The Raw Food Experience
Fitness apps are an easy and efficient way to get strong and achieve your fitness goals faster. Before you pay a visit to the app store, you'll want to read our article that will make choosing the perfect app feel effortless: Achieve Your Health Goals Faster Using Apps.
5 Fitness Apps You Need to Try
- C25K or Couch to 5K -- Want to be a runner? This app offers training plans for new runners who want to ease into running. After following the training plan for 9 weeks, users should be able to comfortably run a 5K. The benefit of this app is that it'll tell you exactly how far you have to walk and run each training session, so there is no guess work involved. It is the kind of running program that sets reasonable expectations for beginners, and if you need to repeat a week because life got in the way, then no problem. You can also share progress updates with family and friends and connect with the running community on social media.
- Daily Yoga -- Looking to attain a higher level of consciousness? Then you will want to consider this yoga app that offers users a library of over 500 yoga poses, and more than 50 yoga classes focused on flexibility, core, and strength. Classes are suited to all skills levels, from beginner to advanced, and all ages. A great feature of this app is that it will show you the correct posture and alignment, as well as describe the benefits of each pose. Whether you want to complete an entire class or practice a few poses, this app enables you to fit yoga into your busy schedule.
- Freeletics -- Are you a fan of high-intensity workouts? This app offers high-intensity routines and ideas that use body weight only, which means no equipment needed. The routines can be done anywhere, which again makes these routines very convenient to complete, and they range in length, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. You can choose from routines that focus on strength, running or cardio. For an additional fee, you can enlist the help of a training coach who will create an individualized training program based on the results of your fitness test (think a series of timed burpees, situps, pressups) and your personal fitness goals.
- Spotify Running -- Do you run with music? Imagine music that is set to match your tempo. Experts suggest that listening to music when you work out can be very motivating and with the right tempo, you can push your body harder and longer. The app will record your speed and then create a playlist of songs that matches your tempo. A benefit of this app is that you have the flexibility to increase your tempo, so the app will push your limits if you want it to. Also, if the playlist is not to your liking, you can choose from existing playlists at your preferred tempo.
- Heavyset -- Do you like to lift heavy? This app is designed to help you track your strength and weight training sessions, as well as create and store lifting routines. It allows you to record your weights and reps, so you can track your progress real time. The app is designed to be simple, so you can log your sets and focus on your workout, not the app. You can even share your brag-worthy sets with friends on social media.
With all of these fantastic fitness apps, you will no doubt achieve your fitness goals this year!
We want to hear from you - what's your fave app?
We all could use some support in achieving our healthy living goals. Whether you are aspiring to meditate, eat healthier, try new raw food recipes, exercise regularly, or sleep better, then do not fret as technology has got your back.
Apps That Support Your Healthy Living Goals
Whatever your goals may be, there are plenty of apps to help you be successful in creating and sustaining your healthy habits. If you haven't yet explored the app store on your smart device, here are few examples of categories of healthy living apps to choose from:
- Calorie and nutrition calculators - if you're looking to lose weight, increase your protein intake, or build muscle, then calorie and nutrition calculators are your new best friend. These apps help keep your nutrition on point and focused on your goals.
- Meditation, mindfulness and relaxation - if you want to begin meditating, practicing daily gratitude, breathing more deeply, or sleeping better, then let an app guide you through this process.
- Diet-specific recipes and meal planning - if you aren't sure what to prepare for meals and snacks now that you're eating raw, paleo, keto or gluten-free, then a recipe app will spare you from the trouble of having to create a meal plan. Achieving your dietary goals is much more sustainable when you are told what you can eat and when.
- Workouts based on your goals - from weight loss to muscle gains to strength and flexibility - apps that provide you with workout routines allows you to have a plan and keep your eye on the fitness prize.
- Running routes - when your running schedule says 6 kms and you want a new route, this type of app helps you map out your distance and gives you all of your precious running data, such as speed, time, elevation gain, calories burned, and will even compare your running data to other runners.
- Shopping list and personal budgeting - want to eat delicious and healthy meals and snacks, but not spend a fortune, then shopping and personal budgeting tools will help you keep your spending and nutrition under control.
- Habit trackers - if you want to create healthy habits, such as getting up at 6 a.m. three times a week or drinking 10 cups of water every day, then this tool will not only track your progress, but send you reminders too.
What to Look for in an App
When determining whether an app will help not hinder your healthy lifestyle, consider these factors:
- Will the app help me achieve my goals? There is an incredible number of apps to choose from, so don't settle for one that doesn't meet all of your needs. Do your research and find out what others with similar goals recommend. Also, if you begin using an app and find that it's not what you thought it was or you come across a better one, then don't be afraid to switch.
- Is the app easy and simple to use? An app that meets your needs will be straightforward and easy to navigate. If it is difficult to use, has a few glitches or is just not user-friendly, then you will most likely avoid using it at all cost. Don't let a bad app stand in the way of you achieving your goals.
- Does the app reward you for successes? Humans love to be recognized for good behaviour and an app that offers positive reinforcement for achieving goals will help keep you motivated. Encouragement goes a long way in reminding you of how well you are doing.
- Will the app send you reminders? We need a visual cue to remind us of our tasks. Having a virtual monkey on your back will ensure that you don't give yourself permission to slack off.
- Does the app track your behaviours? Seeing your progress laid out in front of you creates a very powerful emotional response. Progress towards our goals makes us happy and happiness encourages goal-oriented behaviours.
- Do essential features come at an added cost? If you're not willing to make in-app purchases and it's not useful otherwise, then it may be better to find another app.
- Can you share updates on social media? If it wasn't posted on social media, did it really happen? Show your friends, family and followers your progress. Get them to cheer you on or better yet, create some healthy competition by bringing them on board.
Comment below on what healthy living apps you would recommend!
Don't miss our next post on fitness apps!
If you're considering a raw food lifestyle, you'll want to equip yourself with the right kitchen tools to make your food preparation easier and faster and more fun.
With these tools, you'll be able to maximize your creativity in the kitchen, not the amount of time you spend there preparing your raw food dishes!
1. Turbo Boost Your Nutrition With a Juicer
Juicing is an efficient and easily digestible way to boost your daily dose of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Juicing involves the extraction of the juice of fruits, herbs, greens and vegetables by squeezing or spinning the produce (which then also separates the pulp or insoluble fiber from the juice). Blending, on the other hand, does not separate the pulp from the juice, so smoothies tend to be much more filling.
Juicing offers many health benefits, namely the soluble fiber contained in fresh juice helps balance blood glucose levels by slowing down the digestion of carbs. It also helps lower cholesterol levels by binding with the cholesterol and fat in your foods that is purged through your digestive system.
Juicing can be used to supplement your meals, treated as a snack or replace a meal entirely. It is hands-down the most efficient means of consuming a large quantity of fruits and vegetables.
Joe Cross was made world-famous when he documented his astonishing 100-pound weight loss in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by embarking on a 60-day juice fast to cure his auto-immune disease. Clearly, Joe's story is demonstrative of the power of raw food to heal the body.
2. Food Prep Made Easy With a Blender
A blender is an invaluable raw kitchen tool due to its versatility. You will likely be using your blender multiple times a day for a wide range of raw food recipes as they are great for pulverizing, grinding, chopping, crushing, and whipping and it can handle large volumes of produce. Pro-tip: Save yourself time by purchasing a tamper to go along with your blender. You won't have to make a point of stopping the blender to scrape, push down, stir its contents because a tamper is designed to push down denser ingredients into the cutting path of the blade while it is still operating. It also helps to remove any air pockets that form while blending.
3. A Dehydrator Adds Fun & Versatility
Dehydration is a form of food preservation. It removes the water from food and adds shelf life to your food without the heat used to "cook" food. Most dehydrators will have temperature settings, and to be considered raw, foods should not be heated above 47C (118F). With a dehydrator, you can make raw versions of cooked foods and add some crispy crunchy goodness to your plate, such as crackers, cereals, cookies, or veggie burgers. Need some inspiration in the kitchen? Visit Raw Food Recipes to find a wide range of mouth-watering raw vegan recipes.
4. Grow Your Own Greens With a Sprouter
"Sprouting" refers to the process of soaking seeds until they sprout. Sprouted raw nuts, seeds, beans and grains offer dense nutrition and easy energy. An easy way to ensure you always have some hand to throw into your salads, smoothies or juice is to sprout them yourself.
Sprouting makes grains, nuts and legumes easier to digest. The amount of time required for sprouting depends on what you are sprouting (grains, beans, nuts or seeds), but sprouting generally takes anywhere from 1 to 5 days from start to finish, and your sprouts will keep up to 7 days in the fridge.
5. Can't Live Without My Mandoline
With all of the fresh produce that will be crossing your cutting board, you'll want to have a good quality mandoline in your kitchen arsenal. A mandoline will enable you to slice larger quantities of food quickly and slice consistently, anything from papery thin slices of radish to julienned carrots to shredded brussel sprouts.
Share your kitchen must-haves - we want to hear from you!
- Tags: lifestyle
If you're ready to take your health to the next level, then consider adopting a raw food lifestyle. A diet consisting of raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains can have an unbelievable positive impact on your mind, body and soul.
Raw Food Lifestyle
Whole foods are an integral part of a healthy lifestyle as they are rich in vitamins, enzymes, and phytonutrients. A raw food, plant-based diet is typically low in sodium, and free from added sugars, preservatives, and unhealthy additives. When we eat food in its raw form, we feed our bodies natural enzymes that are vital to our health and digestion, whereas cooking at temperatures above 48C destroys these natural enzymes. By eating raw foods, we not only feel incredible, we look amazing too.
Amazing Health Benefits of Raw Food
A diet made up wholly or partially of raw foods can help you lose weight, clear your complexion, improve your digestive health, promote better sleep, and lower your chances of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
25 Must-Know Raw Food Terms
Whether your diet consists of 100, 80, 40 or 20 percent raw foods, this lifestyle has the power to transform your health. To help you navigate the raw food lifestyle, you will want to brush up on your raw food terminology. Here are 25 terms that will make you feel like an expert:
- Alkalizing: highly alkaline foods, such as fresh vegetables, fruits and unprocessed plant-based sources of protein, help your body maintain a more balanced pH level (see #19), which protects healthy cells and balance essential mineral levels.
- Cleanse: also known as detox, it's the process of ridding the body of harmful toxins, and may target a specific organ, such as the liver.
- Cold-pressed: method of extracting oil or juice that involves crushing the fruit, seeds, nuts, etc. through pressure and without the use of heat, which affects the taste and nutrition.
- Dehydration: a form of food preservation, foods are dried using a dehydrator (usually at temperatures of 37 to 49C).
- Digestive system: the group of organs that work together to convert food into energy and basic nutrients to nourish your body.
- Enzymes: proteins that act as catalysts within living cells and break down foods so your body can more easily absorb from raw foods.
- Fermentation: form of food preservation whereby natural bacteria feeds on the sugar and starch in foods (sauerkraut, pickles, apple cider vinegar) and creates lactic acid, which aids in digestion and increases immune response.
- Fiber: many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help control blood glucose (sugar), reduce cholesterol, and prevent constipation.
- Freeze drying: a form of food preservation, foods are cooled to -40C and then all of the moisture is removed using a freeze dryer.
- Fruitarianism: a diet made up exclusively or mostly of fruits, seeds, and certain vegetables.
- Juicing: extraction of juice using a juicer that pulverizes fruits, herbs, greens and vegetables.
- Living foods: uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, sprouted legumes and fermented foods.
- Macronutrients: energy-providing molecules found in your food (carbohydrates, lipids/fats, and proteins).
- Nut milk: a substitute to dairy milk, made by soaking raw nuts (almonds, cashews, coconut) and then blending with fresh water using a food processor or blender.
- Nutrients: molecules found in foods that your body uses to make energy, grow, and develop.
- Raw foodists or Rawists: individuals whose diets are made up mostly of raw foods, which may or may not include animal products.
- Raw vegan: a diet that excludes all animal products and is composed of uncooked fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains and legumes.
- Raw food: food that is grown and has not been heated beyond 40-45C (threshold varies, depends on who you ask).
- pH (Potential for freeing Hydrogen ions): the pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The scale runs from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline, and 7 being neutral. Our bodies generally maintain a pH very close to 7.4, which is just on the alkaline side of neutral, so when this varies too much, it is difficult for various enzymes to function properly and our health suffers.
- Phytonutrients: compounds found in plants that work with other nutrients to promote good health.
- Protein powder: raw, vegan commercially prepared protein powder can be used to supplement your diet, if desired although not necessary.
- Sproutarianism: a diet mainly of sprouted seeds.
- Sprouting: seeds, nuts and beans that have been soaked in water.
- Vegan: a diet that excludes all animal products.
- Vegetarianism: a diet that excludes all animal flesh, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustaceans; raw vegetarianism allows for uncooked fruit, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, dairy, eggs and honey.
Are you considering a raw food lifestyle?
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- Tags: lifestyle
Eating fermented foods is a guaranteed way to boost your immunity and improve your health in the New Year.
What are fermented foods?
Fermentation is a process whereby the natural bacteria in food feeds on the sugar and starch and this creates lactic acid, which is that signature sour taste found in fermented foods (think pickles or sauerkraut) -- this process is also known as 'lacto-fermentation.'
This fermentation process creates healthy enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics, which sustains a healthy digestive system.
"Good" vs. "bad" bacteria
Eating a balanced diet composed of nutrient-dense foods and consuming probiotics are considered essential components to maintaining good health and an optimal balance of "good" and "bad" bacteria in your body.
The following factors can destroy this delicate balance:
- a diet high in processed foods, hydrogenated fats and refined sugars and grains
- certain medications (antibiotics, painkillers, and birth control)
- urinary tract or yeast infections
- gastrointestinal conditions (inflammatory bowel disease, colitis or stomach flu)
Link between probiotics and digestive health
Probiotics are the healthy or "good" bacteria and yeasts that live naturally in your body. They are mainly found in your digestive system and help your body maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms by reducing the growth of "bad" bacteria. Astonishingly, there are around 100 trillion bacteria in your digestive system -- that's about 10 times more probiotics in your gut than cells in your body!
A healthy digestive system is critical to your overall well-being as it is directly linked to your body's ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, regulate hormones, digest food, produce vitamins, your immune response, and ability to eliminate toxins. Ultimately, when your digestive system is not functioning properly, your health is compromised.
Must-try fermented foods
Getting your daily dose of probiotics has never been easier, especially with these delicious options from which to choose:
- Vegan: kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, coconut yogurt, apple cider vinegar
- Non-vegan: kefir, kimchi, yogurt
To learn more about probiotics and their impact on your health, visit the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation's Guide on Understanding Probiotics.
Raw Food Experience Recommended Listening: CBC News interviewed a professor of microbiology at the University of Western Ontario on fermented foods and why they should have their own food group in Canada's Food Guide. You won't believe your ears!
- Tags: nutrition
Freeze drying and dehydrating are often mistakenly used interchangeably when in fact they are two very different methods of preserving food and both with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Food deteriorates when exposed to heat, oxygen and water
Three factors that cause food to deteriorate are heat, oxygen and water. Freeze drying is currently the best method of protecting food from these elements, which makes it a superior method of preserving food compared to dehydrating.
While freeze drying may be a better method of preserving food over dehydrating, both have their advantages and disadvantages that make one better than the other depending on the circumstances and your individual needs.
Key differences between freeze drying and dehydrating food
Below you'll find a list that covers these key differences, such as a nutrition, taste, cost, convenience, so you can easily decide for yourself which option better suits your needs.
This form of preservation does not use any heat, so the loss of nutrition is minimal (mostly vitamins C, A and E); free of chemicals and preservatives
|This form of preservation uses heat, so it's inevitable nutrients and vitamins are compromised, but there is no change in fiber and iron content; free of chemicals and preservatives (some commercial dehydrators use sulphur dioxcide as a food preservative)|
|Taste||Retains flavour||Change to flavour due to oxidization|
|Texture||Hard and crisp (as is) and returns to original texture after reconstituting||Tough, stretchy, chewy (as is) and depending on the food;can be chewy or softer after reconstituting|
|Aroma||Unchanged||Depends on the food (i.e., herbs become more fragrant whereas other food loses its fragrance)|
|Appearance||Retains shape and colour||Shriveled, darkens and loses colour (some commercially dehydrated foods contain sulphur dioxcide so the food retains its colour and looks more palatable)|
|Convenience||Lighter in weight than dehydrated food, but takes up more space; reconstitutes quickly (10 minutes or less) using hot or cold water; most items can be eaten freeze-dried||Light-weight and compact; most food needs to be reconstituted before eating; reconstitutes fairly quickly (20 minutes or longer) using boiling water|
|Preparation||Food does not need to be treated in advance; food can be freeze dried whole, either raw or cooked||Some foods need to be blanched before dehydrating; cut to 1/4" in thickness; exercise caution when mixing foods as some foods will overpower others|
An at-home freeze dryer is expensive and ranges anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000+
Price varies greatly, starts at around $60 for a small dehydrator, all the way up to $2,000 for a commercial-grade at-home dehydrator
|Processing time||Process takes anywhere from 24-36 hours; can freeze dry from fresh, frozen or cooked||Varies depending on the equipment and food, process takes anywhere from 2-30 hours; can dehydrate from fresh or cooked (some foods need to be blanched before dehydrating)|
|Storage & Shelf Life||No refrigeration required; store food in air-tight containers or bags; up to 25 years||No refrigeration required; store food in air-tight containers or bags; depends on the food, but anywhere from 2-5 years|
|Foods||Fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, full dishes||Fruits, vegetables, some meats|
Freeze drying or dehydrating - which is better?
Undoubtedly, there are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of preserving food, so determining which method better suits your needs depends greatly on how you intend to use the food, as well as how much time and money you want to invest. Freeze drying is the clear winner in terms of nutrition, taste, preparation and shelf life, but dehydrating is definitely more accessible with its low-cost equipment and quicker processing times.
Comment below if you have any experience freeze drying or dehydrating. We want to know which is your preferred method of preserving food.