Monday, October 25, 2021

Going Healthy Will Lead To A More Flavourful Life

 You might think that going healthy will mean the end of eating foods filled with flavor. There is a common misconception that eating healthy will mean that your meals will be rather bland and tasteless. We’re pleased to say that this isn’t the case. Instead, it’s possible to get more flavour once you start eating meals that are good for you. 


Why is this? Well, part of it is the impact that processed foods have on your tastebuds. Processed foods are packed full of sugar. So, once you remove these from your diet, you will be reducing your typical sugar intake by a significant amount. This means that your tastebuds will be better equipped to notice the natural sugars that are present in fruit and veg. As a result, you’ll find that healthy foods taste even better and heavily processed foods start to seem inedible. 


To further illustrate this point, let’s explore some delicious food choices that are going to provide the health benefits you’ve been looking for. 


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Delicious Baked Potatoes


If you are looking for a quick and easy healthy lunch treat, then we recommend that you do explore baked potatoes. Baked potatoes can be served with a wide range of dressings and salads to ensure that you get your greens and provide the health benefits that you are looking for. If you want to ensure that this is a healthy choice we recommend preparing your potatoes in air fryer. Research shows that these use far less oil compared to the more typical cooking options that you might have relied on in the past. 


Fajitas


Are you interested in exploring a healthy Mexican dish? If so, then you could think about preparing some fajitas for your evening meal. Rather than opting to use chicken you can make fish fajitas with avocados. These taste delicious and provide various health benefits. They are also going to be a far more healthier option compared to fajitas that include grilled chicken. Another key benefit of fajitas is that they can be made and prepared quite quickly. You won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing an evening meal like this. 


Magnificent Muffins


Alternatively, you might be thinking about a healthy sweet treat that you can enjoy. If so, then we recommend you consider exploring the option of spelt muffins. Spelt works similar to whole grain flour and as an extra benefit has a delicious nutty flavour. This means that they taste completely different from the typical muffin. You can add in whichever fruit you like too from raspberries to strawberries. These could be a great option for the whole family and a great way to treat yourself without needing to worry about accidentally slipping into a cheat day for your diet


We hope this helps you understand that there are some great foods filled with flavor that will be the perfect way to compliment a new healthier lifestyle. Once you explore some new recipes you’ll be amazed by some of the options.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

It All Begins in the Gut! 6 Ways To Improve It

 

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Gut health is a very hot topic these days. The gut microbiome has undergone a lot of research and has been found to be so much more important to our health and immunity than we realized, which is why everybody needs to know how to improve gut health. Here are a few things that everybody could do right away. 



Change Your Diet

If you eat high quantities of processed foods and sugar, this is ripping away at your gut bacteria. It's important to increase your fibre intake. A variety of plant-based foods and fruits and vegetables high in fibre make a massive contribution to a healthy gut microbiome. Of the many date seeds benefits out there is an increase in digestion and gut bacteria and increasing your intake of fibre through dates or vegetables will really help.



Take Prebiotics and Probiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics are a quick way to increase your gut bacteria. However, if you experience bacterial overgrowth, it's not a good idea to take probiotics. One of the best approaches to bypass this is to consume prebiotic foods, as they feed your gut bacteria. And there are a number of great foods out there that can help with this, such as garlic and leeks. Additionally, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi can make a massive impact on your gut bacteria. 



Eat Slowly

We need to promote digestion in any way possible. If we eat quickly, we are not allowing our digestive system to absorb nutrients. By chewing your food thoroughly and eating meals slowly, you will reduce discomfort, and maintain a healthy gut. One of the best practices to eat slowly is to put your foot down in between bites, rather than it being a race to the finish! 



Reduce Stress Levels

If you experience high levels of stress, it's going to wreak havoc on your entire body, as well as your gut. Partaking in healthy practices to lower your stress levels, such as using essential oils, walking, yoga, and meditation will help your gut bacteria. It's important for us to reduce stress levels regardless, but even for those people who are looking to improve their gut rather than their stress, they need to learn how to relax. 



Check If You Have Food Intolerances

If you experience diarrhoea, acid reflux, or cramping, you could experience food intolerances. One of the best ways to see if you are intolerant is to eliminate a certain trigger food from your diet for 4 weeks to see if your symptoms improve. If you can identify certain foods that contribute to the symptoms you might see a big change in your digestive health. 



Sleeping Better

Sleep is one of the biggest epidemics of the modern world. There are so many things that can impact our abilities to sleep well, and while you may be looking for the many alternatives in a dietary sense, one of the most important things to improve your gut health is having good quality sleep. Good quality sleep is going to have a massive impact on your health, but having 8 hours of sleep a night is going to give your stomach a rest.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Surprising Foods That You Need To Try Today

 If there is one thing that we can all agree on, it is that we love to eat. Sure, we don’t always eat the best food for us but we do eat. One issue that we all come up against is food fatigue. What does this mean? We get bored from eating the same foods over and over again. With this in mind, we would like to suggest some other foods for you to try that might not be on the menu in your house at the moment.



 congerdesign from Pixabay 

Fish

If there is one item that is underrated in a lot of peoples homes, it is fish. Unfortunately, when it comes to fish, people tend to pick the same ones over and over again. One thing that you could discover is how to make tender, juicy swordfish steak to spice up the menu. It might be worth your while discovering where the local fish market is set up. It is here that you can grab the fresher fish before it gets shipped off to the shops and supermarkets. Fishermen love selling directly to the public so don’t be afraid to get down there and grab some fish early. Try to think outside the box and discover some new ways to create a tasty fish dish that your family will love.


Exotic fruit

How much fruit and veg do you eat? Maybe it is a lot, maybe it is a little. What the amount is, you can add a little something by tossing some exotic fruit into your diet. When we say exotic, we don’t mean that it needs to be so weird that you have no idea how to eat it. It can be as simple as kiwi fruit or as rare as Jackfruit. If you are not sure how you feel about adding new fruit to your diet, try one new piece a week. But only buy one of them. For example, if you decide that the fruit of the week will be dragon fruit, only buy one small dragon fruit. This way, if you try it and hate it, it will not be a huge waste of money. However, if you buy one small one and love it, you will know to add this to the list in future. 


Local vegetables

This might sound like an obvious one but it is very surprising how many people do not take advantage of what is available on their own doorsteps. There are so many varieties of fruit and vegetables, and there are plenty that come from your own area. If you head to the local farmers market, you will see that there are plenty of stalls that have local produce on them. Instead of mindlessly throwing it into the basket, ask the people who are selling it about it. They may have some interesting history and recipes to share with you. For example, there are potatoes in Northern Ireland called Comber Spuds that are considered the best potatoes for making potato bread. The locals often buy the potatoes to make their mash and chips for meals, and any that are leftover are turned into bread. 


Vegan alternatives

If there is one area of the food industry that is growing very quickly, it is the vegan food market. Once upon a time, the options for vegans were limited to what they could make from their own fresh food and beans. Now, there is a full range of alternatives that are allowing them to create meals that would rival a meat-eaters feast. If you haven’t tried any of the vegan alternatives, now is the time to do it. Supermarkets can run offers so you can grab some of the pieces for a bargain price. And, even if you don’t want to go full vegan, the benefits of swapping one meal out a week has shown to have a massive effect on your health and the environment. You might be surprised by the taste of some of these foods, and even more surprised if you read the labels to discover that some big brands have been vegan for years.


And there you have it, some foods to add to your trolley that can shake up your meal times without being boring. Of course, if you try food and discover it is not for you, then don’t buy it again. And don’t buy food that you know that you are allergic to just to make mealtimes more interesting. But, we hope that this list has inspired you to make some mealtime changes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

4 Healthy Alternatives for Eliminating Cravings

 Who doesn’t love a good snack? Snack lovers are everywhere and unfortunately, one of the go-to snacks for anybody with the munchies is usually junk food. Junk food is essentially food that has low nutritional value. They’re mostly filled up with high levels of sugars, fat, and calories too.  In general junk food is incredibly unhealthy and there is usually little value to them like fiber, vitamins, or even protein. While these taste so good, and they’re nearly addictive, they have so many harmful effects on the body such as cholesterol levels, potential heart diseases, and even diabetes.

While no one necessarily needs to avoid junk food, it’s important to recognize that junk food should only be consumed in moderation. However, it’s always best to switch to alternatives if possible. Alternatives to junk food have more nutrition, fewer calories, and they can be just as tasty too! Here are some tips and ideas for learning how to make better food and diet choices but picking healthy alternatives to eliminate junk food cravings.

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Fresh popcorn instead of chips

While many people know popcorn for it being sold in movie theaters and little brown sachets for the microwave, popcorn can be very healthy.  You’ll want to avoid the microwavable popcorn as this is filled with additives and they’re about as unhealthy as chips. However, stove popped popcorn, just the corn kernels themselves, are healthy and filled with vitamins. Plus they have fewer calories in them too. While butter does taste nice on popcorn, you can switch it out with some nutritional yeast instead.

Switch out smoothies for milkshakes

Milkshakes are lovely, refreshing, and oh so sweet, but so far fruit smoothies. If you’re craving something cold and sweet, then smoothies can really get rid of the craving.  Smoothies also help with dehydration as the fruits themselves within the smoothie contain a lot of water. There are plenty of recipes for smoothies, and you can even throw in some veggies as well for that extra bit of protein.

Make your own bread

You may be shocked to find out the number of additives that are in store-bought bread. It’s best to make your own at home with a bread loaf recipe. That way, you’ll be able to monitor what goes into the recipe. This can be excellent for cutting down on calories too since store-bought bread is usually high in sugars and calories.

Skip out on soda and get sparkling water

For many people who are wanting to have a healthier lifestyle, dropping soda is going to be one of the best moves that you do. Soda is filled with so much sugar, questionable additives, and everyone knows how ridiculously unhealthy they are. If you love your carbonated beverages, then switching to sparkling water can be the best tip for you. Sparkling water also known as soda water is carbonated just like soda. However, one of the best things about sparkling water is the fact that there aren’t any calories in it. If you’re still wanting some flavor to it, then there are plenty of fruity flavors that can be added, or you can even get yourself a soda stream so you can monitor the flavoring of your soda water. 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Make Better Food & Diet Choices

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Part of living a healthy lifestyle and staying well involves what you eat and the foods you consume. You may be on a journey to losing weight, working out more, and wanting your clothes to fit better.

In this case, it might help to learn what you can be doing to make better food and diet choices. This way you can drop unwanted pounds, boost your mood, and ensure you have plenty of natural energy to carry you through the day.

Track What You Eat

You can make better food and diet choices by tracking what you eat and writing down the specifics. Hold yourself accountable for everything you choose to eat on a daily basis, including what you drink. Some drinks have a lot of sugar or calories so it might be best to stick with drinking more water daily. You may start to notice areas where you can make changes and foods that might be keeping you from losing weight. Tracking what you eat will help you see your habits clearly and allow you to pinpoint exactly what may be causing you the most trouble regarding your diet.

Get in the Habit of Cooking at Home

Make better food and diet choices by getting in the habit of cooking at home. Cooking means you can choose what types of foods you eat, the ingredients you cook with, and portion sizes. It also means you can eat the foods you love but choose healthier versions of them when you’re in control. If you love sweets then instead of going out and buying treats make them at home with a vegan twist. For example, consider preparing this vegan cookie dough recipe at noracooks.com and indulging a bit but in a healthier and more controlled manner.

Plan Ahead

It can be hard to eat healthy when you’re always on the go and a busy person. However, one way to combat cravings and poor choices is to plan ahead. Make better diet selections by setting yourself up for success right from the start. For example, it may help to grocery shop and food prep for the week on the weekends when you have more time. You might also want to make and pack your lunch the night before and have healthy snacks ready to go that you can throw in your purse during the week. Plan your meals out for the week and consider freezing some healthy recipes you can pull out when you need a quick dinner.

Educate Yourself

One of the best ways to make better food and diet choices is to empower yourself with knowledge so you can get more creative in the kitchen. Educate yourself on how to eat healthier, what are the healthiest foods, and what foods to cut out of your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. Read inspirational stories from others who have lost weight and learn about what they’re doing differently so you can do the same. Study food labels and know which ingredients to stay away from and which will help boost your metabolism and keep your diet on track.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Tips To Make Roast Chicken Taste Better

 

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Many of us look forward to a hearty roast chicken dinner. Preparing roast chicken isn’t easy however - many of us have attempted a roast only for it to come out as dry and bland. To avoid further disappointing roasts, why not try some of these tips for making roast chicken taste better?


Don’t skimp on seasoning


A good roast chicken needs to be heavily seasoned. Some people aren’t generous enough with seasoning or don’t even season the chicken at all, which can leave it tasting a bit bland. You want to apply quite a bit of seasoning both inside and outside the chicken to really add that burst of flavor.


Which seasoning shall I use? Rock salt and black pepper are the two basic forms of seasoning you need. If you don’t want to conceal the taste of the chicken too much, you can just stick to these staple seasonings. If you want to get more adventurous try extra herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme, tarragon, truffle salt, cumin and paprika. You can even drizzle it in lemon or use various other sauces. 


Slather with oil or butter


Slathering on some oil or butter will help the skin to take on that golden crispy texture. The oil and butter will also melt into the chicken, helping to make the meat juicier.


When applying the oil or butter, apply all over the surface and inside the chicken. Try to put some butter or oil under the skin too to help it penetrate the meat - this is particularly worth doing on the breast to help combat dryness. If you’re trying to be healthy, you may only want to use a small amount of oil or butter. Alternatively, stick to healthier oils like coconut and olive oil as opposed to sunflower and vegetable oil.


Add some stuffing


Good stuffing will help add extra flavor to the meat and can be a tasty addition on its own. The most popular type of stuffing is sage and onion, but there are various other types of stuffing that you can experiment with such as sausage and apple or mushroom and garlic butter. 


You can check out this post for a variety of different stuffing ideas. For that classic stuffing consistency, add breadcrumbs and butter. 


Find the right temperature


At what temperature should you cook roast chicken? This is very much a topic of debate among chefs. Anything from 350 to 450 degrees F (180 to 230 degrees C - which is between gas mark 4 and 8) is good. 


Generally speaking, if you want the skin to be crispy but the inside to be moist and juicy, it’s best to set it on a higher temperature (450 degrees F) for about half an hour and then cook for the remainder on a more moderate temperature (350 degrees F). 


Baste while cooking


Every 15 minutes, it’s worth basting the meat. This involves taking some of the juices from the meat and pouring them over the chicken or injecting them into the meat. You can use a basting syringe to do this.


Basting will help add extra succulence to your chicken. It’s more common with turkey at xmas, but can be done with chicken too.


Get the gravy right


You can make your roast chicken all the more delicious by drizzling it with gravy. 


There are lots of recipes for chicken gravy that you can try. You check out this post if you want to know how to make homemade chicken gravy from scratch (no need to use pan drippings). Alternatively, you can use a store-bought gravy (this will be less healthy, so bear this in mind).


Don’t overcook


As not to risk salmonella poisoning, many people tend to be overcautious when cooking chicken, leaving it in the oven for much longer than is needed. If chicken is overcooked it can become dry and will lose its flavor. As a result, you want to try and get the timing just right.


The amount of time you should leave chicken in the oven can depend a lot on the size of the bird and the type of oven you’re using. In most cases, you’re looking at about 75 to 90 minutes of cooking time. Using a food thermometer is the best way to tell if your chicken is cooked - if the temperature of the meat is between 150 degrees F and 160 degrees F, it’s time to take it out.


Leave it to rest


Once the chicken reaches this temperature, do not serve it straight away. Leave it for a further 15 minutes where it will continue to cook as it rests, reaching 165 degrees - at which point you can then start cutting and dishing it up. This resting period will also help all the juices seal into the meat, giving your chicken that succulent texture. 


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Food and Oral Health: Things You Need to Know

 

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Many different things can affect your health, and your food choices are one of them. Not only can it affect your general health and lead to diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, but it can also impact your oral health.