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Kitchen Tips for the Woman on the Go

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We live in a time of constant business. We rush from the coffee shop to work to yoga to happy hour to committee meetings on a daily basis, and repeat five to seven days a week. Living such intense lives requires that we fuel ourselves with only the best so that we can balance and maintain our demanding routines. Certain brands who’ve recognized this have developed products aimed to fulfill the needs of our society. These products will fill your tummy but don’t typically nourish your mind and body, and tend to be full of sugars and unhealthy additives. Here are some tips on preparing healthy options in the fastest and most efficient way possible, so that you won’t have to sacrifice when it comes to taking care of yourself along with your busy schedule.

1. Start your day off strong

Because you’ve been fasting for the last 5-8 hours, mornings are a great opportunity to nourish yourself with clean, whole foods. Fruit and nuts for breakfast are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, and help to jumpstart your metabolism. Before you go to bed put a couple of peaches, some cherries, chopped pineapple or whatever you enjoy in a Tupperware, with a bag of mixed nuts and cranberries in your work bag. These are also great post-workout snacks and healthy afternoon treats. Being so easily transportable they’re great to keep on you at all times.

2.  Stock your kitchen the right way

Keep whole grains like rice, quinoa and farro in the house that you can easily use as a base to build up with vegetables and lean protein. Keep a bag or two of frozen mixed veggies in the fridge for those nights when you just don’t have any fresh ones on hand. Use condiments that you enjoy. Whether it’s a ginger soy sauce or a great pesto you found at the farmer’s market, the right condiment can totally transform an otherwise dull meal. Know what you like and keep it on hand. Buy pre-cut (not canned) fruits at the grocery store like cantaloupe and mango so that you don’t have to fuss with cutting them yourself, and so they’re always available to snack on.

3. Cook once and eat twice

Make a point to cook at least a couple of meals at home a week, and make extra so that you can pack it up in a Tupperware the next day and take with you for lunch. If you have even more, you can change it a bit the following night and have a quick dinner that’s easy to heat up.

4.  Shop for firm, crunchy vegetables

Buying veggies like peppers, carrots, onions, celery and cucumber is amazing because you can chop them all up right when you get home from the grocery and they’ll keep really nicely. When it’s time to prepare a meal you can just throw them in a pan and sauté them, mix them together in a salad, or have with hummus or any other dip. Find ones you enjoy and keep on hand for snacking or meals.

Being prepared is half the battle when it comes to eating well and nourishing your body. By making it a point to shop mindfully and think ahead when it comes to eating and snacking throughout your week you’ll have more energy, stop eating junk that leads to weight gain and other health issues, and will help you develop healthy and lasting habits.


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Upgrade Your Eating Habits

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Here are some simple tips to incorporate into your routine that will help make healthy eating more efficient, cooking easier, and shopping simpler.

  • Cook once eat twice – Cooking new meals every day can be time consuming, so cook enough food at dinner so that you can modify it a little the next day and have it for lunch.
  • Buy organic – Look at it this way: you can either pay the farmer or pay the hospital. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you’ll get much more out of your foods. Most of our nutrients come from the soil so if soil quality is compromised by pesticides our food is nutrient deficient. Additionally, pesticides can be very harmful for our brains, fertility, and organs, and lead to various diseases. Start out buying 50% organic. Some foods are more affected than others by pesticides, so check out this guide to help you decide what to definitely buy organic: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/
  • Chop vegetables right when you get home from the grocery store – Having your veggies already chopped and ready to go when it comes time to cook makes it that much easier and faster to get to dinner time. Buy onions, bell peppers, green beans, carrots, and celery that can be easily stored in a Tupperware and will keep well for a few days.
  • To hydrate, only drink water – Any small benefit of drinks that have vitamins or electrolytes is always outweighed by the sugar content, and is a big contributor to weight gain, hyperactivity in children, irritability, and anxiety. Flavored ice teas, juices, sparkling juices, sodas, and sports drinks are all full of sugar. If you have to have a sweet drink try and start cutting down, treat it as an indulgence and see if sparkling water with lemon or lime helps cut the cravings.
  • Eat slowly, stop when you’re full – As simple as this sounds a lot of us eat way past when we’re full. When we eat quickly it takes our brain time to catch up to our stomachs to realize that we’ve had enough. Slowing down allows us to stop when we’re full and avoid overeating. A good rule of thumb is to eat until you feel about 80% full.
  • Chew your food – Chewing food thoroughly is extremely important. When we chew, our bodies begin to create digestive enzymes that help us break down our food. When we don’t chew properly, our stomachs aren’t prepared properly to digest. Not only that, our stomachs don’t have teeth (obviously), so when we swallow food that’s still partially whole our bodies have to work extra hard to break down the food. This takes tons of energy from us and creates that tired, lethargic feeling we often have when we’re done eating.
  • Don’t buy foods that have more than 10 grams of sugar in a serving – Sugar is everywhere! Sugar content in foods is growing every year and is an extreme contributor to weight gain as it sends our insulin levels up and tells the body to store fat. Do your best to avoid sugar and if something does have sugar in it, make sure it’s less than 10 grams per serving.
  • Drink water 20 minutes before eating – When we drink while we eat it makes it hard for our stomachs to properly release the digestive enzymes we need to break down food. Because we’re not able to break the food down properly it rots in our digestive tracts and isn’t effectively eliminated. Undigested food is also a big reason for why many of us feel bloated or overly full after eating a reasonably sized portion.
  • If you’re feeling hungry and it’s not snack or meal time, try drinking water – Many times we mistake thirst for hunger, so we go to food to satisfy the craving we’re having. This unnecessary eating leads to weight gain and dehydration.
  • View dairy products as an indulgence – Cheese and milk are very delicious, but they’re also very hard for your body to digest and are high in fat. When they’re not high in fat they tend to be high in sugar, which encourages your body to put on weight. Cutting down on dairy and viewing it as an indulgence will help you to lose weight and keep it off more easily.
  • Sprinkle ground flax seeds on your meals – A large percentage of the US population is fiber deficient. Ground flax seeds are an excellent way to fortify your meals with fiber to help with digestion and promote healthy liver function. Super easy and very healthy!
  • Buy pink Himalayan salt – Salt is actually a very important mineral for humans but has gotten a bad rap. While white table salt is highly refined and is hard on our hearts and arteries, pink Himalayan salt is in its natural form, and when eaten in small amounts can be good for us. It tastes the same without being processed and harmful to your body.
  • Cook with coconut oil – Coconut oil is an excellent source of omega 3 essential oils. These are extremely important for our metabolism, memory, prevention against depression and anxiety, skin health, heart health and more. It can be very sweet at first so use it with veggies that are already a little sweet like squash, onions and carrots. It’s also a lot more stable than fruit oils like olive oil so it can handle high temperatures very well.
  • Eat the colors of the rainbow – When shopping, your basket should be full of brightly colored veggies and fruits! Various colors promote different functions of the body, so make sure to get a colorful combination. Bell peppers, sweet potatoes, onions, spinach, cucumbers and berries are a great place to start.