HEALTHY NIBBLING


You crave sweets and you often need a sweet snack? Then we recommend you to try out this healthy snack: small portions of sweet fruits or vegetables (berries, apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, bananas, apples, pears, melons, carrots, etc.). They contain a lot of sugar, but they provide us with healthy nutrients and vitamins. The tastiest fruits and vegetables are the ones offered locally and seasonally, since they’re really fresh and picked when they’re ripe.

Fruit bowl

Put a bowl with fresh fruits in a part of your home that you pass by a lot, for example in the kitchen or on the dining table. If you see it more often and it’s already there waiting to be eaten, then you’re more likely to have a healthy snack at home.

Share

Surprise your loved ones with small portions of healthy and small cut fruits. They’ll love it, because when you get spoiled that way, it will taste even better.

Eat sweets only on special occasions

Sweets and sugary foods are unhealthy, because they contain too much sugar. Therefore, they shouldn’t be consumed on a daily basis! Sweets and unhealthy snacks should only be consumed and bought on special occasions and in small amounts; that way they’ll taste better. If you don’t have them at home, then you’re not even going to be tempted.

3 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY DIET

There are many opinions and thoughts on what healthy and unhealthy lifestyles are. Main topic of discussion is the amount and the kind of nutritive groups (and therefore what type food) that should be included in an ideal diet. At the same time there is a whole ocean of diet-tips out there, that it’s easy to lose track.
And most importantly: Which diet rules make sense? Below, you’ll find three easy to follow tips, that are easy to remember and to implement into your new lifestyle.

1. Make water your daily drink

The healthiest drink is water. You’ll get used to it and you’ll learn to love water, that’s a promise! If the taste is a bit boring in the beginning, just add a bit of pressed lemon and enjoy your healthy lemonade.
Soft drinks, on the contrary, should be completely crossed out of your diet, because they are filled with sugar and too much sugar is just unhealthy. Fruit juice is a bit healthier, but still contains high levels of fructose (sugar contained in fruits) and should therefore be diluted with the same amount of water.

2. Prefer whole grain foods

Whole grain products contain, contrary to white flour products a huge amount of important nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and protein. The best way to start is to slowly get used the taste of whole grain step by step. After that you’ll learn to love it, because it’s not only healthier, but it also has more taste and keeps you full for a longer time.

3. Eat a healthy variety of foods

Variety is the key for a healthy and balanced diet. Vegetables, whole grain products and a moderate amount of fruits are especially healthy. Consumption of sweets (only for special occasions and in small amounts), meat (max. 2-3x/week) and pure fat (generally avoid deep-fried products) should be reduced to a minimum.

FLAVOR

You probably know about the five human senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.
But did you also know that flavor is the result of a mixture of all five senses?

Smell plays the biggest role, through which we take in the aromas of foods. Try out the following: hold your nose shut while eating and you will notice, that you’re tasting “less”. The reason is simple: the aromas reach your organ in charge of smelling through the air (especially through the retronasal airway, where air passes through your mouth into the back of your nose), which only happens if your nose is open. If you have a cold, you’ll experience the same issue.

With the sense of taste we’re able to taste sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (glutamate), through the taste buds on our tongue.

Also the audio-visual impression (seeing and hearing) and the consistency (touch) play a big role in the taste experience. You’ll notice this trying out fun things like doing blind tasting with covered eyes (sight), ear buds (hearing) or trying out food in a different consistency (touch; for example, a mashed up water melon).

3 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR KIDS LOVE HEALTHY FOOD

Your kids don’t want to eat healthy food and think fruits and vegetables are “lame”? Then you should try out those three tips!

1. Role model

Children observe and imitate their parents’ behaviour, even when it comes to eating. Kids usually try out something new, when they see their parents, other adults or friends eat something new.
So if you eat healthy yourself, you’re not only doing yourself a favour, but you’re being a good role model for your children.

2. Snacks

Fruits and vegetables are ideal snacks! Surprise and spoil your kids with small, neatly prepared portions – they’ll love it. Giving your snacks funny names will make them even more popular, such as “rocket sticks” for carrots or “power balls” for cherry tomatoes! Sweet fruits or vegetables are a good way to start the habit.

3. Education

Where does food come from? People who know that and who understand the cycle that food goes through (production, buying, preparation, eating, digesting) will develop a special relation to food and will appreciate good and healthy food. Go on family trips to a farm with your kids, plant herbs used for cooking like basil, buy food from a farmer’s market and cook together.

WHOLE GRAIN

GrainWhole grain foods have been an essential source of nutrients for millennia.
A cereal grain is comprised of three parts: the bran (shell), germ bud and endosperm (the nutritive tissue covering the germ bud).
The bran and the germ bud are the healthiest components of corn, because they are rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. The endosperm on the other hand is primarily just sugar.

Why we should eat more whole grain

Whole grain contains ideally all three components (bran, germ bud, endosperm). White flour is made out of refined grain, which due to reasons of storage life only includes the endosperm and not the two important components (bran and germ bud).
Whole grain is not only rich in important nutrients, but also the type of sugar (long-chained carbohydrates) will make you feel full for a longer period of time. Consumption of refined grain products though, will make you feel hungry pretty quick.
Health wise, it’s better to eat more whole grain products and to avoid refined grain products. In the beginning it makes sense to mix both whole grain and classical refined products. That way you can slowly get used to the taste and digestion of whole grain and after a while you will make the complete change and learn to love it, since it’s not only healthier, but is also more rich in taste.

COOKING IS ATTRACTIVE

This is Martin. His big passion is cooking. And he was able to learn it really fast thanks to Cook’d. As we can see, it’s really popular among the ladies as well.
Do you also want to learn how to cook delicious meals like Martin? Then check out our quick and easy meal ideas!

OVERWEIGHT

Up to 2 out of 3 people living in industrialized countries are overweight. This is a catastrophe. But it lies within the hands of those affected, to change that.

1. Definition

Being overweight means having more body fat than what is considered healthy or optimal.
The so called body mass index (BMI) plays a big role in defining overweight. It is calculated with the following formula:

BMI = mass (kg)/height (m)

The definition of overweight is a BMI of 25 or more. It is then sub-classified into severity levels:
Pre-obesity (BMI 25-30) and obesity (BMI 30 or more).

2. Health aspects

Overweight is a very big risk factor for almost all chronic diseases (including cardiac and vascualr diseases, diabetes and cancer). The good thing is that there’s a way to do something about it: 1. with an iron and 2. utmost discipline. Nevertheless, consulting a health care professional is a good idea.

3. Therapy

Being overweight is generally caused by consuming more calories (through eating and drinking) than the amount that your body burns through daily activities or exercise. Therefore, the usual treatments are diet and physical exercise.

In order to have a lifestyle (food and exercise) that leads to success, it has to be implemented with no excuses (no more “I’ll start tomorrow”) and it has to be a permanent change.

There are thousands of different diets. The basic pillar of a good diet is very simple: Consuming a variety of foods, that don’t exceed the amount of calories burnt by your body.
Calories are the units used to quantify energy. The amount of calories printed on packages indicates how much energy your body will be able to extract from that food product. Yet, the real amount extracted differs from person to person. Did you know: the ideal amount of calories consumed depends on age, height, weight, gender and the intensity of activities. It can be calculated individually.

3.1. Calculating current calorie intake

As a first step it’s advisable to calculate and write down your daily calorie intake. The amount of calories for every nutritional product can be found on the package, plus, there are a lot of calorie calculator sites on the internet. In the beginning, it’s kind of annoying to look up everything, but it helps to get a quick sense for how much calories every type of food has.

3.2. Reducing calorie intake and exercise

The second step should be to slowly reduce calorie intake. If it’s done properly, then losing weight is a natural result.
Physical exercise is the second most important pillar, next to a proper diet. This change should also be done slowly and increased step by step, so the body can adapt to the new lifestyle change. In the beginning it’s good to start out with small changes such as using stairs instead of the escalator/elevator and to walk or use a bicycle more often. While watching TV a water bottle can be used as a dumbbell, but it’s important to maintain a good, straight body posture. Be creative, exercise isn’t only good for losing weight, it’s generally very healthy, makes you happy and strong. If you don’t believe it, try it out yourself!

12 BASIC INGREDIENTS

This is a list of 12 basic ingredients you should always have in your pantry. They can be stored for a longer period of time and they are indispensable ingredients for many delicious dishes.

1. Rice

Rice is a staple food for nearly half of the world’s population. It has a neutral taste and can be eaten as a side dish for almost every meal. Rice is even a very popular main dish.
How to prepare rice Japanese style:
wash rice (using a sieve), boil water and then add rice, turn down heat and cover with lid. So it’s just water and rice!

2. Pasta

Everybody knows pasta. And almost everybody loves it. The healthiest type is wholewheat pasta, since it is rich in essential nutrients and it also keeps you from getting hungry longer. Not everybody likes wholewheat pasta after their first try.
In the beginning it makes sense to mix both wholewheat and classical pasta. That way you can slowly get used to the taste of wholewheat and after a while you will learn to love it, since it is not only healthier, but also has more taste.

3. Onions

Onions make a dozens of meals tasty by frying them in a little bit of olive oil. They can also be eaten raw, for example in a salad. Like all other vegetables they have very small amount of calories! Store onions in a cool and dry area.
Just one thing you shouldn’t do right after eating them: kissing.

4. Potatoes

Potatoes are an important food staple. They are neutral in their taste an can be prepared in different ways. There’s one way that you should try to avoid due to health reasons: frying.
Potatoes are pretty cheap and that’s why we’re unsure how to class them: if they were expensive, we would be referring to them as a popular delicacy, because of its fine consistency and its taste.

5. Canned whole tomatoes

Canned tomatoes don’t expire quickly, they’re tasty and you can do a whole bunch of different things with them: tomato soup, tomato sauce or as part of a stew (for example, ratatouille) are just a few examples. And did you know, that canned and frozen vegetables are still extremely healthy, even though they can be kept stored away for a long time?

6. Herbs

Make sure that you add the herbs that you like towards the end, or else they might loose their flavour. Popular herbs are, for example, basil, oregano, rosemary, caraway, bell pepper powder, chilli powder, etc. Popular herbal blends are, for example, Herbes de Provence and curry (stir fry curry with meal!).

7. Vinegar

Vinegar is a good match for salad and the ideal ratio of vinegar and oil is 1:3 (for every spoon of vinegar or lemon add 3 spoons of oil). Just like lemons, vinegar can be used for cooking, especially if you need a little bit of acid, for example when you make a stew. Try the different kinds of vinegar and find your favourite one!

8. Olive oil

Olive oil is a means to refine a lot of meals. Not only is it used as an ingredient of salad dressing, but it is almost indispensable when it comes to stir-frying food in a pan.

9. Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil is more neutral than olive oil and can therefore be used for every meal where the taste of olive oil would be too intense.
Since it contains a lot of favourable fatty acids, it is more preferable than other types of oil. But generally speaking you should try to use fat sparingly.

10. Salt

Salt is a universal taste intensifier, as we call it, and can therefore be added to almost any dish. Nevertheless, we should be using it sparingly, due to its unfavourable health effects. Usually there is already a lot of natural salt in many meals and sometimes salt can easily cover up an ingredient’s own taste, by adding too much.

11. Pepper

Next to salt, pepper is the most widely used spice and gives a lot of meals the necessary spicy kick. Pepper tastes especially good when it is freshly ground.

12. Water

Water is not only the most important and the purest drink on the planet, it also quenches your thirst and has 0 calories. It is also an indispensable ingredient when it comes to cooking.

The last 5 (olive oil, rapeseed oil, salt, pepper, water) are so basic that you can find at least two of them in every single one of our recipes.


20 basic ingredients

What? 12 are not enough? Alright, we’ll make it 20 then! The following 8 ingredients will complete your basic-ingredient-stash. Some of them are not that long-lasting, but they are also very essential.

13. Wholewheat bread

Wholewheat bread is an ideal snack, but can also be eaten as a side dish. It is healthy, tasty and keeps you full. Apart from that it also has a longer shelf life than white bread or other types of bread.

14. Frozen mixed vegetables

Frozen mixed vegetables are the ideal side dish for almost everything. They can be easily stored for a longer period of time, they can be cooked quickly, they’re healthy, tasty and barely have any calories.

15. Eggs

Did you know that eggs are the ideal mix of all the different amino acids and that’s why they’re so healthy? But you shouldn’t eat more than 2-3 eggs per week, because they contain a lot of cholesterol.

16. Lemon

Lemons are rich in vitamin C and can give a meal a fresh kick!

17. Garlic

Garlic is healthy and can actually save a lot of meals from having no taste. But you shouldn’t let it cook for too long, or else it will become very bitter.

18. Soy sauce

If you enjoy cooking Asian food, soy sauce is definitely a basic ingredient you should have.

19. Chilli sauce

If you like hot, spicy food, then you should definitely have chilli sauce at home. Other good chilli based spices are Sambal or Harrisa.

20. Vegetable stock

Vegetable stock is a good flavour intensifier, if you’re in a hurry. It doesn’t matter whether it’s soup, sauce or couscous – vegetable stock is always a good fit.