10 Best Fruits To Excel Your Weight Loss Today

Best  10 Fruit(s) For Weight Loss

If weight loss is your game, take these fruits off the shelf and put them in to play


Mixed berries and fruits

Fruits..

Delicious, as you know.

Fruits are loaded with nutrients, as you should know.

Fruits are not in Cap’n Crunch’ “Crunch Berries” cereal, as one woman thought they were.

Something you may not have known.


Banana and berries next to a fruit smoothie
Almost all fruits can be used (in moderation) in any weight loss diet.

Some may contain more vitamins and minerals than others, and those others may contain more fiber than the original ones. Tongue twister. Now say it 5 times fast.

I love to include different variations of fruits in my morning smoothies or, as a mid day meal.

Most fruits are super convenient to take on the road making them an easy and healthy option for when you are out of the house.

They call fruit “natures candy” because they are full of natural sugars and taste decadently sweet.

(Okay I made up the natures candy part but I think it’s a good name, it”ll catch on)

Assorted candies on table
I’ve talked to some people who are actively trying to lose weight that refrain from eating fruits. They tell me:

“I don’t eat fruit because they have too much sugar.”

While this is true, this is no reason to leave them out of your weight loss diet.

Fruits do contain high amounts of sugar but this natural sugar is not to be feared.

Natural sugar contains within it a boatload of nutrients including: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Essentially, when you ingest a fruit your body is taking in the sugar PLUS a whole lot of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. All these can help you lose weight.

Women eating healthy with tape measure recording her weight loss
Many fruits have a mid to low rating on the glycemic index and don’t trigger drastic spikes in your blood sugar.

Plus, even if you eat the ones that do, there are simple ways to get around it.

Namely, pairing a high glycemic fruit with a low glycemic fruit, or eating a smaller quantity of the high glycemic fruit.

No biggie, problem averted.

One of the best reasons to add fruit to your awesome weight loss diet is because of fruits’ naturally high fiber content.

Fiber keeps you feeling full longer.

Consequently, you eat less.

Fiber also helps facilitate food through your intestines.

This facilitation of the digestion process pushes the food along your intestines in less time, meaning your intestines don’t absorb as much of the foods sugar and starch because it’s not sitting in your intestines for as long.

Fruits should not be avoided in any weight loss diet plan.

I encourage you to incorporate more fruits into your weight loss diet.

The positive health benefits as well as the fat fighting factors found in fruit should be harnessed.

Where do I start?

I’ll give you 10 of the best fat fighting, weight loss encouraging fruits that you can harness in your diet today.

Ready?
Let’s go.

Girl drinking fruit smoothie after exercising


Glycemic index is a number given to carbohydrates, 0-100, that ranks these carbohydrates on the blood sugar spike they cause. 0-55 is considered low. 56-70 is considered moderate, and 71-100 is considered high. Meaning, a moderate GI food will raise your blood sugar more than a low GI food. Likewise, a high GI food will raise your blood sugar higher than a moderate GI food. Having chronically high blood sugar can lead to weight gain and type 2 diabetes.

Glycemic load is a number given to carbohydrates that reflects how much the food raises your blood glucose. The number is in reference to 1 gram of pure glucose (sugar). So, if a foods glycemic load is 2.3, eating this food is proportional to ingesting 2.3 g of glucose. A glycemic load number of 0-10 represents a low glycemic load. 11-19 represents a medium glycemic load, and 19+ represents a high glycemic load. Clearly, eating foods with a higher glycemic load correlate with weight gain from the excess glucose in your blood.

(The fruits I have given all come with their respective glycemic index & glycemic load numbers)


10. Blueberries

A cup of ripe blueberries


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 85
Saturated fat: 0 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.5 g
Sugar: 15 g
Fiber: 3.6 g
Protein: 1.1 g
Vitamin C: 24% DRV

Blueberries are tasty little morsels that can be eaten on the go, as a dessert, or thrown into a smoothie.

Buy them frozen or fresh. Although, fresh blueberries will not last as long and perish much quicker than the frozen variety.

Just another reason to eat them faster I suppose.

Blueberries have a good fiber content, lowish protein content, and a quarter of your DRV (daily recommended value) of Vitamin C.

These factors alone are enough to help you with your weight loss but where blueberries really shine are in their antioxidants.

Blueberries contain high amounts of antioxidants which fight free radicals in you body.

These free radicals are responsible for a number of debilitating diseases and conditions caused by the cell damage they incur.

While antioxidants don’t necessarily “directly” help you lose weight, they do so indirectly.

Antioxidants rid your body of toxins and free radicals, in turn, your body feels more vitalized.

This allows you to be more active and motivated which equals more calories burned.

The high amount of antioxidants found in blueberries also strengthen your immune system.

Consequently, you won’t become sick as often which amounts to more time in the gym or on the treadmill and less time on the sofa.

Glycemic index: 40 (low)
Glycemic load: 6.9 (low)

9. Raspberries

A handful of raspberries on a wooden table


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 65
Saturated fat: 0 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.8 g
Sugar: 5 g
Fiber: 8 g
Protein: 1.5 g
Vitamin C: 54% DRV

Raspberries, like blueberries, are a delicious and convenient little treat that can be enjoyed at anytime.

Fresh or frozen, snack or smoothie, this little berry should be added to any aspiring weight loss diet.

At only 65 calories per cup and over half your DRV of Vitamin C, raspberries are a win-win situation.

Nutritious and delicious.

What makes raspberries so unique is their fiber to sugar content.

Raspberries contain 3 more grams of fiber than they do sugar.

You won’t find this very often with fruits, and when you do, jump on the opportunity.

Essentially, when a food has a high amount of fiber, like raspberries, this fiber can be subtracted from the total carbs because fiber is an insoluble carbohydrate.

Meaning, it does not get digested by your intestines and delivered to your bloodstream.

This means no blood sugar impact and no insulin response for that specific amount of fiber in the respective food.

The reduced blood sugar impact with high fiber foods helps negate the addition of excess weight gain.

Fiber also helps you lose weight by keeping you feeling fuller for longer.

High fiber foods will make you feel much fuller than low fiber foods.

Additionally, this feeling fuller leads to less eating, and we all know what less eating means.

Glycemic index: 26 9 (low)
Glycemic load: 1.82 (low)

8. Grapefruit

Grapefruit sliced in half in flower dish


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 97
Saturated fat: 0 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.3 g
Sugar: 16 g
Fiber: 3.7 g
Protein: 1.8 g
Vitamin A: 53% DRV
Vitamin C: 120% DRV

Grapefruits are an essential part of many peoples breakfast.

Most diners and breakfast restaurants serve slices of grapefruit with their menu items.

This fruit staple can have an unpleasant taste to some but just remember how healthy it is, that should win your taste buds over.

With a whopping amount of Vitamin A (53% DRV) and Vitamin C (120%), grapefruit doesn’t need to boast much more.

But..it does.

Grapefruit has a solid amount of fiber and a respectable amount of protein.

2 reasons why it’s on this list.

Grapefruits’ fiber and protein content make it a good fruit to add to any weight loss diet.

Grapefruits protein helps you retain your muscle mass, and muscle mass keeps your metabolism revving.

Enjoy grapefruit by the slice or, add it to your smoothie for it’s weight loss benefits.

Glycemic index: 25 (low)
Glycemic load: 5.3 (low)

7. Banana

Ripe, medium sized banana on table


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 133
Saturated fat: 0.2 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.3 g
Sugar: 18 g
Fiber: 3.9 g
Protein: 1.6 g
Vitamin C: 22% DRV
Vitamin B-6: 30% DRV

Ahh the banana.

An indispensable fruit, and chief of the produce world.

Bananas have so much nutritional value to offer.

Also, they are super convenient to take with you on the go, and have their own protective pouch (peel).

I eat at least 1 banana a day, and almost always add them to my breakfast smoothies.

Your turn to do the same.

Bananas are high in fiber which, if eaten in the morning, will keep you feeling full and ready to go.

Perfect to eat before the gym or before work.

One complaint about bananas is their sugar content.

But, again, this “natural” sugar is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and a heavy dose of potassium.

Don’t worry about the sugar unless you’re eating 6 in a row.

Which you probably don’t want to do.

Bananas are a great post-workout meal too.

The 16 g of sugar will help replace your glucose stores that you lost in your workout.

Similarly, eating a banana after your workout will restore some of the potassium you lost in your sweat during your workout.

Don’t fear bananas if you’re trying to lose weight, embrace them.

Glycemic index: 51 (low)
Glycemic load: 15.3 (moderate)

6. Avocado

Seasoned and sliced avocado next to knife and lemon slices


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 234
Saturated fat: 3.1 g
Unsaturated fat: 18.3 g
Sugar: 1 g
Fiber: 9.8 g
Protein: 2.9 g
Vitamin B-6: 20% DRV
Vitamin C: 24% DRV

Now you may look at avocados serious fat content and think I made a mistake.

But, I didn’t.

Avocados do have high calorie content, but you shouldn’t plan on eating 10 of them anyways.

Everything should be eaten in moderation.

Why are avocados on this list?

Because other than tasting absolutely creamy and delicious, avocados are packed with so many nutrients it would be a mistake to keep these off your weight loss diet.

Avocados are one of those unique fruits that have more fiber than sugar, always a good sign for weight loss.

Avocados have 3 g of protein.

Another good sign for weight loss.

Avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function optimally.

The 234 calories found in an avocado can also help you out.

Eating an avocado will keep you feeling full.

And, you’ll ne hard-pressed to find another food with only 234 calories but packed with this many nutrients.

If you’re trying to lose weight I recommend adding an avocado or 2 per day to your diet routine.

Glycemic index: NA (too low in carbs to register)
Glycemic load: NA (too low to register)

5. Cherries

A bowl full of ripe cherries


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 51
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.2 g
Sugar: 9 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
Protein: 1 g
Vitamin A: 26% DRV
Vitamin C: 17% DRV

Cherries are sweet and delicious.

It’s quite odd that something that tastes like candy can be so low in calories.

At only 51 calories per cup, cherries are a super low-calorie food that can be eaten with no regrets.

Cherries have a modest amount of fiber and, like most of these fruits, are dense with vitamins and minerals.

Cherries are a good substitute to candy and sugary snacks that you crave after a meal.

And, at only 51 calories per cup, you can have a pretty nice portion size.

Add cherries as a dessert substitute to your weight loss diet and see the results.

Glycemic index: 22 (low)
Glycemic load: 2.5 (low)

4.Apricots

A bunch of apricots on table


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 75
Saturated fat: 0 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.6 g
Sugar: 14 g
Fiber: 3.1 g
Protein: 2.2 g
Vitamin A: 60% DRV
Vitamin C: 26% DRV

Apricots, when ripe, are a tantalizing mix between an apple and a peach.

Apricots, like cherries, are quite low in calories and can be enjoyed with no fear.

Apricots are nice to enjoy as a snack on a hot day.

I occasionally add them to my morning smoothie for their sweet and healthy qualities.

Apricots have a nice amount of fiber that will have you feeling full, and have a couple grams of protein to hold you over tot your next meal.

Heavy in antioxidants, apricots offer you many weight loss and wellness benefits and are often sold for a low price at your nearby grocer.

Pick up a bag of apricots today and grab one when you feel like a mid-day snack to keep off those pesky pounds.

Glycemic index: 34 (low)
Glycemic load: 4.7 (low)

3. Pears

1 pear standing upright with aqua background


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 80
Saturated fat: 0 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.2 g
Sugar: 14 g
Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 0.5 g
Vitamin C: 10% DRV

Pears, like it’s cousins above, are great “hold you over” snacks to replace some of the less desirable alternatives that cause weight gain.

With a low calorie content and solid amount of fiber, pears will keep you feeling full until your next meal.

The benefits of pears is that while they are low in calories they are densely saturated with healthy vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

All which are related to weight loss.

Pears nearly resemble apples so on the off chance you mistake the two, it’s okay, they are both healthy.

Add either to your weight loss diet routine.

Glycemic index: 38 (low)
Glycemic load: 6.3 (low)

2. Blackberries

Blackberries in dish with honey


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 62
Unsaturated fat: 0 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.7 g
Sugar: 7 g
Fiber: 7.6 g
Protein: 2 g
Vitamin C: 50% DRV

Blackberries, decadent little treats than can be eaten in a multitude of ways.

Personally, I often use these in my morning smoothies, paired with blueberries and raspberries.

Again, we have the unique situation where the fiber content out scores the sugar content.

10 points.

Pairing blackberries with another high fiber low calorie fruit is a sure way to hold off the pounds.

Blackberries can be thrown in your smoothie, snacked on, or even added as a sweet topping.

Either way you eat them, they’ll keep you feeling full and your waistband feeling slim.

Eat them with confidence.

Glycemic index: 25 (low)
Glycemic load: 10.25 (low)

1. Cantaloupe

3 slices of ripe cantaloupe on wooden table


Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 53
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Sugar: 12 g
Fiber: 1.4 g
Protein: 1.3 g
Vitamin A: 106% DRV
Vitamin C: 96% DRV

These big melons hold more than just sweet tasting goodness inside their outer skin.

Cantaloupes contain a bevy of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.

Consequently, landing them on this list.

The trick with cantaloupes, if you want to eat them immediately, is to pick the ripe ones.

Otherwise, you fall victim to H.W.W.C.I.R syndrome, or frequently known as hungry and waiting while cantaloupe is ripening syndrome.

Avoid this at all costs, trust me.

1 cup of cantaloupe has 100% of your DRV of Vitamin C.

Slice one up in the morning and enjoy before starting your day, or, enjoy cantaloupe as a sweet treat for after dinner.

At only 53 calories per 1 cup cantaloupe is shockingly low in calories for such a sweet product.

Use as a dessert replacement and watch the pounds shed before your eyes.

Glycemic index: 65 (moderate)
Glycemic load: 5 (low)


Now that we have gone over 10 of the best fruits for weight loss, I will give you a couple of ways to incorporate them into your diet.

  • As a snack
  • As a meal
  • In your smoothie
  • As a topping on pancakes, yogurt, toast, etc.
  • As an alternative to eating something unhealthy
  • As a dessert or after meal sweet treat

Essentially, if you want to lose weight you’re going to have to start eliminating the empty, unhealthy foods that are plaguing your diet.

For some of you, your diet may not include any of these bad foods.

In that case, try adding more wholesome and nutrient dense (the 10 fruits above) foods into your diet.

You want to make it a habit of eating foods that count.

Meaning, foods that are full of good things and nearly devoid of the bad things.

The 10 fruits I have given you above all fall into this category.

Additionally, unlike most vegetables, fruits are sweet and delicious!

Making them a viable alternative to less attractive but equally as sweet processed junk foods.

The powers in your hands, now the knowledge is as well.

You got this my friends.


Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Leave a question! Leave a hello! I’d love to hear from you =]

– Ian

How To Start Eating Healthy For Beginners : The Ultimate Guide To The Food You Eat

Great you’ve done it! You have officially completed the first step towards developing a healthier diet routine, and how to start eating healthy for beginners.

Starting your road to a healthier diet starts with your interest

He applauds you ⇑

You are here reading this so I know you are interested in eating healthier, or at least curious as to how to do so.

That is a good thing. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Eating healthy can be tricky for people who have never done so before..trust me

I’ve been there.

But with a little education, implementation, and patience you can get there too. So, give me a couple minutes of your time, sit back, and relax. This is how to start eating healthier for beginners.

How to start eating healthier for beginners


Eating should be a time of bliss. Food should be a good thing! Not something to stress over. Although, often times it is.

In today’s world, we live in food abundance heaven. Fast food on every corner, candy at every checkout counter, and cheap sugary snacks calling your name in every gas station. There is no shortage of delicious processed junk food at our disposal. (Yes I said delicious).

Often times these unhealthy foods are super affordable. They taste great. And they are conveniently located in places that you or your child can grab effortlessly (What? you don’t think they put these things in certain places for a reason?). When combining the taste, affordability, and ease of buying these unhealthy foods it’s no wonder so many people fall victim to consuming them.

Unhealthy food ca be found everywhere in todays world

I am not a robot, and neither are you (I’m assuming). I admit that even I occasionally fall victim to the sugary processed candy bar or the double bacon cheeseburger. But I am not a robot. I believe food should be celebrated and that nobody should live and die by a super restrictive diet. Unless their health requires them to do so of course.

All people should be able to enjoy absurdly delicious food creations. But in moderation, and before doing so the person should have a good foundation of food habits.

In other words, before you indulge in not so healthy food choices you should have a foundation of healthy, smart, and nutritious dietary habits. Your primary eating tendencies should be directed towards wholesome nutritious food, not sugary processed garbage.

Raspberries : a healthy alternative to junk food

In this article, I will cover

– What healthy food is

– The 3 macronutrients in every food you eat

– Micronutrients

– and how to correctly read a food label.



Are you ready to start eating healthy?

Let’s begin.


What IS healthy food?

What is healthy food

If you want to find something, you first must know what you are looking for. If you want to start eating healthy we need to learn what healthy food is first.

Healthy is defined as:

“indicative of, conducive of, or promoting good health.”

So, any food that promotes good health can be defined as healthy food, right?

Not necessarily.

It all depends on the individual.

For example, peanuts.

Peanuts are a good source of plant protein (healthy), high in vitamins (healthy), high in minerals (healthy), and have been shown to reduce the risk of some diseases (healthy!).

BUT

Peanuts a healthy food that can be unhealthy for some people

Peanuts can also cause anaphylaxis. A severe allergic reaction that can cause throat swelling, trouble breathing, fainting, and a drop in blood pressure (not healthy).

People with peanut allergies should stay far away from peanuts.

My point is, there are foods that are labeled “healthy” but may not be healthy to you. Make sure you know any food allergies or food sensitivities you may have, before trying new foods.

Although, the vast majority of people (99.4% of Americans) DO NOT have a peanut allergy. So peanuts are labeled as a health food.

There are many foods that we as humans have labeled and thrown into the health food category. Often times these foods present the consumer with myriads of health benefits. Some lower your risk to disease, some lower blood sugar, and some are high in vitamins and minerals. The list goes on.

Healthy meal with many benefits

Typically, food that gives the consumer more benefits than harm can be called healthy.

Benefits include good carbs, good fats, complete proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.

You may be asking what is a “good” carb or fat, or what a “complete” protein is. We’ll cover all that in the following paragraphs.


Unhealthy foods

Unhealthy foods would be anything containing a lot of calories from sugar or fat, and not having many vitamins, minerals, good carbs, good fats, or much protein.

An example of an unhealthy diet choice

Essentially, anything that provides you with more damaging nutrients than beneficial nutrients.

An example of an unhealthy food would be diet coke. From the outside diet coke doesn’t look too bad.

It contains 0 calories, 0 fat, and 0 sugars!

Yet, unfortunately, it has about 0 of anything else in.

0 protein, 0 carbs, 0 vitamins, and 0 minerals.

Although, what it DOES have is a sneaky little chemical named aspartame.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener with a shady past. Aspartame has been claimed to cause brain and nervous system problems. But, the jury is still out on aspartame, and many people claim it isn’t as bad as you think. Still, I won’t go near it. Diet coke doesn’t offer any health benefits anyway.

Why take the risk?

Say no to aspartame

(Even the empress says “no thanks”)

Before we start talking about specific foods, why they are healthy, and why you should be eating them, we must first discover what food actually is.

In the following paragraphs, we will learn about the 3 macro-nutrients all food contains.


Carbs, proteins, and fats – Gotta catch em’ all

Potato a classic carbohydrate

Carbohydrates

Let’s start with carbohydrates. Something a lot of people are familiar with, You always hear some person saying,

“Oh no… more carbs. There goes my diet.”

Now, you may be thinking to yourself,

But, carbs aren’t fat. Are they?”

No. They are not. But, they can lead to fat gains.

Carbohydrates are compounds made up of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Hence, the name Carb-Oh-Hydrate.

Structurally they look like rings. Carbohydrates are essentially rings of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Carbohydrate structure

These rings are sugars. Carbohydrates are sugars.

Carbohydrates come in 4 different forms

Monosaccharides : Simple sugar. Simple ring structure.

Disaccharides : 2 monosaccharide rings linked together.

Oligosaccharides : 3 to 10 monosaccharides linked together.

Polysaccharides : 10 or more monosaccharides linked together.

An example of a monosaccharide would be glucose. Glucose is what our body primarily uses for energy. Your body converts almost all carbohydrates consumed into glucose. More on glucose later..

An example of a disaccharide is table sugar.Table sugar an example of a disaccharide

An example of an oligosaccharide is an onion.

Onions an example of an oligosaccharide

An example of a polysaccharide is any starchy food. Starchy foods include rice, potatoes, beans, and whole grains.

Rice an example of a polysaccharide

Okay, so what do we do with all this information?

How do we know which carbs to eat and which to not?

And how can carbs lead to fat gain?

When you consume any carbohydrate your body starts the process of breaking it down to glucose (simple sugar. Quick energy).

The more sugar rings of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen linked in the carbohydrate (mono- di- oligo- or polysaccharide), the slower the breakdown process.

The slower the breakdown process the slower and more staggered the influx of sugar (energy) into your bloodstream.

When you eat simpler carbohydrates your body breaks them down fast and a large amount of sugar (glucose) is dumped into your bloodstream very quickly. When your body has too much sugar and no use for it, it saves the energy (sugar) supply for use on another occasion. We call this saved energy supply..fat.

Excess sugar is stored as body fat

When a large amount of sugar is dumped into your bloodstream very fast the body releases a large amount of the hormone insulin. Insulin helps keep your blood sugar at a balanced amount.

Sugar has a hard time getting into cells in your body, insulin acts as a helper to allow your cells to take in the sugar. All cells need energy, and energy is found in sugar.

When you eat a diet high in simple sugar your body may become insulin resistant (type 2 diabetes). High amounts of insulin in your blood can have negative effects on your health, as well as lead to other negative health complications.

A high sugar diet can lead to type 2 diabetes

This is not to say that all simple carbohydrates are bad and all complex (polysaccharides and starches) carbohydrates are good.

If you just finished an intense workout and your bodies glucose (what your body uses as energy) is depleted, a simple carbohydrate is something you may want to eat. It would provide your body with instant energy in the form of an easily broken down simple sugar ring (glucose).

Now on the other hand, if you eat a complex carbohydrate you will give your body a long, sustainable energy source. Remember, complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides) are big long rings of linked monosaccharides. These are broken down slowly by the body, delivering glucose (energy) to the body in slow consistent increments.

Sweet potatoes provide long sustainable energy in the form of a complex carbohydrate

All carbohydrates have a number on what is called the “glycemic index”.

The glycemic index is a ranking from 0 to 100. (No, not Drakes’ song) The closer a carbohydrates number is to 0 The smaller the insulin response it generates. Likewise, the closer a carbohydrates number is to 100 the higher the insulin response it will elicit. Pure glucose is given the value 100. Glucose is a simple sugar, pure quick energy. It generates the greatest insulin response.

Typically, any food under 55 on the glycemic index is considered a low glycemic food.

Any food between 55-70 is considered a medium glycemic food.

And any food 70 and above is considered a high glycemic food.

A trick you can use to keep insulin levels at bay when eating high glycemic foods is to pair them with low glycemic foods.

For example, if you are eating a doughnut (GI of 76) drink some unsweetened almond milk (GI  of 25) with it. The pairing of a high glycemic food with a low glycemic food will effectively keep your insulin levels at an ideal range.

Almond milk is a low glycemic beverage


What kind of carbs should I eat?

Opt for more complex carbohydrates when you don’t need quick energy.

Examples of good complex carbs include:

  • Steel cut oats (preferably) or oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potato
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Leafy greens (Spinach, kale, chard, arugula)

Quinoa is a healthy and delicious complex carbohydrate

Vegetables and fruits are always good carbs to include in your diet. They contain simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates, as well as a plethora of vitamins and minerals (more on those later). They are always a good dietary choice.

Bananas a nutrient dense superfood

Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, chard, and cabbage are excellent choices. They are high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories.

Spinach a nutrient dense leafy green

  • Skip the candy, doughnuts, and processed foods. These foods elicit a big insulin response and can proliferate fat storage. They can also contain added sugars, chemicals, and preservatives that don’t do your body any good.

Say no to foods that dont offer you any health benefits


Fat – The necessary evil

The truth is, you need fat. Fat performs many critical roles inside the body. As an energy reserve, the insulator of vital internal organs, synthesizer of hormones, and for the absorption of certain nutrients.

Olive oil a healthy fat

There are 4 types of fat :

  • Saturated fat
  • Mono-unsaturated fat
  • Poly-unsaturated fat
  • And trans fat

UNHEALTHY FAT

Typically, you want to avoid saturated fats and trans fats and opt to eat more mono and polyunsaturated fats.

Trans fat increases your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers your Potato chips are high in saturated fats and trans fatsgood cholesterol (HDL), and increases inflammation.

Saturated fat raises your bad cholesterol and has been shown to block your arteries. Consequently, leading to heart disease.


HEALTHY FAT

Unsaturated fats are a better alternative than saturated fats. They lend a hand in healthy bodily functions reducing bad cholesterol and lowering your risk of heart disease.Salmon is a good source of healthy fat and omega 3 fatty acids

There are also things called essential fatty acids that your body vitally needs. Examples such as omega 3’s and omega 6’s are common.


What fat should I eat?

Try to eat a diet more plentiful in unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids. Try to keep your saturated fat to a minimum, and never eat trans fat if you can help it.

Examples of good fats include:

  • Avocados (monounsaturated fat), olive oil (monounsaturated fat),
  • Flax seed and flax seed oil (polyunsaturated fat),
  • Sunflower seed and sunflower seed oil (polyunsaturated fat).

Nuts and seeds are a tasty snack high in healthy fat

Examples of foods with good amounts of omega 3”s are:

  • Fish oil
  • Flaxseed/oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Walnuts
  • Soybeans and edamame
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Fatty fish

Soy beans and edamame are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids

Examples of foods with good amounts of omega 6”s are:

  • Red meat (saturated fat)
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Wild game
  • Sesame oil
  • Grapeseed oil

Omega 3”s and 6”s both contribute unique functions to the body. It is imperative to eat them at an equal rate. Meaning, keep the intake of your omega 3’s and 6’ as equal as you can. Eating too many of one and not enough of the other can result in negative health consequences.

Beef can be a good source of omega 6 fatty acids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Protein: The Beloved Child

How many times have you heard a big muscle man or woman say:

“You need to eat protein to get big and strong!”

This guy definetly eats his fair share of protein

Well, they aren’t wrong. Proteins are composed of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids, 10 of which are essential to humans. Meaning, we must attain these through our diet. The other 10 amino acids can be produced by our body. Although, our bodies need all 20 amino acids to function properly.

Proteins help assist the body in growth (like muscle guy/girl said), repair, transport, and in the form of enzymes which catalyze chemical reactions in the body. As well as other important vital functions.

Protein helps your body wi]ith many vital functions

When it comes to protein in your diet, the options are vast. The amount of protein you consume needs to be dependent on your needs. Furthermore, eating too much protein can be devastating to your health.

When addressing your protein intake remember you want to aim to consume all 20 essential amino acids. Animal meat contains all 20 essential amino acids in its protein make-up. This is to say that animal meat is defined as a “complete protein”. This includes red meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy. Although, just because animal meat contains all 20 essential amino acids does not mean you can’t get them elsewhere.

Animal meat contains all 20 essential amino acids

Fruits, vegetables and grains contain proteins and amino acids as well. BUT they are not “complete proteins”. Fruits, veggies, and grains contain amino acids but they don’t contain all 20. This is to say they have some pieces to the puzzle but not all the pieces. Potentially, you could eat a wide range of fruits, veggies, and grains to acquire all 20 essential amino acids. Although, this may take a lot of work and eating.

Believe it or not fruits and veggies have protein

There are a lot of people who may argue that obtaining all 20 essential amino acids in your diet can be achieved without the consumption of meat. They may very well be correct.


What protein should I eat?

To reach levels of adequate protein intake and essential amino acid intake I would recommend eating a variety of animal meat, fruit, veggies, and grains.

Personally, I like to eat more fruits and veggies than animal meat. I believe there are more health benefits from doing so, and my body reacts better to that type of diet. But I do occasionally eat meat.

Examples of good lean proteins:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Turkey

I occasionally splurge and eat red meat or pork. Remember, I am not a robot.

Salmon is a good nutritious choice packed with protein

Fish is a good choice that is low in saturated fat, and high in healthy fat. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, etc. are high in omega 3’s. But, eating big predatory fish such as swordfish, shark, or tuna can have high levels of mercury. So be aware of that when choosing to eat fish such as those.

The reason I prefer poultry and seafood to red meat is because of the saturated fat content. Red meat (beef and pork) tend to have fat marbled in with their meat. Meaning, the fat and meat are mixed in together. This leads to higher amounts of fat in the meat itself. The same is not true with poultry (seafood is a little tricky). Their fat is exterior to the meat. Meaning, the meat can be cut precisely to not include much fat in with it. if you do decide to eat red meat choose a leaner cut meaning, less fat percentage. Although less fat can mean less flavor.

Chicken meat is exterior to its fat


MICRO NUTRIENTS – VITAMINS MINERALS AND FIBER

Ever since you were a child I’m sure you’ve heard the repeating importance of Micronutrients. Although, your mom did not call them “micronutrients”.

“Drink your milk you need the calcium!’’

‘‘Eat your broccoli it has fiber!”

“Your carrots are high in vitamin A!”

Brocolli is high in fiber

Micronutrients are essential for the health of your body. Not getting enough of them could be very dangerous to your health. Luckily, much of our food today is fortified with micronutrients. Salt is fortified with iodine. Milk is fortified with vitamin A and D. Bread is fortified with folic acid, a B vitamin. The list goes on.

Thankfully, we do not need to eat as many micronutrients as we do macronutrients, and eating a well-balanced diet can pretty much cover the amount you need.


VITAMINS

Vitamins are essential because they help your body with normal development. Different vitamins help out different parts of your body. Some target specific organs, some help with your immune system, and others may play a role in enzymatic processes. Ultimately, they are critical for your health and well-being.

Next, we’ll look at the different kinds and in what foods you can find them.

Citrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C

Vitamin A – sweet potato, carrots, kale, spinach, and broccoli

Vitamin C – citrus fruits

Vitamin D – fatty fish (salmon, tuna), egg yolks, and mushrooms

Vitamin E – sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, and peanuts

Vitamin K – leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach etc.)

Vitamin B complex includes thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate. B complex vitamins can be found in many foods,

Foods high in B vitamins include : Beef, poultry, dairy, salmon, leafy greens, and legumes (beans, soybeans).


MINERALS

Like vitamins, minerals assist your body with normal functions, and like vitamins, you need them in your diet. According to Harvard Health, there are 16 essential minerals the body needs. These 16 essential minerals are separated into 2 groups.

Almonds are packed with minerals

Major minerals and trace minerals.

Major minerals include: Calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur.

Trace minerals include: Chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc.

You need major minerals in higher amounts than trace minerals, but all 16 are still needed.

Eating a well-rounded diet high in fruits and vegetables is usually good enough to meet your bodies needs. Although, depending on your lifestyle you may need supplements to ensure your mineral needs are met.


FIBER

Remember your grandpas’ raisin bran cereal that didn’t taste too great? Well, he was actually on to something. A big reason he was eating it was probably for the fiber.

Your grandpas raisin bran is high in fiber

Fiber helps with your digestive health (gastrointestinal), blood sugar, and cholesterol. It helps with bowel movements and the digestion of food through your intestinal tract. Another reason why your grandpa was eating it in the morning.

In essence fiber helps clean your intestinal tract, keeping it flowing and in good health. Consequently, helping your body remove toxins much quicker. All of these reasons are why fiber helps prevent intestinal tract diseases such as colon cancer.

High fiber foods include: Most fruits, most vegetables (the darker and greener the better), legumes (beans and peas), nuts, and grains.

Berries are a high fiber food

There are many supplements you can take the cover your fiber needs, such as Metamucil, Benefiber, and Yerba mate.

You can also find fiber in cereals and granola bars. Just watch out for added sugars and questionable ingredients.

Okay, now you have a general understanding of food and the different benefits obtained from each. Now let’s go over reading a nutrition label.


NUTRITION LABEL – YOUR FRAMEWORK TO EATING HEALTHY

Everyone’s seen one. All of us know what they look like. Yet, some of us may not know how to read one. A nutrition label gives you a breakdown of what is in the food you are about to consume.

Looks familiar right?

So there are a couple of things you want to look for when reading a nutrition label. They are as follows.


SERVING SIZE AND SERVINGS PER CONTAINER

Do not get these confused. I repeat, do not get these confused.

The serving size is the amount of food that the values on the nutrition label apply to.

Be aware of the serving size in the foods you eat

For example, our nutrition label above indicates a 2/3 cup serving size.

This means that this specific food has 8g of fat per 2/3 cup, 37g carbs per 2/3 cup, 3g of protein per 2/3 cup, and so on and so forth.

There are 8 servings per container. Meaning, there are 8 portions of 2/3 cup of food in this container, or 5.28 cups of food in the whole container. So, if you take the 8g of fat that are in 1 serving and multiply that by 8 servings (64g), you get the total amount of fat found in the whole container of food.

You can do this with the other values on the nutrition label to come up with the other total amounts of a specific nutrient as well.


CALORIES

Calories get a bad rap. They aren’t as evil as you think. A calorie is just a unit of measurement. A calorie is a measurement of the amount of energy found in the food.

More calories = more energy.

Eat more calories than your body needs and they will be stored for use at another time. This is when they can be bad because they turn to fat.

Excess calories turns to fat

On a nutrition label, the calories are big, bold, and clear. Remember, the number of calories shown is for the serving size, not servings per container.

The number of calories per serving can be misleading. For instance, a food may only show 100 calories per serving. Not bad right? Hold on just a second.

Calories are composed of the number of carbs, fats, and proteins within the food itself.

Meaning :

1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories

1 gram of protein = 4 calories

BUT

1 gram of fat = 9 calories

Remember that awesome food with only 100 calories per serving from above?

That food could potentially have 10 grams of fat per serving, 1 gram of carbohydrate, and 1 gram of protein.

10g fat X 9 calories per g = 90 calories from fat

Popcorn is a low calorie food

Be careful of where the calories are coming from.

1 gram of fat has more than twice the amount of calories found in 1 gram of carb or protein.

But remember, not all fats are bad. Try to avoid the bad ones.

Which leads me to the next important part to read on a nutrition label


TOTAL FAT, SATURATED FAT, AND TRANS FAT

As I stated above calories from fat outweigh and more than double those of carbs and proteins. Be aware of how many calories from fat the food you are eating has, but just because a label says “Total fat : 20g” doesn’t mean all 20g of that fat is bad.

Like I said earlier there are good fats and bad fats. Remember, our good fats are mono- and poly-unsaturated, and our bad ones are saturated and trans (the worst!).

So, when a nutrition label reads “Total fat: 20g” don’t assume all 20g of that are saturated or trans.

Avocados are full of healthy fat

From the label above you can notice there are 8g of total fat per serving. If you look below the total fat you will see saturated fat and trans fat.

According to our label, this food only has 1g of saturated fat per serving, and 0g of trans fat.

This is encouraging.

We can assume the missing 7g of fat fall into either the mono- or polyunsaturated variety. This food has more good fat than bad. Only 9 calories per serving come via saturated fats.

BONUS: NO TRANS FAT (always a good thing)


NATURAL SUGARS AND ADDED SUGARS

When looking at a nutrition label be aware of the sugar content.

Sugar is naturally occurring in foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and most plant-based foods.

Added sugars are put into foods by the manufacturer.

Soda is full of added sugar

Unnaturally high amounts of sugar in any food should be avoided, but plant based foods with naturally occurring sugars are welcomed more than added sugars.

Be careful of so called “low fat” foods. These foods often sacrifice their amount of fat in favor of high sugar content.

Except, as we know excess sugar ultimately becomes stored as fat. This is a cheap trick that can work on the uneducated consumer.

Don’t let them fool you.


INGREDIENTS

Typically, you can find the ingredients of the food item below the nutrition label. Watch out for chemicals such as : aspartame, hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and monosodium glutamate (MSG). If you happen to notice any of these on your food label tread lightly.

As a rule of thumb, if the list of ingredients mirrors that of a Leo Tolstoy novel, you have no need eating it.

Long ingredient lists are indicators that the food inside is highly processed and stuffed full of questionable things.

Do you know what foods don’t have long ingredient lists? Fruits and vegetables. Eat more of those.

Save the butylated hydroxyanisole for your science experiment.

Stay away from food with long ingredient lists


YOU ARE NOW KNOWLEDGABLE IN GENERAL NUTRITION – PUT IT TO WORK

You learned a lot.

I know.

That was a long lesson in the biochemistry of food.

But, now you have an advantage.

You are no longer clueless to the science behind what you put into your body. No more will you be oblivious to what you consume.

You will be successful in your diet goals

Gaining an understanding of food is something EVERYONE should seek to learn. It is an imperative habit to learn if you wish to start eating healthier.

As a beginner, developing a foundation such as this is crucial for the upcoming months of food discipline you will be going through.

We learned about what healthy food is, the 3 types of food, micronutrients, and how to read a food label.

Each of these sections has countless subsections. The understanding behind the food we eat is still being studied today. There are thousands of book and articles covering food and diet. Developing a passion for your nutrition isn’t somehinf you should dismiss hastly.

Go explore, go learn, and take control of what you put into your body.

Your body will thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Start Eating Healthy For Beginners : Conquer Your Urges

EATING HEALTHY IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT

How to start eating healthier is a marathon not a sprint


How many times has a friend or co-worker told you about an exciting, new years’ resolution?

“This year, I’m going to start reading more books!”

After a month or two, you ask them how their resolution is coming along.

They reply confidently,

“6 books a month!”

A staggering pace.

7 months go by..

This time you ask them how many books they are reading a month.

“…”

The answer is almost never the same.

Not reching your goals

It is hard to stay consistent through a resolution or a similar goal.

Life interjects.

Relationships get in the way.

Whatever it may be. The bottom line is that many people revert back to their old ways after about a month or two of trying something new.

It’s easier, It’s more comfortable, and It’s more convenient.

Breaking habits is a difficult thing to do. Your body likes the same old routine. It doesn’t want to change.

Breaking old habits is hard

For beginners starting to eat healthy the same applies. Often times people jump on a new fad diet and sprint out of the starting gate! Only to be gassed out by mid-race. Eating healthy and developing a nutritious diet is a marathon, not a sprint.

Don’t gas out by the 3rd week.


Motivation – The capricious friend

Motivation can be capricious

Motivation is a fickle ally. It shows up at the weirdest of times and vanishes when you need it most.

For a beginner, developing a habit of eating healthy must not only rely on your motivation. Motivation is too volatile.

To genuinely develop a habit of eating healthier you must first practice the habit like a fish practices swimming.

You must immerse yourself in it. Live and breathe the new habit.

Your new habits will now become your everyday actions.

Practice your new skills and knowledge on an everyday basis until you have a solid foundation of consistent healthy eating.

How to start eating healthier for beginners practice makes perfect

This is the only way to succeed. Changing your diet 180 degrees requires strict discipline. It is far to easy to let your diet slip back into its old ways.

1 bag of chips on Monday becomes 2 sodas on Tuesday. 3 donuts on Friday becomes 4 Oreos’ on Saturday. Before you know it you’re back to where you started.

This is not to say you can NEVER eat these things. I am not a diet robot, and neither are you. Indulging in mouthwatering delicacies is something all humans should partake in on occasion.

None of us are diet robots

  • BUT FOR BEGINNERS TRYING TO LEARN HOW TO EAT HEALTHY, A FOUNDATION MUST BE ESTABLISHED SO A HABIT CAN BE FORMED.

Once you develop a reoccurring habit that is practiced by you with moderate ease, now you can look to motivation for guidance. Once you have set a record of 40, 56, 72, 81 days of consistently eating healthy, use motivation to continue the streak. Each day that you continue your streak should be a unit of motivation for which you can build on.


Acheiving a streak of eating healthy

FLOW – GETTING IN THE ZONE

There is an importance to flow. Flow is when you get yourself into the habit of doing something so often, so consistently, that you wake up the next day and naturally gravitate to that activity without even acknowledging it. In other words :

YOU DEVELOP A HABIT.

The first couple of weeks and months are going to be the toughest. You will have more reasons to revert back to your old eating ways, you will have more doubts than ever, and you will physically feel the most pain and sadness from not eating the foods you had eaten before.

But, once you break free from these restraints it gets easier and more rewarding. Trust me.

Getting into a flow and breaking free of old habits

You will have fewer doubts because you will prove to yourself that it can be done.

You will have fewer reasons to eat the foods you used too because you’ve gone so long without them.

And the best and greatest motivator in all health,

YOU WILL START TO SEE AND FEEL RESULTS IN YOUR BODY.

Your pant size will drop.

Your energy will rise.

You will stare at yourself in the mirror, twisting and turning to capture every angle in its new beautiful form (Yes we all do it).

Looking at your new healthy self in the mirror

Once you are at this point the flow is real.

The habit is formed.

Your motivation is ingrained in your being, growing more each day.

You will continue your habit, and every time you walk by a mirror you will not be able to help yourself from gazing at the new vibrant person you see staring back.

The spoils go to those who prepare for the marathon, not the sprint


Fighting urges – Ancestral Adaptations

Urges and cravings from our ancestors

As humans, we are naturally inclined to desire sugary and robust foods. We are drawn to foods like pizza, chocolate, doughnuts, pasta, and even candy. This isn’t by sheer chance. Our bodies crave these “comfort” foods. The reason why can be linked back to our ancestors and an innate sense of survival.

WHY WE CRAVE SUGAR AND CARBS

A sugary temptation

What do all the foods I mentioned above have in common?

Sugar (Quick energy).

Candy chocolate and donuts have a ton of sugar. In other words, quickly accessible energy.

Pizza and pasta have a ton of sugar as well. Albeit, in the form of heavy carbs.

Both groups of food are seen as tremendous energy supplies to the body.

This is why we as humans are drawn to these kinds of foods.

 

Storytime :

  • A long time ago when humans were still hunter-gatherers, food was harder to come by. This meant that people were generally going longer periods of time without food than people do now. Back then, any food they could find with a high sugar content was a great find, such as fruit. Fruit provided humans with a sugary snack. Quick energy. Eventually, over time, humans developed a sense for foods high in sugar. Our taste buds adapted and sought out the flavor of sugar within foods. Foods with high sugar content were deemed tasty, consequently, we started desiring these types of foods more. Foods high in sugar provided energy, and energy meant more industriousness, which ultimately meant survival. It is not a coincidence that thousands of years’ later people like you and me desire sugar in the same way.

Storytelling : A dietary tale

Okay enough with the history lesson.

So if we have this intrinsic urge for sugar, how do we resist the temptation?

Well, it’s not really resisting at all. It’s about finding viable alternatives.

Remember what I said in part 1: How to start eating healthy for beginners?

Sugar is in almost everything. But it’s where you find the sugar, and what kind that really matters.

Fruits, vegetables, dairy, and grains have naturally occurring sugars. Processed food does not. Processed food has “added” sugar. This added sugar is addictive and often comes in the form of weird names like high fructose corn syrup or anything that ends in -ose.

Why is added sugar bad?

Added sugar doesn’t present the consumer (you) with any supplementary nutrients. Foods with naturally occurring sugars do. Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These vitamins and minerals accompany the fruit sugar when you consume fruit. Added sugar comes to the digestion party stag, meaning it only offers itself. No additional perks.

Fruits with naturally occuring sugars

Naturally occurring sugar does not spike your blood sugar in the same way as added sugars do. When you eat fruit it is digested slower because of the fiber found in the fruit. The result is lower blood sugar and smaller insulin response.


SO WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU GET THE URGE TO EAT SOMETHING BAD?

Opt for a healthier alternative. When you get the urge to eat something bad you are essentially craving sugar, fat, or salt.

  • You crave sugar for the instant energy boost in the form of raised blood sugar
  • You crave fat for the flavor and the feeling of fullness.
  • You crave salt when you are dehydrated.

You crave food in general because you crave the release of “feel good” neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin (more on those later).

A tastier and healthier alternative to junk food


When craving a sugary snack opt for one of these alternatives

  • For sugar: Apple, pineapple, banana, mango, or some blueberries
  • For fat: Avocado, sunflower seeds, almonds cashews, walnuts, or a little dark chocolate
  • For salt: Drink some water first to see if that subsides your craving but if you still have it : popcorn, hummus, sunflower seeds, edamame, sweet potato fries, or try some veggie chips.

There are tasty alternatives that are out there. Remember, check the nutrition label and limit your intake appropriately.

Just because something is healthier for you doesn’t mean you can eat 10 pounds of it. Anything you consume should be in moderation. Even too much of a good thing can kill you.

Too much of a good thing can be bad

You will have cravings on your road to eating healthier, that’s a fact. For the beginner trying to develop healthier eating habits, it will be a challenge. You’ve never done this before. Consequently, your body has never been told ‘no’ to the things it craves so badly. It’s used to getting whatever it yearns for.

Substituting the alternatives I’ve listed above in place of the foods you normally eat won’t be as hard as you think. They are healthier, tastier, and far more satisfying than the junk food garbage calling your name. Besides, once you eat something your food cravings diminish rapidly. Remember your goal and stay the course. The person in the mirror is begging you.

So, next time you get cravings to eat something naughty remember why you’re eating healthier in the first place, and understand it may not just be you – it’s your ancestors.


Impulses and Fixations – The “Feel Good” Bad Influencers

Breaking free from urges and impulses

Many people experieince food disorders. Whether it be eating too much or eating too little. Food disorders can wreak havoc on a persons well-being. I recommend seeking professional help if you have fallen victim to one of these debilitating diseases.

People find comfort in food. Some people will eat even when they are not particularly hungry. You may be sitting down in the living room after dinner watching the game when you get a sudden craving to eat something. “Some chips would go perfect with this game.” Often times food accompanies activities rather brilliantly, and it can be hard to do some of these activities without its trusty old snack food partner.

Snacking and watching tv

You may be a victim of this “comfort” eating. The reason why has many answers, but two that I (and maybe you) are familiar with are oral fixations and chemical “feel good” signals.

WHAT IS AN ORAL FIXATION?

Sometimes people “comfort eat” to satisfy an oral fixation. I’ve fallen victim to this before. Once again, you might be sitting watching TV, reading a book, or even just doing homework and you get the urge to eat something, even when you are not hungry! This uncanny phenomenon can often time be chalked up to oral fixation

Oral fixation chewing

Having an oral fixation is when you incessantly feel the need to either be eating, chewing, or sucking on food or something similar. Cigarette smoking can often be linked to an oral fixation. This condition creates an obsession for the sufferer that can only be satisfied through eating or chewing on something.

To combat this try (first) eating a healthy snack (like carrot sticks), chewing sugar-free gum or mints, chewing a toothpick, or find another healthy alternative to take your mind off the fixation.

Carrots are a healthy snack food


WHAT ARE FEEL GOOD CHEMICALS?

As it concerns to “comfort eating” there are 2 main “feel good chemicals” that are released when you eat.

Dopamine and serotonin.

Dopamine and serotonin the feel good neurotransmitters

Dopamine and serotonin are both neurotransmitters, meaning, they convey chemical messages between our nerves and ultimately throughout our entire body.

Dopamine and serotonin are responsible for the good feelings you experience when you do something pleasurable. Whether that be getting a good test grade (granted you care about your grades), making your crush laugh, earning a promotion and subsequent raise, or eating a big plate of your grandmas’ world-famous lasagna.

Grandmas lasagna comfort food

The problem with these feel-good chemicals and overeating should be apparent. When our bodies consistently feel rewarded by the release of dopamine and serotonin every time we eat, our bodies start fooling us into eating (and thinking we are hungry) because they know what follows, dopamine and serotonin.

People who overeat are sometimes the victims of these “feel good’ chemicals.

For example, my father has a troublesome back injury. His back injury makes sleeping continuously through the night difficult. When my father wakes up in the middle of the night from back pain he often heads to the kitchen to eat something. He tells me this middle of the night eating relaxes him and allows him to fall asleep when he returns to bed. Even he believes that this comfort eating is what allows his body to relax.

Comfort eating to fall back asleep

Although comfort eating can help in situations such as my fathers, often times it leads to people overeating.


WHY DO YOU COMFORT EAT AND HOW TO RESIST?

People comfort eat in particular for one reason, stress. Stress feels shitty. It makes you feel like a wound up yo-yo that doesn’t have any hope of uncoiling. Stress accompanies almost everyone’s life on an everyday basis (if it doesn’t affect you daily I advise you write a book as to how you resist).

Stress eating

Since stress is such a constant force in our daily lives it’s only natural for us to seek sources of relief. These sources can either be healthy or harmful. Stress eating, I.e. “comfort eating” can often land on the harmful side of the spectrum if left unbridled.

Often times you can find yourself turning to food when the going gets tough. Bad day from work, pop open the potato chips. An argument with the significant other, rocky road ice cream here I come.

For a beginner trying to learn how to start eating healthier, you will get these “comfort eating” temptations. Especially since you will be eating a new diet comprised of healthy foods. Your body will be beckoning you to those tasty, yet unhealthy options that were so commonplace before your nutrition enlightenment. You need to tell your body to f—k off.

Tell your body no when it craves something bad

No really.

Remember what I was saying about those “feel good” chemicals earlier? Those are going to be the perpetrators.

Your body is going to want to eat unhealthy things so bad because it wants the huge release of dopamine and serotonin that follows. When this happens eat a healthy snack, try one from the list I mentioned above. After some time, your body will start developing a new fondness to these new foods.

The urges will become less drastic.

The pull will become less heavy.

You will condition your body to like these new foods, and consequently, your body will become hardwired to generate pleasure when these new foods are consumed. You are in control of your body, only you are capable of grabbing the steering wheel and directing yourself to the destination of that which you desire.

Only yoi can steer yourself towards your goals


Social Eating – Navigating Treacherous Waters

Eating out is great. Delicious food, countless choices, and a bevy of laughs with good friends (and alcohol). The dining experience is a joyful one for many who identify as a “foodie” or any lover of food for that matter. But for a beginner trying to start eating healthier, the dining experience can be a dangerous one.

Eating out and maneuvering temptations

Restaurants are full of mouthwatering creations. Although often times, these creations land on the side of not so healthy.

Restaurant food is supposed to taste good. They want their customers to like the food so they will come back. This means that the food will often be laden with fat (butter), salt, or other things since these flavors are what typically tantalize the human taste buds ever so.

Also, many restaurants do not have nutrition labels readily visible on the menus. You must ask for a nutrition rundown (label) of the specific dish you have in mind. Additionally, almost no restaurant has a list of ingredients for the dishes they make. I say almost no restaurant because to this date I have never seen a list of ingredients on a menu, although I haven’t been to every restaurant in the world so I cannot say all.


Tips for being health conscious – while eating out

Some restaurants have little nutrition icons on their menu that relate to a specific health benefit of a certain menu item. Green check mark indicating healthy menu itemFor example, Dennys has a little green checkmark on some of it’s menu items that offer a reduced amount of calories.
These can help you navigate a menu when eating out, alerting you to a healthy aspect in the food you might consider ordering.

Another way to check if a menu item is in your best interest is to ask your waiter. If you are concerned that a menu item might be cooked in heavy butter, ask the server how the dish is prepared. Olive oil a healthy substitute for butterIf the menu item you are considering is prepared in a fashion that isn’t in line with your dietary limitations, kindly ask the waiter if it can be prepared another way. For instance, instead of butter ask if the chef can use olive or canola oil instead. Often times the kitchen has no problem accommodating to your needs and modifying your order is no hassle at all. Just don’t ask for the impossible

Many menu items come with a selection of 1 or 2 (sometimes 3), sides. This is a perfect opportunity to showcase your recently acquired healthy food knowledge. At a seafood restaurant I enjoy visiting, they offer you 2 sides with your entree. I regularly order the wild salmon, brown rice and quinoa mix, and sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries a healthier alternative to french friesTo me, this meal is delicious. To others, my side dishes might need a little “flavor enhancing”. Instead of brown rice and qunoa, one can choose from a list of other unhealthy options. I am content with what I choose, but the opportunity to stray from the path is discernible.

Don’t let unhealthy options claim your disicpline. If anything, do what I do and order something like sweet potato fries. Any fried food claiming to be healthy I am skeptical toward. In spite of that, fried food is tasty and if I am going to choose something fried it will be something on the healthier side. Sweet potatoes are a good complex carb, ill take those over regular fried potatoes (AKA freedom fries..kidding) any day.

A new trend you will see in restaurants is a “healthy” options portion of the menu. This part of the menu is reserved for healthier food choices such as salads, chicken breast, veggie dishes, or some other type of health food. Healthy menu options at restaurantsRestaurants are starting to catch on to the diet craze that has engulfed our society. Picking your food from here may be a good option, just remember to be aware of what actually goes in the dish. Ask questions, find substitutes, and be conscious of what’s going into your body.

A good habit to develop when eating out is to ask for all sauces and dressings on the side. If you order a salad ask that they serve it to you with the dressing on the side. This way you can portion the dressing to your liking. Consequently, reducing the amount and calories along the way. Healthy alternative ask for sauces on the sideThis goes for sauces as well. Gravy, curry, teriyaki, hollandaise, etc. Ask for these on the side as well. Often times restaurants will douse foods with sauces. A healthy chicken breast can easily become a heavy calorie-laden meal in no time.

Another good strategy to incorporate when eating out is a skill all of us should have learned long ago. Sharing. If you are out to eat with someone ask them if they would like to split a meal. If the person you are dining with isn’t that hungry to begin withHealthy alternative sharing a meal (or is learning how to eat healthy as well) they may be happy to share a dish with you. This can protect you from overeating, and many restaurants offer generous portions that can easily satiate 2 people.

Eating out review:

– Check for “healthy” icons on menu items.

– Ask your waiter about how a dish is prepared

– Ask for substitutes on unhealthy ingredients

– Choose sides wisely. Opt for healthier alternatives

– Look for “healthy” sections on menus

– Remember to ask for all dressings and sauces on the side

– If eating with someone, ask them if they would like to share a dish

 


Comprehension and Action – Putting Your Knowledge to Work

How to start eating healthier for beginners - staying motivated towards your goal

For a beginner starting to eat healthier, you will have a lot on your plate. Developing the knowledge and mindset to accomplish your goals is going to seem overwhelming. You must remember to take it day by day, and continually apply the things you learn along the way.

Often times, the psychological aspect is the hardest thing for beginners to overcome. This is true for many things in life, including diet. From all the things I have gone over in this post, you will be prepared for most anything.

You now know the importance of developing a foundation with your new habits.

You now know the meaning of flow and how essential it’s rhythm is to building this foundation.

You now know the fickleness of motivation and how to use your successes to strengthen it.

You now know the reason behind urges and cravings and what you can do to combat this tyranny.

You now know 2 impulses and fixations that lead to overeating and what you can do to divert them.

You now know the perils of eating out and countless ways to navigate these dangerous waters.


With this arsenal of knowledge, I am confident you can beat any obstacle that comes your way.

Remember, nobody is a robot and that mistakes will be made, don’t beat yourself up, get back on your horse and keep pushing towards your goal. If this is something you really want to do I know you have so many reasons to accomplish it. You will see results along the way and these should be used to build your motivation. Be better than you were yesterday, day in day out. Achieve this and you will find yourself looking in the mirror but the person looking back will be someone new.

You can and will achieve a healthy diet

A better you.

A healthier you.

You got this, my friend.

Mushroom Coffee Reviews : The Healthy Secret Behind Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mix

Review of: “Four Sigmatic: Mushroom Coffee Mix

Price

3.5/5

Quite a bargain when compared to coffee chains. But price doesn’t hold up against Folgers, Yuban, etc.

Uses: Alternative to traditional coffee. Health 

Taste

4/5

Smooth, rich flavor with notes of mushroom on the back end.

Wellness

5/5

Contains 3 active ingredients. Chaga, Cordyceps, and Eleuthero. All present potential health benefits.

Ease of use

5/5

Boil water and pour. Simple. Easy.

Why I Like: Intriguing ingredients. The potential for quality health benefits. Novel flavor. Very affordable. Quick and easy to make.

Why I don’t like: Taste can be a bit funky. May take some time to get used to.

Summary: A very interesting coffee experience. I applaud the health benefits offered by this coffee. Although, the mushroom flavor of this coffee can take some getting used to for some people. A very novel coffee that I’d recommend to anybody with adventurous tastebuds or to anyone looking for a pseudo-coffee alternative. Definitely worth a try for its distinct qualities.

 

On a nice morning in mid-February, I was sitting in my living room feeling uninterested in my usual cup of black coffee

As I sipped, I pondered.

“Every morning I sit on the same couch, drink the same coffee, out of the same mug. My routine has become monotonous.”

So what did I do? I bought a brand new couch and love-seat set with 7 matching coffee mugs (1 for every day of the week). The end. Problem solved.

Kidding.

This is not what I did.  Instead of spending a lot of money I opted to discover a new type of coffee. As a person who takes his health seriously, I decided to look for a type of coffee with added health benefits. Heck, if I’m going to be drinking it every morning it mind as well be beneficial for me too. I also wanted to find something that was affordable. As a 28-year-old bachelor, I can’t be spending exorbitant amounts of money on coffee.

Lastly, I wanted to find a coffee that was easy to prepare. The last thing I need is wasting 20 minutes of my precious time in the morning before work because face it, we all rush in the morning.

After a bit of research and exploring, I found “Four Sigmatic: Mushroom Coffee Mix. My interest piqued. I’d never heard of “mushroom” coffee before. I went to Amazon, searched for the brand, and ordered. I didn’t really know what to expect. It arrived 2 days later in a cool little box. I opened the box to find 10 .9 oz packets of mushroom coffee mix.

So far, I was satisfied.

Now, the taste. After my first sip, everything seemed normal. Tasted like coffee, smelled like coffee, even burned my tongue like hot coffee. But, then I noticed a difference. At the end of the sip, you can taste it. A taste of mushroom. Surprisingly pleasant. I was worried the coffee could be to mushroom-y.

Alas, it was not. At least not for me. Although, if you do not like the taste of mushrooms I’d advise against drinking this coffee. But, if you enjoy mushrooms I’d highly recommend. Even if you are neutral on mushrooms I believe it’s worth a try purely because of its novelty.

If I have piqued your interest read on.

The first thing you should ask yourself before trying this coffee is if you are content with your standard coffee routine.

If you are fine with drinking the same old coffee every morning I’d recommend you stick with the usual Yuban, Folgers, etc. You may not want something new in your morning ritual and that’s okay. Also, if you do not like the taste of mushrooms (like I stated earlier) look for something else.

But, if you are looking for something new and exciting this may be the coffee for you. It is affordable, easy to prepare, and contains ingredients that are shown to be beneficial to your health. As well as a new, novel flavor that I’m almost sure most people haven’t experienced in their coffee before. Unless Starbucks came out with a mushroom frappe…

Ease of use

Four Sigmatic: Mushroom Coffee Mix comes in a cool little cardboard box. The box has a cool font and a nice design. Inside you’ll find 10 packets of mushroom coffee mix. These packets contain .9 oz of coffee. All you need to do to prepare the coffee is boil or microwave some water, tear open the package, pour into the hot water, and stir. Quick and easy. Literally, that’s all.

Like, no buying coffee filters. No buying a coffee machine. That’s it, a little box with coffee packets and a mug are all you need. Assuming you have running water. Which I really hope you do because if you don’t I’m very sympathetic to that. It’s 2019  everyone should have running water. Ok off topic. Anyways…

Taste

The coffee itself has a pleasant aroma. It smells similar to traditional coffee with a little twist. After taking a sip of the coffee you will notice a rich, smooth flavor followed by hints of mushroom. Can be a bit funky and off-putting at first but, the mushroom flavor is moderate and doesn’t dominate the overall taste. This is something I was worried about after I purchased the coffee. I was glad to discover the coffee had a mild mushroom taste and not a strong one. If you enjoy the flavor of mushrooms you will appreciate the flavor of this coffee.

I am a big fan of mushrooms and even I had my doubts. I thought Four Sigmatic would try to over accentuate the flavor of the mushroom in the coffee, but they didn’t. They got it right. I sometimes like to add a little cream to my coffee to make it silky smooth, but never sugar. I added cream to the mushroom coffee and it remained tasty. Not sure how adding sugar might affect the taste.

On the side of the box, you can see the nutrition facts (nothing much there), next to that are the ingredients. Among the ingredients, you will find Chaga extract, Cordyceps extract, and eleuthero extract. These 3 ingredients contain a myriad of health benefits and they are what makes this coffee stand out. More on that later…

Affordability

What I really like about this coffee is that it’s affordable. I bought a pack of 10 (each packet has .9 oz of coffee) for $11.66 (now on sale for $11.95). That’s $1.60 per cup of coffee. This is cheaper than a small coffee from Starbucks.

Plus, you don’t have to drive there and wait in line behind a guy ordering 10 grande, iced, sugar-free, vanilla low-fat lattes with almond milk and 2 pumps of caramel for the whole office. Do people really drink those?

Although, Four Sigmatic: Mushroom Coffee Mix isn’t as cheap as buying a can of Folgers. A 31.1 oz can of Folgers is selling for $10.99 right now. But, what it does give you is a better tasting healthy alternative to Folgers. It’s easy to buy online. My coffee was at my doorstep and ready to drink 2 days after ordering.

Furthermore, every box of Four Sigmatic: Mushroom Coffee Mix only comes with 10 packets of coffee. You will go through this coffee relatively fast and not be stuck with a big ole’ 31.1 oz tub of regular black coffee. These can take months to finish. I would know. Additionally, Four Sigmatic (the brand name) has other flavors and types of mushroom coffee. Including, a dark roast blend, a blend with lion’s mane extract, a blend with Rhodiola Rosea extract, and Cacao to name a few. There are a plethora of selections and flavors to choose from, and almost certainly one to fit your flavor profile.

Now, before we get to those ingredients. If you are interested in buying this coffee you can click this link now. Ok, here are those health benefits.

Health benefits

Chaga

Chaga is a type of mushroom. A fungus that grows on trees. Yes, I said a fungus. But don’t let that freak you out. Four sigmatic uses Chaga extract in its coffee. Chaga itself contains a multitude of health benefits.

According to an article from Medical News Today, Chaga extract has a number of potential health benefits as well as research to back the claims. Among these benefits, Chaga extract is a bonafide nutrient-dense superfood rich in vitamins and minerals such as B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, potassium, amino acids, fiber, selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium to name a few. The list goes on.

Chaga is also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are the result of oxygen molecules splitting into single atoms in the human body. These unpaired, highly unstable, single atoms desperately roam your body to find other electrons with whom they can pair with. When they do, they cause damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. Antioxidants help fight against these free radicals.

The article goes on to state that Chaga may also help fight and prevent cancer. “A 2010 study found that Chaga could slow the growth of lung, breast, and cervical cancer cells in a petri dish. The same study also found that Chaga slowed the growth of tumors in mice.”

If these health benefits aren’t enough, Chaga has also been linked to lowering blood pressure, supporting the immune system, fighting inflammation, and lowering blood pressure. So, yea if this is in my coffee I’m definitely not complaining.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is also a fungus. Yet, where it is found is most interesting.

Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountain regions of China, as written on WebMD. 

WHAT IN THE HELL.

I have many questions as to how humans discovered this. Not to mention how or why they ever thought of ingesting it! My questions will have to be answered some other time.

Anyways.

So, Cordyceps extract is found in insect remains. Cordyceps (the fungus) is found accompanying the remains. When it comes to cordyceps health benefits on humans, the jury is still out. This is because most of the research is done on animals. Although, from the research, the results do appear promising.

According to an article in Healthline, Cordyceps has been shown to increase the body’s production of ATP. ATP or adenosine triphosphate is the energy molecule of the body. ATP is what carries energy in the body, and what facilitates the body’s chemical processes. So, having more ATP is a good thing. It was found that cordyceps improved exercise performance in older and younger adults. Have a cup of mushroom coffee in the morning before you go to the gym.

Cordyceps is also high in antioxidants (explanation above).

Cordyceps also showed the potential to treat cancer. Although, this research was done on cancer cells in test tubes and mice. Further testing on humans is needed for a better understanding.

Cordyceps was also shown to lower blood sugar and could be a weapon to help fight type 2 diabetes. Again, this research is done on animals. So, as you can see cordyceps does have some potentially beneficial health benefits, but for the time being the effect it has on humans remains somewhat controversial.

Now, to the final ingredient in Four Sigmatic: Mushroom Coffee Mix.

Eleuthero extract

or, Siberian Ginseng. Surprise! Eleuthero IS NOT a fungus. Instead, Eleuthero is a small woody shrub. A plant. Something most of us are comfortable with. Unless you’re a die hard meat eater and hate plants.

An article from Medical News Today presents some interesting health benefits of Eleuthero such as increasing energy and lowering fatigue (another good reason to drink this coffee before the gym).

Eleuthero has been shown to significantly increase the exhaustion point of swimming mice (again, tested on animals) by lessening the buildup of lactic acid in the mice. Lactic acid is the byproduct of oxygen deprivation. During intense exercise, you’ll notice your breathing becomes more labored. This onset of heavy breathing is because your muscles are using up your body’s oxygen supply faster than you can replace it. When this happens your body must find a substitute for the insufficient, yet critical oxygen supply. May I introduce to you, lactic acid.

Lactic acid is produced by your body when not enough oxygen is present. Although, lactic acid is not very good for your body. Lactic acid is held responsible for muscle fatigue which in turn causes nausea, cramps, exhaustion, etc.

The article continues,” one study found that consuming 800 milligrams (mg) of eleuthero a day for 8 weeks increased a male subject’s endurance time by 23 percent, peak oxygen saturation by 12 percent, and highest heart rate by 3 percent.” All very interesting findings that point to the performance-enhancing qualities of eleuthero. But again not enough human research has been done. Most of the research has been done on animals. You be the judge.

Testimonies and reviews

Here are a couple of links to people who have tried the coffee, See what they have to say :

The potential health benefits of Four Sigmatic: Mushroom Coffee Mix is promising yet, not bulletproof

While you may find comfort in the benefits, some of you may not. I personally like to ingest things with added health benefits. So, when I researched the ingredients and the health benefits associated with them, I was interested. I do not expect you to see them the same way. If you do not, there are other coffees put out by Four Sigmatic that offer different ingredients. These coffees may interest you more and I recommend you go with those if they fit your style.

Also, there is nothing wrong with traditional coffee. It’s just that I myself have become bored with it and opted for an alternative.

Four Sigmatic: Mushroom Coffee Mix is worth a try out of its sheer novelty. The potential health benefits are a kicker. At the worst, it’s an interesting conversation starter for when you have guests over to your house. “Hey have you tried mushroom coffee before? Here please drink so–, oh you have? Anyways….crazy weather we’ve been having huh? We really needed that rain.”

Ok enough of that. If you want to buy Four Sigmatic’s: Mushroom Coffee Mix it’s on sale at Amazon just click the link below. Happy coffee drinking.

Vegetarian vs Meat Eater : What you should know about the age-old debate

“What are you talking about!? humans are supposed to eat meat. Clearly, our bodies aren’t meant to eat only fruits and vegetables. Plus, what do you think our canine teeth are for?”


How many of you have heard this age-old debate one time or another?

You’re at a party.

You’re at work.

You’re somewhere.

2 people are having a debate about what humans are meant to eat.

It’s a classic.

Right up there with religion and politics.

“In the red corner, we have Meat Eater!”

“In the blue: Plant-eater!”

Most times (in my experience), the meat eater uses protein Canine teeth debatable evidence of meat eating in humansand canine teeth as their primary weapons of argument.

On the other side, plant food person cites and quotes information they have just learned about. Often from a new vegan raw foods documentary, they just watched on Netflix.

The battle rages, phones are whipped out, Google is used, questions are answered, but to no avail. Neither person wins. Both are left without a clear. answer.

I’m not here to tell you who is right, what I am here to do is give you some pointers for whichever way you lean, democrat or rep…I mean, meat eater or plant eater.

Let’s get into it.


People’s diet likes/dislikes can be unique to their bodies physiology

This isn’t to say some of us are strictly built to consume meat, or strictly built to consume fruits and vegetables. Our bodies have many traits that would like us to herbivores, although humans clearly have a great fondness for meat. Our bodies digest both, yet some of us love broccoli and bananas, while others love a 24 oz T-bone steak. Then what is the defining factor that leads someone to like one type of food over the other?

The answer may be in our genetics

Researchers at Cornell University have found a genetic variation they said appears to have evolved in populations that favored vegetarian diets over hundreds of years, according to the Washington Post.

Meaning, people of certain cultures are genetically programmed to like a vegetarian diet over the traditional western diet (high in red meat, dairy products, and refined foods).

The same way our genes decide our hair color, they may also be deciding our nutritional choices.

The Washington Post article goes on to state, This genetic variation might actually be detrimental to people’s health if they are to stray from a vegetarian diet. Claiming, straying from a vegetarian can make these individuals more susceptible to things such as inflammation because their bodies were optimized for a different mix of inputs.

So, what if you are one of the many without this genetic variation? Lucky you. Your diet retains its freedom. Meaning, eat what you prefer and you will not feel the same consequences because your body isn’t adapted to eat only vegetarian.


On the flip side, many people crave meat

Your body may urge you to turn into the hamburger joint more often than most. This unexpected meat craving you often experience can sometimes be attributed to our body’s state of being.

People with iron deficiencies often crave red meat

Red meat contains high amounts of iron. Iron helps the body transfer oxygen in the form of red blood cells. WomenIron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body have sometimes experienced red meat cravings prior to, or during their menstrual cycles. Similarly, your body may crave meat when it is not receiving adequate amounts of protein. Protein helps the body build and repair tissue, as well as helping construct other important body substances.

At the end of the day, your body has a big say in what you crave, and what you consume. So, no matter how much of it you attribute to free will or moral choices, sometimes your body itself overrides your autonomy, and silently manipulates your food choices.


From a health perspective, eating vegetarian has an edge

Fruits and veggies seem to be healthier alternatives than meat

When it comes to our anatomy humans are perplexing. Going back to the argument above, our bodies do little to sway the debate in either sides favor.

In the meat eaters defense :

  • Humans have sharp canines (Which could be a lonely anatomical carry over from our ancestors of old and indicative of a heavy meat diet in our misty past)
  • Highly complex bodies that need the abundance of complete proteins found readily available in meat
  • An insatiable craving for meat (Mcdonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Carls Jr, etc!!)
  • Evidence supporting the consumption of meat as a key factor in humans evolutionary growth (Science says humans were scavengers early in our evolutionary development)

On the contrary,

Vegetarians credit :

  • Flat molar teeth as evidence supporting the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Molars help grind and smash fruits and vegetables
  • Our elongated intestinal tract to help digest fruits and vegetables
  • Humans non-predatory early life disposition
  • The plethora of health benefits accompanied by consuming fruits and vegetables

As you can see, both sides offer valid points. So, who’s correct? Well, technically they both are. Humans are technically classified as omnivores. similarly, there are nutritional benefits to eating fruits, vegetables, and meat.

BUT, if there is one factor that can be used as a deal breaker it’d have to be the overall health benefits from either respective diet.


Fruits and vegetables contain far more beneficial nutrients

Meat does provide people with some beneficial nutrients. Iron, B complex vitamins, and complete proteins (to name a few).

These all provide the body with much-needed nutrients that help the body with its daily functions. On top of that, I think most of us can agree that meat tastes pretty damn good. However, when looking at the complete nutritional composition between the two fruits and vegetables clearly take the cake.

Fruits and vegetables are full of advantageous vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform at an optimal function

Many people do not ingest enough vitamins and minerals to meet the daily recommended level.

Failure to do so can lead to a long list of problems with your health.

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower blood pressure, and decrease chances of cancer, according to Harvard chan school of health. Diets complete with fruits and vegetables also help aid the body in digestion and vision.

Consuming fruits and vegetables regularly gives your body what it needs to operate effectively. Consequently, avoiding debilitating problems that arise when not enough of them are consumed.

The high level of vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables perform different duties throughout your body.

A good diet does include a wide range of foods. Different foods provide the body with different forms of nourishment. At the end of the day, fruits and vegetables provide your body with more helpful things than hurtful things, the same can’t be said for meat.


High meat diets are high in other things too

High meat diets have been shown to correlate with high amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and elevated levels of cholesterol.

NASTY.

Although, not all meat is created equal

Chicken and turkey contain fewer saturated fats than beef and pork. This is because their muscle is external to their fat. Meaning, the muscle (meat) and the fat are separated. This allows the fat to remain out of the meat.

(Not to mention fish! Fish is a wonderful source of lean protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Wild fatty salmon, tuna, and cod to name a few)

Beef and pork contain higher amounts of saturated fats because beef and pork muscle is marbled with fat

Meaning, fat seeps into their meat. So when a piece of meat is cut from a cow or pig, pockets of fat are present in the meat as well. Hence, when you eat this meat you are consuming fat as well.


Cuts of meat marbled with fat are said to taste better than there non-marbled counterparts.

Among the fattiest cuts of meat you have:

  • New York strip (up to 59% of its calories from fat)New york strip has one of the highest fat percentages of any cut of meat
  • Skirt steak (up to 55% of its calories from fat)
  • Pork spare ribs (up to 69% of its calories from fat!)

Consequently, these cuts are also some of the most flavorful.

My stomach growls when writing about them.

On the flip side, skinless white meat chicken breast and turkey breast are known to be healthy alternatives in the meat department. Albeit, less tasty.

My stomach growls have ceased.


Skinless white meat chicken breast contains up to around 10% of its calories from fat. Turkey meat has a relatively low fat percentage

Skinless turkey breast contains about 11% of its calories from fat.

The calorie differential between poultry and red meat is staggering whilst, the taste (to some people) is as well. As a result, people tend to choose the fattier cuts of red meat due to taste.

Although,

If you would like to be more health conscious I’d recommend you start eating poultry instead. If white meat poultry isn’t necessarily your thing, I get it. I’ve met dozens of people who don’t like the taste of white meat chicken or turkey.

But come on people, it is 2019 and food recipes are everywhere!

There are hundreds of recipes out there to get started. Recipes that can turn your chicken breast into a culinary masterpiece.

Eat it all

So, which path should you choose?

The answer really is up to you. Look at your preferences, look at your bodies needs, and choose accordingly. Although, I believe a good balance creates the optimal diet.

Fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of your diet. The high vitamin and mineral content keeps your body performing ideally, as well as protects you from the debilitating ailments that can occur when not enough is consumed.

Fruits and veggies are free from saturated fats, and low in calories. The high fiber content helps with your digestion by keeping your intestinal tract clean and running smoothly.

When it comes to meat.

Try to stick with skinless white meat poultry and fish.

And, try to limit your intake of red meat.

Occasional splurging is okay. Red meat tastes fantastic when cooked right. Also, devouring a double-double cheeseburger from In-n-Out is just so satisfying, Splurging on your diet once in a while is okayand…American.

But, don’t make this a habit. There is just too much evidence that red meat is unhealthy when consumed in excess.

Although, at the end of the day I do believe we are humans and not robots. I think life should be enjoyed, and this means eating things that tickle your tastebuds. Just try to remain health conscious at the same time.

Red meat should be consumed as a reward, a rarity. If made into an everyday thing it loses its luster.

All the things you consume should be in moderation. Even too much of a good thing can be bad.

So, next time you hear people debating about whether humans are carnivores or herbivores get in the middle and scream, “YOU’RE BOTH CORRECT” and go on your merry way.

5 Overlooked Tips : How to Start a Day Off Right

The morning is where you make or break your day


Set a good foundation and flourish. Lack  the fundamentals and diminish.

Your bed can be beckoning, your stomach growling and your morning breathe spewing.

We can solve that.

Exhausted in the morning? Yea him too


Here are 5 healthy morning rituals to practice if you want to build the best morning routine for health.

Wake up earlier

I know, I know waking up early when you have no obligations is difficult. The siren song emitting from your bed can be irresistible, and the snooze button can be your best friend.

Although, I promise you falling for these pitfalls no matter how enticing, are one sure way of starting your day off on the wrong foot.

Waking up earlier will have a positive impact on your day

By all means, get your 7-8 hours of beauty sleep

But there is no need for more. Waking up early allows for more time to be productive. There is only so much time in the day. By waking up earlier you reward yourself with more time.

Time is an invaluable asset.

Even waking up 1 hour earlier than normal gives you a big advantage. In addition to productiveness, waking up early builds your charisma and self-esteem for the day. It motivates you because you feel accomplished. You resisted your warm beds’ temptations and had the strength and willpower to overcome it. As a result of your conquest, you now get to go show the world who is boss.


Make your bed

I recently talked to someone who told me their thoughts on bed making. She told me :

“yea, I don’t see the point in making your bed. You’re just going to come back at the end of the day and sleep in it anyway, and it’s going to get messy again. So why make it?”

Making your bed helps you feel accomplished

Honestly, I see her point.

Logically she’s right. It will become messy again, so why waste the time making it nice in the first place right?

Wrong.

There’s something more to making your bed. Subconsciously it proves to yourself that you accomplished something. Your conscious mind might not think much of it, but I promise you it has an impact.

Making your bed in the morning has a couple of benefits.

First, it helps you start your day with an achievement.

I know you’re probably laughing at me because I just called making your bed an “achievement”

But hear me out.

By making your bed, you accomplish a task. It’s something you don’t REALLY want to do but you do it anyways. In doing so it helps encourage you to do more tasks. Think of it as the first domino in a line.

Making your bed pushes this domino into the next task and that task into the next. Therefore setting off a sequence of events, resulting in tasks getting done, and accomplishments being made. 


Drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning

I’ve realized a lot of people don’t drink enough water throughout their day.

Many people I talk to admit to only drinking a couple of glasses of water a day.

That’s crazy!

Water is critical to your well being. You don’t need me to tell you that. So start drinking. It doesn’t taste bad, what’s stopping you?

Drinking 2 glasses of water in the morning is a healthy jumpstart for your body

Jump start your metabolism

Your metabolism doesn’t stop completely when you sleep, but it does slow down. Dumping 2 glasses of water into your body immediately in the morning kick starts it. Similarly to warming up your car before a long road trip.

Flush your body of toxins

The water you drink first thing in the morning acts like a cleanse or rinse. Any residue in your system will be washed away and excreted. Simply drinking 2 glasses of water in the morning can help raise energy levels, fight disease and sickness, and flush out any malignant toxins.

Would you go for 8 hours without water?

Your answer should be no. If you were to go 8 hours without water you would probably start feeling the effects of dehydration.  Dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, and the like.Dehydration can lead to uncomfortable side effects

When you sleep you are essentially restricting your body of water.

A healthy adult should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep, and during this time the body isn’t getting any water. Drinking those 2 glasses of water in the morning help replenish your body with the necessary fluids it needs.

Also, this early morning hydration helps the body resist the symptoms of dehydration. Clearing your early morning fuzzies, and giving you the boost you need to start your day off on the right foot.


Brush your teeth

Morning breathe. I could stop there.

But I won’t

Brushing your teeth in the morning helps defend your teeth from the foods of your day

Brushing your teeth in the morning BEFORE breakfast is what you should be doing.

Contrary to popular belief, brushing your teeth before breakfast is actually the correct way to go about it.

My dad is 62. He drinks A LOT of coffee. He’s been drinking A LOT of coffee his whole life. He’s also been brushing his teeth AFTER he drinks his coffee in the morning. I’ve been telling him not too, but he doesn’t seem to listen. I’ll explain why he should in a second.

Essentially, toothpaste contains abrasives that help clear your teeth of food residue, as well as containing agents that protect and strengthen tooth enamel.

Tooth enamel is the protective surface layer of your tooth that helps fight tooth decay. In addition, tooth enamel is the hardest existing material (tissue) found in the human body!Protect your tooth enamel by brushing before eating in the morning

So, why brush before food and drinks? Here’s why.

Ever used a toothpick?

What were you using the toothpick for?

Food residue perhaps. Or maybe just to look cool. I don’t know. I know I use a toothpick because after eating we leave food residue behind in our teeth. Whether it be big pieces or small, the food we eat gets left behind in our chompers. As well as the food itself, the food we eat leaves behind acids that can attack and damage tooth enamel.

This can happen from beverages also.

Coffee, soda, and alcohol are very bad for your teeth. Coffee is heavily acidic. After drinking coffee you leave behind its acids in your teeth. Hence why I have advised my dad to brush his teeth BEFORE drinking coffee.Brush your teeth before drinking coffee

Brushing your teeth before drinking coffee will reinforce the protective shield across your enamel, in turn, fighting and resisting the acids attempts at attacking your enamel. Meaning, your teeth stay protected and healthy.


Drink a fruit smoothie

Smoothies are fun because you can be so creative with them.

You can throw almost anything in there, push blend, and boom. An easily drinkable beverage full of healthy ingredients.

At least you SHOULD put healthy ingredients in there. I make a smoothie every morning. Maybe it doesn’t always taste great, although that’s not what I’m going for when I make mine. I try to pack as many healthy ingredients in my smoothie as I can.

Drink a fruit smoothie a nice way to start your day

Smoothies are easy to drink.

They don’t require the same labor that’s required when chewing solid food. In addition, they don’t require as much time. For these two reasons I like to put as much healthy stuff as I can into my smoothies and throw it back.

Start the morning off with a healthy dose of nutrients.

When you can supply your body with a good nutritious meal first thing in the morning, it gives your body a great foundation for the rest of your day.

Likewise, it allows for you to have a couple of slip ups in your diet throughout the day. That cookie you have at lunch won’t weigh down on your consciousness as much when you already drank a super nutrient dense smoothie at breakfast. Think of it as a diet buffer.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet throughout the day. Just because you had a healthy smoothie, it’s not okay to eat a whole cake…and ice cream…and whipped cream…moderation is key.

Smoothies can taste delicious and be super healthy

I have acquired a taste for my “throw everything in the blender and drink” smoothie. I like the way my smoothies taste. My body also reacts well to the ingredients.

Give it a try. Find some healthy fruits, veggies, or whatever it may be and throw it in your blender. You’ll be surprised how tasty a bunch of healthy ingredients can be.

Here’s a recipe for a smoothie that I think you can’t go wrong with. I think this is a good foundation, you can modify at your liking.

  • 2 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 whole banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen organic blueberriesBlueberries a healthy smoothie ingredient
  • 1/2  cup frozen organic mangoes
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP peanut butter (with no hydrogenated vegetable oils) (optional)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Make the habit

Do these habits seem rudimentary to you?

If you answered yes, you may be right.

Although, nobody should take them lightly.

We can look at these morning rituals as fundamentals that are pivotal to your day. These basic routines if established correctly, can lead to much greater things. Knocking out these healthy exercises in the morning set you up for success and better health.

Furthermore, all of them combined take less than 20 minutes.


They give me the motivation to wake up and start my day.

I knock out my morning routine and feel propelled to tackle my next task. Whether that be going to the gym, going to class, going to work, or even running errands. This morning ritual motivates me to keep succeeding in my day. As a result, more things get done, and my health prospers.

Give it a try. If you’re able to accomplish only a couple of these habits that’s still a win. Success starts with fundamentals, nail your’s down.

Healthy Alternatives for Fast Food? Yes, it’s Possible. Here’s Where

When it comes to eating healthy many questions likely come to mind.


Eating healthy raises many questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taste?

Affordability?

Convenience?

and what about options?

Any of those come to mind?


Many people will avert the healthy option. Therefore, settling for the more viable, practical fast food approach.

I’ll admit this option does solve many questions.

For instance, Fast food restaurants now have value menus and BOGO (buy one get one) options. The drive-thrus are relatively quick, and they keep their promise on taste. For example, when you order a big mac you know it’s going to taste like a big mac.

These three things alone are enough to get the eater to steer into a drive thru instead of a supermarket.

BUT lucky for you, I have found an alternative. So, if you ever find yourself asking, “is healthy fast food possible?”

I will tell you the answer is yes, yes it is.


First, let us define the meaning of “fast food”

Drive thru

Fast food is :

  • Food that can be ordered quickly and with ease. You can count on your food being ready in less than 10 minutes, and more than likely there is a drive-thru option available.

Okay, pretty good definition right?

Well, that was my definition.

Let’s ask the big dogs (google) and see what they have to say.

According to google fast food is defined as,food that can be prepared quickly and easily and is sold in restaurants and snack bars as a quick meal or to be taken out.”

If we run with this premise it’s safe to say that any food that can be prepared easily and taken out can be labeled as “fast food”. 

This means whether you or somebody else is preparing the food, it’s still fast food. Granted it’s ready in a short amount of time.

Buffet is fast food

Buffet

SO if you think of a buffet…

A buffet qualifies as fast food, right?

1) The food is already prepared

2) The food is ready to be eaten or taken out in less than 10 minutes.

(What I’m trying to do here is change your outlook on fast food)

NO, I am not saying to start eating traditional fast food, I am not advocating that.

What I am saying is that there are other options available which can be credited as fast food.

Okay, now that I have hopefully piqued your interest let me share with you my fantastic fast food alternative.

Usher in, Whole Foods.

Whole foods your new healthy fast food alternative

Yes, Whole Foods.

Whole Foods contains within its walls a comprehensive buffet and salad bar. A perfect alternative.

“But that’s not fast food!”

Let’s take a look at that google definition of fast food one more time (I promise) :

food that can be prepared quickly and easily and is sold in restaurants and snack bars as a quick meal or to be taken out.”

How does Whole Foods qualify you ask? Here’s how :

1) A trip through the Whole Foods buffet takes less than 10 minutes.

2) Whole Foods provides you with to go containers to put your food in. A perfect way to take your buffet and salad bar findings with you when you are on the run.

3) The price isn’t too bad. Yes, it is a little more expensive than traditional fast food but you are eating a far healthier meal for a few extra bucks. Worthy trade in my eyes.

Have I convinced you yet? No? Maybe this picture can help :

A picture doesn’t do it justice either?

Sheesh, you’re hard to please.

Well, since I can’t offer you a bite I’ll explain some of the things that the buffet at Whole Foods offers :

  • Easily accessibility: Hardly any traffic or waits. Grabbing what you want in a matter of minutes should provide no hassle at all.
  • Variety: Whole foods buffet and salad bar offer a wide variety of greens, vegetables, fruits, grains, and even a hot foods section that offers anything from mac and cheese to chicken tikka masala.
  • Healthy options: You can find anything from extra virgin olive oil to walnuts (Both fantastic sources of good fat). Arugula to spinach (Great sources of micro-nutrients and high in iron and calcium). Quinoa to lentils (Both great sources of protein and both provide long sustainable energy due to their complex carbohydrate characteristics). The buffet is packed with healthy options that taste great.
  • Price: At $8.99 /lb you can easily stack your buffet box and not spend a fortune, especially if you are eating mostly greens and veggies that don’t weigh much. The average eater spends anywhere between $5 and $15 at a drive-thru. Why not spend the same amount on food that impacts your body in a positive way.
  • Experience: Trying new food for some people is hard. You may have heard about a food that is healthy for you but you may not know where to buy it or how to prepare it. Whole foods makes that easy for you. It allows the eater to casually try new foods without the pressure of buying and cooking. Many Whole foods also offer a cafeteria area where people can eat. I myself like to skip the cafeteria and wander outside. As well as a cafeteria many Whole Foods have nice outdoor seating, where one can sit in the sun, feel the breeze, and enjoy their food in peace. Like this :


Give it a try

Next time you’re in the mood for a quick meal, give this alternative a try. Search “nearest whole foods” and take a little drive.

While you’re at it, make sure not to pull into any drive-thrus.

Stay the course, and get to the buffet. I guarantee you will find something that pleases your taste buds.

Develop the habit

Replacing just one fast food meal a week with a healthier alternative can make great strides in your diet. If you make this a habit, you can build from there.

One day becomes two, two becomes three, and so on and so forth. I know, I know, I make it sound easy. But nothing worth working for is ever easy, and changing your diet habits is a tough road.

Countless options await at your nearest Whole Foods

Let Whole Foods buffet help you with your segue to a healthier diet. I guarantee you will find something pleasing and healthy among its walls.

4 Reasons You Should Be Stretching : Health Benefits From Stretching

Do you stretch? If not well, here are 4 BIG reasons why you should be stretching,..every…single…day.

Developing a habit of stretching daily has many health benefits


Ever seen the great Bruce Lee throw a high kick?

Well if you haven’t, his foot gets level to his head.

Simultaneously, his leg is as straight as a flag pole.

How can someone achieve this other than through decades of dedicated training you ask?

In short, stretching.

Stretching daily is something everyone should incorporate into their daily routine. The health benefits are immense and plus, one day maybe you’ll be able to throw a kick like this guy. If you’re lucky.

Developing a habit of stretching daily can lead to a variety of health benefits.

These include preventing injuries, increasing circulation, improving posture, decreasing stress levels, and even improving sleep!

And the best part is, it only takes 10 minutes out of your day.


Warm up

Stretching daily can be done at any time of the day, or before strenuous physical activity.

BUT, before stretching make sure you warm up.

Jog, run or walk. any type of aerobic exercise should do, as long as you get the heart pumping and the blood flowing.

how and why do i start a stretching routine

Warming up helps increase blood flow to your muscles which allows more flexibility in your muscles.

Think about a frozen rubber band. If you stretch the frozen rubber band it will snap.

On the other hand, if you stretch a warm rubber band it will easily stretch to any desired length without snapping.

The rubber band is like your muscles. Get your muscles warm and ready to go prior to stretching. We don’t want any snapping…ouch


Injury prevention

Stretching is a great activity to incorporate into your routine because it helps prevent injuries.

You don’t have to be an athlete to reap the benefits of stretching.

Stretching daily helps increase flexibility and range of motion in your muscles and joints. This means stretching helps your muscles and joints reach their full potential of movement or, range of motion (ROM).

how and why do i start a stretching routine

(Why Bruce Lee is able to get his foot so high while his leg is so straight).

Improved muscle and joint function mean your body is quite literally able to go into new and uncomfortable places and not get hurt.

As well as increasing joint function, stretching has also been shown to help fight against the terrible joint disease known as arthritis.


Improve circulation

Think of your muscles as little communities.

I know. I’m using a lot of muscle similies. Just bear with me

These communities need sustenance and a fruitful environment to generate resources. If these communities do not receive the proper ingredients needed to thrive they will not be able to reach their full potential.

In this case, the ingredients are wholesome nutrients and a steady routine of stretching.

The resources generated are the correct utility.

how and why do i start a stretching routine

In other words, your muscles need the right nutrients and to be stretched often to get the best function out of them.

Getting the right function out of your muscles means they will be able to perform better, limit injuries, and help you with the normals comings and goings of daily life.

Muscles that are not being stretched frequently will not receive the proper blood flow needed to perform.

When you stretch you increase the circulation of blood throughout your body. This means more blood is being distributed to the muscles in your body.

Blood contains oxygen and nutrients.Stretching helps improve blood flow and circulation

And more oxygen and nutrients in your muscles means better function.

This increase of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles helps:

1) Your muscles achieve better performance in physical activities

2) Helps muscle cell growth and recovery time. This will allow you to perform better in the gym, track, or even your job! As well as allowing your muscles to recover quicker after strenuous physical activity, which means less time on the sideline and more time in the game.


Improve posture

Everybody would like to improve their posture.

Slouching is a sneaky little devil that creeps up on you out of nowhere.

One second you’re consciously standing up tall and straight, the next you’re crouched over.

You don’t know what hit you.

Stretching can help with this malignant occurrence.

Stretching daily helps keep your bones, muscles, and joints in correct alignment.

This means anatomically everything stays where it should be.

how and why do i start a stretching routine
Photo by Charlotte Karlsen on Unsplash

This includes your back. Stretching helps keep your vertebrae in correct alignment, taking the stress off your joints.

This stress is put there by unnaturally distributed weight due to slouching.

Having a better posture helps keep you standing tall and straight, and standing tall and straight gets you feeling more confident.


Stress relief / Help sleep

If you are like me, you sometimes suffer from insomnia.

Falling asleep can be hard.

Your mind races, but your body is tired.

how and why do i start a stretching routine
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

You want to sleep but your mind won’t let you.

Sometimes reading a book is worth a shot. Sometimes that doesn’t work.

Stretching can help alleviate this problem.

I often get out of bed when my mind won’t stop racing, and I go stretch.

I go into my living room, and with the lights out I lie down on the ground and stretch.

Stretching relaxes the muscles.

Stretching relaxes the mind.

This is a good opportunity to practice breathing exercises as well.  This combination of breathing and stretching brings a sense of calm to you, and in return allows you to get back into bed and enjoy a quick and easy fall into slumber.


Bang for your buck

What if I told you there was an activity that only required 10-15 minutes of your day that would have a great positive impact on your health?

You’d probably do it wouldn’t you?

Stretching is that activity and it only requires a small amount of time from your day.

The health benefits stretching offers is far more valuable than the amount of effort you need to put in.

Try to fit in a little stretching in the morning after you wake up, or in the evening before you sleep. Both would be ideal, but start off performing 1 group of stretches a day and see how you feel.

I promise you won’t regret it.

 

 

Cheap Healthy Cooking : Complete Guide to a Complete Meal

Want to start eating healthier? Have a budget? No problem. Follow this simple recipe and start eating healthier on a budget, today.

Tight budget? No problem


I started messing around in the kitchen when I was in high school

My dad had always cooked for me growing up and one day he wasn’t home, But I was hungry.

I didn’t have a car.

I didn’t have a cell phone (probably the only kid in my high school without one), and apps like GrubHub and Uber eats were still years away from being household names.

My stomach growled.

My mind clicked.

My primal teenage instincts activated.

I walked into the kitchen and began pulling food out of our refrigerator

Pots and pans clanged as I grabbed them from their homes in the cabinets.

I set a cutting board down and did my best to mimic my dads cooking of old.

After a meager performance of cutting vegetables, I was ready to cook. I turned the burner on and tossed my crudely cut vegetables in the pan.

Piece of cake.

This was easy!

I watched with delight as my vegetables sizzled inside the pan. I thought to myself :

This is it? This is cooking? This isn’t too difficult. What’s my dad always complaining about?”

I then walked into the living room to continue watching the show I had abandoned before the onset of my hunger. As I watched, I started to smell something funny. I knew this smell. It wasn’t pleasant. Oh, s–t!

I ran back into the kitchen to find my pan and vegetables amidst a cloud of smoke. I grabbed the pan to take it off the burner and looked inside. My vegetables were crispier than a charred chicken. Burnt.

I waited for the pan to cool down and emptied the contents into the garbage. My first attempt at cooking was a failure. I was still hungry and needed to do something about that quick.

I pulled out some bread and peanut butter. Something my culinary prowess could handle.

Later, when my dad had gotten home I told him about my cooking debacle. I asked him questions about what could have gone wrong After a couple of minutes troubleshooting my dad asked me :

Did you remember to put oil in the pan before you tossed in your vegetables?”

Ding Ding Ding…We have a winner.

My inexperienced teenage self forgot to add oil to the pan.

The lesson of the story: You will encounter failures along the road when trying to learn something new. My first failure in cooking happened over 10 years ago. I have encountered numerous other failures along the way, but continuing to pursue down the road is what gets you to success.

Now I love cooking. I like to cook as a way of relieving stress. Open a bottle of wine and get cookin. After years of trial and error, I’ve gotten to the point where I can experiment with new foods and not screw up the whole thing.

This is why I recommend this dish. I think it is a great place for you to begin.

If you are not accustomed to the kitchen this simple recipe is the perfect place to start. It’s a healthy meal with little ingredients that is affordable. Learning to master a dish like this will segue you into the culinary capability.

Just remember, don’t forget to add the oil.

how to eat better on a budget


Easy to prepare and super cheap

It’s also a great way to start eating healthier

looking slimmer

and to develop that nutritious new diet routine you’ve always wanted.

Grab a handful of vegetables from the produce section and a good carbohydrate to pair them with. Throw them in your basket, and walk to the check-out line. Look, you’re already on your way to being healthier!

By this point, you may be wondering,

When’s he going to add the meat.”

But the truth is, I like to eat more veggies and complex carbs than meat. I believe veggies offer more health benefits and are a better choice than meat.

Not to say I never eat meat. I believe meat does provide certain health benefits and I think we can all agree a nice piece of meat cooked properly is tastebud heaven. But I believe moderation is key.

If you’d like to learn more about why I like to eat veggies more than meat, here’s an article I wrote explaining why.

how to start eating healthier on a budget


Ingredients and Price

  • 1 Italian squash
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 organic carrot
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1 big Haas avocado
  • Organic tricolor quinoa (My carbohydrate)

I got all of this for a whopping $4.24. how to start eating better on a budget

YES, let me say that again FOUR dollars and TWENTY-FOUR cents!

The yield is tremendous. You can get so much food for such a low price. Look at how much food $4.25 produced.

I can eat..a lot, and even this dish makes me bust out the Tupperware and save some for later. All while eating slim and healthy. (AND TASTY!)how to start eating better on a budget

All it takes is one healthy meal a day to get started on the path to a healthier diet.

Why not start simple?

Why not start cheap?

This dish is perfect for people who have busy schedules, or people who are on a budget.


Eating healthier may seem daunting to people who aren’t accustomed to it, but if you really want to start eating slim all it really takes is a little time at the grocery store and a little time in the kitchen.

Your wallet will be fatter, and your waist will be slimmer. I promise you your body will thank you.


Again, here is a list of the ingredients and instructions if you’d like to cook this yourself at home :

  • 1 Italian squash
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 organic orange bell pepper
  • 1 organic carrot
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1 big Haas avocado
  • 1/4 lb. organic tri-color quinoa

how to eat better on a budget

Cooking instructions :

  1. Wash and rinse all vegetables
  2. Boil 1/2 cup of water. Add quinoa when the water has reached boiling, and reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally
  3. Begin to prep veggies. Cutting and slicing whichever style you desire.
  4. Heat skillet, pan, wok, etc. Add cooking oil once the pan is hot (i prefer to use olive oil)
  5. Once the pan is hot, add vegetables
  6. Cook veggies until your desired texture. Stirring frequently as to avoid burning
  7. Once quinoa starts to take shape and all water has been absorbed, take quinoa off of the burner. (i like to stir in  a little butter with the quinoa once it’s finished cooking)
  8. Plate your quinoa and vegetables and ENJOY!

Tips :

Learn how to cut your produce correctly. Here are some quick and helpful videos on how to cut perfect veggies :

As you can see I really like Gordon Ramsay. He has a bunch of quality videos on Youtube that can really help you in the kitchen. I highly recommend you check them out.

Making quinoa is sort of like making rice. But if you’ve never made rice, quinoa, or either before here is a good video demonstrating how :


Make sure to use sharp knives when cutting your vegetables

Sharp knives are safer than dull knives. Dull knife blades can slip from whatever you are cutting and catch a finger. Sharp knives are true in the sense that they are sharp enough to slice through whatever you are cutting and stay the course.

You really don’t want your knife sliding to the side of the tomato you are cutting and catching your finger. Ouch.

how to start eating better on a budget


Learn how to time manage

I know I know, you are probably thinking to yourself :

“How do you expect me to time manage when I’m still trying to figure out the basics?!” 

You are right. But. It’s not a bad idea to start being aware of how fast and how slow some things take to cook.

For instance, when you cook quinoa it’s going to take a little more time than other things. So you may want to start cooking your quinoa first. Let it start boiling and prep/cut your veggies in the meantime.

how to start eating healthier on a budget

The last thing you want is trying to deal with 3 different pots and pans on the burner.

This is how you burn/overcook things. Best to work smarter in the kitchen, not harder.


Get yourself a nice cutting board

Your cutting board is your foundation. Find one that is big enough to comfortably accommodate the vegetables you will be cutting. Also, find one that is sturdy and made out of good material. Preferably wood.

how to start eating healthier on a budget

When you are cutting you do not want your cutting board shifting and sliding. This can lead to you cutting your fingers. Some of the nicer cutting boards out their arent cheap.

If you are on a budget (like me) you may opt for a plastic cutting board. These aren’t the worst things you can buy. Although, they tend to lose their form and can morph in shape. I used to have a plastic cutting board. This is what happens over time :

 

how to start eating healthier on a budgethow to start eating healthier on a budget

(These old things are my cutting boards of the past)

Dilapidated and morphed.

Plastic cutting boards tend to slip when you put them on a hard surface. This isn’t safe and can lead to injuries. But there is something you can do about this.

A trick to stop the cutting board from slipping is to grab a couple of paper towels and get them wet. Squeeze out the water and lay them down on the surface you want to put your cutting board.

Put your cutting board on top of the damp paper towels. This will help the cutting board from slipping when you cut vegetables on it. But, make sure the size of your paper towel encompasses the size of your cutting board.

Like this :

how to start eating healthier on a budget


If you have any questions regarding health benefits, organic vs inorganic produce, help with cooking, or just want to talk, leave me a comment or send me an email!

Okay, get cooking guys and gals.