Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

Posted By

Scott Cooperstein

2014-12-22 15:24:11 Comments ( )

Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday


It’s hard to believe December has rolled around once again and that 2014 is already drawing to a close. The holiday hustle and bustle is well underway, as people are preparing for parties, get-togethers, gift exchanges and other festivities. While this season is sure to be merry and bright in many aspects, the fact remains that December is a time that brings about heightened levels of stress and excess worry for many of us. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. There are easy steps you can take to ensure this December is as joyful and stress free as possible.


Five Easy Steps for a Stress-Free Holiday

From cooking and decorating to shopping and hosting, the arrival of the holiday season brings about added responsibilities we feel we must take on in order to make this time as special as possible. However, adding these responsibilities to an already hectic schedule can drain a person of energy and the holiday spirit, which can lead to developing of a case of the bah-humbugs. To stay jolly and stress free during this holiday season, consider following these five steps:


  1. Plan your shopping time.

Setting aside specific times to go shopping will save you a headache down the road. If you, like a vast majority of people, still have some shopping to do, it is helpful to compile a comprehensive list of everything you still need to purchase – whether it is gifts, decorations or food. Set a particular date and time to go shopping, and get everything you need.  


  1. Stick to a budget.

It’s easy to get caught up in the gift-giving spirit when buying presents for friends and family. However, an overzealous holiday spirit can have a negative impact on your bank account. Figure out how much you can safely spend on gifts, decorations and other holiday items, and commit to spending no more.


  1. Eat right.  

Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean you should skimp on your healthy lifestyle. Be sure to incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your holiday diet. Also, it could be quite beneficial to supplement your diet with anxiety-fighting ingredients like ashwagandha, GABA, kava kava and theobromine.


  1. Learn to say no.

There always seems to be an overabundance of things to do during the holiday season. Parties, gift exchanges, family gatherings and other get-togethers are quite common, but you cannot be everywhere at once. It’s okay to say no to a gathering or two. People will understand that this is a busy time of the year and forgive your absence.


  1. Set aside some “me” time.

Amidst all the holiday excitement, it can be easy to put others before yourself. While this act is admirable, it’s important to set aside some time for yourself. Stop everything you’re doing for 10 to 15 minutes, and do something just for yourself. This can include reading, exercising, meditating, jamming out to your favorite song or just doing nothing.









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Posted By

Scott Cooperstein

2014-09-08 19:50:41 Comments ( )

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Choosing the right protein supplement

Posted By

Guest Blog By: Brian Tanzer

2014-08-28 11:56:00 Comments ( )

What is protein?

Protein is the key building block of all body tissue.  It is part of the fundamental structure of bone, skin, muscle and cartilage. In addition, protein is also a key component of the enzymes that fuel biochemical reactions and is found as part of hemoglobin, the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body.  Protein is made up of chains of amino acids.  The body requires 22 amino acids, 8 of which are essential and must be consumed in the diet.  The most common sources of dietary protein include beef, chicken, fish, pork, eggs, milk and cheese.  For those looking to increase lean muscle mass, when combined with resistance training, protein intake plays an important role in the growth and repair of lean muscle tissue. In addition to food sources, protein powder supplements can be a convenient way to meet your daily protein needs, and help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals.

Types of protein powder:

Milk-based protein

There are several different types of protein powders to choose from.  How do you know which one is right for you?  The major proteins in milk are casein and whey. These two milk proteins both contain a high amount of essential amino acids, particularly the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine), considered to be important regulators of strength and body composition. In addition to protein, there are other components specific to whey protein (lactoferrin, glycomacropeptides, glutamylcysteine) that may also provide important benefits to immune function and help provide antioxidant support.  Whey protein comes in a variety of flavors and is either an isolate, concentrate or combination.

 Concentrate v. Isolate

Whey concentrate contains less protein, more lactose, and more milk fat than whey isolate. In contrast, whey isolate contains virtually no lactose and fat and, for that reason is often used by athletes and individuals who are lactose intolerant or following a low-fat diet. Whey protein is easy to digest and the amino acids are quickly absorbed and utilized by the body. 

Casein vs. Whey

Also derived from milk, casein is rich in protein and branched-chain amino acids.  The structure of casein makes it more difficult to digest, so this may not be a good choice for those sensitive to milk and dairy.  An important advantage of casein is that it is digested and absorbed more slowly than whey, and therefore, provides a prolonged increase in amino acids following consumption.  The differences in the digestibility and absorption of “slow” (casein) and or “fast” (whey) proteins provides muscle tissue with the building blocks needed for growth and repair.  Whey provides a quick “burst” of amino acids for protein synthesis, while casein makes an ideal protein supplement to sustain longer periods of an anabolic environment for muscle growth. Based on these different characteristics, whey and casein can be used alone and in combination to help maximize their unique biological effects.  Since whey and casein have different but complementary effects, one can keep both types on hand and use them differently throughout the day—whey in the morning and after workouts and casein before bed.

Non-Dairy Animal Proteins:

Long recognized as the “gold standard” protein, egg provides all the essential amino acids.  Egg protein is easy to digest and absorb, and is a good option for those who cannot tolerate milk-derived whey and casein.  Beef protein powder is relatively new to the growing list of supplemental protein sources.  Beef protein is rich in the branched-chain amino acids and provides a source of creatine and glutamine, to help promote strength, muscle growth and recovery.

Plant Proteins:

For those seeking an “alternative” to animal-based proteins, there are several options available.  Plant proteins, including pea, soy, hemp and rice provide an excellent source of protein.  Many plant protein products combine two or more sources of protein along with essential vitamins and minerals.  This is a good choice for those seeking a vegetarian, or non-milk based protein source. 

Whether you are looking for a protein powder to help support your fitness and physique goals, or simply seeking a convenient addition to your healthy diet and lifestyle, there are several options available.  With the many varieties of protein powders on the market, it’s relatively simple to find one that suits your needs.