The Natura Blog

  • Natura Sponsored Athlete: Timothy Allen Olson

    "Natura's products have extremely benefited my running and enjoyment of life." - Timothy Allen Olson

    Timothy Allen Olson, champion Ultra Trail Marathon athlete, is a dynamic and exciting contender in the running world. As an upcoming star in this competitive endurance sport, his passion for running and spirit thrive in the mountains of Southern Oregon. Natura is proud to sponsor Timothy as he continues to compete and excel in Ultra Trail Marathons.

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    His recent emergence has generated a buzz of excitement in the Ultra Trail Endurance Marathon running circuit. Despite his tremendous success, Timothy believes in giving back to the community. He is a Race Director for trail races and supports the local race community in his hometown of Ashland, Oregon. Most importantly, Timothy is happily married, and he and his wife, Krista, are proud parents of their newborn son, Tristan.

    Race Accomplishments:

    In June 2012, Timothy won the prestigious Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race in California with a record-breaking time of 14 hours 46 minutes. In the previous 39 years of the event, no competitor has ever crossed the finish line in under 15 hours. The Western States 100 is the most celebrated Ultra Marathon in the world.

    In January 2012, Timothy won the 2012 USA National 100K (62 mile) Championship in Texas. This is the premier 100K Ultra Trail Marathon in the United States. In addition, Timothy has won and placed in numerous other Ultra Trail Marathons in the past few years throughout the United States including:

    1st Place Pine to Palm 100 mile run – 2010, 2011
    1st Place Waldo 100k – 2010, 2012
    1st Place Silver State 50 mile run – 2011
    2st Place Bandera 50k run - 2013
    2nd Place Leona Divide 50 mile run – 2012
    2nd Place Lake Sonoma 50 mile run - 2012
    2nd Place White River 50 mile run – 2011
    3rd Place Run Rabbit Run Hare 100 mile run – 2012
    6th Place Western States 100 mile run - 2011

    Timothy on using Natura products:

    Timothy has been using Natura products for the last year and has experienced great results in his training, recovery and overall strength. "Once I started using Natura products, I could tell my body adapted extremely well to the stress of 100+ mile training weeks. I continue to feel stronger as I prepare to compete in many more 50 and 100 mile races this year,” said Timothy.

    Timothy’s daily Natura regimen:
    Power Adapt
    Amino-Max
    Beyond Essential Fats

    "These three supplements help me build strength as I train for endurance events and recover from hard workouts .”

    Timothy’s Training Supplements:
    Botanabol- "During hard training blocks I like to use Botanabol to build strength and restore muscle breakdown.”
    InflamAway– “I use Inflamaway to modulate the inflammatory response after strenuous workouts and races.”

    Visit Timothy’s blog for race reports and his experiences using Natura’s products. You can also find him on Twitter.

  • Have You Had Your Fermented Foods Today?

    (Originally posted February 6, 2013 at http://www.donnieyance.com/have-you-had-your-fermented-foods-today/)

    Whether it’s sauerkraut from Eastern Europe, miso from Japan, or yogurt from Bulgaria, cultures worldwide have appreciated the unique benefits of fermented foods for thousands of years. Traditionally, people have used fermentation to preserve foods or to make them more digestible; in the process, they found that these foods also kept them healthy.

    Naturally fermented, unpasteurized foods are rich in a variety of helpful bacteria called probiotics, and research shows that these beneficial microbes provide essential support for gastrointestinal, immunological, and overall health. There are many good reasons for including naturally fermented foods in your daily diet:

    • The regular consumption of fermented foods helps to restore the proper balance of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. Many common health issues (including irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections, allergies, asthma, and eczema) appear to be rooted in a lack of healthful intestinal flora.
    • A healthy population of beneficial bacteria forms a living barrier that prevents harmful microbes from entering the blood and lymph through the intestinal walls. Although we may not think of our digestive tract as having much to do with immune function, almost 80 percent of our immune system is located in the intestinal tract, providing first-line defense against ingested toxins and pathogenic bacteria.
    • Fermentation improves the digestibility of foods. For example, many people who are lactose-intolerant and can’t drink milk can eat yogurt, sour cream, kefir, or other fermented dairy products. This is because beneficial bacteria digest lactose during the fermentation process.
    • The probiotics contained in fermented foods assist the body in its natural detoxification processes, including helping to extract and neutralize heavy metals and environmental toxins.
    • Fermented foods help us to better absorb the nutrients that we consume. By improving digestion, you improve absorption.
    • Eating fermented foods regularly is associated with a significant reduction in cancer. Miso, in particular, offers profound protection from radiation toxicity.

    In recent history, fermented foods have all but disappeared from the modern American diet, much to the detriment of our digestive health and overall wellbeing. Many foods that were formerly excellent sources of probiotics (such as sauerkraut, pickles, olives, yogurt, sour cream, and cheese) are now subjected to pasteurization, which eradicates beneficial bacteria.

    One of my favorite fermented foods is miso. It’s versatile and tasty and can be added to soups, stews, salad dressings, sauces, or made into a spread. We always have at least a couple of different varieties of miso—both dark and light—in the refrigerator.

    Dark (red) miso is saltier and considered more suitable for winter. A bowl of red miso soup garnished with scallions is the perfect remedy for helping to ward off fall and winter colds. Light (white) miso is sweeter and less salty, which makes it more appropriate for spring and summer.

    Try these simple recipes that we enjoy at home:

    Miso-Carrot-Ginger Salad Dressing

    • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil (untoasted)
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • 2 oz. rice vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons white miso
    • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
    • 1-inch gingerroot, peeled and cut into small pieces, or 1-2 tsp. ginger juice
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1-2 teaspoons raw honey
    • 1 tsp. tamari
    • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
    • salt and pepper (white or black), to taste

    Directions:

    1. Put all ingredients except salt and pepper into a blender or food processor; pulse briefly several times to begin combining ingredients.
    2. Let machine run for a minute or so until mixture is chunky-smooth.
    3. Add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle over mixed greens.

    Sesame-Miso Spread

    This simple and tasty spread goes well on bread or toast, rice cakes, crackers or chapatis. Makes 1/2 cup.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 tablespoons tahini
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • 1 level tablespoon brown rice or barley miso
    • 1 rounded tablespoon minced onion, scallion, or chives
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil or 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil (optional)

    Directions:

    1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a small saucepan or skillet and bring slowly to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
    2. Gently simmer for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring constantly, remove from heat. If too thick, stir in more water, one teaspoon at a time.

    Gingery Miso Spread

    This delicious spread is quick and very easy to make. For a mild flavor, use mellow white, yellow, or chickpea miso. For a bolder, saltier flavor, use red miso.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 Tbsp miso paste
    • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame tahini
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
    • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger root, plus juice
    • 1 clove garlic, pressed
    • 1 Tbsp slivered scallion greens or chives

    Directions:

    1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth.
    2. Spread a thin layer on bread or crackers.

    Miso Vegetable Soup

    This soup makes a healthful lunch and is especially beneficial when recovering from a cold or flu. I also recommend miso soup for weight loss; enjoy a cup before 1-2 meals a day. Feel free to substitute whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand. You can use tempeh instead of tofu, which is another naturally fermented food. This recipe serves 4.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 3 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped
    • 1/3 pound tofu, cubed
    • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
    • 4 cups vegetable stock
    • 1 strip kombu or wakame
    • Fresh juice from 1 small piece ginger
    • Splash of tamari
    • 2-3 teaspoons miso
    • 1 scallion, sliced thinly

    Directions:

    1. Sauté onion, carrots, celery, and tofu in sesame oil.
    2. Add stock, kombu, ginger, and tamari. Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
    3. Dilute miso with a small amount of hot broth, add to soup, and stir well.
    4. Garnish with scallions and serve.
  • Did You Know... Anabolic Support for Graceful Aging

    Did you know that maintaining a healthy level of anabolic activity is critical to ensuring quality of life and longevity? Metabolism can be simply defined as the set of biochemical processes that occur in an organism to sustain life.  It can then be divided into two categories, processes that break down (catabolic) and processes that build up (anabolic).

    Anabolic Versus Catabolic
    Anabolic processes create complex materials from simpler substances. This activity would include synthesizing the basic components of cells like proteins and lipids, as well as creating the storage form of nutrients to be utilized as needed for energy. The steroidal hormones that stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth are traditionally classified by endocrinologists as anabolic hormones due to the nature of their effects on the body.

    Catabolic processes move in the opposite direction, breaking down large molecules into smaller ones, and tend to release energy in the form of energy- rich compounds like adenosine triphosphate (ATP). They not only supply the energy to power anabolic activity, they also provide the small molecules (building blocks) required to create more complex molecules, and the electrons which act like “glue” by holding atoms together through chemical bonds.

    A Healthy Balance
    In a cell where the anabolic processes dominate over the catabolic ones, growth will result. In a fully developed (non-growing) cell, a healthy balance will exist between the two states. This same concept applies to the entire organism. Take a human for example. As a child, youth naturally provides an anabolic dominant metabolism to support the growth requirements necessary for healthy development. This is the reason why children often bounce back quicker from illness and injury. Once fully mature, a balance between catabolic and anabolic activity is found to sustain the body. Maintaining this balance is crucial to ensuring quality of life and longevity, as it impacts every aspect of health.

    Aging –  The Shift Toward Catabolic Dominance
    As we age, the balance slowly shifts towards a more catabolic dominant metabolism, initiating the many physical and energetic changes we associate with later stages of life. The body becomes less efficient, losing the ability to keep pace with the rate of break down that is occurring. This shift results in decreased energy levels, physical deterioration, increased susceptibility to illness and injury, and longer recovery times. While this is a natural process that everyone experiences, the choices we make over the course of our lives can greatly improve our body’s ability to age gracefully. A healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet, regular exercise, and good rest is essential.

    Supporting Anabolic Restoration
    In conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, nutrients and botanicals that specifically promote anabolic activity can be highly effective tools for strengthening the body’s ability to regenerate and repair itself. Amino acid mineral chelates (creatine magnesium chelate), ecdysterone rich herbal extracts (Rhaponticum & Suma), and “super-food” concentrates (whey protein) have all been shown to support anabolic metabolism. Natura offers a variety of formulas that provide synergistic combinations of ingredients to encourage anabolic restoration and help maintain health and vitality for years to come. These include Botanabol,Power Adapt,Amino-Max,Night Gain &  Beyond Whey.

    For more information on ingredients and formula rationale for these products, please refer to our product sheets.

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