Three Healthy Foods to Stock up on Before Winter

Eating in-season foods are your best defense against seasonal illnesses like cold and flu. In the winter plants halt their growing, the amount of sunlight dwindles, and even though winter is full of holiday obligations, we also slow down internally. To stay at your peak during winter, you can find health food stores in Pembroke Pines that are filled with root vegetables and hearty in-season veggies and fruits that will help you stay at your optimal health. Check out these 3 healthy foods to stock up on before winter really hits.

Carrots

Carrots are full of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy eyes, blood, bones, and soft tissue health. Carrots also make for great roughage and are full of fiber. Carrots offer a healthy dose of Vitamins A, C, K, iron, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants. They help to support healthy kidney functions by helping your body to regulate detoxification and remove harmful compounds. You can eat carrots raw or cooked in stews. Carrots are a filling, wholesome snack to keep on hand or to include in meals.

Sweet Potatoes

Healthy FoodsYou probably know sweet potatoes or yams from the candied, holiday version. However, sweet potatoes are a great addition to your diet. Whether you’re paleo, vegan, or low-FODMAP, sweet potatoes are a great addition to your diet. Those who struggle with blood sugar concerns, diabetes, or have trouble digesting starches can also benefit from sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain B vitamins, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and calcium. All of which are essential to building strong bones, having healthy blood, and building up your immune cells. They help your body produce and utilize energy effectively. Thanks to their high fiber content, they help make for a great digestive aid and relieve problems like constipation and reduce ulcer formation. Sweet potatoes also have anti-inflammatory compounds that work to reduce the swelling in tissues from internal organs to muscles. You can eat sweet potatoes baked, fried, or mashed.

Collard Greens

When winter comes around there’s usually a shortage of fresh, leafy greens in nutrition stores in Pembroke Pines. The reason for this is just that they are simply just not in season. Fortunately, you don’t have to completely cut out all leafy greens. Collard greens are a great source of vitamins and minerals to get you through the winter months. Collards pack a punch! Packed with Vitamins C, K, fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin. One cup of collard greens contains nearly four grams of protein! Collards are high in fiber which aids in digestion. They also help to remove toxic byproduct buildup in your liver. The Vitamin K and calcium are great for your bones. The Vitamin A content is great for your eyes and soft tissue health. You can braise collard greens with white wine, toss some in a hearty winter soup, or even blend some up in your smoothies.

Bonus Staples:

Winter Squash

Healthy FoodsWinter squash like butternut squash has a shelf life of 2-3 months. Butternut squash tastes well baked or blended into a delicious soup. Squash is filled with vitamins and minerals that help to aid in digestion, building strong bones, and keeping your immune system up. You can freeze cubed pieces and save them for later in the winter.

Honey

Quality local honey is a great sugar substitute. Especially since the winter months are full of delicious holiday sweets and treats, stocking up on honey before the winter comes is a great idea. Honey tastes delicious in tea, coffee, in baked goods, and drizzled on sweet potatoes.

Organic health stores in Pembroke Pines can help you find in-season, fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating in-season is your best defense against illness. Additionally, eating in-season also ensures that your food tastes its freshest. Out of season fruits and veggies won’t taste as good as they would when they’re at their peak. Also, they might not even be available. Some foods, like winter squash, have a long shelf life compared to other veggies. So always do your research about how long some produce can last. Don’t forget that you can freeze and save fruit and veggies to be used in smoothies and soups.

 

Three Popular Healthy Meat Alternatives

In spite of the increasing popularity of meat-based diets, research indicates that going meat-free for a while or as a lifestyle change could pay off with enhancements to your cholesterol profile, improved heart health, and life quality.

Exchanging meat for quality protein also implies you can avoid clogging fats normally present in red meat. While meat offers a considerable amount of protein and other significant minerals and vitamins, numerous meat substitutes exist that can offer similar nutrients.

If you’re thinking of transitioning to a healthy diet but don’t know where to start, our Pembroke pines vitamin store has what you need to transform your dietary lifestyle.

Moreover, the knowledgeable staff at our health food store Pembroke Pines will advise you on how to make healthy dietary choices. Consider these healthy meat substitutes if you’re thinking of cutting back on meat.

Tofu and Tempeh

If you enjoy meat, you might look down on tofu and tempeh, but they’re versatile sources of plant-based protein. Tofu and tempeh are made from soybeans and frequently have a similar consistency as some meats depending on how they’re cooked.

Similar to other fermented foods, tempeh comprises probiotics-a kind of beneficial bacteria that exist in your digestive tract. Besides being one of the best meat alternatives for protein, tempeh’s also high in antioxidants, calcium, and soy isoflavones that might be able to reduce cholesterol levels.

You’ll discover this alternative is delectable and easy to work with. You can marinate or season it and then add it to your preferred vegan dishes when sliced, crumbled, baked, or sautéed. Although its taste is slightly nutty, it takes on the flavor of other ingredients you’re working with.

You can use it even on a burger or breakfast sandwich. Tofu is also a great option since you can use it in a pasta dish, stir-fry, in a salad, by itself, or on a wrap. These alternatives offer endless options, so try them first.

Legumes and Beans

Legumes are seeds or fruits of any plant from the legume family, which includes a wide array of vegetables like peas and beans. The nutrient-packed veggies are some of the best vegan meat alternatives accessible; they not only supply a considerable amount of protein and are rich in micronutrients that might be absent in a vegan diet, for instance, folate and iron.

To maximize the health benefits of legumes, it’s advisable you sprout them before consumption. Sprouting is a process that entails soaking legumes for 8-24 hours, straining them, and permitting them to sit and sprout.

Sprouting helps improve the legumes’ nutrient profile while decreasing the content of antinutrients that could impair the absorption of some minerals. Other benefits of beans include: they’re heart healthy, have low-fat content, they’re protein-packed, and balance blood sugar.

Mushrooms

Revered for their healing properties for years, mushrooms make a very nutritious addition to whichever diet, vegetarian or not. They have low-calorie content but comprise numerous significant nutrients. What’s more impressive is that they’ve been shown to possess antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

You’ll discover that mushrooms are one of the best meat substitutes for vegetarians since they usually have a meaty and rich flavor that works well in vegetarian-based dishes. Consider adding mushrooms to stews, burgers, pasta dishes, and casseroles to improve your meal’s nutritional value and offer a concentrated dose of flavor to each bite. Some of the benefits you can expect from eating mushrooms include:

  • Minerals and Vitamins

Mushrooms comprise germanium-a trace mineral that helps the body use oxygen effectively and prevents the effects of free radicals. Numerous mushrooms are good sources of selenium-an antioxidant as well as niacin, copper, phosphorus, and potassium.

Moreover, mushrooms offer iron, protein, and vitamin C. Remember; you must cook them to obtain their nutritional benefits since they’re indigestible until exposed to heat.

  • Dietary Fiber

You’ll discover mushrooms are a good source of soluble beta glucans and insoluble chitin, both of which have a role to play in our health. Insoluble fiber is critical to proper digestion while the soluble type can slow the increase in the body’s blood sugars following a meal. Furthermore, they can help moderate your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Meat is rich in numerous important nutrients that your body requires, for instance, zinc, iron, and B vitamins, which is why appropriate planning is crucial on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Fortunately, these meat alternatives can help fill any nutritional gaps that might arise when you eliminate meat from your diet.

 

Four Tips for Going Vegan ‘Cold Turkey’

Choosing to go vegan is more than just about your health. When you go vegan you’re helping the global community. Being vegan isn’t just about choosing not to eat red meat, fish or poultry. Going vegan means you’re choosing to cut out all animal products including eggs, milk, butter, leather, and choosing cruelty-free products.

For some people, going vegan sounds like a major lifestyle change. One that almost seems impossible to achieve. However, with these four simple tips, you can make going vegan seem and feel more realistic. A better tomorrow starts with you and it starts with you going vegan.

What Does Being Vegan Mean?

Cold TurkeyBeing vegan means choosing not to consume dairy, eggs, or any other products with animal origins. Unlike vegetarians who still consume butter, milk, and eggs. Being vegan also means choosing not to wear animal skins like leathers and furs, as well as choosing beauty and health products that are not tested on animals.

Why Do People Go Vegan?

There’s a number of different reasons why people go vegan. For each person that reason is different and it’s not always just for one reason or another. Often people will start a vegan dietary lifestyle for ethical reasons and realize that it has positive benefits for their health. Some people choose to go vegan for environmental reasons, which closely ties with ethical reasons. There’s no one right or wrong reason to go vegan.

  • Keep Snacks Handy

The number one thing people note when they go vegan or even vegetarian is that they feel hungry all the time. Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. There are plenty of plant-based food sources that can keep you feeling full and satisfied. Depending on where you live, going vegan may be more difficult, which is why keeping snacks on you is so important. You might be tempted to indulge in an egg sandwich or chicken sandwich if you don’t have a vegan-friendly protein bar on you. The next time you’re at an organic health shop in Pembroke Pines, grab some vegan-friendly snacks.

  • Meal Prep

Again, the biggest complaint about cutting out animal products is that people feel hungry more often. When you’re not prepared you’re more likely to fail. It’s like the old adage goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. Pick a day during the week to prep some easy to pre-heat meals. There are tons of plant-based recipes out there for you to try. Some great staples to keep on hand are rice, beans, quinoa, oats, protein powders, leafy greens, nuts, and fresh fruit. Your local organic health store in Pembroke Pines will have everything you need to prep healthy, vegan-friendly meals.

  • Keep Learning

Going vegan is, for most people, a major learning curve. Like previously mentioned, going vegan is more than just about cutting out meat and poultry, it’s about cutting out all animal products and incorporating only cruelty-free products into your life. With tons of resources online it’s easy to stay informed and keep learning about the different facets of veganism. Additionally, with so many resources are also outlets for support and educational material.

  • Find Community

When you’re doing something together it doesn’t feel as dramatic or daunting. With thousands of online support groups on Facebook, Tumblr, and Reddit, it’s easy to find community support online if you can’t get that same support offline. If you’re feeling different or isolated from your offline community because of your new dietary changes, hop online and find your people. Food is and has always been about community, so don’t be shy and find yours.

Additional Tips

  • Ask for Help

local organic health store in Pembroke PinesMaking a major life change is not easy. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re having trouble locating vegan-friendly products in the grocery store, seek out an employee to direct you to the right items. Additional support and help can be found online as well. Simply search nutrition stores near me to find health-conscious stores.

  • Remember Your Why

Many people choose to go vegan for different reasons and for usually more than one. Common reasons include ethical, health, and environmental, though there’s no one right or wrong reason. Whatever your reason for going vegan, when you’re struggling to maintain the lifestyle, remember your why. Why did you start? Your why is what is going to keep you motivated during those times when you think you can’t do it anymore.

The most important thing to remember when going vegan “cold turkey” is to not give up. You’re going to have some bad days and you’re going to have some really great days. Using this four tips can help keep you going even when you feel like throwing in the towel and giving up.

 

Everything You Need To Know About The Keto Diet

There’s a lot of diets out there, and it’s hard to know which one you should be following for optimum weight loss. If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a while and you’re not seeing results, then the Keto diet may be for you. Here’s what the diet does, how it can benefit you, and what you can eat on it.

What Is The Keto Diet?

Keto DietThe Keto diet is an eating plan that looks to cut out carbohydrates and include more protein and fats in your diet. This is because when you eat normally, your body uses carbs to help create energy in the body while storing the fat. This leads to weight gain, which you’re trying to avoid. You want your body to start using the fat reserves instead, burning them off and helping you lose weight.

When your fat reserves are being used, this is called being a state of ketosis. Under regular circumstances, you’ll enter this if you’re in starvation. When you’re following the Keto diet though, you’re creating that state of ketosis while still taking in necessary nutrients. By drastically reducing carbohydrates, you’ll induce ketosis and start losing weight.

Is It Safe?

Like all diets, there are some issues you’ll need to be aware of before you start. The Keto diet is great for weight loss, but there are a few side effects. For instance, you may find that you suffer from cramps, constipation, and reduced physical performance. These are quite common and can be avoided by ensuring you stay hydrated, and are getting all the nutrients you need.

Like any diet, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first. They can give you a checkup and ensure that you’re in good physical shape before you start.

What Can You Eat On This Diet?

The Keto diet is unique in that you’re encouraged to eat a good amount of meats, dairy, and other sources of good fats. You’re asked to avoid grains and sugars, to lower your carbohydrate intake and start losing weight. Here’s what you can eat on the diet:

  • Meats: Fish, beef, lamb, poultry, and eggs are all on the menu as they offer vital protein.
  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale and other leafy greens help you take in many necessary nutrients.
  • High-fat dairy: Hard cheeses, high fat cream, and butter are all encouraged.
  • Above ground vegetables: Veggies that are low in carbs, such as broccoli and cauliflower are great.
  • Sweeteners: Low carb sweeteners, such as stevia, are a great alternative to sugars in your diet.

There’s plenty you can eat on the Keto diet, so it’s easy to follow without feeling like you’re missing out. Try taking a look at Keto recipes online, and you’ll see there are thousands of ideas out there. You can also head to your local natural foods store Pembroke Pines and ask the staff what they can recommend. Vitamin supplements are another good idea, as they’ll ensure that you’re still getting all the nutrients you need while you’re on the diet.

What Are The Benefits Of The Diet?

The main benefit of the Keto diet is, of course, weight loss. However, you’ll be surprised at how many other benefits there can be. Here’s just a few that you may notice:

Controlled blood sugar: Many people who live with diabetes, or are at risk of diabetes, report a lot of success in following the Keto diet. As you’re controlling your carb intake, which leads to glucose production, you’ll find that you can reduce your blood sugar significantly.
Increased mental focus: Hitting a Pembroke Pines vitamin store and taking in the right nutrients can help your focus. Controlling your blood sugar means that there are no blood sugar spikes, making concentration easier. Taking in more fatty acids also means that you’re feeding your brain, making it easier to work.

Normalized hunger and increased energy: You’ll find that when you’re on the Keto diet, you’ll feel fuller for longer. That’s because you’re taking in more good fats, that will help normalize your hunger. You’ll also see an increase in energy levels, so you can get more done during the day.

The Keto diet can be a great way to lose weight and reap the rewards of a low carb diet. You’ll lose weight while still feeling full, which is something that won’t happen on a lot of other diets. Give it a try, and see what it can do for you.

 

What Does It Mean To Be Gluten Free?

“Gluten-Free” is a popular buzzword among dieting circles as well as among the general public. With each passing year, the awareness of gluten and those who maintain gluten-free lifestyles is growing. Though Celiac’s Disease and other immunodeficiency diseases that require a gluten-free diet have been around for centuries.

A lot of people are skeptical of gluten-free diets and view them as a fad like many other diets that have come before, however maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle is a healthy choice for people of various walks of life. If you want to learn how to live a gluten-free lifestyle, your local Pembroke Pines health foods stores are good resources, as well as your family doctor and nutritionist.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is the name for a family of proteins found in wheat, rye, spelled, and barley. The protein gives dough its elasticity. Wheat is often found in bread, baked goods, fried items, pasta, cereals, beers, and pretty much any mass produced item that contains flour. Wheat flour is the most popular choice for flour and often the cheapest choice. People who have a gluten intolerance often react to the presence of gluten in their food in a variety of ways. The most immediate symptoms are gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, and headaches after consuming a big dose of gluten.

Other annoying and common symptoms are canker sores (inside your mouth), bone and joint pain, depression, and migraines. Left untreated, Celiac’s Disease can do severe damage to your intestines, cause major vitamin deficiencies, and trigger other disorders. If you suspect you are reacting to gluten or may have Celiac’s Disease, it is best that you consult your family physician as soon as possible. There are many tests that can be done to ascertain your sensitivity to gluten and treatments available.

How Do I Learn to Be Gluten Free

One of the most common treatment methods available for gluten intolerances and Celiac’s Disease is to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle. This entails guarding yourself against consuming gluten in any amount. This shift can be difficult for many people and can be a source of frustration. Luckily the gluten-free food industry has come a long way in the past few years and many grocery stores near you will carry a good selection of gluten-free products.

You will find that vigilance is necessary, you will have to question all of the menu items at your favorite restaurants and possibly find natural foods stores near you to help you make the shift in your cooking. There are many flour alternatives that will work in some of your favorite recipes and there will be a whole new world of foods you can explore as well! You will find yourself surprised at how delicious some gluten-free choices can be!

Recipe: Cheddar Chive Skillet Cornbread

 

Recipe credit: Amy Palanjian

Photo credit: Amy Palanjian

Cornbread is often considered a comfort food. The more comfort foods you can tweak to eliminate gluten, the easier your transition to a gluten-free lifestyle will be! Delicious Living has many more amazing gluten-free recipes for your to explore! If you are able to buy chives with their pretty purple flowers, stir the petals into softened butter with a little honey—then smear over warm cornbread. Best eaten the day it is made.

Ingredients:

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1½ cups cornmeal

• ½ cup gluten-free flour blend (such as King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)

local Pembroke Pines health foods stores• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• ½ teaspoon salt

• 1 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk or unsweetened nondairy milk

• 2 tablespoons honey

• 2 eggs, lightly beaten

• 1 cup (about 4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

• ¾ cup finely chopped chives or green onions

• Additional honey (optional)

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet while oven preheats to 400°. Remove 2 tablespoons of melted butter from the pan and set aside. Place pan back into the oven.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, flaxseed, baking powder, and salt. Stir in reserved melted butter, milk, honey, eggs, cheese, and chives or green onions.

3. Remove skillet from oven, and swirl butter to coat. Pour in batter, and shake gently to distribute evenly. Bake for 20–22 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown and cornbread is set. Let cool slightly, cut into wedges and serve warm with honey, if desired.

PER SERVING: 298 cal, 12g fat (4g mono, 1g poly, 7g sat), 77mg chol, 391mg sodium, 34g carb (2g fiber, 7g sugars), 9g protein

Being Gluten Free Doesn’t Have to Be A Struggle

Transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle isn’t as difficult as many would make it seem. There are many resources online and in your own community available to help you change your life. Outside of your medical providers, there are many community resources such as the natural health stores near you. Utilizing all available resources will only make your path smoother.