Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, visual cues can help with portion sizes. Your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb. By serving your meals on smaller plates or in bowls, you can trick your brain into thinking it’s a larger portion. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy greens or round off the meal with fruit.
You’ve heard it before, and it’s true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast is absolutely crucial to help kickstart metabolism, improve cognitive function, and help you make better food choices throughout the day. The ideal meal includes protein, healthy fat, and some complex carbohydrates (read more about PFC here).
Cucumbers: Cucumbers are loaded with the mineral silica, which is an essential component for healthy connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, cartilage, bone, & skin). It is also full of ionic potassium, magnesium, & vitamin C which give it a powerful alkalizing effect within the body. Additionally, cucumbers are particularly rich in fluids that hydrate the skin, joints, and tissues (3).
Milk Thistle: Milk thistle was used by medical herbalists in the late nineteenth century to treat varicose veins and liver, spleen and kidney disorders. Today, it is primarily used to improve the function of the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal system. Many individuals have seen dramatic improvement using milk thistle for health issues such as psoriasis, menstrual problems, jaundice and poor circulation (19) .
Detoxification is a process where your body removes waste materials. Most detoxification happens in your liver, where certain enzymes convert toxins to be excreted in urine, sweat and other bodily fluids. While juice cleanses can be detoxifying in the beginning, this is mainly due to the fact that you’re no longer eating processed food and you’ve given up caffeine and alcohol for the duration of the cleanse.
For the shakshuka, pre-heat oven to 450 F. Pre-heat an oven safe 8-9 inch pan over medium-high heat along with 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the red peppers, onions, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a few cracks of pepper. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook another 2 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender, and pulse until it looks like a can of chopped tomatoes, making sure not to turn it into a smooth puree(or use canned chopped tomatoes). Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until the consistency has thickened up and it’s not so watery and loose. Add the agave nectar, turn the heat off, and stir well. Use a spoon to make two dimples the eggs can sit in, and carefully cracks the eggs into the pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 5-7 minutes until the eggs are set. Remove from oven, garnish with parsley, and enjoy. Shakshuka will keep in the fridge for 3 days and can be warmed in a 400 F oven for 7 minutes or in the microwave.
Did you know that above ground vegetables, particularly greens, contain anti-nutrients that can be potentially harmful at large doses. If you think about it, it makes sense. Plants want to survive so the parts that animals can see (above ground) contain some toxins to make them less appealing. This includes goitrogens, polyphenols, tannins, lectins, oxalates, etc. In small quantities, these are absolutely fine and even beneficial. However, when we juice, we need to use large quantities of these greens to actually create juice which can cause problems in some people.
Make half the grains you eat whole grains: An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredients first. Look for things like: "whole wheat," "brown rice," "bulgur," "buckwheat," "oatmeal," "rolled oats," quinoa," or "wild rice."
The saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars found in foods and beverages are important for you to think about as you build your healthy eating style. Saturated fat and sodium are sometimes found naturally in foods and beverages. Sugars, sodium, and ingredients high in saturated fat can also be added during processing or preparing foods and beverages.
For the pesto sauce, bring a small pot of water to a boil and season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Boil the kale for 2 minutes and drain. Add the kale, garlic, parsley, walnuts, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a couple cracks of pepper to a food processor or blender. Blend until well incorporated then add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and continue to blend until the mixture looks like a loose paste, adding more oil if necessary. Check for seasoning, add more salt if needed.
Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, photographer, videographer, clean eating expert, and mommy of four. I also run the awesome free Take Back Your Health Community, am the healthy and clean weekly meal planner behind No-Fail Meals, and a little bit in love with Clean Eating. Be sure to check out my free beginner’s guide to eating clean and follow me on YouTube and Instagram to get my latest recipes and healthy eating inspiration.
To prep the kale for the salad, we’re going to add it to a large bowl with a little olive oil and rub all over the kale, massaging it until the kale reduces in volume and becomes less stiff. (This makes a huge difference in the texture of the kale and makes it much easier to eat. I like to buy pre-cut kale when I meal prep because it’s just easier and takes one less step out of the process.)
Once you slice and sauté your way to a fabulous feast, you don't have to finish every bite. "We're conditioned to think that if we don't devour everything on our plate, we are misbehaving," McKenna says. But if you keep munching even after you're full, you are using your body as a storage unit. If there's enough left over for lunch tomorrow, pack it up and put it in the fridge. Otherwise, toss scraps in the trash. We promise we won't tell your mom.
Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.
Green Apples: Green apples are more sour than traditional red apples and contain less sugar and more acetic acid. The acid itself is a natural anti-septic and improves the function of the liver, gall bladder, stomach and intestines. This is the same acid that is the major component of apple cider vinegar. Green apples also have a strong alkalizing effect on the body and contain a unique anti-oxidant procydin that has anti-cancer benefits (2).
Excess sodium, found in many processed foods and restaurant meals, raises blood pressure in some people and can have other adverse effects. The Dietary Guidelines recommend a limit of 2,300 milligrams a day for the general population; people with hypertension or prehypertension can benefit from a further reduction to 1,500 milligrams per day. As you cut back on sodium, eat more potassium-rich foods, which help lower blood pressure. These include citrus fruits, bananas, beans, avocados, some fish, and dairy products.
Add the noodles to a clean bowl and add enough pesto to coat, toss well adding more pesto if needed. Serve pasta and top with sliced chicken. Save any leftover pesto in the fridge for 5 days. Pasta and chicken will keep in the fridge for 5 days, but can’t be frozen. The best way to re-heat is in a hot non-stick pan or if using the microwave, place a wet paper towel over the container and make sure not to over-heat or the food will get dry.
Food containers come in all shapes, sizes and equally important – materials. Depending on your lifestyle, you can pick the ones that fit into your lifestyle (and your bag!) best. If you’ll be taking a lot of your meals with you on the go, the slimmer and lighter the container is, the better. Also, make sure the container is suitable for keeping in the freezer and/or microwave use, depending on what you’ll be using it most – that’s why I love these glass meal prep containers. There are plenty of options and after you’ve done your planning, it will be much easier for you to determine what kind of container is the best option.
Juicers are things like a Breville juice fountain, Omega VRT350, Omega 8006, etc. Not a nutribullet! A nutribullet is a blender that blends. Those blades chop things up like every blender works. It has pulp in it no matter how much you blend it. It can't turn into juice unless you separate the juice from the pulp or you apply magic to it (like their marketing team does).
Meal prep is a simple and easy way to track your food intake. Whether you just want to stay away from over-processed foods and eat healthy to build muscle, lose weight, or simply feel better, meal prep is a great idea. Prepping all, or at least most your meals, ahead of time makes cooking and eating healthy, nutritious food easier and quicker than ordering take out or grabbing some fast food on the go.
Food processing isn’t always a bad thing: Cooking and preparing raw ingredients at home is also processing them. But the word “processed” is almost always reserved for commercial foods, usually packaged. Highly processed foods are industrially formulated mixtures that are no longer recognizable as their original plant or animal sources—everything from hot dogs and margarine to ice cream, candy, and many packaged snack foods. Such foods, which supply more than half the daily calories in most U.S. households, lack key nutrients and fiber and are high in sugars and sodium.
Juicing should not be used as a quick way to lose weight. Consuming only fruits and vegetables, even though they are nutritious, is not considered a balanced diet. A healthy weight loss goal is ½ to 2 pounds per week, and can be achieved with healthy eating and activity habits. Talk with your doctor about safe and effective ways to control your weight. You can also visit the Weight and Obesity page of the FNIC website for more information and resources.
Juicing machines can be costly, and could range from $50 to $500 or more. In addition, depending on the quantity or type of fruits and vegetables you use, you may see an increase in your grocery bill. You can try using frozen or canned foods to help manage your budget, and look for options that are low in sodium and added sugars, such as fruit canned in water or lite syrup. Fruits and vegetables from your home garden are also a good option. Learn how to plan, shop, and budget your trip to the grocery store using resources available to you by visiting Shopping, Cooking and Meal Planning from www.Nutrition.gov.
Fruit and vegetable juice can be part of a healthy diet and a way to get in additional servings of fruits and vegetables. Clinical research on juice cleanses, however, is limited. A juice cleanse typically involves lack of solid food and a low calorie intake. Long term, drinking just juice is not healthy since juice lacks protein, which could make it difficult to maintain muscle mass. Cleanses also could put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies since they lack fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.
Changing your eating habits can be intimidating, I know. It may even feel like you’re leaving everything you love behind. All the midnight snacks, takeouts, sweets… But, although it may seem like that at first, soon enough you realize that eating healthy will not only make you feel and look good but can also taste darn good! The key is finding a lifestyle you love (not one you dread) so that you stick to it.