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If coffee is the best way to start your day, an energy drink is the physical and mental stimulant that can get you through the day – whether you just need a pick-me-up or are cramming to complete a project for work. In the billion dollar energy drinks market, the choice is vast and the shiny cans of liquid goodness beckon you away from fizzy drinks and fruit juices. Modern lifestyles and the ‘work harder, sleep less’ culture demand caffeine. If you’re not juicing up on veggies, you’re probably swigging a Red Bull or a 5 Hour– that’s the new normal.

But is this a new normal we should be encouraging? Are energy drinks really all that? Let’s scrutinize them and leave it to you to make the decision.

A quick energy boost is always welcomeThere are up to 25 grams of carbohydrates (100 calories) per 8 ounces of energy drink. For athletes and work-out enthusiasts, carbs replenish energy expended during strenuous physical activity, assisting with recovery and performance. Energy drinks with over 400 milligrams of sodium per liter replace electrolytes lost during intense workouts, hydrating and refreshing you.

Some energy drinks contain vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B12 in small amounts, which can supplement the amount you derive from your daily diet. They also contain taurine, an amino acid that promotes salt and water balance in the blood.

This is the good part, but the flipside cannot be ignored.

Insomnia and dependence pose a real problem Caffeine is a major ingredient in energy drinks, surpassing that in Coca-Cola. A 16 ounce can contains 160 milligrams of caffeine, about the same in one cup of coffee. Caffeine dependence is never desirable, and daily, unfettered consumption of energy drinks and coffee can cause insomnia, irritability and anxiety.

In the worst case-scenario, people who gulp down energy drinks and soft drinks set themselves up for symptoms such as stomach problems, fevers and diarrhea. This is incompatible with a healthy lifestyle, regardless of whether you’re an employed individual or a school-going teen.

The health risks are too serious to ignoreThe simple sugars and hidden additives in energy drinks may revitalize your body, but the buzz dies down pretty quickly. Importantly, your insulin levels go haywire due to the elevation and drop in sugar levels, which can lead to that “crashing” feeling.

The high sugar content of energy drinks can contribute to weight gain and high cholesterol. Sugary drinks dehydrate your system and can decay your teeth over time.

Worryingly, studies have found that, when mixed with alcohol, energy drinks can make you feel sober even when you’re not. In an irresponsible moment, you may decide to drive because you don’t ‘feel’ tipsy, though in reality, you may be too intoxicated to attempt driving.

There is not much research or literature on the proprietary ingredients that energy drink makers claim improve the taste and performance of their products. If we were to train our microscope on these ingredients, we may discover some unsavory facts that make us think twice about un-natural energy drinks.

The Top 10 Essential Vitamins for Women’s Health

Eat clean. Exercise. Get 8 hours of sleep. Drink a lot of water. We all know what we need to do to feel our best, but this deceptively simple advice is always easier said than done.

Whether we’re putting in late nights to pay off our student loans or shuttling the kids between school and soccer practice or doing all of the above and trying to carve out time for a social life and romance: self-care is usually the first item on our to-do list that often goes undone.

Our willingness to put something as essential as taking care of ourselves on the back burner is counter-intuitive for so many reasons with the biggest being: how are we supposed to get everything done if we’re constantly feeling run down?

When you ask your friends for advice, they’ll say “take your vitamins” and likely recommend a slew of supplements to boost your energy — B12 shots, anyone? — but a cabinet full of supplements won’t get to the root of the problem, which is a lack of balance.

Just like we crave balance in our lives our bodies crave balance in our nutrient intake. Over-extended fatigued women need nutrition that is specific to her and her lifestyle.

Beyond lifestyle, women need nutrition that is specific to them. For example, women burn 5 to 10 percent fewer calories than men while doing the same activities because of the difference in our body composition.

Men, in general, have more muscle mass, heavier bones and less body fat than women. Because of these differences in muscle mass, men burn more calories than women at rest. That said, taking a “one-size fits all” vitamin for two fundamentally different bodies makes little sense.

At Inspire for Her, we focus on creating balance within a woman’s body by supporting her immune system, addressing her slower metabolism, and preventing those pesky energy crashes.

 

 

Here are our picks for the top 10 essential vitamins for women’s health:

  1. Vitamin C. When your body is under a lot of stress, your natural vitamin C supply decreases. Known for its ability to support our immune system, vitamin C also boosts levels of the brain chemical called noradrenaline which makes you feel more alert and focused.
  1. Vitamin A. Found naturally in apricots, carrots, and red peppers in the form of beta-carotene, our bodies convert this nutrient to vitamin A. Vitamin A improves our eye health, encourages skin cell production, and stimulates fibroblasts — the cells responsible for developing tissue that keeps the skin firm.
  1. Vitamin B1. Also known as Thiamin, vitamin B1 helps the body metabolize carbs, transforming them into much-needed fuel for both mental and physical energy. It is possible to overdo it with B1 and proper dosage is a must. Signs that you may be taking too much include dry, itchy skin.
  1. Vitamin B6. Responsible for supporting brain health, vitamin B6 maintains adrenal function, calms the nervous system, and is essential for regulating mood and mental fatigue. In a nutshell, this is the “cure all” vitamin for busy moms.
  1. Vitamin B12. Essential for the formation of the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, vitamin B12 is well-known for increasing both your energy and your metabolism. Chronic fatigue, memory loss, or depression could all be signs that you’re low on B12.
  1. Vitamin E. Sought-after for its skin health benefits, vitamin E is known for its ability to keep cells healthy. This vitamin is an antioxidant and as such is the “first line of defense” against environmental damaging effects on the skin. A must-have in the nutritional arsenal of the woman-on-the-go.
  1. Vitamin D3. Though it may be called a vitamin, D3 actually functions as a hormone. It helps move calcium and phosphorus into your bloodstream — a process that keeps your bones healthy and strong. When our bodies don’t have enough vitamin D3, it will take calcium and phosphorus from our bones, leading to osteoporosis and a daily dose will help with prevention.
  1. Folate (folic acid). Arguably one of the most important vitamins, folate supports a healthy brain and spinal cord. It also makes DNA and RNA and prevents the changes in DNA that can can lead to cancer. If that’s not enough for you, folate also prevents anemia and is especially important for pregnant women because it helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida.
  1. Biotin. This vitamin can be found in medicine cabinets as well as makeup bags: biotin is known for thickening our hair, strengthening our nails, and firming our skin. In addition to the beauty/cellular-related benefits, it’s also key for health digestion. In order to convert carbs, protein, and fat into energy, biotin (or vitamin B7) must be present in our system.
  1. Calcium. I already know what you’re thinking: duhhh. We all know about calcium’s reputation for building strong, healthy bones and warding off osteoporosis, but did you know that calcium might also protect against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure? This super mineral works hard to keep our bodies in fit and fighting shape.

Achieving balance in our lives is challenging, but creating balance in our bodies can be as simple as adjusting our nutrient intake. Inspire for Her created a lifestyle supplement for women on-the-go that provides balanced nutrition to create a steady flow of long-lasting energy so you can take care of yourself and everything else.

Learn more about Inspire for her products here.

Practically every mother we know with young children wakes up around 5 and gets to bed around 9 (or later, if they try to squeeze in some Netflix and “me time” before bed). 7 days a week. Working or stay-at-home. Rain or shine. 365 days a year.

Healthy habits are hard to start and “eat right and exercise” isn’t easy when your dinner consists of scarfing down the leftover mac n’ cheese on your child’s plate after your typical 17 hour day.

To us, this brilliant parenting analogy made a lot of sense: When you’re about to take off on an airplane the flight attendant tells you to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others, including your children. This goes firmly against every maternal instinct we have, but the logic is flawless. If you come to harm after helping your child, then no one is there to help you. And who will be there for your child then?

This logic applies to parenting and motherhood. We feel guilty for spending even a minute doing something for ourselves, even when that thing is taking a shower where we use soap and wash our hair (shaving our legs is often a pipe dream). As mothers we have an obligation to care for ourselves because we have a lot of people who genuinely depend on us to be okay.

 

 

5 Simple Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

  1. Do one thing every day just for you.

Remember the Golden Rule? Treat others how you want to be treated? Also remember to treat yourself with the same kindness. This can be as simple as going for a short walk in the morning if someone can watch the kids, doing yoga once a month, spending an extra $5 on a bottle of wine that has an actual cork in it, painting your toenails after the kids go to bed, or taking a minute to throw on some mascara. Keep a pint of Haagen Daz hidden in the freezer. Go through the drive-through with your kids and DON’T share your fries after they scarf theirs down. Every day complete one small act of “selfishness” that reminds you that you still matter.

  1. Get quality sleep.

I’m sure you laughed out loud at this one. Hear us out: We aren’t suggesting more sleep, just quality sleep. The easiest way to do this without cutting back on caffeine is to stop sleeping with your phone. Don’t even keep it near your bed. Let it spend the night charging in another room and invest in one of those old-timey alarm clocks (we think clocks are still a thing somewhere?). Try your hardest to go screen-free for 30 minutes to an hour before bed. The bright blue light that screens on phones and televisions actually causes your brain to stop producing melatonin. The longer you can go without a screen before bed, the faster you’ll get to sleep. Sleeping without your phone in the room will keep you from firing up that bright screen when you wake up in the middle of the night, allowing you to get back to sleep faster.

  1. Drink your vitamins.

When the kiddos are going through a picky eating phase and both variety and vegetables start to become a distant memory, it’s not likely that you’re going to make dinner for your children and then make a separate dinner or salad for yourself. Apart from incorporating a clean high-quality nutritional supplement, another simple solution is to “drink your greens” by picking up a green smoothie at your grocery store. For around $6 you can grab a pre-prepared smoothie from the freezer section with nutrients and benefits from kale, collard greens, spinach, celery, and apple. No prep or cleanup involved and no rotting baby spinach in your fridge. Just a quick boost of nutrients and energy and you’re on your way.

  1. Incorporate “mini workouts” into your routine.

Start waking up at 4am, get a gym membership, or just join your local Crossfit. No big deal. Just kidding. By “mini workout” we mean parking at the farthest end of the parking lot and walking to your destination, going for a 10 minute stroll during your lunch break, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing a handful squats before or after bed. Nothing crazy, no lofty weight-loss goal, just the goal of getting your blood moving every day. If you want to take it to the next level, check out the number of free short workout or yoga videos available on Netflix or YouTube.

  1. Time away from the kids.

This is a big one and it doesn’t need to happen every week, but regular time away from your children will go a long way towards supporting your mental and emotional health. Asking a friend or family member to watch the kids once a month for a couple hours while you enjoy some solo time, time with friends, or a date night with your partner, will help keep you in touch with who you are without them. It’s easy to get lost in the identity of “mom” which is why so many women have a hard time when their children leave the house. It’s hard to remember who you are without them. Taking the time away from your kids to check-in with yourself is as necessary as groceries and doctor’s appointments. Remember: put your oxygen mask on first.

For a daily boost of clean, long-lasting energy and with nutrients specially formulated to support a woman’s metabolism, learn more about Inspire for Her. In addition to supporting your immune system to ward off those playground illnesses, Inspire for Her has the added bonus of curbing afternoon hunger pangs.

Essential oils are increasingly popular this day and age. Oils such as lavender, lemon, and lemongrass are being used in baths, in body products, and even diffused in homes across the globe. So what’s the big deal? How safe and effective are they really? How do you know if you’re getting the right product? Essential oil popularity has blossomed tremendously. It seems that everyone wants to have the best product out there, and with that comes the concern of being mass-produced and over-stocked, causing some oils to actually do more harm than good. This helpful tidbit of information will give you the low-down on essential oils.

What Are Essential Oils?

For thousands of years, oils have been used for a variety of reasons, from health to household. A pure essential oil should be nothing less or more than the distilled extraction of the fragrance of a specific plant or herb. Popular scents such as eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, and peppermint are abundant and can be seen in almost every supermarket and spa. You might find that some manufacturers label them for oral use as well as topical.

What is a Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil?

Most essential oils are distilled, standardized and portrayed to hold the purest of standards of therapeutic treatments and aromatherapy. They may take great consideration with soil and growing conditions, seed quality, altitude and climate, harvesting and even caring during the distillation and bottling. Some suppliers have different environmental and physical factors of their plant growth. Other factors are how and when it’s harvested and whether or not it’s organic. This is what separates the over-the-counter essential oil from pure oil that you would purchase through a supplier/grower.

 

 

How Do I Find the Right Kind?

In order to get the right essential oil, you must consider its source. Always check the label for botanical name, distillation date or expiration date, country of origin, and chemotype. If they have a NAHA or any other legitimate association located on their label, you know you are getting a manufacturer that follows the rules behind safe essential oils. What’s more, if you’re wowed at the price, it’s probably too good to be real. Most effective essential oils sell for what they are worth. Efficient essential oils need to be GC/MS tested. This process collects data from a specific plant or herb to verify its effectivity and reliable purity before it hits the shelves.

Where Do I Start?

You are halfway to finding out if essential oils are right for you, and if so, which ones. You first need to consider what you’re using them for (cleaning, diffusing, food, or topical use) and then decide where you can find a reputable source. There are many manufacturers but only a few pass the test of true and effective benefits for you and your home.

 

Are you ready to give your home and body a makeover? Breathe easy and eat healthfully with our soulful supplements to lead you in right direction. Check us out here for more information!

Did you know that stress has a direct connection to heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in America? Accumulative stress over time can wreak havoc on your heart and cause a slew of health issues which can lead to heart problems later on in your life. This serious and life-threatening issue can disguise itself in many ways. With proper nutrition and steps taken to relieve the tension, you can stop it from affecting your daily life. No matter what occupation you hold or how busy your every-day life is, there are effective and healing ways to destress naturally and holistically. These easy and inexpensive ways to destress will help you achieve the peace and calm that you long for.

Exercise

Whether you’re running, swimming, chasing your little one around the yard or walking the dog, your body releases chemicals called endorphins during those activities. This helpful chemical is what lifts your mood and gives you that boost of energy and sudden excitement. Exercising is a release for your body, mind, and soul. It offers not only mental clarity but results in your physical appearance as well. Focus on just 10 to 20 minutes of walking or running a day to get your body in the habit.

 

 

Meditation

We busy and hardworking humans face stressful situations every day. Our natural response is to face stress in a “fight or flight” mode that usually results in your heart racing, excessive blood pumping, sweating profusely and generally a mood change of sadness or anger. Meditation is designed to do the opposite in these situations: it decreases blood pressure, slows your breathing and your heart rate. Meditation is a simple way to connect mind and body through focused and conscious breathing while sitting in a distraction-free room. Meditation coaches all over the globe offer in-home or in-studio classes to help individuals achieve a stress-less way of life. Just 10 to 20 minutes a day can beat the blues.

 

 

Eat the Goods

In order to fuel your mind with positive, stress-combating thoughts, you need to fuel your body first. Luckily, it doesn’t cost much to get what your body requires to maintain a healthy mind to ward off those stressors. You probably know the obvious: get rid of unhealthy fats, sugars and ditch the booze. But do you know what to take in place of those foods? Green leafy veggies carry adequate amounts of folate. Spinach, kale, and mustard greens are a pleasant tasting and inexpensive way to get your folate and amp up your mood. Blueberries are one healthy way to get rid of the blues. These tasty, sweet antioxidant power-balls are packed with the highest levels of anthocyanin and are responsible for holding adequate amounts of vitamin C, a vital element in providing a stress-free life.

 

 

Get into a stress-free daily routine without the negatives. Would you like to invest in a supplement that will boost your mood and enhance your daily life? Check us out here for everything you need to feel energized, focused, and balanced.