, labels will generally have clear indications of being organic, GMO-free, or even certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.

For produce, it’s usually a safer bet to go to a nearby farmer’s market to acquire locally-grown organic produce, but you’ll still want to speak with the farmer or distributor to confirm that they don’t use pesticides, herbicides, or GMO-based seeds for their farming.

Eating out on a GMO-Free Diet

Eating out is a bit more of a challenge and will likely continue to be. Many cities now have farm-to-table restaurants which are usually good choices, but you’ll still want to consider contacting the management or owners to verify their farming practices

Many of the larger natural grocery store chains now cater to diners by incorporating eat-in facilities, so it’s like having an organic and/or GMO-free restaurant right in the store. Otherwise, prepared foods can often be found for healthy eating on-the-go. Organic and non-GMO proteins and bars are also a great way to ensure healthy nutrition whether at home or on the road.

Whether you plan to say no to GMO altogether or you’re simply looking to reduce the number of modified foods and unknown chemicals in your diet, it’s good to know there are options and that concerned people and organizations across the world are looking out for your best interests.

Woman Sleeping - Rest to Be Your Best

Rest to Be Your Best

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Woman Sleeping - Rest to Be Your Best

No one needs to tell you that getting a good night’s sleep is crucial when it comes to performing your best, whether that means at work, at school, in the gym, or in sports. What you may not realize is that sleep also plays a vital role in both fat loss and lean body weight. You need good rest to be your best.

How much sleep you need depends on many factors, but the younger you are, the more sleep you need. As you age, you tend to need less sleep, but that can also be affected by your activity levels. The key is to get enough sleep that you feel well rested the next day.

How Does Sleep Affect Body Composition?

If you’ve been exercising for any amount of time, you’re already aware that you need enough rest to be your best when it’s time to exercise, and you’ve probably noticed that positive changes to your body happen more slowly when you don’t get enough sleep. You may have even noticed that you stay sore longer without enough rest.

Even though you’re just lying there, a lot happens when you sleep. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain lean muscle, or simply recharge your energy stores, you need rest to be your best.

Positive Effects of Sleep on Body Composition

  • You can’t snack while you’re sleeping, so you’re essentially fasting through the night.
  • Your body is able to burn more calories during the day when you’re rested because energy levels are higher.
  • You have better judgment when you’re well rested, so you’re less likely to make bad decisions when you go out to eat or go grocery shopping, and your inhibitions aren’t lowered, so you’re less likely to overeat.
  • Your body repairs damaged tissue while you sleep, and that means you build muscle and allow full recovery of joints and connective tissue.
  • Since you build muscle while sleeping, you’re able to burn more calories during the day as a result — even when you’re doing nothing. Every extra pound of muscle burns approximately 50 more calories at rest.
  • Your body releases growth hormone while sleeping, so you get muscle and joint recovery plus fat-burning benefits.
  • If you don’t get enough sleep, your testosterone levels can decrease up to 40%. That’s not good!
  • Sleep deprivation can have negative effects on thyroid hormone levels, which can have noticeable negative effects on your body composition.
  • Enough sleep every night helps bolster your immune system, so you’re less likely to get ill. You can’t exercise when you’re sick!

There are countless reasons you need to get enough sleep every night, but if you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, make sure you get enough rest to be your best.

Note: A balanced diet is obviously crucial to peak performance during the day, but proper nutrition also helps you manage stress and get good rest, so consider keeping RawFusion Bars with you to avoid eating out, or plan on having a shaker bottle of RawFusion Complete ready for a full, liquid meal on the go.

RawFusion Non-GMO Project Verified

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Rawfusion Protein Bottles - Rawfusion Non-GMO Project verified

We’re proud to announce that all flavors of our RawFusion plant-based protein are now officially Non-GMO Project Verified.

RawFusion has always been dedicated to producing only the best and most delicious plant-based protein products, so we’ve taken every step possible to ensure premium quality throughout our production process. All products are vegan-approved, third-party gluten-free audited, NSF-GMP-certified, and packaged with 100% post-consumer recycled plastics, and now RawFusion protein is also Non-GMO Project Verified.

“We produce only plant-based products we use ourselves and are happy to share with family and friends, and we believe in full transparency of our ingredients,” says Jonathan Lawson, RawFusion’s E-Commerce Marketing Manager. “With our dedication to producing plant-based products that promote good health for our customers and sustainability for the environment, we want to ensure our customers know exactly what’s in their food.

GMOs have never been fully tested for human safety, and over 60 countries worldwide, including all of the European Union, have either restricted or fully banned GMOs. That’s why we’re proud to announce our Non-GMO Project third-party verification.

RawFusion protein is perfect for people from every walk of life, from athletes to time-constrained meal planners—both vegans and non-vegans alike. Made with only whole food, plant-based ingredients, you get premium-quality protein and balanced nutrition.

Now that RawFusion protein is Non-GMO Project Verified, you can also rest assured knowing that RawFusion protein is produced in compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard, which includes ongoing testing of all major high-risk ingredients.

As a company, RawFusion is dedicated to providing bio-fermented plant-based nutritional products that have a positive effect on your health while promoting environmental sustainability through meticulous ingredient sourcing, producing, and packaging. We have always and will always go above and beyond to put your health and the health of our planet before profits.

Woman Picking Flowers - Get Ready for a Healthy Spring

Get Ready for a Healthy Spring

By | Blog

This is the time of year to start taking your health into your own control. Yes, you should stay healthy all year, but winter tends to be the time when people let their health slip a little bit as they eat more and aren’t as physically active. Even if you take great care of yourself through the winter months, now is the time to get ready for a healthy spring.

It’s natural to slow down a bit during the colder months, but it’s time to stop storing energy (fat) and start using it. The days are starting to get a little longer and the weather a little warmer, so you’re probably feeling the need to get out and do something. If not, you should!

Just like spring cleaning for your home, this is the time to clean up your health program. Below are a few tips to get your ready for a healthy spring.

Clean up your diet

It’s normal to eat heavier meals through the winter and store a little extra body fat because of it, but there’s no need to carry that into the spring. Lighter meals will have you feeling more energized and won’t weigh you down, and if you keep the fiber intake high, it’ll be easier to manage your appetite.

The key to cleaning up your diet is to think about planning your meals out in advance and making sure you’ve got your shopping done ahead of time. Check the schedules of your local farmer’s market(s) and plan to stock up on locally-grown produce weekly. Seasonal fruits and vegetables add a level of excitement and variety to your meal planning, and it’s a great way to support the local economy.

Another thing to consider if you have the time and space is to start your own garden. There’s nothing as rewarding as keeping a constant rotation of your favorite foods growing right in your own yard.

For those times when you’re time constrained, you can also check out some of our suggestions for Raw Nutrition on the Go.

Drink more water

Keeping up with adequate water intake isn’t something most people think about, but it starts becoming more important as the weather gets warmer. You’ll be more active, sweating, and needing to replenish fluids, so be sure to drink enough water. Try to keep a stainless steel or another type of refillable water bottle with you when you’re on the go.

As an added benefit, increased water intake is one of the easiest ways to work on weight loss. Water is not only crucial to good health, it can also help boost your metabolism to a small degree. Water also helps flush your body of toxins, can help curb hunger, and shuttles around all the nutrients you need to stay energized all day.

Get active

Activity levels play a huge role in your overall health, from weight management to cardiovascular health to stress relief. Taking a short walk or going on a light jog are fine ways to burn calories and get your heart rate up, but try to get some weight workouts in when you can.

Cardiovascular exercise helps burn calories while you exercise, but weight training increases calorie burning for longer periods of times and can help keep bones and joints strong as you age. Even a few days of weight training each week can go a long way.

And don’t feel stuck with indoor exercise. The weather is getting nicer, so find ways to be active outdoors so you can soak up some fresh air, get a little bit of sunshine, and add some variety. Whatever you do, being active will not only help you stay healthy for the long- and short-term, it will also increase your sense of well-being better than just about anything else.

Cut back on alcohol

Cutting back on or eliminating alcohol intake can help with weight loss if that’s your goal, but alcohol can also cause dehydration and other issues, so there are plenty of reasons to reduce intake. The occasional glass of wine won’t derail your healthy spring plans but cutting back can replenish your energy and help with lean body composition.

Go through your pantry and fridge

Since you’re cleaning up your diet, you’ll obviously want to get rid of empty-calorie foods and sweet treats. This is also a good time to check expirations dates and find any foods that have been hiding behind containers while slowing starting to go bad.

Protect your skin

If you live in an area with real seasons, you’ve probably been cooped up inside longer than you’d like. We absolutely encourage everyone to get outside more as the weather warms up, but take the proper precautions.

If you haven’t been exposed to the sun in months, it’ll be easier to get sunburned as you begin to peel off the layers of clothing. While a bit of sun exposure is good for vitamin D levels, you want to avoid overexposure to harmful rays, so cover up with light clothing, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen as needed.

Reduce stress

Eating well, being active, and getting outdoors will work wonders for stress levels, but don’t take stress reduction for granted. Sometimes you have to be more proactive with it, so find time to unwind and follow our tips on how to Reduce the Effects of Stress.

Change your air filters

Spring is the time when everything’s blooming, and that means seasonal allergies can get out of control. Use the coming of spring as a reminder to check the condition of the HVAC filters in your home, cars, and anywhere else and replace as needed.

Empty the medicine cabinet

Your fridge and pantry aren’t the only places where you have to watch for expiration dates and things that can go bad. Go through your medicine cabinet and find any expired medications, cosmetics, or lotions.

If you find lotions, oils, or cosmetics without dates, open them up and take a quick sniff. It’s not usually hard to tell when something’s gone rancid, and you don’t want to deal with infections or other issues due to trying to use up the last few ounces of a product.

Get a wellness check

If you haven’t been to your health care practitioner for a while, even if you feel perfectly fine, this is a good time of the year to get an annual wellness check. A full checkup with blood tests is a great way to make sure nothing’s sneaking up on you and that there aren’t any dietary changes you need to make beyond those you’re already planning.

Woman on Hammock - Reduce the Effects of Stress

Reduce the Effects of Stress

By | Blog

Stress is an unavoidable part of life. The more stress you have, the more it can negatively affect your health, and although you might not be able to avoid stress, there are numerous ways to reduce the effects of stress.

Most stress certainly isn’t enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean it can’t beneficial—to a certain extent. Dealing with stress teaches you coping skills along with problem-solving tactics that can help you get through life more proficiently.

However, when the effects of stress are so high that you’re unable to manage it all effectively, you can start to suffer the effects of chronic stress. Beyond the uneasy feelings of high stress, chronic stress can be bad for your health. It can lead to heart disease, inflammation, impaired immune system function, weight gain from overeating, weight loss from undereating, or self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

If you feel like you’re suffering from high stress, you’re not alone. Up to 75% of adults suffer from symptoms of high-stress. If you’ve been trying hard to reduce stress levels with no results, you might at least be able to reduce the effects of high stress.

Self-Care Schedule

A major source of stress are the hyper-busy schedules we all have. Chances are pretty high that you’re constantly bombarded by new sources of stress every day on top of your typical family, work, school, or relationship stress.

Maintaining all that stress without dealing with it in some form can wreak havoc on nearly every aspect of your life, so here are a few simple ways to modify your daily schedule to help minimize stress or reduce its effects:

  • Turn off the electronics at a specific time every night, at least 30-60 minutes before bed
  • Avoid the morning rush by waking up earlier, even if it’s just 15-30 minutes
  • Don’t skip breaks at work or school to stretch, move, or simply relax
  • Slow your breathing when you feel stress building
  • When possible, avoid negative situations and people
  • Set aside some “me time” for exercise, reading, hobbies, watching a show, or spending time with pets, friends, and loved ones
  • It might sound like spoiling yourself, but one of the best ways to reduce both physical and mental stress is to schedule regular massages
  • Physical intimacy with your partner is a great way to reduce the effects of stress, and it gives you a healthy hormone boost to enhance your sense of well-being

 

Eat Clean

On top of all the regular stress of life, your diet can have a big effect on stress levels. There are certain things you can reduce, eliminate, or add to your daily diet that might help:

  • Comfort food: This one can go either way. Certain comfort foods can help you flashback to simpler, stress-free times to temporarily alleviate the feelings of stress, but be cautious not to rely on this is a coping mechanism on a regular basis, as weight gain can catch up with you in a hurry
  • Sugar: Foods that are high in sugar might be your first craving when stress gets high, but nothing good will come from sugar-laden foods, as crashing blood sugar can come on quickly and make things worse, and that can be compounded by weight gain and feelings of stress—none of which will help with stress
  • Balanced nutrition: A well-balanced diet with high-fiber fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds with healthy fats, and other nutrient-dense whole foods can boost energy, increase your sense of well-being, and provide health-enhancing antioxidants—RawFusion Complete is the ideal way to ensure balanced nutrition when time is short for preparing full meals
  • Caffeine: As great as a cup of coffee can be for mental focus and energy, too much caffeine can overstimulate your nervous system, effectively amplifying any feelings of stress and/or anxiety
  • Alcohol: That after-work cocktail or nightcap might feel like it’s reducing your stress, but alcohol isn’t a good crutch to rely on and can have negative long-term effects on your health that aren’t worth it
  • Smoking: Luckily, is no longer a predominant way for people to deal with stress, but it can still become an option for some people—nothing good can come of it, so we highly recommend avoiding this altogether

Daily stress is a simple and unavoidable fact of life, but chronic stress can slowly ruin your health, yet there are things you can do to prevent it from becoming a problem. Find a few ways listed above that sound appealing, and use those to reduce the effects of stress in your life.

Group Bonfire at the Beach - Friends and Family are Good for Your Health

Friends and Family Are Good for Your Health

By | Blog

When it comes to health and wellness, the first things that usually come to people’s minds are good nutrition and exercise. Those are obviously vital for good health, but close relationships and connections with family and friends are equally important for your overall well-being. Yes, friends and family are good for your health.

Spending time alone can certainly be a good way to decompress, but when it comes to dealing with stress and maintaining happiness, family and close friends are more beneficial. In fact, as important as family is, it’s tight friendships that can have the most positive effect, particularly as you get older.

Here are the top-4 areas where friends and family are good for your health:

Coping with stress

The all-too-common solution for dealing with stress is by self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, or smoking, but all those will do is temporarily mask the stress. Talking about your problems with close friends or family is much more effective, and it allows you to relieve stress with potentially positive feedback and advice from those whose opinions you value. Often times, simply having a friend listen is all you need for the biggest stress relief.

Mental Health

Socializing with groups of friends not only makes you feel happy and actively improves your sense of well-being, it’s also good for your mental health. Mental cognition and memory can improve when socializing with groups of friends, and this can also help improve allostasis, or your ability to effectively respond to stress and maintain stability during stressful situations.

Cardiovascular Health

Sure, having a group of active friends can help you stay physically healthy, but cardiovascular health comes from more than just physical activity. Spending time with friends is a great de-stressor, and effective stress management can reduce inflammation in arteries as well as decreasing your pulse and blood pressure.

Healthy Eating

This one isn’t always the case, as social eating can obviously be less than ideal at times. When you’re actively trying to eat a healthy diet, however, friends and family can make the process much easier by helping to keep you on track and even joining you on your quest for good nutritional health.

Friends vs. Family

Supportive family and friends are great for your health, but contrary to what you might be thinking, close friends can actually be more important, especially as you get older. You don’t choose your family, so even when relationships are close, it’s not always the same as type of closeness.

When it comes to friends, you tend to be more selective by choosing to spend more time with the people who make you happy. Good friends are often more actively supportive, which can be better for your health and wellness, and they’re great at boosting your self-esteem and fighting off potential depression. Plus, they can give you honest feedback when needed.

What about people who consider their pets to be family members or close friends? Pets definitely count! While your pets might not give you verbal feedback, they do give you a strong sense of purpose which boosts your sense of well-being and improves health. As an added bonus, pets often require you to be more active which adds to the sense of well-being and improves physical fitness.

While you might not realize it when you’re younger, friends and family are good for your health, so choose friends you genuinely enjoy being around – the more you enjoy their company, the longer you’ll be around to enjoy the time you spend together.

Group Running into Ocean - New Year, New You

New Year, New You

By | Blog

Whether you made it a point to stay healthy during the holiday season or if you indulged a little more than you meant to, now is the natural time to set new goals for the new year. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a rush to get rid of some holiday weight or if you have longer-term goals, it’s time to put yourself into the New Year, New You mindset.

We’ve all set New Year’s goals in the past, but if you’re like most of us, there’s a good chance you gave up at some point before reaching your ultimate goal. We’ve all been there! Setting realistic short-term goals will increase your chances of success and can play a big role in achieving your long-term goals.

Get Active

Sure, it may be cold, but get out there anyway. A little bit of fresh air goes a long way to boost your motivation and your overall sense of well-being, especially if you’re usually cooped up through the winter months. A little layering of your clothes can go a long way to keeping you warm, and a little bit of nature (even in the concrete jungle of a big city) can work wonders.

A well-planned exercise routine, whether indoors or outdoors, is the best way to be active, but even the simplest of daily activities can be a big step toward a new year, new you.

Walking, jogging, biking, and hiking are all great outdoor activities you can do alone, with your pets, or with family and friends. And no, you don’t have to go outside to be active. There are plenty of indoor activities to choose from, especially if you belong to a gym, and even simple activities like walking around a shopping mall will at least get your blood flowing.

Eat Well

This may sound like a lazy and simple goal, but if you’re not already following a well-balanced eating plan, now is the time to get in the habit, not just for a new year, new you, but for a longer future.

Eating well doesn’t have to involve the “D” word since that tends to make it tough for many people. Don’t think of it as going on a diet with restrictions so much as a new way of eating that puts your health first and your cravings second. Yes, a good vegan meal plan delivers plenty of great flavors, but everyone likes a little sweet treat from time to time, and that’s okay.

The occasional treat doesn’t’ have to ruin your goals. Set a meal plan based on your dietary needs, and simply eat only healthy food choices 80-85% of the time. That gives you a generous 15-20% of your “diet” to allow for the occasional urge.

One easy way to stay on track with your new, healthy eating plan it to get in the habit of carrying a RawFusion Bar with you wherever you go. That way, you’ll always have a delicious and nutritious snack with you, and you won’t be as likely to give in to cravings while you’re on the go.

Stay Hydrated

When the weather’s cold and you’re not sweating, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated. Beyond the obvious negative consequences of dehydration, your body needs to stay hydrated to fully utilize all the nutrients in your food. Plus, a well-hydrated body rids itself of toxins much more easily, and proper hydration is a big key to transporting fatty acids through your bloodstream for weight loss.

Relax

Stress levels at the end of the year can be at their peak, so it’s important to break that cycle so you don’t carry that anxiety into the new year. It doesn’t help that the evolving world around us seems to add new stressors on an almost daily basis.

Find ways to resource yourself and relax through the day. Daily exercise can be a great stress relief, especially if you incorporate yoga into your program (or separately during the day). Consider adding in an occasional massage or set time aside for reading, listening to your favorite music, or quiet and uninterrupted meditation.

If you have trouble relaxing because it feels like you’re spoiling yourself when there are so many things to do, keep in mind that relaxation can make you more resourceful and productive in the long run, let alone the life-extension potential.

New Year, New You – Start Now

January 1 is the date most people begin working on their resolutions, but why wait. Whether it’s December, mid-January, or any time of the year, there’s no reason to wait. Start working on your new year, new you right now!

Heart Shaped Hands Over Abdomen - Keep it Moving: Don't Let Your Diet Bind You Up

Keep it Moving: Don’t Let Your Diet Bind You Up

By | Blog

When the “going” gets tough, you might need some changes in your diet to make the tough get going. Bathroom talk can be humorous to some and uncomfortable to others, but constipation is something that happens to just about all of us at some point. There are things you can do to help keep it moving, though…

Constipation can be uncomfortable at best or painful and require medical attention at its worst. While some find the topic to be comical, it’s actually a serious topic and shouldn’t be ignored. If you find yourself dealing with strain or pain from difficult bowel movements, if you’re suffering from hemorrhoids or anal fissures (ouch!), or if you’re having fewer than three bowel movements per week, it’s time to do something to keep it moving.

Over-the-counter laxatives are certainly an option, but they can lead to discomfort and unpredictability that no one wants to worry about. To keep it moving regularly all the time, you need to take action with your nutrition and lifestyle. Your digestive system is generally a decent sign of just how healthy you are, so we’ve listed a few things below that you can do to keep it moving.

Eat More Fiber

Everyone knows that fiber is necessary to keep it moving but not everyone gets enough in their daily diet. If you eat a plant-based diet, chances are very high that you don’t need to worry about your fiber intake, but if you eat a mixed diet or don’t always get the right balance of fiber on a daily basis, then it’s time to make some changes.

There are two types of dietary fiber; soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be dissolved, so it’s the fiber type that’s good for maintaining a healthy cholesterol balance and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. As important as that is, it’s insoluble fiber that’s vital to keep things moving along through your digestive tract. Because it can’t be dissolved, insoluble fiber helps add bulk to your bowel movements and soften them up so all those metabolic wastes can move along, uninterrupted.

It’s generally recommended that women get a minimum of 38 grams of dietary fiber per day, and men should aim for at least 25 grams per day.

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to stay well hydrated for nearly all your body’s functions, and that includes the proper functioning of your digestive tract.

Water is obviously important for breaking down and transporting nutrients, but you also require adequate hydration for the processing and moving of foods and metabolic waste through your intestines. Not enough water and you’ll experience hard, dry bowel movements that simply can’t keep moving. Without enough water intake, it’s like putting on the brakes in your bowels.

Water intake requirements can vary greatly depending on your climate, activity level, and other factors, but a good rule of thumb is to get at least 2.2 liters of water per day for women and 3 liters per day for men, and drink more if needed. Some of that water intake can come from fruits and vegetables or other beverages, but watch the caffeine-based drinks, as those don’t count, and too much caffeine can actually increase your water-intake needs because of its mild diuretic effects.

Get Active

To keep it moving, you need to keep your body moving, too. Exercise is great for your heart, makes you look better, and makes you feel better, and that includes your digestive tract. Whether it’s the simple act of an evening walk or a full-blown gym workout, exercise helps with blood flow everywhere, including the blood going to your digestive system to help properly evacuate food and keep it moving through your intestines.

That obviously doesn’t mean you should have a strenuous workout immediately after a meal, as no one’s going to enjoy that, but a short walk after dinner is fine, and general exercise at any time during the day can help with healthy blood flow all day.

Take a Deep Breath

Try to relax, and we don’t just mean while you’re in the bathroom, although that’s obviously a good idea. Your overall stress levels can have a negative impact on your bowels, as high-stress levels can slow down the digestive process and increase tension in your muscles, including the muscles that help keep everything moving along.

Finding ways to relax more can help greatly with digestive system health, and reducing stress is vital for your overall health and vitality.

Don’t Ignore the Backdoor

If you’re feeling backed up and struggling in the bathroom, or if you find that you’re not quite going as often as you should, don’t ignore it. And don’t ignore it when your body tells you it’s time to go. By not listening to your body, especially if you do that often, you could be causing long-term issues that you really don’t want to deal with (like teaching your body not to react to the impulse to go until it’s too late).

The same goes for those times when you’ve noticed you haven’t gone for a while or your body just isn’t cooperating. Don’t force it when it’s obvious that things are ready to move along.

If you follow these basic guidelines, it should be able to avoid any problems with keeping things moving.

Raw Fruits & Veggies - Raw Nutrition on the Go

Raw Nutrition on the Go

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When you’re at home, it’s easy to stick to your plans of eating raw, whole foods. It’s not always so easy once you leave the comfort of your own kitchen, but you don’t have to give in to sketchy food choices in convenience stores, fast food chains, or expensive restaurants. All it takes is planning ahead to make sure you always have raw nutrition on the go.

With a bit of smart grocery shopping and some simple kitchen supplies like sealed containers or sealable baggies, raw nutrition on the go doesn’t have to be tough. It’s just a matter of knowing what you’ll need while you’re out. Most fruits and vegetables are great since you don’t necessarily need to do any preparation aside from cleaning. Many are available pre-sliced, but fresh food tends to spoil more quickly when purchased that way. If you want your fruits and veggies to be easier to eat with less mess, it’s best to do your own slicing and packing at home and simply prepare single-serving packages.

Nuts and seeds are super easy, too, as they have long shelf lives, but it’s still recommended to keep them packaged in individual servings if you tend to be a heavy snacker. Yes, nuts and seeds are healthy, but they also dense with calories, so it’s easy to get carried away.

Below is a list of some of the easiest and tastiest whole foods to supply you with raw nutrition on the go:

  • Citrus fruit (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit): Easy to throw in a bag and bring with you, but can get messy, so have a towel available or pack them up sliced.
  • Bananas: They come “pre-packaged,” so unless you plan to bring a fork to avoid getting messy hands, pack these as-is.
  • Apples/pears: Some people like the convenience of biting into a whole apple while others prefer them sliced. Do whatever works for you.
  • Grapes: These go-to snacks are always ready to go.
  • Berries: Best to put them in a well-sealed container, as many berries can stain.
  • Nuts/seeds: It’s easiest to make sure these are shelled first, and don’t forget they can be filling, so it’s best to pack only what you’ll need.
  • Peppers: These can be eaten like apples, but you’ll draw less attention if they’re sliced up ahead of time.
  • Cucumbers: The skin is tough to eat, so it’s best to peel and slice these before packing them up.
  • Carrots: Baby carrots make a fun snack, but cleaned and peeled full-size carrots are always a treat.
  • Tropical treats (pineapple, mango, kiwi, papaya): Tropical fruit usually makes for an extra tasty treat, but many are messy and/or hard to eat on the go. These are best to peel and slice before you go.
  • Protein Bars: Most protein bars on the market are full of ingredients you want to avoid if you’re trying to eat healthy food. RawFusion Bars are the current king of raw nutrition on the go. No prep time and they’re already prepackaged with completely plant-based protein and a full meal’s worth of nutrition. Plus, they happen to be delicious, and whether it’s freezing winter weather or a mid-summer pavement-melting heatwave, they’re easy to eat with no mess.

You can bring almost any of your favorite raw whole foods with you just about anywhere, but planning is key. Small baggies, sealed containers, and a small cooler or insulated bag will go a long way to make life easier. Plan your raw nutrition on the go, and never have to worry about what you eat when you’re away from home.