Category Archives: Balanced Healthy

Healthy snacking with Popchips™

3 delicious Popchips FlavorsPopchips are rocking our world!

After watching Popchips from a healthy living perspective, we are very impressed by their honest advertising, cool brand image, and healthy alternative to the traditional potato chip.  This less-guilt snack is natural and doesn’t try to be anything it is not.  A totally honest brand that lives and breathes what it does.  How refreshing.  And when talking about the product, not only are they full of flavor, but you don’t have to worry about greasy fingers when you’re done with the bag.

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What’s trending now: the “superfruits” of 2011

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With the recent rise of “superfruit” touting products, it is sometimes difficult for people to figure out what benefits they are actually gaining.  Labels showcasing “superfruits” to be rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, pre/probiotics, etc. are flooding the market and health conscious shoppers are continually looking for the next best thing to help them with their skin, heart, and overall health.  The success of acai and pomegranate has led to an increasing number of companies searching for the next hit “superfruit” to add onto their label.  The list of obscure fruits is on the rise as people become more interested in the natural health movement.  Promises to boost health, detoxify, and rejuvenate resonate with Americans enticing trial of these new “superfruits.”  As marketers we must be certain that these “superfruits” are honest and authentic.  Brands need to be unwilling to sacrifice their values.

Superfruits Trends of 2011

This year, we are already seeing an influx of new “superfruits” hitting the market.  The maqui berries may be the next big thng!  Rich in delphinidins, they are able to increase insulin in the body and prevent foodborne illnesses.  Along with the maqui berry, the dragon fruit is increasing in popularity.  Stores like Whole Foods are replacing acai drinks with dragon fruit drinks due to the higher amounts of antioxidants found in the dragon fruit and the added benefit of natural omega3. Dragon fruit has long been a staple in the Viatamin Water product line.  The fruit is also known to and stabilize blood glucose levels for people who suffer from Type-2 diabetes and decrease levels of bad cholesterol.  From the culinary perspective, Medjool dates are becoming trendy among people looking for a sweet, yet healthy treat.  Medjool dates contain amino acids, minerals like calcium, vitamins and fiber.  We have seen dates popping up on Top Chef Just Desserts, in national food chains like California Pizza Kitchen, and other California locals.  Other “superfruits” to watch out for in 2011 include: cupuacu, guarana, guava, lychee, and yumberry.

Maqui Berry – The Mapuche Indians of Chile harvest large qualities of the maqui berry which accounts for most of the berries that are sold commercially.

Dragon Fruit – The dragon fruit has a large amount of vitamin c, but there is  up to 10 times the amount of vitamin C in dried dragon fruit vs. fresh.

Medjool Dates – The “king of dates” was one of the first fruits ever to be harvested as far back as 6000 B.C.  Now the majority are grown in the US and are harvested in a sustainable and artisanal way.

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Healthy eating in 2011

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As healthy eating is becoming more mainstream, consumers are seeking retail partners that can help them stay healthy.  While cutting calories is a thing of the past, food safety and quality are gaining importance with consumers.  “Fresh” is the newest buzz word in healthy eating, replacing words like low-cal.  Consumers are looking for healthy solutions that are easy to incorporate into their daily routine and are simple to understand.  Cleanliness and freshness of food has only become increasingly important to consumers.  For packaged food, this threat of freshness can be overcome by discussing the production cycle of the product and the ingredients.  The idea of harmful food has evolved from short term consequences like food poisoning to the long term with potential unknown health effects that won’t surface for some time.  Consumers are in defensive mode when it comes to food contamination and want to know firsthand what’s going on. For consumers, fresh is simple and makes it easy to determine quality.  According to Todd Essig of New York Medical College, “[When] we make dinner, we’re also making meaning … Food choices that express care for self, for intimates, for community and for the planet (and thereby for future generations) can significantly deepen the gratification experienced [while eating].”

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Wellness Warehouse: The one stop shop for all your healthy living needs

The wellness warehouse takes healthy living to the next level and makes their store a one stop shop for all your needs. We have seen the famers markets, the chain of organic and healthy living stores like Sprouts or Mother’s Market, but there has yet to be a place where one can pick up all their organic and healthy living needs in one place. Wellness warehouse has filled that void having not only an assortment of natural and healthy foods, organics and related products but also a natural medicine dispensary, a pharmacy, spa services, a café, fitness machines and sleeping products. These warehouses are like Disneyland for health nuts; they are the happiest place on earth. Read more

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Washington D.C. launches the nation’s largest bike share program

In a city known for its use of public transit and foot travel, Washington, DC, is finally revving up its efforts to increase pedal power. Capital Bikeshare recently helped America’s capital take a major step towards becoming more on par with many cities across Europe. There are 1,100 bikes and 100 kiosks located in D.C. and Northern Virginia where riders can pick up or drop off bikes. $5 gets you a bike for a day, and you can go as far as your pedal power can take you, just return your two-wheeler to any one of the kiosks. Read More

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Toys may be banned from fast food kid’s meals

Did you notice when they stopped putting toys inside the cereal box – when it was no longer a treat to be the first kid to open a new box, so you could plunge your grimy hand deep into the box of Lucky Charms to find the novelty spy ring or other such wonder? Well in the same line of thinking that all adults must be grumpy grouches that hate fun, San Francisco is proposing a ban on the toys in fast food kid’s meals that exceed certain limits on calories, fat, sugar and salt. It would also require meals that do come with toys to include a half-cup of fruit and three-quarters of a cup of vegetables. The restaurant industry is in talks with the city, a final decision has yet to be made on whether the kiddies get to keep their plastic Shreks and miniature finger skateboards free with purchase. Read More.

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Vitaminwater isn’t healthy, rules federal judge

Sugary water with a few vitamins, a federal judge ruled, will not keep you “healthy as a horse,” as its labels promises. Nor will it bring about a “healthy state of physical or mental being.” Instead, Vitaminwater is really just a sugary snack food; non-carbonated fruit coke disguised as a sports drink. Because of this, Judge John Gleeson held that Vitaminwater’s absurd marketing claims were likely to mislead consumers, clearing the way for a class action suit filed against Coke. The case should now be clear for trial, although it could settle if Coke is willing to change Vitaminwater’s name to something less misleading. Cake in a Can, perhaps? Read More

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Open-air market meets social media

The locavore movement has popularized the idea of locally produced food, but small regional farmers, ranchers, and fishermen continue to struggle to find a market for their products. FoodHub, a social media site launched in Portland, Oregon, is designed to be a one stop-shop for the chef who needs six dozen artichokes for a menu special, the baker looking for a local source for flour, or the large institutional food buyer whose purchasing power could significantly stabilize a family farm.

Currently, FoodHub is open to food buyers and sellers of all types in Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. However, Ecotrust intends to make the FoodHub platform available to qualified partners in other parts of the country as well. Read More

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Health care by monthly membership

In the United States, more than 40 cents of every dollar that patients spend on health care goes toward insurance billing and overhead. That means that clinicians must see more patients each day just to make ends meet, resulting in longer wait times, shorter appointments, and higher costs. Aiming to apply some fresh thinking to an area that sorely needs it, Qliance has developed a new model for health care that works like a health club membership and excludes insurance from the process.

With three clinics in the Seattle area, Qliance gives its members unrestricted access to its clinicians and services for a monthly fee of between $44 and $129, depending on the service coverage. Qliance has already received $13.5 million in funding, and it’s aiming to expand outside Washington as early as next year.

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Chipotle turns your junk E-mail into healthier school lunches

It might not involve any free burritos for you and me (sad face), but restaurant chain Chipotle has launched a new campaign designed to turn your junk e-mail–including every Viagra ad, life insurance promo, or anything else you deem junk–into healthier school lunches for kids. The program, called “No Junk,” encourages people to forward their spam to For every 100,000 messages received at that address, Chipotle plans to donate $10,000 to The Lunch Box, a non-profit organization that provides resources to schools to help them make their food programs healthier. Read More

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