high-fiber, multi-grain bread

Fiber: How (and Why) To Incorporate More Into Your Diet

Does thinking about fiber conjure up ads for supplements for constipated old men? It might seem like it isn’t something you, a healthy, active young person, needs to worry about. However, fiber is critical to your digestive health, lowers cholesterol, supports weight loss, and reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Unfortunately, chances are: you’re not getting enough of it.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults eat 22-34 grams of fiber per day, but only 10% of women and 3% of men are actually meeting the standard. The average American adult eats 16 grams of fiber a dayIf you don’t eat as many vegetables as you should, if you eat out a lot, or if you eat a lot of processed foods, you are very likely not getting enough. Here are a few simple swaps you can make to help increase your fiber intake.

Vegetables

  • Focus on getting enough vegetables. Adults should be eating two to four cups per day of vegetables. A cup of broccoli contains about 3 grams of fiber, while a cup of kale contains about 1.5 grams. Total gain: Up to 12 grams.

Beans & Lentils

  • Swap out some animal proteins for legumes. Beans, peas, and lentils are great sources of protein and fiber. One cup of beans contains anywhere from 12 to 19 grams of fiber! A cup of lentils contains about 15 grams, and a cup of peas about 9 grams. Try burritos, a side of peas at dinner, or make a delicious vegetarian lentil curry to really boost your nutritional intake. Total gain: Up to 19 grams.

Bread

  • Switch to high-fiber, whole-grain bread. Whole wheat bread tends to have several more grams than white bread, and it’s much more filling because of it. You can use it to boost your sandwich’s nutritional value. Total gain: 2-5 grams per slice.

Oatmeal

  • Try bran cereal or oatmeal for breakfast. That will give you at least 5 grams, depending on how much of it you eat. Total gain: Up to 10 grams.

Fruits

  • Snack on high-fiber fruits. Skip the sugar-laden cereal bars and eat a cup of blackberries (7 grams), raspberries (8 grams), a pear (6 grams), or an apple (4.5 grams). Total gain: Up to 8 grams.

Eating fiber is crucial to maintaining long-term health. And as you can see, it’s not that hard to get enough. Making just a couple of these changes in your diet can significantly increase your fiber intake and boost your nutrition

Download on the App Store

Share this content

Download on the Play Store


Meal planning: An easy way to watch your health and your wallet

If you’re a busy professional, you probably don’t have a lot of time to cook healthy meals for yourself. Maybe you find yourself ordering take out, or going out to eat more often than you’d like. In that case, your bank account may be feeling the crunch. But there is a simple way to fix both of these problems: meal planning.

Planning your meals and grocery shopping on a weekly basis helps you eat healthier by ensuring you have on hand everything you need to cook a nutritious meal. It helps you save money by reducing your excuses to eat out—and limiting the amount of food that goes to waste in your refrigerator. 

Not sure how to begin? Here’s a quick get-started guide to meal planning:

  1. Make a master list. For ease of menu-planning, create a master list of go-to recipes that you can refer to when you’re out of ideas. As you come across meals you’d like to try, add them to the list. Then each week, making your menu is as easy as opening up your master list and choosing a few options. 
  2. Plan your menu. If it feels overwhelming, you can start by just making a dinner meal plan. Add in lunch and breakfast in a week or two. Then, create your grocery list. Group like items together (produce in one column, dairy in another, dry goods in a third) so that it’s easy to find everything once you’re in the store.
  3. Cook extra and use your leftovers. If you cook a double portion on Monday, you won’t have to cook again on Wednesday or Thursday. If you prefer not to eat the same thing too often, you can also freeze the extra for the future. Leftovers also make excellent lunches. 
  4. Make grocery shopping part of your routine. Carve out a day and time to grocery shop each week and make it a habit so you’re not tempted to skip it.
  5. Build in a break. If you enjoy trying new things and eating out, you don’t have to give it up altogether. By cooking more often, you can save your money for truly special meals that you won’t feel guilty splurging on—money-wise and calorie-wise.

Now start making your list and enjoy the health benefits and money savings that come with meal planning!

Download on the App Store

Share this content

Download on the Play Store


5 Keto Hacks to Keep You On Track When Eating Out

If you’re on the keto diet, you already know that eating more healthy fats and fewer empty carbohydrates can help you lose weight and feel great. The fat helps you stay full, which keeps you on track for your weight-loss goals.

That is, until you go out to eat. 

It is really difficult to find a keto meal at a restaurant, which stinks if you enjoy eating out. 

But with a little preparation, you can enjoy eating out without wrecking your diet progress. Here are five easy ways to do it:

Eat a bit ahead of time

This is the most important tip. Arriving hungry is a recipe for regret. Making sure you’re not starving is the best way to avoid bad choices. 

Choose the restaurant

Weigh in and choose a keto-friendly place. A sushi restaurant can be a good choice if you stick with sashimi and vegetables. You can also put together a keto meal relatively easily at a steakhouse. 

Plan ahead

Most restaurants post their menus online, so plan your meal in advance! In this way, you can eliminate bad choices associated with ordering on an empty stomach.

In some cases, you might luck out with ready-made, keto-friendly options. If not, though, you may find that you can cobble together a meal that meets your needs by ordering an appetizer and a side dish. For example, at a barbecue restaurant, order braised pork belly—hold the sauce—and a side of broccoli.

Come prepared

If you know your destination is not keto-friendly, pack key ingredients that will help you change that. Take along a low-carb wrap if going to a sandwich shop. Then you just order the fillings and assemble your own sandwich. Or, just eat sandwich fillings without bread. 

Bringing your own salad dressing or sauce is another great way to stick to your goals. Make sure you are carrying it in a container with a secure lid.

Give yourself a break

If all else fails, remember that one splurge won’t derail you completely. Denying yourself is much more likely to result in your spiraling out of control. So if you really want some pizza, eat a small slice. If dessert is your thing, split one with someone, or ask if you can sneak a bite.

Your diet shouldn’t keep you from enjoying an evening out with friends and loved ones. So follow our tips to make good choices while staying connected.

Download on the App Store

Share this content

Download on the Play Store


Chicago food tours: Take your pals on an acclaimed food tour

Chicago is well known for its extensive range of cuisine. While there are many well known stops, a lot of the best eateries are hidden away and hard to find without guidance. Taking one of the many famous food tours around the Chicago area can help you discover new favorites that you will keep coming back to! Who doesn’t love sharing the experience of good food?!

Chicago Food Planet Tours

Chicago Food Planet Tours are critically acclaimed by sources like USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, and Bon Appetit. They have a range of different tours for you to choose from that include everything from tours of the West Loop to a Chinatown tour. These tours range anywhere from $50 per adult to $75 per adult, and take anywhere from about 2-3 hours. These are pretty extensive tours, with some of them taking you to 5 different locations! 

Bobby’s Bike Hike

Are you and your double date looking for a bit more activity in your day? Bobby’s Bike Hike provides food tours both in a walking format and a biking format. One of their better known options is the Bikes, Bites & Brews tours that they provide, which are 4 hour 12-13 mile trips! Thier walking tours are often within the 1-1.5 mile range, which makes them accessible to any level of physical fitness. The prices of these tours vary from $48.75 per adult to $69.75 per adult. They also offer private tours, if that is more your style. 

Rebecca Wheeler’s Tours

If you and your double date are looking for something led by a specialist, Rebecca Wheeler’s tours are exquisite. Rebecca Wheeler is a traveler and a cooking instructor. She can lead you through Chicago’s neighborhoods and share her deep knowledge into the culture and history of the food and locations that you visit. All of these tours are private, which makes them much more intimate than a large group tour. Currently Rebecca offers tours of Argyle (Southeast Asian cuisine), Chinatown (Chinese cuisine), and Devon (Indian and Pakistani cuisine). For 4 adults, the price per adult would be $93.75, but this price lowers for every adult you bring with you! 

 

Download on the App Store

Share this content

Download on the Play Store


Chicago Restaurant Week 2021: Explore New Food & Support Local

From March 19th – April 4th is Chicago Restaurant Week! During this special time of year, 250+ eateries are open for you to explore. Many showcase special deals and menus for you to try. All restaurants are offering multi-course meals priced at $25 for brunch/lunch, and options between $39 and $55 for dinner menus. To accommodate the special circumstances this year, all locations have listed if they offer indoor, outdoor, delivery, and/or takeout options so you can dine whichever way is most comfortable for you! Take a look at all of the restaurants here and make your reservation, or pick from our list of suggested stops!

Avec

This Mediterranean-inspired location has seen great success under Chef Perry Hendrix and the James Beard award-winning Chef Paul Kahan. They have two different locations for you. First, their Avec River North location offers a delicious menu including their well-known chorizo-stuffed medjool dates with bacon and piquillo pepper-tomato sauce! The menu also includes olives, ciabatta, brussels sprouts, paella, confit chicken with escargot sausage and mussels, and a raspberry rose tart. For this location, there are only dine-in options. However, for those of you looking to do delivery or take out, you can look not far to the Avec West Loop location for the same menu! Find more information here.

Avec

 

Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

Ina Mae Tavern is a refreshing taste of New Orleans right to Bucktown. It is owned by the Pioneer Tavern Group and led by Executive Chef Brian Jupiter. You have options with this menu including items like fried catfish or blackened shrimp with cheese grits. Ending this meal with praline beignets is perfection, and we highly recommend you give this place a try. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods is offering indoor and outdoor seating as well as takeout or delivery, letting you and your group celebrate this food together in whatever way is most comfortable!

Ina Mae Tavern

Monteverde

Looking for something a little bit romantic for your dinner? Monteverde in the West Loop run by Top Chef alum Sarah Gruenberg is absolutely the place to go. This restaurant is usually a place fostering the Italian shared-dish dining. However, it’s four-course family-style menu will bring that experience straight to your home. This menu includes a salad, pasta course, main course, and dessert. Almost all of the courses come with multiple options including vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives. Find out more here!

Regardless of which restaurant you choose to celebrate Chicago Restaurant Week, remember there are many ways you can enjoy these meals with others safely. Whether picking up take out and meeting up at a park, or enjoying these meals over video calls together, do whatever feels safe for you and follow suggested guidelines!

Monteverde

 

Stay safe while trying out these fun local restaurants! To stay updated on the latest and most accurate information related to COVID-19, please refer to https://www.cdc.gov/

Download on the App Store

Share this content

Download on the Play Store