Category Archives: Health Tips

5 Tips to Curb Your Late-Night Snacking

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After-dinner and before-bedtime snacking when not hungry can result in consuming unneeded calories. Often this may be due to boredom, stress or tiredness. Try these tips to banish evening cravings and curb after-dinner snacking; and, if you must snack, go for the healthier options.

End Mealtime Madness

Spend a little time planning ahead and grocery shopping for nutritious meals, including breakfast, and snacks throughout the week. When you eat a variety of foods throughout the day according to your hunger and fullness, you’re less likely to overeat at night. “Planning and eating balanced meals at regular intervals during the day helps provide steady fuel and increases the chances of getting all the nutrients you need for good health,” says Kim Larson, RDN, CSSD, CD, CHC, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “It helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and provides more energy throughout the day. Regular eating also helps to manage hunger hormones to control appetite and food portions.”

Boost Protein and Load up on Fiber

Larson advises individuals to try to eat 25 to 30 grams at each meal, although protein needs vary according to age, sex, height, weight and activity level. For instance, a breakfast of oatmeal with a cup of low-fat or fat-free milk, small handful of nuts and fruit can provide approximately 20 grams of protein. At lunch, a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter (7 grams of protein), half a can of tuna fish (16 grams of protein), half a cup of black beans (7 grams of protein) or a small 4-ounce salmon filet (25 grams of protein) can help push up protein. At dinner, most people actually get too much protein because portion sizes of popular protein sources are too big. Go for recommended serving sizes such as a small — the size of a deck of cards — 3-ounce chicken breast (27 grams of protein) or a 3-ounce lean top sirloin steak (26 grams of protein).

Dietary fiber also helps us feel full, in addition to being protective of intestinal and heart health. Find fiber in whole grains, legumes such as beans and lentils, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. The Institute of Medicine recommends women strive for 25 grams of dietary fiber each day while men should get 38 grams.

Get Sleep

Sleeping less than six to seven hours per night has been shown in studies to alter gut hormone regulation,” says Larson. “Not only can this disruption increase how much we eat during the day, but it also drives mindless eating that occurs when we are tired instead of hungry.” Adults should strive for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

Turn off the Screen before You Pick up Your Fork

Screen time has been linked to mindless eating and increased food intake. Eating in front of the TV, while playing video games or surfing the Internet can distract attention from what and how much is eaten, reduce satiety signals sent to the brain and lessen memory of snacking.

Multitasking during meals interferes with the enjoyment and satisfaction of eating,” says Larson. “Avoiding all distractions, including the TV, helps one to focus on eating mindfully, which leads to greater satisfaction. It also helps to slow our pace of eating and tune in to hunger signals that often are missed when we are distracted and rushing to get done.

Still Starving after Dinner?

People often eat out of boredom, or because of stress, or just out of habit rather than from true hunger. Larson suggests asking yourself the following questions before eating: Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Am I tired? Am I bored? Am I sad?

If you ate a balanced dinner, go for lighter snacks. “If you do find yourself hungry in the evening, reach for a nutritious snack like air-popped popcorn, yogurt or fresh fruit to quell the need for something sweet,” says Larson. If a sweet or heavy food is what you’re really craving, enjoy a small portion of it then brush your teeth and wind down before bedtime.”

Source: Penelope Clark, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, our calorie and portion controlled meals will keep your satisfied through the day and evening. But if you need to graze throughout the day, our Healthy Mix and Paleo snack packs will help fill the gaps between meals.

Try it for yourself today and use promo code AUGBLOG20 at checkout and receive $20 off your first order of $50 or more.

What’s The Big Secret, Anyway?

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Sure, you do your best to eat healthy and live a fit and active lifestyle, but you’re still not satisfied with your body. Day after day of eating salads and hitting the gym and your body isn’t changing.

It’s frustrating.

And yet there are people, whom you know personally, with phenomenal bodies and very little body fat. What are they doing differently than you? You work out and eat healthy too! Why doesn’t your body look like theirs? What’s the big secret that they know about losing fat, getting lean, and looking amazing?

The answer is as simple as it is difficult: Avoid Sugar.

While you do your best to eat healthy, do you know how much sugar you are actually consuming everyday? The answer will surprise you.

The average American consumes over 80 grams of sugar everyday, an amount that’s easily three times more than is safe and healthful. How much sugar do you eat? Write down the sugar count on everything you eat for the next few days and then find your average sugar gram intake. Now work on slashing this number.

Part of the problem is that food items are often sneaky about how much sugar is really hiding within. Deceiving messages on the packaging imply that the contents are beneficial, causing us to ignore the high sugar content. In the end whatever supposed benefits being advertised are overshadowed by the negative effect of the sugar.

What’s the big deal about taking in a lot of sugar? Well, you won’t achieve a lean body while consuming a lot of sugar. So if you choose to indulge in sugar then forget about strutting your stuff on the beach this year.

Aesthetics aside, a high sugar intake is detrimental to your health as it causes your cells and organs to become acidic and a breeding ground for disease.

Going back to that guy or gal that you know who is perpetually lean…you can bet that their diet is extremely low in sugar. A low sugar diet is the key to keeping lean and it’s not had by simply avoiding the high sugar items, like candy and cake, it’s had by avoiding items with even low amounts of added sugars.

Take the next week to cut out all added sugars from your diet. Check in with your weight and your energy levels at the end of seven days and note any difference. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you’ll see results in both your weight and energy levels by making this simple, conscious move to avoid sugar.

Source: Rene Serrate, U First Fitness


As a proud partner of the American Diabetes Association, our Healthy Mix, Vegetarian and Low Carb menus adhere to their healthy eating guidelines, as well as those put forth by the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

Now is the perfect time to experience the convenience of our delicious, chef prepared meals. Use promo code AUGBLOG20 at checkout and receive $20 off your first order of $50 or more.

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5 Myths about Building a Healthy Vegetarian Meal

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Vegetarian meals are gaining in popularity — even among regular meat-eaters. According to a 2016 poll by the Vegetarian Resource Group, 37 percent of Americans eat at least one vegetarian meal per week.

As more and more individuals reduce their meat intake, one essential question remains: Are vegetarian and vegan diets healthy? The answer is yes. If appropriately planned, vegetarian or vegan diets can be healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

But many myths still surround the health implications of a vegetarian diet. Learn the facts when it comes to plant-based diets.

Myth #1: Vegetarians and Vegans Have a Hard Time Getting Enough Protein

As meat has become synonymous with protein, many consumers struggle to identify non-meat sources of this dietary building block. But adequate protein needs easily are attained through a well-planned diet. And plant-based protein typically contains more fiber and less saturated fat, factors that are cornerstones of a heart-healthy diet. There are many versatile plant-based sources of protein that fit into a healthy eating plan: legumes (beans, lentils, peas and peanuts), soy products, whole grains, nuts, seeds and (for lacto-ovo vegetarians) low-fat or fat-free dairy and eggs.

Vegans should consume more protein than their meat- and dairy-eating counterparts. That’s because protein from whole grains and legumes has lower digestibility than animal protein. Protein from plant foods is encased in plant cell walls, which are hard to penetrate and digest. For familiar, high-protein vegan options, try bean burritos, tofu and vegetable stir-fries, or lentil chili.

Myth #2: To Build Strong Bones, You Must Include Dairy in Your Diet

Dairy is not the only food that can help build and protect strong bones. A number of nutrients are needed for bone health, including calcium, vitamin D and protein. Each of these nutrients can be found in plant foods such as kale, broccoli, bok choy, calcium-set tofu and fortified soymilk. Some vegetables such as spinach and rhubarb are good sources of calcium, but they also are high in oxalates, which decrease calcium absorption, so include a wide variety of other leafy green vegetables more often.

If you are forgoing dairy, ensure that you get the recommended dietary allowance of calcium by spreading your green vegetable intake throughout the day and choosing calcium-fortified foods such as non-dairy milk, ready-to-eat cereals, orange juice and tofu. In addition to following a nutrient-rich diet, weight-bearing exercise such as yoga, running, brisk walking and strength training is an essential component for increasing bone strength.

Myth #3: Eating Soy Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

For vegans and vegetarians, incorporating soy in the diet is an easy way to meet both protein and calcium requirements. Despite news reports to the contrary, there is no proven soy-cancer link. There is evidence that girls who consume soy in childhood and adolescence have a lower lifetime risk for breast cancer; soy in adulthood doesn’t appear to have that effect. No matter your diet preference, variety is key. Swapping animal-based protein for soy is a good way to add variety to your meals. Aim for less processed sources such as tempeh, edamame and tofu.

Myth #4: Vegetarian Diets Are Not Appropriate for Pregnant Women, Children or Athletes

A well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet can meet the nutrient needs of people from all stages of life, including pregnant and lactating women, children and athletes. It’s just about making sure you get the nutrients you need. Pregnant women, for example, need more iron; expectant mothers should eat plenty of iron-rich foods and include a source of vitamin C to help increase absorption (iron is not absorbed well from plant-based sources). Try these iron and vitamin C combinations: beans and salsa, broccoli and tofu, black-eyed peas and collard greens.

For infants, children and adolescents, a vegetarian diet can promote normal growth. As with adults, vegan children may have slightly higher protein needs because of how the body digests plant protein. However, these needs typically can be fulfilled if the diet provides enough calories and diversity of foods.

And while most competitive athletes require increased energy, protein and nutrient needs for optimal performance, there’s no reason they can’t get everything they need nutritionally from plant sources. All it takes is a little diligence in menu planning.

Myth #5: Just Because Something Is Vegetarian Means It Is Healthy

The “vegetarian” or “vegan” label doesn’t automatically equal good health. While some cookies, chips and sweetened cereal might be vegetarian foods, they also are likely high in added sugars and oils. Meatless eaters might find it easy to load up on processed foods such as veggie burgers, but lesser processed options should make up the bulk of a vegetarian diet. And cheese, while a good source of calcium, also contains saturated fat and sodium. So what is the best way to ensure a food is a good choice? Read the label. Look for low levels of saturated fat, added sugars and sodium. These key nutrition label components are much better indicators of a food’s health than whether or not it is vegetarian. Being a healthy vegetarian eater means loading up on veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins.

Source: Alexandra Caspero, RD, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, our Vegetarian menu is just one of the 5 menus that our chefs prepare each week. Like our Healthy Mix menu, our Vegetarian meals adhere to the healthy eating guideline of the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

Give it a try today and get 10% off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code JLYBLOG10 at checkout.

How To “Vacation Proof” Your Diet

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You don’t need another article that’s going to tell you the same old advice about eating healthy on vacation. “Watch your portions!” “Pack some snacks!” “Pick a cheat day!

You’ve heard it all before.

And yet every year you go away for a fun vacation, get carried away at the buffet, and come back 3 to 5 pounds heavier than when you left.

It sure would be nice to find a diet plan that would work 365 days per year. A plan that would have you at your ideal weight, happy with your body, and not deprived of the foods that you love. Even while on vacation.

Such a plan does exist, and it’s really simple. It’s so simple that it’s not even a plan; it’s a mindset. If you want a lean, hot body 365 days a year then you must become unreasonable. Unreasonable, that is, by society’s standards.

Society today says that it is reasonable to…

  • Binge eat on vacation.
  • Consume large quantities of sugar on a regular basis.
  • Frequent fast food restaurants.
  • Exercise at a slow pace once or twice a week.
  • Slack off on keeping your body properly hydrated.
  • Live a sedentary life while consuming extra large portions of food.
  • Eat processed and industrialized “foods”.
  • Reduce your standards for health and quality of life.
  • Put your goals and dreams on hold.
  • Let your goals and dreams slowly die.

If you’re living a “reasonable” life by society’s standards then you are out of shape, tired and dehydrated. You go away on vacation and come home heavier and more uncomfortable.

Nothing else could result from abiding by society’s rules. If you want different results, if you want to achieve a body that’s lean, healthy, sexy and energetic, then you must become UNREASONABLE.

The UNREASONABLE FIT PERSON will…

  • Eat sensibly on vacation, balancing indulgences with activity and calorie control.
  • Restrict sugar for only rare and special occasions.
  • Stick with simple, wholesome meals made at home (like the recipe for Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken below)
  • Exercise at a high intensity 4 to 5 times per week, always pushing themselves to lift more and go harder.
  • Make the conscious effort to drink water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration.
  • Live an active life where food is consumed sensibly as fuel.
  • Fill their diet with fresh, real, unadulterated foods.
  • Refuse to peak physically or mentally; always strives to raise the bar.
  • Actively pursue their goals and dreams.
  • Routinely achieve their goals and dreams…and go on to set new ones.

So there you have it, the way to vacation proof your diet is to adopt the mindset of an UNREASONABLE FIT PERSON.

This mindset will carry over into your entire year, not just that week of vacation, and by the time next summer rolls around you’ll be living in a very unreasonably fit and attractive body!

Source: Rene Serrate, U First Fitness


Don’t let the relaxing ways of summertime and your vacation get the best of you. With Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine’s calorie and portion controlled meals, you’ll be able to eat sensibility even if sneak in a few cheat days.

Try our dietitian-approved, chef prepared menus today and you can save $20 off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code JLYBLOG20 at checkout.

How to Properly Fuel Your Workout

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Which is better fuel for spinning class — protein or carbohydrates? Should you consume a sports drink on a long run? Is it safe to eat before a workout? Listen to locker room talk at the gym and you’ll hear lots of conflicting tips about what you should eat and drink before and after you work out. These answers to five common questions about fueling your workout sort fact from fiction.

Will Protein Make My Muscles Grow?

Protein is an important part of a balanced diet, but eating more protein will not magically make you stronger. The only way to grow muscles is to put them to work. “Carbohydrates are the best fuel for working muscles,” says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD.

Carbohydrates are partially converted to glycogen, which is stored in your muscles to power your workout. “Fifty to 60 percent of energy used during one to four hours of continuous moderate to hard endurance activity is derived from carbohydrates,” says Mangieri.

Do Sports Drinks, Gels and Energy Bites Live Up to the Hype?

There’s nothing special about the many sports drinks, gels and energy bites on the market. But it is important to replace lost fluids as well as provide carbohydrates to maintain blood glucose levels while working out for longer than one hour. “Gels, energy bites or sports drinks can be an effective way to supply the body with energy, but they are not necessary. Real food will provide the same benefit as these pre-designed workout fuels,” says Mangieri.

For some athletes, eating solid food in the middle of a workout can cause digestive upset. In these cases, easily consumed sports gels, chews or drinks may help. “Food and fluid intake around workouts should be determined on an individual basis with consideration for an athlete’s gastrointestinal tract tolerance, as well as duration and intensity of the workout,” says Mangieri.

Is It Best to Work Out on an Empty Stomach?

Your body needs fuel to function, especially if you’re asking it to run, jump, swim or lift weights. Don’t skip breakfast before a morning workout. “Eating before exercise, as opposed to [exercising in] the fasted state, has been shown to improve exercise performance,” says Mangieri.

Eating in the morning helps replenish liver glycogen and steadies blood sugar levels. If it’s hard to stomach solid food first thing in the morning, try a fruit smoothie, or a liquid meal supplement, and don’t forget to hydrate before you exercise.

Regular Exercise Means I Can Eat What I Want and Not Gain Weight, Right?

Wrong. Working out isn’t license to abandon portion sizes and healthy eating guidelines. It’s easy to overestimate the amount of calories you burn while working out.

You should adjust your calorie intake if you’re engaging in serious training, such as for a triathlon, where you might be working out more than once a day. “Recovery nutrition is necessary if you are an athlete participating in strenuous activity, especially if you are participating in multiple events in the same day,” says Mangieri. “For the casual exerciser working out for an hour or less, a healthy balanced diet will work just fine.

Is Chocolate Milk Really an Athlete’s Best Friend?

Because of its favorable carbohydrate and protein content, chocolate milk is indeed an effective recovery aid, but it’s not your only choice. “Yogurt or half a turkey sandwich on whole wheat can be just as effective,” says Mangieri.

Source: Eleese Cunningham, RDN, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, our chef prepared meals are perfect for fueling yourself before and after your workouts. And since they are calorie and portion controlled, you won’t have to worry about overeating or not getting a nutritionally balanced meal. Why rely on sports drinks or gels for energy when you get eat REAL FOOD prepared fresh for you each week by our chefs.

Try one of our 5 gourmet menus or our single meals or add some house made protein bars and healthy snack packs to your order today and get 10% off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code JLYBLOG10 at checkout.

Epic Weekend? It’s Time To Undo The Damage

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What a weekend that was! You went out, you ate and drank and had a blast! And now the fun is over and the consequences are setting in…you feel terrible. You woke up with a headache, an overall feeling of bloating and a sluggishness that you can’t shake.

It’s time to undo the damage brought on from that epic weekend. Here’s how…

1. No More Junk!

It may sound obvious, but the first step to recovering from all that fun you had is to stop the damage. No more naughty foods. No more alcohol.

When you are vacationing or partying it’s easy to remove your mindful eating and drinking mechanism, and to replace it with the anything-goes mindset. This makes sense for party-mode, but once you come back home and get back to real life it’s important to firmly put an end to the junk food and calorie-laden beverages. If you don’t then your weekend diet may continue into your week, resulting in tons of extra calories that quickly add up in unwanted pounds.

2. Flush Your System.

For the next 48 hours your main mission is to drink as much water as possible. All of those poor food and drink choices result in dehydration, which manifests in a pounding headache and a feeling of sluggishness. Plan to sip on water throughout the next two days, adding in fresh sliced fruit, cucumbers, mint or basil to add a refreshing and rewarding flavor.

3. Get Some Rest.

End the party or vacay Sunday afternoon so that you can get into bed early in preparation for the week ahead. It may not sound super exciting to plan an early-to-bed night at the end of your weekend but, come Monday morning, you will be functioning much better with a little rest under your belt. Plan to get to bed early the next couple of days as well, and fit in a nap if possible.

4. Eat Cleansing Foods.

You’ve stopped eating junk, now fill your diet with small light meals consisting of fiber and a serving of protein. Stick with only whole foods for the next 48 hours. Fruits and fresh veggies should make up the bulk of your calories as you recover. Asparagus, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and raw veggies are all wonderful items to enjoy in addition to high quality, low fat protein.

5. Avoid Going Extreme.

Yes, you ate and drank a LOT this weekend, but swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction isn’t actually going to help. Overcompensation is rarely a winning idea. Fight the urge to skip meals or to over-exercise in response to your indulgences. Going from one extreme to the other creates a bad cycle that leaves you feeling even more tired. In addition, taking your body from feast to famine will actually make you more prone for fat storage.

Getting and staying in great shape will not only help you bounce back from the weekend faster, it will also help you achieve healthy habits that will stick with you even as you party and vacation.

Source: Rene Serrate, U First Fitness


Another weekend has come and gone, but in addition to undo-ing the damage of the past few days, how about trying a 30 day food cleanse to undo the damage of the past couple of months. A majority of the meals on our Paleo meals are 30 day cleanse approved and exactly the sort of clean eating you need to take back your health. Our paleo menu is just one of the 5 menus we offer, so even if you’re not ready to give it a try, we’re sure you will enjoy one of our other offerings.

Visit FreshNFitCuisine.com today and get $20 off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code JLYBLOG20 at checkout.

Eating To Boost Your Energy

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Let’s face it, we are in an energy crisis. We, as a society, are busy, stressed, need more physical activity and sometimes have poor eating habits — all contributing to low energy levels. One way to fix our energy deficit is to eat better. The right combinations of food can give you a boost. Follow these five strategies to maximize your energy.

Eat Often

Eating every three to four hours can help to fuel a healthy metabolism, maintain muscle mass and prevent between-meal hunger that can lead to unwise snacking. If you only are eating one to two meals a day, this will be an adjustment. As you learn how to eat more frequently throughout the day, remind yourself that you will feel better and be more focused when you have fuel in your system on a regular basis.

Honor Your Hunger and Fullness Cues

Eating just enough, but not too much, helps to curb cravings and reduces chances of overeating. Keep in mind that portions often are too large. If your meal carries you five to six hours without hunger pangs, it’s likely that you’re eating too much. On a scale of 0 to 10 (where 0 is starving and 10 is painfully full), try eating to about a 5 or 6 level, where you are comfortably full but not stuffed.

Balance Your Plate

A balanced meal includes whole grains, lean protein, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy and a small amount of healthy fats. Balance out your plate with all the food groups for sustained energy.

Snacks Are a Bridge

Don’t skip this important eating event. Snacks should have protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates to provide lasting energy. Grab an apple and a handful of nuts; carrots and string cheese; or Greek yogurt and fresh berries. Keep in mind that snacks are not intended to fill you up, but to bridge you from one meal to the next.

Remove Energy Zappers

Skip the soda, sugary coffee and energy drinks. These foods may leave you buzzing for an hour, but likely will cause an energy crash. Instead, quench your thirst with water, fat-free or low-fat milk, low-calorie flavored water or unsweetened tea.

Source: Tara Gidus, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, our dietitian approved meals are all nutritionally balanced so your energy levels stay consistent throughout the day. If you’re still looking for something extra to graze on in between meals, then our Healthy Mix and Paleo Snack Packs are exactly what you need!

Give us a try today and get $20 off your first order of $50 or more when you use promo code JLYBLOG20 at checkout.

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