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Developing a Deeper Appreciation for Food

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Food! Let’s say that again, FOOD! What came into your mind? Well, we’re pretty sure it’s that specific dish you’ve been craving for maybe since this morning, yesterday, or maybe even just now as you heard the word, food. Food has a huge power over ourselves as a person. Food is not only a source of nutrition, food has shaped the world in so many ways.

Careers were even built around food and some people even live with the pursuit of finding the best dish around. Food for you may not be that huge of a role, but it is still undeniably very important to you. In fact, food plays a huge factor aside from sustaining our physical aspect. Food even affects us socially.

Going out with friends? Most likely there’s food involved. Sometimes, we tend to forget that there are two portions of food in general. The first one is that food is nutritious and it should be eaten to boost our overall physical condition and appearance. The second one is taste. The appeal to the senses.
Most people tend to look at the latter rather than looking at food as a whole. Food shouldn’t just be about taste, food should also be about nutrition! We all know that eating healthy food is the backbone of success. But then again, why doesn’t it cross our mind when we are hungry? Well, hunger is a direct physical feeling which we notice almost instantly.

It’s easier to notice hunger than notice the fact that we aren’t in physical shape anymore. Hunger can easily be quenched but to improve our body’s physical state? Well, that takes a whole lot of discipline. In fact, we it actually takes more than a year to reprogram your body into a very positive physical state.

Cleansing your body of the toxins we intake from unhealthy food might be a bit bizarre at first since you aren’t used to eating food for the function rather than the taste. Later on you’ll realize that it may be hard, but it’s definitely possible. Our pallet is something we can actually train. In fact, we can condition our pallet into preferring healthier foods rather than foods that don’t really do us any good.

How do we do this? By discipline! Every habit comes from repetition and it is repetition you have to focus on. Consistency may not sound like such a fun word, but consistency is one of the only words that actually get things done. After all, who said eating healthy food isn’t yummy?


Foods to Avoid During Lactation

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You are serious about breastfeeding your baby so you researched about the food that can ensure steady supply of breast milk. However, it is equally important that you are aware of the foods to avoid so you won’t commit the mistake of consuming it. Yes, there are foods that you should avoid. Just think that it is best for the baby and avoiding it for a certain period of time won’t hurt you so bad.

Here are the foods to avoid during lactation:

  • Fish with high mercury content: Your baby ingests mercury through you. It is therefore important that you examine your diet. Mercury can have an effect on the development of the baby. Fishes with high mercury content include shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tile fish. Instead of eating these fishes, you can consider healthy ones like shrimp, tuna, salmon, cod, catfish and tilapia. Do not worry because these fishes are readily available here in Singapore.
  • Alcohol: It is fine to have an occasional glass or beer or wine. There is a study that two units of wine or beer once or twice a week will not harm the baby but if you consume more than that, it will lead to abnormal weight gain, drowsiness and impeding of supply of breast milk. If you want to be sure, do not think about alcohol at least for a few years while the baby is still breastfeeding.
  • Caffeine: It is understandable that you want that jolt because of the late night sleep but consuming caffeine is not the solution. The good news is that it is safe to drink your cup of coffee or tea but limit it to only two to three cups every day. More than three cups can lessen haemoglobin levels as well as iron levels in the breast milk.

 

  • Chocolate: Chocolate holds theobromine – a substance that has similar effect of caffeine. It is okay to consume small quantities but if it is more than 750 mg of theobromine, the baby will surely exhibit fussy and erratic behaviour. This will result to sleeping problems.
  • Sage: if you do not want your lactation to be reduced, do not think about consuming safe. Sage is famous to reduce lactation and it is known to help mothers with weaning. You should be careful consuming high amounts of this herb as it can affect your milk supply.
  • Peanuts: If you are aware that your family has this peanut allergy, you have to avoid it as the baby will ingest it resulting to complications. If you want to eat peanuts, at least wait until you wean.


5 Common Ways You’re Making Veggies Less Healthy

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You may have decided to consume the recommended daily amount of veggies, but that doesn’t mean you’re reaping all its health benefits. If you want to get the most nutrition from your veggies, make sure to prep them the right way and avoid these common cooking mistakes.

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  1. Using Any Kind of Oil

Stir-fry veggies seem like a good choice for dinner, but think again if you’re sautéing them in seed oils like sunflower seed oil and canola oil. These types of oil contain unsaturated fats that oxidize and become toxic when exposed to high heat. A healthier option is to sauté vegetables in coconut oil or in grass-fed butter.

  1. Overcooking

This is the most common mistake people do to their food. Oftentimes, overcooking leaves the vegetables mushy and dull in colour, so they are no longer appetizing to eat. The worst part, too much heat ruins its nutritious components. Your best bet is to steam your veggies for four to five minutes before frying them—or serve them right away after steaming them.

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  1. Heating the Wrong Way

While microwaving is quick, it can easily overcook your vegetables, reducing its nutritional properties. Even worse, microwaving veggies in plastic containers can contaminate them with toxins, like BPA. If you nuking is necessary, do so in glass containers without plastic wraps.

  1. Peeling Veggie Skin

One thing that people do before cooking potatoes (and carrots, cucumbers, parsnips, etc.) is to peel the skin off. What most of us don’t know is that vegetable skin is full of valuable nutrients. And by peeling the skin off, the veggies is also stripped off significant amount of its nutrients. For optimal health benefits, do not peel the skin off.

  1. Tossing Them On the Grill

Grilling is a healthier cooking option because it doesn’t require oil to cook the food. However, the dry and very high temperature of the griller can deplete your veggies nutritional content. If you must grill your veggies, try using cooking baskets. But remember that too much heat is still isn’t good, so be sure to do it with caution.

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Vegetables are naturally nutritious, but the way you prepare them greatly matters in terms of preserving their nutritional content. Cook your produce the right way and ensure you’re sealing all its nutrients for you and your family’s benefit.