Are You Giving Your Body All It Needs?

When it comes to building a healthier lifestyle, we should all know that exercise is only one side of the coin. The other side is what we eat. When it comes to what we eat, portion control isn’t all that matters, either. We need to make sure we’re supplying our body with what it needs. When we’re cutting down portions, that can sometimes seem hard. So, what do you do to ensure that you’re keeping the body supplied?

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Skip processed foods

As a general rule, when foods are processed, they tend to lose a lot of the natural goodness they would otherwise grant. This isn’t just because artificial additives are used to replace the flavor lost from the original ingredients. It’s also simply because if they’re frozen or chilled, they’re not going to have the same nutritional value they otherwise would. Cooking more meals with whole ingredients is going to yield the full benefits of what the original ingredients are supposed to provide. As for snacks, consider making liquid treats like smoothies instead of going for ready-made breakfasts or desserts.

Use supplements wisely

It’s not always easy to ensure that you’re getting your whole day’s recommendation of vitamins and minerals in all your meals. Especially if you’re relying on a diet that uses portion control and limits the amount you can eat in one day. Of course, portion control shouldn’t be taken to an extreme but even when you’re doing it reasonably, you could use some assistance in getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need. It’s a good idea to look at sources like Sitejabber AlgaeCal Plus reviews to see what exactly different supplements can provide. You shouldn’t use supplements entirely to replace all the food you should be including in your diet. But if you get most of it through diet, there’s nothing wrong with using them to replace what you’re otherwise missing. Just make sure those supplements don’t interact with any other medication you might be on or any conditions you currently have.

Make it easier to absorb nutrients

One of the common issues found with supplements is that they’re not as easy for the body to absorb and that’s not entirely false. In fact, many people won’t be properly absorbing the nutrients from anything they eat because their digestive system and others aren’t working as well. For one, alcohol limits the ability of both the stomach and liver to absorb nutrients, giving you another reason to quit them. But you can boost your body’s capabilities to gain nutrients in a few ways. Probiotics, digestive enzymes, prebiotics and the like can all ensure that your digestive system is at the top of its game. Which means you get more bang for your buck where both meals and supplements are involved.

Failure to consider not just how much you eat but what you eat can lead to a lot of issues. You can make it harder to see exercise pay off, you can cause damage to your bones and your internal organs. You can get sick a lot easier. So, keep the body in good supply.

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Liquid Meals: Should You Bother?

Liquid diets are becoming more and more popular for people who are interested in health and fitness, mainly because of the weight loss and nutritional advantages that they bring. But is going on a liquid diet a healthy alternative to eating regular solid food? And are there any benefits?

Recently, Health Line tried to answer that question by talking to registered dietitian Diana Sugiuchi who has founded a couple of nutrition businesses to see what she thought.

Are Liquid Diets A Craze?

Sugiuchi said that there were a couple of reasons people were choosing liquid foods over solid food. The first is that people are just so busy these days with kids and work that they don’t always have time to make a solid meal. It’s a lot quicker to throw a bunch of food in the blender and glug it down than it is to chop, bake and boil a proper meal. And with the rise of off-the-shelf smoothies and shakes, “eating” a meal is even quicker.

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The other reason people are choosing liquid meals, she says, is because they want to make sure that they are getting all the nutrition they need. There’s a big difference in the amount of nutrition in a bowl of cornflakes compared to the nutrition in a berry and avocado smoothie. One is a processed food made from corn and almost devoid of nutrients: the other is entirely made from nutrient-dense whole plant food.

What Are The Most Popular Liquid Diets?

Sugiuchi says that there are many brands on the market, but that you should do your research first before jumping in at the deep end. Many of these weight loss drinks were originally used by hospitals to help people gain or maintain their weight when they were ill. Now companies are looking for increasingly clever ways to package up shakes that actually help with weight loss. Some companies are using very specific forms of fiber, like the fiber found in oatmeal, to help people feel fuller for longer and take away their desire to snack at 11 am and 4 pm – the worst times of day for feeling hungry.
What Do People Want From A Liquid Diet?

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Most people are just looking for something cheap and easy when they go on a diet. They know that they will be able to get the same benefits, Sugiuchi says, from cooking and preparing all their meal from scratch. But for the vast majority of people, cooking from scratch is too much trouble. Instead, she says, a liquid diet gives people a way to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need in quick time.

Are There Any Risks?

The risks depend on how seriously a person takes a liquid diet and whether they are feeding themselves the right foods. If they’re putting some high energy foods, like grains and nut butter in their smoothies, then they are going to get enough calories to see them through the day. If, however, they’re subsisting off green smoothies, it’s unlikely that they’re giving their bodies everything they need.

Simple Budget Meals

Some weeks are tougher than others.  We may have had a big expense to pay out, or we might just not have as much money coming in as we would like.  This can make mealtimes seem like an unattractive prospect, especially if we have been throwing out beans on toast, beans on jackets potatoes and beans at breakfast.  

There are loads of great recipes which don’t need a lot of expensive ingredients put into them.  Recipes which are healthy and delicious.  So if you are looking for a few simple ideas then read on.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Firstly there is soup.  Soup is a brilliant and tasty meal for either lunch or dinner.  It is really easy to make and can be as easy as boiling some broccoli and adding stock.  You don’t have to think to creatively.  There are some wonderful combinations.  Even a couple of onions can be turned into a warming and delicious dinner.

 Try making a tasty tomato soup using a can of tinned tomatoes, some chicken stock cube and, if you have it, a little chilli.  You just need to pop it all into a pan at the same time, let it sizzle away for about 5 minutes and then chuck it into a blender or use a hand whisk.  Once you have a smooth consistency, add salt and pepper then return it to the heat.  You’ll soon have a warm heart and a full tummy.  

Pancakes are another great way to make dinner time a little more exciting.  The best thing is you can cook up a big batch, lay out some different toppings and then have the main meal and dessert all there in front of you.  For some brilliant ideas check out these Best American pancake recipes – quick, easy and delicious – MyGreatRecipes or you could just stick with the basics, a little bacon and cheese for savory and some sugar and lemon for pudding.  Delicious, cheap and filling!

Finally you can’t go wrong with a potato and whilst we have already mentioned it, you can get a little more creative than serving it the traditional way.  Of course, baking a delicious spud and topping it with beans and cheese is a great way to start, however next time you want to use a baked potato as a meal, two nights on the trot, why not scoop out the inside, put the skins back in the oven to crisp up.  Add a little cheese and bacon to them and then mash the inside with some onion.  Serve it up with some frozen peas and you will have a great meal that cost you nothing and is a little more creative than just a topped jacket.

Cooking on a budget can be hard, but it can also be fun.  You just need to strip each meal back to three basic ingredients.  Keep it simple and then get creative.  There are so many ways you can cook an egg and you could even make it into a bit of a game.  

Happy eating.

Wrapping Up Winter: Warming Soup Recipes To Try Before The Spring

After a long, cold winter spring is right around the corner. With a bit of luck, the weather will be better right up until later in the year. While most of us are keen to pack up our winter warmers and bust out the spring dresses, since it’s the final stretch we might as well try to enjoy the last of the cold weather. And what better way to do so than with a warming bowl of soup? While it’s of course something you can have at any time in the year, it’s far more special on a chilly winter’s day than it is in the middle of summer.

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All you really need is a good blender- sites like Healthy But Smart can help you to decide the best one to go for- and a few basic staples such as stock cubes and dried herbs. From there you can purchase some fresh veggies and get preparing these tasty, healthy recipes. They are just perfect for this time of year!

Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper

Tomato soup is a classic, but the addition of red pepper gives it a greater depth of flavor and works incredibly well. Cut tomatoes in half and place them cut side down on a roasting tray with some sliced red pepper, an onion cut into wedges and some cloves of garlic and drizzle with some olive oil. Cook until everything is roasted and tender. Add the soft veggies to a blender along with some vegetable stock- add it slowly until the mixture reaches the perfect ‘soup- like’ consistency. You could add some chilli and herbs of your choice along with salt and pepper and then transfer back into a saucepan to heat. Add a swirl of cream or creme fraiche if you like to add richness, and serve with some hearty bread. The perfect way to warm up after

Anything Goes Veggie Soup

We all buy vegetables with the best of intentions, but even the most careful amongst us can end up with waste. This is unfortunate, not only is it a waste of money but it’s harmful to the environment too. Having some go-to recipes to minimize food waste is always a good idea, and this soup is just the thing for the job. If you have any miscellaneous veggies left over at the end of the week, boil them up and add them to the blender. Onions, celery, carrots, butternut squash, garlic, just about anything goes. Add some boiled potato or sweet potato to thicken the mix, along with herbs of your choice. A great way to use leftover fresh herbs (which spoil quickly) otherwise add whatever you fancy from your dried herb selection. Blend it all together again with some stock and you have an extremely healthy and tasty dish.

Leek and Potato Soup

For a super hearty and filling soup, you can’t go wrong with leek and potato. Trim and carefully wash the leeks, making sure to wash downwards to avoid rinsing any grit back into the stalks. Then saute them in butter with some chopped onion, and add to the blender with your soft boiled potatoes. Blend with some milk until you reach the right consistency, and season with salt and plenty of pepper. You can add herbs of your choice too, chives work well. Again swirl in some cream or creme fraiche for a luxurious extra and enjoy.

8 Condiments and Seasonings You Can Enjoy Even When You’re Eating Healthier

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What would a hot dog be without ketchup and mustard? How bland would chicken taste without the right sauce? What is a life without mayonnaise? Many people mistakenly believe that a life of healthy eating means a life without the creamy textures of condiments or savoury tastes of seasonings, but you don’t have to eat bland foods to keep up with your health. In fact, many condiments and spices actually offer benefits.

Ketchup

You may automatically assume that you need to cut ketchup from your diet if you’re trying to be healthier, but while it’s true that the food is high in sugar and sodium, it also provides lycopene, an antioxidant believed to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Eating three to four tablespoons with your burgers, hot dogs, or fries from time to time gives you a healthy dose. For the best results, stick to dark-colored, organic varieties. You can even give it some extra oomph by mixing it with organic mayonnaise or chopped garlic.

Horseradish

A small dose of horseradish each day can deplete the toxins in your body. Horseradish is comprised of glucosinolates, a compound that helps your liver detoxify carcinogens. A study conducted by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that it may even suppress the growth of tumours. Horseradish has 10 times more glucosinolates than the next best source, which is broccoli, and you can eat it in a variety of ways. Some people choose to mix it with mustard and use it as a sandwich spread, but it is also good when mixed with yogurt and served with fish.

Hot Sauce

Who doesn’t love the tangy, spicy taste of hot sauce from time to time? Just a few dashes provides you with plenty of capsaicin, the compound that creates the heat in hot sauce. It is also known to reduce hunger by limiting ghrelin levels. Some experts have found that people who regularly consume hot sauce take in about 16 percent fewer calories than those who do not, and the sauce itself is calorie-free. Add it to anything you want to have a bit of extra kick, but be careful—some varieties are high in sodium.

Mustard

An American staple, mustard isn’t known to have any “superfood” properties, but it does have zero calories, making it a plausible mainstay on your rotation of condiments. From tuna fish to cheeseburgers, chicken to hot dogs, it adds flavor to nearly any food.

Teriyaki Sauce

The perfect marriage of sweet and salty, teriyaki sauce is often considered a more sophisticated version of soy sauce and is popularly used on authentic Japanese food that includes grilled meat and fish, vegetables and rice. Teriyaki sauce has only four ingredients—soy sauce, sake, a rice wine known as mirin, and brown sugar—which makes it easier to determine exactly what you are putting into your body.

Cinnamon

Perhaps it’s not creamy, but cinnamon is still considered a popular member of the extended condiment family. A teaspoon a day has been known to stabilize a person’s blood sugar, and it mixes well with nearly any sweet dish. Foods that are high in carbohydrates have been known to cause spikes in blood sugar, but adding cinnamon to these dishes could prevent the spike. Add it to everything from cakes to lattes. It even works well in starches such as rice.

Rosemary

If you are someone who is worried about the presence of foodborne carcinogens in your meals, consider cooking with rosemary. According to scientists at Kansas State University, adding a tablespoon or two to meats before cooking them reduces heterocyclic amines by between 30 and 100 percent. It can be added to virtually any meat and mixes well with sea salt and garlic.

Mayonnaise

Yes, you read that right. While traditional mayonnaise is not recommended for healthy eating, you can still have it if you choose the right brand. One to consider is Just Mayo from Hamptoncreek Foods. This brand uses a plant-based recipe that is lower in cholesterol and available in regular or sriracha flavors.  Add it to sandwiches or mix it with just about any recipe to get the creamy taste you crave.

No matter what eating plan you choose, you are more likely to become bored if you don’t add some variety. Condiments and seasonings are a great way to keep your basics tasting like fresh, new meals every time you eat them. Remember, part of the fun of food is experimenting, so don’t be afraid to try new combinations.

Traditional Food From Cyprus You Should Try

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No visit to Cyprus is complete without sampling all of the mouth-watering delicacies that Cyprus has on offer. From the Meze and the Yemista to the Moussaka and the Kleftiko, every dish has a distinctly Cypriot flavor that you’d be hard put to find anywhere else.

Meze

You better be ravenous when you order a Meze. A Cypriot favorite, it is not just one tidbit but an assortment of Mezedes. Order it and you can expect an interesting platter with a medley of 20 or 30 different savories and appetizers including halloumi, feta, smoked ham, octopus, koupepia or stuffed vine leaves, sliced artichokes, hummus, olives, barbouni, a delicious red mullet and succulent pieces of turkey or chicken. Eating a Meze is an experience in itself. Take your time and savor every delicious bite.

Yemista

Another popular Cypriot dish, Yemista are an assortment of different types of stuffed vegetables. They can be eaten hot or cold and can be ordered as starters or even as a main dish. Koupepia, the famous stuffed wine-leaves are eaten cold and are almost a staple everywhere you go. Yemista also includes stuffed aubergines, courgettes, peppers and tomatoes and the stuffing typically consists of grated tomatoes and rice or minced meat flavored with mint or parsley.

Kleftiko

A must at every celebration, Kleftiko consists of a piece of goat or lamb wrapped in foil and baked in a special kind of oven.

Mousakas

Another must-eat in Cyprus, Mousakas is a traditional baked dish prepared with minced beef or lamb covered with layers of sliced aubergine, zucchini and potatoes and topped with a cream flavored with ‘artesia’ spices.

Souvlaki

Also called Kebab, Souvlaki is either bits of pork or lamb put on a skewer and slow-roasted on a charcoal fire. It can be eaten by itself accompanied with pita bread and chopped onion or the meat could be stuffed into the pita bread with yiaourti, a flavorsome local yoghurt.

My Favorite Cheesecakes

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Lemon, vanilla and the more elaborate concoctions such as pumpkin, chocolate chip, cranberry and blueberry are just a few of my favorite cheesecakes. The delight you experience when you take that first bite of your favorite cheesecake can be exhilarating and soothing at the same time.

And remembering loved ones at gift-giving time brings to mind even more exciting flavors that are available like raspberry, Neapolitan, bing cherry and key lime, another of my favorite cheesecakes, and one sure to be your favorite as well once you give it a try. There are times when nothing but the best will do, and that’s the time to decide to give a freshly baked cheesecake instead of flowers and chocolates.

There are many sources from which to buy your favorite cheesecakes. There’s the frozen section at your supermarket, specialty retail shops, and now the Internet is a reliable source as well. Ordering online is an experience in itself as you browse through the pages looking at luscious Gourmet Cheesecakes that are sure to please everyone on your gift list. Once you make a selection, the cheesecake is packed in a special container and can be delivered as soon as the next day for your convenience.

You are certain to find a cheesecake to please even the most discriminating palate when you view the selections and discover a world of delicacies that can be yours at the click of a button. Cheesecakes are usually available with a crumb crust or a more traditional crust that has been rolled thin.

And don’t forget the wonderful selections of a unique personalized cheesecake for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, Secretaries Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other occasions to make cheesecake a favorite with everyone.