Want to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain? Here’s What a Personal Chef Recommends

Personal Chef's Advice to Beat Holiday Buldge

23 Sep 2022

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Want to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain? Here’s What a Personal Chef Recommends

If you’re like most people, the holiday season is a time when unhealthy eating habits can easily creep in. Whether it’s Christmas cookies or New Year’s Eve champagne, it’s easy to let your guard down and indulge in things you wouldn’t normally eat. With some planning and some self-control, you can enjoy the holiday season without packing on the pounds. 

1- Be mindful of what you eat

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and, all too often, weight gain. If you’re determined to avoid adding extra pounds this holiday season, there are a few things you can do to stay on track.  

First, make sure to pre-plan:  

If you know, you’ll be attending a party where you may fall for unhealthy foods, eat a light meal beforehand so you don’t feel tempted to overindulge.  

When it comes time to fill your plate, be mindful of what you eat. Balance the Christmas cookies with some fruits and vegetables and limit yourself to one or two servings of each dish.  

It’s also important to stay active during the holidays. Take a brisk walk after dinner, go for hikes, or play tag with the kids.  

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the holidays without adding extra weight.  

2- Choose healthy options at gatherings

If you’re like most people, gatherings tend to revolve around food. And while it’s OK to indulge in your favorite comfort foods occasionally, it’s essential to ensure that you’re also making healthy choices. After all, the last thing you want is to undo all of your hard work simply because a plate of cookies tempted you. By making sure to go for healthy options, you can help yourself stay on track without feeling deprived. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods to choose from, so there’s no need to fill up empty calories. Remember to make wise choices the next time you’re at a gathering; it will be easy to keep track of your weight.    

3- Portion Control: Don’t go overboard

Most of us have been there before: we start with the best intentions, vowing to eat healthily and watch our portion sizes. But then we get busy or stressed, or we lose motivation. Before we know it, we’re eating half a dozen cookies instead of the one or two we originally planned. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be that way. By being mindful of our portion sizes and making thoughtful choices about the foods we eat, we can enjoy and indulge in the occasional treat without throwing our healthy eating habits out the window. So next time you feel tempted to go overboard, remember that moderation is key. A few extra cookies never hurt anyone, but a whole box might leave you feeling (and looking) a little bit worse for wear.  

4- Get moving! Incorporate physical activity into your holiday plans to help offset any extra calories you may be consuming.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and extra servings of grandma’s famous pumpkin pie. While you may indulge once in a while, there are easy ways to offset any extra calories you consume. An easy solution is to get moving! Incorporate physical activity into your holiday plans. A simple exercise like walking or swimming each day can help offset any extra calories you consume. Such moderate-intensity activities can help burn those extra holiday calories. And who knows, you might even have some fun in the process!  

So this holiday season, don’t let your fitness goals fall by the wayside. Get up and get moving – your body will thank you for it. 

5- If you do gain some fat, follow a meal plan to lose it.

Like most people, you probably indulge in one too many holiday treats. As a result, you may gain a few extra pounds. But don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to get rid of that holiday weight.  

First of all, cut back on your calorie intake. Instead of three large meals a day, try eating five or six smaller meals. Such a meal plan will help to boost your metabolism and help your body burn those extra calories.  

Secondly, make sure to exercise regularly. A combination of cardio and strength training is the best way to shed those unwanted pounds.  

Finally, follow a healthy meal plan. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. And drink plenty of water!  

By following these simple tips, you’ll be back to your pre-holiday weight in no time.  

Let a personal chef help you indulge without overindulging

Hiring a personal chef to help you with your meal planning is the best way to lose weight without sacrificing taste. Dietitians can help you create a healthy plan, but a personal chef can make sure it’s delicious. By customizing each dish to your liking, a personal chef can ensure you get the nutrients you need without feeling deprived of the foods you love. And because they do all the cooking and clean-up, you’ll have more time to focus on your fitness goals. So if you wish to lose weight without giving up tasty food, hire a personal chef. 


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Ways to store food safely - cookinGenie blog

24 Sep 2021

When we think of food safety, we usually think about cooking foods properly to prevent getting anyone sick. However, storing foods properly is just as important to prevent foodborne illness. Just like the actual preparation of food, all it takes is a little common sense to make sure you’re storing food safely.

Keep foods cold

This may sound obvious, but there are some extra steps you can take to make sure your fridge is keeping food cold enough. Make sure you check the temperature gauge in the fridge regularly, about once a week. If it is consistently higher than 40⁰F, you should turn the temperature down or get your refrigerator serviced.

Also be sure to keep the fridge closed as often as possible. Leaving the door open for extended periods of time as you rummage through the shelves can expose the food inside to warm air, causing it to spoil quicker. Try not to keep the fridge too jam-packed with food. If there’s not enough space in between food, the cool air will have a harder time circulating and keeping everything cold.

Where you store matters

Certain foods, like eggs, dairy, and raw meat are more sensitive to temperatures than others. To protect those foods, store them further back in the fridge to keep them colder. The shelf in the door is the warmest part of the fridge, so you want to keep condiments, drinks, and other ingredients that are less sensitive to temperatures there.

It’s also important to keep different ingredients separated from one another in the fridge. Dairy and eggs should be stored away from raw fruits and vegetables so that bacteria from the eggs don’t contaminate the produce.

Another good rule to remember is always store raw meat in the bottom of the fridge and produce in the top. If you have raw chicken breasts stored over fresh lettuce, there’s a chance those chicken breasts drip into the lettuce and contaminate it. To be safe, always store meat on the bottom. And if you have multiple kinds of meat in your fridge, chicken should always be below beef, pork, fish, or other meats as chicken requires the most cooking to be safe.

Keep food away from chemicals

Not all foodborne illnesses come from biological hazards like bacteria or parasites. Some come from chemical contaminants. When storing dry goods in the pantry, they should always be kept far away from bleaches, detergents, cleaning supplies, or any other potentially harmful chemicals. Even storing food in the same cabinet as chemicals could lead to an accidental spill that contaminates the food, which can cause serious illness.

Don’t put steaming hot food in the fridge

It’s very common for people to throw a whole pot of something in the fridge if they don’t feel like putting it into containers. That’s fine as long as the food has cooled down first. If you take a steaming hot pot of soup and place it into the fridge to “cool down”, all you’re really doing is warming up the fridge. The heat and steam from the soup will circulate around the fridge and warm up all of the food inside, likely above the safe 40⁰F. Additionally, the soup itself probably won’t cool down very quickly either, leaving it at an unsafe temperature for an extended period of time.

Instead of putting the hot food directly in the fridge, let it cool down at room temperature first. If you pour hot foods into a long container with more surface area, they’ll cool down quicker. You can also try putting hot foods on an ice bath. To make an ice bath, fill your sink with ice and cold water. Then take the container of hot food and put it in the sink so that the water comes about three-quarters of the way up the container. Give the food a few stirs and after about 30 minutes or so, it should be cool enough to store in the fridge safely.

At CookinGenie, the chefs are experts in food safety and know how to ensure food is being handled safely all the way from shopping for the ingredients, storing them properly, and cooking them in the safest way possible.

Author – Jared Kent

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Eating with the Planet in Mind: Understanding Climate-Conscious Eating

30 Nov 2022

Eating is not just about filling our stomachs – it is an opportunity to build a healthy and sustainable world. When we purchase food produced in an environmentally conscious manner, we send the message that healthy ecosystems and climate action matter. With this post, we will explore different ways of making climate-conscious choices when it comes to food, from shifting diets towards plant-based meals to becoming more aware of from where our ingredients come. We will explore strategies for making eco-friendly swaps, like choosing organic produce and small producers over large conglomerates. We will learn how our dietary decisions can contribute to building a healthier, more sustainable planet. So let us dive in.  

What are climate-conscious foods, and why are they important?

Understanding climate-conscious food is an essential step in fighting the climate crisis. Climate-conscious foods are produced sustainably and combine ingredients grown in a way that counts their environmental impact. For example, sustainable farming practices help reduce soil erosion and water pollution while supporting local biodiversity. But this is not just about ensuring our food supplies are free from toxic chemicals or dubious sources – it is also about recognizing how our food choices can either contribute to or diminish the effects of climate change. By buying locally sourced, fresh produce, we can help reduce our diet’s carbon footprint and support small businesses that are not negatively impacting the environment through their production methods. Eating more plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables can also help us reduce animal protein consumption without compromising nutrition. Sustainable seafood options ensure we keep stocks of essential ocean resources. By making wise lifestyle choices to inform our consumption patterns and ensuring we choose climate-conscious foods wherever possible, we can all do our part to promote healthy ecosystems for generations to come.  

How are climate-conscious foods making a difference?

Climate-conscious foods make a positive environmental difference through their natural property to sustainability and reducing resource consumption. Such foods require less energy for farming and processing without using non-renewable resources. For example, eating plant-based protein is gaining traction because it requires significantly less energy and water than animal products. In addition, local farm markets are becoming more popular as they allow people to purchase food with lower emissions from transport. Eating more organic produce is also beneficial as organic farming methods limit air and water contamination while providing natural nutrients in the crops.  

Furthermore, certified aquaculture operations can help to prevent overfishing of seafood populations while helping to reduce emissions associated with fishing fleets. As a result, climate-conscious food choices positively impact our environment’s future by reducing energy consumption and protecting species from extinction. When considered along with other environmentally friendly practices, these measures can help make a significant difference to the health of our planet in the years ahead. This type of sustainable lifestyle needs public awareness to encourage policymakers to make changes on larger scales, such as levying taxes on emission-intensive activities or encouraging investment in renewable sources like wind power or solar energy. Therefore, we should all look for ways to become more aware of how climate-friendly our food choices are and support organizations that promote sustainability to move toward a healthier environment for future generations. Each small action we take will collectively add up when making meaningful change movements.  

Health Benefits

Climate-conscious eating offers a range of benefits that most of us overlook. From preventing nutrient deficiencies to boosting immune systems, these dietary changes have the potential to improve well-being significantly.  

  • Climate-conscious eating results in a lower intake of saturated fat and cholesterol levels, leading to lower rates of hypertension and obesity. According to scientific studies, it also reduces one’s risk of developing several types of cancer as a climate-conscious diet typically includes considerable amounts of fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, and low levels of animal products like dairy and eggs.
  • At a macro level, it helps reduce carbon emissions. It has profound positive impacts on one’s physical health due to the ample supply of plant antioxidants that protect cells against free radical damage.  
  • Moreover, incorporating diet modifications such as intermittent fasting or cutting out unhealthy snacks can improve one’s relationship with food while helping to boost energy levels when undertaken responsibly. Climate-conscious eating goes beyond environmental considerations: it can dramatically improve individual health outcomes.  

Thus, for anyone looking for ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle in tandem with bettering their diet, indulging in climate-conscious eating is an excellent way forward.

Sustainability Benefits

Climate-conscious eating encompasses a set of nutritional choices that seek to minimize one’s contribution to climate change. From a sustainability perspective, these decisions can provide highly beneficial results socially, politically, and morally. By being mindful of food purchases and consumption, individuals can reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which are contributing to global warming and severe weather conditions. Moreover, when making ethical eating choices, an individual considers the health and well-being of the planet’s ecosystems. This consideration includes promoting biodiversity by avoiding overharvesting from land or sea so that our natural resources are not compromised.  

Furthermore, such positive behaviors help conserve precious water, protect soils from degradation and decrease deforestation to preserve wildlife habitat. Lastly, fairer forms of production get supported by buying locally and shopping with companies that prioritize environmental health as a factor in their supply chain practices.  

These benefits make sustainable climate-friendly eating a valuable effort on the journey to living more healthily concerning our world’s environment.  

Sustainable Food Examples

Sustainable eating has recently become more popular, and for a good reason: it is beneficial for the environment, cheaper to do, and provides a healthier alternative. Sustainable eating includes consuming environmentally sound food that provides valuable nutrients. Some of these foods include:   

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables include tomatoes, squash, eggplants, zucchini, and peppers.  
  • Organic grains such as quinoa and farro.  
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds and chia.  
  • Beans, pulses, and lentils such as borlotti beans or chickpeas.  
  • Seafood like mussels cultivated rather than wild-caught, locally sourced mushrooms and seaweed.  

Eating sustainably also includes:    

  • Reducing food waste to stretch our resources farther by utilizing leftovers creatively.  
  • Opting for seasonal fruits & vegetables for more nutritional value than preserved ones.  
  • Choosing unpackaged items over highly processed goods.  
  • Favoring plant proteins over animal proteins   
  • Prioritizing local producers to honor artisanal techniques & reduce transportation costs from abroad.  
  • Patronizing farmers’ markets to understand the source of our food.  
  • Growing your own food if possible.  

These principles guide us toward reestablishing harmony between nature and ourselves through conscious consumption.

Summary

Eating with the planet in mind is crucial to reducing the carbon footprint and leaving a more minor, more sustainable mark on the environment. To ensure that your meals are climate-conscious, try to include locally sourced ingredients, and do not be afraid to get creative with plant-based options like soy or jackfruit. Amplifying knowledge of zero-waste principles will have positive effects as well. We do not need to overhaul our eating habits to take meaningful action completely – small steps can lead to significant changes when reducing our impact on the planet. In sum, with a bit of thought and effort, we can all make eco-friendlier choices around dining for the sake of our earth’s future. Climate-conscious eating creates a healthier and more secure planet. In doing so, let us not forget that food has always been about culture, friendship, and joy – factors we must strive to protect so that generations can continue enjoying its benefits for years to come. 

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30 Oct 2019

A friend of mine recently ordered delivery of groceries to her home. The person delivering presented her a business card and offered his services as a home cook. Not only was he willing to purchase her groceries, but he was also willing to prepare her food. Talk about full service! We wanted to applaud this gentleman for combining his talents with a secondary service that his customer base would benefit from. Not only can he expand the services he offers, but he can also reach a wider base of people who could benefit from his services.

The gig economy is growing with no signs of slowing down. We think we’re going to see more and more of this kind of crossover opportunity. It makes sense to diversify. By offering more than one service you become more valuable to your customers, and your service becomes even more individualized and personal based on your knowledge of their preferences. It also opens the door to additional profits. It allows you to offer a secondary service to the families that you cook for already and creates an endless stream of new individuals who might be looking for a home cook but never considered one before.

Maybe you’re working as an Uber Driver or a Task Rabbit already and you have a dream of becoming a cook. But the enormous amount of training or investment to open your own business is daunting. Alternatively, starting from the ground up with an entry level job at a restaurant usually means years of hard work & inflexible hours just to gain a base level of knowledge. But becoming a home cook is a new emerging opportunity that is gaining in popularity each year. Just as people are willing to outsource their cleaning, or their grocery shopping many busy families and professionals don’t have the time or expertise to cook quality meals each day.

Many home cooks start small, by apprenticing with an experienced cook. Going with them to jobs teaches them how to speak to clients, plan menus, and execute dishes in a time efficient manner. It can also teach them how to overcome some of the common quirks that come with cooking in someone else’s kitchen. Some start by portion sharing with friends and family. Meaning just preparing a double batch of whatever you cook for your own family and selling the bonus portion to friends and family. Some start by delivering meals or offering pick up services with a set menu and build a clientele with a Facebook group.

Then there are businesses like ours. We take experienced cooks and home cooks alike and introduce them to the world of being a home cook. We can help you with advertising, building a clientele, and growing your business. We can help you build your own reputation, while earning a decent wage.. The possibilities are endless in a gig economy, but everyone has to start somewhere. If you want to cook fresh meals to help out busy folks who want to eat food made in their own kitchens, send us a note. We are here to help!

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