Camu Camu the Vitamin C Superfood!

Myrciaria Dubia or "Camu Camu" is a South American superfood fruit that is loaded with Vitamin C. One single serving of Camu Camu powder contains at least 1000% of your suggested daily intake of Vitamin C. This makes Camu Camu the number one Vitamin C carrier on the planet! Numerous other important vitamins, nutrients, minerals such as beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, protein, serine, thiamin, leucine, and valine are also found in the fruit. The vast benefits of consuming this powerful fruit include balancing your mood, anti-viral, supports your nervous system, boosts your immune system, and helps your liver function. At Thrive Juice Lab you can add Camu Camu to any of our Superfood Smoothies, Bowls, or even to a juice!



Making Organic Realistic

The foods with the highest levels are put on the “Dirty Dozen” list, meaning these are ones you definitely want to buy organic.

Just about everyone knows that eating healthy means consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables.  For the most part, people also know that buying these foods organic is very important. There are many reasons to buy organic, and some of these include avoiding GMOs, decreased chemical and pesticide residue, higher nutrient density, and environmental responsibility.  However, it is not always realistic to purchase 100% organic produce 100% of the time.  Budget restraints and availability are the main reason for this.  As a Nutritionist, it is part of my job to help people make the best choices for their health with the resources they have available.  How can you make buying organic more realistic and affordable for your family?  My best advice is to use the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”, along with a few exceptions based on my professional opinion.  

What are the “Dirty Dozen” & the “Clean 15”?

Every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests produce from the US to determine which items have the highest vs. lowest chemical pesticide, herbicide, and insecticide residues.  The foods with the highest levels are put on the “Dirty Dozen” list, meaning these are ones you definitely want to buy organic.  Those with the lowest levels are put on the “Clean 15”, which means you can feel okay about buying conventionally grown items from this list.  Below is the most recent list available:

The “Dirty Dozen”

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries (ALL berries)
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach (ALL leafy greens)
  7. Sweet bell peppers
  8. Nectarines
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry tomatoes
  12. Hot peppers

*Add Bananas: d/t artificial ripening process


The “Clean 15”

you’ll also want to buy bananas organic. Before this fruit reaches grocery store shelves it is treated with artificial ripening hormone
  1. Mushrooms
  2. Sweet potatoes
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Grapefruit
  5. Kiwi
  6. Eggplant
  7. Asparagus
  8. Mangoes
  9. Papayas
  10. Sweet peas
  11. Cabbage
  12. Avocados
  13. Pineapple
  14. Onions
  15. Corn


What are the exceptions?

I have a few exceptions to the “Clean 15” list.  You should always buy all soy, corn, and potatoes (all varieties) organic.  This is due to the fact that, in the US, these foods are extremely likely to be GMO if conventionally grown.   Additionally, because potatoes are a root vegetable, they absorb a majority of what is in the soil they’re grown in- including any excess chemicals.  Conventionally grown potatoes are also one of the most sprayed vegetables; they’re treated before, during, and after harvest after harvesting. Lastly, you’ll also want to buy bananas organic.  Before this fruit reaches grocery store shelves it is treated with artificial ripening hormone, which could be potentially harmful to your health.


Other ways to stretch your food dollar 

Buy produce in season: This ensures the biggest “bang for your buck” as well as the best quality.

Buy from your local farmer’s market or join a CSA or Co-op : You can get fresh, all organic produce for a fraction of what you’d pay at the store and you can help support the local economy!

Buy in bulk: Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club have a selection of organic produce at a decent price.  Getting quality in quantity can stretch your dollar further.

Plan your meals: Meal planning saves money- plan & simple. It limits the spontaneous desire to go out to eat and you also only buy the ingredients you truly need.

TOP 10 TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING

1. Consume whole foods closest to their natural form

a. Eat “clean”-- Limit refined & packaged foods

b. Fruits & veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts & seeds, lean proteins

2. Embrace variety

a .5 colors or more per day

b. Try to have all 3 macros (carbs, protein, and fat) at every meal

c. Snacks: 2+ food groups

d. Meals: 3+ food groups

3. Limit meat

a. Choose mostly plant proteins (nuts, seeds, legumes, quinoa, etc)

b. When eating animal protein

i. Organic, free range poultry & eggs

ii. Wild caught fish & seafood

ii. Wild game meat

iv. Organic dairy

4. Get enough healthy fat

a. Numerous functions of fat in the body

b. Increased satiety

c. Essential fatty acids (omega-3, -6, -9)

5. Kick the sugar habit

a. Eliminate as much processed sugar as possible- get it from natural sources only

b. Watch out for added sugar (check labels!)

c. Sweeten sparingly

i. Natural: honey, maple syrup, dates/fruit, stevia

6. Watch sodium

a. Packaged foods & restaurants

b. Pink Himalayan sea salt > sea salt >  table salt  (due to trace mineral & sodium content)

7. Keep portion sizes in check

a. Fruits & veggies: 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked

b. Whole grains: 1 cup cooked

c. Proteins: 4 oz cooked

d. Healthy fat: examples include 1 Tbsp healthy plant oil, ½ medium avocado, 2 Tbsp raw walnuts

8. Mindful/intuitive eating

a. Don’t deprive yourself, listen to your body

b. Learn the difference between true hunger vs emotional eating/ eating out of boredom/ habits & cravings

9. Eat often & eat enough

a. Food is fuel- treat your body like your own personal sports car

i. Drink 16 oz of water and eat a meal within an hour of waking

ii. Eat every 3-4 hours

iii. Never skip meals

b. Less calories does not mean better for you- under-eating slows your metabolism and deprives your body of essential nutrients!

10. Hydrate

a. Water is an essential nutrient!  

b. Dehydration is the #1 culprit for daytime fatigue

c. Drink a minimum of ½ your body weight in ounces per day, even more if you exercise (especially if you sweat a lot)

d. For every 80 mg caffeine (ex: cup of coffee) or serving of alcohol, drink an additional 16 oz.

Why We Love Thrive

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Being that this is the very first newsletter of 2014, we wanted to start off with some information highlighting why, as professional Nutritionists, we really love Thrive and how they are set apart from other establishments out there. There are plenty of other places that you can choose to go to get a juice, smoothie, salad, etc, so we think it is important to point out some of the things that we feel really stand out about Thrive, and why we feel good about putting our professional “stamp of approval” on them. You see, Thrive is not “just your average juice bar”, it’s much more than that. It’s a place you can truly feel good about- and not just in your mind, but your body and soul as well!

Quality Focused

One of the greatest things about Thrive is their focus on a high-quality, superior product. One thing we are always emphasizing as Nutritionists is the importance of knowing as much as possible about what you are putting into your body. At Thrive, you pretty much can’t go wrong with anything you choose from the menu. All of their products are made from all natural, whole foods that come from the earth. There are no long lists of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, no mystery as to how fresh (or not) your food may be, and most importantly- it all tastes amazing!

All Organic

Thrive sources the produce they use in their juices, smoothies, and grab-n-go items from local organic farms. All the produce they use is inspected to make sure it falls under their strict quality standards. This is one major difference that sets them apart. USDA certified organic produce is grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMO (genetically modified organisms), or ionizing radiation. The USDA National Organic Program states that “organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations”. By using only organic produce, Thrive is not only making a positive impact on the health of its customers. They are also being environmentally responsible and supporting the local economy by purchasing their produce through local organic farmers.

Superfoods

Maca, sacha inchi, acai, pitaya, cacao… You may have seen these seemingly silly names on the menu and wondered what exactly they are. What is a superfood” you ask? There is no legal definition of the word, however we feel that it is best defined as any food with a high phytochemical content that may confer health benefits as a result. Most of these foods are very high in antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. A diet abundant in these types of foods is thought to prolong life, prevent chronic disease, and provide a variety of health benefits. As Nutritionists, we consider most fruits and vegetables to be “superfoods”. While you could technically consider most every ingredient on the Thrive menu a superfood, there are some in particular that provide a concentrated dose of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other phytochemicals. These lesser known, more “exotic” superfoods aren’t necessarily readily accessible (or affordable) to the average consumer, but Thrive changes all that.

Customize how you Thrive

Another thing that is great about Thrive’s menu is that it is fully customizable- in fact, they encourage it! Just one look at their extensive list of available superfood add-ons and this becomes obvious. You can add or remove ingredients from any juice, smoothie, or bowl and make it your own, whatever that may be. “Variety is the spice of life” as the saying goes- and this concept holds true with nutrition as well. Making sure you eat a variety of foods is very important in ensuring you are getting enough of all the necessary nutrients your body needs. So have at it- don’t be afraid to try new things and mix it up every once in a while. Thrive makes it easy for you!

Food Allergy Friendly

The frequency of food allergies is certainly on the rise over the past few decades. Navigating through the food world with food allergies can prove to be a difficult task for most, and we love that Thrive recognizes this and has made an effort to accommodate those customers. They provide a menu with a plentiful amount of options which are soy, gluten, and dairy-free.

Consulting the Experts

Prior to opening, Thrive enlisted the expertise of Natural Food Chef Matthew Purnell to guide menu development and sought out Cara and I to consult on nutrition. They know that they have a special customer base- one that not only wants and deserves the best but also is uniquely invested in its health and wellness. So Thrive made sure that they had established experts to refer to, which shows their dedication to providing not only a superior product but also a superior customer experience.

We hope that you fall in love with Thrive as much as we have. Cara and I have great things in store for the Thrive newsletter, and are extremely excited to get the ball rolling on some fun and interesting topics in health and nutrition! Please let us know if there are any particular topics you are interested in- we are always open to suggestion!

Blessings and wishing you a great 2014!

Allison Long