10 Health Benefits of Cooking Your Own Meals

Dean Chan

With so many fast food chains and restaurants popping up all over the world, it can be tempting to go out to eat almost every night. However, food prepared at these commercial venues is often full of unhealthy fats, sugars, and carbohydrates. One of the best ways to improve your eating habits is to prepare your own meals. This may seem intimidating at first, but there are thousands of healthy, easy to make recipes that can be found online. To give you a little more incentive, we are going to list ten ways in which preparing your own meals can control your health:

  1. Control- When you rely on pre-packaged or pre-made food, you are putting your health in someone else's hands. When you prepare your own food you have complete control of what you are putting in your body. If you know you need certain vitamins you can choose ingredients that are packed full of those vitamins. Preparing your own food also allows you to remove saturated fats and other harmful substances that is found in most restaurant food. When cooking your own meals you can also be sure that any ingredients you are using are fresh.
  2. Knowledge- Learning to cook will give you much more appreciation for the food that you are eating. It will also force you to learn about different types of foods and which foods are good or bad for your personal diet. This knowledge is crucial to constructing an effective diet, as you need to know what types of nutrients you do and do not need. Gaining this experience and knowledge of food will help you find the foods you need in your diet. As an added bonus, you will also figure out which ingredients you prefer to eat, so your healthy meals can be just as delicious and enjoyable.
  3. Appreciation- It may sound odd that appreciating your food will help your health. However, this is exactly what happens when you prepare your own food. When you eat a meal that you prepared yourself, you are much more likely to savor the food and take your time when eating. This is a great way of preventing overeating, as eating slower will allow you to feel when you begin getting full. Those who eat at restaurants often end up scarfing down the food so quick that their body doesn't have time to signal that they are full. When you take the time to appreciate the food you made you will be able to receive these signals from your body much easier.
  4. Portion Size- Portion size is incredibly important in a healthy and fulfilling diet. Even restaurants that offer low calorie or "healthy" meals tend to serve portions that are much too large for the average person. Large portions can also lead to a tendency to overeat, as people naturally want to finish all the food that is given to them. Preparing your own food means that you can control how much food you eat. Eating smaller portions can prevent the urge to overeat and can lead to a much healthier diet overall.
  5. Food Safety- Although there are usually regulations in place to promote food safety in restaurants, the ingredients that are used are often older and can be more prone to causing food poisoning. Some restaurants may also be more relaxed in their cooking of certain meats that can contain certain diseases. This is dangerous and can lead to a lot of uncertainty in how safe your food is. Preparing the food yourself will give you peace of mind that your ingredients are fresh, your meat is properly prepared and your meals will be safe to eat. You are much less likely to get food poisoning or another disease when preparing meals yourself, provided that you follow recipes and prepare the food properly.
  6. Reducing Stress- Many find that cooking is not only great for your physical health, it is also beneficial to your mental health as well. Cooking is often therapeutic and can reduce stress that builds up in one's day to day life. Many also find cooking fun and enjoyable, which can increase overall happiness and lead to a better mood. Many also feel a sense of accomplishment when cooking their own meals, and gaining cooking skills will often lead to more confidence in one's self and their abilities. The key to enjoying your time cooking is to not stress over the smaller things or mishaps. Every cook has times where they mess up or have to start over. This is just part of the process and part of the fun!
  7. Increase in Energy- Cooking with fresh ingredients will give you more energy to handle the challenges that life throws your way. Getting more vitamins and nutrients will lead to healthier joints, a stronger immune system, and an overall better mood. Food is a great way to control your energy levels and help reduce any pain or soreness found throughout the body. If you often find yourself tired or lacking in the energy department, consider preparing your own meals with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  8. Food Allergies- Those with food allergies know how difficult and stressful it can be to eat out. Constantly having to ask waiters what ingredients make up a dish can be tiresome, and there is always a risk that the waiter is overestimating their own knowledge. There is also the issue of utensils and cooking materials coming into contact with the food that causes the allergies. Even if that particular food is left out of your dish, there may be some residue that can cause an allergic reaction. When you cook your own meals you can be 100% certain that there will be no issues with food allergies or other sensitivities.

Hopefully this article inspires you to take control of your health and diet by learning to cook. Be sure to check out our other article on how to cook hearty and healthy food. If you get a little tired of cooking don't worry! We have a ton of affordable and healthy dishes on our website to get you through those busy and stressful nights!

Read more →

5 Common dieting mistakes

Dean Chan

Starting a diet can be an extremely daunting task, and many people never figure out where to start. However, even those who deem themselves dieting experts often make some common mistakes that will prevent weight loss, muscle gain and reduce the health benefits of a diet.

  1. Crash dieting

This new diet trend is not only dangerous, but also incredibly ineffective. For those unfamiliar with a crash diet, it is essentially a diet that involves slashing one's daily calorie intake below 1000 calories (this is less than half of an average person's recommended calorie intake). This may seem like a good idea at first. If you take in less calories, you will probably lose weight. Most crash diets do lead to significant weight loss initially, but that weight loss won't last for long.

Crash diets lead to the body burning calories at a much slower rate than normal since there are so many less calories being taken in. This slower metabolism means that once you start eating normally again, you will gain weight even faster and end up heavier in the long run. Instead of slashing your calorie intake, you can try counting your calories and lowering your daily intake by 100 or 200 calories from your normal recommended intake. Keep in mind that dieting involves much more than pure calorie intake. It's better to eat more healthier foods than to just eat less unhealthy foods.

  1. Skipping Meals

When someone is trying to cut calories, they often think it is a good idea to eat two meals instead of three. Unfortunately this never really works and can actually lead to weight gain. Say for example you choose to skip lunch every day in order to reduce your calorie intake. That means you will be going close to 7 or 8 hours every day without eating anything substantial. Just because you skip a meal doesn't mean you won't get hungry. In fact, it will likely cause you to become hungrier than normal. This will either cause you to snack more often during the day or consume even more calories during your two meals. The best strategy for reducing calories is not to skip meals, but to eat even more of them! The idea is that by eating 5 or 6 small meals a day, you will eat less because you won't be tempted to snack or supersize your meals.

  1. Ignoring your Water Consumption

One of the biggest mistakes when creating a diet is to ignore what you are drinking. Many people will count calories and weigh the pros and cons of every food they put in their body, but think nothing of the coffee, soda, and juice they are drinking every day. In many cases, these persons will drink almost anything but water. This is a huge mistake! Consuming water is extremely important for those on a diet who are looking to lose weight. Water is essential in maintaining a quick metabolism and burning calories fast. Getting dehydrated can have the opposite effect, as the metabolism will begin to slow and burn calories much slower. A good rule of thumb is to have a glass of water every time you eat. You also shouldn't get crazy with your caffeine intake, as caffeine will often lead to a greater chance of dehydration.

  1. Eating Processed and Pre-Packaged Foods

One of the biggest obstacles in maintaining a proper diet is avoiding processed and pre-packaged food. Processing different types of foods will just sap all the nutrients and other important vitamins from it and replace those with preservatives that have little to no nutritional value. Some companies will tell you that there packaged foods are low fat, low carb, or free of preservatives. However, assuming that the packaged food isn’t filled with unhealthy preservatives, these types of "healthy" processed foods will never satisfy your hunger and leave you wanting more. Instead of snacking on processed and package foods, take a peek at some of our healthy snack ideas on our site that you can make from the comfort of your own home!

  1. Overdoing the Condiments and Dressings

One of the biggest rookie mistakes when dieting is to drown healthy foods in different types of fatty dressings and condiments. It should come as no surprise that doing this will not result in any sort of weight loss. So often dieters complain that they are eating nothing but salads and still gaining weight. Many of them are shocked to learn that the ranch and thousand island dressing they've been eating makes the salad have more calories than a regular restaurant meal. The same can be said for putting ketchup, mustard, and mayo on different types of meats and sandwiches. Foregoing condiments and dressings is normally the way to go, but it is understandable to not find the taste of raw lettuce appealing. Balsamic vinaigrettes, "light" dressings, and fat free dressings are your best bet of reducing the calories coming from your dressing. You can even make your own healthy dressing by mixing some olive oil, lemon juice, and honey.

Final Thoughts

Following a proper diet can be hard enough as it is. Don't waste all of that progress by falling into one of these bad habits. There are no shortcuts in dieting. Just make sure to keep track of what you are putting in your body and you should be well on your way to maintaining your health goals. If starting a diet seems too overwhelming, or if you find yourself falling into one of the mistakes above all too often, try ordering something from our menu. Our dishes are healthy affordable, and will help you keep your hunger under control. Be sure to check out the rest of our site to see some healthy recipe ideas, dieting tips, and of course some delectable dishes for you to try.

 

 

 

Read more →

Healthiest Vegetables You Need In A Diet

Healthiest Vegetables You Need In A Diet

Dean Chan

Vegetables are a staple of any healthy diet. Vegetables are chock full of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. However, there are some vegetables that are especially healthy compared to the others. We'll start off by giving you a few tips on spotting the best veggies to put in your diet. Then we will go over some specific vegetables and the health benefits they will provide. Lastly, we will go over some of our own dishes that contain a ton of these vegetabes.

How to Use Veggies in Your Diet

Those who want to eat healthier often get discouraged when their diets don't produce the intended results. However, upon closer examination many of these diets commit some basic mistakes that hinder any sort of weight loss or health gains. Below are a few things to keep in mind when designing a great diet:

  1. The Brighter the Better- Studies have shown that vegetables that are brighter in color are often healthier and full of more nutrients. While paler vegetables still have some benefits they do not stack up to their brighter counterparts. It should be noted that some vegetables that aren't bright can still be healthy. Dark leafy greens in particular are packed with vitamins and should be used in any diet. In fact, greens that are lighter are also often not as healthy.
  2. Pre-Packaged Vegetables- In general fresh vegetables will always be superior to vegetables that come in a can or package. This because packaged vegetables are often processed which removes some of the nutrients that will provide the most benefits. Fresh vegetables are often cheaper than the packaged variety, so there really is no reason not to go for the fresher choice every time.
  3. In Season vs. Out of Season- Adding on to the previous point, vegetables that are out of season are often not fresh. Even if a vegetable is refrigerated and kept in the produce section it will lose some of its nutrient content over time. There is some great information online about vegetables and when they are in season. If you want to get the most nutrition out of your produce you must ensure that it is in season.
  4. Preparation- The way a vegetable is prepared will often determine its vitamin and nutrient content. Most vegetables are healthiest when they are consumed raw. However, the taste and texture of raw vegetables can be unappealing to many. If you want to cook your vegetables make sure you are steaming or boiling them. Once they are done cooking you can use the leftover water to get all the nutrients that were drained out of the vegetables. If you are making a soup you could use the water as a broth, or use it salad dressings, gravy, and other sauces.

 5 Healthiest Vegetables

While almost all vegetables are healthy, some are certainly healthier than others. Below is a list of five of the healthiest vegetables that are essential in any healthy diet.

  1. Kale- Consumption of Kale has become a popular trend among health enthusiasts around the world, and for good reason. Kale is packed full of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Kale can be used raw in salads or soups and can also be cooked to add a little bit of flavor. Make sure that you buy organic kale if possible, as there will be pesticide residue on most commercial kale products.
  2. Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts- The reason these two vegetables occupy the same spot is because they are both part of the incredibly healthy cruciferous family of vegetables. These vegetables are rich in antioxidants and have been shown to prevent numerous cancers. Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are also high in fiber which will make you feel full faster, a great tool for those looking to lose a little weight. These vegetables are great steamed, boiled, and even sauteéd.
  3. Avocados- Another great vegetable choice is the Avocado, which provides numerous health benefits. Avocados are another vegetable that are rich in fiber content and will help you control your appetite. Avocados also contain healthy unsaturated fats, which help increase vitamin intake. Lastly, Avocados inhibit the creation of inflammation agents in your body. This can help reduce pain in the joints and back. Avocados go great in salads and sauces.
  4. Garlic and Onions- These vegetables, part of the allium family, are often praised for their antibiotic properties. Adding these to a dish will boost your immune system significantly. They will also greatly reduce inflammation to prevent pain and aching from occurring. If you are sick and fighting off infections garlic or onions can both boost antibodies that will help you heal quickly. These vegetables are actually healthiest when raw in salads or dips. However, they are still great additions when cooked to provide their unique flavors.
  5. Tomatoes- Tomatoes are great because they provide a ton of lycopene, which has been shown to fight cancer cells and other illnesses. Tomatoes also provide tons of Vitamin C and other antioxidants. Like many other vegetables on this list, tomatoes also are very high in fiber content. Tomatoes go great in soups, sauces, or salsas.

This is only a couple of the healthy choices that vegetables can provide to your diet. Makes sure to experiment and find which work for you! If you need some help getting started, check out some of our very own dishes below that feature some of these healthy vegetables:

Classic French Onion Soup

This classic take on a French onion soup features tons of onion, and is also made with a vegetable stock full of other nutritious veggies. This is a great way to add some vegetable heavy dishes into your diet.

Garden Broccoli Soup

Broccoli is the star of this dish, but onions and vegetable stock are also present. This soup is chock full of all the vitamins and nutrients you could possibly need.

Tomato Delight Soup

This tomato soup is great for providing Vitamin C, and is also made with vegetable stock, vegetable oil, and onions. This dish is sure to satisfy your hunger and make you healthier at the same time.

 

These are only a few of the vegetable dishes that we currently offer. Be sure to check out the rest of our menu on our site. Happy eating!

 

Read more →

10 tips for healthy eating

10 tips for healthy eating

Dean Chan
Carbohydrates1. Choose good carbs, not no carbs. Whole grains are your best bet.
 
 
protein-icon2. Pay attention to the protein package. Fish, poultry, nuts, and beans are the best choices.
 
fats-icon3. Choose foods with healthy fats, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid foods with trans fat. Plant oils, nuts, and fish are the healthiest sources.
 
fiber-icon4. Choose a fiber-filled diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
 
vegetables-icon5. Eat more vegetables and fruits. Go for color and variety—dark green, yellow, orange, and red.
 
milk-icon6. Calcium is important. But milk isn’t the only, or even best, source.
 
 
healthier-drinks-icon7. Water is best to quench your thirst. Skip the sugary drinks, and go easy on the milk and juice.
 
salt-icon8. Eating less salt is good for everyone’s health. Choose more fresh foods and fewer processed foods.
 
alcohol-icon9. Moderate drinking can be healthy—but not for everyone. You must weigh the benefits and risks.
 
vitamins-small-home10. A daily multivitamin is a great nutrition insurance policy. Some extra vitamin D may add an extra health boost.
 

Taken from Harvard School of Public Health: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2013/11/06/healthy-eating-ten-nutrition-tips-for-eating-right/

Read more →

Essential Nutrients for a Healthy Diet

Essential Nutrients for a Healthy Diet

Dean Chan

One of the most important parts of eating healthy is ensuring that you get enough essential nutrients in your diet. These vitamins and minerals help make the body and mind stronger, and can help prevent many different diseases. Today we will describe to you some of the most essential nutrients and how they can benefit you. Make sure to read to the end where we tell you what types of foods you can get these nutrients from (including some from our very own menu!).

Vitamin A (Palmitate)- One of the most important vitamins in a healthy diet. Vitamin A boosts the immune system and can help fight off numerous illnesses and diseases. Vitamin A is especially known for preventing many types of cancers. Vitamin A is also used to manage and weaken certain diseases after they have already taken effect. Vitamin A is also great for the skin and can prevent wrinkles and multiple skin disorders. Those with vision problems might also consider more helpings of Vitamin A, as it can improve vision and help night-blindness. Overall, Vitamin A is one of the most beneficial vitamins out there. Vitamin A is found in many different cooked vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes, and can also be found in certain fish like Tuna.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)- Vitamin B1 is another essential vitamin found in any healthy diet. One of its most prominent benefits is that it can help remedy metabolic imbalances. This is especially important for heavy drinkers, as alcohol can greatly effect metabolism rates. Vitamin B1 also has many mental benefits including treatment of psychological disorders and increased memory and mental capacity. Vitamin B1 is also used to help treat those with Diabetes, and can be great to help regulate Insulin levels. Vitamin B1 can be great for the heart as well, and is often used to treat heart diseases. Vitamin B1 is also a great antioxidant that can help detoxify chemicals like Lead. Thiamin can be found in lean meats like pork and fish, certain nuts and seeds, and whole wheat bread.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)- Vitamin B3 has numerous health benefits in preserving function of the skin, nerves, and digestive system. Vitamin B3 also does a great job detoxifying pollutants including alcohol or narcotics. Vitamin B3 is also known for relieving severe headaches and migraines. Vitamin B3 will also lower cholesterol and strengthen the heart. Vitamin B3 is also great for treating and preventing different types of mental disorders. Foods rich in Vitamin B3 include cooked fish, pork, chicken, and vegetables like mushrooms and fresh peas.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL)- Vitamin B6 provides numerous health and wellness benefits. Vitamin B6 boosts the immune system and functioning of the brain. Vitamin B6 also has been known to reduce stress and protect against metabolic imbalances. Vitamin B6 can be found in sunflower seeds, pistachios, and dried fruits like prunes.

Vitamin C(Ascorbic Acid)- Another very essential vitamin is that of Vitamin C. The health benefits of Vitamin C are almost too many to name. Vitamin C helps prevent Cancer, boosts the immune system against colds and other infections, and helps fight heart disease. This vitamin also helps promote the functioning of the brain and nervous system. Other benefits of this nutrient include a prolonged life span, reduced symptoms of Diabetes, the curing of gum disease, and maximizes iron consumption. Vitamin C is mainly found in dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and lettuce, and is also found in different types of peppers.

Vitamin D- Vitamin D is another vitamin that can help prevent different types of cancers. It also boosts the immune system to fight against infections. Vitamin D also helps process Calcium to promote a strengthening of the bones. Vitamin D is mainly known for offering specific protections against some truly terrifying diseases like Tuberculosis and Psoriasis. This nutrient can mainly be found in different types of mushrooms, fish oils, and cooked fish.

Vitamin E- Vitamin E is one of the most beneficial nutrients that can be found in different types of food. Vitamin E is one of the best anti-inflammation nutrients and does wonders in curing chronic back and nerve pain. Like many other vitamins Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and antibodies in the bloodstream. Vitamin E relieves muscular cramps and joint pain as well. The other health benefits of Vitamin E include a prolonged lifespan, increased sexual and athletic prowess, and protection against breast cancer. Vitamin E is mainly found in different types of nuts and seeds like Sunflower seeds or Almonds. Vitamin E can also be found in vegetables like Avocados and Squash.

 

The nutrients listed above are essential to any healthy diet. Increasing consumption of these vitamins will lead to a healthier body and mind. These nutrients will help you live a much healthier life and give you numerous health benefits that you can't find anywhere else. If you're worried about getting these vitamins, don't panic! Some of our best dishes are packed full of these vitamins and also happen to be delicious. Check out some of our premier dishes below.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

 

This mouth-watering soup is packed full of vegetables and infused with a tantalizing cheese sauce. Your taste buds will love the big flavors of the roasted pumpkin and specialty cheese sauce. This soup also contains all of the most important vitamins you need. Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) are all present in this soup. The Roasted Pumpkin soup also has tons of minerals like Iron, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.

Tomato Delight Soup

Our Tomato Delight soup is chock full of veggies and fruits that will give you all the vitamins you need. The vitamins found in this dish are endless. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and Biotin are all present in this delightful soup.

Make sure you check out the rest of our site to see the other vitamin packed soups and wraps we have available!

 

 

Read more →