Tag: Healthy Food

Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The classic grilled cheese is a childhood favorite and a warm and comforting lunch staple. But what if we told you there was a way to elevate this timeless dish, to infuse it with unexpected flavor and vibrant color? Enter the Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese—a symphony of sweet and savory that will tantalize your taste buds.

Why Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese?

  • Flavor Fusion: Sweet potato adds a delightful sweetness and creamy texture that beautifully complements your favorite cheese. It’s a flavor adventure in every bite!
  • Nutritional Upgrade: Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, fiber, and beta-carotene, making this grilled cheese a more nutritious alternative to the classic.
  • Visually Stunning: The vibrant orange of the sweet potato creates a visually stunning sandwich, perfect for impressing yourself or your lunch date.

Ingredients (makes 1 serving):

  • The Bread:
    • 2 slices of your favorite bread (sourdough, wheat, or even a buttery brioche works well)
  • The Star of the Show:
    • 1/2 medium sweet potato, thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • The Melty Magic:
    • 2-3 slices of your favorite cheese (cheddar, Gruyere, goat cheese, or a combination are all delicious options)
  • Flavor Boosters (Optional):
    • 1 tablespoon butter or mayonnaise (for spreading)
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    • Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Sweet Potato Prep: Wash and peel your sweet potato. Using a sharp knife or mandoline slicer (if you have one), cut the sweet potato into thin slices.
  2. Spice It Up (Optional): In a bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with dried thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Butter Up: Spread your chosen fat (butter or mayonnaise) on one side of each bread slice.
  4. Cheese Heaven: Place half the cheese slices on the unbuttered side of one bread slice. Layer the sweet potato slices on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining cheese slices.
  5. Griddle Time: Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Carefully place the sandwich on the griddle. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the bread is golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is melted and gooey.
  6. Savor the Sweetness: Once cooked through, carefully transfer the sandwich to a plate and cut it in half. Take a moment to admire the beautiful golden brown exterior and vibrant orange filling before digging in!

Tips & Tricks:

  • Want extra melty cheese? Pre-shred your cheese for even melting throughout the sandwich.
  • Don’t have a griddle? No problem! You can use a frying pan with a little bit of butter or oil.
  • Feeling adventurous? Add a drizzle of balsamic reduction or a smear of pesto to the bread for an extra flavor explosion.

So ditch the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary! The Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese is a delightful twist on a classic, a culinary adventure for your taste buds.

Is Intermittent Fasting Harmful to Your Heart?

New research suggests that people who practice time-restricted eating, where they only eat during an eight-hour period each day, might have a higher risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who eat during a more typical 12 to 16-hour window. This was found in a study presented at an American Heart Association conference in Chicago. Victor Wenze Zhong, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, who led the study, expressed surprise at these results.

The study’s findings are interesting, but it’s important to remember that this type of study can only show a link between things, not cause and effect.

Christopher D. Gardner, a nutrition expert from Stanford University, raises some questions about the study. He wants to know more about what foods people were eating. Since the study hasn’t been reviewed by other scientists yet, we don’t have all the details.

Gardner also thinks that focusing on when you eat might not be as important as focusing on what you eat. As a nutrition scientist, he believes that the quality of food matters more than the timing of meals.

Benefits of Time-Restricted Eating

Earlier studies have shown that eating only during certain hours of the day, known as time-restricted eating, can help improve heart health in the short term. This means people only eat during a set time period each day, which could be as short as 4 hours or as long as 12 hours.

For example, some people might fast for 16 hours and then eat all their meals within an 8-hour window, like from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Past research, which usually lasted one month to one year, found that time-restricted eating can improve blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and weight management.

Findings from a Study on Time-Restricted Eating

The New Study Followed 20,000 Adults for a Median of 8 Years

A recent study looked at information from about 20,000 adults in the United States. These adults were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2003 to 2018. The study lasted for about 8 years on average, with some people being followed for up to 17 years.

Participants were asked to remember what they ate in the past day using two questionnaires when they first joined the study. Then, researchers divided them into groups based on how long they ate each day. Some people had eating windows of less than 8 hours, while others had windows of 12 to 16 hours.

The researchers checked back with the participants over the years to see how they were doing health-wise. After looking at many factors like age, race, and health history, the researchers found that:

  • People who ate in less than an 8-hour window had a 91 percent higher risk of dying from heart-related issues, like heart disease and stroke, compared to those who ate in a 12 to 16-hour window.
  • For people with heart disease already, eating within an 8 to 10-hour window was linked to a 66 percent higher risk of dying from heart-related problems.
  • However, time-restricted eating didn’t lower the overall risk of death from any cause.

Study Has Limitations That May Question the Findings

Experts in nutrition who reviewed the new study mentioned some issues with how the research was done that might make the results less reliable.

Krista Varady, a professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, thinks the conclusions are too strong because the researchers only collected data on what people ate for two days over a 20-year period. She wonders what the participants were eating on the other 7,300 days of the study. Varady has studied intermittent fasting for weight loss and health improvement but wasn’t part of this study.

Christopher Gardner, a professor at Stanford University, also sees a problem with how the study grouped people based on just two days of diet information. He thinks it would have been better to collect data for several days in the first year and then continue gathering information in the following years.

Dr. Zhong, who led the study, agrees that this is a limitation. However, he mentions that they excluded people who reported unusual diets on those two days.

Study Limitations and Possible Influencing Factors

Other things could have affected the risk of heart disease among the people in the study, according to Gardner. For instance, those who ate in a shorter time period might have had less access to food, worked more shifts, or had more stress in their lives compared to those who ate in a longer time period. If this were the case, the higher risk of heart disease-related deaths might not be because of the shorter eating window, but because of these other factors.

Need for Further Research on Time-Restricted Eating

Researchers agree that more studies on time-restricted eating are necessary. Victor Zhong, one of the researchers, believes caution should be taken when following this eating pattern for a long time. He suggests focusing on diets like DASH and Mediterranean, which have proven health benefits. Christopher Gardner shares this view and adds that while time-restricted eating may help some people psychologically, it’s essential to consider the overall quality of one’s diet. Many find it challenging to make healthy choices in today’s food environment, where unhealthy options are cheap, readily available, and appealing.

Is Your Fiber Intake Too High? Don’t Let These Symptoms Get the Best of You!

Dietary fiber is found in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It can help lower your risk of heart disease, keep your blood sugar levels stable, and improve your gut health.

Most people don’t eat enough fiber. In fact, an estimated 95% of American adults and children don’t consume the recommended amounts.

However, eating too much fiber can also have some negative effects. Fiber comes in two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps food move through your digestive system. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and makes it easier to pass.

Both types of fiber are good for your health, but too much fiber can lead to side effects such as:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

If you increase your fiber intake too much or too soon, you may experience these side effects.

Bloating and Gas

When you eat a lot of fiber, especially if you’re not used to it, your stomach may feel bloated and gassy. This is because your gut bacteria need time to adjust to the extra fiber.

Usually, these side effects go away after a few days or weeks. But if they’re severe or don’t improve, talk to your doctor.

Here are some tips for reducing gas and bloating caused by eating too much fiber:

  • Start by adding small amounts of fiber to your diet gradually.
  • Eat a variety of fiber-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid eating large amounts of fiber at one meal.
  • Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.

Mineral Deficiencies

Excessive fiber consumption can hinder the absorption of key minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Fiber acts as a binding agent, preventing your body from absorbing these minerals from the foods you consume. While many high-fiber foods are naturally rich in these minerals, some individuals might face a risk of mineral deficiencies. In such cases, increasing your intake of mineral-rich foods, such as meat, can help compensate for this issue.


While it might seem like eating fiber should help with constipation, it doesn’t work for everyone. Surprisingly, in some cases, fiber can even worsen constipation. Different studies have had mixed results: some suggest adding fiber to your diet can help with constipation, while others say reducing it is better.

Moreover, some studies have found that people with chronic constipation consume similar amounts of fiber as those without the condition. Therefore, if your constipation is caused by something other than a lack of fiber, such as certain medications, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or dehydration, increasing your fiber intake may not help and could potentially make your situation worse.

Intestinal Blockage

Although uncommon, excessive fiber intake can lead to a situation where undigested fibers or stool gets stuck in a narrow section of your intestines. This can be painful and require immediate medical attention. When undigested fiber from fruits or vegetables forms a hard, solid mass, it can block the passage through the intestines. This is more common in older adults who may not chew their food thoroughly. Intestinal blockages are a serious issue and may necessitate surgery.

How Much Fiber Should You Eat in a Day?

There isn’t a specific upper limit for fiber intake, so it’s not about a harmful amount. Daily fiber recommendations vary based on factors like your age, gender, and personal needs. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest about 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories, translating to roughly 28 grams daily for most adults across meals and snacks. But, individual preferences can differ, so it’s advisable to discover the right fiber intake for you through experimentation.


The suggested daily fiber intake for the typical adult woman is around 25 grams. However, your specific needs can vary based on factors like your age and size. If you’re over 50, the recommended minimum amount is about 21 grams per day.


The typical adult man should aim for around 38 grams of daily fiber intake. However, your specific requirements can vary depending on factors like your size, age, and personal needs. If you’re over 50, having at least 30 grams of fiber daily is suggested.


Children and teenagers can have different needs because they come in various sizes and ages. Generally, older kids and teens should aim for a daily fiber intake of between 21 and 38 grams.

Getting this amount can be a challenge for some because they may eat smaller portions. To help them eat more fiber, focus on fiber-rich foods, such as nuts, beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Try These 3 Healthy Turkey Recipes Today!

Turkey is a great protein source. Your body uses protein to build and maintain things like bones, muscles, skin, and blood. Turkey has niacin, vitamin B6, tryptophan, and lots of protein. It also has zinc and vitamin B12. The white meat, without the skin, is low in fat and has lots of protein. It also has vitamin B6 and niacin, which help your body make energy from food. Niacin is important for changing proteins, fats, and carbs into energy your body can use.

Rosemary Roasted Turkey

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 4 hours

Servings: 16 Serving Size: 325 grams

This recipe ensures your turkey is both tasty and juicy. Pick a turkey that matches the number of guests you’re serving. The nutritional values for this food are as follows: it contains 508 kilocalories, 58.7 grams of protein, 25.8 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbohydrates.


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (12-pound) whole turkey


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius).

2. Add olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Wash and dry the turkey both inside and out, removing any excess fat. Gently loosen the skin on the breast by sliding your fingertips between the skin and the breast, being careful not to tear it. Work the skin down to the end of the drumstick.

4. Spread the rosemary mixture under the breast flesh and down the thigh and leg. Coat the outside of the breast with the remaining rosemary mixture, using toothpicks to seal the skin over any exposed breast meat.

5. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan.

6. Roast the turkey in a preheated oven for 3 to 4 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).

Herb and Citrus Butter Roasted Turkey

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 4 hours

Servings: 12 Serving Size: 125 grams

You can easily and enjoyably make a delicious whole-roasted turkey with herb citrus butter. Seasonal vegetables accompany the meal and features a flavorful lemon and herb butter. Each serving provides 698 calories, with 78.8 grams of protein, 33.1 grams of fat, and 4.7 grams of carbohydrates.


  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 8 large sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 fresh whole turkey
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium turkey or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup almond flour


1. To make the herb butter, put 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and zest in a food processor with the other 5 ingredients, making sure the herbs are finely chopped and the mixture is smooth.

2. Set aside 1/4 cup of the herb butter. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove and discard the turkey’s neck and giblets, fill the cavity with water, and drain it.

3. Carefully lift and loosen the skin from the turkey breast without completely separating it. Spread 3 tablespoons of herb butter under the skin, secure it back, and use wooden picks to hold it if needed.

4. Season the inside and outside of the turkey with salt and pepper. Place the onion, carrot, and celery in a large roasting pan.

5. Put the turkey on a lightly oiled roasting rack in the pan. Tie the ends of the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wingtips underneath.

6. Use the remaining herb butter to coat the entire turkey. Pour wine and chicken broth into the roasting pan.

7. Roast on the bottom oven rack at 425°F for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and cook for 2 to 2.5 hours, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F.

8. Cover it with aluminum foil When it starts to brown too much. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a serving dish and strain the drippings through a fine wire mesh strainer into a container, discarding any solids.

9. Reserve 2 1/2 cups of the pan drippings. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the reserved herb butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes while constantly whisking.

10. Gradually add the 2 1/2 cups of reserved drippings to the skillet, stirring continuously, until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Serve the gravy with the turkey.

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Servings: 10

Serving Size: 200 grams

These were such a hit at the holiday dinner party that I started serving them instead of the usual whole turkey on Thanksgiving. In each serving, you’ll find 553 calories, 42.2 grams of protein, 12.2 grams of fat, and 73.6 grams of carbohydrates.


  • 1 (12 ounces) package of herb-seasoned bread stuffing mix
  • 2 skinless, boneless turkey breasts
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 (8 ounces) packages of dried, sweetened cranberries
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 lettuce leaves
  • ½ cup pecan halves


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

2. Prepare the stuffing mix as directed on the package and let it cool.

3. Use a sharp knife to butterfly the chicken breasts, making them open flat, and then flatten them further by gently pounding them between two sheets of waxed paper.

4. Spread the prepared stuffing evenly on each breast, leaving about a quarter-inch margin. You can also add dried cranberries and chopped nuts, saving some for garnish.

5. Roll up the chicken breasts tightly, starting from the long end, and tuck in the ends. Secure the rolls by tying them with sections of kitchen twine, about four sections around the center and one along the length of each roll.

6. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and brown the rolls carefully on all sides.

7. Place the skillet in the oven, cover, and bake for about an hour in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, aiming for 170 degrees F (78 degrees C) to prevent them from drying out.

8. Let the rolls rest for 15 minutes before removing the twine and slicing them into 1/2 to 3/4-inch circles. Slice one roll for presentation while leaving the other whole, displaying the spiral pattern of the stuffing. Place them on a bed of curly lettuce and garnish with the reserved dried cranberries and the remaining 1/2 cup of pecan halves.

Reduce Bloating Naturally with These 10 Tips

Why do I feel bloated?

Bloating is a heavy feeling in your stomach. It is usually caused by too much gas or when your intestines are not working properly. Bloating can cause pain, discomfort, and the feeling of being full.

Women are more likely to experience bloating than men, especially around the time of menstruation. Bloating can also get worse throughout the day as you eat more food. Passing gas or stool can help relieve bloating.

What causes bloating?

Bloating is caused by trapped air in the digestive system. This air can be swallowed accidentally or produced by gut bacteria during digestion.

Here are some things that can cause bloating:

  • Eating too quickly
  • Eating too much
  • Chewing gum
  • Smoking
  • Drinking carbonated beverages
  • Eating hard-to-digest foods, such as fatty, fried, or spicy foods
  • Hormonal changes
  • Food intolerances

Here are some ways to naturally reduce bloating:

1. Chew slowly

Regardless of your hunger, take your time to eat mindfully. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing, one bite at a time. Rushing through your meals not only affects nutrient absorption but also leads to swallowing extra air, which can result in that uncomfortable, bloated sensation.

2. Reduce intake of certain vegetables

Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy can lead to increased gas. These undigested vegetables travel to the colon, where bacteria ferment them in the intestines, causing bloating and gas. However, this doesn’t mean you should completely eliminate cauliflower and other veggies from your diet. Cooking them can help break them down, as cooked greens are generally better tolerated than raw ones.

3. Eat smaller, more frequent meals

Individuals prone to bloating might find larger meal portions uncomfortable. To address this, consuming smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can alleviate stomach bloating. This eating routine assists in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, curbing your appetite, and promoting an efficient metabolism. A more efficient metabolism enables your body to effectively utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to provide the proper energy for your body.

4. Prefer probiotics

Probiotics are like helpful bacteria that can make your gut healthier when you eat enough of them. When they reach your colon, these good bacteria grow and keep a good balance with the bad ones. This can lessen problems like gas and bloating. You can find probiotics naturally in foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, miso, and pickles.

5. Check for food intolerances:

Eating foods that you are intolerant to can cause extreme gas and bloating. Common food intolerances include:

Lactose Intolerance: People with lactose intolerance have difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar in milk, due to low levels of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down milk sugar.

Gluten Intolerance: Those with gluten intolerance struggle to digest a protein called gluten, primarily found in wheat, barley, and rye.

6. Steer clear of sugar alcohols

Some sugar-free mints, chewing gums, and desserts use sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol to make them sweet without too many calories. However, sugar alcohol can cause problems for certain people because their bodies can’t break them down. Instead, these sugar alcohols travel to the colon and feed the gut bacteria, which might lead to extra gas and bloating.

7. Peppermint tea or oil

Peppermint is a great solution for a bloated stomach. It relaxes the muscles in your stomach and intestines, which helps with digestion. You can have peppermint tea or use peppermint oil for relief. To make peppermint tea, just boil 8-10 peppermint leaves in a cup of water for 10-15 minutes and savor its delicious and soothing flavor.

8. Ginger and Turmeric

Ginger and turmeric are a traditional way to relieve indigestion and bloating. They have properties that reduce inflammation, prevent nausea, and help with gas. Drinking ginger and turmeric tea or taking their tablets before a meal stimulates the rhythmic movements of the intestines, making digestion smoother and reducing bloating.

9. Papaya

Papaya has an enzyme called papain that acts as a gentle laxative. It helps your body get rid of extra waste and eases digestive problems like constipation, which can lead to bloating. Papaya also has fiber that aids in digestion, reducing gas, bloating, and tummy discomfort.

10. Abdominal Massage

Some experts suggest massaging your belly to get rid of instant belly bloating. To do this, start from the lower right side of your belly and gently move your fingers in a clockwise direction while lying down with your knees bent. This massage can help relieve constipation, which often causes bloating. You can also try yoga poses to improve digestion. Certain poses that involve bending forward and twisting can help your intestines move, reduce gas, and ease bloating.

Power Up Your Day with These 7 Fruits

We’ve all experienced fatigue at various times during the day. While low energy is a common sensation, various factors can contribute to feeling tired or experiencing an energy slump, such as our dietary choices, meal timing, portion sizes, sleep quality, and other aspects.

Certain foods have the potential to provide the body with sustained and lasting energy. Continue reading to find our selection of the seven best fruits that can help boost your energy levels.


Apples are a delightful, wholesome, and adaptable fruit. They are rich in fiber, which aids in the gradual digestion of their natural sugars, providing long-lasting energy. A medium-sized apple (approximately 6.5 ounces) provides 95 calories and 4 grams of fiber. If you’re seeking a fulfilling snack, try enjoying apple slices with all-natural peanut butter.


Oranges are bursting with vitamin C. As per the National Institutes of Health, vitamin C plays a role in fortifying your immune system and lessening oxidative stress, which can help stave off weariness. While vitamin C deficiency is uncommon, individuals who fall short may experience scurvy, intensifying feelings of tiredness and fatigue.

For those dealing with an iron deficiency, this water-soluble vitamin promotes the absorption of iron, aiding in the alleviation of related symptoms, including fatigue. Munching on an orange between meals can provide a swift energy boost, with a medium-sized orange (approximately 5 ounces) supplying 73 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 78% of your Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C.


Bananas are a familiar source of energy. According to a 2020 review in Food Reviews International, consuming two bananas can fuel you for 90 minutes. These fruits are also rich in potassium, a vital nutrient for maintaining overall body function. A medium-sized banana offers 105 calories and 3 grams of fiber, supplying sustained energy.


Avocados, known for their fiber content, can help stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing energy crashes. Moreover, they’re a great source of healthy fats that not only boost your energy but also keep you feeling full. According to the USDA, one cup of sliced avocado contains 234 calories, 10 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of unsaturated fat. For a refreshing and tasty afternoon energy boost, consider trying our Avocado Caprese Salad.


Peaches are a delightful and invigorating choice for an energy boost. According to the USDA, one peach (approximately 5 ounces) contains 69 calories and 2 grams of fiber. They are also rich in vital nutrients, including potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, promoting your well-being. For those hectic mornings, our Pistachio & Peach Toast is a delicious breakfast option.


Plums are well-known for their natural laxative properties, but they can also rev up your energy levels. As per the USDA, consuming two plums gives you 69 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Looking for a tasty treat that can also provide an energy lift? Try a slice of our simple Plum Tart with a side of coffee.

Goji Berries

Goji berries, also called wolfberries, have a sweet and tangy flavor. These petite powerhouses are loaded with antioxidants, which can help stave off fatigue. According to the USDA, 5 tablespoons of dried goji berries supply 98 calories, 4 grams of protein, and nearly 4 grams of fiber, making them an ideal choice for sustained energy. For a convenient snack, add them to your next batch of trail mix to take to work.

It’s important to note that goji berries may interact with certain medications, like warfarin, as outlined in a 2022 review in Antioxidants. To be safe, it’s advisable to consult your primary healthcare provider before incorporating them into your diet.

The Benefits of Eating Slowly

Eating slowly has many benefits. It helps your digestion, makes it easier to manage your weight, and leaves you feeling more content after a meal. On the other hand, if you rush through your meals, it can harm your digestion, cause mealtime stress, and leave you unsatisfied. You might even end up overeating or feeling uncomfortably full. To put it simply, slowing down your eating can lead to better health and overall well-being.

The Importance of Eating Slowly

Our society is always in a hurry, and people in North America tend to eat very quickly. We often don’t take the time to enjoy our food or even chew it properly truly.

This fast-eating habit is common among all of us, regardless of our background or expertise. Even someone like me, a nutrition coach with a Master’s degree in nutrition and various certifications, used to eat hastily. I had a goal of gaining weight, and eating quickly allowed me to consume extra calories before my body could register what was happening.

What are the benefits of eating slowly?

Sensing satisfaction

Eating slowly offers significant benefits, primarily because it allows your body to realize when you’re full.

It typically takes around 20 minutes for your brain to send signals of satiety after you begin eating. Unfortunately, most meals are shorter than that!

Consider the extra calories you might consume just because your body didn’t have time to acknowledge that it no longer needed food. Now, think about how those extra calories could affect your weight.

Eating slowly also enhances our sense of satisfaction, which goes beyond merely feeling “full.”

When you take your time, relish a meal, focus on flavors and textures, and savor every mindful bite, you leave the table with a sense of contentment, even if all you had was a basic sandwich.

Improved digestion

Eating slowly also aids in our digestion. Think of digestion as a chain reaction. As soon as we see, smell, or think about food (step 1), our bodies start producing saliva to prepare for eating (step 2). Saliva contains enzymes that begin breaking down the food and moisten our mouth for easier swallowing.

Simultaneously, the later digestive stages (steps 3, 4, 5, etc.) get ready to do their jobs. Our stomachs start producing more acid, and our small intestine prepares for peristalsis and other processes.

When we rush through this process, we force our digestive system to handle food before it’s fully prepared. Surprises are wonderful on birthdays but not during digestion.

Digestion begins in the mouth, so when you take large bites that aren’t properly chewed, it becomes more challenging for your stomach to transform them into chyme. Chyme is the liquid mixture of partially digested food, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and water that passes through the pyloric valve on its way for further processing.

Food that isn’t adequately broken down into chyme can lead to indigestion and other potential gastrointestinal problems. And who wants that?

Smaller portions – without trying

Eating slowly can help you eat less, which is great for weight management. In a University of Rhode Island study, women were given a big plate of pasta for lunch. When they ate quickly, they consumed 67 more calories in 20 fewer minutes than when they ate slowly (579 calories in 29 minutes vs. 646 calories in 9 minutes). Extrapolated to three meals a day, these extra calories can add up.

Moreover, quick eating made the women feel hungrier an hour later, unlike slow eating, which meant less food but longer-lasting satisfaction.

Better hydration

Eating slowly has multiple benefits, including increased water consumption during meals. In a study by the University of Rhode Island, women drank 409 mL (about 14 oz) of water when they ate slowly, whereas quick eaters consumed only 289 mL (9.7 oz). Researchers also investigated if drinking more water is the key to feeling satisfied. In a follow-up study where water intake was controlled, both slow and fast eaters consumed similar amounts of food. However, those who ate slowly reported less hunger and greater satiety an hour after the meal, suggesting that eating slowly decreases hunger and boosts satisfaction between meals.

Is eating quickly really so bad?

Eating slowly might not be a miracle cure for weight loss, but it can definitely assist with portion control and leave you feeling more satisfied. On the other hand, the consensus among studies is clear: Eating quickly is linked to weight gain and a loss of control over eating habits.

Weight gain

Both extensive population studies and research on smaller groups, like firefighters who tend to eat quickly, agree that fast eaters tend to gain more weight over time compared to their slower counterparts. If your aim is to lose weight or maintain your current weight, it’s a good idea to slow down your eating pace.

Disordered eating and eating speed

If you’ve ever had a binge eating episode, you know the overwhelming urge to eat quickly. Research highlights that binge eating often involves rapid eating.

Compulsive eaters experience a loss of control over their eating habits and feel guilty afterward. Slowing down can help derail a binge episode and regain control.

In our coaching program, we suggest slowing down when a binge episode begins. You may not stop immediately, but slowing down can help shift your focus and regain control. It’s like someone snapping you out of a daydream. This “binge slowly” strategy can be quite effective.

3 Healthy Recipes For Dinner!

With more studies about nutrition and food, more people realize that eating healthy is very simple. Other from being simple, it isn’t that expensive too. It is all about how you make the combinations. And what is the better way to prepare for sleep than making an absolutely phenomenal healthy dinner?  Keep on reading to find our top 3 healthy recipes for dinner!

Egg Roll Bowl

Egg Roll Bowl
Image Credit: Whole New Mom

This healthy meal offers 420 calories per serving. Actually, it has nothing to do with eggs. It’s essentially a mix of ground pork and stir-fried cabbage, with an amazing crunchy texture. The total preparation time for it is 35 minutes.

The Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger
  • 1 thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 1/2 of thinly sliced onion
  • 1/4 of thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 1 cup of shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 lb of ground pork

The Preparation

Put vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then, add garlic and ginger. Cook this combo until it gets fragrant (takes 1-2 minutes). Then, add ground pork and cook until there is no pink texture on the meat.

Now, push the pork meat on one of the sides and add some sesame oil, onion, cabbage, and carrot. Stir fry this combination, and add some soy sauce and Sriracha. You should now cook this combination until the cabbage gets tender (takes 5-8 minutes).

Now, transfer this combo to a plate and adorn it with green onions and sesame seeds.

Taco Tomatoes

Taco Tomatoes
Image Credit: Cooking TV Recipes

Up for a low carb taco variant? Why not make tacos out of tomatoes for a creative twist? Tomatoes will add up to the healthy factor while enriching the taste of your favorite taco meal! The total time to make this dish is just 25 minutes!

The Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 1 ounce of packet taco seasoning
  • 3/4 lb of ground beef
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Mexican cheese mix

The Preparation

First of all, put the extra-virgin oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, add onion, and stir it until it softens (takes 5 minutes). Now, add ground beef and taco seasoning to mix things up a little. Start cooking and make sure to break up the meat with a spoon, until it doesn’t have pink texture (takes about 8 minutes). Don’t forget to drain the fat!

Now, flip the tomatoes so that the stem side is facing downwards. Slice them up to create 6 wedges. Be careful not to cut it all the way though! Afterward, spread open the created wedges.

All that is left to do is to divide the taco meat you made among each tomato. Top each tomato with lettuce, cheese, and sour cream for better serving!

Zucchini Lattice Lasagna

Zucchini Lattice Lasagna
Image Credit: theFFeed Food

Classic lasagna is very tasty, but also very unhealthy for you. The zucchini lattice lasagna is a perfect complement for it, as it is much less carb-heavy than your traditional lasagna dish! It will take 1 hour of your time only to prepare this amazing replacement for the regular lasagna.

The Ingredients

  • 2 cups of ricotta
  • 1 cup of Parmesan that is freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup of marinara
  • 3 cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 3 large zucchinis

The Preparation

In the beginning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, stir together eggs, Parmesan, and ricotta in a small bowl. Now, season this mixture with some Kosher salt and black pepper.

You should spread a thin marinara layer in a baking dish. Layer it with two layers of zucchini noodles, mozzarella, and the ricotta mixture you made in the previous step.

Make a zucchini lattice for the last layer. Also, make sure to layer the zucchini noodles side by side diagonally in the baking dish. Put the bottom half of other noodles and lay another zucchini across diagonally. Repeat this process until you fill the top layer.

Now, season this mixture with some more Parmesan, as well as with salt and pepper. Start baking until the mixture gets melty and the zucchini is cooked (takes 30 minutes). Before serving, let the dish cool off for 10 minutes.

We hope that you found some useful healthy recipes for dinner. It is a guarantee that you will have an absolute blast of a meal with these three choices!

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

As its name suggests, the Mediterranean diet is the type of diet emphasized by people living in countries by the Mediterranean Sea. Not all of these countries eat the same mind you, as there are some cultural and social differences between them. But, one is certain – with this type of diet, the risk of you getting cancer or any cardiovascular disease will drop down dramatically. That’s why lots of Americans are flocking to this type of diet, as cardiovascular diseases are one of the biggest problems in the US. So, let’s learn what is the Mediterranean diet, and what are its benefits!

So, What is the Mediterranean Diet, Actually?

Following this type of diet follows the dietary principles of the Mediterranean people in the 1960s. Actually, during this period and in this specific region, the risk of heart diseases was the lowest in the world! The traditional food that forms the Mediterranean diet includes fresh produce, legumes, and whole grains, and a healthy dose of healthy fats and seafood.

To be more specific, this kind of food forms the Mediterranean diet:

  • Vegetables. Tomatoes, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrot, broccoli, etc.
  • Fruit. Apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, grapes, peach, etc.
  • Legumes. Beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, etc.
  • Fish and Seafood. Sardine, salmon, tuna, shrimp, oyster, crab, etc.
  • Seeds and Nuts. Walnut, almond, hazelnut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Tubers. Potato and sweet potato, yam, turnip, etc.
  • Poultry. Duck, chicken, turkey.
  • Whole Grains. Brown rice, corn, whole oatmeal, whole wheat, whole-grain pasta, and bread, etc.
  • Dairy. Yogurt, Greek yogurt, cheese, etc.
  • Herbs. Basil, garlic, mint, sage, rosemary, etc.
  • Healthy Fats. Avocado, avocado oil, olives, extra virgin olive oil.
  • Eggs.

One point to keep in mind is to stay away from added sugars, processed meat, refined oils, and refined grains.

It is recommended to take at least 1 glass of red wine for women, and 2 glasses for men. Red wine can improve your cardiovascular health in the long term. Just don’t indulge too much in it, as it can be counterproductive for your heart health if you go over the limit! Also, now that we are talking about liquid, drinking lots of water is a must in the Mediterranean diet!

Daily physical exercise is a part of a traditional Mediterranean lifestyle. So, make sure to implement some daily physical exercise in your daily life. It doesn’t have to be anything hardcore! Walking around your block every day can do wonders for your health in the long term too.

Some Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

As this type of diet consists of a lot of fresh produce, nutrient-rich food, and a healthy dose of exercise, there are numerous health benefits for you to reap! Let’s list just a few of them!

  • Better Sleep Quality. If you are an older adult facing difficulties sleeping, good news for you! Some studies concluded that the Mediterranean diet indeed promotes better sleep quality in this age group. However, with young adults, there is no noticeable impact.
  • Helps With Losing Weight. As this diet is full of nutrients, and you are not just pumping calories in your system blindly, it certainly helps with weight loss. There are quite a few studies with numerous subjects that report more weight loss on the Mediterranean diet than on some kind of low-fat diet. This makes this type of diet the best one for weight loss!
  • Greatly Lowers the Risk of Heart Diseases. With the combination of less processed food and red meat, as well as low saturated fats, coupled with lots of physical and social activity, the Mediterranean diet style (and lifestyle!) reduces the risk of heart diseases and death by 20% over the regular diet.
  • Keeps You Energetic. For older adults, the nutrients gained from this diet can reduce risks such as muscle weakness and other signs of weakness by a whopping 70%!

So, now that you know what is the Mediterranean diet, are you convinced to make a positive change? Keep in mind that this type of diet is called blasphemy by some because of how expensive it can be. Trust us, if you choose the ingredients well, this type of diet can be cheaper than your regular, and probably much less healthy, diet!