News | Crave Healthy Food

Getting Older and Gaining Weight

Posted on October 07, 2019 by Sam Edwards | 0 comments

We know that getting older is inevitable but, when you look around at older adults these days, they look younger than ever. Part of it is learning how to take care of ourselves with exercise, but no matter what we do, our bodies are going to change.There are some things we can't control as we get older, but one thing we can do something about is managing our weight. We may not be the same weight we were as a teenager, but we can be strong, fit and healthy no matter how old we get.

Why We Gain Weight as We Age

Most people think that gaining weight and getting older go hand in hand, but the reason we gain weight isn't just about getting older, it's about how our habits change. Many of us gain weight because we:

  • Become more sedentary
  • Don't lift weights to maintain muscle mass
  • Eat more calories even as metabolism slows down

While there are some elements we can't control, most of the weight gain that comes with aging can be avoided with a little exercise.

What You Can Do

The main reason for muscle loss, which lowers metabolism, is that we often spend way too much sitting—we sit at work, we sit when we watch TV and we sit when we play around on the computer. If we spend too much time doing that when we're younger, it's that much harder to stop doing that when we get older. It follows that being active and lifting weights will help preserve your muscle and increase your bone density while maintaining a higher metabolism. Before you get started, see your doctor, especially if you're on any medications or have any pain or injuries you're dealing with. Once you've got clearance to exercise, you can follow this basic approach to getting in shape:

  • Cardio Exercise: Choose any activity you enjoy or think you might enjoy with some practice like swimming, walking or cycling and try to do that activity at least 3 days a week. Start with what you can handle and gradually add time each week until you can do 30 minutes of continuous activity. 
  • Lift weights: Strength training may be one of the most important parts of your exercise program. You'll build muscle and strength while also working on important areas like balance, stability, and flexibility - all things that tend to decline with age. 
  • Watch Your Diet: The most important aspect of managing your weight is your diet. Keeping track of your calories and sticking with healthy eating at least most of the time can help you avoid too much weight gain as you get older.  
  • Be realistic: As you get older, it will take longer to lose weight, so it helps to focus on the process - getting your workouts in and eating as healthfully as possible. Do that and your body will respond in its own time.

If you find it hard to start or stick with an exercise program, motivate yourself by remembering what you do for your health when you exercise: you feel better, you look better, you reduce your chances of heart disease and diabetes and, best of all, you're doing what your body was meant for: moving around.

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15 Healthy Snacks You Can Take to Work

Posted on October 07, 2019 by Sam Edwards | 0 comments
It is often hard to get through a day of work without getting a little hungry. That's okay; Snacking can actually be good for you as long as you choose healthy foods in the right proportions.

Here is a list of 15 tasty snacks that are perfect for work breaks. While most of them require a refrigerator or a microwave, a few can be stashed in your desk for an easy midday nibble. 

1- Hummus and Carrots

Hummus is made from chickpeas and sesame oil, so it's high in protein and an excellent source of healthy fat and fiber. Carrots are high in vitamin A and potassium, so the pairing makes a balanced and satisfying snack. As far as calories go, one-half cup of hummus has about 200 calories, while eight baby carrots have only about 30 calories.

Hummus is also good with baked pita chips or pieces of pita bread. Or try other fresh veggies like celery, broccoli, or cauliflower.

Hummus and veggies2- A Small Sandwich (brown bread)

A regular lunch-sized sandwich is probably too big for an afternoon snack, so pack a smaller version. Choose whole grain bread, lots of veggies, and maybe a slice or two of ham or lean turkey breast. A small sandwich like this offers plenty of vitamins and minerals with less than 300 calories.

Another great snack is a "grown-up" peanut butter and jelly sandwichmade with whole grain bread, exotic nut butter, and fruit spreads.

Turkey sandwich

3- Yogurt and Fruit

Yogurt can be an excellent addition to any diet but can be transformed into something not-so-good if it's mixed with sugary mix-ins. Opt for plain Greek yogurt in a single-serve container with plenty of fresh fruit.

Packed with calcium, protein, and probiotics, a work break yogurt snack will only set you back 150 calories. Pecans and a drizzle of honey are also a nice touch.

Yogurt and fruit

4- Avocado Rice Cakes

A plain rice cake is low in calories and relatively bland, so it makes a nice base for almost any topping. You can stash the rice cakes in your desk and bring something along like an egg salad. Two rice cakes topped with a quarter cup of egg salad have about 8 grams of protein, 260 calories, and plenty of zinc, selenium, and magnesium.

Other tasty toppings include plain yogurt with honey and berries, sliced avocados with lime juice, or cottage cheese with sliced tomato.

Rice cakes with avocado

5- Low fat and sugar Popcorn

Popcorn counts as a whole grain because it is high in fiber. It's also low in calories as long as you don't cover it with melted butter. Keep a few bags of microwave popcorn handy for a quick, healthy snack. One regular-sized bag has less than 300 calories. You can also buy single-serving sizes. 

If plain popcorn sounds boring, sprinkle Parmesan cheese or mixed seasoning blends on top.


6- Tuna and Crackers

For an extra-health stack, grab some whole wheat crackers, slice a stalk of celery, and open a resealable packet of tuna. Together, this quick and easy treat can deliver high amounts of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Six crackers and 3 ounces of tuna have no more than 200 calories total.

If plain tuna it too dry for you, you could make a tuna salad at home or simply bring along a packet of low-fat mayo. Always buy tuna packed in water rather than oil.

Tuna on crackers makes a healthy snack for work.

7- Crispbread and Cottage Cheese

Crispbread is a flat, dry cracker-like bread typically made with rye flour but also available in whole wheat and multigrain. They're nice and crunchy on their own but even better topped with spreads and cheese. Cottage cheese is an especially good choice because it is high in calcium and protein and relatively low in fat and calories.

Three pieces of crispbread, each topped with two tablespoons of low-fat cottage cheese, totals a mere 170 calories. Add a nice herbal note with chives or a dash of acidity and spice with storebought salsa. You can also top crispbread with nut butter or slices of lean ham, cheese, and lingonberry preserve.

Crispbread, cottage cheese and chives make a healthy snack for work.

8- Fresh Fruit and Nuts

Sometimes the best snacks are the simplest. Fresh fruit and nuts are one such example. One pear and a dozen almonds had less than 200 calories with plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. You can also try apples with walnuts or bananas with pecans. For a really tasty treat, pair the fruit and nuts with a complementary cheese (such as cheddar with apple or blue cheese with pear).

A pear and almonds are great for a work day snack.

9- Fresh Veggies and Dip

If you like dip, skip the tortillas and crackers and bring along carrots sticks, zucchini slices, cucumber rounds, radish halves, and other favorite vegetables. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, plus they're loaded with vitamins and minerals. Most of your calories will come from the dip: 2 tablespoons of a typical store-bought veggie dip have around 150 calories, bringing your total tally to no more than 220.

Carrots, zucchini and veggie dip make a healthy snack for work.

10- A Small Salad

 A cool, crisp salad can help tide you over until dinner time. Pack your favorite mix of salad greens, vegetables, dried fruits, and nuts into a resealable container. Then pack another with salad dressing or vinaigrette. Don't add the dressing until you're ready to eat as this will make your salad soggy. A small garden salad is low in calories and offers plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

A small salad makes a healthy snack at work.

11- Trail Mix

Trail mix is typically a combination of nuts and dried fruit, and possibly cereal or granola. You can find all kinds of unusual varieties at grocery stores, or you can make it at home. Trail mix is one of those snacks you can keep in your desk drawer for a few days, so it's nice to have around if you don't have a refrigerator. 

Trail mix can be high in calories, so be sure to read the nutrition label if you are trying to lose weight. Some are packed with sugar or toasted in coconut oils that are rich in saturated fat. To ensure portion control, divide the granola into single-serving portions.

Trail mix

12- Instant Oatmeal and Raisins

Oatmeal makes a great breakfast, and there's no reason it can't work as a healthy snack. While you are probably not going to cook up a batch in the break room, you can easily pop a single-serve cup of instant oatmeal in the microwave and enjoy a warming and a nutritious midday snack. Add some raisins for extra flavor, fiber, and iron. Avoid the brands that high in brown sugar, maple syrup, and other sugars.

Oatmeal and raisins as a snack at work.

13- Cup of Soup

A cup of soup can be a warm and soothing treat on a cold winter's day. Leftover soup can be a great snack to take to work the next day, or you can buy single serving microwavable soups. Calorie counts vary considerably, so look closely at the labels for nutrition information. Also, note that many commercial varieties are also high in fat and sodium. 

Pumpkin vegetable cream soup decorated almonds flakes in blue cup on rustic background. Vintage style.

14- Guacamole on Celery Sticks

You may be used to serving guacamole with tortilla chips, but you can drop several calories and unnecessary fat by spreading guacamole on crisp celery sticks. Guacamole is made with avocado, so it's high in monounsaturated fats and nutrients. One-half cup has about 180 calories. 

Opt for baked tortilla chips rather than fried or choose whole grain crackers as a healthy alternative.

Guacamole on celery makes a great snack for work.

 15- Apples and Peanut Butter

This snack is similar to fruit and nuts, but far more filling and satisfying. Apples are high in fiber and available in numerous varieties from crisp and tart to juicy and sweet. Pair it with peanut or almond butter with no added sugar; it really doesn't need it.

 Apples and peanut butter make a good snack for work.



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Meal Timing for When to Eat Carbs, Fat, and Protein

Posted on August 09, 2019 by Sam Edwards | 0 comments

Nutrient partitioning, also called nutrient timing or meal timing, is the careful scheduling of macronutrient intake to boost weight loss, fat loss, or bodybuilding effects. If you are an athlete who uses this dietary strategy, you plan exactly when to eat carbs, protein, and fat so that you take full advantage of the unique nutritional advantages of each food type.

Dieters may use meal timing strategies to help them stick to their eating plan, too. But not all experts agree on the value of nutrient timing for weight loss or weight gain, and the research has provided mixed results.

Nutrient Timing and Exercise

If you are a regular gym-goer, chances are good that you've seen guys in the weight room grab for a protein shake within minutes of finishing their session. Many times the shakes include nutrient partitioning supplements (usually herbal compounds) or other ingredients to boost macronutrient partitioning.

The word "partitioning" is used to describe this food timing practice because by scheduling your intake of protein and carbs you may be able to influence where the nutrients are used or "partitioned" in the body.

Nutrient Timing vs. Nutrient Balance

Carefully monitoring when and what you eat can take a lot of work. For many of us, simply eating a balanced diet is hard. So is it really necessary to practice nutrient timing, as well? The best answer for you may depend on your goals. Many experts say that getting the proper balance of nutrients is more important than specific (and sometimes tedious) food timing practices.

Meal Timing for Weight Loss and Weight Management

When you're trying to lose weight and you're following a calorie-controlled diet, timing your food intake may provide benefits. In fact, research has suggested that scheduling your food intake so that you eat more in the morning may provide a small boost.

 A Word From Crave Healthy Food

Specific nutrient timing is a practice that may provide benefits for weight loss and athletic performance, but it is important to remember that the benefits are likely to be minimal.

If your goal is weight loss, eating certain foods at certain times won't compensate for a diet that is unbalanced or too high in calories. If your goal is improved athletic performance, nutrient partitioning can't take the place of a consistent, well-designed training program. In short, food timing helps you fine-tune good nutrition, but it doesn't take the place of balanced eating for exercise or weight loss.


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- Healthy Tips to Improve Your Digestion -

Posted on August 08, 2019 by Sam Edwards | 0 comments


We believe that good digestion is the foundation to a healthy body and above all – a happy life. Frequently feeling tired, nauseous or bloated after meals may indicate that you are suffering from digestive problems.

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and some gluten free whole grains. How you prepare your food is an important consideration as it will depend on the cause of your digestive problems. 

When we are hungry we often eat food faster than what we should which can cause over eating and bloating. Chewing your food well releases digestive enzymes in the stomach that help break down food so your body can convert it to energy.

70% of the human body is made up of water which plays an important role in proper functioning of the body. Drinking water helps to flush out toxins from your system and aids with the absorption of essential nutrients. The many benefits of drinking water first thing in the morning include an increased rate of muscle and blood cell production and purification of the colon which improves the absorption of nutrients.

Often, people suffering from inflammatory problems are also intolerant to dairy. Try nut milks such as almond milk. You can make your own or you can buy from a health food store or supermarket but be sure to get unsweetened where possible.

Many processed foods we eat contain processed sugar, so ideally we should avoid these foods as much as possible. Processed sugar is inflammatory to your digestive system as it feeds harmful bacteria and parasites.

For people who are gluten intolerant, natural grains such as quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat and amaranth are great gluten free alternatives. A so called ‘ancient grain’, quinoa is not only a complete protein but also very nutritional with high levels of potassium to help control blood pressure and notable Vitamin E content.

Fermented foods break down protein, fats and carbohydrates to create micro flora a friendly bacteria beneficial for the gastrointestinal system. Try foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh and kombucha tea.

When we get stressed it activates the “flight or fight” response in the central nervous system. In this response our digestion shuts down and can make you feel nauseous, cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal system and stress like symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation. To help avoid stress and digestive problems, try yoga and exercise more.

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Spring Market in Discovery Bay

Posted on May 19, 2013 by Sam Edwards | 0 comments

Crave Healthy Food was for the first time at the DB market in April 2014. We had a great interest from people looking at a new tasty way of eating Healthy Food and looking for a program combining Healthy Food, Fitness and Coaching.

Meet us again at DB market on the 11th of May !

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