Quitting smoking is one of the toughest get-healthy challenges there is, and many people will try to make it happen during this week’s Great American Smokeout, a program of the American Cancer Society.
But according to Ashley Koff, R.D.,they may be leaving out one important piece of the puzzle says—good nutrition.
Koff, a renowned nutrition expert who’s a regular on shows like Dr. Oz, just launched the AKA Quit Kit for Smokers in collaboration with Conscious Box, and it includes a set of mostly food-related products that address common challenges smokers face while struggling to break the habit.
“I realized that smokers know they should quit but struggle with the how, and specifically, how to address the physiologic changes that occur in the body when you remove nicotine,” she says. “So I took the nutrition/nutrient approach to address these changes, with the idea that if you can feel better—or even just feel okay versus feeling really bad—you are more likely to be a successful quitter.”
In other words, if you eat McDonald’s and then feel lethargic and have digestive issues, it’s going to be harder to fight cigarette cravings, which you associate with making you feel better. If you eat a kale salad with wild salmon, you’ll be flooding your body with antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats, and you’ll feel less depleted and stronger when those cravings come. (Easier said than done, obviously.)
The AKA Quit Kit
Here are three specific ways nutrition can help you put out your last Marlboro for good:
1. Substitute a sugar high. It’s not often a nutritionist will recommend sugar, but Koff says it’s a good temporary substitute for the “fix” that nicotine provides—as long as you follow it with a healthy protein snack, so you don’t go from sugar high to low quickly. She put an organic lollipop in the kit for this purpose (which also occupies your mouth), and the trail mix and hemp hearts are protein supplements to prevent the crash.
2. Help with digestion. “Some people smoke after a meal to settle their stomachs,” Koff says. But if you eat balanced meals with plenty of fiber, you won’t feel like you need it as much. Koff also includes probiotics in the box to help.
3. Calm your quitting anxieties. Quitting is insanely stressful, and if you can’t calm down, you’ll likely fail. Healthy calming foods will help, like herbal teas and foods rich in magnesium, like cacao nibs (which also happen to be delicious). —Lisa Elaine Held
Cayenne pepper is known for its hot and spicy flavor. In the health world, this spice is known for all of its health powers. It is used in cooking, medicinal use, as well as to detox the body.
Here are some benefits of cayenne pepper:
- Fight inflammation
- Natural pain relief
- Reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation
- Clears congestion
- Boost immunity
- Prevent stomach ulcers
- Promotes weight loss
the list goes on and on!
Here, at Roots Juices, we use cayenne pepper in our detox H20. Lean about Cayenne Pepper Juice Benefits!
B Well with B12!
Have less pep in your step lately? Life got you feeling run down and weak? Maybe it’s not just your 5 margarita lunch. You could be lacking in B12!
A B12 deficiency is no joke, yo. A lack of it can cause anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, poor memory, and vision problems.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy. It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes.
The top 5 health benefits of vitamin B12 are:
It is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, thus leading to energy production and a decrease in fatigue and lethargy in the body.
It helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, reducing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage.
It helps maintain a healthy digestive system. Vitamin B12 also protects against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels, protecting against stroke, and high blood pressure.
It is essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin.
Vitamin B12 helps protect against cancers including breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer.
Vegetarians should take extra care to supplement B12, as it is mostly found in animal sources. Here @ Roots juices, we offer B12 shots for just $1 mixed into your favorite juice sample!!! So B well, B healthy, and B cool with this super vitamin!
Aloe Vera does so much, it might just be easier to tell you what it doesn’t do. It won’t do your taxes or hold you at night. But pretty much everything else.
This magical plant is most known for it’s healing properties in treating minor burns and skin wounds. But did you know pouring aloe down your gullet provides even more magic to your digestive tract?!?!
Aloe Vera has over 200 active components including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and fatty acids. It contains all the B vitamins, and one of the only few plants that contain B12. It also contains 3 plant sterols (important fatty acids!) which help to lower fats in the blood.
- reduces allergy symptoms
- relieves acid indigestion
- soothes and cleanses the digestive tract
- decreases the amount of unfriendly bacteria in our gut
- keeps healthy intestinal flora in balance
- absorbs toxins
- relieves constipation
Here @ Roots Juices, we offer 16 oz Aloe Vera H20. So if it’s soothing you need, Aloe Vera got ya covered; inside and out!
Carrots & Cancer (and alliteration).
Think pink for breast cancer awareness? How ‘bout orange? Did you know carrots are not only rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, they also may help to prevent cancer!
Carrots contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant and a pre-cursor used to make vitamin A in your body. They also contain the antioxidant falcarinol which have been shown in studies to delay the growth of tumors. Both these antioxidants may help to reduce your risk of cancer by preventing damage to healthy cells of the body. Drinking carrot juice can even increase the levels of carotenoids in the blood may help to prevent cancer from recurring.
Orange you glad you know now???
Q: How do you stay in shape? My name is Ashley and I’m a Flywheel-oholic. I do three or four cycling classes a week and usually one or two Flybarre classes to (attempt to) work my abs, butt, thighs, and arms. I also run, do yoga occasionally (I’m thinking of finally attempting a hot class), and I’ll try any workout once. I recently did a Megaformer class at Stellar Bodies in Atlanta and it kicked my a$$ like whoa.
Q: For people like you – on the run all day, what advice would you give for getting in some healthy meals? Well juice is obviously the easiest thing to grab and get your nutrients in (even if you’re driving around town like a maniac like I usually am). My friend (and Witty + Pretty health and fitness expert) Cara advises to “prep for success,” which means you prepare healthy meals and snacks in advance, so you can grab and go. It’s also good to know where the convenient Whole Foods or other “real food” (or juice) places are, and if I ever think I’m going to be in a situation where a healthy meal won’t be accessible, I’ll bring a snack like nuts, a Kind bar, or apple with me.
Q: Is there a skin or beauty product that, if put out of production, would drive you to track down the last remaining stock on ebay?Being the beauty product whore that I am (can I say whore?), I’m always mixing things up and my obsessions change daily, but I would definitely be devastated without Origins Make a Difference + face moisturizer; I have SUPER dry skin and it’s the best cream I’ve found. Oh, and Tom’s toothpaste. I’ve used it my whole life. Good God, I can’t even think about life without it.
Q: What is the most fun part about running Witty + Pretty? Being my own boss, working in sweats (with wine), taking vacays when I want (although I don’t really sleep). And I can’t deny there are lots of perks and free products. But lately, now that I have a handful of contributors, I am LOVING reading what they write for Witty + Pretty. It’s definitely one of my favorite parts of running the site.
Q: Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day? Absolutely. Every. Single. Day.
Q: What are some of your workout essentials? Quality workout gear from DEKA or Atlanta Activewear; I love Rese and MPG pants, Brooks running shorts, and Moving Comfort sports bars. And I’m obsessed with my BKR water bottle. If I’m running, I’m in Newton shoes, and a badass playlist is non-negotiable.
Q: #1 vacation spot? My favorite place on Earth is Dewey Beach, Delaware and I spend a week there every summer (my dog is even named Dewey). As far as places I’m dying to go: Australia, Bora Bora, South Africa, Maldives, Rio de Janeiro, the list goes on and on. I’m heading to Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam at the beginning of November, and if I’m not back by Thanksgiving, you can safely assume I’m in Barcelona eating amazing food with a hot Spaniard (I can dream….).
Q: Lastly, why do you cleanse with Roots? I did the 5-day cleanse (as documented on Witty + Pretty), and I felt incredible, lost weight, was so clear and focused, had tons of energy, and my skin was glowing. Are those enough reasons?
Chlorophyll is the new hemoglobin.
And it is anything but boring. Chlorophyll is the chemical compound that collects light and uses it to make energy in plants. It is also what makes plants green. But plants aren’t the only ones who can use this green goodness.
What’s so cool about chlorophyll is how closely it resembles our red blood cells (aka: hemoglobin)! They are identical in molecular structure except that hemoglobin has iron as its central atom, while chlorophyll has magnesium. Say what? That means it can increase the quality & quantity of your red blood cells and increase our oxygen-carrying capacity. You could say that chlorophyll is the the green blood of plants!
You can find large amounts of chlorophyll in green leafy vegetables. For a quick fix, we bottle it up in our chlorophyll H2O here @ Roots Juices.
Chlorophyll is bloody cool!
Cocoa, one of nature’s many miracles, is in fact the great super-food that many people seek. Cocoa makes other so-called super-fruits pale in comparison. Cocoa is a titan of health benefits, the likes of which humanity has never known. It is the profound medicine that scientists and researchers toil to discover. If cocoa were a pharmaceutical drug, it would be hailed as the greatest medicine of all time, and its discoverer would reap the Nobel prize in Medicine. Cocoa is all of that. Cocoa is right out in the open, more protective than any other food, and more powerful than any medicine ever devised.
You are enough. Just as you are.
I’m all about juice cleanse for personal growth. Not as in getting fat or anything…but as in becoming a better person and finding happiness (that isn’t dessert related). But is it possible that many of us are taking this quest for perfection too far? The belief that we aren’t good enough is epidemic and most of us are waiting to be happy until we are thin enough, attractive enough, successful enough, etc. Striving for perfection is an impossible task that will always leave us feeling unfulfilled. But the truth is that we were born enough! The you that you are right now is perfect, not the you that you are planning to be.
That’s not to say that we should neglect taking care of ourselves! Nutrition, exercise, sleep, time for reflection and all those other self-care things we do are rewarding to our bodies and keep us feeling our best. But the negative self talk and feelings of unworthiness are oh so unsexy.
So keep drinking that green juice, downwarding that dog, and sawing those logs! But ditch all that inner mind noise, because you are enough right this second. Just as you are.