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    10 Immune System Boosting Recipes You’ll Make All Winter Long

    Cold and flu season is here and the last place any of us want to be is stuck at home under the weather. When it comes to supporting the immune system, prioritizing 7-9 hours of sleep, exercising in ways that bring you joy, spending time in nature, and choosing foods that protect you at a cellular level are essential. Eating a varied diet of whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables are key to overall health, and specific nutrients found in these foods can help aid in immune function. You may have heard that vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc are star players for immunity, but some others to keep in mind are vitamin E (for antioxidants!) and compounds found in garlic, ginger, and turmeric, which may fight bacteria, viruses, and decrease inflammation. 
    If you’re looking to start supporting your immune health, consider incorporating more plants or plant-based foods to your meals. And if you’re not sure where to start, I got you. As a registered dietician, these are 10 of my favorite immune-supporting recipes to make all winter long.

    Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

    Source: Wholesome Yum

    Source: Minimalist Baker

    Source: Fit Foodie Finds

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Fit Foodie Finds

    Source: Cookie + Kate

    30 Comfort Food Recipes for When It Gets Crisp and Cool Out More

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    Struggling With Weight Loss but Not Sure Why? Here Are 5 Possible Reasons

    “It’s simple,” they say. “Just eat well and exercise!” It’s the age-old weight loss formula, but we all know better: Losing weight isn’t that black and white and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Maintaining a healthy diet and spending time at the gym are just two of the many factors that play a role in weight. And, let’s face it: Whether you’re trying to lose weight to improve your overall health, feel more in tune with yourself and your body, or fit into your old go-to pair of skinny jeans (no matter what Gen Z says!), losing weight can be a struggle even when you’re doing everything “right.” So what gives? To get down to the nitty-gritty, I asked Andi Lew, a certified food, lifestyle, and wellness coach and author of Connected: A Paradigm Shift in How We View Health, to weigh in on underlying causes that may be hindering your weight loss efforts.
    BTW, the purpose of this article is not to make you believe that weight loss has to be a goal (it doesn’t) or that you need to obsess over these factors or else you’ll gain weight (you won’t). Instead, this article is meant to show you that trouble losing weight has absolutely nothing to do with your willpower, laziness, or worth. If weight loss is your goal and you feel like there’s no hope, read on for five eye-opening oversights to watch out for. 

    Meet the expert

    Certified Food, Lifestyle, and Wellness Coach
    Andi Lew is an Australian-native, leading wellness expert and best-selling author with nine books and 30 years experience in teaching natural health.

    1. You’re reaching for foods you think are healthy but really aren’t
    Step into any grocery store and you’ll be met with labels that read “all-natural,” “gluten-free,” and “low-fat” (I could go on and on). A word to the wise: Those buzzwords don’t give the whole picture. “A lot of health claims are placed on packages to sell you products,” Lew said. “For example, gluten-free or low-fat packaged goods often have added sugar, oils, and sodium, so read the nutrition facts carefully.”
    Also, these packaged (AKA processed) imposter health foods are void of nutrients. “Processed foods have been stripped of their vitamins and minerals so you end up overeating as you’re never satisfied on a nutritional level,” Lew said. “They’re usually packed with sugar, which is addictive and creates an inflamed gut and acidic environment. Cutting down or eliminating these foods will help the body regulate itself.” Bottom line: Swap health halo-wearing foods with whole foods (read: foods that exist in nature and that you’ll find in the outside perimeter of the store) or check the nutrition labels and make sure it’s all ingredients you recognize.

    2. You’re not getting enough nutrition
    Between the high fructose corn syrup, refined oils and sugars, and trans fats found in today’s processed foods, it’s no wonder more than 90% of Americans aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, like magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, D, E, and C, in their diets. “Poor diet combined with emotional or chemical stressors often results in leaky gut syndrome,” Lew explained. In other words, if you don’t have a healthy gut, it can’t properly absorb nutrients. The good news? You can improve your gut health by staying hydrated, consuming whole, unprocessed and high-fiber foods, managing stress, and catching quality Zzzs.
    Then, they’re not giving your body the nutrients it needs because you’re under-eating or restricting foods, thanks to being conditioned by diet culture to think that we need to eat less in order to lose weight. But eating too little can have the opposite effect by drastically slowing down your metabolism and causing hormonal shifts (more on that to come). Instead, make sure you’re eating enough to fuel yourself with the proper vitamin and mineral intake. (If you’re experiencing symptoms like sluggishness, hair loss, irritability, or feeling cold all the time, those could be signs you’re not eating enough.) Consider getting a blood panel to check your nutrient levels, eat the rainbow, choose locally-grown and organic food sources when possible, and listen to your body’s hunger cues and eat whenever you’re hungry. 

    3. You’re not prioritizing sleep 
    A holistic approach to wellness includes more than just nutrition and exercise. Lew stressed the impact sleep and stress have on maintaining a healthy weight. “When we don’t get quality sleep–due to stress or environmental stress like blue light emitted from phones–we release stress hormones called adrenaline and cortisol, which slow down our body’s self-healing and functioning capacity,” she said.
    Ever noticed how you reach for junk food when you’re stressed or running on little sleep? That’s no coincidence. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived individuals tend to choose foods that are high in sugar and trans fat to compensate for feeling a lack of energy. What’s more, not getting enough or quality shut-eye is linked to increased hunger and portion sizes and decreased physical activity. On the other hand, waking up on the right side of the bed can help you make healthier food choices and feel more motivated to get your movement in. So take stock of your sleep habits and see where you can make improvements. Can you set a realistic and consistent sleep schedule? Or consider bidding adieu to your afternoon pick-me-up and favorite nightcap or lighting a candle while listening to soft music to relieve stress and unwind. Get your beauty sleep on and you just might get over the hump in your weight loss journey. 

    4. You have a hormonal imbalance
    Let’s be real: A lot of the times it feels like our hormones have a mind of their own, but hormone health is critical. Hormones facilitate nearly every bodily process, including metabolism, hunger, and fullness. Because hormones play a role in our appetites, some influence our body weight (looking at you, insulin, leptin, and cortisol). And when they’re out of whack (hello, fatigue, sugar cravings, weight loss resistance, stress), there’s no denying their effects. “An imbalance of hormones like excess cortisol may make the body go into fight or flight mode and induce the production of fat cells, which will cause a declining metabolism in an adaptive way for the body to store food for later use,” Lew stated. 
    So how do you strike the right hormonal balance? Tackle stress with meditation and yoga,  scrap the processed foods and refined carbs and and sugars (sound familiar?), go for workouts you enjoy and that stabilize cortisol (Pilates, anyone?), and get a good night’s sleep on the reg. If you’re still not able to hit reset on your hormones, Lew suggested scheduling a general check-up and working with your doctor or a health professional to address any underlying health conditions or hormonal imbalances you may have. 
     
    5. You have chronic inflammation
    More than just a major buzzword in the health and wellness space, inflammation is the common denominator of most chronic diseases and has a major impact on weight; with increased inflammation comes more weight gain. “If you regularly ingest inflammatory foods, such as sugar, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates, or processed foods, you’re creating a toxic environment in the body that doesn’t have the ability to digest, absorb, or excrete nutrition,” Lew affirmed. She also pointed out that food intolerances can be a source of inflammation, so pay attention to common symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea and seek out a naturopath to test for foods you may be reacting to.
    So if you’re checking all the weight loss boxes with nothing to show for it, inflammation may be to blame. While ditching the weight-gaining culprit doesn’t happen overnight, you can start by passing on the processed eats, loading up on anti-inflammatory produce and fats (think: leafy greens, berries, and salmon), and taking hot girl walks to get your body moving. 

    10 Weight Loss Myths, According to a Registered Dietitian More

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    15 Dietitian-Backed Recipes for Spooky Szn

    The leaves have changed, grocery store aisles are stocked with candy, and Halloween decorating is in full swing: Spooky szn is officially here. Halloween might be a one-night-only affair, but I believe you can celebrate all season long. For me, making a big pot of white chicken chili to enjoy while watching Hocus Pocus for the umpteenth time is a must every October. And let’s be real, I need my favorite Halloween candy on hand too. But just because the holiday is all about sweets, it doesn’t mean you can’t stick to your health goals. Keep reading for 15 Halloween recipes that are scary good—and nourishing, too!

    Source: Fit Foodie Finds

    Source: Rachel Mansfield

    Source: Peas and Crayons

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: Recipe Runner

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Well Plated

    Source: Fit Foodie Finds

    Source: Rachel Mansfield

    Source: Emilie Eats

    Source: Eazy Peazy Mealz

    Source: Cookie + Kate

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Wholesome Yum

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    8 Hacks That Will Help You Stop Throwing Away Uneaten Produce Every Week

    We’ve all been there: You load up a cart full of fresh fruits, veggies, and greens with high hopes of a healthy, salad-filled week ahead. But then you needed to treat yourself with takeout after a rough day at work. Or you spotted that bag of Trader Joe’s pasta stashed in your freezer and all memory of vegetables left your brain. All too soon, your once-crisp, fresh produce is now brown, limp, and oozing some sort of strange liquid.
    If this feels a little too familiar, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Sure, part of the problem comes down to meal planning, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Luckily, there are tons of tricks out there that can help keep your produce fresher for longer. If you’re sick of throwing out fruits and veggies week after week, here are the produce hacks you need to know:

    1. Wait to wash your produce until you’re ready to eat it.
    I know you’ve seen those fridge-stocking videos of people unpacking their groceries, washing all the produce, and carefully arranging it in aesthetically pleasing containers. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: all that produce is going to go bad so fast. That’s because pre-washing your produce adds excess moisture that could make it spoil faster. Plus, you’ll likely want to rinse it again before eating it anyway to wash off any fridge germs, so you might as well save some water and skip the pre-rinse. 

    2. Store your produce properly. 
    If you come home from the grocery store and immediately toss everything in the fridge, you might be doing it wrong. Some fruits and veggies need to stay chilled while others are best kept at room temperature, and it’s important to know the difference. Tomatoes, for example, will go bad fast if you store them in the refrigerator. In general, fruits that ripen over time (like bananas, melons, avocadoes, and peaches) are good on the counter until they’re ripe—then they should go in the fridge. 

    3. Use your fridge drawers correctly.
    Most refrigerators have what are called crisper drawers—usually one for fruits and another for veggies. They’re separate because vegetables tend to prefer high humidity, while most fruits do best in low humidity. These drawers are typically marked accordingly, but if not, make sure the drawer you store your veggies in is closed tightly. You can keep your fruit drawer slightly ajar to lower the humidity inside.

    4. Put a paper towel in with your greens.
    If you’re tired of taking your spinach on its weekly trip from the fridge to the garbage can, this produce hack is for you. The next time you buy a plastic container of greens, open the lid and place a few paper towels on top. (If you buy bagged greens, empty them out into a separate container, then add the paper towels.) Put the lid back on, flip the container upside-down, and store it like that in the fridge. The paper towels will absorb moisture and help keep the greens fresh. Bonus tip: You can also use paper towels to keep your fresh berries from going mushy too soon!

    5. Freeze fresh herbs in oil.
    Herbs are a great way to add flavor and freshness to your meals, but it always seems impossible to use them all up before they go bad. Instead of waiting for that extra basil to inevitably perish in your fridge, freeze it in oil so you can use it later. All you have to do is chop up your herbs, spoon them into an ice cube tray, top with olive oil, and pop into the freezer. Later on, you can use your frozen herb cubes to flavor sauces, soups, pasta dishes, and more.

    6. Cover banana stems with foil.
    Bananas can go from green to brown and mushy in a matter of days. If you’re not looking to whip up some banana bread, you can keep your bananas fresher by covering the stem with a small piece of aluminum foil. This trick works because of a little thing called ethylene—AKA the gas that fruits emit as they ripen. By keeping it contained, you can slow down the ripening process. If your bananas still went brown faster than you wanted, peel, slice, and freeze them—you can use them for smoothies!

    7. Revive wilted produce with cold water.
    Got some produce that has gone all limp and wilted? You don’t have to throw it away just yet. Since most veggies and greens are porous, you can revive them by soaking them in water. Submerge your wilted produce in a container filled with ice water and place it in the fridge. In about 30 minutes, it should be perky again! For produce with stalks or stems (like broccoli, asparagus, celery, and herbs), treat them like a bouquet of flowers. Trim the ends and stand them up in a container of cold water so they can absorb moisture from the bottom up.

    8. Store mushrooms in paper bags.
    Mushrooms tend to turn slimy and unappetizing real quick, and the plastic-wrapped container they’re packaged in is often the culprit. Instead of tossing that container straight into your crisper drawer, empty the mushrooms into a paper bag first. The paper bag will absorb moisture, keeping your mushrooms at the right humidity level and slime-free. 

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    I’m a Registered Dietician—Here Are 10 Recipes I’m Making This Fall

    When the crisp weather arrives, there’s nothing I love more than curling up on the couch with a cozy, nourishing meal. As a dietitian, fall is my favorite season to cook and bake. There are delicious flavors like pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and maple. There’s also plenty of in-season produce such as squash, apples, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. All of these are great sources of micronutrients that will nourish your body all season long (think: vitamins A and C for healthy skin, immune function, and antioxidants). If you’re looking to create your own flavorful fall meals, look no further. Whether you’re team pumpkin spice or prefer an apple a day, read on for 10 recipes I’m making this fall!

    Source: Cookie + Kate

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen
     

    Source: Cookie + Kate

    Source: Rachl Mansfield

    Source: Well Plated

    Source: Emilie Eats

    Source: Half Baked Harvest

    Source: Lively Table

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Sally’s Baking Recipes

    How To Update Your Wellness Routine for Fall More

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    How To Recreate the Viral Hailey Bieber Smoothie on a Budget

    If there’s one thing I’m always on the lookout for, it’s tips on how to achieve flawless, glowing skin. Luckily, we have celebrities like Hailey Bieber to let us in on their skincare secrets. Well known for her flawless skin, she recently launched her own beauty line, Rhode. While Rhode currently has a waitlist, her viral Strawberry Glaze Skin Smoothie does not. 
    Launched at Erewhon Market in June, Hailey Bieber’s limited-edition smoothie includes skin-enhancing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid (which, by the way, I did not know you could ingest) and sea moss, which Erewhon described as a “wellness supporting ingredient.” Coming in at $17, this smoothie promises to have your skin glowing from the inside out. If you’re like me and don’t have an Erewhon Market nearby, or if you want to save money (doesn’t everyone?), you can easily re-create the viral smoothie from the comfort of your own kitchen. To find out if the smoothie is worth the hype, I tested it out for myself. 

     
    How to re-create the smoothie
    I followed the recipe Vital Proteins shared on their TikTok, which omits the hyaluronic acid and sea moss, making it more budget-friendly. Although these two ingredients are the stars of the smoothie show, don’t worry. This recipe is still packed with nutrient-dense flavors that are great for your skin. That being said, if you want to make the smoothie more authentic to the one sold at Erewhon Market, hyaluronic acid and sea moss are both available to order online. The recipe I followed does call for a strawberry glaze, which you can make yourself. For a more convenient option, it can also be purchased from the store, or you can use an alternative like strawberry jam or preserves. 

    Once I had my ingredients assembled, it was as simple as tossing them into my Nutribullet and blending until everything was well combined. In the meantime, I used the back of a spoon to spread coconut cream and strawberry glaze onto the sides of my drinking glass. You can skip the aesthetics and put both ingredients at the bottom of your glass for the same effect. 
    Before trying the smoothie out for yourself, I’d be remiss not to mention some quick tips. Depending on your blender, you may need to cut up the dates prior to blending to save yourself from big chunks of dates. Additionally, make sure to blend the smoothie thoroughly so that the collagen powder is well incorporated. Lastly, while dates, maple syrup, and strawberry glaze contain naturally-occurring sugars, the amount this smoothie calls for is something to be mindful of. If you want to make it less sweet, you can simply use only one date or omit the maple syrup or strawberry glaze altogether. 

    My thoughts as a registered dietitian
    I absolutely loved the texture of this smoothie. Thanks to the avocado, it was thick and creamy and much fluffier than other smoothies I’ve tried. The taste reminded me of a strawberry milkshake, and I would recommend this to anyone looking for a delicious post-workout snack or an on-the-go breakfast option.
    For me, smoothies are my go-to summer breakfast, and I can definitely see myself adding this to my weekly smoothie rotation. I personally love to toss a handful of greens into all my smoothies for an extra nutrient boost, which I plan on doing with this recipe in the future. Chia seeds are my favorite smoothie topping to aid in digestion, and I think they would make an excellent match for this glowing skin smoothie. 
    While this smoothie does contain some amazing ingredients for your skin (think: healthy fats from the avocado, vitamin C from the strawberries, and collagen for tissue support), I wouldn’t say it’s a magic cure-all for your skincare woes. As always, staying hydrated and eating a well-rounded diet rich in plants and other whole foods will provide essential nutrients to protect and keep your skin healthy. 

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    I’m a Registered Dietician–Here Are 15 Recipes I’m Making This Spring

    One thing I love about the season changing is the new, fresh produce it brings with it and spring recipes we can make. We know that eating in-season produce is great for our budget and health, but it can be hard to know exactly what to cook this time of year. With some days bringing chilly weather, you may find yourself still craving those comforting, cozy meals reminiscent of the winter season. And with warmer days on the horizon, a quick and easy salad may be the way to go. Regardless of what meal you make, making sure to include plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables will give your body energy, vitamins, and minerals. So, if you are looking for recipe inspiration, look no further. Here are 15 flavorful recipes I’m planning on making this spring. 

    Source: The Worktop

    Source: Gathered Nutrition

    Source: Love & Lemons

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Love & Lemons

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Ambitious Kitchen

    Source: Love & Lemons

    Source: Marisa Moore

    Source: Lively Table

    Source: Gimme Delicious

    Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

    Source: Recipe Runner

    Source: Eating Well

    Source: Half Baked Harvest

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    TBH, I Hate Vegetables—Here’s How I’m Eating Healthier This Year Without Sacrificing Taste

    All throughout college, eating like absolute garbage was one of my strongest personality traits. My affinity for Taco Bell, pizza rolls, and microwaveable mac and cheese was mostly due to a combination of 1) despising veggies and not knowing that nutrient-dense foods could be tasty, 2) being an absolute novice in the kitchen, and 3) not knowing how to tackle the learning curve that stood in the way of becoming my healthiest self. At the time, my friends all seemed to know the secret of how to cook at home and how to eat healthier than me, and meanwhile, you could find me ordering pizza to the library (for the third time in a single week).
    Once I graduated, I took some baby steps and made some copycat meals of my favorite takeout spots, but due to redundancy, lack of direction, and the fact that I’d set the fire alarm off pretty much every time that I cooked, I hadn’t quite nailed the “not-ordering-out-every-weeknight” bit. A few years later, wellness came to the forefront in my life and I decided that if I was going to continue to have the palate and cooking skills of a toddler, I’d have to re-strategize. And so began my journey of figuring out how to pull off some bomb recipes that would make me fall in love with finding balance in my meals and in the kitchen.
    After a few years of getting my meals down to a science, my best hack that I give to anyone who will listen is to order meals through Blue Apron. If you’re looking to take a holistic approach to your health this year, look no further—here are three ways that Blue Apron has helped me lean into a balanced lifestyle where I’ve found that veggies aren’t so bad after all.

    1. It’s introduced me to tons of new recipes and ingredients
    When I tell you that my idea of cooking pre-Blue Apron was boiling some noodles, adding some store-bought Ragu sauce, and loading on far too much parmesan, I wholeheartedly mean it. No slight to a good ole basic pasta dish—I love your work! But when it’s the only thing that you know how to make, it can get old—fast.
    When I first laid eyes on the recipe options that Blue Apron had to offer, I had two thoughts, the first being: “Damn, everything looks so good!” And quite quickly after, the second: “There’s absolutely no way that I can pull that off on my own.” I took the leap of faith, and after my first box, I was hooked. I made a broccoli-filled pesto pasta and—wait for it—I absolutely loved it (plus I didn’t burn my apartment complex down). Progress. It was one of the first meals I tried that made me realize I wasn’t bad at cooking or being mindful about the foods I was using to fuel my body—I just needed a little help.
    With over 50 chef-designed recipe options per week (including vegetarian, Weight Watchers-approved, and low cal), the ability to customize recipes, and more weekly wellness meals than ever before, Blue Apron has made finding balance with my meals (without sacrificing flavor or creativity in the kitchen) easier than ever before.

    2. It makes meal planning and prepping a breeze
    While meal planning and prepping might come naturally to some, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just never going to be one of those people. The idea of planning my meals before a trip to the grocery store sounds good in theory, but it hasn’t ever been something I’ve been able to stick to. I’ve made enough grocery trips where I forgot one crucial recipe item to know that it’s just not in my genes. And that’s OK.
    Because I’m not a pro in the kitchen and grocery shopping for one recipe can get expensive, ordering my meals through Blue Apron has been such a game-changer. When I grocery shop, I just focus on getting breakfast foods and snacks to keep things simple, and then I rely on Blue Apron to take care of the dinner portion of my meal planning. And despite my affinity for setting off the fire alarm when I cook, I have time and time again proven to myself that I can successfully whip up Blue Apron meals with ease, which has totally skyrocketed my confidence in the kitchen.

    3. It’s saved me a ton of money in the long run
    I can’t lie, when I first heard of meal delivery, the first question that popped into my head was, “is it worth it?” I’d never given much thought to how I had spent money on food prior to Blue Apron, and when I took a closer look at my finances, I audibly gasped at how much of my budget was going to DoorDash, eating out, and huge grocery trips that resulted in a lot of wasted food because I didn’t get to produce or meat in time.
    Now that I’ve worked Blue Apron into my budget, I’ve saved so much money in comparison to my previous non-system system. I eat out a lot less because I actually look forward to cooking (mostly because I know it’ll be a success as opposed to before when there was truly a 50/50 shot of absolutely destroying whatever I was attempting to whip up), and I always have leftovers that I usually eat for lunch or dinner the next day. Now, when I eat out, it’s a treat that I intentionally enjoy rather than it being the only option because I didn’t know anything else.
    Whether it’s your physical, mental, relational, or financial health, Blue Apron can help you meet your unique goals and find balance within your life. Sign up for Blue Apron to get $110 off across 5 boxes plus free shipping on your first box! 

    7 Hacks That Have Transformed My Cooking Routine

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More