3 Healthy Vegan Recipes with Vitamin C and Zinc for a Nutritious Boost

Shannon Smyth
With cold and flu season here, it's important to be eating nutritious meals to keep you healthy. These three vegan recipes are not only delicious, but they also pack a nutritious punch with ingredients that are high in vitamin C and zinc.

The Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup is loaded with vitamin C-rich bell peppers and tomatoes, as well as zinc-rich beans and quinoa. The Vegan Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto features vitamin C-rich zucchini and avocado, as well as zinc-rich pine nuts. The Vegan Quinoa and Kale Salad combines vitamin C-rich kale and red onions with zinc-rich quinoa and pecans. Each of these dishes is a great way to boost your immune system and support your overall health.

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Review: Beetology Organic Cold Pressed Beet Root Juice

Gail Lewis5 comments

When life gets insanely busy, as seems to be the case more and more lately, the one thing that always seems to suffer is my health and well-being. I'll find the time for friends and family, but like a lot of us, I will often put my health last. 

Sometimes there just does not seem to be enough hours in the day to fit in exercise, eating healthily and finding time to de-stress along with everything else that life requires, so whenever I come across something healthy that easily and effortlessly fits into my busy schedule, trying it is a MUST!

One such healthy find that fits into a busy schedule since it can be taken on the go is Beetology juices.  Beetology juices are made from one of nature’s nutritional powerhouses, beets. The juices are U.S.D.A. Certified Organic, cold-pressed, 100% non-GMO and Certified Fair Trade. They consist of 100% juice blends containing no preservatives, additives, artificial colors, or flavors. They are also non-soy, non-dairy, and certified kosher.

In addition to how clean Beetology juices are they also have a ton of heath benefits thanks to being 100% juice with over over 50% being beet juice!  Beets are dense in nutrients and high in antioxidants, they help boost energy, aid in weight loss, support cleansing and detoxing, and have anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also known to improve blood flow and help lower blood pressure.

I was recently sent Beetology juices to try for myself. I tried the beet + lemon + ginger juice and absolutely loved it!  It's delicious, really refreshing, not too sweet and best of all I can easily grab one on the go, the size fits perfectly in my handbag!  I feel really good about the fact that not only are Beetology juices delicious, but every time I consume a bottle of this cold-pressed nutrition-packed powerhouse, I am also taking the time to do something that contributes to my health and well-being.

I've tried plenty of juices that have been sent my way for review, some have been delicious and others fall flat. Beetology gets a definite delicious from me! 

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Do I Need to Get Vitamin B12 Shots?

Gail Lewis
Do you need a Vitamin B12 shot? via @agirlsgottaspa Lack of exercise, too much to do and not nearly enough sleep will leave you always feeling exhausted.  (Can anyone relate??) I try to get back on track by cleaning up my eating habits, exercising and getting enough sleep, and eventually I feel more energized. But finding the energy to get back on track is a battle in itself, which is where a Vitamin B12 shot proves to be an absolute miracle. Vitamin B12 is known to provide sustainable energy within the body, it can also increase mental focus, and improve sleep quality in addition to assisting as a therapy for depression.  What people don’t realize is how many of us are actually B12 deficient. We simply write off fatigue and other ailments to stress or as being normal. Do you need a Vitamin B12 shot? via @agirlsgottaspa So if you're like me and you're feeling sluggish and not getting enough quality sleep, then a shot of B12 may be just what you need! B12 injections are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are discovering all of its amazing benefits. For my B12 shot, I saw the amazing team at Beautox Bar in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Since not all B12 is equal and can be given in different doses,  you want to be certain you are getting what you pay for, so finding a team of people who very experienced and knowledgeable was very important to me. Do you need a Vitamin B12 shot? via @agirlsgottaspa Beautox Bar has a team of experienced certified registered nurses on staff to not only administer injections, but to also educate you on the benefits (and side effects) of the different options of shots available to you. Their team will also explain how often you need one and since everyone's level of deficiency is different, some may need it more or less frequently than others. The night after my B12 shot (which was fast and pain free), I immediately slept better.  I had no issues falling asleep and slept through the night.  There was a very noticeable spike in my energy level which was the boost I needed to get back into the gym.  Based on the fact that I noticed a difference immediately following my B12 shot, I realized I was definitely deficient! The cost of a B12 shot at Beautox Bar is $35 and well worth it! Have any of you had B12 injections? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Teami Skinny Tea

Gail Lewis1 comment
Teami Skinny Tea review via @agirlsgottaspa National day(s) of complete diet obliteration ...also known as "the holidays," is almost upon us. As much as I am looking forward to unlimited pumpkin pie and stuffing, I know that beginning the day after Thanksgiving, all I am going to want to do is detox. This year I am one step ahead of the game with Teami Skinny Tea. Teami Skinny Tea combines a blend of natural ingredients meant to boost metabolism, improve digestive problems and help to suppress cravings to help achieve weight loss goals. Teami Skinny Tea review via @agirlsgottaspa Teami Skinny Tea is a loose-leaf tea that contains Oolong, Yerba Mate, Lime leaf Extract, Lotus leaf, Ginger Root, Dandelion leaf, Rhubarb Root and is gluten free, GMO free, dairy free and sugar free. Unlike a lot of detox/weight loss teas that I have tried, Teami Skinny Tea does not have a laxative effect nor does it make me feel jittery or over caffeinated. Teami Skinny Tea reviews via @agirlsgottaspa I drink this tea first thing in the morning and have definitely noticed a decrease in my cravings for sugar and carbs, as well as feeling and looking less bloated after meals. I would highly recommend getting the insanely cute Teami Tea Infuser to go with your Teami Skinny Tea. The infuser has really small holes so that your tea leaves do not end up floating in your cup. Genius. Will you be including tea into your daily detox and weight loss plan? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and Twitter. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: press sample

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GuruNanda Pulling Oil

Gail Lewis1 comment
Oil pulling with Gurunanda Pulling Oil via @agirlsgottaspa Before starting GuruNanda's Pulling Oil, I had heard about the practice of oil pulling, but I had never done it myself nor had any close friends or family who had done it. Although, there is a ton of information on the ancient practice of oil pulling readily available at my fingertips, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect (the taste, feeling, etc.) Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic procedure. It involves using oil as a mouthwash and swishing it in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes, then spitting it out. This action is meant to pull out toxins in your body and is very beneficial for your health, especially your oral health. The reported benefits of oil pulling are plaque removal, treatment of bad breath, toothache, sensitivity and gum disease. It will also help brighten your teeth, heal mouth sores, prevent cavities and keep gums healthy.  In addition to the reported oral benefits, other reported health benefits;
  • Relieves headaches and migraines
  • Reduces eczema
  • Treats arthritis and related illnesses
  • Clears sinuses and reduces infections
  • Improves the lymphatic system
  • Stimulates metabolism
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Supports kidney function
  • Alleviates allergies
  • Regulates menstrual cycles and reduces PMS
  • Promotes better sleep
The GuruNanda Pulling Oil is composed of a mix of rich ingredients like pure sesame oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil and peppermint oil and is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids while also naturally containing iron, calcium, magnesium, plus Vitamins A, B and E. The first time I tried oil pulling I only lasted for five minutes! I'm pretty sure this was due to me swishing too aggressively and my jaw just got tired. I actually liked the taste of the GuruNanda Pulling Oil the first time I tried it, so the idea of swishing it for 15 minutes didn't seem unachievable.  It has a slightly minty taste thanks to the peppermint oil. The second time I tried it, I made it to ten minutes.  I very gently swished the oil in my mouth, but there was so much saliva that accumulated I just wanted to get rid of it.  I have been oil pulling for only about two weeks now and have made it to 20 minutes. Thus far the only benefit that I have noticed is that my teeth are whiter, but I think that two weeks is probably not enough time to notice a lot of the reported benefits of oil pulling. There's also unseen benefits, like supporting kidney function and preventing heart disease that are difficult for me to report on. I'm going to continue using this product and will post another update in about month. Have any tips or tricks for me in the meantime? Leave a comment and let me know! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: affiliate link

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1907 Alkaline Water Review

Gail Lewis
Benefits of alkaline water via @agirlsgottaspa By now, we all know...or should know the health and beauty benefits of drinking water. Approximately 50 to 70% of our body mass is made up of water so it is important to replenish our bodies with the water that we lose on a daily basis. Water is essential to our health because it removes toxins from our bodies thus cleanses it and is required to process all of the nutrients from the food we eat and carry the assimilated nutrients to the cells by circulating through the lymphatic system. Drinking water also has a ton of beauty benefits.  Drinking water prevents dehydration, which becomes most noticeable in your skin first. If you've ever gotten the flu and became dehydrated you may have noticed it first in your lips cracking and becoming dry and then on your face as well. Drinking water also aids in weight loss by acting as a natural appetite suppressant.  Now imagine going one step further towards a healthier more beautiful you by drinking alkaline water. Alkaline water has all of the health and beauty benefits of drinking regular water, but it goes further by helping to balance the body’s acidity levels by mitigating the negative effects caused by stress, lack of sleep and poor diet. I am currently in love with 1907 Alkaline Water.  1907Water is sourced 680 feet deep at the foot of New Zealand’s Kaimanawa Ranges, resulting in pure, uncontaminated water. I absolutely love the taste of this water, and I know what you're thinking, it probably tastes like any other bottled water, but it absolutely does not!  It has a really refreshing, clean smooth taste due to its high alkalinity and low mineral content. 1907Water helps neutralize acid in the bloodstream by keeping the body's pH levels between 7.1 to 8.2, which leads to increases in oxygen levels, energy and metabolism.  1907Water bottles are 100% BPA-free, 100% RPET and are 100% recyclable. 1907Water is available online at Amazon.com and select retailers nationwide (Whole Foods, Shop Rite, Sprouts, The Fresh Market, etc.) Do you drink alkaline water? Leave a comment and let me know! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Disclosure: Press sample, affiliate link

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Energize Greens Supplement Review

Gail Lewis5 comments
Energize Greens Dietary Supplement review via @agirlsgottaspa #ad I am very much a fan of leading a healthy lifestyle.  I strongly believe that being active and eating a clean, well-balanced diet is the best way to prevent illnesses and look and feel your best and most energized. For the most part, in addition to working out regularly, I try to avoid caffeine and sugars and instead consume foods that are naturally energizing whenever I am feeling run down and like I need an extra boost of energy. Energize Greens Dietary Supplement is a natural supplement of nutritious green superfoods that I have been using for the past two weeks that not only boosts my energy level, but also improves my health, alkalizes my body and boosts my immune system. Energize Greens Dietary Supplement review via @agirlsgottaspa #ad Energize Greens is a powerful combination of Spirulina, Nova Scotia Dulse, Chlorella, Barley and Wheat Grass, and Beet Juice.  These superfoods together have been proven to inhibit or prevent cancers and tumors in humans and animals, alkalize your body and keep your body’s pH level between 7.35 and 7.45 , lower cholesterol levels by at least 50%, boost your immune system’s resistance to harmful bacteria, viruses, and infections, reduce mortality risks from all types of cardiovascular disease and increase overall fitness and energy levels by 16% without doing any exercise.  In addition to the superfoods, Energize Greens also contains a blend of 29 other nutritious healing ingredients and vegetables such as alfalfa juice powder, wheat sprout powder, barley malt, brown rice bran, bee pollen, probiotic culture, spinach, parsley, enzymes like bromelain, papain, and pepsin - all of which are GMO-free. Energize Greens Dietary Supplement review via @agirlsgottaspa #ad Benefits of Alkalizing Your Body: Improves skin texture Promotes a deeper, more restful sleep Increased natural physical energy Boosts your immune system Improves digestion Decreased susceptibility to arthritis Increased mental alertness Energize Greens smoothie via @agirlsgottaspa #ad Energize Greens Dietary Supplement is incredibly effortless to consume.  It comes in a powder formula that can be easily combined with water.  I also love putting one scoop of it into my protein shakes, green smoothies or fresh pressed juices.  I have been taking this healthy supplement every day for the past two weeks and normally take it in the morning. Upon taking Energize Greens for the first time I immediately noticed an energy boost, like having a shot of espresso but without the crash that follows or the jittery feeling that I would normally experience with caffeine.  I have also noticed that my workouts are more effective, instead of taking long breaks in between my sets, I am better able to power through my workouts without feeling depleted. I know that my body is benefitting immensely from taking Energize Greens even though I may not be able to see and feel all of the benefits immediately. Energize Greens review from Gail of @agirlsgottaspa #ad As I've mentioned, it's only been two weeks since I have been incorporating it into my lifestyle and my body already feels rejuvenated, restored and more healthy and energized.  If for some reason you do not like the taste of the supplement with just water, it can be easily mixed with your healthy juices, shakes and smoothies so that you can get all of the benefits of this supplement. Receive 25% off your order of 4 bottles or more via this special link for A Girl's Gotta Spa! readers: Energize Greens discount Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! a

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Benefits of Hot Yoga

Gail Lewis
Benefits of Hot Yoga (Bikram Yoga) #health #wellness #selfcare #yoga I first became acquainted with hot yoga 2-3 years ago, but did not begin a regular practice until last Spring. I have been absolutely hooked ever since. I've noticed that practicing hot yoga regularly has made me less stressed, increased my strength and flexibility, more toned, more energized and quite a few of my family members swear that I look taller. Did I also mention that my skin is usually supple and glowing after practicing? (Must be from sweating out those toxins!) I know that hot yoga might not be to everyone's liking, but I absolutely love it and am grateful for the positive impact it has had on me. If you have been considering giving hot yoga a try this year, here are a few benefits that may propel you into your nearest hot yoga studio ASAP!
  • Hot yoga helps to reduce stress; it increases blood circulation which stimulates the heart to strengthen its contractions, which is exercise for the heart muscle itself. As a result, the heart pumps efficiently thereby lowering blood pressure.
  • Hot yoga also improves flexibility and strength. The heat aids in detoxification, increases blood flow to speed up metabolic processes of vital organs, glands, and mobilizing toxins for elimination.
  • The heat of hot yoga (105 degrees with 40% humidity) also stimulates fat receptors, activating fat stores and facilitating fat loss and releasing these fat-soluble toxins. Additional responses of the heat include the stimulation of white blood cell production, boosting the immune system, promoting relaxation, and an increase in healing injuries and disease symptoms.
Overall, the body’s response to heat strengthens, detoxifies, and heals, which in turn creates a sense of health and well-being.  I usually feel pretty euphoric after my practice; mostly because of all the amazing benefits that I experience because of my practice, but also probably because I got through my 60-90 minutes class without sprinting for the door.  I will admit that it took me a while to get used to the heat and every once in a while it still gets to me, especially if I am not hydrated enough (an easy fix.)  Hot yoga has actually motivated me to drink enough water throughout the day. Like I said, perhaps hot yoga will not be to your liking, but you won't know until you give it a try! I'd love to hear about your experience with hot yoga, leave a comment!
Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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Benefits of Quinoa for Skin

Gail Lewis
Benefits of Quinoa for Skin When a food item gets its own year, that has to mean that it's pretty amazing.  In the case of quinoa, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognized as, "The International Year of the Quinoa." By now you might have heard that quinoa is another one of these "super foods" that you should be incorporating into your diet (which is super easy to do given how versatile it is.)  I use it as a substitute for other grains such as rice and pasta, in my salads and as a breakfast porridge.  There are dozens of other ways quinoa can also be used, I personally am looking forward to using it for baking , for making a vegan quinoa burger and since the holiday season is upon us I am thinking of ways to incorporate it into stuffing etc. Simply perform a Google search for quinoa and you will get tons of results on the health benefits of quinoa, which includes (to name a few); quinoa  is a source of complete protein, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. It is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.   It is also gluten-free and easy to digest.  These are all pretty amazing reasons to consume this super food, but from a beauty standpoint quinoa is practically a miracle food for the skin. Quinoa contains lysine, an essential amino acid for human skin, which is used in the production of elastin and collagen. Lysine is an essential nutrient which cannot be synthesized by the body, hence it must be provided by the diet. It aids in the quick healing of damaged tissue, making it very important for people who are recovering from any surgery or injury.  It also helps to create scar tissue and ligaments for quick recovery.  Quinoa contains high levels of riboflavin which provides elasticity to the skin to give it the required softness and resiliency. It also builds up connective tissue to tone the skin and prevents wrinkles and fine lines. Consumption of quinoa seeds provides the body with collagen which rejuvenates the skin from within and reduces wrinkles and other symptoms of ageing. It makes the skin soft, smooth and supple. There are Vitamins in quinoa that decreases clustering of melanin granules to reduce brown spots and pigmentation. and if that is not enough, quinoa also helps to decrease sebum production and treats acne.  See I wasn't kidding when I said miracle food! I usually purchase a 4lb bag of quinoa from Costco, which lasts me for a pretty long time since the bag contains 42 servings.  If you go to Pinterest and search Quinoa, the amount of recipes that show up can almost be overwhelming so go ahead and get crazy and creative with your quinoa exploration! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

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