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Christine Imarenezor

Skyr Is A Protein-Rich Yogurt Alternative That Gets You Closer To Your Body Goals

'Tis the season of hearty meals, unrestrained eating and thoughts of getting your body right. I admit it. The later haunts me every year at around the same time, never failing to remind me that my body deserves better. Despite the excuses of being tired or busy, I decided earlier this month to become more consistent with exercise and putting quality food in my body. I started making sure that each meal had the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. My snack game consisted of the usual suspects like celery with peanut butter, turkey jerky with almonds and (my favorite) greek yogurt with granola. But then I heard something about Icelandic Provisions' skyr ("skee-er") and how it's just as good as my favorite greek yogurt brand. I decided to try it out for myself and see what the hype was about. Here's what I found interesting:

There are healthy probiotics

With the craze of organic meats and produce, skyr adds more to the healthy eating craze through its ingredients and live and active cultures known as probiotics. Upon reading the nutritional facts, I see that this yogurt-like snack comes with the good, digestion improving bacteria - heirloom skyr cultures (streptococcus thermophilus islandicus), L. bulgaricus, and bifidobacterium - which all improve the overall health of anyone hitting the gym. What's also interesting is that the cows that produce the milk are grass-fed and raised in a free-range environment without all the artificial growth hormones, like rBGH. It's a win-win situation all around.

It goes down easy

I like greek yogurt, and sometimes its thickness and texture make my eating experience less than pleasing. Besides cottage cheese, greek yogurt was my only other source of protein in the dairy family. Thankfully, the creamy texture of skyr is smoother than my favorite brand, making me more motivating when it comes to eating more of the good stuff, despite the taste (Sidebar: I mostly eat plain greek yogurt. I don't know how, but I do). I also appreciate that it's lighter than my favorite brand, satiates my hunger while helping me get closer to my fitness goals.

It enriched with a long history

Every time I eat a cup of yogurt (or any dairy product for that matter), I assume that it comes from some bustling factory or farm, churning out food to package and ship out. Surprisingly, much like my go-to greek yogurt, skyr really comes from the Northern hemisphere country of Iceland. In fact, it reminds you on the black foil lid, which reads, "Icelandic Skyr (pronounced 'skeer')" in bold at the very top, before it shares an inviting description of what's to come. On the side of the small container, it mentions how heirloom cultures make up most of the skyr, which was "developed with Iceland's oldest farm-owned dairy cooperative, MS Iceland Diaries, which was established in 1927. Interesting fact: Skyr has been Iceland’s signature food for nearly a thousand years. You can date it back to the 9th century when it was believed to be a Vikings journey staple.

It has the right amount of sweetness

Although it comes in many Nordic-inspired flavors like coconut, blueberry with bilberry, strawberry with lingonberry and plain, I decided to try the good old trusty raspberry flavor. Surprisingly the flavor was light and not overbearing on my taste buds. I could actually feel the tiny grains of the berries (thanks to the raspberry puree and fruit ingredients) and could tell that I was eating the real deal, minus any artificial flavoring. Above all, it was not super sweet (just 12 grams in this sucker), beating out the average amount of sugar (33% less than) in one serving of traditional yogurt.

There's muscle-friendly protein

When it comes to burning body fat, gaining and maintaining muscle is important. And to keep them functioning well after a workout, protein is a must. Thankfully, my body can digest dairy without any uncomfortable side effects, so I'm not limited to just getting this nutrient from meats or vegetables. The raspberry skyr comes with 15 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat, which is perfect post-workout, refueling snack after a solid sweat session. It also came handy whenever I left my protein shake at home. Glory!

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After annihilating my first cup of Icelandic Provisions' raspberry skyr and 2 other flavors - plain and vanilla - I have decided to add this brother of yogurt to my office snacks line up and meal plan. Thankfully it recently made it to the United States. You can find Icelandic skyr for $1.69-$1.99 at your nearest Whole Foods Market (where I oftentimes find myself trying not to buy more than I need) or aany of these 900 locations.

If you can handle dairy foods, try a flavor and let me know your thoughts. In the meantime, may the "body goals" force be with you.

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The signs of a Chick-fil-A are seen July 26, 2012 in Springfield, Virginia. The recent comments on supporting traditional marriage which made by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy has sparked a big debate on the issue.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Yumm: Chick-fil-A Considers Adding Vegan Options To Menu

Chick-fil-A will jump into the growing market of vegan fast food with the addition of vegan options to their menu.

Speaking with Business Insider Tuesday (May 14), Senior Director of Menu Development Amanda Norris has looked into the idea of more meat-free options for several years. The only meat-free options on the current menu are their fruit cups and signature waffle fries.

“We’re definitely aware, and I would say we’re always interested in, what’s happening in food,” Norris said. “Specifically … a vegetarian option or a vegan option is something we’re looking at, we’re thinking about, and have (done) some (research and development).”

Norris added it normally takes about 18 to 24 months for a new item to appear on the menu so the idea of a vegan Chick-fil-A sandwich won't be available just yet.  "I think it's good. People like a lot of different choices," Chick-fil-A customer Carl Smith told Atlanta's WSB-TV, where the food chain was first created. "As long as they keep their standard favorites, I think having more choices is good, too."

Chick-fil-A is just one fast food giant who is jumping on the vegan wave. KFC recently announced plans to sell vegan chicken sandwiches while Burger King, Carl's Jr., Del Taco and Taco Bell have vegan options.

But it's hard not to credit the popularity of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat for giving customers healthier options. It's also secured a few bags. CNBC reports demand for meat substitutes made a cool $1.44 billion in 2018 with Euromonitor International predicting the number will reach $2.5 billion by 2023.

Impossible Foods also announced Monday (May 13) their funding has reached $300 million. The company partnered with the likes of restaurant chains like Counter Burger and White Castle. Even Ghostface Killah has shared an appreciation for the Impossible burger.

"It's dope. The first time I tried it was in Brooklyn. You could have sworn you were eating regular meat," he told VIBE in 2018. "I had to really ask them and they said, "Yes, it's really a plant-based food." It's the best plant-based vegan food that I've ever tasted, ever."

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Jamie Foxx and Grey Goose take over The Times Square Edition bar to Live Victoriously launch event.
Jamie McCarthy for Getty Images – The Times Square Edition

Jamie Foxx Takes Over Grey Goose Happy Hour, Announces Comedy Tour

Leave it to Jamie Foxx to take over a New York City happy hour. To celebrate the launch of Grey Goose's latest campaign, Live Victoriously, the actor and comedian made a surprise appearance at The Time Square EDITION Hotel on Tuesday (April 16).

As attendees were treated to after-work cocktails like "Angel of Music" (Grey Goose vodka, sparkling rosé, and lemon cardamom) and "The Grey Goose Martini" (Grey Goose vodka, dry vermouth, orange bitters with a twist of lemon), Foxx walked behind the bar, took over and mingled with attendees. Bar-goers joined him behind the bar, danced, showcased some dancing and rapping talents on the impromptu "Grey Goose Idol" and jammed out to songs like "Blame It" (feat. T-Pain). Later in the evening, Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa made an appearance, Foxx cracked jokes and announced his upcoming, Kill the Comedian Tour, his first stand-up tour since his last comedy special in 2003.

As Jamie busted throwback moves behind the bar with bar-goers, comedians Aidy Bryant of Shrill and SNL’s Colin Jost made surprise appearances at Brooklyn's Extra Fancy and the Financial District's Underdog. Bryant and Jost performed spontaneous stand-up comedy routines and played a small game of sending selfies to each other.

Scroll through more photos from Jamie Foxx's appearance at Grey Goose's Live Victoriously event down below. Like Foxx wrote in his Instagram post, "Sometimes you gotta turn up on a Tuesday" and celebrating life's small, everyday moments.

Turning a random Tuesday into a night to remember. This is how to #LiveVictoriously ✌🏽. @iamjamiefoxx pic.twitter.com/IOdb58NWNw

— Grey Goose (@GreyGoose) April 17, 2019

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