The Lighter Side Summer


Barbecue party season is here. Stay on a healthy track with these satisfying food swaps from holistic chef Shelley Alexander, author of Deliciously Holistic.

Conventional Meat Swap: Skip the hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and unhealthy fat by switching to pasture-raised, grass-fed beef or buffalo—both naturally lean options with some healthy fat. They cook very quickly and are best eaten rare or medium rare. Flavor meat with a spice rub. Or, grill up some fish.

Soda Swap: Flavor bubbly mineral water with fruit juice, or try iced kombucha tea.

Ice Cream Swap: Make a healthier twist on ice cream by blending frozen bananas and other frozen fruit with a bit of juice or coconut milk.

Shelley Alexander’s Barbecue Spice Rub

Makes around 1/2 cup

Use roughly 1–2 tablespoons per pound of meat and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or at least four hours before grilling.

1 tablespoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt (finely ground)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix together all ingredients, and store in a small glass jar with a lid.

For more tips and recipes, visit Alexander’s blog at

Supplement Savvy with Dr. Costa

Q: Do you have any tips for protecting skin and keeping it healthy through the summer?

A: I am always so pleased to see an interest in summer skin protection—just remember that it’s equally important to take care of your skin year-round, too. And when it comes to skin health, keep in mind that taking care of your skin internally is just as important as taking care of it externally. Here are my top-five tips:

• Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet. That means pack your daily meals with plenty of bright-colored, organic veggies and fruits. And don’t forget nuts, such as walnuts, which are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s.

• Take supplements with proven anti-inflammatory effects, such as fish oil, resveratrol and Pycnogenol. These particular supplements are some of the best-researched and have each been shown to provide significant protection from UV radiation.

• Use a broad-spectrum natural sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to protect against harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. To ensure that you get the full SPF, you need to apply about 1 oz to your body, and at least a tsp to your face. Reapply often, especially on the face, neck and exposed areas.

• Do a skin check. Make it a routine to carefully inspect your skin for any abnormal moles or lesions for which you should see a doctor.

• Stay cool and hydrated. Avoid extreme heat and sun exposure, especially for prolonged periods. And drink plenty of water to replenish lost fluids.

About Dr. Costa 
Frank J. Costa, MD, a member of the GNC Medical Advisory Board, is board-certified in both urology and anti-aging medicine, and is a clinical associate professor and attending physician at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Urology.

30 %

Increase in risk of death among people who never floss compared to those who floss daily. That’s according to a study of 5,611 older adults, published in the Journal of Aging Research.

Fish Oil Lowers Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure but aren’t taking medication to control it, daily fish-oil supplements may be even more beneficial than exercise, cutting back on alcohol or eating less sodium (although supplements shouldn’t be a substitute for a healthy lifestyle). That’s the conclusion of a review of 70 clinical trials, published in the American Journal of Hypertension. Fish oil can also improve blood pressure for healthy people. Effective amounts to lower risk for heart disease and stroke range between 2–4 g daily of EPA plus DHA.


GNC Herbal Plus Milk Thistle
These vegetarian capsules contribute to better liver health, digestion, blood sugar balance and more.

Milk Thistle 200mg

How it Works
Milk thistle protects the liver from toxins and pollutants by preventing free radical damage and stimulating the production of new liver cells. Silymarin, the main active ingredient, benefits liver diseases, the kidneys, diabetes, cholesterol levels and inflammatory bowel disorders. It’s even been shown to have anticancer effects.

Special Benefits
• Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
• Promotes liver health
• Improves insulin resistance
• Helps balance cholesterol levels
• Works to regulate digestion