Using Your Freezer To Make Meal Prep Easy

Using Your Freezer To Make Meal Prep Easy

Using Your Freezer To Make Meal Prep Easy

Blueberry Meal Prep

It’s probably safe to say that most people want to be healthy. They want to eat healthy, live healthy, and feel healthy. Despite this overwhelming desire, most don’t actually live up to their potential when it comes to planning and preparing healthy meals.

Think about the typical weekly mealtime routine of many, many people: wing it for breakfast and rely on take-out for either lunch, dinner, or possibly both.

Why is this the case? Some say there’s not enough time, others say it’s too hard, but the reality is more likely a failure to plan.

Let’s first differentiate the difference between meal planning and meal prepping. Meal planning is the process in which you decide what meals you’re having on what day (e.g. Monday: turkey burger with roasted potatoes and salad, Tuesday: salmon with basmati rice and spinach).

Meal prepping is the process of actually cooking and preparing those meals (e.g. you spend a few hours on Sunday cooking to set yourself up for the week). Now that we’ve established the basics, let’s get to your freezer…

Your freezer is by far the best and most under-utilized aspect of the kitchen. Where else can you store the components of a healthy meal for months without spoilage? Healthy meals should always incorporate high-quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates (think vegetables, grains, etc.). With the exception of healthy fats (they’re usually on your countertop or in the fridge) we can stock your freezer with high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates to ensure you always have nutrient-dense food available to plan and prepare healthy meals.

While frozen vegetables typically get a bad rap, the truth is, they actually can be more nutritious than their fresh, grocery store counterparts!

Frozen vegetables are typically picked at the height of their ripeness when they’re bursting with vitamins and minerals1. The process of flash freezing locks in those precious nutrients and halts the process of enzyme activity that begins to break down (and spoil) food. Frozen fruits and vegetables are superior nutritionally to those that are canned because the canning process tends to result in nutrient loss2.

When it comes to protein, there are some great services out there that ship high-quality frozen meat and wild-caught fish, but you can also ask your local butcher or fishmonger to pack up your protein to go straight to the freezer. The benefit of having frozen protein, again, is the fact that it won’t spoil for quite some time and you’ll always have this meal staple available. The one potential downside of frozen protein is the time it takes for said protein to defrost, but that’s where a weekly plan comes in handy (or an instant pot to cook from frozen!).

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Blueberry Meal Prep

The best way to start your meal planning efforts is to be organized! Take inventory of what you have in the house, write it down, and match up days to meals. Going back to the example above where we have a turkey burger on Monday and salmon on Tuesday, all you’d need to do is take both out on Sunday to ensure they’re defrosted and ready for cooking on their respective days. You’ll never have to defrost frozen vegetables, so they’ll be ready when you need them.

I hope you see how valuable your freezer could be in creating healthy meals on a regular basis. The truth is, you can only be as healthy as your kitchen allows, so prioritizing healthy meal-time staples is a really important first step!

Four Tips for Your Best Night of Sleep Yet

Four Tips for Your Best Night of Sleep Yet

Get Better Sleep

I’m sure you know that sleep is important, but did you know that sleep is therapeutic? Proper rest is as important to our health as eating, drinking, and breathing1. In this article we’re going to discuss four tips for better sleep, but let’s begin with what makes sleep therapeutic.

When you sleep, your body undergoes a series of changes that enable the rest that is vital to your overall health. Sleep allows the brain and body to slow down and engage in processes of recovery, promoting better physical and mental performance the next day and over the long term2.

When you don’t get enough (or proper) sleep these fundamental processes are short circuited, affecting thinking, concentration, energy levels, and mood. As a result, getting the sleep you need — seven to nine hours for adults and even more for children and teens — is crucial3.

While each person will differ in the exact amount of sleep needed for replenishment, eight hours being average, it is crucial to get a sufficient amount and adequate quality of sleep on a regular schedule. Sleep heals the body, clears the mind, and restores the soul4.

Sleep Better without caffeine

Now that you understand how vital sleep is for overall health and well-being, let’s explore the four tips to improve your ability to rest, repair, and restore.

Tip #1 Limit caffeine for better sleep.

If you’re struggling to sleep, removing caffeine entirely from your diet may be the “hack” needed to allow your body to relax and settle into slumber. For others who enjoy caffeine without feeling jittery or “off”, simply limit caffeine to mornings or avoid anything caffeinated after 3 pm (including coffee, green and black tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate).

Tip # 2 Avoid blue light 1 hour before bed.

Don’t shoot the messenger, but tip number two for improving sleep is to avoid all electronic screens 1 hour before bedtime (think TV, computer, tablet, and phone). Here’s why: blue-wavelength light stimulates sensors in your eyes to send signals to your brain’s internal clock which inhibits the production of melatonin. Essentially the blue light from your electronic screens is making your body think it’s wake time, not sleep time. Thus, avoiding all screens at least 1 hour before bedtime will help your body fall into a deeper sleep, faster.

Tip #3 Take a calcium and magnesium supplement before you hit the pillow.

From a nutritional perspective, the minerals calcium and magnesium can help you both fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. James F. Balch, MD and author of

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes, “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” And there’s been an array of studies that explain why. In one such study, published by the Journal of Sleep Research5, researchers found that insufficient calcium is related not only to trouble falling sleep, but also to trouble getting truly restful sleep.

Meanwhile, low magnesium has been clearly correlated with insomnia, poor sleep quality, and even depression and anxiety. Magnesium helps both your body and your brain to relax, preparing you for a good night’s rest. As a note, calcium and magnesium are best taken together, as a balanced ratio is important to overall health.

Tip #4 Set your bedroom up for sleep.

This category includes both quick fixes and longer-term investments. Quick fixes that will set your bedroom up for therapeutic sleep include diffusing lavender essential oil (or even dabbing the oil lightly on your pillow), ensuring your bedroom is clean and clutter-free and getting fresh air when the weather permits. Additionally, turning your cell phone on airplane mode, or removing your phone entirely from the bedroom, will protect your brain and body from EMFs that may hinder deep, therapeutic sleep.

Lastly, some longer-term investments include purchasing high-quality, non-toxic bedding like a mattress, pillows, sheets, blankets, and so on. For obvious reasons, you should be comfortable for your nightly slumber, but also, avoiding the toxic off-gassing of chemicals in conventional bedding is incredibly important.

Sleep Better
Times of high stress require deep restorative sleep that provides our bodies with the opportunity to repair and rebuild. Support your physical and mental health by getting 8 hours of sleep or more per night. If you’re a parent who is unable to achieve 8 consecutive hours of sleep at the moment, nap or rest when you can, and be sure to nourish your body in other ways that feel good.


Top 5 Questions About Keto

Top 5 Questions About Keto

Top 5 Questions About Keto

What is Keto?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that results in putting your body into ketosis. Ketosis: the body burns fat and ketones rather than glucose as a main source of fuel. During ketosis, the body becomes very efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. Additionally, ketosis can help reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. There are keto tests that you can use that are similar to glucose tests to ensure ketosis.

What are macros and why are they important?

Macros is short for macronutrients, which are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Conversely, micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. In the keto diet it is necessary to keep track of the macros you are consuming to ensure you don’t eat too many carbs or not enough fats.

Keto recipe of zucchini noodles.

With this diet it is ideal to stay within 20-50 grams of carbs per day to maintain ketosis. Some people also incorporate intermittent fasting (an eating pattern that involves regular, short-term fasts) to help stay within range of carb intake and increase weight loss.

What can I eat?

It is important to eliminate high-carbs like bread, pasta, sugar, and grains. It is also important to note that these foods are refined, and processed. Instead of eating more processed foods, you will eat green leafy vegetables, eggs, cheese, meat, and dairy (if tolerated). Healthy fats play a vital role in the keto diet; like, butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil. Apps like the Carb Manager and Chronometer can help keep track of your food intake.

Keto weight loss results.

What are the benefits?

The keto diet can help with blood sugar regulation, insulin resistance, diabetes, and cognitive function. The reason for this is that you are not consuming as many carbs as your standard American diet (SAD), and are helping your body digest and function better with a more balanced plate. Additionally, it is common to lose weight since the diet is more filling with fats and proteins; you don’t find yourself hungry again not long after eating as carbs burn much faster than fats for fuel. Studies have shown that the diet can have a wide-range of benefits: heart disease, cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, PCOS, and brain injuries.

How do I get started?

The first step is to remove all restricted food from your kitchen. This will prevent temptations later. If you are unable to remove everything, put them in a place that is hard to get to (i.e.cabinets above refrigerator).

You want to give yourself at least six weeks to determine if the diet is working and/or if you need to stay on it longer. Hydration is super important! Without proper hydration and electrolytes you will not absorb all the nutrients you are eating. Electrolytes are sodium, magnesium, potassium, and a few others. Fill your plate with lots of healthy fats, veggies, fiber, and protein with a few berries to curb that sweet tooth. Finally, you want to get plenty of aerobic activity. This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon, just get at least 30 minutes of movement that increases your heart rate at least once per day. That’s it!

Fun Fact: The keto diet was originally used by physicians in the 1920s to help patients with epilepsy. It was successful for decades until specific medications were developed and physicians took to prescribing pills instead.


Summer Produce Shopping Guide

Summer Produce Shopping Guide

Summer Vegetable Shopping Guide

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Green Beans
  • Hot Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce
  • Snow Peas
  • Sugar Snap
  • Peas Summer
  • Broccolini
  • Squash Swiss
  • Chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Beet Greens
  • Okra
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery Root
  • Celery
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Shallots
  • Turnips

Summer Fruit Shopping Guide

  • Apricots
  • Asian Pears
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Cantelope
  • Cherries
  • Elderberries Figs
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Limes
  • Loganberries
  • Nectarines
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peaches
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Apples
  • Avocados Bananas
  • Lemons
  • Papayas

ZINC: The nutrient that boosts immunity and healing

ZINC: The nutrient that boosts immunity and healing

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is vital for human health. It is a component of more than 300 enzymes and hormones and plays a crucial part in the health of our skin, teeth, bones, hair, nails, muscles, nerves, and brain function1. Zinc controls the enzymes that operate and renew the cells in our bodies2and regulates the sensory organs for sight, smell, and taste3. While this essential micronutrient is significant throughout life, it is especially important for times of rapid growth, such as childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy, due to its role in helping cells grow and multiply4.

For the duration of this article we’re going to discuss the daily requirement for zinc, how to find it in its most absorbable form, why a deficiency may occur, and different signs and symptoms you may experience if a deficiency exists.

According to the National Institute of Health, the daily requirement of zinc will vary depending on your age. On average, babies will require approximately 2 mg/day, children 3-5 mg/day, teenagers, and adults 9-11 mg/day, and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers 11-13 mg/day. As always, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to determine your precise bio-individual need.

Typical oyster has 8-9 milligrams of zinc

In terms of where to find it, zinc is present and readily absorbable from many types of food. Number one on the list is oysters! A typical oyster weighing approximately one ounce will contain about 8-9 milligrams of zinc5, which is close to the daily requirement for an adult! Following oysters, the richest food sources of zinc include the organs and meat of pasture-raised beef, chicken, and lamb, as well as wild-caught fish and crustaceans, like crab and lobster6. While other good sources of zinc include nuts, seeds, Shiitake and cremini mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, quinoa, and oats7 some of these plant-based sources of zinc come with a caveat.

Many of these plant-based sources have a substance within them, commonly referred to as an anti-nutrient, called phytic acid. While these phytate-rich foods are typically healthy, in terms of zinc absorption, they pose a problem. The phytic acid in seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts actually binds to minerals like zinc, iron, and calcium which greatly inhibits their absorption.

One way to reduce phytic acid content is to soak and sprout your seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts before consumption. Another way to increase zinc absorption is to ensure the consumption of animal proteins with any phytate-rich food as they improve zinc absorption8.

Unfortunately, zinc deficiencies are far too common among populations whose main food sources come from grains, cereals, and processed foods. Due to the many roles zinc plays in the human body, there is a broad range of physiological signs of a potential deficiency. Organ systems known to be affected by such a deficiency include the epidermal (skin), gastrointestinal, central nervous, immune, skeletal, and reproductive systems9. Signs of a zinc deficiency can vary depending on the severity of the condition but may include things like frequent infections, loss of hair, poor appetite, lack of taste or smell, skin sores, slow growth rate, trouble seeing in the dark, or wounds that take a long time to heal10.

There are two other important things worth noting about zinc. First, for women on birth control, a side effect of the pill is inhibited zinc absorption. For this population, it’s especially important to incorporate zinc-rich foods. Second, too much zinc, whether from diet or supplementation, can impair copper status. Here, the recommendation is to focus on food sources that are rich in both zinc and copper.

Zinc is critical to every aspect of our biology and must be incorporated into our diet on a daily basis. As always, be sure to focus on high-quality, nutrient-dense whole foods that include a variety of macro and micronutrients to ensure adequate balance and absorption!


1. Sharma, Dr. Archana. IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences, vol. 16, no. 04, 2017, pp. 16–19., doi:10.9790/0853-1604041619.

2. Ibid.

3. “Zinc.” The World’s Healthiest Foods.

4. “Zinc.” The Nutrition Source, 20 Oct. 2020. 5. The World’s Healthiest Foods

6. Brown, Kenneth H., et al. “The Importance of Zinc in Human Nutrition and Estimation of the Global Prevalence of Zinc Deficiency.” Food and Nutrition Bulletin, vol. 22, no. 2, 2001, pp. 113– 125., doi:10.1177/156482650102200201.

7. The World’s Healthiest Foods.

8. Sharma, IOSR Journal.

9. Roohani, Nazanin, et al. “Zinc and Its Importance for Human Health: An Integrative Review.” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : the Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Feb. 2013.

Zinc in Diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Local and In-Season Produce (and where to  find them)

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Local and In-Season Produce (and where to find them)

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Local and In-Season Produce

This morning, while sipping your coffee or tea, did you happen to think about where those beans or leaves were harvested? What about the fruit in your smoothie? Did you wonder if they were picked in their natural growing season at peak ripeness?

Most people don’t take the time to mindfully source the foods they’re eating, and I’m going to tell you, not choosing purposefully is a missed opportunity for both your health and your wallet. Today I’m going to share with you the top five reasons to choose both local and in-season when it comes to the produce you’re eating, plus two great resources to find out what’s in season and how to get it farm to table!

Farmers market sign selling fresh produce

First, and arguably most important, local and in-season produce is more nutrient dense. This means more vitamins and minerals are available in that fruit or vegetable for your body to utilize. The longer produce spends on a truck or in storage before being delivered to you, the greater the loss of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients1.

Second, if nutrient density isn’t convincing enough, foods that are grown locally and purchased seasonally are less expensive. This is because the farmers need to do less to encourage a bountiful crop and they don’t need to factor in transportation and delivery costs.

Third, fruits and vegetables harvested locally and in-season are fresher and taste significantly better. This is because local produce has a shorter distance to travel, and farmers can pick at the crop’s peak ripeness; which means more delicious and flavorful food. Conversely, foods harvested in other countries must be picked before they are ripe to make the trip overseas, and to your local market, without spoiling.

Produce Farmer

Fourth, seasonal food grown locally needs fewer “interventions”. For certain produce to be available year-round, post-harvest treatments, known as ripening agents, are used. These include chemicals, gases, and heat processes2. Some produce, like apples, pears, carrots, and celery, may be coated with an edible film to protect it3. Other produce, like strawberries, lettuce, melons, and grapes, may be treated with anti-browning agents so it artificially is kept from rotting4. Then, the same produce may be treated with a chemical called ethylene, which triggers the ripening process to improve fruit color and quality5.

Lastly, purchasing in-season and local is a great way to vote with your dollar. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather support a local farmer who is avoiding ripening agents, anti-browning chemicals, and heat-treatment that kills off precious nutrients. The more money spent locally means the more crops our farmers will get paid to produce which directly benefits our health. It’s a win-win!

If these five points have convinced you that local and in-season produce is far superior, let’s find out what’s growing in your zip code right now! is a valuable resource that shares what’s currently in season and tells you a little bit about that fruit or vegetable. What a fun way to explore new produce you’ve never tried before! 

Now that you know what’s in-season, the next step is farm to table! is a great website to find farmers’ markets and CSAs (community-supported agriculture) that will get those delicious, in-season fruits and veggies from the market to your table in no time.

Mindfully sourcing in-season fruits and vegetables supports your health, your wallet, and your local economy. Choosing seasonal produce is a great way to boost nutrient density and avoid many toxic chemicals that otherwise would have made their way onto your plate.