Healthy Sweet Tooth Solutions


Healthy Sweet Tooth Solutions

Did you know that 11 to 13 % of the total calories eaten by Canadians comes from added sugar [1]? It’s added to many unassuming products, such as flavored yogurt, bread, vitamin water, and breakfast cereals – sneaking into your diet more than you may realize. Because a high sugar intake is linked to weight gain and an increased risk of chronic disease, it’s best to limit how much of it you eat. Try these healthy sweet tooth solutions:

Add Your Own Natural Flavour

Instead of buying flavored varieties of yogurt, soy milk, or water that are high in added sugar or artificial sweeteners, choose plain and add your own flavour. Berries, cinnamon, or grated vanilla bean are delicious ingredients for jazzing-up plain yogurt, while cucumber and mint make a refreshing addition to tap water.

Naturally Sweet Whole Foods

The natural sugar content of fresh fruit, sweet potatoes, or corn can help satisfy your sweet tooth while adding fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet. For strong cravings, the concentrated sugar in dried dates and apricots can be highly satisfying – just don’t eat more than you would if they were fresh!

Sip a PGX® Satisfast™ Whey Protein Drink*

The combination of fibre and whey protein in PGX Satisfast will help curb your hunger and reduce sugar cravings. With flavors like Rich Chocolate and Very Vanilla you won’t feel deprived of sugary treats.

What healthy foods satisfy your sweet tooth? Let us know in the comments section below.
*Note: Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.


[1] Brisbois, T., Sandra Marsden, Harvey Anderson, and John Sievenpiper. “Estimated Intakes and Sources of Total and Added Sugars in the Canadian Diet.” Nutrients 6.5 (2014): 1899-1912. Web. 13 May 2015.

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5 Quick Protein Filled Snacks


5 Quick Protein Filled Snacks

No matter your age, weight, or activity level, your body needs protein. It not only fuels your hunger and helps repair muscle tissue, but is needed to make hormones, strengthen bones and cartilage, and build a healthy immune system.

The Canada Food Guide recommends a dietary allowance (RDA) of about 46 g of protein for women and 56 g for men per day [1]. Here are five quick bites with over 10 g each:

1. 1 Cup Edamame

Cooked soybeans, also called edamame, pack 22 g of protein per cup [2]. As a quick bite, the combination of protein, fibre, and healthy fats in edamame will help you feel full and satisfied.

2. ½ Cup Steel Cut Oats with ¼ Cup Cottage Cheese

More than just a warm breakfast – steel cut oats are an energizing source of protein, fibre, and iron. Top ½ cup of cooked oats with ¼ cup of low fat cottage cheese to create a comforting combo with 14 g of protein [2]. The key to making this a quick bite is preparing the oats in advance so you can just warm them up.

3. 28 g Salmon Jerky

With 15 g of protein per 28 g serving, salmon jerky provides a delicious way to kick your protein intake up a notch. [2] Salmon has the added bonus of being high in the omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA.

4. ¾ Cup Greek Yogurt

When it comes to dairy, Greek yogurt is an elite source of protein. It supplies approximately 15 g per ¾ cup serving [2], along with live probiotic bacteria to support a healthy balance of gut microflora.

5. PGX® Satisfast™ Organic Vegan Protein Bar

With 15 g of organic plant protein per bar, this vegan friendly snack is sure to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Whether you choose Very Berry Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Coconut, or Dark Chocolate Peanut, every bite is guaranteed to be gluten free and made with non-GMO ingredients.


[1] Health Canada. “Dietary Reference Intakes.” Food and Nutrition. Web. 27 April 2015.

[2] USDA. “Nutritional Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.” Agricultural Research Service. Web. 27 April 2015.

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Exercising With Infants


Exercising With Infants

The tabloid obsession over celebrities and their post-pregnancy bodies is certainly unhealthy and arguably damaging, but most people do gain and retain weight after having a baby. Always consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program, particularly involving maternal health.

In one recent study, 75% of women had a higher bodyweight a year after giving birth, compared with their pre-pregnancy weight, with almost half (47.4%) retaining more than 10lbs, and almost a quarter (24.2%) retaining more than 20lbs[1].

A timely return to a healthy body-weight after pregnancy is recommended, but how can you exercise when you’re beholden to baby’s needs? Fortunately, many ingenious people looking after newborns have found great ways to exercise with infants.

Baby Biceps

First up, baby bicep curls. Simply prop your baby (securely) in the crook of your arm, and do a regular old bicep curl. Don’t forget to pull a silly face at baby, or blow them a kiss as they get near to your face! Three sets of ten reps a day and you’ll soon have some great guns. What’s more, as baby grows, you’ll have to work harder. It’s the perfect steadily increasing weightlifting program.


To work on those stroller-guns even further, get out and about with baby every day for at least a half-hour walk, preferably with a few hills included in your route. Pushing an increasingly heavy stroller up and down inclines is tough work, and it’s even harder if you have a double stroller with an older child also adding their weight.

Front-Carrier Squats

Front-carrier squats are a great way to tone your abdominal muscles, and are perfect for anyone who had a C-section. To execute front-carrier squats, strap your baby into a front-carrier and stand with your feet just a little wider than shoulder width. Take a breath and lower your body as if sitting in a chair, while keeping your back straight and belly pulled in. Breathe out and return to your starting position. Do three sets of ten reps.

Baby Hips

Many people find that even if they lose their pregnancy weight they are still a waist-size higher than before pregnancy. This is because the hips typically widen during pregnancy in order to make childbirth easier. Doing side leg-lifts can help to tone up your lower body, and these can also be done with baby in a front-carrier.

To execute side leg-lifts, stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your waist or supporting baby, and transfer your weight to your right leg before lifting your left leg out to the side slowly. Hold for half a second and return to your starting position. Do two sets of ten leg lifts on each side.


Every kid dreams of flying, so why not start them out early with this great exercise. Lying on your back with baby resting on your belly, slowly lift them above you until your arms are fully extended, hold the position for a second or two, and then slowly bring them back down to rest. Do three sets of five reps a day, complete with  flying noises while baby soars above you.

Baby Yoga

If a home workout isn’t quite cutting it, take a look at your local community centre, ask your midwife or doula, or get recommendations from friends for baby yoga classes. Some yoga studios offer a dedicated class for new parents who need to bring baby with them, while others have classes that involve both you and your baby. Child pose should be a breeze for your little one.


Possibly not for the faint-hearted, and definitely one to do with experienced instructors, sling-swing is a great way to exercise with infants as it keeps baby close while giving you a pretty intense workout. Look for a class near you, and be careful to ensure exercises are age-appropriate. Delicate newborns and high velocity rotation certainly don’t mix. Done right, this kind of gentle, purposeful movement can help put baby right to sleep.


One of the easiest ways to exercise with an infant is to enroll them in baby-swimming classes! You get to tread water and work your legs and core while the water supports your weight for reduced impact on your joints, and baby gets to learn a valuable life skill!

Kids and Kegel’s

And, finally, one of the most important types of exercise to do after having a baby is pelvic floor muscle exercise. The strength of these muscles can decrease significantly during pregnancy, causing urinary incontinence and affecting quality of life [2]. This can also make it difficult to return to certain types of exercise, such as running or rebounding, where sudden jolts can cause stress incontinence.

Fortunately, pelvic floor exercise (often referred to as Kegel’s) can be done pretty much anywhere at any time! These exercises are also recommended before and during pregnancy and have been found to significantly improve pelvic floor muscle strength during pregnancy and post-partum. Anyone experiencing urinary problems during or after pregnancy should talk to their health care practitioner.

Is it Safe to Exercise While Breastfeeding?

Some people are reluctant to exercise while breastfeeding because of fears that this might adversely affect milk production and the growth of their baby. In a meta-analysis of four randomised, controlled trials, no detrimental effect was seen in infant growth in those who exercised while breastfeeding [3]. Any increase in demands on the body, from increased exercise and from breastfeeding, warrant extra caution about adequate intake of nutrients, especially omega-3 DHA, which is needed for cognitive development and healthy visual development in infants [4].

Not only does pregnancy weight gain and post-partum weight retention adversely affect maternal health, research has shown a significant association between pregnancy weight gain and the body mass index (BMI) of kids at three years old [5]. Exercising with your infant seems like a pretty great way to get back in shape after childbirth, and to make an early start on building positive associations with exercise for your kids!


[1]Endres, L.K., Straub, H., McKinney, C., Plunkett, B., Minkovitz, C.S., Schetter, C.D., Ramey, S., Wang, C., Hobel, C., Raju, T., Shalowitz, M.U.; Community Child Health Network of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2015). Postpartum weight retention risk factors and relationship to obesity at 1 year. Obstet Gynecol, Jan;125(1):144-52.

[2] Kahyaoglu Sut, H., & Balkanli Kaplan, P. (2015). Effect of pelvic floor muscle exercise on pelvic floor muscle activity and voiding functions during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Neurourol Urodyn, Feb 3. doi: 10.1002/nau.22728. [Epub ahead of print] [3]  Daley, A.J., Thomas, A., Cooper, H., Fitzpatrick, H., McDonald, C., Moore, H., Rooney, R., Deeks, J.J. (2012). Maternal exercise and growth in breastfed infants: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pediatrics, Jul;130(1):108-14.

[4]  Bourre, J.M. (2007). Dietary omega-3 fatty acids for women. Biomed Pharmacother, Feb-Apr;61(2-3):105-12.

[5]  Olson, C.M., Strawderman, M.S., Dennison, B.A. (2009). Maternal weight gain during pregnancy and child weight at age 3 years. Matern Child Health J, Nov;13(6):839-46.

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Cooking With Kids


Cooking With Kids: How to Get Kids Into the Kitchen

Teaching kids to make tasty and nutritious food from an early age helps to set them up for a long and healthy life. Getting your kids into the kitchen isn’t easy though, especially when you have to fight against video games, and smartphones to get your kids’ attention.

The trick is to make something that seems desperately boring, look like a lot of fun.

Harness Childhood Curiosity

This is where you can use the power of natural childhood curiosity. Together, take a trip to the grocery store and pick out the weirdest, fun looking vegetables and fruits. Work with your kids to design a meal around the foods they’ve picked, and use the opportunity to teach your kids about the vitamins and minerals in those foods, and how they help them grow. By learning to associate healthy food choices with having enough energy to do their favourite things, and grow up big and strong, kids are more likely to end up as adults with healthy habits.

Get Crafty!

Combine cooking with craft-time by making potato stamps (don’t eat the potatoes after!), using beet juice as a natural paint or dye, or simply by painting a picture of the inside of a tomato or pomegranate. You can also put a range of fruits and vegetables into a covered box with a hole for your hand and ask your kids to take turns working out what each one is, simply by feel and touch.

Challenge Your Kids – Junior Masterchef-Style

Once your kids are a little older, let them loose with your cookbooks and challenge them! Encourage them to come up with new and improved names for the recipes, or to switch out ingredients for things they think are healthier or tastier. For really adventurous kids, create your own version of Masterchef by giving them some basic ingredients and asking them what they’d make. Then put on your apron, and help them make it!

Give Up (some!) Control

To get younger kids more engaged with the process of choosing healthy foods, have them help you make their  lunches for school. Present your kids with a range of healthy options and have them pack their own lunchbox – they might surprise you! This can mean giving them a range of healthy dips, a choice of vegetable crudités, and different protein options for sandwiches such as smoked tofu, houmous, or black bean burger crumbles. By around grade 5 kids are old enough to be taking full responsibility for what they pack into their lunchbox, but make sure you’re on hand to answer any questions about balance and nutrition.

Take the Pressure Off for Picky Eaters

Giving kids a sense of control can also be great for picky eaters. When kids feel like they have choices, they’re more likely to try new and different foods.You might find that by simply presenting a novel food as an option time and again, instead of repeatedly pressuring a child to try something, they may choose to give it a go one day on their own.

Give the Gift of Food

Kids are also more likely to try something they helped prepare, and more likely to value that food if it took a little while to make. This can work really well if you’re cooking as a family or making food-based gifts for a special occasion. Try inviting your child to help make grandma’s favourite food, or something none of you have tried before, and return the favour by helping them to make their favourite food another time. This gives kids the chance to see you having fun with food while being adventurous and generous.

And, finally, remember that if you want your kids to learn how to make healthy food, you have to take things slow and be prepared for some hilarious disasters and bizarre meals along the way!

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Routines: Good Habits for Good Health

good habits heath

Routines: Good Habits for Good Health

Every day we face a seemingly endless stream of decisions; what to wear, what to eat, do I have time for the gym? Over time, these choices can wear us down and lead to what some psychologists have termed ‘decision fatigue’. The result is that we are actually less productive and less happy than we feel we should be, given all our options. The solution? Set up some healthy routines, stop sweating the small stuff, and give your brain a break to focus on the bigger picture.

By establishing a well-thought out schedule that takes care of many of the smaller decisions in life, you can give yourself a reprieve from the continual mental effort of figuring things out as you go. Healthy routines can help you eat well, sleep better, get regular exercise and stay on top of health issues. Basically, if you get into the mindset of seeing more healthy behaviours as akin to brushing your teeth, you’ll expend less mental effort convincing yourself to do them each day, and you’ll feel healthier for it.

Making Healthy Eating a Healthy Habit

Not everything needs to be regimented of course, but if you consistently find that you run out of time to exercise, or run out of fresh vegetables and are living on takeout, it’s probably time to reassess your schedule. If the latter sounds familiar, then set time aside on the weekend to plan your weekly meals, write a shopping list, and figure out which day works best for you to shop.

Knowing your meal schedule can help prevent unnecessary store visits and reduce the temptation to pick up unhealthy snacks. It also saves you from the despair of staring blankly at the open refrigerator when you arrive home tired from work. Having a meal in mind and the ingredients on hand means that you can eat early and have more time to relax with your family.

You might also consider signing up for a Community Service Agriculture (CSA) box to deliver healthy, local, organic fruits and vegetables on a chosen day of the week. Many schemes include recipe ideas involving  the contents of the weekly box, providing the added benefit of a healthy new recipe each week. These boxes are also great for kids to learn about different whole foods, and the local food economy. Another healthy habit to get into is to double up on healthy meals and freeze the extra portion so you always have something wholesome and easy on hand.

A Sustainable Sleep Schedule

Getting on top of healthy eating usually means you can start establishing a regular bedtime routine which, in turn, makes it more likely you’ll get a good night’s sleep and wake feeling refreshed. This means you have the energy upon waking to get out of bed and go for a morning run, rather than hitting snooze and feeling guilty.

Having a pre-established, carefully thought out schedule helps you recognize that veering from that schedule equates to self-sabotage, especially if pressing the snooze button makes you late for work, so you skip the gym and breakfast, and grab a coffee and sugary pastry for the road.

Making Healthy Habits Routine

A healthy routine is only a routine if you follow it day in day out, so don’t miss more than two days in a row, and aim to get to a point where healthy behaviours are the new norm. If you know that you have problems being accountable only to yourself, create a schedule where you are also accountable to someone else. This might mean having a jogging partner, or car-pooling with a friend who goes hiking twice a week after work.

Each new day is the chance to start building a winning streak, so get up, stick to your exercise schedule, and drink your morning smoothie packed with healthy fibre, courtesy of PGX®. It might seem unadventurous to eat the same thing for breakfast every weekday, but it will save you from wasting time deliberating over what to eat, while ensuring that you are well nourished and better able to think clearly about the bigger decisions in life, like where to go to college, whether to move across the country, or how to reorganize your novel so it actually makes sense to your editor.

Scheduling Regular Health Check-Ups

On top of the daily routine, make sure to set up a schedule for regular health check-ups, so you don’t find yourself apologizing to your doctor for not having seen them in five years. Making health appointments routine is also a great model for kids as it can help take the fear out of these visits, and allow you to spot any potential problems early.

Health check-ups shouldn’t just be for you and the family though. It’s also wise to schedule routine maintenance on bikes and other sports equipment so that your exercise regimen can stay on track. Also schedule routine maintenance of household appliances, like carbon monoxide detectors, gas boilers, and similar items that have the potential to cause serious health problems. Again, setting recurring reminders for these things, rather than simply assuming you’ll remember, can really help keep you on top of everything without feeling like you’re always forgetting something.

Healthy Habits for Life

Routines might look boring from the outside, I mean, who really wants to admit that they have seven identical pairs of socks and always eat soup on a Tuesday? The truth is though, that following a routine until it becomes a healthy habit can help ensure that you consistently eat nutritious meals, barely skip exercise, keep in touch with friends and family, and still have time for much-needed relaxation.

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5 Foods That Enhance Sports Performance

Foods Sports Performance

Nutritional Support for Sports Performance

Are you looking for a dietary aid to help kick your athletic power up a notch? Don’t settle for refined commercial products when you can reap equal benefits from natural, clean label foods. These five options offer a deliciously nutritious way to enhance your sports performance or recovery.

5 Foods That  Enhance Sports Performance

1. Raisins

Raisins are nature’s alternative to commercial energy chews and sports gels. For long athletic events or endurance races, chewing a handful of raisins mid-way can help sustain your energy levels and replenish glycogen stores. Raisins supply 33 g of carbohydrates and 123 calories per ¼ cup and are a concentrated source of iron and potassium.[1]

2. Coconut Water

Coconut water offers an additive-free way to stay hydrated without settling for sports drinks. With 600 mg potassium, 252 mg sodium, 60 mg magnesium, and 58 mg calcium per cup, coconut water can help replenish some of the electrolytes you lose through sweat, and reduce temporary muscle cramps in healthy adults due to exercise.[1]

3. Beet Juice

A study published in the 2012 issue of International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that cyclists who drank 500 ml of beet juice per day for six days improved their performance by 1.2 % in a 10 km time trial.[2] Although this dose of juice is too extreme for most people, you can certainly benefit from droppin’ a few beets into your diet.

4. Milk

The balance of carbohydrates and protein in milk make it an excellent post-sport recovery drink to help rebuild your muscle energy stores. With 314 mg of calcium per cup, milk can also help you replenish the calcium lost through sweat.[1] To boost the taste and protein of milk, add a scoop of Dark Chocolate PGX® Satisfast Whey Protein.

5. Cherries

After a long session of high impact exercise, loading up on the anti-inflammatory polyphenols found in cherries may help you to recover more quickly from joint pain due to over exercising. Cherries are also a natural source of melatonin, which supports a good quality sleep – and sleep is a key factor in physical recovery.

Tell us which foods help you reach your athletic goals in the comments section below.


[1] USDA. “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.” Agricultural Research Service. Web. 1 May 2015.

[2] Cermak, N., Martin Gibala and Luc van Loon. “Nitrate Supplementation’s Improvement of 10-Km Time-Trial Performance in Trained Cyclists.” Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 22.1 (2012). Web. 1 May 2015.

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How Daily Meditation Supports Body and Mind


How Daily Meditation Supports Body and Mind

For long-term practitioners of meditation, it’s pretty much a given that daily practice benefits both mind and body. Simply making time to meditate can significantly improve our ability to handle stress and cope with the pace of modern life.

Meditation is a great way to learn how to quiet anxious thoughts and create a sense of safety and empowerment that allow us to feel safe and positive when reflecting on past hurts. By practicing meditation regularly, we are better equipped to figure out how to move forward with peace and contentment. Experienced meditators have long recognized the practice of regular meditation as a great way to shield ourselves, to some extent, from the physiological impact of stress.

But how does meditation actually affect the body? Can learning to control our thoughts help to enhance our overall health?

The Benefits of Meditation

For many years the precise physiological effects of meditation have remained relatively elusive, largely because it’s difficult to monitor blood pressure, brain activity, and other factors without being obtrusive to the actual practice of meditation.

Now, thanks to new wireless technology, researchers in California have at last begun to describe the effects of meditation on mind and body, with the publication of a study in the “Journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience” generating plenty of interest among long-term practitioners of the meditative arts.

The scientists behind this study devised discreet ways to detect the effects of meditation on the autonomic nervous system, the major mediator between mind and body. They recruited 20 experienced meditators, and 20 novices at a week-long wellness retreat and used non-invasive devices to collect data on heart-rate and brain activity during meditation and at rest.

Meditation and Cardiovascular Health

The majority of the volunteers in the California study had small, but significant decreases in blood pressure associated with meditation, despite most having normal baseline blood pressure. The effects of meditation on blood pressure were most pronounced in novices, with an average 3 mmHg decrease; experienced meditators had an average 2 mmHg decrease.

Earlier studies have also shown that practicing transcendental meditation regularly over the longer term can have significant benefits for maintaining healthy blood pressure already with the normal range (Brook et al., 2013), but this is the first time a study has successfully captured the immediate effects of meditation.

The Brain, Pain, and Meditation

The research in California also showed that even on their first day at the retreat novice meditators had significant changes in brain activity during meditation. Both novice and experienced meditators had significant changes in brainwave patterns, with the greatest effects seen in experienced meditators. Novice meditators had noticeable changes in brain activity between their first session at the retreat and their last session.

In one recent review, scientists concluded that meditation can help inhibit or relieve pain perception (Nakata et al., 2014). . Meditation is thought to modulate activity in areas of the brain associated with the perception of pain, including the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus.

There is evidence of an association between long-term practice of meditation and anatomical changes in the brain that could influence the perception of pain.

Yoga’s Benefits for Mood Support

Meditation and yoga often go hand in hand, and scientists have recently reported significant psychological benefits of hot yoga (Bikram; a heated form of Hatha yoga). In this study, women who engaged in two 90 minute Bikram yoga sessions each week had greater decreases in anxiety and stress, scores compared to women assigned to a control group.

The California study involved 52 women, aged 25-42, who had slight elevations in anxiety, occasional depression, and high stress scores on a range of tests. None of the women had done any yoga or similar mind-body exercise over the 12 months prior to the study.

Interestingly, the most significant effects were seen in the 11 African American women in the study. Although the study group was small, this does suggest that yoga may be especially beneficial for African American women, where stress tend to be higher than in white women, and where access to and use of mental health resources is often poorer.

So, if you’re affected by stress and anxiety or are living with occasional pain, why not talk to your health care practitioner about the benefits of meditation and yoga?


Nakata, H., Sakamoto, K., Kakigi, R. (2014). Meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus. Front Psychol, Dec 16;5:1489.

Steinhubl, S. R., Wineinger, N. E., Patel, S., Boeldt, D. L., Mackellar, G., Porter, V., Redmond, J. T., Muse, E. D., Nicholson, L., Chopra, D., Topol, E. J. (2015). Cardiovascular and nervous system changes during meditation. Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 Mar 18;9:145.

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3 Healthy Ways to Spruce up Your Water


3 Healthy Ways to Spruce up Your Water

Do you enjoy drinking water, or do you find it boring? Although water is a key player in your overall health and energy, it’s easy to find yourself reaching for juice, pop, or sports drinks to quench your thirst instead. Everyone has different needs for daily water intake depending on where one lives, activity level, health status and age. To rekindle your love for water, add some flavor using fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Refresh and Revitalize Your Water

Here are three healthy and refreshing ways to revitalize your water this spring:

1. Cucumber Mint

This cleansing combination will make you feel fresh out of the spa. Drop 5 slices of washed cucumber into 6 cups of water, then crumple a handful of fresh mint leaves and mix them in. Stir, chill for about 30 minutes, add ice, and enjoy.

2. Lemon, Orange and Ginger

A detoxifying medley of citrus and ginger to keep your breath fresh and body hydrated. Grate 2 tablespoons of fresh, peeled ginger root into 6 cups of water, then add half an orange and a quarter lemon sliced into rings. Stir, chill for about 30 minutes, add ice, and enjoy.

3. Strawberry, Beet and Lime

This adventurous mix creates a purple-red hue that’s hard to pass up. Add two slices of peeled raw beet and half a cup of sliced ripe strawberries to 6 cups of water. Squeeze in the juice from two lime wedges then drop the wedges in. Stir, chill for about 30 minutes, add ice, and enjoy.

Remember to always drink an additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®.

What do you like to add to your water? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Why Artificial Sweeteners Are a No-no

artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners actually fuel weight gain

Sugar – I can’t resist it, no matter how hard I try. An incurable sweet tooth has sabotaged many of us when it comes to healthy weight loss. While it’s tempting to swap out sugar for low calorie artificial sweeteners to keep that oh-so-irresistible taste, it’s not worth it, promise. Research suggests that artificial sweeteners actually fuel weight gain rather than prevent it.*

Here’s the thing about sweetness: your body uses it to predict how many calories you’re eating. Artificial sweeteners give your body that sweet kick without the corresponding calories, and that throws off the whole relationship between flavor and calories. They only get you halfway there – to your body, it’s like winning the lottery, but never getting any money. This can lead to a few things: increased appetite, weight gain, and reduced metabolism.[1] And just to rub it in, artificial sweeteners encourage sugar cravings and sugar dependence.[2] *

On the other hand, the calorie content in natural sweeteners can actually help keep you from overeating, according to research.[3] Opt for natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, raw cane sugar, and fruit juice.

Clearly, artificial sweeteners are off the menu – and there are more reasons than just weight loss to avoid these ingredients. But that doesn’t mean it’s open season on sugar! We’ve all taken a ride on the blood sugar roller coaster before, and sugar highs inevitably lead to sugar crashes. * Not to worry – these sweet solutions will satisfy, the healthy way.

If you’re a cream and two-splendas kinda gal

Switch back to sugar. Yep. Make it raw cane sugar if you like, but even straight up white sugar is better than the artificial stuff. For the more experimental among us, honey goes great with your morning cuppa.

If you can’t get through the day without a diet soda

Craving a sweet drink could mean your blood sugar is out of balance.* Add a protein-rich snack to your mid-morning routine, and skip the soda in favor of an energizing green juice, easy on the fruit.

If you want to sweeten a smoothie

Instead of adding artificial sweeteners, add a date, a pear, or a banana. Include PGX® in your smoothies for a nutrient-rich, fiber-full snack.

If your oatmeal is blah

And let’s face it, that’s just the way oatmeal is. Fiber or no fiber, it needs a little something to help it down. Try dried fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup – a little goes a long way. Maple syrup is still a natural sweetener, but it’s packed with bonus minerals.

If you just need a sweet fix

The conventional wisdom says, eat a piece of fruit. But no one craving a sugary snack wants to hear that. And an apple just won’t cut it, am I right? Try dressing that apple up with peanut butter – but make sure it’s no sugar added. Peanut butter is naturally sweet, plus it’s packed with protein.

But really, you just need a sweet fix

Hey, it happens. And when it does, I always go for a square or two of dark chocolate. Ok, sometimes three. A little indulgence (especially if it’s naturally sweetened!) is a part of any healthy diet.

*Note: Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.


* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

[1] Swithers, S.E., Davidson, T.L. (2008). A role for sweet taste: Calorie predictive relations in energy regulation by rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 122:1.

[2] Yang, Q. (2010). Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine83(2), 101–108.

[3] Yang, Q. (2010). Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine83(2), 101–108.


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Berry Power: Keep your joints and muscles ready for action

berries pwer workout

Benefits of Berries

It’s hard to beat the colors, flavors, and amazing health benefits of berries! Whether you favor cranberries, strawberries, bilberries, or even Saskatoon berries, these little powerhouses can help keep your muscles and joints ready for action. Here are four reasons to add berries to your spring menu.

  1. Muscle recovery. Researchers at Massey University in New Zealand found that athletes who drank a blueberry smoothie before and after exercising needed less time for their muscles to recover.[1] It turns out that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries helps restore muscle strength faster, making back to back training sessions easier.*
  2. Maintain Healthy Joints . Thanks to their high seed count, raspberries provide 461 mg of joint-friendly omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids per cup.[2] Polyphenols in other berries, including Saskatoons, cherries, and blueberries, can help support healthy joint function.*
  3. Muscle cramps. When your diet is low in potassium, calcium, or magnesium, you’re more susceptible to muscle cramps. A regular dose of berries can help prevent such cramps by replenishing key minerals. For example, one cup of blackberries delivers 233 mg of potassium, 29 mg of magnesium, and 42 mg of calcium.2
  4. Oxidative stress. Whether it’s due to intense bouts of exercise, your environment, or natural aging, your cells deal with oxidative stress every day. Thankfully berries are loaded with antioxidants that help protect your muscles, joints, and many other tissues from the unstable free radicals that cause oxidative stress.*

Add berries and PGX® Granules to your next smoothie for a filling nutrient rich treat! Leave your muscle and joint-friendly tips in the comments section below.


* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

[1] McLeay, Yanita et al. “Effects of New Zealand Blueberry Consumption Recovery from Eccentric Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 9.19 (2012): Web. 15 April 2015.

[2] USDA. “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.” Agricultural Research Service. Web. 15 April 2015.

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