Posts tagged with "healthy"

Women's Month illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Regaining Vaginal Balance with Flower Power

As women, we are always trying to find balance in our lives. We look to balance our time, money, and responsibilities as well as balance our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although, what about finding balance down there? Vaginal health is an important part of a woman’s overall health. When vaginal problems arise, they can affect self-confidence, fertility, sex drive, and put stress on a relationship. There are many factors that can impact vaginal health such as sex, infections or illness, hygiene, hormone levels, or vaginitis (vaginal inflammation). Typical symptoms that warrant a doctor visit include vaginal redness or itching; a change in odor, color, or amount of discharge; vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause; a mass or bulge in your vagina; or pain during intercourse.

To help maintain a healthy vagina, there are some helpful tips: do not scratch if it itches, wear cotton underwear, avoid thongs, use unscented tampons, do not leave tampons in for more than eight hours, practice safe sex, wipe from front to back after using the toilet, avoid products with a lot of fragrance like detergents and soaps, and avoid talc and powders. If you are concerned about symptoms of vaginal irritation or odor, there are over-the-counter products you can take including creams, gels, and vaginal suppositories.

About 30 percent of women struggle with vaginal odor, but that does not necessarily mean it is due to being unclean or unhygienic; it is just an imbalance. The vagina is an extraordinary self-cleaning organ but must be acidic to maintain its cleanliness and fight infection. When a woman’s pH levels are imbalanced, this can lead to vaginal issues like odor. What is pH, and why is it so important? The pH is the number that measures how alkaline (the opposite of acidic) something is. When the pH number is seven and under a substance is more acidic, and when the pH number is seven or more it is more alkaline. A healthy vagina has a pH of about four and a half or lower. A particular balance of healthy microbes in the vagina helps keep it acidic to protect against infection. Some of these healthy microbes, bacteria called Lactobacilli, keep the vagina acidic by producing lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. If the vagina becomes less acidic, then most likely there are not enough healthy microbes to protect it from infection. As estrogen and progesterone levels change, so do the levels of healthy bacteria and the pH of the vagina. Douching can also affect vaginal pH levels, but there are some over-the-counter products that can help bring your vaginal pH back to healthy levels.

Flower Power is a vegan vaginal suppository specially designed to help naturally restore a vagina’s self-cleansing powers. It contains boric acid, an oceanic mineral that has been used for hundreds of years for its acidic, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Boric acid has been recommended by gynecologists for over 100 years, and until now, it was only available with a prescription at a compounding pharmacy. At Flower Power, they believe a natural product like their suppositories should be available to all women from the comfort of home. Flower Power’s capsules are free of fillers, dyes, and flow agents and are cruelty-free and made in the USA. Flower Power co-founder Naomi Moore says, “Unfortunately, many things such as douching, sex, fabrics, exercise, sugar, even detergent can throw off the pH. And, once the vagina’s pH is off, the bad stuff thrives, and it’s difficult for it to rebalance things again.” She adds, “Flower Power helps rapidly bring the vagina’s pH back to its natural levels, so it can continue to be the remarkable germ-fighting machine that it’s designed to be!”

Flower Power vaginal suppositories are easy to use, incredibly fast-acting, and many women see a decrease in odor after one use. They can easily be used overnight by simply inserting the suppository capsule into the vagina before bedtime, and as it dissolves, it starts to work its magic in four to twelve hours. OB-GYN Dr. R. Mabborang says, “Boric acid suppositories, like Flower Power, help restore the vaginal mucosa to more acidic levels. This allows the vagina to help fight microorganisms that can cause itch and odor. Flower Power does it better—their products are made in the USA and utilize vegan capsules – something that is likely far safer for the vaginal flora.” Pharmacist Dr. Amy Asghar says, “We’ve compounded boric acid for patients for years. It’s proven to be safe and incredibly effective with vaginal burning, odor, and itch. Flower Power uses the highest quality ingredients in a vegan capsule, bringing pharmacy quality products to the comfort of home.”

Not only does Flower Power help numerous women balance their vaginal health, but they also take their business to the next step. With every Flower Power purchase, a portion of the profits will be donated to a women’s charity of your choice. Also, if you are not happy with your results, Flower Power offers an easy refund policy. Flower Power’s mission is to help women regain confidence with safe, natural solutions. They are incredibly confident in the remarkable products they make and believe that all women should be open and honest about their vaginas. Flower Power’s vaginal suppositories are incredibly potent and quickly eliminate embarrassing vaginal odor (and excess discharge) leaving you feeling clean and confident. The precise dose of pure boric acid works as a potent antifungal and targets the nasty Candida albicans and the more resistant Candida glabrata yeast strains. Their boric acid is also the finest, most comfortable powder around with absolutely no irritating granular fillers.

Women are raving about this amazing product. Flower Power is giving women the opportunity to take control of their vaginal health from home naturally and effectively. With so many women struggling with vaginal odor and other similar issues, it is reassuring to have a product that truly works and puts women first.

Higher Reality

From our ancient Mother, we have stories of victory that give us light. We, as Higher Beings, grow as plants and trees to provide shade that we will never sit in. Today, Adversity comes from those with no roots who hate plants. They want to extinguish our sacred flame. Power from Profit, they are poisoning our souls one individual at a time. Individual liberty and equality are a memory?

I am one voice. I am a self-taught artist who has overcome autism and a decade of rape with Cannabis. Her manifestation within my mind and blood has given me peace. Freedom is within all of us. We just need to listen to the Voice of our Ancestor. Healing and loving kindness are just breath away. Using what grows from Mother Earth has given me a Spark of Determination to ignite and grow into a flame of passion. We must let our fire burn in the oven. Fire is universal. Fire stirs the essence of human artistry; it is the spark of the will to a higher frequency. That frequency is Love. Fire creates light and is not appreciated in our modern plastic society. Most humans are asleep and have lost interaction with real Fire.

Every human being is an individual, and every individual is a world like no other. We must become aware. Consciousness is awareness. We must make the subconscious conscious. Do you think Mother Earth is happy today? Is She proud of all the innocent blood seeping into her soil? Mother Earth is just, but Her actions can be terrible for those who violate Her. Why must we ask permission for freedom in this realm?

If cannabis plants could talk, we would arrest them! Exterminate them! I do not fear the system and its invented drug laws, because I defend Mother Nature. You can’t manipulate Love and Harmony. This war on people has gone on long enough. There is no liberty if the people have no voice. There is no justice where there is no truth. We need to stop putting people into boxes and view life as a unified whole. Don’t let the Oppressor be your Master. Face the light and know the Highest Consciousness of the cosmos is Love. Only truth awakens the morning of peace, and no law is higher than truth. There must be reparations for everyone who has lost freedom because of what grows beautifully from soil. We are a warm Light in this world and changing the world is NOW!

My art is growing marvelously like new buds on a healthy plant. I have always attempted what is out of the ordinary and have achieved the wonderful impossible. I have used all aspects of trauma to awaken the Divinity within my blood and devise my own style of art. I am a cosmic force, and my art is a tender plant being watered every day. Art is magic, and magic allows us to see what is hidden from our physical world. My spiritual roots are extremely strong and no plant lives without them.

History is within us; we just have to Remember. Our primal mother’s blood flows in our veins as we experiment meticulously with experience. There are so many people that need help, and every day is a chance to let our 420 Light shine! The energy within my vessel has passed through many transformations and stages of Alchemy to make me the electric individual I am today. Within my blood stirs centuries of fire! Out of the ashes the Phoenix will spread its wings and fly. Freedom is our battle cry!

We must not fear those who aim guns at plants because we are more powerful than they are. The wise ears of Mary Jane’s children seek truth. With patented grown food we are killing our youth. Humans eat and kill beings greater than themselves… And the kids still are not getting an appropriate number of vitamins and nutrients. The children are now the size of the cow. Maybe that’s bloody Karma? We are a Higher Frequency in a realm of polluted air that we must breathe every day. Resistance is part of this evolution. Oxygen is a wonderful gift from plants, that when within our vessels transforms into energy. Energy is Eternal. Plants are green energy. Plants Heal. We have a choice. I am screaming Can you hear my voice? One day your earth walk will end. Don’t let your fire die!

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Fitness

Understanding Physical Limitations

Five Things Non-Disabled People Should Understand About Those With Physical Limitations

By: Julie Morin, Co-Founder, Envol

Chronic illness has continued to grow in the past decades with six in ten Americans living with at least one chronic disease today, according to the CDC.

Having at least one chronic symptom is considered normal in the modern world of today – and let me tell you, that’s a scary realization. Such symptoms can look and feel different for everyone, ranging from mild occasional discomfort to being physically limited in our ability to participate to everyday activities.

Yet non-disabled people dominate the population and culture in the US, which means our understanding of normal is wholly based around the perimeters for non-disabled ideas and activities.

This is something I know all too well. Two weeks after taking ciprofloxacin – a commonly prescribed antibiotic – for a UTI, I was practicing yoga and, out of nowhere, my leg muscles went into painful paralysis. I couldn’t walk or even move my legs anymore. I had to call for help – it was terrifying – and I was rushed to the hospital in the neurology department. All the tests came back negative, and no one knew what was wrong with me. After two weeks, they said it was probably all just in my head and sent me home.

I spent the next four years in a wheelchair, and after multiple misdiagnoses and unsuccessful medical treatments, I turned to holistic healing. I began working with a French naturopathic physician who informed me that my symptoms aligned with fluoroquinolone toxicity, which is currently not recognized as a diagnosis yet. Still, many cases of fluoroquinolone-associated disability are being reported, and doctors continue to prescribe them today despite the FDA advising against it.

Under the guidance of my naturopathic physician, I created a wellness routine that incorporated a healthy, plant-based diet, meditation, therapeutic movement, rest, and gratitude, and I am now 75% healed and can walk short distances again.

Going from a healthy, vibrant young lady to a handicapped 25 years old just by taking a few pills has not been easy. But what was even harder was how people treated me during this time.

And what I learned during this time is knowledge I feel is essential to share with others:

  • Illness isn’t always visible.

It’s always wise to be careful with assumptions and presuming someone is healthy just because they don’t look sick. There is a lot that can be invisible to the eye and coming from a place of empathy when we simply don’t know enough about a situation or a person, is always a good idea.

  • Dare to talk about it.

Avoiding complex topics because they might be awkward or uncomfortable can make a person living with a chronic illness feel even more lonely and unheard. Talk about what they’re going through, the struggles, the hardship, but also the joy and the little things that they feel grateful for.

  • Not having a diagnosis doesn’t mean nothing is wrong.

So many people go mis- or undiagnosed by the medical profession and many assume that it must mean that there is nothing wrong with them and that they should simply resume their life. Yet the daily struggles and limitations are still there, and they can be very real. Continuing to offer your support and trust even when a clear diagnosis isn’t identified is one of the best way you can support someone you love who is going through a difficult time with their health. This type of support can greatly contribute to our recovery.

  • Avoid suggesting that someone is lucky that they can’t work.

Being unable to work isn’t a privilege – it’s a consequence of chronic illness or physical limitations. Rather, helping that person find their mission and a passion in which they can contribute to the world can often shift their perspective and help them boost their self-esteem.

  • People with physical limitations of disabilities are reminded every day of how life is different for them.

Be the person who finds and enhances similarities and makes them feel like they belong to the same group as healthy and non-disabled people. Invite them to parties, include them in group conversations, activities, etc. In the end, our cells listen to every one of our thoughts and so why not see life as everybody else should: full of possibilities, feeling confident, strong, and powerful beings.

And let’s not forget the power of love and positivity and the positive effects they can have on our health & well-being.

Being in a state of love and gratitude is in fact so important that it is a nourishment in the healing app Envol that my partner and I have created after my recovery.

Envol app is a holistic healing tool with a unique health-score tracking concept + algorithm, backed by science and doctors, that combines all the necessary tools to improve health no matter where people start–whether they’re recovering from a chronic illness or need some extra guidance when dealing with stress or anxiety.

I hope that people never stop believing in the incredible powers of their body. We are more powerful than we think. There is pure magic in us, and if we create the right conditions in our life to let that magic express itself, miracles can happen. Our cells respond to each of our thoughts and beliefs – and it starts with changing ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can.’

About The Author

As someone who’s spent years battling chronic illness, Julie Morin, co-founder of Envol, knows how difficult and pricey it can be to get our health back. She started to wonder about what would happen to our bodies should we give them the opportunity to heal from within. Julie explored that question and when she started walking again after 4 years in a wheelchair, Envol was born: an easy-to-use mobile app to guide and empower people to take control of their health and start feeling better.

Beauty Art by Symara Wilson of 360 for use by 360 Magazine

Seven Mistakes in Your Skin Exfoliation Routine

A good exfoliation routine removes dead skin cells and makes your skin look brighter and smoother. While it is good to exfoliate regularly, many people make mistakes in their routines. Here are seven errors you need to avoid.

  1. You’re Using Products That Aren’t Suitable for Your Skin Type

Everyone has different skin, which means you need to find exfoliating products that work for you. It is a common mistake for people to buy either the least expensive skincare products or the ones that they have seen advertised the most. If you want to get the most out of your exfoliating routine, it is recommended that you seek advice from a professional dermatologist and get products that have been specifically formulated for your skin type. Every person’s complexion is highly unique according to Nava MD, which provides customized treatments for skincare. So, you need to have the right products for your skin type and condition if you want your exfoliation routine to help your skin stay healthy and radiant.

  1. You’re Using Products That Don’t Scrub Well

You need to use products that scrub well and know how to apply them. For instance, too many people press too hard or for too long, which can cause more harm than good. Whether you are using a combination of exfoliation products with loofahs, sonic brushes, or sugar scrubs, you need to ensure they scrub well. So, shop around to find the right combination of products for you or seek advice from a dermatologist.

  1. You’re Using Products That Are Not Properly Balanced

When people make the mistake of not taking their own skin type into account when choosing products for their exfoliation routines, they end up with products that are not balanced properly. The ingredients should be the right ones for your skin and be in the right proportions for your skin’s needs. For instance, alpha hydroxy acids are used in products to improve skin tone and mild areas of discoloration while beta hydroxy acids are best for oily or acne-prone skin. The best option is to go with dermatologically designed products that are customized just for you.

  1. You’re Using Exfoliators That Cause Dryness, Irritation and/or Peeling

This mistake speaks for itself. If you are using exfoliators that cause dryness or irritation, or make your skin peel, it is time to change the exfoliators you use. Exfoliation products are supposed to help you maintain healthy skin and a smooth and bright complexion, so if you find they are always causing irritation, there is little point in using those items. Instead, find the best exfoliators for your skin type.

  1. You’re Using a Product That Doesn’t Properly Target the Root of Your Problem

If you have something like dry skin, oily skin, or acne, you need to find the right exfoliation products and routine for your specific problem. If you are using a product that does not properly target the root of your problem, you will not be able to solve the issue.

  1. You’re Using Exfoliators and Toners in the Wrong Order

There are better exfoliators to go after your problem areas before focusing on the epidermis. It is always best to exfoliate right after a double cleanse to remove debris from pores and help cell turnover. Then follow up with a toner to help balance your skin’s pH levels. Do not make the mistake of using exfoliators and toners in the wrong order.

  1. You’re Not Leaving Enough Time for the Product to Fully Absorb into Your Skin Before You Work on Your Problem Areas

Exfoliation products take time to become fully absorbed by your skin. So, do not make the mistake of rushing your exfoliation routine. Let the product soak into your skin before you work on your problem areas.

house on a beach illustration by 360 Magazine

New WELLNESS WELL PACKAGE at Las Catalinas

Dedicated to creating a way of life that is healthy, sustainable, fulfilling, and fun, Las Catalinas is pleased to invite guests to experience it as a Wellness Well with a new package by the same name that will undoubtedly deliver a remarkable sense of wellbeing and rejuvenation while enjoying Las Catalinas and all that this seaside gem of a (car-free!) town has to offer.

This 4-night package includes fresh green juice daily from Copper & Stone Gourmet Market;  a $100 credit at Pots & Bowls Food Truck, which opened this year and offers a fantastically fresh, healthy new twist with true farm-to-table cuisine and extensive raw vegan options; an all-access pass to CORE by ChakFitness, which also just opened and offers an exciting array of classes, including Beach Boot Camp, Bosu Boot Camp, Core Conditioning, Flinstones-esque free weights in the “Sand Box” (literally on the beach) and more; one complimentary matcha latte (almond and soy milks available) with all bike, SUP and kayak rentals at Pura Vida Ride; and a $50 credit at Wake Day Spa, which offers some of the best spa services on earth and also features an especially lovely boutique.

The Wellness Well package also includes a day trip to a secluded and magical farm surrounded by the lush Costa Rican rainforest and waterfalls on the slopes of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, where you can wade in the remarkable “blue lagoon” whose spring water comes directly from the volcano and is naturally tinted an electric turquoise. During the farm visit, taste delicious homemade cheeses, traditional tortillas and Costa Rican coffee, and finish the day with lunch at a beautiful restaurant nestled in the middle of the jungle beside the lagoon. Rates for the Wellness Well Package start at $1500, including airport transfers and private accommodations with breakfast daily at the Santarena Hotel and all else noted above. All Las Catalinas reservations can be made via its preferred travel partner, Beach Town Travel; to book this package please visit Beach Town Travel.

Las Catalinas is designed to be a place to maintain or regain one’s physical and mental equilibrium and provides an ideal environment for feeling comfortable, healthy and happy. It is a place to rediscover the freedom of one’s own two feet and the joy of exploring. Whether wandering the streets, hiking through the forest, or strolling the beach, it’s easy to connect with nature, oneself and others in Las Catalinas. The beautiful natural world and charming town provide ample opportunities to ease the body and mind: Set out in the early morning mist on a paddleboard or kayak; engage in sunrise or sunset yoga on the beach; enjoy hiking and mountain biking through stunning coastal terrain. In conjunction with Pura Vida Ride, Las Catalinas offers one of the best playgrounds in the world for water sports and trail fanatics. Specializing in the rental and sale of standup paddle boards, mountain bikes, kayaks and other ocean and mountain sports equipment, Pura Vida Ride is located on Playa Danta in the heart of Las Catalinas and not only offers lessons and expeditions, but is also a full service bike repair shop and general store serving coffee, pastries, drinks and snacks. Las Catalinas together with Pura Vida Ride provide a special and truly unique place where people can enjoy first class sporting activities with ease.

About Las Catalinas

The conscious community of Las Catalinas is taking shape as Costa Rica’s newest desirable beach town. This highly walkable destination on Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Coast is well underway with 21 acres of land under development, a Beach Club and several full-time residents. When complete, there will be approximately 180 residences, 10 restaurants (four currently operating), several thousand square feet of office space, a town hall, over a dozen plazas and various other merchants. The town’s core values and beliefs include environmental stewardship, connection to one another and to the rhythms of nature.

health illustration for 360 Magazine

3 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

Sometimes despite your best efforts it can be hard to lose those extra pounds. Chemist, nutrition and exercise expert Christine Hronec shares three tips on why you may not be losing weight.

1. Because you are eating too much.

In order to drop weight, now we’re not talking about fat just yet we’re just talking about weight, you need to take your total daily energy expenditure. Which is your body’s basal metabolic rate plus all the energy and calories you burn in a day. Those two items added together is your total daily energy expenditure. In order to sustain your current body mass, you need to be eating that amount of calories.

Now if you are not in a caloric deficit, you will not lose any body mass. Here’s a problem. Some of you are losing body mass but you are not losing body fat. You’re thinking: “You know what, I need to eat less and to exercise more.” Yeah, to a point. But the thing is if you’re trying to lose body fat, I’m not talking about losing muscle, I’m not talking about losing water, I’m talking about just the parts of your body you don’t want, like the part that makes you look fat, the fat. If you want to lose that, that is something that you cannot just wing. You cannot just do more cardio and eat less and expect to lose body fat. So, you’re going to lose muscle and you’re going to lose water.

And the thing is your body is going to spare protein first and is going to want to hold on to your fat more. Why? Because fat is more energy dense, and if you are starving your body wants to keep the fat as a longer-term sustainable energy source to keep you alive. Your body is going to want to get rid of the protein first. So, that is why your body will get rid of muscle first. If you are eating too much and your macros are not dialed in, you will not lose any body mass whatsoever. So, don’t fool yourself and think that you can just wing it. Because if you want to go from point A to point B, you need to be more strategic.

2. Your body is not able to metabolize body fat.

Why? Because you’re drinking too much alcohol. If you are drinking alcohol, your body cannot store it anywhere. Alcohol is a poison and your body can’t hold it. The second it comes into your body, your body needs to break it down and turn it into something else. When that is happening, all other metabolic processes stop.

So, when you consume alcohol, your body passes its ability to burn body fat for 48 hours at least, sometimes even 72. I do not recommend consuming any alcohol if your goal is to lose body fat. This goes for fitness competitors, this goes for people who are getting ready for their wedding, people who have a photo shoot. Alcohol has to be the number one thing out the door if you are serious about those types of goals.

3. You are eating too little.

There are lots of circumstances where you need to eat more. And it’s going to vary on a case by case basis, but if you have been in a caloric deficit for so long and nothing is changing on your body. Meaning you are not seeing any changes in your measurements; you are not seeing any changes in the scale. You most likely have been in a caloric deficit for far too long. And as a result of that, you are not able to part with your stored body fat.

If your carbs are too low for too long what happens is your insulin levels drop. When your insulin levels drop, your Leptin levels will drop. Leptin is the hormone that tells your body it is starving. It tells your body you need to hold on to body fat as a means of survival. If those levels get too low, you’re not going to  release any sort of body fat. So, there are times when it makes strategic sense to increase your insulin having a refeed day, because that’s going to pull up your Leptin levels.

About Christine Hronec

Christine Hronec is an award-winning chemist and three-time champion fitness competitor, nutrition, and exercise expert. Since founding her company Gauge Life in 2013, Christine has helped approximately 40,000 women transform their bodies and switch to a body-positive self-image. Her YouTube channel has over 25 million views. Christine has received awards from the American Chemical Society and was published in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Christine was part of the team that created Time magazine’s “Invention of the Year” for her work in the biotech field.

David Belford Headshot from Molly Jacobson from Lean N Fresh for use by 360 Magazine

Fresh N Lean Names David Belford Chief Financial Officer

America’s leading organic Ready-to-Eat (RTE) prepared meal delivery company, Fresh N’ Lean today announces that David Belford has been named Chief Financial Officer at the growing, profitable family business that is disrupting the direct-to-consumer (DTC) meal delivery space.

“With his extensive financial expertise and network, David is a key executive to lead Fresh N’ Lean into the next phase of our growth,” said founder and co-CEO Laureen Asseo. Asseo, named to Forbes 30 under 30 in 2019, founded the company eleven years ago in her apartment making fresh, organic meals for family and friends. The company has since grown to become the largest independent organic meal delivery company in the U.S. and is leading the revolution in healthy eating.

As CFO, Belford will focus on capital markets initiatives to support the company’s continued growth trajectory and to transition from a family-owned business into the top player within the RTE space. The company has generated positive EBITDA for over five years and was named to the Inc. 500 list in 2019. In 2020, Fresh N’ Lean grew sales by over 200% as consumers continued to embrace healthier options and the convenience of direct delivery.

Prior to joining Fresh N’ Lean, Belford served as Chief Credit Officer and Head of Asset Management for Colony Credit Real Estate, Inc. (NYSE: CLNC), a $5.0 billion mortgage REIT, and as Deputy Portfolio Manager for Colony Capital, Inc.’s (NYSE: CLNY) private funds series with over $3.0 billion of assets under management. His previous roles at Colony Capital included the head of US co-investments and the co-head of the London office.

“Fresh N’ Lean is an incredibly compelling combination of DTC technology, marketing and manufacturing that is perfectly positioned to use tailwinds to grab market share away from incumbent grocers and CPGs” said Belford. “We’re in the midst of a food revolution in this country where the entire landscape is shifting under our feet. No one could have imagined the dramatic surge we’ve seen recently in the demand for organic ingredients, sustainability and convenience. I’m excited to be joining the company at this crucial juncture to help take the business to the next level.”

“David’s experience and network will be a critical factor in our company’s expansion,” added Thomas Asseo, Laureen’s brother who serves as co-CEO. “He has a deep understanding of our brand, the consumer and the marketplace which will play a valuable role in our future.”

Belford holds a bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, an MBA from the Wharton School and a Master of International Affairs from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

About Fresh N’ Lean

Fresh N’ Lean is the leading independent technology, marketing & manufacturing platform currently disrupting the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) sector for healthy, Ready-to-Eat (RTE) meals. The company specializes in over 100 organic-sourced dishes covering keto, paleo, vegan, protein and vegetarian diets, all completely free of preservatives, gluten, hormones, and added sugars. Founded in 2010 and led by sister-brother duo Laureen and Thomas Asseo, Fresh N’ Lean continues to lead the revolution in human potential through healthy eating delivered fresh to your door.

Chrons via Rice University News for use by 360 Magazine

New Bacteria to Help Detect Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

In an important step toward the clinical application of synthetic biology, Rice University researchers have engineered a bacterium with the necessary capabilities for diagnosing inflammatory bowel diseases.

The engineered strain of the gut bacteria E. coli senses pH and glows when it encounters acidosis, an acidic condition that often occurs during flare ups of inflammatory bowel diseases like colitis, ileitis and Crohn’s disease.

Researchers at the University of Colorado (CU) School of Medicine used the Rice-created organism in a mouse model of Crohn’s disease to show acidosis activates a signature set of genes. The corresponding genetic signature in humans has previously been observed during active inflammation in Crohn’s disease patients. The results are available online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Study co-author Jeffrey Tabor, an associate professor of bioengineering in Rice’s Brown School of Engineering, whose lab engineered the pH-sensing bacterium, said it could be reprogrammed to make colors that show up in the toilet instead of the fluorescent tags used in the CU School of Medicine experiments.

“We think it could be added to food and programmed to turn toilet water blue to warn patients when a flare up is just beginning,” said Tabor.

Bacteria have evolved countless specific and sensitive genetic circuits to sense their surroundings. Tabor and colleagues developed a biohacking toolkit that allows them to mix and match the inputs and outputs of these bacterial sensors. The pH-sensing circuit was discovered by Rice Ph.D. student Kathryn Brink in a 2019 demonstration of the plug-and-play toolkit.

PNAS study co-authors Sean Colgan, the director of the CU School of Medicine’s Mucosal Inflammation Program, and Ian Cartwright, a postdoctoral fellow in Colgan’s lab, read about the pH sensor and contacted Tabor to see if it could be adapted for use in a mouse model of Crohn’s disease.

“It turns out that measuring pH within the intestine through noninvasive ways is quite difficult,” said Colgan, the Levine-Kern Professor of Medicine and Immunology in the CU School of Medicine.

So Brink spent a few weeks splicing the necessary sensor circuits into an organism and sent it to Colgan’s lab.  

“Normally, the pH in your intestines is around seven, which is neutral, but you get a lot of inflammation in Crohn’s disease, and pH goes to something like three, which is very acidic,” Tabor said.

Colgan and colleagues have studied the genes that are turned on and off under such conditions and “needed a tool to measure pH in the intestine to show that the things they were observing in in vitro experiments were also really happening in a live animal,” Tabor said.

“Colonizing this bacterial strain was the perfect biological tool to monitor acidosis during active inflammation,” Colgan said. “Correlating intestinal gene expression with the bacterial pH sensing bacteria proved to be a useful and valuable set of biomarkers for active inflammation in the intestine.” 

Tabor said he believes the pH-sensing bacterium could potentially be advanced for human clinical trials in several years. 

Tabor’s work was supported by the Welch Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

Beignet illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Air Fryer Hacks × Grilling Tips

Air fryer hacks and grilling tips
for tastier, healthier and greener meals

The Sustainable Chef Gerard Viverito has tips
and recipes to improve your spring and summer cooking

You may have heard that fat equals flavor. It’s why we love a beautifully marbled steak, butter-rich shortbread, or premium ice cream. Fat is also what makes fried foods such as potato chips and chicken nuggets so deliciously crispy and addictive. Today, many people are swapping their deep fryers for air fryers.

This trendy appliance uses swirling super-heated air, instead of hot oil, to cook. But air fried food can also be dry. The Sustainable Chef and culinary instructor Gerard Viverito says the results can be as impressive as oil-fried dishes – and full of crave-worthy crunch – if you follow his tips. Bonus: some of these hacks can also be used on your outdoor grill.

Brush on oil for crave-worthy crunch

“The right air frying techniques will help protect your health and produce more flavorful meals,” says Chef G. For restaurant-quality results, he suggests brushing oil onto your food both before you cook and again half-way through the cooking process. You can also apply it using a spray bottle. “Canned cooking spray will damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer; it may include questionable additives.”  

Use the right fats and cooking oils on your grill

Chef G. suggests you first get to know your cooking fats. “Using the wrong oil is why grilled foods sometimes taste so bad. The oil burns which make the food taste rancid,” he explains. “Some cooking oils are also not as healthful as others.” 

  • Choose vegetable oils carefully. Most canola, corn, soybean oils in the U.S. are made with genetically engineered crops. Many oils, such as corn, sunflower, soybean oil is pro-inflammatory.
  • Be aware of which oil to use for high-heat cooking. “Olive oil is ideal for drizzling over veggies but begins to degrade at 380 degrees. I like to use Malaysian palm oil for high-temperature cooking because its smoke point, the temperature at which it starts to burn and smoke, is in excess of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also nutrient-dense and sustainably produced.”  
  • Use butter for rich flavor. Chef G. is a fan of grass-fed butter because it has more flavor and a stronger nutritional profile. The downside of butter is that it burns easily at high temperatures. “My trick is to put a little red palm oil in the pan with the butter to protect the flavor. Palm oil and butter go together. Palm oil is a nutritious fat for people and even animals. When cows eat palmitic acid, a component in palm oil, they produce more milk with higher fat content.”  

Use sauces and marinades for big flavor

Chef G.’s chicken wing sauce uses bold ingredients such as gochujang Korean chili paste, ginger, and garlic. It also includes a sweetener that comes with a warning: “Sugar burns very quickly at high heat, so it’s important to add sugar-based sauces to your meat just in the last few minutes.” 

He suggests including an oil in your marinade. “Oils are an essential part of a marinade. I like to use garlic, black pepper, and spices. These seasonings are fat-soluble, so you need an oil to carry their flavor into the meat.”

Visit this website for more palm oil recipes. 

Malaysian Inspired Marinade

Recipes by Chef Gerard Viverito

Marinade for two pounds of meat

  • 3 Tbsp Malaysian Red Palm Oil
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
  • 3 slices fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt 
  • 2 Tbsp Palm Sugar

Instructions

Blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Add a little water to thin if needed.

Use this marinade for chicken or shrimp. It can be kept for 6 hours in the fridge or is best overnight.

Air-Fryer Beignets

Mardi Gras may have just come and gone, but there is no reason to deny yourself the taste of New Orleans any time you want it! As much as I try to maintain a low-carb life, these little bits of heaven are always a welcome treat and remind me of being in the French Quarter.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup lukewarm water (90 degrees)
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar (for yeast proofing)
  • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of salted butter, brought to room temperature
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter and Malaysian Palm Oil, equal parts
  • 1 ½ cups of confectioners’ sugar

Combine the lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and the yeast in a bowl and let proof for 5 minutes. This mixture should froth a little. If it doesn’t, your yeast is not active, and you should try again with a new yeast. Also mind the temperature. If it is too hot, you will kill the yeast.

Mix the flour, a pinch of salt, the room temperature butter and the sugar in a large bowl. 

Add the egg, evaporated milk and yeast mixture to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until it just comes together in a sticky ball. If your dough isn’t forming, add a little more flour, but in really small quantities to avoid having tough beignets. Move the dough to an oiled bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

The longer you let it rise, the better for flavor development. By allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator overnight, which is completely optional, you will develop a deeper flavor, but it is imperative that you bring it to room temperature before proceeding to the next steps.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 24 2”x3” rectangular pieces. 

Preheat your air fryer to 350ºF.

Brush or mist the beignets on both sides with some of the melted butter and palm oil mixture and air-fry in batches at 350ºF for 6 minutes, turning them over halfway through if desired. 

Be mindful to leave some space between the beignets for better and more even browning. 

Once the beignets are finished, transfer them to a plate or parchment lined baking sheet and dust with the confectioners’ sugar.

Enjoy with some nice chicory coffee!

Korean Inspired Air-Fried Gluten Free Chicken Wings

Servings: 4 people

Here’s a fun fact about chefs: As much as we love outdoing each other in the kitchen, we always gravitate back to the simple dishes to soothe our souls after a grueling shift. Just Google favorite chef recipes and you will usually find sandwiches or a 3-step meal. Not to say I don’t love oysters, truffles, and foie gras, but sometimes you just want some down-home fried chicken comfort. With the rise in popularity of Korean-style fried chicken, I took it to a new level with the air fryer.

Traditionally, Korean Fried Chicken is double fried in oil for a spectacular crunch and then covered in a delicious spicy, sweet-and-sour type sauce. 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Malaysian Palm Oil and butter to cover wings (approximately 1 Tablespoon each)

Chicken Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp gochujang Korean chili paste
  • 3 tbsp agave syrup or honey depending on the level of sweetness desired
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp tamari gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp shallot, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Chopped green onions for garnish

Instructions

Place the chicken wings in a large non-reactive bowl and season with garlic powder, onion powder and ½ tsp salt.

Cover the chicken with cornstarch, let sit for 5 minutes. With a set of tongs to keep your hands clean, stir, to evenly coat the chicken piece. Lightly shake each piece of chicken to remove the excess corn starch and place it in the air fryer basket.

While the wings are sitting, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and butter, heat gently to melt. 

Place the wings in the air fryer basket and lightly spray or brush the tops with the oil and butter mixture.

Close the basket and cook chicken wings at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, turning and rotating chicken about every 10 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce.

Korean Air-Fried Chicken Sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small, non-reactive saucepan over medium heat and whisk until combined. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

Once the chicken is done cooking, place the sauce and the wings into a bowl and toss to evenly coat.

*Oil may be used to spray and coat the chicken pieces if cornstarch still appears on the chicken after frying. It can be done without oil as the chicken will produce its own oil during cooking.

10 Supersmart Superfoods Your Kids Will Love

Having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy? When you package these superfood hits into a child’s menu you can be sure it’s a surefire way of giving them the nutrients they need and show them great nutrition is just around the corner!

Basil

This superfood packs in vitamins A, C and K, iron, potassium and calcium kids can grow their own basil at home. toss it on pasta sauces or pizza! It’s rich in plant chemicals, chlorophyll and other happy mood plant compounds.

Cocoa

Add cocoa powder and honey to kefir for a healthy quick breakfast for kids who won’t sit still to eat a meal. Or a cup of hot cocoa (at least 70 percent pure cocoa) promotes oral health and helps to protect delicate skin from sun damage over time. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder on fruit, snacks and desserts for a healthy punch of flavor. Plant chemicals and antioxidants increase concentration and decrease inflammation!

Black Beans

Adults aren’t the only ones who suffer from high cholesterol, they just get checked more often than kids. Black beans help kids keep cholesterol levels down and provide plenty of calcium and protein to boot. Make a tasty black bean dip with some fresh veggies for a fun snack.

 Cinnamon

This superfood is great sprinkled on breakfast foods. it regulates blood sugar, which will keep energy from crashing after breakfast in the middle of a school day, tastes great and is so easy to use. Its natural sweetness is a plus and goes with so many foods and beverages!

Avocado

Avocados are full of good fat. Kids need a daily diet of 30% monosaturated fat and a little avocado a day provides more than enough. Use it like ordinary mayo for a great mix-in to creamy dips and sauces or sliced fresh for an afternoon snack. Guacamole is a no brainer for kids!

Tomato

Here’s a switch, a tomato a day can keep cancer away. That’s right, the plant version of vitamin A can best fight off all kinds of stressors and the potassium they contain helps to boost energy and stabilize hydration. In-season tomatoes are amazing with basil and olive oil or lightly sautee for a very tasty sauce for pasta, fish or veggies!

Fruit

A sweet spot you don’t want to ignore, kids have a natural liking for fruit and its energy-boosting plus. Encouraging eating fruit curbs drinking sugary beverages and snacks. Go for seasonal fun and plan a harvesting trip to a local orchard or bring your kiddies to the local green grocers to pick out what they want. A variety of colors provides kids with essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and fiber to keep their bodies healthy. Introduce your kids to a daily fruit plate at a young age and they will probably continue the habit into adulthood.

Sweet Potatoes

These orange tubers are high in Vitamin A which helps kids develop healthy vision and eyes. And they’re delicious roasted, mashed or baked. For an amazing marshmallow flavor, use vanilla extract and honey for a not to be missed sweet treat.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids that little guys need to grow their brains to their full potential. Buy it ground and sprinkle it over their cereal or add 1/4 cup to their favorite baked-good recipe. They’ll get better nutrition without even knowing it.

Oatmeal

Kids who start their day with oatmeal concentrate better in school all day. oatmeal breaks down slowly to give continual bursts of energy over a long period of time. Add honey, nuts or chocolate chips to make it more kid-friendly, for a great way to use oatmeal be sure to check out the recipe section for a granola recipe the whole family will love.

About Nicolette M. Pace MS, RDN, CDE, CBC,CDN, CFCS ,FAND

Nicolette founded NutriSource Inc. ( www.nutrisource.org )  in 2002 to provide high quality education, counseling and nutrition services for a diverse community population. Prior to founding NutriSource Inc, she served as Director of Clinical Nutrition at the NYHQ/Silvercrest Center where she provided both administrative and direct care for sub-acute and chronically ill patients. Nicolette was a key member of performance improvement projects and as Chair of the Nutrition Committee; significant positive changes were made in the standard of care. 

 Nicolette has been featured in CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News, the New York Times, Seventeen, Fitness, Men’s Journal, More, Dr. Oz, Everyday Health, AOL, IVillage, Health, Shape and other magazines. She is also a contributing writer for Minerva Place, as well as an adjunct professor of Nutrition at CUNY and Touro Colleges. She believes in emphasizing a holistic approach toward food, nutrition and preventative healthcare.

Nicolette Pace Demo Reel watch HERE.