Navigating Groceries and Meals in Our New Normal

Navigating Groceries and Meals in Our New Normal

Navigating Groceries and Meals in Our New Normal

Not too long ago, grocery shopping was a completely normal part of the average week. But with the latest uncertainty, a trip to the grocery store can be a stressful and even a scary experience. 

As you know, stress leads to premature aging…so we’ve created a few tips to help lower your stress level when it comes to feeding you and your family.

No matter how well you’ve planned, you’ll likely need to venture to the store to stock up on food at some point. One of the best things that you can do for yourself and your family right now is to make nutrition a priority. Adding fresh produce and whole foods support a healthy immune system and your general wellbeing. It’s also a great time to experiment with new foods and recipes.

Fortunately, there isn’t any evidence that these germs can be spread through food. Although this particular microbe can live on surfaces for up to 72 hours, it’s more likely to be passed from person to person and not by touching a surface that’s contaminated. However, we are still learning about this microbe and how it spreads. It’s important to take precautions when going to the grocery store or handling food you have delivered.

While it’s necessary to exercise caution, you don’t have to be fearful about buying food. Follow these tips to stay safe while going to the grocery store or ordering food.

Grocery Shopping

If available, using grocery pickup or delivery services is the best option for limiting your contact with other people. However, these services aren’t accessible everywhere, and many now have long waiting periods. If you need to go to the grocery store, here are a few tips to protect both yourself and others. 

  • Make a detailed grocery list before you go shopping. Organize your list by your store’s layout so you can get in and out as efficiently as possible.
  • Visit the grocery store during less busy times, such as early in the morning or on weekdays. Avoid the store on weekends and in the evening.
  • If you have one, wear a mask. A homemade cloth mask is fine; the most important thing is to make sure your nose and mouth are covered. Check to see if they are now required in your area. But remember, anything less than an N95 mask is protecting others from you, but not likely protecting you from others.
  • Take hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes or spray with you.
  • Sanitize your hands before you go into the store and after you leave.
  • Disinfect the hand of your cart or basket with wipes or spray.
  • Disposable gloves also work, just be sure to remove and throw them away as you leave the store. 
  • Only touch items as you’re putting them into your cart. Instead of picking up produce to look it over, inspect it only with your eyes before choosing what you want.
  • Stay six feet away from other people. If an aisle you want to walk down is crowded, skip it and come back later.
  • Maintain social distancing guidelines with grocery store employees when asking for assistance or checking out. Keeping them safe and healthy also helps other customers remain safe and healthy.
  • While it might make you cringe, leave reusable bags at home for now. They may come into contact with infected surfaces before you bring them home. Utilize single-use bags for now, and dispose of them right away.
  • Use self-checkout if it’s available. Disinfect the scanner, touchscreen, and keypad before touching them.
  • Wash produce when you get home using water or a fruit and veggie wash.

Meal Kits

Ordering meal kits from places like Blue Apron, Home Chef, and HelloFresh provide you with nutritious meals without having to brave the grocery store. With these subscription services, you can choose the meals you want to make and have all of the ingredients, as well as recipes, delivered to your doorstep. And you won’t have to worry about forgetting something at the grocery store.

To safely handle food delivered in meal kits, follow these tips.

  • Wash your hands before opening and unpacking the meal kit package.
  • Wash produce with water or a fruit and veggie wash.
  • Follow normal food safety guidelines, such as placing cold items in the refrigerator and keeping raw meat separate from other foods while cooking.
  • Wash your hands again after unpacking food and discarding the packaging.

With these tips, you can continue to cook and eat healthy, delicious meals during this uncertain time. Remember to enjoy and savor your meals. Good food can be a source of joy and variety, as well as a way to connect with your family.

Let us know your tips for staying safe while shopping!

15 Foods that Help Fight Inflammaging

salmon fish

15 Foods that Help Fight Inflammaging

Inflammaging is a trending word used to denote the association between inflammation and aging. Despite inflammation being a natural body process, at the root of healing every illness and injury, it can additionally cause damage.

An easy way to understand inflammation is to think of it as fire: a good way to protect, remove debris, and keep yourself warm. However, when the fire becomes uncontrollable or widespread, even at a low level, destruction can occur. (1) Common diseases brought on by an excess of inflammation include asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, Alzheimer’s disease, and scleroderma. (2) Aging often expedites the onset of inflammation, and hence, the occurrence of disease. (3)

So how do we ward off inflammation and subsequently early aging? Some drugs can reduce inflammation, like aspirin and ibuprofen, but are then accompanied by harmful side effects. Currently, research supports the best means to lower systemic inflammation in the body is making specific lifestyle choices. 

Studies show that even smoldering inflammation in our bodies is a significant contributor to age-related muscle loss – which kicks off the accelerated aging process in so many women(5). That’s why it’s critically important to get control of inflammation. Supplements like AgelessLX can also give additional support in addition to making healthy lifestyle changes. AgelessLX key ingredient, Calcium HMB has been clinically proven to help women retain their muscle mass as they age and even build more muscle (without having to spend hours in the gym!) AgelessLX is a dream come true for women looking to stay or get more fit, burn more fat and boost their energy. 

Adopting an inflammation reducing diet is prominent among such lifestyle choices, with approximately 60 percent of chronic diseases being preventable with healthy foods. Foods that actively reduce inflammation in the body, as proven by research, include the following. (2)

 

1. Olive Oil

‘Pure’ or ‘virgin’ olive oil is best for cooking, and extra virgin olive oil can be a great supplement to salad dressings. Be wary of coconut, peanuts, rice, and canola oil, as there is not enough research to confirm that the beneficial phytochemicals found in olive oil are also present in these other substitutes. (2)

2. Tomatoes

Using the compound lycopene, tomatoes stop pro-inflammatory processes within the body. Those who are overweight and at risk for developing cancer can benefit the most from consuming tomatoes. As well, eating tomatoes with healthy fats and oils will improve the absorption of lycopene, as lycopene is a fat-soluble nutrient. (4)

3. Peppers

Bell peppers and chili peppers are loaded with the antioxidant quercetin, which decreases the oxidative damage from diseases like sarcoidosis. Chili peppers contain sinapic acid and ferulic acid, which may reduce overall inflammation and lead to healthier aging. (4) 

Just a word about Nightshades [Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Eggplant, Potatoes (not sweet potato) and Pepper derived spices like Cayenne and Paprika]…many people tend to believe that nightshades actually promote inflammation and should be avoided. 

The truth is for most people, there’s no need to avoid nightshades.There haven’t been any large scale studies done to link them to any negative health consequences.  Although, there are some diets that do cut nightshades out because people will report feeling better when they do not eat them. But just like many foods, it truly depends on how it affects the individual. For some, like those with arthritis or autoimmune deficiencies, they may cause issues but for the most part they are not typically considered as inflammatory foods for everyone. Nightshades are a rich source of micronutrients and an important part of a healthy diet for most people.

4. Nuts

Almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts all lower markers of inflammation in the human body, while also reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. If you don’t love nuts, consider almond milk as another way to build nuts and their inflammation reducing properties into your daily diet. (1)

5. Fatty Fish

Salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, and tuna are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have potent inflammation reducing properties embedded into the fatty acids (eicosapentanoic acid and docosahexanoic acid). (4)

6. Mushrooms

Among being low in calories and rich in minerals, mushrooms contain phenols and antioxidants that protect from inflammation. Lion’s mane, a special type of mushroom, may hold benefit for those experiencing low-grade inflammation secondary to obesity. Eating mushrooms raw or lightly cooked may help you reap their full inflammation reducing potential. (4)

7. Berries

Naturally rich in antioxidants, blueberries, black berries, raspberries, and strawberries make for a sweet but healthy treat. Specifically, berries use a compound called anthocyanins to boost the immune system and diminish inflammation. (4)

8. Turmeric

A spice with ancient roots in Asia, turmeric can be easily added to your meals and boost your ability to fight inflammation caused by diabetes and arthritis. Turmeric has a strong, earthy flavor, and derives inflammation reducing properties from the compound of curcumin. (2, 4)

9. Green Tea

Green tea is a simple beverage, but has powerful inflammation reducing properties thanks to a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG inhibits inflammation by reducing cytokines, cells that promote inflammation in the human body. (2)

10. Coffee

Although research is still in progress, coffee has been found to contain several inflammation reducing properties that may protect against inflammation alongside other healthy foods. (1)

11. Cherries

Cherries utilize the same active antioxidants as berries to prevent inflammation (anthocyanins). Tart cherries have been studied more than other varieties in reducing inflammation, but sweeter cherries may also provide benefits. (4)

12. Avocados

Avocados are often referred to as a superfood, and for good reason. Carotenoids and tocopherols, which are linked to a reduced risk of cancer, are packed into avocados among many other healthy nutrients. New in the research is the suspicion that avocados can reduce inflammation among young skin cells, but more data is needed to confirm this! (4)

13. Grapes

Daily consumption of grapes have been shown to diminish inflammation. Reason for this effect is hypothesized to be from resveratrol and adiponectin. (4)

14. Green Leafy Vegetables

Spinach, kale, collards, and broccoli use sulforaphane to reduce cytokines, a cell apart of the human immune system that drives inflammation. Just be cautious about consuming too many leafy greens if you are on a blood thinner (anticoagulant), which can be reversed by the vitamin K in the leafy greens. (4)

15. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa

I know what you may be thinking, and yes! Chocolate can decrease your risk of inflammaging.

Filled with antioxidants, dark chocolate draws on one nutrient in particular, called flavanol, to cut down inflammation and promote healthier aging. In fact, inflammation reducing effects from dark chocolate have been seen as quickly as 2 hours after consumption! But make sure to choose dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa to obtain the best inflammation reducing effects. (4)

When these foods are partnered with a healthy, active lifestyle it can make a world of difference in slowing down the aging process.  Taking a supplement such as AgelessLX is a great compliment to your healthy lifestyle!  With 90 clinical studies and 5 patents AgelessLX is shown to improve muscle mass and protect bone, joint, brain and heart health!

Just as there are many foods that prevent inflammaging, there are many foods that act in opposition and accelerate this process. Most inflammation-causing foods can be classified as refined carbohydrates (white breads), fried foods, soda, dairy, red meat, processed meat and margarine (shortening and lard). (1, 2) Likely not surprising to you that all of these foods are as well bad, in general, for our health! Researchers guess that these foods both cause inflammation directly and indirectly, via weight gain, causing a double whammy of poor health effects. Here is where AgelessLX can help! The ingredient HMB, found in AgelessLX, burns more fat than dieting and exercise alone! This means we can get rid of the extra fat we don’t want. We can preserve and build strength with energy and endurance to live a healthy, vibrant life!

Dietary experts suggest, rather than remembering each of these individual foods, to simply adopt the Mediterranean diet into your life. The Mediterranean diet is especially high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils, which all decrease inflammation. (1, 2) Other lifestyle habits that can reduce your body’s inflammatory response include limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, managing stress, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. If you are concerned about the level of inflammation in your body, seek out a physician for additional help. Blood tests like the C-reactive protein (CRP) may be helpful in determining the extent of inflammation you are experiencing. (2)

Want to learn more on how you can #LiveAgeless?  

AgelessLX allows you to retain your muscle while building more. It also burns more fat than diet and exercise alone, it boosts energy, it gives your skin a tight glow and strengthens hair and nails in women of all ages!

Be sure to also check out evolvingageless.com for our weekly podcasts where you can go inside the minds and behind the scenes with trusted doctors, nutrition, beauty experts and more!  We are on a mission to change the way women age.  Join us and #LiveAgeless!

Sources:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation
  2. https://www.fammed.wisc.edu/files/webfm-uploads/documents/outreach/im/handout_ai_diet_patient.pdf
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5850851/
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-anti-inflammatory-foods#section1
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18240550/)

Boosting Mood With Food

lifestyle

Boosting Your Mood With Food

“You are what you eat.” We’ve all heard it. But have you ever thought that you might feel what you eat?

Since our bodies and minds are intimately connected, the food we consume affects our mood. You’ve probably noticed foods that make you feel irritable. Eating too many sweets can lead to a sugar crash, and overindulging in heavy foods can make you feel tired and cranky.

But there are also foods that you can eat to improve your mood. Scientific studies are exploring the ways that food affects our mental health and general well-being. So which foods and nutrients can you eat to boost your mood?

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Having a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to mental health issues.

A study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health evaluated 26 studies that looked at the connection between eating fish and the risk of depression. These previous studies involved 150,278 participants. Researchers found that people who consumed more fish were at lower risk for depression symptoms. Further research is needed to learn more about this connection and see how omega-3 fatty acids impacts depression and mental health in general. 

Besides salmon, mackerel, and sardines, you can get omega-3 fatty acids from the following sources:

  • anchovies and other oily fish
  • walnuts 
  • canola oil
  • pulsane, which is an herb
  • fish oil
  • flaxseed oil
  • echium oil 

Vitamin D

Your body produces vitamin D when you expose your skin to the sun’s ultraviolet B rays, so spending plenty of time outside is important. Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that influences mood, may also be affected by vitamin D. 

Having a vitamin D deficiency can lead to mood disorders, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). When you’re unable to spend time outside, you have a higher risk of developing vitamin D deficiency. This may happen if you work indoors, live in an area with high air pollution, or live further from the equator. 

Research has also found an association between vitamin D deficiency and depression. However, it is possible to supplement vitamin D and find it in certain foods. These include:

  • egg yolks 
  • cheese 
  • canned salmon with bones, which is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • foods and beverages that have been fortified with vitamin D, such as milk and orange juice 

Probiotics

Probiotics are best known for their positive effect on digestive health. But science is finding that there is a connection between the digestive system and the brain. The gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system communicate with each other in what is known as the “gut-brain” axis. So the nutrients that affect the digestive system may also affect the brain. 

A review of 10 previously published studies found that consuming probiotics had a positive effect on mood, anxiety, and cognition. While these results are encouraging, the study’s authors acknowledged that double-blind randomized control trials are needed in order to further investigate them. They also noted that the strain of probiotic, dosing, and duration of treatment varied widely among the studies they reviewed. 

Besides taking a probiotic supplement in capsule form, there are several foods you can eat that contain probiotics. Many of them are fermented.

  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • kombucha
  • yoghurt
  • buttermilk
  • miso
  • tempeh

B Vitamins in Whole Grains

B vitamins are essential for brain function, and each has a different role to play. In particular, vitamin B6 converts tryptophan, an amino acid, into serotonin, which greatly affects our mood. Other B vitamins impact memory, learning, and energy. 

Whole grains are an excellent source of B vitamins. Some examples are:

  • brown rice 
  • quinoa 
  • wild rice 
  • millet 
  • amaranth 
  • steel-cut oatmeal  

Leafy Green Vegetables

Another important B vitamin is folate, which is found in leafy green vegetables. Scientific research has found an association between depression and low folate levels. Having a folate deficiency can also impact how serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline are metabolized. These are all neurotransmitters that are important for mood regulation. 

If you want to increase your folate intake, try eating:

  • spinach 
  • artichoke 
  • edamame 
  • avocado 
  • broccoli 
  • okra 
  • turnip 
  • greens

Caffeine (In Moderation) 

If you enjoy a morning cup of coffee, you’ll be happy to learn that caffeine triggers the release of dopamine, which has a positive impact on mood. One study found a positive association between drinking coffee and lowering the risk of depression. 

But don’t let that news lead to you downing five cups of coffee a day. The overconsumption of caffeine can have adverse effects like the jitters, irritability, and sleeplessness. According to the above-mentioned study on coffee, 1 ⅔ cups is the optimum amount of coffee to drink per day in order to benefit from its mood-boosting effects. If drinking coffee at all leads to issues for you, try a beverage that is lower in caffeine, like green, black, or chai tea. 

Daily, Nutritious Breakfast

Eating a daily nutritious breakfast has been associated with a lower risk of depression symptoms. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of fiber, nutrients, and healthy fats in your first meal of the day. If you have difficulty finding time to eat breakfast in the morning before you head out the door for work, try preparing your breakfast the night before. Place cut up fruit and granola in containers so they’re ready to go in the morning. You can also keep steel cut oats at work and add hot water to them once you get there. 

A Healthy Body and Mind

Eating mood-boosting foods can help you experience positive changes in your mood over time. What is most important is eating an overall healthy diet and making sure you get sufficient exercise. If you notice that you’re experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. They will be able to offer you advice and might help you with a referral to a mental health specialist. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.verywellmind.com/foods-for-a-better-mood-89889
  2. https://jech.bmj.com/content/70/3/299
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032716308928
  4. https://annals-general-psychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12991-017-0138-2
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022395617305927
  6. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.201500620
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666317305342?via%3Dihub

5 Healthy Breakfast Foods to Jump-Start Your Morning

blueberry

5 Healthy Breakfast Foods to Jump-Start Your Morning

Ah, morning time. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you’ve woken up to yet another glorious morning. One in which you have all the time you need for everything on your list, and you are, yet again, enjoying a great hair day.

Wait, whose life is this?! Girl, you just snoozed yourself through 5 snoozes and now you’ve only got 20 minutes to get ready for work. It appears you have also forgotten your darling children, who can’t be bothered to do anything in a hurry, and they’ve got to be out the door in 20 minutes as well. So really we’re talking more like 7:30-something per person to get it together and out the door. Way to go, Mom.

Well, at least breakfast is easy! And healthy too. You may be a snoozer, but at least you know what you guys need to eat well. So, what are we having?

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is really good for you. It’s packed with protein to help you stay fuller longer, and loaded with heart-healthy antioxidants too. The perfect place to slice a banana, pile on berries, or even add a spoonful of maple syrup. Anything goes with this morning staple. 

Make a nutritious breakfast even easier on yourself by making overnight oats… just one cup of milk, almond milk, or even water, for every cup of dry oatmeal. Put it in a covered container, and by morning you’ll have delicious, nutritious oats on the go. 

Greek Yogurt

Another great breakfast food that makes a nice backdrop for fruits and berries, is greek yogurt This dairy goodness is high in protein, but cottage cheese shines in an altogether different way: it contains conjugated linoleic acid which is noted for weight loss, muscle development and cancer protection. Try it on toast with avocados, in a bowl with berries, or sprinkle some granola on top for a bit of crunch. If you’re able to tolerate it, yogurt is among the healthiest of dairy foods, especially plain, full fat.

Avocado

Speaking of avocado toast, it makes a wonderful breakfast if you’re in a hurry but you also really need some sustenance. Packed with all kinds of flavor and goodness, avocados are as decadent as they are healthy. 

Our old friend protein can be found here too, along with omega-3’s, vitamin E and fiber too. Working out a lot? If you think a banana is best for your potassium intake and sore muscles, think again! An avocado’s got more.

Nuts

Speaking of avocado toast, it makes a wonderful breakfast if you’re in a hurry but you also really need some sustenance. Packed with all kinds of flavor and goodness, avocados are as decadent as they are healthy. If you’re really in a hurry in the mornings, perhaps a healthy trail mix is where it’s at for you. Throw a handful in a bag, and you’re outta there. Almonds are a good source of protein. Brazil nuts have selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant and great for supporting thyroid health. Another bonus: all nuts are high in magnesium and good for your heart too. 

Sources:

  1. https://healthfully.com/354209-is-oatmeal-a-healthy-breakfast.html
  2. https://kalonasupernatural.com/cottage-cheese-bowl/
  3. https://www.creativehealthyfamily.com/best-breakfast-baked-avocado-eggs-recipe/
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/selenium-benefits#1
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635
  6. https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/healthy-meals/heathy-breakfast-smoothies