s
MBC Blog
Stress Management + Berry Smoothie, Olivia Porter
Another week past, and what a beautiful week it was! It's been a busy few days in the office and our whole team has worked their fannies off- Go Team! In-between the deadlines, team meetings, and coffee breaks one can get a little worn out- even good weeks can include stressful moments. That's why I am so glad Olivia came in to share this wonderful recipe and let us in on some tips and tricks of fighting off stress in our daily lives. Words of wisdom never tasted so sweet!
 

Stress and What it does to our bodies: 

Im sure we’ve all heard at this point, that stress is bad for your health, but how many really know exactly HOW bad it is, and why? With the holidays coming up, I thought now would be a good time to discuss some of the far reaching effects of stress, as well as some ways to reduce it. This going to involve a little bit of science, as stress wreaks it’s havoc on the body through the endocrine system, which is our control center for hormone production. I have always been fascinated by the intricate and wide spread function of the endocrine system, ranging from adrenaline production, to mood stability, to metabolic rate, and much more.

Let me first start with a quick explanation of the nervous system. It has two divisions: the sympathetic, and the parasympathetic. The parasympathetic is our involuntary nervous system, which controls functions like the heart beating, digestion, bold flow, etc. This is the state we are in when our body is at rest, and we don't have to think about the functions it performs.

The sympathetic nervous system is the exact opposite. It’s in charge of our “fight or flight” response, which is notified when we perceive a threat. It releases adrenaline and cortisol, heightening our senses, and basically putting us in survival mode. We can see, feel, and hear better,as well as experience an increase in strength and cardiovascular endurance. This is a very good thing, when the situation calls for it, but can be a bad thing, when it is prolonged over periods of time. Unfortunately, many of us tend to live in a mild version of “fight or flight”, mode, due to the fast paced and demanding lives we lead. The reason this is a problem, is because when our bodies feel stress, they increase cortisol production, as i mentioned before, which is supposed to enhance our ability to handle danger, but actually prevents our body from producing other hormones we need, such as testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, and many more.

Now you see why this spike in cortisol is ok for short periods of time, but wreaks havoc when it persists for days, weeks, or months on end. If we go for too long without producing the other hormones we need, it creates a domino effect on the other systems in the body. Living organisms are so complex and intricate, that every organ and hormone in the body is connected in some way, and when we damage one, it is only a matter of time before the rest follow.

If that wasn’t enough motivation to reduce stress, another side effect is stored fat. The reason for this, is that when the body thinks it’s under attack, one of it’s primal instincts is to hold on to nutrients, and store them for future energy, in case it doesn't get them again for a long time. Obviously this is not the case in today’s world, but our bodies don't know the difference between types of stress, they only know how to survive. Our ancestors lived in a completely different world than we do, where maybe they didn’t know when or where the next meal was coming from. Running away from a lion or bear, and then storing whatever food they ate, wasn’t a problem, especially because they would burn it off anyway.

So times have changed dramatically, yet our body’s tendencies remain the same through generations. What is the answer? Well, as much as I wish I held the secret to eliminating stress in everyday life, I don’t have a fool proof solution for you. I’m still learning new things everyday, and I will always have a long way to go. I do howeverspend lots of time researching, and have several ideas which can help to reduce stress, and restore peace and longevity to life. Here are a few of them:

  

  • Practice gratitude. Easy to do on good days, but not so easy on the bad ones right? Thats ok, choose to think about the things you have to be thankful for, even when you don’t feel it, and over time, you will notice little changes that add up!!
  • Find something that motivates you. Whether it’s a hobby, a person, a career opportunity, or planning for the future, believe me when I say that those who feel passionate about something are able to handle life’s little curve balls better than those who don’t.

  • Exercise!! Seriously. The best stress relief around. Under utilized and it’s free. So whatever you enjoy doing, just get your body moving, get that heart rate up, and try to tell me you don’t feel better afterwards!

  • Take some time for yourself. Each day, you should set aside an hour to do whatever it is that makes you feel at peace. Preferable something that helps you relax, like yoga, playing an instrument, reading, etc. But don't let me tell you what it has to be; you know what works best for you.

  • Surround yourself with positive people. Obviously this is not always in our control, but you can choose who you spend your free time with, so make sure it’s with people who lift you up, and are happy about life. Also remember, you have the ability to be that person for others as well, so even if you spend time with negative people, BE the positive energy in the room, and maybe you’ll be surprised at the effect it has on others.

  • Treat your body like a temple. Even if it doesn't feel like it, your body is an amazing thing. If you want it to feel strong, you have to take care of it. Increase nutrient rich, whole foods, especially proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Here are a few example of each:

  • -  Proteins: Chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, ground beef, cheese, yogurt (be sure to look for low sugar content), clean protein powder, etc. (Organic is best in all cases).

  • -  Fats: Avocado, nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, etc., seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds, seseme seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, etc., coconut oil, and olive oil to name a few, again, go with organic if possible).

  • -  Carbohydrates: Sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, brown rice, beans, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

  • -  Herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, tumeric, cumin, curry, cilantro, basil, etc.
    Reduce the bad stuff :( This includes caffeine, alcohol, refined, processed, packaged foods, and most importantly, SUGAR!! Sugar has the worst effect on our stress response because it spikes blood sugar, (much like cortisol does), and then allows it to drop down, even lower than it was before, causing mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and fat storage.
    For additional support, there are many natural supplements you may find helpful. Some of these include: Eluthero root, ashwaghanda, licorice root, rhodiola, maca, and prickly ash bark, to name a few. All of these are plant roots, and can be used in the form of tea, capsules, tinctures, or sprays. You can also find blends with many of them all in one. Try looking under “adrenal support” in any health food store.

I know this was a lot of information, so feel free to contact me with any questions or for more ideas. In closing, I want to leave you with a recipe which is very nourishing and supportive for the nervous system.

 

1/2 cup Green Tea, chilled or room temp. (substitute Nettles Tea) 

1/2 cup Milk (coconut, almond, flax, or organic cows milk)

1/2 Medium Banana 

1/2 cup Blueberries 

1/2 tbsp Maca (add more if acclimated)

1/2 tsp Ginger Spice or fresh Ginger, grated

A dash of Celtic Sea Salt

1/2 tbsp Honey to sweeten (substitute Maple Syrup or Stevia)

 

Have a great weekend!
-Liv
Pumpkin Smoothie, with Olivia Porter
Bonjour! We here at MBC wish all of you wonderfuls a very happy week. Today we are happy to introduce to you a good friend of ours named Olivia Porter who will be sharing with us on the blog every now and then. Liv is a health guru who has made it her mission to share her knowledge of right living with those around her. The importance of health cannot be overstated so we are so excited to have her involved and feel privileged to learn more and more about living a healthy lifestyle. She will be sharing some of her favorite recipes that are all things nutritious and good. So with that, I'm turning it over to our favorite health nut! 
 
Hello All!
First of all, I would like to say how excited I am to be working with these amazing women, and to to be involved in their inspiring movement with the Mason Bar Company. I went to school for Holistic Nutrition in 2012, with the assumption that I would use my degree to work exclusively, with clients, one on one, as a nutrition consultant. However, throughout the process, I had the opportunity to do so much more, including teaching classes and workshops, learning about sustainable living, and now, to write for a blog, which allows me to reach so many more people than I ever expected. I discovered new passion in the area of health, which has shaped my belief system on what the word truly means. So I thought it would be fitting to hit on a few key topics, which I believe to cumulatively sum up what we as individuals need in order to thrive. True health encompasses the whole person: body, mind, and soul. So the conclusion I've come to, is that we must have three of the following things.
 Physical Health: This includes proper nutrition, fitness, balance, strength, and endurance. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal, adapt, and grow, especially when taken care of properly. Think of it as preventative maintenance, because, while it may not seem like a priority now, I promise it will be as you get older. Its your future, so you decide how you want to spend it; healthy and active, or sick and tired. Ok I`ll be done with my rant for now!
Mental Health: This can be different for everyone, but I think its safe to say that most all people need to love, and be loved, unconditionally. Also to feel supported, passionate, capable, and motivated. Being able to accomplish goals, and share life with those you love, is what makes it worth living. This brings me to the third and most important point! Emotional health: This comes down to having faith that there is something more than this life. That there is some method to the madness of this world, and gives you a sense of purpose beyond grinding through each day just to survive. No matter how much we love them, people are just people, and will let us down at some point. Placing your trust solely in another person, is like asking to have your world turned upside down. However, believing in something more than this life, and in a Love that overcomes all, is what creates the passion to love each other in the same way, even though we know we aren't perfect.  Making it a goal to support health in each of these ways, and to share it with others everyday, is what drives my mission in this world. Most of my posts will be more practical and hands on, with daily ideas and tips for incorporating health into busy lifestyles. I just wanted to take this opportunity to explain my belief system. I hope it is helpful!! I also want to leave you with a great recipe for a seasonal smoothie which works perfectly in the mason jars, for easy transport!! I call it “Pumpkin Spice”, it is super easy to make, full of nutritional benefits, and tastes amazing!! Here is what you will need:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 frozen banana

1 cup organic milk (coconut milk or hemp milk can be substituted)!
.
1/2 cup plain organic yogurt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1or 2 packets of stevia

1 tbls. honey 

(Makes 2 servings)  
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 171, Carbohydrates: 25g., Fat: 2g., Protein: 13g.  

Enjoy!!!
  -Liv

// C O L D - B R E W //
Goodbye Spring, hello Summer! The days are growing longer and the California sun has finally shown it’s true colors- it is officially steaming hot! With that being said us girls at the warehouse are taking every possible precaution to beat the heat. Since coffee is one of our main food groups around here (but really) I thought it would be a good idea to try our hand at some cold brew. Could there be a better solution? I think not!
Through my many wanderings on our ever loved Instagram, I came across Seaworth Coffee Co.- an all natural, american made coffee company based in Costa Mesa, California. Each cold brew is hand-crafted, they use fair trade organic coffee beans, AND they repp the golden state. In short, we love them! Seaworth was kind enough to send us over a care package of their amazing product so that we could try it ourselves- I only have one word for you- SOLD!
Bobbi, Meg, and I selected our usual favorites to pair with Seaworth's Single Fin Sludge cold brew and the results were soooo yummy! We thought we would give you guys a few ideas if you need some cold brew inspiration so here are our top picks!
Bobbi's Choice (served in a wide 16oz)
- 6oz Seaworth Single Fin Sludge
- 6oz Unflavored Coconut Milk
- 1tsp. Sweet Beet (all natural locally made sweetener)
- Just a pinch of cinnamon
It was too amazing for words.
My pick: (served in 24oz)
- 8oz Seaworth Single Fin Sludge 
- 8oz Coconut Milk
- 1/2 oz Seaworth Coconut Simple Syrup
If you're looking for a punch of amazing flavor without the fuss of anything too sweet, this little recipe is the one for you.
Last but not least, Meg's Cold Brew: (served in regular mouth 16oz)
- 6oz Single Fin Sludge
- 6oz Coconut Milk
- 1tbsp. Raw Honey (locally made by Gold Country Honey Farms)
 Honey is always a good idea. Always.
All three of our brewskies were so so good. Seriously, we wished we had more to go around! A giant thank you to Seaworth Coffee Co. for obliging us with such an amazing cold brew. Be sure to check these guys out- they're going places!
"When there is no other solution- just choose coffee." -Yours truly
xo - Lis
// W H O L E - F O O D S //

For all of our Whole Foods Market junkies, we wanted to give you an update on new locations and cities in the Northern California region that now carry MBC products! We are so pleased and excited about our relationship with WFM and love seeing new places and new customers finding our goods on their shelves. 

Here are a few new locations for you to get your hands on some MBC goodness! 

Whole Foods Market- Oakland

Whole Foods Market- Ocean St. San Francisco

Whole Foods Market Castro- Market St. San Francisco

Whole Foods Market Noe Valley- 24th St. San Francisco

Whole Foods Market- Walnut Creek

Whole Foods Market- Los Altos

Whole Foods Market- Petaluma

Whole Foods Market- Roseville

Whole Foods Market- Reno

Whole Foods Market- Mill Valley

Whole Foods Market- San Mateo

Whole Foods Market- Napa

Whole Foods Market- Fremont

Whole Foods Market- Santa Rosa

Whole Foods Market- Sebastopol

Whole Foods Market- Fresno

Whole Foods Market- Cupertino

Whole Foods Market- Sacramento

Whole Foods Market- Oakland

Whole Foods Market- San Ramon

Whole Foods Market- Sonoma

All stores stock our 24oz tumblers, wide and regular mouth lids as well as lid and straw sets. Thank you all for being part of our crazy, amazing journey. We wouldn't be where we are without our loyal customers and friends! 

 

Be courageous. Look under every stone. Trudge on. Accept that your life is a miracle and live accordingly.

 

XO Lis

 

 

 

J U I C E - S E R I E S // Week (4)

And so the Saga continues with week four- hold on to your hats ladies and gents! This week was my second opportunity to choose our juice recipe- yeahhh buddy!!! I went on our Instagram feed and found a customer MBC recipe that looked amazing- Thanks Miko!  

 /// This recipe serves (3) 12oz jars ///

We used:

- 4 Green Apples

- 4 Celery Stalks

- 1 handful Spinach

- 1 handful Parsley

- 4 Red Cabbage leaves

- 1/2 squeezed Lime

- 1" Ginger

Some health facts about a few of our ingredients:

- Red cabbage contains large amounts of Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium, and Vitamin K.

- Ginger helps with nausea, can ease muscle pain, and helps a case of cold or flu.

-Lime helps with digestion, is rich in antioxidants, and even helps rejuvenate your skin!

 

As you can see, this recipe turned out beautifully and and was so so so yummy! I know I keep saying this every week but I really do think this one is my new fav. I hope our little series has encouraged some of you to try out some fun new ways to integrate fresh produce into your week. If any of you are feeling daring and decide to try a new recipe, please share it with us via Instagram and use the hashtag #mbcrecipes. We view all of our customer posts and love to hear from all of you beautiful people- who knows, we may choose your recipe next week! 

 

Happy February!

-Lis 

J U I C E - S E R I E S // Week (3)

Welcome back to the weekly juicing adventures of the MBC crew! This week our lovely Bobbi Jo, (fondly known as Joanie by yours truly) selected a recipe for us to taste test. I had been on a juicing high from our past two weeks of sensational recipes and was ready to gulp down another.

I showed up for work and found out we would be juicing our very own "V8"- EEK! This was NOT going to be the ultra-sweet drink I had in my head. Nevertheless we were all excited to try it!

// This recipe serves (4) 16oz tumblers //

We used:

- Celery (10 stalks)

- 1 Cucumber

- 1 Green Bell Pepper

- 6 Tomatoes

- Parsley (handful)

- 7 Carrots

 

Sounds pretty good right? Ann took one look at the ingredients and suggested that we needed some vodka and pepper- Bloody Mary anyone?! In all seriousness we contemplated making a booze run but had to restrain ourselves- heavily restrain ourselves!

Ok, ok back to juicing. Some helpful hints if you're wanting to try this recipe out at home:

- Buy organic celery, tomatoes, and bell peppers

- Use whole carrots, none of those baby carrots (they are soaked in bleach- YUCK!)

 

Don't forget to wash those ingredients!

Bobbi's pick was delightful- not sweet, but very tasty. I felt like I got in all 5 servings of vegetables in just one drink! We have been having some pretty busy days so it's been good to have our little juice boost every week. I'm super excited for next time!- Spoiler alert, I may have picked a customer's recipe =)

 

Until next tuesday!

-Lis

 

 

J U I C E - S E R I E S // Week (2)

 

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Let me just start out by saying that tuesday is our new favorite "work" day at the warehouse! The MBC juice series is an official keeper in our book. This week was Ann's turn- she decided to choose a recipe from Choosing Raw. We all showed up prepared to be blown away yet again and Ann's recipe definitely did not disappoint! 

// This recipe serves (4) 16oz tumblers //

 We used:

- 4 cucumbers

- 1/2 lemon (squeezed)

- 2 pears

- 2 handfuls fresh mint

- 2 cups spinach 

Once we washed our produce and sliced the bigger fruits and veggies we were ready to juice! This recipe was much easier to prep than last weeks, if your looking for a quick juice on the go.

Random fact about how I juice- I put the denser produce through the juicer first (apple, cucumber, pear, carrot, celery, etc.). It probably makes no difference but I have a little voice in my head that believes the juicer will perform better when the smaller, more fine veggies (mint, parsley, spinach, etc) are juiced last, that way it doesn't gunk up the blade until the end. Logical? Who knows, but I keep doing it!

 

First thoughts during my first sips- absolutely delicious, super refreshing, freedom in a cup. That pretty much sums it up. Ann's pick is by far one of my favorite I've ever juiced. All of us girls were surprised at how sweet this juice was without being overpowering (some juice can get a little nectar/syrup tasting).

We all felt bright-eyed and ready to conquer the day! Which was good because we filmed our crazy awesome MBC video that day and pretty much nailed it =)  

 

Another memorable tuesday for the Mason Bar Team. Us girls can't get over how inspired and encouraged we feel every time we share a day working, laughing, and sharing yummy drinks with each other. We are truly blessed by this life we have the opportunity to share. God is good, and so is juice.

 

-Lis

J U I C E - S E R I E S // Week (1)

 It's the New Year and we all know what that means- time for 2014 resolutions! Earlier this month us girls, (Bobbi, Annie, & myself) went for coffee to chat about our hopes, ideas, and plans for the coming year. One of Bobbi's resolutions was to juice once a week right here in our shop, not only as a personal goal but as a fun way to start our week and connect with our beautiful juicing customers. Of course Ann and I were on board the second she finished her sentence! Juicing while we work? Sign me up! And so began our juicing adventure. 

Here's what to expect from our weekly series: Every tuesday we will be trying out a different juice recipe we thought up, found online, or chose from a lovely customer. The three of us will be taking turns each week trying out our chosen recipe. I'm sure we will happen upon a few blunders but hey, it's all about trying new things and finding ways to integrate healthy goodness into the day to day.

 This past tuesday was our very first Juicing day and guess who was up first? Yep, yours truly. Thankfully, juicing has been a part of my lifestyle for over a year so I was excited to share with the girls one of my favorite juicing recipes. It's one that I've come to adore- totally simple but oh so delicious. 



Here's what I used (serves 4):

-12 large green apples

-1/8 fresh lemon

- 6 full kale leaves

- 6 full swiss chard leaves

- 2 cucumbers

  Some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your juicing experience:

I'm in no way an expert on juicing- honestly most the time I just throw it in there and pray it turns out to be drinkable. However, there are a few tips that I have learned from friends and personal research that can make juicing easier and more effective, so here it goes!

(1) ALWAYS wash your fruits and veggies thoroughly! I cannot stress this enough! Your best bet is to let your produce soak for a few minutes in clean water. There are organic sol

utions that are fantastic for cleaning produce but I will share that at a later time =)

(2) Choose your produce wisely. If you have any knowledge of pesticides, GMO's, and other harmful chemicals being shot up in our food you know the importance of selecting your groceries carefully. Since I don't want to go on a crazy, long tangent, my best advice is to research the basics such as the "Clean Fifteen" and the "Dirty Dozen" of produce. It should help you get started! 

(3) Always peel your apples! Did you know that apples are coated with harmful chemicals like petroleum to prolong their shelf life? The next time you eat an apple, try taking a sharp knife and gliding it firmly over the skin. What you find will shock you. 

Phew! I think that's enough information to thoroughly freak you out but I wanted to share these few facts that have truly changed the way I juice. 

Moving on! Here's a break down of the details that went into the juicing process:

- Washed all produce

- Peeled green apples/ chopped into quarters

- Chopped cucumber into large slices (don't peel)

- Separated kale and swiss chard leaves

- Cut fresh lemon into 1/8 (only need one) 

 Voila! Less than five minutes later we had our juice in hand. Ann said I passed with flying colors as she went on her way leather working. As for me I thought it tasted like sweet apple cider. Of course I knew the the most important person I needed to win over was our juicing newbie, Bobbi. I wish I got a picture of her face when she took a sip, so priceless! She squealed out a typical Bobbi-esque response, "Oh my gosh it's AMAZING!!!". 

I want to share all of the amazing health benefits of this leafy concoction but I'll have to do it another day. First juicing week was an absolute success and we three can't wait for next Tuesday! 

 

 

Stay tuned for Annie's recipe next week!

#happyearth #happydrink #happycustomer

 

Bye for now!

-Lis