An Ancient Superfood You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

There’s an incredible Superfood that’s been around for thousand of years. You may not know about “horse gram” yet, but you will want to!

No Horsing Around

Horse gram is actually a nickname. And it will soon make sense why. It’s the most protein-rich legume in existence. Racehorses for centuries have been fed this lentil because it’s low in fat, abundant in complex carbs, and offers maximum physical performance from its nutrient-dense composition.

Sounds too good to be true? Indian cuisine will tell you this is the real thing—and for people too! Horse gram in Tamil is called Kollu, and in Hindi, it’s labeled as Kulthi. You can find this Superfood under those monikers at health-conscious markets as well as Indian specialty food stores.

A List of A-mazing

Aside from the health benefits for animals and humans, horse gram is a practical, beneficial, plant-based food, which can be easily grown, maintained, harvested, and profit the earth. In this climate of uncertain weather and crop conditions, Kollu requires very little water to sustain itself. This lentil is virtually drought-resistant.

Where to continue? There are so many positive health components to this organic food; it’s tough to decide which ones are the most outstanding. As far as nutritional content, horse gram ranks high in protein, iron, and calcium. It’s low in sodium and lipid content. It digests very slowly. This is amazing for those who want long-lasting energy, not a lot of sugar and not a lot of fat. Sounds like a gift from the heavens.

Fancy terms like polyphenols and flavanoids are good words. Horse gram is wealthy with these—they are antioxidants—and may help thwart cancer.

A Bean for a Human Be-ing

Horse gram, because of its phenol content, can attack fat. Isn’t that great news? Additionally, it can lower blood sugar after a meal. This is incredible information for those identified as diabetic or obese. (Horse gram slows down carb digestion—thus reducing insulin resistance.)

CanaGel Melts

If you can get beyond the name and the taste, horse gram will work you wonders.

In fact, there are countless, incredibly delicious recipes using Kollu. You just need to find a palatable way to ingest this Superfood, just as you had to when you first discovered Quinoa and Kale. Remember those days?

Medicinal Properties

Horse gram has been used for countless centuries to combat the common cold. That sounds nice—and tame. But check this out: Eastern medical texts use horse gram for relief (and cure) of asthma and bronchitis. It’s a natural expectorant.

Get this too: Horse gram can help disintegrate kidney stones. It also helps with other urinary conditions. How about heart disease? Yes! Check that one off. That’s a biggie. Jaundice? No problem. Horse gram can cure that. How about high cholesterol? Done! “Silly” other ailments like conjunctivitis, hemorrhoids, bad gas, and PMS have also been squelched by ingesting horse gram.

If this isn’t a Superfood, then what really is?

There are many yummy recipes you can find online that incorporate horse gram. Even if the name turns you off, don’t neigh at its health benefits. Yes, I went there. Next, I’m off to the market to get some horse gram to make a delectable, curry soup. How will you incorporate your horse gram tonight?


Drink This And You’ll Live Longer!

Take one of your sugary drinks each day and replace it with water. A recent study shows this creates a significant difference in your health – and help you live longer!

Sugar, Sugar

Sweetened beverages like soda, juice, coffee drinks, and “energy” drinks contain more sugar than you can handle healthily. The caloric intake from the addition of those drinks into your daily diet can be detrimental. Replacing even one of those beverages with water each day will make a huge difference.

Sugar, cane sugar, fructose, sucrose, and others sounding similar add empty calories to your body’s daily consumption. They have zero nutritional value. Even “diet” drinks are unhealthy. The sugar-substitutes are mostly chemical and also do not offer vitamins, minerals, or fiber.

Sweetened beverages in your diet increase your risk for weight gain, obesity, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes. The journal Nutrients recently published their findings—simply replacing one of those sweet drinks with a glass of water (once a day even!) decreases all of the above-listed risks.

Side Note:

Another thing about sugary beverages…Those who consume them are more apt to have a less healthy diet overall. The more sodas that someone drinks, for example, the more hamburgers, French fries, and other unhealthy foods they are apt to consume.

Conversely, those who drink water and low-sugar beverages tend to eat foods higher in fiber, protein, and valuable vitamins, and minerals.

The Sugar Study

Researchers collected data from close to 20,000 participants between the year 2007 and 2012. They discovered that those who substituted a glass of water for a glass of juice or soda reaped better health results overall.

An adjunct faculty member of the Virginia Tech University study stated, “We found that among U.S. adults who consume one serving of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, replacing that drink with water lowered the percent of calories coming from drinks from 17 to 11 percent.” That’s a big, beneficial difference.

Water Options

Water from your tap may not taste good. It also may contain too much fluoride. What’s the story with bottled water? has shared research on this particular topic several times this year. Bottom line, however, water is a must.

If you don’t trust your tap, boil it. If you need some flavor, add fresh lemon juice. A gulp first thing in the morning is totally purifying.

Fancy Water

CHLOROPHYLL WATER has become a commonly ordered drink at juice bars and yoga studios. Chlorophyll can increase the quantity of red blood cells in the body—thus transporting more oxygen through the cells. Studies have shown that it enhances energy and assists in removing pollutants and metals from our bloodstream.

COCONUT WATER is chock full of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. The micronutrients in coconut water help boost the immune system. It’s also rumored that the plant hormones called cytokinins existing in coconut water exhibit anti-aging, antithrombotic, and anticancer effects.

Water is at the root of our existence. Embrace your roots and drink from the fountain (but not the one at the elementary school). Keep hydrated from a natural source and your body will smile and keep healthy.


Newest Research on Healthy Aging Reveals Carbs Matter

Australian researchers have discovered that dietary fiber from carbs and other sources extends good health while aging.

Growing Old Healthier and Longer

Scientists from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research conducted a decade-long study of successful aging. They defined the term as being able to avoid: chronic disease, cancer, dementia, depression, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory ailments.

The findings from the study were published in The Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. The lead author of the paper claims, “…the relationship between carb intake and healthy aging was significant…” Those who ate proper amounts of dietary fiber avoided most chronic pitfalls of aging and remained most healthy overall.

The Study and Surprising Results

The diets of 1,609 participants aged 49 and above were studied. The scientists factored the peoples’ intake of total carbs, fiber from carbs, total fiber, and sugar. After a 10-year follow-up, the results were surprising. Those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber had an almost 80 percent greater chance of living a healthy, long life.

Those who had the highest sugar intake levels were more apt to suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and dementia. The researchers reported that cereals and bread are good for our diet, as long as there is sufficient fiber content.

How to Do Carbs Math

We’ve all been taught to count carbs. The problem is that our food labels are misleading. The total number is not as important the “net” number of carbohydrates.

Take the total number on the label under the carbohydrate listing. For example, 20 grams. Subtract the listed amount of fiber, let’s say it’s 5. Your net carbs will be 15. You want that number low, but you want a high fiber count. Fiber carbs are not fattening—you can digest them!

Non-fiber carbs are fattening because they’re not as filling, not easily digestible, and mostly turn into sugar.

Also, beware of sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, maltitol, and lacitol. They appear to keep the sugar content down on the label, but they don’t in reality. They can metabolize into sugar. Additionally, those sugars can be listed as fiber content, but they are not. Labelling laws are lax and loopholes are discovered and used widely in our American food industry. The good news is, however, we are learning more about nutrition and healthy living every day. Live long and eat fiber! has a wide selection of food and health related articles that may address some topics that have piqued your interest. Click here to read on…



Why Magnesium Is Essential

A whopping 80% of Americans are believed to be magnesium deficient but what is it, and why magnesium is essential?  Calcium was considered to be the most important element in our bodies, second to air (oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen).  Only in recent years, the medical industry is understanding how important the element magnesium is, labeled ‘macro mineral’, which the body requires in order to function to its maximum capabilities.  Magnesium helps turn the food into energy, keeping muscles, heart and nervous system all in check, while also maintaining bone strength and improving the immune system.


Benefits Of Magnesium

Today’s society is experiencing a decline of magnesium in the body due to present lifestyle influences like diet, environment, and certain medicines.  Many don’t recognize they are deficient blaming the symptoms on stress, fatigue or anxiety.  The assistance of magnesium in the body is essential for the following reasons:

  • Regulates insulin levels and the response of sugar in the body
  • Magnesium paired with zinc, copper and vitamin D all help strengthen bone density, assisting keeping osteoporosis at bay.
  • Helps keep the heart rhythm regular and guards the heart from muscle stress caused by sickness, constipation or indigestion.
  • Reduces lactic acid which causes pain after exercising.
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Assists with energy


Are You Lacking?

There are a number of symptoms that may suggest a lack of magnesium including:

  • sleep problems
  • Migraines
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems
  • Constipation
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Food cravings

There are several indicators, and in these cases, visiting a doctor is advised.  They include, extreme thirst and hunger, frequent urination, dry skin, blurry vision and tingling in hands and feet as well as muscle spasms.


Magnesium In Food

If the symptoms are not severe, promoting magnesium naturally, by consuming certain foods, will help with the milder symptoms.

Some of these foods include:

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach or Kale
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Dairy foods
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain bread
  • Brown rice
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Dark chocolate

Taking an oral magnesium supplement may also help a magnesium deficiency, but it can have side effects on the stomach and may not be recommended for someone with a digestive issue like IBS or acid reflux.  There is an alternative that comes in a cream form (magnesium chloride cream), and this bypasses the digestive tract and enters the blood stream more directly.  In a recent study scientists have suggested that people with higher than average blood pressure may be magnesium deficient and will benefit from this cream.


Blood Tests

Making sure enough magnesium is present is imperative, but if any symptoms suggest a deficiency, then enhance the leafy greens and visit a doctor for further advice.  A doctor can give a blood test to see if a lack of magnesium is obvious.  It is important to remember that unless a severe deficiency exists, a serum blood test may not recognize the shortage of magnesium.  A RBC test is thought to be more precise, checking magnesium levels in your red blood cells.  The third test is an ionized test which uses a machine that isolates the magnesium ions.  This is the most accurate test, allowing doctors to get a truthful reading of magnesium levels.  The last test is a EXA test, which is basically a cheek swab using tissue gathered from the mouth.

So whether leg cramps, migraines, cravings, insomnia or heart irregularity, take magnesium seriously as there is one thing for certain, it’s a critical macro mineral we can’t live without.



Dr. Mark Sircus.  Why 80% of us Are Deficient in Magnesium

Magnesium Deficiency in Multiple Sclerosis

Magnesium rich food

5 Reasons Why Not Getting Enough Sleep is Fattening

Overeating is the number one suspected cause of weight gain. What most people don’t realize is that lack of sleep can keep you from losing pounds—and can actually add them! If you’re trying to find ways to lose belly fat, it’s time to consider sleep as a catalyst.

Read on if you’re feeling frustrated that you’re not losing weight even though you feel like you’re doing all the right things. Not getting enough sleep can be linked to your growing waistline. Check out five of the main reasons why not getting enough sleep may be affecting the numbers on your scale.

Also, let’s see how we can remedy this challenge and turn it around, once and for all. There are several ways to lose belly fat, but getting a good night’s sleep may just be the answer!

#1  Lack of Sleep Slows Your Metabolism

Do you feel like you’re too busy to sleep? Is there always so much going on that getting a good night’s sleep winds up on the bottom of your list? Truthfully, it’s probably time that you place restful sleep as a priority.

Besides affecting your mood, your brain, and the way you look, lack of sleep slows down your metabolism. A slow metabolism can result in weight gain. If you’re wanting ways to lose belly fat, eat nutritiously and moderately, exercise—and get enough sleep. Most experts will concur that for adults, 7 – 8 hours per night is healthy.

you’ll need to monitor your stress levels

Testosterone production decreases from an increase in cortisol output. Testosterone builds muscle; when your muscle-mass depletes, your metabolism slows down.

#2 Lack of Sleep Increases Your Appetite

Do you experience stress? Does it affect your sleep? If so, your cortisol levels may be high.

Cortisol is the fight or flight hormone that gets produced from stress. Your brain may read the surge of hormones as your body using energy. So then, it will encourage you to replace those calories by eating.

The problem is that you really haven’t burned any calories. In fact, when we’re stressed the body tends to hold onto fat. It thinks it’s in survival mode. If you want to reduce stress and lose weight, make sure you’re getting proper rest each night.

#3 Sleep Loss Changes Gut Microbiota

Scientists at Uppsala University believed that sleep deprivation affects the gut. So, they conducted a study and discovered that lack of sleep actually changes the levels of gut microbiota. Frighteningly, they observed that the change looked a lot like the microbiota in those with Type-2 diabetes.

If there’s an imbalance in the amount and diversity of gut microbiota, there’s cause for health problems. One of those is how our gut informs our brain. This too, affects metabolism. Once again, we’re confronted with a body that burns calories very slowly. Getting sleep is one of the simplest ways to lose belly fat and positively impact your metabolism.

#4 Loss of Sleep Affects Digestion

Is your sleep disturbed often? If so, your ability to digest food properly may become impaired. Noteworthy, almost 40 percent of adults claim to have occasional sleeping problems.

Believe it or not, insomnia can affect your ability to process foods adequately. Unfortunately, this can result in poor nutrition, vitamin deficiency, and weight gain. Work on maintaining healthy sleep patterns, and you may find it easier to lose those unwanted extra pounds.

If you aim to go to bed at the same time each night, that will help your body’s internal clock. Also, try to wake at the same time every morning. It will make a big difference if you’re consistent with the amount of sleep you get each evening.

#5 How You Eat Affects Your Sleep, Which Then Affects Your Waistline

 Sleeping well, as mentioned, can be one of the ways to lose belly fat and keep off the extra pounds. Here are some food tips to help you get a better night’s rest:

  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Reduce sugar intake throughout the day
  • Eat foods that regulate melatonin (fish, eggs) or take a supplement
  • Add tryptophan to your diet (turkey, cheese, grass-fed beef)
  • Eat foods high in magnesium (leafy greens, yogurt, avocados)


Exercise is also another way to reduce stress and help you sleep well. Finding the proper balance between food, exercise, and rest can be the key to maintaining or losing weight. For a great selection of articles to keep you healthy, check out Get Thrive! and feel free to sign up for our Newsletter.




The Fastest Way to Lose Belly Fat When You’re Expecting a Quick Fix

There are countless studies that have shown that sugar consumption makes you gain and retain weight. And, you may be thinking, “I don’t even eat sweets!” Well, if you’re looking for the fastest way to lose belly fat, look no further. Read on, and we’ll teach you where sugar is hiding, and how to avoid it.

Sugar is Hiding Everywhere, But It’s Keeping Your Belly Fat Showing

Many of us equate “sugar” with candy, cookies, or adding a couple of spoonfuls into coffee. Unfortunately, that’s pretty naïve thinking. The frightening truth is that there are over 60 different names for sugar listed on food labels.

Here are a few common names used:

  • corn syrup
  • sucrose
  • fructose
  • maltose
  • rice syrup
  • evaporated cane juice
  • dextrose
  • brown sugar
  • fruit juice


Most worrisome, added sugar is in almost 75% of packaged foods. So, if you think you’ve given up sugar just because you don’t eat donuts anymore, think again. The fastest way to lose belly fat is to find out where the bad stuff is hiding. Then, don’t eat it.

Why Does Sugar Get Such a Bad Rap?

When humans ingest sugar directly from original food sources, our bodies tend to metabolize it properly—especially if we are eating foods that contain soluble fiber. This would include fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Our liver and digestive system can handle the process. This is all good.

Conversely, it’s the excess sugars that mess up our body. All those “other-named” sugars, especially fructose, turn into fat. Our liver can’t process it all. So, it basically spills into the bloodstream, creating belly fat—along with inflammation. Eventually, this can lead to a host of other challenges such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.


Everyone’s Looking For a Quick Fix

You can fix your problem pretty quickly. The fastest way to lose belly fat is this. That is, you’ll need to avoid or significantly cut down on processed, packaged, and sugar-laden foods. Additionally, you’ll want to monitor everything you drink.

What’s To Drink?

The American Heart Association recommends that most American men ingest no more than 150 calories of sugar per day. That comes out to about nine teaspoons of sugar.

Guess what? A regular Coca Cola contains approximately 40 grams of sugar. Apologetically, if you drank one Coke, you’ve already gone past your sugar allowance. Conclusively, that one glass of soda is equal to about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Hence, you’ve already exceeded your daily quota.

Say NO to soda. Forget the sweet kind, but also eschew the diet versions. Diet sodas are terrible for your metabolism. (But, that’s another story.)

With another heartfelt apology, we have to implore a “Say NO to Juice” directive as well. Even if your juice is labeled 100% pure, it’s far from it. Most supermarket juices have been processed (through oxygen-depleting holding tanks). After that, they usually add “flavor”, which is comprised of sugar, in order to replace the taste that was lost through the processing.

By the way, one glass of apple juice contains the equivalent of almost 10 teaspoons of sugar. There goes your entire day’s worth of recommended sugar allowance.

Fix Me a Drink?

Drinking alcoholic beverages in severe moderation (or abstaining) is necessary for weight loss. Again, beer, wine, and many types of liquor have inherent or added sugar. If you’re seeking the fastest way to lose belly fat, just try cutting out (or back) on the brewskis, vino and cocktails.

Your best option for thirst and/or drinking pleasure is water. If that bores you, add some fresh-squeezed lemon. Or, heat it up. Green tea or Matcha are great alternatives to coffee, and you won’t need sugar or milk.

Fix Me a Meal?

What will/can you eat? You can eat any fresh produce (preferably organic) at any time. No one ever suffered from belly fat on a diet of blueberries, spinach, and salmon. You can quickly lose your belly fat by losing your indulgence in carbohydrates and processed foods.

And, don’t be afraid of “good” fats. They will actually aid you on your mission to lose the bulk. Of course, those include: avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, and nuts. Additionally, protein is important nutritionally, along with being low in calories and bad fats. That list contains: fish, lean meats, poultry, and more nuts.

Toss in some daily exercise, and you’ve got a great recipe for weight loss. The fastest way to lose belly fat is leaving the sugar behind. And, once you kick the cravings, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy, reduced-sugar (or zero sugar) diet the rest of your life, if you choose.

Read this for more details about the hazards of sugar in your diet. Also, click here to join Get Thrive’s Newsletter. It will keep you up to date on all of your best health options.







Sure Red Wine Has Benefits, but Wait, White Wine and Champagne are Healthy Too?

Red wine has gotten a wonderful reputation health-wise, which rivals its savory flavors and soothing effects. But its sibling, white wine, and rich uncle, champagne, have been slightly overlooked since red wine has taken the spotlight. As it turns out, the white variation and the bubbly offer health advantages as well.

LDL cholesterol levels lower with consumption of red wine. This is good because lower LDL, less of it found in arteries to form plaque. Plaque hardens arteries, blood pressure rises, and the risk of heart attack increases.

Another beneficial element derived from the red grape is polyphenols. These antioxidants help reduce formation of unwanted blood clots and keep blood flowing through vessels smoothly. Resveratrol, found in red grape skins, also helps moderate blood pressure and can lower total cholesterol.

White wine may not have as many benefits as red because the skins are removed before processing. However, the white grape still contains nutrients and antioxidants. White wine hasn’t been studied as much as its rosy sibling even though it’s full of the same plant flavonoids, which protect cells. Researchers at the University of Barcelona claim that white wine may be higher in antioxidants and also offers stronger anti-aging effects.

Researchers reported that both red and white wine improved cholesterol levels if the drinker was exercising two or more times per week. Also both reds and whites may be able to help diabetics regulate their blood sugar. They each seem to improve glucose control.

Another group out of the University at Buffalo School of medicine found that white wine improves lung health. In 2010, researchers from the University of Wisconsin discovered that white wine protected cells from breast cancer as well as red wine did. With all of this good news about reds and whites, we must presume that champagne must offer healthy benefit, too!

Champagne is a sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wines are champagne. Champagne is a geographic region of France. There are six specific types of grapes from that area and the wine is made through a specific production process called “methode champenoise.” The guidelines for making the bubbly are very strict, one being that the grapes must be handpicked and another that the stems are not removed during filtering.

One advantage researchers discovered during testing champagne-consumers was that there was a significant boost to spatial memory after having a glass. They added that those with dementia had a better ability to recognize their surroundings (and their home) after indulging in a bit of champagne. In fact, the researchers suggest drinking three glasses a week for maximum benefit. As with any alcoholic beverage moderation is key.



How To Be a Carb Cow but Look Like a Cougar: A “Good” Carb Guide

OMG, I can’t live without carbs! I just know I can’t. Besides, I don’t want to. But, I do want to feel good and strong—and, yeah, look good. I’m willing to put in the work; I just need the guidance.

That’s when I started researching carbs. I wanted to know why my body craved them. The crux of what I discovered is that we need them, and not all carbohydrates are created equal.

Tell Me More

Here’s the deal. Our bodies need carbs to function at their peak. There are ketogenic diets (where all carb-intake is restricted), but some cells will suffer, including our brain cells.

Brain cells require glucose, which is provided by carbohydrates. Carbs are digested and converted to glucose, which then travels through the liver and then into our circulatory system.

That’s where our cells easily eat up these carbs—the ones that turned to glucose. It’s fuel, and we are re-energized! The caveat is that we can only store carbs in limited quantities. So if you don’t use them, what happens? Yes, that’s right, they’re converted to fat. Fat that our body stores for a wintery day, even against our wishes.

Great, How About Some Good News?

So going back to the no-carb idea. You can live like that; some body-builders do. The body is forced to convert dietary and body fat into ketones, which help fuel parts of the body that don’t oxidize fat for energy (like the brain).

But that’s really stressing out organs and cells that require or function maximally with glucose. So, what’s the verdict on carb intake in order to benefit our brain, heart, blood pressure, weight, and our fine figures?

The National Institutes of Health conducted a study in 2014 that showed a low-carb diet was more effective for weight loss than a low-fat one. Additionally, those that lost weight in the high-carb group, actually lost more muscle mass than stored body fat. Now that we’ve established carbs can be good, it’s time to explore which ones are the best.

OK, Which Are The Good Ones?

Some carbohydrates digest faster than others. That simple-carbs list would include: pasta, potatoes, rice, cereal, dairy, and the evil candy and soda, among others.

These offer a burst of energy because they digest easily and create fuel, pronto. But I, and maybe you, want to choose the slower-digesting carbs, which generally contain more nutrients and fiber—and keep you feeling fuller longer. Complex-carbs actually help manage your weight.

Here’s a brief guide of “good” carbs to get us started:

Apples – help lower cholesterol and keep the doctor away.
Artichokes – vitamin K, anti-oxidants, liver cleanser, too.
Bananas – choose one that’s a bit on the under-ripe side. It digests slower.
Beans –no cholesterol.
Brown rice – rich with bran and germ.
Chickpeas – AKA garbanzo beans. Main ingredient in hummus.
Lentils – mega-fiber, iron, and magnesium
Peas – nutrient-rich
Oats – help you feel fuller longer, support digestion
Soybeans – think edamame or tofu
Sweet potatoes – release sugar into the bloodstream slowly. Tons of fiber, too.
Tomatoes – calcium, lycopene, vitamins A, B, C, and K
Quinoa – a seed, but mostly labeled as a whole grain, packed with protein
Water cress – alpha-lipoic acid, cruciferous veggie
Whole Grains– think: barley, buckwheat, corn, oats, rye, spelt, wheat, and more…
Zucchini – potassium, raw or cooked, good spaghetti replacement

Maximize the benefit of the complex-carbs by pairing them with a protein. For snacks, sprinkle nuts in your oatmeal, spread almond butter on a banana, etc. Studies and cultural practices have shown that at mealtime, eating fruits and proteins first, aids in digestion. Saving the “good” carb for the end will satiate your appetite. I’m proud to be a “good” carb cow. Don’t be afraid to join our ranks!

For more great health an wellness information, check out