By Elizabeth Leader Smith, July 2, 2018 

    Many people in the world do not have a choice when it comes having nutritious foods or even basic health services, let alone access to either of the two. That’s why the nonprofit Vitamin Angels helps at-risk populations gain access to life-changing vitamins and minerals. And this month, Vitamin Angels is partnering with Whole Foods Market, so that you can help people get access to what they need.

    Vitamin Angels helps pregnant women, new mothers and children under five (a critical window in childhood development) get vital nutrition. Vitamin Angels leverages the knowledge and existing infrastructure of its nonprofit partners and adds prenatal multivitamins, vitamin A and deworming tablets, as well as nutritional counseling and the promotion of breastfeeding practices to its partners’ existing health and nutrition services. These vitamins can help to reduce preventable illness, blindness and even death associated with micronutrient deficiencies. Through their work, Vitamin Angels has been able to reach 61 million children and mothers in 74 countries.

    While these underserved populations are primarily in areas classified by the World Health Organization as experiencing moderate to severe vitamin A deficiency or worm infections, the organization also reaches mothers and children in the U.S. and Canada. Whole Foods Market shoppers have generously supported Vitamin Angels through fundraising efforts for years. This July, we’re aiming to raise $100,000 for the nonprofit with the help of our supplier partners.

    So, How Can You Help?

    It’s simple: All you have to do is shop. During the month of July when you purchase select supplements products from brands like Nature's Way, Garden of Life and Amazing Grass, 25¢ from each purchase will be donated to Vitamin Angels. There’s a strong chance one of your favorite supplement brands supports Vitamin Angels; about one-third of our supplement brands participates in this program. How do you know your purchase is supporting Vitamin Angels? All you have to do is look for the following label*, and you’ll know that part of your purchase is going to a good cause.

    Or, see below for a full list brands that are supporting Vitamin Angels:

    • Irwin Naturals
    • Nutrition Now
    • Ancient Nutrition
    • Boiron
    • Earthrise
    • Garden of Life
    • Good Day Chocolate
    • Natrol
    • Nature’s Way
    • Ollois
    • Plant Fusion
    • Thayers
    • New Chapter

    Both 365 Everyday Value® and Whole Foods Market™ brands plan on donating an additional $5,000 together to Vitamin Angels.

    Learn more about how your contribution can provide nutritional support to malnourished children in the U.S. and around the world – and be sure to stop by your local Whole Foods Market to stock up on supplements. Not just for your health, but for the health and wellbeing of children across the globe.


    Editor's Note: Vitamin Angels is a separate organization from Whole Foods Market.

     *Most, but not all, brands supporting Vitamin Angels feature this logo.

    To see this blog post and others, visit: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story



    January 5, 2020

    A barre workout may be confusing to some people. While other types of workouts seem like a no brainer to whether or not it’s cardio, strength training, weight training or stretching, a barre workout doesn’t instantly tell you what type of workout it is. So in order to better understand barre, I’ll explain the different types of barre workouts and what type of workout they are considered to be.

    Students getting ready to take a cardio-based barre class at Barre Centric in Buffalo.

    What are barre classes like?

    There are a variety of barre classes from basic to fusion to interval; however, not all studios offer the classes below so be sure to do your research before trying a class. 

    • Basic barre class: This type of class is a full-body strength-training class that combines elements of Pilates, dance, and yoga. This class structure is slower as is the range of motion for most movements. Your instructor may cue something similar to this: “Make it smaller!” “Contract the engaged muscles!” “’Decrease your range of motion!” and “Less down; more up”.
    • Fusion/cardio barre class: This type of class is a cardio- and strength-training workout combining elements from a basic barre class but adds in opportunities where you can speed up the movements to get a heart pumping workout. This is done at the ballet barre or in the center of the room and is a much faster pace than a typical basic barre class.
    • Interval barre class: This is a blend of a barre workout and interval training. This is as fast paced and upbeat a barre class can get. In my opinion, this is the definition of a HIIT workout besides that it’s much longer than a normal HIIT workout. Scroll down below to learn more about HIIT workouts. This class is bound to leave you sweating and shaking as the high repetition movement is designed to create lean muscle definition. The speed of this class can help improve your endurance and condition your cardiovascular system. So yes barre can be considered a HIIT workout.
    • Beginner/Intermediate/Expert barre class: Lastly, your barre studio may offer classes that are named based off of the level types. I recommend to take a beginner barre class for your first 15 to 20 classes. This way you can learn the terminology and form of barre. After 15 to 20 classes, I would move to intermediate then after 40 or so, move to expert barre classes. However, if you’re super sore from a class and are looking to take it easy, then attend a beginner or intermediate barre class. Listen to your body!

    What is HIIT and how does it work?

    Earlier I mentioned HIIT workouts (High-Intensity Interval training or Sprint Interval Training), this is a cardiovascular exercise technique alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercises with less intense recovery periods. 

    These workouts can be anywhere between five minutes to 45 minutes. Personally, I think longer than 45 minutes, and sometimes even 45 minutes, is too much for the body to handle since the objective is to go as hard and as fast as you can during work intervals. 

    I think it’s important to note that in an interval barre class, which are 45 minutes long, you are also doing a light warm up, abdominal work in between intervals and a cool down so you are not doing intervals for 45 minutes straight. Again, listen to your body and take your time—the first time I tried an interval barre class I could barely get past the first 15 minutes!! 

    For your first HIIT workout, I recommend staying with a 15-to-30 second range. This means resting for 15 seconds and working for 20 seconds (jumping jacks, burpees, etc) or vice versa if that is too much for you.

    Are barre classes worth it?

    Yes yes yes! Barre training can do wonderful things for your body;  I always recommend adding some type of strength training into your weekly workout routine. I do barre, weight training, running, cycling, SolidCore and much more! These workouts check all my bullet points off for what I’m trying to achieve with my fitness journey—don’t ever feel like you have to stick to one workout! 

    In order to get the most bang (or burn) for your buck, shop around and see which classes make you shake, sweat and challenge you. Additionally, I recommend shopping around to see which instructor checks off all your bullet points for what you are trying to achieve. Some instructors may be harder or more enthusiastic—some people like this while others don’t and that’s okay! For example, see below:

    • Is the instructor challenging me?
    • Is the instructor motivating me?
    • Is the instructor positive?
    • Is the instructor correcting my form? 

    Oftentimes, I have heard people say they felt like they didn’t get a work out in after trying a basic barre class. While you are not always drenched in sweat because the movements in a basic barre class are minimal, I try to tell people to wait a day or two and see if they feel sore and usually they do! Give it time as with anything!

    For this blog post and others, visit: https://thebarreblog.com/

  • Is Keto Right For You

    An inside look at the Ketogenic Diet

    It’s no secret that there’s been a shift towards healthier eating habits. This has brought about a myriad of organic stores that sell health-related food items, healthier prepackaged food, and a number of new diet fads.

    From the famous Mediterranean Diet, Dash Diet and TLC diet, to more weight loss related diets such as Atkins, Zone, South Beach, and Keto. Yet, which diet is the most effective? Which should you try? Given body type, health and allergy sensitivities, certain diets might work for some people, but not others. It is essential that prior to starting any diet plan you consult your doctor first, since many of these diets may do more harm than good.

    That said, this article will be focusing on a very popular diet plan; the Ketogenic Diet, often referred to as “Keto.” This particular diet has risen in popularity thanks to the countless celebrities that swear by it. Because of its popularity and the fact that it seems like a counterintuitive way to lose weight by eating more fat, it is highly talked about. Is Keto good for your health in the long run? Is it effective for everyone?

    Let us first start by defining what the Keto Diet is and how it works.

    What is the Keto Diet?

    The Keto diet involves increasing the intake of fat while cutting-down on carb consumption. But how can increasing your fat intake possibly help to lose weight? Interestingly, by consuming more fats and fewer carbs (in the right ratios) your body is forced to shift into a state known as “ketosis.” What this basically means is that you are turning your body into a fat burning machine – it will break down fat into ketones and then use those ketones for energy.

    Normally, your body would break down carbs for the production of energy. However, since a body in ketosis has very few carbs to burn, it will start to burn the fat in your food instead. This process also encourages the body to turn its own fat reserves into Ketones, which are then stored in the liver for energy – which often results in dramatic weight-loss.

    The Keto diet often involves eating foods such as:

    • Meat
    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Vegetables
    • Oils
    • Nuts, etc
    DietDoctor.com Keto-friendly foods at a glance

    Can you do Plant-Based Keto?

    Many of our followers are vegetarians and vegans and after looking at the foods above, will conclude that vegans can’t take part in a keto diet. While hard, it is technically possible.

    Those thinking of partaking in a plant-based keto diet should stick to certain food items such as:

    • Low- carb vegetables such as celery, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus and so forth. (Mostly “above ground” veggies)
    • Low- carb nuts such as macadamia nuts and walnuts just to name a few.
    • Low- carb fruits. They include blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.
    • Proteins such as flaxseeds and Chia seeds.
    • Healthy oils such as avocado, extra-virgin olive, and macadamia nut oil.

    Needless to say, a plant-based keto diet is an extremely challenging diet because fruits and vegetables naturally tend to have carbs. Keto followers tend to look at “net carbs” by subtracting the amount of fiber from the number of carbs, which makes fibrous veggies such as celery, broccoli, and cauliflower desirable. However, without some serious planning in place, it will be very difficult to stay in ketosis, and you will probably end up being on a “high fat low carb diet” rather than Keto. You will probably also have trouble getting all of the necessary nutrients. And if you are currently eating a well balanced plant-based diet and getting plenty of exercise, you’re already doing your body a huge favor and should be well on your way to your health and fitness goals without having to track and plan everything you eat.

    Final verdict?

    Countless studies have shown that diets just don’t work. About 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain it again in 1-5 years. Dieting can also be harmful by limiting essential nutrients, leading to the development of eating disorders, increase stress, and decrease the quality of life. Keto in particular is generally agreed to be unsustainable in the long-term. It is extremely difficult to follow for most people, and will take over some of the most enjoyable parts of life, many of which revolve around food.

    What’s the solution?

    Being “healthy” is not a fad or a trend or a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Wherever you are on the path to living well, Nekter can help you on your journey. Whether it starts with choosing a vitamin and nutrient dense green juice instead of a soda, getting your daily veggies in a delicious smoothie instead of on top of a pizza, doing a juice cleanse to help curb your junk food cravings, swapping your favorite snacks for a healthier alternative, or just purchasing more fruits and veggies and less junk food to encourage better eating habits, taking just one step a day in the right direction will take you far in the long run!

    At the end of the day, every time you make the choice to consume more fruits and veggies, you will have less room and less desire for processed and “empty calories.” Like an expensive car, your body and your brain functions best when you give it premium fuel, and you deserve the best!

    Written by Published on in Buzzword Breakdown, Happy & Healthy

    For this blog post and others, visit:


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