The Hike to Chino Canyon, Palm Springs

Hike

Our journey began on an arid Tuesday in Palm Springs. Most of us (Pedram, Summer Bock, Tom O’Bryan, Dave Asprey, Abel James and Alyson Bridge) had been stuck at this golf resort for over four days and we were looking for a sweet escape. We were sane enough to feel the insanity creeping up and we had to do something about it. So we decided to take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of Chino Canyon at Mt. San Jacinto State Park and unplug for the day.

We thrive in the presence of nature and suffer in its absence. Only when we reached the top of Chino Canyon and looked down at the miles and miles of endless forest did we realize that we had deprived ourselves of real nature. Yes, the golf course at the resort was nicely designed and maintained, but we weren’t hungry for that. We needed something wild… something worth exploring.

The trip to Chino Canyon really did feed us – emotionally, mentally, and physically. We hiked a good six miles. Stopped at a peaceful meadow to enjoy our lunches. We packed lots of organic blueberries, bananas, cucumbers, carrots, wild salmon, and almonds. We shared everything. And it was awesome! We kicked off our shoes and soaked in the sunshine. There was no cellphone reception… and I was so grateful for that. It was so refreshing to be “off the grid”, even if it was only for eight hours.

I wanted to share some photos of our hike with you in the hopes that this will inspire you to go out and have a journey of your own.

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Talking Trash: How to Sort Your Waste

That’s a lot of waste:

Did you know that the average person produces 4.3 pounds of waste per day? No? Now, imagine how much waste is produced if there are 7,253,563,313 billion people who live on this Earth.

It’s time to take out the trash.

Waste Management

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Staying Cool and Saving Water

Water

We’re pretty much all the same. What make us different are our experiences. Whether you’ve been environmentally conscious since you were a kid or if you just started using reusable bags to carry groceries, it just takes a smidge of conscious effort to make an impact. It doesn’t have to be hard. You might need to change your old habits, but it will definitely be worth it.

I realized the importance of taking care of the environment and everything around us when I was in middle school. This passion of mine began as a small flame and little did I know that it could ignite a fire inside me. Today, I am a student at UC Irvine who is pursuing a degree in Urban Studies and a minor in Global Sustainability. Here’s my perspective as a student… I want to share with you some small changes that you can make to save water and energy this summer!

I have been fortunate enough to meet some amazing people and work with inspiring individuals who constantly push me to work harder and to never forget to be thankful for all that I have. In this day and age, I feel that a lot of people take things for granted. Not just our loved ones, but also our time, our health, and the environment we call “our home”. Why not take that extra step, and hit two birds- excuse me, four birds with one stone?

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The Health Bridge Show: Sofa Series Episode 1

Sofa Series
Last fall, Pedram Shojai, Ken Cook, and Abel James all visited Sara Gottfried at her home and we recorded a long conversation that lasted nearly two hours. Here is the first two parts of that conversation. They discuss how Ken started the Environmental Working Group and what EWG aims to do. How can we live sustainably? Are we aware of all of the various toxin and chemical exposure events that take place through everyday life? Can technology help control certain issues?

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Show me the SKIN Facts!

Skin

Now that we know what’s in them, do they actually work? Don’t leave that makeup counter without asking for the ‘SKIN Facts”! No really, we tried this and unfortunately didn’t get the response we were hoping for.

Dr. Vesna Petronic-Rosic, dermatologist of the University of Chicago Medical Center, shares that most companies rarely publish studies that display the effectiveness of their product. They tend to focus more on potential side effects, such as skin irritation and allergic reactions.

So why is our knowledge of the ingredients in skincare and cosmetic products so sparse? To what extent do these products deliver their desired effects? If data from research and tests were more readily available, we’d all be more educated consumers. Unfortunately, companies tend to cite scientific evidence to help prove that specific ingredients in anti-aging products actually work, but they keep these studies private and decline to present them to the general public.

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Easy Ways to Improve Digestion and Speed Up Metabolism Naturally

DigestionIt’s 1 pm and you just finished your lunch not too long ago. Now it is time to get back to work, but all you want to do is take a nice, long nap. Your body feels heavy and your mind is starting to fog. Sorry to break it to you – but you may be in a food coma.

Food comas are no joke! They can be especially dangerous in the workplace. Known as post-prandial somnolence  (Fancy huh?) to the medical world, a food coma is defined as a normal state of drowsiness following a meal.

To break this concept down even more, think of it as a series of chain reactions. When you consume food, your body goes into a general state of low energy due to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in response to the increase of mass in your gastrointestinal tract. This then leads to a specific state of sleepiness caused by hormonal and neurochemical changes related to the rate at which glucose enters your bloodstream and the downstream effects it has on the transport of amino acid in the central nervous system. In other words, your energy is being diverted to aid in digestion, so “non-essential” functions such as, exercise and muscle exertion are placed on the back-burners.

As a general rule of thumb –  the bigger the meal, the harder it will be for you to stay awake! When you eat a lot at once, your parasympathetic nervous system ends up shifting more of its energy to help with digestion. What you eat also matters. When you consume foods loaded with fat and sugar, they are quickly broken down into glucose (the simplest form of sugar). Your body uses glucose for fuel and this increase of it will cause a spike in your bloodstream. To counteract this surge in blood sugar, your body then releases more insulin to clean up the excess glucose. However, the increase in insulin causes your brain to produce more serotonin and melatonin, which are neurochemicals that make you feel sleepy.

If you’re concerned about feeling sleepy after eating, we have some tips that can help you improve your digestion and overall gut health…
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What’s all the hullabaloo? Is that a Wrinkle?!

wrinkle

Everywhere you look there always seems to be a new anti-aging cream containing the most advanced technologies on the market- but how do we know these creams actually work? Do we even know what’s in them?

To answer these questions, we did a bit of research. Our team has delved into the facts to unearth more information on anti-aging creams.

First off, what’s in them?

To truly understand what works, we have to take a look at what these serums are made of! In doing so, we identified some of the main components that give anti-aging creams their umph. These include pentapeptides, collegan, sirtuins, and resveratol.

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The Hungry Man: Beating the Freshmen 15

It’s nearly time for my ten-year reunion, but there’s a small part of me that’s the same person I was in high school.

No matter how far I’ve moved away or how many new friends I’ve made, there’s a part of me that’s still the loud, musical-loving, inappropriate-joke-making kid I was so long ago. What has changed, however, is that I no longer weigh over 200 pounds. At 5 feet 6 inches tall, that was quite an amount of weight to carry. I was born and raised in the midwest, Grand Rapids, MI to be precise, and was hardly the fattest person in my class. That said, I was definitely far from being fit.

My weight was never a prevalent health issue; my yearly check-ups never resulted in any alarms. My doctor once even mentioned I was healthy and it was just how I was built. I could actually run a decent mile for being as fat as I was. I was that person who was first to make fun of my weight. Others could try to put me down, but they couldn’t say anything I already hadn’t covered. I wasn’t that depressive fat kid in high school. My weight and image was just who I was. Sure I could have done more to maybe get in better shape. The amount of pop I would drink while playing video games for hours straight would have killed an elephant. The food I ate wasn’t healthy and I ate a lot of it.

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Simple Tempeh Reuben Salad Recipe


Summer Bock and Robyn Youkilis come together to create a salad version for a favorite, yet not so healthy, sandwich… the classic reuben. They have created a salad that has all the great flavors of the reuben, but without the guilt. This simple recipe is easy to make and sure to satisfy your cravings!

In Summer and Robyn’s recipe, they use tempeh as a substitute for meat. If you’re a vegetarian, you may already know about this soy-based superfood. If you’ve never heard of tempeh before stumbling onto this delicious recipe, then let us explore what this food has to offer.

 

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Skin Care Without Toxic Chemicals

Many of us use lotions, sunscreens, and deodorants on our skin, perhaps even every day. Do we know what really goes in our beloved skin care products? Let’s investigate!

When we put chemicals on our skin, it is actually way worse than if we were to ingest them. Why? Because when we eat something, the enzymes in our saliva and stomach help break down the “something” and flush out any toxins from the body. Unfortunately, personal care products and cosmetics absorb directly through the pores. That’s why people who use makeup on a daily basis can absorb almost 5 pounds of toxic chemicals into their bodies each year. Wow!

Here is a quick list of common toxic chemicals to avoid in your personal care products:

1) Phthalates and Parabens

Phthalates and parabens belong to a group of chemicals commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They keep our hairsprays sticky and our nail polishes bacteria and fungus-free. Unfortunately, both of these chemicals have shown to be carcinogenic and linked to breast cancer. The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust discovered that paraben residues are found at concentrations up to 1 million times higher than the estrogen levels naturally found in human breast tissue. Furthermore, Propylparaben was found at its highest concentration in the underarm area – think about the deodorants we so often use!

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