When you’re in the grocery store, you might see some produce and other food marked as “organic.” They are marketed as being better for you, but what do you actually get out of consuming organic products? How will your body improve? Your health? Let’s examine three significant (and some hidden) benefits of consuming organic produce now:
Yes, you can actually have an improved taste with organic produce. Sure, if you are fond of junk food and other processed products, you might initially crave them. However, once you get into the routine of eating organic products your body will eventually crave them instead! There’s no chemical aftertaste with organic products—you might not be able to taste this at the moment, but you will be able to tell the difference once you make the switch.
This one isn’t a joke! You can actually save money by consuming organic products. How, you might ask, since most organic food is marked up a little higher? It comes in the future, when you have fewer medical expenses and the like, since you are taking better care of your body and giving it more of what it needs when you eat the organic food regularly.
Boost In Nutrients
In most cases of organic food, you will be consuming more nutrients on average. Most organic products have a far denser nutritional value than their nonorganic equivalents. You could be eating the same number of apples, the same amount of lettuce, et cetera, and be getting more out of it. This is part of the reason why you tend to have fewer health issues (along with the lack of chemicals), which connects with the previously discussed benefit of a lower cost associated with organic food when you consider the long term.
Whether you are changing your diet in order to lose weight, for medical reasons, or just because you want to, you need to ensure you do so both effectively as well as in a healthy manner. Not sure where to start? Here are three key tips for changing your diet:
Consult A Professional
If you are going to make any dramatic change, such as going vegan, gluten-free, et cetera, or even just for weight loss purposes, you should consult a registered dietician. They can help ensure your new meal plan still incorporates all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need for a healthy body.
Take It Slow
Changing your diet isn’t going to happen overnight! Of, if you really do try to do it that quickly, you are likely in for failure. Understand that weaning yourself into the new diet helps you stick to it long term. Want to go vegetarian? Start cooking without meat for a couple days each week, and slowly increase this until you are no longer eating meat! The only time where an immediate, dramatic change is necessary is in a case when you have a diagnosed food intolerance or allergy (e.g. you are allergic to gluten or are lactose intolerance).
Cut Some Slack
When you are changing your diet in any way, you should keep in mind there will likely be speed bumps along the way. You might indulge a little more than your new diet would allow for, fall off the vegetarian wagon, et cetera. Understanding that it will take a little time to make the complete change is essential. This is one of the big reasons why we want you to take it slow right away. Taking it slow allows you to cut yourself a little more slack and lessens the blow if things take a little longer or you backtrack a little.
More and more people are creating noodles out of their vegetables as a replacement for things like spaghetti or lasagna. This offers a low carb and low calorie option for traditional noodles. Not only that, but it makes for a perfect option for people who cannot digest wheat—no gluten!
Are you considering starting to spiralize your vegetables into noodles? Here are some tips to help make these fantastic vegetable noodles:
Look For Symmetry
Start with the way your vegetables look. Regardless of the vegetable, zucchini, cucumber, or otherwise, make sure the ones you pick as a symmetrical as possible. This does a couple of things. First, it makes the process of spiralizing easier to perform. The second thing it does is make for a smoother, better end product.
Watch The Size
The size of your vegetables will influence both the quality of your noodles as well as the ease of turning the vegetable into noodles. You want a good size, but not anything too big lest you harm your spiralizer with too much weight, strain, et cetera.
Center It First
Centering your vegetables on the spiralizer is important for the best cut, both in speed as well as ease. You can turn out quality vegetable noodles this way! Thus, before you start to turn your spiralizer, make sure you take a moment to center your chosen vegetable
Dry The Spirals
Many of the vegetables have quite a bit of water in them, like zucchinis and cucumbers. With this water, you run the risk of ending up with soggy vegetable noodles. You can help avoid this by putting the vegetable noodles in a colander while you finish the other meal prep. You may also use paper towel to help dry them off, or sprinkle some salt on the vegetable noodles, as you do with sliced eggplant when making eggplant parmesan.
Chopping an onion and having your eyes well up with tears is a rite of passage in the cooking world. It is, as many believe, an unavoidable occurrence. Whenever you cut onions—your eyes will water. Right?
No. You do not have to suffer through watery eyes when you need to cut onions. You do not need to avoid or dislike cutting onions because of the looming possibility of tears. Here are some ways you can minimize and even prevent yourself from crying when you chop onions.
Sharpen Your Knife
The sharper your knife, the cleaner the cut. The cleaner the cut means less of the onion fumes released immediately, which buys you time before your eyes start to well up. If you are able to chop fast enough with your sharp knife, you might not well up at all.
Vent The Kitchen
Want to prevent the fumes from going directly into your eyes? Most kitchens should have a vent above the stove—use it now. While you are chopping the onions, do so close to this vent so it sucks away the majority of the fumes. No fumes means no tears. Your eyes will certainly thank you for it.
Cut Side Down
When an onion is whole, even with the outer skin peeled, there are no tears. The potential for crying begins as soon as you cut into the onion and expose the layers. Help minimize the fumes getting into your eyes by placing as much of the cut side of the onion down onto the cutting board rather than up as you can. This ensures less fumes come up to your face causing the tears. Instead, the fumes just go into your cutting board.
Give Time To Chill
Did you know that a cold onion will release less propanethial S-oxide? This is directly connected to your tears and the irritant resulting in them. There will still be some, of course, but minimizing everything you can means fewer tears in the end. Note you should never freeze the onion, since when a raw onion thaws out, it can turn mushy.
Some people say dinner. Some say supper. Some people even use both terms when they are talking about food. This might make you think about what each of these terms means. What is the difference between them? Is there even a difference or do they mean the same thing? Let’s examine the differences between dinner and supper (or lack thereof) now:
When people talk about a difference between dinner and supper, it often comes down to the timing of the meal. In certain instances, when people say dinner they may actually be referring to the midday meal (instead of saying lunch). When this happens, supper takes the position of the main evening meal (usually the biggest meal of the day).
Alternatively, some cultures place dinner as the main evening meal traditionally eaten around 6pm, then supper as a late light meal or snack around 10 or 11pm, prior to turning in for the night. Regardless, the difference in the term comes down to when you go to eat the meal!
In history, differences between dinner and supper actually come down to class. Of course, timing comes into play. Let’s look at it closely. While the upper class might call the midday meal lunch, in many cases the working class people use the term dinner instead. Other instances have the upper class using dinner as them for their evening meal, whereas the working class call this tea. Supper does not see a lot of difference in terms of class, though some consider this term more formal than dinner.
In modern society, people often end up using this term interchangeably. There is often no intended difference in the meaning. Some families simply say dinner instead of supper, or supper instead of dinner. You might assume this can be an indicator of their family history in upper or working class people, but this is only a guess and there is often no basis or connection to actual fact.
Have you ever wondered why things seem so much nicer after you eat a good meal? Food is uniquely comforting in many different ways. It is, however, tough to put a finger on, since the food each person eats to comfort them will be different, since the exact comforting feeling might change, et cetera. With that said, here are three general reasons behind why food can be so comforting:
Have you ever heard the old adage about giving someone a hot beverage if they are feeling upset? This is because the hot beverage introduces warmth to your body, which is immediately comforting. This is similar to how you might want to curl up under a blanket or sit by the fire for comfort—it just happens to come around in your mug instead. And if you do not want a hot beverage? A hot meal can work the same way, whether its some homemade chicken noodle soup or some macaroni and cheese cooked to perfection.
Food can be a great reminder of and bonding component to the relationships we make. These relationships can be with family members (especially between children and their parents), friends, or even romantic relationships. When there is a loving connection involved with the food, there also comes a certain level of comfort whenever that food comes around again, whether or not the people in the relationship are both present at the time.
In many instances, the most comforting foods are associated with specific memories from our past. This might mean nice Christmas dinners with roast chicken or turkey, or it could be baking cookies on any day with a parent. It could be any memory with food involved! After the creation of the memory, what often happens is the person will be reminded of that memory every time they consume that particular food (e.g. whenever they eat cookies or roast chicken).
Food is an amazing thing. Do you love it? We sure do! Not sure about food? By the end of this article you will love it perhaps even more than we do. Here are three stellar reasons to love food:
Did you know food is a great way to express your feelings? You can do this through the actual act of cooking—think of the episodes of MasterChef where the contestants say they have put themselves on the plate. You can also eat food to help your feelings, the most common example of which is eating ice cream after a breakup. In any case, food helps manage your feelings, which is a prime reason to embrace and love it.
Changing Your Mood
Did you know food is an easy way to change your mood in an instant? Think about fond memories, ones that bring you comfort. Is there food involved? Or, is there a particular meal that reminds you of the memory? Some of the most common “comfort foods” are ice cream, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese. You can go with the popular comfort food choices if you are unsure, but we highly recommend choosing something with good meaning for you specifically, if there is a particular meal or food item you have in mind.
Bringing People Together
Food is perfect for bringing people together, whether it is a big family dinner on a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, eating with friends to celebrate a birthday, or to foster a budding new relationship (perfect date night: going to eat at a restaurant or cooking food together). Sharing food with others, even at a restaurant (e.g. sharing platters), is excellent. You can bond and make conversation while you eat, or even while you cook. Think about making pizza with someone you care about. Not only are you bonding, but you will also have something delicious to eat at the end of it too!
If you often experience busy mornings, overnight oats for breakfast is one of the most popular answers. You can easily prep them the night before and leave the oats in your refrigerator overnight. Their name is clear: they “cook” overnight in your fridge and are ready for you to pull out in the morning for your breakfast. But beyond their convenience for busy mornings, what do you actually get out of consuming overnight oats? In fact, there are quite a few health benefits of overnight oats. Here is a quick selection of three:
Prolonged Energy and Fullness
Raw oats are quite an effective resistant starch, which means you digest them quite slowly, during which time you will release digestive acids we know suppress appetite and boost how fast you burn calories. Consuming overnight oats in the morning, made from raw oats the night before, makes sure you have a filling breakfast, reducing the chances of overeating later in the day. In addition, their fullness packs a punch and ensures you have a good store of energy to use throughout the day without a significant crash, like you might experience with a sugary cereal.
Nutritious and Delicious
Oats are packed with nutrients, but so too are the delicious mix ins you will often find in recipes for overnights, such as the array of fruits and nuts! These nutrients make for a good, balanced breakfast. The benefit of the mix-ins to your overnight oats? Make your breakfast delicious at the very same time you are helping out your health!
Increased Heart Health
If you prepare your overnight oats in the traditional manner, which includes lemon juice, you can add vitamin C to your oats ability to reduce your overall cholesterol levels through beta-glucan. Working together, and if you eat one bowl of overnight oats each day, you are just about doubling your heart’s overall health. Great, right? Grab a bowl and go!
The vast majority of the population will have a string of busy mornings sometime during their lives, if not busy mornings just about every day of their lives. Regardless of how busy it gets, you should always take time to eat breakfast in the morning. It gives you your first burst of fuel for the day! In addition, skipping breakfast increases your potential for overeating later in the day. So how can you eat breakfast even when you are in a time crunch? Take breakfast on the go, of course! Here are three excellent on-the-go breakfast ideas to help get you through your busy mornings.
A smoothie for breakfast is a perfect choice for those busy mornings, especially if you are not a big fan of breakfast. You can even make your smoothie the night before if you will really be in rush! You have your choice, but a great nutritious smoothie would include your choice of fruit, a sliced avocado, some milk, and an add-in like flaxseed, chia seeds, or spinach. Once you blend your smoothie you are good to go for the morning. If you are making it the night before, make sure you store it in a covered container/cup in the fridge, so the smoothie remains fresh when you’re ready for it in the morning.
Yet another great idea for an on-the-go breakfast: overnight oats. We recommend choosing a quick cooking oat for this. Then all you need is water or milk for a basic recipe, though we also recommend adding some nutrition with fruit, chia seeds, flax seed, et cetera. You may also choose to add a sweetener like maple syrup to taste. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and leave them in a covered container in the fridge overnight.
Muffins are perhaps the most transportable item on this list. You also have a wide range of options when it comes to having muffins for your on-the-go breakfast. You can make your typical sweet muffin, such as a blueberry muffin, or a chocolate muffin. Alternatively, you can find a good savoury muffin recipe. There are often ones made from eggs, ham, cheese, and chives as a base! Simply make ahead of time and store them in your fridge or freezer. Just be sure to heat before you leave house if you want a warm muffin!
Whether you’ve just come home from a long day at school or work, have been running around all day with your kids, or simply are not in the mood to cook at all, you will still need to eat. Of course, you have options like ordering a pizza or whipping up boxed macaroni and cheese (or just reheating leftovers). However, it is still nice to have a nutritious meal. So what kinds of meals might you want to cook when you are having a lazy day? We have some clear ideas for you:
Power of Slow Cooking
Do you own a slow cooker? If not, and if you lead a busy life, you should invest in one as soon as possible. This appliance is perhaps the most helpful thing when you have a lot on your plate in other areas of your life. All you really need to do to make a meal in a slow cooker is to add the ingredients with some preparation (e.g. chopping the vegetables), setting the timer, and letting it run until your meal is ready to eat. Popular dishes for the slow cooker include soup and chili.
Quick Cook Pasta
There are gourmet pasta dishes out there, there is no denying it. However, you can have quick pasta dishes, which makes it a great choice for lazy days. If you really want to get down to it, all you really need to do is cook the pasta itself and open a jar of premade sauce. If you did have some energy, you can steam vegetables and incorporate those into the sauce, or slice precooked meat (e.g. chicken or sausage) and include that as well.
Scrambled Egg Sandwiches
Want to have breakfast for dinner? Scrambled egg sandwiches are a perfect choice for a quick dinner. All you really need to make the sandwich are two eggs, two pieces of bread (or a bagel or English muffin), and a little bit of butter to coat the pan and butter the toast. Of course, you can add flavour to the eggs with shredded cheese, and increase their fluffiness with a splash a milk during the scrambling process. You may also choose to add a slice of lunch meat or slice of bacon to the sandwich, if you have those on hand.