healthy meals

The Unexpected Benefits of the Coronavirus Lockdown

‘2020’ had a very nice, symmetrical ring to it… until it actually arrived. Now, with almost half the year gone in virtual captivity for most of us, it will probably be remembered as the Year of the Virus or the Year of the Lockdown.

However, the worldwide shutdown has had some positive consequences, too. It seems that human beings manage to find a silver lining no matter how dark the cloud.

Air Quality

Source:time.com

We could have predicted some of the benefits of the lockdown, for example, the fall in world pollution levels due to the massive decrease in daily commutes and international travel.

It is estimated that poor air quality costs the average person three years off their life expectancy. Marshall Burke, an environmental resource economist from Stanford University found that the improvement in air quality in China alone has saved the lives of 4,000 children under 5 and 73,000 adults over 70.

Chinese air quality has been markedly worse than the world average for decades due to the country’s over-industrialization. However, the improvement in air breathability is a worldwide phenomenon, and citizens the world over are already reaping its benefits.

The lockdown’s impact on emissions goes far beyond just workers traveling to and from work; it even includes moms driving to the store for groceries, running errands, and taking their children to sports practice. Covid-19 has put a stop to all of that.

As a result, online shopping which had already been on the uptick prior to the pandemic has boomed. The lockdown was just what the doctor ordered, so to speak, for online retailers. The surge in online apparel shopping has been a boon for reputable websites like Seven.Deals, which consistently offer huge savings.

Better Diets

Source:telegraph.co.uk

Perhaps the most positive side-effect of the lockdown that we can personally see has been the forced departure from junk food and unhealthy precooked meals. A study by Reuters of 11,000 people across 11 countries found that the lockdown has inspired a significant shift in eating habits.

Previously, a quick and convenient lunch was the most unavoidable reason to eat out virtually every single day for most workers. A wide choice of midday meals was conveniently available at countless restaurants and cafes within walking distance of the workplace. Unfortunately, that convenience brought with it a wealth of unhealthy options soaked in saturated fats and excess calories.

With the daily commute to and from work gone, people are easily saving at least an hour of travel time to dedicate to their own wellbeing. It seems that this additional time is being put to good use in creating healthy meals at home.

Source:unicef.org

There has actually been a twofold impetus behind the trend towards better eating. The second reason is the lack of temptation.

With trips to stores becoming few and far between, there is a decreased likelihood of being tempted to impulse-buy treats and comfort food off the shelves. Junk food ads are still running on TV but with the opportunity to shop so scarce itself, there has been an inevitable decline in the amount of salt, sugar, and artificial additives in our diets.

Self-Sufficiency

One of the most alarming things about the lockdown period was the sight of empty store shelves. For most of us, it was a scene that we had only seen in the news from other countries, but could never imagine experiencing here at home. The shock has inspired a shift towards self-sufficiency.

From making bread at home (which led to dry yeast flying off the shelves) to a surge in sales of gardening tools and seeds, Americans are taking matters into their own hands. Data shows that there has been a 36 percent increase in the number of us growing vegetables, herbs and tomatoes at home. A whopping 65 percent of those individuals said that they were inspired to do so because of the uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus.

This trend is partially related to the point about healthy eating which we touched on above. People have found that they can grow fresh produce at home, foregoing the pesticides and additives that are essential to mass-produced crops. With the pride and satisfaction of growing your own food comes the pleasure of creating meals that your own hard work has reaped.

The result is meals that taste better, cost less to make, and bring with them myriad health benefits for the entire family.

Boundless Creativity

If the lockdown has taught us one thing, it is that we can entertain ourselves at home. While most people inevitably fall into the trap of binge-watching TV shows and movies, some are taking the creative route out of boredom.

There has been an explosion in the number of DIY projects that people are attempting in their own homes. The projects range from simple forays into art and decoration to furniture builds and automobile restoration. For others, it manifests as a simple rearrangement of furniture in every room of the house.

Whatever form thee creativity takes, there is no doubt that the world is discovering an entirely new dimension to its creativity in isolation.

In fact, it seems that while late-night show hosts are struggling to produce content from the solitude of their palatial homes, the average YouTuber and Twitch streamer is finding no such challenge. There has been a substantial increase in the number of video channels creating and uploading original content on a regular basis this year.

On a more serious and practical note, inventors and researchers are turning their ingenuity to solving the unique problems that the coronavirus presents. With patents for devices from hands-free door openers to special ventilators to antiviral masks, they are proving that the saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ is absolutely true.

Source:adventureinourteacups.com

A Testament to Human Spirit

As we approach the middle of the year, there seems to be some respite from the relentless bad news. Data indicates that the number of new infections has begun to taper off and that many more people are recovering from the disease than before. Meanwhile, scientists have made significant progress towards the development of a vaccine.

For all the misery the coronavirus has inspired, the most important lesson we can take from it is that the indomitable human spirit always prevails.

Health Benefits Behind Breakfast

We have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so many times that we have started to take it for granted. The truth is that there is a solid scientific backing behind this statement and we could all use a refresher course in benefits of the breakfast.

By eating breakfast, we are sending an important message to our body, telling that it can expect a full complement of calories and there is no need to conserve energy. According to Christy C. Tangney, Ph.D., a clinical dietitian at Rush University Medical Center, this can benefit our body mass index.

source: seriouseats.com

“Studies have found that although people who skip breakfast eat slightly fewer calories during the day, they tend to have higher body mass index or BMI,” dr. Tangney says.

“We use BMI, the ratio of a person’s weight compared to height, as an easy measure of whether someone is in the range of his or her healthy weight or not,” she says. “A BMI of 25 or higher, for example, indicates that someone is overweight and needs to take action to come back to their ideal weight.”

According to Ecellulitis.com, regular breakfast can also help to make our natural defense system stronger and fight successfully against many common health issues. Several studies have also found that people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories, have higher fiber and calcium intake, meet the dietary recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake. School children who have breakfast before school have better performance and grades.

source: bayareahoustonmag.com

Missing breakfast can lead to being overweight and consuming unhealthy snacks.

In order to feel the full benefits of regular breakfast, we need to pay attention to what we eat in the morning. Having just a muffin and a cup of coffee won’t be enough. You should try having cereals with high fiber content, combined with fresh fruit and low-fat milk. Another good choice is a low-fat protein shake or toast with peanut butter. Later in the day, you can have some fresh fruit for your mid-morning snack.

“Especially with protein bars and some yogurts; some of them can have a lot of added sugar,” says Tangney. “It’s a good idea to try to keep sugars under 20 grams and look for bars with about 6-10 grams of protein, and 3 or more grams of fiber.”

source: powerofpositivity.com

Consulting with a dietitian is a good idea if you have some specific issue that prevents you from eating certain foods.

“Breakfast is like exercising,” Tangney says. “If you make room for it in the morning, you’ll look and feel great throughout the day.”

Amazing benefits of air fryers

A new amazing gadget that everyone is talking about. Air fryers do indeed, have a lot to offer. This appliance can help you make not only delicious but also healthy meals that are no less tasty than those made in oil fryers. What it can offer you are low-fat, healthy meals, and it’s very easy to clean. Instead of oil, it uses hot-air circulation while cooking your ingredients from all angles. Whatever your favorite food is, an air fryer can make it all: fries, chips, meat, pastries, vegetables…

Healthier cooking and quicker meals

The hot air cooks food quickly making your food crispy on the outside while keeping it fluffy and moist inside. Sounds delicious, right? Electrical elements heat the air which will continue to circulate around and through your food. This little gadget doesn’t require oil for cooking meaning your food can be completely oil-free and healthy. A chicken breast that was fried contains around 30 percent more fat than the same amount of roasted chicken. By using an air fryer, you can cut the fat content up to 75 percent. Air fryers require 50 times less oil than deep fryers. However, if you do decide to use oil, you can. The air fryer is much smaller than the regular oven meaning it will heat and circulate the air faster allowing you to prepare your meals much quicker than you would in the oven.
Air fryers can also reduce the content of harmful compounds in your food since frying food can create certain dangerous compounds such as acrylamide. One study found that air-frying food can reduce the amount of acrylamide by 90 percent. You can find the Power Air Fryer online and order it for a truly reasonable amount of money.

Easy to clean and energy efficient

Source:thekrazycouponlady.com

Many air fryers are dishwasher safe, but you can simply wash the basket and the pan in a matter of minutes. They don’t take up much of your space and they don’t heat up your space since they don’t waste as much energy as the regular oven does. Once you take most of your cooking from oven to an air fryer, you will definitely see a drastic change on your electric bills. Less oil also means faster cleaning. It can be one of the most helpful devices for every busy person looking to spend as little time as possible on preparing food since it can prepare food and be cleaned in a matter of minutes. Its parts are made from non-stick material which prevents the food from sticking making it a lot easier to clean. It is, however, recommended to soak the parts before cleaning.

Less Odor

Since the air and steam coming out of the air fryer contain less fat, the odor will be reduced to a minimum.

Source:fitmencook.com

It’s versatile

You can make truly anything with this appliance. Desserts, meat, vegetables…anything you can think of. Many brands will also send you a cookbook that can help you get the most out of your air fryer.