Why It Matters To You Part 1: GMOs and Humanely Raised Products

Knowing what’s in the food you eat and how it is produced is always the best first step to becoming more health conscious. Whether it’s trying to avoid foods that contain antibiotics or pesticides, reading labels and then deciphering the various symbols and logos can end up feeling like a full time job.

Because Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine is a health-conscious company committed to producing high quality and delicious meals, we wanted to create a blog series where we explore some of the more commonly used terms, which sometimes are the most unclear.

In the first installment of Why It Matters To You, we look into GMOs and what it means when something is humanely raised.

  1. GMO (genetically organized organisms) – According to the World Health Organization, GMOs can be defined as organisms (plants, animals or microorganisms) whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or through natural crossbreeding methods.

    In many situations, genetically modified foods are developed because there is a perceived advantage to either the producer or consumer. For example, developing a plant that is more resistant to disease or herbicides.

    There are also concerns that genes from GM plants can migrate into conventional crops (known as outcrossing), as well as the mixing of crops derived from conventional seeds with GM crops that could have an effect on food security and safety.

    What are the long term effects of our health of eating GM plants or animals that have been feed GM crops? Something also to consider is the impact on the environment. The loss of biodiversity in nature is a legitimate problem if GMOs inadvertently migrate into wild populations.
  2. Humanely Raised – This term is used when referring to livestock production. It is considered more humane when animals are raised in wide open pastures that can accommodate their natural behaviors rather than be packed into a tiny feedlot or cages.

    Organizations such as the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) audit farms that choose to have this distinction given to them by verifying that their compliance to the comprehensive standards have been met. These standards provide better insight to how animals are raised and requires improvements for their health as well as natural and emotional welfare that are deemed necessary.

Since 2003, Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine has been an Atlanta-based, employee owned and operated meal prep company, committed to providing our customers with amazingly tasting meals made with high quality ingredients from local/regional producers such as Villari Brothers, based in North Carolina. Organic, GAP 1 certified and free from antibiotics or hormones, their pork products are used in our Paleo and Low Carb menus.

Follow our blog to stay up to date with the rest of this series and if you’re interested in trying our chef prepared meals, use promo code BLOG021820 at checkout to get 10% off your first order of $50 or more. (offer expires 9am, February 21, 2020)

9 Healthy Ideas For Valentine's Day Classroom Parties

Looking for Valentine’s Day party treats for your child’s classroom can be a heart-stopping experience. Think outside the heart-shaped box and use classroom parties as a time to learn about healthy snacking.

Try these Valentine’s Day party treats that feature dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, many of which can even be assembled in the classroom.

  1. Send a Message: Using a felt-tipped marker, write fun messages on the peels of clementines (“Hi, Cutie!“) or bananas (“I’m bananas for you!“).
  2. Strawberries on Cloud Nine: Strawberries, a naturally healthy treat, provide dietary fiber and are rich in vitamin C. Serve them with a small dollop of whipped cream or yogurt.
  3. Red Salsa: Set up a “dip bar” and let kids make their own snack plates with cut up vegetables, whole-grain pita chips or crackers and low-fat cheese cubes to dip into tomato salsa.
  4. Banana Split Love Boats: Split a peeled banana down the middle and top with low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt and sliced heart-shaped fruit.
  5. Pink Milk: Blend strawberries and low-fat milk for a delicious protein-packed, naturally sweet drink.
  6. Heart-Shaped Sandwiches: Use a cookie cutter to turn a nut butter and jelly sandwich on whole-wheat bread into a heart-shaped Valentine.
  7. Red Fruit and Yogurt Dip: Celebrate with fruits that are red, the unofficial color of Valentine’s Day: apples, blood oranges, grape tomatoes, red grapes and red peppers. For a sweet dip, mix cinnamon and low-fat vanilla yogurt.
  8. Cupid’s Smoothie: Before the party starts, blend cranberry or pomegranate juice with low-fat milk, bananas and canned pineapple to make a naturally sweet and pink colored beverage.
  9. XOXO Trail Mix: Mix together O-shaped cereal (the Os) and pretzel sticks (the Xs) along with bright red dried cranberries and dried strawberries.

Source: Brandi Thompson, RD, LDN, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

If you’re still looking to satisfy your sweet tooth on Valentine’s Day, do it the guilt free way. Our Low calorie dessert boxes feature 5 delicious, house made desserts all around 150 calories each. Give them a try today and share them with that special someone.

Use offer code BLOG021220 at checkout and get 10% off your first purchase. Offer ends 9am, February 14, 2020.

Our Favorites For February: SPARC Gym

Enjoy the latest installment of our ongoing series featuring some of our favorite fitness, nutrition and healthy spots around Atlanta. For February, we wanted to give one of our Athens’ neighbors a little shine . Located at 1765 Old West Broad Street, SPARC is more that just a gym. We recently talked with manager, Cody Reed, to find out more about what makes SPARC Gym so unique.

Can you give the readers a little history about SPARC?

Cody Reed: SPARC was designed in conjunction with the physicians at Athens Orthopedic Clinic. Our goal is to help people and athletes improve their quality of life, encourage others to unlock their potential, and take control of their health through physical activity. We address the whole health equation. Body composition, movement, strength, and cardiovascular.

How did you get involved with SPARC?

Cody Reed: I went to the University of Georgia and actually graduated with a degree in Mathematics Education. My last year was interesting as I second guessed my desire to work within the school system. With a love for strength and conditioning and deep desire to have a direct, meaningful impact on the lives of others, I decided to combine the two and pursued an internship at SPARC.

With 5+ years in training now, I have been astounded not just by the influence I am able to have on clients but the significant impact they have on me. Training and recovery is much more than the physical aspect. I get to work with people when they are celebrating huge successes in and outside the gym, but also support and encourage when their worlds seem to be falling in. I am incredibly thankful for each person I have the opportunity to work with, learn from, and have a part in improving their health and wellness.

What are some of the classes or types of services that SPARC provides to its clients?

Cody Reed: SPARC is a complete training facility, offering nearly every service in-house our clients may need. Our training is specialized in personal and group strength and conditioning for youth athletes, post-rehabilitation patients, and general population. We also include a number of recovery services, including: massage therapy, dry needling, gait analysis, and DEXA scans, to help optimize our client’s performance in and outside of SPARC.

You’ve been a pickup location for Fresh ‘N Fit for some time, can you provide any insight on the importance of nutrition or why you feel that SPARC and Fresh ‘N Fit are a good fit for each other.

Cody Reed: Nutrition and diet can be two of the most intimidating and misinterpreted words that seem more like a punishment than a benefit to our lives. Our partnership with Fresh ‘N Fit has provided a wonderful resource to our clients so they can enjoy food while working towards their goals. In our effort to help our clients take control of their health and wellness, Fresh ‘N Fit and our recent addition of a registered dietitian has been the perfect compliment to our clients training!

Give SPARC Gym a follow: Facebook | Instagram

Fitness and nutrition do go hand in hand so give one of Fresh ‘N Fit’s 7 healthy menus a try today and if you’re in the Athens area, make sure to select SPARC Gym as a pickup location (or find the one nearest you).

Get 10% off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code BLOG020420 at checkout. (offer expires 9am, February 7, 2020)

Reaching Your Goal: Eating Right in 2020

Each January, millions of Americans make resolutions to eat more healthfully and lose weight, but many lose steam along the way. If you have trouble keeping your resolutions or meeting your goals, make this the year you create a solid plan that sets you up for success!

Start by Assessing Your Food Choices and Lifestyle

Keep track of what you eat and drink and how much physical activity you get so you can identify behaviors you would like to change.

One Large Goal can Seem Overwhelming

Break big goals into smaller, more specific goals and include a list of realistic changes in your daily routine to achieve these specific goals. For instance, divide big and vague goals like “I will eat better” into smaller, more specific goals like “I will eat one more piece of fruit per day.” Remember, while your goals should be challenging, they should also be reachable.

Make Sure the Goals You Set are Measurable

The goals must provide answers to “How much?” or “How many?” so you can easily review and track your progress. Evaluate your progress every week or two, and update your plan based upon your current progress or circumstances. Make sure you are giving yourself enough time to achieve each smaller goal so you are not discouraged if you haven’t met them.

Source: Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

Get the new year started the healthy way by using offer code BLOG012820 at checkout to get $20 off your first order of Fresh ‘N Fit’s chef prepared meal. (Offer expires January 31, 2020)

Meet Tiffany, Fresh 'N Fit Cuisine Ambassador

Happy Tuesday! For every month in 2020 we plan sending inspiration your way and we’re setting it off by spotlighting one of Fresh ‘N Fit’s longtime brand ambassadors, Tiffany P.

Tiffany first tried our meals back in 2017 but we recently checked in with her to hear firsthand how her journey begin and where it is currently.

Fresh ‘N Fit: Can you give us a brief history about your relationship with fitness, nutrition and weight loss?

Tiffany: I’ve always been around fitness in some shape or form my entire life. Whether it was sports, dance teams or marching band, I’ve always been pretty active growing up. After I graduated college, I immediately joined a gym and then an outdoor boot camp shortly thereafter. Fitness goes hand-in-hand with nutrition so I began to learn more about it once I joined the boot camp, which was called Yardie Fitness.

I learned all about macros, portion control, reading labels and dangers of artificial ingredients. We tracked all of our food in logs and reviewed them weekly with the trainer. I meal prepped all of my meals on Sunday to last for the week and I’ve always kept a pretty consistent weight (give or take a few pounds).

In 2016, however, I quickly gained around 30 pounds due to stress and depression. I fell out of all the healthy habits and routines I used to do. It was hard to get out of that rut and did not take charge of my weight again until the beginning of 2019.

How big a role did meal prep play in your nutrition and weight loss journey?

Meal prepping played a pretty major role. At the beginning of 2019, I wrote down all of my triggers that kept setting me back and 3 things were clear. 1) I did not enjoy cooking anymore, 2) I’d lost sight of portion control and 3) between my demanding career and bustling little 5 year old, I needed convenience.

Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine was the perfect meal prep service because it did the thinking for me! I didn’t have to think about my calorie counts or if I ate too much because it’s already portioned out. It curbed my impulse eating. All l I had to do was just heat the meal and enjoy. Fresh N’ Fit took the headache out of the nutrition side and made my weight loss journey that much easier! Showing me that I could eat a 400 calorie meal and be full was a huge benefit.

What does a typical day of eating look like for you and do you follow any specific type of diet?

My Fresh ‘N Fit meals mainly come from the Healthy Mix menu, but if I see something I like from the other menus, I’ll usually give them a try too. If I’m trying to drop weight at a more rapid pace for a special event, I tend eat the low carb and paleo meals. My typical day consists of 6 meals a day: a protein/ carb packed breakfast to refuel after my morning workout, FNF for lunch, FNF for dinner with 3 healthy snacks (like pistachios or fruit) in between meals.

What is your current fitness regimen and how do you stay motivated?

I currently workout at Orange Theory at least 4 – 5 times a week. I love the concept of heart-rate based interval training and the variety of having treadmill, rowing and weight training blocks. Depending on the day, I’ll focus on strength, power or endurance. My favorite things about Orange Theory are the intensity of the workouts and the sense of community within the group. Like Fresh ‘N Fit, Orange Theory does all thinking for me since all I really have to do is just show up for the hour and their professional coaches guide me though workout templates. In the past, I was a part of an outdoor boot camp for several years that REALLY molded me in my healthy living journey. I was also a member of a kickboxing gym for a few years, which I really enjoyed.

I try to stay motivated by remembering where I was and not wanting to go back there. I didn’t like how the extra weight made me feel physically and emotionally. These days I just feel lighter, younger and my brain is much more sharper!

What advice would you give to others who are looking to make changes to their health, nutrition or fitness routine?

Take some time to write down your triggers, the things that set you back and how you may be self-sabotaging your health. Then find a solution to tackle each trigger. Set small goals each month (ex. lose 5-7 pounds) so the overall picture isn’t so overwhelming. My last piece of advice is to be patient and kind to yourself, change take time and there will be minor set backs. Healthy living is a marathon, not a sprint!

When it comes to nutrition and fitness, staying motivated can be difficult. Let the Fresh ‘N Fit chefs simplify meal prepping for you so you can focus on being the best you can be.

Use offer code BLOG012020 at checkout to get 10% off your first order. (Offer expires 9am, January 24, 2020)

Keto Diet: Which Fruits & Vegetables To Avoid

If you’re thinking about starting (or have already started) 2020 with the resolution of losing weight and eating healthier, there definitely isn’t a lack of diet options to choose from. While some of them are legitimate, many of these “lose-weight-while-sitting-on-your-couch” plans are not.

One that we get a lot of questions about that you may have heard mentioned recently is the keto diet.

The ultimate goal of a keto diet is to achieve nutritional ketosis — a metabolic state where your body burns stored fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates and sugar. The way to achieve this is simple — limit your carb intake and get the majority of your calories from fat. When you think about carbs, most likely you’re thinking about breads, pasta or anything made from grain. But there are a lot of fruits and veggies that have a higher carb count due to how much starch or sugar they contain.

It may seem a little surprising to see fruits appear on a “foods to avoid on keto” list, but your best bet is to stick to low glycemic fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and tomatoes.

When it comes to vegetables, the keto rule of thumb is to avoid any veggies that grow beneath the ground. Another important thing to remember is that fiber, which helps us maintain a healthy gut, is typically found in higher-carb foods. So when you’re getting your fiber from vegetables, it’s important for those on keto to eat the right type of vegetables.

Keto-Friendly Vegetables:

  • Spinach
  • Eggplant
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms

Vegetables To Avoid On Keto:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Baked potatoes
  • Yams
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Artichoke
  • Parsnips
  • Butternut Squash
  • Corn
  • Green Peas
  • Acorn Squash

Fruits To Avoid On Keto:

  • Tangerines
  • Oranges
  • Pineapples
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Dried fruits such as raisins, dates and dried mango

Trying to reduce your carb intake becomes a lot less daunting when you know which foods to avoid. By making the correct adjustments to your diet, as well as getting additional help from a nutritionist or meal prep service can make living a low carb or keto lifestyle much simpler. If you’re thinking about giving Keto a try, Fresh ‘N Fit offers 10 different chef prepared Keto meals every week that can be delivered to your home, office or gym.

Get started with Keto today by using offer code BLOG011420 at checkout to get 10% off your first order. (Offer expires January 17, 2020)

Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine does not endorse any specific diet plan, we recommend that you consult with your physician or other health care professional before beginning this or any other nutrition program.

Setting Your Goals & Seeing Results From Your Resolutions

Can you believe it’s the start of another new year and a new decade? And like every new year in the past, we all want to start it off on the right foot. Whether it’s being more active or eating healthier, all you need to do is take a little time to get your plan together so you can see results from your resolutions.

Setting Your Goals
Instead of making one big goal, try breaking it up into a series of smaller goals. It won’t seem as overwhelming and, depending on your schedule, might be a little more realistic.

Track Your Journey
Once you’ve identified your goals, reaching them is much easier when you can evaluate and review your progress. Apps like FitGenie can help you keep track of your meals and caloric intake as well as help create a plan based on your goals and a little bit of nutritional science.

Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine Offers Meals Perfect For a 30 Day Cleanse or For Just Every Day

Whether your goal for 2020 is to lose a few poundsstart a cleanse or just not have to cook, Fresh ‘N Fit’s meals are an easy and convenient solution to help you get started.

Looking for quick weight loss? Our Low carb menu is perfect for that while the meals on our Paleo menu work with most 30 day cleanses. With 10 meals to choose from every week, our Keto menu (available through our Single Meals) offers another delicious low carb option. Let us help you make the year your healthiest one ever!

Get started by using offer code BLOG010720 at checkout to get $20 off your first order. (Offer expires January 10, 2020)

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