Keto-Friendly Foods List
Butter – known traditionally as “Nature’s Multivitamin” – is definitely in high demand at Health Essentials. We definitely put that s*** on everything ;). But, like anything else amazing in this world… not all butter is created equal. In fact, there is definitely a plethora of butter on the market today that is best avoided altogether. Here, we’ll outline some of the major things to look for in a quality butter.
Exactly how humans do better eating natural, whole-food derived diets made from seasonally available foods… animals that graze on pastures and eat the diet that they’re biologically designed to consume, have healthier, happier lives. AND just how humans do best in healthy, natural environments, so do animals! Grazing animals that live on pasture are allowed to eat the foods that their bodies NEED to thrive, and can soak in the environmental nutrients that keep them healthy as well – such as Vitamin D from the sun! The nutrient level of the foods that we consume from animals (such as meat and dairy) are of higher quality when the animal’s lives are enriched and healthy. Real, LIVE grass that grows out of the ground and isn’t treated with pesticides or chemicals provides animals with the nutrients that they need to thrive. Herbivorous animals (those who consume grass) have fermentation-based digestive systems that depend on grass, specifically, to fuel them and keep them healthy. Ensuring that animals get what they need to be healthy helps to ensure that the dairy and meat we consume from them are full of nutrients as well. Thus, the quality of the animal’s diet = the quality and quantity nutrients in the foods we derive from them.
Butter that is derived from grassfed cows is generally higher in nutrients such as butyrate, omega 3’s, CLA, beta-carotene, fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E & K, and antioxidants. It also tends to be LOWER in toxins. This is because toxins often accumulate in the fat tissues of animals, so the healthier the animal producing the milk, the less toxins to worry about!
“Grassfed” is a term thrown around quite loosely in today’s food market. Its meaning is rather straight forward, however, there are multiple levels of it. Here’s why: As soon as an animal spends ANY length of time grazing on fresh grass, it technically qualifies them to be considered “grassfed”. Like… that could be a day in their whole life, which in our books just doesn’t quite cut it on the quality side of things. So, what’s important to look for is the specification of TIME that the animal spends grazing.
Provided that the farms who produce this butter are reputable and the sourcing is fabulous, this butter is generally the best of the best. The cows who produce this butter are eating a wholesome and natural diet and their milk production reflects this.
Golden Ears Grassfed Butter:
Golden Ears butter is sourced locally in Maple Ridge, B.C. from a family farm. This butter is cultured, meaning that it contains healthy bacteria that can improve the digestion of the butter. This can help the digestion process in people who are sensitive to dairy. With somewhat limited seasonal availability, we try to stock as much of this gold as possible so that everyone can enjoy it for most of the year! This butter has a very distinct yellow colour, and rich flavour due to the high beta-carotene content from the grassfed milk! #delicious
Kiwi Pure Butter:
Kiwi Pure butter is sourced from New Zealand dairy where there is plenty of grass to go around all year! New Zealand is actually known to have the best butter in the world, and this butter definitely stands up to that title! Kiwi Pure is consistently golden yellow all year, denoting both high beta-carotene content and high fat content! #yum
Seasonally Pastured animals are grazing and consuming real grass for a minimum of 60% of their diet. This means that for up to 40% of the time they can be consuming some form of grains to supplement their diet. When shopping for seasonally pastured butter, it’s important to look for the “Organic” certification, and/or choose to buy that particular butter during “grazing” seasons.
Organic Meadows Butter
Organic meadows butter is sourced from Ontario, Canada. It is an Organic Seasonally Pastured butter. The cows that produce this butter are on pasture from April – November most years. It’s also a cultured butter, which is great for those who are a bit dairy sensitive. A few times of the year, we’re able to get in this butter with a special badge on it denoting that it’s sourced from 100% pastured cows!! We are sure to stock up on this butter at those times of the year to help ensure there’s enough to go around even into the off-season.
L’Ancetre butter is another seasonally pastured option. The cows that produce the milk used for this butter graze for 60% of their diet on pasture. The other 40% of their diet consists of Organic grains. This 60:40 ratio is guaranteed at any time of the year, and since its produced in Quebec with a typical grazing season of April – October, this butter can be a great choice throughout the spring and summer months.
P.S. If you’re lactose or dairy sensitive, and you’d like to learn about an alternative, check out this post about Grassfed Ghee, which is clarified butter! 🙂
For more information on the butter options that we carry, or for clarification of any of the information in this post, please feel free to contact us! 🙂 Our phone number is 250-590-5524, and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
If there’s one story we tell and retell the most at Health Essentials, it’s the story of Bulletproof and its founder, Dave Asprey. It’s a fabulous story that many people in the Health world will have heard by now, but in case you have yet to learn how Bulletproof came to be, here’s how:
Dave Asprey, a once Silicon Valley Investor and technology entrepreneur, began his journey into the natural health and biohacking world over 2 decades ago. Since the start, he’s “invested” over $300,000 to “hack” or “optimize” his own biology. After a hard-fought battle with “conventional” weight loss techniques with little to no progress, Dave lost over 100lbs without excessively exercising, starving himself, or counting all of his calories! Now his amazing company focuses of producing products to help others easily achieve health, and spreading the message of this “unconventional” way of living optimally!
Dave founded Bulletproof in order to spread his message and make these simple, yet against the grain techniques and “hacks” accessible for less than the cost of a home ;). Some might say that Dave does the experimentation and research so that we don’t have to. The premise behind the amazing lifestyle that Dave advocates, starts with your morning coffee. Check out the video below to learn more about Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof coffee and lifestyle!
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this green Matcha Latte with a little Irish twist ;).
Place all ingredients (except whipped cream) into a blender and blend until smooth and frothy. Top with Whip Cream if desired. Enjoy!
Okay, okay. It’s not necessarily your run-of-the-mill option for a romantic dinner, but as it turns out heart actually has a texture similar to steak, and who doesn’t love a good steak dinner? In comparison to most other organ meats, most people agree that heart is actually one of the easiest to consume. AND since it is so ridiculously good for you, you’ll feel AMAZING after consuming it. Don’t you want to feel amazing while on a hot date?
Nutrient density plays a major role in determining the health of our food. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, we lost our instinctive draw toward foods that are higher in nutrient content. Talk to your grandparents…. almost a guarantee that they consumed some type of organ meats in their youth, and more than likely, they loved them.
For whatever reason, the health-media world has given organ meats a really bad rep… This is probably why, as a population, we’re so turned off of eating these important food components. In traditional tribes, being granted with permission to eat organ meats was a privilege few would regularly encounter. These precious parts were reserved for tribe leaders, the sick, the elderly, and pregnant women.
Being a red meat, heart is naturally high in protein, B Vitamins, zinc, selenium and iron. Where it really stands above all, though, is it’s extremely high content of CoQ10.
CoQ10 (or Ubiquinol – its active antioxidant form) is a natural antioxidant that is found in EVERY cell in the body, and in particularly high concentrations in organ meats. CoQ10 assists in energy production and utilization of oxygen in cells. Heart contains the highest amounts of this important metabolic compound, due to the high volume of work that it does.
CoQ10 can be consumed in low concentrations in various meats, and can be take as a supplement. The highest concentration of this vital antioxidant is found hearts of animals, where it is utilized most; therefore, eating heart is great for YOUR heart.
1) RINSE THE GRASS FED HEART & TRIM THE WHITE-ISH SKIN OFF THE HEART.
2) CHOP THE HEART INTO SMALL PIECES AND SET ASIDE.
3) BLEND THE BROTH, GARLIC, TOMATO PASTE, SEASONING, CHERRY TOMATOES, & AMINOS IN A BLENDER UNTIL FAIRLY SMOOTH.
4) PLACE THE VEGGIES, BAY LEAF & MEAT IN A SLOW COOKER AND POUR THE BLENDED MIXTURE ON TOP.
5) SET SLOW COOKER TO LOW FOR 6 TO 8 HOURS, OR HIGH FOR 4 TO 6 HOURS.
6) COVER AND LET COOK, STIRRING ONCE OR TWICE THROUGHOUT COOK TIME.
7) SERVE IN BOWLS & ADD SALT, BUTTER & FRESH BASIL TO TASTE! ENJOY!
Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional and ancient medicine for thousands of years. They have been studied in modern natural medicine to have amazing benefits for different systems in the body. Mushrooms are fungi that exist and thrive only in a parasitic relationship, where they can be symbiotically beneficial to their host, or detriment the livelihood of that living plant or being. Most individual medicinal mushrooms have a host of different benefits for humans, and are all unique. Check out some of our favourite medicinal mushrooms and their benefits below!
Reishi mushrooms grow ALL over the world! They are very prevalent in Asia, and can be found in B.C, right near our home! 🙂 They generally grow on hardwood trees and can often be found thriving on dead or dying stumps. Reishi has been used in ancient Traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is regarded as the “mushroom of immortality” in parts of Asia!
– Promotes cardiovascular system health
– Enhances the body’s ability to adapt to stress
– Supports energy and stamina
– Overall wellness support
– Has been known to help with insomnia
Perhaps one of the more unique of the medicinal mushrooms, Cordyceps does not find its host in a plant species. Instead, cordyceps invades the larvae of insects, where it “forces” them to travel to higher ground where the altitude acts as a superior vantage point for mushroom spores to be spread widely. Discovered in Tibet, where herdsman noticed that their Yak were far livelier after eating from pastures containing a lot of caterpillars infected by this fungus!
– Supports energy and stamina
– Supports the body’s natural metabolic systems
– Promotes healthy kidney function
– Supports healthy libido
– May augment oxygen uptake – supports healthy lung function
– Used to support athletic performance
Lion’s Mane grows all over the world, and is generally found on hardwood trees. It is most often found in small clumps of “spines”. It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and has more recently been studied in modern science and revered for it’s “smart” effects, as well as nerve support!
– Promotes mental clarity, focus and memory
– Provides cerebral and nervous system support
– Many studies have identified a NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) in Lion’s Mane
– Optimizes nervous and immune system health
– Supports cognitive function
Chaga mushrooms grow all over the world, and are prominent in boreal forests where they reside on birch trees. Often this mushroom is referred to as “birch fungus” throughout the world. Chaga has been used for centuries as an immune modulator and a strong antioxidant! It is used in modern alternative medicine today, and is often enjoyed as a health-boosting, and delicious tea.
This mushroom is perhaps one of the most potent as far as medicinal benefits, and it is thought to be one of the longest living mushrooms in the world with some documented to be over 70 years old! Unfortunately, it is also among the most rare. Agarikon can only be found in a few places in the world, one being the conifer forests of the Pacific North West. Agarikon mushrooms are commonly found on Larch, Douglas fir, Hemlock and Spruce trees.
– Strong immunomodulating benefits
– Has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body
– May be helpful in the defense against various diseases caused by both bacteria and viruses
Harmonic Arts is a botanical dispensary from the Comox Valley area, right here on the Island! It is co-founded by Clinical Herbalists, Yarrow Willard & Angela Willard. They are committed to high-quality & sustainable plant-based products that can promote health and vitality for people of all ages. The entire line of Harmonic Arts products is sourced as locally and organically as possible and offers a wide range of products including medicinal mushrooms, loose teas, loose herbs, herbal powders, wild raw honey & more!
Harmonic Arts does a variety of Superfood Upgrade Powders, each with unique flavours & health-boosting benefits. The three blends that we were able to try were: Activate, Elevate & Engage. Here is a little bit more about each blend!
Ingredients: Raw Cacao, Lucuma, Mesquite, Maca, Mucuna Extract, Chaga Dual Extract, Reishi Dual Extract, Shilajit, True Cinnamon
Ingredients: Tocotrienols, Lucuma, Mucuna Extract, Green Tea Pollen, Pine Pollen, Lion’s Mane, Coconut Water Crystals, Cardamom
Ingredients: Ingredients: Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder, Rice Bran (Tocotrienols), Coconut Water Crystals, Maca Powder, Incan Spirulina, Goji Juice Powder, Cordyceps Dual Extract Powder, Pine Pollen Powder, Pumpkin Spice, Ginger Root Powder, Stevia Leaf Powder.
We were Powered by Harmonic Arts for one month…. & this is how it went for us!
“I tried Harmonic Art’s Elevate powder. I blended it with my bulletproof coffee (coffee, butter, and xct oil) and loved it! It gave my coffee a delicious creamy taste with a hint of cardamom. Elevate made me feel more awake, energized, and more aware than just having my regular coffee. I love that it has the medicinal mushroom Lion’s Mane in it too. It is the perfect addition to my morning!” – Catherine
“I tried the Harmonic Arts Elevate, I am new this product and it definitely did not disappoint. I mixed it in with my morning smoothies before school and It gave me a more centred and focused energy feeling that was perfect while studying! The cardamom flavour paired perfectly with a banana and almond butter smoothie. I have already bought more it is such a great product :)!” – Sarah
I tried Harmonic Arts Activate powder. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried it, and I LOVED it. Since it has a chocolatey flavour, I made it into a delicious & buttery 😉 hot chocolate with stevia. It also tasted really great mixed in with yogurt! I found that the Powder gave me a really calm & focused energy, which makes sense due to the Reishi & Maca, and I didn’t feel guilty after having it like I would sometimes with sugary hot chocolate powders :). I will definitely continue having Activate as my go-to hot chocolate (and even coffee) alternative! – Kelly
On September, 21st, 2016 @ 6:30pm, we are hosting the incredible Lisa Kilgour to kick off our four-session digestion series! We couldn’t think of anyone better to be starting this 5 week series off :).
Did you know that a large portion of our body’s “coping mechanisms” for stress begin in our gut? Did you know that the neurotransmitters responsible for our mental state are largely produced in our gut? Join us as we host Lisa Kilgour, RHN for an inspiring and informative talk where she will further explain the importance of having a healthy gut, and dietary techniques that can be used to improve our mood and mental wellness!
Lisa Kilgour is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from B.C. who has been voted the BEST Holistic Nutritionist in ALL of B.C. With a strong nutrition background and a passion for discovering how nutrition can affect our mood, Lisa is an expert on the ever-important topic of gut health, and the gut-brain connection. For a sneak preview of what she’ll be covering in this 90 minute talk, and to get a glimpse of how fantastic Lisa is, check out her Ted Talk below!
If you’d like to attend this talk, please RSVP to email@example.com or by phone at 250-590-5524! 🙂 If attending this talk in person is not available to you, you can tune in on our Facebook, as we stream it LIVE!
For more information on this talk or any of the talks that we have coming up in this Series, click on the poster below to check out our events page! 🙂
Greens+ is a nutrient-rich greens formula that was created by Psychologist, Sam Graci in 1989 to help treat behavioural problems in adolescents. Sam worked closely with problematic teens and noticed that a profound difference in behaviour occurred upon dietary adjustments. The original formula was made to be a dietary supplement that would help cover a lot of the bases that are missing in the majority of people’s diets. It is an amazing source of over 23 phytonutrients sourced from many nutritious vegetables and fruits. Greens+ has proven again, and again to be a fantastic nourishing super food blend that is alkaline-enhancing, & digestion-improving.
The same amazing Greens+ Formula, but with an added natural caffeine kick to help boost your energy and increase your mood throughout the day. Greens+ has been Canada’s favourite green food supplement for over 20 years, bringing improved health, energy, and vitality into our lives. The extra energy version gives a boost of balanced and sustained energy! It contains energizing natural ingredients including taurine and naturally-occurring caffeine from the kola nut.
One serving daily provides:
The Kola Nut is what the original “Cola” was made with as it has amazing energy increasing qualities, and it tastes great! Traditionally the kola nut was not consumed in sugar-filled, synthetic sodas that are void of any beneficial properties… but rather it was eaten for its “mind-clearing” benefits. The kola nut has some amazing focus & energy increasing qualities. Not only is it a natural stimulant, but it also has been known to increase cerebral blood flow, improving cognition! The kola nut can increase oxygen levels in the blood, further increasing energy throughout your mind & body!
Greens+ Extra Energy comes in two delicious flavours, to suit your preference. One is a delicious, tangy, and very popular Orange flavour. The other is a fantastic, creamy, & energizing Cappuccino flavour. They’re both really great, and are sweetened with stevia so they can be enjoyed guilt-free any time of day with no energy crashes! 🙂
We tried this amazing formula for a month and this is what we thought:
“I absolutely LOVE Greens+ Extra Energy! I drink it everyday at work in the afternoon for a refreshing energy boost. It tastes the best out of any greens I’ve had and mixes super smoothly. I love the way it makes me feel!”
“Greens+ Extra Energy (particularly the Cappuccino flavour… YUM) is literally the only reason I can wake up in the morning. I roll out of bed, sleepy-eyed, before saying good morning to anybody, mix up my Extra Energy shake, thoroughly enjoy it…. and then I’m ready to take on the day. I love how happy and energized Extra Energy makes me feel. It is a must have each morning, and I even sometimes will have a second midday for a pick-me-up. 🙂 I tested my alkalinity after using Greens+ Extra Energy for a month and it truly does help keep my pH slightly alkaline!”
“Greens extra energy is my absolute favourite way to get a burst of energy without a crash. Essential for keeping up with a two year old 😜! I love a green drink in the afternoon especially if I haven’t eaten enough veggies that day. ”
“Greens+ Extra Energy is great! I usually drink it as a mid afternoon pick-me-up during the work day. I feel so good when I drink it :)!”
“I LOVE Greens+ Extra Energy. I tried the cappuccino flavour, I wouldn’t say it’s a true cappuccino flavour but more a cocoa coffee flavour profile (it was delicious!). It’s the perfect thing to start my day with and was nice to have something that wasn’t fruity in the morning. It was delicious blended in with chocolate protein and almond butter, but I mostly had it solo with water and maca powder. The thing I enjoyed most about it was the mental alertness it gave me and the extra boost of greens, cause who doesn’t want more greens right 🙂 ! #obsessed ”
“Greens+ Extra Energy Cappuccino is my favourite thing to drink in the mornings during my sauna session. It is a quick, easy, and delicious way to get an extra dose of greens in. Greens+ Extra Energy makes me feel great, and helps me with multitasking during the day. The natural caffeine, bee pollen, and taurine also provide a long-lasting energy supply with no crash!”
“I have a Greens+ Extra Energy Orange shake every morning! The orange flavour is my favourite. It’s definitely the best tasting greens I have ever tried. I love taking it with me on camping and hiking trips because it’s light and easy to pack and I’ll occasionally have it mid-afternoon for some extra energy (no pun intended 😉 ). I’ve never had anything that wakes my brain up like extra energy does anytime I have it!”
Have you tried Greens+ Extra Energy before? Do you love it as much as we do? What time of day do you find it works best for you 🙂 ? Let us know! We love receiving feedback on our products!
After watching the amazing (second best ever) Summer Olympics medal haul by Canada, and being wowed again and again by human talent for an entire 2 weeks, you may be inspired to start getting back into shape after summer 😉 . What better time than now to get into a more regular routine and feel awesome?!
Here are some fitness nutrition tips and essentials that can help you get into a regular fitness routine, whatever that looks like for you!
In order to maximize energy during a workout, a great option is to have a “pre-workout” shake. There are a lot of these on the market… The problem is, that most of them are FULL of chemicals, fillers and sugar. Sure, they’ll give you a crazy surge of energy, but they’ll also send your internal body organs into overdrive, potentially damaging them with long term use!
Good news is that there are cleaner options!
One of our favourite pre-workout powders is Vega Sport Sugar Free Energizer. This blend tastes great, is sweetened with stevia, and has some amazingly nutritious and beneficial ingredients added to help you get the most out of your workout. Vega adds rhodiola and ginseng to this blend to enhance focused energy throughout your workout. They add coconut and turmeric to increase endurance and support your body in combatting inflammation throughout exercise. This pre-workout powder comes in a delicious Lemon-Lime flavour as well as a fruity Acai Berry flavour for whatever your taste preference is.
Staying hydrated is extremely important for our bodies, especially during physical activity. When we sweat we excrete water as well as electrolytes, and it is crucial that we replenish these stores. Drinking lots of water and taking in electrolytes throughout the day to help keep your body’s stores topped up will help you perform well during a workout, improve endurance, and support recovery. Something as simple as adding a dash of mineral rich Pink Salt, or an electrolyte tablet to your water can be extremely beneficial for ensuring optimal hydration when increasing the physical demands on your body.
One of our favourite electrolyte supplements are Nuun Electrolyte Tabs. These tabs are full of essentials vitamins and minerals. They are quick, easy, portable and taste amazing. Each tablet can be dissolved in your water bottle for a boost of electrolytes throughout the day, or during a workout!
Post workout nutrition is extremely important both to help you make progress in your physical endeavours, and also to help boost the speed of recovery between training sessions! When we work out, we break down muscle tissue that needs to be rebuilt and repaired. Taking in a source of protein can be extremely helpful for your body as it works to make our muscles strong! Like pre-workouts, there are SO MANY post workout protein powders available that are jam packed with fillers and chemicals that must be processed by internal organs and can do more harm than good. The sourcing of protein directly correlates to the quality of the protein and how well our bodies will absorb it.
Whey protein is a quickly absorbed, highly bioavailable protein that is a great post-workout nutrition option! So long as you tolerate dairy well, this type of protein is our go-to post workout option. It is extremely important that the whey you use comes from a good source, however, otherwise you’d be robbing your body of many of the benefits of this superfood. What the animals consume, is essentially what we’re consuming so looking for a grass-fed source is best!
One of our favourite whey proteins is St. Francis GoPro Matrix. This amazing protein comes from goat milk, that closely resembles the properties of human milk and can generally be tolerated by most anyone, and is absorbed very quickly. This particular goat whey powder comes from grass-fed goats. The whey is processed so that all of the amazing immune boosting properties and benefits of raw milk are in-tact, which can be beneficial for anyone, especially those who are training intensely!
Plant Based Options:
If you’re someone who either doesn’t tolerate dairy well, or prefers plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of plant-sourced protein powders available. It is important to look for the sprouted and fermented varieties as we don’t tend to be able to digest the proteins in plants very easily. Fermenting and/or sprouting grains and seeds can make the nutrients inside of them far more bioavailable!
Iron Vegan Sprouted Athletes Blend is a fantastic plant based protein powder. This amazing blend is full of fantastic nutrients that will help speed recovery. The protein in this blend is sourced from fermented peas and sprouted brown rice for increased bioavailability. It also contains fermented BCAA’s, which are quickly absorbed amino acids (protein building blocks). Along with the great protein sources, the Iron Vegan Athlete’s Blend has other ingredients added to help speed recovery such as quercetin to help with inflammation, and beet root to increase blood flow. Available in a Natural Vanilla & a Rich Chocolate flavour!
Do you use any of these products? What are your favourite workout essentials or tips that keep you healthy and motivated? We love hearing from you!