5 Healthy Crock-Pot Recipes Perfect for a Nourishing Meal
No kitchen gadget can make cooking easier than a trusty slow cooker aka the crockpot. But making dinnertime a breeze isn't its only superpower. The tried-and-true-and-tested cooking device can also cook the healthiest meals around - as long as you toss in the right ingredients. So, if you want to make a habit out of eating more healthily (but have zero time to cook), these five healthy Crock-Pot recipes are a great place to start.
1. Chicken Vegetable Soup
Packed with vegetables and textured soy protein, this slow cooker recipe is perfect for those cold winter days when you want to fortify your health with something soothing. The soup also freezes well, so you can make a Crock-Pot full, enjoy as much as you want on the spot, and save the rest for later (like 2 or 3 months later).
- 2 1/2 cups textured soy protein (TSP) chicken bits
- 1/3 cup dried onions
- 1 cup dried carrots
- 2 cups freeze dried potatoes
- 1/2 cup dried corn
- 2 tsp dried garlic (granulated)
- 1/3 cup dried celery
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken broth
- 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker (except for the corn) and stir to combine.
- Cover with the lid and cook on low for about 6 hours - until the veggies are cooked through.
- Then, stir in the corn and cook for half an hour. Spoon the soup into a bowl and serve with toasted bread.
2. Beef Bourguignon
Beef Bourguignon is basically a beef stew with a splash of red wine added to the mix. While one could argue that the dish doesn't constitute as healthy, this veggie-heavy Crock-Pot recipe proves that the dish can be hearty and nutritious at the same time. Plus, the resveratrol hidden in the red wine(1) will provide you with a hefty dose of antioxidants for the day.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup textured soy protein (TSP) bacon bits
- 6 cups textured soy protein (TSP) beef bits
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp dried garlic (granulated)
- 1 1/4 cups dried carrots
- 3 cups freeze dried potatoes
- 1/3 cup freeze dried mushrooms
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Fill a medium pot with warm water and add the beef and bacon bits. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sautée the beef and bacon until lightly browned. Pour the red wine and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the vegetable broth, tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the flour and transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and cover with the lid. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Once ready, spoon the stew into bowls and serve with mashed potatoes or long-grain rice on the side.
3. Blueberry Oatmeal
Considering their high fiber content, oats and blueberries are the perfect combo to start your day. Plus, dumping all the ingredients in the Crock-Pot and letting it do all the cooking is way easier than you prepping, mixing, and whisking the oatmeal over a stove. Talk about an easy and filling breakfast!
- 1 1/2 cups freeze dried blueberries
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 2 cups milk or an alternative milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker (except for the almonds) and stir to combine.
- Cover with the lid and cook on low for about 7 hours (it's better to do this overnight to have a tasty breakfast meal waiting for you in the morning).
- Once ready, spoon oatmeal into the bowl and top with the almonds. Store leftovers in the fridge.
4. Honey Lime Ginger Ham
Sure, ham is a classic entree for all-you-can-eat holiday feasts. But in this healthy Crock-Pot recipe the dish turns into a nourishing choice for Sunday and weekday dinners. The secret? You just swap meaty ham with textured soy protein (TSP) ham and let it simmer in a marinade of healthier ingredients, such as honey, lime juice, and ginger.
- 5 cups textured soy protein (TSP) ham bits
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp dried garlic (granulated)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Fill a pot with warm water and add the ham bits. Soak for 15 minutes and, when hydrated, squeeze away excess liquid and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautée the ham bits until lightly browned (about 5 minutes).
- Transfer the ham to the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients (except for the cornstarch). Stir to combine.
- Top with the lid and cook for about 8 hours. Once ready, transfer the ham to a platter and pour the juice from the Crock-pot into a saucepan. Whisk in the cornstarch and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over the ham and serve.
5. Red Beans & Rice Stew
Protein-packed red beans and carb-laden rice join forces in this healthy Crock-Pot recipe and create a meal that can keep you full and energized for hours. For those of you who want to make the dish more indulgent (without ruining your healthy eating plans), add a little bit of textured soy protein (TSP) sausage. The treat tastes as good as its meaty counterpart and contains much less fat.
For the red beans:
- 2 1/2 cups dehydrated red beans
- 1 3/4 cups textured soy protein (TSP) sausage bits (optional)
- 1 tbsp dried garlic (granulated)
- 1/4 cup dried onions
- 1/4 cup organic dried green bell peppers
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 6 cups vegetable stock (or 8, if you add sausage)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
For the rice:
- 2 cups white long-grain rice
- 3 cups water
- Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker (except for the rice) and stir to combine. Top with the lid and cook on low for 9 hours. Tip: If you add sausage to the stew, pour 2 more cups of vegetable stock into the slow cooker.
- Make the rice as the red beans turn into mushy goodness. Put the recommended serving in a bowl and rinse with water until it runs clear. Transfer the rice to a pot and add water. Heat over medium heat until the water bubbles. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the stove (lid still on) and leave for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and serve. Top with the red beans, and enjoy!
Do you have any healthy Crock-Pot recipes to share with us? If so, please drop them in the comment section below!
National Diabetes Month: 7 Ways to Get Involved
November is National Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness about the various types of diabetes, including pre-diabetes, diabetes type 1 and type 2, and gestational diabetes. Over the last two decades, America has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of persons newly diagnosed with diabetes. Currently, there are 37 million adults and children living with diabetes1 and an additional 88 million adults at risk of getting diabetes. 2
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that develops when the body's natural insulin cannot regulate blood sugar levels and becomes higher than it should be. Uncontrollable blood sugar levels can result in debilitating health issues such as kidney disease, heart disease, and some cancers and lead to loss of vision and nerve damage.1
Younger adults are living with type 2 diabetes more than ever, predisposing them to other health issues later in life. The cost of treating diabetes is high due to medical expenses and lower productivity, with the increase in insulin prices adding a burden to the family budget.3 That's why it is essential to raise awareness of the risk factors of diabetes and how to manage it. Luckily adopting a healthy lifestyle can prevent type 2 diabetes. Also, early detection at the pre-diabetes stage makes it easier to manage it without adverse health outcomes.
What is National Diabetes Month?
National Diabetes Month is a time to raise awareness on how to prevent the disease for the millions at risk and give ways to manage it for those already living with the disease and an opportunity for those already affected to share their experiences to encourage others to prevent it.
National Diabetes Month is celebrated every November 14 to mark the birthday of Dr. Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin and helped save lives and manage the condition for millions of diabetic patients worldwide.4 Government agencies, organizations, research institutions, and pharmaceutical companies have various events and campaigns to commemorate the day.
What is the Theme of the National Diabetes Month 2022
The 2022 theme is "Diabetes Management: It takes a team." It is time to build awareness of diabetes and support diabetics with a care plan. Get more information on diabetes management at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. You will get printables that you can share with others on social media or print and share with others living with diabetes.
How to Celebrate National Diabetes Month
1. Commit To A Healthier Lifestyle.
Did you know that your lifestyle can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes? Factors such as inadequate sleep, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise can cause insulin resistance. Here are some helpful health tips.
- Maintain a healthy weight and adopt a regular exercise routine, especially if you are above 45 years and have a family history of diabetes, to reduce your risk. Losing 10-14 pounds can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes.3
- Plan to exercise for 30 minutes five days a week. Set a goal for yourself and aim to stay active most days of the week while adhering to a diabetic food plan.
- Start with small changes and adopt healthy eating habits. A healthy diet comprises whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, legumes, and low fat dairy.
- Commit to drinking enough water to improve your body's performance.
2. Get a Diabetes Risk Test.
Take an online diabetes risk test if you don't have diabetes or have never taken the test. Half of the people at risk of diabetes are unaware of the condition. When you learn as much as possible, take a quiz to check your knowledge. Also, check your blood pressure and weight checked.
3. Plan A Diabetes Care Plan With Your Healthcare Provider
Quick management of diabetes can reduce the health complications that come with diabetes, such as kidney diseases, loss of vision, and heart disease. If you have diabetes, plan a diabetic care plan with your healthcare provider team, which could include a nutritionist, diabetes educator, and physician who will plan your care according to your needs.
Plan appointments and prepare questions to ask them. Take notes and attend the follow-up visits. Always keep track of your blood glucose levels through regular tests.
4. Educate Yourself About Diabetes
National Diabetes Month is an excellent opportunity to interact with other diabetics and caregivers. If you already have diabetes, learn as much as possible about the disease from your healthcare provider. Read blogs on diabetes and share valuable tips with others to increase awareness. Also, join a support group to help you get support when you feel overwhelmed, depressed or sick. Get these groups from your local hospital or join online diabetic communities.
5. Make A Healthy Cookbook.
Assemble your favorite recipes in a cookbook. Although having diabetes restricts you from certain foods, you can still enjoy healthy treats. Buy low carb cookbooks or search for the recipes online and give them a try. Mark your favorite treats for days you need a quick meal.
6. Post on Social Media
Increase diabetes awareness by posting on social media. Take a selfie in the blue circle, the worldwide diabetes sign, and post it on social media whether you have diabetes or want to raise awareness. You can find the blue circle in the app by the International Diabetes Federation.
If you already have diabetes, you can also share your experience living with the condition on your blog or social media or record a video sharing what lifestyle medications have helped you manage the condition to help those newly diagnosed. Don't forget to use the hashtag: #nationaldiabetesawarenessmonth.
7. Participate In National Diabetes Month Events
You can participate in your area's events, such as webinars, walks, or screening campaigns. Join the walks or runs planned by different organizations that seek to raise awareness of diabetes.
National Diabetes Month is an excellent time for promoting awareness and action against diabetes. We can all join hands and raise awareness of the risk factors, symptoms, prevention, and management of diabetes. Do your part and participate in this noble course. Buy healthy produce from Mother Earth products to help you prevent and manage diabetes, such as sweet potatoes, apples, beans, and broccoli, among others. Click here to buy now.
10 Reasons Walking is the Best Kind of Workout
Ask any busy adult about walking these days, and they'll tell you that it's just a quick way to get from point A to point B. But research has proved that walking is crucial for our survival – meaning it keeps us alive. In fact, the more we walk, the healthier we get and the longer we live. So, if you've been looking for some #WalkingInspo, these ten reasons might convince you to squeeze a walk into your daily routine. Plus, National Walking Day (April 6th) is showing up on our calendars this month. So, there's never been a better time to start strolling through local parks or downtown sidewalks.
What is National Walking Day?
Celebrated on the first Wednesday of April (that'd be the 6th for this year), National Walking Day(1) is all about encouraging people to take up walking on a daily basis. As the easiest way to improve our health, walking is an activity that's definitely worth taking up, and the best part is that it's suitable for people of all ages and fitness skills.
10 Benefits of Walking
1. It aids with weight loss
Although walking isn't the quickest way to lose weight, it can sure help you drop a size or two. It all depends on the intensity of your walking speed, the distance you're willing to cover, and the terrain of choice. For example, you're more likely to shed pounds if you walk uphill at a brisk pace for 30 minutes instead of strolling casually through the park for 15 minutes. To put it into perspective, just think that a 180-pound person burns about 100 calories per mile(2).
2. It may regulate blood sugar
According to one study(3), walking may also help you lower your blood sugar levels. During this study, researchers found that a 15-minute walk three times a day (specifically, after breakfast, lunch, dinner) helped regulate blood sugar levels more efficiently than a 45-minute walk at any given time during the day.
Of course, further research is needed to confirm these findings. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't take a walk after breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you feel like it. After all, walking is all about enjoying the activity.
3. It increases your muscle mass
One of the most straightforward benefits of walking is that it can help you build some serious muscle – especially around your legs. That's also beneficial to your joints as strong, toned leg muscles can support fragile, worn-out joints. Keep that in mind as you grow older. For more lower-body gains, you can even walk in an area with uneven terrain (i.e., hilly trails).
4. It strengthens your heart
Chances are you've heard your doctor "prescribe" walking as the best "medicine" for heart disease. And for a good reason, as walking can reduce the risk of coronary disease by 20%(4). To reap this benefit, take a casual walk for 30 minutes a day. You can reduce that risk even more by increasing the duration and distance you cover every day.
5. It keeps your joints healthy
You probably know this, but your knees and hips will only worsen with age. One way to decrease the rate at which they deteriorate is to walk. Research(5) has shown that walking increases the blood flow to the legs and keeps your joints lubricated. As a result, you experience less joint pain, stiffness, and swelling – which translates to a better quality of life.
6. It increases your lifespan
Between improving heart health and keeping blood sugar at bay, it's no wonder that walking can help increase your lifespan. In fact, according to a recent study(6), just 15 minutes of brisk walking a day can reduce your mortality rate by 22%. That means you could increase your lifespan anywhere from 2 to 7 years.
7. It improves your mood
Let's be honest: When we're stressed or gloomy, we've all headed out for a walk in hopes of clearing our heads and feeling a tad better. Now science(7) proves that pounding the pavement is actually a legit way to relieve stress and improve our mood. And that's because walking triggers the production and release of endorphins, which are also known as the "feel-good hormones." Thirty minutes of brisk walking throughout the day for 3 days a week are enough to do the trick.
8. It makes sleep time easier
Losing weight and strengthening your ticker may be the two most common reasons why people take up walking. But scientists agree that improving your sleep quality is another solid reason to lace up your walking shoes.
According to a recent study(8), individuals who are more active during the day tend to sleep better than those who are more sedentary. In fact, the more steps someone takes throughout a day, the longer and calmer he or she sleeps.
9. It boosts your creativity
Walking and creativity may not sound like they have much in common. But researchers(9) recently compared the creative output of people who come up with ideas while sitting and walking. As it turns out, people tend to be more creative when they're walking (even up to 60%!)(10). So, next time you want to get the creative juices flowing, stand up from your desk chair and pace around for it. It may sound counter-intuitive and distracting, but science proves it helps.
10. It's the easiest/cheapest form of exercise
No matter which way you see it, walking is the easiest way to squeeze some workout time during your day. All you have to do is change your mindset and the way your approach walking. For example, you could turn your commute home into a walk or walk to get your lunch or coffee instead of ordering them in. It's as simple as that! Plus, unlike running(11) or weightlifting, walking doesn't require some fancy equipment. All you need is a pair of good-quality walking shoes.
Do you think walking is a worthwhile workout? Or do you prefer running? Let us know in the comments down below!
- How Many Calories Are Burned Walking Per Mile? (verywellfit.com)
- Three 15-min Bouts of Moderate Postmeal Walking Significantly Improves 24-h Glycemic Control in Older People at Risk for Impaired Glucose Tolerance | Diabetes Care | American Diabetes Association (diabetesjournals.org)
- Quantifying the dose-response of walking in reducing coronary heart disease risk: meta-analysis - PubMed (nih.gov)
6 Reasons Why Cooking and Intimacy Go Hand in Hand
There are dozens of opinions out there on what you can do to strengthen the relationship between you and your loved ones. But no matter how diverse these opinions can get, there is one concept that almost everyone agrees on - and that is that cooking with someone is the best way to bond with them. Even scientists concur that cooking and intimacy are more related than we thought.
But have you wondered why? How exactly does cooking help us create more meaningful relationships? Well, here are six reasons why intimacy starts in the kitchen - whether you want to create mementos with your friends, strengthen your bond with your significant other, or get closer to your family.
1. Setting a Common Goal
Research(1) proves that sharing a mutual goal with someone is a surefire way to increase intimacy. This occurs because both parties share a common vision and do anything in their power to make it true. In the process, they learn more about each other's qualities and strengths, creating a more intimate connection. Science(2) also shows that joint attention to a task (in this case, cooking) makes people feel more connected to one another – mainly because of the shared experiences.
So, when two people cook a meal together, they do more than just follow a recipe. In reality, they let aspects of their personalities shine while discovering more about their partner's character and emotions. And that is the foundation of any meaningful relationship.
2. Connecting Over Mutual Interests
Even though the "opposites attract" mantra applies to some cases, scientists(3) have proved that we tend to like more those we feel similar to. So, when two people do something they both enjoy (for example, bake brownies or make grilled cheese), they are more likely to have fun around each other. Chances are they'll even want to spend more time together in the future. So, if you want to get closer to someone, connecting over your mutual love for cooking is a solid option.
3. Enhancing Communication
Communication is key in most shared tasks – and sharing a kitchen with someone is no exception. In fact, when you decide to make a meal with a friend, partner, or family member, the first thing you need to sharpen is your communication skills (your chopping skills come at a close second). This is the only way for the both of you to:
- delegate the tasks without anyone getting upset
- listen to what your partner has to say and become more understanding of their needs.
By synchronizing yourselves around each other, you'll be able to connect on a deeper level, mainly because of your smooth cooperation. If your cooking-together habit continues, chances are you'll extend your mutual appreciation past the kitchen and communicate effectively in other areas of your relationship.
4. Sharing Deeper Thoughts
For many people, cooking is a way to let go of stress. The kitchen becomes a safe place, where "worries" is just another word, and creativity is the main theme. When you choose to cook with someone under such circumstances, it's only natural that you show them another side of you -- a side that's relaxed and fun. As a result, you end up sharing some of your deepest thoughts, experiences, and ideas, or you may even have the most honest conversation you ever had – all of which eventually connect you on a deeper level. A sense of trust is built, and, dish after dish, you grow closer to one another.
5. Establishing Rapport
Rapport(4) is when two people are in harmony with one another. No matter the task they're performing, they're in sync. So, they can either be calm or energetic, focused or distracted, interested or indifferent.
Often described as the foundation of any great relationship, rapport is hard to achieve and maintain. But if professional chefs have proved anything to us is that cooking with other people helps build rapport in no time.
It's all about creating momentum. When you connect with the people you cook with, you subconsciously flow around them, and your moves just click. For example, you reach for the knife while they hand you the bell pepper. Or you sauté the onion to a crisp, and they add a bit of water to prevent it from sticking. That kind of thing!
In some cases, you may even complement each other's moves so flawlessly that you end up with a dish that exceeds all of your expectations. And just like that, you've graduated your relationship from superficial to worthwhile.
6. Dealing with Hurdles
Cooking isn't always smooth sailing. In fact, between deciding what to cook, going grocery shopping, and prepping the ingredients, there are a lot of things that can go wrong – and some people aren't up for it.
But here's a fun fact: If you and the person you cook with are willing to share these struggles, it could be your chance to form a deeper connection. Owning up to a weakness is never easy, and opening up about it will certainly make you more sympathetic to your partner, friend, or family member. Plus, having someone to help you out when you need it will make them more sympathetic to you.
What are your thoughts? Do you think intimacy starts in the kitchen? Or maybe not? Let us know in the comments down below!
How to Meal Prep: 6 Key Benefits of Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is a food trend that is here to stay. It is a great way to save time and money and reduce food wastage. In addition, it helps you to make quick and healthy meals. It ranges from smoothie packs for breakfast to cooking complete meals for dinner and lunch for a few days. So, if you’re interested in saving time in the kitchen while making healthy food choices, you should try it.
The best part is that you don’t have to spend an entire day prepping. Instead, spend as little as 30 minutes cooking your favorite meals by choosing freeze dried products that are ready to use. Ultimately, meal prepping will make your life easier. This article will share tips on getting started and the benefits you will get. Let’s dive in.
What Is Meal Prepping?
Meal prepping involves grocery shopping, preparing meals in advance, and storing them as ready-to-eat packs. So, for example, you can pack your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks for a week rather than doing it every evening. The purpose is to have healthy and nutritious home-cooked meals without the fuss of cooking every day.
Why Should You Meal Prep?
Meal prepping is an effective way to save cooking time, especially if you have a busy schedule. It reduces food waste and the temptation to eat out or order in when you’re too exhausted to cook. Additionally, it allows you to eat home-cooked meals without cooking from scratch.
Is Meal Prep For Everyone?
Meal prepping is excellent for people who desire to eat home-cooked meals but have a tight schedule. It is for people who value time, budget, convenience, and efficiency, and want to control their meals rather than eat something different every day. On the contrary, meal prepping is not for you if you prefer eating freshly prepared food to eating leftovers.
What Foods Work Well When Meal Prepping?
Cooked beans, freeze dried vegetables, cooked grains, nuts, seeds, cheese, freeze dried fruits, and cooked meat are excellent choices. However, some foods don’t work well with meal prep, such as soft fruits and vegetables such as berries, cut fruit, and crunchy foods like chips and crackers.
Meal Prepping With Freeze Dried Products
You don’t have to make all foods from scratch. Instead, buy freeze dried vegetables, dried vegetables, and freeze dried fruits to reduce your cooking time. For example, a recipe that would need garbanzo beans will save a lot of time by using dehydrated garbanzo beans or dehydrated black beans. More so for vegetables like dried carrots and broccoli: it saves you the time to clean and chop them. So, all you need to do is rehydrate them, and in minutes, your salad is ready.
How Long Can The Prepared Meals Stay In The Refrigerator?
There’s no one rule about storing meal preps. All foods stored in the refrigerator slowly decline in quality. Also, how you pack the food and the refrigerator’s environment can impact the quality of the meal preps. However, preparing the meal preps for 3-7 days max is a good idea.
How to Meal Prep
Then, write down the ingredient you need for the recipes you’ve chosen. Next, schedule the day for shopping and preparing the meals. Lastly, prepare the meals and store them in the refrigerator. See what works for you, and then adjust accordingly.
To succeed as a beginner, start for a day. Pack your lunch box with the leftovers for dinner one night. If you like the taste, you can prepare more food. Start with a single recipe meal prep that provides the protein, grain, and vegetable instead of a meal that needs two or three recipes together. Subsequently, you can try for two or three day’s lunch and dinner.
You will need containers of different shapes and materials, ideally glass or BPA-free plastics that you can microwave. You can also buy reusable Ziploc bags that are BPA-free.
6 Benefits of Meal Prepping
Meal prepping saves time
Cooking homemade meals can take a lot of time. But, using a Sunday afternoon to meal prep the week’s menu in advance can pay off and save you time to rest during the busy weekdays. Also, being hungry and tired can be stressful when you don’t know what to cook for dinner. Imagine beating the evening rush and traffic then getting home, and your mind is blank on what to cook. So, you decide to order takeaway, because you have an early morning and need to rest.
Instead of wasting time deciding what to cook, all you need is to open the refrigerator, get your meal prep, warm it, and enjoy. Meal prepping also means you’ll have fewer dishes to do in the evening.
Meal prepping saves you money
Apart from risking your health because of unhealthy choices, eating out or ordering in every day is costly. So, meal prepping is a huge money saver. It is cheaper to buy ingredients in bulk, and also, you’ll spend less on takeaways. A shopping list for meal prepping also avoids impulse buying when shopping at the grocery store. You can save the money and spend it on your vacation or pay off the mortgage.
Meal prepping saves you energy
Meal prepping is great for busy people who want to maintain healthy eating. Cooking is exciting, but it can be cumbersome to cook daily. For example, you may be on track from Monday to Wednesday. Then you get busy and tired on Thursday and decide to order takeaway.
Having prepared meals means you’ll spend less energy cooking and get more time to rest or do other things. Furthermore, you can prepare cooking ingredients at once for various recipes rather than chopping them daily.
Meal prepping reduces food wastage
When you meal prep, you go grocery shopping in advance with a list of what you need. Everything you buy has a purpose in the recipes you have planned, so there’s less risk of food items that will go bad. Set aside time every week to plan your meals. It is worth the effort. Meal prepping takes time to get used to, but it is the right step for a healthy lifestyle.
Benefits of meal prepping for weight loss
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy diet, meal planning is an easy way to reach your goals. You control your portion sizes more than when eating in restaurants because they usually have large portions. Furthermore, when you prepare your food, you control the ingredients you use in your cooking. So if you want to attain your weight goals, meal prepping is for you.
Health benefits of meal prepping
When you get home exhausted at the end of the day, it could be tempting to reach out for a quick, unhealthy meal or unhealthy snacks because you are too tired to cook. Unfortunately, we tend to choose unhealthy foods because of convenience. But if you had a ready meal prepared in advance, all you need is to warm it and eat.
Ready to get started with meal prepping? Get out there and prep those meals. Check out our freeze dried products that make meal prepping a breeze. We’d love to hear if meal prepping has worked for you. Please share your comments, tips, and meal prep wins in the comment section below.
New Year Resolutions 2022: 13 Healthy Habits You Can Keep
2022 is here. A new year. A new you. And there’s no better time to create health goals. As you pop the champagne cocktails and unwrap the gifts, make time to review your New Year’s Resolution. Probably you may not have been successful with your New Year’s Resolution in the past years, but it’s not the time to give up. You are still here; so keep trying.
Get a little inspiration from our list of New Year Health Resolutions that you can make in 2022. Although they may not be your typical ‘lose weight’ or ‘sign up for the gym’ goals, they are achievable goals that are worth adopting as your own. If the lessons from the covid 19 pandemic are anything to go by, the goal is to have a happy and healthier life.
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation causes many health issues. Get a whole night’s sleep by going to bed early, because it ensures that you get enough rest and helps you stay healthy. So, aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily.
To have a quality sleep, put down your phone and switch off the TV at least 30 minutes before your sleep time. Then, maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Lastly, get up at the same time daily. Ignore the temptations to sleep in during the weekends, and don’t snooze the alarm.
2. Wake up early
You probably believe that you’re not a morning person, and that’s fine. But for this New Year, try to wake up early since it could be a trick you’re looking for to usher in a healthier and more happy life. First, it gives you more time to work out and practice a healthy routine. Second, it gives you an extra hour to work on your dreams. Third, it improves your diet and sleep quality, directly impacting your mood.
Wake up early, enjoy the early morning sunshine, and eat breakfast on the porch. Getting sunshine the first thing in the morning helps regulate your body clock.
3. Drink more water
It is easier to reach out for soda or coffee than to drink a cup of water. However, your daily water intake is the key to achieving glowing skin, healthy weight, and recovery after a workout. Set a goal to drink at least 2 liters (1/2 gallon) of water every day.
Above all, drink two glasses of water first thing in the morning to help you achieve half of the daily goal; you can infuse lemon wedges in the water to give it a Vitamin C boost. Consider using an app to track your water intake.
4. Eat nutritious breakfast every day
Make time to eat breakfast. It is not cliché that it’s the most important meal of the day. You had fasted for about 7-9 hours during your sleep and need to reenergize. So, eat a healthy breakfast such as a green smoothie or vegetable omelet. Your body and metabolism will thank you.
5. Get moving daily
Regular exercise is an essential part of self-care. It is not only great for maintaining a healthy weight, but it also makes you strong and confident. You don’t have to sign up for the gym. Simple walking or running is beneficial to your health. Plus, you don’t have to get to 10,000 steps on day one, but the simple act of starting will set you up for success.
Additionally, you can go for a solo walk, a hike with your friends, or run with your spouse. When you spend time in nature, you increase your level of happiness and feel empowered and transformed. However, it is okay to join the gym in the New Year. Unlike working out from home, where you may have trouble keeping your workout schedule, pick a gym with an instructor to keep you accountable.
6. Eat more homecooked meals
Find ways to cook healthier meals daily. Cooking at home is not only therapeutic, but you also have control over the ingredients and your portion sizes. Try out new recipes every week and make nourishing meals with your family. In addition, eat only when you’re hungry to avoid excess intake. Finally, don’t restrict your caloric intake as it increases the production of stress hormones. There are many healthy recipe ideas on our blog that you will love.
7. Eat more fruits and veggies
Nutritious eating is the foundation of good health. It is a form of self-care that you should prioritize. Eat more fruits and vegetables every day and stop reaching out for highly processed foods. First, add greens to your smoothies, such as freeze dried cauliflower, dried spinach, or leafy kale. They blend very well and make a nice, creamy texture.
Next, make a salad with at least two types of chopped greens. Eating salads help control your calorie intake.
8. Start meal prepping
Create a weekly or monthly meal plan to make grocery shopping and healthy eating a breeze. Prepare your meals in advance and put them in storage containers. Put the freeze dried fruits and veggies in front and center of your pantry and make them a quick grab-and-go snack.
9. Book a full body checkup
When was your last dentist appointment? Did you know that missing at least two dentist appointments could make your teeth need a root canal? Subsequently, you’ll spend more than what you would have used for the initial checkup. Book health checkups in advance at the beginning of the year and put them in your calendar, so you don’t forget. Most diseases are preventable and easy to treat once they are detected early enough.
10. Go to therapy or find a mentor
We all need someone to talk to once in a while. Plus, these past months have been hard on everyone due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Don’t just focus on paying bills and advancing your career. Instead, check in with a mental health professional to get back your life. Finding a mentor is also a great way to keep you grounded and accountable. Alternatively, seek the advice of someone you look up to or admire.
11. Start a journal
Start keeping a regular record of your thoughts, mood, feelings, and progress in your healthy habits or work. Journaling helps to reduce anxiety and to regulate your emotions. Note down the changes in your moods to mitigate any triggers so that you can make life adjustments. For example, write down what you’re grateful for every day. It makes it easy to look back and check your progress.
12. Make time to reflect on the positives
Mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical health. Make an effort to practice self-care habits.
13. Take a break from social media
Take a break from social media and spend time with your pet or child or practice self-care. Taking a break can reduce the stress and anxiety caused by excessive scrolling. Also, when you put down your phone, you create more time to catch up with your family and neighbors. Improving your people connections can improve your mood and overall happiness.
Stop using your phone in bed since the blue light can affect your sleep quality. In addition, avoid picking your phone the first thing in the morning. Set a time once every week that you will be away from your phone.
How To Set New Year’s Resolution That You Can Achieve
Your resolutions could be losing weight, drinking more water, or exercising daily. While these are reasonable health goals, it is easier to set goals than stick to them. Unfortunately, about 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first month. Avoid this trap by setting goals instead. A goal should be specific, measurable, and time-bound if you’re to achieve it.
Another practical way to ensure that you achieve your new year’s resolution is to know your why. For example, why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to start a business? When you start with why it creates a mental picture of pain or pleasure that will gear you up to do what you need to do to achieve the goals.
Write down the goals, why you want to achieve that goal, the actions you need to take to achieve the goal, and the timelines for achieving the goal.
5 New Year’s Resolutions Success Tips
1. Create a routine
Have a daily sequence of tasks and activities that you need to do to make your life predictable and reduce your stress levels. In addition, having a routine is a great way to keep new habits such as healthy eating and working out.
2. Ditch the elevator
Choose the stairs and avoid the elevator. In this fast-paced world that we live in, we are always in a rush. So elevators could be the best option when you’re in a hurry. But in reality, you can avoid the elevator if you practice being early on appointments so that you don’t have to rush. Also, don’t rob your body of the necessary activity you need during the day.
3. Find your ideal workout routine and stick to it.
You don’t have to hit the gym at 5 am daily to stay healthy. Instead, you can go swimming, practice pilates, weightlift, dance, or run a few kilometers every day. Do whatever works for you, as long as you keep working on yourself and challenging yourself physically. For example, you could train for a marathon or lift weights, and keep progressing to your goals.
4. Work out to feel good, not to be thinner
Instead of obsessing over the scale, obsess over how amazing you feel after your workout. The New Year isn’t necessarily an invitation to start a diet or workout plan, but a time to set up a lifelong healthy living lifestyle.
5. Stretch it out
We spend so much time sitting and staring at our phones. Endeavor to stretch just 5 minutes daily to loosen the tight muscles.
Start these achievable healthy New Year resolutions today for a healthier and happier life. Which healthy habits will you start in 2022? Please share in the comment section below.