Meal Prep 101

Life happens. And one of the best ways to make it through successfully is to make sure you’re prepared.

Meal prepping saves you time, energy and serves as your friend on the days when you get home late and every fibre of your being is against you making food. In turn, you end up spending less on eating out and having more energy by eating home-cooked, delicious meals.

Whether you’re keto, paleo, low-carb, or standard NZ diet, this simple guide will serve you well to have a fridge full of healthy meals for the week.

 

Prep steps:

 

  1. PLAN: Meal prepping starts on the weekend. Look at the week ahead of you and figure out the busy days for which you’ll need meal-prepped meals. Even if you don’t want to meal prep for the entire week, make sure that you schedule some time the day before to prepare a meal.
  2. THINK: Open notes or find a pad and pen to write some healthy meal ideas. Nothing fancy, keep it simple. For example, you could have some one-pot recipes on hand that can make huge batches like chilli, grilled chicken, roast veggies, and stir fry.
  3. SHOP: From that simple menu, create an ingredient list and go out to buy your meal prep ingredients. If you don’t have the memory of an elephant, be sure to bring a note pad with you or have your list on your phone notes to tick off as you go.
  4. COOK: Schedule one or however many days out of the week to cook. This could be every Sunday that you plug your headphones in with a good podcast and go hard at your meal prep for an hour and a half. Be sure to cook all the things that take lots of time to cook like your chicken, veggies, and potatoes. Prepping in bulk is best because it saves you heaps of time. Slicing a few carrots is as fast as slicing one, so make sure to prep everything you can in that set time.
  5. STORE: Finally, store your meal-prepped food in containers and make them accessible in the fridge. Be sure to also put the appropriate items in the freezer if you know you won’t be eating it before it goes bad.

And most IMPORTANTLY, don’t forget to make meal prepping fun and a regularly weekly ritual of yours. Throw on some music, watch a show or just chat if it’s a team effort.

Apply these meal prep principles and your future self will thank you immensely.

This blog is sponsored by Priorityfitness.

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How Poor Posture Is Destroying Your Health & 2 Posture Tests To Try At Home

Why is proper posture so important? Is it for the way you look? Sure, people definitely look better when they fix their posture. But regardless of esthetics, your posture is actually key to how your body functions in more ways than one.

Take muscles for example: when you’re sitting with your head forward, your posterior (back) neck muscle are working way too hard to support your head, while your anterior (front) neck muscles switch off. This leads to muscle imbalances and over time may very well develop into neck pain which can be stemming from degeneration, disc disease, muscle strains and so on.

Now your organs: when your body gets used to a slouching position and makes it a long term problem your intestines get compressed and digestion can become difficult. Poor posture also reduces lung capacity by up to 30%. As you can imagine it can compress the heart and reduce the flow of blood to vital organs thereby making them work less efficient and create disease within them.

Not only does posture affect you physically, it can also be detrimental psychologically. Studies have linked poor posture to increased depression, stress and fatigue.

The overall effect can become global and when those issues persist long term they can take away from your quality of life and even longevity.

 

“How do I know if I have a possible posture problem?”

 

Luckily there are 2 tests that you can try at home to see if you have any possible posture problems. All you need is a wall and/or a floor!

 

The Wall Test

 

Stand with the back of your head against the wall with your heels 6 inches away from the wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should touch the wall.

If you can slide more than 3 fingers behind your neck or the small of your back then it indicates poor posture.

 

The Floor Angel

 

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Lower your rib cage so it’s in contact with the floor and your arms are out and bent at the elbow by 90 degree like so:

If your hips, rib cage, head or wrists and arms can’t maintain contact with the floor then this may indicate possible postural issues.

Try these out and see what your posture is like! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask your structural chiropractor.

 

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5 pieces of Fruit and/or vegetables a day!

Introduction

We always hear that we should be consuming at least 5 fruits or vegetables a day. Have you guys ever stopped and wondered why? They are vital in keeping a balanced diet. Studies have shown that consuming 400g of either fruits or vegetables can have significant benefits for one’s health.

 

Here are 5 top reasons why you should be eating at least 5 pieces a day.

1) Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries all contain high fiber.

Fiber is important in maintaining a healthy gut. Healthy guts can prevent constipation and many digestive problems. Consuming a high fiber diet can also reduce the chances of bowel cancer. AWESOME!

 

2) Fruits and vegetables can help you maintain a healthy weight.

They can help fill up your stomach quick. But, because they are low in fat and calories it can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy

 

3) Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits has shown a decrease in blood pressure.

They contain many important vitamins and minerals. One important mineral that directly affects blood pressure is potassium. Potassium has shown to negate the effects of salt which has a direct correlation to high blood pressure.

 

4) Fruits and vegetables all contain high amounts of zinc, lutein, vitamins C and E.

These all help to ward off degenerative problems in the eye. Foods such as kale, spinach and oranges can help prevent eye disorders that arise from degenerative processes.

 

5) For pregnant women 5 a day is just as important.

Folate, which is a mineral found in many fruits and vegetables such as; broccoli, beetroot, citrus fruits and bananas have shown to decrease birth defects in newborns

 

Conclusion

There are so many other benefits that come from consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits. Different fruits and vegetables contain different sources of vitamins and minerals. To get the most out of 5 a day, you should try to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

Fruit and vegetables

 

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Celery Juice Health Benefits

Introduction

The juice of fresh raw celery is loaded with a variety of nutrients. It contains almost all essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and stocked up energy, which help in regulating the natural as well as optimal functions of our body collectively. Please keep in mind that I highly recommend using organic/spray free celery as regular celery can have high amounts of pesticides.

 

Celery juice

 

Here is a list of health benefits of celery juice:

 

1. Prevents Cancer:

Keep cancer at bay by drinking celery juice every day. There are 8 types of anti-cancer substances present in the juice that can heal cancer in a number of ways. The acetylenic content of the juice prevents the tumor cells from growing, the phonolic acid content makes the hormone-like prostaglandins (accelerates the growth of cancerous cells) inactive, the phyto nutrient content stops free radicals from destroying the DNA of our cells, and so on.

 

2. Lowers Cholesterol:

Celery juice is an excellent natural remedy for lowering the cholesterol levels in our body. It contains a chemical compound named 3-n-butylphthalide that has positive effects on reducing the bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) in our bloodstream. It also boosts the secretion of bile or steroid acids which is helpful in lowering cholesterol too. The juice extracted only from 2 stalks of celery can decrease our cholesterol levels up to 7 points.

 

3. Controls Blood Pressure:

If you drink 1 glass of celery juice each day, you will be able to keep your blood pressure levels under control. It is again the effects of 3-n-butylphthalide, which diminishes the secretion of stress hormones and relaxes the muscles present around our blood vessels so that they get dilated and blood can flow through them smoothly without causing much pressure onto their inner walls.

 

4. Prevents Digestive Disorders:

Celery juice has great potential to cure various digestive disorders. It contains lots of fibers which turn the plant into a laxative one. Fibers discharge certain nutrients during the preparation of juice and prevent constipation by making the bowel movement smoother.

 

5. Prevents Calcification:

Fresh celery juice is also useful in averting calcification inside our gall bladder, urinary bladder and kidneys. As it can remove waste as well as toxic materials from these organs, the stones present within these get broken down and eliminated easily.

 

6. Maintains Acid-Base Balance:

Studies have shown that very few foods are as powerful as celery juice in maintaining the acid-base balance in our body. It reduces the acidity and makes our body alkaline to some extent so that the pH levels remain good.

 

7. Anti- Inflammatory Action:

Celery juice is highly anti-inflammatory. It holds an organic compound named polyacetylene, which inhibits acute inflammation in bone diseases like osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. and respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma, etc.

 

8. Diuretic:

Being a good diuretic, celery juice facilitates the production of urine and helps us stay healthy. Basically, the two essential minerals – sodium and potassium – present in the juice act as the regulators of our body fluid, thereby promoting urination.

 

9. Aids In Weight Loss:

Shedding extra weight also becomes easy and hassle-free with the regular intake of celery juice. It is extremely low in calories and very filling at the same time. Therefore, it keeps our appetite under check and helps us lose weight successfully.

 

10. Treats Insomnia:

Sleep disorder or insomnia can also be treated effectively with celery juice. The magnesium as well as essential oil content of the juice imposes a soothing effect on our nerves and. As a result, we can relax and enjoy a sound sleep.

 

Benefits of Celery Juice for Skin:

Celery juice can contribute to our skin to a great extent. It works as a wonderful alternative to synthetic beauty products available in the market. Explore the skin benefits of celery juice below:

 

11. Hydrates Skin:

The juice extracted from celery is high in water as 95% of the weight of the plant is water. Hence, drinking celery juice in a regular manner can fulfil our daily requirements of water and keeps our skin cells hydrated. As a result, we get soft and supple skin.

 

12. Prevents Skin Damage And Other Disorders:

Water and antioxidant content of the juice is also good for purifying our body and making our skin clearer. Antioxidants are basically ‘free radical scavengers’, which make our body free from toxins and prevent our skin cells from getting damaged. On the other hand, water facilitates the elimination of those toxins as well as other waste materials from our body. Consequently, we can stay away from a number of skin disorders.

 

13. Keeps Skin Young:

Celery juice is loaded with vitamin A, B, C, K, niacin and folate, which are essential for repairing skin damages as well as keeping up the health of our skin. These vitamins also help in producing collagen and nourishing our skin. Therefore, we get smooth, young and wrinkle-free skin.

 

14. Ensures Glowing Skin:

There are numerous minerals present in celery juice. These include calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and so on. Regular intake of these minerals can result into bright and glowing skin.

 

Benefits of Celery Juice for Hair:

Not only health or skin, but celery juice is rewarding for our hair also. Several ways through which this juice can benefit your tresses are given below:

 

15. Over-all Hair Care:

It has been already mentioned that celery juice comprises high amount of water and vitamin A. Both are great for our hair. Water keeps our scalp hydrated and cures dandruff, while vitamin A provides nourishment to the roots of hair strands and makes them healthy. Celery juice is also known to stimulate the growth of our hair and improve its texture. Hence, if you want lush and beautiful hair, consider daily intake of celery juice.

 

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What Is Magnesium and Why Is It Important.

Introduction

Magnesium can be found in many food sources. However, due to our busy lifestyle and inadequate diet, we can often be deficient in this mineral. Moreover, magnesium is a mineral responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions within our body. Above all, our cells use it to build or breakdown many things. In addition, approximately 60% of the magnesium in the body is stored in our bones. It helps the absorption of calcium into the bones. Moreover, it can help relax muscles while the opposite is true for calcium and helps contract muscles. However, a lack of magnesium can cause muscle cramps, tics, and spasms.

 

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

1) Muscle cramps and twitches

One of the primary roles of magnesium is to relax muscles. However, when there is a deficiency and there is an excess in calcium. As a result, this may overstimulate muscle nerves.

2) Stress, anxiety, and depression

Researchers have found that cortisol, ACTH (Adrenocorticotrophic hormone), and p-glycoprotein have a direct influence on stress, anxiety, and depression. However, magnesium has shown to aid in the regulation of these chemicals within our bodies. As a result, reducing the stimulation of these chemicals can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

3) Muscle weakness/fatigue

Yes, everyone gets tired from time to time, and taking a break can help relieve the fatigue or weakness. However, when fatigue and weakness persist this may be a sign of magnesium deficiency.

4) Morning sickness and pregnancy

When pregnant there are significant levels of elevation and reduction in different hormones. The most common hormones affected being progesterone and estrogen with increased levels. This may contribute to nausea and vomiting (“Morning Sickness”). In addition, during the rise of these hormones, there is a decrease in magnesium. In conclusion, a woman who restores their magnesium levels through diet and supplementation has shown a reduction in morning sickness symptoms.

 

What Can Cause Magnesium Deficiency

  • Stress
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Sugary food
  • Fizzy Drinks
  • We are more prone to magnesium deficiency over 55
  • Chronic diarrhea.

 

How Can We Get it?

There are many foods that we can get magnesium from. In addition, it can also be absorbed through the skin, thus using magnesium oil. Moreover, Epsom salt baths can help boost its levels. Here is some food that contains magnesium:

  • Soybean
  • Quinoa
  • Pumpkin Seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Cashew Nuts, Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Avocados
  • Black Beans
  • Bananas
  • Dark Chocolate.

 

Conclusion

Magnesium is a very important mineral we need within our bodies. However, many people are suffering from low levels of magnesium causing irritability, increased stress, and fatigue. If you are suffering from any of these conditions you might want to consider changing up your diet or even taking a nice warm bath with Epsom salts.

 

Some sources of magnesium

 

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Constipation in Infants and Children

Introduction

Constipation is defined as the infrequent passage of a firm or hard stool. An infant should have multiple bowel movements per day. As children grow older the frequency should decrease to no less than once per day and the consistency should be soft and effortless. Straining, pain with passing stool, pebble-like stool, or streaks of blood along the stool are signs of constipation at any age.

Constipation in pediatric patients is estimated to be between 5% and 10%. It is the second most referred condition in pediatric, accounting for up to 25% of all visits. Above all, the rate for constipation in the first year of life is 2.9%, and in the second year of life, the rate is 10.1%.

Functional constipation is the most common type of constipation in any age group and is caused by painful bowel movements that prompt the child to voluntarily withhold stool. To avoid painful bowel movement the infant will contract the anal sphincter to avoid passing stool, hence constipation and in many cases abdominal pain.

 

Causes of constipation in children

1. Changing from breast milk to formula.
2. Food allergies
3. Dehydration
4. Stress from caregiver
5. Intestinal infections such as parasites
6. Distress
7. Spinal misalignment

While acute constipation might be just uncomfortable, chronic constipation may cause complications to a child’s health. As a result, some of these may include; rectal prolapse, anal fissures, and stool withholding.

 

What can you do?

1) A proper diet

To prevent chronic constipation from occurring in children it is important that we educate families on a proper diet. This may include a high fiber diet which helps infants and children form soft, bulky stools. Food such as:

1. Beans
2. Whole grain
3. Fruits – apples and ripe soft pears
4. Vegetables
5. Prunes
6. Raisins
7. Rhubarb
8. Blackstrap molasses
9. Sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds

 

2) Exercises and Chiropractic care

1. Get their spine checked by a Chiropractor (explained further below)
2. Exercise and stretch them

Examples of exercises for babies
Examples of exercises for babies

3. Massage them – massage to encourage bowel movements

A massage for babies

4. Give them plenty of fluids

 

Conclusion

However even if we change everything in the diet and do everything else possible, wanted changes may not be observed. It may also be beneficial to check the child’s spine for misalignments that are creating interference and dysfunction in the nervous system thus not allowing the body to work properly and efficiently. A study was done on pediatric patients below the age of 2 with chronic constipation, defined by bowel movements of once per week. With changes to their diet (e.g fiber and fluid intake) as well as medical advice, no noticeable change was observed. However, under Chiropractic care bowel movements increased in frequency to 1 – 2 days without straining or pain.

 

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