Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Make Every Morning a Better Morning

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A successful, stress-free day rarely happens when the morning gets off to a rough start. If you find that your days have become a victim of a morning routine that is increasingly rushed and disorganized, here are a few simple tips from Mopfrog of The Hamptons to help you regain control of your morning and improve your entire day!

Hydrate and Nourish Your Body Each Morning for Energy and Focus

Food cravings, energy lags and an inability to focus on work are common problems that many of us experience during the workday. What you may not know is that these problems and many others are often caused by a lack of proper hydration and nutrition. If you are shaking your head as you read this because you think you have no time to worry about these things during your already hectic morning schedule, you may be simply over-thinking the process.

Break the Night’s Fast with Proper Hydration

Most of the systems in our bodies remain on the job while we sleep. During the course of the night, these activities use up much of the body’s hydration reserves, leaving us dehydrated, achy and sluggish when we awaken. To test this theory for yourself, place a glass of water on the bedside table tonight when you retire and drink the entire glass in the morning before you get out of bed. Doing this replenishes the body’s water reserves, leaving you feeling much more alert and ready to take on your day.

In addition to adding additional hydration to your morning routine, remember to keep energy levels high throughout the day by taking frequent hydration breaks. For the best results, choose plain water or water with a slice of citrus for flavor, instead of coffee, sodas or other sweetened beverages that can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then plummet, leaving you ready for a mid-afternoon nap, instead of productive.

Grab and Go Nutrition 

Although a sit down breakfast is a great way to spend time as a family, the nutrition your body requires can be obtained through simple foods that can be eaten on the run. Even better, these foods can be prepared ahead of time, so all you have to do in the morning is grab and go from your own kitchen, instead of stopping at the local drive-thru. Here are some great examples for you to try:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Fresh fruit bowl
  • Yogurt and fruit parfaits
  • Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
  • Whole grain toast with a spread of peanut butter or avocado and tomato slices

To avoid feeling hungry a couple hours later, pick the right type of carbs – like fruit and whole grains – and pair with healthy fats and lean proteins. When shopping for these foods, always choose the healthiest ones possible. Look for organic labeling or source them from a local organic grower in your area to ensure that they are fresh and produced without harmful chemicals and additives. Avoid processed carbs and sugars and instead choose whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein to give your body the fuel it needs to stay alert and active all day long.

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An Apple a Day May Not Keep the Doctor Away: What You Need to Know About the Safety of Commercially Grown Apples

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away. As a family owned business, Mopfrog of Danbury heard that phrase from their parents and grandparents as a way to encourage choosing what was once one of the healthiest snacks available – a plump, shiny apple. Now, however, apples are at the top of a frighteningly different list.

This other list is known as the Dirty Dozen, an annual list of fruits and vegetables that contain the highest levels of pesticides, as compiled by one of the leading environment advocacy groups, The Environment Working Group (EWG). In addition to apples, peaches and nectarines, common berries, such as strawberries and vegetables such as celery, kale and cherry tomatoes also make the list. 

Apple Facts

If you are wondering how apples made the leap from healthy and wholesome to pesticide-laden, much of it has to do with the procedures used by non-organic apple producers to maximize the harvest and keep their product attractive and market-worthy both before and after it is grown. In addition to pesticides used to prevent insect infestation in the orchards while the fruit is growing, apple producers and packers commonly apply diphenylamine (DPA) to the apples after harvest to prevent discolorations from occurring during cold storage that would make the apples unsuitable for market. 

Although DPA has been banned from this type of use in Europe, it continues to be used by commercial non-organic apple growers and fruit producers here in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), includes diphenylamine in its NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. Symptoms related to exposure to this chemical are serious and include skin and eye irritation, hematuria (blood in the urine), increases in blood pressure, changes in heart rate and even reproductive issues. 

Sourcing Safe Apples

Apples, applesauce and apple juices have traditionally been favorite foods of kids and adults alike, which provides even more reason to search out and patronize apple sources that grow this fruit using pesticide-free, organic methods. Even if there are no organic orchards in your area, you may be able to source healthy apples through a food coop or even a friend or family member who has surplus apples from their own trees. Apples store easily, making it possible to purchase them in bulk. Most varieties will stay crisp and juicy in the refrigerator crisper or a cool basement for weeks or even months. 

To extend your enjoyment of organic, pesticide free apples (and other fruits), consider learning to make and preserve fresh applesauce and juice and store it in the freezer. Home canning can also provide a way to safely and easily process apples and many other types of fruit for long-term, shelf stable storage. As a bonus, home processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables means that you can control additives, such as sugar. When you are offering healthy, pesticide-free apples to your family, you can smile as you say, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”.

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Danger in the Cupboard: Why You Should Consider Canning the Can

canned-food2Trying to stay within the budget and eat healthy foods can be a difficult juggling act that causes many people to rely heavily on canned foods, especially in areas where the growing season is short or where it is difficult to find affordable fresh foods. While not as healthy as fresh, organically grown foods, canned fruits, vegetables and meats can be a viable alternative, but only if the canning process does not expose the consumer to harmful substances, such as BPA.

What is BPA?

Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, is found in many of the plastics and resins used in the food manufacturing industry. In canned foods, BPA is often found in the epoxy resin coating that lines the interior of the cans. In addition, food and beverage industries also use this substance to coat the interior of jar and bottle lids.

An Endocrine Inhibitor

Although BPA is known to be an endocrine inhibitor, the Food and Drug Administration’s current stance is that it is safe for use in the food supply at low levels of exposure. This stance, however, is under review due to multiple concerns that exposure to BPA can damage the brain and prostrate glands of unborn children, as well as causing health and development issues for infants and older children.

In addition, numerous scientific studies have now linked BPA exposure to serious health and developmental issues, such as obesity, cancer of the breast and prostrate gland, early-onset puberty, ADHD and other serious conditions. Other countries have taken an even more aggressive stance to BPA, such as France’s 2015 decision to ban the use of BPA in all food containers. Unlike the United States, many countries around the world have, or are in the process of, banning this dangerous substance for food-related uses.

Choose to Protect Your Family While Shopping

While choosing fresh, organically grown foods is always the most healthful option, there are times when having a supply of easily stored foods is desirable, especially in busy households. To keep BPA out of your family’s food, Mopfrog of Atlantic City, suggests shopping for dried or frozen foods instead of canned whenever possible. Additionally, when fresh is not an option, look for products that are packaged in glass jars or cardboard cartons, instead of plastic.

Consider Processing Your Own Foods at Home

Another excellent way to eliminate BPA from your food supply and reap the convenience benefits of canned foods is to learn to process fruits, vegetables and even meats at home. Unlike what you may have heard, home canning is safe and enjoyable. When foods are properly processed and sealed using approved, sanitary methods, they retain their taste, color and nutrition just as reliably as commercially canned goods.

In addition, canning at home allows families to improve their level of food security by purchasing large quantities of fresh, locally grown foods and canning them for use throughout the year. The movement toward home canning is growing, as more families choose to move away from chemical-laden commercially produced foods and opt instead for the health, taste, value and nutrition of fresh, organic foods.

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