Kenneth Alvandi spent a quarter century building up a small distribution company into a factory that manufactured some of the feminine products in its distribution portfolio. In 2006, five years into Alvandi’s manufacturing venture, making conventional products for mass market retailers like Walmart, he realized he could be doing something that was more in line with his personal values for healthy and earth-friendly living. He sold his shares in his company and began to develop the Maxim brand: the first pure 100% organic and natural cotton-based feminine hygiene products. His daughter, Rebecca Alvandi Yadegar (Maxim’s Vice President and Chief Flow Rider), joined him in the journey, excited to be part of a change-making movement inspired by menstruation.
RT: How do you describe the Fierce Woman Philosophy the company was founded on?
MHP:The Fierce Woman philosophy was written by my sister who interned for us at the early stages of the brand. This philosophy truly captures the spirit in which my Dad raised his girls and part of the reason he created Maxim to begin with – to empower women to make better and healthier choices.
RT: Why is it important for girls and women to use natural feminine products?
MHP: Our bodies and vaginas in particular have been endowed with the greatest life force in the world – giving birth and providing the space for each human being’s first home. Vaginal tissues are some of the most absorbent tissues found in the body. For this reason, girls and women in particular need to use the cleanest and healthiest products, especially when exposing our powerful baby-making body parts to them.
RT: It seems there are more and more opportunities to purchase natural, bleach-free feminine products. What sets Maxim’s products apart from other products on the market?
MHP: Maxim products have been servicing health-conscious audiences for over 11 years—before it was a trend. Our products are backed by over 35 years of expertise in the category and a father and daughter duo that care about more than just the bottom line. As product pioneers, we’ve grown our business sustainably and privately, as if it was a part of our own family. We try to treat everyone who comes in contact with Maxim like family, as well.
RT: What’s the latest from Maxim? Anything new in the pipeline?
MHP: Yes!!!!!!!! I hope the exclamation points help illustrate how excited I am about the Organic Cotton Baby, Facial and Intimate Wipes we recently launched. I can’t even begin to tell you how long and hard my Dad worked to find and formulate a pure organic cotton towelette-based product that works! Cotton is the most basic standard ingredient we require for all our product lines. Being the first to offer a pure cotton line of Cotton Menstrual Pads, we are proud to have found a way to carry that standard over to the wipes products, too. Most other wipes, even if they contain organic extracts, are made with a synthetic or wood pulp based towelette, which isn’t as gentle on the body or safe for the environment as organic cotton.
RT: As the owner of a company that makes natural personal care products, we’re thinking you must live a healthy lifestyle. So…what are you loving to eat right now? What are your current go-to’s?
MHP: Great question! I’ve been on a really big tarragon, dill, and parsley kick. It’s my new favorite green alternative to the craze over kale. These herbs are a very big part of the Iranian culture (my father’s ethnicity) and are super healthy and tasty. I throw them in and on everything from salads, to fish, to smoothies. I’ve also really gotten in to acupuncture lately, but I think I was late on that trend!
RT: What’s one fun thing most people don’t know about Maxim?
MHP: My Dad and I constantly argue about how to pronounce the brand’s name. I say “Maxum,” he says “Maxeeem”….it definitely confuses people, but at the end of the day he named the baby so he wins.
RT: Maxim is involved in social action projects around menstruation and feminine hygiene. What are the core issues you’re fighting for?
MHP:The social action piece of what we do has been the driving force for me. Whereas my dad is driven and passionate about product development, I was inspired by what this category can and does stand for.
The core issues that drive me are focused around women’s health and empowerment, particularly in making sure women and girls have access not just to menstrual care products, but to healthier ones. A few years ago, I stood at the footsteps of NYC’s city hall, alongside Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and other fierce woman leaders, to rally around the passing of a bill that was the first of its kind in the nation – providing free period products in city homeless shelters, prisons and schools. Not only did this bill pass in 2016 as mandatory for city schools, but two years later Assemblymember Rosenthal was behind another bill that made New York the first state in the country to provide free period products in public school restrooms. Maxim not only supported the passing of these bills; we also made a monumental donation of over 250,000 tampons to reinforce our values with action. The donation helped service over 33,000 women and girls in need via a nonprofit organization that helps distribute menstrual care kits to those who do not have access or can’t afford them.
RT: Can you suggest ways that we can get involved in the menstruation movement?
MHP: This year’s hottest menstrual health related topic is ingredients disclosure. Bill A.164/S.2387, the Period Disclosure Bill, will most likely once again make our home state of New York the first to pass a bill of this kind, which would mandate full ingredient disclosure on the labels of period products sold in New York. At Maxim, we’ve always been transparent about our products’ ingredients because we’ve got nothing to hide. We believe consumers have a right to know what their products are made of so they can be empowered enough to make their own choice. To help get this bill passed, we encourage New Yorker’s reach out to their local representatives with a call or email to express how important the bill is to them. If you don’t know who your representative is, here’s a link to help you find out: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/
RT: Rising Tide loves local! What has it been like to start and run a company in Long Island/New York State?
MHP: I’ve traveled a lot in my lifetime and I can say hands down, without any bias, that New York is the best state in the world, mostly because of NYC’s rich cultural diversity and the stunning beaches on Long Island (ok, maybe there’s a little bias in that last part ). Seriously, New York State has an edge and spirit I’ve experienced nowhere else. The history-making wins of the menstrual movement described above are just one small example of that!
RT: So many in this community dream of starting their own business. What’s your best piece of advice for launching a successful local biz?
MHP: Love what you’re dreaming of starting as much as you love yourself and hire people who are smarter than you.
You may have noticed, our health and beauty department is undergoing a renaissance. While we’re still carrying the tried and true brands that we know you love, we recently cleared some space for exciting new brands that really speak to our mission and values. Evanhealy is one such brand.
Evan Healy is a holistic aesthetician, a recognized pioneer and skin care expert who has worked in the natural personal care industry for over thirty years. With her eponymous skin care line, the focus is on three ingredients: oil, clay and water, time tested ingredients used by our ancestors to care for and beautify their skin for millennia. Oil-water-clay has always been and always will be the foundation of skin health.
A Beautiful Union
The hydrofoils that make up the backbone of the evanhealy line are gentle remedies that offer many benefits to all skin types, including toning, plumping, balancing pH, and delivering therapeutic compounds from the plant into the skin. A hydrosol is a union of oils and waters; a water-soluble compound from a plant paired with micro amounts of essential oils. Integrating a hydrosol into your daily protocol completely transforms the efficacy of your skin care, elevating it to the next level.
At Rising Tide, we carry a wide range of Evanhealy products, including two different kits that allow you to sample 14 days of their transformative skin care. The Rose Face Care Kit is for combo skin; the Blue Face Kit, for sensitive skin. Each contains five products that will allow you to see the effect they have on your skin. As Evan Healy said in Michael Pollan’s new book Farmacology, “Everyone’s taking about anti-aging. No one talks about beauty anymore.”
Evanhealy has sparked a conversation about natural beauty, and we are beyond thrilled to support that conversation and this new line.
You are what you eat…even when it comes to your sunscreen. Try as you might to avoid it, it’s still possible to ingest sunscreen from your lips, or inhale toxic ingredients in sunscreen sprays. That’s why the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests avoiding sunscreens with ingredients that can harm our lungs or other organs. Both active and inactive ingredients in chemical sunscreens have been shown to cause myriad health issues in users, including hormone disruption and low birth weight. Broad-spectrum mineral sunscreens using either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are currently the only ones considered safe by the FDA, who declared in February that chemical sunscreens will need more testing to determine safety.
Check out three of our favorite (reef-safe) mineral sunscreens for Summer 2019:
1. All Good: With certified organic ingredients (tested in their own “herbal test garden”), the highest quality medicinal herbs, and a strong commitment to reef-friendly products, All Good is as good as it gets. In addition to the causes its uplifts through the 1% for the Planet program, All Good maintains an Activist Athlete program reserved for top athletes who excel not only in an outdoor sport, but also in fighting for environmental and social causes. Protect yourself: We carry All Good Sunscreen Butter SPF 50, Sport Spray SPF, Kids Spray SPF30, and Sunscreen SPF 30, all with 80 minutes of water resistance.
2. Think Sport: Founded by a biochemist with a passion for health and preventative medicine, Think Sport sets itself apart by working with leading scientists to create safe, clean sun care alternatives, effective enough for even the most extreme athletes. Driven by a desire to educate the public about the dangers of too much skin exposure and the harmful chemicals in many sun care products, Think Sport is a founding member of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Sun Safety Campaign and a member of the Safe Sunscreen Council. Products apply and absorb easily, with no oily feel. Protect yourself: We carry Think Good Baby, Kids and Adult formulas, all in SPF 50, with 80 minutes of water resistance.
3. MyChelle: One of the first cosmetic manufacturers to reject ingredients that are toxic to marine life, MyChelle’s Sun Care products are clean, safe, effective, and natural. In addition to broad-spectrum protection by way of a mineral base (zinc oxide or titanium oxide), MyChelle adds antioxidants to shield from infrared radiation and slow the creation of wrinkles; perhaps this is why it is recommended by dermatologists. MyChelle is a founding member of EWG Verified, the program that lets you easily identify the products that meet EWG’s criteria for transparency and health; look for the EWG Verified mark. Protect yourself: We carry Michelle Sun Shield Spray SPF 50, Solar Defense Body Lotion SPF 50, Sun Shield Unscented SPF 28, Liquid (Non-tinted or Nude) SPF 50, and Sun Shield Clear Stick SPF 50.
As more and more consumers explore natural ways to thrive, one ingredient has separated from the pack as a true “it” supplement: collagen. According to recent data, sales of collagen exploded in 2018, with more than $94 million in the U.S. supplements market and almost $7 million in the food and beverage market.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, our digestive system, and our tendons. As we age, collagen production in our body declines (think: wrinkles, joint pains and other pesky byproducts of getting older). Taking a collagen supplement has been shown to strengthen nails, hair and teeth, improve the health and appearance of skin, reduce joint pain, help heal leaky gut, boost metabolism, and more.
Ready to boost your body’s available supply of collagen? Incorporate gut-friendly Vital Proteins Collagen products into your daily routine.
*Vital Proteins Collagen products ON SALE thru May, $22.99-$34.99**
- Collagen Peptides: Toss into hot or cold liquids (coffee, or a smoothie) or use in baked goods.
- Collagen Creamer: Rich in energy-boosting MCTs, a type of healthy fat found in organic coconut milk. Whole 30-approved, these versatile creamers contain no artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, dairy, or gluten, and are great in teas, baked goods, and desserts.
- Beauty Collagen: Hyaluronic acid plus the essence of organic fruits helps bring the glow back to your skin while strengthening brittle hair and nails.
As with most holidays in the U.S., the original meaning tends to fade, replaced by a more modern interpretation. Mother’s Day is no different. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis started “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to teach women how to care for their children. Following Ann’s death in 1905, her daughter, Anna Jarvis, conceived of “Mother’s Day” to honor the myriad sacrifices mothers made for their children. She wanted it to be an intimate day of celebration between mothers and families; she envisioned children wearing white carnations and visiting their mothers or going to church with them in honor of the special day.
Anna successfully campaigned to make Mother’s Day a national holiday but once she saw the commercialization of the holiday, she grew to regret it. She later spent much of her time and resources actively lobbying the government to get it removed from the U.S. calendar.
Quite a sordid past for what should be a lovely holiday! Let’s take Mother’s Day back, making it a day to share with the moms in your life in the way that will mean the most to them. Check out these options, something for every kind of mom:
1. Be of service. What can you do to help? Clean for mom, or help her with some techy project she can’t get a handle on—or hire a professional to do either one. Fix something that needs mending, or bring along a handyman to do the job. Wash and fold her laundry. Cook her a meal, or better yet, come stocked with multiple meals that she can freeze and parse out over time.
2. Quality time with mom. Schedule brunch or High Tea with mom. Take a walk in a beautiful place, or enjoy a little pampering together at a local spa. Visit the Nassau County Museum of Art, home to indoor art exhibits and interesting outdoor installations.
3. Alone time. Maybe Mom would love a little time to herself to do whatever it is she likes to do best. Let her off the hook for the traditional Mother’s Day meal, and let her do her thing. Spend the time without her to tackle a project she doesn’t have time to get to, shop for a little something you know she’ll love, create a piece of art in her honor, or make a simple but thoughtful dinner for her return.
4. Plant a garden. Due to the good weather and generally warm temps, Mother’s Day is the unofficial start of planting season. Take mom to pick out some veggie, fruit or flower seeds, then break ground on her 2019 garden. In addition to the beautiful organic plants from Long Island’s own Marion Gardens, Rising Tide also carries dozens of organic seeds from High Mowing Seeds, including handy collections of seeds like “Summer of Sunflowers”, a “Bee’s Garden”, “Three Sisters”, “Easy Salad Greens”, and “Kid’s Garden” (a fun collection of “easy to succeed” seeds!). If a full-scale garden is too ambitious, purchase a beautiful pot and help her plant some lavender, rosemary, mint or other herbs she can use all summer long.
5. Eat (or drink) outdoors. Nothing cues the shift in seasons like a picnic. Head to the beach, or the park, or lay out a blanket in your backyard. Source some healthy, delicious salads and sandwiches from Rising Tide or another favorite spot. Or how about a sunset cocktail on the water? This area offers many opportunities for sipping something tasty alfresco. Take it one step further and take a bottle of rosé in a water taxi for a cruise around Hempstead Harbor.
6. Buy a green gift. You want Mom to be healthy and to make choices that lead to a long, happy life; this year, choose a gift that reflects that desire. We’ve got something for every kind of mama.
- HydroFlasks: Hydration is so important, especially as we head into summer. We’ve got stainless steel HydroFlask water/coffee bottles in all shapes and sizes, and in beautiful spring colors.
- Women’s Supplements: No matter what Mom’s age, there are hormones to contend with; Womensense supplements are there for every stage of a woman’s life, and can help her through things like adrenal fatigue, menopause, thyroid issues, and balancing estrogen.
- Organic & Fair Trade Sweets: If she’s going to indulge on Mother’s Day, it might has well be with the good stuff! (Plus…so many studies lately point to the merits of having dark chocolate in your life. If chocolate equals health, we are ON BOARD.) Choose from an array of healthier alternatives, including Chocolove Chocolate Bars, Bark Thins snacking chocolate, Skinny Dipped Almonds, Alter Eco Chocolates and Dark-Chocolate Covered nuts & fruits from Tierra Farm.
- Mama Care: We’ve got all kinds of clean, toxin- and cruelty-free goodies to make Mama feel good and look her best. (Check out the Mother’s Day display at the front of the store..there is something for every mom!) Among our favorites are the CBD Bath Bombs by CBD Living. Aromatic and healing and made with 60mg of nano-CBD, these make bath time oh so special. Available in Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Coconut Lime. And for clean facial care for mom, there’s the Sweet Treats git set from one of our favorite natural skin care co.’s, MyChelle Dermaceuticals. This lovely little gift set contains the Refining Sugar Cleanser and the Lip Hints™ Conditioning Lip Balm.
7. Give the Gift of Charity. You and Mom will both feel good when you donate to a great cause in her name. The International Rescue Committee offers many ways to do this, including helping to pay for health pregnancies for woman in Kenya ($52); funding emergency food for malnourished children in places like Nigeria and Yemen ($68 gives three meals each to 50 children), and providing a year of school for children in crisis in war-torn countries like Syria ($58). If there is a local nonprofit that means a great deal to your mom, make your donation there instead.
Of course this is just a quick guide; only you know your favorite moms and what would mean the most to them on Mother’s Day. Reflect on this, and it will be a holiday to remember for all!
If you’re into natural deodorant (no aluminum, please!), you need to check out Moxie Cream. Started right in Sea Cliff, Francesca and Ned work hard to make sure you have a pure, clean deodorant cream that keeps you smelling fresh throughout your busy day.
RT: What was the impetus for creating Moxie Cream?
MC: I’m a professional dancer and live a very active lifestyle. For years I couldn’t find a natural deodorant that worked for me. I was concerned about the consequences of chemicals on breast and overall health and was frustrated that I was resorting to using a traditional men’s deodorant to accomplish what I needed. After a long and unsuccessful search for something clean but strong, I decided to make my own.
RT: What is the company’s philosophy?
MC: We believe that people shouldn’t be afraid to sweat and that sweaty doesn’t mean smelly. We believe in being active and trying to use the most natural options with the fewest ingredients whenever possible. But most of all, we believe that choosing a natural option shouldn’t mean settling for a less effective product.
RT: Who are the people behind Moxie Cream?
MC: The original formula for Moxie Cream was created by me, Francesca Carillo-Vaccino, a professional dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist. After a couple of years of giving it to family and friends and selling it to other dancers, my now fiancé Ned Brennan encouraged me to form my own company. Together in 2016 we started Moxie Cream.
RT: Why should we be using a natural deodorant?
MC: Traditional deodorants and antiperspirants are loaded with potentially harmful chemicals, one of the most concerning being aluminum. This area of our body is particularly sensitive and is close to many of our lymph nodes. If there is a way to reduce the amount of chemicals that we expose ourselves to and not have to sacrifice effectiveness, it seems like an easy product to switch when trying to live a cleaner lifestyle.
RT: What sets your products apart from other natural deodorants on the market?
MC: Moxie was created with people who move for a living in mind, which means it’s strong enough to last when really put to the test. We’ve worked hard to make a cream that feels good on the skin, not rough to the touch. We want to make sure every aspect of the experience around Moxie is a good one. Again, no sacrifices for natural products!
RT: What’s the latest from Moxie Cream? Anything new in the pipeline?
MC: We’re currently working on two new formulas, a baking soda-free version and an unscented version. There has been a ton of demand centered around these two options and we’re getting close to being able to offer them. We’re also working on a body cream and a dry shampoo, both of which will hopefully be launched by this fall.
RT: As the owner of a company that makes natural personal care products, we assume you practice a healthy lifestyle. Along those lines…What are you loving to eat right now? What are your go-to’s?
MC: Right now I’ve been really into amping up my smoothies, which I make every morning, by incorporating a Ph green powder mix and chaga mushrooms. I’m also loving the infrared sauna which I try to do 2-3 times per week. And for something sweet, I’m into oat milk cappuccinos and the little treats made by Pleasant Petites.
RT: What’s one fun thing most people don’t know about Moxie Cream?
MC: Early on when we were first trying to build up some momentum around the business, we came out with a special scent for the holiday season. It was called Mint Everest; the label had a candy cane swirl and it smelled like a peppermint patty. The only problem was that the peppermint oil was so strong that it tingled when you put it on your pits. Some people loved it and others…not so much. We decided to discontinue it after the first season. But we might bring it back, because we both love it and we still get requests from customers who used it.
Also, if your shoes ever get too smelly you can use Moxie to defunkify them.
RT: Rising Tide loves local! What has it been like to start and run a company in Long Island/New York State?
MC: It has been really great. We are so fortunate to have such a large community of health- focused people who live in the area. Not to mention the support of businesses like Rising Tide that help us reach all those people. I should also mention that Rising Tide was the first market to buy from us, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity and trust!
RT: So many in this community dream of starting their own business. What’s your best piece of advice for launching a successful local biz?
MC: Do it. You can always come up with excuses not to try something, especially something as hard as starting a small business. But once you take that first step, everything becomes more clear. There will be problems that pop up that you don’t now how to fix, but you’ll figure them out and come out the other side proud of yourself and happy that you chose to make the leap!
You may not have felt it yet…but it’s coming. Allergy season is nearly upon us, and according to the folks at Patch.com, it’s set to be a particularly intense one for New Yorkers. (Excess moisture has given the grass and trees lots of fuel to create the dreaded pollen…lucky us!)
Are you or someone you love a seasonal allergy sufferer? If you get hold of these natural allergy fighters now, you may be able to head the spring pollen peril off at the pass…naturally, with no groggy/foggy feeling or other side effects.
1. Oregon’s Wild Harvest’s Aller-Aid with Quercetin. For more manageable allergies in springtime, this verified non-GMO herbal formula contains freeze-dried nettle and quercetin to support the body’s normal histamine-producing response, and N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) to break down mucous and increase antioxidant activity.
2. Kick-Ass Allergy from Wishgarden. This potent blend of traditional Southwestern herbs (Yerba Santa leaf, Echinacea, Nettle, Orange Peel) supports a healthy respiratory system and helps bring allergy sufferers back into balance. We love the Wishgarden line, family-owned and women-run, making small-batch artisanal products with only the cleanest ingredients.
3. Y.S. Bee Pollen. High in protein, antioxidants and vitamins, bee pollen is one of nature’s perfect superfoods. Great for both seasonal allergies and energy, you can find the Y.S. Bee Pollen granules in our refrigerated case (with the probiotics).
BONUS: If you can do only one thing to prevent allergies, Rebekah from the RT Wellness Department recommends getting a daily dose pf nettles tea; Traditional Medicinals makes one she really likes. In addition to curtailing seasonal allergies, nettles have been used for thousands of years to support joint health and promote whole body wellness. Happy Spring!
Note: As always, we recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement program.
March 8th is International Women’s Day, and we’re honoring the women in our lives by introducing them to WomenSense by Natural Factors: a complete line of natural, non-GMO products carefully formulated to target the specific needs of women as they journey through life.
1. In your 20s-30s: EstroSense is our choice for promoting regular monthly cycles. It also assists with painful periods, PMS, and non-cystic acne. We love that this formula includes turmeric for inflammation and milk thistle, DIM, and Calcium D-Glucarate for detoxing harmful environmental hormones.
2. In your 40s-50s: The intensity of work and family life can lead to fatigue, trouble sleeping, and increased cortisol levels. AdrenaSense helps reenergize your body, supports healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function, and promotes uninterrupted sleep. Featuring adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, shisandra, rhodiola and eleuthero, it’s also our pick for recovery from physical and mental stress.
3. In your 50s-60s: MenoSense supports women through menopause with the help of known herbal hormone regulators such as dong quai, chasteberry, black cohosh and more. It’s one of our top choices for reducing some of the most common symptoms of menopause: night sweats, hot flashes, irritability, and nervousness.
Additional products we recommend to help balance women’s hormones include Vitex (or Chaste Tree Berry) by Gaia, safe for teens and others with more sensitive systems. Women’s Balance, also by Gaia, is an effective all-around hormone balancing product, ideal for symptoms of both PMS and menopause, and frequently recommended for both bloating and women who are experiencing moodiness and/or sadness.
Like a fountain of youth for your heart, cocoa flavanols may help keep the cardiovascular system chugging along as we age, according to two recent German studies.
Our bodies get creaky as we age, and it’s not just aching backs. As we get older, our blood vessels become less flexible and less capable of expanding to let blood circulate normally. Stiff arteries and blood vessel dysfunction are linked to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.
“With the world population getting older, the incidence of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke will only increase,” says Malte Kelm, professor of cardiology, pulmonary diseases and vascular medicine at University Hospital Düsseldorf and scientific director of FLAVIOLA, a European research consortium focused on flavanols, in a release. “It is therefore pivotal that we understand the positive impact diet can have on cardiovascular disease risk. As part of this, we want to know what role flavanol-containing foods could play in maintaining the health of the heart and blood vessels.”
The first study, published in the journal Age, found that cocoa flavanols increased blood vessels flexibility and significantly lowered blood pressure among healthy men over a two-week period. Vasodilation of the arteries improved by 33 percent in a group of men under 35 years of age and by 32 percent among a group of men between the ages of 50 and 80.
The second study, published in BJN, included a larger group of healthy middle-aged men and women between the ages of 35 and 60 with a low risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Participants either consumed a drink with flavanols, or one without, twice a day for four weeks. Researchers measured cholesterol levers, vasodilation, arterial stiffness and blood pressure among subjects and calculated the Framingham Risk Score, a widely used model that estimates 10-year cardiovascular risk.
“Our results indicate that dietary flavanol intake reduces the 10-year risk of being diagnosed with CVD by 22 percent and the 10-year risk of dying from coronary heart disease or CVD by 37 percent,” said Kelm. He added: “The reduction seen in risk scores suggests that flavanols may have primary preventive potential for CVD.”
Cocoa may also help keep our brains zippy as we grey. A 2014 study that appeared in the journal Neurology found that regular cocoa consumption may enhance cognitive health among the elderly.
Best Sources of Flavanols
These studies rely on a heavy duty cocoa extract for the beneficial flavanol content, but rest assured, you can get flavanols from the dark chocolate you already know and love. The general rule of thumb: the higher the percentage of cocoa solids, the more flavonoids present in the chocolate.
See “Sales & Specials” below for February discounts on heart-healthy chocolate!
Article courtesy of Delicious Living
In honor of Heart Month, we’ve compiled a quick primer on some of the healthiest ways to regulate your body’s cholesterol levels.
1. Ubiquinol. If you’re on a statin (like 25% of American adults) you must take ubiquinol—the form of CoQ10 your body uses for energy production—to add back the CoQ10 the statins have depleted. If you don’ take a statin, you’re also in luck: there is evidence to show that ubiquinol can raise levels of good, HDL cholesterol and lower some of the biomarkers that are risk factors for heart disease. We like Ubiquinol by Bluebonnet. Available at Rising Tide Every Day Low Prices.
2. Wiley’s Finest Omega 3 with Plant Sterols. For those with a sensitivity to statins, or who have tried without success to use red yeast rice to control cholesterol, we’ve got the thing for you. Wiley’s Finest Omega 3 with Plant Sterols is a fantastic choice for promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Unlike other plant sterol products on the market made with corn and/or soy, Wiley’s are made from non-GMO North American pine tree sterols. All Wiley’s products are third-party tested from the boat to the shelf, and Wiley’s standards and methodology are beyond reproach. Fished in Alaska and manufactured in Ohio, Wiley’s Finest products are American through and through.
This and all Wiley’s Finest products are available at Rising Tide Every Day Low Prices.
3. Citrus Bergamot. There are some remarkable studies confirming the efficacy of this cholesterol product. It’s all about the flavanols! Bergamot can be used in conjunction with the Wiley’s Omega 3 with Plant Sterols, or as a complement to statins. Research has also credited bergamot with raising good cholesterol, removing fatty deposits in the liver, and lowering blood sugar levels.
We like Citrus Bergamot by Jarrow Formulas, on sale this month at Rising Tide.
A garlic compound known as allicin can potentially reduce the risk of developing heart disease and help regulate high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Chopping or crushing the garlic clove and consuming it raw is the best way to reap the benefits. (On a side note: raw garlic is thought to be good for any number of other conditions, including boosting immunity, reducing the risk of certain cancers, curing athlete’s foot and other fungal infections, and more.)
On its own, raw garlic can pack too much of a whollop, but incorporated into these dishes/beverages it adds amazing flavor. Check out these easy (vegan!) recipes for garlic-full dishes you’ll make again and again.
Alton Brown’s Guacamole
Basil Walnut Pesto
Martha Stewart’s Garlic Vinaigrette
Homemade Spicy Fire Cider
This time of year there’s always a lot of talk about changing our diets for the better (healthier, cleaner, etc.) In particular, for both health and environmental reasons, more and more Americans are making the move toward a plant-based diet. There are some simple ways to make the change gradual: start by making one meal a day plant-based; try one new ingredient each week; or tweak one of your favorite meals to be vegan.
If you do end up eliminating animal products, remember: the more restrictive your diet is, the more challenging it can be to get all the nutrients your body needs to function optimally. Choose a nutrition-packed plant-based protein powder for your morning smoothie (one of our favorites is Sun Warrior), pad meals with lots of nuts, seeds and legumes, and consider these three supplements to ensure a smooth transition to plant-based living:
1. Algae plant-based Omega 3 by Iwi: Fish eat krill; krill eat algae. Vegans/vegetarians can skip the middleman(fish) and go straight to this source of vital omegas 3s (known to reduce risk of heart-related conditions and some cancers, to improve brain function and bone health, improve inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and much, much more). We like the Iwi product because it’s 100% vegan, non-GMO and grown sustainably on farms in the Southwestern U.S. using brackish water and solar power.
2. Iron and herb supplement Floradix: Iron is essential for hemoglobin formation and the effective circulation of oxygen throughout the body. Inadequate levels of iron in the blood can lead to exhaustion and irritability. Since your body absorbs heme iron (from meat, poultry, and fish) 2-3 three times more efficiently than non-heme iron from plants, vegetarian/vegans are at an increased risk of developing an iron deficiency. But don’t worry! Dark leafy greens, whole grains, and legumes are all rich in iron; pair them with vitamin-C-rich foods (bell peppers, berries, broccoli, etc.) to boost absorption. Or supplement with this iron and herbal supplement from Floravital. Vegetarian Floradix Herbal Iron Extracts have a rate of iron absorption at 25% (compared to the average absorption rate of iron tablets at 2-10%). It includes Vitamin C to help with absorption, and it’s not constipating, like most iron supplements.
3. Methyl B12 by Jarrow Formulas: Vitamin B12 is necessary to help red blood cells function effectively. The food sources with the highest B12 content are from animals: eggs, cheese, beef, lamb, and shellfish, to name a few. Youcanget B12 from sea vegetables like arame, kombu, nori and wakame, but these foods are not a regular part of most Western diets. Instead, vegetarians and vegans can augment their diets with a high-quality B12 supplement. Methylcobalamin (methyl b12) from Jarrow Formulas is more bioavailable than other forms of B12. One chewable lozenge a day can help maintain brain health, vitality, restful sleep, and a better mood. Available in tropical and cherry flavors.
Stress this time of year is as ubiquitous as tinsel, cranberries and shelf elves. Whether it’s anxiety about your growing to-do list, worrying about the money you’re spending on gifts and festivities, or stress about time spent with family members that always, ALWAYS get under your skin, the reasons for experiencing extra stress in December are many. But so can be your ways of coping.
Meditate, exercise, take hot baths, and get plenty of sleep. In addition to the self-care, look to natural medicine to guide the way through the maze of holiday stressors. Here are the top 3 we recommend when you’re feeling overwrought, overburdened and overextended:
1. Adrenal Health Daily Support, by Gaia Herbs. Think of this as your “happy pill” for the holidays. Chronic stress can tax your adrenal glands, and affect your body’s ability to heal. Support in the form of a powerful combination of herbs (Holy Basil for emotional wellbeing; milky oats for relief of day-to-day tension, and adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola and Ashwaghanda to promote optimal energy) will take you through the hectic pace of life this time of year. Take two; you should start to feel the calming effects right away.
2. L-Theanine: This amino acid—a derivative of green tea—is a natural stress reliever. Taken once or twice a day, it can have a calming, sedative effect on the body and mind without making you feel drowsy. The Natural Factors L-theanine product also contains magnesium, which enhances it’s power to invoke tranquility.
GABA: This neurotransmitter plays a role in mitigating stress by reducing the activity of nerve cells in the nervous system. Often prescribed for ADHD, as well, it can help you focus and takes the edge off your holiday anxiety. Try Pharma GABA chewable tablets, by Natural Factors. **On sale this month!**
3. Rescue Remedy by Bach: Whether in drop or spray form, Reduce Remedy—made from five different flower remedies, each playing a different role—is a tried-and-true path to immediate relief from stressful occasions. Take 4 drops directly on the tongue, or apply two sprays onto the tongue.
Like all good things, Coastal Craft Kombucha’s humble beginnings were driven by a passion for creativity and a love for food and health. Rachel Rappa (along with co-owner Daryn Stoger) founded Coastal Craft after falling in love with the health benefits of kombucha and deciding it was something that could fuel her entrepreneurial dreams. After an hour-long “DIY Kombucha” class, Rachel went home to brew up her first batches in her parents’ home kitchen.
Co-owner Daryn Stoger parlayed a background in cocktail bartending and an I-can-fix-it mentality into his current career as Coastal Craft Kombucha’s Head Brewer; if you’re already enjoying Coastal Craft, it’s him you can thank for your healthy gut and happy taste buds.
Rachel and Daryn share the belief that health and enjoyment can—and more importantly, should—go hand in hand. Using only the highest quality and freshest ingredients and honoring authentic brewing methods, they set out to produce a handcrafted kombucha that’s good for you and incredibly delicious. We were lucky enough to chat with these local booch makers to find out what inspires them and why kombucha makes a great holiday gift.
RT: What sets Coastal Craft Kombucha products apart from other kombucha on the market?
CCK: At Coastal Craft we focus on quality and flavor from start to finish. Instead of using a standard base of teas and just adding juices for flavor, we utilize multiple different teas, herbs, flowers, spices, whole fruits and fresh-pressed juices throughout different stages of the process in order to craft flavors that are distinctly different from one another. As a result, our line of Kombucha offers a unique and highly enjoyable set of flavors.
RT: How would you describe the role kombucha can play for those pursuing a clean, healthy lifestyle?
CCK: Kombucha is first and foremost a real food that contains naturally occurring probiotics, B and C vitamins, organic acids and antioxidants. Some of the reasons to drink Coastal Craft Kombucha include its ability to aid digestion, boost immunity and metabolism, naturally energize, detoxify the body, and fight off free radicals.
RT: When you’re not sipping on booch… what are you loving to eat/drink right now? What are your go-to’s?
CCK: We’re both food and beverage enthusiasts and health nuts. These days, we’re loving Bulletproof Coffee roasted, brewed and served by our neighbors at ByGood Coffee in Oceanside; TONIC Bare CBD (we’ve experienced and fallen in love with the benefits of CBD!); hydrating with Harmless Harvest Coconut Water; and, for a sweet treat, Unreal Almond Butter Cups.
RT: What’s one FUN thing most people don’t know about Coastal Craft Kombucha?
CCK: Our first batch was brewed in a one-gallon jar in Rachel’s bedroom. Rachel named it “Behind the Bed Booch”.
RT: What’s the latest from Coastal Craft? Anything new and exciting in the pipeline?
CCK: Our Winter Seasonal Flavor is in the works and it’s unlike any other flavor we have done before…stay tuned!
RT: What’s your favorite way to use Coastal Craft Kombucha during the holidays? And does it make a good gift?
CCK: We love to bring Coastal Craft Kombucha into the holiday season because of how it helps us stay naturally energized, ward off seasonal colds, and detoxify our bodies after some unavoidable and well-deserved indulgence! Whether you drink it on its own or use it as a cocktail mixer, you can’t go wrong. Coastal Craft Kombucha makes a great gift because it’s brewed with the intention for everyone to enjoy it. What better gift than one that offers health and enjoyment?
Try as we may to exercise self-control, Thanksgiving can be a day of excess for many. It’s hard to resist when we see some of our favorite foods only once a year! Do the best you can (don’t arrive starving, focus on healthy veggie dishes, take a walk before dessert), and arm yourself with some helpful digestive supplements that will keep you from having TOO many regrets.
1. 30 minutes before the meal. Let a great probiotic be your digestive insurance policy this Thanksgiving. We like Natren’s Healthy Trinity probiotic, with a minimum of 30 billion colony forming units (cfu) of three potent, super strains of beneficial bacteria in each capsule.
2. Right before the meal. When our tastebuds detect bitter, it’s a wake-up call for the digestive process. Take Herba Pharm’s Better Bitters 10 minutes before the big meal and let the body’s natural bitter response do the rest. Available in Classic, with the clean, pure taste of gentian; and Orange, featuring orange peel and ginger extract.
2. Right before the meal. A full-spectrum digestive enzyme will help to break down each of the foods you enjoyed for your holiday meal (carbs, fat, fiber and protein). Digest Gold Digestive Enzymes is a top-selling enzyme blend that helps the body absorb nutrients and convert food into energy. It will help you avoid digestive discomforts like gas, bloating and indigestion. (It’s okay to take your enzymes at the same time as your digestive bitters.)
It’s that time again. October is the official onset of cold and flu season, with all the runny noses, coughs, fevers and sick days the name implies. Don’t stress (stress lowers immunity, and you know where THAT will get you!)….we’ve got 3 essential items for your natural medicine cabinet (plus a fourth, bonus item) that should keep the fall/winter bugs at bay, or at least the most virulent ones.
1. The magic of mushrooms. The combo of 17 potent mushrooms in Host Defense’s MyCommunity can give your immune system a nice, natural boost. Phytochemicals such as beta-glucan found in these fantastic fungi have been shown to enhance the activity of several different types of immune cells.
2. Vitamin C: Don’t leave home without it. Truly Natural Vitamin C from HealthForce is a 100% food-based vitamin C complex made from the acerola cherry, and contains all the bioflavonoids, vitamins and minerals that are the cofactors for optimum vitamin C activity. Plus, it comes in powder form, making it easy to mix into a smoothie or in the water bottle you take to school, work, or to work out.
3. Vitamin D: The Power of sunshine. A recent study out of London indicated that supplementing with vitamin D can reduce the risk of respiratory infections—especially cold and flu—by about 10 percent. Take in capsules, drops, gummies…whatever form you’re most comfortable with to boost the amount of vitamin D in your bloodstream this time of year. How much should you take? Steve recommends 1,000 IU’s daily for kids under 11 and 2,000 IU’s for kids over 11 and adults. Bluebonnet makes a great chewable kids product, along with the soft gels for pill-swallowing pre-teens/teens and adults.
**BONUS**: The number one tool in your winter immunity arsenal might just be found in a cute little berry with extraordinary strength. Elderberries possess natural antiviral and antimicrobial properties that have been shown to shorten duration of cold and flu; in fact, they have been compared to drugs like Tamiflu for the treatment of flu (with none of the harsh side effects). We like the Gaia brand Elderberry, available in syrup or capsules.
September is ‘Fermentation Month at Rising Tide Market! Are you wondering how to fit more ferments into your daily routine? If you’re not thinking “fermented” at meal and snack time, you could be missing out on the many health benefits of fermentation. Try these tasty ideas (courtesy of our friends at Natural Factors) to sneak in fermented supplements, foods and beverages any time of day.
- Stir in a scoop. Add a serving of a powdered, fermented plant protein and greens supplement to oatmeal or a smoothie bowl. In In honor of Fermentation Month, Rising Tide has Whole Earth & Sea Protein & Greens ON SALE now for $44.99 (regularly $59.99).
- Rethink breakfast. Take a cue from Korean tradition, which commonly includes kimchi with every meal. Top an omelet with kimchi or make a breakfast taco with scrambled tofu and kimchi. (You won’t be sorry when adding kimchi to your diet..these spicy, fermented veggies are considered by some to be one of the five healthiest foods in the world!)
- Go Greek. The combo of protein and carbs in Greek yogurt is a perfect way to jumpstart your day. Sprinkle yogurt with granola for a bit of crunch.
- Serve it with sauerkraut. Top sandwiches and quesadillas with this tangy condiment.
- Look for “living sauerkraut” that’s refrigerated to get the probiotics that are otherwise destroyed by heating the kraut.
- Try tempeh. Top a leafy green salad with sautéed tempeh, or swap tempeh for meat on a sandwich.
- Opt for fermented condiments. You can make (and sometimes buy) fermented ketchup, hummus, salsa and more.
- Make it with miso. Add miso to sauces, soups or stews.
- Top salad with fermented dressing. Make your favorite creamy salad dressing, such as ranch or honey mustard, with kefir.
- ‘Treat yourself. Enjoy a creamy frozen kefir dessert.
- Take fermented greens on the go. Add a serving of a powdered, fermented greens supplement to water or juice or make a smoothie or smoothie bowl.
- Swap fermented drinks for sodas. Quench thirst with kombucha, water kefir or fermented coconut water.
DIY PROBIOTIC-RICH FERMENTED FOODS AT HOME
Nourish your gut—naturally. Brimming with probiotics, tangy lacto-fermented veggies are a delicious way to maintain a balanced microbiome and healthy digestive system. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to make at home. Follow these simple recommendations for the best results.
1. Get the right gear.
No need to buy a fancy fermentation set. All you need to get started is a wide-mouth mason jar, wooden spoon and some sort of weight to keep the veggies submerged in brine (a cabbage or apple core or even a smaller mason jar resting on top of your ferments will do the trick). Run your jars through the dishwasher before using.
2. Choose organic.
Starting with clean, pesticide-free produce will guarantee a better outcome. Select high-quality organic veggies from your garden, or shop for them in Rising Tide’s 100 percent organic produce department! Not convinced? (In honor of September being Organic Month, here are some more reasons why it’s more important than ever to buy organic.)
3. Wash veggies well.
Wash produce carefully under cold water and make sure to remove all dirt and debris before fermentation, as this could affect the taste of the final product. After washing, slice your produce in uniform pieces for even ripening.
4. Use purified water.
Always use distilled or purified water for your brine. Tap water contains chlorine, and often fluoride, which can disturb the growth of good bacteria.
5. Don’t skimp on the salt.
Along with adding flavor and creating a crispier texture to your veggies, salt kills harmful bacteria and prevents mold during the fermentation process. Be sure to use the exact amount that the recipe calls for. Opt for high-quality Himalayan or sea salt instead of table salt.
6. Give veggies time to ripen.
Cover your jar with an airtight lid, and give the fermentation process at least a week on your kitchen counter before checking. You’ll know they’re ready when you see bubbles forming in the brine and the mixture omits a sour, though not unpleasant, odor. If you see mold on top, simply scrape it off with a wooden spoon and discard. Shaking the mixture once a day; this helps inhibit mold growth. It’s a good idea to taste the product to determine if it could use a few more days to culture. If your veggies smell rotten, toss them and try again.
7. Store your finished product in the fridge.
Finally, it’s time to move your veggies to a refrigerator or cellar. Cold temperatures slow the growth of healthy bacteria, so the flavor of ferment will continue to deepen and evolve. Your veggies will keep in cold storage for up to a year.
Start your own fermentation adventure. Check out a bunch of make-at-home fermentation recipes here.
Dry skin sufferers, allow us to introduce you to Nikki’s Naturals. Jayson and Nicola (Nikki) McLeod have created a line of 100% natural hair and skin products—made right here on Long Island—using only the finest organic, unrefined Ghanaian Shea Butter. If clean and gentle is your thing, get to know this local biz.
RT: What was the impetus for creating Nikki’s Naturals?
NN: The need to provide our children with 100% chemical-free soap and moisturizer to help heal their eczema gently.
RT: What sets your health and beauty products apart from other personal care products on the market?
NN: Our products are 100% plant-based, no chemicals, no colors, no parabens, no artificial ingredients.
RT: What’s the latest from Nikki’s Naturals?
NN: We just came out with our vegan/plant-based hair line, perfect for all hair types.
RT: Now our favorite question: What are you loving to eat right now? What are your top go-to’s (snacks, drinks, wellness products or other)?
NN: We are a vegan/dairy-free vegetarian family that believes health is wealth. We love to eat vegan mac and cheese combined with roasted cauliflower, and our go-to snacks are the cheddar cauliflower crackers by The Ground Up. We juice lots of raw fruits and veggies, but one of our favorite drinks is plain old seltzer water—we don’t drink soda or commercial juices. We also take Moringa Oleifera powder daily. This ensures we’re getting all of the necessary minerals and nutrients.
RT: What’s your favorite Nikki’s Naturals product to give as a gift?
NN: Our favorite Nikki’s Naturals LLC products to give as a gift is our Black Soap Face/Body Wash and our Whipped Shea Butter Face/Body Mousse. These two products used together help heal and moisturize the skin on a cellular level. Because they are non-comedogenic, they also help rid the skin of acne.
RT: What’s one FUN thing most people don’t know about Nikki’s Naturals?
NN: We love to dance! We’re always dancing.
RT: What’s it been like to start and run a company in Long Island/New York State?
NN: Starting and running Nikki’s Naturals LLC in Long Island has been and still is a fabulous experience. Although tough at times, it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. There’s a true and deep need for our products because they’re genuine and they work.
RT: So many in this community dream of starting their own business. What’s your best piece of advice for launching a successful local business?
NN: Master your product, find where the demand for it is, and never give up!
Maybe you overdid it a little this summer…we can relate! BBQs, ice cream, alcohol…no one can blame you (us!) for enjoying all the best things the season has to offer. Now it’s time for a fresh start. Jen, our resident Wellness guru, kickstarted a summer detox on Sept. 1, with the goal of counteracting some of the damage she did this season. We’re presenting her protocol here, with the hopes that some of you will join her! Either way, we’ll touch base with her at the end of the month to see how the cleanse worked for her, and quantify what kinds of changes she’s experienced as a result.
Note: Jen chose these products because they’re all safe, known to be effective, and appropriate for most people. However, if you’re interested in embarking on a cleanse, but have questions about the particular products we’ve included here, feel free to check in with Jen…she’ll be happy to customize a cleanse for your unique needs.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules from Enzymedica: Apple Cider Vinegar has been revered for centuries (Hippocrates prescribed it to his patients) and is now widely heralded for its effects on digestion, weight loss, promoting healthy blood sugar levels, and more. These capsules are great for those who don’t like the astringent taste of liquid ACV, or worry about the impact of liquid ACV on tooth enamel. Take two with each meal; each serving is equivalent to 1 tsp of liquid ACV.
2. Bluebonnet Liver Detox:This unique combo of amino acids (NAC and L-Glutathione) and wildcrafted herbal extracts (ginger root, turmeric root, dandelion root, etc.) will give your liver the break it so badly needs. Support detoxification while getting a healthy antioxidant boost.
3. Barleans Intestinal Repair: Part anti-bacterial/anti-fungal, part prebiotic and part healer of intestinal linings, this 3-in-1 formula is gentle yet powerful, and an important tool for any detox. Comes in Berry Flavor and mixes easily into water, juices, or smoothies.
* Bonus item! Moringa Oleifera powder from Kuli Kuli: This green superfood will add a nutritious boost to everything from smoothies to soups. Jen throws it right in her morning greens “kitchen sink” smoothie, which includes spinach kale, berries and any other high-antioxidant fruits and veggies she has on hand.
In addition to the above products, Jen plans to make some important lifestyle changes in September to facilitate her cleanse.
* Start her day with a glass of lemon water and a greens drink, and drink more water overall.
* Cut out all refined sugars.
* Create a 6-hour eating window to give her digestive system time to heal.
If you’re detoxing this month…good luck! Check in with Jen and let her know how it’s going.
Whatever you’re out there doing, we hope you’re doing a lot of it and having a ball! Our Wellness guru, Jen, has some super skincare tips to help protect your outer layer all summer long.
- Choose your sunscreen wisely. Jen loves the super clean MyChelle Sun Shield broad spectrum SPF30 that comes on clear, is never sticky and is safe for ocean reefs. Plus, it’s 100% vegan and contains none of the bad stuff (parabens, petroleum, phthalates, silicones, sulfates, ureas, or artificial fragrances or colors). Think of it as your summer skin-surance policy.
- A lovely shade of tan. In the quest for that perfect summer skin tone, the antioxidant power of BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin may help lengthen time to sunburn, leaving you instead with that coveted tan. There’s also evidence that astaxanthin can act as an internal sunscreen, protecting the body from damage caused by UV rays.
- Banish that burn. If you forget to reapply your sunscreen (it happens to all of us!), Jen recommends this dynamic duo to soothe and heal burned skin. Blend together Aura Cacia Lavender Essential oil (reduces that burnt feeling and prevents blisters…keep in the kitchen for stovetop burns, too) and Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gelly (cools, soothes and hydrates tender skin…keep in fridge).
June is Men’s Health Month — time for men you know and love to assess their health routines and see where positive changes can be made. Where to start? Choose supplements specifically geared toward health issues that only men will face. Our resident Wellness Guru, Jen, offers up her top picks for all those amazing men who want to live in optimal health.
- New Chapter’s Every Man’s One Daily. It all starts with a great multi. Every Man One’s Daily is a whole food based multivitamin, featuring fermented vitamins and minerals that are easily digestible and easily assimilated by the body. Jen likes the addition of Elderberry (plus Eleuthero and Astragalus) for enhanced immune function.
- Life Extension’s Ultra Prostate Formula. Whatever the state of your prostate, this is one to add to your daily routine. This product does it all: promotes healthy prostate function, supports normal urine flow, inhibits excess estrogen, and supports a healthy inflammation response, all while helping maintain healthy PSA levels.
- Nature’s Plus Organic Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder. If your man’s boosting his smoothie with product that isn’t serving him, it might be time for a new protein powder. The Nature’s Plus Pumpkin Seed powder is packed with 15g of protein per serving and the great-tasting pumpkin seeds (and beneficial fatty acids) shown to promote prostate health.
Summer’s here, and outside is the best place to cook (flipping burgs with a cocktail by your side is surely one of life’s great joys). Grilling can be a delicious, healthy way to prepare all kinds of foods; you get loads of flavor in a short period of time (without the ubiquitous batter coating you find in so many summer foods). Nutrients also stay intact when grilling when compared to other forms of cooking. Plus, grill lines look pretty on just about anything you toss on those flames and just about scream summer.
While grilling is healthier than frying, etc., there are certainly some grill techniques and food choices that are healthier than others. Research indicates that some grilled foods (particularly meat) can be linked to certain types of cancer. There are two components in play here. First, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been linked to colon cancer and are found in well-done foods, most specifically in the charred or “crispy” portions of the food that turn black from the grill. Then there are heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, formed from intense and concentrated high heat.
The good news, these nasty PAHs and HCAs can be avoided without giving up grilling. Here are some super easy hacks for making this grill season your healthiest one yet.
Shorter is better. Try to not eat overcooked food from the grill (well-done meat has 3.5 times more HCAs than medium-rare meat).
Keep it clean! Make sure your grates are clean of any leftover burnt food particles.
Marinate. Marinating your meat with herbs, specifically thyme and/or rosemary, can cut back on HCA’s by up to 99%. Black pepper, allspice, and/or chives can also provide powerful protection against carcinogens. Avoid sugary marinades (which actually make things worse); go for lemon or vinegar and herb-based ones, instead.
No flare-ups. This can help with both kinds of carcinogens. Keep a spray bottle of water with you to put them out (without putting out your coals).
Seafood says summer. Fish and shrimp produce much fewer HCAs from high heat exposure than meat, and their lower fat content minimizes fat drippings to reduce PAHs from smoke.
Grill fruits & vegetables. PAH’s and HCA’s don’t form on produce, so create a rainbow this summer by grilling healthy fruits and veggies. Even when grilling meat, mix in some grilled veggies as well; the antioxidants from (hopefully organic) produce can help counteract the carcinogens formed as a bi-product of the grilling. (Remember: Rising Tide Natural Market boasts a 100% organic produce department, guaranteeing our customers the healthiest, most carefully curated produce at every visit.)
Some fruits and veggies that are awesome on the grill:
- bell peppers
Grill lean cuts of meat. The leaner the meats, the less fat dripping on the grill, and the fewer PAHs and HCAs formed. Also pick smaller cuts of meat, which cuts down on grill time.
Flip your burgs. Like we said above, there’s something to that flip. Turns out it also reduces the amount of HCAs that form. Use a spatula so you don’t pierce the burgers, causing fat to drip and HCAs to form.
Recipes for Healthier Grilling
Grilled Carrots with Cumin-Serrano Yogurt
Grilled Broccoli with Avocado and Sesame
Grilled Halibut and Bok Choy with Coconut-Lime Dressing
Charred Cabbage with Goat Cheese Raita and Cucumbers
Chili Lime Clams with Tomatoes and Grilled Bread
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Scallions
Grilled Citrus Shrimp Lettuce Cups
Teriyaki Portobello Mushroom Burger with Garlic Mayo
Grilled Pineapple Sundae
Grilled Watermelon Salad with Arugula and Feta
Lastly, here are some general tips for successful grilling this summer!
With so much talk these days about opioid addiction and the side effects of many popular over-the-counter pain relievers, it’s more important than ever to have a safe, effective, natural pain squasher when you really need it.
Curamin Extra Strength—on sale at Rising Tide all month—combines natural pain-reliever Curcumin (the bioactive ingredient in turmeric) with anti-inflammatory Boswellia, mood lifter DLPA and the enzyme Nattokinese (helps ingredients move through the bloodstream so they get where they need to be!) for a potent nutrient combo that helps alleviate pain, with none of the negative side-effects of aspirin and other conventional pain relievers.
Highlights of Curamin Extra Strength:
* Shortens recovery time
* Helps you stay in the game, doing the things you love
* Fights inflammation throughout the body
Curamin Extra Strength is rarely on sale, so take advantage of this great June deal.
30 count, reg. $24.99: ON SALE: $19.99
60 count, reg. $59.99, ON SALE: $35.99
120 count, reg: $83.99, ON SALE: $66.99
This month and next, middle- and high-schoolers could be faced with higher-stakes exams that can lead to increased anxiety. Stress can hit while studying, or when sitting for the actual exams. Before test tension hits hair-pulling levels, try some natural de-stressors to help calm and center your student. Try them one at a time to see which one works best for your child.
- Stress Relax Pharma Gaba by Natural Factors. This natural source of the brain compound GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) can be both physically calming and help with mental focus. Teens and tweens (10 and up) can take two of these chewables as needed (up to 2x/day), either preventatively before a big test or as a grounding agent while studying.
- Rescue Remedy by Bach Flower. This famous blend of five different Bach Flower remedies is gentle and side-effect free, and can be used with kids of all ages. Take during times of acute stress as needed for balance and clarity.
- Homeopathic Stress Relief by Siddha Flower Essences. Add this liquid tension-reducer to your child’s water or juice; sipping throughout the day may help quell temporary anxiety while helping boost concentration. Stress Relief works progressively and cumulatively, so give to your children regularly for best results.
As we write this, we’re in the midst of our fourth nor’easter in so many weeks. It certainly doesn’t FEEL like spring, does it? But cold as it is, this is the BEST time to begin an anti-allergy protocol that should allow you to skate through allergy season unscathed (or at least in better form than in years past). Here Jen offers her springtime allergy prevention protocol. All three are safe for children, except where indicated. What are you waiting for? Start now!
- Nettles Quercetin by Oregon’s Wild Harvest. Stinging nettles are itchy when they touch your skin, but when ingested have been shown to promote a healthy immune response to seasonal allergies. Quercetin is among the important flavonoids that fight inflammation in the body, including inflammation related to allergies and asthma. Together they’re allergy prevention gold. Take one on an empty stomach once/day.
- Nenningers Naturals Triple Allergy Defense. These homeopathic remedies provide symptom relief of pollen, mold and dust allergies all in one bottle. And they do it all quickly, with no drowsiness and no harmful side effects. Take once daily.
- Neti pot. When used properly morning and night, the warm water and salt solution in this little vessel will loosen mucus to relieve congestion and clear out pollen and other allergens. We carry the Nasopure Nasal Wash System, as well as the more traditional net pot, from Ancient Secrets. For basic instructions on using a net pot, click here.
For children (who may be uncomfortable with the neti pot), use Xlear saline spray twice daily, morning and night. The spray not only moisturizes and soothes irritated sinuses and nasal cavities, but its secret ingredient—xylitol—prevents bacteria and allergens from sticking to nasal tissue.
Bonus tip for allergy sufferers: Put a little Un-Petroleum Jelly on a Q-tip and gently line the nostrils before you go outside—especially if you’ll be out in the woods or if it’s a windy day. The sticky jelly will catch the pollen before it has a chance to wreak havoc on your system.
**Make GREAT Valentine’s Day Gifts!**
Diffusing fragrant, high-quality oils makes any room smell amazing. Essential oil devotees may also diffuse their favorite oil or combo of oils with the hopes of alleviating stress or anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Using an ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser like the ones we’re featuring from Spa Room makes adding aromatherapy to your life easy and convenient.
The Aroma Pod: GREAT FOR KIDS (available in pink and blue). This palm-sized ultrasonic diffuser is the perfect tool for the littlest oils lovers, or for any small space. Requires no heat or chemicals for worry-free diffusion in kid-friendly spaces. A USB plug makes it easy and convenient, and great for travel. $19.99
HerbalAir: PERFECT FOR ON THE ROAD. This aromatherapy diffuser has a natural wood finish…and fits in your car’s cup holder! USB plug for portability, wherever you’re off to. $29.99
Spirale: ELEGANCE MEETS AROMATHERAPY A sleek white corkscrew design is a chic addition to the most stylish rooms. A soft white light mixes with the aroma mist for ultimate relaxation. $29.99
Cascade: WITH COLOR-CHANGING LIGHTS. The modern outer shell embraces the inner textured accent piece providing serenity for your senses. The beautiful, flowing design of the Cascade™ will mesmerize as the color-changing lights filter through the step-ladder inlay. $49.99
If you’ve been trying to cut down on added sugars (yet you have a serious sweet tooth, like us!), you might wonder how you’ll get through Valentine’s Day. There are chocolates, and restaurant desserts, and the artificially colored-and-flavored-and high fructose corn syrup-heart-shaped treats your kids bring home from school. Even recipes for most homemade desserts contain plenty of added sugars.
We don’t think Valentine’s Day has to leave you with a sugar hangover for the rest of the week. This year, treat those you love to naturally-sweetened, truly delicious desserts without any refined sugar (many rely on alternative sugars such as dates and maple syrup, which contain assorted nutrients and won’t spike your blood sugar like refined white sugar, or stevia, which doesn’t spike your blood sugar at all). It’s a healthy(er) kind of love!
Raw Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Paleo Brownies with Almond Butter
Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Fudgy Chocolate Tarts
Healthier Cookie Butter
Vegan Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups
Inside Out Peanut Butter Cups
Vegan Raw Salted Caramel Slices
For years, the news on heart disease was all about saturated fat. Now, thanks in part to a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the focus has shifted off fat and onto another culprit: sugar.
(As a side note, a recent report published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed a systematic coverup of studies that indicated sugar’s role in heart disease—a cover up that affected food policy and understanding even until today.)
According to the 2014 study, higher intake of all kinds of added sugars is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, when taking into account such variables as education level, smoking status, alcohol consumption, antihypertensive medication use, physical activity, and family history of CVD.
Exactly how excess sugar might harm the heart isn’t clear. According to Harvard Medical School, earlier research indicating that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can raise blood pressure may be in play here. Also, a high-sugar diet may also stimulate the liver to dump more harmful fats into the bloodstream. Both are factors known to contribute to risk of heart disease. Added sugars also contribute no nutrients but many added calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity, another contributor to heart disease.
How Much Sugar is Okay?
Today, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than HALF of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons. The AHA recommendations focus on all added sugars, without singling out any particular types such as high-fructose corn syrup.
Sneaky, Sneaky Sugar
Even when you’re being diligent, it can be difficult to avoid added sugars, especially in processed foods. In fact, there is added sugar in 74% of packaged foods (including seemingly healthy foods like salad dressing and pasta sauce.) Sugar can be called by over 50 other names, any of which will impact the body in ways similar to conventional table sugar. (Another drawback… you can safely assume that most sugar in the U.S. is genetically modified, unless it specifically says it is made from cane sugar OR it is in a product labeled non-GMO.) Here is a list of the many, many names for sugar you might run across in foods you eat every day.
RECIPE: Heart Friendly Juice
With all this talk about sugar, you might think it’s all doom and gloom. You ought to know us better than that! With just a tiny bit of planning, you can fill your life with completely delicious foods that have zero added sugar. We’ll start you off with this recipe for an amazing heart-healthy juice which we’ll be sampling at the store on Valentine’s Day! And don’t miss our story on Valentine’s Day desserts with zero refined sugar.
February is Heart Month! Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is paramount when it comes to preventing heart disease. There is also a handful of well-studied supplements that may decrease your risk even further. We probed the natural medicine-loving mind of our Wellness guru, Jen, for her very top picks when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease and maintaining healthy heart function.
- Fish oil: Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is one of the only natural remedies proven to bring down triglycerides. Get it from fish (especially fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, lake trout or mackerel); the American Heart Association recommends adults eat at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fish each week. Not much of a fish eater? Supplement with 3,000 mg daily; 1,000mg with each meal. Jen recommends Wiley’s Finest Alaskan Fish Oil, on sale for Heart Month: 30 softgels $13.59; 60 softgels $31.99
- Hawthorn: Health-promoting flavonoids are the reason Hawthorn has been used for centuries as a heart remedy. The whole herb form (flower, leaf and berry) has been shown to improve blood flow, guard against blood vessel damage, and otherwise regulate and strengthen heart function. Jen likes organic Hawthorn by Oregon’s Wild Harvest, on sale for Heart Month: 60ct/ $13.59
- CoQ10: Not only does CoQ10 destroy free radicals that cause cardiovascular problems and heart disease, it also sparks energy production in every cell of your body—including the heart. Aging, intense athletic activity, and cholesterol-lowering agents such as red yeast rice and statins can compromise the levels and/or natural production of CoQ10 in the body. Supplement with Blue Bonnet Ubiquinol, the “active” antioxidant form of CoQ10, on sale for Heart Month: 30 softgels $13.19/60 softgels $22.79
In celebration of Heart Month, we’re also discounting the following heart-related supplements:
January is National Soup Month!
When it’s cold outside, we tend to gravitate toward warm, comforting foods like pasta, stews, and the star of the show this month: soup! Low-calorie, high-fiber soups—especially those packed with vegetables and/or beans—are super healthy, super satisfying, and can be a great tool for shedding unwanted pounds.
Following are 4 tips for making soup your best weight-loss friend this winter:
1. Homemade soups are by far the healthiest choice. The canned varieties are usually packed with sodium (can you say water retention?!) and other undesirables.
2. Broth-based soups are the way to go. Steer clear of all the cheesy and cream-based soups (bisques, chowders, etc.)…delicious but loaded with extra calories.
3. When making your own soup, don’t be afraid to load it up with veggies and lean, high-quality protein. Soup is really hard to screw up. Add lots of what you like and you can’t go wrong.
4. Start your meal with a vegetable soup. Research shows eating a low-calorie veggie soup prior to your entree can result in you consuming 20 percent fewer calories over the course of the meal. In other words, you’ll feel a little full right out of the gate, leaving less room for the foods you want to eat in moderation.
5. Use a bowl of warm, comforting soup to thwart other cravings. Choose a broth-based bean soup instead of a dense bowl of chili, or sip some bone broth instead of a sugar-filled coffee drink. You’ll scratch the same itch, with a fraction of the calories.
Bone Broth…Like a Super Soup!
You might have heard of the many health benefits of Bone broth, including reduction of inflammation and joint pain, increased bone strength, and healing leaky gut and other digestive issues, just to name a few. What you may not know is that, thanks to a healthy dose of gelatin in each serving, bone broth is REALLY filling. Sip it in the morning instead of coffee, or as an afternoon pick-me-up. And use it as the base for your favorite soups and stews. Trust us…it will keep you from craving empty-calorie snacks.
You can make your own bone broth at home; it’s really pretty easy. Or…both antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken bone broth and grass-fed beef bone broth are available every day at the Rising Tide Market Broth Bar. Lastly, EPIC Bone Broth is on sale at Rising Tide all month long: $4.79/each (reg. $6.99).
Now…Make One of Rising Tide’s Most Popular Soups at Home
Turkey Lasagna Soup
Recipe by Chef John Hill
Yield: 4 quarts
5 lbs Roma tomatoes
2 large Spanish onions
10 cloves garlic
1 bunch basil ·(fresh)
2 TBS oregano (dry)
2 lbs turkey meat
4 oz safflower oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
6 oz parmesan cheese
4 TBS sea salt
8 oz pasta (we use Rombi pasta)
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot with 4 quarts and 4 tablespoons of sea salt to a boil.
2. Prepare the tomatoes by putting an “X” in the bottom with a knife and trimming the stem end.
3. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for approximately 1 minute until the skin peels away easily. Shock in an ice water bath.
4. Once cool, peel tomatoes, skin them, and squeeze out the seeds. Rough chop tomatoes.
5. Save tomato blanching water and cook pasta until al dente. Cool.
6. Rough chop onion and garlic.
7. Add tomatoes, garlic, onion and safflower oil to a large pot. Season with salt and pepper, crushed red pepper and oregano. Cook for about 30 minutes until tomatoes break down.
8. In a separate pot, cook turkey meat, and drain excess liquid. Set aside.
9. Add tomatoes to a blender or use a stick blender. Puree until smooth, then add basil and parmesan cheese.
10. Fold in turkey meat and pasta to serve.
The new year is a great time to reassess different aspects of our lives, including our fitness and nutrition regimen. What’s serving us? What could be tweaked to help us meet our workout and weight-loss goals? All-important protein—a metabolism booster and muscle builder—is a great place to begin that review.
Garden of Life protein powders and bars are ON SALE for the entire month of January. Try out a few and see which best meet your needs. Garden of Life is an innovator in organic, non-GMO whole foods products, and a company we have always relied on for traceable, science-backed formulas that are as clean as anything on the market.
- Organic Fit High-Protein Weight Loss Bars (Green coffee bean extract to burn fat; Ashwagandha to fight cravings)
- SPORT Performance Protein Bars (20g of organic pea and rice protein)
Raw Organic Meal (Shake & meal replacement)
Raw Protein and Greens (Combo protein & greens)
Raw Organic Fit (Fat burning/weight loss)
Organic Whey Protein (Creamy grass-fed whey protein)
Organic Plant Protein (Grain free)
Check out what Garden of Life
is up to and decide what’s right for you. If you have questions about any of the GOL products we carry, feel free to ask Jen or any of our staff in the Rising Tide Wellness department.
As the cold weather creeps in, retreating inside is inevitable. Also inevitable: more time spent in indoor air makes us more susceptible to whatever bugs might be lurking.
This year, take proactive steps to keep all miserable critters at bay. RT’s resident wellness guru, Jen Musgrove, offers her Top 3 Picks for staying cold and flu free this winter.
Elderberry: As far back as 460 BC, Hippocrates referred to elderberry as his “medicine chest,” owing to the great many health benefits conferred by the brightly colored herb. One of the oldest medicines on the planet, this natural antiviral and antimicrobial has been shown to shorten duration of cold and flu; in fact, it’s comparable to drugs like Tamiflu for the treatment of flu (with none of the harsh side effects). TRAVEL TIP: If you’re planning to take an airplane this winter, it’s been proven that supplementation with elderberry before, during, and after air travel has beneficial effects on travelers’ health—particularly respiratory health.
Jen likes the Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup for adults and kids. Use as directed.
Andrographis: Used as a cold remedy since ancient times in both India and China, the powerful andrographis herb is a great tool for squashing colds before they get you. (Unlike elderberry, andrographis is not known to be helpful once you’re in the acute phase of a cold, but does its best work as an immunity-boosting preventative.) Get your andrograghis fix with Kold Kare by Kare N Herbs. Use as directed. (Note: Kold Kare is safe to use with kids; Jen suggests one tablet a day.)
Astragalus: A Chinese herb used medicinally for thousands of years, the Astragalus root’s main claim to fame is its ability to regulate the body’s immune response. Specifically, astragalus boosts white blood cell activity to guard against seasonal colds, viruses and respiratory infections. Classified as an adaptogen, it also protects against mental, physical and emotional stress. (Bonus!) Jen recommends taking Oregon’s Wild Harvest Biodynamic tincture, and for children, Herbs for Kids Astragalus.
Breakouts are a part of life! In Jen’s Top 3 for October, the Rising Tide Wellness guru dishes on her go-to skin solutions for teens and adults.
Mother Dirt: Just brought these amazing new products in and have already had incredible feedback from staff and customers. Based on the idea of nurturing and restoring the skin biome (healthy bacteria = healthy skin), these products are perfect for anyone looking to lose the chemicals in their skincare routine while also enjoying awesome results. Try the Face & Body Cleanser, the Moisturizer and don’t miss the AO + Mist—a probiotic spray that’s magic at reducing oiliness, blotchiness, bumpiness, and dryness. Spray on in the morning and again at night.
Burdock Root: Burdock root is one of the most well-known detoxifying herbs, used in both Western and Chinese herbal medicine. Often recommended as a blood purifier, burdock eliminates the toxins that can cause chronic skin conditions (acne!). Jen recommends Burdock capsules from Oregon’s Wild Harvest. Take three at bedtime.
Evening Primrose Oil: The key ingredient in evening primrose oil is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)—an omega-6 essential fatty acid that helps strengthen the skin barrier, reduce moisture loss, and reduce the inflammation and redness associated with acne. Our bodies can’t make GLA, but we can get it from other sources, including evening primrose oil. Jen recommends Rising Tide’s own brand of Evening Primrose. For best results, try 1,300mg daily for adults; 650mg for teens.
As always, feel free to talk with Jen about any of your concerns around acne or other skin care issues. And if you try her Top 3, let us know what works for you!
Welcome to the first edition of our new website series: Jen’s Top 3. We’ll check in once a month with Jen, Rising Tide’s resident Wellness guru, to find out what you need to be taking or doing RIGHT NOW to heal any aspect of your health.
Hard to believe it when you step outside, but cold and flu season is just about here. We asked our resident Wellness guru, Jen, about how best to protect ourselves from the most potent of the season’s bugs.
- Host Defense Comprehensive Immune: Mushrooms may look kooky, but they are actually some of the most powerful natural medicines on the planet. Host Defense’s blend of 17 potent mushroom species encourages resistance to cellular invaders (yuck!) and helps balance the immune system.
- MegaFood Vitamin D3 2,000 IU: Sufficient Vitamin D can reduce your risk of infectious disease by strengthening your innate immune system, allowing you to quickly and effectively fight off invaders before a full-blown infection develops. Jen likes Mega Food’s Vitamin D3; take one 2,000 IU capsule daily; take two or three if you’re under the weather.
- Garden of Life Once Daily Ultra Probiotic: Since 80 % of your immune system is located in your gut, it makes sense that probiotics (“good” bacteria that keep your gut healthy) would help ward off cold and flu viruses. Eat naturally fermented foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, kefir) or take a high-quality probiotic supplement like this one from Garden of Life: 15 diverse strains and 90 billion CFUs of cold-and-flu-fighting probiotics are packed into a once-a-day capsule.
October is Non-GMO month…what better time to talk about Biodynamic Farming—what it is and how it affects the food you eat? Here are the Top 5 things you need to know about biodynamic farming and its potential impact on all our lives:
(Note: all photos for this story are from Rosendals Garden, the amazing Biodynamic Farm Jerry and Ashley biked to during their recent trip to Stockholm. There has been so much talk in recent months of the growing trend in biodynamic farming, they wanted to see what it was all about!)
- Biodynamic and Organic farming practices come from the same place. The organic farm movement grew out of the development of the biodynamic approach to agriculture that started in the 1920s. (The term organic was coined from the biodynamic principle that the farm should be viewed as a self-contained organism).
- In practice, the biodynamic farm is run very much like an organic farm, with a focus on building soil fertility, rotating crops, banning GMOs, and eliminating chemicals and hormones.
- The major difference between organic and biodynamic farming: Biodynamic farms feature a completely closed system and the use of biodynamic preparations. Having livestock on the farm, dedicating at least 10% of the land as a biodiversity preserve, and growing certain herbs and plants on the farm help maintain it as a self-contained and sustainable system.
- The Demeter Biodynamic® Processing Standard (there are 16 categories in all, including oil, wine, cosmetics and body care) fundamentally ensures an unbroken chain of accountability from the farm to the finished product.
- The demand for biodynamic products is increasing in the U.S. (In Europe, there are entire stores that carry only biodynamic products!) Every commercial farm or product must be certified through Demeter International, the oldest ecological certification organization in the world to legally use the term Biodynamic on labeling and promotion.
As of 2016, Demeter USA (the U.S. representative of Demeter International) has almost 200 members and certifies more than 20,000 acres. These numbers are set to increase as they have been experiencing an average of 10% growth in certification in recent years. Why the resurgence now? More and more consumers are alarmed (and fed up!) with the byproducts of conventional farming: erosion of topsoil, increased pesticide usage and run-off, global warming, animal abuses, low value of produce, and GMOs.
Shop Biodynamic at Rising Tide
Rising Tide market has its finger on the pulse of every new biodynamic certified product that enters the marketplace. In store now:
For more on Biodynamic farming, check out this article from Shape magazine.