Top 4 Tips For Surviving Allergy Season.

May 24, 2016



Ah, spring! The birds are singing, the trees are blooming, the breeze is blowing, the windows are open, and…..AAAAHHHHHCHOOOO!

Nothing ruins the excitement of springtime faster than an allergy attack. Allergies are caused when your immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance (such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites, mold, etc.) as a dangerous invader. The immune system reacts by producing chemicals, such as histamine, that create allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy watery eyes, and congestion.

How to best survive allergy season? We have some tips and tricks to get you through.

Top 4 Tips For Surviving Allergy Season

  1. Keep it clean. Keep up on dusting and vacuuming around the home, but wear a mask if you’re extra sensitive to limit exposure. Wash bedding weekly in hot water. Pollen can accumulate in your hair and clothes, so changing when you come inside can be helpful, as can a quick shower before bedtime. Removing your shoes right away when you get home helps reduce tracking in unwanted allergens as well.
  2. Take it indoors. Check your weather app for pollen counts before heading outside for your workout. If they’re high, train indoors with an exercise video instead or at the gym. Pollen tends to be at its height in the mid- to late-afternoon hours, so save your outdoor activities for first thing in the morning to reduce your exposure.
  3. Boost your vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine - it destroys the molecular structure of histamine, the chemical the immune system releases that causes all of those pesky allergy symptoms.
  4. Drink peppermint tea. Not only does it smell delicious, but the essential oil helps as a decongestant, and calms irritated mucous membranes. It also contains anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial constituents, which can also be helpful. Here are some more warming drink recipes that will help comfort you!

Using these natural preventative measures can help you live more comfortably this spring! In severe cases, it’s best to consult your doctor for further treatment.

[Credit: "10 Home Remedies for Allergies." How Stuff Works: Health.]

[Credit: Brawn, Amy. "Vitamin C For Allergy Relief." WebMD.]

[Credit: "Allegies Health Center." FoodNetwork.]

[Credit: "Allergies: Causes." Mayo Clinic.]

[Credit: Levine, Beth. "8 Tips for Surviving a Horrible Allergy Season." Everyday Health.]



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Tags: allergies   lifestyle   spring  



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5 Easy Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet.

May 19, 2016



Winter has finally come to a close, and the warmer months of spring have arrived! Trees are budding, flowers are sprouting, and you can begin cleaning out the house and wardrobe for the new season.

You don’t have to go crazy with juice cleanses and overly restrictive detox diets. Incorporating minimally processed foods back into your diet and creating good habits is all you need to boost your energy and spring forward into better health! A lot of people spring clean their house, so why not spring clean your body as well?

Eat more seasonal veggies!

  • Cabbage is on the cusp of winter and spring seasons, and it is a fresh way to boost your vitamin C and fiber. Who doesn’t love a delicious and crunchy salad for the first cookout of the season? Here are some great recipes for incorporating cabbage into your diet this spring.
  • Asparagus is an amazing source of folate, a B vitamin that will help boost your mood. It’s also the perfect thing to accompany scrambled eggs at breakfast, or fresh salmon at dinner.
  • Artichokes are loaded with magnesium - a mineral that’s essential for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. They’re a great source of energy!

Cut out the big bad: sugar.

The new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines stress the importance of cutting back on added sugar in our diets. Beverages alone account for almost half (47%) of all added sugars consumed by the U.S. population!

A great way to ease your way off of sugary sodas is to try our newest True Citrus flavor: True Lime Watermelon Aqua Fresca! It has only 1 little gram of sugar and 10 calories per serving, and it’ll satisfy the “sweet” cravings without any artificial flavors or preservatives.

Minimize alcohol intake.

Alcohol has no nutritional benefit to the body, and it often contains added sugars and calories. With the sunshine lingering later into the evening, nothing is more tempting than enjoying a cocktail on a warm patio. Give your liver a break this spring, and enjoy a seltzer with fresh True Grapefruit instead.

Reduce sodium.

Consuming too much sodium has been linked to bloating, heart problems, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and a wide range of other health issues. Cleanse your body by cutting it out! One of the easiest ways to cut back on sodium is to cook at home, rather than eating out. Experiment with different sodium-free seasonings, and only add salt at the very end. The flavor will be stronger, but you’ll use much less. Here are more great tips on how to reduce sodium with alternative seasonings.

Drink up!

Boosting your hydration in springtime is the best way to jumpstart your metabolism. Staying hydrated will also reduce the urge for snacking, but just be sure you don’t end up drinking your calories. Try adding True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade to your water or seltzer - the delicious flavor will encourage you to drink more! Here are some more great drink recipes to try that wellness experts love to help boost your fluid intake.

You may have some lingering habits from wintertime that can be difficult to break. Luckily, using these five steps will get you ready for skimpy-clothing season in no time!

 

[Credit: Marturana, Amy. "New Dietary Guidelines Are Officially Here to Remind Us How Bad Sugar Is." Well + Good.]

[Credit: Kadey, Matthew. "5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet." Runner's World.]

[Credit: Amidor, Toby. "5 Tips to Spring Clean Your Diet." FoodNetwork.]

[Credit: "Top 10 Superfoods for Spring." Health.]



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Tips for Creating Healthy Meals on a Budget.

February 25, 2016



Although it may seem that a fast-food dollar menu is inexpensive, you ultimately end up paying for it with your health. So can you eat healthfully on a tight budget? Of course you can! With a little planning ahead, you can make nutritious meals that are surprisingly inexpensive (and also delicious).

Here are our top tips for creating healthy meals on a budget:

Start with simple foods.

The most nutritious foods are usually the ones that are minimally processed - and as it turns out, they’re also the least expensive. Less processing means that less money went into production, and therefore they end up being cheaper for you.

Our True Lemon packets contain only simple and clean ingredients, and no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. Keeping these on hand will make it a little easier to stay healthy!

Buy in bulk!

Choosing to purchase whole grains, nuts, seeds, rice, quinoa, and other pantry staples in the bulk section of the grocery store will not only cut down on packaging waste, but also on cost. Having these basic items in the cupboard will make it easier to throw together something wholesome on short notice.

Spice things up.

Adding balanced flavors and spices to your meals will make something seemingly boring into a decadent and flavorful meal. Try adding True Lime Garlic and Cilantro Spice Blend to rice - you may find you don’t need much else! Seasoning an inexpensive cut of meat can make a huge difference in flavor, and it’s much healthier than using a dressing or marinade. Here are some simple and healthy recipe ideas to get you started!

Buy produce that’s in season.

Fresh strawberries will always cost more in winter than in summer, as in much of the U.S. they’re not in season. So why not try something else instead? Buying produce that’s seasonal to your area usually means it’s less costly, because it doesn’t have to travel as far from the farm to the grocer. You don’t even have to ask someone at the store what’s in season, as it’ll show on the price sticker!

Skip pre-washed and pre-packaged produce items.

Opting to pick out your own fruits and vegetables can save a lot of money, as the pre-washed, pre-packaged versions can cost almost double the price. This goes for anything that comes in a bag or container in the produce section such as greens, carrots, and mushrooms.

Get creative with what you have.

Rather than running out to the store to buy specific ingredients for a recipe, try using what you have in your cupboard or freezer. Have some broccoli that’s about to go bad? Look up a recipe for broccoli soup! Buying exact ingredients can also mean you end up with leftover waste, as recipes often require just small amounts of each item. Start with what you have, and work from there.

Make less waste, and use every bit!

If your celery is looking a bit wilted, don’t just toss it. Chop it finely and use it in a quiche, or add it to soup. Carrot peels, onion ends, and broccoli stalks are great items to freeze and save for making your own vegetable broth! Just boil them hot water for 1-2 hours, and let cool. Store in containers in the fridge for 1-2 weeks for an easy soup base.

Another great tip is to save your strawberry tops. Put them in water in your fridge for a refreshing (and healthy) treat. Better yet, add True Lemonade along with them for a tasty low-calorie treat!

Do you have more tips or ideas to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

 

[Credit: White, Dana Angelo. "Ask the Experts: Budget-Friendly Tips."  FoodNetwork.]

[Credit: Clark, Larkin. "5 Hacks For Cooking Healthy Meals on a Budget." Well & Good.]



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Make Your Healthy New Year’s Resolutions Last All Year!

February 1, 2016



As 2015 was reaching a close, we all began to think of the resolutions to make for the upcoming year. We started to psych ourselves up for getting to the gym again, and get back on track with eating healthy.

Now that the first month of 2016 is behind us, the reality of how much effort it takes to keep our New Year’s resolutions is beginning to hit. Why did we make such huge goals? Why did we think we could change so drastically from our bad habits back to good ones? And why did we think it would last?

It’s not too late to re-evaluate resolutions and make your healthy New Year’s resolutions stick through the end of 2016 (or any other year)! Here’s how to get started:

Make more specific goals, rather than broad statements.

Think of resolutions as goals to accomplish in the upcoming year. Why do we struggle to keep them? Part of it is because we often make very broad statements, such as "I'm going to go to the gym more" or "I'm going to lose weight" or "I'm going to spend less time watching TV". These are all great ideas, but they're not very specific. If you don't define how much more or less you want to do something, how can you possibly know if you're reaching that goal?

Instead of setting big idealistic goals, get specific. If you want to go to the gym more, resolve to add 5 hours per week to your schedule devoted to that. It's specific, but it still allows you to be flexible and go when you can. Want to watch less TV? Decide to only spend X amount of hours watching your favorite shows each week, and think of other things you can resolve to do with your newfound time. Want to drink more water? Decide to work towards drinking just 1 more glass of water per day. Adding some True Grapefruit will help make your water tastier, and more likely to be enjoyed, by the way.

Make your goals attainable, and be sure you’re ready to work on them!

Why are resolutions unrealistic? Is it because people decide on resolutions that are too difficult to attain, or because we don't have the will to tackle them?

The first step is setting specific, measurable goals. The next step is making sure you're willing to put in the work to achieve them. For example: You want to get a promotion at work, but you also want to travel more. These are contradicting goals, as getting that promotion may mean putting in more time in the office - but travel will take you out of it. What goals are more important to you right now, and what are you willing to put in the effort to change?

Hold yourself accountable for your goals.

Tell friends and family about your resolution, and ask them to help keep you on track. Start a blog about it and share your thoughts, feelings, and struggles. Maybe even set a calendar reminder at the 6-month mark to make sure you’re where you want to be. If you want to make that resolution happen, it will take work! But having support from others and holding yourself accountable will help you stay motivated to keep going.

Keep it simple, and don’t get discouraged!

  • First: If you've had trouble keeping resolutions in the past, just set one simple goal. That's it, just one. See how you do.
  • Second: Remember to be forgiving of yourself. Resolutions, even simple ones, sometimes just don't happen. Don't beat yourself up about it. Reassess, and move forward.
  • Third: Give it some time. It's not easy to create new habits, and you'll most likely slip up along the way. We all do! Just keep coming back to it, and remember why you made the resolution in the first place. It'll take time, but it'll be worth it.

What are your resolutions and goals for 2016? Leave them in the comments below!

Is one of your goals to start working out more? Here are some of our favorite winter weather workout tips!

Want to get up earlier in the mornings (and actually like it)? Here are some easy steps to help you get there.

Ready to just get healthy again? Here are our tips for keeping yourself happy and healthy!



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True Citrus Survival Guide: Cold & Flu Season.

January 13, 2016



The holidays are over, and it’s the start of a new year! After all the stress, excitement, and overindulging we’re finally ready to get our health back on track, and get back to work. Then comes the sniffling, the sneezing, the coughing and body aches...oh, no...

This time of year is when our immune systems are at their weakest. We’ve already been through a long period of stress, and the cold weather makes us even more susceptible to illness. We already have a great article to help boost your immunity, but what if you’ve already caught a bug? Here is our survival guide for getting through cold & flu season!

1. Get in those fluids! You remember getting sick as a kid and your mom bringing you juice, lemon-lime sodas, and plenty of other liquids (maybe with a crazy straw)? There’s a reason for it! Staying well hydrated is the best way to keep your body functioning optimally - which means helping your immune system kick the bad guys out as fast as possible. Just be sure that your fluids aren’t high in added sugar, and maybe add in a very small amount of sodium to boost electrolyte content (and help your body absorb water). An added bonus if your beverage of choice contains plenty of vitamin C as it assists with immune system support as well.

2. Choose rest over all else. Whether it means calling in sick to work, asking a friend or partner for help with the kids or daily chores, or saying “no” to a good friend’s birthday party that you’ve been looking forward to - making rest your top priority is the most important step towards healing. With your immune system already weakened it’s going to need to work doubly hard to get rid of a virus, which means you need to give it the time to duke it out. This means taking a couple of days off to rest, no matter how difficult. Not only will you be less likely to spread your illness to others, but your symptoms will last for a shorter amount of time.

3. Crack a window. This may seem like the last thing you want to do, but getting some fresh air circulating can do a world of good! All those hours you’ve been spending indoors coughing and sneezing can allow germs to settle, and possibly infect others. So let that fresh breeze get the airflow going and move that stagnant air back outside!

4. Listen to your symptoms. A lot of over-the-counter medications simply dull the symptoms of your illness, rather than truly fight the virus. They provide a false sense of wellness making you feel good enough to work, even though you should really be resting. Rather than taking a drug, listen to your symptoms. Feeling tired? You probably should be resting! Thirsty? Drink plenty of water and fluids. Support your body with what it needs, and you should be back in good health in no time.

5. Keep it clean! Toss those used tissues in the trash, and wash your hands often. Sanitize anything you’ve been using frequently, including the door handle of the bathroom, and the refrigerator door. Leaving these objects dirty can not only spread bacteria and viruses to others, but can compromise your already weakened immune system. Keep it clean, and keep the germs away.

6. Sip on some tea. Tea is a great way to soothe a sore throat, cough, and even an upset stomach. It’s gentle, comforting, and hydrating - all important things when trying to relax and let your body heal. Add some True Lemon for alkalizing benefits, which can help balance your body, and aid in digestion with absorption of vitamins and minerals. Here are some great warming drink recipes that are sure to help comfort and soothe!

Don’t let the cold or flu stop you from enjoying the winter season. With these tips you can help your body fight off whatever comes your way. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any wellness plan, and if symptoms last for a longer period of time than usual.

Need some more tips on how to stay happy and healthy this time of year? Check out this article!

 

[Credit: Dhal, Taylor. "Your Cold and Flu Season Survival Guide." Share Care.]

[Credit: Roizman, Tracey. "The Alkalizing Effect of Lemons." Live Strong.]



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Winter Weather Workout Tips.

December 29, 2015



Your alarm goes off, and it's still dark outside. You're driving home from work, and it's already dark again. Feeling motivated to exercise yet?

With shorter days and longer nights, it can be difficult to find the motivation to lace up your running shoes, let alone brave the colder temperatures outside. However, it's more important than ever to stay on top of your workouts throughout the winter months, as it'll help boost your mood and keep your momentum going for when spring finally arrives!

Here are our tips for exercising during the winter:

Switch on that light! Sometimes it’s best to get your workout out of the way first thing. There is a little more light in the morning, and it’s probably dark by the time you’re driving home at the end of the day. One helpful way to get out of bed is to turn on a bright light. It’ll be harder to roll over and hit snooze, as light suppresses melatonin levels (the hormone that helps regulate sleep). For the same reason that you should dim your lights in the evening to make it easier to fall asleep, is why you should switch on those bright lights or open your curtains when you’re waking up. Here are some other great ways to get you up and going first thing in the morning!

Download a good podcast or audiobook to your iPod or phone. If you’re looking forward to the next episode of your favorite podcast, or the next chapter in a book you’re listening to - you’ll be more likely to get up and go! Here is a fantastic list of 20 podcasts to try out, and you can download audiobooks for free through your local library using the Overdrive Media app on your phone.

Grab a winter workout buddy. For some additional motivation, it’s helpful to have a buddy to call that might need a little help getting out the door as well. It will be easier to hold yourself accountable when a friend is planning to meet you, and you’ll feel safer jogging in the dark with someone you trust close-by.

Allow yourself to acclimate to colder temperatures. It may take your body a little time to adjust to outdoor workouts, but just take it slow at first. Start your jog or bike ride a little slower, and work your way up to a normal pace. It’ll take your muscles a little longer to warm up in the cold and this will help reduce the risk of injury.

Wear a scarf, and save your nose! You may notice that when you’re jogging outdoors in cold weather, it seems as though a faucet has been turned on through your nose. That’s because your body is producing more mucus inside the nostrils to keep everything moist from the dry air. To save your nose, wear a scarf or neck gaiter to breathe through. It’ll help keep the air more moist (from condensation), and in turn your sinuses will produce less mucus.

Drink, drink, drink! Water, that is. Sometimes it’s not as obvious as in the summer, but your body is sweating under all those layers during your cold-weather workouts. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, be sure to drink before, after, and during your runs! If you have trouble drinking regular water, make it more tempting by adding some True Grapefruit to your bottle. It adds some flavor, which will make you more likely to keep sipping!

Change your clothes. This may seem obvious, but sitting around in clothes damp from sweat, rain, or snow can cause more problems than just smelling bad. You’re more likely to get sick if you’re in the cold clothes for a long period of time, as it drops your core body temperature. Even if you don’t take a shower right away, be sure to change into something dry and warm.

Know when to stay indoors! When wind chills drop below zero, or when conditions are icy, it’s probably best to just take your workout indoors. Even multiple layers just aren’t worth the risk of slipping and falling, or even getting frostbite! And besides, you can still do sit-ups and push-ups in the comfort of your own home.

It may be difficult to get outside to get your heart rate up this winter, but with these tips you may find yourself actually enjoying the cold! Then when temperatures start to warm up, you'll be already going strong rather than starting from the beginning with your workout routine.

Here are some more tips for staying happy (and healthy) this time of year!

 

[Credit: "20 Podcasts you need to hear in 2015." Entertainment Weekly.]

[Credit: Van Allen, Jennifer. "Winter Weather Exercise Tips." Runners World.]

[Credit: "How to Prevent a Runny Nose in Cold Weather." WikiHow.]

[Credit: Madden, Aemilia. "Stay Strong: How to Survive Working Out Through Winter." Pop Sugar.]

[Credit: McMullen, Laura. "6 Rules for working out in cold weather." Daily News.]

[Credit: "Exposure to Room Light before Bedtime Suppresses Melatonin Onset and Shortens Melatonin Duration in Humans." U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine.]



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Last Minute Gifts that Give Back!

December 22, 2015



Here at True Citrus, we like to take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays to think of those in need. If you’re already purchasing gifts for your friends and family, why not choose to buy from a company that gives back?

Even if you procrastinated a little with your holiday gift-buying, these items are available to order online - just make a note in a pretty card, and let your loved one know they’ll be getting it in the mail soon. Everyone enjoys a surprise in the mail, even if it’s a little late!

These are some amazing gift ideas from companies that truly embrace the spirit of giving during the holiday season:

Wine from A Dog’s Life: This wine will make you and animals a little happier. 10% of each sale on their site benefits animal rescue and adoption organizations.

Gift Bundles from Women’s Bean Project: The Women’s Bean Project provides transitional job training for chronically unemployed and impoverished women. Their gift bundles include mixes for delicious foodstuffs including hearty soups, bread, scones, and chili!

Coffee or tea gift set from Laughing Man: We love coffee and tea at True Citrus. If you have a friend that shares our love of these yummy warming drinks, treat them to some Laughing Man! This company (founded by actor Hugh Jackman) puts 100% of its revenue back into education, community development, and business development for new entrepreneurs.

MiiR water bottles: Great for toting around True Lemon Original Lemonade, each purchase of these stylish water bottles empowers one person with clean water for an entire year. Now that’s hydration that goes the extra mile!

Books from Better World Books: Have a bookworm in the family? Order them some classic novels, or a new fiction to dive into. If you purchase a book through Better World Books, they’ll donate one to another reader - a book for a book. Simple as that.

Gift Sets from Hand in Hand Soap: Soaps and candles make for a pampering gift that anyone can enjoy. Hand in Hand donates a bar of soap and provides a month of clean water to children in need with every purchase.

Children’s apparel, accessories, and toys from Everything Happy: This company matches purchases with product donations to children in hospitals and orphanages throughout the United States who could use a little more “happy” in their lives.

Rain boots from Roma Boots: With every pair you purchase, Roma donates another pair of boots to a child in need. They also donate 10% of proceeds to their Roma For All Foundation which provides educational services for orphans and children of poverty.

A yoga mat from Manduka: These beautifully designed and lightweight mats are biodegradable, and made from non-Amazon harvested tree rubber. You’re not only being kind to the earth when you gift these mats, but you’re also donating to Off the Mat, Into the World - an organization that uses yoga to inspire sustainable activism and social change.

No matter how you celebrate the holidays, just remember the important thing is to share the joy of the season with the people you love.

Need last-minute recipe ideas for your big holiday dinner? Check out this article!

Trying to stay healthy during this time of year, but need some extra tips? We’re here to help.

Wishing you a safe and very happy holiday!

 

[Credit: Mazzio, Jena. "Love to Shop? Check Out These Cool Companies That Give Back." One Green Planet.]

[Credit: Probus, Jessica. "23 Charitable Companies That Actually Give Back." Buzzfeed Life.]

[Credit: Tamarkin, Sally. "28 Awesome Gifts That Give to Charity, Too." Greatist.]



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Festive ways to use True Citrus during the Holidays!

December 14, 2015



No matter how you celebrate this time of year, you’ll most likely be sharing meals with your loved ones. It can be a challenge to figure out what to make, and nobody wants to be the person that just stopped at the grocery store and bought another store-made veggie platter or fruit cake.

These are some of our favorite recipes, all made with True Citrus products. Our seasonings not only enhance flavor, but they also add nutritional value and vitamin C!

Appetizers

True Lemon Pepper Popovers: These buttery lemony popovers are great as an appetizer, or for sopping up the last bits of gravy from your plate. They’re also fun to say out loud!

Autumn Hummus: Pumpkin and tahini? Why not? This is a unique dip that your guests will want the recipe for. Serve with pita chips, or sliced seasonal vegetables.

True Lemon Pepper and Pecorino Dip: A simple yet delicious dip that’s great served with chips or crackers.

True Lemon Cheese Log: This recipe is not only a hit at holiday gatherings, but also looks extra festive on the table!

True Lime Garlic and Cilantro White Bean Dip: Yummy, garlicky, and easy to make. Can’t beat that during the busy holiday season!

 

Dinner

Couscous Stuffed Baby Pumpkins: With sausage, tofu, or just the vegetables, this is a festive dish that’s nutritious and just plain pretty to look at!

Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Breast: Tired of the same old turkey every year? Spice it up with True Lemon!

Spiced Honey and True Lemon Spiced Ham: True Lemon is an essential ingredient in the fabulous glaze on this traditional baked ham.

True Lemon Pepper Game Hens: Cornish game hens get dressed up in zesty lemon pepper, basil, celery, onion, and green bell peppers for a mouth-watering flavor that will keep your guests coming back for more!

True Lemon Vegetable Gratin: This side dish is creamy and satisfying - perfect for cold weather. The vegetable ingredients can be substituted for whatever is seasonally available, making this a harvest time classic.

Steamed Broccoli with True Orange Ginger Dressing and Walnuts: Choosing a lighter side dish is always a good idea during food-heavy holiday celebrations. Broccoli gets dressed up in a zesty orange dressing in this side dish, and walnuts round it out with a satisfying crunch.

True Orange Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Take sweet potatoes up a notch with this easy-to-make recipe that’s only 134 calories per serving!

Lemony Herbed Mashed Potatoes: Lemon nicely evens out the richness of the broth and sour cream in this recipe for a deeply satisfying spin on traditional mashed potatoes.

Green Beans with Almonds and Lemon Brown Butter: The perfect side dish to assign to the friend that wants to bring something, but isn’t exactly a whiz-kid in the kitchen. Simple, easy, delicious.

True Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Our simple recipe reveals Brussels sprouts’ sweeter side! Trust us - it’ll become a family favorite everyone will be looking forward to year after year.

 

Dessert

True Lemon Pumpkin Roll: This dessert you can make ahead, which will free up some of your valuable holiday time!

True Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies: A great cookie recipe that you can share with friends and family all season long. The orange is a beautiful complement to the white chocolate chips!

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with True Orange Buttercream: These mimic a rich chocolate cake filled with a light and fluffy True Orange cream filling. Box these in a cookie tin and serve as a sweet gift!

Maple Pecan Apple and Cherry Crumble: This classic apple crumble recipe is taken to new heights with a sprinkling of pecans, a drizzle of maple syrup, a handful of dried cherries, and a dash of True Lemon. It’s sure to be a hit at your holiday gathering, especially if served with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream!

True Lemon Pumpkin Cheesecake: If you’re searching for the perfect dessert, this updated cheesecake is a delicious choice! To make it even easier, purchase a store-made graham cracker crust.

True Lemon Pumpkin Bread Pudding: Bread pudding is always a comforting classic. Your guests will come back for seconds, and maybe even thirds!

Cranberry Citrus Glazed Bread: This recipes is moist, satisfyingly spicy, and made with seasonal ingredients. You can even have the leftovers with coffee at breakfast time!

 

Cocktails

True Citrus Champagne Punch: This festive and citrusy champagne punch makes for a perfect holiday celebration cocktail, or a great spin on mimosas for brunch.

True Lemon Hot Toddy: During this cold time of year, nothing beats a hot drink with a kick. This will warm you (and your guests) right up!

Wassail Punch: Spice up a traditional drink this holiday season with True Lemon! Add bourbon for adults, but the kids can enjoy this hot festive beverage as well.

Click here for more warming drink recipes!

 

What are your favorite recipes to share with friends and families during the holiday season? How will you use True Citrus to make those recipes extra special this year? Let us know in the comments!



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Tags: holiday   lifestyle   recipe   true citrus  



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Holiday Cooking Supplies + Giveaway.

December 7, 2015



So much of holiday celebrations start and end in the kitchen. Whether with baking Christmas cookies, cooking holiday meals, or whipping up a family brunch - it's where people gather to enjoy all the flavors of the season!

Keeping your kitchen stocked with the right supplies will keep you prepared for just about anything - even a cookie emergency! These are our favorite kitchen supplies to have on hand during the holidays, and all year round:

High-quality chef's knife.

Having a good quality knife is the best way to start, and is essential for making food preparation a breeze. It's amazing the difference that a good knife can make when slicing and dicing all the ingredients for a holiday feast.

Vegetable peeler.

Keeping a vegetable peeler on hand will greatly speed up your prep time when peeling potatoes, carrots, or other veggies. This is also a much safer way to have the kids help with preparing a meal. 

Potato masher.

Using a potato masher to make your potatoes will ensure that the starches don't get released due to over-mixing. This can result in a gummy (and not so appealing) texture, which using a masher will help to avoid! This tool usually comes in a bulky shape that's hard to fit in a drawer, however this masher flips down for convenience.

All-in-one grater.

It's always a good idea to keep a grater around, especially one that can do just about anything! Whether finely zesting citrus, shaving parmesan cheese, or thinly slicing vegetables, this grater does it all.

Kitchen shears.

From cutting up meats, to quickly trimming herbs, and even cutting the stems off flowers - having a pair of kitchen shears ready will make your life a little easier. You will be surprised at how long you survived it in the kitchen without them.

Holiday-themed cookie cutters.

Everyone loves the smell of cookies baking during the holiday season. Whether you're making a batch to give out as gifts, or just to share with friends and family, make it a little more fun with these festive shapes! Check out these hilarious Ninjabread Men, or these traditional Christmas Cutters. If you're even more adventurous, try making your own chocolates with these molds!

True Citrus seasonings.

Nothing goes better with holiday cooking than True Citrus! Our True Lemon Pepper is zesty, 100% salt-free and great on top of chicken, fish, salads, vegetables, and sauces. True Orange Ginger tastes amazing in muffins and cakes, and even in hot apple cider! Here are some recipes to try with our products.

Cast iron skillet.

Cast iron skillets are one of the hardest working tools in the kitchen, and they have been for the past 2,000 years. These skillets are usually pre-seasoned so that food doesn't stick, with amazing heat retention abilities. They're extremely durable, and great for cooking just about anything - including a delicious apple crumble for Christmas morning.

Casserole dish.

When you need a recipe to share that's easy to throw together, casseroles are a great choice! It's a good idea to get a deep dish version that can work for hearty casseroles and bread puddings, as well as something like lasagna. Ready to take it to a holiday potluck to share with friends? This casserole carrier will make bringing it along a little easier, while also keeping it piping hot.

Carrier Immersion blender.

This is a great little tool to have around for blending soups and sauces right in the pot! No need to make a mess by trying to dump hot liquid into a blender. It’s also great for whipping up some homemade whipped cream for pumpkin pie!

Glass food storage containers.

Sometimes the best part of holiday meals are the leftovers you get to enjoy the next day! Glass containers are better than plastic, as they won’t retain any flavor and they’re microwave safe.

Silicone baking sheets.

If you’ve always used parchment paper in the past, meet your new best friend. These baking sheets stay flat (unlike paper that curls), and are re-useable! They make the perfect non-stick surface for baking cookies. Sheets

Stainless steel mixing bowls (with lids).

Use a large bowl for general mixing, and two smaller bowls for combining dry ingredients or beating eggs. Having lids that fit over top make storing leftovers even easier!

Silicone cooking utensils.

These non-stick cooking tools are not only durable, but the silicone coating doesn’t leave any nooks or crannies for bacteria to grow.

Holiday trivet.

Protect your table with a snowflake-shaped trivet! This will keep hot dishes from damaging your beautiful holiday table, while providing some festive decoration as well.

 

True Citrus is here to get you ready to go for the holiday cooking season! We’ll be giving one lucky winner ALL of the supplies listed above for FREE!

To enter the giveaway, use the Giveaway Tools form below. Please be patient - sometimes it takes a little while for the form to load.

Best of luck, and happy holidays!

 

[Credit: "Kitchen Essentials List: 71 of the Best Kitchen Cookware, Utensils, Tools & More." Mealime.]

[Credit: "Your First Kitchen: 5 Guides to Help You Set Up Your Kitchen With the Best Basics." The Kitchn.]

 



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Moderation: The Key to Having a Happy (and Healthy) Holiday Season.

November 30, 2015



Picture this: You're at a holiday party and the table is set. Your mouth is already watering from smelling the mashed sweet potatoes, honey baked ham, roasted turkey with gravy, pumpkin pie, and sugar cookies. As your stomach grumbles you start thinking about all the calories and fat content. You start worrying about this so much that you begin to dread seeing the pie before the whipped cream even hits it. Suddenly, you’re feeling stressed. You can already feel the guilt weighing on you for everything you’re about to eat. Sound familiar?

The holidays can sometimes mean that our health (and diets) go out the window until the New Year’s resolutions kick in. Being healthy doesn’t mean you can’t have a slice of grandma’s famous pumpkin pie or enjoy your favorite holiday cookies. This time of year is about celebration, which is why it’s mostly focused around food and eating. We don’t need to abstain from enjoying the foods we love, just moderate.

Here are our tips for staying healthy with moderation this holiday season:

  1. Think like the French! In a series of cross-cultural surveys, when Americans were shown a picture of chocolate cake and asked what word they associated with it, the most frequent answers were ‘guilt’ and ‘calories’. The French response was ‘celebration’ and ‘pleasure’. It’s not that the French feel the need to eat the entire cake, but they associate it with something very different than Americans do - and we can take a cue from them here! So enjoy that slice of cake, and take pleasure in it. You don’t have to eat the entire thing.
  2. Follow the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time you work hard to eat whole foods that are minimally processed and packed full of nutrition - then the other 20% off the time, you should allow yourself to indulge a little. Good health is all about balance, not depriving yourself of the enjoyment of having the foods you crave! Allowing yourself to enjoy those foods during that 20% will allow you to make smart choices the remaining 80% off the time (instead of indulging all the time).
  3. Limit (or go without) alcoholic drinks. On average, most adults consume an additional 100 calories per day from alcoholic beverages. Even if you can’t avoid the cocktails all together, alternate between alcohol and a non-alcoholic sparkling True Lemon Mocktail to reduce your calorie intake. Even better, if you decide to stay sober it’ll be easier to avoid over-indulging during dinner. Also having a sparkling drink will keep you feeling festive without getting a holiday hangover. With this Brushed Bubbly with True Orange mocktail, you won’t even miss the champagne!
  4. Eat only things you LOVE, and leave the stuff you just like. Instead of piling your plate high with the food that you love, in addition to the food you’re not-so-excited about, why not just eat the ones you love? You eliminate the extra calories of food that doesn’t make you excited (yes, we’re talking about the fruit cake), and truly enjoying the foods you already know and love.
  5. Keep moving! Part of the reason why people gain weight during the holidays is because there’s a lot of sitting around indoors with nothing better to do than constantly graze. Make an effort to add some exercise into the holidays to avoid snacking all day long! Go for a walk while things are simmering, play a game of catch, or even sneak in a quick game of charades. This will also keep you from being tempted to nap after eating, and expend those calories! Here are some more great tips, along with some additional advice with how to stay healthy this season.
  6. Just because it’s “holiday food” doesn’t mean you have to eat it! This is certainly the time of year for seasonal dishes, but have you really thought about if you really like those foods? Do you truly enjoy spiced egg nog, or would you rather enjoy something lighter - like a cup of hot apple cider made with Crisp Apple Medley? If you could have any treat at all, would you rather have a slice of store-bought apple pie with whipped cream, or just one scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream? Thinking about these things first rather than eating “just because” will help you to make better (and healthier) choices.
  7. Sneak in more veggies. Vegetables contain a lot of nutrition, and a lot of fiber. Getting in as much as you can will help maximize the nutrient value of your meal, while at the same time helping you feel more satisfied. The added fiber will also keep things moving through your system! Add pureed cauliflower into the mashed potatoes, and maybe even some fresh green peas. Don’t be stingy with your portion of salad, either.
  8. Use the three-bite dessert rule. The rule is this: the first bite is best, and so is the last. Every bite in between is pretty much the same! If you stick to the three-bite rule, you can focus on the full dessert experience and truly savor it. Therefore you’ll be much less likely to overindulge. Try this True Lemon Pumpkin Roll recipe, or this Maple-Pecan Apple and Cherry Crumble recipe. Just remember - keep your serving to 3 bites!
  9. Eat a good breakfast! Skipping a healthy breakfast will only leave you starving, and more tempted to over eat. Start your morning with a nutrient-rich and filling breakfast so that you don’t go crazy later in the day.

Always remember that this time of year is about celebration, not guilt! Keeping this in mind and following these steps will help you not only stay healthy, but also help you enjoy this wonderful time of year even more.

Another one of the best ways to spice up your holidays is with True Citrus! Check out our array of seasonings and spices to add even more flavor to your holiday menu. Here is a collection of warming fall drink recipes to share with your guests during the holiday season too!

 

[Credit: Anderson, Charlotte. "The OneThing Top Nutrition Experts Do to Stay Healhy During the Holidays." Greatist.]

[Credit: DellaCroce, Liz. "Living by the 80/20 Rule (Finding Balance Challenge and Giveaway)." The Lemon Bowl.]

[Credit: Le Billon, Karen, "French Kids Don't Get Fat." Karen Le Billon Blog.]



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Healthy Drinks that Wellness Experts Enjoy!

November 17, 2015



Water is great and all, and boy, do our bodies just love when we’re getting enough of it. Everything functions a little better when we’re well-hydrated!

Wellness experts are always telling us: DRINK MORE WATER. But what do they sip on when they’re not pounding down water bottles full of H2O? Well, we’ll tell you...

Matcha Tea

Matcha, a traditional Chinese drink, is a stone-ground powder made of green tea leaves. This drink is loved by health experts because it’s full of antioxidants, boosts metabolism, detoxifies the body, and much more. It’s particularly high in an antioxidant called catechin polyphenol, which has been linked to decreased cancer risks, as well as lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It’s a great coffee substitute as it provides a slow release of energy rather than a quick spike.

Matcha can be enjoyed hot or cold, but be sure to add in a packet of True Lemon for even more antioxidant power!

Turmeric and Lemon Elixir

Turmeric, a spice featured prominently in Indian cuisine, has been shown to have many health benefits. Not only is it an anti-inflammatory, but turmeric is filled with antioxidants, and also has antibacterial properties. Adding a little True Lemon to this drink helps to balance alkaline levels of the body, and cleanse the liver. Try this simple recipe first thing in the morning - the cayenne will help boost your metabolism, and the ginger will provide extra support in absorption of all the nutrients!

In a large mug, add 1 packet True Lemon, 2 dashes of turmeric, some fresh shredded ginger, and a pinch of cayenne. Fill the mug with hot water, stir, and enjoy! Check out these other warming drink recipes to help boost your health.

Bone Broth

The opposite of your sweet morning coffee, this “drink” may seem more like soup rather than something you sip from a mug. It’s made in a similar way to regular broth or stock (made with animal bones), but it’s simmered for a longer period of time to extract the gelatin from collagen-rich joints and release minerals. Health nuts love bone broth, as it’s not only a great source of protein, but the minerals support naturally-occurring chemicals within the body, and the gelatin helps support skin and digestive health.

You may have to dare a loved one to try a hot mug of bone broth with you (at least until you get used to it), but until then it’s a great addition to soups and stocks!

Aloe Water

A body that’s well hydrated glows through skin. A big reason why aloe water is touted as a miracle skin-elixir is due to its hydrating qualities, but also the antioxidant content, anti-inflammatory properties, and the way it detoxifies and aids in digestion. Give this recipe a try: Fill a glass half-full with aloe vera juice. Add 1 packet True Lime, 1 teaspoon of honey, and stir well. Fill the rest of the glass with water, stir again, and enjoy! Here are some more refreshing and hydrating drink recipes to try.

Bulletproof Coffee

For a long time, fat was the enemy in weight gain and cardiovascular health. But as it turns out, that just isn’t true. Now, wellness experts are adding something to their coffee that you may be shocked to hear about: butter!

Popularized by Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Coffee is said to be rich, creamy, and add a huge boost of energy to get you through your day. It also provides your body with healthy fats - the best source of energy for your cells. Starting your day with this buttery coffee drink can not only be satisfying as breakfast, but the fat will slow the absorption of caffeine - helping you feel more focused all throughout your day. Providing your body with good fats can even help your cells to be more efficient in burning fat, leading to weight loss!

There is no miracle health drink that will reverse the effects of a greasy cheeseburger-a-day diet. Experts recommend regular exercise, and a diet filled with plenty of vegetables and real, unprocessed foods to accompany these beverages. If anything, these drinks will help support (and enhance) an already healthy lifestyle!

Have you tried any of these health drinks? What was your experience with them? Let us know in the comments!

 

[Credit: Shilhavy, Brian. "We Were Wrong About Saturated Fats." Time Magazine.]

[Credit: "Why more wellness experts are putting butter in their coffee." Well + Good.]

[Credit: "The beauty secret more New York women are sipping on." Well + Good.]

[Credit: "Bone Broth, Broths and Stocks." Nourished Kitchen.]

[Credit: "Recipe: Taryn Toomey's Detoxing Turmeric Tonic." Well + Good.]

[Credit: Patel, Tejal "Warm Water & Lemon With A Turmeric Twist." Mind Body Green.]

[Credit: "10 trendy beverages wellness experts love to sip." Well + Good.]



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Boost Your Immunity! Tips for Resisting the Common Cold.

October 28, 2015



Now that the weather is cooling down, cold season is nearly upon us. You’ve probably been giving dirty looks to sniffling co-workers that insist on coming into the office, and it seems that everyone else is starting to rack up those sick days.

We all know the usual tips that mom gave us for feeling better - lots of rest, plenty of liquids, and chicken soup. But what are the best ways to boost your immune system and prevent getting that cold all together? Here are our tips for staying well during cold season!

1. Bundle up! We all know by now that the common cold is actually a virus, and it’s not caught by just being cold. But is that entirely true? It turns out that the virus thrives at around 91-95 degrees fahrenheit, but slows in replication when it hits 98.6 - the average human body temperature. Being exposed to colder temperatures can actually reduce your immune system’s ability to fight off the cold virus (there’s a reason it’s called a “cold”)! So put on that extra layer before you head out of the house.

2. Hit the sack early. It may be difficult to resist staying out later with all the holiday parties and events that happen towards the end of the year, but deciding to turn in early will do your body a world of good. Researchers from the University of California and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center agree that not only does getting at least seven hours of sleep help boost your mood, but it also improves the function of your immune system. Participants in their sleep study that slept six hours or less were four times more likely to get sick than participants who slept at least seven hours each night - and this was across all demographics.

3. Up your vitamin C intake. This may seem obvious - it’s the vitamin that everyone reaches for when they feel an illness coming on. But why does it work? It turns out that vitamin C levels in cells are greatly reduced when our bodies are under stress or trying to fight an infection. Vitamin C helps to improve cellular function, especially in the immune system cells that attack and destroy viruses.

4. Stay hydrated with tea! You’ve probably heard this tip a lot from us lately, but it’s a truly important one for staying healthy. Immune cells are more ready to fight when our bodies are getting plenty of water! Tea is a wonderful way to hydrate as it can also help soothe a sore throat, as well as create a calming effect when it’s time to go to sleep. Try a warming cup of True Lemon Friendship Tea, or a refreshing True Citrus Tea with Hibiscus and Goji Berries.

5. Stay at home. While your co-workers may think it’s okay to come into the office sick, you know better than that. If you’re feeling something coming on, take that sick day and stay at home to rest. Not only can going into work spread illness to others (the common cold is actually most contagious 1-2 days before symptoms even appear), but the daily stress of your job will cause the cold to be drawn out for even longer. Call in sick today so that you can be better tomorrow (instead of in 2-weeks)!

6. Don’t rely on over-the-counter “cures”. A lot of those cold medicine bottles at the drugstore are created to dull the symptoms of your illness, rather than truly fight the problem. They cause you to be able to work when you should be resting, and give you a false sense of health. They also tend to contain harmful ingredients and preservatives, that could end up doing more harm than good. The best way to kick a cold is to do it the natural way - by supporting the health of your immune system with rest, hydration, and the right vitamins your body needs.

Don’t let cold season get you down! With these tips, you can ensure your immune system has what it needs to fight off any illness. This way you can ensure that you’ll enjoy the cooler temperatures, and the upcoming holiday season.

Looking for more information on how to stay happy and healthy this fall? Check this out!

 

[Credit: "How long is someone infectious after a viral infection?." NHS Choices.]

[Credit: "5 Mistakes People Make During Cold and Flu Season." Boston.com.]

[Credit: Newcomer, Laura. "13 Reasons Tea Is Good for You." Time.]

[Credit: Wintergest, Eva. "Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions." PubMed.gov.]

[Credit: Poladian, Charles. "Common Cold Season 2015: Sleep, Chicken Soup And All Things That May or May Not Work." IBT Pulse.]

[Credit: Engelking, Carl. "Mom Was Right: You'll Catch a Cold from Being Cold." Discover Magazine.]



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Giveaway: Fall Back into Good Habits.

October 16, 2015



It’s a beautiful time of year to get outside and enjoy the fall colors! Many people think that getting regular exercise means you have to hit the gym hard and sweat buckets in order to stay healthy, but it’s just not true. Getting outside and enjoying a long walk has great health benefits, while at the same time allows you to take in all the beauty of the fall season.

In a 2009 study by Dr. Tim Church at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center it was found that walking has many positive effects on health. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, and metabolizes blood sugar which can lower the risk of diabetes.

Even just a little bit of activity such as walking at a pace where you can easily hold a conversation will give you great benefits. Walkers in Dr. Church’s study also reported less anxiety, reduced depression symptoms, and more energy. So why not tie on your walking shoes and get moving?

If you’re ready to head out for that fall hike or walk, be prepared with a few supplies:

1) A hydration pack. This is a great option to bring instead of a water bottle, as it serves two purposes: it ensures you’re getting enough water (as it holds much more than a regular water bottle), and the pack can conveniently hold anything else you need to bring along with you! Since the bladder inside is lightweight, your pack will weigh less with the more water you drink. For an added boost of electrolytes and vitamin C, add True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade to your water. It will encourage you to drink more by adding that tasty flavor, and keep you going strong throughout your hike. Here are some more great reasons to add True Citrus to your water.

2) Well-fitting hiking boots. If you decide to walk a trail through the woods, it might be a good idea to look into some sturdy hiking boots or shoes. They are designed to support your feet and ankles in specialized terrain, and will help protect from water, rocks, and other debris you may come across. Look into finding a pair that fits you well so that you don’t end up with blisters. Here is a good place to start for finding hiking boots that fit your needs (and your feet).

3) A warm hat. You’ve probably heard that we lose about half of our body heat through our head, but that’s actually a myth. The biggest reason why we lose heat from our heads is because we often don’t cover them! Bring a hat along with you in case temperatures begin to drop while you’re out and about.

4) A lightweight waterproof jacket. When you’re in the wilderness, the weather can change at a moment’s notice. One moment the sun is shining, and the next you’re shivering in your boots! Bring along a jacket just in case, preferably a lightweight one that won’t weigh down your backpack. Rain is always possible too, so make sure it’s waterproof so that you can stay warm and dry.

5) Plenty of healthy snacks. If all the conditions are right and you’re having a great time, you won’t want to have to turn back just because your tummy is grumbling. Load up your pack with some healthy snacks to keep your energy up, such as CLIF bars, trail mix, beef jerky, Kind bars, or Luna bars.

6) An arm band for music. You may love the peace and quiet, but having a playlist of soothing classical or jazz music, or even an entertaining podcast can make a long walk even more enjoyable. Put your music player or phone in an arm band so that it’s easily accessible.

7) First-Aid Kit. There’s always a chance that along your hike you could trip and scrape a knee, or encounter a slick rock near a stream. Being prepared with just a basic first-aid kit will ensure that you have a bandage if you need one.

8) A thermos with a warm drink! As we’ve mentioned before, nothing can be more comforting than a warm drink on a cool day. For a little treat on your hike, fill a thermos with some hot water and True Lemon Fruit Orchard Crisp Apple Medley. It’s perfect for toasting with your hiking buddy at the end of a long walk!

In an effort to get you ready for the fall outdoor season, we’re giving one lucky winner ALL of the supplies listed above for FREE!

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter form below. Please be patient - sometimes it takes a little while for the form to load. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

[Credit: Neighmond, Patti. "Take A Hike To Do Your Heart and Spirit Good." NPR.]

[Credit: Gammon, Katharine. "Do We Really Lose Half Our Body Heat From our Heads?" Live Science.]



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Cool Weather, Warm Drinks: Top 5 Warming Drink Recipes for Fall.

October 15, 2015



As fall approaches and the air begins to cool, a warm drink can really hit the spot. Nothing is more comforting on a cold evening than wrapping your hands around a steaming cup, and snuggling under a blanket to read a good book.

We hand-picked these recipes that are not only simple to make, but absolutely delicious! Most of these are healthy and hydrating, but if you’re watching your sugar intake you may want to lower the amount in the recipe, or substitute a different type of natural sweetener such as honey, agave, or Stevia. Of course if making a True Citrus recipe, you don’t need to worry - our products have a very low sugar content (if any at all).

Here are our top 5 warming drink recipes for you to enjoy!

1) Easy Chai Tea from Real Simple Magazine. Chai, also known as masala chai (“masala” means spices), is a traditional spiced milk tea from India. It typically involves brewing black tea with milk, and various combinations of warming spices such as cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg. This version includes cinnamon, a great spice for the season which also can help with balancing blood-sugar levels.

2) Apple Pie Spiced Cider from Martha Stewart. This is a great way to enjoy cider this fall! To have apple deliciousness always on hand, pick up some True Lemon Fruit Orchard Crisp Apple Medley and mix with water in place of the cider in this recipe.

3) Malted Cocoa Mix from Alton Brown. This recipe is made with real cocoa, and even has a little kick of cayenne for added warmth. You can also make a large batch of this mix and gift it to your friends during the holidays!

4) Herbal Tea with True Lemon. A simple infusion of your favorite herbal tea (try green tea or matcha in the morning, or wind down with calming chamomile at night) and our classic True Lemon.

5) Sujeonggwa (Korean Persimmon Punch) from The Kitchn. Persimmons are generally in season from October through February, but can also be purchased dried at many Asian markets. This a sweet and spicy tea, and although traditionally served chilled, the warmth comes through from the spices. For additional flavor, substitute True Orange Orange Ginger Spice Blend in place of the fresh ginger for a delicious citrusy kick.

Now tell us: what are your favorite fall drinks to enjoy this time of year? Let us know in the comments!

 

[Credit: Khushbu, Shah. "Why You Should Never Use the Phrase 'Chai Tea'". Eater.]

[Credit: "What is Chai?" Chai Tea Org.]

[Credit: "Cinnamon: Health Benefits, Research, Risks." Medical News Today.]

[Credit: Sellers, Claire. "In Season: Persimmons." Serious Eats.]



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Set, hut, hike! Healthy Entertaining for Football Season.

October 12, 2015



It's that special time of year again, when friends gather around the television each week to cheer on their favorite football teams! We yell, we hug, we cry, we celebrate - it's a constant rollercoaster of emotions, all wrapped up in the camaraderie of friends. Oh, and there’s always food. Lots and lots of food.

Game-day parties don't always have the best reputation for healthy choices, and often the temptation of cheesy dips and numerous beers can get the better of us. But there are ways to have a fun and entertaining gathering, while staying healthy at the same time!

1) Make colorful plant-based snacks. You don't have to put out greasy chicken wings or fried foods to satisfy your guests - their focus will mainly be on the game in front of them, rather than what they’re eating. As long as the drinks are cold and the food is crunchy, your guests will be happy.

Try a platter of fresh sliced veggies and fruits - they’re appealing and eye-catching, and can easily be served with a side of hummus or balsamic dressing for dipping. Slice up some zucchini, dollop the rounds with tomato sauce, sprinkle on some mozzarella cheese, and pop in the oven to make mini pizzas! Even a simple pico de gallo (fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro) with a side of tortilla chips is an easy and healthy option. Also, this Raspberry Chipotle Black Bean Dip by The Minimalist Baker is sure to be a huge hit for everyone!

2) Create fun hydrating drinks (that aren't just boring old water). The urge to snack can be stronger when we're dehydrated, as we often confuse thirst for hunger. Most game-watching parties include plenty of beer drinking, and alcohol causes our bodies to dehydrate even more! Providing your guests with beverages other than alcohol will not only save you money, but help everyone from waking up with a headache in the morning.

Here are some great mocktail recipes to serve to your guests that are so delicious, they probably won’t even notice that they don’t contain any alcohol!

3) Go the extra yard! Making a little extra effort can really go a long way. People are more at ease when they’re made to feel welcome, and lowered stress levels are important especially when it’s a close game! So have a little fun, and try some football-themed crafts to make your party special. Maybe decorate some mason jars like footballs, or make your own signs and banners. There are a ton of great ideas on this pinterest page too!

4) Eat a good breakfast beforehand. You'll be less likely to snack all day long if you've started the day with a good healthy breakfast. Try making one of these recipes with our True Citrus products, and remember to drink plenty of water. If you aren’t starving by the time the game starts, you won’t be tempted to go overboard!

5) On commercial breaks (especially halftime), do an activity. Usually football players are doing all the work while we’re sitting on the couch and snacking. So why not toss the old pigskin around during a break? Make a tradition of playing a game of catch or touch football during halftime, or even just a walk around the block. This way even if you DO end up snacking a little more, you'll burn off all those extra calories! Halftime is also a good time to rehydrate, and maybe even enjoy a warm apple cider drink. Heat up some of our True Lemon Fruit Orchard Crisp Apple Medley with a little cinnamon and serve!

6) Everything in moderation. If one of your guests decides to bring along chicken wings or brownies to share, remember it's okay to enjoy their goodies, but always in moderation. Don't eat the whole chicken, or mindlessly nibble on those brownies all game long. Put a serving on your plate, enjoy your tasty treat, and then don't go back for seconds.

7) Make the game a game! Some of your guests may not be as into the football game as others, so find a fun way to get them interested! Make bets on plays, but use peanuts instead of money. Or every time a beer commercial comes on, everyone has to toast. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just something to make everyone enjoy the experience together!

These tips will keep your guests happy, and guarantee a healthy and enjoyable experience for everyone. Are you ready? Set, hut, HIKE!

 

[Credit: Holden, Angie. "Football Party Mason Jars." The Country Chic Cottage.]

[Credit: Leslie, Jillian. "5 Easy Game Day Party Ideas on a Budget." Catch My Party.]



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5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Morning Person.

October 8, 2015



Last night, with best intentions in mind, we set out our workout clothes, set the alarm to get up bright and early, and then when the morning actually arrived - we hit the snooze button. We hit snooze again. What were we thinking? The bed is so comfortable and warm! And to start the day without coffee? Why bother? After rushing out the door we realize that so much more could have been accomplished if we’d just gotten out of bed and started the day when our alarm buzzed.

And yet, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done! But what if we could make more of that precious time?

How do you become that person who jumps out of bed, goes for a jog, and happily greets each passerby with a smile and a “good morning” each day? It may take some time, but it is possible - and you can do it with a series of small steps. Here’s how:

1. Let the sun wake you up. Toss those heavy blackout shades, and opt for something lighter that will let that morning sunshine come in. You’ll have to be willing to give up a dark room that makes it a little too easy for sleeping in. It has been shown that waking up to natural light in the morning will actually help you fall asleep at night, and when you fall asleep more easily, you can wake up more easily! Are you seeing the pattern here?

2. Hydrate first thing. Most people reach for a cup of coffee, but we should actually be reaching for a big glass of water! During sleep, our bodies are basically fasting from both food and water. The cells in our bodies are depleted of the one thing that truly keeps them going: WATER. Think plain old water can’t match your cup o’ joe? Here are some great drink recipes to make the night before and refrigerate, so that you’ll be motivated to hydrate first thing in the morning. BONUS TIP: Drink a cup of warm lemon water first thing upon waking and you’ll be stunned at the incredible ways in which it will benefit your mind, body, skin, heart and overall well being.

3. Ease your way into a workout. It can be hard to get out of bed when you’ve decided to run 3 miles on your first day as a morning person. Make your goals a little smaller to start, and then work your way up. For example, start with saying “I just need to do a 15 minute walk, that’s it.” Then your goal will be easier to reach, and easier to find motivation to get out of bed and do. The next week, decide on 30 minutes. Keep building little by little, and you’ll be hopping out of bed for your 3-mile jog in no time! Even better, find a morning workout buddy! You’ll be more motivated to actually get up and out of the house if someone is waiting on you.

4. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes. It is never good to start off a day stressed out - it influences your entire day! Grabbing everything and rushing out the door while still buttoning your shirt and stuffing down breakfast is a sure-fire way to have an energy crash soon after. Giving yourself an extra 10 minutes means you’ll have some wiggle room. Use that time to sing in the shower, or take your time with styling your hair. Maybe read a chapter in that book you’ve been trying to finish. Write in a journal, set a timer and meditate, or do some really good stretches. However you spend it, giving yourself a little extra time will set you up for a more stress-free day (and life)!

5. Once you’ve mastered it, expand! Now that you’re beginning to adjust to the extra 10 minutes, the morning exercise, and that big glass of water or tasty flavored beverage first thing - you’re quickly becoming a pro. So why not tack on ANOTHER 10 minutes to your morning routine? Set that alarm just a little bit earlier, and see how much more you can accomplish! Suddenly you’ll be leaving the house with a workout under your belt, a chapter read in your book, the dishes done, and dinner prepped for that night. You’re officially a morning person!

Becoming an early riser isn’t something that happens overnight (even though we wish it would). It takes a little time and planning, but those changes can make a truly positive effect on your day - and your health!

What helps you get up and going in the morning? Let us know in the comments!

 

[Credit: Wooten, Virgil. "How to Fall Asleep." How Stuff Works Health.]

[Credit: Diamond, Amelia. "How to Teach Yourself to Be A Morning Person." Man Repeller.]

[Credit: Bortnick, Amy. " The Many Wonders of Water: 6 Reasons to Drink Up." Active.]



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Top 7 Ways to Stay Happy and Healthy this Fall.

September 24, 2015



Nights are getting longer, leaves are beginning to fall, and you can probably already smell pumpkin spice in the air. When seasons change, they give us the opportunity to take inventory on our lives. Maybe it’s time to clean out the storage space, or to go through the closets. This is also the perfect time to check in with your personal health!

Since this time of year is usually comprised of less activity, more food, and potentially more stress (the holidays), preparing yourself is an excellent way to be ahead of the game.

So how do you stay happy and healthy this fall season? We’ve got 7 tips to get you started!

1) Take time for yourself. The holidays will soon begin, starting with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then suddenly it’s Christmas and New Year’s - oh, my! Before you know it you’ll be knee-deep in visiting relatives and not sure exactly where the time went. Take some time to go for a long walk, meditate, write in a journal, or try a new yoga class.

2) Boost your vitamin D intake. Our bodies absorb vitamin D through our skin’s exposure to the sun, so with the shorter autumn days it’s important to be sure we’re getting enough. Since vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and immune system function, supplementing with a little extra can help prepare your body for the upcoming sunless season.

3) Stay hydrated. Dry air and dropping temperatures can dehydrate your body faster than you think, even without a blazing summer sun overhead. Since every system in our body depends on a sufficient amount of water in order to function properly (from supporting healthy skin, hair, and nails - to regulating heart rate, and blood pressure), it’s important to make sure we’re getting enough. Adding a little flavor to your water such as True Lemon, made with simple & clean ingredients and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, sodium, or preservatives is a proven way to increase your intake while staying healthy.

4) Keep moving. With shorter days, it’s easy to just decide to spend a lazy evening sitting and watching a movie. Finding some fall-themed activities in your area will not only get you moving, but boost your mood! Corn mazes, fall hikes, tag football, pumpkin-picking, and even volunteering to help with the fall harvest at a local farm will get some great activity in your day while at the same time making lasting memories.

5) Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season. Since most fruits and veggies have a high water content (another great way to stay hydrated), their quality and nutrition value start to diminish the moment they begin to lose water: when they’re harvested. Eating produce that is in season usually means it’s travelling a shorter distance from the farm to your table, which means a higher retention of vitamins and minerals!

6) Boost your immune system. Kids are going back to school and temperatures are dropping, which means our immune systems are working extra hard this time of year to fight off colds and other illnesses.

7) Get your workout in early. As the days get shorter, it’ll be more difficult to get outside and exercise if you’re driving home from work in the dark. Set the alarm a little earlier and start your day with a workout! You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and when the afternoon comes you can use that time to relax and wind down.

The start of autumn should bring new beginnings and positive changes. Supporting good health and mindfulness is the best way to be proactive and embrace the new season!

Happy Fall!

 

 

[Credit: Landers, Rian. "10 Tips for Fall Fitness." Livestrong.]

[Credit: Soong, Jennifer. "What Counts as Water? Hydrated and Healthy." WebMD.]

[Credit: " Vitamin D: Sun Exposure, Supplementation and Doses." Mark's Daily Apple.]

[Credit: Karp, Elana. " 4 Reasons Eating Seasonally Will Improve Your Life." Huffington Post.]



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Shredded Bliss: Cabbages and True Citrus.

September 16, 2015



 

Forget those stanky, limp leaves of your childhood — cabbage is a delicious, crispy health powerhouse with varieties that are always in season. And — surprise! — cabbage pairs magnificently with lemon and other citrus for a tasty and nutritious eating experience.

Vitamin-Packed and Mineral-Rich

Those round, red and green heads are good sources of Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin A (green cabbage only) and folic acid. They’re also good source of sulfur. Sulphur helps with hundreds of bodily processes, including synthesizing taurine, which is essential for your cardiovascular system, muscles and nervous system. Sulfur also helps form insulin, which you need for cell function.

Traditional European cabbage recipes like “bubble and squeak” combine cabbage with bacon, potatoes and onions. Totally yum! But cabbage shines in lighter dishes too. Raw and chopped or shredded, it’s the base for slaws that are limited only by your imagination. Add True Lemon and the following to sliced or shredded cabbage:

  • Walnuts, grated apples, toss with mayonnaise.
  • Any other vegetables you have on hand, toss with hummus.
  • Raisins, toss with tahini.

Other easy cabbage ideas:

  • Chop or shred cabbage and toss with True Lemon, crushed raw garlic and a little olive oil for an instantly wonderful salad.
  • Cut cabbage into wedges, lay on a cookie sheet, brush with olive oil, and roast. Remove when browned, sprinkle with True Lemon and serve.
  • Make a colorful mix of red cabbage, fennel (or spinach) and pumpkin seeds and sprinkle with True Orange.
  • Combine shredded cabbage, spinach, red onion and avocado. Add True Grapefruit to vinaigrette and toss (this is great on its own or served with fish). 
  • Red Cabbage Slaw with True Orange Ginger Dressing

Go ahead and add cabbage to soups and other hot recipes. Remember to keep the vitamins and sulphur intact by not over-cooking.



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Meet Matcha: The Queen of Green Tea.

September 10, 2015



Ready or not, the Matcha tea craze is here, ladies and gentleman! This powerful green powder has recently fallen into the hands of tea-lovers everywhere, and we can’t help but obsess over it. From cancer preventing capabilities to simply tasting delicious, let’s uncover what this powerful tea with Japanese roots can offer us.

First off, what is Matcha anyway? Matcha is a fine stone-ground powder of processed green tea leaves. Matcha actually translates to “powdered tea”. Essentially, the leaves inside of a green tea bag are stone-ground into a fine powder form. The nutrient-rich leaves are shade grown, and then steamed and stemmed before being ground up. This Japanese tradition has been around for many years, but the rest of the world seems to be just now jumping on the bandwagon.

These nutrient-rich leaves that Matcha is made of have some pretty powerful properties that can benefit both body and mind. Some benefits of Matcha include:

1. It is full of antioxidants. More specifically, it is full of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg). EGCg’s claim to fame is its anti-cancer properties. The amount of antioxidants in ten cups of regular green tea can be consumed in only one cup of Matcha tea.

2. It is a metabolism booster. Hello weight loss! Matcha tea has been shown to increase both resting and fat burning metabolic rates. If you are trying to get a kick-start with weight loss, Matcha tea seems to be a great place to start.

3. It is detoxifying. Matcha is very rich in chlorophyll, which is also found in spinach. This property, which also makes spinach green, has been found to be a body detoxifier.

4. It increases calmness, capacity for memory, and the ability to concentrate - oh my! The Matcha leaves contain the amino acid, L-Theanine, which has a relaxing effect on the body without any drowsiness.

5. It ramps up your energy.  Matcha’s natural nutrients mixed with its natural caffeine make for a big energy boost. Switching out coffee for Matcha in the morning could help you get the energy you’ve been looking for in the early morning hours.

6. It can be used in many different ways (which is another reason why we love it so much). Try having warm Matcha tea with a packet of True Lemon, or adding Matcha powder to your favorite True Citrus smoothie!

The sky is the limit when you’re working with Matcha! And although there are many options of Matcha to purchase, for the best quality, we recommend looking for Matcha that is bright in color and made in Japan.

If you’re feeling adventurous, give Matcha powder a try. We have a feeling you wont regret it!

 

[Credit: "9 Amazing Healthy Benefits of Matcha Tea." Healthy and Natural World.]

[Credit: "10 Amazing Benefits of Matcha Green Tea." Natural Living Ideas.]

[Credit: Soloman, Dr. Sara. " The 8 Wonders of Matcha Green Tea." Body Building.]

[Credit: Sass, Cynthia. "7 Things You Should Know About Matcha." Health.]

[Credit: "The Different Grades of Matcha Tea." Matcha Source.]



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Sodium: How to Season, Not Swell.

September 1, 2015



It probably does not come as a surprise that many Americans consume way more sodium than is needed throughout a given day. Though salt certainly adds much to a meal, consuming a lot of it is linked to bloating, heart problems, kidney failure, high blood pressure and a wide range of other health issues. Cutting down on sodium can be tough if your taste buds are accustomed to craving that extra flare, but we’ve come up with 6 easy ways to start the process:

1. Eat in and Cut Down: Restaurants tend to WAY over salt, so one of the simplest ways to cut down on sodium intake is to cook your own food instead of eating out or ordering in. While cooking, take care to notice how much salt you’re adding at each step of the process, and experiment with making your own salad dressings, sauces, etc. You’ll notice a difference immediately.

2. Choose Condiments Wisely: Some people seem to treat condiments as though they have no caloric content at all. Though condiment sodium levels aren’t generally through the roof, they can absolutely add up without you really noticing, especially if you’re one to slather on the ketchup or soy sauce. Check the labels before purchasing, and opt for condiments with lower sodium levels if possible.

3. Use Citrus Instead: Citrus is said to be a chef’s secret weapon. Instead of reaching for extra salt, try adding a splash of lemon or lime juice, orange zest or grated grapefruit rind to enhance the flavors of your dish. No time to buy fresh citrus? Try using a packet of True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange or True Grapefruit for an easy,  naturally delicious flavor burst. You’ll fall in love!

4. Go for Fresh: Fruits and veggies are naturally very low in sodium, and chock-full of radiant flavors. Instead of buying canned or frozen, which sometimes have added salt and other ingredients, opt for fresh whole fruits and veggies—and let your taste buds revel in the natural goodness.

5. Experiment with Spices & Herbs: From rosemary to oregano, cinnamon to mint, there are so many spices, herbs, rubs, seasonings and flavors our there to explore. Instead of automatically reaching for the basic salt-and-pepper each time, go to your local grocery store and try out some new flavors.

6. Adjust Your Buds: According to the National Kidney Foundation, it takes 6-8 weeks to adjust your preferences to lower levels of sodium. Once you’ve gotten there, however, you’ll choose healthier, less-salty foods without even thinking about it. And your liver, heart, and body will reward you!

What are your favorite recipes that use citrus instead of salt? Let us know below, along with which of these tips worked best for you!

 

[Credit: "Top 10 Tips for Reducing Salt in Your Diet." National Kidney Foundation.]

[Credit: Sifferlin, Alexandra. "90% of Americans Eat Too Much Salt." TIME.]

[Credit: Callahan, Maureen. " Top Ten Ways to Reduce Sodium." Cooking Light.]



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For Your Water: 8 Refreshing Flavor Combos.

August 24, 2015



It’s no longer a secret that drinking more water throughout the day is good for you - staying hydrated keeps your body and brain functioning properly, and provides you with amazing health and cosmetic benefits.

We know as well as you do, however, that water can start to taste boring after a while, but instead of turning to those sugary, artificially flavored and calorie-packed drinks, here are 8 refreshing flavor combos that use delicious ingredients with natural zest to keep you quenched and satisfied! Give ‘em all a try!

1. Mint Lemonade: An oldie but a goodie. Mint lemonade is always a hit, whether served at an summer barbeque or sipped as a pick-me-up after a good workout session.

Tip: Add a few fresh sprigs of mint to True Lemon Original Lemonade and serve over ice.

2. Ginger Basil Grapefruit: When you’re in the mood for a rockin’ mocktail, give this perfectly tart flavor combo a go.

Tip: Muddle fresh basil, add grated ginger, combine with True Grapefruit and serve over ice.

3. Lavender Peach Lemonade: This simple and soothing combo makes for a tasty after-work beverage. We think it tastes even better when consumed in a rocking chair.

Tip: Add sprigs of fresh lavender or, if you can find it, lavender simple syrup to True Lemon Peach Lemonade and serve over ice.

4. Watermelon Lime Basil: There is nothing quite like a watermelon cooler on a hot summer day with a bit of natural zest to make you smile.

Tip: Blend chunks of ripe watermelon, muddle fresh basil and finish by adding 1 or 2 packets of True Lime. Viola!

5. Grapefruit Tarragon: Try out this deliciously herbaceous flavor combo when you’re craving something different to quench your thirst.

Tip: It’s as simple as garnishing True Grapefruit with some freshly picked tarragon, and serving over ice.

6. Cucumber Rosemary Lemonade: Only need one word to describe this cool combo, and that word is: refreshment.

Tip: Puree fresh cucumber and rosemary in a food processor and add to True Lemon Original Lemonade, serve over ice, garnish with sprig of rosemary and thin slice of cuke.  Sip, smile, and sigh.

7. Pineapple Mint Limeade: Never got a chance to hit this beach this summer? This tropical triad of tastes will make you feel otherwise.

Tip: Add fresh muddled mint to True Lime Limeade and top with a splash of pineapple juice. Garnish your glass with a big chunk of pineapple (and a mini umbrella for the win).

8. Raspberry Lemon Thyme: This incredible combo is a perfect party pleaser, whether served virgin or spruced up with spirits, it’s sure to be a hit.

Tip: True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade, add fresh thyme, drop in a few fresh raspberries and serve over ice.

 

We love to hear from you! Tell us which of these flavor combos is your favorite, or comment below with an original recipe.



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How to Have A Healthy Start: Enter Our Back-to-School Giveaway.

August 14, 2015



Win a $500 GIFT CARD + A NEW TWIST ‘N FILL + TRUE CITRUS PRODUCTS!

With the summer break winding down (we can't believe it's almost over!), it’s time to get a jump on planning for a healthy start to the new school year for you and your kids.

Now, typically, we spend so much time thinking about healthy meals that sometimes we overlook what beverages our kids are putting in their bodies. While kids may love them, a can of artificially flavored soda or sports drink, or a sugar-sweetened juice box can add unnecessary calories and sugar to your child’s healthy lunch. However, there are a lot of great options out there so you don’t have to choose between taste that your children like and ingredients you feel good about.

Kids get dehydrated during the day, and unlike sugary juices, sodas, and sports drinks, plain water is the best beverage for hydration. Being well hydrated helps children with:

  • Mental alertness
  • Improved overall health and well-being (that’s a big deal)
  • Improved temperature regulation
  • Muscle and joint lubrication
  • Improved weight management

Because sporadic trips to the water-fountain are not enough (not to mention it’s a breeding ground for germs – yuck!), be sure to send a water bottle and some packets of nutritionist-approved, True Citrus flavors along with your kid’s lunchbox or backpack. They turn water into a healthy and delicious treat that kids love and you can feel good about giving them!

Want to know how your child’s favorite beverage compares to water with a True Citrus product? Check out the chart below which compares one of our favorite beverage mixes with other popular drink options for kids:

And look at this cool new invention we found – Twist N Fill Juice Boxes! Created by Will Jimroglou, a dad who was concerned about the impact all the juice boxes his kids were drinking on: 

  • his kid’s health (“That’s a lot of sugar they’re drinking,” Will thought.)
  • his family’s wallet (“Those juice boxes add up,” Will mused.)
  • the world around us (“It takes over 300 years for a typical juice box to decompose,” learned Will.)

Will looked for a solution and, when he couldn’t find a satisfactory one, he decided to create one himself. The Twist n' Fill lets you keep a gallon of your kids’ favorite beverage cold (water with True Lime Black Cherry Limeade for example) and then, as the kids want, they can “fill” a BPA-free, reusable “juice box” at their leisure. It’s great for our environment, saves money, and your kids will love it! (To find out more, or to order one today, visit: http://www.twistnfill.com. Use discount code “TrueLemon” for $10 off and $5 shipping.)

In an effort to help get you and your kids ready for the school year, we've giving one lucky winner a $500 VISA gift card (for all the back-to-school essentials), a Twist n' Fill Dispenser and Juice Boxes, and lots of True Citrus Products to keep you and your family healthy and hydrated all year long!

To enter the give-away, use the Rafflecopter form below. (Please be patient - sometimes it takes awhile for the form to load.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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True Lemon’s Summer Getaway Giveaway

July 20, 2015



There is no better time to get away than summertime, that magical season where the sun is usually shining, spirits are generally high, love is more potently in the air and the possibilities for adventure are endless. From music festivals to beach weeks to spontaneous vacations, it’s almost like anything can happen in the summer, which is why it’s important to stay prepared. Luckily, we got you covered with the chance to enter and win True Lemon’s Summer Getaway Giveaway (valued at  approximately $300 in goodies!). Whether you are getting out of town for the month, visiting a friend for the weekend, or somehow find yourself in a crazy summer situation, these crucial must-haves will keep you hydrated, energized, prepared and cool in every way.

Stay Hydrated

1. Evian Mineral Water Spray: Nothing is more important in the summertime than keeping hydrated and cool. This amazing mineral mist will revitalize your skin and revive your make-up all at once, leaving you with a beautifully moisturized glow.

2. True Citrus Product Medley: Love your water your way all summer long, with an amazing assortment of fabulously flavored True Citrus products. From True Grapefruit to True Lemon Peach Lemonade to True Lemon Fruit Orchard Sunshine Strawberry Medley, these healthy and delicious products are the perfect on-the-go accessories for summer. Whether flavoring your water to stay better hydrated or adding some zest to your cocktail, keep your bag stocked for that fresh-squeezed taste wherever you are!

3. Vapur Anti-Bottle: Water bottles help us stay hydrated, save money, and not to mention save the planet—but who needs actual bottles when you can have a soft, flexible and compactable water container. Vapur’s Anti-Bottle is easy to fill and empty, simple to fold and store, and sleek to use, wherever in the world you are.

Stay Energized

1. The Comfy Commuter Original Travel Pillow: Fret no longer over lost beauty sleep! This travel pillow tops all of it’s kind, providing impeccable neck and head support and allowing you to get in all the necessary shut eye you need while on-the-go.

2. Blazing a Trail Mix Snack Bag: Don’t let hunger be the reason your mood gets the best of you or your adventure comes to a halt! Stuff this adorable, reusable snack bag with home made trail mix, energy bars, a few sweet treats, or whatever you need to keep your fuel level high and your engine running all day.

Stay Prepared

1. Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit: Put this tiny kit in your bag and take the word “unprepared” out of your personal dictionary. This cute little pouch contains everything you’ll ever need in a tight situation—safety pin, tampon, earring back, deodorant, floss, make-up remover, two-sided tape and more.

2. TOMS Ikat Traveler Duffel: Not only are we crazy about the pattern, but the size and shape of this handmade bag makes it the perfect piece for any adventure. Mega bonus: with every purchase of TOMS Traveler Duffel, TOMS will help provide a safe birth for a mother and baby in need.

3. CLEAN Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Hand Cream: Keep your hands soft while keeping the germs off with this deliciously unscented hand sanitizer that doubles as a moisturizer. The cream kills off 99.9% of germs for up to 4 hours after use, giving you plenty of time to do whatever it is you want to do without worrying about getting a little dirty.

4. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream: Unlike your average sunscreen, this SPF 50+ cream doesn’t melt in the heat nor leave greasy spots on the skin. Instead it goes on soft and light, and helps to moisturize while protecting against the sun.

 

Tell us how you stay prepared for anything during your summer excursions in the comment section below, and you could win True Lemon’s Summer Getaway Giveaway. The Grand Prize includes all of the amazing summer must-haves listed above, and perhaps a few more citrusy surprises. Bonus points if you include your favorite way to use a True Citrus product in the summertime. Also, don't forget to use the Rafflecopter form below to unlock extra entry points (be patient - sometimes it take a few minutes to load). Good luck, and enjoy the sunshine!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Mid-Year Resolution List: 9 Quick Tips to Improve Your Life.

July 13, 2015



Perhaps, like us, you headed into 2015 with a tremendous list of New Year’s resolutions, hoping to make substantial changes so that you are better able to find some health, peace, and happiness. As we are just about halfway into the year now (time sure has a way of slipping by), many resolutions have long since been forgotten. But fret not! We at True Citrus have come up with 9 simple mid-year resolutions that are easy to bring into your daily routine and will undoubtedly help improve your life. Give ‘em a try!

1. Get Moving: Swap the elevator for the stairs, the car for the bike, and sitting still for moving. Finding new ways to add extra movement into your life will not only help improve your health and happiness, but will shake up your monotonous everyday routine.

2. Stretch: Find a short instructional yoga video on YouTube or simply get on the floor and stretch where you are feeling tight. Stretching as little as 5 minutes a day will help relieve built up tensions in your physical body and can make an enormous difference in your overall quality of life.

3. Make Your Bed: If you don’t already do this every day, try making your bed up first thing in the morning. That way, you will start your day already having done one productive thing, and you’ll feel better, cleaner, happier, and more organized whenever you enter your room.

4. Drink More Water: Keep your hormones balanced, your skin clear, your immune system functioning, your metabolism running, your brain working properly and your body happy by consuming enough water throughout the day.

5. Play with a Pet: Hanging with a furry friend is a sure (and proven) way to immediately uplift your mood and lower your stress levels. If you don’t have a pet to cuddle or play with, head to a shelter, or simply watch some online videos of cute cats.

6. Gratitude Journal: It may sound cheesy, but practicing gratitude has an astonishing effect on our state of wellbeing. Take a moment every now and then to jot down what and whom you are grateful for, and observe how your mood immediately shifts.

7. Drink Citrus Every Day: Add fresh citrus to your water or try using any of the various True Citrus products which allow you to flavor your water your way. Daily intake of citrus (especially lemon) is said to help cleanse your organs, fight weight gain, lower your risk of stroke, improve your vision, and reduce stress, among many other amazing health benefits.

8. Get Outside: There is nothing quite as intoxicating as summer sunshine on your cheeks and fresh air on your skin. Get your hands in the garden, take a bike ride or a long walk without any particular destination in mind, and let yourself appreciate the present moment.

9. Dance It Out: Head to a show with some friends, hit up a local club, join a swing dancing class or simply shut the shades, turn on some tunes, and let it all out! Dancing has been proven to boost your endorphins, elevate your mood, and release stress, so get on up and shake it out - you won’t regret it.

Have you stuck to any of your New Years resolutions in 2015? Which ones? Which simple tricks you use to improve your daily life? Share with us below in the comment section!

 

[Credit: Nearing, Margaret. "6 health benefits of citrus fruits." Best Health.]

[Credit: Smith, Jessica. "22 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2 Minutes or Less." Shape.]

[Credit: Rizzo, Paula. "6 Ways to Improve Your Life in Under a Minute." The List Producer.]



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Summer Hydration: Why It’s Important and How to Maintain It.

July 1, 2015



Hydration is an extremely important, yet often overlooked aspect of staying mentally and physically healthy. A recent Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study has found that more than 50 percent of American children and adolescents are not properly hydrated. That means HALF of our children are not consuming an adequate amount of water throughout the day, and most likely aren’t even aware of the price they’re paying for it.

Though dehydration may not seem like a very substantial problem, the truth is that even a little dehydration can dramatically affect your quality of life, as dehydration literally has a shrinking effect on the brain. The Harvard study cites “headaches, irritability, poorer physical performance, and reduced cognitive functioning,” as possible consequences of dehydration, all of which can directly impact your health, happiness, and general ability to perform at your highest potential.

The effects of improper hydration are various and can significantly affect the functioning of our bodies and minds (dehydration literally has a shrinking effect on the brain) so stay on the lookout for signs or symptoms, which include:

  • Thirst sensations
  • Fatigue
  • Dry or cracked skin
  • Constant headaches
  • Major food cravings, especially sweets
  • High temperatures and/or the chills
  • Muscles seizing
  • Bad breath
  • Abnormal colored urine (I.E. extremely yellow, orange)

It can be tough to stay hydrated during the hotter months, but here are a few simple ways to help keep you and your friends on track:

  • Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up (try adding lemon for other health reasons)
  • Keep a water bottle with you all day and keep on filling ‘er up! You will feel the difference in your energy levels and general ability to function.
  • Add flavor to your water with any of the True Lemon products. True Lemon lets you love your water your way, so you can stay hydrated without getting bored.
  • Choose food with high water content such as fruits and vegetables, soups and smoothies.
  • Balance your caffeine and alcohol intake with proportional water intake.
  • Drink before, during and after any physical activity, especially if exercising outside in the sun.
  • Cut down on your sodium intake to decrease chances of dehydration.
  • Sip water while you eat to ensure you are getting enough liquid with dry food.

Leave a comment below with how YOU stay hydrated during these hot summer days, or which True Citrus flavor you love most and why. Drink up!



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Our Partnership with Feeding America.

June 24, 2015



The Simple Facts

1. True Citrus is proud to be a partner of the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America.

2. As one in every six Americans struggles with hunger, Feeding America’s mission is to nourish those who don’t know where their next meal is coming from through a network of nationwide member food banks, as well as to engage the entire country in the fight to solve the problem of widespread hunger.

3. Feeding America’s network is made up of 200 food banks, 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, and serves in all 50 states.

4. Feeding America distributed over 3 billion meals all over the United States to hungry people in need just this past year, reaching about 37 million people, including 3 million seniors and 15 million children.

5. As a way to honor our customers’ efforts to lead healthy lives, True Citrus’s mission is to help Feeding America Deliver 1 million more meals 2015-2016.

 

How YOU Can Help

There are many ways you can get involved in the fight to end hunger in America:

1. Use Your True Citrus Product to Donate a Meal: Making a difference is as easy as inputting the UPC code from any True Citrus Product and pressing “Donate Meal Now.”

2. Make a Monetary Donation: Just ONE dollar donated to Feeding America will provide TEN meals throughout the nation via their network of food banks:

3. Contact Your Local Food Bank: See how you can help out in the fight against hunger.

4. Spread the Word: Tell your friends about Feeding America, True Citrus, and the fight against hunger via social media, you may just inspire them to get involved too! Read more about Feeding America’s mission, history and statistics on their website.

Check out more about True Citrus’ products and partnership with Feeding America and let us know what you do to help combat hunger in America!



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True Citrus vs. America’s Sweet Tooth: The Low Down.

June 9, 2015



The Bad News…

Sugar has been making major headlines these days, as more and more clinical research is coming out to confirm that too much of the sweet stuff is indeed detrimental to short term and long term health, as well as mental and physical wellbeing. As stated by Dr. Mark Hyman (renowned physician and New York Times best-selling author), whenever sugar is consumed, the reward center of the brain is stimulated in the exact same way as it is after one uses highly addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin. In fact, sugar has been found to be just as - if not more so - biologically addicting than habit-forming substances like tobacco and alcohol. Unsurprisingly many Americans have incredibly sugar-dependent diets. The amount of sugar you consume has been found to have a direct impact on everything from your waist size to the way your brain functions, to your body’s capacity to fight off diseases and chronic disorders (such as: diabetes, cancer, heart attack, obesity, to name a few). Because of this, your sugar consumption could ultimately determine the length of your life.

 

The Good News…

Though it may be a tough habit to kick, it is never too late to change your life for the better. If you find yourself reaching for sodas or sugary drinks throughout the day but have been hoping to start in a healthier direction, True Citrus has the perfect line of products to help you cut excess sugar out of your life - without sacrificing any delicious satisfaction. Made from simple & clean ingredients, every True Citrus product captures the authentic fresh-squeezed taste of real fruit while maintaining a low sugar and calorie count and amazingly zesty and refreshing flavors. True Citrus lets you LOVE YOUR WATER YOUR WAY, with three categories to choose from: 4 varieties of unsweetened fresh-squeezed fruit flavors (0 calories, 0g sugar), 6 varieties of lightly sweetened lemonades and limeades (10 calories, 1g sugar), and 3 varieties of full-bodied, richly flavored fruit orchard flavors. True Citrus’ Fruit Orchard products are especially recommended for those who are trying to break away from a sugar addiction and artficially flavored beverages. With only 30 calories and 6g of sugar per serving, these medley mixes are the ONLY beverage mixes made with whole fruit powder. 

What Are You Waiting For?

If there is a will, there is a way, and it’s easy to get going! All True Citrus products (and respective nutritional information) can be found online or in 29,000 stores across the country. They say it takes 3 weeks to form a new habit, so commit to replacing your daily sodas and other sugary beverages with a True Citrus beverage for 21 days straight, and let yourself enjoy the immediate benefits of consuming more water and less sugar throughout the weeks to come. We have a feeling you’ll be pleased with the results.

Are YOU trying to cut down on sugar? Comment below with your story, and tell us which True Citrus product has helped you lead a healthier life!

 

[Credit: Hyman, Mark. "Food Addiciton: Could It Explain Why 70 Percent of America is Fat?" Dr. Mark Hyman.]

[Credit: Bushak, Lecia. "Bye-Bye Sugary Drinks: This is What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Soda." Medical Daily.]



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5 Tips on How to Dine Out & Stay Healthy.

June 1, 2015



Heading out to a hip new restaurant or an old favorite bar with friends has become a large part of our culture. Whether socializing at happy hour or splurging on a fancy meal, dining and boozing outside of the house - though certainly fun - can unintentionally throw a wrench into your diet plan. Luckily, we have gathered some tips that will not only help you to keep your health in check while socializing, but perhaps even help you to better enjoy your time out on the town:

1. Hydrate: One of the most important factors in both staying fit and staying full is staying hydrated. A steady water intake clears toxins from your system and keeps you running functionally. If you know you are going out to eat or drink towards the end of the day, start hydrating as early as possible and drink a full glass right before leaving the house. Once you are out, try alternating glasses of water between alcoholic beverages; a strategy that will help you control your appetite and your wallet. If water is not an easy drink for you to consume, or, if you prefer to change it up occasionally, check out True Citrus’s assortment of flavoring products, which let you love your water your way and are easy to slip into your purse for a night out.

2. Buddy System: It’s hard to be “good” when surrounded by people who do not value health in the same way that you do. In fact, there is evidence showing that your company largely influences your restaurant orders (a phenomenon sometimes described as a “subtle peer pressure.”) If you can help it, make plans with people who share your health-conscious values, and you will find it much easier to make the kind of decisions you’ll enjoy at the time and feel good about afterwards, too.

3. Reduce Distractions: Bars and restaurants, especially during their busiest hours, are generally high-sensory experiences. Between constant music, TVs, your phone, your friends, and interesting conversations going on all around you, it can be easy to find yourself only half paying attention to what you are putting into your mouth. It’s been proven that eating more mindfully (i.e. concentrating on what you are eating while you are eating) not only helps you better enjoy your food and beverages, but also helps you to better recognize when you are full enough to stop eating (and perhaps, when you are inebriated enough for the evening). So, choose a table far from the TV’s, put your phone in your pocket while you dine, chew slowly every bite and relish every sip!

4. Atmosphere Matters: It turns out that indulging in a helpful atmosphere can be just as influential on our eating patterns as our friends are, so when you are choosing where to dine, opt for environments with a mellower, more romantic ambiance. According to research, environments with harsher lighting and louder music are often much more distracting to us, and therefore unconsciously prod us into ingesting and indulging more than we normally would.

5. Start Off Strong: Nobody is perfect - and we at True Citrus know as well as any just how important it is to live a little. But if you are going to allow yourself to indulge, do so towards the latter end of the meal instead of at the beginning. Evidence from a Cornell University Study found that buffet goers who filled up with foods like fruits, vegetables, and salads first ended up consuming less unhealthy foods throughout the meal. So start your night off on a good foot, with a big glass of water and a nutritious appetizer, before treating yo’self to the carbs and sweets.

There are so many (unexpected) factors that influence what kinds of food and drinks we put into our bodies, and how much of it at that. Let us know if any of these tips were helpful to you, and feel free to add any of your own strategies for staying healthy while dining out of the house!

 

[Credit: "7 Surprising Secrets To Eating Out Healthy." Health.]

[Credit: "What is Mindful Eating?" Am I Hungry?] 

[Credit: Chan, Amanda L. "6 Weird Ways Your Environment Affects How Much You Eat." Huffington Post.]



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Eat This Instead of That: Healthier Ways To Feed Your Cravings.

May 26, 2015



With all of today’s diet fads and health crazes, it’s hard to get a good handle on what we should be eating and what we really should be avoiding. While some people are choosing to make full-time shifts to lifestyles such as paleo, vegan or gluten-free, others are simply choosing to change their lives through small, healthy choices each day. Here are some easy tips that will help clean up your eating habits and enhance your overall wellbeing:

Cut Your Sugar Intake: It’s no longer news that too much sugar will lead to poor mental and physical health consequences. If you are going to make any changes in your diet, let it be cutting down on the amount of sugar you ingest. This does not mean it is necessary to cut out sugar all together; it only means finding a few healthier substitutes for your favorite cravings. For example:

• If you rely on soda or other sugary beverages to get you through the day, try reaching for one of the many True Citrus drink mixes instead. These amazingly flavorful and completely satisfying drink options are much less debilitating to your health in the calorie and sugar departments.

• If you’re hankering for chocolate, opt for a piece of dark instead of milk. Dark chocolate is stocked with antioxidants and, if eaten in small increments, can actually lower your risk of heart disease.

Skip on Excess Fat: Fat is a necessary part of our diets, but some fats are way better for us than others. Cutting excess fat out of your life will not only help you shed extra pounds, but it will also help you feel lighter and more energetic throughout the day. Here are a few ways cut down:

• If your diet incorporates a lot of meat-based protein, tend toward grass-fed cuts and leaner types of meat such as turkey, chicken, or lean ground beef.

• Choose monosaturated & polysaturated (good) fats over saturated & trans (bad) fats. In other words, olive oil, sunflower oil, flaxseeds, peanut butter, nuts, avocados etc. INSTEAD OF butter, lard, cheese, red meat, ice cream, fried foods, shortenings, etc.

Limit Your Carbs: Though carbs have gotten a bit of a bad wrap these days, swearing them off completely is (generally) not the answer. Carbs play an essential role in providing the long lasting fuel that keeps us satisfied for longer. However, too many carbs can lead to serious weight gain, so here are a few healthy tips when it comes to eating carbs:

• Choose wisely! Make sure you are going for the “good” kind of carbs (complex) instead of the “bad” kind (simple). Examples of complex carbs are: whole-wheat pasta, whole grain breads, brown rice, legumes, oatmeal, vegetables, etc. Examples of simple carbs are: white bread, white pasta, white rice, pastries, sugary fruit juices, cake, candy, sugary cereals, etc.

• There are some amazing ways to substitute healthier alternatives for simple carbs. For example, try making zuchinni noodles (zoodles!) instead of white pasta. Swap French fries for sweet potato fries (an amazing source of fiber!). Or reach for lightly salted popcorn (which is actually a whole grain!) instead of potato chips.

Through the practice of making more small, health-conscious decisions each day, you will slowly shift your lifestyle in a way that is easy and sustainable, leading to a healthier, happier, more radiant YOU! Comment below, and tell us which foods you choose to eat and which you choose to avoid for a healthier life.

 

[Credit: Klein, Sarah "8 Carbs You Should Be Eating." Huffington Post.]

[Credit: "Choosing Healthy Fats." Help Guide.]

[Credit: "8 Ways to Eat Healthy: Choose Lean Sources of Protein." The President's Challenge.]

[Credit: "8 Healthy Alternatives for Your Favorite Comfort Foods." The Daily Eight.]

[Credit: Walton, Alice G. "Exercise Can't Save Us: Our Sugar Intake is the Real Culprit." Forbes.]



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Smoothie Season is Back: 8 Zesty Recipes We Love.

May 18, 2015



The return of summer means warm weather, blossoming flowers, pool parties and most importantly, smoothie season! Yes, the smoothie craze is back, but this year your drinks don’t necessarily need to be green to be good for you. With the right ingredients, blended beverages can be an easy, healthy and delicious way to pack in your nutrients at any hour - or the perfect accessory to a lazy summer afternoon (peep #8). Here are eight amazing recipes to start your summer off right:

1. Mango, Turmeric, and Lemon Smoothie: A tasty way to get your dose of turmeric in. 

2. Sweet Greens: Second Prize Winner from our 2014 Summer Smoothie Recipe Contest

3. Chocolate Orange Mango Protein Smoothie: Think of it like a dessert with health benefits— a must-try! 

4. True Lime Avocado Pineapple- Mint Smoothie: Boost your energy with this amazingly healthy and rich tasting recipe.  

5. True Lemon Super Anti-Oxidant Smoothie: Super tasty, super filling, and super healthy all in one cup.  

6. Berry Orange Mango Tango Smoothie: The Grand Prize Winner from our 2014 Summer Smoothie Recipe Contest.  

7. Raspberry Peach Lemon Refresher: This is the perfect way to start your day! 

8. True Summer Smoothie: Adults only, please! 

Whether you’re vying for health benefits or a tasty blended treat (or, most likely, a little bit of both) smoothies are the perfect refreshments to work into your summer routine. Are there any summer smoothies you absolutely love? Post your favorite recipes below - extra points if they include a True Citrus product!



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Great Gifts for Mom That Keep on Giving.

May 8, 2015



Every day is an appropriate time to pamper Mom, but Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10th) is a particularly important time to remind your mother how very special she is. This year, say thanks to the most important women in your life with gifts that go a little bit deeper. Here are 11 Mother’s Day gift ideas that keep on giving:

1. TOMS Ikat Traveler Duffel: With an adjustable (and removeable) strap and reinforced handles, this adorable weekender bag is the perfect gift for any on-the-go Mom. Choose between indigo and saffron colors - and know that every purchase of this bag results in a “safe birth for a mother and baby in need” by TOMS’ One for One campaign. 

2. ONEHOPE Wine: Give mom the chance to indulge for a cause with a delicious bottle from ONEHOPE wine. Pick your bottle based on price, taste or cause preferences, and feel good knowing that half of your money is donated to the designated cause (such as “End Global Disease” or “Provide Clean Water”). 

3. The BRAVE Collection: For the stylish mom, this is a bracelet that also gives back! Each piece of jewelry from the BRAVE collection is carved and woven by the hands of Cambodian artisans. In addition to supporting the artists' livelihoods, 10% of all profits are used to fight human trafficking in Cambodia. 

4. One World Flowers: This year, brighten mom’s special day with a bouquet you can feel good about. One World Flowers ensures that all of their plants come from Fair Trade certified farms, as they work to promote social justice in farming communities. 

5. The ACS Healthy Eating Cookbook: A great gift for any health-conscious momma! This book contains over 300 healthy, delicious recipes that incorporate the latest diet recommendations and turns cooking into “a celebration of good food.” All proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society. 

6. Life’s Gifts Necklace: These pewter and silver plated necklaces are handcrafted and fairly traded from Guatemala. Not only do these necklaces make beautiful presents, but they also help founder Alejandra and her cooperative of Guatemalan women feed, educate, and care for their families.  

7. fashionABLE Alem Color-Block Scarf: These amazingly soft, 100% cotton scarves are handmade in Ethiopia and are the perfect accessory for any season. Mom will love the look and the feeling of helping to create sustainable business in Africa.   

8. fashionABLE Mamuye Tote: Mom will love this durable, distressed leather tote which comes in three stylish hues. These beautiful totes are hand crafted in Ethiopia, as all fashionABLE products work to create sustainable business in Africa. 

9. Under the Canopy Kimono Bathrobe: Treat mom to the perfect relaxation garment! This incredibly soft and comfortable kimono bathrobe comes in 4 colors and is made from fair trade certified cotton. 

10. Boll & Branch Cable Knit Throw: These 100% organic cotton throws come in nine beautiful colors, are certified Fair Trade, and make the perfect gift to brighten your mom’s special day. A portion of every sale is donated to Not for Sale to help end forced labor and human trafficking

11. True Citrus Products: True Citrus lets her choose how to love her water! Whether she prefers something light and refreshing or something sweeter and flavorful (but without preservatives or artificial flavors), True Citrus has a 100% delicious choice every Mom will love! And with every True Citrus product purchase you'll help us deliver 1 million meals through Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity.

In the spirit of giving back, True Citrus will be giving away a $500 VISA gift card to one lucky winner! To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below (be patient - sometimes it take a few minutes to load). Good luck and warm hugs to all the mothers out there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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8 Reasons to Reach for Citrus.

May 6, 2015



Nothing is quite as refreshing as a cup of cool lemonade on a hot day. But the beneficial qualities of citrus fruits extend far beyond tasty summer beverages. From health perks to beauty secrets, here are eight reasons to incorporate even more citrus into your daily life:

1. Enhance Your Mood: The smells of various citrus fruits are often used in aromatherapy for their spirit-lifting qualities. Citrus flavored oils, mists, and candles have been proven to reduce stress levels, relieve anxiety and foster a greater sense of relaxation.

2. Whiten Your Teeth: Mix baking soda together with lemon juice and brush the mixture onto your teeth. Leave the paste on for about a minute before brushing it off. Experts such as Dr. Oz rave about this home remedy, which will naturally whiten without causing any teeth sensitivities (or holes in your pockets)! Did you know that you can mix True Lemon packets with water to create lemon juice? Click here for measuring equivalents.

3. Get Your Vitamin C: Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits all contain a healthy dose of vitamin C - which, experts say, is one of the most effective nutrients you can put in your body. Among other benefits, vitamin C supports the immune system, fights inflammation, boosts collagen production and substantially improves eyesight.

4. Strengthen Your Nails: Soak your nails in a mixture of lemon juice and any kind of oil or simply rub a lemon wedge over each nail for greater nail strength and a whiter sheen.

5. Brighten Your Skin: Increasing the amount of citrus you ingest helps replenish your complexion from the inside, adding natural radiance to your skin. Putting citrus (such as lemon juice) directly on your face can also help to lighten sunspots, reduce wrinkles, and soften skin (but FYI, it will also make your skin more sensitive to the sun).

6. Manage Your Weight: Citrus fruits are remarkably flavorful yet calorically low, so they are a wonderful choice for a mid-day snack. Additionally, citrus fruits are typically high in dietary fiber and water content, meaning they take more time to digest and keep you satisfied for longer periods. Try mixing 0-calorie True Lemon with water and drinking it before, during, and after meals to help curb hunger (and also keep you hydrated). 

7. Sun-kiss Your Hair: Lemon juice is a cheap, easy, tried-and-true way to give your hair natural highlights. Simply apply lemon juice to your strands and bask in the sunshine for a bit. Viola!

8. Combat Cellulite: The bioflavonoid and vitamin C content in citrus fruits work to reduce inflammation and stop “free radical damage” that often results in cellulite. The fruits’ antioxidants also act as a natural diuretic; aiding the digestive system and helping you flush out toxins.

Working more citrus into your life is an easy, cheap and natural way to improve your health regimen and enhance your beauty routine, so load up on citrus during your next trip to the market - and be sure to check out True Citrus’s wide variety of citrus flavored products for some extra zest!

 

[Credit: Walansky, Aly "11 Beauty Uses for Lemon." Women's Health Magazine.]

[Credit: Burton, Natasha "7 Ways Citrus Can Benefit Your Body." Beauty High.]



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Enter Our Spring Mix-it-Up Giveaway!

April 17, 2015



‘Tis the season for spring cleaning! (And we’re not just talking about cleaning out your closets and dresser drawers either.) There’s no better time than now to hit the re-fresh button on life and kick your healthy habits up a notch. Whether you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to drink more water, recipes to help you eat better and healthier, tools to find balance, tips to get stronger, or a source to save more money, we’ve got a giveaway that will help mix up your daily routine and make “spring cleaning” more fun than ever!

We’re super excited to team up with some of our favorite bloggers for a pretty amazing giveaway! Check it out: 

 

True Citrus products provide a new and delicious way to enjoy fresh-squeezed citrus taste anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re looking for an easier and even better way to add a burst of citrus taste to beverages and recipes, are searching for something light and refreshing for your water, or something a little sweeter and more flavorful, but without the "bad stuff" (i.e. preservatives and artificial flavors) – True Citrus has a delicious option you’ll love! Follow True Citrus (also known as True Lemon) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

Natalie Hodson is a mom of two who is perhaps best known for her ability to connect with women and their real-life situations. Natalie's very popular blog shares tips for balancing family, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle. She shares recipes, real-life workout videos, motivational vlogs, and tips for helping your entire family stay healthy. Follow Natalie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

 

Hip2Save is one of the top national money-saving blogs online. The site features in-store deals, online deals, coupons, samples, freebies, eBooks, apps and tips to help readers to lead a more frugal lifestyle. Follow Hip2Save on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

 

Favorite Family Recipes is a trusted family recipe source for families all around the world. They take pride in making delicious, home-cooked food that is easy to prepare and that they know your family will love! Follow Favorite Family Recipes on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  

 

ONE Grand Prize Winner will receive:

That's over $600 in prizes for the Grand Prize Winner!

ONE Runner-Up will receive:

FIVE Additional Contestants will receive a product of their choice. They can select from:

*Each winner will receive: four (4) unsweetened flavors for water, tea & recipes (True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange, and True Grapefruit); six (6) lightly sweetened drink mixes (True Lemon Original Lemonade, True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade, True Lemon Peach Lemonade, True Lime Limeade, True Lime Black Cherry Limeade, and True Orange Mango Orange); three (3) Fruit Orchard products for lovers of robust fruity flavors (True Lemon Fruit Orchard Summer Berry Medley, True Lemon Fruit Orchard Sunshine Strawberry Medley and True Lemon Fruit Orchard Crisp Apple Medley); five (5) salt-free shakers and spice blends (True Lemon, True Lime, True Lemon Pepper, True Lime Garlic & Cilantro and True Orange Ginger). 

Giveaway specifics: Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Please be patient, sometimes the form takes a moment to load. Open to U.S. residents only, must be 18 years or older to enter. Please see full and complete terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter form (linked below).

Entry period: Monday, April 20th - Sunday, April 26th at 11:59pm EST. 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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10 Ways to De-stress and Reset.

April 16, 2015



In today’s fast paced world, everything from work pressures to love-life demands (not to mention tax season!), can be a major cause of stress in our lives. In fact, living with constant stress has become the norm for most Americans. In honor of National Stress Awareness Day today, we at True Citrus are taking a moment to slow down, de-stress, and reset. Here are 10 healthy, proven ways you can use to do the same:

1. Laugh it Out: Laughter is, as they say, is the best medicine. A good laugh can be deeply relieving and has the power to rejuvenate your entire day. Take a moment to watch a funny YouTube video, talk to a friend who makes you giggle, or even force yourself to fake it - yes, even fake laughter has been proven to have it’s benefits on your health!

2. Loosen Up: Our bodies naturally stiffen from sitting in the car or at the desk all day, which in turn takes a toll on our minds. Take some time every now and then to loosen your limbs: stretching or attending a yoga class are wonderful ways to relieve physical tension. Or, take a page out of Taylor Swift’s book and just shake it off. That’s right, dance it out. Go catch your favorite band or turn on some music when you’re alone. Close your eyes, and let your body move however it wants. Consider it movement therapy - you’ll be shocked at the relief it brings. 

3. Get Moving: It isn’t about the body, it’s about the head. Exercise and sweat immediately relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, and will help regulate your sleeping patterns. Take a short jog, hit the gym, or do anything that makes your heart pump - and notice if anything has shifted afterwards.

4. Vitamin D: A little sun on your skin can work wonders. Whether you choose to work in your garden, take a small hike, or simply eat lunch outside, getting yourself in the spring air will help calm nerves and restore a state of tranquility to your life. Remember to slab on the sunscreen too! 

5. Read a Book: In order to read, the mind has to concentrate much more than it does to watch TV, scroll through Facebook, or even listen to music. This means it will be kept from wandering over to all of the thoughts that cause stress and anxiety in your life. Let yourself sink into a story for as little as 6 minutes(!), and your mind will ease up, your muscles will soften, and a feeling of relaxation will take over as you escape to another world. 

6. Connect: Remembering that you aren’t the only one living with stress is an important part of controlling it. Reach out to friends, co-workers, or loved ones and let it out. Sometimes simply talking about your worries, problems, and concerns can go a long way.

7. Take Time To Breathe: Take a few moments away from the computer, phone, TV, or any other distraction. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for a few minutes, letting your thoughts arise, and then letting them float away. You’ll be shocked at how instantly your mind calms. For more information, see our recent post on meditation.

8.  Adjust your Diet: Everyone has different dietary needs these days, but taking the time to find out which foods are best for you can change your life tremendously. Explore which foods seem to best nourish your body and fuel your mind, and cut out those that make you feel tired, sluggish, or slow. Click here for a few of our most-loved healthy snack ideas. 

9. Take a Break: Taking time out from your daily routine is an important part of maintaining your mental equilibrium. Full-blown vacations are always a good way to reset, but small getaways - such as taking a walk during lunch or planning a solo adventure - are just as important to fit into your schedule.

10. Be Grateful: Studies have found that people who consciously focus on cultivating gratitude have reduced stress and greater emotional stability in their lives than those who do not. Take the time now and again to make a list of all the things you are grateful for - and remember what a powerful force an attitude of gratitude can be.

A little bit of stress can be a healthy motivating force in our lives, but too much stress can be debilitating. Taking a little bit of time every day to practice one of the above stress relieving techniques could completely change your life. Share these techniques with your friends in honor of National Stress Awareness Day!



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Mix-It-Up Kitchen Aid Giveaway

April 14, 2015





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Meditation: The Simple Facts

April 8, 2015



The ancient practice of meditation—or sitting quietly—is becoming more and more prominent in American culture thanks to a growing interest in yoga and supportive celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. A daily meditation practice has been scientifically proven to be wildly beneficial for our mental health, happiness, and sleep habits, yet many Americans don’t know anything about it, let alone how to begin.

Here are a few basic truths about meditation: 

1. It’s Simple to Do: Though it may not be so easy at first, the only thing you’ve got to do is sit still and breathe. As thoughts emerge (and they will) acknowledge them - and then return your attention to your breath. Again and again and again. That’s all it takes!

2. Control Your Monkey Mind: It is rare these days to simply be alone without the distractions of a phone, computer, TV, radio, friend, etc. The practice of quietly sitting without anything to distract you - even if for only 5 minutes a day - will help you learn about the nature of your own mind, and give you the tools with which to ultimately gain control over your thoughts.

3. Relieve Stress, Reduce Anxiety: Sitting quietly for any amount of time per day has incredible health and wellness benefits, with the most prominent being a greater sense of inner calmness and peace. Meditation has been proven to reduce the production of cortisol (i.e. “the stress hormone”) as well as to enormously reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

4. Natural Sleep Remedy: A consistent practice will undoubtedly help you attain a greater sense of calmness, as well as the ability to detach from whatever is causing stress in your life, leading to a more peaceful and restful sleep. Additionally, it will provide you with the tools to tune into your breath and relax your thoughts as you are laying in bed, helping you to fall asleep naturally.

5. Other Incredibly Noteworthy Benefits: Meditation has been proven to decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart attack and stroke, improve memory and brain function, help the body better utilize oxygen, and increase production of the anti-aging hormone (DHE).

With so many potential benefits, there seems to be no real reason not to experiment with meditation: it’s free, it’s easy to try, and it could just change your life. Give it a go and see for yourself!

 

[Credit: Eisler, Melissa "The History of Meditation." Chopra Centered Lifestyle.]

[Credit: Corliss, Julie "Mindfulness, meditation helps fight insomnia, improves sleep." Harvard Health Publications.]



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Love Your Water, Your Way!

March 27, 2015



It's no hidden secret that people’s flavor preferences vary as much as the world is wide. Some people love chocolate, while others prefer vanilla. Some love sorbet, while others simply prefer ice cream. But here at True Citrus we believe we have something for everyone to enjoy!

For those who love robust fruity flavors, we're super excited to announce that our new True Lemon Fruit Orchard Products are now available for purchase both in stores and online! The new Fruit Orchard Line is made up of three incredibly delicious, vibrant flavors - True Lemon Summer Berry Medley, True Lemon Sunshine Strawberry Medley, and True Lemon Crisp Apple Medley - each of which is made from simple & clean ingredients and whole fruit powder, making it the first powdered drink mix of it’s kind!

Whole fruit powder means a beautifully colored beverage with bits of real fruit pulp, and - yup, you guessed it - the full-bodied taste of real fruit flavor! Our Fruit Orchard line is a wonderful alternative to calorically loaded or artificially flavored beverages, super sugary sodas and fruit juices, as these True Lemon flavors are similarly satisfying but much better for your overall health. Sweetened with real sugar and Stevia, yet only 30 calories per serving, the Fruit Orchard varieties provide a fresh-picked taste in every glass and are the perfect choice if you are thinking about cutting back on highly sugared and/or artificially flavored beverages. Give any one of them a try and see for yourself!

If you love a lightly sweetened taste instead of a fuller-bodied flavor, select from our lemonade and limeade drink mix collection, including: True Lemon Original Lemonade, True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade, True Lemon Peach Lemonade, True Lime Limeade, True Lime Black Cherry Limeade, or True Orange Mango. These deliciously refreshing flavors are also made from simple and clean ingredients, sweetened with Stevia and a touch of sugar, and clock in at only 10 calories per serving. Sweet deal!

If you prefer the fresh-squeezed of citrus, choose from our line of True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange, and True Grapefruit products. Each packet is equivalent to the taste of one wedge of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit, and is made from simple and clean ingredients. With zero calories, zero sugars, zero carbs, and no sodium or gluten, you can use these True Citrus packets to flavor your water and beverages, or add them to your recipe repertoire (find a full list of ideas here). Trust us, cooking has never been so easy.

TELL US HOW YOU LOVE YOUR WATER:

Have True Citrus products made a difference in your life? Which True Citrus products do you love and why? Tell us in the comment section below and we'll select 5 random winners to receive a FREE product of your choice! {Deadline 03/31/15 at 11:59pm EST.}



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The Many Miraculous Uses for Coconut Oil.

March 23, 2015



There seems to be an endless list of ways in which the miraculous coconut oil can improve your life. From your cooking habits to your beauty routines to your overall health and healing practices, the benefits of coconut oil are so diverse and so useful that you’ll make sure to stay stocked on the stuff for the rest of time. Here are just a few reasons why we use coconut oil (C.O.):

Use it on your BODY

It’s great for your face: Mix a dollop of coconut oil with warm water and gently massage it into your face - not only will this remove the day’s residual make-up, but the MCT in the oil will deeply condition your skin.

And your eyes: Take care to massage under your eyes, as C.O. also functions as a wonderful stand in for expensive eye-cream, with natural anti-aging and protective properties.

And your lips: Dab a bit of C.O. on your lips throughout the day and you’ll never know what chapped feels like again.

It works wonders for your hair: Coconut oil is amazingly nutritious for your hair, conditioning from the inside out. Coat wet hair with warm (liquid) C.O. post shampooing - leave it on as a mask for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly for hydrated and delicious smelling hair. C.O. can also function as frizz control, shine-booster, dandruff regulator, and protein supplier; simply work a tiny bit into the ends when hair is dry.

And your skin: Coconut oil is a miraculous moisturizer for any part of the body. As an oil, mix it with salt or sugar and use it as a full body scrub, or even employ it in place of shaving cream for a slick and smooth shave.

It will help relieve stress levels: The natural aroma of coconut oil is incredibly soothing, as is the feel of the oil on the skin. Massage the oil onto any part of the body to relieve fatigue and reduce stress.

Put it in your FOOD

It’s easy to digest: The molecules in C.O. are tiny enough that the oil goes down easily with zero strain on the body, making C.O. an ideal cooking ingredient for anyone, especially those suffering from diseases like diabetes, obesity, or Crohn’s disease.

It can help you shed pounds: Consumption of coconut oil can aid in weight loss because the oil’s fatty acids help obliterate excess yeast in your body (candida), which is said to make you extra lethargic and drawn towards foods like carbohydrates. Coconut oil is great to cook with at high temperatures, so swap it in for butter or other cooking oils whenever you can!

It will strengthen your immune system: Regular consumption of C.O. is wonderful for the functioning of your immune system because of the oil’s content of saturated fats, which contain antibacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-viral properties. Put a spoonful of C.O. in your smoothie, or a dollop in your coffee (instead of sugar) for a delicious boost of energy and immunity!

There are so many other incredible ways to work coconut oil into you life. Tell us how YOU use the miraculous oil to benefit your health, assist your cooking, amp up your beauty routine, or improve your lifestyle in general!



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20 Reasons to Reach for Lemon Water Every Morning.

March 6, 2015



Drink a cup of warm lemon water first thing upon waking and you’ll be stunned at the incredible ways in which it will benefit your mind, body, skin, heart and overall well being. Here are just a few (okay, twenty) reasons why you should consider adding lemon water to your morning routine:

1. It will flush your toxins right on out

2. It’s vitamin C content is a huge boon to your immune system

3. It helps to cure the common cold

4. It’s potassium content will nourish your brain and nerves

5. It’s pectin fiber will help to regulate your appetite

6. It’s an enormous aid in controlling weight

7. It’s vitamin C content is fantastic for your skin and overall complexion

8. It will alkalize your body, help you to maintain a high pH level, and therefore fight off diseases which cannot thrive in such an environment (such as cancer)

9. It can help relieve heartburn

10. It can help relieve tooth pain and combat gingivitis

11. It will help regularize and stimulate your (ahem) bowel movements

12. It supplies you with crucial electrolytes

13. It can reduce pain in your muscles and joints

14. It’s citric acid content will stimulate your digestion

15. It will cleanse your liver better than any other food, prompting the liver to release toxins and produce much needed enzymes

16. It’s a wonderful antioxidant, invaluable to the functioning of your immune system

17. It can lower your blood pressure by significantly

18. It can help dissolve and combat calcium deposits, kidney stones and gallstones

19. It’s anti-inflammatory properties help relieve sore throats and/or inflamed tonsils

20. It’s highly advantageous to pregnant women, by fighting off viruses in their own bodies and by aiding bone growth and brain cell formation in the unborn babies

Worried about keeping your fridge stocked with fresh lemons? Try adding a packet of True Lemon -- 100% delicious crystalized lemon -- to your cup for the same delicious taste and health benefits.

 

[Credit: Giacobbe, Alyssa "How Lemon Water Became the New Kale." Self.]

[Credit: "20 Reasons you should Drink Lemon Water in the Morning" Living Traditionally.]



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Superfoods Save the Day: 11 Energy-Boosting Eats to Keep You Full and Focused.

March 2, 2015



What if you could instantly boost your immunity, lose excess weight, combat diseases and increase your daily energy? The good news is you can--and you can simply by choosing to eat the right kinds of food. Below is a list of 11 Superfoods, low in calories, high in nutrients, and packed with amazing health benefits, so read on and load up on these valuable eats, you won’t regret it!

1. Blueberries: These sweet and tasty berries are more miraculous than most people know. Calorically low and brimming with fiber and phytochemicals, blueberries possess anti-aging qualities, and can help combat heart disease, cancer and diabetes (among other serious diseases). Eat them all day long!

2. Almonds: These nuts are super rich in healthy fats, helping to lower bad cholesterol, protect your arteries from damage, strengthen your bones, and aid in weight loss. Munch some almonds between meals and you’ll have no problem staying fuller longer.

3. Salmon: This deliciously lean source of protein contains a healthy dose of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, directly benefiting your heart, your brain, your eyes, your joints and even helping you to sleep better. Salmon has even been linked to reducing your risk of heart disease, type-1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, so make a point of eating salmon a few times per week.

4. Oats: Extremely rich in fiber, and packed with healthy, metabolism-boosting carbs—a single serving of oats will keep you full and energized throughout the extent of your day. Oats also help control blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and improve immune system defenses. Try eating oats in the morning for a super energized day.

5. Lentils: A wonderful source of minerals (iron, magnesium and zinc) and resistant starch, which boosts the metabolism and burns excess fat. Lentils are chock-full of protein and soluble fiber, keeping your heart healthy and your digestive system running well. They can be spiced in various ways to make a delicious meal for lunch or dinner.

6. Leafy Greens: Swiss chard, kale, spinach, and dandelion greens are highly beneficial to your whole health, as they are some of the most nutrient-packed foods you can possibly put in your body. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals, leafy greens help everything from your eyesight to your bone health, so add them in to any and every snack or meal throughout the day.

7. Avocado: This deliciously creamy fruit is chock full of fiber, protein, vitamin E, oleic acid, and the good kind of fat. Avocados help reduce excess belly fat and keep you full for long periods of time. Smear avocado on toast or add a slice to an omelet or sandwich for a significant energy boost.

8. Brown Rice: This hearty, fiber-rich grain is low in calories yet incredibly dense and filling. Brown rice contains resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate known for burning excess fat and boosting the metabolism. Try swapping in brown rice for pasta or bread, and you’ll immediately feel (and see!) the difference in your waistline.

9. Dark Chocolate: Loaded with antioxidants and flavonoids, a bit of dark chocolate here and there will help to satisfy your sweet tooth, lessen your risk of a stroke, reduce your blood pressure, and elevate your mood. Research also shows that dark chocolate, full of healthy fat, can actually help burn calories and rev-up your metabolism. Look for dairy-free and over 70% cocoa for the healthiest choice of chocolate.

10. Broccoli: Research suggests that all cruciferous veggies (kale, bok choy, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) have the power to reduce your risk of cancer by inhibiting the growth of certain cells. Broccoli, calorically low and packed with filling fiber, is a great veggie to incorporate into your diet.

11. Citrus: Grapefruits and lemons provide unparalleled health benefits - they are loaded with flavonoids, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties, and are excellent sources of vitamin-C, which is vital to a healthy immune system. Citrus fruits stimulate your digestion, aid in weight loss, and help to balance your body’s pH. Try eating citrus first thing in the morning, or simply add a packet of crystallized True Lemon or True Grapefruit to a cup of water for all of the health benefits of these incredible superfoods.

Try integrating a few of the these amazing superfoods into your daily diet and see if you can feel a difference in your weight and overall well-being. Which of the above foods is your favorite? Let us know!

 

[Credit: "11 Foods You Should Eat Now for a Smarter, More Productive You." Fast Company.]

[Credit: Klein, Sarah "Best Superfoods for Weight Loss" Health.]



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Tried & True: Weight Loss Apps We Love

February 23, 2015



Whether this winter has you swerving away from your New Years resolutions or you simply feel like you could use a bit of support in the fight to get fit—weight loss apps are an effective, inexpensive way to keep yourself accountable and on track. Here’s a list of our favorite weight-loss apps sure to lead you to success:

Pact: This is an app for those who do better with real, external incentives (like MONEY!). Each week you’ll set a personal goal for exercise and healthy eating, and then wager a certain amount of cash. By snapping photos of your meals and tracking your workouts via GPS apps, you will either reach your goal and earn (real) cash, or fall short and lose whatever you had put on the line. Talk about accountability!

Fooducate: An app that lets you “look beyond the calories” and into the real nutritional value of what you are putting into your body. Simply scan the barcode of any food item, and this App will clue you in (via letter grade and full explanation) on just how good—or bad— of a choice you are actually making. Free, educational, community-based, and highly effective!

Nike+ Running: This is an app for anyone from aspiring to veteran runner. Track your jogs, races, and marathons while Nike+ serves as your virtual coach, providing you with training programs and daily routines to increase your stamina and beat your own personal records. A must-have for any runner!

7-Minute Workout: Too busy to hit the gym? Too tired to make it through an hour of zumba? This is the app for you! Twelve high-intensity, 30-second exercises (with 10 seconds of rest in between each)—all together equaling a 7-minute workout routine that has been scientifically proven to maximize your time and energy for a highly effective sweat-sesh.

Noom Coach: Never diet again! This app will help you develop and integrate life-long eating and exercise habits, helping you to maintain your health and keep the weight off…...forever. Noom Coach is a personalized weight loss app that, in addition to logging your workouts and food intake, will more importantly provide you with clear feedback, motivation, and personalized advice on how to keep improving.

Lose It: A free, comprehensive weight loss app that provides you with the perks of having a pocket-sized personal trainer with you at all times. Easy to use, this app creates a custom weight-loss plan just for you, providing you with recipes, meal plans, barcode scanners, calorie trackers, exercise logs, step-trackers, sleep goals, and an enormous online community.

A little help can go a long way in terms of exercise routines and weight loss plans. Try out one (or all) of these helpful apps and let us know which work the best for you!



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Work Smarter: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

February 12, 2015



In this day and age there are countless distractions and stressors that can (and do) interfere with our daily level of productivity. But, instead of merely accepting a lower level of effectiveness, here are 10 tips proven to help prioritize your day, and ultimately make you more productive in every realm of your life. Here’s to a more productive you!

1. Prepare For Tomorrow Today: Set up for success by preparing for tomorrow before you go to bed each night. Assess what you’ll need during the entirety of the day, and make all of those small, yet time-consuming decisions beforehand so they won’t eat up your time tomorrow. Example: lay out your work clothes, set your gym bag by the door, make your lunch, set your alarm, and close your eyes with the intention of having a wildly productive day. 

2. Rise Early: A look at some of the most productive people throughout history will show that most, if not all of them, claimed to be early risers. The morning is proven to be the time most suited for clear-sighted, creative and focused thinking, so get in the habit of rising early and aim to knock out a nice portion of your workload before most of your peers have even risen from bed.

3. Make a Comprehensive To-Do List: From loads of office work to laundry and dishes, our mental to-do lists are simply never ending. A good way to tackle it all head-on is to physically write out every single task you can think of, from the very mundane to the oh-so important. Writing all of this down on paper will work to alleviate some of your built up stress, as well as helping to turn the chaos into more organized clarity.

4. Prioritize Your List: Once you have all of your “to-do's” written out, go through the list and organize each item in terms of urgency. What must get done today? What is due next week? Which tasks are time sensitive and which can wait for the dust to settle? The simple act of prioritizing your tasks will, in itself, be a massive boon to your overall efficiency.

5. Create a Daily Schedule: Consider your prioritized to-do list and use it to schedule out your day. Start with when you’ll wake up in the morning, add in meal times, gym sessions, when you’ll write that report and when you’ll tackle your taxes. Getting into a certain rhythm makes it much easier to focus, so try to group like tasks in similar time zones. For example, scheduling your creative work in the mornings, chores in the evenings, and so on.

6. Use Your Commute: Many people have long, monotonous daily commutes to and from work. Instead of using this time to idle through traffic or daydream about dinner, try turning your commute time into productivity: listen to an educational podcast or throw on a good book-on-tape. This will not only help to stimulate your mind and prepare you for the day, but it will also increase your rate of learning.

7. Give Yourself a Break: As important as it is to try to squeeze productivity out of your entire day, it is also incredibly important to give yourself avid time to rest, restore and rejuvenate. Whether this means scheduling yourself a few 5-10 minute breaks throughout the day or getting yourself to a yoga class a few times per week, taking the time to unwind now and then is a crucial element of success.

8. Set Reasonable Goals: It is vital to be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish in a day: rather than setting exuberantly high expectations for yourself, try to set reasonable, attainable goals. Knowing that your goals are actually realistic will keep your motivation and your productivity higher in the long run.

9. Hone Your Focus: A little self-discipline goes a long way. Take a break from social media sites, turn your phone on silent, and spend your efforts diverting all of your attention to the singular task at hand. You will be shocked at how effective your one-pointed focus can truly be.

10. Grade Yourself: At the end of each day take a look at what you had originally set out to accomplish— honestly assess what actually got done and what did not, where you excelled and where you have room to improve. This simple exercise of self-evaluation and self-awareness will help you shed your unproductive tendencies and hone your most effective habits one day at a time.

Try implementing the above tips for a week straight and simply notice if your overall level of efficiency shifts—what other strategies do you use to stay highly productive?

 

[Credit: Gillett, Rachel (January 2015) "14 Tips to Make 2015 Your Most Productive Year Yet" Fast Company.]



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Products We Love: Healthy Snacking + Giveaway

February 2, 2015



Snacking is the perfect way to satisfy cravings and give you the needed boost to make it through to the next meal. But too often we gravitate towards snacks that are chock full of sugar and empty calories, which only provide short-term energy and ultimately take a toll on our bodies. Luckily, there are other ways to nibble: here are some of our favorite snack ideas—the kind that keep us fuller longer, fuel us with real energy, and most importantly, taste delicious.

1. Snacks to satisfy your crunchy cravings:

• Sprinkle kale chips with a dash of our salt-free True Lime Garlic & Cilantro Spice Blend for a delicious and healthy afternoon pick-me-up.

• Keep a bag of Bear Naked Granola at your desk and grab a small handful whenever you’re in need of a substantial energy boost—or, if you have a little extra time, enjoy a small bowl with almond milk (we dig the Blue Diamond Natural Almond Breeze with reduced sugar).

• Movie night? Shake up a bowl of popcorn with a generous splash of 0-calorie True Lemon or True Lime — an amazing snack to share with friends, and a great way to tame those salt loving taste buds without sacrificing any flavor.

 

2. Snacks that’ll pack you with the good stuff:

• Toast a slice of whole wheat bread and top it with mashed avocado, a dash of olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt and True Lemon. We simply can’t get enough of this nutritional powerhouse!

Health Warrior Chia Bars are each loaded with enough fiber, omega-3, antioxidants, and plant-based protein to keep you fueled for your entire day (and some). Try Apple Cinnamon, Acai Berry or any other flavor and you’ll know what we’re talking about.

• Keep a bottle of Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water in your fridge at all times—this nutrient rich restorative drink will quench your thirst, remedy your hangover, and aid your digestion.

 

3. Snacks for your sweeter side:

• Feed your sweet tooth guiltlessly by adding a packet of 0-calorie True Lemon and a handful of fresh berries to plain Greek yogurt (the flavored varieties tend to be packed with unnecessary calories and added sugar). We’re partial to Fage Plain 2% Greek Yogurt, blueberries and of course, True Lemon.

Justin’s Maple Almond Butter is rumored to be “the most delicious nut butter on the planet” and if you taste it you’ll have no choice but to agree: made from dry roasted almonds, maple sugar, sustainably harvested palm fruit oil and sea salt, this all-natural nut spread will absolutely rock your world.

• A few Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Squares make the perfect bite-sized treat, providing you with powerful antioxidants and a healthy amount of fiber, as well as satisfying that after-dinner craving for something good and sweet.

 

Getting in the habit of healthy snacking is one of the most effective ways we can change our lives (and bodies) for the better. Share your healthy snack tips with us OR tell us how you use True Citrus products in your mid-day treat, and you'll have the chance to win a snack pack of our most-loved munchies along with a $250 gift card to Walmart (so you can keep stocking up on your favorites). Two winners will be selected. Enter the giveaway below. Good luck!

 

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Your Super Bowl Party Spread Playbook: 4 Recipes that will Score Big with Fans.

January 27, 2015



Hooray! We’re just a few days away from one of the most festive days on the American calendar. While some are genuinely excited about the football game, others are—let’s be honest—more excited about the foods that have become Super Bowl party tradition. Whether you’re hosting the big event or attending a potluck, here are some recipe ideas that will help you stay TRUE to your body and score big with your friends.

Appetizer: True Lime Garlic & Cilantro Guacamole 

Guacamole is a Super Bowl party staple. Serve this naturally delicious recipe with sliced veggies and these simple homemade chili-lime tortilla chips as soon your guests walk in the door. 

True Tip: Set some guac aside and serve it along with your main dish. This zesty recipe goes with anything from chicken to tacos, so go don’t skimp on quantity!

Cocktail: True Lime Margaritas

No game-day party is complete without a specialty cocktail. This year we’re sticking to the tried and True Lime Margarita: easy to make a big batch of, and even easier to sip on during the game (whether you’re a football fanatic or not).

True Tip: It’s easy to forget about water when other fancier beverages are thrown into the mix. Be sure to intersperse glasses of water with your alcoholic beverages. Not only will this save you on calories and horrible hangovers, but it also ensures you’ll be getting enough water even on your nights off.

Main Dish: True Lemon Marinated Chicken Skewers

These skewers are simple to prepare, delightful to munch on, and they’re a much healthier alternative to the greasy chicken wings served at most Super Bowl parties.

True Tip: Lay out alternative dipping sauces, like sriracha, True Lemon Kicked Up BBQ Sauce, or True Lime Thai Peanut Sauce to give your guests some finger-licking good choices.  

Dessert: True Lemon Apple Crumb Pie

Because what could be more American than apple pie and football?

True Tip: Serve warm with whipped cream for an undisputed touchdown.

 

No matter the outcome of the big game, these recipes are a sure victory for you and your guests. What are your favorite Super Bowl snacks and traditions? Tell us below or click here for more game-day recipe ideas.  



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Moms Need a Break Too: 4 Ways to Find Some “Me” Time.

January 21, 2015



(Don't forget to check out the fabulous giveaway that 2 deserving moms can win at the end of this post!)

While fathers have come a long way in terms of helping with housework and kids, the reality is that the vast majority of mothers still shoulder the front-lines of house cleaning, cooking and making family life tick. In addition to working. In addition to being a wife or significant other. In addition to the countless other roles we play in our lives. In fact, sometimes all of it can be overwhelming and we are often so busy taking care of everyone and everything else that we forget ourselves.

It’s very easy to say “take a break for yourself”. The reality is that it can be hard to fit “me time” into a busy day but even if you start small – 10 to 20 minutes a day, several times a week, where you focus on just you – it can make a huge difference in terms of your spirit and energy level. Here are some suggestions – some that take 10 minutes, some that take an evening. Pick what works best for you and begin because you SO deserve it!

1. Get Out: Whether this means a romantic getaway with your partner, a night on the town with the girls, or dinner in pleasant solitude, getting yourself out of the house and treating yourself to something special will help refresh you from the monotony of everyday. Try catching a movie if you haven’t in a while, or adventuring to a new part of town!

2. Get Moving: Stress and the chaos of our day-to-day lives often deter us from making time for exercise, even though exercise is usually just the thing we need to help relieve the mind and body. Try finding 20-30 minutes for some kind of physical activity—yoga, tennis, walking the dog, jogging on the treadmill—and allow yourself this time to sweat and unwind.

3. Re-Center: A little solitude can go a long way, but when you’re a mom, alone time can be difficult to come by. Try making a conscious effort to find physical and mental spaces where you can simply be alone to garden, meditate, read, take a nap, or enjoy whatever it is that helps you re-center. Even just 10 minutes of this type of “me time” will leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

4. Treat Yourself (like you’d want to be treated): Make yourself a refreshing beverage (try any True Citrus naturally flavored drink product for a guilt-free option!), draw yourself a candle-lit bubble bath, splurge on that outfit you’ve been eyeing, get yourself a pedicure—or all of the above! If you’re not going to pamper you, who will?

Although the True Citrus team is small, many of us are moms ourselves. Thus, we completely get how much you deserve a break and so we’re thrilled to offer TWO moms the chance to win a True Citrus Prize Pack (everything you need adding a dash of zesty flavor to your water, tea, and recipes) and a full ONE-WEEK subscription (for a family of 4) to Blue Apron. Winners will receive pre-packaged meals for the whole family, complete with the freshest ingredients and easy-to-follow recipe cards, all conveniently delivered straight to your door each night for a week. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity!

 

As a Mom, tell us how YOU take a break for yourself and enter for your chance to win below. 

 

Just For You, Mom! Enter Our True Citrus & Blue Apron Giveaway

 

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Why the Weights Can’t Wait

January 15, 2015



Weight training has long been stereotyped as an activity only fit for people looking for enormous muscle growth. Indeed, most women still believe that cardio (i.e. running on the treadmill, working out on the elliptical) is the best option for getting fit and losing weight. Nowadays, however, many studies are showing that weight training is actually the ideal way for females to shed excess fat, decrease stress, gain strength and combat heart disease, among many other worthy health benefits. 

So, forget about the old myth—here’s why you should start hitting the weight room today:

 

1. Forget the Bulk: Many women avoid the weight room because they fear bulking up. In fact, only around 20% of women weight train consistently. But the truth is, unless you are taking steroids or have excess amounts of testosterone, weight training will simply work to tone, strengthen and lean out your muscles, transforming your body into something closer to a bikini model than a body builder.

2. Shed Pure Fat: Weight training causes your body to trim pure fat while allowing you to keep your muscle strength—a formula that equals a lean body. Cardio workouts, on the other hand, result in the loss of fat and muscle, which may make a small difference on the scale, but ultimately is less productive as you’re already starting to lose muscle mass by the time you turn 30.

3. Crank the Metabolism: Not only does lifting cause your body to burn serious calories during workout, but it also increases your metabolism for up to 24 hours (sometimes more!) post session. Whether at your desk or watching TV, you’ll continue to blaze through calories at a greater rate, reaping the benefits of a speedy metabolism for an entire day. Plus, the more fat your replace with muscle, the more calories you burn while at rest. See the cycle?

4. Strengthen Bones: Women in particular are prone to Osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become so brittle and frail that they are likely to fracture. It has been found that weight lifting helps to increase bone density and bone growth by a makeable amount—an invaluable health benefit for those who may be at risk.

5. Improve your Mood: Exercise of any kind is proven to produce endorphins, a natural brain chemical that, when released, results in reduced pain and increased feelings of euphoria. Weight training is therefore a wonderful way to relieve stress, diminish anxiety, and improve your general state of peace and well-being.

6. Look Good, Feel Good: Lifting strengthens your bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. It helps you shed excess fat, improves your posture, aids your balance and general coordination. It will fire up your metabolism as well as your mental alertness throughout the day. A lean, toned, healthy body helps your confidence grow and your happiness skyrocket—so, what exactly are you waiting for?

 

Weight lifting will help you shed the pounds and increase your overall health, but exercise of any kind is most effective when paired with a dieting plan. Simple everyday strategies include: keeping a food diary, eliminating sugar, and drinking more water throughout the day—for organic zest, try adding any of True Citrus’ naturally delicious and refreshing flavors to your water. Order now at www.truelemonstore.com and take advantage of this special one-time use coupon code for 20% off your entire order: TRUEFIT20



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Weight Loss Straight from the Tap: 7 Ways to Start Drinking More Water + Giveaway

January 13, 2015



It’s no surprise that drinking enough water plays an incredibly important role in keeping your body operating efficiently, your skin clear and your overall health intact. Countless studies have shown that increasing the amount of water you consume each day may also be an important key to controlling calories and creating balance and strength, both mentally and physically. Here are 7 ways to start incorporating more water into your daily routine—so you can bring about all you set out to achieve in 2015. Get guzzling!

1. Wake and Hydrate: Get in the habit of setting a full glass of water on your nightstand before you get ready for bed each night. Drink the entire glass as soon as you wake up, and you’ll have a whole cup down before you’ve even brushed your teeth! Or, follow the advice of many prominent health professionals who recommend starting your day off with a cup of hot lemon water. Whether you’re using a fresh lemon slice or a packet of True Lemon (which is way easier!), benefits of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning include: immune boost, aided digestion, clearer skin, and many others.

2. Spice Up Your Life: Not only is spicier food said to boost your metabolism, but the hotter you spice your meals the quicker you’ll be reaching for more water. So pour on the sriracha and pile on those crushed red pepper flakes—and keep a glass of water close by. But beware—spicy foods may not be ideal for everyone!

3. There’s an App for That: Simply search for “water” in the App store on your mobile device and you’ll find plenty of free options that will help you remember to hydrate, such as Waterlogged or Daily Water Free. Or set your own reminders on your phone.

4. Stay Prepared: Treat yourself to a new reusable water bottle, and keep it with you during your daily commute, at the gym, and on your desk at work. Remember to fill up whenever possible—extra points if the bottle is as stylish and charitable as these S’well water bottles (we're giving away 5 for FREE - see details below). 

5. Drink Before You Eat: Research has shown that people who drink water before a meal are more likely to eat less during it. Rewire your brain to see water as an appetizer: drink an entire glass of water before every meal, and watch as your self-control increases and your appetite decreases.

6. Party with H2O: It’s easy to forget about water when other fancier beverages are thrown into the mix. On big nights out, get into the habit of interspersing glasses of water with your alcoholic beverages. Not only will this save you on money, calories and horrible hangovers, but it also ensures you’ll be getting enough water even on your nights off.

7. Give it Some Flavor: Drinking the same thing all day every day can certainly get monotonous, but sweetened drinks are usually chock-full of calories, unnecessary sugar or artificial sweeteners. Give your water some guilt-free zest by adding any of True Citrus’ naturally delicious and refreshing flavors to your cup.

 

Tell us how YOU plan to drink more water this year, and you’ll have a chance to win a brand new S’well Bottle and an amazing assortment of True Citrus Products!

 

Here's Why We Love S'well Bottles:

 

Here's What We're Giving Away:

5 lucky winners will receive a S'well 25-ounce Satin Yellow Zinc Bottle + a True Citrus Prize Pack! 

Enter Now through Sunday, January 18th, 2015: 

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6 Truly Refreshing New Year Resolution Ideas

January 7, 2015



The first week of January is a naturally wonderful time to reflect on all that occurred in the past year, and an even better time to set intentions for the future. Most of us make the same slew of resolutions year after year and tend to forget all about them come mid-February, but instead of attempting to conquer all at once again, we at True Citrus are approaching 2015 from a different angle. For the entirety of this upcoming year, each member of our team is picking ONE resolution to focus on!

Here are some of our resolutions for 2015:

1. Eliminate the Clutter. The first step in making a change of any magnitude —whether we intend to floss more or eat less in this upcoming year—is the willingness to pause and reconsider everything, especially the habits we’ve long considered sacred or simply stuck. We’re choosing to make 2015 the year to slow down, take stock and clean house. Which behaviors, habits or patterns are no longer helping you to reach your highest potential? Toss out those that no longer serve you and don’t look back.

2. Create Healthy Rituals. Daily routines not only help in bringing simplicity and discipline into our lives, but can also make an enormous difference in terms of personal health, happiness and general productivity. Whether you plan on getting better exercise, drinking more water throughout the day, or being more frugal in 2015, choose one action you would like to make into a daily routine and focus on that. (Remember experts say it takes about six to eight weeks before something becomes a habit and most of us give up before then.) As Aristotle famously said: “we are what we repeatedly do.”  

3. Take Time to Decompress. Living in a constant haze of stress and “not enough-ness” takes an eventual toll on our bodies and our minds. In 2015, we plan to make time each and every day for relieving some of this needless tension, a habit that will undoubtedly help us improve in every realm. Some ideas for decompression include: forgive someone (yourself included), breathe deeply, sweat, get outside, let yourself cry, take a day off, read, take a nap, have a good laugh, the list goes on…

4. Be Grateful. We can’t always control our circumstances, but our attitude is always a choice. Instead of focusing on what we lack, want, or wish we had, this year we’re going to be grateful for where we are, what we already have, and the ones who surround us every day. Gratitude is an attitude, and we plan to cultivate it in 2015. 

5. Jump Right In. “Fortune favors the bold,” wrote Virgil, and indeed, so do most good things, so let fear dissolve with 2014 and jump into this New Year with courage and audacity. Sign up for a marathon, reconnect with an old friend, stand up for a cause you believe in, take a new job or ask somebody out on a whim—and know that every act of bravery is contributing to a new and better you.

6. Give Back. With so much to be thankful for, we at True Citrus hope that in 2015 we can continue to make a positive impact in the lives of others. Giving back can take many forms—whether you are starting a new charity or helping a friend stay true to her New Year resolutions—remember that you are making a wonderful difference! Want to get started right away? True Citrus is partnered with the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America. Donate a meal by entering the UPC code from your recent True Citrus purchase, or find out how else you can get involved at http://www.truelemon.com/feedingamerica.



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Grab the Milk! It’s National Cookie Day!

December 4, 2014



Cookie lovers, rejoice! It's one of our favorite days of the year - National Cookie Day. (Just in time for the holiday season!) So break out your baking sheets, mixers, and a tall glass of milk, because here's a few of our favorite cookie recipes using 100% delicious True Citrus products: 

 

True Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies

True Lemon Glazed Wreath Cookies

True Raspberry Lemonade Sugar Cookies

True Orange Pizzelle 

True Lime and Coconut Biscotti

True Orange Sugar Cookies

True Lemon Snowball Cookies

True Orange Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies

True Lemon Thyme & Cracked Pepper Cookies

True Orange Icebox Cookies

Chocolate-Dipped True Orange Ginger Biscotti 



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Mississippi Hippie Crafts & More (November 2014)

November 6, 2014





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Giving Thanks and Getting Delicious.

November 4, 2014



Giving Thanks and Getting Delicious.

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, time to rev your cooking engines and break out the table linens. While some holiday traditions are best adhered to (like who carves the turkey and no politics until after the pie), the dishes themselves may need some refreshing.

Cue the drum(stick) roll - True Citrus to the rescue! We can’t help you with the dishes or the new sister-in-law’s reaction to being called the ex’s name for the third time, but we can give you greater green beans, better brussels sprouts and a cheesecake that might quiet the masses for a bit! Here are a few of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes – we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

 

Tasty Beverages:

True Lime Vodka Cranberry Cooler

True Lemon Wassail Punch

True Citrus Sangria with Coconut Rum

True Lemon Hot Toddy

True Lemon Blackberry Gin and Tonic

True Lemon Black Currant Punch

 

App-etizing Snacks + Small Plates:

True Lemon-Pepper Popovers

True Orange Ginger Carrot Soup

True Lemon & True Lime Spicy Chickpeas

True Lime Autumn Hummus with Pumpkin

True Lemon Pecan Cheese Log

 

The Main Event:

True Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

 

Sides Dishes:

True Lemon Fall Squash Baked Pappardelle

Couscous Stuffed Baby Pumpkins

Red Cabbage Slaw with True Orange Ginger Dressing

True Orange Cranberry-Pineapple Salad

True Orange Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes

True Lemon Herbed Mashed Potatoes

True Lemon Pepper Green Beans

True Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Breadcrumbs

 

Sweet Treats:

True Orange Ginger Pound Cake

Maple-Pecan Apple and Cherry Crumble

True Lemon Apple Crumb Pie

Carrot-Walnut Bundt Cake with a True Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

True Lemon Pumpkin Cheesecake

True Lemon Pumpkin Bread Pudding

True Lemon Cranberry Citrus Glazed Bread

True Lemon Cornbread, Peach, and Blueberry Cobbler

True Lemon Rice Pudding

True Orange Ginger Cranberry Walnut Bread



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Darlin’ Rae (August 2014)

October 4, 2014





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5 High-Energy Snacks that Keep You Focused Throughout the Day.

September 12, 2014



If you feel like you're dragging your feet by mid-afternoon most days, odds are that you're not getting the nutrients you need to keep going. Instead of relying on large, heavy meals, consider adding a few tasty, high-energy snacks into your daily routine. The right snacks can be effective pick-me-ups on even the most stressful days. By adding the following high-energy snacks into your daily routine, you're sure to see a noticeable difference in your energy levels in no time! Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Hard-Boiled Eggs: As it happens, dietary cholesterol is a lot different than cholesterol blood level, so eggs are widely considered to be "safe" to consume again. That's great news because these easy-to-prepare snacks are jam-packed with protein, which gives you lots of energy and helps you feel fuller longer.

2. Kale Chips: Whether you make them yourself or buy them from a natural foods store, kale chips are crunchy, tasty and loaded with iron, protein, fiber, antioxidants, calcium and a variety of crucial vitamins.

3. Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt: Many yogurts are loaded with unnecessary sugars and other ingredients that can bog you down instead of lift you up. On the other hand, non-fat plain Greek yogurt contains protein, zinc, calcium and vitamins B6 and B12, so it's a great snack. Throw in a few berries to sweeten the deal.Or even add a packet of True Lemon or True Orange to boost flavor without the added sugar or calories.

4. Almonds: Noshing on a handful of almonds here and there will give you the boost you need. Almonds are loaded with protein, fiber and healthy fats, so dig in and munch away.

5. Water Enhancers: Drinking water throughout the day is great, but can also be a little bland and boring too. With water enhancers made by True Citrus, you can flavor your water naturally without hurting your diet. These enhancers, in flavors like lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit, contain no calories, sugars, carbs or artificial sweeteners, so you can feel good about using them. Prefer something sweeter and full-bodied? Our flavored drink mixes like lemonade, black cherry limeade, and orange mango are naturally sweetened with Stevia and contain only 10 calories per serving.

With these healthy, high-energy snacks, you'll be on your way to a healthier, more energetic day in no time!



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Your Health & Fitness Questions Answered TONIGHT!

September 10, 2014



We're SUPER excited to announce that we're hosting our 1st LIVE Twitter Q&A TONIGHT at 8:00pm EST. We'll be joined by two very special guests, Roma van der Walt (founder of Chitta Wellness) and Jennifer Wasylenko (founder of Prana Training). 

Tune in on Twitter tonight and tweet us your most burning health questions using our #TrueYourBody hashtag! 

See you all there! 

Cheers,

True Citrus Staff



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Feature Interview with In-Demand Model Angela Marcello

September 4, 2014



This week, our staff caught up with one of the most in-demand models Angela Marcello. Angela is a strong advocate for healthy living and, of course, our True Lemon packets. She recently took our lemon packets on her shoot in Mallorca and loved it! We're so excited to have her. Without further ado, here is the full interview: 

1. As a model who has graced the cover of FitnessRX, what would be your biggest advice for women to look their best? Do you have any "industry secrets" you can share with us?

To look your best, I believe comes from within - it's how you carry yourself. The presence you bring when you walk into a room or the look that radiates out of you. Of course, I believe that you have to take care of yourself on many levels. To me, there are just so many forms of beautiful out there. My advice is to just feel your best and own it. Who can argue with that.

2. As a mom of 2 beautiful kids, what is your secret for staying in shape and maintaining your youthful glow? Is there a superfood you'd recommend?

My tip for staying in shape is to try many different activities. While pregnant, I put on weight - it's natural. I don't know how some of these woman gain nothing, it amazes me! I unfortunately was not one of those women. I had to work hard each time after to regain my body back. I just like to mix things up. One day I'd do an intensive spin class, or the stair stepper (boot camp and pilates too!). By always incorporating new things, I prevent burn out on doing the same exercises.

I personally don't seek out one superfood. I just know my body feels better when I eat healthy clean whole foods, green juices and smoothies. I don't think there is one superfood that can be a cure-all. It's all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I think your body needs the nutrients and vitamins from different sources, so I don't believe one thing can be a super food.

3. What would you consider 2 of your biggest challenges as far as being an in-demand model? 

It is always difficult to balance a personal life and professional life in general. Add two children to the mix, and the fact that 99% of all my jobs are anywhere in the world except the city we live in, results in the biggest challenge! Somehow we make it work! I would think that my biggest challenge would be the same as any other parent, in that we don't get much free time to ourselves.

4. Do you remember your first modeling gig? What was it like? What was going through your mind?

My first job ever was for Shape magazine, it was a picture to go along with a story about white green tea, if I can remember correctly. I have always been a very shy person so I was very nervous! All I had to do was look comfortable and blow on a cup of hot tea which was actually cold black coffee! I just remember them saying, "just relax and look comfortable", but I was feeling anything but that. Everything turned out great though. It got to be much easier with time and practice, and I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing people and companies.

5. Who are some of your biggest role models? Why?

I tend to look up to and admire different things about different people that I personally know. I admire the hard work and dedication my husband strives to provide daily for our family. I admire the way my mother will extend herself to work with and help others. I admire the way my girls look at life with simplicity. They are just happy to be, and to play, and they don't need material items to feel fulfillment. Generally I really admire when people have the drive to try new things and are open to go into new avenues in life. When someone strives to reach a goal while maintaining a balance with their responsibilities, it's a very admirable quality.

6. How do you manage that balance? And do you ever have cheat days where you eat whatever you feel like/want to?

I absolutely have cheat days! Life is too short! There are way too many good things out there to try! With that said, it is moderation and not overindulgence on a daily level. Most days I try and eat very healthy, but some days I'll have a little bit of "this" and "that". However, I really feel like my body responds more favorably to healthy food, and by that I mean minimally processed whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. If it is a prepackaged product, I want to be able to read the label and know what ingredients are actually in what I am eating! I wish that was more of the norm for our society. When I have the opportunity to travel to other countries I notice a big difference in the foods that are available to consumers. They tend to naturally be organic already. It's not a marketing ploy, it is a way of life.

7. Finish the sentence: The 3 most important things in life are?

1. Family & Friends; surround yourself with good people

2. Travel; there is a beautiful world out there just waiting for you!

3. Happiness; whatever it is to you.... Seek it, Find it and Do it!

8. Have you tried our drink mixes? If so, do you have a favorite flavor mix/seasoning?

I recently took a handful of the single-use drink packets with me on a trip from Los Angeles to Miami and Mallorca! They were amazing! I HATE drinking water! Yet with these packets I have increased my water intake 100%! What I love about them is that they are not too sweet. I also love that they don't dye my water a weird, bright color (it looks natural!). My favorite flavor is the Raspberry Lemonade - a classic lemon combination. Its tart, sweet and flavorful. I have tried other brand's single-use products, for example, these Peach Green Tea packets. I took out the boxes and compared the labele, and come to find out that the True Lemon packets had an considerably less number of ingredients... and I knew what they all were!



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All Your Health & Fitness Questions Answered - LIVE on Sept 10th!

August 28, 2014



True fans! Join us for our first LIVE Twitter Q&A Chat on Wednesday, September 10th at 8pm EST and tweet your health & fitness questions using the hashtag #TrueYourBody. We're excited to announce special guests Roma van Der Walt (@chittawellness) and Jennifer Wasylenko (@pranatraining) to answer your health and fitness questions.

Some of you may be familiar with Roma, founder of Chitta Wellness (personal and group training which provide transformative tools to achieve the ideal body) and former member of the German National for Modern Pentathlon (an Olympic sport comprising five events: fencing, freestyle swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting, and cross-country run). She was featured on our blog last month and has since then become our go-to health and fitness mentor! Also joining us in this chat will be certified Health & Fitness instructor through the American College of Sports Medicine (since 1997) Jennifer Wasylenko. Jennifer is an accomplished distance runner, mountain biker and (soon to be) black belt in October of this year.

LIVE Twitter Q&A chat Wednesday, September 10th at 8pm EST.

Special Guests:

Roma van Der Walt

• Founder of Chitta Wellness

• Former member of the German National Team for Modern Pentathalon (1997-2002)

• Coach, Personal Trainer, Accomplished Athlete and Runner 

Jennifer Wasylenko

• Founder of Prana Personal Training

• Professional Yoga Teacher and Certified Health & Fitness Instructor, ACSM, with over 20+ years of experience

• Lifestyle Coach and Expert

In the meantime, follow Roma (@chittawellness) and Jenn (@Pranateraining) on Twitter and help us kickstart the conversation by tagging us! (@TrueLemon). Don't forget to use the hashtag #TrueYourBody to join in on the conversation! Looking forward to answering all of your questions! 

-The True Staff



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True Citrus Lemonade and Beverage Sampler

August 25, 2014



True Citrus Lemonade and Beverage Sampler

What’s your favorite fruit? You’re not the first person to be stumped by this question (that’s probably why the fruit basket was invented). We don’t want you to have to choose when it comes to flavoring your water, so we introduced the True Citrus Lemonade and Beverage Sampler, with all the fruity flavors you love!

If drinking eight glasses of water a day has proven to be a challenge for you in the past, you are not alone there either. Eight glasses a day for seven days a week – that’s almost 60 glasses of water. 60! All the more reason you might enjoy the True Citrus Lemonade and Beverage Sampler - five different flavors of delicious water enhancing crystal powder packets – lemonade, raspberry lemonade, peach lemonade, black cherry limeade, and mango orange. When you have this kind of flavor swatch to mix into your water, then eight glasses a day has never been so easy!

At five boxes per sampler and 10 packets per box, you can enjoy 50 tasty True Citrus flavors containing 100% natural ingredients for only $17.96! Not only do they taste great, you get 100% of your recommended daily Vitamin C intake with each serving!



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Back to School – Back to Beverage Basics!

August 25, 2014



Back to School – Back to Beverage Basics!

With the summer break winding down, it’s time to plan a healthy start to the new school year. Now, typically, we spend so much time thinking about healthy meals we often overlook what beverages our kids are putting in their bodies. It’s cheap and convenient, but a can of soda can easily sabotage a healthy lunch.

Easy Lunch Bag Options

If it was up to us we would probably prefer our kids drink water all day, every day. But when that’s not possible, a good compromise is to pack a few quality, flavored water enhancers. When parents are looking for an easy, delicious, and healthy way to flavor water naturally, True Citrus offers a selection of cool citrus drink mix packets in a variety of fun flavors that you can toss into any lunch bag. Kids love the variety, and parents enjoy the convenience. 

Staying Hydrated

Healthy water flavoring packets help kids get the hydration they need without relying on the soda machines found around their school building. True Citrus products like True Lemon Original Lemonade, True Lime Black Cherry Limeade, and True Orange Mango are a favorite amongst active kids. These guilt-free flavored water enhancers can be added to water bottles for a quick and refreshing beverage at recess or lunchtime, and kids can drink as much as they like without the excess sugar and calories found in other powdered drink mix packets. Made with 100% natural ingredients, only 10 calories per serving, and the added touch of all-natural sweetness from the Stevia plant, True Citrus products are a great way to help kids kick-start the new school year!  Back-to-school doesn’t have to mean back-to-old-habits. Feel good about what your kids are drinking - choose True Citrus products!



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Top 3 Finalist For The Summer Smoothie Recipie Contest | True Citrus

August 14, 2014



We're incredibly excited to announce that our Top 3 Summer Smoothie Recipe Contest Finalists have been selected! We want to extend a very big thank you to everyone who participated in this summer's contest. With so many creative and delicious submissions to choose from, it sure wasn't easy to select only three recipes as our ultimate faves. (In our eyes, you're all TRUE winners!) Now it's your turn to help us select the Grand Prize, First Prize, and Second Prize Winners!

 

Berry Orange Mango Tango Smoothie

Submitted by: Elizabeth P.
Recipe yields: 2 servings

Cherry-Melon Mojito Cooler

Submitted by: Lauren K.
Recipe yields: 2 servings

Sweet Greens

 

Submitted by: Krista H.
Recipe yields: 1 serving

Ingredients:
1 cup of low fat peach yogurt
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup of peeled, pitted, and chopped mango
2 packets of True Orange dissolved in a cup of water
2 packets of True Orange Mango dissolved in the same cup of water
7-10 ice cubes

Directions:
Place peach yogurt, ice cubes, strawberries, mango, 2 packets of True Orange and 2 packets of True Orange Mango into blender. Blend until smooth. Pour smoothie into glasses and drink up!

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup ice
2 cups watermelon, cubed
5 fresh mint leaves
1 packet True Lime Black Cherry Limeade
2 teaspoons agave syrup or honey
Additional mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions:
In a large Blender, combine water, ice, watermelon, mint, True Lime packet, and agave (or honey). Blend on high speed until very smooth. Pour into two large glasses and garnish with additional mint sprigs, if desired. Add a straw and enjoy immediately.

Ingredients:
1 banana, peeled
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1 kiwi, peeled
1/2 cup chopped, frozen spinach
1/2 cup of ice
1/4 cup water
1 packet True Original Lemonade

 

Directions:
Add banana, cucumber, and kiwi; blend until smooth. Add frozen spinach, half of the water, and half of the ice. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, blend until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Want to re-create one or more of these delicious smoothie recipes? Purchase your True Citrus products today!



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Product Spotlight: True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade

August 11, 2014



We all know we need to drink more water, but how much is enough? Experts agree each person requires a different daily amount of water every day, with the right amount depending on a person's health, the weather, daily activities (such as amount/intensity of exercise) and if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

You have probably heard the rule of thumb is 8 eight-ounce glasses of water daily. Mayo Clinic doctors are more specific in their recommendation that the average man consumes about three liters (13 cups) of fluid per day and the average woman about 2.2 liters (9 cups). Pregnancy, exercise and a high-heat climate will add to these basic minimums.

While water is the preferred fluid to provide hydration (it's inexpensive, readily available and contains no calories) any fluids you consume contributes to the required daily minimum. This includes foods high in water content, especially fruits and vegetables like watermelon, tomatoes or lettuce. Even things you think might not count like soda, beer or coffee actually contribute to your daily requirement, although getting your daily fluid intake from these types of beverages is not a good idea because they also require more water to get them out of your system.

To keep water from getting boring we created True Lemon® Raspberry Lemonade: a mouth-watering blend that’s perfect for replenishing your vital body fluids on a hot summer day. It tastes fantastic, contains only natural ingredients such as cold-pressed lemon juice and natural raspberry flavor and has no artificial flavors, sweeteners, gluten or preservatives. It also contains 100% of your daily vitamin-C requirement!



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(Un)Healthy Beverages

August 8, 2014



We all know the effects of poor diets and foods loaded with less-than-healthy ingredients. The problem is separating out the good from the bad. However, there are a number of things you can do to identify healthy versus unhealthy drinks.

Read Nutrition Labels

Understanding a nutrition label is an important first step in ensuring you are drinking natural, high-quality beverages. If an ingredient list is over 10 items long and includes words you do not recognize, chances are the beverage may not be all that healthy. While there are some healthy sweeteners like Stevia used as an alternative to sugar, be cautious of high fructose corn syrup and many artificial sweeteners with chemical-based ingredients.

Identify False Advertising

While the world searches for healthier beverage alternatives, words like “natural,” “sugar-free,” “lowfat,” “nonfat,” “healthy,” and “made with real fruit,” to name a few, appear on food labels everywhere. Let those words be a signal for you to check the nutrition label, look at the ingredients list, and ensure there is enough information to back up those claims. You may need to get online to look up the ingredients or find some history about the manufacturer that suggests a wholesome company culture.

What Drinks to Avoid

Sugars in most sodas range from 30 grams to 186 grams, depending on how big your cup is! Various vitamin waters that sound innocent have a minimum of 13+ grams of sugar in one 8 ounce serving, and 33 grams of sugar in one 20 ounce serving. Iced tea drinks are commonly loaded with sugar as well as many fruit juices and lemonades. High fructose corn syrup, or a variation of it, is used in many products and is best avoided as there is some evidence it is linked to obesity, diabetes, cancer, dementia, tooth decay, liver failure, and more.

What Drinks to Enjoy

There are healthy drink options on the market - many of them in the form of sugar free water flavoring packets. Our go-to pick: True Lemon all-natural crystallized drink mix packets! They contain 100% natural ingredients with zero carbs, calories, or sugars, and no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.One packet of True Lemon is also equivalent to one wedge or one tablespoon of lemon juice (when mixed with water).

For health enthusiasts searching for true, all natural powdered drink mix packets, True Lemon is the way to go!



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Our Top 10 Finalists Have Been Selected!

August 8, 2014



Our Top 10 Finalists Have Been Selected!

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in our Summer Smoothie Recipe Contest! We received so many creative submissions! It sure wasn't easy, but our Top 10 Finalists have been selected (along with a mystery "wild card" submission not pictured). 

Pictured from left to right:

1. Cherry-Melon Mojito Cooler 

2. Sweet Greens

3. Raspberry Peach Lemon Refresher 

4. Mango, Tuermeric, and Lemon Smoothie

5. Double Berry True Lime Rickey Smoothie

6. Chocolate Orange Mango Protein Smoothie

7. Berry Orange Mango Tango Smoothie

8. True Lime Tropical Delight

9. Black Cherry Limeade Delight

10. True Summer Smoothie

Over the next week, the True Citrus team will be blending and tasting each of these recipes. On August 15th, the Top 3 best, most delicious and original recipes will be featured right here on our blog for public voting (it's the people's choice!) to determine the Grand Prize Winner. Don't miss your chance to vote for your favorite!



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Tags: contest   recipe   smoothie   true citrus  



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Live Your Passion

July 31, 2014



Here at True Citrus our mantra is to 'Live True'. For us that means living your truest, fullest, and healthiest life. "Living True" means different things to different people. Maybe it's making a commitment to yourself to exercise regularly, committing your time and energy to a cause that's close to your heart, saving your money so you can travel, or starting a company that you passionately believe in like David, the creator of True Citrus products and the founder of our company. It's never too late to go after your dream. If you have a goal, don't delay it. We owe it to ourselves to go after what makes us happy! And no matter how audacious the goal, taking small steps in that direction will create the momentum you need to stay on course. Below are a few of our favorite passion-inspired quotes:

 

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” — Ella Fitzgerald

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” — Nelson Mandela

 

Want more inspirational quotes and photos? Sign up to receive our Packetful of Happy emails every Friday!



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Feature Interview with Roma van der Walt - Founder of Chitta Wellness

July 22, 2014



This week we caught up with former member of the German National Team for Modern Pentathlon (1997-2002) and founder of Chitta Wellness, Roma van der Walt. We are so honored to have her as this week's guest. Our staff first came across Roma on Twitter and later her blog (which we highly recommend if you're starting the journey towards healthy living). We hope that Roma can inspire you to find your inner "Chitta" just like she inspired us! If you're lucky, you can probably spot Roma with her cute pup Zola in Brooklyn on her days off. Read the full interview below! 

Can you share a little bit about how Chitta Wellness began? We read on your site that "Chitta" is sanskrit for perception, thinking, and memory-- was that the inspiration? If so, how does that shape or inform your approach to health and fitness? 

Chitta Wellness began because I felt the need to get back to my roots. I was always an athlete, but working at an office job after university was a huge change in lifestyle. I still ran in the beginning, but at some point you get sucked into the 9-5 routine. You sit more, and don't even notice how much of an adverse effect it has (little to no exercise will do that). My office environment became very stressful and I developed sciatica in my left leg. ME?? I thought I was invincible! What happened next was a lesson in humility, patience and ultimately perseverance. It took 3 years to walk pain-free again and leave the toxic office environment and ultimately the 9-5 world. Through Chitta Wellness I strive to help others heal, reach their goals and empower them! I think you become empowered when your mind and body are in line, and when you can pin point and eradicate limiting patterns and beliefs in your thinking and perception. We all have memories that hold us back, but nobody said that we can't replace them with new, better memories. 

What does a typical day look like for Roma van der Walt?  

Many days, I get up around 6 am. I am a morning person. Something my husband doesn't love (I'm very chatty in the morning, haha). I either train clients early in the morning, or walk my puppy Zola before I work with clients. I also like to get my marathon training in early in the day because often the day unfolds a bit unexpectedly and I'm running New York this year! If it's a hard workout like a tempo run, I'll try and get up early enough for a smoothie or some oatmeal. If I'm training clients, I'll usually have a banana with peanut butter. I try and start each day with a tall glass of water with fresh lemon juice. Then it's a morning of training, teaching, home for a second breakfast, some more oatmeal (maybe coffee), responding to emails, and posting on social media. Lunch-time can be busy if clients want to work out during their break, so lunch for me is usually around 2pm with a soup/salad and sandwich. Now if I can, I'll take a nap and then it's more online work before a last session or training. I am not a night owl, so I like to be in bed by 10pm. I should be more regular with my meditation practice but I can't always do it. I like to sit at the end of the day before I go to bed and reflect and clear my mind before going to sleep

We grabbed a small snippet of what you said in your About page: 

 "She is a firm believer in positive encouragement and working together to help people embrace the joy of healthy living..."            

We think that's a pretty powerful statement, especially in a time when a lot of women think and feel that they're in it by themselves to create/achieve a healthy balance of mental and physical health. Would you agree? If so, can you share with us how positive encouragement and working together can enhance healthy living and your biggest advice to women who are just starting this journey? 

Who runs the world? Girls! But they don't always run it together. That makes me sad. Some of my best memories are of being in the presence of powerful women and learning from them, laughing with them and being uplifted. I am like a sponge when I meet women who have accomplished great things. I am a runner for the organization called 'Every Mother Counts' which focuses on maternal health and reminds me of how important women/mothers are to our societies today. I think when it comes to being healthy and fit, there are so many great resources at our fingertips, especially online. I say, find a few Instagram accounts of women who you admire and see how they stay healthy. Then find people to work out with in real life. Give yourself time and don't compare yourself. We each have unique talents and we should celebrate them. If you see that you are focusing your energies on relationships with women that are toxic, don't be afraid to break up with them. It's hard, but you create space for better people to come into your life. In my group classes I ask women to work together, and often they end up laughing uncontrollably, and other times they are so super focused on their goal that they finish the exercise without noticing that it was difficult, that their muscles burned, or that they were tired. Start out by exercising according to how you feel rather than how fast you think you should be or how many calories you think you should burn. You are much more likely to stick to a healthy lifestyle that way. 

Photo Credit: Hubert Kang 

What are your favorite breakfast foods? (Are there any superfoods you're having that we don't know about...yet? haha.)  

Haha! I'm pretty transparent (and boring) that way. I know what works for my stomach so I like to vary it a little, but overall I will stick with either home cooked oatmeal with berries and nuts or this new sprouted rice cereal I've discovered. My smoothies are mostly spinach and banana based with berries and superfoods such as hemp hearts, cacao, spirulina or chia seeds. I'm excited to add True Lemon to the smoothies and finally enter your contest! On the weekend I may be more decadent if I go out for brunch. I still try and eat local, organic and grass fed foods as much as I can and in as much variety as possible. I'm lucky to not have any allergies or only occasional food sensitivities so I am an equal opportunity eater :) Everything in moderation. 

We read that you were once on the German National Team from 1997-2002 for the Modern Pentathlon. Are there any outstanding moments you can remember that you can share with us? What was that experience like?

Being a professional athlete can be a roller coaster ride of emotions. In the Modern Pentathlon, you can have a 80% "perfect" competition but then you draw the wrong horse and you drop down from 1st place to 13th (it happened to me). You are constantly tip-toeing a fine line of strong body and strong mind. For most of the year you have to be very disciplined but if it's what you enjoy, the rewards during training and then the competition season are HUGE. 1999 was probably the year that I was my fittest and with a good shot of making it through the trials for the Sydney Olympics. I had a great running season, competed well in the individual fencing events, and felt so strong internationally as a Modern Pentathlete. I placed 6th in the World Championships and felt physically invincible. But at the end of that year I fell sick for quite a long time. Just like that my Sydney dreams were crushed. After the Olympics I had to re-evaluate my goals. My coach and I had to part ways and I knew that he was the only person to ever push me towards another Olympic Games. So I competed until 2002 and then decided to focus on my academic career full time. I had to change my attitude and suddenly become the coach. It's rewarding in a whole different way. I see that now. 

As a founder and a personal trainer with a Masters Degree in Sports Science, what are some of your biggest challenges?  How do you overcome them? 

I'm impatient so being injured or sick is a huge challenge. The other thing would be that I'm always thinking ahead. I have to consciously change that behavior and be more present whether it's during my training or as a business owner. When I'm running I talk to myself and tell myself to focus on now and remember why I love it so much. It's easier when I train others, then I listen to their stories and it makes me really happy. When I get too much into my head, I reach out to my husband and friends. I'm lucky that I have people that understand, so a quick phone conversation, text message exchange or even better a lunch can take my mind off things and fills me with a lot of happiness. 

Last but not least, what was your reaction when we reached out to you for a feature interview? Have you heard of us before? How would you rate our drink mixes/seasonings and would it be something you'd recommend to your friends/family? 

I hadn't heard of you before but I loved our exchanges on Twitter and that carried over into a nice email conversation. Your questions show me that we are on the exact same wavelength wellness wise. It's so great to spread the message of healthy living! As for the products, thank you so much for letting me try them. I love grapefruit so True Grapefruit was the first thing I reached for. I drink a lot of water and I like to add something to it, so usually it would be a slice of lemon or lime. Your products makes that easier, especially if I take a bottle of water for a run. In this hot weather in NY it doesn't hurt that I'm getting an extra dose of Vitamin C, either. If you've read my blog you know how much I love to bake, so the True Orange Ginger Spice Blend is going into my next banana bread or cake. Yum! My husband loves to BBQ and make guacamole so our guests/ friends will be sampling the True Lemon Pepper and the True Lime Garlic & Cilantro Spice Blends for sure. I'll definitely give some of your products to people to try, especially the ones I know who don't seem to drink enough water. 


You offer a lot of variety in your classes whether it's a private session or group training - where should we begin for someone just starting out? 

The KISS (keep it simple sweetheart) principle applies. If you aren't sure yet what you enjoy doing, try a meetup group or a more affordable offer through sites like Groupon etc. Once you know what you enjoy, find a place that is easy to get to so you don't have excuses to not go to a class. Maybe sign up with a friend and hold each other accountable. Once you get past that first step and start reaping the benefits of exercising, mix it up a little. Nobody enjoys doing the same thing day in and day out and neither does our body. That's when people reach a plateau physically and mentally. Adding new things to a workout routine is key and even better, setting an attainable goal. I know people who want to master pull-ups and others want to run a 5k. My next goal is to open my own studio in NYC where people can train different things every day (like I used to) under one roof with individual attention. 

Thanks for reading and make sure you're following Roma on Twitter. If you haven't already, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Thanks!  



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Feature Interview with Skyler Bouchard - Founder of @nycdining

July 17, 2014



We caught up with a special guest this week, Skyler Bouchard, you may recognize her as the face behind the popular Instagram handle @nycdining. When she's not busy being the editor in chief of NYU Spoon, you can probably spot her at unique eateries around New York City. She also happens to run a blog, Food by Skyler, dedicated to new and interesting ways to experience some of your favorite foods. Read on for the full interview below!

Tell us a little about Food by Skyler? What inspired you to start it?

Food by Skyler is a culmination of everything I love to do: experiencing new foods, entertaining people, and experiencing new cultures. While growing up, I always knew I wanted to work in television. When I moved to New York to start school at NYU, in 2011, I realized that New York is not only one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, but also one of the most diverse food scenes. I find this very fascinating because there are over 8 million people in New York City, yet everyone seems to come together over the eclectic food scene here. There is really a restaurant that caters to everyone. So fast forward to the fall of 2012, I had a marvelous epiphany that I could combine my two passions, and Food by Skyler was born! 

In your bio, it says you're the editor in chief and founder of NYU Spoon and have also worked as a writer at Daily Meal. Can you tell us about your experiences there? What were some of your biggest challenges? And what's it like being editor in chief?!

Starting Food by Skyler opened a lot of doors for me. In the spring of 2013 I interned at the Daily Meal and got to write a slew of different "food news articles," which gave me lots of exposure to the industry (not to mention, really good experience!). That same semester I was also asked to start the NYU branch of the national culinary website geared towards college students, Spoon University. I started sending out applications and luckily found another student to help me put the team together to get the ball rolling. Because I was a student, an intern, and starting a new publication at NYU while trying to keep up with my own blog all in one semester, it was very time consuming and took a lot of work. I had also never been in charge of an online publication before, so getting used to managing a team, scheduling pitch meetings, editing stories, distributing content appropriately, and making sure we had a constant flow of interesting editorial content was overwhelming. Being thrown into that position was tough but definitely one of the best experiences I have had in college. It also expanded my social circle and gave me the opportunity to start a whole new NYU community based around our love of food, which is amazing!

You have a massive following on Instagram (11K) and seems like every post you make garners a lot of attraction. What's the secret? How do you maintain that?

Well, I have been active on my @nycdining Instagram for a year now and it did take a lot of work to kick it off – lots of social media interaction. However, that can only go so far. What makes my instagram different than a lot of food instagrams is that I am one person, not a brand, and I want my followers to know that. There are many pages with pictures of food, but mine is different because it's a visual journey of how I see and experience food. It's food that I find interesting from my perspective. When people eat it's not always about the food, much of it is about the experience, or the adventure of trying something new, and that's what my blog is about and that's what makes my Instagram different than food Instagrammers who just post food for what it is. I also try to post about restaurants and foods that are interesting and unique, and people love to discover new things to eat!

Do you normally get a lot of people/brands reaching out to you for sponsorships? What was your reaction when we reached out? And have you heard of our brand before?

I have had NYC restaurants reach out to me to attend tastings or try products, which I tend to steer clear from because I don't like to have anyone influence my content. Many of the restaurants that reach out to me don't have what I'm looking for, which is crazy, unique foods no one has really seen before. However, I have worked with brands or restaurants before that I believe offer something different than the rest. I was surprised when you guys reached out, and I actually had not heard of True Citrus before! Then I did my research and definitely was interested in trying it out! I love smoothies and I love making fun new cocktails, and everyone loves a calorie free natural flavoring packet. Then I read about your smoothie contest and I thought this was the perfect way for me to experiment with something new and to make something cool!

3 Best places to eat when you're in New York. Go.

Ugh. I don't have an answer to that. My whole mission is to go everywhere! I just like to walk around the city to a new neighborhood and pick a place. I also end up getting pizza at odd hours of the night so I guess I love 24 hour pizza parlours? This is tough, I'm sorry.

What's your best advice on finding your passion?

Don't be afraid to try something new and put yourself out there! If you love something or even just think you might be interested in a certain activity, do everything you can to incorporate it into your life and work. Pursue anything that sparks your creativity – it keeps ideas flowing! That little spark can lead to something much bigger. Go explore your interests, because even if you realize that it's not what you want to do, you learn something about what you do want to do and what you're good at every time you put yourself out there. And once you find that passion, make time for it in your life, even if it seems overwhelming at times. If you're dedicated and believe you can turn your passion into your work, great opportunities will come.

Stay tuned for more exciting interviews next week and don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!



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Summer Smoothie Contest Extended

July 8, 2014



Summer Smoothie Contest Extended

True Fans! As you may or may not know, our Summer Smoothie Contest has been extended to July 31st! If you haven't had a chance to enter yet, it's not too late to send us your best recipe for blending up the perfect summer sips! Feel free to be creative with your recipes and most importantly have some fun!

For those of you who are just now tuning in - no worries! Below is the run down of the contest along with the prizes for the Grand Prize, First Prize, and Second Prize Winners:

 

Grand Prize Winner:

First Prize Winner:

Second Prize Winner:

Here's a little sneak peak at some of our contestant's scrumptious smoothie recipe entries thus far: 

For more contest details, click here. Good Luck and may the best smoothie win!

-True Citrus Team



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Which is the Best Diet of All? You Will Be Surprised!

June 12, 2014



Which is the Best Diet of All? You Will Be Surprised!

Atkins, Dash, Gluten-free, High Fat, Low Fat, Low Carb, Low Glycemic, Mediterranean, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian …

Which of these diets is really best for giving glowing health, adding years to our lives and helping us avoid serious illnesses?

The answer is: none of them.

According to Yale University nutritional doctor and researcher Dr. David Katz, the best diet for our bodies has been with us all along. Katz evaluated medical findings about all of today’s popular diets. What he discovered is amazing.

The only factor in any diet that could be shown to promote health was … eating whole foods.

"A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention."

Break it down:

• Minimally processed foods: That’s “whole” or “real” foods not chemically added to, fried or refined.

• Close to nature: See above.

• Predominantly plants: The large majority of what you eat should be fruits and vegetables, including nuts, seeds and grains, but it’s not necessary to cut out all animal products.

• Decisively associated: Code for “proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

• Health promotion: Feeling and looking good.

• Disease prevention: Avoiding food caused diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

Staying close to nature equals happier, healthier bodies and probably longer lives? Makes sense to us here at True Citrus. Our whole reason for being is so you can have the option of choosing a drink mix that’s real, natural and healthy instead of artificial, chemical and damaging. Sure, finding out the best diet is not really any diet at all was pretty surprising. But finding out that all natural True Citrus fits right into that healthy eating lifestyle? No surprise at all.



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Lose It! Our New Favorite App.

June 12, 2014



Lose It! Our New Favorite App.

Hey app fans! Here at True Citrus, our very most favorite one these days is Lose It! It helps us lose weight by tracking the calories of every drink, snack and meal, and telling us how much more we can eat for the day to stay on track to our goal weight.

Aside from keeping you honest calorie-wise, Lose It! helps you fully realize just how much food you’re actually eating, just by entering the item with a few swipes.

Lose It! is free, fun and easy:

• Type in a few letters of what you ate and choices appear to help you find the most accurate item.

• Or scan the item’s barcode with your device and the item is automatically input. (We scanned a box of all-natural True Lime and Lose It instantly confirmed that 2 servings have 0 calories!)

• Add exercise to get extra calories to eat. So far we’ve lost over a pound in just a week, just by using Lose It!

At True Citrus, we say find Lose It! and keep it with you at all times! 

 

[Graphic: from the Lose It! Website]



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The Flavor & Convenience of Crystallized Lime Packets.

June 11, 2014



The Flavor & Convenience of Crystallized Lime Packets.

It's truly impressive when a product really lives up to its name and reputation. True Lime delivers the same delicious, citrus flavor of freshly squeezed limes in convenient little packets, making it easy to stay hydrated anytime, anywhere, without the calories or artificial ingredients.

Simply Crystallized Lime

Whether you’ve just begun your weight-loss journey or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, water is always the smartest beverage of choice. With 100% natural ingredients and big lime flavor in every packet, True Lime is a great, guilt-free way to add just a light, refreshing taste to your water with no calories, carbs, sugars, preservatives, gluten, or sodium. Every serving of True Lime also contains 25% of your daily Vitamin C requirement.

Healthy Hydration Alternatives

Staying hydrated is fundamental to a healthy lifestyle, but eight glasses of water a day can turn into a chore instead of a goal. True Lime makes it easy to increase your daily water consumption and eliminate the temptation of soft drinks by offering a tasty, convenient alternative. There's no need to rummage through the refrigerator, pull out the cutting board, and slice fruit that quickly spoils. There's also no mess to clean up and no pulp to fish out of the glass. Just mix one packet of our crystallized lime with tap, bottled or sparkling water for a revitalizing beverage that promotes healthy hydration for adults and kids alike.

Convenience and Versatility

True Lime packets are ideal for healthy inspiration no matter where you are - at home, working at the office, riding in your car, and even dining out. Their small size and simple use make them perfect traveling companions for a hectic flight schedule or a relaxing day at the beach. The fresh lime flavoring does double duty as a zesty condiment. It perks up dips, sprinkles over chips and popcorn, and adds personality to fresh veggies. From silky Key Lime pie to authentic Mexican recipes, a dash of True Lime sparks culinary creativity in the kitchen while remaining a tasty staple for healthy choices at work, home and away.

Busy lifestyles are easier to maintain with simple, healthy strategies that go anywhere and fit any schedule. Flavor, convenience and versatility make this crystallized mix a delicious addition to office break rooms, kitchen pantries and backyard barbecues. True Lime crystallized lime from True Citrus brings eight glasses of water a day back to the table with a bright twist on fresh fruit that's always appealing.



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Stay Cool, Healthy and Hydrated This Summer.

June 11, 2014



Stay Cool, Healthy and Hydrated This Summer.

Summertime sizzles with outdoor fun and vacation adventures. From conquering the tennis courts to strolling the beach, it’s all more enjoyable when you’re feeling your best. Life is full of wonderful things to do and exciting places to explore this time of year, and it’s easier to beat the summer heat when you’re healthy and hydrated.

The Simple Power of Water

Soft drinks don’t do the trick, and cocktails defeat the purpose. That thirsty feeling happens because the water in your muscles, cells and joints accounts for more than half your body weight. When you run low on this vital fluid, it takes the snap out of your step, but a simple glass of water rejuvenates your entire system. Add the extra boost of True Lemon, and you have a refreshing solution for staying healthy on the hottest days. You also have an enticing drink that adds wholesome benefits to any hydration routine.

A Delicious Incentive to Enjoy

While the benefits of staying hydrated are easy to understand, you don’t always find inspiration in a plain glass of water. The alternatives are tempting, but they do more harm than good since most are packed with artificial sweeteners and empty calories. With True Lemon, you’re always assured 100% natural ingredients and real flavor from real fruit. Just one handy, water-flavoring packet adds a burst of citrus taste to your glass and turns every sip into a delicious treat.

Healthy Choices for Everyone

Kids play hard, so you won’t have much luck explaining to them the importance of staying hydrated while they’re in the middle of their favorite game. However, you can keep their little bodies safe from the heat with fun, low-calorie beverage options. Flavored water enhancers encourage them to drink up, and these healthy alternatives to sugary juices, sodas, and sports drinks are a welcome change at pool parties, cookouts and community events. Break out the True Lemon (or one of our naturally sweetened flavors like True Lemonade or True Lime Black Cherry Limeade), and share your favorite beverage refreshment with kids and adults alike!

Work, Play and Travel

Good health is a necessity. But when life gets hectic, drinking plenty of water is never top of mind. Convenience is a luxury, and ways to flavor water naturally should always be at your fingertips. True Lemon’s crystallized lemon packets slip easily into your purse, carry-on, or beach bag where they stay fresh and ready to use. Even the most chaotic day brightens up when you have a handy, healthy beverage solution within easy reach. Plenty of water and True Lemon packets are natural partners that play well together all summer long. Stay true to your healthy hydration regimen, and banish the summer sizzle with a tall drink of water and your favorite True Citrus flavor.



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Treat Your Taste Buds: True Lime Black Cherry Limeade

May 30, 2014



Treat Your Taste Buds: True Lime Black Cherry Limeade

We all know how important it is to drink plenty of water, but there is also no denying that our taste buds sometimes call for something with a little more zest. But how can you have the best of both worlds – something that tastes great while keeping you healthy, hydrated, and refreshed? True Citrus has more than one solution to this problem, but one of our tastiest is our Black Cherry Limeade flavored water enhancer.

At only 10 calories per serving and packed with 100% of your daily Vitamin C, mixing our True Lime Black Cherry Limeade into your water is an ideal alternative to plain old water for any health-conscience individual who loves to keep them on hand in the office, in the car, in their bag, and at home. The refreshing flavor comes from real fruit and we add all-natural Stevia and just a dash of sugar in there to make it even more enjoyable.

The 100% natural ingredients that go into creating this delicious black cherry limeade taste are as follows:

• Crystallized lime juice and oils

• 100% natural Stevia Leaf extract

• Natural black cherry flavor

• Light touch of sugar

As summer begins to creep up on us, True Citrus packets of black cherry and lime flavor may be just what you need in order to keep yourself cool and your taste buds happy all day long. Of course, black cherry limeade is not the only flavorful drink mix you will find at True Citrus. We have a long list of fruity flavors including lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, original lemonade, raspberry lemonade, peach lemonade, and orange mango. Don’t let the monotonous taste of water prevent you from staying hydrated during the hottest time of the year. Stay replenished all day long with all natural flavored water enhancers from True Citrus!



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Tags: hydration   lifestyle   summer   true lime   water  



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Seasoning with Citrus

May 30, 2014



Seasoning with Citrus

Health enthusiasts may be missing out if they’re using citrus only in water and beverages. Our tiny, convenient packets and salt-free spice blends and shakers are also great for seasoning and in any recipe that needs a burst of fresh-squeezed citrus taste. They are the perfect addition to summer grilling, tasty lunches, and healthy snacks. Consider these citrus seasoning options next time you’re in the kitchen:

• Add a bit of zest to fish, chicken, beef, or veggie tacos with True Lemon Pepper or True Lime Garlic & Cilantro citrus spice blends.

• Chicken and tuna salad sandwiches are not the same without citrus. Try adding a dash of True Lemon Pepper with your celery salt and other spices.

• Create a different salad dressing every week, with the help of tangy True Lemon, True Orange of True Lime.

• Spice up plain veggies with sodium-free citrus seasonings like True Lemon Pepper and True Orange Ginger or instead of salt.

• Keep your apples, bananas, and avocados looking fresh by sprinkling on True Lemon or True Lime to keep them from browning.

• Blend one or two of our citrus packets into your next shake or smoothie for a great start to the day or an afternoon snack.

• Seafood dishes that are often served with a slice of lemon (like fish and chips) can use our lemon citrus packets in a pinch.

• Ribs and steaks marinate and grill to perfection with a tangy citrus alternative like True Lemon. Marinating meats in lemon juice also help to reduce harmful compounds developed during high-heat cooking.

• Sangria! If you haven’t tried our citrus packets in a wine cooler with some fresh apples and strawberries - you’re missing out! It is a must-try beverage for summer.

• Prepare a jug of your favorite iced tea with 0-calorie True Lemon for a refreshing poolside drink.

Look for your favorite citrus recipes, and substitute the fresh lemons and limes for our easy and convenient packets and shakers in every flavor: lemon, lime, orange, lemon pepper, orange ginger, and lime garlic and cilantro. Get creative with flavors and foods, and let citrus seasoning in a packet (or shaker!) do all of the work for an impressive zesty dinner party for two or ten.

The Real Benefits of True Citrus as a Seasoning

Fresh fruits and veggies are wonderful, but when you can’t get to the market for fresh produce, our True Citrus packets and spice blends create a seasoning option that has a number of favorable benefits:

• Citrus packets are quick and easy to use

• Purchase low-cost citrus packets in every flavor at a fraction of the cost of fresh lemons, limes, and oranges

• Each serving contains 25% of your daily Vitamin-C requirements

• They help cut the calories, fat, and carbs but still get the flavors you crave

• Citrus packets are completely sodium-free and sugar-free so don’t be afraid to use them generously

• They’re easy to store and don’t go bad (They have a two-year shelf life!).

• Take citrus packets with you everywhere: the office, the gym, the playground, or the beach

• They’re made with 100% natural ingredients

When you are craving the foods and drinks you love but want to partake in the healthiest ingredients possible, citrus is a great way to have the best of both worlds. Spice up your life with True Citrus!



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Livy Loves to Run (May 2014)

May 19, 2014





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From Downriver to Downright Country (May 2014)

May 19, 2014





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Cait’s Beauty Blog (May 2014)

May 9, 2014





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No Way That’s Healthy (May 2014)

May 5, 2014





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Gina’s Library (April 2014)

May 1, 2014





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Chaarg (April 2014)

May 1, 2014





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Simply Sadie Jane (April 2014)

May 1, 2014





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Sip Healthy and Save

April 17, 2014



Sip Healthy and Save

Here at True Citrus, we are huge fans of staying healthy and hydrated. But, who doesn’t also appreciate saving a few dollars too? Buy our crystallized lemon packets in bulk and you'll reap the benefits of all three!

The True Lemon 500-count box is very popular amongst our most avid water drinkers – health-conscious consumers who love to mix True Lemon into their water five to seven times a day. It's true - you can really burn through these little packets when you are so committed to your well-being, and purchasing 500 at a time is the best way to avoid spending a couple extra dollars. At only $32.99, it comes down to just about 15 cents per packet. (What a steal!) 

Great value isn't the only reason our customers are drawn to the True Lemon 500-count box. Check out some of the health benefits of this delicious natural lemon flavor for water:

• 100% natural ingredients

• 25% of your recommended Vitamin C intake per packet

• Contains 0 Calories, 0 Carbs, and 0 Sugars 

• No artificial sweeteners, preservatives, sodium, or gluten

One packet of True Lemon is also equivalent to one tablespoon of lemon juice or the taste of one lemon wedge, making it ideal for use in cooking and baking too. And the best part? No cutting, squeezing, or sticky fingers! True Lemon gives you just fresh-squeezed lemon taste without the labor, mess, or waste. Simply mix and enjoy – 500 times!

Who says that eating and drinking healthy needs to be expensive? At True Citrus, our goal is to bring you nutritious, great tasting, and affordable alternatives to artificially sweetened sodas, sugar-packed juices, and even plain old water.

Enjoy True Lemon and you’ll find that those recommended eight glasses of water go down much more naturally!



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5 Tips for Staying Hydrated this Season

April 14, 2014



While it’s always a good idea to stay hydrated, it’s especially important now that the temps are starting to rise. Whether you’re spending Spring Break camping and hiking or just doing more outdoor activities like biking, walking, and swimming, we’ve got some tips for how you can stay hydrated through the warmer months ahead: 

1. Eat Raw Fruit: Chow down on water-filled foods like watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe, celery, tomatoes, peaches, and cucumbers. In addition to the vitamins and nutrients they contain, they are also great hydrating snacks.

2. Limit Caffeine Intake: Caffeine and carbonated drinks are not conducive to staying hydrated. We don’t expect everyone to give up their morning coffee, but try to limit your intake as much as you can and follow up your coffee with a glass of water.

3. Don’t Wait Until You’re Thirsty: Thirst is a sign of dehydration and you don’t have to wait until you get to that point to get some more liquid in your system. There are other indicators it may be time to have some water, such as the color of your urine. If it’s dark with a brown tint, get yourself a glass of water right away!

4. Juicing: Vegetables are another great away to stay hydrated naturally and you should take care to make sure you are getting your daily dose. Blend your favorite veggies together to make a healthy drink that will not only help keep you hydrated, but also provide other health benefits.

Bonus Tip: Drink water! We hate pointing out the obvious, but drinking eight glasses of water a day can get tedious. By just adding some healthy flavored water enhancers, such as True Lemon, True Grapefruit, or True Lime Black Cherry Limeade, water can become much more enjoyable to drink!

It’s April now, but the sizzling summer months are just around the corner. Stick to these basics and you can be confident that your body will have the amount of liquid it needs to stay healthy!



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Lemon Water, Legs Up, and More Ways to Boost Regularity.

April 7, 2014



Like death and money, nobody likes to talk about what’s behind door Number 2. But getting rid of bodily waste is truly a key to health and comfort. The more we go, the better we tend to feel. 

So what can we do to maintain optimal output?

First, there is no “regular”; some people eliminate a few times daily, some people only once every few days. And that’s okay! What might be an issue though, is if:

- “Doing your business” is a major effort.
- You have very hard stools.
- You have fewer than 3 movements per week.
- You feel “blocked up.”

What’s Slowing the Delivery of Your Packages?

Your digestive system pulls nutrients from your food and puts them into your bloodstream. Leftovers travel 20 feet of intestine to the colon, where liquids and solids are separated. When those solids are not given the shove after a day or two, they become compacted and harder to get rid of. 

The top reasons for failure to launch (if you don’t have a more serious medical issue) are:

- Medicines: including anti-depressants, antacids, antihistamines, high blood pressure meds, narcotic and over-the-counter pain-killers, and iron and calcium supplements.
- Not enough exercise.
- Not enough fluids.     
- Not enough fiber.
- Too many laxatives/enemas.

So Where’s the Light at the End of Your (Ahem) Tunnel?

No worries! Here’s 4 natural solutions from True Lemon for getting things moving in the right direction!

1. The Freedom Flush: Lemon Water and More Water

- Grab your box of True Lemon! First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water with a pinch of salt and a packet of True Lemon. (Works with fresh lemon juice too). 

- Drink plenty of water all day - especially if you’re eating more fiber. Begin and end your day with a glass of warm water (might also decrease your appetite!).

2. Food

Try cutting down on:

- Alcohol
- White flour
- Fried food
- Dairy
- Meat

And eating more:

- Fruits, vegetables, whole grains
- Some say instead of tough foods, eat warm, wet, slightly oily foods like soups and cooked veggies. If high fiber isn’t helping, this might be worth a whirl!

3. Move Your Body to Move Your Bowels

- Just about any exercise will help; even a short walk may do the trick.
- Try the “legs up” pose: put a folded blanket 3 inches from a wall and sit on it so that your hip/side touches the wall. Lie down and swing around so your legs are up on the wall. Relax 3 to 5 minutes.
- Loosen your pelvic area with forward bends and side twists.

4. Natural Home Remedies

- Go when you have to. Don’t hold it in  - or you may be stuck for a while!
- Improve digestion by eating less and chewing more.
- Soak a handful of raisins in water overnight and eat in the morning before anything else.
- Boil a few figs in milk and drink warm before bed.  
- Drink a glass of spinach juice and a glass of water.
- Eat an orange in the morning and one at night.
- Grind seeds and nuts (sunflower, almond, flax, sesame, etc.), eat a tablespoon daily for a week.
- Try a tablespoon of Castor oil in warm milk before you go to sleep.
- Take a spoon or two of psyllium (seed husks) in a glass of liquid daily.
- Eat flaxseed in food or with warm water a few times during the day.

Use these tips from True Lemon to up your output from rare to routine, because a happy colon means a happier, healthy you! 



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Healthy Living For Life: A True Lemon Interview with Natalie Hodson

March 31, 2014



This week we had a chance to interview one of our biggest True Lemon advocates. We caught up with Natalie Hodson, a superstar blogger and a mom to two of the cutest kids! Our staff got in contact with Natalie upon finding out that she had given a great review of our products on her blog. So we decided to send her our entire family of True Citrus products and collaborated with Natalie to run one of our biggest giveaways yet! 

TL: As a mother of 2, where do you find the time to run such a successful personal blog and mentor 1200+ people? 

Natalie: It’s been challenging finding a balance, and I’ll be honest that some days I don’t feel like I do a great job.  For me, the key has been to plan my days out, and try to stick to a schedule as best as possible. The baby usually naps from 10:30-11:30am and again from around 3:00-4:00pm.  During that time I let my older son have quiet time (he also goes to preschool two days a week) and I really focus on being as efficient as possible during those two hours.  I can’t stay off Facebook completely, because I run a lot of my businesses through social media, but I limit my online time by sticking to certain rules: don’t typically go through my News Feed, and I only go to posts where I am tagged and need to answer questions.  I have the kids help me when I am cleaning up the house and I use my Ergo carrier all day long so I can hold the baby and get things done.  Some days I feel like I balance things really well, and other days I feel like I’ve accomplished very little, but I’ve just accepted that this will probably be the case most days during this season of life with young kids at home.

TL: You mention in your blog that you have tried for years to get the "toned and fit" look after having your first child, how did you stay motivated in that whole process? 

Natalie: I have been a long distance runner for most of my life.  I ran cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track on a college scholarship.  I continued marathon training after I graduated from college and during all those years was regularly running 50-80 miles a week.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but with hindsight I have realized that all the running I was doing made it really hard for my body to build muscle.  When I was running, my body was siphoning off the calories I needed for muscle growth and tone to help me in my running.  It wasn’t until I cut my cardio way back, and instead focused on lifting as heavy as possible in the gym, that I was able to see the muscle tone and definition I had always wanted.  Now I just do 1-2 short HIIT sessions a week for about 20 minutes each for my cardio training.  In this blog post here, I show my favorite HIIT workout that I am able to do at home with my kids.

TL: Can you tell us a little more about what specific things worked for you as you were shedding the "baby weight" and getting fit? 

Natalie: I’ve realized that when trying to lose weight and get back in shape, nutrition is by far the main thing you want to focus on.  Your training is important too, but it is second (and I would argue a far second) to nutrition.  You might spend one hour a day working out, but it is what you are doing the remaining 23 hours of the day that is really going to help you with fat loss. Some things that help me are:

- Keeping unhealthy food out of the house. This is a big one for me.  If there are too many snacks at home I have a hard time saying no.  I just stopped buying junk food when I’m at the grocery story which helps me stay on track, our whole family is healthier for it, and it saves a lot of money in our monthly grocery bill.

- On Sundays I prep some food and easy-to-grab snacks for the week.  I cut up veggies and put them in Ziploc bags so they are easy to grab and go (and this way they don’t go bad in the fridge – my pet peeve!), I bake things like sweet potato fries and cook rice in bulk.  I will do things like grill enough chicken for a few days, make a big batch of chili or spaghetti sauce, and bake homemade protein bars.  Having healthy food that is already made is key for me to stay on track (especially when I get hungry and open the fridge looking for something to eat). 

- Lastly, it helps me to plan out my meals the night before.  I will usually just take a plain piece of printer paper, write out my meals for the next day, and tape it to the fridge.  This is a really simple system that works for me, helps me stay on track with my meals, and just the act of writing everything out helps to keep me accountable. Most of my recipes are available on my website for free, and I have also put up a lot of sample meal plans on my site as well.

TL: You also mentioned that you think 80% of your results came from proper nutrition (and might be an area a lot of women overlook). What do you think is a good ratio between nutrition and working out?

Natalie: I think I covered most of this above, but if you had to choose between getting your workout in for the day, or getting your healthy meals in, I would choose the healthy meals every single time. Lifting weights will help to build muscle and get you toned and defined, but what you eat is going to dictate your fat loss.

TL: After trying our line of True Lemon products, which are some of your favorites? Are there reasons why you would prefer our products as opposed to others? 

Natalie: Truthfully I haven’t tried a product yet that I didn’t like.  I love the lemonade products – raspberry lemonade is my favorite.  I feel completely comfortable giving this to my kids instead of juice because they have no artificial sweeteners.  You can add 1-2 packets of the lemonade to my homemade protein bar recipe and it gives it great flavor.  I love the seasonings because, similar to Mrs. Dash, there is no added salt but I feel like the citrus flavor is so much stronger in True Citrus products.  The crystalized grapefruit makes my water taste so refreshing!

TL: Who are some of your biggest motivators (aside from your husband and 3 kids!)? And why? 

Natalie: We have a significant history of cancer in our family (my sister had childhood leukemia, my dad recently was diagnosed with prostate cancer, my uncle passed away at 36 of melanoma, and all four of my biological grandparents have had cancer).  I believe that the food we fuel our bodies with makes a big difference in how often we get sick and how optimally our bodies perform.  Obviously, healthy people still can and do get sick all the time, but I try to do what I can to keep our family’s diet as full of whole foods as possible, and I try to eliminate processed foods and artificial sweeteners when possible. 

TL: Last but not least, what would be your biggest advice to moms who are struggling to a.) find the time to get fit b.) find the motivation.

Natalie: First, I would let any mom I was talking to know that they aren’t alone.  I remember feeling so overwhelmed and, at times, discouraged while trying to get back in shape.  I think it’s really important to remember a few things: 

- Start small.  Sometimes making a lot of changes all at once can make you feel overwhelmed and lead to failure.  No one wants to feel like a failure!  What worked really well for me was to start with one or two small changes, and once I had mastered that, I would then add on one or two more changes to my diet and workouts.  A great first goal would to aim to drink 8 liters of water a day.  Adding True Lemon to your water can really help with that!  Another goal I like to set for myself is to park in the back of the parking lot each store I go to.  This adds a little bit more walking into my day, which might not seem like much, but a lot of little changes can eventually make a big difference (especially if you are carrying in a car seat and baby with you!).

- In regards to motivation, I think taking progress pictures is a great way to visually see the progress you are making.  It is never fun taking those first progress pictures, and you might feel kind of awkward, but it feels great later when you compare how you look to where you started.  Also, if your husband or family isn’t totally on board, I would encourage you to team up with a friend, neighbor, or online group that has similar goals as you.  Surrounding yourself with people who support your goals is really important to have.

TL: Thanks so much for doing this interview with us and we hope to bring you back on our blog soon! 

You can get in touch with Natalie here and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Try Natalie's favorite True Citrus Products today!



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Iron Woman Strong (March 2014)

March 24, 2014





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The “Just-Got-Home” Danger Zone – 5 Tips to Not Blow Your Whole Day of Dieting

March 24, 2014



What are your thoughts on the drive or ride home? Are they about what you’re going to pop into your mouth the second you cross the threshold? Some of us don’t even make it home - not with all those drive-thrus on the way!

Yes, that “My Reward for a Long Day” pre-dinner-mini-dinner of cookies and leftovers that helps you relax and blow off stress: the Danger Zone.

In the Danger Zone, can anything keep you from eating anything and everything you see, and then dinner too? If you can’t eat your real meal as soon as you get home, here are 5 strategies for changing your grazing ways before they become a habit:

 

1. Drink water to keep your stomach full and your mouth busy (Tastes even better with no-calorie True Citrus!):

• Make a mug of hot tea

• Drink a big glass of water

• Mix up a tall glass of seltzer

2. Snack on the good stuff:

• Keep a bag of carrots at the ready for your re-entry

• Keep a small bag of nuts, dried fruit or veggies in your car for the way home

• Try frozen vegetables or fruit - next to impossible to eat fast!

3. Endorphins to the Rescue: 

• Keep busy with an evening workout, take a walk, go to a Spin class

• Chat with a friend

• Devote an hour to your hobby

4. Kill Cravings with Chores: 

• Write a To-Do list and post it on the door for when you get home to cross off one by one.

• Paint your nails

• Take a hot shower or fragrant, soothing bath

5. Remember you will enjoy your dinner so much more if you wait for it!

Use these tips to stay out of the Danger Zone until reach the dinner table. That way you won’t have to feel bad about a single bite.



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A True Citrus Tip: How to Always Buy the Best Fish

March 14, 2014



Fish is one of those things that tastes better because you know every single bite is good for you. It’s low fat, high protein and packed with super-healthy Omega-3S fatty acids.

But these days, choosing fish is complicated.  When you’re at the fish counter, how can you judge the choices you’re (literally) staring in the eye?

How do you know:

  • What country the fish is from?
  • Is it wild or industrially-raised?
  • Is it overfished?
  • How much mercury is in it?
  • Is it really salmon, snapper, etc.? (Fish fraud is common!)

Worry no more!  From abalone to yellowtail, the Environmental Defense Fund Seafood Selector has the answers: the Best, OK and Worst choices - even how many monthly servings kids and adults should have to avoid too much mercury.

We especially like the site’s substitution ideas. For instance, the EDF says to choose:

  • Wild Alaskan salmon, rainbow trout or farmed Arctic char instead of farmed salmon. 
  • Domestic shrimp instead of imported shrimp.
  • Farmed striped bass or domestic catfish instead of orange roughy or Chilean seabass. (BTW if you haven’t cooked catfish lately, you’re missing out!)

At the store, use your smart phone or tablet to quickly get the truth about the fish you’re considering.  Or tap through EDF’s fish selector and make a list before you leave home.

Buying healthy fish and shellfish keeps rivers, lakes, oceans and seas healthier.  And healthier fish and water means healthier us!

 

[Image Credits: Environmental Defense Fund Seafood Selector (http://seafood.edf.org)]



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Simple Side of Life (March 2014)

March 6, 2014



Simple Side of Life



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What’s Cookin’: Zucchini Noodles with True Lemon Pesto

March 4, 2014



For those of you who are late on the zucchini craze, not to worry because we have you covered. This week, we discovered that not only is one of our staff a secret Top Chef (shhh!) but also that zucchini is a great substitute for the heavy carbs that we're used to consuming with regard to traditional pasta. One of the best things about zucchini is that it goes with just about anything and takes on the flavor of all the herbs very nicely. Not to mention, it's light, which means you can have as many servings as you'd like! We think that's reason enough to toast to the new best secret ingredient--zuchinni! Below you'll find one of our favorite zucchini recipes we know you'll enjoy! 

 

Zucchini Noodles with True Lemon Pesto 

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 small zucchini, ends trimmed
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 packets of True Lemon dissolved in 1 tablespoons of water (equivalent to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the tomatoes (optional): 

1 pint grape tomatoes 
Olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and italian seasoning to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Lightly drizzle grape tomatoes with olive oil; toss well. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and italian seasoning; toss again. Spread seasoned tomatoes evenly onto a cookie sheet covered in non-stick aluminum foil. Once preheated, place in oven on middle rack. Cook for 15-20 minutes (or until tomatoes burst); tossing/flipping the tomatoes frequently so they don't burn on one side. 

3. Meanwhile, use a julienne peeler or mandoline to slice the zucchini into noodles. Set aside.

4. Combine the basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add True Lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Combine the zucchini noodles and pesto. Toss until zucchini noodles are well coated. 

6. If you want to cook the zucchini noodles (like we did here), you can. Just add the zucchini pesto noodles to a skillet and sauté them up over medium heat. It only takes a few minutes.

7. Top with Parmesan cheese and tomatoes, if using. 

Note: For an even more filling, protein-packed meal, add chicken or shrimp!

 

Now that you know how to make this healthy and delicious dish, we encourage you to have a girls night in and share all of your great pictures with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Looking forward to seeing them all! 

Sincerely,

-True Lemon Staff



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Staff Picks: Our Favorite Charities

February 27, 2014



This week our staff chose 4 favorite charities that are making a difference both globally and in our own local communities. We think that giving back and taking part of something larger helps us see the world a little brighter. That said, below are 4 charities we love!  

 

Feeding America

Charity starts at home and what better way to take part than volunteering/donating to help feed the millions of people who are left hungry every year. We are proud to recognize Feeding America as a charity we support in an effort to wipe out hunger here at home. Interested in volunteering or just finding more about this charity? Go here

Adopt-A-Classroom

This amazing organization helps connect donors with teachers and gives donors a chance to finance the resources needed for classrooms. In addition,100% of donations goes right back to supporting its operations. Donors have an opportunity to fund the program and nurture a lasting relationship between classroom and teachers. Here was a recent blog post we did mentioning this amazing charity! Go here to make a donation. 

Charity: Water 

Scott Harrison, the Founder and CEO, came to an epiphany after taking a trip to West Africa as a volunteer photojournalist taking over 60,000 photos in 13 months. After quitting his job as a club promoter and giving up his lavish lifestyle, his transformative experience in serving underserved communities, he founded a nonprofit that had one mission; bring clean water and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Now, Charity: Water is one of the biggest nonprofit success stories raising over $100 million and funded over 8,000 water projects in 20 countries. 

Toms

We're willing to bet that you own a pair of Toms in your current shoe collection. Blake Mcoskie has found a way to blend charity with style after his inspiring journey to Argentina in 2006. It was there he has seen firsthand the hardships faced by children who grew up without shoes. Since then his mission was to create a for-profit business using the One-to-One model that is now responsible for putting thousands of shoes on the feet of children who need it the most. Today, they've they've branched out to eye wear and successfully established a marketplace that ranges from accessories to apparel. 



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Healthy Living for Life (February 2014)

February 19, 2014



Natalie Hodson blog



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Your Top 5 Fitness Questions Answered

February 12, 2014



We're joined by Cheri Fogleman, National Academy of Sports Medicine certified Master Coach at CLAY Health Club and Spa: teaching sculpt, core and treadmill classes, and working one-on-one with clients. She has contributed fitness advice to Shape, Metro Source, and Fit Engine Magazines. You've seen Cheri looking fit in Glamour, NY Mag, Tennis Magazine, on an Asics billboard, and in several fun fitness videos. When she's not shooting fitness features or running long distance races, she helps run a comedy web-show, HOT MESS (www.ShesAMess.com) – a reality reenactment comedy series in which seven actresses play out the insane true-life stories of young, single women screwing up, falling down, causing a scene and making a mess. We're big fans of her and hope you enjoy our interview with her as much as we have! (As well as few key fitness takeaways!)

TL: As a Fitness trainer, what is the #1 question you get from women who are trying to get (back) in shape? And what would be your biggest piece of advice? 

CF: Folks want to know how long the prison sentence will be. But, the truth is, for everyone it's different--and maybe it'll be more like a sewing circle than a chain-gang. Aim low. I know that sounds crazy, but setting low expectations and making small changes means that you have a greater chance of reaching those goals. Then, once that change becomes part of your lifestyle, you can celebrate (!) and aim for a different (higher) goal. Maybe you'll reach your goal by making only a small adjustment to your life.

TL: What is the proper ratio between eating right and exercise? Would running on a treadmill for 10 minutes eliminate a bag of chips? 

CF: Running a mile burns around a 100 calories. If you run faster than 6 mph you'll run farther than a mile in that 10 minutes and burn more than 100 calories in 10 minutes. A snack size bag of chips is around 300 calories, but that varies. (So, the answer to your question is...100%, NO!) But, try NOT to think of it as tit for tat. Eating well and getting physical are about two different things: eating well is more important for maintaining/achieving a desired body weight, and working out is more important for getting that strength, muscle tone, flexibility, agility, endurance and cardiovascular health, etc. So, they go hand in hand and contribute to overall health.

TL: What sort of foods do you eat to keep yourself energized without consuming a lot of carbs/fat? Any power foods you'd recommend? 

CF: I actually don't steer clear of fat, and I don't buy "low-fat." Fat is a very satisfying thing to consume, and I feel like when I eat something fatty, I eat less because I feel more satiated. Nuts, seeds, avocados, eggs, fish and coconut are all really great sources of fats. But, I'll also eat a beef burger (no bun), chicken, bison and bacon--I keep these portions reasonable! Avoid trans fats like the plague: prepackaged baked goods, snacks, fried foods, candy bars, and (ahem) street hot dogs--these aren't real sources of nutrients--I'll just say it: they are fake foods!  Also, I'm a celiac--hence the no bun--so, when I do eat grains they are rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc. I keep Michael Pollan's "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" philosophy in my head. You can't go wrong with a ton of veggies (get your kale on, girl!) and some small source of protein/fat. Sugar (even natural sugar) seems to de-energize me. Not immediately, but an hour or so later, (it's not pretty) I'll crash and burn. Everyone is different, though, so chatting with a nutritionist is always a good idea. And, beyond food, drinking plenty of water seems to help slow the beast of hunger and curb making poor food choices when I am ravenous enough to rip a street vendor's kebab out of a child's hand and stuff it down my throat.

TL: How important are vitamins/supplements to you? As women get older, we know that we lose a certain amount of daily nutrients, what are your thoughts around that and how can we pre-empt that process? 

CF: Ha-- I'm going to have to ask my nutritionist about that one! I don't know about losing nutrients. Where do I lose them? I'm always misplacing my keys... I take calcium with vitamin D (take note that small-framed Caucasian and Asian women are more prone to develop Osteoporosis). I take a pro-biotic daily, a multivitamin for ladies, and in the winter I take extra Omega oils.

TL: Do you have "cheat" days where you can have whatever you want? If so, what is the appropriate amount of "cheat day(s)" in a week? In a month? 

CF: I don't really believe in "cheat days," because I try to always be happy with what I eat. I'm not depriving myself because I really don't bother eating foods that aren't yummy. When I do have some rich chocolatey goodness I take the time to savor it--and remember that eating two cookies really is plenty...beyond that the happiness level seems to diminish (portion-control really is key). Try rewarding yourself for good work with a mani, a massage or a fabulous new dress.

Connect with Cheri Fogleman on Twitter @CheriPaige 



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Happiness is Homemade: A True Lemon Interview with Kayla Schafer

February 11, 2014



​This week, our team caught up with Kayla Schafer, creator of Bake Me Happy. We’re so excited to share with you our very first blogger interviewee! Read on!

True Lemon: Kayla, great to have you as our guest this week! We first came across your edible Seahawk jerseys on Pinterest for our Super Bowl feature and our staff was absolutely in love! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you started in baking these delightful treats?

Kayla: Thank you! I was born and raised in the greater Seattle area and started baking before I can remember with my both of my grandmas. I would bake mainly cookies with them, and they are some of my fondest childhood memories. As I got older, and could bake on my own, I would mainly bake from box cake mixes. In high school, I started exploring more with recipes from scratch - simple things, like chocolate mousse, but mainly cookies. Every holiday I would make chocolates for my close girlfriends using holiday-themed chocolate molds. I just loved how much my baking brought happiness and joy. It wasn’t until after I graduated college and got a kitchen of my own that my baking really started making leaps, mainly inspired by things I would find on Pinterest. 

True Lemon: When did you decide that it was time to make baking a full-time gig? Was there an a-ha moment for you?

Kayla:I actually do my baking as a part-time gig. I work full-time as the Marketing Director for my family’s business. But the a-ha moment that I could sell them came from the help and encouragement of my co-workers from my previous job. I love to bake because I myself have a sweet tooth, but I never want to eat ALL of what I baked. So I started bringing in cupcake creations to work and other desserts. My co-workers told me I should open up my own bakery but I didn’t think my treats were THAT good. So instead I decided to start taking some baking classes locally as well as watching YouTube videos to help grow my skill set. I love the challenge of trying something new and even if it doesn’t work out the first time, then I just try and take a class to help me. 

True Lemon: What are your top 3 all time favorite recipes? 

Kayla:My top favorite recipes are Chocolate Ganache CakePumpkin Crepes with Cinnamon Apples and Chocolate Dizzle (for Breakfast or dessert!) and Jack and Coke Cupcakes.

True Lemon: What would be your biggest advice to someone who just started turning their baking into a business?

Kayla: Take a picture of everything you make, put it on your own website or blog, and pin it to Pinterest. Best free marketing ever!

Check out some of Kayla’s delightful treats below!

Peppermint Bark Cake Pops

Little Black Dress and Lipstick Tube Cookies

Seahawks Helmet Cookies



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Undressed Skeleton (February 2014)

February 11, 2014



 



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February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month

January 30, 2014



February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month

The month of February has long been synonymous with tender heart shapes and the color red—thanks to the annual celebration of Valentine’s Day! But there’s more reason than ever to be “heart conscious” and embrace the color of love this time each year because February is Heart Disease Awareness Month. Heart disease is the number one cause of death and a major cause of disability in our country. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking, an unhealthy diet, and not enough exercise are all factors that increase your chances of developing heart disease. However, did you know that True Citrus products can help you cut your risk? 

High Blood Pressure: Researchers have found that lowering salt intake by just three grams per day would cut new cases of heart disease by a third. Eliminate the need for salt without sacrificing flavor by sprinkling 0-calorie True Lemon Pepper, True Lime Garlic & Cilantro, and True Orange Ginger onto your dishes. They’re perfect to use for cooking, baking and seasoning! 

Obesity: Drinking more water has been found to help people lose weight. Try upping your intake by drinking a glass before every meal and adding your favorite True Citrus flavor. We regularly hear from customers who say that using True Citrus products have helped them to more than double their water consumption. And don’t forget to exercise at least three times per week! Choose physical activities that raise your breathing and heart rate and strengthen your muscles. 

Diabetes: The American Diabetes Association published a study which proves that drinking water can help your body regulate its blood sugar and can lower your risk of getting Type II diabetes by as much as 30 percent! Many diabetes educators and dietitians recommend 0-calorie True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange, and True Grapefruit, which all fall well below the recommended minimum sugar intake for people with diabetes. 

Unhealthy Diet: Switch to True Citrus products in water or sparkling water instead of high-calorie sodas or diet sodas, which are filled with chemicals and have been linked to strokes and heart attacks. Practice clean eating by getting rid of the junk food, artificial sweeteners (Our beverage mixes are only 5-10 calories and naturally sweetened with Stevia!) and processed foods. Eat a variety of foods from all food groups, focusing on fruits, vegetables, healthy fats (nut butters, avocados, olive and coconut oil, raw nuts), wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, lean meats, poultry, eggs, fat-free dairy, and whole grains. A combination of working out and a balanced diet is essential to a healthier life! 

For more ways to stay heart healthy or for more information about heart disease, please visit www.heart.org or www.cdc.gov.

 



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Our Top 5 Picks for Superbowl XLVIII 2014

January 30, 2014



​We’re just around the corner from the biggest day in America, aka the SUPERBOWL. For those of you who are now tuning in, don’t worry there is still plenty of time to fix up a touchdown-worthy snackadiumLet’s be honest, the Superbowl wouldn’t be nearly the same without the company of classics: buffalo wings, nachos, chili dogs, and everything that makes America great. For those of us who won’t be participating in the sub-zero experience and spending the big day inside with the best HD views, we have some killer ideas for this year’s Superbowl festivities. So without further ado, here are our top 5 picks: 

1. Edible Seahawk Jerseys

For those of us who are Seahawks fans, these cookies look like a pretty sweet win. What do you think? (P.S.- if you don’t have time to prepare them yourself, hurry and get in touch with Kayla Shafer herself and maybe you’ll even get a discount if you order a big enough batch!) 

2. Grilled True Orange Ginger Teriyaki Wings

The only way we can see this go wrong is if you accidentally start eating all of them before they get to the table. Unfortunately, this does happen. Remember, you’re the host! Share the love. Get the full recipe here

3. Seven-Layer Dip (the non-guilt version)

We came across this recipe and thought to ourselves how brilliant these individual dips are! It’s the perfect portion and makes for a festive look! We recommend pre-making these and putting it away in the fridge until the guests arrive (it could be tempting otherwise). Get the full recipe here

4. The Man-Mosa

Assuming you’ll be indoors, why not make this summer time classic your drink of choice for the big game (we’re thinking you can skip on the Hawaiian-themed party accessories unless, of course, that was the intended plan).Get Danielle’s Man-Mosa recipe here. You can tweet her @Dee_Huest. (Also, If you’re out of orange juice, we found that using 8 packets of True Orange + 4 oz. of water does the trick!)

5. Snackadium

For those of you who didn’t catch“How To Build A Snackadium”on GMA Tuesday morning, we got you covered. A snackadium is exactly what it sounds like—a mini replica of a football stadium filled with all of your favorite Superbowl snacks in one place! We have high hopes for the snackadium and predict it will bring game changing performances everywhere. 

This wraps up our Top 5 Picks for this year’s Superbowl XLVIII! We’re curious to hear your favorites. Tweet at us or connect with us on Facebook. Looking forward to hearing all of your suggestions! True Lemon Team 

 

 



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Fremont Tribute (January 2014)

January 24, 2014



 



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‘Tis The Season Of Giving Back

December 3, 2013



‘Tis The Season Of Giving Back

In the rush-spend-give frenzy of the holidays, here at True Citrus we always try to think about those countless people and organizations that are truly in need. Celebrate the holiday spirit by donating to a charity of your choice! Below is list of charities we support. Give a gift in the name of someone you love (and ask your loved ones to do the same for you!):

Feeding America:1 in 6 Americans go to bed hungry. 1 in 5 American children go to bed hungry. Feeding America is our country’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. 

Adopt-A-Classroom: Connecting donors to classrooms, Adopt-A-Classroom works to help support the teachers who are teaching our children throughout this country. 

Heifer International: Based on the philosophy of teaching a man to fish, Heifer works to end hunger and poverty by providing means to teach self-reliance by bringing sustainable agriculture and business to areas with long histories of poverty. Donate a goat in the name of your favorite niece or a chicken to a close friend. 

UnicefUSA:Unicef works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives by providing healthcare and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.

International Rescue Committee:International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope to those in worst need. 

Room to Read:Room to Read believes that one of the best ways we can improve the world is to make sure children receive an education. Working with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa, Room to Read focuses on helping to support the development of literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond. 

Humane Society:For your favorite animal lover, support one of the oldest non-profits working to make the lives of the animals we love safer. 

Fisher House:Salute our troops! This charity provides a “home away from home” for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease, or injury. 

World Wildlife Federation:Working to save endangered species here in the US and around the world, the WWF offers symbolic adoptions of your children’s favorite animals. Your donation helps to save our wildlife and gets your child a stuffed animal and a certificate of adoption. A win for you and the world!



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Sinful Nutrition (November 2013)

November 26, 2013



Sinful Nutrition

 



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Sinful Nutrition (November 2013)

November 26, 2013



 



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Keeping Holiday Partying In Check: A Survival Guide

November 25, 2013



Keeping Holiday Partying In Check: A Survival Guide

What would you rather do: spend 2 weeks on a deserted island or eat healthy during the holidays? A majority of us may choose the deserted island since the notion of healthy holiday eating brings feelings of deprivation, temptation and frustration. It does not have to be that way! Change those thoughts to satisfaction, conviction and gratification! With a bit of preparation and planning you can not only survive but enjoy this jovial time. The expectations that many of us have this time of year are unrealistic especially since the holiday season is the toughest time of the year to maintain healthy eating habits. Remember that moderation is the key to avoiding those extra holiday pounds without passing up the festivities. Make weight maintenance your goal and not weight loss at this time. Here’s what YOU can do to stay on track during the holidays and avoid watching January roll around only to make the same old resolutions! 

DITK TOP 10 HEALTHY HOLIDAY HINTS 

1.Stay committed to your training program! Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! Physical activity is a wonderful weight management tool at this and every time of the year. Exercise can also help relieve stress, regulate appetite, and burn up extra calories. Our frenzied holiday schedules may tempt us to stray from our exercise regimen but you need to stay active to avoid weight gain. 

2.Try everything, but be aware of portion sizes! Eat small portions of a variety of foods rather than a large portion of one food. When you are eating a food that you know is not the healthiest choice, learn to satisfy yourself with a small portion. Do not feel that you must “clean your plate”. 

3.Eat breakfast every morning and never skip meals! Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. It jump starts your metabolism and helps to stave off hunger and cravings. Skipping meals can easily lead to unhealthy food choices. You never want to leave a meal totally full or enter a meal totally starving. 

4.Limit alcohol consumption! At first, select sparkling water with a citrus wedge which is very refreshing. If you do choose to then imbibe, alternate cocktails with unsweetened iced tea or seltzer to reduce the quantity of alcohol consumed. Drink 1 glass of non alcoholic, unsweetened beverage for each alcoholic beverage consumed. Choose wine, light beer or spirits mixed with no calorie beverages. 

5.Drink lots of water! Drinking water can decrease the chance of overeating by temporarily filling your stomach. Also, caffeine and alcohol can lead to dehydration which increases your need for water. 

6.Choose sensible munchies! When you first arrive to a party, choose mostly fruits and vegetables and dip with veggies instead of chips. Limit fried foods, high fat sauces and gravies and cheese cubes. 

7.Eat slowly and stop when you feel satisfied! Listen to your stomach! It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to signal your stomach that you’ve had enough. Pay attention to what it feels like to be satisfied and not full. 

8.Temptation is everywhere - Don’t let it sneak up on you! Never go to a party or event hungry. Prepare yourself for distractions by eating before you go. Have a small meal or a snack which contains a combination of carbohydrate, protein and a little healthy fat to fend off hunger, such as natural peanut butter on whole wheat bread or low fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit. 

9.Visualize success! Make an action plan! Think about where you will be, who you will be with and what foods will be available. It’s much easier to deal with a difficult social eating situation if you’ve already planned for it. Parties are a time to mingle with friends and loved ones. Focus on conversation and nostalgia instead of on the food and drinks. Food very often is center stage of any party but you can guarantee success by visualizing the enjoyment of the company and not just the food and drink. 

10.Deprivation leads to overindulgence! Don’t spend all your time obsessing over the not-so-healthy delicacy that you’re really craving. Instead, allow a small portion and savor every mouthwatering bite so that you do not feel deprived. Eating a bit too much one day is not the end of the world! It takes consecutive days of unhealthy eating to gain weight. If you slip up, put it behind you and return to your healthy eating plan. You are in control of your lifestyle choices so choose wisely. It’s all about lifestyle changes, not diets! 

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Diane Henderiks, R.D., C.P.T.

 



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