Health & Fitness

How to Make Intentional and Healthy Life Choices

So, you want to get healthy, but you can’t afford a pricey gym membership or top-tier organic foods? That’s okay; you don’t have to have these things to live your best life. You do, however, have to live intentionally and make healthy choices every day. Keep reading for a few of the most budget-friendly ways you can take your health to the next level.

Change Your Eating Habits

Your overall health is largely dependent upon the foods you eat. If you keep nothing but potato chips in the pantry and pre-packaged dinners in the freezer, you are not giving your body the nutrients it needs. Instead of eating for convenience, try to incorporate foods into your diet that pack a punch. Harvard University recommends things like nuts, which are a great alternative to chips as a snack, and plain yogurt, which is full of protein and is also extremely affordable. Chickpea granola from Effi Foods is a healthy plant-based snack and the perfect substitute for sugary snacks. On top of that, chick peas are an eco-friendly crop which doesn’t depend on energy-intensive fertilizers.

Pay Attention to Your Teeth

They say that the mouth is the gateway to the body, so it makes sense that having a healthy mouth can lead to a healthy body, and maintaining oral health can even ward off depression. Make a point to visit your dentist twice each year — if you have insurance, you are probably covered in full for cleanings and routine checkups. If you don’t already have a dentist, you can find one online, which is much easier than visiting every office in town. Once you narrow down your choice, ask about self-pay discounts. To get the most out of your oral health, brush and floss every day, and avoid foods that stick to your teeth.

Stay Hydrated

When you give your body the water it needs, you give it the fuel to perform cellular level. And if you work out, you can take hydration to a whole new level by incorporating an electrolyte tablet (or powder) into your diet. Remember, staying hydrated is one of the best ways to recover after an intense workout; if you can’t afford supplements, pay close attention to the water you drink before, during, and after a sweat session.

Look for Health and Wellness Service Discounts

While you do not need extras like meal delivery services and gym memberships, these things, along with fitness equipment and holistic healing services such as physical therapy, can bolster a healthy lifestyle. And fortunately, although they can get pricey, using Dick’s Sporting Goods or Finish Line online coupons and promo codes from sites like Rakuten can help you score a fantastic deal. You can even find affordable weekend getaways to boost your mental health and sign up for competitive fitness events directly through the site, all without paying retail price.

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

Stress is one of the worst things you can experience as you try to prioritize your health. Mayo Clinic explains that a few common side effects of excessive stress are headache, drug use, and an upset stomach. None of these contribute to your wellness. Be kind to yourself, and don’t sweat the things you can’t change. While it’s not always easy to shake it off, you can learn how to manage your stress response. Meditate, go for a walk, or talk your troubles through with a friend or family member. Promote positivity at home by decluttering, cleaning up messes, and letting in fresh air. These actions are completely free and could be what you need.

Remember, you will not get healthy by simply wanting it. Instead, you have to make a conscious effort to give your body and mind the things they need so that you can be the best version of yourself. From eating right to checking stress at the door, the above actions won’t break the bank, but they will bolster your well-being.

by Jennifer McGregor

Read More
Health & Fitness

What Happens In Your Gut with Savannah Rodriguez

Savanna Rodrigez

Gut health is not only about what happens in the gut; it’s about how what happens in the gut affects your whole body and mental state. We are excited to dive deeper into the subject of gut-health and plant-based eating with the integrative health coach Savannah Rodriguez.

•How did you discover the power of a healthy gut?

Savannah: I discovered the power of a healthy gut after I started to question our food system. Once this level of critical thinking starts it doesn’t stop, you start to question EVERYTHING. Which is a great thing in my opinion, because I started to question the foods I had been eating my whole life and their connection to my health. What I was eating had a negative impact on my health, especially my gut. I became aware, really for the first time in my life, that all of the symptoms I had been experiencing were due to an imbalance in my microbiome which was caused by my poor eating habits. So I put my critical thinking skills to the test and started researching nutrition, exercise, supplements and the whole nine yards. It wasn’t until I put action to my research that I balanced my gut dysbiosis and discovered the amazing power the gut has on our overall health.

Does stress affect gut health?

Savannah: It absolutely does. Our gut is the epicenter of our body. Before we were a complex system we were nothing but a digestive system. This is why there are more neurons (nerve cells) in our gut than in our brain. There is a whole nervous system in our gut, called the enteric nervous system, and it’s a part of the same nervous system found in our brains.

The ENS and CNS are connected by the vagus nerve. And so when you are stressed out the nervous system sends a response to the other systems to carry out a “stress response”, or what we know as flight or fight. Cortisol is released causing decreased immune function and metabolism. These directly affect gut health.

Most of your body’s immune cells are found in the digestive tract and are tasked with fighting off all the invaders that come in from the food we eat.

The main role of the gut, though, is to metabolize food. When you are in a state of chronic stress, which most of us are in (especially right now), these two functions are being inhibited. This causes you to be sick more often and for longer periods of time. You’re not able to fight off microbes you would normally be able to. You can even become nutrient-deficient from not being able to metabolize the food you eat properly.

Stress plays a massive role in the health of our gut which then plays a role in the health of our overall body. Our guts are the gateway to health. When it is out of balance or not functioning properly, you will notice the rest of the body isn’t either. We are all connected.

We heard that water lubricates the mucosal lining of the gut and helps keep it healthy. What other drinks at home can we utilize to boost gut health? We love kombucha but store-bought kombucha is laden with sugar.

Savannah: I love kombucha as well and you bring up a GREAT point. You do have to be careful when buying store-bought kombucha. Check the labels and if there is added sugar to it, think twice. However, the good news is making kombucha at home isn’t too difficult. You need water, SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), tea, sugar and a container.

Now I know I just said sugar, but the sugar you add to it while it ferments is not in the finished product. It gets broken down and eaten by the microbes that are living in the SCOBY. The sugar is their food. As far as other gut-healthy drinks I personally love tea. Green tea is great, it’s loaded with tons of antioxidants and polyphenols. It also lubricates your gut. Other tea options that are just as good are herbal teas, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender…. I aim to pick loose leaf tea to help minimize plastic consumption that can be found in tea bags.

Another option that I choose is warm lemon water with some fresh ginger. I drink this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to give my gut a boost of hydration and soothing nutrients after a night of resting and repairing. There are so many great options to choose from to help hydrate yourself and keep your gut healthy. The rule of thumb when choosing a drink is to make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar or dairy and if you can’t pronounce the ingredients you should maybe put it back.

•Why are sugar and artificial sweeteners a big ‘no’?

Savannah: Sugar is an inflammatory food, meaning it causes systemic inflammation in the body. And we know that systemic inflammation can be the cause of many of the disease we see today. Sugar affects the liver a lot; it has been discovered that it can increase fat cell production in the liver leading to liver toxicity, fatty liver, and a condition known as non-alcohol related fatty liver disease.

Sugar offers no nutritional benefits outside of a burst of glucose energy which then raises your insulin production and can have negative effects as well. Artificial sweeteners like stevia have been found to react to a bacteria we have in our microbiome. It converts stevioside into a toxic substance called steviol which can cause a spike in mutagenic DNA damage. Sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol are not absorbed in the body and end up in the colon. They draw fluid into the colon causing diarrhea. Aspartame has been shown to cause adverse mental effects such as depression, irritability and impaired mental performance. And so when it comes to sugar, PLEASE stick to sugar that is found only in plant foods, such as fruit. Fructose from fruit doesn’t seem to have these negative effects. Mainly because fruit isn’t just isolated fructose, it also has loads of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and fiber. These give our body the boost it so desperately needs and wants.

•What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?

Savannah: A probiotic is a substance that has living cultures of microbes in it. An example is fermented food or drink, like the kombucha we talked about earlier. These help to repopulate the lost microbes in our gut from damage and otherwise ordinary everyday loss. However, it isn’t truly recommended to take probiotic supplements. They tend to only have a select few strains of bacteria which can cause a monoculture to develop in your gut.

Your gut microbiome has way more than just 5 different strains of bacteria, it has possibly thousands. So when you only add in a select few you create an environment of imbalance. Fermented foods, however, could have a variety of strains and the foods themselves can be used as prebiotics. A prebiotic is the food our microbes eat.

Another way to look at prebiotics is fiber and resistant starch. We don’t actually metabolize these things, the microbes in our gut do. When you eat a high fiber diet you are actually taking care of the trillions of microbes in your gut which is incredibly vital for your gut health. Without these diverse microbes we would be extremely unhealthy. And we are definitely moving towards this

It’s known that we have lost about 90% of the diversity of our microbiome over the last decade or so. This could be the answer to why we are seeing a huge rate of diseases and illnesses. Take care of your microbiome and it will take care of you!

•Plant-based foods like beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits are full of fiber & complex carbohydrates that actually patch up the gut lining. So what do animal-based products do to our gut?

Savannah: It isn’t just the gut that becomes affected by these “foods”. Animal-based foods are very limited in the nutrients they provide us. There is no fiber, resistant starch, antioxidants or polyphenols, nor any of their protective properties, found in them. And these are the nutrients that are found to be THE healthiest for us. Instead, animal-based products are loaded with inflammatory properties like saturated fat, which we have already discussed isn’t good. When cooked with high heat (broiling, grilling, pan frying) they produce heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are known to cause cancer. TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) is produced by meat-eating bacteria found in your microbiome or in your gut. TMAO is linked to kidney disease, heart disease and atherosclerosis.

The protein in animal products causes a reaction in our body to produce IGF-1, or insulin growth-like factor. This is a growth stimulant that floats around in your bloodstream causing your cells to grow inappropriately. Cancer occurs when cells grow at higher rates than they are supposed to. Heme iron has been found to convert less-reactive oxidants into highly-reactive free radicals. Free radicals cause damage in cell structures, membranes and your DNA.

The last thing I will bring up about animals products is the use of antibiotics. Most of the antibiotics that are manufactured go to animal agriculture. Antibiotics are pumped into the animals to help prevent infections that could occur due to the horrible living conditions in which these animals are raised. The antibiotics are still in the flesh of the animal when slaughtered. Meaning you are eating small amounts of antibiotics. This causes a massive negative shift in your microbiome; antibiotics kill off your microbiome leaving room for opportunistic microbes to take over which leads to gut dysbiosis. Animal products are not health food as we are discovering through research. You can get all of your nutrients from plant foods.

•Where do you look for inspiration when creating plant-based recipes?

Savannah: Pinterest is my best friend, honestly. I look up vegan “blank” and so many recipes pop up. I also follow Dr. Michael Greger’s Daily Dozen foods to help keep me on track with eating the healthiest foods. Over time you start to develop your favorite recipes and can make them your own by changing out veggies or spices. I have learned to veganize many of the foods I ate growing up.

To contact Savannah and chat about your health goals visit

Interviewed by Carina Ayden

Read More
Boosting Immunity With Vitamin C

Boosting Immunity With Vitamin C

The powerhouse superfruit Baobab and nutritionally smart pairings.

We all know the old adage: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Turns out, that maybe citrus fruits are the answer thanks to vitamin C. Vitamin C is highly concentrated in immune cells and is vital for their proper functioning (4). Therefore, when depleted of vitamin C our immune system is compromised and we become more susceptible to common colds and other viruses. And though it may not prevent a cold, vitamin C in high doses may decrease the length of cold symptoms by as much as 1.5 days (5). There are many sources of vitamin C (not just oranges): citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts and more. One of our favorites is baobab, a superfruit with 6-10x more vitamin C than oranges (3)!

In addition to vitamin C, there’s no denying the importance of iron in our diets. From maximizing the transportation of oxygen in our blood (via hemoglobin) to increasing our energy levels and promoting healthy pregnancy, iron is one of the many vital minerals we consume on a daily basis (1). How, though, does one ensure the bioavailability of digested iron?

This is especially important with plant sources of iron, also know as non-heme iron. Found mostly in plant-based foods like leafy green vegetables, beans and nuts, non-heme iron is not combined with heme protein, thus decreasing the body’s ability to absorb it (2). This is where vitamin C saves the day! Also known as an “iron promoter”, vitamin C dramatically increases the absorption of non-heme iron.

In order to maximize the absorption of the non-heme iron, Chickpea Granola Wholesome Raspberry flavor is fortified with baobab, a superfruit grown in the African Savannah and known for its high levels of vitamin C. Baobab contains 6 times more Vitamin C than oranges! Thus, you’re getting the antioxidant benefits of vitamin C, higher bioavailability of non-heme iron and the delicious citrus and fruity flavor of baobab!

Eating healthy is easy!

Read More

9 Things About Coronavirus

The Basics Of Prevention And Beyond With Coury Clemens
  1. What is Coronavirus? 

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses most commonly known to cause respiratory infections in humans. The current coronavirus outbreak is responsible for causing COVID-19. Other familiar diseases caused by coronavirus are SARS and MERS.

2. Are there people who are at a higher risk of getting sick with Coronavirus? 

Though information is still being gathered about this strain of coronavirus, those at higher risk of developing complications includes elderly and those with serious pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.

3. Can wearing a face mask guarantee protection? 

Definitely not. However, if you are sick or suspect that you might be sick you should wear a medical-grade face mask mostly to protect those around you. Typical cotton masks do not provide enough protection from coronavirus. 

4. Is it transmittable through water? 

Fecal tests of infected individuals have demonstrated the survivability of coronavirus which points to the possibility it could contaminate water sources. 

5. Can vodka be used as a hand sanitizer? 

The best way to disinfect is by washing your hands for a minimum of 20-30 seconds with soap under warm water. If you use hand sanitizers make sure they contain at least 60% alcohol (standard vodka is 40% alcohol). (1)

6. Can coronavirus survive on surfaces? 

Yes, according to Harvard “COVID-19 coronavirus can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The researchers also found that this virus can hang out as droplets in the air for up to three hours before they fall. But most often they will fall more quickly.” (2)

When you choose a disinfectant product keep in mind not all of them are created “equal”. EPA states that “if a product with an emerging viral pathogen claim is not available, use a product with a coronavirus claim. If the product is listed as “N” under the Emerging Viral Pathogen Claim column, then it has a human coronavirus claim.” Additionally, the product can be used against SARS-CoV-2 if its EPA registration number is included on the list with emerging viral pathogen claims and those with human coronavirus claims.

Here’s a helpful link to a comprehensive list of disinfectants:

7. How can we best avoid the mounting anxiety and panic? 

The # 1 thing is to focus only on credible medical sources of information. Check for updates on CDC websites and blogs from reputable sources such as Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic. Try to avoid watching TV and browsing social media too often. Besides taking all necessary precautions, try practicing mindfulness and focus on breath work. The best meditation apps to try are Calm and Headspace. 

8. What are the most important steps to avoid getting infected with coronavirus? 

  • Avoid crowded places
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or a hand sanitizer that contains no less than 60% alcohol for 20-30 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face especially your mouth, nose and eyes 

9.  What to do if you get infected with Coronavirus? 

Currently, there are no vaccines or medicines to prevent or treat Covid-19. It’s important to seek proper medical care if you’ve developed a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing. It’s also important to wear a mask and try not to spread the virus to medical staff or other people around you. 

Coury Clemens MPH, PA-C / Partner & Director Of Operations at EFFI FOODS

Reference (1)


Reference (2) 


Read More
Healthy Snacks For Good Nutrition

Healthy Snacks For Good Nutrition

Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy good snacks. You will find comfort in knowing that there are a lot of healthy snacks that are not only tasty but good for you as well. You can enjoy snacks while still maintaining your healthy and nutritious diet regimen and kids will enjoy them, too. Many healthy snacks weigh in with less than one hundred calories making them great choices.

Fill Your Snack Plate With Fruits

Fruits are the perfect choice for snacking as they are high in vitamins and low in sugars. You may consider stocking up on items such as bananas, strawberries and cantaloupe. Many fruits are high in beta-carotene making them an awesome snack choice. Raspberries are also a great fruit to have in the fridge for when it’s snack time. There is nothing wrong with having a snack as long as you are choosing the right snacks for your family as well as for yourself.

Snacks That Fill You Up

Many snacks can curb your hunger and can also provide the pick-me-up that you need as far as your energy level is concerned. You might choose to have a peanut butter bar that is made with granola and peanuts to give you that burst of energy. Trail mix is also a good snack selection as peanuts and dried cranberries can provide protein as well as great taste. Granola bars come in a large variety of flavors such as strawberries and cream, chocolate-peanut and even almond and brown sugar that can be a healthy snack choice to give you a satisfied feeling.

Turn Your Veggies Into A Snack

Turning your veggies into a snack is a healthy idea that everyone will love. You might choose to have carrots with hummus or perhaps sliced tomatoes with some crumbled feta cheese on top and a few drops of olive oil to curb your hunger. If you love edamame peas you’ll be glad to know that you can eat them right out of the shell for a healthy snack choice. Celery sticks with peanut butter can also create a nice veggie snack as long as you are not too generous with the peanut butter.

Quick and Easy Snacks

For a quick snack that is easy and usually readily available consider popcorn. You won’t want to have a lot of butter on it as that will take away from its healthy value. Oatmeal is also an excellent snack choice and it is very filling making it the perfect mid morning snack that just may allow you to eat a smaller lunch. Place a cooked egg white on a piece of toast for another filling snack choice that will help get you through until your next meal. Fat-free pretzels are a great snack that you can have anytime and anyplace to take the edge off of your hunger attack.

Meaty Snacks That Are Healthy

When you feel the need to add a little meat to your snack consider choosing a few boiled shrimp and a dab of cocktail sauce, or even a small serving of meatless meatballs that are made from veggies. An ounce of tuna and yellowtail with a little soy sauce on the side can also be a delicious snack choice that offers nutrition to your healthy eating. Enjoy a couple of ounces of roasted turkey and some tomato juice as a meaty snack with a little zest to fill you up and keep you going. Turkey jerky is a low calorie snack option that is also a great power choice.

Healthy Snacks That Don’t Seem Healthy

There are many snacks from which you can choose that don’t really taste like healthy snacks. An item such as yogurt is a great frozen or creamy snack with an assortment of flavors. A glass of chocolate milk using nonfat milk and light syrup can also be a delicious snack that is deceivingly healthy. For another snack that will provide your chocolate fix you can enjoy four or five Hershey’s Kisses as long as they are not of the dark chocolate variety.

EFFi Foods is all about providing healthy snack choices that taste great and are high in nutrition, so don’t forget to take advantage of their delicious variety.

Read More
9 Foods That Are Beneficial Probiotic Supplements For Your Health

9 Foods That Are Beneficial Probiotic Supplements For Your Health

Probiotics are nutritional microorganisms that offer awesome health benefits to the body. They are used to replace harmful microbes with healthy microbes that are naturally found in your intestines. Probiotics help fight an array of ailments including diarrhea, gum disease, vaginitis, yeast infections and many others. Incorporate the following nine foods rich in probiotics to give your immune system a boost and keep you feeling healthy:

  • Yogurt is one of the best known probiotic foods due to its live cultures. Make sure that you read the labels on your yogurt choices to ensure that you are getting the most nutritious yogurt available. Some yogurts will contain unnatural ingredients that are similar to that of ice cream, taking away the nutritional value of the yogurt. Yogurt with artificial sweeteners or that contain high fructose corn syrup aren’t going to provide the nutrition you are seeking.
  • Sauerkraut is also a great probiotic food choice. Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage. The fermentation process is what gives the cabbage its probiotic value. This food choice is rich in Vitamins A, B, C and E. Sauerkraut has also been well known to help fight allergies. You’ll find many great recipes that use sauerkraut as an ingredient as well.
  • Kefir is a combination of fermented yogurt and goat’s milk. Kefir is rich in lactobacilli and in bifidus bacteria which are rich in antioxidants and help make kefir a super probiotic source. You can check your favorite health store for an organic brand that promises to be of the highest quality.
  • Even the common ordinary pickle is a great source for providing probiotics. Choosing homemade canned pickles instead of manufactured bulk pickles will provide the better choice for your diet although all pickles will provide some probiotic benefits when consumed.
  • The taro plant from Hawaii brings Poi to the table and when it’s mashed after cooking it becomes a creamy dough. Poi offers more probiotic benefits than that of yogurt due to having a higher bacteria content.
  • From Asia comes Kimchi which is also a sauerkraut-based food. It offers a spicy yet sour flavor and is mostly used as a side dish. Full of beta-carotene, iron and calcium and rich in Vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, it’s a great source of probiotics and one of the best you can include in your diet if you enjoy spicy foods.
  • Microalgae is more of a food additive that is created from ocean plants such as blue-green algae, spirulina and chorella. When fixing your morning smoothie, add microalgae to include the probiotics that your body needs.
  • Kombucha is a fermented tea that is rich in healthy stomach bacteria. It has been used for hundreds of years and is said to increase energy, reduce weight and improve your overall health. However, this may not be the best product for you if you have experienced trouble with candida.
  • Miso Soup is a Japanese medicine that is a long time tradition. Once prepared, it has proven digestive benefits. Miso soup is made from fermented beans, barley, rice, and rye. By simply adding a couple of teaspoons to hot water it forms a soup that is rich in probiotics.

Probiotic foods are best used in the mornings in order to begin your day with a great jump start. They help with gastrointestinal problems as well as aid in improving your digestive system. For those that experience bloating, a diet high in probiotics may be the simple solution that you are in need of.

When choosing probiotic foods, consider EFFi Foods as one of your first sources to ensure that you are getting the best quality and the best results possible. Choosing any other food provider may mean that you aren’t getting top of the line food products that are as natural and healthy as they should be.

Read More
Reaping The Benefits of Good Nutrition

Reaping The Benefits of Good Nutrition

There are many benefits to having a healthy diet that revolves around good nutrition. However, it may not always be easy to stick to eating the foods that are best for you. Everyone falls off the wagon every once in a while and eats foods that they know they shouldn’t. Making sure that you and your family eat a diet that is healthy and nutritious can be a difficult task but training them at an early age about the benefits of good nutrition may help keep them conscious of what they eat on a long term basis.

Nutritious Food Increases Your Energy Level

Everything that your body does takes energy, so making sure that you have all of the energy that you need is paramount. Foods that are high in protein, carbohydrates and fats all help to provide energy to the body. Minerals and vitamins are needed as well in order to help your body store the energy that it gets from the foods that you eat. Nutritional foods will also help to keep your tissue healthy, as well as your muscles and nerves. Maintaining your body temperature can also be contributed to eating a healthy diet and food that are high in nutritional value.

Good Nutrition Promotes Growth and Repair To The Body

The body feeds on the items that you eat in order to grow and also to promote healing. Protein is very important to building muscle mass in the body. Your body will use what you have eaten in order to help it heal from injuries such as cuts, broken bones and also common colds. Making sure that you eat a diet that is nutritious will help your body heal faster and for you to feel better more quickly.

Beat Chronic Diseases With The Best Nutrition

Many chronic diseases can be overcome with the use of a healthy diet. Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and some cancers can be avoided when you choose to make wise choices in the food items in which you eat. Avoiding sugars and fats can help you maintain the healthy diet that you need to ensure that you don’t put yourself at risk for chronic diseases. A diet high in fiber is also a great way to eat smart and protect from disease. Vegetables are a great source of fiber and can make a huge difference in your health. Leafy veggies are a big plus that you should always incorporate into your diet.

Maintaining Healthy Bones and Teeth

A nutritious diet will help to ensure that you are taking the best care of your teeth and your bones. A calcium rich diet in the early developmental years will help to ensure that you are providing the best foundation for your teeth and bones by keeping them strong. Maintaining a healthy bone mass can benefit you for the rest of your life. A diet high in calcium can also prevent osteoporosis in the later years of life. Popcorn, cheese, nuts and veggies should be your snacks of choice to ensure that you are providing the best nutrition for your teeth. Limit your sweet snacks and sugary drinks and always follow your meals and snacks with a glass of water to help your teeth stay healthy and strong. Avoiding cavities at a young age will be a great benefit to you in your later years.

Good Nutrition Can Also Benefit you Mentally

A healthy diet with nutritious food choices can also be a mental health benefit. By selecting foods from the four basic food groups you will be able to avoid depression and mood swings. Tuna and salmon can be an excellent food choice as well to help you to maintain good mental health. A lack of omega 3s has been shown to lead to a higher depression rate than those that eat these fatty acids on a regular basis. A well balanced diet and the intake of foods that are rich in omega 3s have also been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Food items such as eggs, milk, cereals, whole grains, lean meats and vegetables are great items to have in your nutritional diet.

Strengthening your Immune System With Good Nutrition

It’s important that you keep your immune system healthy, as this is what helps you to fight off infections and illnesses. Sources of vitamin C are a great way to help boost your immune system. It helps to raise your white blood cell count which helps to ward off sickness. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains are also awesome food choices that help give the immune system the charge it needs to help you fight disease.

Let EFFi Foods provide you with the best food choices that you need in order to get the most out of the foods that you eat. Your health depends on it.

Read More
9 Ways You Can Make Your Impact on Environmental Sustainability Today

9 Ways You Can Make Your Impact on Environmental Sustainability Today

Becoming “environmentally friendly” or “going green” is a current hot topic in our society. While there are many people who go the extra mile in order to help and sustain the environment, there are little adjustments that each of us can make to aid in the cause. The following 9 tips for environmental conservation are extremely easy to achieve and implement, and most of them are just as beneficial to our wallets as they are to the environment.

1. Recycle Everything

There are so many materials used in everyday life that can be recycled. While some of these are well-known, there are other things that you may not have even realized can be recycled. Some of the more common recyclable materials are paper, plastic, metal, and aluminum. Some of the lesser known options include ink cartridges from printers, old cell phones, and used batteries. Most cities have a recycling option in the weekly garbage rotation, so you do not even have to leave your home. Otherwise, there are drop boxes located in store or school parking lots in which you can place these items.

2. Reduce Water Consumption

Reducing the amount of water used in the home can help the environment in many ways. This is very easy to accomplish and will also save you money on your monthly water bill.

  • Showers – One of the most basic ways to save water is to switch from baths to showers since baths take up to 2x as much water. You can also take shorter showers or even shower with your significant other to reduce the water used.
  • Hoses – Instead of hand washing your car with hose water, visit a local car wash. They are much more efficient with water usage than you will be with your hose. If you have to water your lawn or plants, do so at dawn or dusk. You can also get automatic sprinklers to avoid using too much water.
  • Appliances – The dishwasher and washing machine use a lot of water, so only run them when absolutely necessary. Wait until you have a full load of laundry or dishes to run either one. There are also regulators that can be installed in toilet tanks that can regulate the amount of water needed to flush what is in the bowl
  • Faucets – Do not leave water running when doing tasks such as brushing your teeth or doing dishes. With most dishwashers, it is also unnecessary to rinse dishes before putting them through a cycle.

3. Stop Using Disposable Items

Instead of adding more to the landfills, stop using disposable products and find something that can be reused. Drink coffee? Purchase a coffee cup or mug that can be refilled. Have a baby? Use cloth diapers instead of disposable. Thirsty? Grab a cup and fill it with some ice and tap water instead of buying bottled water. You can use cloth napkins, use rechargeable batteries, purchase reusable grocery bags, and say “no thanks” to straws and coffee stirrers. Even these small things can make a huge difference.

4. Conserve Electricity

Wasting energy is an epidemic, and curing this can help more than just the environment – it can also save you a lot of money on your energy bills.

  • Lights – Get in the habit of turning off the lights anytime you leave the room. During the day, open the blinds and allow the natural light to illuminate the room. You can also switch to more efficient light bulbs, install dimmer switches, or use light timers or sensors to make lights turn off automatically.
  • Thermostat – While you do want to be comfortable in your home, you should also be mindful of the temperature. Turning the thermostat just one degree higher in the summer or lower in the winter can make a huge difference in energy consumption. Make sure your thermostat is set to automatically shut off at certain times so that it is not left running unnecessarily.
  • Fireplace – Using the fireplace is a great way to heat the home without running the heater. However, if the damper in your fireplace is left open after the fire, the warm air in the home will quickly escape, wasting energy and money. Be sure to make closing the damper part of the routine of warming your home with a fire.

5. Care For Your Car

We always hear that one of the main causes of pollution is vehicle emissions. To solve this, you can do things such as carpooling with coworkers or friends or even walking or riding your bike on a nice day. Properly maintaining your car and ensuring a clean engine can also lower emissions. However, emissions pollution is not the only environmental problem that cars can create. Using too much gas affects fossil fuels, so driving less, driving a fuel-efficient car, and using the cruise control on the highway can aid in this. Another way to save gas is to buy locally-grown products. This way, you will not be relying on the shipping and delivery of these foods and products.

6. Go Paperless

Not only should you recycle paper, you should try to avoid using it altogether if at all possible. Almost all companies and establishments have features such as auto-pay, direct deposit, or e-billing. Instead of having bills or statements sent to your home, have them emailed or view them through the company’s website. Instead of writing a check and using an envelope and stamp, pay your bills online using a credit card. Instead of constantly throwing away the junk mail and phonebooks that you did not request, place a phone call to let them know to take you off their mailing list.

7. Use Moderation With Appliances

Appliances in the home make life much more convenient, but they also use a lot of energy. Being environmentally friendly does not mean getting rid of them, but simply making small adjustments in use. For example, do not preheat your oven unless it is absolutely necessary. Turn on the oven when you put the food in, and it can begin to cook as the oven warms. You can also turn off the oven a few minutes before it is finished since most ovens are able to stay hot enough to keep cooking for at least 5 minutes. The same can be said for the stove top. When doing laundry, you can wash your clothes in cold or warm water instead of hot, and then hang-dry them rather than using the dryer.

8. Reuse Items

Instead of throwing away paper products, plastic bags, wrapping paper, etc., think about ways to reuse them. If you receive a plastic bag from a store, reuse it when making lunches, packing, or carrying other items. Instead of throwing away gift bags and bows, save them to use on another present. Even Styrofoam cups from coffee places can be washed and reused. You can also use newspaper or old fabric to wrap presents rather than purchasing more paper.

9. Purchase Secondhand Items

Just because something is used does not mean it is inferior. For example, purchasing secondhand clothing or baby items can greatly reduce the use of natural materials as well as your cost. The same is true for toys, sporting equipment, lawn care equipment, and more. Be sure to take proper care of your things so that someone else can reuse them when you are finished.

While they may seem minor, implementing these 9 tips into your everyday life can make a great difference in the current and future condition of the environment. Aside from making these small changes in your life, the most important thing you can do is spread awareness to others. Share these tips with friends and neighbors, and encourage them to think about the future generations rather than remaining apathetic to the problem.

Read More
The Importance of Good Nutrition For Children

The Importance of Good Nutrition For Children

When it comes to nutrition and eating a healthy diet, it is of the utmost importance to children as a child’s body as well as their brains are dependent on the food that they eat. Children are developing and growing and ensuring the proper diet will allow them to reach their full potential both mentally and physically. Nutrition actually affects the brain of an infant before they are born which makes the mother’s diet a very important factor. Poor nutrition prior to birth and through the first two years can cause damage to an infant that is permanent and irreversible.

Iron Is An Important Nutrient For A Child

A deficiency of iron in a child’s diet can cause damage to a the brain, much the same as too much iron can. Behavioral issues as well as poor motor skills can result from a lack of iron in a child within their first 2 years of life. Children that are poorly nourished tend to have immune problems which prevent them from being able to fight off diseases. This results in a child who becomes sick more often or stays sick longer.

Encourage Breakfast Eating

It has been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and children are no exception. Children that partake in breakfast tend to be able to focus better on the day’s tasks. Breakfast provides children the energy that they need to get through the day and it also helps to raise their metabolism to help burn calories throughout the day. A child that enjoys a healthy breakfast tends to get along well with others throughout the day and be less grumpy or sluggish.

Parents Are The Healthy Nutrition Source

Children rely on their parents to provide the things that they need in life and a nutritional diet is no different. Parents should choose healthy meals for their children that provide foods from the four basic food groups. Healthy snacks should also be chosen instead of sugary snacks. Some good snack sources are popcorn, nuts, yogurt, veggie sticks and cheeses. Teaching children to eat healthy is completely up to the parents. Parents are the role models for children. If the entire family is eating healthy foods a child will tend to enjoy those foods as well. Allowing sugary foods, sodas and foods with a high fat content can be a major mistake for parents. The best way to avoid a poor diet is to never create one for your children.

Preventing Childhood Obesity

The diet habits that you teach your children at an early age will be the habits that they carry with them into adulthood. Poor diets can lead to obesity in children, which can in turn lead to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol and joint pain. Teaching your children good eating habits can increase your child’s self esteem and help them to perform better in school and in other activities such as sports.

Make Water A Part Of Your Child’s Healthy Diet

Including water in your child’s diet is an awesome way to ensure that they are on the road to healthy eating habits. Water will help to keep your child hydrated and it is also a great way to make them feel full and to eat less than what they may normally eat. When children choose to drink water, they are able to avoid the sugars that can be found in sodas and in many juices that are available.

Poor Nutrition Results

When children don’t eat a healthy diet it can result in dehydration, menstrual cramps and irregularities, a delay in puberty and unsatisfactory bone health. Poor academic results can also be one of the cons that children can experience from a poor diet. Children can also experience more injuries when they don’t practice good nutrition, which can lead to broken bones.

EFFi Foods can help you provide the healthy diet and the best nutrition that your children need. You can rest assured that you and your family will enjoy the benefits of having a well balanced diet of foods that are good for everyone.

Read More
The 30 Top Nutritionists On Twitter And Why You Should Follow Them

The 30 Top Nutritionists On Twitter And Why You Should Follow Them

When it comes to health, everyone wants to know if they’re doing the right things. People have the desire to be fit, happy and healthy at every stage of their life. This means understanding what’s good for your body and what isn’t.

Making sense of it all with experts by your side

You don’t have to scrounge around and find healthy tips all on your own. These nutritionists will help you sort through the studies and give you advice that will help you live your everyday life easier. Follow these health experts and get the tips you need on your Twitter stream.

1. Joy Bauer

She’s the health and nutrition expert for NBC’s TODAY Show and author of “Joy Bauer’s Food Cures,” “Joy Fit Club Slim and Scrumptious,” “Your Inner Skinny” and “The 90/10 Weight Loss Cookbook” as well as many others. She believes it’s never too late to receive the benefits of healthy living. Get more from her on Twitter at @joybauer.

2. Andrea Chernus

She’s a registered dietician, board certified specialist in Sports Dietetics, certified diabetes educator and consultant to the The Juilliard School. Andrea Chernus is also the author of “The Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance.” Follow her on Twitter at @AndreaChernusRD.

3. Dr. John La Puma

Dr. John La Puma is a professionally trained chef, practicing physician and PBS host. He’s the author of “Refuel: A Revolutionary 24-Day Program to Drop the Gut, Boost Testosterone, and Supercharge Your Strength, Energy, and Stamina Naturally and Forever” and “Chef MD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine: A Food Lover’s Road Map to Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Getting Really Healthy.” You can follow him at @johnlapuma.

4. Linda Miner

This certified holistic nutritionist, website master and reiki master is the creator of the youth-restored site She tweets healthy tips, healthy news articles and inspirational quotes for her followers at @linda_miner on Twitter.

5. Dr. Frank Lipman

Frank Lipman is a practicing physician, educator and author. He blogs at He’s written two books that focus on total health: “Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again” and “Total Renewal.” For tweets that center around food, sleep and music, follow him at @DrFrankLipman on Twitter.

6. Keri Gans

She’s a nutritionist, media personality and author. She wrote, “The Small Change Diet” and blogs for Shape Magazine. She enjoys dining out, fashion trends and yoga. Follow her at @kerigans on Twitter.

7. TeamNutrition

TeamNutrition is the initiative from the USDA Food and Services department that aims to support Child Nutrition Programs. You’ll find practical links about recipes, portion control and information that focuses on kid’s health. You can follow the team at @TeamNutrition on Twitter.

8. Sandra Frank

For 30 years, Dr. Sandra Frank has been giving nutrition advice. She’s a nutrient analysis expert and heads the site Go follow her on Twitter at @DietitianOnline for good advice, newsworthy articles and nutrition facts.

9. Dr. Nancy Collins

Dr. Nancy Collins is a nationally recognized nutrition and health expert based in Las Vegas. She’s the creator of the website Nutrition411. The site provides free and downloadable resources that can be customized to increase positive outcomes and positivity in healthcare settings. You can follow her at @RD411 on Twitter.

10. Gloria Tsang

Gloria Tsang is a registered dietician and founder of, a website that gives advice to readers that’s solely from registered dietitians. She also the author of, “Go UnDiet: 50 Small Actions for Lasting Weight Loss.” Get more from her on Twitter at @HealthCastleGlo.

11. Monica Reinagel

She’s a licensed nutritionist, best-selling author and a firm believer in the slow-food movement. She states to her readers, “”I’m here to help you sort food facts from fiction, separate the good information from the bad, and to make eating healthy just a little bit easier – and a lot saner.” You can follow her at @NutritionDiva on Twitter.

12. Dr. Mehmet Oz

He’s a cardiac surgeon, the star of the talk show, “The Dr. Oz Show” and he has a lot to say about health and nutrition for his viewers. He’s written a great variety of books on diet and physical well-being. Some of his works are entitled, “You: Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty,” “YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider’s Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment,” and “YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner’s Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy.” Follow him at @DrOz on Twitter.

13. Janet Helm

She’s a registered dietician and writer, who co-founded the websites and On her website, Nutrition Unplugged, she writes about her opinions and thoughts about diet myths, food trends and nutrition. Go follow her at @JanetHelm on Twitter.

14. Lauren Harris-Pincus

Lauren Harris-Pincus is passionate about helping others live well and putting them on the path to great health. She’s the current owner of Nutrition Starring YOU, LLC and has worked as a registered dietician in her New York/New Jersey area private practice for the last 18 years. Get more from her on Twitter at @LaurenPincusRD.

15. Kathy Siegel

Kathy Siegel is the owner of a nutrition communications firm, Triad to Wellness Consulting. As a registered dietician, she works with her team to help portray important messages to the audiences of health professionals. Follow her at @KathySiegelRDN.

16. Dr. David Katz

He’s the director of the Yale Prevention Research Center and author of the book, “Dr. David Katz’s Flavor-Full Diet: Use Your Tastebuds to Lose Pounds and Inches with this Scientifically Proven Plan.” His work also focuses on childhood obesity. Get more from him on Twitter at @DrDavidKatz.

17. Susan Dopart

She’s written “A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian,” and “Healthy You, Healthy Baby: A Mother’s Guide to Gestational Diabetes by the Doctor’s Dietitian.” She aims to promote a lifestyle eating whole foods. She’s also a Huffington Post Blogger. Follow her on Twitter at @smnutritionist.

18. Dr. Andrew Weil

He’s the author of “8 Weeks to Optimum Health: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body’s Natural Healing Power” and “True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure.” Dr. Andrew Weil enjoys sharing information about integrative medicine, nutrition, and natural health. Get more from him at @DrWeil on Twitter.

19. Lori Shemek

She’s a fat loss expert and author of, “FIRE-UP YOUR FAT BURN! Super Easy Quick Tips, Strategies and Goals for Fast Weight Loss.” She enjoys discussing workout tips, dietary options and health advice. You can follow her at @LoriShemek.

20. Marion Nestle

She’s a professor at New York University in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health. She talks about food policies and politics with her followers on social media. Marion Nestle is the author of “Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health.” Follow her on Twitter at @marionnestle.

21. Dr. Barry Sears

He’s dedicated the last three decades of his career in research to studying the link between health, hormones and diet. Dr. Barry Sears is the author “The Anti-Inflammation Zone: Reversing the Silent Epidemic That’s Destroying Our Health” and “The Mediterranean Zone: Unleash the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet for Superior Weight Loss, Health, and Longevity.” You can follow him on Twitter at @DrBarrySears.

22. Elisa Zied

Elisa Zied is a registered dietician who aims to give you trustworthy health information in an approachable manner. She’s the author of “Younger Next Week: Your Ultimate Rx to Reverse the Clock, Boost Energy and Look and Feel Younger in 7 Days” and “Feed Your Family Right!: How to Make Smart Food and Fitness Choices for a Healthy Lifestyle.” You can follow her at @elisazied on Twitter.

23. Lisa Stollman

She’s a registered dietician and certified diabetes instructor. Lisa Stollman is also a Teen and Adult Weight Management Expert and author of, “ The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy.” Go follow her on Twitter at @eatwellrd for more.

24. Cynthia Sass

As a registered nutritionist, she’s the nutrition consultant to the Tampa Bay Rays. She’s known for her books “S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches” and “Flat Belly Diet!” Follow her on Twitter for health tips and advice at @cynthiasass.

25. Kristin Kirkpatrick

Kristin Kirkpatrick is a registered dietician and Cleveland Clinic nutrition expert. She’s also a Dr. Oz Show Advisory Board member and tweets about diet news and health advice. Go follow on Twitter at @KristinKirkpat.

26. Cheryl Forberg

For contestants on the show “The Biggest Loser,” they look to Cheryl Forberg for top-notch nutrition advice. She’s also a James Beard award-winning chef, registered dietician, Huffington Post blogger and urban farmer. Get more from her on Twitter at @CherylForbergRD.

27. Dr. Mark Hyman

He’s the author of “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet: Activate Your Body’s Natural Ability to Burn Fat and Lose Weight Fast” and “The UltraSimple Diet: Kick-Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days.” He also writes cookbooks that put his health tips into actionable advice for his readers. Follow him at @markhymanmd on Twitter.

28. Carolyn O’Neil

She’s known for being a down-to-earth dietician. She’s a passionate educator and enjoys great food. Carolyn O’Neil is also the author of “Southern Living Slim Down South Cookbook: Eating well and living healthy in the land of biscuits and bacon.” Follow her on Twitter at @carolynoneil.

29. Dr. Janet Brill

She’s passionate about helping people stay heart-healthy with whole foods and fitness plans. Dr. Janet Brill is the author of “Cholesterol Down: Ten Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks Without Prescription Drugs” and “Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease.” Get more from her on Twitter at @DrJanetBrill.

30. Rania Batayneh

On her nutrition consulting firm’s website, Essential Nutrition For You, Rania Batayneh states that her mission is “to change your lifestyle for lasting results by developing sustainable eating strategies that will enhance your well-being and transform you from confused to confident as you work towards optimal health.” She tweets about recipes, health news and her daily life over at @RaniaBatayneh on Twitter.

Take a moment to follow these thought-leaders on Twitter to improve your well-being and your happiness. With enough tips and advice from these health experts, you’ll be on the road to great health in no time!

Read More