The Five

Meal prep services have grown in popularity in the last several years, and it’s not hard to see why. Here are 4 benefits of having a meal prep service handle some of your meals.

Save Time

Time-Saver

Think about how much time you spend preparing meals. Some meals are easy to make, others (the more healthy ones, usually) can take an hour or more to prepare! That doesn’t include all the time it took to shop for ingredients, clean up, etc.! When you invest in a meal prep service, it saves you time in the kitchen and at the store. Just think, you could have a fully cooked, healthy meal on the table in less than 5 minutes!

Save Money

Cost-Effective

Fresh, home-cooked meals are, no doubt, the most cost-effective meals out there. But who has the time or energy to cook all of their meals at home? Unfortunately, hitting a fast-food restaurant or grabbing a frozen meal to pop in the oven when you get home from work feels like the cheapest option in the moment. But the dollars you spend on those grab-n-go meals can add up fast, and they are rarely filling, causing you to snack later and spend even more money.

One of the best aspects of a meal prep service is how budget-friendly it is. When you pay for a ready-made, healthy, fresh meal, you avoid impulse buys and cheap “filler” meals. This is much easier on your wallet in the long run.

Eat Healthy

Healthier than Fast-Food

Convenience often comes at a cost. Nine times out of ten, the cheaper the meal is, the less healthy it is too. It’s so easy to hit the drive-through line just so that we can call dinner done, but these unhealthy meals can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases long-term, so is the convenience really worth it?

Being busy is a part of life, so when you need to outsource a meal or two each week, you should be able to do that guilt-free. This is why meal prep services are becoming so popular because you can have a filling, healthy meal ready for your family in minutes.

Eat Enjoyably

Less Effort

When you make meals at home, you have to make shopping lists, meal plans, go to the store, put the groceries away, meal prep, and then clean up after each meal. We’re exhausted just thinking about it!

When you get a meal prep service to do the work for you, you’re investing in yourself. Instead of slaving away over a stove or washing a bunch of dishes, you can play with your kids, finish that house project you’ve been working on, or spend some quality time with your spouse. Less effort going into meal prep means more energy to do the things you love.

DINING OUTCOOKINGFit Five Meals
TimeTIME~1.5 hours
Per meal
~1 hour
Per meal
~90 seconds!
Per meal
Cost
COST
~$14 + tip
Per meal
$8
Per meal
~from $8.50
Per meal
Additional % savings with plans
EffortEFFORTTravel time, parking, wait time, meal prep and servicePlanning, shopping, preparation and cook timeDietitian curated meals delivered to one of our convenient locations

A meal prep service that saves you time and energy, is cost effective, and provides your family with healthy meals (hint hint: we do!) is a win all around. Fit Five makes it possible for you to eat healthy without breaking the budget.

Take a peek at this week’s menu to see what we mean!

Being mindful of what you’re putting into your body is a key aspect of wellness. Here are 3 healthy habits you can implement in order to maximize your nutrition.

Eat Balanced Snacks

If you want to maximize your nutrition, start with your snacks. So many of us grab a cheese stick or munch on an apple and call it a snack, but the best snacks include lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and some healthy fat. Here are some well-balanced snack ideas:

Maximize Your Nutrition
  • Apple slices with almond butter
  • Celery sticks with hummus
  • Pineapple chunks with cottage cheese
  • Orange slices with mixed nuts
  • Pear slices with string cheese
  • Mixed berries with greek yogurt
  • Avocado with tomato and low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Hard-boiled egg with zucchini sticks
  • Healthy beef jerky with apple slices 
  • Canned salmon with edamame
  • Whole grain toast topped with turkey breast and avocado
  • Red bell pepper with guacamole
  • Dark chocolate and almonds
  • Natural peanut butter with celery sticks
  • Sugar snap peas with ricotta cheese
  • Dried fruit with sunflower seeds
  • Sugar-free beef jerky with cheddar cheese slices

Find Healthy Replacements for Foods You Crave

Making simple swaps can really maximize your nutrition. You want to make the most of the calories you’re consuming! A big part of that is eating foods that fuel and satisfy you instead of causing blood sugar crashes and unwanted weight gain. Craving a candy bar? Opt for a protein bar that is low in sugar. Reaching for a bag of chips? Eat some popcorn or chickpea chips instead! Making a sandwich for work? Use whole grain bread instead of white bread. It might not seem like a big change, but over time, those choices can really pay off.

Lower Your Stress Levels

What does stress have to do with nutrition? Plenty! Studies have shown that stress can lead to binge eating unhealthy foods and, in turn, cause weight gain. Web MD says:

Do you tend to feel much better after having sweets or carbs? There’s a reason: These foods tell your brain to release a chemical called serotonin, which boosts your mood. That’s why cakes, cookies, and French fries are often called “comfort foods” — but the comforting feelings don’t last long. Soon after you eat these treats, your blood sugar will drop (or “crash”), and you’ll be tired and shaky.”

When you take active steps to lower your stress levels, you are able to develop healthy eating habits as well. Exercising mental self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, either! Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, lowering your caffeine intake, or going on a 10-minute walk outdoors daily are all great ways to lower your stress levels and avoid unhealthy binge eating.

If you want to maximize your nutrition, start small. Making too many big changes all at once makes it more difficult to stick to those healthy habits long term. So pick something simple that you know you can keep up with. You might be surprised how quickly you see a difference!

For more information contact us today!

How Many Calories Your Body Actually Needs

The ideal caloric intake varies widely from person to person. Factors such as age, gender, and fitness level should influence the number of calories you consume, but you can’t adjust your caloric intake based on those factors alone. In fact, WebMD says:

“Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, or stick to your current weight, you might be tempted to look up the suggested calories per day for your gender, age, and activity level. The following chart should only be used as a reference point, because every person is so different metabolically even when they are the same size and gender.”

 Suggested calorie ranges are generated using the Institute of Medicine’s estimated energy requirement calculation.

Calories

Signs You’re not Getting Enough Calories

Some people count calories to make sure they are eating enough, others count in order to lose weight. Whenever you’re counting calories, though, there is always the chance you won’t consume enough, especially when you’re working out. Eating too few calories can do more harm than good. Symptoms of not eating enough calories include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle loss
  • Slower metabolism
  • Missed periods in women
  • Hormone swings
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Trouble focusing
  • Struggling to exercise

Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist if you notice any of these warning signs of low caloric intake.

Trying to determine how many calories your body needs? When in doubt, skip the calorie calculators and try intuitive eating instead. For more information contact us today!

You may have heard the term “macros” or macronutrients before. But what are macros and why are your friends “counting” them? Here are 5 things you need to know about macronutrients.

What Macronutrients Are

WebMD defines macronutrients as the nutrients that your body needs in large amounts to give you energy. The three macronutrients are fat, carbohydrates, and protein. These three nutrients help your body in different ways and are vital to your health, so if you’re watching what you eat or dieting, be sure you don’t cut these categories out or limit them too much.

Why We Need Macros

What is so important about these three nutrients? Well, macros are beneficial for:

As we said earlier, macros help your body function the way it should. Without macronutrients, you may be more prone to weight gain, hormone imbalance, and sickness. Again, in order to maintain optimal health, it’s important to not neglect or restrict these categories.

Top Macronutrient Food Sources

If you’re looking to up your macronutrient intake, it’s helpful to be aware of some of the top food sources of macros. First of all, be sure you’re getting plenty of protein, particularly plant-based kinds. Some good protein sources include:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Some dairy, like Greek yogurt

You also want to be sure you’re getting some of your calories from carbohydrates (the good kind). Some good sources of healthy carbohydrates include:

  • Unprocessed whole grains
  • Beans
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

Lastly, incorporate some good fat into your diet. This includes:

  • Olives and olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Corn oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Soybean oil

Difference Between Micro and Macro

Because of how similar they sound, it’s easy to confuse macronutrients and micronutrients. The Mayo Clinic put out this helpful video explaining the difference between the two.

In short, MACROnutrients are the nutrients your body needs a lot of and MICROnutrients are the nutrients your body needs a small amount of. You need both, though, and they work in conjunction with one another to help your body function the way it should.

Pros and Cons of Counting Macros

Counting macros is somewhat of a trend so, of course, there are pros and cons to it. One of the pros to tracking your macro intake is the knowledge you’re arming yourself with. When you keep track of what and how much you’re eating, you are more aware of your habits (good and bad). Knowing your tendencies can help you make better eating choices moving forward.

The downside to counting macros, on the other hand, is that it takes time and effort to weigh your food, count how many calories you’re consuming, and log what you’re eating. Some people just don’t have time for all that tracking! Additionally, it’s easy to miscalculate, which could lead to you missing out on key nutrients your body needs.

Keeping track of macros isn’t for everyone, so be sure you talk to your doctor or a nutritionist before you start this new regimen. Everyone’s needs are different and what works for someone else may not work for you. Ultimately, a well-balanced diet with plenty of variety should always be your goal, whether you’re counting macros or not.

For more information contact us today!

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding coffee, energy drinks, and other caffeinated foods and beverages. What’s the truth about caffeine and what does it actually do to your body?

The Truth About Caffeine

Caffeine gets a bad rap, but according to Medical News Today, it isn’t all bad:

  • Caffeine is a stimulant that occurs naturally in some foods.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a maximum intake of 400 mg a day, or two to three cups of coffee.
  • A moderate intake of coffee may enhance weight loss, cognitive function, and alertness.
  • Caffeine may have a negative impact on pregnancy, fertility, glucose control, and other aspects of health.
  • Energy drinks can contain high levels of caffeine but are unlikely to be hazardous unless consumed with alcohol.
  • Caffeine powder can lead to a fatal overdose and should be avoided.

Is Caffeine Bad for You?

As you can see, there are some benefits to caffeine but it can have a negative impact on your health if you overdo it. Too much caffeine can:

Caffeine
  • Weaken your immune system: Coffee dehydrates your system, which is the last thing your body needs when you’re sick. So if you’re coming down wiht something, cut your caffeine intake, especially coffee. Replace your cup of joe with drinks and foods that boost your immune system instead and, of course, drink plenty of water.
  • Increase anxiety: While caffeine doesn’t cause anxiety per se, it can worsen anxiety and cause some of the same symptoms such as mood swings, an upset stomach, shakiness, and an elevated heart rate. Listen to your body and, if you’re feeling anxious, try cutting back on caffeine and see if your symptoms lessen or go away.

How Much Caffeine is too Much?

Betterhelp.com says, “There is a limit to how much caffeine each person should have per day, and you must know your tolerance as well.” For example, some people can get away with drinking three caffeinated beverages in a day and be perfectly healthy while others might not even be able to drink one without suffering serious consequences.

Depending on how much caffeine you currently consume and how it affects you, adjusting your caffeine intake may be a key step to better health. If caffeine is making you jittery, hurting your stomach, or preventing you from getting good sleep at night, you should cut back.

What Foods Contain Caffeine?

When you think of caffeine, coffee is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But there are other foods that contain caffeine including black tea, dark chocolate, sodas, green tea, and energy drinks. Keep this in mind as you track your caffeine intake.

As is the case with most foods, how much, when, and the way in which you consume caffeinated food/drink is important. So don’t overdo it, drink plenty of water whenever you do drink or eat caffeine, and never get your caffeine fix from artificial sources like powders.

Caffeine isn’t intrinsically bad and can even be beneficial if you consume it the right way. For more information contact us today!

If you work out on a regular basis, you know that there are certain foods that, when eaten pre-workout, boost performance and give you energy. The next time you head to the gym, try eating one of these top pre-workout foods.

Carbs

Foods that contain carbohydrates are a great food to eat prior to working out because they give your body fuel and help your muscles repair themselves following a workout. Foods medium to high in carbs that you should eat before you hit the gym include:

  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grain bread
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Popcorn
  • Brocolli
  • Carrots

Protein-Rich Foods

If you’re about to do an intense training session or HIIT workout, eat protein first. Eating protein before you work out can help you build muscle, aid in recovery, increase your strength, and help you perform better during your routine. Some of the best protein-rich foods to eat pre-workout include:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Protein bar
  • Chicken breast
  • Almond or peanut butter
  • Protein powder (with whey protein)
  • Eggs

Fruit

Fruits are another good pre-workout food because they can help raise your potassium levels, bond your bones and muscles, and prevent fatigue and cramps. Some fruits that are good to consume pre-workout include:

  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Plums
  • Grapes (or raisins)
  • Berries
  • Oranges
  • Apples

Whether you’re an athlete or are simply trying to lose a couple pounds, food plays an integral part in your workout. If your workouts are difficult or you have a hard time completing them, try eating a combination of the above foods before working out and see if that makes a difference.

Contact us for more information!