3 Tips For Starting Clean Eating

Are you thinking about overhauling your diet and engaging in clean eating? Before you dive straight into this, you should think about your execution plan so you don’t find yourself backtracking soon after you begin. Ready? Here are three essential tips when starting clean eating:

Go Meal By Meal

Don’t go all in right away—this is a recipe for reverting quite quickly. Instead, start with one meal every so often where you adhere to the clean eating rules and slowly increase this over time. It might take you even up to a year to have every meal adhere to the clean eating rules, but it will be worth it. Besides, you will be far less likely to backtrack when you take things slower.

Read All Labels

When you are grocery shopping during the transition phase, and even after you are always eating clean meals, you should get used to reading every label. Familiarizing yourself with the ingredients you are allowed to eat (and the ones you can’t) is key to an effective clean eating diet. You can consult other information regarding clean eating to understand some of the ingredients you will need to watch out for, of course, but you will only truly be able to catch everything if you always read the labels of things before you buy them. Being familiar with the labels also helps when you need to clean out your pantry.

Embrace Leftovers

Cooking meals all the time can be exhausting. This is even more so the case when you only eat clean, since you no longer have the option of eating things like frozen pizza, frozen burritos, et cetera. The convenience meals, for the most part, do not exist anymore.  This is why we recommend you simply cook a little more for dinner, so you can consumer leftovers for your lunch! When it gets down to it, you will be cooking less.

3 Benefits Of Meal Prep

Did you know preparing your meals in advance is very beneficial to your diet? No? It is! Meal prep is an excellent tool you can use both as an individual as well as in a family or other group setting. Let’s dive into a few of the key benefits of meal prep now:

Save Money

Sometimes groceries can get expensive. It might surprise you, but if you are only ever cooking for yourself, you can encounter a ton of unnecessary expense. Unfortunately, this is a result of buying a lot of food in order to introduce variety into your diet. Variety is good, but there are certain ways to go about it if you want to ensure you maximize your budget. Meal prepping helps ensure you are eating well while also conserving as much money as possible. For instance, you can do sheet pan chicken and vegetables for the whole week of lunches. Need variety? You can change the spices on your chicken if you would like, or separate your vegetables differently.

Save Time

Cooking your own meals every day can get quite time consuming. Things often get a little complicated too, no doubt about it. You can easily simplify things and save yourself a lot of time over the week through meal prep. Even just planning your meals or doing simple things like pre-chopping the vegetables helps you be able to throw together a meal at the last minute. Of course recipes like sheet pan chicken and vegetables or slow cooker meals are perhaps the best at saving you time over the course of the week. You can make them once, portion them out, and you are good to go!

Stay Healthy

Sometimes when we are stuck for ideas on what to eat, we turn to unhealthy options. Meal prep helps us avoid this since we already know what we are going to be eating. Of course, you can do flexible meal prep to introduce variety, but what it comes down to is you are better able to stay healthy if you pick healthy options in meal prep.

3 Rules For Clean Eating

Are you thinking about engaging in clean eating? Want to improve your diet? If you are considering clean eating, there are quite a few things you need to know. Let’s review three key rules for this diet now:

Go Organic When Possible

More often than not, organic produce is the best choice for your new clean eating diet. This helps to ensure they are as free from chemicals as possible. With this said, however, some non-organic produce may still be just fine to include in a clean eating diet. All you really need to do is check the standards around where you live to help you determine what your specific options are.

Be Able To Pronounce Ingredients

Looking at some packaged food options is fine for clean eating, but only if you do so carefully. Some of this will come down to your judgement about what you are looking at, but the golden rule is asking yourself if you are able to pronounce and recognize the ingredients on the list. If you can do this, chances are this packaged food is fine if you are eating clean. If you cannot, however, we would almost always rule it does not fit the requirements of clean eating, regardless of anything else.

Cook At Home

The best thing you can do for your clean eating diet is to cook as much of your food at home as possible. This helps ensure you truly are eating clean. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, chances are there is at least one part of the meal that does not meet the standards of clean eating. This is raised even more so when you are at fast food restaurants. On occasion you can find suitable options, but this still makes your choices limited, which is why cooking at home is the best choice.

 

3 Benefits Of Clean Eating

With all the diet advice out there, it’s no wonder people get overwhelmed with all the choice. When it comes down to it, no one diet is going to work for everyone. So what can you do? Unfortunately, many people revert to unhealthy decisions if they feel overwhelmed with the amount of choice out there. However, we’d like to offer clean eating as the default choice. Why? Here are three key benefits of clean eating for your perusal:

Increase In Energy

When you eliminate the processed foods and chemicals in a normal diet, you get clean eating. But did you know the processed food and such most people eat actually slows them down? You can increase your energy by simple eating clean without processed foods as much as possible. You may also find you experience fewer “sugar crashes” and similar during the day, because your dietary choice will have less of the processed element, which is often the culprit behind these crashes.

Reduction In Cancer Risk

Did you know eating a lot of processed food actually puts you at a higher risk for cancer? Some of the chemicals and such involved do, at least. Thus, it stands to reason that clean eating, without all of those processed choices, would mean you are eliminating a big part of the risk. Of course, there are still many different factors contributing to the risk of getting cancer, and you cannot unfortunately eliminate all of them, but every little bit helps, right?

Weight Management

Of course, clean eating is also a great way to manage your weight. Since you have to eliminate a decent amount of food—you would be surprised at how much processed food we eat when you really look at it—what you are left with really helps with maintaining a lean and healthy diet. A diet like this is a major player in losing and managing your weight, so why not make it the best it can be?

3 Breakfast Options For Busy Mornings

Whether you have to run to catch a bus to campus, have kids to wrangle in the morning, or need to rush off to work, mornings can get very busy! However, just because you are dealing with busy mornings does not mean you can let breakfast fall to the wayside. With this in mind, here are 3 breakfast options for busy mornings so you can still get the fuel you need even when you are running around:

Overnight Oats

Have you seen recipes for overnight oats around? These are excellent for a grab and go breakfast on a busy morning. For the most part, all you need to do is add milk to quick cooking oats and a selection of berries and cinnamon for your overnight oats. Other recipes will include elements like chia seeds or other superfoods. Find a recipe you like the sound of and go for it!

Healthy Smoothies

You can pack a lot of nutrients into a smoothie, making an excellent breakfast you can drink as you go about your business. Most smoothies will have either an avocado or banana as the base, and then a selection of berries, yogurt, and milk. If you want to go even healthier, add spinach, flax seed, et cetera. Out personally favourite healthy smoothie recipe is one avocado, some mixed berries, almond milk, spinach, and flax seed. Mmm, good!

Classic Cereal

Of course, you cannot go wrong with the classic breakfast: cereal. This is very easy to do since all you need is put the cereal in a bowl and fill it with milk (or your liquid of choice). Done! Now it’s time to eat it! Though you can eat any cereal, we recommend choosing something healthy so you get all the required nutrients. Eating sugary cereal might taste good, but you won’t be getting a lot out of it in the end.

 

 

 

3 Ways To Use Overripe Fruit

As much as we might try, sometimes we cannot eat all our fresh fruit before they start getting a little overripe. Overripe fruit tends to not be as enjoyable as a standalone snack like simply ripe, fresh fruit is. However, this does not mean you have to throw out overripe fruit! In fact, you have a good window of time with overripe fruit before you do have to throw it away for health reasons. But what can you do with it during that time? Let’s examine three popular things now:

Baked Goods

Perhaps the most popular example here is using overripe bananas to bake some delicious banana bread.  Almost everyone knows about this particular trick. But did you know you can do something like this for just about all kinds of overripe fruit? You are not even limited to a dessert bread. You can make muffins, brownies, and a lot of other baked goods with your fruit. The overripe variety simply adds a little more flavour and ease of baking (softer fruit, easier to mash).

Savoury Sweet Sauce

Yes, you can make a good sauce with your fruit! For instance, a classic combination is apple sauce and pork chops—why not use overripe apples for this? You can pair lots of different meats with your fruit sauces (e.g. chicken with orange sauce). The choice is all yours! This is a great way to add a sweet flavour to savoury dishes—your results might surprise you.

Salad Dressing

Have you ever seen fruity salad dressings in your grocery store? If you haven’t, you likely just reached for your favourite without looking at what the options were. Fruity salad dressings are aplenty! All you need to make your own is the fruit, vinegar, olive oil, and a little bit of seasoning. Throw these ingredients in a blender to create your dressing. The seasoning you want will depend on what fruit you have. For instance, we might recommend trying basil with strawberries.

 

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Blend

The flavours of pumpkin pie are all the rage during the autumn months. You see everything from pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin chai tea—even pumpkin spice Oreo cookies! IT seems as if pumpkin spice is everywhere as soon as fall hits.

But how do you get this spice? How do you bring the pumpkin into your home besides spending a fortune on the specialty products? Sure, you can buy prepackaged pumpkin pie spice if you want, but then you have no control! If you want to adjust the spices in your pumpkin pie (or anything else you want to add this flavour too) you have come to the right place!

Commercial pumpkin pie spice will vary based on the manufacturer, and thus so will your homemade blends. However, the common individuals spices you find in pumpkin pie spice are cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, and occasionally mace.

Making your own pumpkin pie spice allows you to bring out one of the specific spices more strongly, or eliminate one you really cannot stand if you so desire.

The fact that you have the control means there is not a hard and fast rule about how much of each spice you need in your pumpkin spice blend. However, our recommended basic recipe looks like this:

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon mace (optional)

You can adjust these according to your taste and recipe requirements.

Even though buying a commercial pumpkin pie spice is convenient, making your own is not only far more economical, but also quite a bit more delicious. When you purchase all the individual spices you need there is some expense, but then you can mix your pumpkin spice regularly and even have some individuals spices left over, which you can then use in other recipes! With this and the taste in mind, you will never go back to commercial blends once you make your own pumpkin spice once!

3 Tips For Gluten-Free Eating

Do you have to eliminate gluten from your diet because of an allergy? Are you trying to improve your diet and have decided cutting back or eliminating gluten is a good place to start? Regardless of why you want to go gluten-free, it is very important to take gluten-free eating seriously. To that end, here are three tips for you to consider:

Read The Labels

When you are in the grocery store, it is important to read the labels on everything you buy. Sometimes it is clear what has gluten, but in some cases things may surprise you. Thus, especially if you are avoiding gluten because of an allergy, you should read the labels looking for references indicating the product may have even trace amounts of gluten.

Consult A Professional

Sometimes people make a lot of mistakes with their diet when they are trying to eat gluten-free. In many instances, they overload on the gluten-free versions of their favourite things (e.g. spaghetti). However, this is a big mistakes. We advise you to connect with a health professional who knows about the specific requirement people need each day with their diets and can help advise you on how to build your own gluten-free diet. They will help ensure your diet remains balanced, healthy, and that you are getting all of the vitamins and nutrients you need.

Experiment

Since you are gluten-free, there is a lot not available to you. There are, however, many options for gluten-free eating! Make a list of the foods you know do not contain gluten. When in doubt, experiment with new fruits and vegetables, along with any other new products you stumble across. Try something new each week to expand your palate. What you discover may actually surprise you in the end! Just be sure to keep the other tips we’ve discussed in this post so you can remain healthy with your gluten-free diet.

How To Make Jam

Have you ever purchased one of those jars of jam at the grocery store? Ever wondered if you would be able to make your own? The good news is you can! Some people think making jam is quite difficult, but the truth is making jam is quite easy to do! All you need is time and the tools. So here’s how:

Gather Your Supplies

The first thing you need to do in order to make jam is to have all of the necessary supplies. Sometimes the specifics will vary based on the exact jam you want to make, but in general you will need the following: a selection of canning jars, a large pot, a deep skillet, as well as the ingredients for the jam. A basic jam recipe includes lemon juice, sugar, pectin, and the fruit of choice (e.g. raspberries). The fruit can obviously change, but the other ingredients tend to remain the same.

Work With The Fruit

You need to cut the fruit into small pieces and put them into a large, hot skillet. Gently try crushing the fruit to help make smooth jam, and then add in your lemon juice. Once things have come to a rolling boil, you can add your sugar and pectin. The exact ratio of ingredients will depend on how much jam you want to make, as well as the specific brand of pectin (they will have their own recommended instructions).

Remember The Jars

Before you get ready to pour your jam into the jars, you need to make sure you have sterilized the jars and their lids. The easiest way to do this is to put the jars and lids into a large pot of boiling water. Generally, boil the jars for 15 minutes. Dry them off with a kitchen towel before spooning in your jam.

2 Tips For Canning Food

In addition to freezing food and reheating later, canning some of the ingredients you need is a great way of preserving them for later. You can save tomatoes for a sauce, turn cucumbers into pickles—almost anything you can think of, you can figure out how to can it! But how exactly do you can everything properly? We have two key tips here you need to consider when canning food, detailed below:

Sterilize Everything

When you have your Mason jars and other cans, you need to ensure you sterilize them very well—normally people will do this with boiling water. With this method, you need to wash all of the jars and lids in hot water and dish soap. Rinse thoroughly before placing the jars in a pot and covering them with hot water. Bring this water to a boil and keep the jars in the pot, covered, for 15 minutes after you start seeing steam. At this point, turn off the heat and let the jars stay in the hot water. Put the lids into another pot of boiling water and let them stand for five minutes.

Before you fill the jars with your chosen ingredients, you need to put them upside down on a kitchen towel to dry. You need to wait to do this because you should fill the jars while they are still hot.

Listen For The Pop

When you are sealing your jars, you need to make sure it is always done properly—it needs to be airtight every single time. If you don’t seal the jars properly, your food will actually spoil and your time canning will have been completely useless. So how do you know if you are canning your food well and the jars are sealed properly? It’s all in the pop!

You should hear the lid pop when you are closing up the jars. This happens when the contents cool and contract in the jar. You can test the seal after about 12 hours. The easiest way to tell is to press the middle of the lid with your finger—if it springs up when you release your finger, your jar isn’t sealed.