3 Foods To Eat When Sick

So, you are not feeling very well, or there is someone else in your home who has fallen ill. In both cases, it would be nice for the individual suffering to get better as soon as possible, as well as for the people in their lives. There are many things you can do to help speed up the process of recovery. One of the big things is to rest, of course, but a lot has to do with what you eat and drink when sick. With this in mind, here are three great foods to eat when sick:

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup has been on the list of remedies for the common cold for as long as most people can remember. It isn’t a vaccine or a complete cure by any means, but it does provide your body with many of the tools it needs to combat the cold symptoms, so you tend to recover much faster. Chicken soup is a great source of vitamins, minerals, protein, et cetera—all of which you need in larger quantities when your body is sick. In addition, the broth is excellent for fluids and electrolytes. Hydration is key every day, but becomes even more important when you are ill, and doubly so when you have a fever.

Hot Tea

You know at this point fluids are critical when sick, which is why the second thing you should consumer when sick on this list is some hot tea, ideally herbal. The hot herbal tea acts as a natural decongestant, which means you can help clear your sinuses and also sooth your throat (especially if you include honey in your tea). It should be hot for this effect, but remember to avoid getting it too hot, because that could cause further irritation.

You can drink any tea to obtain good benefits when sick, but watch the number of mugs of black tea you drink. While there is less caffeine in those than coffee, you want to limit your consumption so you can avoid dehydration. This is why we recommend herbal teas as well as green teas when sick. If you want both, try one mug of black tea in the morning and switch to green or herbal after that.

Oatmeal

In many instances, your stomach will be quick to rebel when sick. Thus, one of the best things you can do is to only consume bland foods when sick. Among the top items on this list is oatmeal. It is a filling meal, but you can also control the flavouring, especially when you make the oatmeal from rolled oats yourself rather than a prepackaged version bought from the store. The bland nature helps reduce the risk of your stomach not tolerating the meal.

3 Tips For Making Healthier Pizza

Pizza is an incredibly popular choice for dinner. In fact, we are craving right now! The downfall of pizza, however, is that it can be quite unhealthy. Many pizza are greasy, have lots of fattening cheese, meat, et cetera. It can grow to be quite the high-calorie meal—there is no doubt about that. But do you have to avoid pizza if you want to be healthy? No, of course not! Here are three key tips for making healthier pizza—you can have the best of both worlds.

Embrace Veggie Toppings

When it comes to pizza toppings, your best choices include the plethora of typical vegetable toppings. We often see mushrooms, green peppers, onions, et cetera. Pile your pizza with fresh veggies! These have far fewer calories, so you can have more of them. Besides, you are also getting a lot of good nutritional value from them! This does not mean you have to ditch the meat entirely, though that would be quite healthy given the processed nature of most meat pizza toppings, but you should at least have the primary focus on vegetables.

Blot Oil Away

When you order pizza, there will be quite a lot of grease (read: oil). Even if you make pizza in your home, you will still find there is grease involved, though there will be far less. In both cases, however, you can actually get rid of quite a few calories if you blot the top of your pizza with a napkin or paper towel. This removes the excess oil quite well. Try going over your next slice of pizza once or twice (lightly pressing) to see the results!

Whole Grain Crust Option

Every pizza needs a crust—it would not be pizza otherwise. But if you have the option to do this, we highly recommend pizza with a whole grain crust. You are getting more nutritional benefit and fewer empty calories this way! You can always choose whole grain if you are making the pizza yourself, all grocery stores have at least one whole grain pizza crust available. You may not get this choice at some pizza places, but we recommend asking (or finding a new place that does offer this option).

3 Tips For Healthier Snacking

We need to eat in order to survive. Many people rely solely on three main meals a day, but studies actually show this is not as beneficial as you might think. You actually want to eat more often throughout the day to avoid significant changes. This is where snacking comes in quite handy. The only problem? It is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of unhealthy snacking. Want to make sure you don’t fall into that trap? Here are three carefully selected tips for healthier snacking.

Snack Like It’s A Sit Down Meal

One of the significant dangers with snacking is eating too much. This is particularly dangerous if you are eating in front of the television or while doing another task. For healthier snacking, try eating like it is a sit down meal. Take a few minutes, pause what you are doing, and eat your snack. This ensures you are more conscious of what and how much you are eating so you do not go overboard. Occasionally you might want to break this rule. Try to avoid this, but if you must, portion your snack conservatively beforehand and only touch that.

Bring Your Own Snacks

When you go to work in the morning, head off to travel on a train, bus, plane, et cetera, you will have limited access to healthy snacks. Chances are you will have vending machines, convenience stores, et cetera. But those don’t have many options beyond chocolate bars, candy, and chips. You might get lucky, but you cannot rely on it. Thus, bring your own snacks with you! Pick out healthy snacking options at the grocery store and portion them out at home before you leave. This way, you have complete control over what you are going to have to snack on.

Fill In Nutritional Gaps

So what exactly should you choose your healthier snacking? Obviously you want to avoid chips and chocolate all the time, but exactly what are your options? The best rule here is to choose snacks to fill nutritional gaps. For instance, many people do not get enough fruits or vegetables with their main meals. In this case, choosing vegetables or fruits for your snacks would help fill that nutritional gap. You might also want to consider something like a handful of almonds or cashews. Our best advice is to find out where you may be lacking in your diet and form your healthy snacking choice around that.

2 Reasons Clean Eating Isn’t Necessary

There are countless different diet fads out there. All of them claim to help you with managing your weight. Some are intended to make you drop pounds, simply keep your weight steady, or even to build muscle. Regardless, all diets claim to have some benefits when it comes to your weight. One of the more popular trends nowadays when it comes to diet is clean eating, which refers to eating unprocessed, whole, or “real” foods. Clean eating wants you to eat food as close to their original form as possible.

Regardless of this, however, did you know adherence to a strict clean eating diet is unnecessary? Let’s review why:

Off The Mark Calories

Clean eating can result in either eating too much or too little in terms of calories. For instance, some of the food you might consume on a clean eating diet (e.g. chia seeds, cashews) are actually quite dense in calories, so you can only eat a small amount before you hit the appropriate limit. However, clean eating may also result in you not consuming enough calories because you are eliminating many foods from your diet. Many of the eliminated foods will include carbs, e.g. processed white bread. IN either case you are harming your body because it won’t be able to manage the way it should.

Falling For Marketing

Some food manufacturers are jumping on the clean eating trend—or so we think. They stick labels like organic on their products, or talk about freshness and use clever marketing tactics to make their products seem healthier than others. Unfortunately, however, they can get away with quite a lot and not actually be entirely truthful. The idea of organic, for instance, simply refers to the amount of pesticides used (or not used) during the growth of ingredients. So the organic version of something is no better for you in terms of calories than its “normal” counterpart.

3 Reasons To Not Take Vitamins

The vast majority of the population has taken vitamin supplements at some point in their lives. This may have been as children, or as adults attempting to be a little more health conscious. What all instances of people taking vitamins have in common is they are all good intentions. Everyone wants to be healthy, and for many they believe vitamin supplements are the way to go. However, this may not be the case. Here are three important reasons why you may not want to take vitamins, even if your intentions are good:

Poor Regulations

Unfortunately, there are poor regulations surrounding the production of multivitamins and some specialty vitamins. Certain tests revealed some multivitamin brands contained far more of an individual vitamin than is safe for you to take, while others revealed a distinct lack of them. In both cases, you are not actually getting good benefits from the vitamin. When there is too much of a vitamin, you can experience immediate negative health effects. Even though the lack of vitamin aspect will cause issues, this tends to crop up gradually rather than immediately.

Not As Good As Real

No matter how you look at it, vitamin supplements are no match for the real thing. By the real thing we mean the fruit, vegetables, and other food you can naturally find these vitamins in. Consuming the right food with these vitamins is far superior to getting them through a supplement. Your body is more effective at absorbing them this way!

Too Much Comes Back To Haunt

Earlier we mentioned the poor regulation for the actual quantities of individual vitamins in a multivitamin. This is particularly bad when there are potentially higher amounts of a vitamin or mineral than stated on the label. This means you can accidentally be overdosing on a vitamin, which can cause significant issues for your body. For instance, some claim too much vitamin D can increase your risk of painful kidney stones, excess vitamin A may increase your chances of lung cancer if you are a smoker, an overdose of vitamin E may increase heart failure, et cetera.

3 Reasons To Take Vitamins

Trying to boost your health and wellness? One of the things people turn to when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet is taking a daily vitamin. Some stick with a multivitamin, whereas others choose among the plethora of individuals vitamins. Are you considering vitamins to help with your health? Here are three reasons why you should take vitamins:

Boost In Energy

If you are lacking in a particular vitamin, such as one of the B vitamins, you may find that consuming a multivitamin helps you feel better and increase your overall energy levels. Simply put, your body has to work harder and does not work as efficiently or as well as it would if you were getting everything you needed.

Increased Immunity

Your immune system works to prevent you from falling ill and helps you to recover faster if you do fall ill. Some of the key vitamins for increasing your immune system’s health include vitamins C, E, and B6. Vitamin C is the general immune system booster and is important since your body does not produce it—you must consume it. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and helps your body fight off infection, and vitamin B6 supports biochemical reactions in your immune system.

Healthy Hair And Skin

Some research suggest certain vitamins can help hair and skin grow, repair from wounds better, et cetera. Vitamin C helps with both hair and skin, whereas others just work for one or the other, including biotin for hair and CoQ10 for skin. Healthy skin and hair is important to help boost your feelings about your appearance. Wound repair is particularly important—we are all going to get cuts and scrapes over the years, so healthy skin ensures we will heal as well as we possibly can.

3 Pitfalls Of Dieting

We all want to look and feel good in our bodies, right? This will likely apply to just about everyone, even if the focus is not on a specific weight. However, people will still be constantly looking for ways to achieve their goal of looking and feeling good. Perhaps the most popular and significant way people work towards this is through dieting. Unfortunately, however, there are some major pitfalls of dieting. Let’s review three now:

Focus On Restriction

The defining aspect of most diets is restriction: what you cannot have while on the diet. This might be specific foods or general nutrients. It’s popular to have people restrict carbohydrates, fats, salt, et cetera. That said, the focus on restriction can work against you in a couple major ways. The first is that your body need all nutrients in some quantity, which means restricting or eliminating one or more can compromise your body. It might rebel and try to overcompensate, which can actually make your metabolism slow down, or otherwise work against you and actually cause you to gain weight. As well, a significant restriction can actually increase your cravings, and if you are not careful there could be a significant backslide.

Shift Too Soon

The clock strikes midnight on January 1st and you decide today is the day you will start the diet. Or you decide you will do it in a couple days. On Monday. Tuesday perhaps. Most people decide they will make a sudden shift to dieting—but this is a significant potential pitfall. Making a sudden shift and embarking on the full scale diet puts you at risk of falling off the wagon and abandoning the diet in a dramatic ways (e.g. you restrict everything right away only to binge on something you tried to restrict.

Not Sustainable

Unfortunately, the biggest pitfall of many diets out there is the fact they are not sustainable. You cannot keep going on them in the long run, otherwise your body and your overall health will begin to suffer at a certain point. This is why it is much better to build a healthy, balanced meal plan and add in exercise to help you achieve your wellness goals.

3 Common Food Allergies

Any food can cause an allergic reaction—it all depends on the person. What might cause a reaction in a couple of people won’t in anyone else. However, there are some that seem to cause far more allergic reactions than others. Let’s review three of the most common food allergies now:

Peanuts

This is the one we hear about the most among children. Specifically, we know about it because just about every parent will have received at least one notice from the school requesting no snacks or lunches with peanuts, peanut butter, et cetera involved, as there are some at the school with a severe allergy. Even if you aren’t a parent, you likely remember not being allowed to take certain snacks or Halloween candy to school because there were peanuts or peanut products in it.

What makes a peanut allergy so dangerous is the allergens they contain cannot be destroyed through any cooking process, and even tiny amounts can cause a reaction, which can be very unfortunate for those with a severe allergy (many have died because they received medical attention too late and the reaction was so severe). A common reaction is anaphylaxis.

Shellfish

Although not common among children—simply because they are not exposed to shellfish nearly as often as adults (picky eaters), an allergy to shellfish is still among the most prevalent. This is in part because when someone experiences a reaction with one type, they are likely to experience an allergic reaction to other types. The common types of shellfish people will react to include shrimp, lobster, scallops, oysters, and crab—although just about any shellfish qualifies. Some with a severe allergy may even react to the fumes of cooking shellfish.

Dairy or Gluten

This is a little contentious because many people might think they have an allergy to dairy products or products containing gluten, but it may actually not be true. For instance, many of the people who think they might be allergic to milk and other dairy products may simply be lactose intolerant, in which case there is a pill they can take in order to digest dairy properly. Many also jump on the gluten-free bandwagon without receiving a doctor’s official diagnosis of celiac disease, which does fall under the definition of an allergy to wheat products (which contain gluten).

2 Ways To Melt Chocolate

While you can easily make chocolate chip cookies without needing to worry about melting chocolate, this is not the case with many baking recipes. From brownies to cake to fudge, you will encounter many different recipes that require you to melt chocolate until smooth if you do any baking at all. So how can you melt chocolate and do so effectively? Let’s look into it now:

Microwave Method

First, you will have to either pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl, or roughly chop up the chocolate (if you are using bars). Then, place it in the microwave and slowly heat the chocolate. Start with roughly 20 to 30 seconds of time in the microwave before pausing and stirring. You can keep going in short intervals (never more than 30 seconds) in between stirs until your chocolate is mostly melted. If there are one or two lumps, you can generally let the residual heat take care of the rest. You have to be very careful with this method, because chocolate can burn in an instant when you are microwaving it, since there is more hands off time when you cannot touch it.

Double Boiler

Perhaps the best way to effective melt chocolate for baking recipes is to create a double boiler. First, grab a tall pot and fill the bottom with a little bit of water. You also need to get a metal bowl to place in the pot, but you must match the sizes so it sits comfortably (as if you turned a lid upside down) on the pot sides rather than falling in. Also be sure to avoid having the bottom of the bowl touch the water.

Bring the water to a boil and then pout the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into the metal bowl. Use a plastic spatula to constantly stir the chocolate until smooth.

3 Foods That Make Acne Worse

Can you make a bad situation worse? Some studies and people will claim eating certain foods can and will make your acne worse than it already is. The good news? Well, chances are you won’t cause acne because of eating the food on this list—maybe it would contribute, but more often than not there is another factor, unless you are allergic and a result of that allergy is acne.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is a big part of most fast food as well as fried food, and as such is the main culprit behind food-related acne breakouts. It is not really clear why this is the case, one theory indicates the saturated fat clogs your pores, but multiple studies show people who consumed more food high in saturated fat had worse acne than those who did not.

Refined Carbohydrates

Foods with a lot of refined carbohydrates—such as cookies, muffins, and other baked goods—are almost always highly processed. The refined carbohydrates also mean there is likely to be added sugar and other harmful ingredients when it comes to acne and breakouts. This type of food is often linked to spikes in blood sugar, which is supposed to be a contributor to acne breakouts.

Milk

This one is a little contentious, but generally if you do not tolerate milk well, you are probably at a higher risk for moderate to severe acne and more breakouts. In addition, some feel milk and some other dairy products will cause a spike in testosterone, the aftereffects of which can result in increased acne. The only way to  truly know if this is the case for you, however, is to experiment with your diet and cut out one thing at a time—since you could cut out milk without your acne changing, while another person could see a dramatic difference.