Monthly Archives: February 2016

Diabetic Meal Plans Delivered- It’s Time to Get Back on Track, and We Can Help!

Ravioli_MixedVeg_Brocc_IMG_6526 (2)To all our diabetic friends, those at risk for diabetes, and those on a low sodium diet: the holidays, with their associated over-indulgence, are now officially over! No longer, at least until next Thanksgiving, can you use them as an excuse to fall off the dietary wagon and practice a seefood diet (you know the joke…I “see” food and then I eat it). No longer are you required to deal with enabling friends who exert tremendous amounts of peer pressure to get you to forget your dietary pledge, if only for one day, which usually turns into several. As the title of this blog implies, it is now time to get back on that dietary wagon and we can provide some assistance with our diabetic meal plans that are delivered right to your door.

All our diabetic-friendly meals are created with the collaborative efforts of our dietitian and chef to ensure that nutritional requirements and delectability are used in equal parts. Our chefs use the freshest ingredients in creating these meals which are fully cooked and then flash frozen to seal in that freshness. They are then packed in dry-ice and shipped straight to your door. You can then place them in your freezer to later enjoy at Stuffed_BellPepperyour leisure. You’re then never a few minutes away from a delicious, nutritious meal as that’s all the time required to re-heat them in either your oven or microwave.

All our diabetic meals contain a main course and one or two sides and are low in sodium, usually less than 500mg, and have a controlled amount of carbohydrates, usually between 20 and 45g, with none exceeding 65g. As for those meals, MagicKitchen.com offers nine meal plans to choose from, as well as one breakfast plan. They can be purchased individually as well, but you might have a difficult time choosing between the almost 70 meals we have to offer. And remember, no contract is required. You can alter or stop them at any time.

Look, eating healthy should never be a resolution to be broken by mid-February. It’s a lifestyle that should be adopted for life, especially if your health depends upon it. That being the case, why not allow MagicKitchen.com to take care of all your diabetic meal plans from start to finish? We’ll “deliver” every time.

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Busting Myths- 20 Nutrition Myths Debunked – Eat Right!

There is so much information on the internet these days, and of course, not all of it is right. Here are twenty nutrition myths that have been debunked by our very own Michelle, our Registered Nutritionist Dietitian.

1. Kale is the healthiest vegetable ever in the history of man-and woman-kind. Not True! In fact any list of the top ten healthy greens will show that kale doesn’t even make the list. Sure, it has a lot of lutein, which helps your eyesight, but you need more than lutein, you also need zeaxanthin, and that combo can best be found in egg yolks, kiwi fruit, spinach, orange juice, zucchini, and grapes. If you like kale, continue eating it, it’s good for you as are all leafy greens. But if you’re looking for the most nutritional value out of a leafy green, good old spinach is your best bet. Your mom was right again, don’t you hate that? Chinese cabbage, chard and watercress are even better. But who knows what to do with watercress? watercress
2.  night-fridge Eating late at night will make you fat. Nope, not true. What science has determined is that the time of day has nothing to do with how your body burns calories. However, if you tend to eat a slice of cheesecake before bed, that in itself will make you gain weight, eaten morning, noon or night. If you missed supper and want to eat it late, and if it’s part of your healthy diet, not to worry. The scientists say that is a-ok.
3. Eating eggs raises your cholesterol. Boy, did the egg farmers hate this one! A study shows that cholesterol in food is a minor factor contributing to high blood cholesterol for most people, and studies have not confirmed a correlation between eggs and increased heart-disease risk. The Mayo Clinic says, “Most healthy people can eat up to seven eggs a week with no increase in their risk of heart disease. Some studies have shown that this level of egg consumption may actually prevent some types of strokes. But the story is different for people who have diabetes.”  eggs
4.  frozen-fruit2 Fresh Fruit and Vegetables are more nutritious than frozen. If you are lucky and talented enough to have a great garden from which you can get your food and cook it right away, then this may be true. But most of us pick up our fruit and veggies in the supermarket. Those items, while fresh and good-tasting, may be several days old and well-travelled, and may have been picked before ripe, which means they have already lost some nutrients. Frozen fruits and vegetables go from field to nearby processing station, and that means they have as many or more nutrients as the fresh ones. And some frozen items are just as good as fresh when used in a recipe.
5. You’ll burn more calories by eating many small meals per day. No, you’ll burn the same number of calories by eating the usual three meals a day, with healthy snacks. For some people this may work for weight loss, and hey, whatever works, if it’s healthy, do it! But scientifically, the calories burned are the same. In fact, eating several small meals doesn’t let your body burn fat, as it’s constantly releasing insulin. What kind of hungry are you? is a terrific blog post you should read about hunger.  small-meal
6.  buy-coffee Coffee is unhealthy. You coffee addicts are going to be so happy. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants, as well as other compounds that actually may make you live longer. So raise your cup to healthy living, and drink coffee!! Stay away from the cream, though.
7. Eating Low Fat or Fat Free foods is healthier and better for weight loss. Unfortunately, if manufacturers remove fat, which, let’s face it, is where the flavor is, they have to add in other unhealthy things like thickeners and flavors, and chemicals. And that adds just as many calories. A study in Canada showed, “claims such as “100 per cent fat free,” “zero grams of fat,” “low in fat,” “lean” or “extra lean,” contain “minimal to nil” fewer calories…Numerous studies have shown that what matters in weight loss is the total number of calories consumed per day, and not the specific food or “macronutrient” such as fats, protein or carbs”, said Dr. David Lau, a professor of medicine at the University of Calgary. lowfatTrue Low fat! >>
8.  lowcarb Low carb diets are bad for you. There are all kinds of websites out there touting one diet over another. The truth is that either low-fat or low-carb diets will work if you stick to them, and neither of them has long-term health effects. Use the one that works for you, sick to it, and learn lessons from it on how to eat in the future to maintain your fantastic shape. And don’t forget to exercise!
9. Low cholesterol foods are healthier. Our bodies regulate cholesterol. If we eat more, the body produces less. If we eat less, the body produces more. Even the US government agrees!
10.  low-chol We should detox a couple of times a year. No, please don’t. These diets claim to clean toxins out of your liver and colon, clear your skin and energize you. But the body detoxes itself. It is designed to do so. What people feel- more energy, etc., likely is from going from a bad diet to a more healthy one. Don’t believe? Listen to what US scientists say.
11. Everyone should eat less sodium. Scientific American said in its 2011 article, “It’s Time to End the War on Salt!“. And in 2013, a study showed that Low-sodium diets may not be as beneficial as previously thought. And the America Journal of Hypertension said in a 2014 study that “Systematic Review of Health Outcomes in Relation to Salt Intake Highlights the Widening Divide Between Guidelines and the Evidence”. Which in non-science-speak means that guidelines on salt might be out of date, and that not everyone needs to lower their salt intake.   low-sod
12.  joke-1 Bread and other carbs have to be avoided. Healthy carbs are an essential part of a healthy diet. You should definitely eat carbs, and you should also eat them in healthy quantities. The problem is highly-refined carbohydrates, those you usually find at the open-24-hours store. Twinkies, poptarts, sugary cereals, all these are bad carbs. But the right kind of carbohydrates can boost your health!
13. Raw veggies are better than cooked. Not true, according to various scientific studies. In fact, cooked foods often supply more of what you need in terms of nutritional goodness. For instance, boiling and steaming increase antioxidants. Cooking carrots increases their beta-carotene, which gets converted to Vitamin A in your body. So chow down on raw and cooked vegetables, and enjoy!  veg
14.  sweet-nuff Sugar causes diabetes. While being overweight can contribute to your getting type 2 diabetes, and eating too many sugary foods can lead to weight gain, the American Diabetes Association assures us that eating sugar itself can’t cause diabetes. They highly recommend limiting your intake of sugary beverages like soda, fruit drinks and energy drinks. They say that, “Research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes”.
15. Cancer cells feed on sugar. This is a myth, says the Cancer Society. But it may indirectly cause cancer by contributing to obesity. By the way, they also say that non-nutritive sweeteners also do not cause cancer. Be smart, eat limited amounts of both.  sugar-poison
16.  steak Avoid red meat at all costs. Don’t! Meat is delicious, full of nutrition and our bodies are made to eat it. We’re carnivores, and avoiding meat makes no sense unless you have to or are avoiding it for personal reasons. Authority Nutrition says, “There are no proven health benefits to avoiding meat.”
17. Calories are calories. We’ve all thought for a long time that calories in-calories out=calorie deficit/addition. In other words, simplistically, if I need 2000 calories a day to function, and I cut that back to 1500 calories a day, I’ll lose weight. And I will. But it’s not as simple as that. The foods we eat can have a huge impact on the biological processes that govern when, what and how much we eat. Read more here.  calorie
18.  ban-hfcs High fructose corn syrup will kill you dead. High Frucose Corn Syrup has been in the news and on commercials since 2004, when Dr. Barry Popkin associated it with the obesity epidemic. Singling out HFCS turned out to be unjustified, Popkin now admits. “Dozens of human studies on HFCS and energy intake and weight change show that our hypothesis was wrong.” He does suggest, however, that it is because of ALL the sugars now prevalent in our diet. He says that calorie-free sweeteners are just as bad, and that the sweet drinks we all imbibe are the worst things of all. Little to no sugar or fake sugar is the aim. But so hard to turn away from the sweetness.
19. The Quinoa craze is hurting the Peruvians and Bolivians. The South Americans who grow quinoa have never been happier. They are making money, and changing their lives. What may hurt them is if the crop goes worldwide, and there are people working on their side.  quinoa-farmer
20.  coc-oil Coconut Oil is the best thing ever. Coconut oil is still a fat, and it has all the benefits and hazards of fats. It’s high in calories, and numerous reports show that it also raises LDL (bad) cholesterol just like other saturated fats, such as butter.

 

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Are Your Elderly Parents Eating Right?

Rear View Of Senior Couple Walking Along Autumn PathDo you know the answer to the following question? Are your senior parents eating right and are they getting the proper nutrition for this stage of life? The nutrition needs for our bodies don’t necessarily change as we age, it’s the way we get that nutrition that does. The reason for the concern about keeping the nutrients up in the elderly include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Diminished activity, causing fewer calories to be needed, reducing hunger
  • Dental issues – it can be quite painful to eat when the mouth is inflamed
  • Depression
  • Changes in the gastric system
  • Taste buds and smells change as we age, sometimes causing food to smell/taste unfamiliar.

Right now freezer cooking seems to be all the rage. It makes sense to have ready to cook or ready to heat up meals available. It’s such a huge time-saver. One of the problems with this is the repetitiveness. Not to mention the difficulty in preparing a meal that will meet your senior parent’s diet requirements. Frequently, one member of the household needs a specialized diet, while the rest of the family may eat a “normal” diet – or they may have different nutrition needs altogether. Some diet requirements to consider are:

  • Gluten intolerance
  • Low carbohydrate/low sugar/diabetes
  • Portion controlled/different calorie counts

Stuffed_BellPepperFortunately, MagicKitchen.com has taken all of these aspects into consideration when making their cooked meals for delivery. There are many choices available for seniors, so they can select meals to nourish their bodies in the proper way. These meals are packed with protein which supports muscle mass and helps the immune system, They are low in sodium – making them heart healthy, and a great source for potassium – which aids in reduction of kidney stones, maintaining muscle mass, and prevention of stroke.

Selection of the right foods and preparing them might seem pretty daunting to aging adults. MagicKitchen.com enables you to sit down with your aging parent and select cooked meals for delivery of healthy, delicious food. It allows them to be able to get the nutrition necessary to reduce the risk of not eating or eating junk food because it is just “easier”. With MagicKitchen.com delivering meals, all that needs to be done is pop them in the microwave. In four to five minutes, a tasty, nutrient-dense meal is ready to eat!  Seniors can feel good about this as they retain independence, and you can feel at ease knowing your aging parent is eating right. Select meals individually, or set up an automatic senior meal plan.

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10 Tips for getting in Shape

The festivities are over, now really over even if they lasted an extra month, as they did for some of us. They came with a lot of fun and consequently, a little or a lot of weight gain.

running

Now it is the time to make changes, and losing weight is the first task in your to-do list. However, working out regularly and toning up can be very challenging. Here are some great ideas, the Top Ten Workout Routines!

A good workout routine needs a little innovation and a lot of motivation to easily make it a habit. Here are top ten ways that will get you moving and staying healthy all year long:

Running and swimming

Swimming and running may be considered two separate workout routines. However, when done together, they will help you maintain fitness and use some of those neglected muscle groups. When your body is mobile, you will lose a good amount of weight.

Walking tied with yoga

Walking is a well-known exercise that should be incorporated into every workout routine. When walking and yoga are tied together, they could provide similar health benefits to weightscycling. This keeps you very fit.

Weight lifting

Weight lifting is not all about being buffed and chiseled. Contrary to what people believe, weight lifting is a good workout routine that helps you burn fat.

ell-kickElliptical and kick boxing

Elliptical machines are used to stimulate climbing, walking and running. This kind of exercise should be paired with kick boxing because the two will help lose weight twice as fast than an ordinary exercise would.

Eat healthy

Losing weight will get you in good shape; therefore, you need to consume fewer calories than what is needed to maintain your weight. Exercise alone does not cut it.

mountaineerMountain Climbing

This may be the best exercise to incorporate into your daily workout routine because it does not require any special equipment. Mountain climbing is advantageous as it tones your body thus burns fat quickly.

Hiking and brisk walking

Running and brisk walking easily improves your fitness every time you do it. The ideal way is to hike then brisk walk for a few minutes in between intervals.

Stretching

dancing2When you do not use all of your muscles on a daily basis, simple activates such as climbing the stairs may be strenuous for you. Constant stretching and using resistance training plans will help you burn fat, get in shape and stay that way for life. This should be done on a daily basis.

Playing tennis

Although this may be an underrated exercise, running after the tennis ball will help you get into shape. Tennis helps you strengthen your muscles and easily lose weight.

Dancing

Dancing is often considered as a fun activity. However, it does not matter whether you are dancing in a night club or are slow dancing. Anytime you move your body, you will burn excessive calories.

Staying in good shape will help you to improve your health and be confident in your own skin. Try out these proven routines and you are well on your way to being in perfect shape!

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