Picking the perfect Avocado!

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

When choosing avocados at the store, don’t be fooled by the color as it’s not always the best indicator. Hold the avocado in your hand and gently squeeze with your palm--If it softens with a little pressure, it should be ripe and eaten within one to three days. If it doesn’t, leave it at room temperature and give it three to five days to ripen.
Pro tip #1 Choose your avocados at different stages of ripeness. This way you can eat one that same day and a few others throuhout the week as they soften to creamy goodness!
Pro tip #2 If you just can't wait and want your delicious avo to to ripen sooner, put it in a brown paper bag at room temp for 1-2 days.
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Holiday Stress?!

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

These two words shouldn’t be allowed in the same sentence... but for some, sadly enough they are synonymous.

How sweet would it be to actually enjoy the next few months of parties, get togethers and travel full of joy and holiday cheer? Today we are talking about how to cope with stress that often times comes along with the “Most Wonderful (and for some, most chaotic) Time of the Year”.

It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving, Christmas and 2018 are right around the corner, there’s so much to think about to prepare for the busiest, most celebratory and sometimes most hectic time of the year. We all dream of the holiday season as a time to spend with loved ones, relaxing, laughing, enjoying delicious foods, cozy decorated homes, cheerful Christmas tunes and a joyful time of togetherness that involve no stressful traveling, planning & hosting. While we can all do our best to adopt a “go with the flow” mindset, in reality there’s a certain type of anticipation that comes along with upcoming gatherings and celebrations. The great news is that there are some ways to help reduce and manage stress during the busyness of the season by keeping your daily routine balanced and healthful. Here are some great tips on how to maintain your health and sanity during the next few months to have your BEST, most enjoyable holiday season yet!

 

Get your Zzzzz’s and plenty of it! We want you to make it your first priority, shoot for 7-9 hours a night. Start winding down after dinner by shutting down electronic devices and cozying up with a cup of decaf tea (like a chai rooibos!) and a good book. Make your way into bed 30 minutes early and then work your way up to an hour before your usual bedtime, if you can! This one is the biggy ya’ll, getting enough quality shut eye really is make or break on cortisol (your stress hormone), mood and determines your overall productivity in life.

Hydrate and Stay hydrated. It’s not uncommon to feel less thirsty during the winter months. With the cooler weather, sometimes we just don’t crave that iced cold glass of water like you would in the summer. With that being said, it’s crucial to be getting lots of water even when you aren’t feeling thirst, water helps regulate your body temperature and gives your immune system a boost and prevent you from getting sick during prime flu season. Drinking water also increases metabolism and helps you feel fuller, longer, helping you maintain healthy eating habits during the holiday party season and treats on treats on treats!


Eat well. We want you fill up on the good stuff 80% of the time. This means during the next 2 months, make your typical day look like this: tons of in-season fruits and veggies, lean proteins, healthy, filling fats and  fiber rich grains. This type of diet keeps you full and gives you tons of energy to fuel you through the week and keep you healthy and on track with enough wiggle room to enjoy all of your favorite holiday goodies! Make eating healthfully most of the time, a goal and bulk up your meals with extra roughage to get maximum vitamins and nutrients. This way the other 20% of the time, you can dive into all the delicious offerings at your parties and events and enjoy them guilt-free with the people you love, knowing that you have a healthy balanced routine that you live by.

Take good supplements. Do some research and find out which supplements are right for your body that you may want to add to your diet to keep you feeling great this winter. We recommend upping your Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Omega 3 fish oil, Zinc and popping a daily Probiotic. Magnesium can also help with sleep, digestion and cravings, so this might be a good fit if you are struggling with these things.


Move your body. Regular exercise is sooo important for so many reasons. Not only does it keep your body healthy and active, it also helps manage stress and boosts mental clarity (yes please!). Aim for 30 minutes of some type of movement each day. If possible, try to get outside and go for a walk or jog to get that extra Vitamin D (even if it’s not sunny out, you’ll reap the benefits).


Treat yo self. This time of year, it is especially vital for you to show yourself some love and emphasize self care. You have a lot going on! Give yourself a well deserved break and enjoy some of your favorite non-food related indulgences that are just for you! This may be a spa treatment, a bubble bath and a glass of wine (yes, wine!), spending some quality time with a good friend or family member, or it may even be saying NO to an event you are just too tired to attend and spending some solo time, unplugged, instead!

 

So there you have it! Now that you have some helpful tips to keep in mind over the next few months, keep them in your tool belt! We would just like to encourage you to tune in and listen to yourself. Treat yourself with compassion and grace, remembering that you don’t have to do it all or be everything to everyone! This season should be spent enjoying relationships and making memories that will far surpass all the gifts and meals. Do your best to be present in each moment, honoring yourself and your needs and embracing the holiday season with love in your heart!

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Food for thought: Ditch the Diet, Eat Real Food!

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

Let’s get right down to it shall we? Dieting has become the cultural norm. Are you paleo or vegan? Maybe even raw vegan, gluten-free, a calorie counter, weight watcher, clean eater, low carb, low fat, sugar free? The list goes on and on and if by chance you find that one doesn’t work for you, it’s on to the next! The harsh reality is that our diet has become our identity and it’s scary. Nowadays it’s almost out of the ordinary to enjoy a meal with someone who has no dietary restriction or regimen. Let’s face it, being on a diet is trendy, it’s what we do now, call it what you will but even the term “lifestyle change” is just a less a offensive word for diet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly important to honor your body’s medically proven allergies, intolerances and sensitivities, but are we over doing it on precautions and hurting our relationship with food? At what expense have you self diagnosed your gluten intolerance?

There are some definite reasons why you may be struggling with digestive disorders, skin issues, sleep and energy levels. Intestinal permeability aka Leaky Gut Syndrome is the umbrella term that covers just about every digestive or autoimmune deficiency and is worth investigating if you are experiencing symptoms. Essentially, Leaky Gut is when the lining of your stomach has developed tears over time and undigested food particles and toxins can seep through and into your bloodstream causing your immune system to go into attack mode which can lead to allergies and intolerances. Talk about a mess, huh? And then there’s stress, the leading culprit for just about every health qualm. When you are overworked physically, emotionally or mentally, your body overproduces on cortisol, your stress hormone and it can wreak havoc on your immune system, making it sometimes impossible to digest anything and flare up a whole world of nasty symptoms. If your health is suffering, it’s incredibly important to take the necessary steps to getting your gut repaired, and certain foods may need to be eliminated from your diet for temporarily while you supplement and heal and get to the root of your condition.

When you cut out entire food groups for the wrong reasons (without actually needing to) your body is missing out on vital nutrients and in many cases is doing more harm than good. Real food made from fresh, natural, real ingredients actually want to be digested by your body. What even is real food you might ask? Minimally processed, limited ingredient foods (ie: an avocado has one ingredient) Fill up on meals that have multiple one-ingredient foods in them and you are making a huuuuge investment in your health. Things like a big omelet, made with free-range organic eggs, cooked in ghee with tons of veggies and grass fed cheese! Holy yum! And so jam packed with nutrients, leaving you full of energy and satisfaction. Nothing processed or out of a box. Food is nourishment, energy, and even medicine for your entire being. When you are feeding yourself the foods you need, want and dare I say crave (um...chocolate?) you are not only nurturing your body, but your heart. Deprivation can often leave you feeling sad, like your missing out and later cause throwing in the towel and binging on the very foods you were depriving yourself of. Many times you end up feeling so guilty over your splurge, you restrict your self the next day by restricting even more, going on a fast or over exercising to make up for your “bad behavior” as a punishment (and the vicious depriving diet cycle begins again...you see the madness here? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result and diet hopping is doing just that.

Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of the next diet trend, here are some practical, life-giving, SANE things to ask yourself when you are choosing the food you will enjoy:

  1. Listen to your body. This is about your hunger cues. Are you actually experiencing physical hunger? Is your stomach growling? Feeling tired or foggy brained?
  2. Eat food you are actually in the mood to eat. This is huge! When you eat a meal because “It’s low calorie” but then leaves you feeling totally unsatisfied and craving cake for the rest of the night, you are not honoring your body’s needs.
  3. Sit down, slow down and pay attention to the food in front of you. Whether it’s a meal or a snack, give it some attention and even give thanks for it keeping you going. Studies show that chewing your food well actually increases digestion, so shoot for 30x a bite and work your way up from there!
  4. Emphasize the foods that make your body feel great and indulge mindfully in the not-so-healthy ones that make your soul feel great!
  5. Get in touch with your self. Self-care is so neglected and so important. Don’t get too caught up in work and life that you forget to check in on how you are doing emotionally.

 

I know so many people who are just trying to find the diet that just “works for them” but it’s about shifting your perspective. Why not start seeing food differently; food is your friend, your helper, and your ally! Don’t abuse it and it will take care of you. Give food a chance to work for you without labeling them “bad” or “good”. Food is your friend!

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7 Reasons Why You Should Choose Food Made Fresh Over Blue Apron

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Home Fresh, Purple Carrot, Sun Basket and even the new Amazon Fresh! These days, there are so many options for home meal delivery, and it’s hard to keep track of them all!

It’s awesome how health conscious this generation is becoming; millennials are really taking charge of the way they eat and not letting excuses (ie: no time, can’t cook) stop them! However, I’ll admit that since there are so many trending, it can be a bit confusing to differentiate all of the options on the market.

Which was is which? What sets one apart from all the others? Most of these meal delivery companies are all about packaging individual ingredients and delivering to your door, with corresponding recipes and step by step meal guide for you to assemble and cook in your home. No shopping or meal planning, sounds great – right?

But what if you have the type of lifestyle that leaves you mentally drained and physically wiped after a 9 hour work day or if you have 3 children under the age of 7 running around, a messy house and no free hands to actually cook the meal? And what about cleaning up the mess afterwards? No thanks. We constantly hear from our new Food Made Fresh converts, that this is exactly what they didn’t want to do after an exhausting day with kids or at work.

Food Made Fresh offer San Diegans an affordable solution that works for everyone and takes meal prep/meal delivery to another level, from our kitchen to your table.

Here are some reasons why Food Made Fresh stands above the rest:

  1. We provide freshly cooked, fully prepared nutritious meals that taste amazing! With no prep, no mess, no clean up, this saves you time and stress.
  2. You are free to order what you want and when you want, you’re not locked into a subscription so it accommodates your schedule.
  3. Menus change weekly, so there are always new and delicious options to try out!
  4. Meals are locally sourced, prepared and delivered. We love supporting other small businesses in our San Diego community, and this is a chance for you to share in this passion with us!
  5. Menus are based on enjoying real, whole food.
  6. There is no “one diet fits all”! Find your favorite meals that fit your lifestyle as we offer a range of dietary preferences, such as (paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, clean eating/whole30, vegetarian and even some vegan options).
  7. You've got a holistic health coach on your side. All of our meals are prepared and created with love by the chef and owner -- who is also an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach -- specializing in holistic nutrition, preparing whole food, and encouraging balance and finding joy in each day.

We totally understand it can be overwhelming with all the information out there about how and what to eat and where to source your food. At Food Made Fresh we like to keep it simple; eat real food.

When you order from us, your meals are delivered each week ready for your enjoyment, as you spend more time gathering around the table instead of working in the kitchen. No matter how busy your lifestyle, delicious and healthful food should be hassle free and enjoyed every day of the week!

 

Eat well & Be well,

Chrissy Weir

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7 Easy Ways to Cut Out Sugar

Posted by Chrissy Weir on

Research finds that the average American eats about 20 teaspoons of added sugar every day and that’s only added sugar! It’s sneaky because most sugars disguise themselves as ingredients you’ve never heard of or wouldn’t think would be the culprit, however this is exactly how staple pantry brands keep you wanting more, by providing calories with no real nutrients and craving more sugar! This can lead to scary addictive habits.  Consuming too much sugar can lead to unhealthy weight gain, bloating, headaches/migraines, lack of energy, acne, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

If you are ready to nix the addictive system, below are some of my winning tips on how to cut back on sneaky sugar and feel your best!

1. Don’t buy processed foods.

Not only are they filled with preservatives and chemicals to remain shelf-stable, but they are often filled with sugar and sodium a ton of other junk. Don’t be fooled by “health” brands either, they tend to be just as bad. Take a look at the ingredients on everything packaged that you buy, so many things on the shelves are loaded with sneaky added sugars so always check your labels. And keep it simple, the less ingredients, the better!


2. Eat Whole Foods.

Try as much as possible to grab the real deal fruit or vegetable and prepare it to your liking. A lot of those grab and go options, such as dried fruit, juices, or fruit that is prepared in sauces or individual cups usually have sugars added to boost flavor (and preservation). Also, if you are grabbing a baggie of dried fruit, chances are you are really eating 4 or 5 pieces of what was a whole piece of fruit and without all the awesome fiber :( We just don’t need that much in one sitting.

3. Avoid non-fat/fat-free or low-fat dairy items.

This may be hard to hear but it’s the truth: If all the fat is taken out of a dairy product, companies have to add in sugars and other unnatural chemicals, additives and binders to help with consistency and flavor. By getting the full-fat version, you will skip out on unnecessary hidden sugars and additives. If you are worried about switching to full-fat products because it sounds like taboo, try minimally processed non-milk alternatives or simply enjoy less of the full-fat version, adding fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, or homemade (low-sugar) granola!

4. Make your own sauces and dressing.

This one might sound like the most difficult one on the list -- that’s why we sandwiched it in the middle. Sauces, like tomato-based marinara, have added sugars to increase flavor, and usually more than you would think. And salad dressing...don’t get me started! They are usually filled with terrible hydrogenated vegetable oils that wreak havoc on your body, and filled with sugars and other emulsifiers and stabilizers to stay “good” for months… or years. Even those refrigerated ones often contain these things, so check the ingredients. This is the reason why we make our own salads and sauces in house, to ensure delicious flavor and maximum health. Making dressings at home is so easy, and you can tweak the proportions depending on how acidic you may like it. A blender or immersion blender are both great tools to make larger batches, but a simple mason jar with a lid will do just fine.

If making this things from scratch just isn’t your idea of fun or worth your time, then be sure to order your favorite Food Made Fresh salads and salad bowls each week, knowing that our dressings are made with love with all good ingredients!


Here’s a few simple dressing recipes:


Simple Vinaigrette:

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp sea salt

⅛ tsp black pepper

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil


Or dress it up with a little maple with this next one!


Maple Vinaigrette:

½ Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and pepper, to taste


Or add some citrus!


Zesty Vinaigrette:

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced, or grated

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and pepper, to taste


Add contents to mason jar and secure with lid. Shake and serve or keep for later.

5. If needed, try a natural sweetener.

My first go-to unrefined, natural sweeteners are raw (local) honey and pure maple syrup. Coconut sugar is lower glycemix index and therefore doens’t spike your blood sugar like regular sugars do. Xilitol or stevia are also good plant-based options- I prefer organic liquid stevia. 1 or 2 drops goes a long way.

The key is to start with less and check in with yourself if you really need to add more, or if you can allow your tastebuds to get used to less or none.

6. Have some dark chocolate on hand for those moments of weakness.

You heard me right, dark chocolate (preferably 70% and above) contain magnesium, and other minerals that are beneficial to your body. If you are going to need a sweet treat while trying to cut sugar, then this is a great alternative to diving into a cupcake or carton of ice cream

7. Ditch the soda, and never look back!

Made up of chemicals, weird syrups, mountains of sugars and toxic dyes, you don’t need this in your life. Diet “sugar free” soda is just as bad, so don’t switch to that either. Many artificial “non calorie” sweeteners loaded in diet drinks actually trigger diabetic responses and outcomes.

Instead, try sparkling water with a splash of pure 100% juice. Or my favorite it to zest up my sparkling water with drop of Young Living Essential Oils - you can buy them here. My favorites are: Lemon, Lime, Tangerine, Grapefruit, and Citrus Fresh - which has a touch of spearmint!

                                                                           Eat well & Be well,

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