Foods to Pack in Your Gym Bag

The foods that you eat before and after a workout are extremely important, as different foods will be able to fuel you in different ways. If you have been confused about the best snacks to pack in your gym bag, here are a few ideas.

Yoghurt

Pre-Workout: Greek Yoghurt with Berries
Greek yoghurt with berries is a great pre-workout snack, as the yoghurt contains a combination of whey and casein, meaning that you are getting a great balance of slow and fast-digesting proteins, which provide your muscles with the amino acids that they need during a workout. The yoghurt will take between four and six hours to digest, while the berries, which are a great source of carbohydrates, will take around two, giving your body long-lasting fuel.

Post-Workout: Tart Cherry Smoothie with Fresh Ginger and Whey Protein
Smoothies are always refreshing after a gruelling workout, and a tart cherry smoothie, along with some fresh ginger, will go a long way in helping to reduce inflammation, preventing any soreness. When it comes to the whey protein, around 30 grams of this is the optimum amount, as this will help to stimulate synthesis and growth within your muscles.

OROGOLD Foods to Pack in Your Gym Bag woman on grass eating banana.jpg

Pre-Workout: Bananas
Bananas are an easy snack to carry around, and are absolutely packed with potassium and complex carbohydrates. Both of these can significantly help with nerve and muscle function, so even if you do not enjoy eating bananas on their own, try adding them to a smoothie or some Greek yoghurt.

Post-Workout: An Orange and a Hardboiled Egg
Eggs are often considered to be the perfect food, and hardboiled eggs are extremely portable, and make for a great post-workout snack. The protein in the eggs will help to repair your muscles, but try to choose eggs that are organic and free-range, as studies have shown that these are usually much higher in the fatty acids that help to prevent any inflammatory damage that a vigorous workout may have caused. Oranges contain high levels of potassium and water, which will help to rehydrate you and replenish energy.

Pre-Workout: Oats with Almond Butter
If you are heading for a high-energy workout, then carbs will be your best friend, which is where the oatmeal comes in. However, in order to keep yourself feeling satisfied for the next few hours, cook the oats with some almond butter, as this is also a great source of magnesium, which is necessary for muscle contraction and relaxation.

Vegetable omelette

Post-Workout: Vegetable Omelette
Eggs are extremely high in leucine, which helps to trigger the synthesis of protein in muscles, which is why they are such a great post-workout food. By packing your omelette with lots of different vegetables, you will be providing your body with a wide range of vitamins and minerals to help it to recover, from red bell peppers for vitamin C to pineapples for bromelain.

When it comes to pre and post-workout snacks, remember that timing is everything. The ideal time to eat is around thirty minutes to three hours before a workout, and within twenty minutes after working out, as this is necessary to keep your muscles healthy.

Tips for Increased Happiness and Productivity

Happy woman

Everybody faces different challenges within their lives, and, when this happens, it is sometimes all-too-easy to fall into a bit of a rut. Rather than letting that happen to you, here are a few tips that will no doubt help you to increase your happiness and boost your productivity at the same time.

Reflect on Your Life
It is always important to take some time out of your busy schedule every once in a while to reflect back on your life. From the good points to the bad, start keeping a journal of your reflections, as this will help you to see where all of your decisions lead you to, and can really help you to make beneficial changes in the future.

Woman in gym attire eating salad

Improve Your Diet
The food that you put into your body has a direct impact on your state of mind, as well as your energy levels, meaning that a few tweaks to your diet could really help to boost your happiness and productivity. While junk food may be easy and convenient, this will zap you of energy and dull your mood, so try to stick to a diet that mainly consists of fresh and whole foods.

Regular Exercise
If you tend to avoid exercise as much as possible, then this will be slightly harder to implement at the beginning, but you will also notice huge changes quite quickly. Exercise releases endorphins within the body, and these trigger the happiness impulse in the brain. In addition to this, regular exercise will leave you with so much more energy during the day, which can then be used to make your day more productive.

Woman relaxing by reading

Learn to Relax
Many people think that they simply do not have time in their busy day to relax, but human beings were not designed to be continuously expelling energy. Instead, the body works best when it experiences periods of recovery and restoration, which is exactly why you need to be dedicating sufficient time each day to relaxing and unwinding. This will have a significant impact on your happiness and productivity, so make sure that you schedule in regular breaks throughout the day, and spend this time actually relaxing, rather than thinking about the next task you need to do.

Wake Up Earlier
If you really enjoy lying in, the idea that waking up earlier each morning can lead to an increase of happiness, as well as productivity, may sound hard to believe, but do give this a try. Waking up just an hour or so earlier in the mornings will make it seem as though you have so much more time in your day, and will give you the chance to take part in more activities that make you happy, whether this may be meditation, reading, or walking your dog.

Woman cuddling dog

With the increasing stressors that people are now facing in their day to day lives, seeking out ways to boost happiness and productivity are important. From learning how to relax to reflecting on your life, following these tips will soon result in significant changes when it comes to having a positive outlook on life.

Creative Ways to Replace the Carbs in Your Diet

Quinoa salad

It is now common knowledge that refined carbohydrates do not deserve a place on your plate, but without having an alternative to turn to, people are still consuming huge amounts of unhealthy carbs. From spiralized vegetable noodles to vegetable crusts on pizzas, here is some inspiration for the next time you are looking for a creative way to replace the carbohydrates in your diet.

Zero-Calorie Pasta
Zero-calorie pasta is made from starch that has been extracted from a yam-like vegetable, which is then mixed with water and limewater before being shredded into pasta shapes. Rather than being a trendy invention, these types of noodles are actually authentically traditional to Japan, and not only are they easy to prepare, but they are also satisfyingly tasty.

Zucchini noodles

Spiralized Vegetable Noodles 
The spiralizing trend has been around for a while now, and is a great way to replace noodles or pasta with vegetables. Spiralizers are easy to use, and only cost a few dollars, or you could even just begin by using a potato peeler, and there are so many vegetables that you can experiment with. For example, rather than eating a standard bowl of pasta that usually amounts to just under 600 calories, spiralized courgettes provide just 30 calories per portion, along with so many more vitamins and minerals.

Vegetable Rice
Rice is a staple food that accompanies just about every meal for so many cultures around the world, but this is another refined carbohydrate that often brings very little benefit to the body. For a healthier alternative, try turning one of your favorite vegetables into rice, using that instead of the traditional version. Whether you use cauliflowers or turnips, all you need for this is a food processor with a chopping or shredding blade, or you can even use a box grater to create the rice by hand. The rice that you will end up with will be extremely versatile, and can be used in so many different types of dishes, from simply roasted with garlic and lemon to flavorful and spicy in a Mexican-inspired dish.

Vegetable pizza crust

Vegetable Pizza Crusts 
Pizza is one of the hardest foods for many people to give up when they are trying to cut back on carbs, and while there may be many gluten-free varieties available, these do not usually even come close to comparing to a standard pizza crust. However, there are many ways in which you can create a crust from vegetables, all of which will hold their shape and structure while providing you with an extra boost of nutrients. From cauliflowers to sweet potatoes to red pepper and flax, if pizza is one of your favorite foods, these are some great ways to make your meals healthier.

A nutritious diet is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, but it can definitely be tricky finding alternatives for all of those staple foods that usually accompany meals. From zucchini pasta to cauliflower pizza crusts, give these dishes a try the next time you find yourself reaching for a bag of pasta or rice.

What You Can Teach Your Children About Healthy Living

children eating healthy food
Helping your children to develop healthy living habits while they are still young will really set them up for success in the long run. From educating them about food to making exercise fun, these are a few ways in which you can easily teach your children about how to live a healthy, and happy, life.

Food Education
Many schools do not include modules on healthy food and nutrition in their syllabus, meaning that it is up to you as the parent to ensure that your child learns as much as possible on this subject. There are so many ways to do this, and it is best to use a variety of methods to ensure that they do not become bored. Taking your child grocery shopping with you, and then helping them to prepare a healthy meal by themselves, will teach them about making healthy food choices when shopping, while learning how to read food labels. For those aspiring young chefs out there, help them to create their very own cookbook that features healthy recipes, and introduce them to some television personalities that promote healthy eating, so that they have positive role models to look up to.

mom and kid exercising
Make Exercise Fun
The recommended amount of physical activity for children is one hour a day, but with children these days spending more and more time indoors, this can be quite difficult for some parents to implement. The key here is ensuring that physical activity is always fun for your kids, and perhaps starting off with a smaller amount before gradually building this up as their fitness levels improve. There are many activities out there that children can get involved in, from dancing to cycling to team sports. For younger children, fun games such as tag or hide and seek will keep them on the move, while older children may enjoy the challenge of a fitness app that tracks their steps.

Positive influence
Be a Positive Influence
Your children will look up to you as a role model, so you need to make sure that you are providing them with a positive influence to follow. This means that, not only should your children be making healthy food choices and staying active, but so should the rest of the family. By working on a healthy lifestyle together, you will increase your chances of success, as you will have so much extra support, and it will also help with family bonding. When it comes to picking out rewards for your children, do not veer towards the standard, unhealthy, choices, such as extra television time, and opt instead for a reward that is in line with your healthy living practices, such as a family outing to the local national park.

As a parent, there are many ways in which you can encourage your children to be making healthy choices from a young age. By doing so, you will be helping to set healthy habits that they will be able to carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Enjoy These Energy Boosting Foods

Energy Boosting Foods
A lack of energy can usually be directly linked with nutrition, and while you may be tempted to turn to caffeine or sugar to perk you up during the day, you would be much better off opting for a more nutritious alternative instead. From the best nuts to snack on to the most nutritious meats to feast on, give some of these energy boosting foods a try the next time your body is feeling low.

Cashews, Almonds, Hazelnuts and Brazil Nuts
Most nuts make for a great healthy snack, but there are certain nuts that offer a much wider range of essential nutrients. Almonds boast large amounts of magnesium and a range of the B vitamins, which helps the body to convert food to energy much quicker, as do cashews, hazelnuts and brazil nuts. Nuts are also packed with protein, and brazil nuts, in particular, are a great source of selenium, which works as a natural mood booster.

Lean Meats
While plant-based foods are usually best for boosting energy, there can be times when you really crave some meat. In this case, lean meats, such as turkey, lean beef and skinless chicken, are the preferable choice, as they contain tyrosine. This amino acid helps to boost the levels of two specific brain chemicals, norepinephrine and dopamine, both of which will soon have you feeling much more focused and alert.

Bananas
Bananas make for a great snack, as not only are they already wrapped and protected, making them easy to carry around, but they are also filled with a plethora of nutrients. From the B vitamins to potassium to fiber, bananas are able to provide the body with long-term energy, as well as boost muscle function. For some added vitality, pair a banana with some yogurt as a tasty snack, as this combination of fiber and protein will be especially energizing.

Water
While not technically a food, studies have shown that dehydration is often the primary cause of fatigue, meaning that staying hydrated will keep your energy levels optimized. To treat your body to some extra antioxidants, and to satisfy any sweet drink cravings you may have, infuse a few slices of fruit into your water. Lemon is great for this, but other fruits also work well, so experiment with your favorite flavors.

Eggs
Egg yolks are rich in the B vitamins, which convert food into energy, and they also contain plenty of vitamin D which supports bone health. The protein that eggs contain makes them especially useful when you feel as though your muscles need a pick-me-up, such as after an intense workout session. If you are trying to cut back on the calories, use one whole egg along with two egg whites, as this combination is a fantastic lean form of energy.

With the hectic lives that many lead these days, feeling low on energy is all too common. While quick fixes may seem like the best option, do your body a favor and try making a meal with some of these healthy but energizing foods instead.

Adding Fermented Foods To Your Diet

Fermented foods have been making headlines lately, and this is largely due to new research that proves just how beneficial these foods are. Fermented foods are foods that have undergone the lactofermentation process, meaning that natural bacteria has been feeding on the sugars and starch in that food, creating lactic acid. This lactic acid not only works to preserve that specific food, but also brings about beneficial enzymes and probiotics.

Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods
Your digestive system is what primarily benefits from eating fermented foods, as they will come into contact with beneficial bacteria that will help to balance out the bacteria that already exists in your digestive system. Fermented foods are able to aid with digestion, allow your body to absorb more nutrients from the food, boost the immune system, and have even been shown to help reverse certain diseases.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut
When it comes to fermented foods, sauerkraut is one of the healthiest out there and has been popular in Central Europe for hundreds of years. Essentially consisting of fermented cabbage, sauerkraut is packed with dietary fiber, as well as high levels of vitamins A, B, C and K, and plenty of manganese, magnesium, calcium and iron.

Kimchi

Kimchi
While kimchi also contains fermented cabbage, it consists of a number of other fermented vegetables too, such as carrots and onions, and is often seasoned quite heavily. Considered to be the national dish of Korea, kimchi has been popular for centuries in Asia, meaning that, today, there are hundreds of different varieties available to buy, and even more recipes available to recreate yourself at home.

Kefir

Kefir
Kefir has a similar taste to yogurt, but is of a much thinner consistency, making it almost like a drinkable yogurt. It is made by adding kefir cultures to cow or goat’s milk, which multiply and ferment over a 24 hour period, turning the milk into kefir. The drink is full of calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B12 and vitamin B2, as well as several organic acids and peptides that each bring about their own health benefits.

Kombucha

Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented, slightly effervescent, black or green tea, and was first recorded as being consumed by the ancient Chinese more than 2000 years ago. In addition to aiding with digestion, kombucha is also extremely effective at detoxifying the body, bringing about mental clarity and mood stability.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt
While kefir may be considered to be much more powerful than yogurt, yogurt itself contains a lot of probiotics. Even better, if you are able to purchase yogurt that is labeled as containing live and active cultures, this is a guarantee that there will be at least 100 million probiotic cultures in each and every gram of that yogurt.

While it may seem as though fermented foods are a new fad that will not withstand the test of time, this is far from the case, as fermented foods have been consumed by various cultures around the world for centuries now. From the Asian origins of kimchi to the European roots of sauerkraut, these foods bring benefits to the body that nothing else can.

Tips for Living a Wellness Lifestyle

For those who want to make long-lasting improvements to their health, it is usually necessary to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. From a healthy body to a balanced mind, these tips will help you to live more of a wellness lifestyle.

Exciting but Healthy Ingredients
The foods that you put into your body have a huge impact on your overall health, but the idea of healthy eating can often put many people off from a wellness diet. However, rather than focussing on the foods that you should not be eating, try to seek out new and exciting foods that are nutrient dense, because there is a whole world of fascinating, and extremely tasty, ingredients out there.

Woman seasoning fish with herbs

Herbs Instead of Salt
While a portion of herbs may be small in size, they are absolutely packed with antioxidants, are able to reduce blood pressure, and can often be a great replacement for a big shake of salt. For a sweet and spicy flavor, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon are great, while Italian seasonings work well for a light lunch. For stronger flavors in the evening, opt for basil, thyme, pepper, or garam masala.

Reduce Stress
Many may think that stress is just a mental or emotion condition, but it actually physically affects the body in many detrimental ways. In order to avoid this, you need to take steps to severely reduce the amount of stress that you experience, whether by meditating every day or by identifying the factors that cause you stress, and working out how best to eliminate them.

Woman exercising

Daily Exercise
The healthiest people out there are the ones that have some sort of exercise each and every day. Exercise does not need to be boring, and there are so many different forms of it that just about anyone can find a way to exercise that excites them. From learning a new water sport to signing up for a gardening club, staying active, and outdoors as much as possible, will help you to achieve a wellness lifestyle. As long as it gets your heart pumping and your joints moving, it will not be long before you begin to see the benefits that your regular exercise is bringing to your body.

Overhaul Your Morning Routine
Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, and can have the effect of either building you up to be as productive and efficient as possible, or going in the opposite direction and wrapping your brain in a thick, dense fog. There are many ways to improve your morning routine, from taking five minutes for some peace and quiet to lower stress levels, to sipping on a glass of warm lemon water to give your body a hydrating boost to organizing your home in a way that makes life more convenient for you in the mornings.

It is so important to take care of your body, but many people make lifestyle choices that do just the opposite. By implementing each of these tips, you will soon be well on your way to living a wellness lifestyle, and enjoying the many benefits that come with this.

What’s in That Gourmet Food Box?

Gourmet food

Food delivery subscription services make it extremely easy to eat healthy, delicious meals throughout the month, and there are now so many companies out there that offer this service, meaning that you are sure to be able to find one that you truly love. From fresh, pre-portioned ingredients with chef-created recipe cards to inspiring food and music pairings, these gourmet food boxes are able to instantly transform your home dining experience.

HelloFresh
For those of you that dread that weekly trip to the grocery store, HelloFresh is the food subscription service for you. After signing up, HelloFresh will provide you with some recipes to browse and choose from. Once you have picked the ones that you like, you will receive a box containing fresh, pre-portioned ingredients, along with recipe cards, giving you everything that you need to create that gourmet meal.

Try the World
Try the World is quite unique in the way that they collaborate with notable chefs from all over the world. Each month, they pick a chef from a different country to curate a gourmet food box, picking items that are only of the highest quality, as well as truly authentic to their country. The products chosen are sourced from small family-owned business who use artisan methods of production, creating products that cannot usually be found elsewhere. Each box also comes with a culture guide to that country, as well as recipe ideas on different ways that you can use your gourmet products.

Bon Appetit Box
This subscription food box is aimed at those who appreciate French food, delivering the finest gourmet foods from France straight to your doorstep. Bon Appetit offers a few different types of boxes, such as the Paris Aperitif Box, the Café Gourmand Box and the French Breakfast Box, each focusing on a certain range of products.

Peach Dish
Peach Dish focuses on fresh Southern produce, putting their own unique twist on classic Southern dishes. The chosen ingredients are always locally grown and seasonal, with the menu featuring dishes such as Herbed Hanger Steak with Green Beans, Red Onions and Grits, and a Corn, Summer Squash and Basil Risotto. All of the ingredients are pre-measured to work with the recipe cards provided, and the dishes on the menu change weekly as well as seasonally, ensuring that you always enjoy a fantastic variety of fresh and healthy meals.

Turntable Kitchen
For those who enjoy good music with their food, Turntable Kitchen will be a new favorite. The company’s Pairing Box is a specially curated food and music experience, with each box containing an exclusive 7” vinyl, a digital mixtape, a few premium, unique ingredients, seasonal recipes and tasting notes. Themes that past boxes have been based around include A Bistro Dinner, A Farmhouse Feast, A Scandinavian Gathering, and Pizza Party, with many customers choosing to expand on these inspired ideas and create entire dinner parties around each theme.

Gourmet food subscription boxes allow you to try new and exciting foods and recipes in a way that is ever so convenient. Whether you want to sample a few unusual ingredients each month, or would prefer full meals with ingredients that have been perfectly prepared and portioned out, each of these food boxes could add a new element to a standard home-cooked meal.

Healthy On the Go Breakfast

Morning can often be quite stressful and rushed, and the importance of a healthy breakfast is usually swept to the side. Fortunately, even if you do not have time to sit down and enjoy a full morning meal, there are plenty of healthy and quick alternatives that are perfect for eating on the go.

Muffin

Breakfast Muffins
Breakfast muffins have always been an extremely popular on the go breakfast option, because not only are they easy to make in advance, but they will store in the fridge for up to three days, or up to a month in the freezer. The fillings that you add can be completely up to you, whether they be your favorite fruits or whatever you happen to have lying around the kitchen. From mashed bananas to blueberries to cinnamon to honey chopped nuts to dried fruit, this on the go breakfast can be packed with so much goodness. If you have made a batch to freeze, simply pop one in the microwave to heat it up and it will quickly be ready to dash out of the door with you.

Fruity yoghurt

Dressed Up Yoghurt
While a pot of yoghurt is a great on the go breakfast, it lacks a certain level of nutrition, and the artificially sweetened flavors that have become popular do not contain many benefits. If you tend to find plain yoghurt too boring, try dressing it up a bit each morning. Rather than grabbing a pot to take with you, open it at home and top it with a sprinkling of fruits, chopped nuts, seeds or anything else that you would like.

Smoothie

Breakfast Smoothies
Breakfast smoothies are the ultimate in portable breakfasts, because not only are they easy to drink with just one hand, but they are packed with all sorts of body-boosting vitamins and minerals. Strawberry and banana is a classic flavor combination, but you can throw just about any fruit into the mix. Adding some nuts will give you some extra protein, and will make your smoothie even creamier, while adding some kale in with your sweet fruits will help to balance out the bitterness of the greens.

A`vocado sandwich

Avocado Toasted Sandwich
Avocado toast is another healthy breakfast classic, but, if this is too difficult to eat on the go, turning it into a sandwich is a great alternative. If you would like an extra dose of protein, quickly fry an egg to add to the sandwich, either wrapping it all up to eat on the go or storing it in a plastic box to eat a bit later. Don’t forget to opt for wholemeal bread rather than white bread, as this will give your body some extra fibre and minerals.

Healthy breakfasts can be easy, with just about any classic breakfast having a healthy, and portable, alternative. From a breakfast smoothie that you can sip while driving to a toasted avocado and egg sandwich that you can enjoy once you get to work, these on the go breakfasts will ensure that your day starts off with all of the nutrition that your body needs.

Planning Healthy Lunches

Vegan sandwich wrap

When it comes to healthy eating, a little advance planning will always make things much easier. This is especially the case when it comes to lunches, as these midday meals are often all-too-easy to rush, meaning that you wind up eating something that is not as healthy as you may have liked. If you want to ensure that your lunches are as healthy as can be, yet still absolutely delicious, have a read through these tips.

Simplify
Rather than counting calories or trying to work out fat percentages of different foods, try to keep things as simple as possible. Opt for natural, whole foods rather than packaged and processed foods, and try to focus on ensuring that you eat as many different colors as possible. The more colorful the fruits and vegetables that you eat, the more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals you will be putting into your body. Be adventurous when choosing vegetables of different colors, for example, opting for Chinese cabbage or mustard greens instead of lettuce.

Make Small But Healthy Changes
The best way to begin tackling unhealthy lunch choices that often become a habit is by starting off with small changes. Swap your fried chicken for a grilled fish, and do the same with your sides, opting for a fresh salad instead of a packet of crisps. This will ensure that the unhealthy trans fats that would have otherwise ended up causing havoc for your body will now be replaced by healthy fats, which will give your body the nutrients that it needs to thrive for the rest of the afternoon. You should also be trying to replace all of the unhealthier carbs that you eat with healthier carbs, such as brown rice or brown pasta instead of the white and processed alternatives. If you do not particularly enjoy the taste or texture of the whole grain versions, you can start by mixing in a small amount of them and building this up slowly, so that your tastebuds get used to it.

Cut Back on Sugar
A sugar rush may seem like a great way to help you through a long afternoon, but this only does the body more harm than good, as this energy spike has been linked to diabetes, depression and more. Again, this is something that can be easily done by replacing processed foods with natural alternatives, as the processed versions often contain a large amount of added sugar. There are many foods that will give your body a healthy boost of sugar, such as sweet vegetables, from sweet potatoes to corn to beets, berries and other fruit.

Planning healthy lunches does not need to be difficult, but it can often be hard to resist the temptation of all of the unhealthier alternatives on offer. To counter this, try to set aside a small amount of time each evening to prepare your lunch for the following day, taking the time to put together a meal that you will really look forward to.