Meal Prepping Made Easy: Tips and Tricks

Although you may be in retirement, that fact doesn’t mean that you’re entirely free to cook each night of the week. You may still have a busy schedule that requires your full attention. Cooking for dinner just isn’t in the cards. As a simple solution, consider meal prepping. In basic terms, you cook all of your meals for the whole week in one session. This process may appear daunting so take a look at these meal-prep tips that will simplify the challenge.

Shop One Day Ahead of Prep

A proper, meal-preparation process will take about two to three hours. The cooking process should be your main goal of the day, which makes it ideal to have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already. Go grocery shopping the day before your prep. A comprehensive list of every necessary ingredient is critical to have on hand as you cross off your purchases. On the next day, you’ll have everything ready to go in the kitchen.

Try Overlapped Ingredients

It’s difficult to prepare a dozen different foods in one sitting. Consider an overlap of certain foods, such as rice. Prepare steamed rice to go with a chicken entree, but then save a little bit of the rice for a fried, vegetable combination later on in the week. By using one ingredient at least two different ways, you have an easier prep than before.

Divide Out by Portions

If you freeze a huge container of soup, you’ll spend most of the week trying to defrost it. Divide out your meal portions by bagging the food or freezing them in small containers. Pull out the portions that you need in the morning, and you’ll have a meal ready for the microwave in the evening. This portioning strategy also works with salads and other side items.

Invest in Multiple Storage Containers

You will need several storage containers in various sizes. Pick durable types that clean up easily, from plastic to glass. Ideally, they should also be stackable. Clear containers are always the best choice so that you can see into the container. Opaque or colored containers will force you to label them, which takes time out of your prep session.

Chop Everything

If you don’t cut up all of the fruits and vegetables that you need during the week, you probably won’t eat them at all. With the exception of apples or bananas, chop up your produce and divide it out into small containers. Grab a fruit or veggie serving with ease when they’re already chopped up. This prep tip keeps you on track with your health.

If you’re cooking for you and your partner, think about buying your food in bulk. Warehouse stores offer deep discounts on basic items, such as rice, when you buy it in bulk. Properly store the food so that it can be used each week. You’ll notice the grocery bill dropping downward in no time.

The Value of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important nutrient that your body requires on a daily basis. This nutrient is in several beverages or foods that include:

• Bell peppers
• Brussels sprouts
• Kale
• Broccoli
• Potatoes
• Orange juice
• Grapefruits
• Cauliflower
• Peas
• Tomatoes
• Raspberries
• Cabbage
• Tangerines
• Papaya

Dietitians recommend eating several servings of fruits and vegetables each day at meals or snacks to get enough vitamin C to remain healthy.

Value of Vitamin C 1: Preventing Scurvy

In the past, scurvy was a common health condition for anyone living in a region where it was impossible to find fresh vegetables and fruits. Scurvy will lead to bleeding from the mucous membranes, tender gum tissue and brown spots on the skin. Additional symptoms from scurvy include chronic fatigue, loss of teeth, mental depression and poor immunity levels. Without any vitamin C, an individual will develop scurvy within one to six months.

Value of Vitamin C 2: Maintaining Bones

Without vitamin C, your bones cannot develop properly, leading to brittle bones that may not grow correctly. In order to have strong bones, you need a lot of collagen, and to have collagen, you must consume foods or supplements that contain vitamin C. Collagen is a protein that is in your body’s bones to improve its structural components.

Value of Vitamin C 3: Strengthening Your Blood Vessels

When you have enough collagen in your body, you will have stronger blood vessels. Your blood vessels are created from an assortment of fibers, including collagen. After an injury such as a severe laceration, ingesting foods that contain vitamin C can help your body’s damaged blood vessels heal faster.

Value of Vitamin C 4: Maintaining Your Brain

Scientists believe that vitamin C can also maintain the functions of your brain to help prevent dementia conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Studies revealed that when you eat a diet that contains vitamin C rich beverages and foods, you will reduce your chances of developing dementia by 20 to 25 percent.

Value of Vitamin C 5: Avoiding Strokes

Strokes are common in older adults, but by ingesting enough vitamin C, you are keeping your arteries and blood vessels in better condition. With stronger blood vessels and artery walls, there is less chance of a rupture that can lead to bleeding inside the body and brain.

Value of Vitamin C 6: Preventing Anemia

Anemia is caused by lack of iron, and it can lead to feeling fatigued or dizzy. By consuming enough vitamin C, you are enhancing the absorption of iron from foods such as red meat or spinach. To absorb more iron from foods, experts recommend ingesting vitamin C rich beverages and foods at the same time. You can do this by drinking orange juice when you eat bacon at breakfast or by cooking recipes such as a stir-fry made from broccoli and beef.

How Stuffed Peppers Boost Metabolism

Your metabolism is a rhythm hidden within your tissues that burns calories at a certain rate. Every person has a slightly different metabolism that contributes to your overall shape. Boosting your metabolism through eating certain foods will keep you lean through retirement. One particular recipe, the stuffed pepper, is known to boost your metabolism for certain reasons. Learn about this superfood recipe that can get your health back on track.

Heat Packs a Punch

When you pick a pepper to stuff, it’s normally a large one. These peppers, such as bell peppers, don’t have the heat that boosts your metabolism. Consider a pepper that’s smaller, including the poblano, that has some heat to it. Ideally, sprinkle chili powder onto your stuffed pepper to really get a kick. When you eat spicy foods, your body reacts by trying to cool itself down. The spices actually kick your metabolism into gear so that you burn more calories as you sit or perform everyday activities. For even more heat, add sliced serranos or jalapenos into your stuffed pepper. The heat will rise as quickly as your metabolism.

High-Fiber Ingredients

Fiber comes from certain grains and vegetables so add both of these to your stuffed-pepper recipe. Barley is a high-fiber item that mixes well into the recipe. Swap the rice out for the barley while adding spinach and other diced vegetables into the mixture. Fiber takes time to digest, which leads to feeling fuller for a longer time period than without these foods. Because the body must work hard to digest the fiber, your metabolism naturally gains momentum. Beans, carrots and broccoli are other foods that are perfect for your pepper mixture too.

The Protein Factor

Researchers know that protein is also a metabolism booster. You need to pick your proteins carefully, however. Fatty, beef cuts mixed into your pepper won’t add the healthy protein that you’re looking for in the recipe. Try tofu, avocado and asparagus in your stuffed-pepper mixture. In essence, the pepper should hold a casserole of different foods so that it’s satisfying on your palate. Some recipes call for Greek yogurt as a food that binds all of the ingredients together. With this dairy and high-protein addition to your pepper, you’ll see the metabolism soar in the coming days.

Cook stuffed peppers in your oven or try them grilled on the outdoor barbecue. There are a lot of options when it comes to heating up your stuffed peppers any time of year. Simply be conscious of the ingredients added to the peppers in order to truly boost your metabolism.

Nighttime Noise Could Possibly Raise Blood Pressure Risk

We’ve long known that some people are light sleepers while others snooze right through extremely loud noises. Though fairly small, a new study shed some interesting light on how sleeping in noisy areas may affect your body. According to this study, your sleeping body registers the effects of noise by temporarily raising your blood pressure. The study monitored a group of volunteers who lived near four busy European airports hosting plenty of inbound and outbound flights every night. Each participant was fitted with a blood pressure monitoring device, which was programmed to gather blood pressure info at 15-minute intervals. To complete their preparations, researchers outfitted each volunteer’s bedroom with a sound recorder and a decibel meter. This allowed the researchers to record all background noise entering the room, along with time and volume indicators.

Astonishingly, researchers found that noise events correlated precisely with spikes in subjects’ blood pressure. These findings covered all types of noise events, from airport noise to traffic sounds or snoring. As one might reasonably expect, researchers noted that louder sound events corresponded with more pronounced spikes in blood pressure. Though most people intuitively realize that it is better to sleep without interruption, it is more surprising to learn that noises can affect your body even as you remain fully unconscious. For people who suffer from abnormally high blood pressure and heart disease at the same time, this topic is naturally of great interest.

Nevertheless, it is too early to draw too many conclusions from this study. Although this study is a step forward, researchers still don’t completely understand the relationship between noise and hypertension. Co-authored by Dr. Jarup of Imperial College London, this recent study only featured 140 study subjects. It may take a much larger study to produce definitive answers regarding this important topic. It is interesting to contrast this study with an earlier sleep study from the same organization. The earlier study monitored a much larger group, which numbered in the thousands. In the previous study, researchers found that regular exposure to night-time highway noise increased hypertension risk for men. However, this effect did not extend to women. Mysterious results like these demonstrate that we have a lot to learn about the human body.

Fortunately, high-quality foam earplugs help a lot when it comes to reducing night noise. To achieve quieter sleep without cutting yourself off from the world, consider wearing one earplug when you retire. This will significantly reduce your noise exposure without leaving you totally unresponsive to stimuli. Remember that there is more than one way to put in an earplug. You’ll want to use a method that ensures a tight seal in your ear cavity. If your foam earplugs fall out of your ear routinely while you sleep, there’s a good chance you’re not putting them in properly.

Cauliflower Pizza and How It Will Take Over Your Life

If you are allergic to gluten, then you have stopped eating delicious pizza to avoid consuming the wheat-based crust. However, chefs have created a pizza recipe that has a cauliflower crust that does not contain gluten. This means that when you can’t consume pizza that contains wheat or gluten, you can bake your own cauliflower crust pizza at home.

Avoid Allergic Reactions From Wheat or Gluten

Tasty cauliflower crust pizza will change your life because it will not cause the same health problems as traditional pizza. The symptoms of having an allergic response to gluten or wheat include:

• Nausea
• Bloating
• Skin rashes
• Weight loss
• Fatigue
• Headaches

The signs of being sensitive to wheat or gluten can vary between each person, but by eliminating these substances, you will begin to feel better within a few weeks.

Cauliflower Contains Numerous Nutrients

Living without consuming wheat or gluten isn’t easy because many of your favorite recipes have these substances as an ingredient. Fortunately, chefs have created alternative recipes so that you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods. You can use cauliflower to make a homemade pizza crust that has a fantastic flavor along with a variety of nutrients that include:

• Vitamin C
• Manganese
• Zinc
• Iron
• Protein
• Calcium

Several food manufacturers have created cauliflower flour that you can buy at a supermarket to make your own pizza crust that doesn’t contain wheat or gluten. However, you can also use raw cauliflower as a crust for your homemade pizza.

How to Make Your Own Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Wash, trim and dry fresh cauliflower before breaking it apart into florets. Place these raw florets in a food processor before grinding the vegetable until it is extremely fine. Pour the cauliflower flour into a mixing bowl before adding two whipped eggs, grated mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, salt and oregano. Stir these ingredients to create a dough ball before spreading it onto an oiled baking sheet. Bake the dough in a hot oven for 15 minutes. Remove the baked dough from the oven to add your pizza toppings such as tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese or sliced mushrooms before baking it again at the same temperature for 15 minutes.

Which Foods can you Eat to Increase Your Lifespan

Two recent meta-studies are changing ideas about healthy eating. The first found that eating a handful of nuts a day lowers mortality rates. The second suggests that we should be eating up to ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day instead of the currently recommended five servings.

A meta-study is a study that looks at data from multiple other studies that have already been done. Although cleaning the data in order to get meaningful results is a challenge, it allows researchers to look at much larger populations, over much longer time frames than can be done with any individual study. When done well, it yields results that are more reliable than what you can be determined from smaller, individual studies.

Each of these meta-studies found reductions in serious medical conditions, such as coronary disease, stroke and cancer. Each study also found a reduction in mortality. In other words, people who regularly eat nuts or who consume up to twice as much produce as is currently recommended are both healthier than average and they typically live longer than other people.

Although you should pay attention to how these foods are prepared, they do not have to be raw or organic to have a positive health impact. Studies also show that frozen fruits and vegetables retain their nutrients longer than fresh produce. So it does not all have to come from the fresh produce section of your local grocer. It is fine to stock on frozen produce for convenience.

Some tips for trying to eat healthy:

Buy fresh or frozen produce.
Learn to do a little prep ahead of time to make fruits into convenient snack items.
If available, get dry roasted nuts instead of nuts roasted in various oils.
Do not overcook fruits and vegetables. Overcooking destroys nutrients. Stir frying is a great option for not overcooking.
When eating out, choose salads, ethnic cuisines and baked options instead of deep fried foods.

This does not have to be a chore. The most recent study showed that adding any produce to your diet reduced disease and mortality.

The improvement gets better and better up to 800 grams of produce per day. But, if you currently don’t eat any fruits and veggies, adding just 200 grams per day can cut your risk of heart disease by 16 percent, your risk of stroke by 18 percent, and your risk of premature death by 15 percent.

In recent years, research has overturned many long-held beliefs about what constitutes healthy eating. Two new studies suggest that you can lower your mortality by eating a handful of nuts daily, or eating up to twice as much produce as is currently recommended.

Heart-Healthy Recipes for Seafood Fanatics

Heart-Healthy Recipes for Seafood Fanatics

Seafood is a delightful style of cuisine that puts emphasis on fish and other meats commonly found along the coast and major bodies of water. Because of how versatile and delicious this style of food is, individuals can check out all types of recipes to improve their heart-health and enjoy great flavor.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Vegetables

This is a particularly delicious take on a medley classic. Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, lemon zest, asparagus and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until the food just begins to soft. Transfer the vegetables to another bowl, and cover to keep warm. In the same skillet, cook shrimp and garlic in two teaspoons of oil until the shrimp has cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley before adding the vegetables. Combine the two well and mix before serving for a delicious and nutritious take on a seafood classic. The shrimp and the vegetables can provide individuals with necessary health benefits, such as cholesterol management.

Scallops Yakitori

In this Japanese food classic, combine sake, soy sauce, sugar and mirin with Worcestershire sauce and ginger in a relatively small saucepan. Bring this to a simmer over medium heat and cook until it has reduced before pouring into another bowl to cool. Add the scallops and mushrooms to the sauce, stirring well in order to coat all of the components as evenly as possible. Let this refrigerate for half an hour before getting the bamboo skewers. Once ready, skewer the components and grill them on the skewers until the scallops are cooked to a firm and opaque texture, which may take around three minutes. Serve immediately or with rice and enjoy!

Crab Salad Melts

These melts use the delicious taste of crab to stand out among other seafood classics. In order to make, cook asparagus until it is tender before mixing with the other components. Add crab, celery, scallion, lemon juice, low-fat mayonnaise, hot sauce, salt and pepper, scallion and bell pepper to the asparagus and mix together until the mixture is homogeneous. Stir well before placing on English muffin halves and covering with one teaspoon of low-fat cheese. Put these in the broiler until the cheese has melted and serve immediately or with tea. This tasty treat can also be substituted with other vegetables to taste.