Category Archives: Minerals

Weaning Off Sugar Post – Holidays

By Nicole Avena, PhD

Bouncing back from the holidays and into a healthy eating and exercise routine is always easier said than done. What’s also easier is falling back into old habits, especially around the holidays.

On the bright side, getting back on track doesn’t have to be difficult. However, you may feel discouraged if you try to go back to your usual routine all at once. Instead, it’s better to wean yourself off the sugar and ease yourself back into an exercise routine.

Getting back in shape

Even for someone who is in shape, taking just a week off of exercise can decrease your fitness. Thus, jumping right back into your usual routine can feel difficult or be tough on your body, potentially causing injury or a lot of soreness at the very least. Remember that getting back in shape won’t happen in just one day.

Instead of hitting the treadmill and running until you can’t anymore, or struggling to lift heavy weights, take it slow! For example, take a few extra minutes to warm up–stretch, walk on the treadmill, or do a light jog. If weights are more your thing, start with something lighter than you’re used to, and do extra reps rather than bumping up the weight.

Some other post-holiday sweat session examples include: a home workout, a gentle yoga class, keep it short (30 minutes or less), and walk as much as possible (around the neighborhood, at work, in town, etc).

Saying No to Sugar

Good news: you don’t have to quit sugar cold turkey! In fact, cutting out sugar all together might make you more likely to indulge in unhealthy eating habits, such as bingeing. Instead, you want to wean off sugar for the best results. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Find out what is triggering you to eat sugar. Is it an afternoon slump? Are candies and cookies lying around your house? Once you recognize these triggers, you’ll already be able to make better decisions and ask yourself, “do I really need this?”
  2. Manage your portion sizes. Instead of depriving yourself of sugar, limit your portion sizes. One tip is to portion out your treats ahead of time if you can, by separating amounts in Tupperware or plastic baggies.
  3. Out of sight, out of mind. Instead of leaving holiday treats around the house or out in the open, put things away in drawers or in the fridge. Sometimes we don’t have cravings for a treat until we physically see it, but if it’s put away, then you won’t be tempted to reach for it.
  4. Make healthy snacks available. This step is extremely important. Typically we grab sugary treats because they are easy and readily available! Buy pre-cut veggies and fruits with healthy dips like hummus or guacamole to store front and center in your fridge. Leave fresh fruit on the counter so it’s the first thing you see when you enter the kitchen.
  5. Make sure you are getting a balanced diet, and use a supplement. Your food choices  may not have been the healthiest the past few weeks, which means you may be lacking in some essential nutrients. Even when we are trying our best to eat healthy, we can’t always eat in the proportions that we need to get the correct amount of vitamins and minerals that we need to feel out best, so taking a supplement is key. Opt for a supplement that is complete, like vitafusion’s Women’s or Men’s Multivitamin. These come in gummy form, so they also can help satisfy your candy fix (in a healthy way)! 

Sugary Swaps

Finding yummy alternatives to your favorite treats will be a huge help when it comes to kicking sugar to the curb. Here are some ideas to start implementing when thinking of reaching for one of your holiday favorites:

Candy canes → Peppermint tea

Chocolate or fudge → 1 – 2 oz of dark chocolate, preferably 70% cacao or higher

Cookies → Chopped apple with cinnamon and raisins

Candies → Grapes (fresh or frozen)

Hot chocolate → Make your own with 1 cup hot water, 1 tbsp cacao, ¼ tsp vanilla

      extract, and 2 tsp maple syrup

Alcohol → Fruity, herbal tea or seltzer with lime

Dr. Nicole Avena is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Visiting Professor of Health Psychology at Princeton University. She is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction, with a special focus on nutrition during early life and pregnancy. Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Avena has written several books, including Why Diets Fail, What to Eat When You’re Pregnant and What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler. She regularly appears as a science expert on the Dr. Oz Show, Good Day NY, and The Doctors, as well as many other news programs. Her work has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Time Magazine for Kids, The New York Times, Shape, Men’s Health, Details, and many other periodicals. Dr. Avena is a member of the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. She has the #2 most watched TED-ED Health talk, How Sugar Affects Your Brain.

Dr. Avena blogs for Psychology Today. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook and Instagram, and at


Anxiocalm boasts pure and natural ingredients and seems to be a great alternative for anti-anxiety medication for those that suffer from a mild case of the worries.  Once taken, the calming effect seemed to take action in no time at all and the effects of this fast-acting formula compare to the relief of chamomile and melatonin.  Taking Anxiocalm at night was especially helpful to feel a sense of well-being and relaxation while studying, assisted in late nights on deadline and helped with nervousness and difficulty falling and staying asleep.

Spoonful of Minerals!

Minerals: The Forgotten Nutrient by Joy Stephenson uses great key topics discussing why minerals are truly the route for us to go to stay healthy.

Stephenson goes into depth talking about how we need to stay on top of our health. In the book, there are fourteen top minerals that we need to maintain in our body on a daily basis. Some of these include Potassium, Chromium, Sodium, Magnesium and a plethora of other useful nutrients. It is a splendid resource in providing recommended daily intakes to get you started on your journey. It is supported with well cited references that the author had compiled for the book.

This is a great book to use in discussing the importance of minerals and how they will help if you may have any chronic illness, injury or perhaps emotional health. It goes into great detail into what the average person needs to take for minerals and why you should take them. Stephenson goes on and finishes the book with why a routine doctor testing for minerals might be a good enough. It is an excellent way to convey what you should and should not due in the future when it comes to testing for minerals and what your next step should be.

reviewed by Amber Kelley

Coral Daily Delivers!

You have to feel good about what you are swallowing and running through your digestive track.  Coral LLC® Daily Vitamin D3 Delivers “Sunshine Vitamin” and feels good about their Soy Free, Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free above-sea EcoSafe™ Daily Vitamin D3.   Coral LLC® Daily Vitamin D3 delivers 5,000 IUs of D3, 100 mg of bio-available coral calcium, magnesium and 72 other minerals…that’s 75 good Sunshine reasons to go Coral!


Vitamin D is vital to strong bones, teeth, a healthy mood and a robust immune system necessary to ward off disease, yet sun exposure concerns, geographic limitations and a lack of foods containing this beneficial vitamin keep deficiencies on high,” said Jason DeWitt, managing partner of Coral LLC. “Our Daily Vitamin D3 exceeds the daily value of D, and because of its unique coral sourcing, provides a host of other essential minerals complementary to great health.”

*Most supplements should be taken with food, so double check the label.

Chew for nutrition!



Is there any special time to pop a Chocolate chew into your mouth?  How about one that is packed with some healthy ingredients?  No and why should there be!  These tasty chews are a good source of vitamins and minerals and made with natural ingredients.

chocolate pb

The little bursts of health are individually-wrapped.  The chews contain real cocoa, making them “tasty chewy.”

Mannatech offers chews in lemon and mixed berry flavors as well. The chocolate flavored chews are available for a limited time, and only while supplies last.  Info on Mannatech PhytoBurst or any of its health and wellness products can be found by visiting



Everyday Wellness!

The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Handbook for Everyday Wellness by Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele immediately sparked my interest as I use essential oils occasionally.  My experience with essential oils at best was limited; using lavender in baths and lemon oil for cleaning.   Today, with the help of this handbook I would consider my knowledge and application of essential oils in daily life to be above average.

The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Handbook for Everyday Wellness

This is a book you will want to break the sticky notes out for because it is chock-full of important properties, remedies  and everyday care.   My top bookmarked pages, which are now worn and torn is the treatment for headaches, immune system boosters and the hot and cold footbath.  The most valuable part about having a collection of essential oils and a handbook as detailed as The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Handbook  is that ailments are never planned, and having the correct tools, supplies and knowledge on hand will serve to be as useful as it is reassuring.

Written by Sirena Mazzone


Since Obesity has become a big topic in our society, new dietary supplements keep popping up everywhere. Everyone is always looking for the “overnight” or “get fit quick” supplements and Z-BURN is truly an “overnight” sensation. Introduced in 2012, Z-BURN is a weight loss supplement and sleeping aid that helps you burn fat and boost your metabolism while sleeping. This product uses all-natural and stimulant-free ingredients and is said to help you burn 180 calories on an average night.

People are always so busy and it sometimes can be hard to fit exercise and dieting in your crazy everyday lives, this “overnight” supplement might be the answer to all of our problems. It’s understandable to be skeptical about all the new supplements that people keep bringing out, but if it can help you reach your goal weight, it’s worth a try.

Written by: Makeda Farrell