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8 meal prep resources that will make weekly cooking a breeze

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The world of food preparation can seem like an uncomfortable tornado of portioning, instant pots and unseasoned chicken breasts. However, it doesn’t have to be with good resources – you just need to know which experts to trust.

First, preparing meals doesn’t necessarily mean cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a full week on a Sunday evening. There are plenty of smaller things you can do on Sunday to make your daily food search a little easier, even if you’re not making two types of soup, a kind of delicious mix of trails, and a whole chicken.

Here are six reliable resources to get you started on your food preparation journey. And remember, there is no such thing as a “diet” in food preparation. Prepare what the hell you want.

Budget Bytes is a food preparation lover’s paradise. The dedicated meal preparation section on the website has a useful guide for beginners. The recipes are organized by type (beef, chicken, vegetarian, breakfast and no reheat) to make it easy to find your ideal meal. Each recipe is also priced by batch and serving price, so you know exactly where your money is going – and how much you’re saving every time you open a Tupperware instead of ordering to take away. This website is also where you acquire some real cooking skills that will only serve you more in the future.

If you’re new to meal preparation and just want a full overview to get you started, turn to this extremely straightforward blog post from the Cleveland Clinic. It walks you through every step you should take to get started, from choosing storage containers to planning prep time to choosing recipes.

No, this is not the linchpin for meal preparation. However, if you are unsure of what meal preparation means, or want to make sure you are doing it in a healthy way, this is a good place to start.

An important part of preparing food is not to get poisoned. Fortunately, food storage guidelines help here. Refer to this extremely detailed (how it differentiates between commercial and homemade eggnog) food safety chart when you want to a) figure out how to keep a dish, or b) decide if the chickpea stew you kept in the refrigerator longer than expected is actually okay to eat.

Like any niche subreddit, this place is pretty intense, but it’s the best source for realistic meal preparation inspiration. Every day people post pictures of prepared meals, recipes in progress, and advice for people just starting out. Not every submission is Instagram-ready, and that’s a good thing. It’s useful to see what people are actually doing out there, whether it’s visually appealing grain bowls or frozen BBQ wraps with a mozzarella stick. Hey, food inspiration comes in all shapes – even if a disproportionate number of those shapes are grilled chicken.

You will also see users packing up everything that can help improve their own food storage game.

Are you looking for the best advice on how to prepare vegan meals? You can find some of these in all of the sources listed above. But the best vegan meal preparation content I’ve found was on Jenné Claiborne’s SweetPotatoSoul YouTube channel. (If you’re a vegan, you are probably already familiar with it.) There are at least two dedicated meal preparation videos, a comprehensive beginner’s guide, and tons of other vegan recipes.

Preparing meals can be a great tool for people trying to get a more balanced diet. Each person’s nutritional needs are unique, but there are some basic guidelines that everyone should be aware of. This is where nutritional guidelines come in handy.

The Harvard School of Public Health has a helpful guide to healthy eating plates that explains exactly how much of your plate to use on each type of food in order to build a balanced diet. TL; DR: Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, a quarter of your plate should be protein, a quarter should be whole grains, and healthy fats should be eaten in moderation. Some frequently asked questions about portion control and a healthier diet are answered next to the interactive plate guide and in the following video.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has a full nutrition-based meal planning resource center that includes seasonal recipes, portion size advice, and more.

When you become involved in meal preparation, you want to stay organized as much as possible. An app to optimize your shopping list can help. There is AnyList that makes it easy for you to create, share, and organize your grocery shopping lists and recipes. Another option is Mealime, which is primarily designed for meal preparation. The app lets you plan your week’s meals in advance and create a shopping list for you (or your family) after you’ve completed your meal plan.

If you’re not a fan of these apps, there are a number of other grocery shopping and meal preparation apps out there – one of which will suit your needs.

8. Pyrex food storage containers

Part of preparing food is storing the meals you have prepared. If you are interested in meal preparation, it makes sense to invest in good food storage containers so that your food stays fresher for longer.

This 18-piece kit of Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Stackable Food Storage Containers was Wirecutter’s # 1 pick for Best Food Storage Containers in 2021 for good reason. The $ 34 kit includes a variety of containers of various shapes and sizes as well as different colored lids, which make the organization of the stored food even easier. The glass containers are oven safe, and the thought of eating your prepared meal out of a Pyrex container instead of a plastic container just feels classier, doesn’t it?

Whole Grains Health

Micronutrients are essential for you; here’s why

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Nutrients and supplements are the most underrated terms when it comes to healthy eating. In the age of Instagram where it’s common to flaunt everything you eat and switch between the latest diet fashion trends, we tend to ignore the true science of nutrition. “There is an endless pool of content on the Internet on this subject. However, it is also the main reason behind the various myths and misconceptions that people fall prey to. Food with high cholesterol is unhealthy, only people with high blood pressure should limit their sodium intake, dietary supplements are a waste of money; These are just some of the misleading statements that need to be corrected, ”said Dr. Manoj Chadha, Consulting Endocrinologist in Mumbai.

One area of ​​nutrition that has suddenly caught interest and is relatively ambiguous for most people is the role of micronutrients in our overall immune response and wellbeing. As the pandemic emphasizes the need to build a strong immune system more than ever, it is important to really understand the types of micronutrients that are readily available and how they affect the body. For a long time the focus was on vitamins A, C and D. However, the order of importance for preserving these micronutrients remains Z, A, C, D – zinc, vitamins A, C and D.

zinc

“Before the pandemic, zinc was one of the most underrated micronutrients. Doctors stuck to prescribing the usual vitamins A, C, and D, and people were happy to put cod liver oil and oranges in the cart while supposedly soaking up all of the vitamin D from the sun! However, there is enough evidence now to suggest that zinc is also a critical element in building immunity. It is an important part of antiviral drugs and antibiotics. It is also known to act as a preventive and therapeutic agency by complementing prescribed treatment for Covid-19. It is possible that zinc deficiency may be a potential additional factor that predisposes people to infection and the harmful progression of Covid-19, ”she told indianexpress.com.

While natural foods such as legumes, nuts, dairy products, eggs, meat, and whole grains are accessible sources of zinc, it is also advisable to ensure that your body is getting the necessary amounts with the help of additional dietary supplements.

Vitamins A, C and D

The sun is the greatest source of vitamin D. (Source: Getty Images / Thinkstock)

According to a study by the International Journal of Research and Orthopedics, of 4,624 people surveyed in the country, almost 77 percent were vitamin D deficient. Most people are known to have one or more of these deficiencies, some of which are so severe that they cannot be detected in the system. So our bodies clearly need more amounts of these micronutrients and the natural sources are unable to meet these needs. Let’s start by briefly understanding why vitamins A, C, and D should be included in our considerations.

Vitamin A plays an important role in the regulation of innate immunity and its deficiency can lead to an increased susceptibility to various pathogens in the eye, in the respiratory tract and in the gastrointestinal tract. Clinical studies have shown that vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, can reduce susceptibility to viral respiratory infections and pneumonia. The lack of vitamin D, found in tiny amounts in foods like dairy products, grains, and oily fish, has been linked to a higher incidence of acute respiratory infections. Clear studies of the effects these micronutrients have on the body have shown that they can help in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

“In summary, it can be said that nutrition is a very broad term and requires more attention than ever. The micronutrients mentioned above are in no way exhaustive and are the only means of achieving good immunity. Understanding the role they play in our overall wellbeing and making sure we add them to our diet, however, is a good starting point for this journey to healthy living, ”concluded Dr. Chadha.

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Eating starchy snacks associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease: Study

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Consumption of Starchy Snacks at Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Study | Photo credit: Pixabay

Washington: Can Starchy Snacks Harm Heart Health? A new study suggests they could! The new study found that eating starchy snacks high in white potatoes or other starches after a meal was linked to at least a 50 percent increased risk of death and a 44 to 57 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death. Conversely, eating fruits, vegetables, or dairy products with certain meals is associated with a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other causes. The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“People are increasingly concerned about what they eat and when they eat,” said Ying Li, PhD, lead study author and professor in the Nutrition and Food Hygiene Department at Harbin Medical University School of Public Health in Harbin, China.

“Our team tried to better understand the effects of different foods when consumed with certain meals,” added Li.

Li and colleagues analyzed the results of 21,503 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 to 2014 in the United States to assess eating patterns at all meals. In the study population, 51 percent of the participants were women and all participants were 30 years or older at the start of the study. To determine patient outcomes, researchers used the National Death Index from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to record participants who died of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other causes by December 31, 2015. The researchers categorized the participants’ eating patterns by analyzing what types of foods they ate with different meals. For main meals, three main morning meal nutritional patterns were identified: western breakfast, starchy breakfast and fruit breakfast.

Western lunch, vegetable and fruit lunch have been identified as the most important eating patterns for lunch. Western dinner, vegetables and fruits have been identified as the main eating patterns for dinner. For snacks, grain snacks, starchy snacks, fruit snacks and milk snacks were identified as the main snack patterns between meals. In addition, participants who did not fit into certain eating patterns were analyzed as a reference group. The researchers found that the Western eating pattern was higher in fat and protein, which is similar to many North American meals.

The participants in the western lunch group consumed most of the servings of refined grains, solid fats, cheese, added sugars, and sausages. The participants in the fruit lunch group consumed most of the servings of whole grains, fruit, yogurt and nuts. The participants in the vegetable-based dinner group ate most of the servings of dark vegetables, red and orange vegetables, tomatoes, other vegetables, and legumes. Participants who consumed starchy snacks consumed most servings of white potatoes.

According to their findings:

  1. Eating a western lunch (which usually includes refined grains, cheese, charcuterie) was linked to a 44 percent increased risk of CVD deaths.
  2. Eating a fruit-based lunch was linked to a 34 percent reduced risk of CVD death.
  3. Eating a vegetable-based dinner was associated with a 23 percent and 31 percent reduction in CVD and overall mortality, respectively.
  4. Eating a high starch snack after a meal was associated with a 50-52 percent increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 44-57 percent increased risk of CVD-related mortality.

“Our results showed that the amount and time of ingestion of different types of foods are equally critical to maintaining optimal health,” said Li.

Li added, “Future dietary guidelines and intervention strategies could incorporate optimal consumption times for food throughout the day.”

One of the limitations of this study is that the nutritional data was provided by the participants themselves, which can lead to memory bias. And although the researchers checked for potential confounders, other unmeasured confounders cannot be ruled out.

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Tips on how to raise a healthy child on a vegan diet

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Parents often wonder if children are getting enough protein on a plant-based diet. This is understandable given the importance of protein to a growing child. If you have decided to start a vegan diet for a child, here are some things you should know.

How Much Protein is Enough?

The recommended intake for a healthy adult is 46 grams of protein per day for women and 56 grams for men. But the average adult in developed countries eats far more protein than they actually need. In fact, they are eating roughly double the recommended amount! It is therefore easy to get enough protein simply by consuming a variety of plant-based foods, including beans, legumes, nuts, broccoli, and whole grains.

Vegetable proteins

Did you know that plant-based foods contain more vitamins and minerals, contain fiber, and contain far less sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol than their meat and milk-based counterparts? They also don’t contain antibiotics and other scary medicines commonly found in meat and dairy products. Here are a few other herbal facts:

  • Soy protein provides the same protein quality as meat and contains all of the essential amino acids.
  • Non-heme iron is found in a wide variety of plant foods, including leafy vegetables, beans and grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Omega-3, which is also a common problem, can be easily replicated in a plant-based diet of flaxseed, hempseed, and chia seeds, to name a few.

The benefits of the plant-based diet

With increasing awareness of the benefits of the plant-based diet, there is now a wider variety of kid-friendly plant-based meals on the market. It’s so much easier these days to replicate foods that kids eat and enjoy in plant-based versions these days.

The challenges of vegan parenting

Being a parent has its challenges. But raising vegan kids in a non-vegan world is really tough.

Here are a few ideas to help you out.

  • Remember, your child is not you. It is up to you to teach them the values ​​that you have as a family unit. You are there to guide and inspire them. If, as you get older, they make different decisions than you do, don’t take it personally or as a sign that you have failed.
  • Keep meals exciting. Get creative in the kitchen with your kids. Try to make food art with the vegetables. Think Rainbow Wraps, Noughts and Crosses (winner eats everything) and become a master of disguise (hide the vegetables they don’t normally eat).
  • Talk about the food you prepared. Educate your children about the health benefits. Raising yourself and your children will benefit you all greatly. Discuss how you prepared the food and where it came from (e.g. if it is grown by yourself, from a nearby farm). Talking about where animal products came from can also help the rest of the family understand your point of view. Keep emotions out of these discussions – be open, honest, and logical.
  • Realize that everyone is on their own path. You cannot impose your own feelings on others. Listen to their point of view, be kind, and give your own thoughts in a non-confrontational way. Plant seeds. Do not judge. Be compassionate.
  • Be prepared for events. School events, fundraisers, get-togethers, and children’s parties usually involve animal products. Pack some options for your kids.
  • Connect with animals. Go to a farm together and spend time with the rescued animals. Make sure your kids have a real connection with animals.
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