Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

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 Help Inflammation in the Body

We’ve all heard it before, you are what you eat. There are so many truths to that statement, a few of which we’ve already covered such as gut health. But how else can your diet affect your body, other than your digestive system? The answer may take you by surprise. Inflammation.

What is Inflammation?  

Inflammation is what happens when your body sends white blood cells out to protect you from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. For example, when you get bit by a mosquito, white blood cells rush to the site of the bit to protect the body from any further damage or infection. As a result, around, red, itchy bump forms around the bit. That bump is inflammation. Sometimes the body sends white blood cells to defend tissues in distress against invaders that aren’t there. Obviously, that can become problematic fast. The result is pain, redness, swelling, and general discomfort in a given area of the body. That inflammation can be caused by an injury, tissue irritation, or even disease. 

You’re probably familiar with muscle stiffness, swelling, and joint pain. These are basic examples of acute inflammation. It’s short-term, meaning it eventually goes away. But then there are diseases like arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma. The discomfort these afflictions cause are examples of chronic inflammation, aka long-term inflammation that doesn’t go away without some level of treatment. 

You’re probably aware that the previously mentioned diseases are relatively easily treated. In fact, they’re very common and you may even live with one. What you may not know is that inflammation, acute or chronic, can be affected by your daily diet, for the better or the worst. In fact, what may blow your mind, even more, is that you probably have few items in your pantry that, if added to your diet, would help reduce any lingering inflammation in your body. 

Turmeric 

Turmeric is said to reduce inflammation related to diseases like arthritis and diabetes. It has a nutrient in it called curcumin. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory effects and is a powerful antioxidant. Turmeric itself is a common spice used in Indian dishes like curry. If you’re an adventurous cook, the benefits of turmeric should give you a good excuse to venture into Indian cuisine.  

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a pretty common cooking oil and chances are, you have a bottle of it sitting in your kitchen right now. This oil isn’t just a kitchen staple. It’s a key player in any anti-inflammatory diet. Olive oil is said to reduce inflammation due to it’s full of an antioxidant by the name of oleocanthal. Oleocanthal happens to work similarly to ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug we’re all familiar with. After hearing that you may have a better appreciation of olive oil. The benefits it brings to the table, along with the flavor, justifies incorporating it into your meals when possible.  

Fatty Fish

Fish oil is a very common supplement you can find at just about every drug store. The taste it leaves in your mouth might be off-putting, but it’s worth it. Fish oil is full of Omega-3s, which are beneficial for many reasons, one of those reasons being inflammation reduction. Omega-3s can reduce the production of certain substances released during your body’s

inflammatory response. Supplements aside, those same omega-3s can be found in fatty fish like herring, lake trout, and salmon. That’s why fish is the ideal protein source in an anti-inflammatory diet. You can buy some at your local grocery store or better yet, a fresh fish market. 

Dark Chocolate

Now we go from fish to chocolate. What a transition! Everyone loves chocolate. Luckily, chocolate of the dark variety is full of fantastic benefits besides making your taste buds dance. Like olive oil, dark chocolate has antioxidants in it that reduce inflammation. It’s known for helping to reduce inflammation pertaining to the circulatory system, primarily arteries. So now you have an excuse to snack on a little chocolate every now and then. But a friendly reminder, dark chocolate isn’t dark chocolate unless it’s made from 70% cocoa or more. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on all those anti-inflammatory antioxidants. 

Foods Known to Cause Inflammation

Some foods can help, others can make things worse if not cause inflammation outright. This food will definitely not surprise you as they’re already notorious for being generally unhealthy.

AVOID the following food types if you’re trying to establish an anti-inflammatory diet: 

  • fast food
  • Refined carbohydrates 
  • Fried foods
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Processed meats
  • Trans fats

There you have it. A few simple foods that can help you start your journey towards establishing an anti-inflammatory diet. Plus, you know a few to avoid as well. Whether you’re trying to mitigate the inflammation your body struggles with or not, it is important to consider the long-term benefits an anti-inflammatory heavy diet can have for you. After all, inflammation is a big indicator of disease and overall health. 

Do you need help making better dietary choices? We can help you with that. Nutropia creates personalized meals and snacks fit to meet each individual’s dietary needs and favorite flavors. Click here to learn more.

Sources:

www.webmd.com/arthritis/about-inflammation

www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-anti-inflammatory-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_12

www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5

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

Tips For Keeping Your Gut Healthy

You are what you eat. We’ve all heard it before. We all know that what we eat affects our bodies. The foods we consume have nutrients in them and eating the right ones helps the body function at its best. But have you ever thought about how what you eat affects your gut? Stomach health is the real deal. Your gut’s health contributes to your metabolism, your ability to take in nutrients, and well, your ability to eat. Bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and nausea are absolutely horrible. When your gut’s not having a good time you can’t eat your favorite meals. There are a few different things you can do to keep your gut healthy and avoid any unnecessary hardship. Here are a few helpful tips to keep your gut happy.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The benefits of apple cider vinegar, according to a dietitian
Natalia Klenova / Getty Images

You’ve probably heard of this one before. One shot of apple cider vinegar a day helps your waistline. Yes, it comes in handy if you’re trying to lose weight, but it does your gut a big favor by helping it maintain healthy acid levels. Healthy acid levels mean less acid issues, aka reflux, heartburn, and indigestion. If you have GERD, this is a good habit you should add to your routine. Bonus points. This stuff is also great for your heart and heart health, as we all know, is incredibly important. 

Pro-biotics

Pro-biotics are the tiny bacteria that do that heavy lifting when it comes to GI health. They’re known as the “good” bacteria for a good reason. It helps the body move along food throw the digestive tract from start to finish. Probiotics help keep the important enzymes in line, which helps keep the stomach and intestines running smoothly. You can get probiotics in supplements, yogurt, kombucha, and more. Just do a little search and find out which method works best for you.

Small bits

The phrase “chew your food before you swallow” doesn’t just apply to choking. You have teeth for a reason so use them! Big pieces of food can make digestion harder than it has to be for the body. When you eat too fast and too much at once in one sitting, your body’s enzymes can’t keep up. Well chewed food is good for digestion, esophagus health, and even your metabolism. So chew that food. Don’t gulp it all whole!  

Alkaline Rich Foods

This may not be one you’re familiar with. Alkaline means pH level over 7. By now, you’ve probably noticed that acidy is a pretty big deal when it comes to gut health. It’s the same premise as apple cider vinegar. The stuff helps the gut maintain its pH level. Tons of veggies are full of alkaline. Yet another reason why you should eat your vegetables! Leafy greens, broccoli, fresh fruits, and ginger are rich with alkaline and all its glory. These foods can help you fend against acid reflux and heartburn. Nobody whats to deal with those acid issues. So eat your fresh fruits and veggies.  

Take it Easy on the Fried stuff

Last but not least, the obvious one. Fried foods. They’re full of fat and grease. Does fried food taste great? It sure does. But does your body actually need it? No, in fact, it hates it.  Fatty fried foods prevent the lower esophageal sphincter from fully tightening, which leads to dreadful heartburn and acid reflux. If you have acid issues, avoid fried stuff entirely. Go for grilled, not fried or else your stomach will make you pay for it. 

Stomach health seems like a complicated thing but the truth is, eating correctly and developing the right habits can keep it happy and make mealtime easier on you. Get your veggies in small bites, drink some apple cider vinegar, and avoid fried food like the plague if you have gut issues. Your stomach is important. So take care of it and fill it with the right stuff. If you need a little help eating the right stuff, we can lend you a hand. Click here to learn more.

Sources:  

asweetpeachef.com

healthline.com

ndtv.com

everydayhealth.com

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

3 Spices You Can Use to Spice Up Your Meal

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Salt and pepper are boring. They add a little flavor, sure. But they don’t quite make a meal tasty. Of course, not everyone is a master chief. So what can you do to mix things up a little? Luckily for you, we know our spices. Here are 3 kitchen seasonings you can use to spice up your meals.

Smoked Paprika

Paprika powder | Pikrepo
Photo: Pikrepo

Smoked paprika makes food tastier and spicier. It’s not super spicy, but it’s just enough to make your meal more interesting. Add some smoked paprika to your grilled chicken. It tastes fantastic on salmon and shrimp too. Cut up some potato wedges and toss them in olive oil, a little salt, pepper, and a dash of smoked paprika. You won’t regret it!

Onion and Garlic Powder

These two are a team so we mind as well count them as one. Skip the hassle of cutting up onion and garlic with these two simple seasonings. Use it in your go-to chicken, pork, or beef marinade. You can toss some on your vegetable of choice. Try sprinkling some on your rice too.

Lemon Pepper

Lemon Pepper Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa | Another experi… | Flickr
Photo: Flickr.com

It smells off, but we can assure you it’s not. Add some zest to your chicken Alfredo with this fun spice. Try sprinkling some on your asparagus before you pop it in the oven. Put a few dashes of lemon pepper on your tilapia too!

Now you know how to spice up your meals! Be mindful of how much or how little spice you add to your meal. You want to add to the meal but not overwhelm yourself with spices. Of course, we’re always cooking up tasty meals in the kitchen. If you’re not a fan of cooking, we can do it for you! Just click here to learn more.

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