3 Tips For Becoming A Vegetarian

Do you want to stop eating meat? Vegetarianism is quite common, though the reasons people make this switch vary quite a bit. Some may have been raised as a vegetarian, others may change because of their morals, and others may just feel intrigued by the idea and want to give it a shot. Regardless of the reason behind your decision, however, this can be difficult if you are not prepared. Here are three tips for help you become a vegetarian easily.

Do Your Research

What nutrients do you need in your everyday diet? Write this down. Where can you get those nutrients as a vegetarian? Where do you get them now? What recipes can you make? Understanding as much as possible about what you need in your diet and what you can eat are essential to being a vegetarian. You can consult books and the Internet for quick information. Do as much research as possible before you make the change—this puts you in the best position for success, since you will know how to move forward.

Make It Gradual

While you can certainly give up meat “cold turkey” and one day decide you are never going to eat it again, we do not recommend this. Make the change gradual by introducing a few meatless meals every week and slowly increasing that number until they are all vegetarian. In addition, you might want to try meatless substitutes during the transition period to help wean your taste buds off meat. These substitutes are often very close to the real thing, so they can also help satisfy a craving down the road.

Consult A Professional

Are you unsure about anything related to your diet as a vegetarian? Not sure about what next step you need to take in your personal experience? Consulting a professional, e.g. a dietitian or your primary care physician, is a great way to ensure you are on the right track. Too many people make mistakes with their diet, particularly when they are changing it dramatically. Be sure you are getting everything you need and your new diet is balanced by check with a professional. In addition to this, they can provide any other insight you might need, including direction to recipe books and other helpful resources.

3 Tips For Budget Grocery Shopping

grocery shopping

Are you on a budget? Eating is not something you can eliminate from your expenses, but you can maintain a good diet while also adhering to a strict budget. Need some help getting started? Here are three key tips for grocery shopping on a budget.

Create A Meal Plan

What do you want to eat this week? Make a schedule for each of your meals for the upcoming week. You can do this on paper or on the computer (e.g. as an Excel spreadsheet)—whichever you prefer. Understanding what you are going to eat throughout the week can help reduce or even eliminate unnecessary purchases at the grocery store. Make a note of the ingredients you are going to need while creating this meal plan—you will need it during your grocery shopping trip.

Check Store Flyers

A great way to reduce spending at the grocery store is to check the flyers before you make your trip there. This way, you have an idea on different specials you can take advantage of. It is best to check the flyers while you are creating your meal plan, since you might want to adjust your meals based on what products are on special. For instance, if you wanted to make chicken breast but it is not on sale? Another protein, such as ground beef, might be. Try building your meal plan, mentioned previously, around what is on sale at your local store.

Stocking Your Cupboards

If you had to buy every ingredient you need every time you shop, you are going to rack up quite the bill. Instead, make sure your cupboards, fridge, and freezer are always stocked with a range of staple ingredients. When you buy chicken breast while it is on special? Portion and freeze the extra breasts! Do you like pasta? Buy an extra box when it is on special, so if you crave it when the price goes up, you can still have some.

3 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping

healthy grocery shopping

Grocery shopping is where your healthy eating habits begin. If you do not have junk food in the house, you are far less likely to eat it! Here are four simple tips for healthy grocery shopping. Start off on the right foot!

Shop the Perimeter

When you enter the grocery store, shop around the perimeter as much as possible. This is where the fruits and vegetables, real meat, dairy, et cetera is located. Many of the centre aisles are full of processed foods, much of which is junk like pop, chips, chocolate, candy, and more. Avoid these aisles as much as possible. If you do need to grab things in them, which is likely (e.g. pickles, pasta), save it until the end of your grocery trip and leave the aisles as fast as possible.

Make A List Before Shopping

Plan before you even get to the grocery store! Consult the flyer for ideas and create a meal plan for the week, along with a grocery list of what you need to buy in order to make that happen. When you get to the grocery store, make sure you stick to that list. If it is not on the list, do not buy it! Go through your fridge and pantry before you leave to add any items to the list that you might need to restock.

Avoid Busy Times

When the grocery stores has lots of people, it means moving slower around the store and standing for longer in the checkout line. Both of these things will increase the chances of your buying junk food like chips and candy. Consider what times are the busiest at your local grocery store and make a point of avoiding these times as much as you can. Your trip will go faster and you will have less time to succumb to temptation as a result.

Tips For Healthy Dining Out

dining out

Eating healthy can become a challenge when you are dining out, since you have less control over the food than if you were cooking everything yourself. However, you do have a lot more control than you might think! It is quite easy to eat healthy at a restaurant—just take these tips into consideration:

Remember To Portion Control

Controlling how much you eat is key. Does the restaurant give quite large portions? Save part of your meal and take it home as leftovers. You can also choose smaller appetizers instead of an entrée to help control your portions as well.

Choose Restaurants Wisely

Your choice of restaurant is actually the first step in a healthy dining experience. For instance, you really cannot eat healthy at a fast food restaurant. Consider what restaurants are in your area and look up their menus beforehand. Can you judge what the healthy options are? Some restaurants may even have the caloric information on their menu—take advantage of this! Be sure to choose somewhere you will enjoy, but still keep healthy eating in mind.

Take It Slow

Did you know that eating slower can actually fill you up faster? Engage in conversation with your dinner companions instead of chowing down as fast as possible in silence. This gives your body time to digest the food—you might actually become full before you finish the meal!

Ask For Substitutions

Did you know most restaurants will be only too happy to offer substitutions in their meals? For instance, fries are a common side for burgers, wraps, et cetera at many restaurants. However, you often also have the option of a small garden salad instead. You might have to ask your waiter specifically if it’s not on the menu, but you’ll never know unless you try!

4 Tips for Eating Healthy On A Budget

healthy eating

Want to eat healthy? Concerned about the cost? With a little bit of planning, you can have a healthy diet without breaking the bank. Here are four tips to help you handle this:

Consider Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Did you know most frozen fruits and vegetables contain the same nutrients as their fresh counterparts? While you cannot substitute everything—e.g. lettuce for a fresh salad—you can go frozen for many things. Consider smoothies, for instance. Heating the fruit in the microwave briefly ensures you don’t damage your blender’s blades, and you still get the same nutrients from the fresh fruit. But buying frozen also lets you take advantage of a tip coming later while also ensuring you do not waste food by letting it go bad.

Watch Grocery Flyers

Your grocery store flyers are officially one of your two best friends when trying to eat healthy on a budget. Always consult the flyer before you shop and make a list of what healthy food is on special. This will help you decide what you will eat during the week. It will also add variety to your food, since the flyers will put new food on special each week.

Embrace Your Freezer

Your freezer is the second of your two best friends. It is perfect for storing your frozen fruits and vegetables, mentioned earlier, and also lets you buy meat in bulk. Meat is notoriously expensive, which is why grocery flyers are key to finding good specials on chicken breast, ground beef, et cetera. With your freezer on your side, you do not have to limit yourself to what you can eat before the expiry date. You can portion the excess into freezer bags and store them until a later date.

Shop In Season

When produce is not in season, the prices automatically go up. Thus, always shop in season as much as possible (e.g. berries in the summer months), so you can save as much money as possible. This can even apply to some frozen fruits and vegetables, since supply could go down if the fresh variety is not in season, meaning there is less to freeze.

4 Healthy Eating Tips

healthy eatingThere are countless diets out there, from eliminating carbs to only drinking soup during the day. However, what this all boils down to is a desire to engage in healthy eating habits. So how can you eat healthy without changing your diet too much? Is that even possible? Healthy eating is a lot easier than you might think—here are 4 simple tips to help you get started.

Choose Whole Grains

Most people eat bread, pasta, cereal, rice, et cetera. However, most of them also only eat white bread, white rice, and similar, none of which provide healthy nutrients. Instead, look for whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, et cetera. This way you can still eat the carbs you love but also gain significant benefits from them. Just remember though that whole grain choices does not mean you can eat as much as you want—moderation is key! If you’re nervous about the transition, try methods like mixing half white pasta and half whole grain and gradually shift to all whole grain pasta.

Remember Your Greens

Everyone needs greens in their diet, but most are not getting enough! While many might thing they’re limited to spinach and romaine lettuce for this, it is not actually true. In addition to spinach, you can also consumer green zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, and other dark green vegetables to increase the greens in your diet. Nervous? Experiment by choosing one new vegetable a week until you find your favourites!

Watch Your Dairy

Dairy is another significant portion of our diets. While some need to consume dairy alternatives because of allergies, there are still variations on the typical options that can help you eat healthier when it comes to dairy. For instance, you do not need to drink 2% milk—this has lots of excess fat. Start transitioning by choosing 1% milk. You can even go down to skim! Furthermore, choose low fat yogurts and light cheeses—these often taste identical to what you are used to when you pick a good brand, but are much healthier for you.

Pick Lean Alternatives

Lean meat is key! Chicken breast is perfect, but also look for cuts of pork, beef, et cetera will smaller amounts of fat on them. Do you use ground meat a lot? Choose extra lean ground beef or pork instead of medium! Ground turkey and chicken are also lean choices.

How To Eat Like A Hobbit

Hobbits from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings are infamous for their eating habits. Have you ever wondered how you would go about eating like the hobbits do? The good news is we have compiled some of the tips to demonstrate exactly how you can eat like a hobbit. Enjoy!

Eat A Lot Of Food

Perhaps the first thing you should know about how to eat like a hobbit is this: you are going to need to eat a lot of food. Hobbits love all kinds of food, from potatoes and mushrooms to things like sausage. While Hobbit fare is simple—would not stray far from meat, potatoes, and vegetables, you can also eat like a Hobbit with fancier food if you so desire. Just remember you are eating a lot!

Hobbit Meal Times

Most individuals eat three major meals in one day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some may even include a snack between two of the meals. However, this is not the case for hobbits. There is a total of seven meal times when eating like a hobbit: breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.

If you want to time your meals like a hobbit, you would eat at the following times throughout the day:

  • Breakfast: 7am
  • Second Breakfast; 9am
  • Elevensies: 11am
  • Luncheon: 1pm
  • Afternoon Tea: 4pm
  • Dinner: 6pm
  • Supper: 8pm

Second Helpings Are Encouraged

Remember when I said you need to eat a lot of food in order to eat like a hobbit? Even if you have a large first portion at a meal, when you are eating like hobbits do, second helpings of your meal is highly encouraged. So go ahead, take another scoop of rice or potatoes!

Never Leave Without Food

Are you leaving on an adventure? Going to work? Hobbits are rarely caught without food nearby, thus the same should apply to you if you want to eat like a hobbit. Keep a few portable snacks in your bag and snack on them as you wish throughout your travels.

5 Popular Coffee Shop Drinks

When you visit a coffee shop, there is a plethora of options for you. Many places will have donuts, muffins, and other backed goods—but the drinks on offer are generally what people think of when they visit. They are the biggest sellers after all! Sometimes, however, people can feel overwhelmed at what the choices actually are beyond simple tea and coffee. Here are 5 of the most popular options and what they all entail:

Mocha

This one is great for people looking to try coffee but who might not enjoy the taste. A mocha will generally be half coffee and half hot chocolate, though some places will let you customize the exact ratio. You can also opt for steamed milk and other add ins depending on where you are.

London Fog

This one gives no hints as to what goes in it, which can confuse many who do not know about it already. A London Fog is Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and a vanilla flavour shot. This is very popular among tea drinkers who frequent coffee shops, especially if they want to go above a simple cup of tea.

Macchiato

Though we are getting into the fancier named coffee drinks with this one, macchiatos are actually quite simple! In fact, they are just a double shot of espresso with milk foam on top. You can also go for a caramel macchiato, which means there will be caramel drizzle on the milk foam, and even some flavouring in the espresso.

Chai Latte

Not a big coffee fan? In addition to the London Fog, chai lattes are great for tea drinkers who want to visit coffee shops. They consist of strong chai tea and steamed milk, though some places will also include a sprinkling of cinnamon or even a cinnamon stick inside your drink. Delicious!

Cappuccino

This is perhaps the most popular drink to order at a coffee shop aside from a straight cup of coffee. This drinks starts with some espresso, to which they add some steamed milk and milk foam. This is the perfect drink to add flavour too as well, the most popular being a vanilla cappuccino.

4 Dishes Everyone Should Know How Cook

Cooking is an essential component of life—if no one knew how to cook, we would all be very limited in our eating options. The good news, however, is you do not need to be a star chef in order to get by. You should, however, know how to cook at least a few basic dishes in order to survive on your own, without completely relying on eating out all the time. To that end, here are 4 basic dishes everyone should know how to cook.

Eggs

Eggs are perhaps the most iconic breakfast food around. Countless people enjoy eggs and toast, sometimes with bacon, to begin their day. So it makes sense that you should know how to cook eggs! Things might seem complicated if you consider just how many ways there are to cook eggs, but the good news is you do not need to memorize all of them. How do you like your eggs? Scrambled, sunny side up, over easy? Start by learning how to make them this way. We also suggest learning one or two other ways of cooking the eggs, just in case you have company or want a change, but this is not necessary.

Pasta And Sauce

Pasta is simple—all you need is a pot of boiling water and dried pasta. When the water is boiling, put the pasta in the pot. It will take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how much pasta you want to cook as well as if you want your pasta completely cooked through or more al dente. In terms of sauce, you can play it quite simple by just heating up a jar of sauce you can find already made at the grocery store. You may also choose to cook some vegetables or ground beef to add to the sauce if you are feeling confident.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

In terms of desserts, cookies are one of the easiest dishes to learn. In addition to this, they are also great crowd pleasers! Just about every family has a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but if you don’t, they are easy to find online. Pick one out and follow the directions!

If you do not like chocolate chips, you can easily substitute them for raisins or small dried fruit like cranberries or blueberries. You do not even need to adjust the baking time or any of the amounts to do this. It’s a straight switch!

Fried Rice

Fried rice is a great dish to make, even on a regular basis since you can change some of the vegetables and proteins—making for a new dish just about every time you make it. Of course, the first step to this is understanding how to make rice properly. Most rice will have directions on how to do it, however it is important to note brown rice requires more than just the straight ratio of double the water to rice you need when making white rice. You also need to know how to make scrambled eggs. Apart from that, you just need to fry some vegetables and add spice!

5 Popular Comfort Foods

comfort foodHave you had a bad day? Is something stressing you out? Perhaps you just want something that tastes delicious and is not too difficult to make. The good news? Comfort food will fit the bill on all aspects—this food provides warmth and security (even cold dishes), tastes downright delicious, and just about every dish is easy to make. So with that in mind, here are 5 popular comfort foods you can try and keep in your regular arsenal.

Ice Cream

Chances are when there’s a breakup in the movies or on television, ice cream will make an appearance at some point soon after. The flavours are endless! You can reach for classic flavours like chocolate or vanilla, or something with additional interest like cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, or peanut butter cookie dough. Simply reach for your favourite indulgent flavour!

Grilled Cheese

Is there anything better than fried bread and cheese? Grilled cheese is a classic dish, there is no denying it. Perhaps the most famous iteration of this comfort food is cheddar cheese in between two thick slices of white bread. While this is a great option, it is not the only one! You can pick just about any cheese for your sandwich, and change up the bread. Other popular options for the cheese on grilled cheese sandwiches are Monterey jack, swiss, and gouda. You can also pick a grain-filled bread or at least a whole wheat one, which adds a healthy component to your comfort.

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is the infamous and iconic dish when it comes to college students and what they eat on a regular basis. For the most part, people will eat macaroni and cheese from a box—there are quite a few varieties available, and you can customize your dish during the cooking process as well. If you choose the boxed variety, all you need beyond what is in the box is some butter or margarine and a little bit of milk. You can, of course, choose cheeses and make yours completely from scratch, but for immediate and simple comfort we suggest picking your favourite prepackaged variety.

Chicken Noodle Soup

When it comes to soup, nothing is more comforting than a big bowl of chicken noodle soup. There is just something about the combination of broth, noodles, chicken, and vegetables that makes this a deliciously comforting dish. And guess what? Grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup makes for a good pairing—so you can double up on the comfort food if you choose.

Pancakes

Need some sweet comfort in the morning? Why not mix up a batch of pancakes? Beyond the mix itself, you can make your very own attuned to your tastes. A classic is blueberry pancakes, but other popular options include chocolate chips, bananas, strawberries, and even apples! Maple syrup makes the perfect topping to your pancakes, though you may also choose an indulgence like whipped cream.