Tag Archives: dieting

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

The Tasty Magic of Ground Turkey

Turkey Sausage

Everyone loves burgers and meatballs. They’re full of flavor but also loaded with fat. Fat is a pretty big issue when you’re on a diet. If only there was a tasty yet, healthier substitute. Here’s the great news, there is! Introducing, ground turkey.

This tasty bird is for more than just Thanksgiving dinner. It makes a good substitute for meals that are traditionally made with ground beef or pork. Take hamburgers for example. One 3 oz lean beef burger patty is 209 calories. A 3 oz lean turkey patty is 164 calories. You don’t have to be a math wiz to see the big difference in those numbers. Ground turkey has fewer calories. Enough said!

HD wallpaper: hamburger and French fries, beef, yummy, delicious ...
Delicious Turkey Burger!

But the real question here is does it still taste good? The answer is yes! It doesn’t taste like beef or pork. Ground turkey is sort of its own thing. It doesn’t taste like Thanksgiving dinner, but it does taste like chicken a little bit. It’s easy to cook with because it takes in the flavors you season it with. You don’t have to be a fancy cook either. Salt and pepper will do just fine as well!

Consolation prize (54/365) | Day 54: We've been busy with yo… | Flickr
Turkey Tacos, Please!

What can you do with it? You can make burgers, meatballs, tacos, and even sausage if you feel like it. It can replace any ground meat, easy. There are plenty of recipes out there, all you have to do is look! But, if you live an “on the go” lifestyle, you might not have time to pat out turkey patties and fire up the grill. Ground turkey happens to be one of our specializes. If you’re interested in exploring the culinary wonders of ground turkey, give us a call! We’ve got you covered.

Source
Livestrong.com

Three Easy Ways to Eat Better

When life is hectic, it’s hard to eat healthily. It’s the little things that make a big difference in the long run, whether you’re trying to lose weight or just eat healthier. Here are 3 easy ways you can eat better.

1) Avoid the temptation of Junk food by not buying it.

Ditch the chips!

When you’re stressed or just flat out exhausted, it’s easy to camp out on the couch with your favorite bag of chips. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of binge-watching every now and then. It’s the chips that are the real problem here. You know you shouldn’t snack on the whole bag in one sitting, but you do it anyway because the temptation is too strong. It’s even harder to avoid snacking on junk food when you’re a parent. Your kids love delicious goodies like cheese puffs and pastries. Sure it’s not great for them, but they can afford the calories because after all, they’re young!

Kids or not, there’s a simple way to avoid junk food. Just don’t buy it! That’s way easier said than done, but when you’re going down the grocery aisles and see a tasty treat, just tell yourself no. Browse the alternatives instead. Consider baked chips, dried fruit chips, or just popcorn. The fewer calories, the better. Do your kids love ice cream? Buy frozen yogurt instead. Chance are, they won’t know the difference! Just consider the alternatives and avoid temptation entirely by not buying what you know you should eat!

2) Use a smaller plate!

Big plate, big difference!

When you have a big plate or bowl, you want to fill it. That’s why portion control is a vital part of losing weight. Measuring out your meal calorie for calorie, cup to cup is too tedious when you’re in a rush. Let the plate or bowl do the hard work. Use smaller plates and bowls to gauge how much you eat. It’s not a unit of measurement but helps in the long. Filling up a small plate is just as satisfying as filling up a big one, just with fewer calories!

3) Make fruits and veggies mandatory for every meal.

Always eat your veggies!

We’ve all heard it before, “eat your fruits and vegetables.” Whether you’re 8 or 28, fruits and veggies are always part of an important daily diet. They’re full of vitamins and minerals you’re body needs to run smoothly. Eat a banana with your toast in the morning, a salad at lunch, and broccoli at dinner. Admittedly, fruits tend to be tastier than veggies. If you aren’t a veggie fan, consider looking into recipes that spice things up a little bite. Baked asparagus tossed in a little olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper might just change your mind when it comes to the vegetable world. You don’t have to go vegan or vegetarian. Just add a little color to every meal.

All three of these tips can make a difference over time. Ultimately, it’s about making little life changes and altering some habits. Don’t forget that you’re the one who has the power to change the way you eat. Practice self-control, stay motivated and be patient. After all, life changes don’t happen overnight!

Small Plates: A Meal Portioning Hack

Chances are, you’ve heard this before. Using a smaller plate can help you lose weight. The truth is, small plates and bowls aren’t an end all be all. It’s about altering a small habit. Think about it this way. When you go to an all-you-can-eat buffet, which plate are you grabbing? The big one or the small one? Of course, you want to try a little bit of everything. There’s tons of room on that plate for everything too. But, you end up getting and eating too much. By the time your plate is empty, you’re full. There’s no more room in your belly for the other tasty foods you didn’t get to try at the buffet. Your eyes were too big for your stomach.

That’s the concept behind portioning. When you have a big plate or bowl, you want to fill it up as much as you can. The bigger the eating surface, the more calories you eat. Naturally, most of us aren’t food experts. We don’t know exactly how much to eat or how many calories we’re consuming. That’s where the little plate comes in handy. Filling that small plate up with food is just as visually satisfying as filling up a big one. The less you consume, the more likely you are to lose weight over time.

Keep in mind that eating off a small plate isn’t an exhaust for seconds. Eating two full small plates might just be worse than eating a large one. As always, losing weight and getting healthier is a matter of habit changing and self-control. Use a smaller plate to simplify meal portioning. Don’t go back for seconds. Your body will thank you in the long run!

Sources:

4 Things to Know About Having a Great Nutritional Diet

Online information about diets, healthy food, and nutrition can be overwhelming and down right challenging to distinguish what is real, scientific advice from credible online sources. Even if you gather reliable information, not all will yield content relevant to your concerns. When it comes to getting right and adequate nutrition, things don’t have to be complicated. Here are the basic things about nutrition that you need to know:

1) Fancy diets won’t work for many people

Whether it’s keto, Mediterranean, or South Beach diet that you’ll try, these things won’t produce the body results you want to have unless you have time and persistence. Many people work hard in the office to earn a living, and by the time they go home, they’re too tired and hungry to even stick to “Day One” of their diet.

Some recommendations by these fad diets are pricey and time-consuming to prepare, not to mention the mandatory monitoring schemes you need to follow. Even if you somehow complete your diet program, it will take only a week before your body goes back to the way it was after you finished your diet.

Fad diets don’t work because of the problems in priorities and motivations inherent in the people who practice them. Thus, you shouldn’t go on a diet for the sake of it or for looking slim. Your diet objectives should be tied to more meaningful things, such as maintaining your heart health and sugar levels.

The best solution to maintain your weight without compromising other aspects of your health is to eat a balanced diet, with the mix of the right number of calories, vitamins, and minerals. Today, even busy people can prepare quick meals that fit their daily nutrition needs or have them delivered right to their doorstep.

2) Fiber, fruits, and vegetables are a cornerstone of proper nutrition.

Fiber is an essential nutrient that your digestive system needs to function normally. Regardless of the number of calories you need to take, fiber is an indispensable part of your diet that you must consume regularly. Nuts, sunflower seeds, whole grain bread and cereals, and green leafy vegetables are some common sources of dietary fiber.

While fiber-rich food, along with fruits and vegetable meals, is supposedly a required component of your daily diet, many people today don’t have the time to buy and prepare these meals. Peeling fruits alone can eat up much of their time.

The way to get around this obstacle is to buy fruits and vegetables you can bite as you go, similar to a fast-food hamburger (but healthier). Carrots, tomatoes, apples, pears, and bananas are some examples of these foods that can provide fiber, vitamin, and mineral needs minus the carbs. If you’re short on preparation and buying time, buy these healthy snag-and-go munchies instead.

3) Learn to read and understand labels properly.

You might read the nutrition facts labels on your groceries, but do you know what they mean? It may surprise many people that their knowledge about what they are eating is incorrect.

For instance, a particular brand of junk food may present itself as having only two or three calories, but the secret is in the servings. If the bag of chips has 20 servings you can consume, even if it has three or four calories per serving, you still end up with about 80 calories in your body that you need to burn. Learn how to peer beyond the deceitful cloud of marketing using your maths and common sense.

4) Your body needs fat.

Aggressive marketing and people’s general sense of insecurity over their body image has shed a bad light on fats, which is unnecessary. While too much fat is bad for your health, too little is not good either, as they play an essential role in your body. It provides insulation against external temperature fluctuations and helps produce the linings your cells need to exist.

However, there are types of fats you should avoid or consume in moderation, which are the “saturated” and “trans fats.” There are the healthier “unsaturated fats” and essential fatty acids you need to consume, which are found in fish, seafood, and avocados.

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