Posts tagged with "vegan"

Five Tips for Starting a Gluten-Free Diet

In 2022, consumers have a large selection of gluten-free options, improving their quality of life. For individuals diagnosed with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivities (NCGS) in past decades, their dietary selection was minimal. Whether you live in a region with a vast selection of gluten-free options or a limited variety, you may utilize these five tips to effectively start your diet.

Many individuals struggle to maintain a celiac-friendly diet because of limited awareness and education. When consumers increase their recognition of gluten-free labels and naturally allergy-safe foods, they can achieve a healthy diet without stress. Before evaluating the five tips, individuals may benefit from exploring gluten allergies and their physical impacts.

What Are Gluten Allergies?

Celiac disease results in an immune reaction when one’s intestines come in contact with gluten. The physical response damages the small intestine over time, causing malabsorption. Intestinal degradation causes anemia, weight loss, bloating, fatigue, and diarrhea.

The disease may also cause osteoporosis, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, migraines, and fatigue. Other individuals with the condition experience numbness of the feet, legs, and hands, as well as joint pain. People effectively reduce their symptoms over time by consuming a strict gluten-free diet.

Individuals also treat NCGS with gluten-free diets. The illness is similar to celiac disease, except the condition is non-detectable by certain testing. People with NCGS experience brain fog, abdominal pain, migraines, chronic fatigue, bloating, joint pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

A team of researchers at Columbia University identified the effects of gluten on the intestinal health of individuals with NCGS. They discovered similar immune responses and stomach cell destruction associated with consumption. Researchers believe the reaction may relate to a different component in gluten that causes its lack of appearance on celiac tests.

Scientists look at individuals’ reactions to amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) and fructans when assessing the cause of NCGS symptoms. Understanding the severity of gluten allergies and their probable causes can support informed dietary choices. The first step to starting a successful gluten-free diet is deepening your understanding of the allergen.

1. Expand Your Gluten Education

Gluten is a protein found in various grains like wheat and rye. It is a naturally occurring part of many plants, and researchers discovered a way to extract the protein. Many processed foods contain gluten as a binding agent, holding them together and adding texture.

The protein is present in bread and pasta because it comes from barley, wheat, spelt, rye, durum, emmer, farro, triticale, and other grains. Some naturally gluten-free grains include rice, quinoa, and oats. It is important to look out for specifically gluten-free oats at the store because some products experience cross-contamination.

If oats grow in a field with wheat or rye, they may receive a coating of gluten, decreasing the safety of their consumption by individuals with allergies. When oats are processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains, they also may experience cross-contamination. Remaining aware of the naturally celiac-friendly foods and the risk of contamination supports a successful diet.

2. Identify Sneaky Sources of Gluten

Another beneficial tip for starting your gluten-free diet is remaining aware of the sneaky sources of allergens. Medications and supplements often use gluten as an external coating or filler. Before consuming a new pill, it is important to contact your doctor to evaluate its dietary safety.

Processed meat, poultry, and fish often contain wheat as a filler or bast. Most deli meats, hot dogs, and sausages contain gluten, making them not suitable for consumption by individuals with celiac disease or NCGS. Some meat substitutes also use the protein as a filler, creating dietary challenges.

Imitation seafood, like the crab inside sushi rolls, and seitan, always contain gluten. Some veggie burgers also use wheat and other grains to bind the other ingredients. Many sauces additionally utilize wheat as a thickening agent.

Soy sauce is a common culprit of accidental gluten exposure. Restaurants also regularly add barley to miso, making it not suitable for gluten-free consumers. Fortunately, there are many safe alternatives to wheat-containing foods, like tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

3. Plan Ahead When Eating Out

The worst feeling is showing up to a dinner out with friends only to realize you cannot eat anything on the menu. Researching a menu before attending a restaurant is the best way to avoid dietary mishaps. Some eateries have designated gluten-free menus whereas others may have zero options.

Calling a restaurant ahead of time is the best way to ensure your ability to safely eat there. Some chefs may even encourage individuals to bring their own gluten-free bread, flour, or pasta to accommodate their dietary restrictions. Individuals can also plan ahead when eating at a friend’s house by bringing a celiac-friendly option.

4. Convert Your Favorite Home-Cooked Meals to Gluten-Free Options

While traditional Italian dishes often contain gluten, individuals can substitute wheat components with chickpea, almond, or rice flour. Consumers with celiac disease and NCGS may make their favorite dishes like pizza using gluten-free substitutes. One pizza recipe uses rice and tapioca flour instead of wheat to create the crust.

It also utilizes xanthan gum to keep the dough together, binding it as gluten would. The crust is also dairy-free and egg-free, making it a suitable option for vegans and lactose-intolerant individuals as well. When making celiac-friendly pizza, it is important to prepare the dough away from wheat-containing dishes to limit cross-contamination.

5. Beware of Cross-Contamination

The final tip for starting a gluten-free diet revolves around cross-contamination. When individuals cook celiac-friendly foods in a wheat-containing kitchen, the meal may come in contact with gluten. Sharing cooking surfaces, utensils, and containers with wheat-containing items can create unsafe dishes for consumers with celiac disease and NCGS.

Flour containing wheat can remain airborne in bakeries for hours, increasing the rate of cross-contamination. Before ordering food from a restaurant or eating at a friend’s house, ensure they have a celiac-friendly kitchen. Many Individuals designate a section of their kitchens to gluten-free meal prep to decrease the risk of cross-contamination.

The Benefits of Eating Gluten-Free

Many individuals benefit from eating a gluten-free diet, especially consumers with celiac disease and NCGS. When you eliminate gluten from your diet, you preserve your small intestinal lining. The diet also decreases abdominal discomfort, migraines, brain fog, and rashes, helping individuals live a normal life without adverse symptoms.

Five Ways Ice Baths Help Post Workout

If the idea of taking an ice bath sounds terrifying, don’t freak out just yet. Ice baths are incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons, and are especially great for athletes and people who maintain a regular workout routine. An ice bath is a practice that involves submerging a substantial part of your body in a tub of ice or ice water for a certain amount of time to achieve a number of benefits. If this doesn’t already make you want to look for an ice bath for sale, here are five ways ice baths can help you post-workout.  

It Aids in Muscle Recovery

One of the reasons ice baths are so popular with athletes and people who exercise regularly is because they can help the muscles recover after an intense workout. This is due to the fact that when you are exposed to cold water, the blood vessels in your body constrict and become smaller. When you get out of the water, the sudden change in temperature causes your blood vessels to quickly re-open, which helps to release the metabolic waste products from your body.

It Can Improve Your Mental Health

Regular exercise has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health, which is why taking an ice bath after a workout can be all the more beneficial. Taking ice baths has been proven to increase relaxation and focus, even if the ice cold temperatures can be a bit shocking at first. After your first ice bath, you will probably find the experience to be relaxing and refreshing. If that isn’t “cool” enough (get it?), studies have shown that taking two cold showers a day can decrease depressive symptoms.

It Can Help Improve Your Quality of Sleep

Taking ice baths has been shown to improve quality of sleep, which is great news for anyone struggling with insomnia or any other sleep disorders or issues. This is because sleep and mental health often go hand-in-hand, and because ice baths can be great for your mental health, your quality of sleep will likely improve as well. Spending just 15 minutes in an ice bath can have a positive impact on your central nervous system, which not only helps you fall asleep but helps you feel great overall.

It Can Boost Your Immunity

Studies have shown that taking ice baths can help boost your immunity, which many people will find especially helpful during the current times we’re living in. According to research, those who take cold showers as opposed to hot showers are almost 30 percent less likely to take a sick day from work or school. If you’re someone who gets sick often or simply wants to avoid getting sick, try incorporating ice baths into your daily routine. A better immune system means more productive days at the gym and a better post workout feeling.

It Activates the Nervous System

Taking ice baths triggers a nervous system response that activates the immune, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems, which can help improve hormone production, as well as sleep, metabolism, circulation, AND can help keep your stress levels low. Pretty cool, right? 

15 Tips for Starting a Plant-Based Diet

Moving to a plant-based diet can be difficult, especially if you’re used to eating mostly animal products or processed foods. However, this switch can challenge you and nourish you better than your former lifestyle. Luckily, you’re not the first person to make this change, so it’s easy to find techniques that will help make the adjustment a little easier for you.

1. Know Why You’re Transitioning to a New Diet

Plant-based diets don’t necessarily mean you’re only eating plants. You can have meat and dairy on the table, too. A plant-based diet simply signifies that the majority of what you eat comes from produce.

You might have chosen to transition to this diet to decrease your carbon footprint. Eating less red meat can make your household more environmentally friendly, particularly since livestock takes up so many resources. Whatever your reason for transitioning to a plant-based diet is, make sure you’re doing it for your own benefit rather than anyone else’s.

2. Do Your Research

Learn the macros in your food. To plan your diet correctly, you need to understand what nutrients you need and which foods offer them. Switching to a plant-based diet can help you become healthier, but you’ll only reap the benefits if you put in the work and acknowledge what your body needs.

To keep yourself nourished and healthy, you’ll have to learn which foods your body needs on what day. Learning more about your needs can help you educate others and make the choices that will benefit you in the long run.

3. Make Meal Plans

Sometimes, planning your macros for a single day can feel overwhelming. That’s why you should plan to get a whole week’s meals under your control and manage your nutrients effectively. Meal planning means you won’t be scrambling to think of something to eat for dinner that provides the nutrition you need.

Meal planning correctly can also help you cut down on food waste, as you’ll be using everything you bought. You’ll also save money and time since you won’t have to head to the grocery store every evening by planning the week at once. You can breeze by the snacks you used to eat without feeling tempted to pick them up.

4. Build a Budget

It’s entirely possible to eat completely healthy and clean on a budget. You just have to plan around the staples of your meals for a week and save leftover money or use it to buy healthy snacks that can keep you nourished throughout the day.

Budgeting goes hand-in-hand with meal planning. Planning your meals for the week ahead requires you to build a budget based on your needs. Without meal planning, you might stray from your intended plan and end up devoid of the nourishment your body requires.

5. Find and Use Coupons

Coupons can be your best friend when it comes to changing your lifestyle. If you aren’t sure how to afford some items you want on your budget, see if you can find coupons for some of the items in your cart.

You can subscribe to grocery stores’ email lists to receive daily or weekly coupons. If you shop somewhere frequently, it’s worth subscribing to get discounts from them. It’s even handier if you have a store card that takes down the price of your grocery trip.

6. Eat Breakfast

Going plant-based doesn’t mean you need to give up breakfast. Consider whole-grain cereal options. The sugary stuff may taste great, but it’s not necessarily on the dietary plan you want to follow.

You can couple whole-grain breakfast foods with all-natural animal products to keep you full. Having a few hard-boiled eggs can satisfy you throughout the day, and they pair well with toast. If you want a dash of sugar, consider spreading jam on whole-grain bread.

7. Remind Yourself of the Benefits

Plant-based diets offer numerous benefits. When you feel close to quitting and going back to junk food or eating excess meat, remind yourself of how much healthier you’ve been since you began.

You’ll obtain more vitamins naturally when consuming a plant-based diet, without the help of supplements, due to the nature of the food you eat. You may also lessen or eliminate your risk of contracting certain ailments and diseases. If you want to stick with your plant-based diet, keep reminding yourself of the good you’re doing your body while on it.

8. Curb Your Sweet Tooth

Look into foods with naturally occurring sugars if you have cravings. Fruits would make for a great dessert or midday snack — and there’s no sugar added to them. They will never taste like cake, but you can train your brain to enjoy them just as much by saving them as a special after-dinner snack.

You should check to see which fruits are in season before buying them, as you’ll likely find higher quality if you choose them based on their optimized growing times. For example, strawberries are plentiful in the summer, but blackberries are great in the winter.

9. Find Supporters

If the rest of your household isn’t switching to this diet with you, consider getting them involved. Changing your eating habits can feel a lot less lonely when you know someone’s in your corner and having the same cravings as you. Plus, you can motivate one another if you start to slip from the habits you want to keep.

10. Keep a Journal of Your Progress

A journal is a great tool you can look back on in the future to motivate yourself. If you mark your daily food intake every day, you can glance at it to see how far you’ve come when you’re feeling hopeless. You can also gain more ideas for meal plans from your journal, and sharing it with your family members might motivate them to join you in your lifestyle change.

11. Take a Cooking Class

When you don’t know which recipes go best with your new diet, consider learning from the professionals. You may have to pay for a cooking class, but making food at someone else’s teaching could be fun, especially if you’re doing it with a friend. You’re paying for the experience and some quality recipes you can take home with you.

12. Eat Enough Food

You might feel fuller longer due to the quality of the food you eat, but you still need to maintain a caloric intake that supports you. Your recommended daily calories may change depending on your age and activity level, so you shouldn’t assume something that works for someone else will work for you. Even if you feel fuller for longer, you should strive to meet your maintenance caloric needs to remain healthy.

13. Make Snacking More Challenging

Remove snack foods from your home. If you have family members or roommates who aren’t embarking on this adventure with you, ask them to keep the junk food out of your area so you feel less tempted to eat it.

People often drift toward snacks because they’re more convenient than cooking a meal. Consider finding healthy items you can simply grab and go, such as bananas or nuts. When you have these nutritious options and eliminate or hide unhealthy snacks, you may feel more inclined to eat them.

14. Prep Your Meals the Day Before

Get your lunches for the next day ready in the evening so you don’t scramble to find something to take to work with you. Worse, you could forget your lunch entirely and have to find something nearby that may not be part of your new lifestyle. By taking extra time the evening before, you’ll become more mindful of the food you put in your body and support your new diet with little effort.

15. Throw It in a Salad

When you don’t know what to make, just throw everything into a salad. Lettuce is an excellent base for a healthy meal because you can add several foods and top them with a tasty dressing. Consider choosing something for protein, such as chickpeas or eggs, as well as a handful of vegetables or fruits to nourish you.

Plant-Based Diets Made Easy

While it initially may be difficult to change your eating habits, it will get easier as time goes on. Learn what meals to make before committing to the switch, and focus on getting enough nutritional food every day. As long as you have others to keep you accountable and a record to look back on, you’ll find that it’s easy to keep up with your new plant-based lifestyle.

illustration by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 magazine

Best Food Trucks in Chicago

By: Sohaila Abdelhamid

Recently, we compiled a list of a few of the famous food trucks around Chi-Town based on online reviews from Yelp and Google. As well, we received word-of-mouth comments from students attending the University of Chicago. Here’s what we found.

Food truck culture has gotten wildly popular this past year, especially with the pandemic. It’s an easy way to grab good food instead of sitting down at a restaurant, a luxury many of us were not able to afford. Chicago is notorious for having a diverse food scene. Here are some of our favorite food trucks around the city.

The Fat Shallot

Ran by high school sweethearts Sam Barron and Sarah Weitz, The Fat Shallot boasts a variety of well-priced made-to-order sandwiches and sides, with all sandwiches costing you under less than $10. Feeling a little fancy? Give the Truffle BLT a try.

Aztec Daves

Family-run with fresh, homemade Mexican dishes, Aztec Daves is easily one of my favorite food trucks to go to when in the mood for good comfort food. From burritos to tacos, there’s something for everyone. Our recommendation for a good lunch option: The taco special, with three meat or veggie tacos, beans, rice and a drink, coming in at $14.

Cheesie’s

Grilled cheese is an American staple, but if you really think about it, it’s so hard to find a good grilled cheese sandwich. Established in 2011 by Chris Johnshon, he set out to create a truck that offered the kind of grilled cheese you crave. Try the Caprese, an italian twist on the classic grilled cheese, coming in at $9.50.

Piko Street Kitchen

Piko offers a fusion between Mexican and Asian cuisines, with options ranging from tacos to bao to kimchi fried rice. Can’t decide what to get? We recommend the Everything Bowl, with kimchi fried rice, topped with all proteins, veggies and an egg. All that at $14.

Beavers Donuts

Dessert food trucks? So important. For when the craving hits and you just want a quick donut, check out Beavers Donuts. For a medium box of 15 mini donuts, you only pay $8. Make sure to try their signature toppings, especially the Goombah, with Cannoli topping and crumbled pastry shells.

Ranchito Taco Truck

Another classic Mexican food truck. Ranchitos offers a variety of Mexican dishes at very reasonable prices. For only $9.99, you can get a stunning steak burrito. Make sure to also try their elotes, some of the best in Chicago.

Dönermen

With the goal to bring German street food to Chicago, this food truck combines German street dishes with a Turkish twist, creating a marriage of flavors brought to Germany by Turkish immigrants in the 70s. Try the classic CurryWurst with fries, for only $10. They also offer many vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options, so make sure to pass by.

Chicago Pizza Boss

Classic, cheesy, and comforting are the words we use to describe this truck. There’s really no way you could go wrong with pizza, and Chicago Pizza Boss offers a selection of dishes for you to choose from. If you’re a fan of spice, go for the Hell Fire’s Kiss Pizza. At only $14, you get classic base topped with mastro brand imported hot sopressata, wildfire’s hell fire chilli & roasted garlic infused honey. Sounds fantastic, non?

A Sweets Girl

Another one of our favorite dessert food trucks. This truck offers a delicious variety of cupcakes for everyone with a sweet tooth. Anna Wu offers a twist on classic recipes and loves to support charitable causes such as Breast Cancer awareness. Get your sweet tooth satisfied while supporting a cause! We love it. Our choice of cupcake? The matcha cupcake, at only $4.

Bop Bar

Delicious Korean food on wheels. Described as Seoul food for the soul, this truck offers classic Korean dishes as well as more modern twists. Our pick? The bulgogi sandwich, coming in at only $9. A delicious twist on the Korean beef dish for on the go.

Eleven Foods to Stimulate Creativity in the Brain

Are you seeking a way to supercharge your imagination? Why don’t you start with your dinner plate?

Certain meals contain the ideal combination of nutrients to help your neurons do their jobs well. What should you put on your plate? Chow down on these 11 foods that stimulate creativity in your brain.

1. Cruciferous Vegetables

Did you know that the bacteria in your teeth can travel to your brain, where it may hinder your creativity and increase your Alzheimer’s risk? Scientists discovered a species of bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis could travel to this organ, releasing enzymes called gingipains that can destroy nerve cells. This destruction leads to memory loss and, eventually, disease.

However, what if you don’t always have a toothbrush or time to use one after meals? The solution is to pack some carrots and cauliflower along with your lunch and eat it after your sandwich. The rough, fibrous surfaces scrub away dirt and debris from tooth surfaces, decreasing the food source your oral bacteria need to thrive.

2. Nuts

Depression can wreak havoc on your creativity. One way to reignite your spark is by eating foods high in the minerals zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Research published by the National Institutes of Health suggests sufficient intake can alleviate this condition as effectively as antidepressants, especially among individuals with an underlying deficiency.

Where do you find these substances? One plant-based source comes from nuts. A single Brazil nut contains your full day’s recommended daily allowance of selenium alone — you must use care not to eat too many. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pecans are also excellent snacks.

3. Seeds

Another rich source of zinc, selenium, and magnesium lies in seeds. Fortunately, these tiny wonders are among the most versatile foods, making it a snap to add them to your diet.

A sprinkle of sunflower seeds or pepitas brings a pleasant nutty crunch to salads. They’re far more nourishing and satisfying than croutons made with white flour. Chia and flax seeds are excellent plant-based sources of omega-3s along with minerals, so add a liberal handful to anything from stir-frys to soups.

4. Seafood

Have you ever tried to come up with an engaging advertising slogan or even pen the next line of an essay when your temples pound and kaleidoscopes of migraine yuckiness dance before your eyes? How did that work out for you? Probably not well.

Seafood can help stimulate creativity in your brain by running interference against the pain that inhibits imaginative thought. Fish and crustaceans are high in riboflavin or vitamin B2. Research published by MedlinePlus indicates that regular intake of this nutrient can reduce your number of migraine headaches by two attacks a month. If your attacks last an average of two to three days, you reclaim up to six days out of every 30. It also reduces the severity when you do get hit.

Another way that increasing your seafood intake stimulates creativity is by lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, preserving the neural channels that allow for rational thought. Sufficient intake of the DHA and EPA in fatty fish promotes brain growth in infants and children and may boost cognitive brainpower in adult women.

Omega-3s also help fight depression, which can stifle creativity. Why not make like the Catholics and make fish Friday a tradition, along with some mackerel on meatless Monday to meet your intake requirement?

5. Kale

Kale is an excellent plant-based source of B vitamins, including riboflavin. Plus, this versatile veggie makes an interesting alternative to tortillas when making wraps. Create a speedy lunch in seconds by adding a slice or two of lean protein like turkey, some cheese, and a few tomato or red pepper slices to a leaf and rolling it. Add a dash of oil and vinegar and some salt and pepper, and it’s like eating a sandwich without the white bread.

You can also braise kale and serve it as a side dish. The only people who should use caution with this veggie are those prone to kidney stones or taking blood thinners — check with your doctor or dietitian to be sure.

6. Green Tea

You might reach for coffee for a caffeine injection to supercharge your creativity when the afternoon doldrums strike. However, opting for a latte could keep you awake into the wee hours, disrupting your sleep patterns and giving you an even worse time concentrating.

While green tea does contain caffeine, it’s a mild dose — delivering a jolt of only 96 mg instead of 400. Therefore, you might do better busting the afternoon slump with this substance, as you’ll feel less jittery at night.

7. Curry

One reason why you might struggle to stir your creative juices has to do with inflammation. This condition often brings with it more than its fair share of distracting aches and pains.

Turmeric contains curcumin, one of the most potent anti-inflammatories you can find. It gets even more powerful when you add black pepper. A traditional Indian curry contains both substances in droves, so enjoy.

8. Quinoa

You know how the commercial tagline goes: you’re not yourself when you’re hungry. You’re probably not very creative, either.

Quinoa will fill you with lasting energy for much longer than a candy bar. The fiber in this ancient grain keeps tummy rumbles from distracting your concentration. Best of all, it’s safe for many people with celiac disease, although those who are particularly sensitive might find that the proteins are similar enough to cause trouble.

9. Garlic

Could that slice of pizza supercharge your creativity? Perhaps if it comes with a garlicky crust.

Garlic contains allicin, a compound this root herb emits when crushed or chopped. This substance can help lower your blood pressure, which is helpful if stress impacts your creative power. It may also ease any distracting muscle soreness from your last power workout more quickly.

10. Berries

When it comes to anthocyanin intake — a vital group of antioxidants — you can’t do much better than berries. Best of all, these tiny fruits are versatile and easy to add to numerous dishes.

Add a sprinkle of dried blueberries to your lunchtime salad. Blend some raspberries into your morning smoothie to counteract the sweetness of the bananas and milk with a little tartness. Your taste buds and neurons will thank you.

11. Mushrooms

Some mushrooms have long-standing reputations for increasing mental clarity. For example, reishi and cordyceps have neuroprotective properties that make them worth the bitter taste.

However, you don’t have to pucker your lips to get the benefits. You can find these extracts in liquid supplemental form. Add a dropper to your green tea and enjoy the dual perks of antioxidants and adaptogens.

Stimulating Creativity With Food

If you want to stimulate creativity in your brain, why not start with your diet? Add more of these 11 foods to your plate and watch your imagination come to life!

Spa Guide

empyri

empyri is a cannabis wellness and skin care company based in London, Ontario, Canada. Founder Jen Grant fused her passion for personal health and wellness with her biochemical engineering background to create a revolutionary skincare company with three simple principles in mind: Clean Beauty, Conscious Consumption and Honouring Diversity. empyri is the first consumer brand on the market to use cannabis roots in wellness products, combining tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine with evidence-based science. The brand is committed to empowering and inspiring individuals to achieve harmony – both with their health, and in their lives.

empyri products are formulated with cannabis roots, cannabis seed extract and cannabis seed oil to nourish and heal stressed out skin. Canadian made in GMP facilities, containing no THC or CBD, cruelty-free, chemical-free, vegan, and all packaging is 100% recyclable. For more information, please visit here.

empyri vit c orange leaves roots product image via Melissa Verdicchio at Nine Point Agency for use by 360 Magazine

What is protein and why do you need it?

Everyone’s heard of protein. But do you know exactly what it is and why we all need it? Let us examine protein more closely to get to the bottom of things.

What is Protein?

Quite simply, proteins are essential nutrients that the human body requires. They are part of the building blocks of tissue. Protein can also serve as a source of energy. Every human being needs protein if they are going to stay healthy and active.

Why You Need Protein

Every cell in your body contains protein. Therefore, you need protein in your diet to stay healthy. It helps your body to repair cells and create new ones. Protein also plays a vital role in the growth and development of children, teenagers, and pregnant women– but protein is crucial for everyone. For one thing, it helps the process that fuels your energy by carrying oxygen through your blood. Protein helps your body make antibodies to fight off illnesses and infections. When you do not have enough protein in your diet, it can cause health issues like muscle loss.

The Benefits of Protein Powders

While you can get protein from many foods, lots of people choose to take nutritional supplements – like protein powder – to ensure they are getting the right dose of protein they need to stay strong and healthy. Protein powder has many benefits. It helps to build muscle, repair tissue, and could even aid in weight loss. There are lots of different types of protein powders available, but they tend to either fall into the dairy-based or a plant-based category. One of the best types of protein powders you can buy for building muscle and losing weight is grass fed whey protein, which contains all of the essential amino acids. Whey protein is also absorbed quickly in comparison to other types of protein powders.

The Role of Amino Acids

When you eat foods containing protein, it is are broken down into small parts called amino acids through digestion. Your body needs amino acids to maintain good health. There are three types of amino acids:

·       Essential amino acids, which cannot be made by your body and therefore must be supplied by food or supplements. It is best to intake essential amino acids throughout the course of the day, rather than at just one meal.

·       Nonessential amino acids, which are made by your body.

·       Conditional amino acids, which your body requires in times of illness and stress.

Protein Foods

The protein that your body needs can primarily be sourced from animal products, like meat, fish, eggs, and milk. Protein can also be sourced from plant products, like beans, legumes, soy, and some grains. Here are three of the best food sources for amino acid-rich protein:

Seafood

Seafood is one of the best sources of protein because it is usually low in fat. Some fish can have higher fat contents than others, but it is almost always the healthy kind of omega-3 fatty acids. Even fish like salmon, which has a higher fat content, are good for you and a great source of protein.

White Meat

To get protein without damaging fat, avoid dark meats and stick to white meat, like poultry. Also, remove the skin of poultry before eating because it is full of saturated fat.

Soy

Soy is not only a fantastic source of protein, it can also help lower your cholesterol. In fact, just fifty grams of soy protein each day can lower your cholesterol by 3%. Soy can also be good for your heart’s health.

What are the benefits of a low-carb, ketogenic diet?

There are more than one million searches on Google every month regarding the keto diet and its benefits. Diets can become a fad, but it appears that the keto diet is most definitely here to stay for the long-term. This has largely coincided with people becoming more health-conscious and reading up on more health-related news. As such, diets like the ketogenic one are growing in popularity.

It’s worth noting that the keto diet isn’t necessarily suited to everyone, and you should most definitely give it serious consideration before starting it, but it is a diet that has resulted in numerous success stories. The high-fat, low-carb philosophy has gripped the world. As a result, more and more people are giving it a go and discovering its various benefits. One search on Instagram demonstrates just how popular it is, for example. 

Big brands are now even selling keto-friendly products, and keto recipes have become a popular search option online. The keto diet certainly has its sceptics, too, though, which is why seeking professional advice before considering taking on a keto diet is worthwhile. In the meantime, let’s assess some of the basic benefits of a low-carb, ketogenic diet.

A low-carb diet reduces your appetite

Most diets lead to extreme hunger, which is why people lose motivation on occasions and ultimately give up. A low-carb diet, though, is proven to reduce a person’s appetite and therefore lead to fewer calories being consumed. Eating more protein and fat is filling and will keep you feeling full for longer.

It can lead to instant weight loss

Cutting out carbohydrates is one of the fastest ways to lose weight. Studies show that people who consume a low-carb diet tend to lose weight faster than those who are on low-fat diets. The reason being that low-carb diets get rid of excess water in your body, therefore lowering insulin levels as a result and aiding weight loss.

We are constantly told that diet must be mixed with exercise for sustainable weight loss, and there is some truth in that. As such, it means you need to eventually get off the sofa and switch off Netflix, or shut down the game of 9 Masks of Fire slot, and get active. Those weight loss gains might only be temporary, otherwise.

For example, studies have shown that a low-carb diet is particularly effective for up to six months, but after that, additional lifestyle changes might be needed to take the weight loss up a level, such as increasing exercise.

Reduces the presence of triglycerides

They aren’t commonly known, but triglycerides are fat molecules that circulate in your bloodstream and are a known cause of heart disease. Carb consumption among sedentary people can increase the presence of triglycerides, with the simple sugar fructose being a particular concern. A low-carb, keto diet lessens the risk of too many triglycerides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image via https://twitter.com/mysolarsido)

 

It helps produce more ‘good’ HDL cholesterol

 

There is good and bad cholesterol. Good cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which contributes towards good heart health and a smaller risk of developing heart disease. Eating fat increases “good” HDL levels and can therefore aid heart health. A low-fat diet, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.

 

Reduces both blood sugar and insulin levels

 

Ketogenic diets are also helpful for people with diabetes and insulin resistance as it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels drastically. Of course, if you’re diabetic, you should speak to a professional before taking on a keto diet, but some studies have shown that 95% of people with type 2 diabetes had significantly reduced or halted their glucose-lowering medication within six months.

 

Some of the foods you can eat on a keto diet include avocado, butter, cream cheese, coconut, leafy greens, nuts, meats, eggs, and fish.

Cleaning products illustrated by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

Five Reasons to Switch to Plant-Based Cleaning Products

Therapy Clean is helping people clean up their home and health

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women spend around 29 minutes per day on interior cleaning of the home, and another 13 minutes per day cleaning up the kitchen after meals. When you add up how much time they are spending per week, month, and year, it’s clear to see how important the cleaning products they are using becomes. Plenty of research has shed light on the idea that some ingredients found in household cleaning products can be harmful to one’s health. Making the switch to plant-based cleaning products can go a long way toward helping to combat this issue.

“We are committed to helping people have access to cleaning products that will help them do the job, but not at the cost of their health,” explains Anne Ruozzi, co-founder of Therapy Clean, a company offering a line of plant-based specialty cleaning products made in the USA. “We take comfort in knowing that we are providing people with a safer way to clean.”

Therapy Clean is on a mission to revolutionize the industry and get people to make the switch to plant-based home cleaning products. There are numerous reasons to make the switch, including:

  1. Lung health. According to the American Lung Association, some cleaning products release dangerous chemicals. These can contribute to chronic respiratory problems, including allergic reactions and headaches, and they are being studied for their connection to asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
  2. Microbiome integrity. Our gut microbiome is made up of the microbes and bacteria that live in our intestinal tract. If they become unbalanced, referred to as dysbiosis, then it can lead a wide range of health issues, including obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and metabolic syndrome. The chemicals in household cleaners can have an impact on the health of everyone in the home, including infants. Research that was published in the journal CMAJ found that antibacterial cleaning products can change the environmental microbiome and raise the risk of a child later becoming overweight.
  3. Skin health. The National Eczema Society advises that household cleaners can irritate the skin and can cause a condition called contact dermatitis, which is a form of eczema. Using plant-based cleaners can help protect your skin from dangerous chemicals found in many other types of cleaning products.
  4. Irritation control. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the chemicals found in many cleaning products can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Switching to plant-based cleaning products helps to reduce the risks of irritation.
  5. Out of love. Knowing that there are harmful chemicals that can be found in mainstream cleaning products, it’s a good idea for people to make the switch out of love. By making the switch to safer products, they will be protecting their families, as well as their own health.

“By switching to safer, plant-based cleaning products, you will be doing a world of good for you and your family,” added James Dudra, co-founder of Therapy Clean, who has chemistry knowledge. “Everyone wants a clean home, but they don’t want to sacrifice their health over time to have it. We help you have the clean home and be healthier while you do it.”

Therapy Clean offers a line of plant-based specialty cleaners that are safe for the whole family. The products are all made in the USA, third-party certified, cruelty-free, private label, and bio-based. The growing family company is minority and women owned. The products are all made from safer ingredients and are high-performing and authentic. The product line includes options for wood and cabinets, tub and tile, stainless steel, granite and stone, and glass cooktop.

They can be purchased online at Amazon.com and the Therapy Clean website, as well as other retailers’ sites. Their products can also be found in over 50 independent specialty stores nationwide. To get more information, visit the site HERE.

About Therapy Clean

Therapy Clean was founded in 2017 by a married couple, Anne Ruozzi and James Dudra. She was frustrated at not being able to find a stainless-steel cleaner that she wanted to use following a home remodeling project. She asked her husband, who has chemistry knowledge, for insight on how to make one herself, and the rest is history. The line of plant-based specialty surface cleaners has been rapidly increasing in sales online and in retail stores. To get more information, visit the site HERE.

Allison Christensen illustration for 360 magazine

Exercises to Tone Every Inch of Your Body

When people talk about exercising, they usually picture themselves at the gym working out on those fancy cardio machines, but exercising does not only require to that.

Nowadays, it is easier to get fit in the comfort of your own home. If you do not know where to start, visit https://www.northernfitness.ca/ website for more info.

Where do we start? What exercises are most popular for working out and toning your body? Experts recommend exercises and workouts with varying levels of difficulty, according to your body fitness level. Adding a twist or weights will increase the difficulty of the exercise and working out your muscles much more effectively.

In this article, we will go through some of the most popular types of exercises that you can do in your home, requiring limited space and simple movements. Let’s delve deeper and find out more!

One of the most popular exercises–which we have all known since school–is doing push-ups. This is one of the most difficult exercises that can be done without using any equipment. Push-ups engage multiple groups of muscles with each repetition. Luckily for us, there are a lot of variations that are a lot easier to do!

Another popular exercise that does not require any type of equipment is lunges. Lunges target the lower body area and are a lot easier to do than push-ups. This exercise requires you to stand in an upright position, take a step forward with your right leg, and bend it. 

Usually, people do three sets of ten to twelve lunges on each leg.

Since we are talking about exercises that target your lower body, we can’t skip squats. This type of exercise targets the largest muscle group in the human body, so it is very intense and effective when it comes to toning.

Start by sitting in an upright position, with your feet positioned wider than shoulder-width apart. Then, bend your knees and slowly lower down. While doing so, make sure that your knees do not go too forward. Finally, return to the initial position. That’s the right way to do squats!

Now, let’s talk about plank. As simple as this exercise sounds, it is a super-effective way to target core strength and increase stamina.

What do you have to do? First, sit in a push-up position with your hands and toes touching the ground. While keeping your core engaged, maintain this position as long as possible. That’s about it!

If you find yourself bored of these exercises, maybe you should start looking for free workout routines available on streaming platforms. Why not try something more diverse? Maybe something that involves circuit training could be a more effective and fun option to you!

If you feel like your body is ready to increase the difficulty of the exercise, consider increasing the number of reps for each set or even adding more weight. Sometimes, professional trainers add a twist or a turn to exercises, to make it a more difficult.

Another effective way to spice up your routine is to go from several reps-based routines to a time-based routine. That means you will be switching from counting the sets to instead making more repetitions in a preset amount of time.

All in all, we could not feel any happier about seeing this increased need for physical activity and increasing awareness about the importance of working out. In the long term, exercising has a positive effect on both your body and mind.

Studies have shown how having a regular exercise routine can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety by up to 85 percent. Working out is also correlated with an increased level of self-esteem, which results in a balanced healthy lifestyle.

If you are tired of sitting at your desk and working yourself to exhaustion, spice up your life with workouts in the comfort of your own home! After all, you know what they say–mens sana in corpore sano– a healthy mind and a healthy body to rule them all!