Tag Archives: diet

What is Intermittent fasting?

Intermittent Fasting

We all love food, which makes weight loss a challenge. What if you can eat the foods you love and just skip a meal? That sounds like a fantastic deal and that’s what people often assume intermittent fasting is all about. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Skipping breakfast isn’t the defining feature of any diet. Like all diets, it’s about self-control. So what really is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting or time-restricted fasting is, at its core, eating at specific times and refraining from eating during others. It limits the number of calories you take every day, giving you the ability to maintain your calorie intake without changing what you eat. The goal is to set an eating window that’s between 6 to 12 hours a day. For example, if you’re going by the “skip breakfast” route, your eating window might be between 11 A.M. and 10 P.M. 

Intermittent fasting: Does it work, and is it safe? | OSF HealthCare

But the hard part is, you have to train yourself. When you set your eating window, you have to stick to it. Cheat days don’t really apply to this diet like the rest. In a way, you’re training your metabolism. This diet does require physical activity. That means you need to exercise between one of the meals in your eating window. Go on a nice walk or hit the gym when possible to get the most out of your intermittent fasting experience.

Beyond exercise, there’s one more “catch.” Ideally, you should avoid sugary foods and drinks. More importantly, you need to stay hydrated. One should always stay hydrated, but in this case, you should increase your water intake if you’re exercising in order to replenish your fluids. And while this diet gives you the ability to eat what you want, that’s not 100% true. It requires you to add more fiber and protein to your meals as well. Protein, for one, is a must when you’re exercising. But when paired with fiber, which in itself is fantastic for your GI tract, it makes you feel fuller for longer. When you’re not eating for hours on end, you’re going to want that full feeling to keep from breaking your dieting window.

Let’s recap.

DO:

  • Exercise
  • Set and stick to an eating window
  • Stay hydrated 
  • Eat more fiber and protein

DON’T

  • Eat outside your set window
  • Drink or eat sugary things
  • Be inactive

What do you think about intermittent fasting now? It’s far from the skip breakfast misconception most believe it to be. But in all reality, this is a great diet for losing weight healthily. It just requires a lot of self-control. If this diet doesn’t sound like a fit for you, check out our article on the Mediterranean diet. It may be a better fit for you, especially if you’re a fish-lover. And if you struggle to eat healthily, or just aren’t a fan of meal prep, don’t forget we make and deliver meals and snacks tailored to fit individual dietary needs. Click here to learn more.

Sources:

jamesclear.com

medicalnewstoday.com

Why the Mediterranean Diet?

Mediterranean food

Dieting fads come and go. But that’s the thing is, they’re just fad. Not necessarily fit to stick around long term. Remember when the juice cleanse was all the rage? Or when everyone suddenly went gluten-free? The reality is, fads fade. However, some diets are less social media crazy and more scientifically, and even historically, backed. What diet might that be? The Mediterranean diet.

All it is 

  • Vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and, whole grains 
  • Fish, poultry, beans, and eggs
  • Limited red meat and dairy 

Simple right? Very reasonable. It’s a doable diet that doesn’t ask too much. If anything, you’ll just have to cut down on the portions and hold back on the cheese. Maybe a nice steak now and then. But how could it be so mundane yet still be called a diet? It’s in the name. This diet has been eaten for as long as people have lived in the Mediterranean area. A proven diet that’s worked countless people thousands of years.

This diet isn’t just about lean calories intake. It’s about clean eating. Fruits and veggies are full of healthy fats and fibers. Whole grains are fantastic for your digestive system. Poultry is very low fat compared to red meats. And fish is a fantastic source of vitamins like omega 3.  

For some, it might sound all too good to be true. So the downside? This diet requires a little bit of regular exercise. No heavy weight lifting, more so average cardio. It also requires some picky eating.

7 Scary Junk Food Side Effects | Eat This Not That
Photo by www.eatthis.com

Foods with these ingredients should be avoided right away

  • Sodas, candies, ice cream, and other sugary processed foods
  • White bread, pasta made from refined wheat
  • Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil 
  • Processed sausages, hot dogs, and similar products 

There you have it, the “fad” diet that actually works. Yes, it requires work, but it’s not something tedious like a juice cleanse. The foods in the Mediterranian diet are everyday flavors you’re used to, just leaner. But as always, portions are everything, and processed sugar stuff is a no-go. If you need help making this diet happen in your everyday life, we got you covered. We have everything this diet requires and then some. Click here to learn more.

Flounder Francese with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sources:

www.healthline.com

www.mayoclinic.org

Foods that are Great for your Brain Health

Brain Food

You hear a lot about heart-healthy foods, immune system boosters, and snacks that supercharge your gut. But, the one we seem to hear about rarely is about these days “brain food.” If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know that you are what you eat by now. Your diet often defines your overall health, and that includes your brain. Believe it or not, the nutrients in certain foods can boost your cognitive abilities and brain functions over time. Keep reading to find out what those foods are!

Leafy Vegetables

The first stop on our list is leafy veggies. These leafy greens are already associated with healthy diets. Yes, these veggies make a great addition to any diet when you’re trying to lose weight, but the benefits go beyond weight loss. What are the leafy veggies in mention? Kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli. These veggies are rich in brain-boosting nutrients such as vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. There is research that suggests that these leafy foods may patiently slow cognitive decline. Keep that in mind when you’re putting together a salad or putting together a vegetable medley.

Whole Grains

Last on our list is whole grains. Whole grains such as bread, pasta, barley, brown rice, oatmeal, and bulgur wheat are full of vitamin E. Your body uses vitamin E to protect and preserve healthy cells. By doing so, protects brain function and prevents neurodegeneration. Swap out your processed grains for some whole ones and aim to fit more oatmeal into your morning breakfast routine, along with some vitamin B-filled eggs, of course. 

Fatty Fish 

At this point, fatty fish is a Nutropia blog regular. We’ve discussed its benefits in several of our articles already, like the one we released last month, Foods That Help Inflammation in the Body. Fatty fish like herring, lake trout, and salmon are full of omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats that have been linked to lowering blood levels of beta-amyloid. For those who don’t know, beta-amyloid is a protein that forms harmful clumps in the brain. This occurrence is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Now that’s one powerful food and yet another reason to add fatty fish to your diet. If your not a fish fan, all is well. Try adding an omega-3 supplement to your morning routine, or try adding other omega-3 sources such as flaxseeds, avocados, and walnuts to your diet. Speaking of walnuts…

Walnuts

All nuts are fantastic sources of protein, full of healthy fats and more. But what you probably don’t know is one nut, in particular, may improve memory. That nut in question is walnuts. Like fatty fish, walnuts are full of omega-3, but they contain fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Diets full of rich ALA and other omega-3 fatty acids are linked to lower blood pressure and cleaner arteries. That’s a win for heart health and brain health. All the more reason why you should include walnuts in your snack time.

Eggs

Everyone loves breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, as they say. Eggs are an essential part of breakfast and a brain-healthy diet. Eggs are full of B vitamins. B vitamins are proven to slow cognitive decline. Plus, vitamin B deficiencies have been associated with depression and even dementia. That brings the most important meal of the day to a whole new level.

There you have it! Fill your diet with these healthy brain foods to boost your brain health. Eating foods with the proper nutrients simply fortifies your cognitive function over time. It’s not like you’ll eat a handful of walnuts and automatically remember every. That’s not the cause! Are you having trouble fitting the proper nutrients into your diet? We just so happen to specialize in that. Click here to learn more. 

Sources

health.harvard.edu

premierneurologycenter.com

Produce in-Season Spring 2021!

Fresh

If you eat many fruits and veggies, you’re probably familiar with the even flow of produce prices and quality. That’s why buying produce in season is cost-effective and efficient. Naturally, produce is at its finest when it’s fresh but it’s even better when it’s in season. With spring on the way, let’s look at what produce is coming into season in spring 2021.

March

Photo by  © John Kernick

Spring starts in March, which means that’s when the first round of fresh in-season fruits and veggies begin hitting grocery store shelves. What are some of those fruits and veggies? Artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, mushrooms, and radishes. The veggies alone make for one great in-season grilled vegetable medley. Try tossing some artichokes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and mushrooms in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then pop them in the oven at 400 degrees until they’re cooked to your liking. You can also throw together a great side salad with fresh lettuce and a little bit of chopped-up radish. Check out more produce in season by reading the list below.

  • Artichokes
  • Broccoli,
  • Brussels sprouts,
  • Cauliflower
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsnips
  • Pineapples
  • Radishes
  • Rutabagas
  • Turnips

April

Photo by eatthegains.com

On to April. April is the first full month of springtime, and it brings even more fresh produce with it. As the season goes on, the produce on the list above keeps getting fresher and fresher while other fruits and vegetables join the party. April marks the growing season for asparagus, rhubarb, spring peas, and more. Grilled asparagus goes great with baked chicken, steak, and salmon. Try tossing some asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper and then throwing them on the grill! Maybe bake some spring peas while you’re at it? Or even whip up a nice rhubarb pie! Read the list below to find out what else is in season.

  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb
  • Spring peas
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet potato

May

Photo by tasteofhome.com

May is the last full month of spring, which means we see even more fresh fruits and veggies hit the grocery store shelves. May sees more fruits come into season, with apricots, cherries, mangoes, and strawberries making an appearance. Enjoy an excellent strawberry parfait, cook up a nice apricot cobbler, eat a fresh mango for lunch, or toss a fresh, plump cherry on top of your ice cream sundae, if you want to be a little extra. What else comes into season? Read the list below

  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Mangoes
  • Okra
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss chard
  • Zucchini

June

Photo by myrecipes.com

Last but not least, June. May was the beginning of the fresh fruit season, but June brings in the heavy hitters, with blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, peaches, and the summertime classic, watermelon. This is a great time to put together a banger fruit salad, bake up some tasty blueberry muffins for breakfast, peel up some peaches for a nice peach cobbler, and cut up some watermelon for the kids on their first day of summer break. The list doesn’t end there. There’s more where that comes from. Read below!

  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Corn
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Watermelon
  • Black cherry
  • Mulberry
  • Loquat
  • Pearplum
  • Nectarine
  • Raspberry
  • Currant
  • Gooseberry

There you have it! Save some money at the grocery store by buying these tasty fruits and vegetables when they are as fresh as can be. At Nutropia, we regularly cook with the freshest produce and ingredients in season. If you’re not a fan of cooking, we can cook up some fresh, healthy meals and snacks just for you! Click here to learn more.

Sources:

thespruceeats.com

cookieandkate.com

3 Healthy Soups to Help you Stay Warm This Winter

There’s nothing quite like a nice bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day. Soup is savory, warming, and, when done right, healthy. Yes, cheesy potato soup tastes fantastic, especially with bacon bits on top. But there’s no denying the fact that it’s not great for you or your diet. When you create a soup full of veggies, lean cuts of meat, and wholesome ingredients, you get yourself one healthy meal fit for cozying up next to the fireplace. Here are 3 healthy soups you can make to stay warm and faithful to your diet this winter.

Vegetable Soup

The name says it all. Vegetable soup is made of the very thing you probably don’t eat enough of. The average vegetable soup consists of onions, celery, carrots, and sometimes tomatoes. This soup helps you get a serving of vegetables and stay warm at the same time. Click here for a simple recipe.

Butternut squash 

If you have a sweet tooth, this soup is for you. Butternut squash is low-calorie and a great source of fiber. So naturally, it’s food fit to be the main ingredient in a healthy soup. However, the average run-of-the-mill soup is full of heavy cream and other fatty ingredients. But like many meals, alternatives make it more nutritious. You can make a nice butternut squash soup with onion, carrots, garlic, and vegetable stock. Click here for a recipe.

Chicken noodle soup

Last but not least, the one and only chicken soup. This soup is a classic. It’s reasonably healthy, even if it’s store-bought. But you can step up this dish’s health game with just a few different ingredients. For one, white chicken breast is key to dropping the calorie count in this soup. Of course, the veggies, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, are a must-have. What makes this dish different is the healthy seasonings involved. Tumeric and bay leaves invite more nutrients to the party. To top it all off, a nice squeeze of lemon juice for an extra dose of vitamin C. Try it for yourself! Click here to read the recipe.

Nutropia Spicy chicken tortilla soup

Now you know which soup to fill your bowl full with. These soups are tasty and great for those of us on a low-calorie diet. Of course, portions are everything. Too much soup means too many calories. So keep that in mind when you cook up and dig into these fine soups. You can also get a nice warm meal pre-portioned and perfectly seasoned delivered straight to your door. We provide delicious healthy, fit foods all around the NYC area. Click here to learn more! 

Sources:

  • allthehealthythings.com
  • healthline.com
  • inspiredtaste.net
  • thecleaneatingcouple.com

3 Easy Ways to Cut Calories on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the king of food holidays. It’s an entire day dedicated to a meaningful, shared meal. All that food can become a problem if you’re on a diet though. It’s very, very tempting to throw causation to the wind and break your diet, especially if your Thanksgiving table is full of good cooks. Don’t feel like you have to make your own special meal or skip the holiday entirely though. If you’re strategic, you can fill your plate and keep your diet at the same time.

White meat

Judd Pilossof / Getty Images

Turkey is delicious. Plus, its not as fatty as other meats. But that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit for your diet. Let someone else enjoy the turkey leg this year and stick to the white meat aka turkey breast. For example, 100 grams of dark meat is equivalent to 167 calories and 100 grams is around 139. That’s not a huge difference, but when you’re counting calories, every bit counts. 

Take it easy on the Sauce

Gravy is a thanksgiving icon, but it’s no thanksgiving turkey. This one is fairly easy. On average, a cup of gravy will put you back 188 calories. The best way to save those calories is to avoid the sauce all together. Or you could just use a few tablespoons less. Simple as that! 

Small plate 

This is the big one. The size of your plate really contributes to the size of your stomach. Filling up a small plate is healthier and way more gratifying than filling up a huge one. By filling up that little plate, you’re practically tricking your brain into thinking you have more to dine down on than you actually do. This is a great habit to develop when it comes to meal times in general. Click here to read more about it.

Keep these ideas in mind on Thanksgiving this year. Eating healthy on the foodiest day of the year isn’t possible with a little self-control and creativity. If you’re not sure what you’re doing for Thanksgiving this year, get in touch with us! Nutropia is cooking up fantastic healthy holiday meals that can be delivered straight to your door. Click here to learn more about our services. 

Sources

fdc.nal.usda.gov/

loseitblog.com

gettyimages.com

3 Healthy Produce In-season During Fall

It’s fall! Believe it or not, it’s more than just pumpkin season. In fact, there are plenty of fruits and veggies in season during this time of the year. We’re not talking about apples either! Here are 3 tasty in-season produce you can cook a healthy seasonal meal with.

Sweet Potatoes

If you haven’t had sweet potatoes, you’re missing out! These spuds are delicious, nutritious, and in season. Replace your regular Yukon golds with some healthy sweet potatoes. Enjoy your burger with a tasty side of sweet potato fries or chips. These spuds are so sweet, they’re practically dessert. Try baking a nice sweet potato casserole. Be mindful of what you put in it though. After all, healthy foods are only as healthy as what you serve them with!

Winter Squash

Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean winter squash can’t be in season! Squash is one of those foods that tastes just like what you cook it with. It takes on the flavors of the spices you cook it with, so it’s not too difficult to work within the kitchen. Bake it alongside your favorite veggies or try your hand at squash soup and even squash spaghetti noodles.

Spinach

Spinach, arugula, shredded chicken and more!

Last but not least, spinach. This tasty leaf makes a great salad. You can toss it in with arugula or any other leaf of your choice. Pick out your favorite dressing and toppings to make a great, nutrient-filled salad.

One of our delicious Nutropia salads with chicken, mixed greens and more!

Keep this list in mind next time you’re in the produce section at the grocery store. These seasonal fall foods are good for you and great for dinner time. But if you’re not the biggest fan of cooking, we got you covered. We use all the foods on this list and more in our tasty meals and snacks. Click here to learn more.

Easy Ways to Make Breakfast Healthy

As Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec once said, “why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” There’s just nothing quite like sitting down and digging into bacon, eggs, and, waffles. For those of us who are big breakfast buffs, it’s a magical thing. But unfortunately, breakfast foods aren’t very healthy. Bacon and sausage are full of grease. Pancakes, waffles, and french toast are full of sugars. That’s why these tasty foods are pretty much off the table when you’re on a diet. Thankfully, there are a few things you can change up to make your breakfast healthier and more diet-friendly. Substituting a few things here and there can help you stay on your diet and enjoy the breakfast of your dreams at the same time!

How to Make Bacon in the Oven | SimplyRecipes.com
Simplerecipes.com

First things first. Bacon and sausage are delicious but far from nutritious. Why? It’s full of pork fat. That’s where turkey comes in. Turkey bacon has about 25% fewer calories than regular pork bacon. The same goes for turkey sausage. Pork sausage has somewhere between 290-455 calories, while turkey sausage has somewhere around 140-160 calories. The numbers speak for themselves. Relacing regular old pork sausage and bacon with turkey can potentially cut your breakfast calorie count in half. If you’re interested in learning more about turkey as a substitute, click here to read our article about the magic of ground turkey.

How to Cook Eggs Perfectly With Every Method | Eat This, Not That!
eatthis.com

Ditch the yolk and keep the egg whites. This is a pretty common one but it’s important to mention. Egg yolk contains most of an egg’s fat and calories. If you get rid of the yolk, you essentially avoid those fats and calories. It’s very simple and easy!

Keep your favorite breakfast carbs but ditch the unhealthy flowers and grains you’re used to. Make your pancakes or waffles with oat flour instead of using the usual box mix. Use whole-wheat bread when you make your french toast. If you’re going to eat a muffin, make sure it’s bran. Switch your plain bagel with a multigrain one too! 

Last but not least, dairy. Avoid whole milk and opt-out for reduced-fat or skim. Top your multigrain bagel with some reduced-fat cream cheese. Replace your coffee creamer or half-and-half with almond milk instead. 

There you have it! A few easy hacks you can use to enjoy your breakfast responsibly. Don’t forget though, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Portions are everything. You can still wreck your diet if you eat more of these foods than you should. Of course, Nutropia just so happens to make incredible, healthy breakfast foods that are perfectly portioned. So if you’re a busy breakfast foodie on a diet, we got you covered. Click here to learn more. 

Sources

Foodnetwork.com

healthline.com

myfitnesspal.com