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10 tips for real food newbies

10 tips for real food newbies

FEB 23, 2016 BY  21 COMMENTS

10 Tips for Real Food Newbies

If you’re just starting out, just learning and baby-stepping away from packaged and boxed foods into a diet based on wholesome, natural traditional foods, those first few weeks (months? years?) can feel daunting at best, and completely impossible at worst.  It’s hard, especially if you were raised on Lean Cuisine, Pop Tarts and Crystal Light.  Never mind the conflicting information in the media: the government tells you to stick to low fat, but recently published studies illustrate the importance of high quality fats – including butter.  WhileNourished Kitchen focuses exclusively on real foods, traditionally prepared to maximize nutrition, the site really centers around the pleasure of cooking – and for those just starting out, just giving up the frozen suppers and drive-thrus, it’s not enough to share recipes or techniques; rather, you need more practical and hands-on advice.

So here it is.  Print it out and pin it to your fridge, because it’s a good one – and I promise not to wax poetic about the luxury of raw cream or a freshly picked peach still warm from the sun – that is, until the next post.

1. Learn to read labels, really read them.

My first bit advice to anyone learning how to ditch processed foods and cook from scratch is simple: learn to read labels. When you take the time to actually read labels thoroughly, you’ll find crazy words like disodium guanylate, TBHQ (a form of butane – that’s lighter fluid!), MSG (a neurotoxin), artificial colors, nitrates and nitrites, BHA and BHT, and others.  Taking the time to read labels, and then follow up on the ingredients you don’t immediately recognize is often enough to prevent you from tossing those foods into your shopping basket.  After all, who wants to serve up a plate of food laced with lighter fluid, neurotoxins and known human carcinogens to their children?

2. Ditch the boxes and packages and learn to stick to single-ingredient foods.

So once you’ve read the labels on those boxes, backs, tins and packages of processed foods, it’s time to ditch them.  Make the move to single ingredient foods; that is, only purchase foods from the store that contain one ingredient: a bag of brown rice, a bottle of olive oil, a package of butter, a pint of honey.

3. Give up that low-fat mentality, and dive into some butter and olive oil and maybe even tallow.

Do yourself a favor, and give up that low-fat mentality.  The low-fat, low-cholesterol dietary dogma of the 70s, 80s and 90s has largely been discredited; moreover, it’s probably worse for our collective health as it ignores our evolutionary heritage and the very foods that nourished the good health of our ancestors who were largely free of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  Learn to love real fats: butter, coconut oil, olive oil and even grass-fed tallow and pastured lard.

4. Ditch refined sweeteners, and choose unrefined sweeteners in strict moderation.

Ditch the sugar, the high fructose corn syrup and, yes, even the agave nectar.  Sugar, natural and traditional or otherwise, is not good for anyone’s health; however, if you need a little something sweet to help you make that transition and reset your tastebuds, add raw honey, molasses, date sugar, unrefined cane sugar, sorghum syrup and brown rice syrup to your basket.  Moreover, use these sweeteners in smaller and smaller quantities each time you prepare a dish, whip up a batch of cookies or sweeten your tea.

5. Shop for fresh, local and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables  number among my many not-so-secret loves, but if you’re going to start cooking real food for your family, you need to start to love them too.  Don’t be fooled by the seemingly low prices of frozen and tinned vegetables; on a ounce-by-ounce basis, they’re not less expensive than fresh vegetables, purchased on sale and in season.  Besides, fresh vegetables – particularly picked recently from local farms practicing sustainable methods – often offer richer and more complex flavors.  Good flavor helps you to feed your family foods they’ll actually like – without dousing them in processed food additives or boiling them to death over the range.

6. Shop for fresh milk, or, at the very least, always choose grass-fed.

I’ve shared my love of fresh milk and why I drink raw milk before, but if you can tolerate dairy foods, choosing the right milks, butters, cheeses and creams makes all the difference – not only in flavor, but also in nutritive value.  Fresh milk from grass-fed cows is rich in micronutrients; what’s more, it’s also rich in immune-building beneficial bacteria and food enzymes.  If fresh milk just isn’t your style, at the very least choose vat-pasteurized milk from grass-fed cows as it is richer in nutrients and wholesome fats than conventionally produced milk and a far sight better than even most organic milk you find in the dairy case atyour grocery store.

7. Learn to love (the right) meats.

Much like choosing milk, the effort you place into choosing the right meats makes all the difference.  The conditions of concentrated animal feed operations are deplorable, but there’s an alternative beyond meatless Mondays and out-and-out vegetarianism.  Choosing meats from pasture- and grass-based operations ensures that you consume high quality meats from animals that were raised with respect for their natural diets and humane treatment.  These meats are richer in micronutrients, less apt to contamination by pathogens like e. coli and salmonella, and are better sources of wholesome fats than their conventionally raised counterparts.

8. Develop a repertoire of fast, easy, simple foods your family actually likes (so you don’t end up in the drive-thru).

Once you’ve figured out what not to buy, and also what it’s best to buy, it’s best to develop a plan that’ll prevent you from relapsing into your old ways and the unhealthy comfort of a standard american diet.  We all get stressed.  We all become overworked.  We all become tired, so it’s important to have a back-up plan – a repertoire of fast, easy and simple foods that your family can appreciate and that keep you from heading to the drive-thru.  Things like chicken fingers (made with almond flour, and without TBHQ), or homemade sun tea instead of soda, or, better yet, learn to use your slowcooker to make healthy “no-fuss” meals.

9. Try some super foods.  Who knows? you may end up loving them.

Don’t be afraid to try something new.  Traditional peoples thrived on foods native to their region and these invariably included some form of a highly nutrient-dense food: liver, roe, shellfish, oily fish, fresh butter, cod liver oil.  Sure, liver may not sound appealing initially, but it’s extraordinarily rich in vitamins and you might not even notice it, if you prepare it properly.

10. Give back to the real food community.

Lastly, give back to the real food community.  Share with friends – not only articles covering real food, or real food recipes, but also by preparing wholesome meals for your family or for get-togethers.  Use social media like twitter and facebook to share articles, your favorite blogs, ideas and activism alerts (did you know you can follow Nourished Kitchen on Facebook?).  Volunteer at your local farmers market.  Plant a community garden.  Give some real food to your food bank.  Teach schoolchildren how to cook.  Just give back, because the movement depends on each one of us.

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Low-Calorie Foods That Will Actually Fill You Up

 on 10/31/2013

8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Actually Fill You Up


Ever have those days when you feel hungry all day long? Us, too! The good news is there are plenty of healthy foods and meal combinations you can enjoy to help you feel full without breaking your calorie bank. The key is prioritizing the following three components for weight loss: protein, water and fiber. According to Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Eat Your Way to Sexy, “All three or any one of these will fill you up before they fill you out, so you push away from the table before you’ve overeaten.”

But before you start rooting through your fridge and cupboards, be sure to drink a glass of cold water and wait 15 minutes. Since people often mistake thirst for hunger, you may find the craving to eat subsides, Somer says. But, if you truly are hungry, reach for these weight loss-friendly foods when you need more substance for fewer calories.

Oatmeal with Blueberries


1. Choose Filling Grains
To maximize that feel-full factor, choose 100 percent whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal. The filling fiber in oats helps balance blood sugar levels, unlike the roller coaster ride caused by sugary breakfasts, says Somer. Looking for an especially satiating whole-grain breakfast? Cook whole oats in milk for a protein, water and fiber - packed meal that will help prevent overeating later in the day. 

Black Rice


2. Go Back to Black
You’ve swapped white rice for brown — but what about black? This lesser-known grain packs a hefty dose of fiber and antioxidants, with fewer carbs and calories than its white and brown counterparts. (A half-cup of cooked black rice is 90 calories compared to the 102 calories in white rice and 108 calories in brown rice.) Try sprinkling the flavorful grain on salads, in burritos or as a hearty side dish, suggests Manuel Villacorta, RD, author ofPeruvian Power Foods.

Broccoli Bowl


3. Eat Energy-Burning Greens
Veggies that burn calories? Now there’s a reason to eat your vegetables! According to Foods That Cause You To Lose Weight: The Negative Calorie Effect, one cup of broccoli contains just 25 calories and requires up to 80 calories to digest in the body, meaning you’ve burned 55 calories just by eating it! Not a broccoli fan? Try asparagus, cauliflower, celery or zucchini when you want an energy-efficient snack.

Watermelon Balls


4. Go All in With Watermelon
Half of every plate or snack should be colorful produce, which is a combo of fiber and water to fill you up on fewer calories, says Somer. This summer, try satisfying your sweet tooth with water-logged watermelon. Two cups contain less than 100 calories and nearly half the recommended daily value of vitamin C!

Black and Red Beans


5. Hit Bean Town
“Legumes [provide] the perfect combo of weight loss ingredients,” says Somer. They’re excellent sources of fiber and may help prevent against disease, studies have found. Beans specifically are a great food for waistline watchers as they also contain fiber, complex carbs and a host of antioxidants and nutrients. Consider stocking up on chickpeas, black beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, fava beans, red kidney beans and edamame. From soups and stews to salads and wraps, the possibilities are endless!

Minestrone Soup


6. Soup for You
Studies show that people who include broth-based soups (even the low-calorie ones) in their diets consume fewer calories at mealtime. So if you’re at a restaurant, try a broth-based soup with fiber-filled veggies (like this one!) to help you eat less and keep your hands out of the bread basket. Pro tip: Ask the server to put half of your main dish in a to-go container before you see it on your plate. Voilà! You’ll shave off calories, fat and you’ve got lunch for tomorrow!

Yogurt with Gooseberries


7. Add More Moo
You haven’t had milk with dinner since you were a kid, but you might want to reconsider. Research has shown that regularly consuming low-fat or fat-free dairy products, is a habit that can help you stay satisfied and slim. To get the recommended three servings per day, try starting your day with a cottage cheese- or yogurt-based breakfast, drink a glass of low-fat milk with your afternoon snack, or opt for low-fat chocolate milk post-workout (which may also help with exercise recovery!).

Green Smoothie


8. Drink Green
If you haven’t tried green smoothies yet, you’ve been missing out on a seriously nutrient-dense snack. Made with spinach, kale, collard, mustard or any other greens, green drinks are rich in vitamins and minerals, while providing feel-full fiber for very few calories (and no, they don’t quite taste like salad). For a tasty 140-calorie Green Smoothie, try your hand at this recipe from Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. Start with 1/4 ripe sliced banana, 1/4 cup seedless green grapes, 1/4 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks, 1/2 cup fresh spinach, 1/4 green apple, sliced, 1/8 cup fat-free
vanilla yogurt and 1 ounce of fresh or no-sugar added canned pineapple chunks. Add a ½-cup of ice and blend until smooth. Bottoms up!

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The Importance of Stretching and Flexibility

img 2201Introduction

Flexibility development is perhaps for many sports men and women a neglected component of fitness. This may be because of the seeming lack of applicability of flexibility to performance in team sports. Whereas a Gymnast and dancer can see the immediate benefits of excellent flexibility as it is a key component in their relative activities, the game player’s need for good flexibility is less obvious. Is there a need to develop the same degree of flexibility in a games player as that demonstrated by the Gymnast. The answer is simply ‘No’. However, there is a need to ensure that the player:

a) is not limited in his performance by a flexibility limitation and
b) ensures he or she has a well-balanced degree of flexibility to ensure there is no flexibility issue in predisposing him to injury.

What is Flexibility?

Flexibility has been variously defined as freedom to move, mobilization or more technically, the range of motion (ROM) achievable in a joint or group of joints. Range of motion may be measured either in linear units (e.g. inches or centimetres) or angular units (degrees). All the experts agree that flexibility is specific for each joint. So that good range of motion about the hip does not ensure good range of motion about the shoulder. Similarly ROM in one hip may not be highly related to ROM about the other hip and so on.

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Cardio Interval Training and Why It Works

With new research on exercise steadily surfacing, it can be hard to keep up with the headlines. But amid the many calls to change your routine, one thing seems to remain constant: the benefits of interval training. Some of my favorite evidence:

A study in the Journal of Physiology found that 20 minutes of interval training (30-second bursts followed by four minutes of recovery) produced the same physiological adaptations in the body and improvements in performance as 90 minutes of continuous cardio at a moderate pace. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who practiced high-intensity interval training for 15 weeks had a reduction in subcutaneous fat (the kind that sits just below your skin) that was nine times greater than those who performed steady-state cardio workouts for 20 weeks. And the list goes on and on.

Here's 30-minute routine for the treadmill to freshen up your sessions or workouts.

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Tips for Better Eating and a More Fit Lifestyle

Truthfully, health and fitness isn't hard to attain.

Consistency is a major key in reaching your health and fitness goals, but that is common knowledge. In fact, you probably would have told me how important consistency is had I asked you for some tips on weight loss. It's that easy.

Easy to say, but very hard to do. There are too many reasons not to succeed. Finding time, tracking, it's an ordeal and could seem very overwhelming.

At LTC Fitness we focus on helping you to be consistent because we cover all of the necessary bases. Check out our 5 steps to reaching your health and fitness goals and leads to long term consistency. Whether it's working on eating better, or the fitness aspect.

1. Set Goals - Short term, so that you can attain them in your lifestyle.

2. Evaluate - Take a look at your goals and see if it will work for you.

3. Design a Comprehensive Program - Start from finding things that are doable in your daily schedule and create a list, or calendar.

4. Implement the Program - Set the times/days and make it happen.

5. Re-evaluate - After a week or two, see if there's more efficient ways to make the plan better, and add another goal if you finished one.

All of our clients fill out a food journal, works out with with a monthly calendar, and we do all of this together. Make sure to check out the other blogs for tips. Hopefully it motivates you to be more consistent.

70 percent food

I totally agree with the above saying – "abs are made in the kitchen". In other words, eating better helps you lose the fat around your midsection. This lowers body fat so that ab muscles are visible. So, eat a lot of unhealthy "fake stuff" and you have a big tummy, eat real whole foods stuff and it will help you have a smaller tummy.

Do you feel like you are doing everything "right" but it isn't happening fast enough? Before you give up or buy into a "quick fix gimmick" understand THESE things: It takes a 3500 calorie DEFICIT to lose one lb of fat. So, in order to lose an average of 2 lbs a week you need to burn or deplete 7000 calories. 2 lbs a week may not seem like a lot but that is 104 lbs in a YEAR. Now, you may vary slightly- but losing "30 lbs in a month" of FAT is just not physically possible or healthy. You are losing MUSCLE mass at that point and you WILL rebound from that.

Though at the same time knowing this, doesn't mean you can't eat things off your diet, like "cheat meals". Just be consistent in doing what you need to do. Those "cheat meals" won't affect your moderation of course.


Eating healthier doesn't mean, it's a boring salad, its bland/boring, it tastes like diet so it must be a "diet". These are all things that don't look or taste bad, well to me of course.

So go back to the top of the blog, and write or type out the 5 steps to reaching your health and fitness goals. After you got that, put your goals in after, "set goals", and finish steps 2 through 5. If you don't mind people seeing your goals and or 1-5 steps, post it in the comment/status section of my Facebook to share with other people and myself. Doing that, will help you get more ideas from people on their 5 steps, and feedback.

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How To Stay Consistent In Your Fitness

This blog will be dedicated to health and wellness I hope to help people see and feel the importance of it.  Touching over some nutrition, how to do certain exercises w/pictures and videos.  Even getting into different types of training or training “fads”.  A lot of variety, and a lot of ground to cover, but I’ll try my best to help you guys understand the topics, and not make it so vague or unanswered, like other blogs or articles may do.  Also, make sure to look out for the blogs every week, or subscribe to know when it’s coming out and what’s new at Being in the loop, will help you win giveaways, contests, and discount promos going on, so be sure not to miss out.

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Toned Abs: One of the Most Sought After Body Parts People Would Like to Have!

We all have abs, but most of us have a layer of body fat that hides them.With eating clean and dedication to the gym at least four to five times a week, I started to see my abs in about two months. *Diet is the most important factor for getting your abs right and exercising and weight lifting will help define your abs.

It IS possible and it CAN be done!

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When Desire Isn’t Enough: 3 Tricks To Get Your Transformation Back On Track

If it were easy to transform, everybody would do it. So why don't they? Because they fall in common traps along the way. Here's your roadmap around the biggest three culprits!

Your New Year's Resolution this year was a doozie. After feeling inspired by reading seemingly everybody else's incredible transformation story, you decided it was your time. You spent days scouting out the perfect workout program, made a list of everything you couldn't eat (and what a list it was!), told everyone your plans, and then wiled away night after night tweaking the details on your fitness app.

Fast forward two months, and that after-picture isn't so vivid in your mind anymore. The image in the mirror says you barely changed at all. You started off strong, but then began falling into your old habits, going to the gym less than you'd planned, and just got burned out. Now you're starting to suspect—yet again—that perhaps a transformation isn't in the cards for you.

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Does Exercising Help Get Rid Of Cellulite?

Cellulite causes skin to look dimpled and bumpy instead of smooth. This condition generally affects women rather than men, and it appears most commonly on the butt, thighs and sometimes the stomach. Having a healthy weight and a toned body plays an important role in reducing cellulite, although it does not cure the condition. Nevertheless, you can significantly reduce its appearance.

WEIGHT AND CELLULITE Having too little muscle and too much fat can cause or worsen cellulite, but even healthy, slender people can have it. The International Dermal Institute explains that 80 to 90 percent of adult women display this condition --and, of course, it is not true that 90 percent of women have too much fat. Clearly, other factors affect the existence of cellulite. Scientists point to fluid retention and lost skin elasticity as well as a fat-and-muscle imbalance. Hence, exercise cannot offer a perfect cure, especially for an active, fit woman of a healthy weight.

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Resolutioners, You’re Two Months In...

We are just over 2 months into the new year and many resolutioners haven’t made as much progress as they’d have thought they would by now. If you are one of the people I’m talking about, this article is for you. You probably pack your own lunch most of the time and realize that in order to be in full control of what goes into your mouth and through your body, you’ve got to do plan your meals on a regular basis.

But every now and then you just don’t. You get up late and don’t have time. You’re not in the mood to cook the night before. The fridge is empty and you’re not in the mood to run to the store, etc. There’s a myriad of reasons, all of which end up in you chalking your lunch up to a cheat meal and following your co-workers to that trendy and chic lunch cart that they’ve been raving about, or the hip new sandwich shop that’s always got a line of people spilling out into the sidewalk. This happens once a week but hey, you’re good the rest of the week. One small cheat meal a week can only put a small dent in your progress at most, right?

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video   video
24 fitness   3 Set Circuit Workout
Pregnant Bootcamp Training    
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The Mental Approach to Weight Loss

The weight-loss industry is a billion-dollar industry yet the majority of individuals in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese.  Although we know there is no magic pill that will instantly make us thinner, we continue to fall for false advertising claiming otherwise.  This is because there’s an unconscious part of us that would like to believe we can get the results we want without much effort on our part.  The formula for losing weight is simple: burn more calories than you take in.  The actual implementation of this formula in our own lives is much more difficult.  Our mental processes play a tremendous role in whether we are successful in our weight loss goal.  Here are some useful strategies you can put in place today to start a healthy and long lasting weight loss plan:

  • List the reasons you want to lose weight
  • List the reasons you want to keep the weight on
  • List what you are willing to do when committing to lose weight
  • Start with a small and reasonable goal of 5 lb.  Once those 5 lb come off, ask yourself “is it reasonable for me to lose another 5 lbs?”…keep going in 5 lb. increments until the desired goal is reached.
  • Do not sabotage the goal and set yourself up for failure by setting an ideal weight or dress size at the beginning.
  • Focus on a weight you can sustain for the rest of your life.
  • Focus on eliminating calories you can maintain for the rest of your life.
  • Start with reducing your caloric intake by 100 calories.  For example if your baseline caloric intake is 2000 calories, go down to 1900 and ask yourself, “can I be o.k. at this level for the rest of my life?”  “Will I be able to maintain my intake at 1900 for the rest of my life?” You can keep going down in 100 calorie increments until you feel you can sustain a level for the rest of your life.  Don’t start at 1200 calories and think you can keep this up for the rest of your life because it’s not healthy and you will gain all the weight lost the minute you increase your calorie intake level.
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Question From Megan S.

I strength train twice a week, and my arms still have zero definition. What am I doing wrong?

Megan S., Baltimore, MD

To look toned, you need to keep increasing the weight you’re lifting. “Most women carry a five-to 10-pound purse every day, and then think lifting five pounds at the gym will make a difference,” says trainer and Women’s Health advisor Rachel Cosgrove.

Use this rule: If 12 to 15 reps with a certain weight becomes a breeze, add a few more pounds. Incorporate upper-body moves that target multiple muscle groups (like pushups and rows) and remember that you can’t see muscles if it’s covered with a layer of flab, so do cardio two or three times a week and a eat a balanced diet to reduce your body fat, says Cosgrove.

Don’t wait to shed a few pounds before loving your looks. In a study at the Technical University of Lisbon, women who were counseled to improve their body image lost a higher percentage of weight than those who weren’t. Poor body image can lead to emotional eating and anxiety, which hinder weight loss, says Ph.D. candidate Eliana Carraca. So focus on what you like about your body rather than what you would change.

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