Health

How to Meal Plan and Prep Like a Boss

It's the beginning of a new year and like most of you, I am thinking about ways I can better myself in 2018. The beginning of this year has been a little different from past ones. I didn't make a list of resolutions like I have done previously, instead I am focusing on a few major intentions I've set for myself. Since I'm all about transparency, let me share these personal intentions with you so you can help hold me accountable. 

1) Invest more time into loving myself (key word: ACCEPT)

2) Worry less, enjoy more (key word: RELAX)

3) Spend time making nutritious food (key word: MEAL PREP)

4) Treat my body with respect and keep working towards better health (key word: RESPECT)

5) Love and care for those around me with intentionality (key word: LOVE)

The truth is, when I put myself first and take care of my needs by showing self-love, taking more time to relax/play, and devoting time to bettering my health through eating well, working out, sleeping more, and listening to my body, I have more genuine energy to love those around me well. Like me, I am sure some of you have chosen to focus on eating more nutrient dense, wholesome foods or maybe you've chosen to cook at home more often and eat out less. With this in mind, I thought it would be the perfect time to break down how I meal plan and prep on the weekends to help set myself up for success.

Step 1) PLAN

I know it sounds obvious, but without a plan you're going to spend a lot more money and time buying and preparing food.  A lot of people simply head to the grocery store and think they will be inspired by the produce they see or simply try to "wing it", but that leads to higher grocery bills, little motivation, and vegetables rotting away in the refrigerator a week later. You see, meal planning is a crucial step to eating healthier on a budget! Here's my advice:

- Take inventory of what you already have on hand. Look through the refrigerator and freezer to see what produce and/or meat needs to get used up. This will help reduce waste and save money.

- Dedicate a certain block of time each week to browse your favorite websites, cookbooks, or Pinterest for recipes and/or ideas.

- Choose 4-6 meals for the week (depending on the size of your family). Choose at least 1 breakfast option, 1 lunch option and 2 dinner meals that you'll have leftovers from. A time saving trick when planning meals is to factor in at least two meals that use the same meat. For example, plan to slow cook a pork roast and use the pulled pork for tacos as well as served on top of sweet potatoes. Also, you don't always have to follow a recipe; simple meals are often better for people new to cooking. For example, lunch may simply be some grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and a baked sweet potato topped with coconut oil. Since I'm a nutritionist, I feel obligated to say something about seafood. If you like seafood try to aim for 2 servings of fish a week. There are some major nutrients in seafood that we don't get from other meats and it's important to keep variety in our diet. Otherwise make sure you're taking a quality cod liver oil supplement 3-4 times a week (the ones from generic stores aren't well sourced and could be doing more harm than good). 

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- Write out your grocery list. Multiple any recipes that need it in order to accommodate your family size; remember to bank on at least two leftover dinner nights. Break your list up by departments in the store (produce, dry goods, spices, dairy/eggs, meat, and freezer) to save time from running back and forth. I like to use the list app on my iPhone for groceries so I can check off that I've put the item in my cart and not have to carry around a pen and paper in the store.

- Next, formulate a plan for prepping your meals. Some tricks I generally use: If something needs to bake, start that recipe first so it can bake while you work on another recipe. Chop or dice all your vegetables (from all recipes) at one time and use designated prepping bowls. You'll save time by washing and chopping everything at once. If you have a slow cooker or Instant Pot recipe chosen for the week that you want to wait to make, prep as much as you can in advance, and store it in a large container or plastic bag so that you can easily start the slow cooker before work or cook the meal the evening of. Also, you don't have to prepare all your meals in advance. It's nice to save 1-3 dinner meals so you don't feel like you're eating leftovers every night (that is if you have time to cook during the weeknight).

- Set a date with your kitchen to meal prep. If you tend to get burnt out from grocery shopping, maybe it's best to shop and meal prep on separate days. Do what works best for you!

- Double check that you have the proper storage containers for your meals. 

Step 2) TAKE ACTION

This is the part where most people stumble. You've made a plan and now it's time to execute it! You can do it! I promise the more times you stay true to your plan and follow through, the easier it becomes.

- Go shopping! Either physically go to the store and purchase your items, or shop online using the many online grocery shopping features.

- Start chopping, dicing, cooking, and baking! Follow the plan you formulated and use the designated time you've set aside to prepare your meals.

- Store meals in ready-to-go containers so you have less to deal with in the morning. If you have breakfast and lunch already portioned out you're more likely to actually eat it, and you'll be less frustrated when you chose to hit the snooze button in the morning.

This may sound like a lot at first, but I promise you that it gets easier! Remember if eating healthy and nutritious meals is a priority of yours, meal prep should be a blessing not a dreaded chore. If you've chosen to meal prep more often this year, I'd love to hear how it's going. Comment below or email me any questions you may have. 

Top 5 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

Over the past year, I have become more and more educated on the power chemicals in topical products, household cleaners, and tap water have on my health. I never really understood the impact some of these toxic ingredients had on my health and well-being. I've been suffering with some hormonal imbalances and through my own research and advice from health experts, I am now taking big steps to eliminate the toxic load my body is exposed to daily. I had never paid attention to how my deodorant, toothpaste, make-up, shampoo, dish soap, laundry detergent, or tap water may be affecting my health. Yes, overall I am a healthy person on the surface level, but there have been deeper issues I've battled the last two years and thus what led me to change some of my daily habits. 

Detox is a common word used today in the health world. We all know that toxins build up in our bodies, and that we need to get them out. But did you know that you can prevent a lot of these foreign ingredients from getting inside your body in the first place?! Conventional beauty and body products can actually be one of the greatest contributors to our toxic load. If you are a woman, think about the number of products you use in the morning. I can rattle off at least 10 I was using regularly: conventional shampoo, conditioner, body soap, face lotion, foundation, mascara, eye liner, bronzer, deodorant, and perfume. In this blog post, I'm going to specifically talk about how we can eliminate toxins from our skin. Skin is our body's largest organ and it's about time we start treating it right!

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Since the beauty industry is largely unregulated (the last legislation passed to regulate the safety of cosmetics was over 80 years ago!); I have chosen to become a Beautycounter consultant in hopes of educating others on what I've learned and how to choose safer beauty and skincare products. Europe bans nearly 1,400 harmful cosmetic ingredients, yet the United States only bans 11! Beautycounter promises to never use approximately 1,500 questionable ingredients in their products. If after reading this post you'd like to learn more and/or hear about what products I recommend from Beautycounter please email me! Let's dive into five specific chemicals you absolutely want to avoid.

1. Fragrance/Parfum

I know, you just want to smell nice! But these engineered scents can have thousands of chemical ingredients (all of which are not listed on the product label). Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law's classification of trade secrets and can thus be undisclosed. Something about this just doesn't seem right!

2. MEA (Monoethanolamine), DEA (Diethanolamine), or TEA 

These are emulsifier (ingredients that prevent separation of other ingredients) and surfactants (foaming agents). These acronyms (and all other acronyms for that matter) should be avoided as toxic material. They are often found in cleansers, fragrances, and make-up. These chemicals have been linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and birth defects. Not good!

3. PEG Compounds

PEG compounds (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are used as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. These are known human carcinogens.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates show up as DBP, DEHP, DMP, and DEP on product labels. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible yet harder to break. Common cosmetic products like nail polish, hair spray, aftershave lotion, and soaps can contain phthalates. With dangers of endocrine disruption, respiratory toxicity, birth defects, and infertility you don't want any of these chemicals sticking to your body.

5. Talc

For all my science nerds, talc is a mineral mainly made of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture and cuts down on friction. There are high health concerns of skin irritations, organ system toxicity, respiratory distress, and cancer with products containing talc. Talc can be found in baby powder, deodorant, dry shampoos, and mineral make-up. Many studies in women have looked at the possible link between talc powder and cancer of the ovary. Although findings have been mixed, with even some studies reporting a higher risk of cancer I advise staying clear of talc.

Now...the GOOD NEWS!

Safer alternatives are available and there are steps you can take to detox  and reduce your toxic exposure. I encourage you to start small and swap out one skincare product you use daily this month and another the next month, and so on, until you are confident the products you put on your skin are safe.

Check out what products I use daily HERE. And if you're interested in learning more about safer skincare and beauty, please click the button below to sign up for my "Non-Toxic Living" email subscription where I'll be sharing my favorite products, why I became a Beautycounter consultant, and exclusive Beautycounter offers I will offer from time to time only to subscribers.

Healthy Through the Holidays

With Thanksgiving less than 3 weeks away I wanted to share some tips and tricks to help you navigate through all the delicious food and treats that come along with the holidays. These 5 tips have helped me stay more mindful at parties, family dinners, and celebrations so that my health and wellness aren't compromised during the  6+ weeks of holiday festivities.

1) ALWAYS offer to bring a dish, snack, or dessert to share!

Whether it's a work party or a nice family dinner, I always volunteer to bring a dish to the gathering. This allows me the option to choose a healthier, real food item that I feel comfortable eating myself. Some of my favorites are autumn/winter salads, roasted vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes with coconut oil, a vegetable tray with hummus, fruit salad, or a Paleo dessert. I am guaranteed to eat at least one healthy item (or cleaner dessert) if I bring it, and I don't have to worry that there won't be anything healthy to eat (which can sometimes lead to giving in and indulging in all of the treats because you feel deprived).

I have linked some great recipe options to make for celebrations here:

Creamy Poppyseed Berry Apple Salad

Roasted Brussels Sprout & Beet Salad

Mid-West Winter Salad

Autumn Breeze Salad

Salmon Herbed Quinoa

Creamy Broccoli & Cauliflower Dill Salad

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

Paleo Pumpkin Spiced Cookies

2) Pack healthy snacks when you travel and/or stop at a grocery store when you arrive at your destination.

This tip goes for anytime of the year, but since I travel more around the holidays it is a good reminder. I like to boil some eggs a head of time and make either granola, Paleo muffins, or my breakfast cookies for both breakfast and snack options on the road or once I get to our hotel or relative's home. In addition, I pack vegetables like baby carrots, snap peas, sliced bell peppers, and cucumbers. I always bring apples as they are a fruit that travels well. Typically, I'll pop some homemade popcorn and pack that in a gallon ziplock as well (popcorn is my keep my awake snack while I'm driving ;)). Other snack items I will pack include: RX bars, Larabars, collagen peptides (to put in my tea/coffee/smoothies/water), almonds, and maybe some dark chocolate if I know I'm going to want something sweet. I can't tell you how many times I've been on a road trip and stopped at a gas-station and been tempted by all the candy, only to find there are no clean chocolate options! I stay away from all dyes and most added preservatives so gas-station food is usually not an option, thus why I prepare in advance! Of course many of these snacks would be difficult to bring if you are flying, but you can still get creative. Boiled eggs will be totally ok up to 8 hours unrefrigerated, as will most cut vegetables, and of course many fruits (apples, pears, plums, oranges, grapes, etc.) are good for days without refrigeration. If I know my husband and I are going to need to eat more than one meal on the road, I usually make tuna or chicken salad so my husband and I are guarantee some good nutrients during our drive.

Another helpful thing I have learned over the years is to not be afraid to go to the grocery store when we arrive at our destination if I have access to a refrigerator. Since I'm a huge foodie and nutrition nerd, I like picking out my own groceries and browsing stores I am not as familiar with. Some items I may pick up would include: grass-fed or dairy-free yogurt, almond milk, eggs, frozen berries, vegetables to roast, spinach for salads and smoothies, and ingredients for homemade dressing (if I don't pack it with me). These items would be for breakfast and any other meal where my family or friends aren't all eating together. 

3) Fill your plate with 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 carbs! Skip the rolls, traditional stuffing, and green bean casserole.

If I find myself in front of a buffet of food at a party or am seated at a nice dinner with family, I ALWAYS pick out which vegetables I want to eat first. If I have the opportunity to fill half of my plate with leafy greens, salads, or cooked vegetables I will! From there, I look for the a good source of protein. This could include roasted turkey, dishes with chicken, chili with ground beef, or maybe even pulled pork if I am lucky (I love pulled pork)! Lastly, I fill the remainder of my plate with a healthy source of carbs like mashed sweet potatoes (hopefully not loaded with brown sugar and conventional butter), baked squash, or a baked potato. Since my plate is full and I know I'll be satisfied, I am way less likely to reach for the rolls, stuffing, or green bean casserole which all likely have been made with conventional butter, soup cans full of preservatives, or processed breads. In addition, these foods/dishes are typically  more nutrient poor in comparison to everything else already on my plate. These types of foods tend to be higher in poor quality saturated fat and carbs as well. Please hear me out: I absolutely LOVE my mom and aunt's homemade stuffing, and I may have a small portion because I know they use real ingredients and it isn't made from a box; my point is to not fill up on nutrient poor items. If you or someone you know has put a lot of time and love into making true homemade dishes by all means it is ok to have a small portion! I plan to try making a homemade Paleo green bean casserole this year at some point, and trust me I'll be eating a fair portion of it! This tip is more beneficial when you know the foods most likely are not 100% homemade and you are given a large amount of food options to choose from. I always encourage: 1/2 a plate of vegetables, 1/4 plate quality protein, and 1/4 plate quality carb source.

4) EAT A DESSERT OR TWO at a planned gathering!

Yes, you read that right. Please eat a treat IF you really want one! Don't deprive yourself of something that is enjoyed with close family and friends just because you are tying to be "healthy".

 I usually have a game plan of eating 1-2 small desserts per gathering IF I feel there is something worthy enough to have. That is a big IF. Let me give you an example. My mom's family is HUGE. We all get together for a Christmas lunch and there are over 60 relatives in one house! This means we have to bring a lot of food AND desserts. Typically one of my aunts makes grass-hoppers for everyone, and all the other families bring a tray of homemade Christmas cookies. By this point in my life, I have tried my fair share of Christmas cookies and know which ones I like more than others. So with this in mind, I plan to enjoy 2-3 cookies (they are small) that I know I am going to love. And yes, I mean enjoy. You shouldn't deprive yourself from something you love! The key is mindfulness, truly enjoying the treat, and appreciating the moment and holiday tradition you love. I'll probably pass on the grass-hopper this year because of the green food dye (it's not worth it in my mind), but I know I will enjoy some type of cookie with caramel and chocolate and probably a reese's peanut butter cookie. Food is meant to be enjoyed, not abused or restrictively controlled.

5) Don't over-indulge during the week.

While I do usually enjoy a treat or two at planned gatherings, it was because I planned for it and truly wanted it. I try to avoid unnecessary treats during the week, like candy sitting out at stores or offices, extravagant holiday lattes or mochas that are loaded with sugar, or treats that someone has offered me out of the blue. If I wasn't looking forward to having a treat it is 10x easier for me to pass it up. When I am able to look forward to the next social gathering, knowing I've stuck true to my healthy eating for the majority of the week I am going to get so much more pleasure out of partaking in some wine or dessert at a social gathering I have planned for.

This brings to my attention: home-baked goods. Those delicious treats that sit around most  homes the month of December are so very tempting! Whether it is leftover pumpkin pie or freshly baked Christmas cookies and fudge, treats in the house ALWAYS leave a temptation. One of my family traditions is making Christmas cookies with my mom and sister.  We spend hours baking away in my mom's kitchen signing to Christmas music and laughing. It's a tradition I truly look forward to each year. With this in mind, I have learned that when my mom sends me home with a container full of cookies I can't leave them in my house otherwise I will eat them all in a week or so! Over the years I've learned that sweets are definitely my weakness and I'll be the first to admit it. So, what do I do? I keep a few in the freezer to enjoy when I REALLY want one, but otherwise I send them all to work with my husband. He can choose to share with his co-workers or not.

Now, I understand this isn't feasible for everyone as many of you have families with little ones who would like to have a Christmas treat throughout the week. If you struggle with mindfulness around baked goods and sweets, my suggestion for you would be to have your significant other store them somewhere you don't know where the container is located. When your kids want a treat they will be able to when your significant other is able to get them one and you won't know where they are hidden. After a day or two you'll likely forget all about them entirely. Yes, this seems a little silly, but it will likely work and most likely help keep your sugar dragon away! One other tip I have; if you want cleaner treat options try out some Paleo, dairy or grain-free recipes as they will have real food ingredients that won't compromise your health as much as baked goods made with conventional sugars and flours. There are some great food bloggers out there that have amazing holiday treats. See some of my favorites below:

Shortbread Cookies by Against all Grain 

Pumpkin Pie Cookie Crisp by PaleoOMG

Seven Layer Bars by Against all Grain

Paleo Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies by the Healthy Maven

Grain-Free Apple Spice Coffee Cake by Against all Grain

Paleo Fudge by Fed and Fit

Pumpkin Bread by Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

Chocolate Coconut Bites by Pinch of Yum

I hope these tips and tricks help you have a more mindful holiday season and new perspective  when enjoying the upcoming holiday parties and celebrations!

Why Sleep Should be a TOP Priority

Let's discuss why sleep is so important to our health. I know, I know...all the experts tell you to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, yet hardly any of us are able to achieve this. I'll be the first to admit it: LIFE IS BUSY. I use to think that sleeping was for underachievers and lazy people. Boy, oh boy was I wrong! Not only does lack of sleep lend me to increased anxiety, more stress, and bags under my eyes, it detriments my overall health and wellness! SERIOUSLY, for your OWN health, if you haven't stepped back to access your schedule and sleep habits, please take 10 minutes to read this post.

WHY IS SLEEP SO IMPORTANT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

I think we all know that sleep is vital to life. Getting enough quality sleep is crucial to our mental and physical health; as well as, the quality of our life and safety. Studies have shown that sleep deficiency alters brain activity. If you have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions; or have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation, adequate sleep can make a profound difference. Our health depends on our circadian rhythm. 

1) Physical Health

Sleep helps heal and repair our heart and blood vessels, and thus sleep deficiency can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Overtime, lack of sleep can lead to obesity. During our sleep, the body helps maintain and balance our hormones. If we don't get enough sleep hormones like ghrelin (signals hunger) and leptin (signals satiety) become imbalanced. Ghrelin increases and leptin decreases. In addition, sleep also affects how our bodies react to insulin, the hormone that controls our blood glucose (sugar). Lack of sleep has been linked to high blood sugar. Our sensitivity to insulin greatly decreases with inadequate sleep. In addition, sleep aids healthy growth and development. Human growth hormone is excreted during sleep, and research suggests that it's during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep that the body is able to: restore organs, bones, and tissue; replenish immune cells; and circulate human growth hormone for strong muscles and bones.

2) Brain Health

We need sleep to recharge our brain! In addition to hormone levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and cortisone (all related to excess or prolonged mental or physical stress) being elevated, poor sleep plays a toll on our day-to-day performance. Our safety may be at risk if tasks take longer to finish, we have a slow reaction time, or we make more mistakes due to lack of sleep. When we sleep adenosine (a neurotransmitter that produces ATP, the energy-storage molecule that powers most of the biochemical reactions inside cells) is lowered which tells our brain to rest and recharge. 

TIPS FOR GETTING ADEQUATE SLEEP

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  1. Download filters for your phone and/or laptop (check out f.lux) to reduce blue light and power electronics down 1 hour prior to bed
  2. Try a meditation app (check out Calm, Headspace, or the Mindfulness App)
  3. Use Low Blue Lights glasses, lighting, and filters in your home
  4. Stick to a sleep schedule - try to sleep and wake at consistent times
  5. Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol prior to sleep
  6. Include physical activity in your daily routine (limit within 2 hours of bedtime)
  7. Increase bright light exposure during the day - natural sunlight during the day helps keep our circadian rhythm healthy
  8. Have a glass of Natural Vitality, Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement one hour prior to bed - magnesium is responsible for over 600 reactions within the body, and studies show that magnesium supplementation can improve relaxation and enhance sleep quality
  9. Decrease the temperature of your bedroom slightly
  10. Relax and clear your mind in the evening - try reading, journaling, stretching, or prayer

HOW MUCH SLEEP SHOULD YOU GET?

If you are concerned that you aren't getting enough sleep, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I dependent on caffeine in the morning to function?
  2. Am I anxious, sad, or often emotional?
  3. Do I look forward to my sleep?

I encourage you to start a sleep journal/dairy for 2-4 weeks to identify how much sleep is ideal for your body and how you obtain the best sleep. Write down how much sleep you get each night, how alert you feel the next day, and how tired you feel during the day. In general, adults 18+ should get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. 

Resources:

1) https://authoritynutrition.com/17-tips-to-sleep-better/

2) https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why

3) https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson5.htm

4) http://theconversation.com/chemical-messengers-how-hormones-help-us-sleep-44983

What's Up With Collagen Protein?

There is quit a bit of talk lately on social media about collagen protein, so I thought I would discuss why I recently incorporated it into my routine.

First off, what is collagen protein? Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and makes up the majority of our connective tissues. It provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system; it also ensures the cohesion, elasticity, and regeneration of skin, hair, tendon, cartilage, bones and joints. Collagen protein is most readily absorbed into the digestive system when it is hydrolyzed. This is a process in which the collagen fibers are broken down into its smaller collagen peptides through a process known as "hydrolysis". The peptides make a chain of amino acids (aka peptide) consisting of glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine. These natural peptides are highly bio-available, digestible and soluble in cold water. It is also important to know that these amino acids are not present in muscle meats, and most of us don't get enough of them in our modern diets. Our ancestors ate collagen on a regular basis in the form of bone, skin, and scales. Looking at the health and wellness of our ancestors, it is of good reason to consider adding collagen peptides and bone broth (more on this in a future post) into our modern day diet.

Benefits of Collagen

Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails

There is growing research suggesting that collagen peptides can contribute to healthy skin. In oder to receive the full benefits listed below, the peptides must have excellent bioavailability. Thus consuming the hydrolyzed form of collagen mentioned above is best. Collagen peptides can:

  • promote younger looking skin
  • improve skin moisture level
  • support nail growth
  • prevent formation of deep wrinkles
  • improve skin smoothness

Supports Bone and Joint Health

Glycine and proline are two amino acids needed for production of new collagen. Supplementation with collagen peptides can protect against degradation of connecting tissues and could prevent injuries during exercise. In addition, a recent study of 250 osteoarthritis subjects were given 10 grams of collagen peptides daily, and the results showed a significant improvement in knee join comfort.

Digestive Aid

Collagen soothes and healths the digestive tract. It can also help break down foods and aid in digestion. The gelling power of gelatin also holds water in the intestines where it is needed to help move food along smoothly. Glutamine is proven to improve the lining of the intestinal tract. A strong intestinal lining helps prevent food allergies or intolerances by keeping food from leaching into the bloodstream.

Contributes to Weight Management

Collagen is a good source of protein and can provide 10-18 grams per serving. Adding collagen peptides to a shake post-workout is a great way to increase your protein intake and maintain a healthy body. It can help regulate the body's metabolism by providing protein that is quickly absorbed. Try adding a serving to my Berry Superfood Breakfast Smoothie for an antioxidant jumpstart!

Where to purchase collagen and some recommended brands

The best prices for collagen peptides are found online. As stated above, I recommend purchasing bio-available, hydrolyzed collagen peptides. In addition, since most collagen powders (those that dissolves in water) are made from cattle hides, it is important to purchase well-sourced (pasture-raised) peptides. I currently have this Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate. I add a serving to my smoothies, tea, or bulletproof coffee. Based on what other nutritionists have said, I know the brand Vital Proteins is top of the line, and I fully support the company, I just cannot afford it quit yet! 

Unless you plan to make homemade gummies or jello with your collagen, make sure to purchase an unflavored collagen peptide or hydrolysate. Vital proteins also makes beef gelatin which is great for making gummies or adding cohesion to jams and pudding.

If you are looking for a tasty treat made with collage protein, I encourage you to give my no bake Brownie Protein Bites a try! They make a great pre or post-workout snack.

Sources:

1. Cosgrove, M.C., Franco, O.H., Granger, S.P., Murray, P.G. and Mayes, A.E. 2007. Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86: 1225-1231.

2. Lin, M., Zhang, B., Yu, C., Li, J., Zhang, L., Sun, H., . . . Zhou, G. (2014). L-Glutamate Supplementation Improves Small Intestinal Architecture and Enhances the Expressions of Jejunal Mucosa Amino Acid Receptors and Transporters in Weaning Piglets. PLoS ONE,9(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111950

3. http://www.vitalproteins.com/blog/collagen-peptides/

4. http://amino-collagen.com/collagen-supplements-comparison.html