Meal Prep 101

Meal prepping is a beautiful thing! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.

So let’s set you up for success.

Get Organized

For me, a crucial aspect of meal prepping is getting organized. This means before I step foot into the grocery store, I want to have all of my containers washed and ready to go.

I recommend using glass storage containers for food prepping and storage.  Glass containers last forever, are easy to clean and don’t contain harmful chemicals. Stay away from plastics! As well, look for a variety of sizes.

Also, make sure to invest in enough containers to last you all week.

You also want to make sure your containers are travel-friendly, so you don’t experience any spills along the way. 

Once you have your containers, it’s time to start the grocery list.

Make Your List

Checklist

I love making lists. This way, I don’t forget anything I need.  Lists also allow you to group like items together, so you’re not wasting time at the store going back and forth between aisles and departments. 

Before you can make your list, you need to know what you’re making.

How to find the recipes is really up to you. Some people like to peruse the internet and apps like Pinterest for tasty recipes throughout the week. Others enjoy looking through cookbooks while having their morning coffee.

While you’re likely to come across a ton of tasty sounding dishes, keep in mind too many recipes can also be overwhelming. To save time, and to go easy on your wallet, look for recipes with similar ingredients for the week.

If you’re new to cooking or meal prepping, there’s nothing wrong with starting with just a couple of recipes to prep for the week to get you going.

How Are You Prepping?

When it comes to how you meal prep, you have many options.

Types of meal prep include:

  • Full make-ahead meals: You cook an entire meal and store it in your fridge or freezer.
  • Batch cooking or freezing: Make multiple meals, then portion and store them. This approach is useful for recipes you can easily cook in large amounts (like big pots of soup, rice, or mashed sweet potatoes).
  • Meals for one: Prepare food and portion it in single-serving containers. (Usually enough to last a few days)
  • Ingredient prep: For people who like to cook and serve food all at once, just prep parts of recipes. Chop veggies, mix spices, or marinate meat in advance to save time when you’re ready to cook.

meal prepThe best part is you don’t have to choose just one option! 

While you’re prepping your lunches for the week, let’s say,  you know you’ll need chopped onions and carrots for at least one dinner. Prep everything at once and store the dinner ingredients separately. 

What a time-saver!

And Here Are Other Benefits To Meal Prepping

When done right, meal prep can save you money. Meal prepping allows you to save money by purchasing items in bulk and freezing for later use. Always stock up on staples like olive oil, spices, and condiments when they’re on sale. 

Meal prepping also helps you reduce waste. When you’re portioning out your servings for the week, you know exactly how much to make and how much you have. So, no more forgotten leftovers in the back of the fridge.

Finally, unlike processed meals, this method gives you total control over what goes into your food—perfect for anyone who wants to stay on track with their health goals.

Tips To Top It All Off

When you first start meal prepping, there are some mistakes I want to help you avoid.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many new or complex recipes with a long list of ingredients. It’s easy to get swept away with yummy and exotic-sounding new dishes—start simple, with recipes you already know how to make and know you like.

Make sure to plan meals that will help keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day. Look for recipes that offer you the right balance of your macros and micros.

Lastly, when planning for your prepping, keep your schedule in mind. You’ll need to set aside time to shop and prepare your meals.  This might take some reorganizing but it’s worth it!

It just takes a little time and practice but soon you’ll be a happy meal prepper!

 

This Week On The Health Hub…The Goldilocks Of Stress With Trudy Stone

Trudy Stone is a certified culinary nutritionist, founder of Trudy Stone Nutrition, podcast host and TV guest wellness expert who educates people about nutrition and solutions for managing stress and anxiety. From healthy habits to brain health, Trudy is passionate about empowering people to build healthier habits and unlock the power of food to build a strong and vibrant brain and body. Trudy is also a brain health instructor for Clean Eating Magazine for the course Feed a Healthy Brain. The course explores the connection between diet, cognitive decline and mental health, helping people to realize the full potential of food to support a healthy brain, so people can thrive now and well into their later years. Trudy is also the creator of the R.I.S.E method, a step-by-step framework to help people to overcome stress, overwhelm and fatigue.
Learning point:
  • How we can use our stress in a positive way?
  • What are some key nutrients we can consume to alleviate stress?
  • What is the R.I.S.E 4 step method for transforming our stress into something more positive?

Social Media:
 

 

Listen live or catch the podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud!

Every Tuesday from 11am -12pm I host The Health Hub, an interactive, forward thinking talk show on Radio Maria Canada.   Call, tweet or email your questions as together we explore health issues that are relevant to you from new and innovative points of view.


TheHealthHub is now on iTunes!

Subscribe and don’t miss a single episode!


Follow us on Social Media

We are @thehealthhubrmc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook


How To Listen Live

Visit our website and learn how to listen live to our show each week. http://www.radiomaria.ca/how-to-listen

Let us know!


If you have a health topic that you would like us to discuss or are a health care specialist who wants to be a guest on our show let us know!

Here is our email.  We would love to hear from you! thh@radiomaria.ca

   

This Week On The Health Hub…Plant-Based Diets & Peak Athletic Performance With Dr. Andrew Chen

Andrew L. Chen, MD, MS, a native of Maryland, earned a Masters of Science in Biomatierals Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University and a doctorate in medicine at The John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.  He completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York where he also completed a fellowship in orthopaedic research at the Musculoskeletal Research Center in New York.  Following this, he completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Clinic in Vail, Colorado.  Dr. Chen practices at The Alpine Clinic in Franconia, New Hampshire, and is certified in Orthopaedic Surgery by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons, with subspecialty certification in Sports Medicine.  Dr. Chen is the Chief Medical Officer for United States Nordic Sport, a Team Physician for the United States Olympic Committee, and a Team Physician for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.  Dr. Chen is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine.  In addition to numerous published articles, book chapters, and books, Dr. Chen has presented research numerous international, national, and regional forums, and has been featured on WMUR’s New Hampshire Chronicle, several television interviews and presentations, and radio interviews nationwide. He has assisted in the care of several professional sports teams, and was a physician for Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Dr. Chen currently resides in New Hampshire with his wife, a specialist in Plant Based Nutrition, and his two teenage children.
Learning point:
    1. Can an elite athlete be a top performer on a plant-based diet?
    2. Is a plant-based diet suitable for all athletes?
    3. Why is there confusion about determining adequate protein levels?

 

Listen live or catch the podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud!

Every Tuesday from 11am -12pm I host The Health Hub, an interactive, forward thinking talk show on Radio Maria Canada.   Call, tweet or email your questions as together we explore health issues that are relevant to you from new and innovative points of view.


TheHealthHub is now on iTunes!

Subscribe and don’t miss a single episode!


Follow us on Social Media

We are @thehealthhubrmc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook


How To Listen Live

Visit our website and learn how to listen live to our show each week. http://www.radiomaria.ca/how-to-listen

Let us know!


If you have a health topic that you would like us to discuss or are a health care specialist who wants to be a guest on our show let us know!

Here is our email.  We would love to hear from you! thh@radiomaria.ca

   

Not Sleeping Well? Maybe You Need To Eat More!

Consider this: We sleep for about 1/3 of our life.  That, my friends, is a significant amount of time!

So, what happens when we sleep?

Have you ever thought about it?

Well I’m here to tell you that there is a world of action going on as we lay supine bridging one day to the next.

Brain Action

While we sleep our brain is working hard to process what we’ve learned during the day. Research also shows that sleep may promote the removal of waste products from brain cells.  Effectively this means that while we sleep our brains are detoxifying.brain

Detoxifying and Repairing

While we sleep our body is also hard at work detoxifying other areas of our body, as well as repairing it.

Our liver is at its peak detox stage between 1 and 3 am and our lungs around 4am.

And during sleep our body repairs cells, tissues and muscles. It synthesizes proteins and releases hormones.

Immune System

While we sleep our immune system is hard at work defending us.  It releases cytokines (proteins that fight inflammation and infection) as well as antibodies and immune cells that work to fight off harmful germs and infection.

So, as I am sure you can surmise, sleep is not a passive passage of time.  It’s an essential piece of our health puzzle.

Sleep Disruptors

There are many things to take a look at when you are trying to figure out why you may not be getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Poor sleep habits like not going to bed at a consistent time each night
  • Stress
  • Certain medications
  • External light
  • Room Temperaturesleep

And I am going to offer up one more.  A reason not often considered.

Are you consuming enough good quality food each and every day?  If not, this could be a contributing factor to poor sleep.

You need to provide your body with enough of the essential nutrients that it requires to have the energy it needs to perform all of those tasks that I mentioned above.  It’s vital for a restful sleep.

Our activity level, metabolism, body weight and how much we sleep each night are key factors in determining how many calories we burn while we sleep.

You can turn to calculators like https://captaincalculator.com/health/calorie/calories-burned-sleeping-calculator/ to help you determine more precisely how many calories you burn while sleeping but to put things into a bit of perspective here, a person weighing 150lbs may burn 400 calories during 8 hours of sleep while someone who is 185lbs may in the area of 500 calories.

It’s significant isn’t it?

I’m seeing this issue pop up more and more, especially in people who are experimenting with some form of fasting.  Fasting can be a great tool if done properly.  But it is not for everyone and definitely should be discussed with a practitioner who has experience in this area.

So here is a parting tip for you if you are trying to improve your sleep.

Keep a daily food journal.  Record what and how much you eat every day.

What you learn from it may surprise you!

References

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-sleep-clears-brain

https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-we-sleep#restoration

https://www.healthline.com/health/calories-burned-sleeping

 

Rama Lama Lama Ka Dinga Da Dinga Dong

We go together
Like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong…

Are you a Grease fan?  Yes? No? Undecided? It really doesn’t matter because from here on in what I’m going to focus on has nothing to do with one of the all-time best movies EVER!  Except for one stolen line from a song.

And in this space what goes together are food sources that contains both prebiotics and probiotics.

Here is a simple equation that I want you to put into memory:

Prebiotic Food + Probiotic Food = Symbiotic Food

And here is why.  If you want to improve your gut health or maintain the good gut health you already have, there are two things you must do. Consume probiotic foods and consume prebiotics foods. And for the biggest bang for your buck consume them together.

Probiotic foods contain beneficial organisms that help our gut perform its duties.  They have amazing health benefits for us.

Examples of probiotic foods are sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, kefir, miso, natto, pure apple cider vinegar (with the mother in it) and true balsamic vinegar.

As a side note here, in order to deliver the beneficial organisms from fermented foods to the gut, as well as the enzymes these foods also contain, do not heated past a temperature of 118 degrees F (48 C).

Prebiotics are types of fibre like inulin, resistant starch, GOS and FOS that help feed our good bacteria. Prebiotics also enhance the absorption of calcium and magnesium and are involved in appetite regulation as well as lipid metabolism.

Examples of prebiotic foods are Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, garlic, onions, beans, lentil, citrus fruits, pears, apples, bananas, berries, almonds broccoli which contains soluble fibres like inulin and FOS.

Resistant starch (starch that escapes from digestion in the small intestine) is found in foods like legumes, potatoes, wheat, corn, rye, barley, rice, spelt, kamut, and other grains.

GOS is found in dairy products.

We have two types of bacteria strains in our gut: residential and transient.

Residential bacteria strains are the bacteria that live in our gut naturally and we must re-populate them to stay healthy. We need prebiotics to help us feed and increase our residential bacteria.

Transient strains of bacteria pass through us (usually within 3 days) but while they are there, they help the gut do its work and keep us healthy. Probiotic foods contain transient bacteria.

Knowing this, it’s easy to understand why consuming both prebiotic and probiotic foods on a regular basis is essential.  It nourishes our gut microbiome and helps to establish new colonies of microorganisms.

Symbiotic Eating

Back to this equation:

Prebiotic Food + Probiotic Food = Symbiotic Food

Symbiotic food combines the characteristics of probiotic food and prebiotic food.  Specific foods that are symbiotic are tofu, sauerkraut and tempeh.

Eating symbiotically by combining foods can be as simple as mixing banana slices into your yogurt or serving sauerkraut with a meal that contains garlic and onions.

Research is continuing to discover how fascinating these substances in food are and how together, with our good bacteria, they are involved in a complex relationship to help us be healthy.


References:

“The benefits of symbiotic foods” SHA Wellness Clinic

Inulin-Type Fructans: Functional Food Ingredients1,2 Marcel B. Roberfroid, 2007 American Society for Nutrition

Health effects of probiotics and prebiotics A literature review on human studies, Henrik Andersson, Nils-Georg Asp, Åke Bruce, Stefan Roos, Torkel Wadström, Agnes E. Wold, Food and Nutrition Research, Vol 45, 2001

Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics: approaches for modulating the microbial ecology of the gut 1,2M David Collins and Glenn R Gibson, 1999 American Society for Clinical Nutrition

Lowbush Wild Blueberries have the Potential to Modify Gut Microbiota and Xenobiotic Metabolism in the Rat Colon

Alison Lacombe,Robert W. Li,Dorothy Klimis-Zacas,Aleksandra S. Kristo, Shravani Tadepalli,Emily Krauss, Ryan Young,Vivian C. H. Wu mail Published: June 28, 2013 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.006749

A Systematic Screening of Total Antioxidants in Dietary Plants1, Bente L. Halvorsen et al, Institute for Nutrition Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo; Akershus University College, Bekkestua, Norway; †Agricultural University of Norway, Ås, Norway; and the Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

Current knowledge of the health benefits and disadvantages of wine consumption, John F. Tomera, Trends in Food Science & Technology – TRENDS FOOD SCI TECHNOL 01/1999; 10(4):129-138. DOI: 10.1016/S0924-2244(99)00035-7