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5 Meal Kits That Make Healthy Cooking Easy

We know cooking our own meals from fresh ingredients is best … but there’s a laundry list of excuses we give for not doing it: It takes too much time; we don’t know how to cook; unused food always goes to waste;, we don’t know what to make and then we’ll have to do the dishes.

No wonder meal-kit delivery services are now a $ 1.5 billion industry, according to market research firm Packaged Facts.

Yet with more than 150 companies nationally, picking a box that’s healthy can be harder than deciding if you want sushi or pho tonight. Check out these five companies that strive to make healthy eating convenient, plus why Toby Amidor, RD, author ofThe Greek Yogurt Kitchen,” gives her expert approval for each.

HELLOFRESH

HelloFresh chefs are held to nutritional guidelines set by head dietitian Rebecca Lewis, RD. If necessary, Lewis or the other in-house RD’s make recommendations for how to modify the recipe to reduce calories, fat or sodium or bump up the protein in a dish. Although each recipe card includes the full nutrition facts, “we’re thinking about more than numbers,” says Lewis, who meets with vendors to ensure the produce, meat and other ingredients are high-quality.

Our RD’s take: “HelloFresh offers nutritionally balanced meals,” Amidor says. “I found all but one meal with fewer than 600 calories, and the sodium and saturated fat are kept under control.”

VEESTRO

This meal-kit service is all about making eating more plants easier. “We know that once you start eating more plant-based meals, you feel better and want to keep eating more,” says cofounder Monica Klausner. “But it can be really hard to make that change. I went cold-turkey and I struggled a ton!”

Once recipes make the deliciousness cut, a nutritionist analyzes and tweaks it, if necessary, so the meals are also healthy. In addition to full meal and a la carte options, Veestro offers a weight-loss subscription with meals that add up to about 1,200 calories per day.

Our RD’s take: “Sometimes it can be hard to have enough protein in plant-based recipes, but the creators have done a good job making sure it’s in there,” Amidor says. “The meals usually have a hefty dose of fiber too and are overall nicely balanced with reasonable calories.”

TERRA’S KITCHEN

Every Terra’s Kitchen meal is created jointly by in-house creative culinary director Libbie Summers and chief nutrition officer Lisa Davis, PhD. “Libbie comes up with ideas based on what customers are requesting and current trends, and Lisa evaluates those ideas based on a variety of nutritional factors. They go back and forth until they’ve reached a recipe that is delicious, quick and healthy,” says CEO Mike McDevitt.

The company only offers meat and poultry raised without antibiotics or hormones, as well as sustainably raised fish, and it sources organic and non-GMO ingredients whenever possible. It promises that every recipe is nutrient-dense and contains heart-healthy fats.

Our RD’s take: “The food plan for Terra’s Kitchen weight loss version is calorie-controlled meals, which is a definite plus, and it appears to have a ton of fruits and vegetables,” Amidor says. If you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, she recommends checking the nutrition information before ordering, as some meals can be high in calories.

SUN BASKET

Sun Basket brings the farm-to-table experience to your kitchen. Its meats are organic, non-GMO, humanely raise and hormone-free, its seafood is sustainably sourced and its produce is organic whenever possible. Each meal must pass muster with an in-house dietitian for nutritional balance.

Our RD’s take: “Their meals are well-balanced for protein, carbs and fat, and they even tell you the source of the added sugar in the recipe,” Amidor says. “They also offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare, which is nice to have on your table throughout the week.” Just be mindful that some meals are close to 700 calories.

GREEN BLENDER

“Living a healthy lifestyle starts with building healthy habits and not extreme dieting. GreenBlender sets up our members for long-term success by helping them start their day with a healthy decision,” founder Jenna Tanenbaum says. Each recipe works in a superfood you may not be familiar with, such as bok choy, kumquats or goji berries, to help you become more comfortable trying new foods.

Our RD’s take: “Be mindful that most of the smoothies serve two,” Amidor says.

The post 5 Meal Kits That Make Healthy Cooking Easy appeared first on Under Armour.

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Recover Like a Ballerina: Stretches From Misty Copeland’s New Book

In her new book, “Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You,” professional ballerina and Under Armour athlete Misty Copeland shares her secrets for how to reshape your body through movement and diet to achieve a lean, strong physique along with glowing health.

“There has been a shift in recent years in which women no longer desire the bare bones of a runway model,” Copeland says. “Standards have changed: What women do want is a long, toned, powerful body with excellent posture.”

In her book, she recognizes that, “[motion] is essential to maintaining our health and stamina, flooding our bodies with the feel-good chemicals that give us peace, and enabling us to do all that matters most to us — studying, cultivating our careers, spending quality time with friends and family, and pursuing the activities and interests that give us joy.”


READ MORE > MISTY COPELAND’S HEALTHY BRAN MUFFINS


In the chapter entitled “Ballerina Moves,” she lays out a few floor exercises, excerpted below, as the foundation for movement:

HIP OPENER

We want to create the optimum space in the joints, allowing you to move freely. This exercise can be done while lying on your stomach and again while lying on your back.

a. Lie on your stomach, head turned to the right, left cheek on the floor. Your legs should be extended, and relaxed; your arms bent at a 90-degree angle with your palms facing down. With your foot relaxed and on the floor, slide your right leg along the floor, with your knee bent toward your right elbow, without forcing. Be comfortable, as this is movement therapy, not exercise. Keeping your foot relaxed, slide your right leg back toward your left leg until it’s back at the starting position.

b. Do not hold the rest of your body rigid; instead, allow your core and your stationary leg to freely let go of their positions. Repeat the movement, and on the third repetition of bringing your knee toward your elbow, lift your foot and lower leg, turning them in and pulling your knee toward your standing leg. (The non-moving leg is called the standing leg, even when you’re lying on the floor. The moving leg is called the working leg). c. Repeat this step once, your knee out, turning your foot up to the ceiling and then dragging your knee in toward the standing leg. Then return your leg to lengthen it next to the standing leg.

d. Turn your head and repeat the whole combination with the other leg.

e. Repeat the entire exercise, this time lying on your back. Remember, don’t force it.  

This is a good warm-up exercise, but it can also be used for cooldown or anytime you’re feeling out of sorts or in need of freedom through the back, pelvis or both.


READ MORE > MISTY COPELAND’S PASTA-FREE ZOODLES PRIMAVERA


BACK STRETCH

Marjorie Liebert, who has instructed me in floor barre, has dubbed this exercise my specialty. I think it’s because it makes me feel like I am dancing while lying on my back, especially when I was injured with my tibia stress fractures. I felt so free when doing this.

There are a number of variations of this warm-up stretch, but this is a good one, generally suitable for most people, from beginners to advanced students who’ve had no injury or surgery to make it too difficult. You can do this stretch as a warm-up movement and also to cool down. This can also be done, gently, anytime your back is feeling tight or achy

a. Lie on your back legs bent, the soles of your feet on the floor, and your legs hip distance apart. Make sure your lower back is firmly supported by the floor. 

b. Stretch your arms to the sides, just below shoulder height, palms down. Your arms help to balance your core by hugging the floor as your legs move.

c. Allow your knees to lead your legs to fall in one direction while your head drops to the other side as you exhale. 

d. Return your legs and head to center, inhaling. Do the same movement to the other side. Return to the center.

Get more exercises like this, as well as recipes, in Misty Copeland’s book “Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You,” available now.


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Does Walking with Weights Boost Weight Loss?

Walking with weights is a phenomenon that has been around since the days of the Jane Fonda workout videos. Whether it was hand weights or ankle weights, the added pounds were believed to help individuals lose weight while already moving. Studies support that belief, proving the added weight can up the metabolic burn.

So should you be wearing ankle weights on your commute to work? Would a hike with hand weights be more beneficial than one without? Is walking with weights still a thing?

THE IMPACT OF ADDED WEIGHT

If walking with weights can increase your metabolic burn, why aren’t more people doing it? That’s because many trainers wouldn’t recommend it. “If you decide to go for a five-mile hike in the mountains with hand weights, fatigue does eventually set in and your form starts to suffer when you get tired,” explains Michelle Lovitt, exercise physiologist and trainer in Los Angeles. “You start compensating for certain movements, whether that’s even distribution across the body, using one leg or arm more than the other or balance across the body.”

For example, if you watch someone walking on a treadmill with hand weights, after 10 minutes you may notice his or her shoulders start to slump, legs aren’t fully extending or one arm may be higher than the other, explains Lovitt. Luckily, if you’re on a treadmill, you can set the weights down, but on a hike, it’s unlikely you can leave the weights behind. “Poor form can frequently be distributed to the low back and cause injury,” says Lovitt.

The only way Lovitt would suggest adding weight to a walk is with a weighted vest. “A vest creates even distribution of weight across the body,” says Lovitt. “Adding a weighted vest can help you burn more calories by raising your heart rate, but only if you’re strong enough to handle the weight. It’s not for beginners.”


READ MORE > WAYS TO AMP UP YOUR WALKING TO LOSE WEIGHT, TONE, DE-STRESS AND MORE


FIGURE OUT YOUR GOALS

If you’re an athlete training to get faster, weighted vests, bands, resistance, wind and parachute training may be used to increase your performance and speed. But if you’re not an athlete and you don’t need to be faster for a competition, then you don’t need to be walking with weights. Instead, separate the two forms of training.

“Do one thing at a time as intensely as possible, and then move on to the other,” suggests Lovitt. “Circuit train in a gym and give all-out effort, then go for an hour walk after.”

If you’re heading out for a short, five-minute walk around the block or with your pet, feel free to bring along hand or ankle weights. But if you’re walking for a lengthier amount of time, Lovitt suggests leaving the added pounds behind. “I may have those clients who are strong enough wear a weighted vest for plyometric exercises, but I would never in a million years put weights in my clients’ hands or on the ankles on a hike,” says Lovitt. “I rarely even have them carry their phones because even that can make one side of their body more tense than the other.”

The post Does Walking with Weights Boost Weight Loss? appeared first on Under Armour.

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Reducing Foot Pain At Home – How?

Reducing Foot Pain At Home!!

Hello All!!!

Everyone cannot have a comfortable desk job. Some people need to stand all day long due the demand of their job and what happens at the end of the day? They land up with foot pain. To know about the causes of foot pain and the tips to follow to reduce the pain please read this post – Click!

So, after a tiring day of standing all day long at office what do you do after reaching home? Do you howl in pain? Well, don’t worry there are home remedies to deal with it. They may not be proactive solutions, but they can help in getting rid of pain faster. Get ready for reducing foot pain at home!

1) Massage

foot massage-foot reflexology

There is nothing as relaxing as a foot massage. If you cannot do the one they do in a spa, you can do an easy one with a tennis ball. A tennis ball massage requires you to step on the ball and roll it around the bottom of your foot to give the complete area of your foot a massage. You can also opt for a foot massager that reduces swelling and promotes blood flow.

2) Stretching

Foot pain that arises due to constant use of legs can be partially reduced with the help of the right kind of foot stretching. You need to do stretches that work for your lower legs, hamstrings, quads and feet.

3) Exercise

There are certain exercises that help in curing foot pain at the comfort of your home. These include yoga moves on the back that help in putting fluid back into circulation, soft cardio moves that are not done on the feet and general fitness moves.

Exercises can be benefit you more than just getting the blood pumping properly again. It is a great way to help reduce the amount of pain you will experience every time you have to stand for long hours.

Your pain can also be due to weight issues. In that scenario regular exercise can help you lose weight and reduce foot swelling as well as the pain at home itself.

4) Using ice and elevating feet

Ice Pack foot pain, reducing foot pain at home

If you notice that your feet are swollen and painful when you reach home, it would be better to take time out and apply ice and keep your feet elevated.

You can keep your feet in a bowl of water and ice and massage your feet with a frozen bottle of water. You can apply an ice pack with a thin insulation against your skin. Elevation of your feet will help in redistribution of fluids around the body instead of stagnating them in swollen foot and leg areas.

The bottom line

Get the above home remedies to action and lead a life that is pain-free. Foot pain can be pretty crippling but you must not bring the show to a full stop just because of that.

Hope you found this post on reducing foot pain at home useful!

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