Posts tagged with "nutrition"

Carolina Schneider, MS, RD in the Kitchen via Pitch Publicity NYC for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Top Supplements Vegans Need To Avoid Nutrition Gaps

Essential Supplements for First Time Vegans
By: Carolina Schneider, MS, RD, registered dietitian

Plant-based eating continues to grow in popularity, and for good reasons: It is beneficial for human health, more environmentally sustainable, and supportive of animal welfare. A well-balanced vegan diet – one that excludes all animal products – is associated with a lower risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Some of the more immediate benefits people experience when switching to a vegan diet include increased energy levels, improved digestion, reduced joint pain and menstrual cramps, and better skin appearance. 

Mind the Nutrition Gaps  

Switching to a fully vegan diet requires planning and intention, and should be done with the guidance of a health professional. If not done properly, a plant-based diet may result in nutrient deficiencies, which can lead to future health complications. With the rise in vegan food options at the grocery stores and restaurants, there has also been an increase in highly processed, “junk vegan foods” that contain little to no nutritional value. Micronutrients, which include vitamins and minerals, are essential for many body processes such as immune function, energy production, bone strength and heart health.

Although these nutrients are found in wholesome (non-processed) plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, some vitamins and minerals are less bioavailable – or more difficult for the body to absorb – when obtained from plant sources. Therefore, supplementation can be an effective and inexpensive way to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Here are the top supplements vegans should take to avoid nutrient gaps: 

Vitamin B12: for energy

Vitamin B12 is essential for energy production, nerve cell function, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell production. Vitamin B12 also plays a role in heart health as it regulates blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine – elevated homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and in more severe cases, can lead to neurological issues such as numbing of fingers and toes.

Considering that the main food sources of vitamin B12 are animal products such as meat, eggs, fish, and shellfish, supplementation is required. Although some plant-based foods such as cereals and nutritional yeast are fortified with vitamin B12, they are not reliable sources. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg for adults, however, because the body absorbs only a small percentage of vitamin B12 from supplements, 500 mcg is recommended. Older adults should supplement with 1,000 mcg.

Aged Garlic Extract: for heart health

Aged Garlic Extract is a well-studied supplement that supports cardiovascular health. Considering that heart disease is the number-one killer in the United States, being proactive about cardiovascular health is important for everyone, regardless of their diet. The typical go-to supplement for heart health is fish oil, but since vegan diets don’t include fish, garlic supplements are your best bet! This is especially important for those with a family history of heart disease, or those consuming highly processed vegan foods such as ‘mock’ meats, frozen foods and salty snacks. These are high in saturated fats and sodium, both of which negatively impact heart health.

Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) has been shown to improve heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and clogged arteries. The proprietary aging process to make AGE increases garlic’s antioxidant power, removes its strong odor, and concentrates its benefits. In short, the AGE is far more potent than raw garlic. In fact, you would have to eat up to 28 garlic cloves to get these same benefits, which is not realistic nor recommended as it can cause digestive discomfort. Kyolic Vegan Aged Garlic Extract is ideal for vegans because this formula is free from animal ingredients or byproducts. Many supplements contain animal ingredients such as gelatin (from animal skin and bones) and beeswax to

encapsulate the nutrients, so it’s important for those following a plant-based diet to read the supplement labels carefully. The health benefits of Kyolic AGE have been supported by more than 900 published scientific papers. It is also easy to consume, odorless, and leaves no aftertaste. 

Calcium: for bones and teeth

Calcium is an essential mineral responsible for bones and teeth health. This is because calcium is a major component of bones, giving them strength and structure. It also plays an important role in muscle contraction, blood clotting and regulating normal heart rhythms and nerve function. Calcium is especially important for vegans as research has indicated plant-based eaters to have weaker bones and be at a higher risk for bone fractures. 

Plant-based sources of calcium include leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds and fortified plant milk. Although some of these foods — such as kale — are excellent sources of calcium, you would have to eat 10 cups of kale to meet daily calcium requirements. Additionally, because vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, those with low vitamin D levels may not retain the calcium from food.

The RDA for calcium is 1,000 mg for adults and 1,200 mg for women age 50 and older and men age 71 and older. Because calcium is best absorbed when taken in small amounts, a 600mg calcium supplement is recommended twice per day. However, most calcium supplements are made from animal sources, so vegans should look for plant-based calcium, which is usually sourced from algae, such as red marine algae.

Vitamin D: for immune support

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that supports the immune system by enhancing the function of immune cells, which help the body fight disease and infection. Vitamin D also helps the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, both of which are critical for bone health. Finally, vitamin D plays a role in reducing inflammation and the risk of infection.

Plant-based foods such as fruit juices, plant milk and cereals can be fortified with vitamin D, but these are not reliable sources. For example, you would need to drink 6.5 cups of vitamin D-fortified plain milk each day to meet the minimum daily requirement. Non-food sources of vitamin D include sunlight, which the

body is able to convert into the active form of the vitamin. However, prolonged sun exposure is associated with an increased risk for skin cancer and therefore should be limited.

Vitamin D supplementation is a much more effective way to meet daily requirements when compared to foods and sunlight. In fact, it is estimated that about 40% of the U.S. population has a vitamin D deficiency. Most vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and easy to swallow because of their small size. Although the current guideline for vitamin D is 600 IU per day, a growing body of research suggests that 2,000 IU per day is beneficial for supporting the immune system.

Beyond Supplements

Those who are interested in transitioning to plant-based eating should do it with the guidance of a registered dietitian, to ensure the diet is balanced and meets all the nutritional requirements. Consuming a nutrient-dense vegan diet that includes a variety of foods is an excellent way to improve health markers and lower the risk for disease. However, supplementation can provide a baseline for those starting on their vegan journey, helping them avoid nutrient gaps and potential risks associated with a vitamin or mineral deficiency.


Carolina Schneider, MS, RD is a registered dietitian and founder of Hungry for Plants. She specializes in plant-based nutrition and has followed a whole-food, plant-based diet for her entire adult life. Her experience, combined with her passion and knowledge, equip her to help others better understand the nutritional benefits of food and how to incorporate them into their everyday lives. Originally from Brazil, Schneider is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish. She received degrees in journalism and public relations, which have given her the foundation to become an educator and influencer on the plant-based lifestyle. She frequently posts nutrition tips and recipes at “Carolina the Green RD” on Instagram. Schneider obtained her Master of Science degree in Nutrition & Dietetics, and is passionate about nutrition science and helping individuals improve health and wellbeing through food. 

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Plexus Worldwide's Hybrid 2022 Ignite Convention via 10 to 1 Public Relations for use by 360 Magazine


More than 7500 Attend Plexus Worldwide’s 2022 Ignite Convention

Health and Wellness Company Plexus Reset and Recognizes Leading Brand Ambassadors From Around the World

Plexus Worldwide (Plexus®), one of the largest direct-selling health and wellness companies in the world, had more than 7500 Brand Ambassadors registered for its hybrid annual convention, held in Columbus, Ohio June 22-24. The 3-day event featured exciting product launches and an informative lineup of workshops, panels, and presentations designed to educate and inspire Brand Ambassadors to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. Keynote speakers and trainers included Jimmy WayneJason Dorsey, and Carey Lohrenz.

“This year’s Plexus 2022 Ignite Convention was focused on strengthening our passionate Brand Ambassadors to help them reach new heights with their businesses,” said Tarl Robinson, Founder and CEO of Plexus Worldwide. “This event brings together thousands of leaders to connect, learn from one another, and become energized and inspired to take their businesses to the next level.”   

Attendees were also the first to learn of the new science-based products Plexus is launching a revolutionary product system called Plexus Reset, designed to help revitalize, restore, and reset whole-body health in 3 days. Plexus Reset provides an alternative option with products that deliver a balanced nutrient profile and signal satiety, making it simple to achieve the health benefits that fasting offers. This system lays the foundation for optimal health and maximum results with Plexus products and healthy lifestyle choices. Plexus Reset consists of eight products that support overall health and wellness and contain a unique blend of proprietary supplements and foods with functional ingredients for healthy cellular metabolism.

 “We’ve been hosting Plexus conventions for more than 10 years and it’s always so humbling to hear personal success stories about how Plexus products have ignited hope, health, and happiness to so many” said Alec Clark, Founder and President of Plexus Worldwide.  “This is why we do what we do, and why we’re committed to bringing Plexus to even more people around the world.”

Robinson and Clark also announced 2022 One Plexus winners, Robin Sullivan, of Parker, Texas and Natalie Foeller of Kingston, Ontario, Canada.This prestigious award honors Plexus Brand Ambassadors who take extraordinary measures to support peers, give back to their local community, and empower others to make the world a better place.

About Plexus Worldwide:
Plexus Worldwide, LLC, is a leading Health and Happiness company featuring health and wellness products that enable people to improve their lives and well-being. With hundreds of thousands of independent business owners (“Brand Ambassadors”) worldwide, Plexus is among the top 25 largest direct sales companies globally, according to Direct Selling News. Plexus products and opportunities help individuals meet their health and financial goals. For more information about the company, visit

Kale via Heather Barnes for Unsplash for use by 360 Magazine

Probiotics And Prebiotics: Your Body’s “Dynamic Duo”

By: Dr. Ken Redcross

The gut, or your microbiome, does not just play a role in digesting your dinner. It serves as a second brain to the body and is responsible for clearing toxins while protecting against bad bacteria and viruses that could cause infection. Without a healthy gut our immune system is compromised. In fact, 70% of your immune system lives in your microbiome.

When the microbiome is compromised, your immunity is not the only thing that suffers. How you respond to stress, whether you are getting enough sleep, your mood and hormones, can all take a hit. Gut health also affects your mental health, heart health, blood sugar and liver.

Gut Hazards

There are many ways that we can upset the balance and diversity of our microbiomes, including eating a diet that is void of fiber, nutrients and loaded up with refined sugar and chemical additives. Partaking in too much alcohol is dangerous for the gut as well as it can inhibit the production of digestive enzymes and juices, meaning it becomes more difficult for your body to break down, digest and absorb nutrients from your food. Chronic alcohol consumption may even result in bacterial overgrowth and destruction of the overall composition of the gut microbiome. In fact, some research supports the use of probiotics to reduce the effect of alcohol-induced changes on gut bacteria.

Medications we take routinely, without hesitation, can also cause a gut disruption. Antibiotics, antacids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be taken in moderation and with caution. Although this side effect has long been appreciated, that antibiotics not only act on bacteria that cause infections, but also harm the microbiome, detailed studies now show that antibiotics can actually alter the gut microbiome. Antacids do not kill off your microbiome, but they do reduce stomach acid, which allows the bad bacteria to flourish. In one study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that NSAIDs changed the composition and diversity of gut microbes, which in turn shaped how the drug is broken down and ultimately, cut its effectiveness. Common NSAIDs include:

However, it is not just what we ingest that presents hazards to our gut, our microbiome can also be negatively affected by exposures to toxins like nicotine, mercury and mold. Even chronic stress can take a toll by negatively modifying the gut’s nervous system.

Probiotics to the Rescue

It may seem too good to be true, but one of the easiest ways to counter these gut hazards and support a healthy microbiome is with a probiotic supplement. Dozens of friendly bacterial strains are found in a probiotic supplement with the primary job to assist the body in different ways. For example, Bifidobacteria bifidum strengthens gut immunity while Bifidobacteria breve reduces intestinal inflammation and Bifidobacteria longum works to counter antibiotic-resistant bacteria and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. Lactobacillus gasseri, however, produces vitamin K for healthier bones and arteries, as well as antimicrobial substances that help prevent indigestion and diarrhea.

Struggling with seasonal allergies? You are not alone. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, a gut microbiota that lacks diversity is associated with all variations of allergies, especially seasonal allergies. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted by the University of Florida, 200+ participants in their mid-20s self-identified as having seasonal allergies. Kyo-Dophilus probiotics were taken to determine whether consuming Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and B. longum MM-2, compared with placebo, would result in beneficial effects on rhinoconjunctivitis (of which symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drip, sneezing and red eyes) during allergy season. After eight weeks, the study concluded that this specific combination of probiotics improved rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life during allergy season for healthy individuals with self-reported seasonal allergies. This study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and registered in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Every Batman Needs His Robin

If Batman was a probiotic, Robin would be the prebiotic. A powerful probiotic supplement can contain a variety of strains, some include prebiotics, too. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that promote the proliferation of your good gut bacteria. Prebiotic fibers also play an independent role in good health, including improving your gut’s immune response. You can get some prebiotic fibers through food, but it is challenging to get enough on a consistent basis.

This is where the “dynamic duo” of probiotics and prebiotics can be highly beneficial for gut health. Probiotics and prebiotic supplement combos are known as synbiotics. Incorporating a comprehensive synbiotic into your daily supplement routine, like Kyo-Dophilus Pro+ Synbiotic, is a dynamic way to improve and supercharge your gut and immune health. Pro+ Synbiotic contains a proprietary a-gluco-oligosaccharide prebiotic designed to support bacterial diversity for a healthier gut. In addition to promoting a healthy immune response, the right synbiotic also relieves constipation and bloating and can even support an improved mood. When choosing a high-quality synbiotic, look for one that contains a variety of well-researched probiotic strains and prebiotic fibers, while documenting that the bacteria can survive the distance through your stomach to arrive alive and active in your gut.

Power Up the Gut

There are other proactive ways to boost the good bacteria in your microbiome, beyond supplementation. Keeping your gastrointestinal (GI) tract in superhero shape is important to avoid throwing your entire body off its game. The ratio between good and bad bacteria makes a major difference. A healthy gut typically contains about 85% beneficial bacteria, which keeps in check the other 15% of harmful bacteria or pathogens. Diversity is important in everything you do, including how you eat, so double up on greens because chances are you are not consuming enough. Fresh vegetables are loaded with the vitamins, minerals and fiber that the gut bacterium needs to thrive. High-fiber veggies can also keep you regular. Try eating more artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale and spinach (all of these veggies contain prebiotics too)! Next, be sure to include fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, kombucha and miso.

Finally, get up and get moving. If you follow me on social media you know how much I stress the importance of having an active lifestyle. Exercise can give your body a better appearance but, here’s the kicker: studies show that active people have healthier, more diverse microbiomes, plus, regular workouts help ease stress that can also disrupt a healthy gut. Diversity is the key to a healthy gut! Combining a well-researched synbiotic probiotic/prebiotic combo supplement, in addition to practicing gut-friendly daily habits, will power up your overall health. I answer a lot of probiotic questions from people who are searching for ways to bring balance back to their gut. Exercise, diet and lifestyle changes help, but to really power up, make sure probiotics and prebiotics are in the mix! 

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.


Ken Redcross, MD, is author of Bond: The 4 Cornerstones of a Lasting and Caring Relationship with Your Doctor, (2018) and founder of Redcross Concierge, a personalized medical practice designed to enhance the patient-doctor relationship while providing convenient access to a full spectrum of healthcare services and holistic and wellness counseling. As one of the first full-service concierge, personalized medical practices in the United States, Redcross’ patient portfolio includes C-level business executives, athletes and professionals in the entertainment industry, as well as individuals from all walks and stages of life including college students, young professionals, busy parents and retirees. His focus on developing the patient-doctor bond is a unique characteristic of his concierge services that allows for a more strategic and customized approach to each patient’s healthcare plan. Redcross earned his medical degree from the prestigious Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, specializing in internal medicine. During his training, he participated in fellowships in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, to fulfill his passion for serving the underserved while enhancing his medical fluency in Spanish. After completing his residency, Redcross co-founded and served as president of Medi-Stop, an urgent care, walk-in clinic in California, treating minor medical ailments. He is based in New York, but travels across the country as his concierge practice requires. Redcross is an advisor for and is on the scientific advisory council for Organic & Natural Health Association.

Health clipboard graphic via Rita Azar for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Expert Diet Advice

Health is important, and having a good diet is necessary, but with a million “experts” out there, it’s hard to know what to take seriously. This is why to trust scientists like Nicole Avena, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Visiting Professor of Health Psychology and Princeton University. She gave the below advice.

  • Eat your fruits and veggies: It’s a cliché tip that many individuals have heard from their parents from a very young age. But it’s true. Each day you should strive to have at least a handful of both fruits and vegetables. Try finding foods that are high in antioxidants like blueberries, strawberries, and kale. In light of this year’s theme, ‘Celebrate a World of Flavors,’ go outside your comfort zone and try a new recipe or food from a different country. It might become a new favorite!
  • Daily vitamin intake: In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, it’s important to cover all your bases when it comes to daily vitamins. Each person’s dietary needs will vary slightly. While most people can get enough from diet alone, others may need to take a supplement, and nowadays, there are many vitamin options for men and women of all ages. For men, try vitafusion™ Men’s multivitamin, and for women, try vitafusion™ Women’s multivitamin, both easy to take chewable gummy supplements that include the necessary vitamins and minerals to stay on track. With the weather so unpredictable this season, I also recommend having a cold shortening product on hand that contains zinc, like Zicam RapidMelts, that can help get rid of a cold quicker when taken at the first sign of symptoms. Taking vitamins is a simple yet often overlooked habit for maintaining proper health. If you need an extra reminder, set a daily alarm to ensure you get your necessary vitamin intake.
  • Water is your friend: Staying hydrated is essential for your overall health. Not only does water help increase your energy levels and flush out toxins, but it also helps your body maintain regularity and improves your skin complexion. It can be easy to forget to drink water throughout the day, so keep a water bottle at your desk or area where you spend most of your time. This will serve as a constant reminder to stay hydrated.
  • Spice up your life: This month, try incorporating more herbs and spices into your diet and ‘Celebrate a World of Flavors.’ Herbs and spices allow you to season food using less salt and sugar while imparting health benefits. Fresh ginger, basil, rosemary, and mint are all excellent additions to many foods and recipes widely consumed around the world. In celebration of flavor, I challenge you to try a spice you have never tried before.

Five Fun Ways to Make Your Breakfast More Exciting

Some people consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. Others believe it is the province of Sunday only. However, still others view it as a chore. Why? 

You’re not a machine meant to treat food as nothing but fuel. You’re a human being, fully endowed with the ability to savor fabulous flavors. Here are five fun ways to make your breakfast more exciting, whether you’re enjoying a leisurely Sunday brunch or a quick midweek meal. 

Switch Up Your Menu 

If you grab the same meal replacement bar every morning to devour in your car on the way to work, no wonder you don’t consider breakfast very exciting. There’s a time and place for such speedy snacks during crunch time and extended weekend hikes. However, variety is the spice of life, so consider mixing up your morning meal in one of these fun ways.  

1. Perfect Your Pancakes 

Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast food. There’s no need to stick with boring white flour. You can kick your protein intake up a notch using a chickpea alternative, skipping the rapid blood sugar spike and crash. 

Do you want another way to increase the overall protein content — and flavor? Get wild and crazy with nut butters in your batter. Peanut butter works wonders, and who doesn’t love Nutella? 

Nor do you have to stick to maple syrup as your sole topper, although you do well to use the 100% natural stuff if you prefer this sweet treat. Many commercial brands have questionable additives, but you can find brands containing only one ingredient — the sticky sap from the tree alone. Other options include jams, preserves and marmalades, fresh fruit and whipped cream, or chocolate or caramel toppings. 

2. Make an Omelet Bar

What’s the best part about going out to breakfast? If you said “the omelet bar,” you aren’t alone. Why not recreate the magic at home? It’s the perfect way to use up any leftover veggies from your weekday salads and dinners. 

Did you make steaks on the grill last night, accompanied by asparagus and sauteed mushrooms? If you have a bit of feta, your leftovers can transform into this delicious omelet that starts your day with plenty of protein and phytonutrients. If you ordered hoagies and only had half your ham sammy, add the rest of the meat and onions to your eggs and toast the leftover roll as a side. A dash more seasoning and olive oil elevate it to near focaccia status. 

3. Think Beyond the Pig

Are you a carnivore? If so, you might think of pork as the classic breakfast meat. However, a quick look through your grocer’s aisles shows you have plenty of options besides the pig — a decided perk, given inflation’s impact on meat prices. 

If you avoid red meat, you’ll find no turkey bacon and sausage shortage. Should you opt for an uncured version? It might be healthier to do so. The nitrates in cured meats help preserve them, but they also increase your colorectal cancer risk. 

Those who practice vegan lifestyles can rejoice more than ever. There are tons of cruelty-free alternatives on the market today, made using everything from heme to hemp. You can recreate that classic “out for breakfast” experience while sparing yourself unnecessary guilt and going the extra mile to preserve the planet’s resources.

Upgrade Your Beverage Selection 

Sometimes, it’s convenient to sip your breakfast. Other times, you want to add a nutrient boost to your day. The following smoothie recipes start your morning right as a meal in themselves or for slaking your thirst as you wash down your solids. 

1. Healthy Berry Smoothie 

This recipe is chock-full of antioxidants, especially anthocyanins. It’s an a.m. boost for your heart and neurological system. 

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries or any berry blend you prefer
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt if following a vegan diet)
  • ¼ cup orange juice 
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Monk fruit or stevia sweetener to taste

Add everything to a blender and combine at low speed. Turn up the dial and blend until smooth. 

2. Easy Green Smoothie 

Green drinks are rich in B-vitamins like folate, critical for expecting mamas. You also get your daily dose of kale without bitterness — the other ingredients blend it away. 

  • 1 cup frozen fruit (any kind — bananas, berries or a tropical blend)
  • 1 cup fresh greens, like spinach, kale and arugula 
  • ¾ cup coconut milk or an almond/coconut milk blend 
  • ½ tablespoon ground chia or flax seeds
  • 2 ice cubes
  • Monk fruit or stevia sweetener to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix at low speed. Increase the speed, blending until creamy. 

You can even elevate your morning cup of joe. How? If you have chronic aches and pains, add a touch of turmeric, ginger and black pepper to your coffee grounds. The turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties amplified by the piperine in the black pepper. 

Is controlling your blood sugar a bear you wrestle daily? Try adding cinnamon to your coffee grounds. Research studies show that this bark may help mitigate insulin resistance, improving your glucose levels. 

Of course, you might want the occasional mimosa when making a leisurely Sunday brunch version of breakfast. Go beyond mere champagne and orange juice. Make it more exciting by adding in some pineapple juice and a touch of grenadine for a blushing beverage pretty enough to serve at the Four Seasons. 

Dine Alfresco 

Warm weather has finally returned — or it will soon. Why not take advantage of more temperate climes to dust off your patio furniture set and dine alfresco? 

Doing so could even help up your social quotient if you’re still isolated due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Experts consider outdoor activities far safer than indoor ones, so why not consider having the gang for brunch as an alternative to a barbecue? You can practice social distancing and have guests mask up if they must venture indoors to use the facilities. 

Get Gadget-y 

Do you adore breakfast sandwiches? Why stick to the menu at the drive-thru? They might use sketchy ingredients, anyway. Instead, invest in a crafty sandwich maker that will have you designing gourmet handheld treats that your cubicle mates will drool over. 

Another groovy idea? A retro all-in-one breakfast station. These devices feature a toaster oven and coffee urn, topped by a griddle for frying your bacon and eggs. They’re the perfect countertop edition if you’re into tiny living — as in, no room for a stove. 

With the right gear, there’s no end to creative ways to make your breakfast more exciting. You can find bowls divided in half, one side for milk, the other for decidedly non-soggy cereal. Pancake pens let you create artistic shapes with your morning meal. 

Finally, are you wanting to eat the richest bagel? You can’t help but smile when slicing it with a miniature guillotine. Laughter increases your positive energy, releasing happy little neuropeptides — it’s highly recommended for starting your day off right.

Make It an Occasion

Too often, people consider breakfast a hassle. Make it more exciting by treating it like the occasion it is. After all, you woke up to the gift of another beautiful day on planet earth — make your morning meal a celebration. 

Why wait until your loved one’s birthday to delight them with breakfast in bed? If you get up before them on your day off, treat them. Hopefully, they’ll take the hint to return the favor, but either way, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

Do you typically skip the morning meal because you practice periodic fasting? There’s no rule saying that you can’t have eggs after 8 a.m. Why not serve up breakfast for dinner or spend a few hours on Saturday lingering over a leisurely late brunch in your PJs? 

Eight Smart Heart Health Tips

You can’t live without your heart. However, you might not pay too much attention to this organ’s health until trouble strikes. Fortunately, it’s not hard to take proactive steps to keep it pumping strong. 

Preserving your ticker can help you lead a longer, better quality of life. Here are eight smart heart tips that will maintain this precious organ so that you have more days on earth with those you love. 

1. Exercise 

Exercise is vital to a healthy heart. This rule holds even if you have an existing condition. According to a 2013 study of over 5,000 participants with vascular conditions, routine fitness reduced the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events by 21% in men, and 29% in women. 

The American Heart Association recommends getting 40 minutes of moderate exercise three to four days a week. This guideline is similar to the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends 150 to 300 minutes each week. 

What matters is elevating your heart rate. Many people think of going for a bike ride, walk or run to get their cardiovascular conditioning. However, you can also get the necessary work with the right weight workout — for instance, by performing compound movements or taking a weighted HIIT class. Even some vigorous yoga forms increase your heart rate. 

What if you have a chronic pain condition that makes movement problematic? Hop in the pool. The buoyancy of the water removes pressure from creaky knees and hips. Plus, you up your social quotient, further reducing your cardiovascular risks. Social isolation and loneliness increase women’s risk of heart disease by 13 to 27%. 

2. Reduce Your Red Meat Consumption

When you think of red meat and heart health, it’s probably the saturated fat content that raises your eyebrows. This stuff can increase your risk of coronary disease. However, some plant-based foods like coconut milk and oil also contain saturated fat and affect your cholesterol differently. 

One study investigated the effects of coconut oil, olive oil and butter on blood lipids. While coconut oil and butter increased LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, the result wasn’t nearly as marked in coconut oil. Additionally, coconut oil increased several positive biomarkers, including HDL or “good” cholesterol. Scientists cite the need for further research. 

Another study of over 1.4 million people indicated the following: 

  • Eating 50 grams or more of processed meats like bacon and ham increased your coronary heart disease risk by 18%. 
  • Eating 50 grams or more of unprocessed beef, lamb or pork increased coronary heart disease risk by 9%. 

Something there is in animal products that isn’t kind to your heart. Should you adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet if you run an elevated risk? Possibly, if your doctor recommends it. However, meat is a complete protein that provides several other health benefits, so reducing your intake to once or twice a week is kind for your ticker without leaving you deprived. 

3. Lay Off the Salt 

If you reach for the salt shaker before tasting your meal, please stop that habit if you care about your heart. According to the DASH diet study, reducing your salt intake by three grams a day positively affects your blood pressure. You get even better results by slashing 6 or 9 grams, doubling or tripling the benefits. 

What about salt substitutes? Many commercial products contain potassium, which can lower your blood pressure. However, doing so also creates problems, as this mineral likewise impacts heart health. If you opt for this route, check with your doctor and use moderation. Ultimately, you’re better off seasoning your food with herbs and spices instead of the shaker. 

4. Eat a Plant-Based, Whole Foods Diet 

You could technically live on chips and apple pie and call it a plant-based diet, but your heart wouldn’t thank you much. Besides the salt content, you’d miss out on valuable vitamins and minerals your body — including your cardiovascular system — needs. 

Besides, consumption of ultra-processed foods increases your Type 2 diabetes risk, which in turn harms heart health. Much of the one-two punch comes from foods laden with white flour. This stuff contains alloxan, a chemical byproduct released during the bleaching process. Scientists use it to induce diabetes in laboratory animals and when you combine that effect with the rapid blood sugar spike these foods cause, you have a recipe for disaster. 

To improve your heart health, stick to whole foods close to their natural form. Look at your plate as a clock and fill half of it with the fresh leafy greens and brightly colored stuff at every meal. 

5. Reduce Your Stress Levels 

Stress makes multiple body systems go haywire. Your neurotransmitters and hormones go all out of whack, making you feel worse. Cortisol, a hormone your body releases too much of under long-term pressure, can increase blood cholesterol, sugar, sugar and pressure. 

That’s not the only problem that too much stress can cause for your heart. It also involves your mind. Research from Australia suggests that chronic stress rewires your brain, prompting it to keep your blood pressure elevated. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and failure.  

6. Don’t Smoke 

If you still smoke, please take advantage of free resources to help you quit. This habit damages several organs, including your heart. 

Smoking increases plaque formation in arteries and veins. When blood vessels to the heart become blocked, it can lead to an attack. Smoking also thickens the blood, making it more likely to clot and impede vessels. 

7. Cut Back on Drinking 

Please disregard the advice to drink a glass of red wine daily for heart health. While one drink won’t hurt you, you’ll get the same antioxidant benefits from a non-alcohol glass of grape juice — and it may be the better choice for your heart. 

Even one drink elevates your blood pressure slightly. The effect quickly wears off once you stop drinking. However, ongoing overindulgence can lead to extremely high numbers that increase your risk of a heart attack or failure. If you do drink, please stick to no more than one or two per day, and if you don’t currently indulge, don’t start. 

8. Talk to Your Doctor

Your doctor is ultimately your best source of advice for keeping your heart healthy. They can help you calibrate your home blood pressure device so that you can keep tabs on your numbers at home. Additionally, they can recommend advanced testing like echocardiograms and stress tests to monitor you if they identify a problem. 

Your doctor is also your go-to resource if you take medications, drink herbal tea, or take supplements. While most interactions are safe, some can cause trouble — please write a list to check at your next appointment. For example, taking potassium with blood pressure medications can lead to trouble. 

Ten Nutrition Tips to Take Care of Your Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a tiny, pear-shaped organ located underneath the liver. It helps the liver by collecting bile and releasing it into the small intestine to aid digestion. Its size leaves it prone to inflammation and gallstones, and about 2,000 Americans die every year from gallbladder cancer.

You must do everything you can to keep this little organ happy and functional. Here are 10 nutrition tips to take care of your gallbladder and stay healthy!

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Water and other healthy fluids help the gallbladder release bile and prevent it from building up. Adult men and women have different recommended daily fluid totals:

  • Adult men: 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) per day
  • Adult women: 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day

Keep in mind that these numbers account for all fluids you consume throughout the day. That includes water, coffee, other beverages, and even liquids from food. Drinking eight glasses of water per day will help you reach the recommended total with little issue.

Stick to Healthy Fats

Understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats will do wonders for your gallbladder. Unsaturated fats primarily come from plant-based foods and are very good for you, while saturated fats are over processed and difficult to digest. Stick with foods high in unsaturated fats, such as these nutritious options:

  • Nuts – peanuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans
  • Seeds – pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Avocados
  • Corn
  • Fish

Unsaturated fat has two subcategories. Monounsaturated fats consist of one bond between fatty acids, while polyunsaturated fats have between two and six bonds. These fats have several amazing benefits for your gallbladder and body:

  • Improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Stabilize heartbeat

Inflammation is one of the most common gallbladder ailments, so a healthy dose of unsaturated fats in your diet can help maintain its size and shape.

Choose Lean Alternatives

On the other hand, saturated fats should largely be avoided. Too many saturated fats raise cholesterol to unhealthy levels, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. The gallbladder has a hard time digesting them, which might lead to gallstones. You will find high amounts of saturated fat in these foods:

  • Fatty meat
  • Cheese
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Butter
  • Sweets
  • Processed foods
  • Coconut oil

Conveniently, most of these foods have better alternatives. You can buy lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products. Replace butter with one of the oils we mentioned earlier. Instead of having cookies and cakes, try a healthier snack like apples with peanut butter. Processed foods are becoming more difficult to avoid, but getting healthy requires creativity.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

This advice applies to everyone, but fruits and vegetables especially help the gallbladder because of their high vitamin C and E levels. Vitamin C boosts collagen production, strengthens blood vessels, and supports the immune system. It also acts as an antioxidant, keeping your digestive tract clean and eliminating toxins.

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that prevents inflammation throughout the body, including the digestive system. The gallbladder benefits from all of these functions. While all fruits and veggies have exceptional levels of vitamins C and E, a handful of power foods have higher levels of both vitamins:

  • Berries
  • Kiwis
  • Cantaloupe
  • Broccoli
  • Baked potatoes
  • Citrus fruits

On top of high vitamin content, fruits and vegetables contain lots of water and fiber, which fill you up and help move digestion along smoothly.

Eliminate Fried Foods

You should wholeheartedly avoid fried foods in your diet. They’re usually high in saturated fats before preparation, but frying them adds a new layer (literally) of unhealthiness with additional calories and salt. Excess saturated fats, calories, and salt can cause heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other complications.

We usually prepare fried foods in vegetable oil, which triggers more unhealthy fats when cooked and can cause inflammation. Do your gallbladder a favor and cut fried foods from your diet as much as you can.

Cook With Olive Oil

Instead of using vegetable oil, cook with olive oil instead. Olive oil has a solid amount of unsaturated fats, which helps your gallbladder empty, as we mentioned earlier.

You should make olive oil the staple cooking ingredient of your diet. It’s much healthier than these options:

  • Butter
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sunflower oil

If you can’t get your hands on olive oil, avocado and coconut oil are good choices too.

Have a Bit of Alcohol With Dinner

Drinking a glass of wine or beer with your dinner can have some surprising health benefits. Studies show that alcohol increases HDL or “good” cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of gallstones and gallbladder cancer.

However, moderation is the key. Don’t make a habit of drinking every night. Twice a week is more than enough.

Don’t Skip Meals

Your gallbladder releases bile every time you eat, so it’s essential to maintain a consistent eating schedule to keep the gallbladder from filling up too much. When bile builds up, it raises cholesterol to unhealthy levels and causes inflammation, which can harden into gallstones. Inflammation and gallstones are two of the leading causes of gallbladder cancer.

Eating regularly throughout the day keeps the gallbladder active and stable. It also benefits the entire body, giving you timely nutrients and preventing any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Lose Weight Slowly

Consistent eating also encourages methodical weight loss, which is much better for your body than sudden weight loss. When your body drops a lot of pounds in a short timeframe, the gallbladder doesn’t release bile as efficiently and can accumulate excess fluids. Aim to lose a maximum of two pounds per week through diet and exercise. Your gallbladder and other digestive organs will thank you for it.

Consider Medical Treatments

When all else fails, you can turn to medical treatments. If you suspect your gallbladder has a serious condition, go to the hospital for an abdominal ultrasound and blood test. If they identify a large stone or infection, you will likely need a cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal surgery. Without the gallbladder, bile will simply pass from the liver directly into the small intestine.

You can also try gallbladder medications to dissolve stones or fight infections. However, it may take months or years for the treatment to run its course. A cholecystectomy or diet change are the best bets for your long-term health.

Help Out Your Gallbladder

Although humans can technically survive without the gallbladder, it lightens the liver’s workload and assists in digestion by releasing bile at the right times. You can make the gallbladder’s job easier through a well-balanced diet that includes unsaturated fats, vitamins, plenty of fluids, and consistent eating. You can even throw a glass of wine into the mix.

Just remember: a proper diet only works to its full potential along with an active lifestyle. Get up and get moving!

Five Ways Ice Baths Help Post Workout

If the idea of taking an ice bath sounds terrifying, don’t freak out just yet. Ice baths are incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons, and are especially great for athletes and people who maintain a regular workout routine. An ice bath is a practice that involves submerging a substantial part of your body in a tub of ice or ice water for a certain amount of time to achieve a number of benefits. If this doesn’t already make you want to look for an ice bath for sale, here are five ways ice baths can help you post-workout.  

It Aids in Muscle Recovery

One of the reasons ice baths are so popular with athletes and people who exercise regularly is because they can help the muscles recover after an intense workout. This is due to the fact that when you are exposed to cold water, the blood vessels in your body constrict and become smaller. When you get out of the water, the sudden change in temperature causes your blood vessels to quickly re-open, which helps to release the metabolic waste products from your body.

It Can Improve Your Mental Health

Regular exercise has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health, which is why taking an ice bath after a workout can be all the more beneficial. Taking ice baths has been proven to increase relaxation and focus, even if the ice cold temperatures can be a bit shocking at first. After your first ice bath, you will probably find the experience to be relaxing and refreshing. If that isn’t “cool” enough (get it?), studies have shown that taking two cold showers a day can decrease depressive symptoms.

It Can Help Improve Your Quality of Sleep

Taking ice baths has been shown to improve quality of sleep, which is great news for anyone struggling with insomnia or any other sleep disorders or issues. This is because sleep and mental health often go hand-in-hand, and because ice baths can be great for your mental health, your quality of sleep will likely improve as well. Spending just 15 minutes in an ice bath can have a positive impact on your central nervous system, which not only helps you fall asleep but helps you feel great overall.

It Can Boost Your Immunity

Studies have shown that taking ice baths can help boost your immunity, which many people will find especially helpful during the current times we’re living in. According to research, those who take cold showers as opposed to hot showers are almost 30 percent less likely to take a sick day from work or school. If you’re someone who gets sick often or simply wants to avoid getting sick, try incorporating ice baths into your daily routine. A better immune system means more productive days at the gym and a better post workout feeling.

It Activates the Nervous System

Taking ice baths triggers a nervous system response that activates the immune, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems, which can help improve hormone production, as well as sleep, metabolism, circulation, AND can help keep your stress levels low. Pretty cool, right? 

health via 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

New Latinx Community Studies

 Leading Latino digital media company mitú, in partnership with premier multicultural marketing and communications agency The MRKT, released the first of a series of studies titled The mitú InTell Series. The studies aim to gain and socialize insights on the current state of the U.S. Hispanic community while digging deeper into their motivations and behaviors behind topics ranging from health and wellness to finance, sports, food, commerce, and travel.

“As a digital media brand that has stood for Latinx representation for 10 years, mitú has conversations with millions of Latinos daily. This interaction and our editorial process allows us to gather signals and real-world concerns from our audience to develop insights not only on what our community is thinking, but also why, and to do so while the topics are still actionable and timely,” said President of mitú, Stephen Brooks. “Ultimately we feel a responsibility to not only share these insights, but to give a voice to our audience.”

Both mitú and The MRKT are inherently able to provide insights into the state of the U.S. Hispanic population both from a macro, public perspective and at an interpersonal scale, allowing them to uncover nuances and evaluate the community from a unique point of view not seen before. 

“As a leading multicultural marketing and communications agency, our team lives and breathes the experiences that permeate the cultural zeitgeist within our community, making the issues that affect the U.S. Hispanic community incredibly evident to us. It is with that real-world and professional experience that we help create these studies which we hope enable other entities and organizations to identify the most current needs of the U.S. Latino population and bring us closer to a future where our community is fully seen and heard.” said President of The MRKT, Marcos Barron.

This first online quantitative study – conducted by a third party, HyperFocus ROI, with a sample size of 1,000 U.S. Hispanics–consisted of evaluating participants for their various attitudes, perceptions and behaviors across a number of demographic segments relative to the broader topic of health & wellness. Four key areas under this topic–medical, mental health, fitness, and nutrition–were evaluated across key audience segments broken out by age, income, gender, and country of origin.

While specific insights relative to each of these four areas were uncovered across the various audience segments, mental health emerged as the most common denominator, garnering the highest overall importance ratings when compared with the other three subcategories, with 65% of all respondents rating mental health as very important. Notably, mental health has declined across all segments of the U.S. Latino population vs. two years ago.

 Additional key findings include:

  • U.S. born Latinos are reporting health issues that affect multiple generations at nearly twice the rate as non U.S. born Latinos.
  • 37% of the Latinos surveyed report that the #1 reason they don’t have a primary care physician is their financial situation, with non U.S. born Latinos expressing this as a barrier with even more frequency at a rate of 46%. 
  • Latinos in the lowest income bracket (earning under $49K) are rating all of the health subcategories (medical, mental health, fitness, nutrition) as being somewhat/not at all important to them. However, there are some key barriers and reasons that surfaced on why they may not be placing importance on their health when compared to the other groups.
  • Out of the four subcategories, Latinos aren’t placing as much importance on fitness even though their reported habits are demonstrating that they are exercising at higher rates when compared to two years ago, with 45% stating that they are exercising more often.

For more key insights and to read the full study, click HERE

About mitú

Mitú is the leading digital media company representing the Latino point of view among consumers 18-44. Through our multiple touch points in video, editorial, social media and commerce, we connect brands, content buyers, and creators to the massive community of Latino consumers in America. Our audience is the 200%, 100% American and 100% Latino, who inspire us to create authentic, culturally relevant stories. We reach a massive, cross-cultural audience across a variety of social and O&O platforms. Mitú is a GoDigital Media Group company headquartered in Los Angeles, CA with operations in New York, Miami, Chicago, Mexico, Colombia, Belarus, Sri Lanka and South Korea. 

About The MRKT

The MRKT is the full-service multicultural marketing and communications division of Terry Hines & Associates (THA), a leading entertainment-marketing firm for over 40 years. The MRKT offers a comprehensive approach to creating narratives and experiences that connect clients to diverse, multicultural demographics via culture and lifestyle, over stereotypes and assumptions. The MRKT specializes in reaching Latinx, African American, and AAPI consumers and executes campaigns with both a national and local footprint, all infused with cultural resonance, across several disciplines including: PR, social media, influencer marketing, experiential, grassroots, and creative (print, digital, AV) on behalf of some of the largest entertainment and consumer brands in the world.

Finding Balance by Modulating the Immune System

By: James B. LaValle, R.Ph., CCN

Recent world events have caused a healthy immune system to be on everyone’s mind.  One of the big revelations to most people over the last few months is just how important our overall health and lifestyle are for our immune system.  It’s especially important for people who are overweight or have an existing medical condition, because these conditions can significantly compromise immune responses.

One of the biggest things that can work against us when it comes to mounting a strong immune defense is increased inflammation. When your immune system is working to kill a bacteria or a virus – the immune cells themselves creates inflammatory substances.  That’s part of how they fight the bugs.  If your body is already inflamed (due to unhealthy diet, being overweight or having a condition like heart disease or diabetes), the additional inflammation from the immune cells can create problems.  Anything that causes inflammation hurts our immune response and anything that prevents or fights inflammation helps it.  

This is why things like managing our weight, eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity and adequate sleep are so important.  Good stress management is also important for a good immune response to cold and flu bugs, and it is an often-overlooked factor.  Many of us struggle to accomplish healthier diets and overall lifestyles, and this is where supplemental support can help.  There are also some precautions to be aware of not only with supplementation, but with lifestyle as well.

Nutrients to Support Immunity

There are nutrients that are safe to take on an ongoing basis to support your immune system function.  Vitamin C helps the body make white blood cells as needed.  Quercetin is a polyphenol derived from plants that has good anti-inflammatory activity. So, it supports healthy immunity by helping to control silent internal inflammation. Zinc is a trace mineral that is needed to make all immune cells: antibodies, T cells and natural killer cells.  Daily recommended intake of zinc is 8 mg for women, and 11 mg/day for men, but we can take dramatically increased dosages when we are fighting a cold or flu (up to 200 mg per day.)  However, it is important to go back to the daily-recommended intake once you are better because over-intake of zinc can cause micronutrient imbalances and very high dosages can actually have an inhibitory effect on the immune system.  So this is one of the cautions.

Vitamin D is another key nutrient to make sure you are getting enough of for a healthy and balanced immune system.  I’ll discuss more on its role in immunity later.  Vitamin D levels in the range of 30 – 50 ng/mL is considered an adequate level.   

Immune Boosters

There are some ingredients that directly stimulate increased immune cell production.  A well-known one is the herb echinacea.  Echinacea has long been used to help people get over colds and flu bugs. It is most helpful when taken at the first sign of a cold or flu. However, you should only use echinacea when you are actively fighting a bug, because over stimulating an immune response by taking immune boosters daily can end up fighting against the immune system over time.  Also, echinacea is part of the daisy family, so anyone with hay fever or ragweed allergies should not use echinacea. 

Imbalanced Immunity

This brings me to an often-overlooked but very important topic for a vigilant immune response to cold and flu bugs – immune modulation.  Many people have conditions that create an imbalanced immune system, which is made up of two main sides:  TH1 and TH2 immunity.  TH1, also known as innate immunity, is the side that fights bacteria, viruses, damaged cells and cancer cells.  You need to be able to upregulate TH1 immunity quickly when you are exposed to a cold or flu bug.  TH2, also known as acquired immunity, is the side that makes antibodies and causes allergic responses to food and environmental allergens like dust and pollen.  This side gets upregulated in people who have allergies and some autoimmune conditions.  It can also get upregulated in response to chronic stress, even ongoing physical stress such as occurs in overtraining.  Overtraining is most common in professional or amateur athletes, but can occur in anyone who exercises too much, i.e. 2 – 4 hours a day.  So this is my lifestyle caution.  Be careful not to over-exercise.  Signs of overtraining are noticing you take longer to recover from exercise, difficulty sleeping at night and getting sick more often. While it is important to get regular physical activity – moderate activity is best. Try to get at least 30 minutes of activity five days a week and work your way up to an hour, five days a week.  

One of the most important supplements I teach about and recommend in my practice is Moducare. Studies show it helps restore balance to between TH2 and TH1 immunity, and by helping to down regulate overactive TH2 immunity, the TH1 side improves so you are ready for colds and flu when you are exposed.  So it is one of the best supplements for people to take when they have allergies or autoimmunity. I also recommend it for people who have chronic stress, because chronic stress elevates cortisol, and cortisol suppresses immunity. This is why it is common to come down with a cold or flu when you have been under a lot of stress.  It is also why people who have been under stress for years are at increased risk for getting cancer.

Moducare is a blend of plant-based compounds known as plant sterols and sterolins, combined in a very specific 100:1 ratio. Research has shown that the blend of sterols and sterolins in this specific ratio exhibit the best immune balancing activity.  One study showed that marathon runners who took Moducare did not get the same immune deficits or cortisol spikes as people who did not take it, resulting in less post event upper respiratory infections for those runners taking Moducare.  Because Moducare controls overactive TH2 immunity, this also results in decreased inflammation. Vitamin D is also an immune modulator and this is why it is also a great nutrient for immune support.

One final note – because chronic stress has such a profound impact on immune function, anyone dealing with high stress levels should consider using supplements like rhodiola extract, which is known to help reduce elevated cortisol, as well as Moducare for more direct immune support.

Immune support is probably more involved than you realized, but there is a lot we can do to be smarter in the steps we take.  Not only do we need daily good health practices, we can supplement with nutrients and specialized ingredients to support the maintenance of immune cells and immune system balance, and it may well be the single most important thing you can do for your healthy longevity. In turn, when your immune system gets out of balance, it can affect inflammation, mood, and your overall energy, so knowing how to take of our immune system truly can have a positive impact on your daily life.  It truly pays to be smart about taking care of ourselves with an eye on our immune system.

Bio: James B. LaValle, R.Ph., CCN, is an internationally recognized clinical pharmacist, author, board certified clinical nutritionist and naturopathic doctorate with more than 35 years of clinical experience. In addition to his LaValle Metabolix Practice he works with players and teams from the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL and is the Clinical Director of the Hall of Fame Health and Performance Program. He is best known for his expertise in metabolic and integrative medicine, with an extensive background in natural products, lifestyle drug/nutrient depletion and uncovering the underlying metabolic issues that keep people from feeling healthy and vital. LaValle is an appointed faculty member and course educator for the Integrative Medicine postgraduate program at George Washington University School of health sciences. He is author of more than 20 books including, “Cracking the Metabolic Code,” and serves as a scientific adviser for