With the mental health crisis we are facing today and the constant reports of suicide occurring not just in the United States but the world as a whole, it begs the question, where has all the happiness gone?
It seems happiness has been harder and harder to find and more and more people are being pushed into a position of despair that runs so deep they eventually rationalize that committing suicide is their only option left.
This article is about finding your happiness, even when life throws a curve ball at you that makes it hard to do so.
Despite the fact we have no control over every event that we are faced with we do have the power to decide how we are going to react and handle the emotions that come with the event.
If you have been blind sided by the death of a loved one, loss of employment or any other form of tragedy, it is important to take steps to start helping your mind heal from the damage that has been done from experiencing this event.
Below are 20 different strategies you can use that will help you heal so that you can eventually return back to happiness.
Ask The Right Questions
One of the biggest ways we push ourselves into a downward spiral of emotions eventually leading to depression is by negative self talk.
The inner dialogue that occurs in our minds can have a devastating effect on our emotions and even our physical health if left unchecked.
One of the most important parts about your inner dialogue is the questions that you ask internally which will prompt an answer from somewhere in your mind.
It is important to remember that you receive what you give in terms of internal questioning and if you are constantly asking negative questions then you are prompting your mind to respond with negative answers that will cause you to only feel worse about the situation.
Some examples of negative questions would be:
1. Why am I always failing?
2. Why does this always happen to me?
3. What did I do to deserve this?
4. What is the point of going on any further?
5. Who would love someone like me?
I am certain that you have found yourself asking these type of questions at least once in your life, especially during a low point where you are not feeling the greatest about life in general.
The problem with asking these type of questions is that it starts a vicious cycle that causes you to focus on the negative or even gives your mind the fuel to start imagining and exaggerating certain aspects about yourself and your life in order to provide the narrative that goes along with the questions you are asking.
Next time you are at a low point, try and write down some positive based questions that will allow you to come up with positive solutions. This is a powerful technique that can turn your mind into your ally rather than your worst enemy.
Some example of positive based questions would be:
1. How Can I Learn & Grow From This?
2. What Can I Do To Improve My Life?
3. What Do I Have To Look Forward To?
4. Who Can I Talk To That Would Make Me Happier?
5. What Can I Do To Help Myself Relax Today?
Feeling Means Your Healing
You should never be afraid to feel because feeling is one of the main ways your mind learns to heal. While emotions, especially negative ones, can be overwhelming at times, it is important to develop a healthy way to process them so that you can move on.
Failure to allow your emotions to surface and be expressed properly can lead to stress which can result in anxiety, depression and psychosomatic symptoms such as illness.
The trick is to figure out the best way to allow your emotions to be expressed by providing them a constructive outlet.
There is a plethora of ways to allow your emotions to be expressed, here are a couple that may help you:
1. Journal it: Writing your thoughts down in a daily log can be a great way to allow emotions to be expressed without it effecting your daily routine.
2. Art: Regardless the type of art (Paining, Drawing, Music etc) any type of artistic expression can be a great way to allow your emotions to be expressed
3. Exercise: Sometimes the best way to give your emotions a release is to physically exert your body to the point of exhaustion. Doing this can clear your mind and help your process the thoughts that are behind the emotion allowing you to handle them accordingly
The bottom line is emotions are all a part of the healing process and you must let them be expressed. Suppressing your emotions will do nothing for you and can actually have a negative effect on your health in the long run.
Turn Off The TV
Television has been notorious for its ablity to allow you to "tune out" the world, but make no mistake, it is not doing you any favors when it comes to your happiness. Television constantly bombards you with commercials that try and sell you on a version of reality that just isn't true.
The same goes for the television shows that are being put on the air. Your brain doesn't differentiate what is real and what is not as such when you watch fake people from "reality" shows living a life that is beyond the reach of 99% of the world it naturally is going to make you feel depressed about where you are in life.
The truth of the matter is that television has done very little to help us as a whole and frankly has done a lot of harm to people in terms of their mental well being.
Unfortunately, because the industry is so entrenched in society there is very little chance it is going to go away although the world would frankly be better off without the scripted reality shows, cartoons, and commercials that do nothing to help us connect with ourselves and one another.
If you are having trouble with dealing with your emotions, do your mind a favor and disconnect from the tv for at least a week. The break is going to have a drastically positive effect not just on your productivity levels but your mind state too.
If you have a family it is also imperative that you limit the screen time your children are exposed to, while it may be an easy way to get an hour or two of peace and quiet, research has shown that excessive screen time can easily lead kids toward depression, anxiety and trouble concentrating in school.
Do Volunteer Work
Helping others is an excellent way to not only give back to your community but help yourself feel better as well.
In fact, a study done by Harvard Health showed that those who volunteered their time on a weekly basis experienced what has been coined as the "happy effect" and can give you the same feeling of happiness as if you had received a life changing salary increase.
Volunteering helps you bring happiness into your life for quite a few reasons, first and foremost it allows you to appreciate how fortunate you are by forcing you to face the reality that everyone in the world is suffering in some way or another and in comparison to others, your life is not that bad.
Secondly volunteering allows you to connect with others that share the common goal of helping others, which is a positive experience and allows you to feel less alone.
Last but not least, when you volunteer you are practicing empathy and empathy naturally makes you feel better about yourself and the world around you.
The fact is, volunteering is one of the greatest activities you can take part in because it not only helps the world but helps you as well, if you are in a dark place and need help getting back to a positive mindset we highly encourage you give volunteering a try.
Take Time To Meditate On The Future You Want
We get so wrapped up in the present situation that sometimes we lose ourselves and forget to focus on what we want our next chapter to look like.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed about life it is always a good idea to set some time aside and focus on what you want the future to look like.
By doing this you are giving yourself the ability to step away from the present and step into a future that you can look forward to which is going to help you handle the current situation that you may be facing.
In order to get the full effect of this strategy it is important that you are very detailed when you are imagining your ideal future.
Imagine what you are going to be wearing, the sounds that you will hear, how you will be standing, pretty much every minute detail that you can conjure up concerning your ideal future.
By doing this, it has been proven that you can change the chemistry of your brain allowing you to overcome the negative thought that may plague you in the present.
Keep Your Perspective
When you are feeling down it can sometimes be hard to keep from viewing the situation from a birds eye view. It is important to always remember that no matter how down and out you may be in the present this situation is temporary and only represents a fraction of your entire life.
Everyone is going to experience ebb and flows when it comes to life and if you can keep the understanding that this is simply a moment that will pass than you are going to have a much easier time moving forward towards bigger and better things.
A great way to maintain perspective is to focus on what you are grateful for on a daily basis, even going so far as to keep a daily journal of what you are grateful for.
Not only will daily gratitude help you keep perspective, but you will also have a powerful tool to turn to when you feel overwhelmed by negativity and need a boost of positivity in order to get you through the day.
Practice Healthy Eating Habits
The saying "You are what you eat" is more true than most people realize. There has been a lot of research done concerning the effect your diet has on your mental health and it is very true that failure to eat healthy can lead to depression and anxiety if left unchecked for to long.
When you are plagued with negative thoughts it is important to try and stay away from junk food that contain simple sugars such as sodas, candy, fruit juice and syrups.
Eating an abundance of these foods, while momentarily satisfying, can lead to a fluctuation in your sugar levels which can be devastating to your mental health.
You are also going to want to steer clear of alcohol because this is a natural depressant that is sure to leaving you feeling terrible after the affects have worn off.
The foods you are going to want to include in your diet are s such:
Protein: By adding protein to your diet will help your body slow down the consumption of carbohydrates into your blood stream and help your body produce more dopamine and nor-epinephrine which can help elevate your mood naturally.
Vitamins: Vitamin D has been shown to help elevate mood and increase over all mental health. The best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight, but if this is not possible, than a multivitamin that includes Vitamin D should suffice. Another vitamin that helps to elevate mood is B12. Vitamin B 12 is found in Salmon, Lean Beef and Cottage Cheese and should be a large part of your diet no matter what.
Fiber: Foods that have complex carbohydrates which contain soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and increase your serotonin levels which is the "feel good" chemical. Foods that can give you a good dose of fiber are oats, beans, peas and avocados.
Learn To Let Go And Let Live
One of the most important skills that you can learn to practice is the ability to let things go.
Accepting that not everything is under your control and that sometimes bad things happen because of no fault of your own is one of the best ways to learn how to heal and move on.
Allowing negative thoughts to fester is not only counter productive, but you are likely to over exaggerate the issue the longer that you let your mind focus on the situation.
Our brains naturally distort and expand events that occur which is why when an accident or crime occurs, first hand witness is one of the most unreliable source of information.
Take the time to process the event that is causing you to distress and then take a deep breath and make a conscious decision to let it go. Doing this will allow you to move forward and focus on more productive thoughts that are going to bring you closer to your goals.
Understanding Your Emotional Triggers
We all have certain triggers that can affect our moods and actions and it is important that we remain aware of these in order to understand how we can prevent them from taking over our lives.
If you are ignorant of what triggers you emotionally, you are likely going to feel like life is out of your control which is going to have a negative effect on your overall mental health.
The first step to learning your emotional triggers is to slow down and recognize when your emotions are triggered and what were the events that preceded your emotions.
The next step is to analyze those events and ask yourself what exactly happened that caused you to have the emotion. Once you identify the what and the why, it is time to take action to take control of the situation.
You have three options when it comes to handling your emotional triggers:
1. Change the situation so that the emotional trigger does not occur
2. Change your behavior/thinking to mitigate the emotional response
3. Avoid the situation all together
It is important to not be to hard on yourself when working on handling your emotional triggers. Understand that everyone has these triggers and having to deal with them does not make you any less of a person.
In fact, by recognizing and dealing with them you are on your way to becoming a stronger person which is what life is all about.
Being Aware Of Reactions
Just as it is important to make sure you are aware of what triggers an emotional response you should also be aware of how you are reacting to situations that trigger an emotional response.
As we have stated before, you do not have the ability to control every happenstance that occurs in your life but you do have the power to take charge in how you react to each situation.
Learning to control how you react begins with practicing self awareness and understanding how certain situations trigger a response which is explained in the previous section.
Once you have identified what your triggers are, you then need to take note of what your typical reaction to the trigger might be.
Once you have this down decide whether your reaction is positive or negative, if you determine that the reaction is not one you desire it is time to take steps to change it.
To do this you should follow these steps:
1. Stop and take a deep breath
2. Consciously take account as to how you feel and how you want to react
3. Decide the action you should take in response to this trigger
4. Take action
Your response to certain triggers are a habit that has been formed over time from repetition so don't be surprised when it takes a few attempts in order to get this done.
When ever you fail to react the way you want to, don't beat yourself up, simply respect the fact that change takes time and practice and each time you make an attempt you are heading in the right direction.
With patience and consistency you will inevitably develop the new habit.
Change The Way You Dress
Sometimes a new outfit can make you feel like a brand new person, and if you are stuck in a rut this may be exactly what you need. Research has shown that improving the way you dress can have a positive effect on your mental health.
Her here are some of the ways clothes can help you handle life more effectively:
1. A Tie Can Make You Feel More Powerful: Research has shown that when wearing a tie men were able to perform tasks much more effectively and felt more in control of the situation than their piers who did not wear one.
2. Dressing Up Can Improve Your Ability To Think: One Study showed that people who dressed in business attire were able to think faster on their feet and had an easier time coming up with creative ideas.
3. Wearing Red Can Help You Exercise: One study done in 2004 showed that a majority of athletes who won competitions were wearing red. When they studied this, they found that athletes who wore red were able to lift heavier weights and had a better heart rate while performing exercise. Quite a drastic change just by changing the color of your clothes.
4. Wearing Smart Clothing Can Make You Smarter: One study put subjects in clothes that professionals typically such as lab coats and uniforms and they found that found that the persons ability to solve complex problems were much higher than those who dressed in street clothes
These are just a few of the examples of how clothing can positively effect your life.
Irrespective of the psychological benefits, you should treat yourself to a new outfit every so often just so that you can feel your best.
Everyone feels better when they are in new clothes, and you deserve to feel great!
Follow A Daily Routine
Almost every successful person has a ritual that they follow on a daily basis that helps them stay positive and tackle the day that is to come.
Most of the time they perform these rituals in the morning before the day starts so that they can get the day started on a positive note however, anytime that is easiest for you is when you should plan you routine.
Research has shown time and time again that having a routine, especially in the morning, can help with depression and anxiety.
Here are some ideas that you can incorporate into your morning routine:
1, Yoga: Doing simple Yoga stretches in the morning, can help improve mood, tone your body and reduce your need for caffeine.
2, Eating A Balanced Meal: By ensuring your body is getting the right amount of fuel first thing in the morning you are going to give your body and mind the ability to handle whatever life decides to throw at you that day. Eight hours is a long time to go without food, and when you eat a breakfast with a high amount of protein and complex carbohydrates you are less likely to experience depression and anxiety.
3. Start With What Your'e Grateful For: Waking up in the morning and writing down what you have to be grateful for is a great way to get your day started on a positive note. Research has shown that this will increase your happiness and overall sense of well being. Also, if you make it a routine to list what you have to be grateful for you will be able to refer back to these when events during the day trigger a negative response.
4. Avoiding Technology: Technology has helped our lives in numerous ways, unfortunately it is also the cause of a lot of stress and anxiety. For the first couple of hours it is a good habit to stay away from the phone and computer. Research has shown that excessive use of smart devices especially first thing in the morning has led to difficulty in being able to focus and increased chances of suffering from depression and anxiety.
Smile More Often
Smiling more often has been shown to increase your ability to handle stress and increase over all well being even if you are in a situation that would typically make you feel stressed and anxiety.
Smiling can also help you look more attractive, intelligent and likable which is helpful in any social interaction. Learning to smile even when you don't feel like it has physiological benefits as well.
Some examples are:
1. Stronger Immune Function: A study done by the mayo clinic found that laughter (which is accompanied with a smile) has been shown to release signaling molecules in the brain that help fight disease and reduce stress.
2. Pain Relief: Laughing and smiling has been shown in research done by the mayo clinic to release natural pain killers in the brain giving you the ability to increase your pain threshold. So if you have suffered from an injury that is causing you pain, do yourself a favor and watch a comedy show or a funny movie, it may work just as good as pain killers!
3. Less Stress: Smiling has been shown to help your mind handle stressful situations more effectively and lower your heart rate as well. When you are stressed your heart rate tends to elevate and if your heart rate is elevated on a constant basis to this can have damaging effects on the heart.
Talking To A Positive Influence
We are social creatures that benefit from our interactions with others. When you have suffered from an event that has effected your mental health it is important not to recluse yourself from society.
Do yourself a favor and reach out to a good friend or loved one and have a conversation with them, the simple act of communicating has been shown to elevate mood and can help you process events that have occurred.
Recent studies have shown even talking to strangers can make you a happier person and the effects are reciprocal.
If you are hesitant to speak to strangers we highly suggest you take steps to gaining this skill, it not only will benefit your mental health but help you with other aspects of your life as well.
Decide To Cut Negativity Out Of Your Life
In our life we are bound to pick up some negative people and situations that we learn to accept do to the fact they become regular occurrences. It is important to take stock of the daily occurrences in your life and if you recognize one that consistently causes you unhappiness than it is time to make a change.
The same goes for people as well, if someone in your life has been consistently causing you grief then if possible, it is time to disconnect. If it is a situation where you have to interact with them such as a boss/subordinate situation then you may need to research ways to limit their ability to influence the way you feel.
Just because you have to interact with someone does not mean that you need to allow them to affect the way you feel. You have the power to decide how you are going to react to any situation and that includes how people treat you.
Go Easy On Yourself And Others
Being hard on yourself is no way to help you recover from a tragedy, and can be damaging to yourself overall. The same can be said for how you deal with others. The fact of the matter is that we are all human and as such, we are all fallible beings and that is OK!
Making mistakes and learning from them is a part of life and is the only way to improve. If you aren't making mistakes you aren't taking risks, and if you aren't taking risks than you are not going to develop your full potential.
Understanding and respecting the fact that other people are fallible beings can make it much easier for you to deal with those who you may let you down.
It is always disappointing when people fail to live up to your expectations but remembering that this is just a part of being human can ease the pain and help you deal with these situations in a productive manner.
Do Things That Are Meaningful To You
Taking the time to do things that make you feel at peace is important to give your mind and body a way to reset, especially if you have just experienced some form of tragedy.
Whether it be painting, taking a walk or playing video games, you need to allow yourself to break away from the daily stresses of life and give your mind a chance to process the events that have occurred.
After doing this you will find handling whatever you are going through much easier because you have given your mind a chance to obtain perspective of the situation.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Living your life to the fullest requires that you step outside of your comfort zone and experiencing new things, even if it means taking a risk.
When you experience a tragic event, stepping outside of your comfort zone can help you shift your thoughts to a more positive place and if you succeed in your endeavor the confidence you gain will help you push past whatever has happened in the past.
Doing the same routine day and day out may feel safe, but it can quickly become monotonous which can lead you to feel like you aren't going anywhere in life.
It doesn't have to be something huge like moving to a new country (although it could be) but it should be just enough to make you feel a bit nervous or apprehensive, this is a sign that your comfort zone is being stretched which is a good thing.
Get Out In Nature
Being out in nature has been shown to help with anxiety, depression and even improves memory.
There is no exact answer as to why nature helps improve our mindset but a study done in 2015 took a look at the minds of people who regularly spent time in nature and found that their pre-frontal cortex had lower activity than those who didn't.
This is significant because when you are experiencing negative thoughts or going through a depressive episode it is typically a result of strong activity in this area of the brain.
Something as simple as taking a hike outdoors can have a powerful effect on your mood and help you to get back to a more positive state mind which can be the first step in helping you heal from a tragic experience.
Identify And Live By Your Core Values
Finding your core values is an important part of living a fulfilling life and can help you overcome the negative emotions that come with a tragic event.
To find your core values you need to ask yourself what truly makes you happy and compile them into a list. Once you do this, you are going to want to align your activities to coincide with that list.
The more your actions are in alignment with your core values, the better you are going to feel. People who take the time to recognize what their core values are known to be happier and more fulfilled with life.
They are also able to bounce back much quicker than most when experiencing disappointment or a tragic experience.
The Next Step:
Now that you know the ways to improve your level of happiness even after experiencing a tragic event, check out our article about ways you can do the same for your children. As parents nothing is more important then the safety of your young ones and in this article we will provide you strategies to prevent them from having to suffer from mental disorders such as depression and anxiety as they grow older.
Inadequate Amounts Of Sleep
It is no secret that children on average need more sleep than adults due to the fact they are growing and most of this growth occurs at night. What may surprise you is that if your child is not getting enough sleep, there is a possibility you could be raising the chances that your child is going to have weight issues as they grow older exponentially.
The recommended amount of sleep for children varies by age but on average, medical professionals recommend:
Under Age 5: 11 hours per day
5-10 year old: 10 or more hours per day
Over age of 10: At least 9 hours per day
There has been quite a bit of research done to validate the idea that less sleep equals more weight, in fact, in over seventeen studies done with children in Europe, the United States and Asia, the results have stayed the same; children who aren't getting enough sleep have a 92% higher risk of becoming overweight and even obese compared to children with longer sleep duration.
If you find it hard to get your child to go to sleep at a decent time each night there are a few strategies you can implement that may help.
One of the biggest mistakes parents tend to make especially late at night is to give their kids a desert that is high in sugar right before they go to bed. Naturally the sugar rush that comes with consuming this treat is going to hurt your child's chances of getting a good nights rest which will overtime add up to a lot of lost sleep.
One way to prevent this is to give them a desert during lunch time rather than after dinner, this way they have hours to burn of the excess energy before it is time to turn in for the night.
If you insist on giving your child a treat after eating dinner, than you need to either serve them something with a lower sugar content (If you need ideas check out this article) or make sure dinner is early enough that they have at least an hour or two to burn off the sugar they consume prior to going to bed.
Another great way to help your kids get enough sleep is to stick to a routine. If you do not already have a designated time that your child goes to sleep every night it is time to put them on a schedule.
The consistency is going to help their bodies get on a natural rhythm which will allow them to fall asleep faster and get more REM sleep (which is where the true health benefits of sleep stem from).
Routines are also important to teach your kids self-discipline which is an important skill that will prove useful to them all the way into adulthood.
The bottom line is a good nights rest is important for their body and mind and now that you know the true dangers of failing to get a good nights rest it is imperative you take action immediately if your child is at risk.
Excess Consumption Of Soft Drinks
Obesity and tooth decay go hand in hand which makes sense since the foods we eat that are most likely to have the most damage to our teeth are typically high in sugar and unhealthy fats.
One of the worst culprits when it comes to both problems is sugary drinks such as sodas, juices and even some sports drinks. These beverages typically have more sugar in them in one serving than is recommend for an adult to consume on a daily basis, let alone children.
One of the most devious effects of sugary drinks is the fact they do nothing to solve your hunger yet some of them have as much calories in them as if you were to eat a small snack.
The issue here is that these drinks have no way of stimulating Ghrelin which is a hormone in your stomach that makes you aware that you are hungry. This hormone only works with food, so you can continue to drink hundreds upon hundreds of calories in the form of soda and juice but never feel full.
This is as serious issue because despite how you feel, the calories you are consuming are real and they lead to weight problems if left unchecked.
All these hidden calories add up fairly quickly when you do the math:
If your child is drinking 1 to 2 glasses of either soda or juice a day on average they are consuming an extra 340 calories per day. If you allow them to continue this habit day in and day out, over a year you will have given them an extra 142,000 calories which translates into an extra 40 pounds of weight.
Another issue that stems from soft drinks is the caffeine which is a diuretic. Children who are drinking caffeinated beverages are more likely to become dehydrated especially if they do not regularly drink water. This not only is extremely unhealthy and can lead to physical and mental health problems, but also increases the risk of your child becoming obese.
The problem of tooth decay and childhood obesity goes hand in hand with the consumption of drinks that are high in sugar, in fact if you were to look at the rate of obesity in the United States and chart it with the rate of consumption of drinks that are high in sugar, caffeine and high fructose corn syrup the lines would likely be parallel.
The problem has gotten so bad that medical professionals such as Dr. Bes-Rostrollo have suggested that a higher tax be put on these drinks in order to curb the consumption of these products however nothing has been done as of yet.
In the mean time, if your children are accustomed to drinking soda and juices we highly suggest you start transitioning them over to drinking mostly water.
By doing this not only are you protecting their health, but you are likely going to see a positive shift in behavior as well because high amounts of sugar consumption are typically linked to hyper active behavior, behavioral issues and lower grades.
Exposure To Chemicals From Plastic
The idea that childhood obesity could be linked to chemicals in plastic is a new idea but evidence is continuing to mount in favor of this theory.
The two chemicals that appear to be causing the most damage are Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bishpenol F (BPF) which are now used to replace BPA which has been proven to have a negative effect on the heals of both adults and children due to the fact it interferes with the body's hormones.
A study conducted by a doctor by the name of Melanie Jacobson concerning the two replacement chemicals suggested that there was a higher prevalence of obesity in children who were exposed to these chemicals. This is a very significant find because exposure to these chemicals in the United States is wide spread.
Now there is still a lot of research to be done so this is not a definite fact. The biggest question that needs to be answered is whether kids are obese because they are exposed to these chemicals or if obese children are naturally eating and drinking foods that contain these chemicals.
BPS and BPF are found in plastics and aluminum-cans that hold food and drinks and thermal paper from cash register receipts. Receipts aside, children who are overweight are likely consuming larege amounts of soda and canned foods so their consumption of these chemicals is naturally high.
Irrespective of the potential dangers of Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bishpenol F (BPF) it is important that you refrain from allowing your children to consume an excess amount of soft drinks and pre-packaged foods. The more you are able to prepare home-cooked meals the better off your children will be.
Research has shown that the chances of a child having issues with their weight can be effected by their genetics. There is research that supports body weight is strongly influenced by genetics leading to the belief that children who are at born to obese parents have a higher risk of becoming obese themselves.
There was a study performed in 2012 which was continued this year that covered 13,000 cases and 15,600 controls, all from individuals of European, African, North and South American and East Asian ancestry. Both studies that were done showed a correlation between genetic factors and obesity.
There is another possibility, and that is the fact that parents who have succumb to obesity have horrible eating habits and these habits are naturally passed on to their children who have no choice but to follow their lead.
The lesson here is that your decisions don't just effect you but can have a detrimental effect on those you care about so it is more important than ever to take care of your health.
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Maternal obesity and weight gain during pregnancy has been shown to be strongly associated with obesity in children later on in life.
One study conducted by the
Medical professionals suggest that the maximum amount of weight a woman should gain should be no more than 40 pounds throughout her entire pregnancy. Children who were born to women who surpassed this limit had an 15% higher risk of becoming overweight and even obese.
With the constant stress and cravings that come with carrying a baby to term and the availability of foods that are full of empty calories and unhealthy fats women are finding it harder to maintain a healthy weight while pregnant.
Irrespective, for the sake of both the mothers health and the child's future, it is imperative that eating healthy becomes top priority while pregnant.
Here are some ways that women can ensure they are eating healthy while pregnant:
1. Eat a large amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods and fat-free/low-fat dairy products
2. Stick to foods that are low in added sugar, saturated-fats and sodium
3. Stay away from refined grains and starchy foods such as white bread, cookies, chips and other snack foods
4. If snacking stick to healthy choices such as hummus, low-fat yogurt and fruits
5. Eat a healthy amount of seafood (NOT CANNED), you can have about 8-12 ounces per week
6. Stay away from drinks with added sugars and caffeine
7. If experiencing morning sickness, eat whole-grain bread and whole wheat crackers
8. Keep excess calories appropriate to where you are at in your pregnancy:
- First Trimester (No need for additional calories)
- Second Trimester (Typically only need an additional 340 calories per day)
- Third Trimester (Typically only need 450 additional calories per day)
The Next Step:
Now that you know how to prevent your child from being at risk of suffering from obesity, why not learn some ways that will get them on the right track in terms of their diet?
Children pick up a lot of habits from observing you when living at home so it is important you are setting them up for success not just academically but health wise as well!
Click the button below to learn the top ways to instill healthy eating habits in your children
What is Self-Discipline?
A lot of people are confused about the definition of self-discipline. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, though, self-discipline is all about correcting and/or regulating oneself in order to improve.
Basically, if you are a self-disciplined person, you have the ability to course-correct and regulate your behaviors so that you can accomplish a greater goal.
The Importance of Discipline When Dieting
There are lots of areas of life in which self-discipline comes in handy. It plays an especially important role when it comes to dieting and taking steps to improve your health, though.
Research has shown time and time again that, in order to stick to a diet and lose weight or experience other positive health changes, you need more than willpower.
You’re not going to be motivated all the time. Instead, you need to be disciplined and willing to regulate yourself when it comes to the type and amount of food you eat each day.
Without discipline, you’re going to find it harder to resist certain high-calorie, hyper-palatable foods that are designed to make you overeat. Your willpower alone may enable you to say “no” for a day or two, but if you haven’t also practiced self-discipline, you’re going to be much more likely to give in.
Tips for Developing Self-Discipline
Now that you have a clearer idea of what self-discipline is, let’s go over some strategies you can use to start developing it.
It’s true that some people may naturally be more disciplined than others. That doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your level of self-discipline, though.
Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Set Clear, Realistic Goals
Next, set some clear and realistic goals for yourself. Be specific about what you want. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Say, “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next three months.”
Make sure your goals are realistic, too. Losing 10 pounds in three months is totally doable for most people. Losing 10 pounds in a week is almost impossible unless you happen to develop a nasty stomach virus.
Create a Plan
After you know what you want to achieve, create a plan to help yourself achieve it. Write down the specific steps you’ll need to take to make your goal happen.
For example, how many calories do you need to eat per day? How many servings of vegetables do you want to consume? Which foods or beverages do you need to avoid?
The more detailed your plan is, the easier it’ll be for you to follow it.
Get rid of temptations that might derail your diet. If you know that you can’t be trusted with a carton of ice cream or a bag of chips, get them out of your house.
Make it inconvenient for yourself to have unhealthy food. This will decrease the chances that you’ll consume it and will make it easier for you to develop new habits in place of eating junk.
Take it One Day at a Time
Nobody becomes perfectly disciplined overnight. Self-discipline is a skill, and it takes practice for you to become better at it. Take your diet one day at a time or even one meal at a time.
Try not to get overwhelmed by what you’re going to do tomorrow or next week. Focus on being present and making good decisions with regard to your food in the moment.
Keep it Simple
When it comes to sticking to a diet and achieving long-term weight loss, most people do better when they start with small and simple changes.
This goes back to the idea of setting realistic goals. If you overhaul your entire diet overnight, it’s unlikely that you’re going to stick to it for very long. It’ll be too much of a shock to your system.
Instead, you might be better off making small changes in a more gradual way. This gives you more opportunities to practice and strengthen your self-discipline muscles, too.
Change the Way You Talk to Yourself
Some people end up sabotaging their dieting efforts because they speak to themselves in a negative way. They tell themselves that they’re undisciplined or that they don’t have any willpower. By doing this, they create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Focus on speaking to yourself in a more positive way. Tell yourself that you are strong, that you are disciplined, and that you can do whatever you set your mind to, including stick to this diet.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Part of being disciplined is being able to regulate yourself during stressful or difficult times. It might be easy for you to stick to your diet at home. What about when you’re at a party or in the middle of an office-catered lunch, though?
Create a backup plan ahead of time so it’s easier to practice discipline. Bring your own lunch from home or bring a healthy treat to the party to share. That way, there’s something for you to eat and you’re less tempted by the other options.
Celebrate Your Wins
Make sure you celebrate the small wins you experience along the way. You’ll find that it’s easier to stay disciplined if you’re taking time to focus on your victories and reward yourself.
When it comes to rewarding yourself, though, make sure the reward is something that won’t derail your progress.
Don’t celebrate losing five pounds with a gallon of ice cream or a junk food binge. Buy yourself a new piece of workout gear or treat yourself to a bubble bath or a movie instead.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Remember, too, that a mistake does not erase all of the progress you’ve made.
Disciplined people don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater because of one slip up. Instead, they figure out what went wrong, correct themselves, and continue moving forward.
You’re not a failure because of one unhealthy meal or even a day of unhealthy meals. You only fail if you stop trying to reach your goals.
Protecting Yourself from Dieting Pitfalls
Whenever you embark on any kind of new diet or weight loss plan, it’s likely that you’re going to encounter some pitfalls along the way. This seems to happen when you try to make any kind of lifestyle change.
There’s a lot you can do to safeguard yourself from these pitfalls, though. Here are some helpful tips and tools to have up your sleeve:
Write Things Down
For many people, writing down their goals and their plan to reach those goals is helpful. Write them down on a piece of paper and display that paper somewhere prominent.
Remember to be patient with yourself, too. It takes time to see results from any kind of diet or lifestyle change. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t look or feel differently right away. Stay the course and, eventually, you will see improvements.
Prepare for Setbacks
Have a plan in place for when setbacks occur. Have a set of affirmations that you repeat to yourself, for example, or have a friend or coach whom you can call for a pep talk.
If you know what you’re going to do in the event that you experience a setback, you’ll be less likely to give up altogether.
Become More Disciplined Today
It definitely takes work to become a more self-disciplined person. The good news, though, is that small, consistent efforts add up over time.
If you practice every day at being more disciplined, you’ll be amazed at how far you can come -- and how much easier it is for you to stick to your diet.
Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your diet journey and you’ll be much more likely to experience success and improved health.
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Very few industries on planet earth have more hype than the supplement industry. You can find a supplement for just about anything, burning fat, building muscle, better memory, mental focus, sexual performance (you get the picture).
Logic dictates that if every one of these supplements worked, we would all be walking around in optimal health and performing amazing feats of mental and physical acuity, but the truth is most of these products aren't worth the labeling their titles are printed on. What's worse, if you aren't aware of all the different ingredients that are being mixed in with these products you can do damage to your kidneys, liver, and heart, and some of this damage can be so severe it can lead to death.
It doesn't matter what slight advantage you gain from taking supplements, if you don't live to see another work out then it is pointless.
Now that we have gotten the depressing part out of the way, the bright side is that some supplements are backed by science which can provide beneficial properties with limited chance of serious damage to the body.
Below we will be going over some of the top supplements and what they can do for your health and performance.
It may seem obvious, but protein is essential not just for building muscle, but for ensuring optimal health in your later years in life as well. When going through sickness, facing hospitalization or any other stressful event it is imperative to keep up protein intake to retain muscle, maintaining bone health and support other bodily functions.
This is because as we grow older when going through stressful experience the body does not process protein as effectively. Seniors who keep up with their protein intake are 30 % less likely to experience functional impairment than those who eat less. Per research done in 2016, it is advised that adults have a protein intake between 1.2 and 2.0 g/kg/day or higher.
Although protein is important, what is MORE, important is where that protein is gotten from, especially for the elderly. Those in their golden years need to receive their protein from foods NOT from supplements. While there is not necessarily anything inherently unhealthy about drinking a protein shake, it is much healthier to get what is needed from a variety of foods such as fish, steak, chicken and pork. A protein supplement shouldn't ever replace real food, there are way too many benefits that come with getting protein the natural way.
The most obvious use for Protein is to build muscle. In a study performed by the British Journal of Sports Medicine which involved thousands of resistance trainers, it was found that those who kept a high Protein intake showed a significant increase in performance and strength when training.
Again, although it is better to get your protein from food, the amount of protein required to bulk does not always make getting protein from food viable so in this case, it may be necessary to use supplements such as protein shakes to meet your macro requirements.
Turmeric is a spice that is mainly used in Asia to treat a variety of health issues. Turmeric has numerous scientifically proven health benefits such as the ability to help with inflammation, prevent heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's.
The main ingredient in Tumeric is Curcumin, Curcumin has been shown to increase the brains capacity to create BDNF (Brain-Derived Neutronic Factor) which is a type of growth hormone found in your brain. Certain mental disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's have been linked to a decrease in BDNF so anything that can help your brain increase this process is beneficial to your health.
Interestingly, some people believe this quality of Turmeric also can help with memory and increase intelligence, more study is needed to confirm this, but, logically, this would occur given the fact Turmeric increases BDNF
Vitamin D is naturally provided to the body through proper exposure to the sun. In some places where access to the sun is not always available (such as Seattle), it may be necessary to take supplements to ensure you maintain healthy levels required for bodily and mental functions.
An interesting fact about Vitamin D is that, contrary to the name, it is a pro-hormone. What makes a vitamin a vitamin is that it is something that it cannot be naturally created by our bodies, this is not the case for Vitamin D as it is naturally produced by the body when the skin is exposed to natural sunlight.
When sunlight hits our skin, Vitamin D can be synthesized by our body naturally and research has shown that 5-10 minutes of exposure to sun two to three times a week can give adequate amounts of this prohormone. Unfortunately, unlike other pro-hormones, Vitamin D breaks down rapidly making it easy for your body to run low, especially during times when the sun is not readily available such as winter
Vitamin D has been linked to a myriad of health benefits, to list a few:
Prevention of Numerous Diseases: Vitamin D has a powerful effect on over 200 genomes, which have the potential of being impaired if there is a deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is possibly linked to an increased risk of numerous health issues such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, and autism.
The recommended intake of Vitamin D is predicated on your age, if you are curious how much you should be consuming, here is a list provided by NIH.gov
Although bacteria have a bad rep in terms of causing disease and illness, we need a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut to ensure proper health and can even help relieve certain health issues. As insane as it may sound, in a healthy gut, approximately 100 trillion microorganisms are representing more than 500 different species. Most of these are not harmful and serve to keep pathogens (harmful bacteria) in check while aiding indigestion.
Here is a list of some of the top disorders that maintaining a healthy level of probiotics may serve to prevent:
Prebiotics act like fertilizer and encourage the growth of probiotics which as you now know, are necessary for your health. In one research study, prebiotics has been shown that taking prebiotics for three weeks could reduce the severity of exercise-induced asthma in adults by 40%. Participants in the study also noted improvements in eczema and allergic symptoms. Prebiotics are found in fiber-rich foods such as:
There has not been a lot of research that has been done regarding the benefits of prebiotics, but some benefits that may come with using them are:
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega 3 is a fatty acid that comes in many forms, two of these forms are very important for mental health and brain development, these are EPA and DHA. Both types are found abundantly in fish.
EPA and DHA have both have been shown to have a myriad of health benefits such as boosts brain health, improves heart functioning, and easing depression.
Another important type of Omega is ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), this acid is found in plant-based foods such as walnuts and flax seeds. ALA has been linked to lower blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, slowed skin aging and improved nerve function.
Humans produce ALA in small amounts so at times it is good to increase your levels by consuming foods that are high in this form of Omega 3.
Here is a list of foods that are high in Omega 3:
Magnesium is a mineral that is naturally found in abundance in the human body, it is mainly located in your bones, however, magnesium is also found in your blood and soft tissues such as muscle. Magnesium is so important because it is a co-factor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, this includes but is not limited to:
Numerous foods can provide an abundance of magnesium, here is a list of some of the top choices:
Whole Wheat. Most whole grains are a good source of magnesium, but whole wheat flour wins with 160 mg per cup
A deficiency in magnesium can spell trouble for multiple body systems, so you must make sure your bodies magnesium levels stay up to par. Here is a list of some of the issues that come with a deficiency in magnesium:
Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10 for short) is a nutrient found in all cells and has numerous health benefits. It has been shown to:
As an added benefit for those who participate in strength training, CoQ10 has been shown to reduce the oxidative damage that comes with building muscle and can help you recover from muscle fatigue and also prevent the risk of skin and brain damage.
While it is possible to get CoQ10 from foods, most of what you can find to eat does not contain adequate amounts of CoQ10 to help with any deficiency, because of this, you may want to turn to a supplement if you feel you may be running low on this nutrient
Vitamin B 12
Vitamin B 12 (also known as cobalamin) is an important vitamin that is involved in the metabolism of every cell in the body. B 12 is essential to bodily functions and its deficiency is all too common. Some people are simply not eating enough foods that contain vitamin B 12 and others simply can't get enough, such as the elderly.
Vitamin B 12 is present in numerous different kinds of food such as:
Animal Liver and Kidneys.
Other "Organ" Meats
A deficiency of B 12 comes with a whole host of side effects, none of them which are pleasant. While a small deficiency usually won't result in any serious issues, a major deficiency and lead you to become anemic becoming anemic here is a list of the potential problems that can arise when B 12 is lacking:
Given the fact that B 12 is so important to your overall health, it is important to know how much B 12 you need per your age group, Web MD provides an excellent chart that should be referred to.
The Next Step:
Now that you know about some of the top supplements that may actually benefit your health you may be wondering WHERE do you find them? Going to a store may seem like the most logical choice, but there is a good chance you are going to pay double or even TRIPLE the amount you normally would simply because they have a lot more overhead to account for. One great option is to visit an online store like A1 Supplements.com, there you can find just about EVERYTHING you need and the best part is the prices are PHENOMENAL!
Childhood obesity is a serious problem throughout the United States. In fact, 20 percent of school-aged children in the U.S. are currently obese, and many more are overweight.
Even if your child is not overweight or obese, it’s still important to teach them about the importance of healthy eating. What’s more, you also need to make sure you’re modeling healthy eating behaviors for them. Remember, kids will learn based on what you do, not by what you say.
Read on to learn more about how you can start instilling healthy eating habits in your children. Whether you’re raising kids who are toddlers or teenagers, these tips will help you establish healthy habits and promote better overall family health.
Importance of Healthy Habits for Children
Okay, you can see why you need to start teaching your kids healthy eating habits sooner rather than later. How do you actually get started, though?
The good news is that, in a lot of cases, you don’t have to make major parenting changes. Some simple adjustments to your current lifestyle can have a significant impact on your kids.
Here are three ideas that are great starting points:
Eat as a Family
Eating together as a family is a great way to start talking to your kids about healthy eating and start a dialogue around healthy habits.
Research shows that families who eat together tend to eat less. They also tend to eat more slowly and enjoy their food more. This, in turn, leads to greater feelings of satiety.
When you eat together as a family, you also have a chance to connect with your kids and talk to them about other steps they (and you) can take to feel happier, healthier, and more energetic.
Get Your Kids Involved in Food Prep
Your kids may be more inclined to eat healthy food if they get to have a hand in making it. Take your kids with you to the grocery store or farmer’s market and allow them to help you pick out the fruits, vegetables, and other healthy items you’ll purchase for the week.
Let them spend time in the kitchen preparing the food, too. This helps them take a sense of pride in what they’re eating, and they gain a new appreciation for the work that goes into the food they enjoy each evening.
Talk Openly to Your Kids
It’s important to have honest and open conversations with your kids about healthy eating and healthy living, too.
Talk to them about why things like sugar and processed foods can be problematic and shouldn’t be a regular installment in their diets. The more they know, the more empowered they can be to take action and make changes and positive choices themselves.
Try to expand the conversation beyond weight and calories, too. Talk to them about how certain foods may cause them to feel tired or give them stomachaches. Focus on health and use positive language. Avoid shaming or criticizing your child during these talks.
The transition to healthier eating may not go smoothly at first, especially if your kids have been eating a certain way for a long time. If you experience resistance when you introduce these healthier lifestyle habits to your kids, try these troubleshooting tips:
Slow Your Role
It may be tempting to dive in headfirst and totally overhaul you and your family’s diet. Try to start slowly, though. Focus on adding instead of taking away, too. Start adding a vegetable to the nightly meal or adding fresh fruit to their lunches. Over time, you can start to crowd out the less healthy food with healthier options.
Don’t give up if your kids don’t have positive responses right away. It’ll take time for them to adjust and get used to this new way of eating. Be patient, but also be consistent. Don’t back down from your stance just because your kids complain about having to eat more vegetables or having less junk food in the cupboards.
Lead By Example
Make sure you’re leading by example, too. If you want your kids to eat healthfully and have a healthy relationship with food, you need to model that for them. If they see you eating healthy food, exercising, and taking steps to improve your overall health and well-being, they’ll be more inclined to follow suit.
Start Teaching Kids Healthy Eating Habits Today
Instilling healthy eating habits in your kids can seem like a daunting task at first. This is especially true if you’re just barely starting to get into healthy eating and your kids have gotten used to a high-sugar high-in-processed-foods diet.
What Happens While We're Young Can Be a Deciding Factor In The Quality of Our Mental Health As Adults
As parents, nothing is more important than the health of our children. It is hard enough to ensure they are eating right, acclimating to new experiences and staying out of trouble; but what about their mental health?
We all know the health of our minds is imperative to living a fulfilling life, however what you may not know is how our minds handle the daily stresses in life and the potential to have to deal with mental disorders starts when we are very young. Unfortunately there are a lot of factors that can affect the future of your mental health and you frankly don’t have control of them all, but with the proper knowledge you can at least prepare for the factors you can’t control and take action to ensure what you can control remains in your control.
You are the last line of defense when it comes to your children's health both mentally and physically so knowledge is absolutely key. Below we are going to go over what you can do to ensure your children have the best chance at a future in terms of their mental health.
According to a study done by Aahrus University, kids who grow up in a more green environment have a fifty-five percent less risk of developing mental disorders later in life. This makes sense given the numerous studies that have shown the benefit of nature on the mental health of adult's as well.
The study shows that green environments increase social cohesion and encourages greater physical activity, both of which have a positive correlation with better mental health. While you may not be able to control where you live and the amount of foliage present in your surroundings, you can make sure your kids are introduced to nature on a regular basis. Participating in activities such as gardening and hikes combine exposure to nature and also provide an opportunity to bond as a family.
There are also lots of natural museums that can be visited which gives you a structured activity to do with the little ones, educates them about different aspects of plant and animal life and gives them the opportunity to experience nature first hand. The benefits of getting out in nature are numerous and if you can give your child a 55% chance to not have to suffer through a mental disorder than taking the time to schedule this activity is worth it.
Your Education Level Matters
You may not need to be rich to be healthy but it helps to be educated. Studies performed in October of 2018 by Rutgers University have shown that parents who have educated themselves beyond high-school have a tendency to invest more time in learning about family health care which reduces the likelihood of young ones being subjected to adverse medical conditions.
The more you know, the more tools you have at your disposal to handle problems that will arise from time to time, moreover, you will also take steps that will help you prevent issues from arising in the first place. Also, most post- high school education comes with the requirement of taking classes about health and psychology and those lessons can easily be transferred to how your family functions.
Parents with higher degrees tend to have mentally demanding jobs, this requirement to use your mind at a higher level makes it easier to consume knowledge about a myriad of subjects which includes recent health research that may make a difference in how you eat, your daily activity and how you interact with on another.
Healthy Eating Equals Healthy Minds
Eating healthy and having higher self-esteem go hand in hand. This makes sense since by having the proper nutrients your children will be more likely to excel in sports activities as well as school. If you can remember being in grade school, you probably recall the kids who excelled in sports during recess were the ones that ended up being the most “popular”. While we are certainly not advocating teaching your kids to put any weight into this popularity nonsense, being able to keep up with the rest of the kids will undoubtedly help them feel better about themselves which will naturally give them more confidence later on in life.
One of the most neglected meals in terms of nutrition is lunch, this is especially true during school time which is unfortunate because a nutrient packed lunch is essential to help your little ones concentrate in their afternoon classes. If you are looking for ideas on what to make your kids for lunch, we have plenty ideas for you in this article.
As an added boon, this study performed by BioMed Central has also shown that a healthy diet has also helped children experience fewer emotional and peer problems such as being picked on and having few friends. Although it takes a little self discipline and pre-planning the potential rewards for yourself and your loved ones are more than worth it. As such, If you want a good way for your child to ensure that they are physically and mentally healthy it start with a good diet.
Bullying Hurts More Than Just Feelings
Bullying is an epidemic and it absolutely needs to be stopped, the damage that is caused by parents who are allowing their children to become bullies doesn’t just affect the present but can reverberate out to adulthood as well.
Recent research performed by Lancaster University have shown that being bullied may dramatically increase the risk of experiencing mental health problems and unemployment later in life, this is likely due to damage being caused at such a young age while their minds are still developing. We have yet to come up with an effective system that neutralizes and deters parents who are responsible for raising these aggressors, and there is bound to be at least one if not more of these problem children lurking around the school, so the best option is to teach your kids how to deal with this inevitable dredge on society.
After all bullying isn’t just in child hood, there are bullies in the adult world as well, the only difference is those people have a chance of being sequestered from society via jail time.
One main way to help your kids fight back against bullying is to teach them NOT to be nice but to be respectful. Nice is a french word for stupid/naive and parents who simply tell their kids to be “nice” are leaving them open to be bulldozed by kids who have no interest in being nice to them.
By teaching your kids to be respectful, they understand that human relationships are a two way road and that if someone isn’t meeting you half way, it is time to confront the situation head on. If that does not absolve the matter, than they have the option to leave, however if someone is actively pursuing them, you need to allow them to take steps to protect themselves and establish their right to be treated with respect. Parents who pass on the “nice” philosophy are not doing their children any favors, and may in fact be leaving them defenseless to those who do not share the "nice" philosophy.
Roughhousing Can Build Strength, Both Mentally & Physically
Letting your children get outside and roughhouse (within reason of course) not only helps them physically but a new study has shown that it can also protect them from depression. Depression is a growing concern not just for adults but now for children as young as six years old. Previous studies have shown that it is not enough just to limit screen time, you also need to get your kids to be active as well. Being physically active and putting stress on the body activates neuron growth in the cortex and hippo-campus of the brain which will naturally help with learning in school.
Allowing your child to rough house also gives them the chance to learn emotional intelligence, because it puts them in a position where they need to be aware of the reactions of others and to effectively communicate their emotions as well. This skill is imperative later on in life, because the better you are able to communicate and gauge other peoples emotions the more persuasive you will become, the more persuasive you are the more confidence you will have leading to nothing but positive outcomes.
Finally, it is in our DNA to rough house, we have been doing it since anyone can remember and it is a natural part of life for all children. If you are interested in reading about the research conducted by Lancaster University check it out here.
Naps Aren't Just Good For Babies
This one is interesting because it involves doing LESS activity rather than more. One study done by The University Of Pennsylvania has shown that children who nap 30-60 minutes mid day at least three times a week have more self-control, are less likely to exhibit behavioral problems, and may gain a higher IQ and excel academically.
The need for sleep is a given, and regardless of your age you need adequate rest in order to perform your best in any activity whether it be physical or mental. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation effects up to 20% of children and this has a negative effect on a myriad of functions both physically and mentally, part of the problem is that in the United States it is common practice to stop napping all together after a certain age (usually four-five) and from that point on naps are a thing of the past.
Even though this is the norm, it does not necessarily mean it is healthy, kids and adults benefit from adequate sleep and because children have the double duty of learning new information while at the same time dealing with a body that is constantly growing and developing they are in even more needd of adequate sleep. Pediatricians and children health advocates have been seeking schools to start later, however if naps are introduced, this could easily replace the need for this and provide a huge benefit to over all school performance.
Reading Can Give Your Child A Million Word Head Start
A recent study has shown that children whose parents read them at least five books a day enter kindergarten having heard approximately 1.4 MILLION more words than kids who were never read to. This is a huge advantage that can easily cary on later in life since it puts your little one WAY ahead of the curve. Being able to read and comprehend is essential in all walks of life and the sooner your child learns to do so the better off they will be.
This not only effects learning, but also gives them the power to better communicate with their peers which leads to higher self esteem and a lower chance of experiencing mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Furthermore, this is not to be confused with the “conversational” vocabulary which are words picked up by kids when listening to adults conversation, these words aren’t nearly as impactful as when they are absorbed through the act of reading. Moreover, when reading to your kids you are in control over what words they are picking up, which is much more desirable, you never know what habits your kids are picking up through the conversations that they over hear, and the best way to make sure they are developing positive communication habits is to actively work with your kids.
The Next Step:
Now that you have learned the many ways you can help your kids with their mental health, lets look at some of the top 10 activities that healthy families do on a regular basis.
When it comes to working out, it’s important to have a routine. It keeps you disciplined and motivated. It helps you track your progress over time. And it means you can fit your workout into your schedule.
But once in a while, a major life event occurs and blows you completely off-course.
If your workout routine once ran like clockwork, even a short break can make you feel like you’ll never return to your healthy habits.
But don’t get discouraged. With a little patience, you can revive your dormant fitness regime.
Working Out After Having a New Baby
It’s a boy/girl! Congratulations — time to hit the gym.
With your new bundle of joy keeping you up all night, working out might be the last thing you want to do.
But maintaining regular exercise won’t add to your exhaustion. In fact, it’ll give you more energy
Tips For New Moms
For moms, working out post-childbirth has two main benefits. It helps your body recover. And it may even prevent postnatal depression.
Childbirth places huge stress on your body. Your back and core will be weaker, and your muscles and ligaments will be supple. This leaves you at higher risk of injury.
Start with some gentle, low impact exercises as soon as you feel up to it. These can include:
After about six weeks you consider some higher-impact exercises, such as:
Look for opportunities to work out. Pushing the stroller, playing in the park — anywhere can be a gym.
Tips For New Dads
As a new dad, your body hasn’t changed. However, your life has been turned upside-down.
And in fact, you might be surprised to hear that even dads gain baby bulk. Research suggests that new dads gain on average around 17 lbs in their first year — just as much as new moms!
Your new workout routine needs to fit into your new schedule. Long sessions at the gym might be rare at first. Think brief early-morning workouts and high intensity, short bursts of training.
You don’t need to escape your new baby to work out. Buy an adapted stroller or carrier, and take your baby with you for a jog or a brisk walk.
And there are even some strength and conditioning exercises you can do with your new baby.
Parent and Baby Classes
Parent and baby exercise classes have grown popular recently. They’re suitable for either mom or dad.
Check out what’s available near you. You might find:
These classes are a chance to enjoy your new baby’s company, have fun, and meet some fellow new parents.
Working Out After a Major Injury or Illness
There are many different reactions to severe injury or life-changing illness.
You may feel fragile, deflated, and unmotivated. You might dread going back to work. Perhaps you feel sick when you think about working out.
Or, you might feel like you have a new lease on life. Maybe you can’t wait to get back into the real world. You’re frustrated by your limitations.
There are dangers inherent to both responses. You can harm your recovery — whether you throw in the towel and refuse to exercise, or you jump out of bed before your body is ready.
Listen to your body. Listen to your doctor! Just don’t kid yourself that bed rest is the only answer.
Treatment and recovery from some illnesses can be just as brutal as the illness itself. Steroids and radiotherapy can leave you feeling nauseous, weak, and lethargic.
Exercise specialist Carol Michaels provides eight tips to help patients get back to working out after cancer treatment. These principles apply to recovery from practically any devastating illness.
There’s no catch-all approach to recovering from a serious injury. A broken spine and a broken shoulder are both serious. But they require very different approaches to recovery.
The most important thing you can do is to work closely with a doctor or rehabilitation expert.
Let’s take a look at how to recover from a common type of injury — a fracture or break in the foot.
One thing to remember throughout — recovery from injury is not a case of “no pain, no gain.”
Steps To Recovery:
Regaining Range of Motion
The area around your broken or fractured bone will become stiff — particularly if it has been in a cast. Within a few weeks (and with a health professional’s approval), you should be able to begin ankle range-of-motion exercises to bring some life back to this area.
Lie down, lift your leg, and write your name with your big toe five times. Then repeatedly rotate your foot clockwise and counterclockwise.
Keep the range within a pain-free zone. You shouldn’t be feeling any pain when you do this.
Once you’ve regained some range of motion in your foot, you can begin gently stretching.
Again, don’t hurt yourself here. Don’t perform any standing stretches until you have medical clearance to put weight on your foot.
Depending on the severity of your injury, your stretches should be passive at first.
You can perform seated stretches using a skipping rope or towel. Loop it around your foot, and pull very gently until you feel resistance. Repeat the exercise in sets or five or ten.
Depending on the nature of the break or fracture, you might be able to begin strengthening exercises within four weeks.
Strengthening exercises should be very light at first. For example, you can use a skipping rope or towel again. Loop it around your foot as you did when stretching. But instead of gently pulling your foot, you can gently push against the rope with your foot.
You should only return to working out with your physician or physiotherapist’s approval.
Take it easy at first — don’t expect yourself to be back to where you were before your injury straight away.
The older you get, the longer this type of injury will take to heal. Sometimes, you can return to exercise as early as six weeks after a fracture. But it may take a lot longer than this to get back out onto the field.
Working Out After Other Major Life Events
We’ve looked at two common life events with significant physical and mental effects. But any major life events can knock good habits off track.
Let’s look at a few further examples.
Death of a Loved One
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross described five stages of grief in her famous book On Death and Dying:
Kubler-Ross suggests that humans need to pass through all these stages before they can recover from bereavement.
Exercise can be a great way to help you get back to normal life after losing a loved one. But be conscious of where you’re at in the grieving process.
Be intentional in your exercise — do it because it feels good, not out of anger or avoidance.
Major Career Change
A career change can be a reason for celebration. But it can also be a stressful and disorienting experience.
Everyone will tell you to simply make time for exercise. But when your schedule changes, your workout routine needs to adapt too.
Where you once exercised for an hour in the evening, you might now only have twenty minutes in the morning. An intense sprint might replace a long jog.
The important this is that you keep at it. Eventually your new routine will feel more familiar than your old one did.
Beginning of College/University
Going to college can be a totally transformational experience.
Sure, you can join the gym. But what better way to make new friends than by joining a sports team?
Even if you don’t play at competitively, you’re sure to find a group or society you can join. Get involved in non-team sports such as weightlifting, jogging, or cycling.
The Next Step:
Now that you have learned how to keep your regimen on track even when life throws the occasional (and inevitable) curve ball, take a look at how technology can help you stay on course towards optimal health!
More than half of all Americans (51 percent) report using a fitness tracker on a daily basis.
From apps that help them monitor the number of calories they’re consuming to watches that tell them how many calories they’re burning, there are tons of different tracking tools and devices that people can use to stay focused and make sure they’re continuing to work toward their unique health and fitness goals.
Do you currently use some kind of fitness tracker? Do you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it? If so, be sure to keep these 10 tips in mind.
1. Personalize Your Profile
Regardless of the specific type of fitness tracker you’re using, it likely comes with an option for you to set up a profile when you register the device or download the app.
When you’re setting up your profile, be sure to personalize it with your specific information. It might be tempting to just skip through the set-up steps or work with pre-set information so you can start tracking sooner. It’s worth it to take the time and do this part correctly, though.
The more personalized your profile is, the more accurate and relevant the information that you get from your fitness tracker is likely to be. After all, if you’re a six-foot tall man, you don’t want to be following nutrition advice for a five-foot-six woman, do you?
2. Wear Wearables on Your Non-Dominant Hand
If your fitness tracker of choice is a wearable like a FitBit or Apple Watch, be sure to wear it on your non-dominant hand.
If you wear these devices on your dominant hand, you might end up thinking that you’re taking more steps and burning more calories than you actually are. This is because you likely use your dominant hand more often during the day.
Wearing it on your non-dominant hand will give you a more accurate reading at the end of the day and will help you avoid overeating because you think you burned more calories than you really did.
Wearing these devices on your non-dominant hand also prevents them from getting in your way as you’re going about your day. If you want to wear your device on a regular basis, it’s best if you can set it and forget it.
3. Link All Your Apps
These days, lots of wearable fitness trackers have their own app that accompanies them. Be sure to utilize this app so you can enjoy all the functions your tracker has to offer. For example, the app might make it easier for you to set specific goals for yourself or personalize your device to meet your specific needs.
Don’t forget that, in most cases, you can also link all of your fitness tracking apps together.
For example, you might be able to link your step counting app with your calorie tracking app. By doing this, you can get a more accurate representation of how many calories you’ve burned throughout the day. This, in turn, can help you make sure you’re not eating too few calories to support your activity levels.
4. Be Consistent
There’s a lot of talk out there about the “best” fitness tracker that you should be using. The truth, though, is that the best fitness tracker is the one that you’re able to use on a consistent basis.
Maybe you’re the type who doesn’t like to wear a watch or always forgets to put it on. If this is the case for you, a wearable fitness tracker probably isn’t your best option. You might be better off sticking to an app on your phone.
No matter what kind of tracker you’re using, the key is to be consistent with it. If you’re logging your food in an app, log your food every day. If you’re wearing a wearable device, wear it every day.
You’re not going to see great results if you only use these devices in a sporadic way. Remember, the purpose of them is to help you learn patterns and establish new and healthy habits.
5. Be Honest
It’s important to be honest with yourself when you’re using a fitness tracker. This is especially true when it comes to calorie counting apps.
It’s easy to fudge the numbers and convince yourself that you’re eating less than you are. Or, you might legitimately think you’re eating a small amount when you really aren’t.
Make sure you’re being honest with your tracking so that you can get more accurate results.
For many people, this means weighing and measuring their food for a period of time. After a while, you’ll likely get to a point where you can estimate with relative accuracy how much you’re eating.
At first, though, using a food scale and/or measuring cups and spoons can help you to get a clearer picture of your serving sizes and how many calories your meals truly contain.
6. Keep it Charged/Updated
For those who use wearable fitness trackers, make sure you keep them charged. Your step counter or smart watch doesn’t do you any good if the battery is always dead. Try to make a habit of charging your device every night or every few days depending on its battery life.
As for fitness tracking apps, be sure to update them on a regular basis. This will help you enjoy the latest features and avoid bugs that could give you inaccurate results. This can also help you avoid losing data, which can happen sometimes if you go too long without making necessary updates.
7. Use it to Connect with Friends and Family
Many fitness tracking apps and devices allow you to connect with other users. The social aspect of fitness trackers can be very motivating for a lot of people, especially when they use them to compete with friends or family members.
Use the social function of your calorie tracking app to help you stay accountable or to get ideas for new meals from other people in your life who are also using the app.
You can also set up step competitions between yourself and your friends, family members, or co-workers using your wearable device or step-counting app.
There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to help you keep your eyes on the prize and maintain your motivation even when you’re struggling to stay on track with your goals.
8. Set Realistic Goals
One of the many great things about fitness trackers is that they make it easy for you to set specific health and fitness goals for yourself.
For example, instead of setting a vague goal like, “I want to exercise more,” you can use your fitness tracker to get specific and say something like, “I want to walk 8,000 steps every day.”
When you’re setting goals using your fitness tracker, make sure those goals are realistic.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by promising that you’re going to walk 8,000 steps per day when you know that you currently only average three or four thousand. Instead, aim for 5,000 steps per day to start out. Then, over time, you can work on slowly increasing to a higher number.
9. Reward Yourself
Once you reach your goals, make sure you find a way to reward yourself.
Fitness tracking apps and devices will often give you a little shout-out when you reach a milestone or accomplish a new goal. There’s nothing wrong with doing a little extra celebrating, though.
There are lots of ways that you can celebrate your accomplishments. Plan a night out with your friends, treat yourself to a new piece of workout clothing, or enjoy a relaxing evening in.
If possible, try not to make your reward something that will sabotage your goals. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s not ideal to reward yourself with junk food, is it?
10. Don’t Live and Die By It
Finally, remember that, at the end of the day, fitness trackers are just tools.
They can be very helpful when you’re trying to reach a specific fitness goal or when you first start taking your health more seriously. They’re not the end-all-be-all, though.
Your worth should not be tied to the number of steps you take in a day or the number of calories you consume. Keep in mind, too, that these numbers are just estimates. They might be very accurate estimates, but they’re estimates nonetheless.
There’s nothing wrong with using fitness trackers on a regular basis as a reminder to get active and eat healthy food. Don’t let yourself become too reliant on them, though.
Try These Fitness Tracking Tips Today
Whether your fitness tracker of choice is an app or a wearable device, these fitness tracking tips will help you get the most out of it and stay on track as you work toward reaching your health goals.
It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to the fitness tracking world or if you’ve been tracking for a long time. Either way, you can benefit from keep these tips in mind. Start implementing them today!
The Next Step:
Now that you know how to properly utilize your fitness tracker to achieve optimal results, check out some of the best tech shoes that will take your cardio workouts to the next level!
The Dangers Of Hidden Calories And How To Protect Yourself
Hey guys and gals! Are you on a journey to losing weight and frustrated by slow results? While there is a plethora of reasons why you could be experiencing a set back we are going to talk about one of the most devious parts that may not even be on your radar, and that is hidden calories.
Hidden calories exist in every kind of food, and unfortunately because the laws concerning labels are lax to say the least, you truly never know what is going into the packaged food you eat, they are only ESTIMATES. If you can, the best bet is to cook all food yourself OR use a food prep service company that holds itself accountable for what they put in their food (after all they have an image to upkeep). Since this request isn't practical for most people, below is some of the most common food items that can completely throw your diet out of wack without you even knowing it.
Awe butter, it is delicious and usually a necessary ingredient for almost every recipe however, overusing it can lead to big trouble. On average a teaspoon of butter contains about 34 calories and ALL of that is from fat and there is no way just a teaspoon is enough (trust me I know). Now add in the fact that butter is present in almost every meal that you eat that can easily add up to another 100 calories in your diet that you don't need.
One GREAT exception to butter is roasted garlic, it has the same texture, its DELICIOUS, and only contains approximately 4 calories per clove. If your not a big fan of Garlic, then vegetable oil is another viable option that can be used which is much healthier. If you are looking for more creative substitutes, we also suggest apple sauce or ghee both of which can be used as a suitable substitute for butter. For ideas on how to use these substitutes, check out this article.
Hidden sugars are a danger that can be found in every type of food, they are simply empty calories and although delicious they do not have any place in your diet. Syrups, Dressings, Salad Toppings, Smoothies (even the “healthy ones”), Yogurt, Pasta Sauces; these are all sources of sugars that can potentially push you over the edge in terms of caloric intake. One option to avoid these items is to look for sugar free options but this is not always possible for some food.
You can also look for sugar alternatives, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. We personally love using cinnamon on items such as oatmeal and yogurt. Vanilla is also a great addition to certain foods in lieu of sugar. There are other sugar substitutes such as Stevia and Xylitol, that can be used however, a word of caution, not all of these substitutes are made equal nor are they all necessarily healthy. The different substitutes available are beyond the scope of this article but if you are interested, we suggest you take a look at this article.
Another danger is sugary drinks ESPECIALLY THE SELF PROCLAIMED HEALTHY ONES, Jamba Juice for example, advertises that their drinks are healthy, we beg to differ given the fact that they have in inordinate amount of sugar. Check out this article concerning a class action lawsuit concerning this.
Nuts & “Healthy Snacks”
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, but can be extremely calorie dense. Now we are not going to down on them to bad, they are a GREAT snack but the key is to ensure portion control is used. Nuts are a main ingredient in a lot of health bars and salads and while it seems sparse all of them can quickly add up putting your caloric intake off balance. If you are looking for the best nuts that you can eat and still lose weight, your best bet is going to be walnuts, cashews and almonds but you still must remember portion control, gorging on any nut will quickly lead to trouble for your diet.
Healthy snacks are also a potential danger as they can be chock full of hidden fat and sugars and as mentioned prior, their main ingredient is usually nuts which, while healthy, can quickly become a problem in regards to the amount of calories in each serving. When choosing a healthy snack it is imperative to check the label, although they are estimates it is easy to see if they are truly healthy or simply advertising the "good parts" of their product while hoping you won't read the rest of the nutrition facts (it happens more often than you think).
Salads are a great source of healthy calories, the lettuce itself is not the issue, it is the additions that are put into the salad that can cause trouble, the salad dressings and toppings can quickly turn a healthy food into a caloric (and fat) dense meal. If you are making your own salads, fruits are going to be your best friend. Most fruit (with the exception of grapes) are pack full of flavor and have little impact in terms of calories. Remember, nuts are OK as long as they are used sparingly, and NOT CANDIED.
Dressings is wear you have to be very careful, a low fat vinaigrette or just straight lemon is going to be your best option however if neither of those appeal to you than make sure you are diligent in measuring exactly how much dressing you are putting on the salad, failure to do so can quickly turn your salad into a fattening nightmare.
Hummus is delicious and comes in a variety of flavors, it is usually made with chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice. You will likely find it at many parties as it has become a very popular dip for chips and pita bread. Hummus, while tasty is also extremely caloric dense, one tbsp of hummus equals out to about 25 calories. With enough dips, that could easily equal out an extra 100-200 calories to your diet without you even knowing.
Protect your self from this potential hazard by being mindful of how much calories are in each serving and try to limit your intake to about 2-3 tbsp's.
Chia seeds are the latest super food craze and they are usually found in yogurt and healthy smoothies. They have a lot of omega-3 and fiber which helps with digestion and brain health. Unfortunately, they also have a lot of calories with one oz equaling a whopping 138 calories.
With all the health benefits that come with these seeds it is of little use to you if they throw your diet off track by increasing your caloric intake by over 100 calories! You can easily have your seeds and eat them too by limiting the intake, next time you enjoy a healthy shake ask them to add half the amount of Chia seeds then usual and you should be fine.
This by no means an exhaustive list of the foods that have hidden calories in them, there was a great paper written on this subject, we highly suggest you read it (click here), we have included an excerpt from this paper that lists some of the top foods with hidden calories and their substitutes.
Meal Prep Companies: The Not So New Innovation
Meal prep companies in the past five years have exploded on to the scene, with Blue Apron starting the trend customers have become enamored with the idea of healthy, gourmet, pre portioned meals being delivered to your door.
Whether you are a super busy single parent, entrepreneur or trying to meet a physical health goal through adhering to a certain diet, you will more than likely find a solution within the meal prep delivery service industry.
Because I am certain by this point you at least have a general idea of how a meal prep company operates I won't bore you with the minutia. This guide is designed to help you quickly assess the benefits these 40 meal prep companies have to offer and categorizes them in a way that lets you quickly jump to the category that fits your goal.
So now without further delay, here is your ultimate guide to choosing the best meal prep delivery service, enjoy!
For all my fans of the Paleo diet plan, these meal prep delivery services are designed for your specific dietary needs in mind. Going Paleo can be a rough journey since your trying to limit your diet to the foods that were consumed when we were cavemen, however the rewards for your self discipline are worth it!
Founded in 2014 Green Chef is a meal prep delivery company dedicated to providing its customers with the highest quality ingredients and caters to numerous types of diets such as Paleo, Keto, Mediterranean and Vegan.
As of 2018 Green Chef has teamed up with Hello Fresh which is another large contender in the meal prep delivery service industry. This partnership should produce some exciting results that are sure to benefit both customer bases in the future.
Green Chef Prices:
$11.99 per meal / $78.93 per box plus shipping
$12.99 per meal / $84.93 per box us shipping
Lean and Clean
$10.99 per meal / $94.91 per box
Green Chef Benefits:
Green Chef is at the top of the hierarchy in terms of taste and the amount of dietary plans they cater to, the only counter weight to this luxury is that you are going to be paying a higher price than you would for similar services such as Blue Apron. If you do not mind the price difference, Green Chef is definitely a great option for those looking to reap the rewards that come with adhering to the healthy diet plan of their choice while not having to deal with the hassle that comes with planning the meals.
Sun Basket is a meal prep delivery company that was founded in April of 2014 by by chef Justine Kelly and tech entrepreneur Adam Zbar. Justine Kelly was a contender in Iron Chef and all meals from Sun Basket are personally created by her then reviewed by their in-house dietitians before being put on the menu.
Most meals are between 500-800 calories which is ideal for those looking to lose weight through maintaining a caloric deficit. All their ingredients are Organic and they cater to those who are adhering to the Paleo, Vegan and Gluten Free diet plans.
Sun Basket Prices:
Sun Basket pricing is very simple, there are two plans the family and classic. The Family Plan is $10.99 per meal and the Classic is $11.99.
If you choose the classic plan, you have the option of picking three recipes for either two or four people.
2 people = $71.94 per week
4 people = $143.88 per week
For the family plan, the meal portions are for four people and you can choose two,three or four recipes per week.
2 recipes = $87.92 per week
3 recipes = $131.88 per week
4 recipes = $175.84 per week
Sun Basket Benefits:
Sun Basket currently delivers to 34 states, and is certified organic and non-gmo by the Federal Drug Administration. Those who have tried and reviewed Sun Basket give it high marks for flavor and have also been pleased with their generous portion sizes which allows for left overs the next day. Sun Basket is a great choice for those looking to not just supplement dinner and lunch but breakfast as well as they are one of the few companies that provide this option. Definitely a great choice for those who are looking for help with adhering to the Paleo diet plan.
Founded in 2015, Trifecta Nutrition is dedicated to providing organic healthy meals at a affordable price. Trifecta is a popular choice among athletes and is currently the official meal prep delivery service for the UFC.
Trifecta Nutrition delvers to all 50 states, besides the Paleo dietary plan they also cater to those who adhere to the vegan,vegetarian and Keto dietary plan. You have the option of choosing one of their 5 meal plans or ordering items ala carte.
Trifecta Nutrition differs because they are a no-cooking required meal delivery service. All meals come pre-cooked and frozen which means all you have to do is pop it in the microwave or oven and enjoy!
Trifecta Nutrition Prices:
There are structured plans for all of their options with the exception of their "Classic" plan. This is because with this plan you are building your own menu and the price varies by the plate you choose.
5 days / 2 meals per day: $147.90
5 days / 3 meals per day: $214.35
5 days / 4 meals per day: $275.80
7 days / 1 meal per day: $108.43
7 days / 2 meals per day: $207.06
7 days / 3 meals per day: $300.09
7 days / 4 meals per day: $386.12
5 days / 2 meals per day: $112.90
5 days / 3 meals per day: $161.85
5 days / 4 meals per day: $205.80
7 days / 2 meals per day: $159.46
7 days / 3 meals per day: $226.59
7 days / 4 meals per day: $288.12
5 days / 2 meals per day: $149.90
5 days / 3 meals per day: $217.35
5 days / 4 meals per day: $275.80
7 days / 1 meal per day: $108.43
7 days / 2 meals per day: $209.86
7 days / 3 meals per day: $304.29
7 days / 4 meals per day: $386.12
5 days / 2 meals per day: $113.90
5 days / 3 meals per day: $161.85
5 days / 4 meals per day: $205.80
7 days / 2 meals per day: $159.46
7 days / 3 meals per day: $226.59
7 days / 4 meals per day: $288.12
Trifecta Nutrition Benefits:
Trifecta Nutrition is one of the top choices you can turn to if your looking for a no cook option that doesn't skimp on quality or taste. Because Trifecta Nutrition is dedicated to serving only the freshest ingredients, this means their menu changes based on what items are available that season, this could be a bummer for those who like to eat the same thing consistently. If that doesn't bother you, than I encourage you to give Trifecta Nutrition a try!
Paleo Power Meals was founded in 2013 by Michael DePaolis who while working as a chef, began adhering to the Paleo Diet Plan and performing cross fit. Long story short, he loved the results so much that he created a company dedicated to helping others achieve the same.
Paleo Power Meals boasts a menu that carries at least 50 different items all of which are Paleo friendly and delicious. If you are looking for an absolute solution to your Paleo dietary needs than they got you covered, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks!
If you are looking to load up on a favorite type of food, Paleo Power Meals offers the option of ordering in bulk and the prices are far from unreasonable.
Paleo Power Meals Prices:
The price for Paleo Power Meals tends to vary as each dish is priced differently, below is a list of price ranges based on what we found on the website:
Bulk 1lb: $10.95 – $14.95
Breakfast: $5.95 – $9.95
Lunch: $8.95 – $12.95
Dinner: $10.95 – $14.95
Sides/Non-Paleo Sides: $5.95 – $6.95
Also note that if you live out side of the Massachusetts area you will more than likely need to pay a shipping fee. You have the option of how you would like the product shipped predicated on the amount you order, choosing ground shipping is the cheapest option.
Paleo Power Meals Benefits:
Paleo Power Meals is one of the go to meal delivery services for those looking to delve head first into the Paleo lifestyle. Their website is super user friendly making it easy to quikcly order what you want and move on with your day. Because the Paleo diet is so restrictive, their menu does not tend to change much. This is great for those who like solid consistency but may not be ideal for those who LOVE eating different foods every week. If you are convinced the Paleo diet is for you and want to skip the hassle of planning out meals than this service may be for you.
Freshly was founded in 2012 and is a US meal prep company that is based in NY. They specialize in gourmet meals that require 0% cooking. Their meals are not frozen, but are delivered fresh and prepared, all that is required is that you heat them up.
Freshly offers multiple different plans depending on how many people you have to feed and how many meals you desire. They currently have a menu that has over 30 items on it and people have been raving about how just a few minutes in the microwave creates a meal that tastes like they spent hours slaving in the kitchen.
Because Freshly's meals come pre-prepared it is not possible to adjust the meals should have have an intolerance or allergen. However they do have a very easy key that tells you which menu items are vegetarian and Paleo friendly. Freshly also delivers to all states in the continental US (No Alaska or Hawaii).
Freshly delivers once a week, and the price varies on how many meals you order per week, it appears all their meal plans include FREE SHIPPING:
4 meals = $12.50 per meal / $49.99 per week
6 meals = $9.99 per meal / $59.99 per week
9 meals = $9.99 per meal / $89.99 per week
12 meals = $8.99 per meal / $107.99 per week
Freshly is a prime option for those who don't want frozen meals, but also are not to keen on doing the heavy work that comes with preparing a gourmet meal. Their menu changes every week so you will rarely find your self bored with the selection of dishes to choose from. Freshly has relieved high marks from those who have reviewed it and say that the meals, despite coming from the microwave, taste as if they just spent hours slaving away in the kitchen, Some people (fresh or frozen) can't stand the idea of cooking a meal in the microwave, if that is the case you have the option of heating them up in the oven you will just need to remove the meal from its cardboard container. If you are looking for a meal prep delivery service that offers options for your Paleo needs, than I suggest you give Freshly a try!
Eatology Kitchen Studios began in Bryan, Texas and was founded by Lauarah Lawson. They specialize in deliviring delicious frozen meals that are 100% Paleo friendly. Eatology Kitchen Studios stands ouit because of the shere volume of meals they offer their customers. You have the optiopn of choosing between two sizes medium (2b) and large (3b), each meal is a "block" and each block provides an optimally balanced ratio of 30% protein/ 40% carbs and 30% fats.
Eatology Kitchen Studio Prices:
The pricing for Eatology Kitchen Studios varies depending on how many meals you order and whether you choose to have it automated or not.
You have the option of choosing between "stacks" of 10,15, and 21 meals, shipping costs are $25 per week for 1-15 meals and $50 per week for 21+ meal plans. Regardless of what you order all medium (2b) meals are $10.50 and large (3b) meals are $12.75.
If you choose to automate your orders, than Eatology Kitchen Studios will give you a discount, which can save you up to 20%!
Eatology Kitchen Studio Benefits:
Eatology Kitchen Studio is an amazing choice for the Paleo dieter looking to skip the cooking and dive into delicious tasting meals that are as unique as they are healthy. Although they have one of the highest shipping costs, Eatology Kitchen Studio more than makes up for this in their variety as well as the generous discounts they provide when you choose to automate the order.
Those who have tried Eatology are raving about the taste, also if you are a macro counter like myself, they are an absolute godsend since their meals are all equally portioned.
If you currently on the Paleo diet plan or are looking to start, Eatology Kitchen Studio is a GREAT starting point. Check them out today!
Choosing to go Vegan can be one of the most difficult dietary choices one can make but it doesn't have to be! Now you can reap the rewards of a purely plant based diet without being bogged down by the minutia of ensuring everything you eat is free of any animal by-products.
Green Chef: Click Here To Jump To Description
Founded in 2014, Purple Carrot is the first and only meal prep company that is completely dedicated to those who choose to adhere to the vegan diet. Purple Carrot has attracted some powerful partners and investors such as Whole Foods and Del Monte making it a strong contender in the meal prep delivery service market.
Purple Carrots options are very simple, they have three meal plans; Chef's choice, Quick & Easy and High Protein. We took a look at their website just recently and it appears they only offer one option in terms of the amount of meals and that is three dinners serving two people each week.
Purple Carrot Prices:
Purple Carrot delivers to all 50 states and shipping is always FREE. Each plate is $12, since they currently only offer three dinners for two people each week the current price is $72 per week.
Purple Carrot Benefits:
Purple Carrot stands out from the rest of the companies that are competing in this industry as one of the only meal prep delivery services that offers an 100% plan sourced meal kit. Those who have tried Purple Carrot have suggested you at least have a basic to intermediate understanding of cooking as some of the dishes can be complex.
The unique niche they have carved in the market, coupled with the fact they deliver to the entire country free of cost makes Purple Carrot an enticing option for those who wish to go Vegan.
Founded in 2014, Daily Harvest is unique because they do not actually deliver meals. Instead, Daily Harvest provides Smoothies, Bowls, Lattes and Soups all of which are 100% vegan.
As you can probably guess there is no cooking involved with Daily Harvest, for the smoothies you simply add the desired liquid (milk,water etc) and blend. As for the other items, the most manual labor you will find your self doing is assembling (in the case of the bowls) or warming up (if your trying one of the soups) which makes Daily Harvest a great option for the Vegan on the go.
Daily Harvest Prices:
Daily Harvest appears to have recently changed their pricing plan, it appears they no longer offer the six smoothies a week and have opted for 9. Here is the most recent pricing for their items:
$69.75 for 6 cups a week ($7.75 per cup)
$89.88 for 12 cups a week ($7.49 per cup)
$167.76 for 24 cups a week ($6.99 per cup)
$167.76 for 24 cups a month ($6.99 per cup)
Daily Harvest Benefits:
Daily Harvest is great for those who are looking for a unique twist on what the normal meal prep delivery service provides. If you are a vegan and you find it difficult to balance your dietary choice with your busy lifestyle, Daily Harvest may be the answer to your prayers. In looking at the response from customers we saw a couple that stated they were unhappy with the amount of ice in some of the smoothies, but other than that people are raving about the quality and taste. Check out Daily Harvest today and find out how easy being vegan can be.
Trifecta Nutrition: Click Here To Jump To Description
Veestro was started by a brother and sister team in 2012 who decided to take on the mission of changing the face of frozen food by focusing on quality vegetable ingredients. Veestro is unique in that it is 100% organic, non-gmo meal and gluten free, so it is a great fit for those who are looking to enjoy great tasting meals without having to check the labels and wonder.
10 meals per week / $81.90
20 meals per week / $216.00
30 meals per week / $297.00
10 meals per week / $81.90
20 meals per week / $216.00
30 meals per week / $297.00
5 day meal plan / $175.50
7 day meal plan / $226.80
Veestro is a great choice for those who are looking to stay organic and gluten-free in addition to going vegan. Trying to ensure you are only eating foods that fit into even one of those categories is extremely difficult making trying to hit all three appear impossible. With Veestro you can make the impossible possible and even take out the hassle of cooking!
The Ketogenic diet is centered around low-carbs and high fats with the goal of maintaining the state of "ketosis" which is where your body burns stored fat rather than carbs. The Ketogenic diet has been known to assist with weight loss, managing diabetes and greatly reduce the risk of seizures.
When on the Ketogenic diet you are going to be breaking down your nutrients to 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% carbohydrates. By doing so, your body should begin burning fat giving you more energy and a greater sense of well-being.
Muscle Meals 2 Go was founded in 2014 and is a meal prep delivery company that is focused on high protein meals that make it easy to meet your macros. They offer four meal plans; classic, lean, gain and keto all specially designed to help you meet your dietary goals.
Muscle Meals 2 Go provides you two portion sizes, which are 3 and 6 ounces. This allows you to focus on either losing weight through maintaining a caloric deficit or building muscle through the consumption of adequate amounts of protein.
They ship to the entire continental US (No Alaska or Hawaii) and because all meals come frozen and prepared no need to fuss over cooking.
Muscle Meals 2 Go Prices:
Classic Plan Lean: Lean
12 meals / $99.00 per week
18 meals / $144.00 per week
24 meals / $180.00 per week
Classic Plan Lean: Gain
12 meals / $123.00 per week
18 meals / $180.00 per week
24 meals / $234.00 per week
Keto 6 Day Plan
12 meals / $123.00 per week
18 meals / $183.00 per week
24 meals / $230.00 per week
Muscle Meals 2 Go Benefits:
Muscle Meals 2 Go is a highly regarded meal prep delivery service for those who are trying to lose weight or gain muscle through following the Ketogenic diet plan. While a lot of companies who have chosen to provide frozen meals have fallen short on taste in some aspect, Muscle Meals 2 Go has high marks for the fact that these meals taste like they were just cooked. If you are looking for help following your macros and maintaining Ketosis than Muscle Meals 2 Go may be your answer.
Factor 75 was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Batavia, Illinois, they are completely organic and deliver to everywhere in the continental United States (No Alaska or Hawaii). One thing that makes Factor 75 stand out above the rest of their competition is their commitment to quality. All of their food items are Grass-fed, Pasture-raised, Preservative-Free, Antibiotic & Hormone-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-free and Non-GMO.
Another option they offer that is not common among their competition is breakfast. This allows you to take the hassle out of EVERY meal and just focus on maintaining your schedule.
Factor 75 Prices:
4 Meals $60.00 per week / $15.00 per meal
6 Meals $77.00 per week / $12.83 per meal
8 Meals $99.00 per week / $12.37 per meal
12 Meals $138.00 per week / $11.50 per meal
18 Meals $198.00 per week / $11.00 per meal
Factor 75 Benefits:
As far as meal prep delivery services go, you will be hard pressed to find another company that matches Factor 75's commitment to quality at the price they offer. They provide a great option for those looking to maintain Ketosis without the need of worrying about meticulously counting macros and cooking. If you are looking for a no-cook solution to your Keto dietary needs and also want the added benefit of food items that are Grass-fed, Pasture-raised, Preservative-Free, Antibiotic & Hormone-Free, Soy-Free, Gluten-free and Non-GMO than Factor 75 may be what you are looking for.
Whole 30 & AIP Protocol
The Paleo Auto Immune Protocol and Whole 30 diets are some of the most restrictive diets out there today.
The Whole 30 diet was developed by Melissa Hartwig and its aim is to radically change the way you interact with food by challenging you to restrict certain foods from your diet for 30 days and than slowly reintroduce them to see how your body reacts. If you are curious to learn more check out this article.
The AIP diet is a ultra restrictive paleo diet that is designed to eliminate foods that may trigger inflammation in the gut and focus on consuming nutrient rich foods.
We have currently found only TWO meal prep delivery companies that caters to both these dietary plans, so if you are looking for help with either one of these the companies below is where to go.
Truefare was founded in 2012 and is led by Chef Richard Bradford and Chef de cuisine Amy Crites. It was originally focused on catering to those following the Ketogenic diet but has carved out a unique niche by becoming the only meal prep delivery service that provides meals that fit into the Whole 30 and AIP diet plans.
Truefare provides options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also allow you to pick meals al a carte should you wish to try one before you commit to a meal plan.
Whole 30 & AIP Protocol
10 meals: $139.95 per week / $13.95 per meal
15 meals: $204.95 per week / $13.66 per meal
20 meals: $269.95 per week / $13.50 per meal
10 meals: $57.95 per week / $5.80 per meal
15 meals: $85.95 per week / $5.73 per meal
20 meals: $109.95 per week / $5.50 per meal
Keto / Low Carb
10 meals: $149.95 per week / $14.99 per meal
15 meals:$ 219.95 per week / $14.66 per meal
20 meals: $289.95 per week / $14.50 per meal
10 meals: $59.98 per week / $5.99 per meal
As stated in the beginning, Truefare is the only option we have found for those choosing to follow the AIP or Whole 30 diets. Like a lot of companies their meals are frozen so their is no need to spend any time cooking. Truefare boasts a large menu with over 50 options and is reasonably priced considering they have a monopoly
Caveman Chefs was founded in 2014 by Chef Owners David Kenney, Edward Coulombe, and Partner & Operations Manager Zach Kopp who after knowing each other for over 25 years decided to combine their knowledge and skill to create this burgeoning meal prep company.
Caveman Chefs is unique in that not only do they cater to the AIP AND Whole 30 diets but they also offer options for those who suffer from IBS and are following the FODmap diet. So far are research has shown that they are the only company that provides this option.
All ingredients from this company are 100% organic and if you are lucky enough to live in their home state of Colorado then you may be able to just pick up your meals foregoing the deliver charge. They offer multiple sizes of meals and are one of the few companies that will deliver enough food to feed a family of up to FIVE.
Cavemen Chefs Prices:
Cavemen pricing is pretty simple and it doesn't vary no matter how much food you order, also the charge for each shipment is
Here is the break down:
Regular Size: $13.75 Per Meal
Large Size: $16.25 Per Meal
Extra Large: $18.75 Per Meal
Family of 2: $28.00 Per Meal
Family of 3: $42.00 Per Meal
Family of 4: $56.00 Per Meal
Family of 5: $70.00 Per Meal
Caveman Chefs Benefits:
Caveman Chefs is the go to option if you are suffering from IBS and are looking to follow a diet plan that may provide you some relief while at the same time removing the stress that comes with trying to find meals that fit in with your diet. Although the delivery fee is among some of the highest we have seen so far, this just means that you should order in bulk in order to get the best "bang" for your buck.
While any of the companies listed under Vegan will certainly fit the vegetarian lifestyle, there may be some who wish to enjoy dishes that are outside of the restrictive realm of the Vegan diet. These companies focus and vegetarian options that are delicious and easy to make!
Fresh N Lean was founded in 2010 and is a meal prep delivery company that focuses on delivering meals that are mainly plant based that include only the highest quality ingredients. They deliver to all fifty states and there is no delivery fee as long as you subscribe to one of their meal plans. The meal plans that they offer are Performance Protein, Performance Paleo, Standard Plant Based and Low Carb Plant Based.
These meals come pre-prepped and use only locally-grown, organic, whole-food, nutrient-dense ingredients. The plant based meal options they provide are also suitable for Vegans as well.
Fresh N Lean Prices:
Standard Plant Based
3 meals per week / 5 days: $126.00 per week ($8.40 per meal)
2 meals per week / 5 days: $105.80 per week ($10.58 per meal)
1 meal per week / 5 days: $66.55 per week ($13.31 per meal)
3 meals per week / 7 days: $176.40 per week ($8.40 per meal)
2 meals per week / 7 days: $148.12 per week ($10.58 per meal)
1 meal per week / 7 days: $93.17 per week ($13.31 per meal)
Low-Carb Plant Based
3 meals per week / 5 days: $150.00 per week ($10.00 per meal)
2 meals per week / 5 days: $125.90 per week ($12.59 per meal)
1 meal per week / 5 days: $71.95 per week ($14.39 per meal)
3 meals per week / 7 days: $210.00 per week ($10.00 per meal)
2 meals per week / 7 days: $176.26 per week ($12.59 per meal)
1 meal per week / 7 days: $100.73 per week ($14.39 per meal)
3 meals per week / 5 days: $165.45 per week ($11.03 per meal)
2 meals per week / 5 days: $128.30 per week ($12.83 per meal)
1 meal per week / 5 days: $77.65 per week ($15.53 per meal)
3 meals per week / 7 days: $231.63 per week ($11.03 per meal)
2 meals per week / 7 days: $179.62 per week ($12.83 per meal)
1 meal per week / 7 days: $108.71 per week ($15.53 per meal)
3 meals per week / 5 days: $171.30 per week ($11.42 per meal)
2 meals per week / 5 days: $132.80 per week ($13.28 per meal)
1 meal per week / 5 days: $74.90 per week ($15.98 per meal)
3 meals per week / 7 days: $239.82 per week ($11.42 per meal)
2 meals per week / 7 days: $185.92 per week ($13.28 per meal)
1 meal per week / 7 days: $111.86 per week ($15.98 per meal)
Fresh N Lean Benefits:
Fresh N Lean is a great option if you are looking for meals made with high quality ingredients that require no cooking to enjoy. Although there have been some mixed reviews on taste, the majority of those who have tried this service are pleased with the results. The fact that they deliver to all 50 states free of charge coupled with their already reasonable prices make them a solid choice for the vegetarian looking to enjoy the convenience that comes with using a meal prep delivery service. If you are interested in trying Fresh N Lean than click below!
Home Chef began in 2013 and is currently one of the most popular meal prep delivery companies out there per the online community. While they are not completely focused on the vegetarian diet plan they do have an ENORMOUS selection of dishes that those who are following the vegetarian diet can enjoy.
Home Chef delivers perfectly portioned ingredients along with colorful and detailed cooking instructions. Most of their meals only require the basic cooking tools and are ready in 30-45 minutes. Per their website, Home Chef is available in 98% of the United States and offer free shipping on all orders that are above $40 and do NOT charge sales tax.
Home Chef Prices:
Home Chef pricing is pretty straight forward as all their meals are $9.95. You have the ability to chose the amount of meals you get per week, the maximum being 36. If your like me your not a big fan of doing math so here is a break down of what you are looking to pay:
Four Meals: $39.80 Per Week
Six Meals: $59.70 Per Week
Eight Meals: $79.60 Per Week
Ten Meals: $99.95 Per Week
Twelve Meals: $119.40 Per Week
Sixteen Meals: $159.20 Per Week
Twenty Meals: $199.00 Per Week
Twenty Four Meals: $238.80 Per Week
Thirty Meals: $298.50 Per Week
Thirty Six Meals: $358.20 Per Week
Home Chef Benefits:
Home Chef is an awesome choice if you are looking to bolster you cooking skills by preparing delicious meals with the help of colorful and easy to follow instructions. With their stellar customer service, simple pricing plan and commitment to providing top notch dishes to their customers, it is no wonder Home Chef has rocketed to the top in terms of popularity. Try Home Chef today and discover some amazing Vegetarian dishes that are sure to blow you away!
Hello Fresh was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. Similar to Blue Apron, Hello Fresh focuses on quality ingredients and easy to follow cooking plans. They also have helpful video tutorials on their website.
Hello Fresh is another company that allows you to flex your cooking muscle while providing just enough guidance to ensure the experience is enjoyable every time. They offer three plans, Veggie, Classic and Family. The max amount of dishes you can receive per week under any plan is 12, and the prices vary depending on what plan you choose.
Hello Fresh Prices:
Six Recipes: $53.94 per week + $6.99
Eight Recipes: $71.92 per week + $6.99
Twelve Recipes: $83.88 per week + $6.99
Four Recipes: $39.96 per week +$7.99
Six Recipes: $53.91 per week + $7.99
Eight Recipes: $71.92 per week + $7.99
Twelve Recipes: $89.88 per week + $7.99
Eight Recipes: $62.96 per week +$6.99
Twelve Recipes: $89.88 per week + $6.99
Hello Fresh Benefits:
Hello Fresh, similar to Home Chef, is a great choice for those who enjoy the experience of preparing their own meals but with the hassle of choosing ingredients and figuring out what to cook removed. Hello Fresh dishes have some of the lowest fat content which is ideal for those trying to adhere to a low-fat diet. Their high-quality ingredients and top notch customer service make them a great choice for any Vegetarian looking to try out a meal prep delivery company.
Blue Apron was founded in 2012 and is widely known as the company that started the "Meal Kit Delivery Craze" and many companies have sprung up as a result. Rather than focusing on a particular diet such as Keto or Paleo, Blue Apron is all about high end restaurant style meals that you can make from the comfort of your home. They do have a Vegetarian option which is why they have made it under this category.
Blue Apron Prices:
2 Recipes per week $47.95 + $7.99 Shipping ($9.99 per serving / Serves 4 people)
3 Recipes per week $59.94 Free Shipping ($9.99 per serving / Serves 6 people)
Signature Plan For 4
2 Recipes per week $71.92 + Free Shipping ($8.99 per serving / Serves 8 people)
3 Recipes per week $95.88 Free Shipping ($7.99 per serving / Serves 12 people)
4 Recipes per week $119.84 Free Shipping ($7.49 per serving / Serves 16 people)
Freestyle (Weight Watchers)
2 Recipes per week $47.95 + $7.99 Shipping ($9.99 per serving / Serves 4 people)
3 Recipes per week $59.94 + Free Shipping ($9.99 per serving / Serves 12 people)
2 Recipes per week $47.95 + $7.99 Shipping ($9.99 per serving / Serves 8 people)
3 Recipes per week $59.94 Free Shipping ($7.99 per serving / Serves 12 people)
Blue Apron Benefits:
Blue Apron is a great option if you are looking to elevate your cooking level and impress your friends with delicious meals that you usually would only be able to get at a restaurant. Blue Apron does not certify any of its items are GMO or Organic, so if that is a big issue for you than you may wish to choose another option. The only other gripe that has been seen in some reviews is a difficulty in canceling the service, other than that Blue Apron is an excellent choice if you are a Vegetarian that enjoys eating out often.
Gobble was founded in 2010 and is now partnered with Walmart. They deliver ready to cook meals with all the tedious work completed, all that should typically be required to make a meal is one pan. While Gobble does not cater to any specific diet plan, they do have a "From the Earth" menu which is suitable for Vegetarians.
Gobble is a popular choice for families as the meals are quick to make and satisfying for everyone at the table. They also have solutions for all meal times (breakfast/lunch/dinner) and will even provide snacks as well. With Gobble there is no limit to what you can order so no matter how large of an army you have to feed Gobble has got you covered.
Gobble is one of the most straightforward in terms of their prices, while most meal prep delivery services required us to go to their website and break down their pricing plan, one of Gobble's employees, Paul, was kind enough to break it down for us in their FAQ.
We have pasted his explanation below:
Our minimum order is 2 dinner kits (4 meals) in order to schedule a delivery. If you do order only four meals for that week, our price per meal is $13.99 ($55.96 total, plus $6.99 for shipping).
The sky's the limit! If 6 or 12 meals are not enough, you are always welcome to add more meals to your weekly delivery (be sure to check out our sides, soups, and desserts as well). Our customers have even been known to host full dinner parties by simply ordering more dinner kits for the week...don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone that you haven’t been stressing out in the kitchen all day! ;)
New customers will receive free shipping on their first box!
Gobble is an excellent choice if you are a Vegetarian with a large family and are looking for the home cooked meal taste without the need of having to put in the manual labor. All ingredients that Gobble uses are local sourced and they give you complete control over when you receive your items to ensure it fits in with your schedule. Due to their recent partnership with Walmart we expect them to expand into the market explosively allowing them to become a major competitor in the meal prep delivery industry. There have been some concerns about quality and customer service per the consumer advocate, but the majority of comments are positive when it comes to reviews. If you are looking for a Vegetarian option and you have an army to feed, than Gobble may be the answer your looking for.
Those who follow the Mediterranean diet try to eat foods that those living in Greece and Italy would have consumed back before 1960. Studies have shown that this diet can help with Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and premature death. To date we have only found one meal prep delivery service that service that caters to the Mediterranean diet, check it out below!
Terra's Kitchen was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Washington DC. One of the unique qualities of Terra's Kitchen is there strong stance against waste going so far as to -to reuse the containers they send with the food in it up to 100 times. Terra's Kitchen's main focus is on the Mediterranean cuisine but they also have options for those looking to adhere to the Paleo, Vegetarian and Gluten-free diet plans.
Terra's Kitchen Prices:
Terra's Kitchen gives you the option of choosing meals that cook for 2-4 people and each meal has a different price depending on the ingredients and intricacy of the dish. Shipping is free on orders above $100 and $4.95 otherwise. The minimum amount you can order per week is $72
Terra's Kitchen Benefits:
Terra's Kitchen is a great (and perhaps the only) option for those who love the Mediterranean diet and are looking to lose weight. All their dishes contain high end ingredients that are responsibly sourced, and this company takes extra steps to ensure they are taking care of the environment. One of the few potential downsides of this service is the fact you have to return the receptacle you receive the ingredients in at the same place you received it, they are also not very clear on where they deliver. A special touch Terra's Kitchen adds to their menu cards is history and facts about the food you are enjoying, it is a small touch but great if you appreciate that type of attention to detail. If you are looking for a way to enjoy the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and cut out the struggle of deciding what to cook than Terra's Kitchen is for you!
The prominence of those who attribute negative health to an intolerance to wheat (also known as Celiac Disease) has exploded and the food industry has responded by providing a large selection of items that have no gluten in them. Naturally, the meal prep delivery service industry has also followed food and quite a few of them cater to those who wish to follow a gluten-free diet.
Plated began in 2012 and is now owned by Albertsons, they are another company that. similar to Blue Apron, focuses on restaurant style meals using high quality ingredients. Plated delivers to all of the United States with the exception of some areas in Texas and Hawaii/Alaska.
They do have meals that cater to Vegetarians, but in browsing through their meal plans we did not see enough options to add it to the list. We did however, see an abundance of options for Gluten-Free meals all which looked absolutely delicious.
Plated also offers desserts as well which is rare for a meal prep delivery company,
With Freshly you can choose how many servings you would like per night and how many nights per week you would like to cook. They even provide a helpful guide that lets you know how many people each plan will likely feed (EG: 2 servings per night = Great for: leftover lovers, 1 adult + 2 kids, 2 adults). The price for meals is very simple, $11.95 per meal for the 2 servings per night plan and $9.95 for the 3-4 servings per night plan:
Two Servings Per Night
2 nights per week: $47.80/week
3 nights per week: $71.70/week
4 nights per week: $95.60/week
Three Servings Per Night
2 nights per week: $59.70/week
3 nights per week: $89.55/week
4 nights per week: $119.40/week
Four Servings Per Night
2 servings per night /2 nights per week: $79.60/week
3 servings per night / 3 nights per week: $119.40/week
4 servings per night / 4 nights per week: $159.20/week
Plated is an excellent option for those who are looking to expand their palate. Their menu is consistently updated and all the items they introduce are unique and delicious.
One down side that has been reported by those using the service is that cooking the meals require more cooking tools and dishes than most other services equaling more dishes to do in the end. They also are on the high end in the price spectrum compared to many meal prep delivery services.
These two vices however, at least in my opinion, are more than counterbalanced by the quality of the meals along with their excellent customer service. If you are looking to expand your pallet with some amazing dishes and want to remain gluten-free, Plated is definitely a viable option for you.
Bistro MD was founded in 2016 by Caroline J. Cederquest, M.D. who is a board-certified bariatric physician. All meal plans provided by Bistro MD are based on your personal goals as well as the measurements you provide them. Bistro MD stands out among its competition mainly because of the community it has developed. Bistro MD doesn't just encourage healthier eating habits, but helps people completely revolutionize their eating habits through a virtual community that includes professionals who are there to give you advise when needed.
Bistro MD is another company that offers frozen heat and eat meals that require 0% cooking. Their meals cover breakfast, lunch and dinner and they have a consistently rotating menu to ensure the options they provide do not grow tiresome.
Although they do not offer options for diets such as Paleo or Keto you do have the option of customizing your meals based on your taste preference. They also provide Vegetarian and Gluten-free options.
Bistro MD Prices:
Bistro MD prices are easy to remember as there are only two choices and shipping and handling is $25 dollars flat. You have the option of choosing seven days of breakfast and lunch meals for the cost of $134.96 a week or $112.46 for seven days of lunch and dinners.
Bistro MD Benefits:
Bistro MD is one of the top meal prep service companies that takes the health of its customers extremely seriously. Although they do not have options for those following diets such as Paleo and Keto, they do offer Diabetic and Heart Healthy Program for both men and women which is excellent. There have been mixed views about the taste of the meals but the main gripe appears to be from those who do not like the taste from the microwave, an easy solution to this could be to cook the meal in the oven. For those of you who are looking to shed some serious weight and want to be apart of a community of individuals with the same goals serving as a support system than Bistro MD has got what you need.
Sun Basket: See Description Above
Veestro: See Description Above
Eatology: See Description Above
Those who are interested in building muscle through the art of bodybuilding are also typically focused on counting macros. This is a classic and time tested way to maintain the amount of nutrients that your body needs in order to effectuate the change that you desire. While you can technically follow this diet using any of the meal prep companies above that provide you with the nutrient information, some companies have designed their meals so that matching your macros is easier.
Meal Pro was founded in 2016 by Andy Sartori in his endeavor to help those with a busy schedule have a way to eat healthy efficiently. They have options for lunch and dinner, while a lot of reviews are saying they offer breakfast as well we recently checked their site and it appears they no longer provide this option.
When it comes to meal plans, Mealpro keeps it simple; you have the option of choosing between 14 and 16 meals per box per week and shipping is free with the latter option. Prices for individual dishes range from $5.99-$9.99 and Mealpro gives you the option of customizing dishes by adding protein or doubling up on the veggies.
Mealpro is a great option for the bodybuilder on the go. They offer delicious meals that are easily prepared and the ability to manipulate your meals makes meeting your macro goals a cinch. Mealpro is one of the few meal prep delivery companies that delivers to both Canada and the United States. The only potential downside we found is the lack of variety compared to some of the other services, however the meals do rotate and Mealpro is so confident in their product that they offer a money back guarantee. If you are looking to build muscle or lose weight and are using the macro counting method to do so, Mealpro has definitely got some options that are worth checking out.
Power plate meals began in 2016 and is the creation of two professional bodybuilders by the name of Seth and Haylee Houkom. They are based in in West Fargo, North Dakota and have multiple locations that are also restaurants!
For those of you who are environmentally conscious you will be happy to know that the containers that Power Plate Meals utilizes for their dishes are 100% recyclable and they encourage you do so on their website.
Power plate meals can be heated up and eaten right away, there is no need to dirty a dish if you don't want to (with the exception of the utensils of course). They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner and you have control over how many meals you order with the minimum being 8 meals if your are ordering for online delivery.
Power Plate Prices:
Power Plate Meals are individually priced, the price range on average per meal is between $7.49-$8.99. If you happen to live in North Dakota you may have the option of picking up your meals at one of their locations rather than having to pay the delivery fee. If you happen to live in one of the other states that they deliver to, as long as you order 15 meals or more your shipping is free.
Power Plate Benefits:
Power Plate Meals is one of the newest competitors in the meal prep delivery industry and they appear to be working on expanding their influence. Those who have tried their meals rave about the taste and are especially impressed with their unique selection of breakfast menu items. If you are a macro counter looking to lose weight or gain muscle (or both) than Power Plate meals may have the answer to what you are looking for.