Category Archives: Health

Why Isn’t Dad Eating? Senior’s Changing Nutritional Needs

elderly-handsIt is estimated that there are over 3.7 million malnourished seniors living in the United States at the current time and even more with various vitamin deficiencies. The reasons for this are varied and range from loss of appetite due to medications to depression to dental issues.

Whatever the cause, not eating properly as we age can become more serious due to the changing nutritional needs of seniors. Thus, determining exactly why the seniors in your life aren’t eating properly as well as knowing what they SHOULD be eating can go a long way to getting them back on the road to proper nutrition.

lemon-herbsAs we age, we suffer from (among other things) appetite loss due to diminished taste buds and sense of smell. Add to those two causes the side effect of loss of appetite from medication and it’s easy to understand why some seniors have lost the interest they once possessed in food.  One way to combat this is cooking with lemon juice, vinegar and different herbs rather than butter and/or salt. These tastes will often be discerned where more subtle ones won’t.

depressed-senior-manSome seniors tire of cooking for one and eating alone and, therefore, do less of it. Depression, especially after the loss of a loved one, can also cause many seniors to eat less. Finally, dental issues, such as tooth loss and the pain associated with it or ill-fitting dentures can be the reason some seniors avoid eating certain foods.

Now, once you’ve figured out why the senior(s) in your life aren’t eating the way they should, the next task is to determine what they need to be consuming to meet their unique nutritional needs. Generally speaking, a proper diet can aid in preventing or treating heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, constipation and certain forms of cancer.

Essentially, just about everything seniors eat should provide some nutritional value…no empty calories! Of course we all immediately think of fruits and veggies, but there’s one simple rule to remember: when it comes to fruits and veggies think “color.” Yes, color. There’s a reason they come in a variety of hues. Their color is derived from the fact that they’re packed with a variety of vitamins and antioxidants. So don’t just think leafy greens, think yellow peppers, orange carrots, red raspberries, blueberries, red apples, white asparagus, and blackberries. It’s a simple way to ensure seniors get a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

hippocrates

Lean Roast Turkey from MagicKitchen.com
Lean Roast Turkey from MagicKitchen.com

Also, seniors need plenty of lean protein, vitamin D and calcium from varied sources such as seafood, poultry, legumes, nuts and fat-free or reduced fat dairy, while avoiding red meats and fried foods. They also require plenty of whole grains (think quinoa, brown rice, popcorn) and fiber (which can be derived from fruits and veggies) and they should stay away from trans and saturated fats as well as sodium. Just remember, when it comes to eating, food consumed by seniors should provide nutritional value. If it doesn’t, they shouldn’t eat it. (Although an occasional piece of dark chocolate wouldn’t go amiss.)

MagicKitchen.com provides Senior Meal Plans and individual senior meals, so if you’re worried about your older parents eating right, visit us.  Order a la carte or see our complete meals. Either one provides good nutrition and great taste, wrapped up in a convenient package.

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Diabetic Diet Ideal for All

For the 21 million Americans with diabetes, losing and/or maintaining weight is of critical importance in order to avoid complications caused by the disease.  Most of them manage their weight through exercise and diet…and by diet I don’t necessarily mean being “on” a diet, because that implies their diet is temporary.  It is not.  It is the permanent state of making healthy food choices out of necessity.  It is a lifestyle, not a diet in the traditional sense, and we could all benefit from rethinking what the term “diet” entails as most diabetics already have.

carImagine, if you will, that you’re a car and you’re required to drive up a long, steady incline, which you complete without too much trouble.  Now imagine having to complete the same task with some “junk in your trunk,” say the concrete remains of a sidewalk that was just torn up.  You manage to make it up the hill, but your engine had to work a whole lot harder and as you climb that hill, day after day, parts begin to fail.  The same can happen to humans with excess weight (or too much junk in the trunk).  Complications ensue…heart disease, high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, cancer, and type II diabetes.

scaleSo, as you can see, being overweight should be a concern to us all, not just diabetics. And one way to lose or maintain your weight is to follow the lifestyle choices most diabetics follow in terms of what and how they eat.  As always, most of us already know what’s healthy (fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein) and what is not (a venti cinnamon dolce latte, muffins the size of your head).  After all, this isn’t rocket science here.

One thing many diabetics do is strictly monitor and track what they consume.  In other words, they COUNT CALORIES…gasp!  And it’s a good idea for all of us.  Just count your caloric intake for a few days.  My guess is that the difference between what you believe that number to be and what it actually is will surprise you…in a bad, OMG way.  Another thing most diabetics do is plan their meals ahead of time and then stick to that plan…no spur of the moment stops at DQ for a $5 nail to place in your coffin. A diabetic diet just makes sense.

supermarketMany diabetics also limit the intake of their carbohydrates and consume non-starchy vegetables (avoid potatoes, corn and peas).  They also eat whole grains and avoid refined or processed flour and sugar (avoid Twinkies and Chips Ahoy cookies).  They eat only lean protein (fish, skinless chicken, pork, beans and soy products).  They eat fresh fruit and avoid the frozen or canned variety as they often have added sugar.  And lastly, they eat “healthy” fats such as those derived from avocados, olives, nuts and seeds.  Just remember, the best diet is one you can stay “on” forever.

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15 Foods for Healthy Kidneys

kidneyHey…HEY!  It’s us, your hard-working kidneys and yeah, we know it’s been a while since we talked…like in forever, but we thought it was time to give you some advice about what types of food to eat in order to keep us filtering out the trash you put into our body (it ain’t just your body, you know).

It’s not easy processing 50 gallons of blood (yes, 50!) and filtering out 2 quarts of waste and extra water on a daily basis…we then send that waste to your bladder on its way to the great beyond.  As your body’s filtration system, we also help regulate the levels of sodium, phosphorus and potassium levels in your blood, so yeah, we’re fairly important internal organs that are often forgotten about…hence this little chat.

Yeah, we’re forgotten about until we begin to malfunction.  Yes, diabetes and high blood pressure can cause us serious problems, but many times our renal functions are compromised in a silent and slow process that eventually leads to chronic kidney disease which, often times, can be prevented by eating a balanced and healthy diet.  Ooops, almost forgot an important fact…chronic kidney disease can’t be cured once it’s taken hold.  You can only hope to prolong our “lives” as long as possible through treatment and diet.  Yeah, we suppose, God forbid, a kidney transplant is an option, but we’d both like to stay right where we’re at, thank you very much.

So where were we? …Oh yeah, kidney friendly foods out there that can prevent and/or treat kidney disease.  It’s all about self-preservation you know.  These foods generally contain moderate levels of protein and potassium, low levels of sodium, cholesterol, and fat and high levels of vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories…yes, you guessed correctly, mostly fresh fruits and vegetables…you don’t need a PhD in nutrition to figure this stuff out!

  1. red-pepper-happyRed Bell Peppers – chock full ‘o vitamins A, C, and B6 and the antioxidant lycopene with low levels of potassium…heart healthy too.cauliflower-happy
  2. Garlic – contains anti-inflammatories and antioxidant qualities…just remember to follow it up with a mint…just sayin’.
  3. onion-winkOnions – wait, garlic AND onions…keep your distance.  Low in potassium, full of flavonoids, the antioxidant quercetin and chromium…cry us a river as you peel, but get us some onions!
  4. Apples – keep the doc away by eating these spheres of goodness that contain fiber, anti-inflammatories and which help reduce cholesterol.
  5. Through 9.  Berries – Think cran, blue, ras, and straw…most contain a ton of vitamin C, manganese, antioxidants, fiber and cranberries help prevent urinary tract infections.

10.cherries Cherries – are not the pits, they just contain them as well as phytochemicals which help
       reduce inflammation and antioxidants.
11. Egg Whites – OK, so get an egg separator already, but put in the work to get the amino acids and moderate amount of protein without the cholesterol and phosphorous
present in the yolks.
12. fish-cartoonFish – another good source of protein along with omega 3 fatty acids and fish is known
       to reduce LDL levels (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL levels.
13. Kale – has become so popular that it’s now used as a name.  It’s also contains our good
       friends vitamin A and C, as well as iron and anti-inflammatories.
14. Olive Oil – think of Popeye’s board-like love interest as you cook with this healthy oil
       that contains oleic acid and polyphenols.
15.mushroom-30 Mushrooms – funny, we remember overhearing numerous men claim they were often
       treated like mushrooms by their significant other…kept in the dark and fed a lot of…
shall we say solid human waste product.  Anyway, they’re low in fat, calories, and
cholesterol and provide us with vitamin D, selenium and just the right amount of
potassium. 

So, to recap, just remember to eat some of these foods on a daily basis and we’ll provide you with our valuable filtration services for years to come…nice talk.

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Top Ten Health Discoveries You Probably Missed

bionic-lens1. Bionic Vision – You probably never thought something would come along to give you super-vision. But this Canadian doctor has invented a lens for implantation in your eye that will give you exactly that.  “If you can just barely see the clock at 10 feet, when you get the Bionic Lens you can see the clock at 30 feet away,” says Webb.

You will be able to see close up, for reading, mid distance and long distance, with more clarity than ever before. The operation will take 8 minutes, and should be available in some areas in two years.

brain2. Talking to Computers – The US military is developing an interface between the human brain and computers. “The interface would serve as a translator, converting between the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology”, says an article.

“The interface would serve as a translator, converting between the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology. ” This new technology could potentially restore lost hearing or sight. Other diseases could potentially also be managed or cured. ALS, Parkinsons and others are possibilities.

light3. Pain Treated with Light –  Traditionally, severe pain is treated with opioid drugs like Oxycodone and Fentanyl. This has caused huge problems with addiction all across North America, and of course long-time use of opioids is bad for anyone’s system.

Now, scientists have discovered a way to trigger the opioid centers of the brain, using light. If this technology advances, perhaps opioids may no longer be necessary, and light would take their place.

With light, patients can get relief without the associated liver and kidney problems of long-term opioid use.

dog-sniff4. Dogs can Detect Cancer – And why not? Dogs can smell ten thousand times better than us.  That means they could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water.  They are ideally adapted to smell an illness in a person.

German scientists tested two German shepherds, a Labrador retriever, and an Australian shepherd. Each dog sniffed the breath of 220 patients, correctly identifying lung cancer at a rate of 71 percent.

Dogs may not be used directly in disease detection, but scientists hope to use this knowledge to develop sensors to track and detect cancers.

sedasys5. Robot Anesthesiologist – A new machine called the Sedasys may one day replace anesthesiologists. For now, it is taking the place of an the expensive specialist in simple procedures like colonoscopies.

The machine administers sedatives and monitors the patient. In this way, one anesthesiologist can be responsible for several patients.  Do anesthesiologists like the new machine? No, they believe that nothing can take the place of their training and experience, a valid argument. But the machine is being used in four US hospitals now for colonoscopies, so technology is marching on.

organs-lab6.  Building Organs from Scratch – For years, scientists have wished for the ability to create new body parts in the lab. With the advent of 3D printers, this wish is turning into a reality.

This isn’t just any 3D printer, it’s a new, sophisticated machine which can fabricate human tissue of any sort. Think liver,  kidneys, arms and legs.  Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed this system. The new parts, when implanted into living tissue, become viable organs.

laughing7. Laughing Prevents Memory Loss – Laughing and having fun reduces stress. Scientists wondered if less stress would help relieve memory loss in seniors.

They tested a group of seniors by testing their memories, then having them watch a funny movie. Those who laughed at the movie tested better on the memory test after the film. Those who didn’t enjoy themselves fared less well.

The moral of this story is plain to see: Let go of anger and strife and enjoy yourself- less stress helps your life in all kinds of ways!

spine8. Paralyzed Limbs can Move Again with Brain Power –  Scientists in Washington are working on a new device to help paralyzed limbs work again. What a boon this would be for millins of people worldwide.

The schedule is to have clinical trials in about eight years, so it is not imminent. However, this technology builds upon tests done which made a paralyzed man walk. The new device would actually be implanted into the brain.

The device would then reconnect areas of the brain and nervous system that haven’t been communicating due to injury or stroke.

smoke-kills9. A Bacteria That Helps Smokers Quit – Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things people do. Many try it five or six times before making it. Part of it is the actual addiction, which is as strong as that to heroin. Part of it is the lifestyle around smoking.

Researchers have discovered a bacterial enzyme that kills nicotine before it ever gets to the brain. They hope that destroying nicotine before it gets to the brain and releases dopamine (the reward), they will help lessen the desire to smoke.

Time will tell if this latest quitting device will work. But if you still smoke, it’s important to find a way to quit. There are many reasons to quit smoking.

cefaly10. New Technology for Migraine Sufferers –  Two FDA-approved devices provide a different way to deal with migraine headaches. One is the Cephaly band, the other is called Spring TMS.

Cephaly is used daily to prevent the attacks. Spring TMS is used at the onset of the attack, at  the first sign of pain.

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Frozen Food is as Healthy as Fresh!

frozen berriesAnd sometimes frozen produce is even healthier. That fact flies in the face of the common misconception out there that fresh produce from your supermarket is somehow healthier than frozen, and that’s simply not true. In fact, two recent studies conducted in Britain found that some frozen fruits and vegetables were “…richer in health-boosting vitamins and antioxidants.” These studies found that, for example, frozen broccoli had four times the beta-carotene and frozen carrots had higher levels of vitamin C and polyphenols than their “fresh” counterparts.

limp celerySo how could we all have gotten this so wrong? What the British studies, and similar studies conducted by Rice University and the University of California at Davis discovered was that “fresh” does not always equate to picked yesterday. Supermarket produce is almost always picked prior to becoming ripe and permitted to ripen in storage and during shipment. Thus, these fruits and veggies were picked weeks before they reach your kitchen and the longer they sit off the tree, bush, vine or out of the ground, the more nutrients they lose.

oranges-1117644_960_720On the other hand, much of the produce that’s destined to be frozen is permitted to reach the peak of ripeness, which is also its time of optimum nutrition, prior to being picked. Think of this as cryogenic freezing that keeps the produce perpetually young, immortal, if you will, until it’s thawed and ultimately enjoyed.

The nutrient studies cited above also found that florescent lights, such as those in a supermarket, and the darkness of your fridge, where much of your produce sits for days prior to being consumed, can screw with the circadian clocks of the fruits and veggies. This artificial light and darkness causes the peaches-825564_960_720produce to “produce” (couldn’t resist) fewer cancer fighting glucosinolates.

So, unless you own an extensive fruit and vegetable garden on par with a small farm, or visit a farmer’s market on an almost daily basis (and that’s often impossible during the winter and early spring months), freshly picked and quickly frozen produce, such as the type used here at MagicKitchen.com, can more than meet your nutritional needs.

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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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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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Healthy Meals Delivered

seniors-exerciseThe holidays are finally over, and you’ve committed the 2016 year to improving your health through diet and exercise. So far, your diet is going well, but you are so tired at the end of the day that cooking a healthy meal often feels like too much work! It’s much easier to slip back into your old, unhealthy ways of stopping by McDonalds on your way home from work or ordering a pizza for dinner and relax in front of the television all evening. We understand what you are going through, and are here to help you achieve success with your New Year’s resolution to be a healthier, more active you!

MagicKitchen.com offers a wide selection of healthy, delicious meals delivered right to your door. Many of the meals take only a few minutes to cook in the microwave or bake in the oven – enough time for you to change into your comfy pajamas and pour yourself a glass of wine.

Veal Parmigiana2Eating healthy does not mean that your food should taste like a cardboard box, either. The portion-controlled meals created in our kitchens are prepared by top chefs using the highest quality produce, spices, and ingredients available on the market. Meals like Buttermilk Pancakes with Egg Patties and Turkey Sausage for breakfast or Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce, Mashed Potatoes with Peas & Carrots for dinner are tasty, healthy food choices to satisfy your stomach.

Of course, even when you’re on a diet you can sometimes get a sweet tooth. When your sweet tooth strikes, try satisfying your taste buds with our delectable Double Fudge Brownie. This satisfying sweet treat is made with Guittard’s dark chocolate wafers that are packed with healthy antioxidants, and half a serving contains only 102 calories and 5 grams of fat. Note that is half a serving- but you’ll never be so happy to eat half a serving.

At MagicKitchen.com, we understand that balancing your work-life schedule is tiresome enough and that you may be too tired in the evening to cook a healthy meal for yourself or your family. Our chef-prepared, dietitian approved healthy meal packages delivered to your door allow you to rest easy and focus on the more important aspects of life – your family – while helping you achieve your New Year’s resolution goals.

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Start Planning your Summer Vacation Now!

winter-miseryGot the winter and/or post-holiday blahs? Suffering from seasonal affective disorder? (a condition whereby you get depressed primarily due to the lack of natural light…I would think this hits Alaskans pretty hard this time of year). Got a bad case of cabin fever? Stuck in the doldrums?  Whatever you call it, this time of year can cause even the happiest person to go through severe bouts of malaise and apathy. However, there is a way to fight back and it’s called planning for your upcoming summer vacation.

marley-2In the immortal words of Bob Marley (who was from perpetually warm and sunny Jamaica by the way), “Ever little thing is gonna be alright.” As the Earth makes its way around the sun, January gives way to the most hated (and shortest) month of the year…February, which means spring is right around the corner which means increased amounts of daylight, baseball, and the pending summer. But sometimes, in the middle of winter, with its endless steel gray skies, snow squalls, wind chills, iced-over windshields, and bulky coats, we forget that summer is, in fact, on its way. There is, however, one sure way to remind us of the approaching summer and that’s to begin planning for your summer vacation in the height of winter.

There are a number of benefits to performing this sometimfuity-cocktailes overlooked activity. If you start the process now, you should be able to book exactly where you want, when you want due to the fact that your calendar is only on its first page and most people haven’t given thought to their summer vacation. But most importantly, its gets you thinking of summer, tan lines, sunshine, outdoor dining, sunshine, beaches, and did I mention sunshine? Anticipating the summer holiday should help blast away the winter blues.

Here’s my last bit of advice…as you plan your summer vacation in the midst of winter, crank the heat, don some beachwear, get a tropical scene for your computer’s wallpaper, blast the aforementioned Marley or other “warm” music, enjoy an over-sized and fruity cocktail, and encourage your friends and/or family to join you in this small, but significant break from the icy and seemingly perpetual grip of Old Man Winter.

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Top Ten Healthiest Frozen Foods

Healthy Frozen Meals
Spinach Mushroom Lasagna with Green Beans

There’s no doubt that frozen foods are some of the most convenient foods on the planet. But if you’re eating healthy,  you have concerns about eating them. Here are the top ten healthiest frozen foods on the market.

1. MagicKitchen.com – Our meals are made by hand without preservatives, and we show the nutritional panel on each product page. We have categories for Diabetic, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Low Carbohydrate, Low Cholesterol, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Vegetarian in our HomeStyle menu. We also feature our MK Special Menu Meals, which are complete meals especially created by our chefs for the convenience and health of those on special diets. Our choice, ease of purchase and customer service make us the best website to buy from. Our meals give us the honor of being the healthiest frozen meals around. Customer reviews >>

2. Edamame. They’re low in fat and calories and high in protein, fiber and almost every other essential vitamin and mineral. Heat them per instructions, toss with a little sesame oil and soy sauce, and you have a terrific snack.

3. Brown Rice has the whole grain, nothing taken away but the hull, so it’s way better for you than white rice. You can buy it frozen, which eliminates the usual 40 minute cooking time. It’s nutty and chewy and really good!

4. Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Masala Burger reportedly is very healthy. I can’t say I’m a big fan of vegetarian burgers, but I guess if they disguise the taste in some masala spices…

5. Jennie-o Frozen Turkey Breast Tenderloins – these aren’t heavily processed, are lower in sodium, and very lean.  You can get recipes here.

6. ah-scoops-mango-400Häagen-Dazs Mango Fat Free Sorbet – No fat, people! That doesn’t mean you can eat the whole container, but a half a cup is only 150 calories, and no fat grams.

7. Alexia all natural sweet potato fries – Only 174 calories and 5 g of fat for the delightful taste treat of 3 ounces of sweet potato fries. We both know you’ll double that, so keep it as your only ingredient for supper. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and iron. That’s a healthy dinner!

8. Tyson Grilled Chicken Breast Strips – Already grilled, so heat them up for a sandwich wrap, a stirfry, a taco, or a salad!

9. Engine 2 Grain Medleys – Ancient Grains Blend – contains organic quinoa, organic farro, organic red lentils, organic brown rice, organic black birdeseye-peachesbarley. That’s like so much healthy stuff that you won’t need to eat healthy again for a week. Kidding! Of course we eat healthy every meal.

10. Birdseye Ultimate Frozen Sliced Peaches – If you can’t find fresh, frozen peaches are great in recipes. Little did you know that the lowly peach supplies you with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, Antioxidants, and small amounts of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B-6, thiamine, riboflavin, and more.

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