Going Further Into Collagen

Drinks, Products I Love

Lately I have seen so many up and coming trends of people using Collagen protein supplements to add to their daily routines. I have been super interested in trying it and experiencing its benefits.


What is “collagen”?

From Further Food, “Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, making up 90% of connective tissue, 90% organic bone mass, and 70% of our skin. In our early 20s, collagen production decreases, with 50% of our supply depleted by our 60s. Decreased collagen means more wrinkles, saggy skin, joint stiffness, weaker bones and thinner hair. Luckily, supplementation has been proven to prevent and reverse the effects of this loss.”


Some of the benefits of taking collagen supplements include: promoting weight loss, builds stronger bones, alleviates inflammation, improves flexibility, speeds up muscle recovery time, prevents heartburn, repairs intestinal lining, contains 18 amino acids and 8 essential amnio acids (imperative to post workout recovery), smoothes cellulite/ stretch marks/ acne scars, reduces wrinkles, hydrates skin, and builds strong hair/ teeth/ nails.

I have finally had the chance to get my own collagen supplements and put it to the test! I got my first collagen tub from Further Collagen . The first thing I thought was, “What can I mix this with?” It is a powder form, just like any other protein powder. I always wondered “Does it taste weird? What does collagen powder mix well with?” With these first few questions, I did a little research and looked up what I could mix it with! I found some amazing recipes and information about it from the Further Food’s website about their product. To my surprise, you can seriously just mix it into anything, just like you would with other protein powders. I immediately started to play around with it in the kitchen to try my first collagen experience. Of course my go-to protein mix in is a smoothie. So I whipped it up in a delicious Pumpkin Spice flavored smoothie.

Blender Recipe:

  • Ice
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk
  • A scoop of Further Collagen
  • Half of a persimmon
  • Tablespoon of Salba Chia Seeds
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • A pinch of Pumpkin Pie Spice

And topped it off with:

It turns out that I don’t even taste it! The best part about it is that it is flavorless, does not have an odor, and does not have a weird gelatin texture. It dissolves well in anything. As I look through Further Food’s recipes with collagen, it makes me realize how versatile it really is! You can mix it and make it into smoothies, soups, puddings, frosting/spreads, cakes, breads, omelets, literally EVERYTHING. Pretty cool!



I also love that this Further Collegan is super clean. I like how it is simply just the collagen with nothing else added. It is made with 100% South American Pasture Raised Bovine Hide Collagen Peptides that is grass-fed, pasture-raised, non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, and paleo. There are only 29 calories, 7g of protein, with 0g sugar, and 0g carbs in one scoop. Seeing that as a Type 1 Diabetic is a plus for me. So it does not affect my blood sugars spiking it with the powder alone. One of the most frustrating things is finding a protein powder (or some kind of supplement) that doesn’t have a whole bunch of added sugar and carbs to make is taste better. When supplements add those sneaky added sugars to just make the supplement taste good, it ends up spiking my blood sugars.


So over all, I am quite impressed with my first collagen experience! I can’t wait to make more things with it and incorporate it into more of my recipes!

If you are interested in trying it out too, here is where you can grab your first tub like me from: Further Collegan

AND receive 10% off your order with this coupon code too: GRETCHEN10

Safety With Style! – Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Review

Products I Love

After being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, I was on the search to find a medical ID bracelet that I could wear. I have always been an independent person.. I live by myself, go on runs, and do things where not everyone around me would know that I am a Type 1 Diabetic. So it gave me peace of mind that I could wear a medical ID that would tell people exactly what they needed to know if anything were to happen to me alone or even with friends.

The problem was that every medical ID I found was the typical silver chain bracelet with a big red medical tag to stick out like a sore thumb. It didn’t match my style or the jewelry that I wear. And on top of that, I didn’t want to be obviously labeled to the whole world that I am someone that has medical problems. Because of that, I didn’t want to wear it.

BUT THEN along came Lauren’s Hope! And man, did it give me some hope! Discovering Lauren’s Hope was a game changer. Lauren’s Hope makes a new form of medical ID jewelry because of the exact problem I had. Lauren’s Hope was created to design and create new medical ID that are actually fun, exciting, and cute to wear! They created a company that gives positive encouragement and empowerment to those having to wear medical IDs. Making people excited to wear their medical IDs. No longer making it a burden to wear those metal tags, but instead, making it a beautiful piece of jewelry that makes you feel empowered, stylish, and safe. Their IDs expand beyond bracelets and into necklaces, anklets, bag tags, charms, etc. There is a wide variety of different kinds of bracelets and jewelry to choose from. They have bracelets ranging from stylish to athletic, kids to adults, men’s to women’s.  Along choosing the type of bracelet you want, you also get to choose the color of medical tag, design you want, and then customize it with any engraving information that you want on the back. The amount of customizing you can do really helps tailor a medical ID bracelet exactly to want you want. Creating it to fit your style, personality, and lifestyle!

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My Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Bracelet: Daydreamer

I got the Daydreamer bracelet and I am in love with it! It matches my style and personality perfectly! I chose my bracelet and the specific medical tag that I wanted paired with it. I also got to engrave 5 lines of information on the back of it! The medical tags are even interchangeable so if you get another bracelet that you like, you can easily transfer the tag to the new bracelet with out having to buy new tags! So efficient! I have been wearing mine non-stop ever since I got it! I have done everything in it: running, showering, and just doing my daily activities! It is made with the best quality of  sliver and with all of the activity I do and wearing it everyday, all of the beads and wiring are very secure and stay intact! My bracelet still looks brand new with no tarnish!

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Not only is the jewelry wonderful, but the customer service was amazing. I got lots of help when deciding on what bracelet I wanted. They helped me pair the type of bracelet I liked and the tags that would go best with it! I told them my wrist size and they were able to make the bracelet to perfectly and comfortably fit me! They helped me right away with any questions I had and were able to send it out to me quickly!

I would 100% recommend Lauren’s Hope to any person in need of a medical ID because they are the best when it comes to stylish medical jewelry, wonderful customer service, and overall positive experience! I already want to order another one! Thank you Lauren’s Hope for making jewelry that makes having a chronic illness a little more fun!

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Zucchini Rice

Main Dishes

I’ve always been a fan of spiralizing zucchini to make noodles, but I have never thought about making it into rice! I found this recipe from Further Food and it opened my eyes to a great new healthy low carb alternative to rice! I think this recipe will be used a lot for me in future dishes!

Here is Further Food’s recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini squash
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil, or cooking fat of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Add additional optional l seasonings like garlic, onion, chives, sesame seeds, etc

Directions

  1. You will want to slice the ends off your squash and then spiralize them with a Spiralizer.
  2. After they are spiralized, place on a cutting board and dice until desired sized “kernels.”
  3. OR if you don’t have a Spiralizer, you can also grate the zucchini into rice sized grated chucks
  4. In a skillet, saute the zucchini rice in the teaspoon of oil for about 5 minutes or until it softens
  5. You will want to try to cook off as much water as possible
  6. Add in the seasonings of choice and then serve!

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 53; Total Fat: 3 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1179 mg; Potassium: 512 mg; Carbohydrate: 6 g; Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 5 g; Protein: 2 g
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C: 58%; Vit A: 7%; Iron: 3%; Calcium: 3%;

Double Chocolate Brownie Batter Overnight Oats

Breakfast

Sometimes in the mornings, I feel too lazy to make any kind of big breakfasts, or I don’t want to dirty up my dishes to make anything, or I am in too much of a rush to make anything so I’ll grab a boring protein bar to quickly eat as I head out the door. However, that all changed when I discovered the wonderful idea of overnight oats. Overnight oats are such a simple and easy breakfast dish to have when you are in a rush in the mornings or even when you aren’t! It is already made and ready to go as soon as you wake up! One of my favorite things about overnight oats is that you can literally make it any kind of flavor you want!

Today’s chocolatey overnights oats is from Further Food called Double-Chocolate Brownie Batter Overnight Oats! The name itself drew me into making it, but then actually tasting it made me die in chocolate lovers heaven. Cacao is used to make its chocolate flavor. There are so many wonderful health benefits from cacao like iron, fiber, magnesium, and provides as a mood booster too! Chia seeds are also used which gives your body a huge boost in fiber and omega-3s!

Here is the wonderful Further Food recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond milk* (vanilla flavor is good!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats (I use Steel Cut Oats because they are lower in the glycemic index so it causes a lower rise in blood sugars, unlike regular oatmeal)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • pinch of sea salt

*You can add more or less milk depending on desired consistency. I tend to stick with 3/4 cup then add a few splashes of almond milk in the morning if needed.

*Also, taste test at this point- more chocolate, more sea salt, vanilla – only if needed!

  • Optional add-ins:
    1/2 – 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice: maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, or melted chocolate
    1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut oil
    1 tablespoon protein powder
  • Optional toppings:
    cacao nibs
    dairy free chocolate chunks
    1 tablespoon melted almond butter
    chopped almonds
    coconut sugar
    walnuts

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl add all of the ingredients except 1 tablespoon of the almond butter and stir until well combined OR add the ingredients to a mason jar, close with the lid and give the jar a good shake until well mixed.
  2. Place the mixture in the fridge in a closed container.
  3. In the morning add 1 tablespoon of melted almond butter or any additional toppings desired. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Per Serving: Calories: 371; Total Fat: 23g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 10g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 284mg; Potassium: 427mg; Carbohydrate: 18g; Fiber: 11g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 12g; Calcium: 53%; Iron: 20%

Banana Zucchini Bread

Breakfast

One of my favorite things is to wake up, make myself a latte, toast a slice a piece of banana zucchini bread, and sit out on my porch enjoying the morning air. I found this amazing recipe for a grain free, vegan, paleo, low sugar, low carb banana zucchini bread from the site Further Food! It is such a great way to use all of my really ripe bananas and zucchinis that I had laying around my kitchen! I loved the fact that no white baking flour or confectioners sugar was used in the making of it! Makes it that much better to enjoy knowing that it came from all simple whole food ingredients!

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Here is the Further Food recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom, ground (or cinnamon works well too)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl until well combined.
  2. Pour batter into bread pan and put into the oven to cook for 45 minutes
  3. Make sure bread is thoroughly cooked by sticking a toothpick in the center and making sure it comes out clean.
  4. Slice up the bread and enjoy! Try it toasted too!