Zucchini Fries

The melty-soft interior and crispy crust make these baked zucchini sticks simply delectable and just as addictive as french fries! But a serving of zucchini sticks is only 143 calories whereas french fries can pack 400 or more!

Zucchini Fries Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements

Ingredients:

• 1 zucchini
• 1 egg white
• 1/4 cup nonfat milk or soy milk
• 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
• 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
• Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice zucchini into 3-inch sticks. 
    Zucchini Fries Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements
  3. Whisk egg white and milk together in one bowl.
  4. Mix breadcrumbs cheese and flaxseed in a separate bowl. 
    Zucchini Fries Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements
  5. Coat the zucchini sticks in egg mixtures then role through breadcrumb mixture. Spread coated sticks on a cooking sheet that’s been prepped with cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
    Zucchini Fries Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements
  7. Gobble them up! You can dip them in a sauce but we think they’re delicious as is!
    Zucchini Fries Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements

The Stats

Servings: 2
Calories: 143
Total Fat: 7.3 g
Saturated Fat: 3.6g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Sodium: 384.9mg
Carbohydrates: 8.2g
Protein: 13.2g

Sleep Better – Be Healthier

Sleep Better & Be Healthier | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements

With new research suggesting that the sleep deprived crave more junk food, a good night’s rest is of the utmost importance for anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight. The connection between sleep and appetite lies in a hormone produced by your stomach called ghrelin. Sleep deprivation increases blood concentration of ghrelin which triggers you brain’s reward pathways when you see a stack of donuts. If getting a good night’s rest is a challenge for you, we have tips you can try tonight.

Relaxation
The first thing to try is making sure you’re relaxed when you go to bed. Many people try meditation or visualizations, but it can be even simpler than that. For starters, turn off the TV and laptop at least an hour before bedtime. Light keeps your body from producing melatonin, so dimming the lights can help. At night your body temperature drops a few degrees and it’s the process of dropping that helps you fall asleep. By taking a hot bath before bed, you raise your body temperature a few degrees making the drop even steeper making falling asleep go faster.  Establishing a bedtime routine will also help your body to anticipate when rest is coming. Try taking a bath and reading a book to help settle down.

Sleep Aid Supplements
The two most popular sleep aid supplements are Melatonin and Valerian.  The two are both used to treat insomnia but they do so in different ways.

Valerian is an herb that acts as a mild sedative and tranquilizer. It’s also is used for anxiety disorders such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Valerian has few side effects, is all-natural and non-habit forming.

Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body that helps regulate your internal clock. As we age, our melatonin production slows. Other things can interfere with melatonin production like SAD, light exposure, and depression. Melatonin has some side effects like vivid dreams and lowered body temperature, but melatonin may also help slow the spread of cancer and strengthen your immune system.

Diet Changes
Cut out the caffeine by 3 pm. Stimulants will mess with your sleep cycle so simply avoiding caffeinated beverages will help you get to sleep easier.

Sleep Better & Be Healthier | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplementsEat a small snack before bed. This will help you stay asleep better because you won’t wake up from hunger. It also keeps your metabolism at a more consistent rate. Extra points if you find a snack low in sugar that has tryptophan or melatonin in it such as Nightfood.

Eat foods rich in magnesium. Magnesium is a natural sedative, but magnesium deficiency can lead to trouble sleeping and anxiety.

Hopefully trying one or a combination of these will help you feel more rested tomorrow.

Honey Bee Cookies (or a dip for apples!)

What do we love about this cookie recipe? It’s packed with good things like local honey, flax seed, and cranberries. Equally impressive is what this recipe doesn’t include; gobs of butter and sugar. If you’re feeling experimental (like we were) try modifying it to make a dip for apples! Just keep in mind that while these are a healthier option to most cookies, they aren’t low in calories. Enjoy!

Honey Bee Cookies Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior supplements

Ingredients:

  • 2 T cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C raw honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 C white whole-wheat flour
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 C old-fashioned whole oats
  • 1/4 C goodies (we used dried cranberries and almonds, you could also try raisins, blueberries, dark chocolate chips, etc)

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375F.
    2. Mix all ingredients together with a spoon.
    3. Form into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. (We topped the cookie dough with 3 almonds each).

Honey Bee Cookies Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior supplements

  • Bake for 9 minutes.
  • Remove from pan. Enjoy them warm or allow to cool. Enjoy!

 

Honey Bee Cookies Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior supplements

 

Modify to make this Honey Bee Apple Dip!
Just mix all ingredients together but leave out the baking soda and eggs. Add skim milk or almond milk to reach desired consistency. Use as a dip for apples or other fruit.

Honey Bee Cookies Recipe | Bulu Box - sample superior supplements

Q&A with T.G.I. Fit Founder & Trainer Scotty “The Body” Munster

Scotty The Body Q&A | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements
Occupation:
Owner/Founder of T.G.I. Fit “Thank Goodness I’m Fit!”
C.E.O of Body By Scotty Fitness

Location: Irvine, CA

Visit Scotty the Body on Facebook  Follow Scotty The Body on Twitter  


Describe your weekly fitness routine.

Wake up energized at 4am Mon-Fri to change lives! On average I train 30 clients daily. I love changing lives! In between my clients, I love pumping the weights and running. In addition, I’m very close to releasing my very own fitness workout program, which is expected to hit the market in November! I go for it all day, every day with an optimistic attitude focused on helping others!

What’s in your gym bag? 

BNRG Proto Whey, raw almonds, extra t-shirt, N’SANE pre-workout mix, fruit, workout book for client, business cards.

Scotty The Body Q&A | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements 

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

Nutrilite multivitamins for men and women (my fiancé), CLA 500 from Nutrilite, BNRG Proto Whey, herbal tea, aloe, Paradise Orac Energy Greens, flaxseed powder and apple cider vinegar.

In your opinion, what’s the ONE healthy habit that makes the biggest difference? 

Mind over matter! It all starts with you telling yourself you can and you will accomplish your health/fitness goals!

What’s your go-to healthy snack? 

Raw almonds or greek yogurt with fresh berries.

Scotty The Body Q&A | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements

What supplement gives you an edge in the gym? Why do you like it? 

N’sane pre-workout. I call it my “Hulk juice” because its an apple flavor and makes me unleash the beast!

Name two of your favorite songs on your iPod’s workout mix. 

“Iron Man” by Black Sabbath and “I’m Sexy And I know It” by LMFAO.
Scotty The Body Q&A | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements

What advice would you give someone who is just beginning to exercise? 

Don’t give up and know that it starts with you telling yourself you can do it! “It hurts to look good, I’m in pain everyday.”

What’s the best fitness advice you ever received? 

It’s a quote I read when I first opened my own personal training business in 2007; “Happiness comes when know what you are doing, believe in what you are doing, and love what you are doing!”

Alcohol: Foe, Friend or Frenemy?

You might think that people who work out tend to not drink as much as people who don’t prioritize healthy living. But researchers are finding that alcohol and exercise have a, maybe somewhat tempestuous, relationship. 

Research from the University of Houston suggests that exercise causes a cross-tolerance to alcohol meaning you need more alcohol to feel the same effects. University of Miami also found a correlation between alcohol and working out. On average, heavy drinkers exercised 10 more minutes a week than moderate drinkers and 20 minutes more than abstainers. The study also found that drinkers of all ages and both genders with 10 percent more likely to engage in vigorous exercise like running.

Alcohol: Foe, Friend or Frenemy? | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins and supplements

But before you go running to the local bar, make sure you understand that alcohol and exercise don’t have a cause/effect relationship. You might want to consider a few of the negative effects drinking can have on your exercise routine:

Slows Recovery
Opening a cold brew might seem like the perfect thing after that long bike ride, but alcohol in your system right after a workout seriously slows your recovery. Your glycogen stores have been depleted and need to be restored. If you consume alcohol, it displaces those carbs and leaves your stores 50% lower even eight hours after. Skip the post-workout beer and opt for a proper recovery drink or snack such as this All Natural Endurox R4 Recovery Drink.

Beer Belly
When alcohol is in your system, your body is not only dealing with empty calories but it also prioritizes burning the alcohol instead of carbs and fat. In addition to that, alcohol raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol which contributes to fat storage in the midsection—a.k.a. beer belly.

No Rest
While it may seem like alcohol helps you sleep, it really only helps you fall asleep because of its sedating effects. But alcohol consumed before bed can disrupt the second half of your night and not just because you wake up to pee. The second half of the sleep cycle is disrupted. Overall sleep duration is decreased and restlessness is increased. This not only deprives your body of full recovery but will make the next day a little bit harder.

Shortage of Water and Nutrients
Alcohol not only dehydrates you, but it irritates the lining of your stomach inhibiting the absorption of nutrients. And we all know how alcohol dehydrates your body once you break the seal.

But…Before you swear off the drink, there are some real benefits to alcohol as well. Alcohol helps increase your HDL Cholesterol (the good kind) and helps block LDL Cholesterol (icky bad kind).  There’s also some research that suggests that moderate alcohol consumption can help protect against brain disease like Alzheimer’s.

The key is making smart selections and avoiding excessive amounts allowing you to reap the benefits of alcohol. Switch to water at least a couple of hours before bed, and limit yourself to one or two drinks.

What to Drink
Wine has a wealth of benefits without containing a ton of extra sugar. It contains antioxidants, phytochemicals and resveratrol. It’s also anti inflammatory. A glass of day could not only keep you looking young, but it’s good for your heart and protects against arthritis.

If wine isn’t your thing, hard liquor is not a bad option depending on what you mix it with. Water or club soda are great options. Ask for a piece of fruit for added flavor. You can even go with diet sodas. Steer clear of juices because most bars use juice cocktail which are packed with extra sugar.

If you’re hankering for a cold one, opt for a light beer with less than a 100 calories per 12 ounces. If you’re going for a more natural diet, beer and wine are both great options.

Living a healthy life isn’t about completely eliminating questionable things like alcohol or sugar or cheesy 90’s pop music. It’s about understanding that there needs to be a balance. We explore the balance in our 80/20 article. So enjoy your drinks but make sure it’s part of the 20%.

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” – lower carbs, more nutrients!

The Bulu Crew had some fun experimenting with the right mix of ingredients needed to make these cauliflower mashed “potatoes”. They’re a great alternative to real mashed potatoes because they’re lower in carbs and higher in nutrients (and few calories depending on how you make them). If you’re worried about the “cauli-taste”…don’t! The cauliflower flavor is very mild. Before you knock ’em, try ’em!

We tried a few different combinations of ingredients. This is what we liked best:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons grassfed butter
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste

And here’s how you make ’em:

Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins & supplements
Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins & supplements
Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins & supplements
Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins & supplements
Recipe: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes | Bulu Box - sample superior vitamins & supplements

Let the Sunshine In!

Let the Sunshine In (A quick lesson on Vitamin D) | Bulu Box - Sample superior vitamins and supplements

Despite what you may have read at the breakfast table, vitamin D is not a variety of milk. Something else you might not know is that The Archives of Internal Medicine report that 77% of Americans are deficient in this important nutrient. So what’s the deal with D?

What It Is?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that naturally occurs in very few foods. That’s why so many of our foods are fortified with vitamin D. Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D with exposure to UVB rays. But in our modern society, very few people are getting the necessary sun exposure to produce the D our bodies need. Vitamin D is actually transformed by our bodies twice first into calcidiol (the pre-hormone in your blood used to identify deficiency) and then the powerful hormone called calcitriol which not only helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus but experts say “unlocks” a cell’s DNA library.

What It Does?

One of the main functions of vitamin D is helping with the absorption of calcium which is why milk is often fortified with D. Researchers have found that D promotes cell growth and differentiation throughout the body which leads to better hormonal balance and a healthy immune system. Vitamin D has been linked to help improvements in mood and and the prevention of depression.

Benefits of Vitamin D | Bulu Box - Sample superior vitamins and supplements

A study at the University of Minnesota has found a clear link between vitamin D levels at the beginning of a diet and the success of weight loss. For every 1 ng/mL of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, participants lost an additional half pound. And for every 1 ng/mL of the active hormonal form of Vitamin D, participants lost an additional quarter pound. Researchers found that high levels of Vitamin D were correlated with increased loss of abdominal fat. A little extra D could be what you need to ensure weight loss success.

Are You Getting Enough?

During summer months it takes about 15 minutes twice a day during peak hours to get sufficient amounts of D. That amount varies depending on your skin tone. People who are fairer need less time in the sun. But most of us get sun exposure early in the morning and late in the afternoon and we wear SPF to protect against aging and cancer. During the cooler months, it’s even tougher to get enough. Oh, and if you think tanning beds help with  Vitamin D, don’t kid yourself. Most tanning beds favor UVA rays because UVB rays cause burn, but UVB rays are the ones necessary for vitamin D formation.

The foods fortified with D are enough to ward off malnutrition, but they are hardly enough to get your daily need. Some of this might also be due to the Daily Recommended Intake being somewhat obsolete. Currently the DRI is listed as 200 IU for adults 19-50 years old. But new science has shown that we need more because people get less sun exposure than when the standards were set. Studies show that adults need somewhere between 3000-5000 IU a day of vitamin D. The easiest way to get the recommended amount is through a vitamin D supplement. We’re big fans of Pure Matters Vitamin D3 – makers of vitamins and supplements that are always crafted from wholesome, natural ingredients. 

Common Symtoms of Vitamin D Deficiency | Bulu Box - Sample superior vitamins and supplementsThe most accurate way to find out if you’re deficient in the D is to have your doctor administer a simple blood test called 25-hydroxy vitamin D. Some common symptoms of D deficiency are weak bones, muscle pain, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, depression symptoms and sleep irregularities.  Because of new research emerging about vitamin D, doctors often don’t diagnose D deficiency. You can ask to be tested for deficiency so that your doctor can help you devise a plan to get your levels where they should be.