How to Easily Get More Variation In Your Diet | The Health Sessions

7 Stress-Free Strategies to Get More Variation in Your Diet

It’s the first rule of healthy eating: eat a wide variety of foods.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDA and DHHS, 1980) advises you to consume something from all 5 major food groups: fruits and vegetables, (whole) grains, meat, poultry, fish and legumes, dairy products, and fats and sweets. You should also try to vary with ingredients within each food group.

But did you know that on average, we only eat 25 different kinds of foods in 3 days? In contrast, research suggests that our hunter-gatherer ancestors used to collect over 55 unique plants to secure food all year round. That’s a pretty big difference! But why should you want to bring more variation to your daily diet?

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14 Winter Citrus Recipes to Brighten Up Your Day | The Health Sessions

14 Winter Citrus Recipes to Brighten Up Your Day

They’re one of most popular ingredients for crushing colds: winter citrus.

And it’s not hard to see why. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, which helps keep your immune system strong. What’s more, those juicy oranges, lemons and mandarins contain powerful antioxidants that protect your brain and improve your heart health by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Of course you can make fresh orange juice of add a slice of lemon to your cup of tea to get these health benefits. But if you don’t want to throw away those treasured fibers or consume too much fructose, it’s best to enjoy winter citrus as a whole fruit. You could star citrus fruits in porridges and sweets, put slices in salads or add a zesty element to your sheet pan dinner.

Before you go all-in on winter citrus, it’s important to know that grapefruit interacts with common medications like cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood thinners, pain medication, certain antidepressants and antiviral drugs. So if you’re taking prescribed meds, please check with your doctor or pharmacist if it’s ok for you to consume grapefruit.

With that crucial note in mind, bring a burst of brightness to dark days with these 14 winter citrus recipes!

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Best Bowl Food: 18 Hearty & Healthy Meals in a Bowl | The Health Sessions

Best Bowl Food: 18 Hearty & Healthy Meals in a Bowl

After a tiring day, there’s nothing more comfortable than wrapping your hands around a warm bowl of food. No wonder buddha bowls have replaced a lot of standard plates over the past years.

I don’t know what makes deconstructed dishes like burrito bowls or bibimbap so cozy. Perhaps it’s the vibrant colors, perhaps the composition of all those tasty ingredients side by side. What I do know is that keeping components separately not only looks pretty, but can also be a great trick to cook family meals for picky eaters.

Bowl food often consists of a layer of whole grains, topped with greens, roasted veggies and grilled chicken or fresh tuna. Finally, the lunch and dinner bowls are sprinkled with fresh herbs and crunchy elements, like toasted nuts, sesame seeds or edamame. But you could also have a fresh smoothie bowl for breakfast, a savory brunch bowl for lunch or a healthy dessert bowl at night.

No matter the time of day or the occasion, there’s a savory or sweet food bowl for you to enjoy. Take a look at these 18 hearty and healthy meals for the best bowl food. 

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11 Gluten-Free Lunch Box Ideas | The Health Sessions

11 Gluten-Free Lunch Box Ideas to Bring with You

Over the past decade, more and more people have been eating gluten-free for a variety of reasons.

Not just because they suffer from celiac disease – a serious autoimmune disease in which the digestion of gluten leads to damage to the small intestine – but also because they follow a Paleo lifestyle or a low-carb diet.

Personally, I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free foods as part of the Autoimmune Protocol. But there’s one meal I struggle with: lunch time.

You see, I’m from the Netherlands, and a typical Dutch lunch consists of a whole wheat sandwich with cheese or deli meats. We love our bread, so much so that we pack our work lunch boxes with ‘boterhammen’, bring bread rolls on a day out and eat toasties in lunchrooms.

Now when I’m at home, I don’t mind whipping up a veggie-packed omelet or heating up leftovers from last night’s dinner. But on days when I’m off to the playground with my kids, I really miss simply putting sandwiches in my bag and heading out the door. Carrying a thermos of soup around on my bicycle feels like a recipe for disaster, so what other portable, no-heat, gluten-free lunch options are out there?

Before we dive in, let me get one thing straight: gluten are not necessarily your food enemy. Not everyone has to avoid the protein found in grains like wheat barley and rye. But if you do want to go gluten-free, check out these 11 ideas for a gluten-free lunch box.

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12 No-Cook Recipes to Make Without Turning On Your Stove | The Health Sessions

12 No-Cook Recipes to Make Without Turning On the Stove

On warm summer days, the last thing you feel like is turning on the stove or the oven to cook an elaborate dinner. Even firing up the grill outside can be too hot to consider. That’s when no-cook recipes come to your rescue.

Ok, not everything in no-cook recipes has to be raw. Using the microwave to make rice, popping pita bread in the toaster or pouring boiled water over a bowl of couscous requires little heat or energy. And it’s still quick and easy too!

What’s more, not only are these light and refreshing dishes perfect for summer evenings, no-cook recipes work all year round when you struggle to spend much time in the kitchen because of your health.

So get that summery feel without the flames with these 12 fresh no-cook recipes! 

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