How Do Our Emotions Affect Our Immune Response?

New research uncovers fresh evidence to suggest that frequent exposure to negative emotions may have an important impact on the functioning of the immune system.

Do you often feel sad or angry? This could affect how your body reacts, researchers warn.

Many studies have shown that chronic exposure to stressanxiety, and negative moods generally can affect physical health to a large extent.

As Medical News Today reported only last year, researchers have found that chronic stress has a negative impact on memory.

Also, feelings of distress can raise the risk of cardiovascular events, such as stroke.

Now, a study conducted by specialists from Pennsylvania State University in State College has found that negative moods may change the way in which the immune response functions, and they are associated with an increased risk of exacerbated inflammation.

The results of the research — which was led by Jennifer Graham-Engeland, an associate professor at Pennsylvania State University — appear in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Negative moods and inflammation

The scientists collected the data for the study via a two-tiered approach. They used questionnaires that asked participants to record their feelings over time and in the moment. These assessments took place over 2 weeks and allowed the team to map out the participants’ emotional profiles.

The scientists also assessed the immune response of the volunteers by collecting blood samples from them and looking for markers of inflammation.

Inflammation occurs naturally, as part of the immune response, when the body reacts to infections or wounds. However, high levels of inflammation are associated with poor health and a range of chronic conditions, such as arthritis.

Graham-Engeland and team noticed that individuals who experienced negative moods several times per day for extended periods of time tended to have higher levels of inflammation biomarkers in their blood.

The scientists also note that if they collected blood samples from participants soon after they had experienced a negative emotion such as sadness or anger, inflammation biomarkers were all the more present in the blood.

However, experiencing positive moods — even for a short while before the collection of a blood sample — was associated with lower inflammation levels. However, this was only true for male participants in this study, the investigators specify.

‘Affect is modifiable’

The scientists are confident that their study adds crucial evidence regarding the impact of negative affect on health — especially since their participants belonged to diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Nevertheless, they caution that to confirm these findings, they will need to replicate them in further studies. They point out that the recent research was the first to explore the link between both momentary and long-term mood reports and measures of inflammation.

“We hope that this research will prompt investigators to include momentary measures of stress and affect in research examining inflammation, to replicate the current findings and help characterize the mechanisms underlying associations between affect and inflammation,” explains Graham-Engeland.

In the future, they hope that this and similar studies may allow specialists to come up with better strategies to improve mood and thus protect aspects of physical health.

Because affect is modifiable, we are excited about these findings and hope that they will spur additional research to understand the connection between affect and inflammation, which in turn may promote novel psychosocial interventions that promote health broadly and help break a cycle that can lead to chronic inflammation, disability, and disease.”

—Jennifer Graham-Engeland

Source: Medical News Today

— Published

For information about the IMMUNITYAID Support Blend which contains essential vitamins and clean ingredients your body’s immune system needs to stay defended daily, visit our product page here.

> > > Live well.

Chipotle Launches New “Lifestyle Bowls” for Paleo, Keto, Whole30 & Protein-Rich Diets

Dieters looking to stick to their New Year’s resolutions need look no further than their local Chipotle.

The burrito restaurant introduced a collection of “lifestyle bowls” earlier this week, available exclusively through its mobile app and website. The new offerings use the same ingredients that Chipotle has always offered, but are catered to folks adhering to the popular keto, paleo, Whole30 and other protein-rich diet plans.

The online-only availability of these meals is a strategic move by the company to coax more customers to order digitally, since average checks of digital orders tend to be higher than orders placed at the restaurant.

The bowls are a bit pricier than a traditional bowl as they all contain guacamole or double the meat, both extra charges at the chain. Without add-ons, salads and bowls cost between $7.60 and $8.60, as priced at a New Jersey Chipotle restaurant. In comparison, these lifestyle bowls run from $10.30 to $11.15.

The appeal of the bowls is that dieters don’t need to build their own or try and figure out what items fit their diet plan, Chipotle does it for them.

Read the full article here.

Source: CNBC |By 


> > > Live well.

Neuroscientist Says, “Nootropics Work — Find Out Which Ones You Should Be Taking!”

Fact. Taking nootropics can enhance your mental performance.

While you may have heard about this in the news lately, you may still be asking, “What exactly are nootropics?” The term applies to any agent that has an effect on nerve tissue, typically referring to agents that enhance overall brain function or facilitate growth. When looking for a daily nootropic supplement to boost your mental acuity, there are a few key things you should be looking for.

We asked neuroscientist Allison Brager, PhD, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Morehouse School of Medicine, to give us some tips. The following is her analysis of the ingredients in FocusAid:

In my quest for natural supplements that can boost physical and mental performance, I have developed a certain level of skepticism about efficacy. I often turn to public biomedical databases (such as PubMed, a compilation of peer-reviewed science housed at the National Library of Medicine) to determine the following:

  1. Have the ingredients been investigated in basic animal or human clinical trials?
  2. Do the ingredients have identified (rather than assumed) effects on behavior and mental performance?

There are certain products that I view as “snake-oil placebos” and others that I view as legitimate. FocusAid is a product recently developed by the team at LIFEAID Beverage Company which I consider to be a legitimate product.

FocusAid first piqued my curiosity because it contains a blend of several plant-based nootropics. The blend of nootropic ingredients in FocusAid has an affinity for nearly every type of neurochemical pathway of the brain, as I will explain below. Most of these nootropic ingredients are plant-based medicines already associated with ameliorating symptoms for Alzheimer’s, depression and anxiety, meaning they are associated with fine-tuning and facilitating learning, memory, attention and mood. Below is a brief review of each ingredient and how each contributes to optimal mental function and brain health. I will focus on three ingredients in my analysis because they are the key ingredients which separate FocusAid from other drinks on the market.

Rhodiola rosea

Its geographical sources are fairly widespread, growing in mountainous regions of the world: Asia, Europe (Carpathian mountain range) and even Appalachia. A search for its use in biomedical research reveals that it has been used for animal and human models of depression, anxiety and fatigue. This is not a surprise given that Rhodiola rosea stimulates two key neurochemical pathways linked to attention, reward and pleasure: serotonin and dopamine. Enhanced production of serotonin and dopamine enhance focus on mental tasks, attention to detail and more pronounced sensations of pleasure in one’s environment. (Side note: I have “dopamine” tattooed on my arm as a tribute to my PhD work on it). The production of dopamine is also a stepping stone for the production of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine helps to regulate our natural flight-or-fight responses in times of stress, danger or training. There are a few studies with Rhodiola rosea in humans and rodents that inform my book, Meathead: Unraveling the Athletic Brain. To start with rodents, Rhodiola rosea has been found to facilitate the growth and reach of nerve cells onto other nerve cells. This concept known as “dendritic arborizations” (because the extensions from nerve cells look like tree branches) enhances communication within and among brain areas. This type of growth and reach with Rhodiola rosea is particularly prevalent in the hippocampus, the are of the brain responsible for learning and memory. These studies show that Rhodiola rosea optimizes learning and memory in rodents. In one human study Rhodiola rosea is shown to help prevent “overtraining”—its application balances testosterone to serotonin release ratios, a key physiological indicator of overtraining. Essentially, with this handful of studies, I must conclude that Rhodiola rosea has a versatile impact on optimizing mental (and physical) performance.

Alpha-GPC (L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine)

I first learned about Alpha-GPC in early 2015. It is the active (plant-based) ingredient of several over-the-counter brain boosters. Alpha-GPC activates the release of acetylcholine, a neurochemical important for learning, memory and the overall health of nerve cells. In my own field, sleep research has shown acetylcholine has an “alertness” effect on the brain and behavior. Its release is high during wakeful states but also during REM sleep, the only state of sleep where we dream. Its main function is to keep our brains active. The fact that acetylcholine release is high during sleep may seem puzzling at first, but once you understand that REM sleep is basically an active brain in a paralyzed body, it makes a bit more sense. It is also relevant to the process of brain destruction in Alzheimer’s patients. Nerve cells lose their structural support and form what are called neurofibrillary tangles as the disease progresses. However, activities such as exercise can slow this destructive process in nerve cells which I also discuss in Meathead: Unraveling the Athletic Brain. Supplements which are acetylcholine-enhancers can slow this process, as well.

GABA (Gamma AminoButyric Acid)

This neurochemical is widely present in the brain. It is critical for calibrating and fine-tuning emotions and behavior. It is most widely studied for its roles in controlling depression and anxiety. By fine-tuning emotions and behavior, GABA makes systems even more efficient.

C  O  N  C  L  U  S  I  O  N

Based on my analysis, it is apparent that FocusAid has a blend of nootropics (including Rhodiola Rosea, Alpha-GPC and GABA) linked to enhancing learning, memory, mood, attention and pleasure. FocusAid also contains other ingredients that nurture brain health (Acetyl-L-Carnitine and American Ginseng) and alertness (Yerba Mate, a plant-based stimulant grown in South America—Paraguay, Argentina and Chile).

Bottom line: I honestly have not found a better product to help you harness mental and physical success than FocusAid.

Try FOCUSAID today! Click here to try now.

Allison Brager, PhD
Neuroscientist, Biomedical Researcher
Postdoctoral Fellow at Morehouse School of Medicine

Original source published on: June 2, 2016


> > > Live well!




Show Me the Money: Four Practices to Achieve Monetary Success as a Professional Yoga Teacher

1. Teach in three places or less.

You cannot be everywhere, so don’t try. Focus on finding two or three (one, if you’re lucky) “yoga homes” where you enjoy practicing, teaching, and connecting with the community. Make sure your “homes” are not struggling and can compensate you appropriately for the work you put in. Negotiate your pay so you feel comfortable with what you receive for your efforts. Even as a newer teacher, you still deserve to be paid competitively for your work.

2. Pursue teaching in corporate environments.

I never thought teaching in an office setting would be one of my favorite places to work, but they are genuinely the best. Pros: students are delighted to have a break from their desk; pay is consistent and often higher than in a studio or gym setting; your work is valued and appreciated in a professional way. Also, snacks.

3. Prioritize quality over quantity.

As an East Coast Jew, my go-to is: Always do more and say “yes!” to opportunities. However, this has come back to crush me many times during my career. As a teacher, you must learn to focus your energy on gigs that pay and/or add a significant amount of value to your business. I’ve often taught free classes in partnership with companies or causes that I’m passionate about. These opportunities can increase your visibility, and ultimately lead to monetary gains as you encounter potential new students. But, teaching a free class requires the same amount of energy as a class that pays your $250/hour, so schedule your time wisely.

4. Network like a nutcase.

Every teaching opportunity I’ve been offered was a direct result of knowing someone who knew someone who referred me. I haven’t updated my resume in eight years, my website often looks like, and I wouldn’t even know where to start when applying for a teaching job.

My advice: talk to everyone.

They’re all potential students and/or employers. Your friend who works at Google, the barista at Philz Coffee, your local lululemon community, other yoga teachers, bloggers, family friends–you name it– could be responsible for your next best teaching opportunity and paycheck.

C  O  N  C  L  U  S  I  O  N
Stop reading this, get out there, meet everyone, prioritize quality, know your worth, and create the yoga career of your dreams. I look forward to reading your story in the next volume of “Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It.”

Debbie Steingesser

> > > Live well.

BevNet Announces IMMUNITYAID Launch at NACS

By: BevNet | Dec. 20, 2018

ImmunityAid Support Blend
making some buzz on BevNet!

On Instagram this Thursday, BevNet posted the above image with the following caption:

@immunityaid is the latest product from @lifeaidbevco, a brand of functional beverages that serve specific consumer need states.

The new orange-flavored SKU launched at NACS in Vegas this October and is now available in retailers such as Whole Foods, H-E-B, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC.


#bevnet #immunityaid #lifeaid #immunity #immunitydrink #immunitybeverage 
#turmeric #vitamins #immunitydrink #beverages #beverage #bevstagram
#drinkstagram #drinkoftheday #drinkup #drink #beveragecompany #beveragecommunity
#beverageindustry #adaptogens #adaptogenic #health #healthylifestyle #healthyliving
#healthydrinks #wholefoods #vitaminshoppe #gnc #cpg #beveragebrands”



>             >             >             >             >             >
For information about all of the LIFEAID Beverage Co. clean, unique blends and their health benefits, visit

Holiday Travel? Boost Your Immune System with ImmunityAid

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes plenty of crowded planes, trains & automobiles!

Dr. Allison Brager tells us about the clean, active ingredients in ImmunityAid which can help boost your immune system.

I travel often for my profession, and I travel across many time-zones, so I know firsthand about “jet lag”. I have studied jet lag and its many awful side effects in the lab. In these studies, I mimicked worldwide travel in rodent models in order to study the effects on the brain, physiology, and genetics. From these studies, I’ve found that the rodent brain is overactive even seven days after a bout of travel. These animals were also more prone to sickness and had lots of inflammation. Sure these are rodents, but there is actually a lot of symmetry in the brain and physiology between mice and men.

I was very pleased to see that the active ingredients in ImmunityAid are plant-based medicines that have been widely studied and utilized in recent years to ameliorate jet lag.

Three of these ingredients have been widely studied in neuroscience and are thought to be essential for protecting the brain against neurodegenerative disorders: Turmeric, Valerian Root and Ginger. Each has a unique contribution to neuroscience research.


Turmeric is a major export of India and is found in many curries. Its cultivation is dependent on heavy rainfall, which lends support to its biochemical significance. The active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is a very attractive antioxidant candidate in Alzheimer’s research. It suppresses certain genes and biological factors that are increased in expression with stressors such as time-zone jet lag.


The biochemical powers of Valerian root have been known for many centuries. It has been widely recognized as a hypnotic (i.e. sleep-promoting agent) and anxiolytic (i.e. anxiety-alleviating agent). It is so biochemically powerful because it increases activity in one of the major inhibitory systems of the brain, fine-tuning the system and ensuring that the system does not overreact to stress.


Ginger (much like turmeric) is thought to be an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It has been widely studied in the treatments of nausea and arthritis—two conditions that can be exacerbated by travel.

To conclude, I have spent ten years studying why and how animals adapt to stress in their environment. The science fascinates me but practical application of this science fascinates me even more. We know travel is inevitable and necessary for many professionals and athletes.

So, what can you do to reduce risks of sickness when traveling? Drink ImmunityAid, to start.

Dr. Allison Brager, Neuroscientist

Source: Original June 20, 2016 product review

> > > Live well.

6 Photos That Show Why Logan Aldridge is a Total Savage

Original article posted Oct. 18, 2018 by 

If you’re not already familiar with FITAID athlete Logan Aldridge, then read our mini-profile on this unbelievable adaptive athlete.

In short, Logan lost his left arm in a boating accident when he was 13 years old. But this guy isn’t one to just “survive” but thrive.

He currently holds the World Record for the most one arm/one leg push-ups in 1 minute and for most weight cleaned with one arm in 1 minute. He also boasts a 315 pound front squat and a 455 pound deadlift. He can also climb a rope with one hand, and yes, he has his sights on doing them legless.

You get the point.

The story.

So a few weeks back, Logan was competing in a Spartan Race when he approached the side-by-side rings across a moat. These are challenging even for strong athletes with two arms.

Logan has one, but that doesn’t matter to Logan.

“I did not complete this obstacle. I failed. But that was okay. ‘It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default.’ It is ‘impossible’ for me to complete a Spartan Race without failing at least one obstacle. That does not discourage me or reduce my confidence. It excites me! Failure is inevitable, so fail forward,” Logan wrote on Instagram.

Check out these photos, then be more like Logan.

> > > Live well.

LIFEAID Spotlight on Bedros Keuilian: Q&A with the Man, the Myth, the Legend

Bedros Keuilian is known as the “hidden genius” behind some of the fitness industry’s most successful movers and shakers.

In addition to serving as the founder and CEO of the international fitness franchise Fit Body Boot Camp, he teaches entrepreneurs how to attract massive amounts of leads, how to close leads on long-term, high-priced services, and how to scale to six, seven, even eight figures.

We sat down with Bedros to pick his brain about business and what it takes to run your own entrepreneurial empire.

Q: In your book Man Up, you talk about how most entrepreneurs are held back by the excuses they make. How do you condition yourself to stop making excuses without getting too down on yourself?

Bedros: You have to realize that you’re in control. See, we like to hand the pen over to everyone else and let them write our story for us. Think about it. When something bad happens to you, what’s the first thought that comes to your mind? It’s might be something like, “Oh, well I don’t have the knowledge to make money,” or,  “I’m just not meant to be in this industry.” You have to cut the negativity out. You don’t have the knowledge? Hire a coach, go buy an online course and learn. Can’t market? Go find the best marketers and study what they do. We have so many free resources available to us today; there’s no room for saying “I can’t do it.”

Man up and realize that you’re the one in control, not everyone else, and especially not the doubts that pop up in your head.

I used to make excuses for myself. I’d tell myself, “I’m just a college dropout foreigner who wasn’t meant for money.” Then I realized that what I was using as an excuse was actually my edge, that I had faced so much resistance that I was forced to grow as a person. So I stopped making excuses for myself and thought,

“How can I take back control of my own life?”

Q: You talk about how entrepreneurs need to adhere to “The 5% Rule.” What does that mean, and why do so many entrepreneurs struggle to stick to their 5%?

Bedros: Because most entrepreneurs want to do everything. Let’s go back to that first question. As the leader of your business, 95% of the stuff that needs to get done can be done by others. In other words, you’re probably not the one at your office cleaning toilets, right? You could just pay someone to do it. Yet there’s 5% of the work that you, and only you, can do. That’s what you need to focus on. For me, my 5% is to delegate, motivate, and sell. Anything that falls outside of that—writing blogs, editing videos, handling customer service, etc—is done by someone on my team.

The problem with most entrepreneurs, especially new entrepreneurs, is that they try to do everything themselves.

That only lasts until your growth exceeds how much you can do, and the last thing you want is to shut down because you can’t keep up with your business’s success.

I used to take sales calls, even though I was the CEO of my own company and had hired a sales team. Now every time we get a new sales team member, they watch a video of me teaching the sales process and learn how to sell like I would. I used to write the blogs, but now I train our in-house copywriters how to write in my voice—what I would and wouldn’t say. Through teaching, I free myself up to focus on my own 5%.

Q: Ok, so you talk about how people have “crabs” in their lives that they need to get rid of. What does that mean?

Bedros: So let me tell you a little story here. I was on a cruise with my wife years ago. Her parents were nice enough to treat us to this cruise, even though I had no money at the time. Anyways, we’re in Alaska, and I’m walking by the water. All of the sudden, I see this guy pulling a net filled with crabs out of the water. He then puts these crabs in this bucket that was next to him.

So I look into the bucket and see one of the crabs—this ambitious crab—crawling over the rest of the crabs in the bucket and aiming for the brim. He was trying to escape. I had to say something, so I tell the guy, “Hey man, that crab is going to escape from your bucket.” He looks at me and says, “Watch what happens next.”

Almost instantly the other crabs began to pull the ambitious crab back down, right as he was about to escape to freedom. They pulled him down and returned him back to where he started—right at the bottom of the bucket with the rest of the group.

See, negative people are like the crabs in this story. The people who doubt you when you tell them your dreams. The ones that suck the life right out of you because they’re critical and cynical.

You want to protect your dreams from these people, because they’ll pull you down if you don’t—just like crabs tried to pull that one crab down when he was just trying to escape his fate. I’ve had family members question me when I’d tell them my dreams. I had an 11th grade teacher tell me I was gonna be a failure unless I went to the army. But I tuned those people out. I choose to surround myself with uplifters, with visionaries, with fellow entrepreneurs who know what it’s like to pursue something you dream about. As an entrepreneur, you are the sum of the 5 people you hang around most. Make sure those five people are positive and for your vision.

Q: You say that everyone has a purpose. How do you know that you’ve found your purpose in business?

Bedros: Most people think you’re born with a purpose, when really you can develop your purpose over time. Look, I started out as a young high school kid who was interested in fitness because I wanted to ask this one girl out to prom. I turned that passion into beginning my personal training career and eventually founding of one of the top fitness franchises in the world. Then, I started to develop a passion for mentoring other fitness entrepreneurs who had no idea what to do in business. Again, I pivoted to focus my energy on coaching and consulting them. So really you develop your purpose around your passions, and you need to. When shit hits the fan, and it will, you need to have a strong reason behind why you do what you do. When you can overcome that adversity and move forward, that’s when you know you’ve found your purpose.

Q: How exactly do people man up and dominate in business and in life?

Bedros: Ha! You’ll have to read the book to find out. But I’ll give you a little sneak peek. In business, you need to cut the bullshit and stop putting stuff off. Go fire that business partner that’s weighing down your business. Go have that tough conversation with that team member that needs to step things up. Stop following your emotions and start doing what makes sense for your business. In life, it’s the same thing. You don’t have to compromise your values for anyone.

Man up and stand for what you believe in.

Stop avoiding fear—embrace it and grow through that resistance.


> > > Live well.

LIFEAID Heads More Directly into Energy Segment in 2019 via Tweak to FocusAid

PRESS RELEASE: Beverage Biz Insights | Dec. 12, 2018

LIFEAID Beverage Co. has a full slate of activities on tap for 2019, including overt push into energy drink occasions via tweak to FocusAid!

The entry will dial up (natural) caffeine and buildout of DSD network in western part of the U.S.

Co-founded by Aaron Hinde and Orion Melehan in Santa Cruz, California, started with FitAid—entry that was keyed to then-burgeoning CrossFit channel, challenging incumbent brand Kill Cliff and successively adding range of other carefully targeted entries under monikers like FocusAid, TravelAid, PartyAid and even GolferAid, moving from natural/specialty into grocers and then mass/drug channels. Unusually, what might be viewed as its core brand, LifeAid, did not emerge until the company was making transition from specialty channels to general grocers and c-stores. By now, SPINS data indicates that LIFEAID various brands collectively rank #3 in natural energy/functional set, behind Hiball and Rockstar; in conventional grocery, they’re #23 with just 7% ACV. The company has been adept at moving product online, 2018 will mark the first year that brick & mortars outperform the still-growing online biz, which has been stepping up Amazon/Prime activities, Aaron said in discussion Mon.

But FitAid remains the horse, absorbing 90% of the company’s marketing spend, followed by FocusAid (generating 80% of volume of FitAid), with PartyAid and LifeAid vying for #3. The company recently transitioned TravelAid, with highly polarizing ginger bite, to ImmunityAid, in time for winter flu season, and anticipates it will move into #3 sales slot. Revamped item has quickly won 5K retail authorizations, Aaron said, and sold more in 1 month than TravelAid had in 12 months.

As for FocusAid, that entry has performed well, ranked as #2-selling item, but LIFEAID thinks it can do better. In effort to exploit energy occasion, co next month will dial up caffeine content from 45 mg currently to 90-100 mg range, with enhanced caffeine punch flagged prominently on package. Caffeine sources will remain Yerba Mate and Green Tea Extract. That will allow FocusAid to go head to head vs. energy drinks, Hinde indicated.

By now, the LIFEAID brand is ready to make big DSD push, in part to do better in immediate-consumption channels, and it’s been recruiting western houses like Hensley in Arizona, New Age in Denver, Golden in Utah and Bonanza in Las Vegas, with California soon to be inked in. On retail front, a 400+ store test in CVS is being expanded to 1,500 stores, while a 440-store test in Walmart will expand to all 3,500 stores with new functional sets. Brand’s c-store presence remains slight, including Terrible’s chain in Las Vegas and some 7-Elevens in Hawaii, and boosting that will be priority for 2019.

LIFEAID also will test international waters in markets like Australia, New Zealand and Europe,

particularly Nordic countries. Its main marketing/sampling vehicle has been Spartan Races, which allowed it to get its cans into nearly 1 mil consumers’ hands, between participants and spectators, this year.

For more information about LIFEAID Beverage Company and their full line of clean, nutritional blends to supplement your lifestyle, visit

Source: Beverage Biz Insights

Butternut Squash, Sausage ‘n’ Kale Egg Muffins

By: Karenia Bowman |

As a chef, I’m highly inspired by all-things food. I love all of the seasonal offerings available toward the end of the year and everything butternut squash is no exception. Even though butternut squash is widely available year-round, it is best known as a winter squash. It’s deliciously soft, sweet and nutty, not to mention easy to prepare, and extremely versatile. One of my favorite seasonal pairings this time of year is butternut squash along with a deliciously savory breakfast sausage.

I know, most people think sausage isn’t conducive to a fit and healthy lifestyle but it can be—dreams really do come true!

With a simple healthy swap of low-fat chicken sausage instead of full-fat pork sausage, you can still indulge without derailing your lifestyle goals or sacrificing flavor. Sometimes I buy my sausage from my local grocer’s butcher department, and sometimes I make my own from scratch (it’s actually easier than you think). Whether your chicken sausage is store-bought or homemade, it’s absolutely delicious when paired with butternut squash. I also love to add a little kale to the mix because it transforms this dynamic duo into a serious triple threat in everything you enjoy them in.

Breakfast is my love language. I have to have it or else I don’t feel whole. I really believe it completes my life. Every morning I cheerfully make my breakfast while sipping an ice-cold protein latte—it’s my ritual … what can I say? More often than not, my morning typically starts with an egg/egg white-based dish. Some mornings, I’ll enjoy my egg muffins on the go, and some mornings I’ll opt for a scramble or an omelet of some kind at home. I’ve also been known to savagely chug my egg whites over ice with a morning bowl of oats. At my core, I’m a creature of healthy habits. I start most days with an egg white/egg-based dish because they are high in muscle-building protein, they are deliciously satiating and extremely versatile.

When it comes to mornings, I recognize the fact that most don’t have the time to sit and prepare a full-on breakfast.

If it comes down to hitting the snooze button two to three times, or cooking breakfast … chances are, most people will opt for the snooze. I’m a firm believer in “having it all,” so why not hit the snooze button a few more times and relish the extra sleep while still managing to start your day with a fit, filling, seasonal breakfast on the go? Well, with these deliciously convenient egg muffins, you totally can!

As a chef, my absolute passion is creating balanced solutions for healthier living.

Creating solutions that are actually doable is always my goal, and these savory breakfast egg muffins do not disappoint. Whether you are someone who doesn’t have much experience in the kitchen, or someone who is a seasoned pro, you can easily throw these into your regular breakfast rotation. They require minimal effort and masquerade as convenient protein-packed snacks, ideal for anytime you need a healthy and filling on-the-go snack.

If you have a hectic morning ahead of you, make these little babies the night before. Simply reheat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Voila! You have an instant, homemade high-protein breakfast ready to enjoy before you start your busy day!

R  E  C  I  P  E

Butternut Squash, Sausage, Kale Egg Muffins
Servings: 12
60 calories per serving
Macros: 7g Protein | 3g Carbs | 2g Fat

4 oz. low-fat chicken breakfast sausage, casings removed
1.5 cups butternut squash, diced
1.25 cups loosely packed Lacinto kale, chopped
1.5 cups liquid egg whites
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Coarse ground pepper & Kosher salt, to taste

1. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Dice butternut squash into small bite-sized pieces and set aside. Chop the kale leaves and set aside, discarding the stems. Heat a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Spray the surface of the skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the butternut squash cubes and sauté for 7-10 minutes or until tender. When the butternut squash is done, remove the cubes from the skillet and set aside.

2. Wipe down the skillet and spray the surface with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the low-fat chicken sausage to the skillet. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and begins to brown. While the sausage is cooking, break the pieces into bite-sized crumbles with the corner of the spatula. When the sausage is done cooking, remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the sausage to a colander and drain (optional).

3. Wipe down the skillet and spray the surface of the skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat the skillet over low heat. Add butternut squash, sausage and kale to the skillet. Cook until the kale leaves begin to soften and wilt. When done, remove the skillet from the heat and let the mixture cool.

4. In a small mixing bowl, add the eggs and egg whites. Season the egg mixture with granulated garlic, salt & pepper and whisk until well combined.

5. Ladle/pour the egg mixture halfway up into each muffin cavity. When cool enough to handle, disperse the filling evenly among each cavity. Place the muffin tin on top of a sheet pan (larger than the muffin tin). Place the muffins in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until done with no liquid remaining. When done, remove the muffins from the oven and let cool.

6. When the egg muffins have cooled, enjoy immediately or transfer to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for later.

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