Monthly Archives: February 2010

Senior Nutrition

Proper diet and exercise are ever more important as we age. Our metabolisms slow down, and we need fewer calories.
Here are a few good guidelines for seniors:

* reduce sodium (salt) to help prevent water retention and high blood pressure,
* monitor fat intake in order to maintain healthy cholesterol levels,
* consume more calcium and vitamin D for bone health,
* eat more fiber-rich foods to prevent constipation,
* cut back on sugar and on dry foods,
* make sure you get the recommended amount of important vitamins and minerals,
* increase your water intake, and
* participate in regular physical activity.

Following these senior nutrition tips can yield many benefits,  including increased energy, good mental health and mental abilities, resistance to disease, faster recovery from illness, accident, or surgery, better medication effectiveness, and improved management of chronic health problems. The overall result of an emphasis on good nutrition will be an improvement in your quality of life, mobility, and independence. Adding exercise can help you maintain your health and independence throughout your life.

MagicKitchen.com has a menu of MK Special meals, designed for senior nutrition. Easy to order and easy to heat up, they are delicious and popular.

Many seniors don’t exercise for the same reason that people of all ages resist physical activity – they think of it as too hard, too boring, or they are disappointed by the lack of immediate results. On top of this, some older people have additional challenges, such as chronic health conditions or concerns about injury or falls.

It doesn’t matter how old you are! People in their sixties, seventies, eighties, and even nineties can reap the benefits of exercise and improved senior nutrition.

If you pick an activity that you already enjoy doing, exercise is easier than you think. For example, gardening, walking at the mall, or playing with your grandchildren combine exercise with another fun activity. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity. If sports are not for you, walking is a great form of exercise that is easy to do. Take a water aerobics class, or simply walk back and forth in waist-deep water, a delight in warmer weather.

Here are some other Senior exercise tips:

* Convince your bridge or poker group to go for a walk once a week instead of playing cards.
* Dogs are a great incentive to go for a walk. Their natural enthusiasm will get you out the door every day.
* Start or join a Mall-walking group
* Dance, tai chi, and yoga classes are enjoyable, low-stress fitness activities.
* Stretch, walk, march in place, stand and sit as many times as possible when you’re talking on the phone or during TV commercials.
* Go to a zoo or botanical garden.

Many seniors are afraid they’re going to fall if they try to exercise. Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling. There are many types of exercise to start with if you are concerned about falls. Safe options for seniors with health or mobility issues include chair exercises, swimming, or water aerobics.

Above all, get out there! Meeting like-minded people will make both eating right and exercising become second nature. Regular exercise, good diet and senior fitness is the key to greater energy, stronger muscles, better balance and flexibility, and a happy and alert mind.

facebooktwitterpinterest

Why Flash Freezing?

At MagicKitchen.com, we  talk about how our food is prepared fresh, then flash frozen to keep in nutrients. But what is flash freezing?

Flash-freezing is a revolutionary process of quick freezing (usually within seconds). This locks in all the flavors, juices, vitamins and minerals and allows the meals to keep perfectly for long periods. Each dish is held in this condition until it is thawed, which ensures that it will be just as fresh as when it was frozen.

Commercial freezers can freeze food in seconds.  What happens is food becomes frozen solid so fast that the cell structure of those food doesn’t get a chance to burst open (and get mushy when you thaw it out later.)  That’s because quick frozen foods form much smaller water crystals inside cells than in slowly frozen foods.

Flash frozen food can be thawed normally, and if you thaw it correctly it looks just like when it was just cooked, no mushiness or freezer burn.

Fishing boats often use flash freezing to keep their catch as fresh as possible, especially if they are working in remote areas and will not be reaching port for days or weeks. In these cases, the fish are cleaned and then frozen as they are caught. Most of the fish you buy “fresh” at fish markets was frozen on the boats first.

The process was first developed by Clarence Birdseye. After observing the people of the Arctic preserving fresh fish and meat in barrels of sea water quickly frozen by the arctic temperatures, he concluded that it was the rapid freezing in the extremely low temperatures that made food retain freshness when thawed and cooked months later.

Thanks, Mr. Birdseye! With this process, our MagicKitchen.com meals are delivered to the table with all the quality, flavor and nutrition that our chefs put into them.

facebooktwitterpinterest

Gifts for New Parents

While of course we love having people send MagicKitchen.com meals to parents of a new baby, and new parents love it, there is a world of gift ideas for the happy parents.

Rocking Chair or Glider
Babies love to be rocked, and tired parents love it, too! Give them a standard rocking chair with colorful cushions, or a glider. Gliders slide back and forth rather than rocking in an arc. Get a rocker or glider with a generously wide seat and arms for maximum comfort. It’s a good idea to choose a glider that locks in place, especially if there’s toddler in the house.

Baby Backpack
Parents can use this on walks, while shopping, or just to keep the baby safe while cooking dinner. Babies love to look around them, and doing it at back height gives them some new views. Backpacks let the parents be hand-free, and keep baby happy.

Gift Certificate to a Spa
Mom will love this! It’s a good idea to talk to a friend or grandmother who can take the baby for an afternoon. It will give mom a well-deserved break and help her feel beautiful, desirable and pampered.

Give of your time
What does every new mom wish she had more of, but time? Offer your services to babysit, clean house, grocery shopping. Run errands, do a load of laundry. Anything that will allow mom a catnap will be so appreciated!

What about Dad?
Buy Dad a manly diaper bag, such as one from Diaper Dude. Dads are often left out of baby showers and usually don’t think to buy their own diaper bags. But he’ll appreciate it when he realizes the alternative is walking around with his wife’s pink flowery bag.

New dads love documenting the new little person. Give a digital camera or camcorder, or a less extravagant gift certificate to a photo-printing service like Shutterfly.

facebooktwitterpinterest

Our Philosophy

Back in 2005 when Greg Miller started MagicKitchen.com, he was honoring his father. His father lived alone in his later years, and gradually lost weight and his health because he didn’t have an interest in cooking.  Greg has a keen interest in senior’s health, not least because he’s in his fifties himself and sees it coming!

Greg traveled all over North America in his prior career and noticed more and more obese people. He says, “That slapped me in the face.”  His growing awareness that Americans weren’t eating right, and his own dilemma of what to cook when he returned from tiring week-long business trips, spawned the idea to start MagicKitchen.com. “I wanted to stay healthy but didn’t have the desire or energy to make quality meals when I finally got back home from a long business trip.”

He talked with his partner, Michelle, saying, “We need to do what we can to encourage people to eat better, especially seniors.” They started MagicKitchen.com with great excitement, using only restaurant quality ingredients to create their own recipes that would freeze and reheat well, and taste great to the customer. One of the first things they investigated was flash-freezing and then special packaging that can be used to reheat the various meals in either the microwave or the oven.  They discovered that by using this process, their chefs could cook the dishes, then freeze them quickly to keep in the great taste of the various dishes made as well as the vitamins and nutrients from the food.  This was all done without adding preservatives to the meals.

Over the years, we at MagicKitchen.com have continued to concentrate on seniors, expanding the menu to include MK Special Meals for people with special dietary needs. The excitement hasn’t diminished, for Greg and Michelle or their staff. Updating the menu includes input from everyone, including customers. We’re always on the lookout for new products, and we love talking to the seniors who call in, hopefully providing a light in their day with a little humor. Life is good at MagicKitchen.com!

facebooktwitterpinterest