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Snacking your way into productivity

Posted in: Fitness, Fresh Local Flavor , Healthy Eating // 6 Comments

Smartbox Snacks

By: Brandon Stallings, CEO, SmartBox Company

We’ve all experienced that afternoon slump. When you’re hungry, your brain has a hard time staying focused. Sure, you can devour the closest thing edible, but that’s not always the best route to productivity.

Ingredients from the food we consume enter the brain through our blood stream. These elements will help you either focus or lose focus. Most of what we eat will be broken down into a single thing – glucose. What we consume controls how we release glucose to our blood and brain. Certain foods release glucose quickly, while others have a slow release. The brain works best with a small amount of glucose circulating in the blood steam.

Getting enough glucose into your body is fairly simple, but the decision becomes more important when an 8-hour workday comes into play. For example, after eating a donut, a person will experience about 20 minutes of alertness and then a rapid drop in glucose level leaving them unfocused and tired. It’s like putting your foot down on the gas pedal until you’ve used all your fuel. On the other hand, a whole foods bar releases sugar as glucose much slower allowing us to minimize swings in blood sugar. This means a person will have a steady glucose level, better focus and higher attention levels for longer.

Being at the mercy of your office vending machines, unless they have healthier choices like SmartBox, doesn’t make healthy snacking too easy. When hunger strikes, choose a snack that you can enjoy on the go, like a Justin’s All-Natural peanut butter packet with whole grain crackers or a Lara Bar, which has a combination of protein and fiber to fill you up.

By having brain-friendly snacks handy, you give yourself a chance of overriding that afternoon slump.

Strike Oil!

Posted in: Preventative Health // 12 Comments

Ever wonder which cooking oil is best? The answer is, it depends. Here’s a short list of some everyday oils and how and when you should use them.

Olive oil: Its flavor depends on its point of origin. A Spanish and California olive oils are fruity, Italian olive oils are herbal and Greek olive oils tend to be green in color and very strong. Olive oil has a low smoke point and is best used for cold dishes, pestos and salads.

Canola oil: Canola oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point. It’s a good all-purpose cooking oil and is fine to use when cooking on high.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is mild in flavor, has a lower smoke point and is good as a substitute for butter and other oils in baking.

Sunflower oil: Sunflower is a neutral tasting oil and has a high smoke point. It’s a good all-purpose cooking oil and is fine to use when cooking on high.

Photo courtesy mbartosch/freedigitalphotos,net.

Natural Beauty- Homemade Beauty Remedies

Posted in: Preventative Health // 9 Comments

Here are a few homemade beauty remedies.

Avocado face mask: Mash whole avocado and mix with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons orange juice until it forms a paste. Apply to clean face and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. This mask helps cleanse and moisturize your skin.

Oatmeal face mask: Add 2 tablespoons of ground oatmeal with 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of honey. Apply to clean face and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and moisturize. The mask cleanses and replenishes skin.

Sugar scrub: 2 tablespoons of sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of water exfoliates the skin. Mix, scrub and rinse, then follow with your favorite moisturizer.

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