The Hidden Problems With Healthy Eating

In our fast-moving lives, nutritious eating often falls to the end of the to-do lists that make up our lives. We have to make time for workouts, shopping for healthy foods, and cooking nutritious meals on top of everything else that vies for our time.

In an effort to meet today’s demands, we are finding more “convenience” type markets moving to deliver quickly accessible foods with premium ingredients for consumers on the move.

We have also seen a large growth in meal-delivery services and subscriptions that deliver nutritious meal options right to our door.

Fast food establishments have also stepped up to the plate, increasing their healthy options and adding fresh juices as an option in the place of sugar filled sodas.

The negatives of on-the-go nutrition

As we seek out the convenient healthy meals that our busy lifestyles call for, we never stop to think of the waste associated with the pre-packaged foods we are consuming. Our only goal being to eat healthy and do it quickly. Even those mailed meal services and subscriptions are wrapped in unrecyclable film and plastic containers. Cardboard is recyclable, but the other contents will find their way into landfills or water-ways, poisoning our ecosystems and, ultimately, our planet.

Recyclable packaging.

Seek out brands that not only cater to your nutritional needs, but also commit to a healthy environment by using recyclable packaging.

Fast food doesn’t have to mean drive thru.

Taking time to sit down for lunch can be peaceful as well as environmentally friendly!

Prepare meals at home in advance.

Don’t have time to shop? Many grocers now allow online ordering and pickup. Purchase healthy foods and prepare your lunches in advance for the week.

Make a mental shift towards healthy eating not only for yourself but for the planet as well. Reduce waste and support the environment while eating healthy and taking care of yourself.

Can Sugar-Free Foods Cause Diabetes?

When artificial sweeteners came on the scene at the turn of the century, they were hailed as a weight loss miracle. All of the sweetness of regular sugar with none of the calories? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well as we’re learning now, it was. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to all kinds of health problems, from headaches and tummy issues to potentially life-threatening diseases like diabetes.

We know what you’re thinking: how can the alternative to sugar be bad for or be a contributing factor to developing diabetes? It turns out that artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin, or aspartame can encourage growth of some unsavory bacteria in your gut, so you develop a glucose intolerance. This can lead to type 2 diabetes (the one you don’t develop as a child) and other metabolic illnesses. In a study reported by Rodale News, scientists found that when they killed off most or all of that bacteria, the diseases virtually disappeared from their test subjects, which were mice.

Some studies have also learned that consuming a lot of artificial sweeteners can make the body retain more fat, especially in people who already have weight problems. What was once considered an excellent tool in losing weight actually has the opposite effect, so what’s a person to do? The current fad is a return to more natural, whole grain and fat foods. Sugar, like most things, is okay in moderation, and a balanced diet is a healthy one (just like your mama always said)!

Up Your Mixology Game Today!

Ice cold beverages on a hot day are the absolute best. Watered down beverages caused by ice melting on a hot day are not. Hipster coffee bars have figured out the solution to this of course: freeze some coffee (or iced tea) overnight, and use those cubes to keep your beverage cold! Of course, they charge extra for this, because of course they do, but you can do the same at home! Simply make an extra pot of coffee one day, let it cool to room temperature, and pour it into your molds to freeze!

This is all basic stuff, right? Well, you can use the same concept to be the absolute most impressive host in history. Everyone enjoys a fancy cocktail (or mocktail), and you can always up your drink-mixing game by preparing ice cubes that fit with the drink you’re mixing that day. If you’re making whiskey sours, make ice cubes with lemon and simple syrup (or even just lemonade) and add a marachino cherry in the center of each one with the stem poking out! They’ll be easy to left and once they melt the drinker will have a sweet surprise! You can do the same with edible flowers or herbs like violets, mint, or basil, and as they melt into the drink it will become more (not less!) flavorful!

Also, while liquor doesn’t freeze in a normal freezer, beer and wine do just fine, so go ahead and make oranges and Belgian lager cubes or white wine and raspberry ones! You could even make sangria ice cubes and fill a pitcher ahead of time so it seems like it is constantly refreshing itself while staying ice cold! Go crazy, and don’t forget to show off your mixology skills with pics in the comments!

20 Minutes to Delicious Chili

Guys, it may not feel like it yet, but autumn is coming up soon, and that means all of our favorite autumn things, like cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes and hearty, warming homemade chili. But who has time to watch chili stewing all day long on a stove (even though that’s how you get the best flavors)? Nobody we know, that’s for sure. That’s okay, because we have a workaround that can get you from empty pot to full belly in just twenty minutes, and it’s delicious to boot!

Homemade Organic Vegetarian Chili with Beans and Cheese

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so versatile. Start with all your favorite chili ingredients, which should include onion, garlic, stewed tomatoes (from a can, to save time), and beans of any kind, but can also include things like ground beef, cilantro, and literally any vegetable. We like sweet potatoes and carrots, to add that depth of sweet flavor to a dish that is usually spicy. Sautee your chopped onion and garlic in the bottom of the pot for a couple of minutes until soft (and throw in any hard veggies too, like carrots, so they have time to soften as well). Add your ground beef, if you’re having meet, and cook through.

Next, add the beans and stewed tomatoes – juice and all – and mix thoroughly. Now we’re going to add a custom spice blend (don’t worry, you could always buy one)! This can be anything you like as long as it’s around the Mexican/Southwestern flavor group. Cumin will add depth, smoked paprika will make it taste like it was cooked over an open fire, and cayenne pepper will spice it up. Others we like include Mexican oregano, onion and garlic powders, and a very small pinch of cinnamon (trust us!). Let your chili bubble for 5-10 minutes and you’re all set to top with cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro… whatever you’d like! Enjoy!

Banana Splits Are Back… For Breakfast!

Who doesn’t love banana splits? They’re fruity, they’re gooey, they have delicious smooth ice cream paired with the crunch of nuts and the thick sweetness of the banana… YUM. They also have a lot of calories and other adults seem to frown on you having them for breakfast, even though you’re totally an adult yourself and you can make your own decisions and eat whatever you want!

However, if you want to enjoy this sweet treat for breakfast and want to maybe be more grown up about how you eat it, we have some options for you that are still yummy and sweet but have less fat and sugar than, well… ice cream. First, we go with yogurt. Greek yogurt is best; while it’s a little sour, it has so much protein in it and is so creamy that it has the texture of real ice cream! Next, you definitely need lots of fruit (hello, bananas are in the name!), but you can totally go crazy on this one. Remember that the more fruit you use, the better it will taste, so try some fun combos like kiwi and mangos or mixed berries to liven it up!

If you’re dead set on dessert for breakfast, you can definitely add chocolate syrup or chocolate chips, but try to balance it with things that have sweetness and protein, like peanut butter or coconut. Honey is a good alternative to syrups, and granola is an excellent substitute for chopped nuts. Assemble at will and watch your coworkers gasp with envy as you enjoy a banana split for breakfast (just like 10 year old you always dreamed you would)!