Lemons & Limes: These sour citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and vitamin P otherwise called citrus bioflavonoids.  Studies have shown that vitamin P enhances the anti-oxidant capability of vitamin C. These bioflavonoids also improve capillary permeability and overall blood flow. This is especially important for oxygenating tissues and maintaining normal blood pressure. These anti-oxidants have also been shown to reduce swelling, venous backup and edema (1).

To see how well the principles embodied in the Healthy Eating Pyramid stacked up against the government’s advice, Harvard School of Public Health researchers created an Alternate Healthy Eating Index with a scoring system similar to the USDA’s index. They then compared the two indexes, using information about daily diets collected from more than 100,000 female nurses and male health professionals taking part in two long-term studies.
The idea of this meal plan is for you to focus on enjoying your food and having meals prepped for you that you know are well-balanced so you don’t have to worry about counting calories. I find calorie counting to be tedious and I get overly obsessive so I like to choose meals that are naturally healthy and nutritious to add into my meal preps like the recipes I’ve chosen for you today.

It's trendy to think "food should be fuel" or that food is something that helps you lose (or, ahem, gain) weight. But thinking only in terms of number on the scale takes away a huge part of what eating is about: pleasure. "If you think of eating as something enjoyable and something you do without guilt or without judging yourself, and you stay active, you're less likely to overeat, have a better diet, and maintain any weight loss for the long haul," says Zied. It's true: feeling guilty about your food choices can undermine weight loss—and even pack on the pounds—while a celebratory mindset gives you more control over your diet and can thwart weight gain, found a 2014 study in the journal Appetite.
Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants that may benefit human health. For example, carotenoids found in red, orange, yellow, and green plants (cooked tomatoes, carrots, squash, and broccoli) may inhibit cancer growth and cardiovascular disease, and boost the immune system. Flavonoids found in berries, apples, citrus, onions, soybeans, and coffee may fight inflammation and tumor growth. One can get a wide variety of phytochemicals by simply eating a varied diet that includes five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. (Locked) More »
For many people, food is a chore, a challenge, even a source of dread, as they try to overcome poor eating habits. But eating should be a joy and a centerpiece of family life. Many cultures around the world emphasize the enjoyment of food, which includes cooking and eating with others, as an integral component of good health. The latest Dietary Guidelines say that eating healthfully involves “enjoying food and celebrating cultural and personal traditions through food.” According to some research, shared mealtimes, especially during childhood, may help protect against nutrition-related health problems as well as increase prosocial behavior in adulthood.

Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. You’ll eat fewer calories and avoid the chemical additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
The easiest way to make sure your inter-meal nibbling stays on track is to have healthy snacks on hand for when hunger strikes. You can keep these nonperishable goodies in your desk drawers, or these energy-boosting nibbles in your gym bag. Simply keeping a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter will bring your snacking to the next healthy level.
Parsley: Parsley is super rich in chlorophyll and also contains about three times the amount of vitamin C by volume as an orange.  Vitamin C is extremely important for healthy immune function and youthful skin & joints.  Additionally, it contains carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which enhance eye function and help the body neutralize damage from UV radiation (14).
For many people, food is a chore, a challenge, even a source of dread, as they try to overcome poor eating habits. But eating should be a joy and a centerpiece of family life. Many cultures around the world emphasize the enjoyment of food, which includes cooking and eating with others, as an integral component of good health. The latest Dietary Guidelines say that eating healthfully involves “enjoying food and celebrating cultural and personal traditions through food.” According to some research, shared mealtimes, especially during childhood, may help protect against nutrition-related health problems as well as increase prosocial behavior in adulthood. 

The important differences involve calories and fiber. One of the myths of juicing is that when pulp is removed, there goes all the fiber. The truth is some fiber is lost, but not all. Much soluble fiber remains in fresh juice while most insoluble fiber is removed. The pulp is additional calories so juice is preferred for weight loss. But those with digestive issues will find more help in the fiber-rich smoothie. Also, one of the most powerful cholesterol-lowering compounds is insoluble fiber so a smoothie would be our choice for lowering cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber is the left-over pulp after juicing. Only a small amount of this makes it to your juice. If you were to mix insoluble fiber in a glass of water, it would sink to the bottom, absorb the water and puff up. If you imagine that moving through your body, you can picture what it does for you. It's beneficial to help get things 'moving' and prevents constipation.

Most “normal” juices also often lack any healthy fats, another key macronutrient for sustained energy, hormone precursors, cell membranes and both gut and joint integrity. Fat is what allows your body to transport vitamins A, D, E and K – all key fat-soluble vitamins necessary for cell membrane formation, steroid and hormone building, bone health and nervous system activity. These same fat soluble vitamins also assist with key metabolic functions, including the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate.


Fat also provides you with concentrated, steady, slow-release forms of energy (1 gram of fat equates to 9 calories of energy, which is double that of carbohydrates or proteins). In addition, many essential fatty acids – such as omega 3 fatty acids – have to be consumed within our diet, since they are not naturally produced by our bodies. So a diet lacking in healthy fats leads to decreased mental clarity, unsustainable energy and decreased formation of steroids, hormones and healthy cell membranes, all things that are absolutely imperative for an athlete’s success or for you to get the most out of your workout.
Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, health and food coach, professional photographer, and mommy of three. 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. Read More…
It’s well-established that increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables is good for you. A review of studies has shown that eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day can decrease the risk of stroke by 26%, as well as reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. One study done in King County suggests that the antioxidants in fruit and vegetable juices may play an important role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Meal prep is one of the best ways to ensure you’re eating healthy all day long and prevent the vicious cycle of skipping meals during the day and binging on unhealthy foods once you’re finally home in the evening, one of the problems many people who are struggling with losing weight are facing with every day.  Plus, it’s so much easier to grab and eat food you’ve already prepared than to struggle with also cooking and/or prepping it when you’re hungry.
Now don’t get me wrong – that’s great – and it’s always amazing to see people becoming healthier, but there are some significant problems with the normal style of juicing – problems that especially athletes need to be extremely wary of. While juicing can be healthy and you probably know how nutrient-dense vegetables can be, there are two big juicing problems that you must be warned about: “obesity traps”and “performance drains”.
For a 2,000-calorie daily diet, aim for 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day. If you consume more calories, aim for more produce; if you consume fewer calories, you can eat less. Include green, orange, red, blue/purple, and yellow vegetables and fruits. In addition to the fiber, the nutrients and phytochemicals in these foods may help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases. Legumes, rich in fiber, can count as vegetables (though they have more calories than most vegetables). For more fiber, choose whole fruits over juice.
Spinach: Spinach is a powerful source of chlorophyll and glycoclycerolipids that protect the digestive tract from inflammatory damage.  These glycoclycerolipids are the main fatty acids that makeup the cell membranes of light-sensitive organs in chlorophyll containing plants.  They have powerful immune boosting and anti-cancer effects (8). Additionally, spinach is an important source of copper, zinc and selenium which boost immunity.
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.

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).
You need WAY MORE vegetables and WAY LESS fruit in there, and definitely include the chia/coconut oil for fat and aminos for protein. As you juice fruit, you’ve strip away the fiber and concentrate the sugars from many, many servings of fruit into a single serving of juice. This makes your blood fructose levels spike quite intensely and quickly. So definitely get more vegetables in there – Spinach, kale etc 

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.
In order to help you jump on the meal prep train, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite tips that will help you get started and a full 7 days meal prep for weight loss.  This 7 day meal prep for weight loss includes 4 easy meal prep meals per day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack to munch on in between and totals to 1500 calories per day.

But Drew takes things to a whole new level. He is a well-known authority on the subject of juicing and the amount of energy this man has on a daily basis is astounding. He’s also managed to get himself to under 7% body fat (he used to be over 20%), massively improve his workout performance, and achieved this all through his strategic inclusion of vegetable juicing in his diet. In this article, Drew shares with us the two biggest juicing mistakes that athletes make, and three ways to juice the right way.
The chlorophyll content of a food is a major indicator of the health attributes of any given plant based food.  Chlorophyll rich foods have a very deep green and are extraordinarily useful in building new blood cells and purifying the body from cancer and radiation. Chlorophyll also assists in wound healing, intestinal regularity, detoxification, and deodorization of the body (6, 7).
It's easy to get sucked into the lure of the restaurant menu when you're hungry and everything looks good. You don't have to order the plain grilled chicken breast with steamed veggies—that would be boring. Order what you'd like, but balance the meal out with the rest of the day, says Zied. If you know you're going out for a steak and potatoes dinner, go easy on the meat and starch at lunch. Make sure you're also fitting in healthy fare like whole grains, fruit, veggies, and nuts and seeds in the other meals and snacks that day. That way a hunk of steak won't derail your diet and you'll leave happy.

The nutrients in the foods you eat support the activities of day-to-day living, protect your cells from environmental damage and repair any cellular damage that might occur. Protein rebuilds injured tissue and promotes a healthy immune system. Both carbohydrates and fats fuel your body, while vitamins and minerals function throughout your body in support of your body’s processes. Vitamins A, C and E, for example, act as antioxidants to protect your cells against toxins, and B vitamins help you extract energy from the foods you eat. Calcium and phosphorus keep your bones strong, while sodium and potassium help to transmit nerve signals. Without a healthy diet, you might compromise any of these essential functions.


We eat out way too much because often making meals at home becomes overwhelming with my wife and I’s busy work schedules. This post was very helpful in providing some nice suggtions for making preparing meals more feasible. I appreciated the ones you selected had portioning taken into consideration too. We have to work on portioning as well as healthier ingredients when it comes to what our family is eating. Very nice article…thank you!
The important differences involve calories and fiber. One of the myths of juicing is that when pulp is removed, there goes all the fiber. The truth is some fiber is lost, but not all. Much soluble fiber remains in fresh juice while most insoluble fiber is removed. The pulp is additional calories so juice is preferred for weight loss. But those with digestive issues will find more help in the fiber-rich smoothie. Also, one of the most powerful cholesterol-lowering compounds is insoluble fiber so a smoothie would be our choice for lowering cholesterol.
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