Recipes for Great Summer Picnics

Things are finally starting to feel like summer!  The kids are getting out of school, the weather is warming up, and the days are getting longer.  Summer is a great time to refresh, slow down and reboot from your usual hectic schedule! 

 

What better way to kick-start the summer than by planning a family picnic?  It’s a chance to enjoy the weather, add a twist to family lunch or dinner and the best part?  Very little time spent in the kitchen!  Take a look at these great picnic ideas to try out this summer that are guaranteed to be lasting memories for years to come!

 

Here is a great, light summer salad that is quick and easy to make.  It is a great dish to take to a BBQ or on a picnic.  Add personal servings in a Mason jar for easy serving, and top with your favorite dressing or this homemade Jalapeño dressing!

 

Grilled Chicken Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chicken breast, grilled and diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1-cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1-cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½-cup corn kernels (if canned – drained, if frozen – thawed) (Optional)
  • ½-cup diced white onion
  • ¼-cup thinly sliced fresno peppers, deseeded

 

Jalapeños Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2-cups greek yogurt
  • 2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
  • 1 large handful of cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-teaspoon salt
  • ⅛-teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes

 

Directions:

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients and 1-cup of salad dressing in a large bowl, or individual serving in a Mason jar. Gently toss until the ingredients are coated in dressing.
  3. Cover and refrigerate.

 

What picnic is complete without a sandwich of some kind?  We’ve added a twist with these pinwheels that are a kid-favorite and so easy to make!  An added bonus is they are easy to customize, which means each member of the family can have their own favorite ingredients!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1-cup turkey, or favorite sandwich meat
  • 4-ounces baby spinach
  • 1-cup hummus
  • 7-ounces red pepper, roasted (optional)
  • 4 gluten-free tortillas or flatbread

 

Directions:

  1. Take one gluten-free tortilla and spread hummus
  2. Layer the turkey, baby spinach and red peppers as flat as possible
  3. Tightly roll the tortilla.  Cut into pieces. Enjoy!

 

Take a look at this quick and easy dessert recipe that you can make ahead of time!  Cut into bite-sized pieces for an even more convenient picnic dessert.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½-cups Paskesz Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2-teaspoons coconut oil
  • ¾-cup vegan gluten free brown rice crisp cereal

 

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or wax paper. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. Melt the chocolate using the double boiler method, or do the following: add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a medium, microwave-safe bowl (large enough to add cereal later). Heat in 20-second increments until softened, stirring in between heating increments, until smooth.
  3. Add cereal to melted chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, stir and fold until well incorporated. Pour this mixture into the prepared baking pan. Using the spatula, smooth into an even layer.
  4. Transfer the pan into the freezer and freeze for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove from freezer and allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Cut into squares and enjoy!

 

 

An easy go-to option for any summer dessert is a nice, seasonal fruit salad!  You can add you and your family’s favorite fruit and mix it up in a big bowl and enjoy a healthy and sweet option.  To mix things up, try making fruit skewers!  You can add your favorite fruit to a skewer pack into your picnic!

 

We’d love to hear if you have tried any of the recipes included in the Kirkman Family Newsletter!  Let us know what you think, or post a photo on our Facebook Page!

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Stats Still Dismal For Men’s Health in 2018

June is Men’s Health Month, a time to shine a spotlight on men’s health issues.  Starting with the enactment of a bill signed by President Clinton in 1994 to establish a National Men’s Health Week, it was expanded shortly thereafter to include the whole month.

Although there’s been some progress made in the area of men’s health, there’s still good reason to worry about the health of the men (and boys) in your family. 

According to the Men’s Health Network, a private, non-profit agency devoted to spreading awareness of men’s health issues, the stats on men’s health are dismal.  According to the group:

  • Men die 5 years earlier than women, on average.  (In 1994, men died 7 years earlier than women).
  • Men lead in nine out of ten of the top causes of death.
  • Men are a greater risk for death in every age group.
  • Men have a higher suicide death rate than women.
  • Men account for 92% of workplace fatalities[i].

 

In addition, the National Center of Health, Physical Activity and Disability reports that compared to women, men are likely to smoke more, make unhealthy or risky choices and put off regular checkups and medical care.  They named some of the most important health conditions affecting men as issues with the heart, prostate, colon, and bones.  They point out that these conditions also have important nutritional implications[ii].

 

Proper nutrition is essential in addressing many health issues that plague the American male.  Kirkman® offers a wide range of nutritional supplements to support men’s health and certain supplements that are formulated especially for men.  Our top recommendations include the following:

 

To establish a good nutritional foundation:

For heart health:

  • CoQ10 (Kirkman offers a wide variety of CoQ10s in various strengths and types including capsules, powders and chewable tablets)
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) (Kirkman® offers a wide variety of EFAs in various strengths and types including capsules, powders and liquids.)
  • Magnesium (Kirkman® offers a wide variety of magnesium products in capsules, cream, powder, liquids and chewable wafers)

For immune support:

For prostate and detox support:

 

[i] Men’s Health Month Toolkit | Mens Health Month. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.menshealthmonth.org/mens-health-month-toolkit.html

[ii] The Importance of Men’s Health : NCHPAD – Building Inclusive Communities. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nchpad.org/650/2629/The~Importance~of~Men~s~Health

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DMG and TMG . . . Versatile and Important

DMG (Dimethylglycine) and TMG (Trimethylglycine) were among the first nutritional supplements that Kirkman® formulated for special needs individuals.  Over the years, we have heard many gratifying stories from our customers about how these supplements have made dramatic differences in their health or their loved ones’ health.

 

Both are derivatives of the amino acid glycine holding onto methyl groups, in the case of DMG, two methyl groups, while TMG has three methyl groups. When TMG loses one methyl group it can be converted to DMG.  Both DMG and TMG are versatile nutrients that offer important health benefits.

 

DMG

DMG, when first discovered, was referred to as Vitamin B-16, however researchers discovered that it did not meet the definition of a vitamin because, unlike vitamins, it can be synthesized in the body and lack of the nutrient has no ill health effects.

 

DMG supports methylation, methionine metabolism, folate chemistry and is an immune system modulator. DMG is a non-protein amino acid present in plant and animal cells. DMG is considered a “methyl donor” or “methyl bank.” In the body, with the help of a coenzyme of riboflavin, DMG supplies methyl groups that attach to folic acid to form methylene tetrahydrofolate, an important component of many biochemical processes in the body, including cellular perception and response. It is also involved in maintaining healthy homocysteine levels.  DMG is present in plant and animal cells.

 

 

TMG

One of the main benefits of TMG is that it can reduce homocysteine levels in the body to support the heart.  Another important role that TMG has is contributing to methylation in the liver to support detoxification processes.

 

Methyl donors can help in the production of several brain chemicals. Some of the methione from TMG is converted into SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), which can help maintain healthy serotonin levels in the body that may support mood, energy, concentration and a feeling of well-being.

 

Folic acid intake and levels in the body must be adequate for TMG to work biochemically. In some individuals, the use of natural folinic acid may be more beneficial than folic acid because folinic acid already has attached four hydrogen atoms and one methyl group, thereby shortcutting the complicated biochemical processes that assist purine and nucleotide synthesis. These processes are very important in cell perception and response.

 

 

Click here to view Kirkman’s DMG and TMG products.

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Supplements to Keep the “Fun” in Summer Activities

We tend to do things in summer that we wouldn’t do any other time of the year – - swim, barbecue, camp, hike and travel with kids on vacation.   These summer activities can also present unique, seasonal health challenges.

 

Last year, around this time, Kirkman® named our top nutritional supplement recommendations for summer (Gastromune Allergy Support, magnesium, probiotics, sleep products and vitamin C).  This year, we’re adding supplements to that list to ensure that you keep the fun in your “summer fun” activities.

 

Around the Barbecue

 

 

We’ve probably all stood near a barbecue and instinctively knew to get out of the way of those delicious but hard to inhale fumes. 

 

Grilling meat at high temperatures can release toxic chemicals, known as AGEs (advanced glycation end products) that are also a by-product of tobacco smoke.  AGEs are known to cause oxidative stress and cellular inflammation, which can lead to serious health issues as we age[1].

 

To combat the effects of AGES, Kirkman® recommends taking L-Carnosine.  In a recent blog, Dr. Oz also praised the benefits of L-Carnosine for protection from the effect of AGEs released from barbecuing[2]. 

 

L-Carnosine is composed of two amino acids (dipeptide) – ß-alanine and L-histidine and is highly concentrated in the brain.  Researchers have found that L-Carnosine is a strong hydrophilic antioxidant with a particular affinity for scavenging superoxide anion and hydroxyl free radicals. According to studies, L-Carnosine also demonstrates antiglycating properties, which inhibit damage of cell structures[3].

Kirkman® offers an exceptionally high-quality L-Carnosine, in 200 mg, hypoallergenic capsules.

 

For Pool Swimmers
 

 

Not many kiddos can resist the allure of a cool, turquoise swimming pool on a hot summer’s day. And even though there’s a cautionary, well-known tale here about the toxic effects of chlorine on the body – swimming in chlorinated pools is still very much a part of many families’ summer fun.

 

Chlorine is a strong chemical that reddens eyes and causes allergic reactions in some swimmers. Chlorine absorbs into the skin and can cause life-threatening health issues and even reproductive problems.

Some nutritional supplements are known to mitigate the effects of chlorine. These are:

 

 

Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate can neutralize chlorine in hair and skin but should be used topically. Also an antioxidant that supports the body’s response to chlorine. Vitamin D and Alpha Lipoic Acid: Antioxidants that help the body deal with effects of chlorine. Taurine: May support detoxification from chlorine. Magnesium Sulfate Cream: Use as a soothing topical cream.

 

For Campers and Hikers
 

 

If you plan on camping or hiking outdoors, take along allergy protection.  Being in new terrain and plant environments can prompt allergy symptoms to occur. 

Kirkman’s proprietary formulation for allergies is Gastromune Allergy Support (#0367-120), an herbal blend specially formulated to support healthy immune system response. 

 

Magnesium supports breathing that can become labored if affected by pollen and other allergens.  Kirkman® manufactures a wide variety of magnesium products in different forms and strengths.  These include: Magnesium Malate 1000 mg Hypoallergenic (#0373-120)Magnesium Citrate Soluble Powder – Hypoallergenic (#0239-008)Buffered Magnesium Oxide – Hypoallergenic (#0257-250)Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate – Hypoallergenic (#0096-250) and Buffered Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder – Bio-Max Series (#0459-004).

 

 

Kirkman® also recommends taking a good, multi-strain probiotic such as Kirkman’s Pro-Bio Gold™ (#0442-060 or #0442-120) to support beneficial intestinal flora. The probiotic will also work synergistically with Gastromune Allergy Support for maximum benefit.

 

For Traveling with Kids
 

 

The most important supplement pack for you and your fellow travelers is a broad spectrum multi-vitamin. If you plan to travel with a child who has special dietary sensitivities, finding the right foods to eat in unfamiliar locales may be a main challenge.  Hopefully, you’ll avoid the fast food route, which offers little to no nutrition. Kirkman offers many, good choices in multi-vitamins for your entire family.  Click here to see Kirkman’s many, multi-vitamin supplement options.

 

 

For most kids, there’s no greater excitement than going on summer vacation with the family.  Anticipation of new things to see and do and the excitement of actually doing those things can amp up their adrenalin so that they are chemically wired not to relax or sleep.

Safe and gentle supplements to use for relaxation are any form of magnesium (see magnesium options above), but in particular Magnesium Citrate Soluble Powder (#0239-008), which can be mixed into warm or hot water for a delicious before-bed drink. 

 

Kirkman® also offers a variety of other sleep aids that are gentle and effective such as Melatonin 1 mg Chewable Tablets (#0068-100)Melatonin Plus Magnesium – Hypoallergenic (#0037-100, #0037-250),Restless Sleep Herbal Blend (#0539-060) and Children’s Chewable Chocolate Melatonin 3 mg (#0524-090)

 

 

[1] Advanced Glycation End Products in Foods and a Practical Guide to Their Reduction in the Diet. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/

[2] Summer Supplements to Beat the Heat. (2012, May 23). Retrieved from https://www.doctoroz.com/article/summer-supplements-beat-heat

[3] Hendler, S. S. (2008). PDR for Nutritional Supplements 2nd Edition. Montvale, NJ: Physicians Desk Reference Inc.

 
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For Special Needs Families Legalizing Hemp May Be Important

For years, the special needs community has embraced hemp products.  With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill this month – buying hemp products, even across state lines, has become legal.  More special needs individuals will get the help that hemp products can offer but it may be the wild west as far as quality, potency and purity of the products are concerned because the industry is expected to grow extremely rapidly.

Hemp Has Been Legalized Nationally
American farmers will be able to plant and harvest hemp, a strain of the same plant species from which marijuana originates, because of the passage of the Farm Bill.

Hemp is a plant that’s almost identical to marijuana and is a key source of the highly touted wellness ingredient CBD.

What Is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

Both hemp and marijuana are categorized in the cannabis family of plants. Botanically, the genus cannabis is composed of several variants. Cannabis is the only plant genus that contains the unique class of molecular compounds called cannabinoids.

Many cannabinoids have been identified, but two preponderate: THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, and CBD, which is an anti-psychoactive ingredient. One type of cannabis is high in the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, and low in the anti-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD. This type is popularly known as marijuana. Another type is high in CBD and low in THC. Variants of this type are called hemp.

Size of the Hemp Industry

According to a new estimate from cannabis industry analysts the Brightfield Group[1], the hemp-CBD market alone could hit $22 billion by 2022.

According to the report from this prestigious think tank

 “CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, has had a surge in popularity over the past couple of years. Unlike THC, the chemical compound that gives weed its signature effect, CBD has been shown to help with everything from PTSD and anxiety to MS and epilepsy — without getting you high”.

A Serious Problem with Hemp – 70% Mislabeled Product

A new study by a Penn Medicine researcher, published this week in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA[2]) found that nearly 70 percent of all cannabidiol products sold online are either over or under labeled, causing potential serious harm to its consumers.

The purpose for this study was explained in the introduction to the study by the authors:

“There is growing consumer demand for cannabidiol (CBD), a constituent of the cannabis plant, due to its purported medicinal benefits for myriad health conditions. Viscous plant-derived extracts, suspended in oil, alcohol (tincture), or vaporization liquid, represent most of the retail market for CBD. Discrepancies between federal and state cannabis laws have resulted in inadequate regulation and oversight, leading to inaccurate labeling of some products. To maximize sampling and ensure representativeness of available products, we examined the label accuracy of CBD products sold online, including identification of present but unlabeled cannabinoids”.

Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD, an adjunct assistant professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and the lead author on the study, believes the mislabeling of cannabidiol products is a direct result of inadequate regulation and oversight.

“The big problem, with this being something that is not federally legal, is that the needed quality assurance oversight from the Food and Drug Administration is not available. There are currently no standards for producing, testing, or labeling these oils,” Bonn-Miller said. “So, right now, if you buy a Hershey bar, you know it has been checked over; you know how many calories are in it, you know it has chocolate as an ingredient, you know how much chocolate is in there. Selling these oils without oversight, there is no way to know what is actually in the bottle. It’s crazy to have less oversight and information about a product being widely used for medicinal purposes, especially in very ill children, than a Hershey bar.” 

For a month, Bonn-Miller and his team of researchers conducted internet searches to identify and purchase CBD products available for online retail purchase that included CBD content on the packaging. The team purchased and analyzed 84 products from 31 different companies and found that more than 42 percent of products were under-labeled, meaning that the product contained a higher concentration of CBD than indicated. Another 26 percent of products purchased were over-labeled, meaning the product contained a lower concentration of CBD than indicated. 

Only 30% of CBD products purchased contained an actual CBD content that was within 10% of the amount listed on the product label. While studies have not shown that too much CBD can be harmful, products containing either too little or too much CBD than labeled could negate potential clinical benefit to patients. Further, the variability across products may make it troublesome for patients to get a reliable effect. 

“People are using this as medicine for many conditions (anxiety, inflammation, pain, epilepsy),” Bonn-Miller explained. “The biggest implication is that many of these patients may not be getting the proper dosage; they’re either not getting enough for it to be effective or they’re getting too much.”

According to Bonn-Miller, a number of products also contained a significant amount of THC — the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for making a person feel “high” — which has been shown cause cognitive impairment and other adverse health effects. “This is a medication that is often used for children with epilepsy, so parents could be giving their child THC without even knowing it,” he said.

Kirkman® To Introduce New Line of Hemp Products

Because of the need for quality hemp products and the widespread use of hemp products among our customers, Kirkman® will be introducing a line of hemp products in the coming months.

We can assure our customers that our new hemp products will be made with the same attention to quality, efficacy, safety and purity that they have come to expect from Kirkman®.  

References

[1] https://www.brightfieldgroup.com/

[2] Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, Mallory J. E. Loflin, Brian F. Thomas, Jahan P. Marcu, Travis Hyke, Ryan Vandrey. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA, 2017; 318 (17): 1708 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2017.11909

1. Whiting  PF, Wolff  RF, Deshpande  S,  et al.  Cannabinoids for medical use: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  JAMA. 2015;313(24):2456-2473.ArticlePubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

2. Vandrey  R, Raber  JC, Raber  ME, Douglass  B, Miller  C, Bonn-Miller  MO.  Cannabinoid dose and label accuracy in edible medical cannabis products.  JAMA. 2015;313(24):2491-2493.ArticlePubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

3. US Food and Drug Administration.  2016 Warning letters and test results for cannabidiol-related products. https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm484109.htm. Accessed August 15, 2017.

4. Babalonis  S, Haney  M, Malcolm  RJ,  et al.  Oral cannabidiol does not produce a signal for abuse liability in frequent marijuana smokers.  Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017;172:9-13.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

5. Bergamaschi  MM, Queiroz  RH, Zuardi  AW, Crippa  JA.  Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent.  Curr Drug Saf. 2011;6(4):237-249.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

6. Crippa  JA, Crippa  AC, Hallak  JE, Martín-Santos  R, Zuardi  AW.  Δ9-THC intoxication by cannabidiol-enriched cannabis extract in two children with refractory epilepsy.  Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:359.PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref

 

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Put this on your New Year’s Resolution List: Take a Multi-Vitamin!!!

If you had to choose one dietary supplement to support your general health for the coming year – Kirkman® would recommend a multivitamin/mineral supplement.  

Most Americans already know that taking a multivitamin is important.  According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition 2018 survey, 75% of American adults take a dietary supplement, 83% of whom take a multivitamin.

Let’s face it, we use processed foods, we eat fast foods, some of us go on restrictive diets, and we don’t calculate the nutrients we eat daily to know whether we get the right amounts of nutrients.  Multivitamins are a combination of nutritional minerals and vitamins that are essential for the proper functioning of our bodies.  Maintaining the nutrition we need each day is an important foundation upon which to build good health.

Kirkman® offers multivitamin formulations in a variety of forms that include capsules, tablets, chewables, powders and liquids.  Kirkman® also offers multi-vitamins for various age groups and conditions.  The following is a list that may help you choose the right multi-vitamin for you.

For Seniors

For Adults

For Preconception and Prenatal

For Children

For Special Needs

 

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Eat Black-eyed Peas to Ensure Your Financial Success??

Can you believe it is already time to ring in the New Year?  The end of the year is flying by, and a new year holds an optimistic way to look forward, start fresh, and make changes. 

There are several common traditions for the New Year, including attending parties, making resolutions for the New Year, fireworks displays and watching the giant ball drop in New York City. 

Other traditions that are celebrated worldwide are to enjoy meals and snacks that are thought to bestow good luck for the coming year.  Below you can find some of the traditional meals that will help ring in 2019 with luck and prosperity!

Some cultures eat twelve grapes at midnight.  It is thought that each grape represents A month of the year.  The key of this tradition is to count the number – so if your fifth grape tastes sour, the month of May be a rough month.

Another traditional New Year meal is ring-shaped foods.  This represents the year coming full circle.  It’s a great chance to get creative and try out your favorite gluten-free donut recipes!

One of the most popular traditions is to eat black-eyed peas on the New Year.  The peas are thought to resemble coins and represent future financial success.  Try this great recipe for your New Years Day!

Ingredients:

  • 1-Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2-cans (15-ounce each) black-eyed peas – drained and rinsed
  • ¼ -cup fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • ½ – teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
  • ¼ – teaspoon hot sauce of your choice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until softened (about 3-5 minutes)
  2. Add oregano, black-eyed peas, and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is thick and peas are tender (about 15-20 minutes)
  3. Stir in parsley and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper

Serve and enjoy a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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