Natural Appetite-Suppressing Foods

July 3rd, 2015

When you step on the scale and you’re not satisfied with the number you see, it gets most people thinking about their diet and exercise habits. And it’s something marketers know intimately. It’s why there are literally thousands of hucksters selling diet pills, workout programs, and gimmicky exercise equipment all promising amazing weight-loss results.

But the truth is, you don’t need any of that stuff. Practicing portion control and getting regular exercise (like a bike ride or walk in the park), can tip the scale in the right direction. Food choices in particular play a big part in weight loss and weight management. Skip the diet pills, research shows that a number of foods contain nutrients that act as natural appetite suppressants. Add these food to your diet to help with portion control and weight management.

Apples
There’s a reason the American folklore legend known as Johnny Appleseed didn’t have a weight problem. He ate apples. And he walked from east to west across America, planting apple orchards. All the exercise certainly burned a lot of calories. But recent research published in the journal Appetite, found that the fiber and pectin in apples also acts as an appetite suppressant. Grab an apple the next time you’re at the store or farmers market. And if you’re short on time, try the MagicKitchen.com meal Chicken & Apple Curry with Jasmine Rice & Broccoli.

Peppers

Chipotle Meatloaf

Chipotle Meatloaf

Some like it hot. Some don’t. Whatever pleases your palate when it comes to peppers is going to help curb your hunger and control your weight. In a study published in the journal Chemical Senses, researchers found that capsaicin in hot peppers and capsiate in sweet peppers, gives your stomach and your brain a signal to control your appetite. You’ll find sweet peppers in MagicKitchen.com meals like Chipotle Meatloaf, Lasagna with Meat Sauce, and Stuffed Peppers.

Ginger

Ginger and spice and everything nice. You know the rest. This root frequently used to add seasoning and flavor to food does more than just that. Research published in the journal Metabolism found that ginger helps improve digestion and curb feelings of hunger. But don’t stock up on ginger ale just yet, it’s ginger root or seasoning that acts as an appetite suppressant. And you’ll find ginger in MagicKitchen.com meals like Cod with Miso Ginger, Black Beans & Rice with Peas & Carrots, and Ginger Pork with Peaches & Green Pea Blend.

Skip the diet pills and fitness fads. Make regular exercise a habit and add these healthy foods to your diet to control hunger and manage your weight.

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The Word “Natural” on Food Labels Can Be Misleading

Diabetes is Preventable

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Healthy Lifestyle Choices May Cut Women’s Stroke Risk

Top 10 Healthy Foods

 

Unique Retirement Gifts

July 3rd, 2015

There is nothing like a personalized retirement gift to show appreciation for retiring loved ones. Showering them with a good gift is not only gratitude for all their hard work over the years but a sign of love. Naturally, they would like to be recognized for their years at work. There are many things that would make interesting retirement gifts. The best of the bunch include:

MagicKitchen.com Gourmet Retirement Gifts

MagicKitchen.com Gourmet Retirement Gifts

MagicKitchen.com Retirement Meal Packages (Gourmet gifts)

Most people say that the trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off. With MagicKitchen.com, you get every day off. You diet is a bank account and the retirement gifts are good investment. While good food and a warm kitchen are what make a house a home, MagicKitchen.com meal packages make everything heartier. They are a variety of healthy prepared meals that are created using top-quality fresh produce and ingredients to ensure your loved one smiles their way into a delicious and nutritious retirement.

Travel Accessories

There’s nothing that says retirement better than a trip around the world. Now that the work slog is over, giving your loved one luggage and travel accessories is a sure way to ensure that they retire in style and comfort. Retirement is a great time to explore the world. Give something like a deluxe kit to improve that experience.

Hobby Gifts

The best retirement gifts help the retiree to do things that they never had the time to do when they were on a tight schedule. It’s important to know what your retired loved one enjoys doing in their spare time. If they enjoy reading, a best seller is an elegant gift. Remember you want to give a high quality gift that will last and show that you care about their retiree and their hobbies.

Personalized Gifts

Personal and sentimental gift are a lovely way to present and record valuable events in a retiree’s life. The most unique personalized gifts include:

  • A Back Massager:

This will ensure that they make the most of their down-time. Whiling away time in a comfortable back massaging chair is the way to go.

  • Chocolates:

Congratulations_Retirement_Wine_GiftsA box of chocolates is always received in the happiest way.

This could serve as a representation of all the joyful moments that you and your loved one shared.

Engraving a retiree’s name on their favorite bottle is a great way to build memories and kick off retirement in style.

When the battles are fought and won and lost, someone needs to respect those memories. There’s no better way to do it than with a gift. It’s really something…There’s some kind of magic in that.

Kidney Patients, Protect Your Heart

July 2nd, 2015

care-736257_640When dialysis is part of your treatment plan to manage failing kidneys, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle habits all play a part in maintaining your health and quality of life.

One important risk factor to recognize is high blood pressure. It’s one of the common causes of chronic kidney disease. A blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 is considered normal. If it’s higher than that, you have an increased risk for developing heart disease and kidney disease.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have found that controlling blood pressure using a combination of medication and exercise can prevent heart disease and protect the kidneys. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure? These are just two reasons an estimated 31 million people in the United States have chronic kidney disease and about 400,000 require regular dialysis treatments to do the work their kidney’s can’t.

Turkey Noodles

Turkey Noodles

Taking medications to protect your heart recommended by your doctor is an important part of protecting your kidneys when you’re on dialysis. Regular exercise, at least 30 minutes a day is ideal, to strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles. Eating a healthy diet also plays a big part in protecting your health and managing kidney disease.

Medical professionals recommend dialysis patients eat a healthy diet high in protein. At MagicKitchen.com, we’ve created a complete collection of Dialysis-Friendly meals that can help protect your heart and eat healthy. You’ll enjoy meals like Ground Turkey with Creamy Noodes & Zucchini Onion Saute, Zesty Orange Chicken Tenders with corn, peppers, and mixed greens, and Baked Tilapia, Brown Rice & Minted Carrots.

Take your medications. Stick to your dialysis schedule. Exercise regularly, and eat healthy. It’s the best way to protect your heart. And it’s the best recipe for managing kidney disease when you’re on dialysis.

If you want the technical, doctor’s explanation, see this video!

Here are some other articles you might enjoy:

Certain Popular Southern Foods Bad for Kidneys

Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes and Enjoy It!

National Kidney Foundation Launches ‘My Food Coach’ Portal

Three Foods That Can Boost Renal Function

3 Ways to Protect Your Bones When You Have Kidney Disease

Oral Medicine Normalizes Blood Potassium

Stem Cell Research Promising for Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease- Picking the Right Foods

July 2nd, 2015

Managing your health when you have renal disease means you’ll need to pay close attention to your diet. The National Institutes of Health recommends limiting fluids, eating a low-protein diet, limiting salt, potassium, phosphorus and electrolytes, and consuming enough calories to maintain a healthy weight.

Research shows that when you have renal disease, controlling your diet can help maintain existing kidney function and limit the progression of the disease that could lead to the need for dialysis.

But armed with this information, what foods should you pick to include in your diet? Foods high in antioxidants that prevent inflammation and further kidney damage. Here’s a few you should sink your teeth into:

Sweet Peppers
Red and green bell peppers are low in potassium, and contain high levels of antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A. They’re also a good source of folic acid and fiber. And you’ll find bell peppers in MagicKitchen.com meals like Chipotle Meatloaf, Lasagna with Meat Sauce, and Stuffed Peppers.

sweet-sour-chicken-87003Cruciferous Vegetables

These are vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli, which are good sources of antioxidants and other nutrients found to help prevent cell damage linked to renal disease. Mashed cauliflower works well as a healthy substitute for mashed potatoes for people with renal disease. MagicKitchen.com meals with cruciferous vegetables to add to your meal plan include options like the Breaded Fish Wedge with green beans and cauliflower, Beef Meatballs with Rice & Gravy, peas, carrots and cauliflower, and Meatloaf & Tomato Sauce with Brown Rice & Broccoli, Peas & Corn.

Onions
Onions are another good vegetable to include in your diet when you have renal disease. They contain high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants and are low in potassium. Onions also contain a mineral called chromium, which helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and is important for those with renal disease. Some of our MagicKitchen.com meals made with onions include Sweet and Sour Chicken with Zucchini & Onion Saute, Beef Lasagna with Zucchini & Onion Saute, and Chipotle Meatloaf with green beans, onions, peppers, and southwest potatoes.

These are just a few of the foods you should include in your diet to manage renal disease. For more information about diet and renal disease, talk to your doctor and take a look at the nutrition recommendations from the National Kidney Foundation.

Please see the video below for more information!

Best Foods for Type 2 Diabetes

July 2nd, 2015

When you have diabetes, you’ve got to be smart about your food choices. Wait too long between meals and your blood sugar levels drop. Sugary sodas, sweets, and too many carbs can have the opposite effect and cause a rapid and dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.

Enchilada with Beans

Enchilada with Beans

Medication and lifestyle habits help control blood sugar levels. Your food choices can have a big impact on regulating blood sugar levels and controlling diabetes too. Eat the right foods, and they’ll help keep blood sugar levels in check without any rapid changes. Make these foods part of your diet to control diabetes:

Beans
Beans, sometimes called legumes, are an ideal food to control blood sugar levels. They’re a complex carbohydrate that also delivers a dose of protein and fiber perfect for keeping blood sugar levels even and controlling hunger. A few MagicKitchen.com meals for diabetes with beans include Chicken Cheese Enchilanda with Tomatillo Sauce, Rice & Pinto Beans and BBQ Chicken Drummies, Brussels Sprouts, Black Beans & Corn.

Fish

Adequate protein in your diet combined with the right balance of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats and protein is a good eating plan for people with diabetes. In addition to beans, fish is a healthy source of protein. Need some ideas for dinner? Try the Salmon Caponata with Orzo & Spinach or Cod with Miso Ginger, Black Beans & Rice with Peas & Carrots.

Creamy Tarragon Mahi

Creamy Tarragon Mahi

Leafy Greens
Leafy-green vegetables may be one of the best foods for people with diabetes because they’re nutrient dense, low in calories, high in fiber, and help control blood sugar levels. Health experts recommend that half your plate be filled with vegetables and some fruit at every meal. Leafy-greens that are loaded with nutrients include broccoli, spinach, and peppers. You’ll find these MagicKitchen.com meals like the Three Cheese Ravioli & Spinach Alfredo, Chicken & Apple Curry with Jasmine Rice & Broccoli, and Stuffed Peppers.

Mushrooms

Life leafy-green vegetables, mushrooms are a good source of nutrients, fiber, and complex carbohydrates that taste great and won’t have a big impact on blood sugar. You’ll enjoy the Creamy Tarragon Mahi-Mahi with Mushroom and Artichoke and Breaded Pollock made with peas, mushrooms, onions, red peppers and carrots.

Egg Whites
If you like eggs, you’re in luck (just skip the yolk that includes a lot of calories). Egg whites are a great source of protein for diabetes. A single egg white only has about 16 calories but comes with 4 grams of protein. Add egg whites to your breakfast menu to control blood sugar keep your weight under control. Hungry for eggs? Try the Egg White Omelet and Turkey Sausage Links meal.

Make these foods a regular part of your diet, and you’ll see consistency in your blood sugar numbers, and enjoy lots of great-tasting meals.

Also, see the video below!

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Could a Probiotic Pill Manage Diabetes?

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Active Seniors Enjoy Life More

July 2nd, 2015

seniors-exerciseNot far from MagicKitchen.com headquarters in California, a group of about 40 seniors (age 55 and older) took a trip through the Granite Chief Wilderness in late June. But they weren’t on a guided tour, and the trip took more than just a few hours.

They laced up their running shoes, stocked up on water and healthy snacks, and headed into the mountains for the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. If you haven’t heard of this event, it’s considered the Boston Marathon of races longer than the 26.2-mile marathon distance. After months of training, healthy eating, and an active lifestyle, these senior runners cross the finished line in under 30 hours to claim their prize, a sparkling and coveted hand-crafted belt buckle.

You may not be planning to run a marathon or take off on a 100-mile journey through the mountains. But research shows that seniors who are active get more out of life, according to the American Council on Exercise. Being active helps control blood pressure, aids in weight management, lowers cholesterol, and prevents arthrosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Exercise also helps strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles, improves mobility, and helps manage pain associated with conditions like diabetes and arthritis. Some studies even suggest exercise helps prevent certain types of cancer.

So how much should you exercise? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, along with two days of strength training. Here are some ways you can be more active:

  • Take a walk
  • Work in the garden
  • Play a sport (tennis, basketball, volleyball)
  • Go for a hike
  • Swim laps in a pool
  • date-meals2Participate in a group exercise class
  • Ride a bike
  • Try yoga, tai chi, or pilates
  • Take dance class

Being active helps reduce your risk for a long list of preventable diseases. Exercise also helps improve your mood and your quality of life. Combine an active lifestyle with healthy eating with MagicKitchen.com meals for seniors, and you’ll be happier and live longer.

Here are some other articles you may enjoy:

A Glass of Wine a Day is Healthy, But Only If You Exercise, Too

Laughing May Aid Memory Loss

Seniors – Live Longer by Following the Mediterranean Diet

Take Care of Your Bones

Nuts can Lengthen your Life

Seniors Happier and More Trusting

The Secrets to Longevity

You Are What You Eat

July 2nd, 2015

There’s a reason gobbling a pile of calorie-dense food like French fries, candy bars, soda, and burgers can leaving you feeling sluggish with a knot in your stomach. This is the kind of stuff affectionately known as junk food. And it’s a good example of the popular phrase, “You are what you eat.”

A once-in-a-while meal at a fast food restaurant or occasional candy bar isn’t going to have a big impact on your overall health. But if your diet looks like the above example on a regular basis, your health and your mood could soon be as bad as your food choices.

Researchers at Dartmouth University found that food choices have a direct impact on your brain and contribute to fluctuations in mood. And it makes sense when you think about how you feel after a couple cups of coffee, chow down on a Thanksgiving dinner, or skip meals and try to get by on little to no food.

Crab Stuffed Sole

Crab Stuffed Sole from MagicKitchen.com

So what should you be eating to manage your health and your mood? It shouldn’t come as a surprise. The best approach to healthy eating and maintaining a positive outlook on life is a balanced one that includes lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

There’s a reason people who follow the Mediterranean Diet live longer and report enjoying a better quality of life than most. It’s directly linked to their diet which includes lots of fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, generous amounts olive oil, some fish and seafood, and limited amounts of meat and dairy products.

And if you have a sweet tooth, or food you’re craving that may not be the healthiest, you’re better off treating yourself to a small portion or serving size than going with a total binge. Why? It’s just too hard to resist for most people. You’ll either feel miserable without eating that special item, or you’ll finally give into the temptation, overindulge and feel worse.

So aim to eat a healthy diet. The right foods will have a positive impact on your overall health and your waistline. You’ll look better, live longer, and see the sunny side of life more often.

Need help planning healthy meals? Scratch fast food off your list of choices. At MagicKitchen.com, you’ll find lots of healthy and tasty meals that will satisfy your stomach and put a smile on your face. Eat healthy. Be healthy. After all, you are what you eat.

Here are some other articles you may enjoy:

Healthy Eating May Stave Off Dementia

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Coffee Addict? It May Be Genetic.

Enjoy Nature to Improve Your Health!

Can Eating Too Much Protein be as Harmful as Smoking?

Low Sodium Diet? Follow These Grocery Store Strategies

July 2nd, 2015

Taking a trip to the store without a plan can be a disaster. It’s a good way to blow your budget. And it’s all too easy to toss unhealthy foods into your cart and be on your way. But if you’re trying to control your blood pressure and protect your heart, you’ve got to stick to a low-sodium diet.

Eating less sodium is a good idea for most people. Most adults eat an estimated 3,500 mg of sodium a day, mostly from processed foods. Yet, the American Heart Association recommends most people eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

So what can you do about it?

vegetables-449950_640Read food labels. You might be surprised to find that common foods like canned soups, canned meats, breads, and frozen pizzas all contain high levels of sodium. Look for low-sodium options. And instead of seasoning foods with salt, try adding flavor to your favorite foods with herbs and spices or a prepared sodium-free seasoning like Mrs. Dash®.

Buy more fruits and vegetables. No, not the canned variety, or the ones added to a sodium-lathered stir-fry from your favorite take-out. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain little to no sodium. Add potassium-rich fruits and vegetables to your diet like bananas, oranges, potatoes, and tomatoes, and they’ll help rid your body of excess sodium.

Choose fat-free dairy products. Cheese is one of the big offenders when it comes to excess sodium in your diet. Pay attention to the type of dairy products you buy at the store. Choose low-fat and low-sodium options.

Get Unsalted Nuts. Nuts are a good source of protein and healthy fat. But if you munch the salted variety, there’s a good chance you’re getting too much sodium in your diet. Fortunately, most nuts are available salted and unsalted. Go with the unsalted kind. You might have to get used to a slightly different taste at first, but you’ll learn to enjoy it and be healthier.

Choose whole grains. Whole-grain breads, pasta, brown rice, and cereals, are generally lower in sodium than their counterparts made with refined grains.

low sodium meal

Lemon Rosemary Pork, a Low Sodium Choice!

If you’re not all that keen on refining your grocery shopping game plan to buy low-sodium foods, don’t worry. At MagicKitchen.com, we’ve made it easy for you to enjoy low-sodium foods for breakfast lunch and dinner. You’ll enjoy meals like Grilled Chicken with Florentine Rice, Asparagus & Carrots, Lemon Rosemary Pork with Savory Rice and Glazed Carrots, and Turkey Meatloaf Rice Pilaf & Zucchini Saute. Hungry? Check out all our Low-Sodium meals here.

Check out this informational video!

Here are some other low sodium articles you might enjoy.

Healthy food, Healthy Eyes

Dark Chocolate Good for the Heart?

Sandwiches Hidden Source of Too Much Sodium

Eating Out Low Sodium Tips

Health Benefits of Black Beans

Salt Affects more than just Blood Pressure

High Potassium More Important than Low Salt in Heart Healthy Diet?

The Science of Delicious

June 27th, 2015

chef-ovalWhile preparing delectable and nutritious meals can be more art than science, there is no doubt that here at MagicKitchen.com, we use copious amounts of both as we create edible and scientific works of art. The process begins and ends with you, our valued customers, in mind, as we strive to create both appetizing and convenient meals that are delivered to your doorstep for you to enjoy whenever you desire. And here’s that process in its entirety.

After our chefs, who work out of four separate kitchens, have created their wholesome masterpieces on paper, they then select the freshest and tastiest ingredients, such as Valoroso pear tomatoes from Italy, Japanese panko, homemade pesto and hormone free chicken. They then work their “magic” on these ingredients and transform them into the savory entrees, side dishes and desserts that will soon arrive at your home and more than please your palate.

Chicken-ana-LuisaOur chefs pride themselves in being able to create a variety of dishes that meet whatever requirements you might have, from satisfying comfort food, like our deep dish chicken pot pie and magic meatloaf to diabetic-friendly meals such as our Chicken Ana Luisa or Lemon Rosemary Pork. Our chefs also utilize their culinary and scientific knowledge to create dialysis and heart-friendly, low sodium and carb, renal diet and gluten free meals.

No matter what menu you choose from, either our home-style or special dietary, we offer you a variety of yummy options to select from, whether it’s a meal bundle or you decide to mix and match your entrees, sides and desserts in order to create your perfect meal, our chefs and support team will ensure that your choices will more than exceed your expectations.

After the meals are cooked in our kitchens, they are immediately flash frozen to lock in freshness and nutrition, carefully packed and then shipped to their destination…your kitchen table. Once they arrive, all you need to do is reheat, serve and then rave about how delicious they are. Or, simply unpack them and place them in your freezer to be raved about later, at your leisure.

moneybackFinally, we have such faith in the quality of both our ingredients and chefs, that we will replace any dish that does not meet your expectations in terms of taste and/or quality, or we will provide you with a full refund; your choice. However, since we began operations back in 2005, we have rarely had to provide replacement meals or monetary refunds.

So there you have it, the art AND science behind how we design, prepare, create and deliver such enticing entrees, succulent sides and delightful desserts. So, if you haven’t already, why not give us a try, and if you already have why not expand your horizons and try different dishes? After all, the only thing you have to lose is your appetite.

Steve, MagicKitchen.com blogger

Stock up for your vacation

June 26th, 2015

Soon you’ll be enjoying summer days off. Whether you’re camping,  having a stay-cation,  or renting a cabin, the last thing you want to do is cook.  No, you want to enjoy the water,  sleep in, visit an amusement park,  enjoy nature, build a sandcastle. You want to do all the things that make you feel happy and relaxed, and cooking isn’t one of them.

That’s why you want to stock up on MagicKitchen.com meals.  Take one out of the freezer and put it into the fridge the night before. The next day, take it out and reheat it, for gorgeous gourmet meals that couldn’t be easier.  We have family size portions, or pick individual meals for people who are picky or on special diets.

Then get back to star gazing, collecting seashells, hiking, having a campfire, roasting marshmallows, flying kites, kayaking, swimming, biking and enjoying your summer!

summer-collage