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Seasonal Spring Produce

Spring is officially here and that means that delicious spring produce is in season. Start enjoying these yummy in-season foods now.

In addition to arugula, other leafy greens like romaine and red leaf lettuce are also in season. These leafy greens are rich in vitamins A, K, and folate, chlorophyll, fiber, and water. They can help reduce inflammation while also hydrating and detoxifying your body.

Build delicious salads with these leafy greens and other veggies, nuts or seeds, drizzled with EVOO, balsamic vinegar or citrus juice.

Despite being available in both spring and fall, artichokes are a great spring food. Rich in folic acid, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and many minerals, artichokes can help lower cholesterol, reduce free radicals, and promote optimal metabolic cell function.

You can boil artichokes for about 20 minutes and enjoy them by peeling off the leaves and pairing it with your favorite dipping sauce.

Asparagus contains an abundance of vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting, heart and bone health, cancer prevention, and other functions. It’s also loaded with copper, selenium, B vitamins and other important nutrients.

Cooking asparagus is fairly simple. You can sauté it with your favorite seasonings in butter, ghee, or your oil of choice. Just be cautious to not overcook them. Don’t let them get too wilted – you want them to stay vibrant green and retain their shape.

As you may gather from their deep and juicy color, beets are great for blood and circulation. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which can lower blood pressure, boost stamina, and support detoxification.

There are numerous ways you can reap the benefits beets. You can juice them, add them to smoothies, roast them as a side dish, or even add them to salads.

When they’re in season locally, carrots taste even better. These delicious root vegetables are high in vitamin A and other antioxidants and help you maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.

As we all know, carrots are yummy whether eaten raw or cooked. Chop, slice or shred them onto anything from salads to sandwiches, or bring them along as a travel snack.

Mint has powerful healing properties. It contains rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant that can relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. It also contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant, and can soothe an upset stomach.

Since mint is such a delicate herb, it’s best not to cook it. Instead, add it to water or iced tea for natural flavoring. You can also add it as an edible garnish, or chop it up and add it to fruit salads.

Peas are an excellent anti-inflammatory food thanks to the wide variety of vitamins and minerals they contain, including vitamins C, K, several B vitamins, manganese, phosphorus, and protein. Because they have a short growing season, enjoying them during their peak is something special.

Snack on sugar snap peas straight out of the pod or add them to salads, smoothies, stir-fries, noodle dishes, and more.

There’s nothing better than ripe, sweet strawberries. Did you know they are among the top five sources of antioxidant-rich fruit in the U.S.? And despite containing fructose, strawberries can help balance blood sugar. Strawberries also contain polyphenols which support immunity, healthy cell renewal, and other functions.

Eat them raw or freeze them (with the stems removed) to add to smoothies. You can also add them to chia pudding or oatmeal, make jam, or even make decadent chocolate-covered strawberries.

Spring Onions
Speaking of polyphenols, onions contain a high amount, especially flavonoids, which are compounds that play a major role in disease prevention. They are also natural antihistamines, and have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Add raw onions to salads or tacos, sauté them with sea salt as a tasty caramelized onion side dish, or use them as a tasty base for spring sauces and soups.

Radishes are a great detoxifier. They work at removing waste and toxins from both the stomach and liver. Also a natural diuretic, radishes help treat urinary and kidney conditions. In addition, they hydrate your skin, reduce fevers, and even treat insect bites.

You can add raw slices to salads, roast them as a side dish, or even juice them for a healthy drink.

What are your favorite seasonal spring foods? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

For a yummy deli sandwich or salad made with the finest and freshest ingredients available, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona! We are open weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Potentially Dangerous Holiday Foods

Getting sick in general is never fun. Falling ill from food, especially when it could have easily been prevented, can be worse. With the holidays fast approaching, it’s best to know which common holiday foods could potentially put you at risk.

Chicken Liver Paté
Hosts often choose this as an “easy” option to serve, however, it is responsible for a rise in food poisoning. Thanks to celebrity chefs, more and more people are leaving it pink in the middle.

Campylobacter is a common cause of bacterial food poisoning, and about 80% of these cases stem from undercooking liver paté. Symptoms of this type of food poisoning include diarrhea, stomach pains, and fever, and in severe cases, paralysis and even death.

Listeria could be lurking in your cheeses, and unfortunately, symptoms mimic those of the flu. Severe cases can lead to meningitis and septicemia. In pregnant women, the bacteria can cause miscarriage or may be passed on to the unborn baby.

Although odds have drastically decreased over the years, there is still a chance you may get salmonella from eggs. And eggnog, as the name suggests, gets its frothiness from eggs. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting and fever (with severe cases resulting in septicemia and peritonitis).

Choose eggs with the red lion mark, which indicate they are from vaccinated eggs, and cook your eggnog to 106°F/71°C to kill off the bug.

You want to cook this properly, taking the appropriate measures to defrost, prep and cook the bird. Avoid washing the turkey as it can spread bacteria around the kitchen, and consider cooking your stuffing in a separate tin to decrease the risk for foodborne illness.

Be sure that your turkey is cooked thoroughly by checking the internal temperature throughout and in the thickest part. The standard safe internal temperature for turkey is 165°F and there should be no pink in the meat.

Christmas Pudding
Traditionally, a silver sixpence is stirred into the Christmas pudding mix. The finder is believed to meet wealth and good luck in the year to come. Over the years, the tradition has slowly declined and all but disappeared. But, as a person may choke on the sixpence, it is likely a good thing that the tradition has faded away.

If not stored properly and eaten within a set amount of time, your delicious leftovers could make you sick. Try to avoid leaving food out for longer than 2 hours and be sure to eat your leftovers in a timely fashion. If you do not plan on finishing your turkey within two days of cooking, your best bet is to send it home with guests or to freeze it.

Share your own food warnings with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for a delicious breakfast or lunch. We are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm. Stop by, call ahead, or order online. And we are now offering delivery via DoorDash and UberEATS!

Combat Fatigue With These Foods

Fatigue often refers to the strong sensation of tiredness, usually occurring after strenuous physical and mental activity. It can also be accompanied by headaches, muscle tension, and other pain. Most cases are mild, but it can turn into a chronic issue due to its severity and recurrence.

Fatigue can be a symptom of an underlying cause, which is why it is important to address it. A change in daily fitness habits and an increase in consumption of certain foods that can increase your energy levels help to fight fatigue. Here are some of the best foods for an easy and delicious energy boost.

Bananas are a great source of potassium, which helps regulate your blood pressure while supporting the processes that transform sugar into fuel for your body. They also contain significant amounts of vitamins A, B complex and C, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, fructose and glucose. These nutrients assist in quelling that tired feeling and improving physical and mental performance.

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are known to be a natural remedy for relieving fatigue and a weakened immune system. These contain large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are known for packing energy and the ability to control cholesterol and inflammation. They also contain B-complex vitamins and minerals (magnesium and copper) necessary for muscular and mental rest. They are also a source of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that can improve the quality of your sleep and help with emotional fatigue.

Natural Yogurt
Yogurt offers essential amino acids and carbohydrates, which support your physical and mental energy, keeping tiredness and concentration problems at bay. Yogurt also contains probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that improve digestion and support immune system function.

Omega 3 fatty acids and natural fiber make walnuts a smart choice to fight fatigue. Once assimilated, they counteract the weakness caused by fatigue. Moderate consumption can increase your energy levels and support endurance during high-impact physical activity.

These legumes deserve a spot in everyone’s diet because they fight fatigue and promote good heart and immune system health. They provide a great amount of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and protein, all of which eliminate tiredness and improve focus. Minerals like potassium and magnesium are found in beans and keep physical and mental energy up as well.

Spinach offers numerous nutritional benefits, including a high mineral and fiber content. It is also a great source of iron, potassium, and magnesium – essential minerals that improve your circulation and control inflammatory processes of your body. Vitamins C and B are also found in spinach (a deficiency in vitamin B is associated with a higher likelihood of suffering from weakness and chronic fatigue).

Because they pack so much energy, it is recommended that we eat the “queen of the grains” at least 3 times a week. Oats are full of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and natural fiber to improve digestion and the immune system. And its high-quality carbohydrates are stored in your body as glycogen, which eventually turns into fuel for the body.

Dehydration-related symptoms of fatigue are often improved by eating watermelon. Watermelon is loaded with water and nutrients to rehydrate you, and they are especially helpful after exercise or strenuous physical activity.

Which foods help you fight fatigue? Share your favorites with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Fuel up at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Visit us for breakfast or lunch six days a week – visit the to learn more.

The Importance Of Potassium

Potassium is an important electrolyte and interacts with sodium to perform various functions including balancing fluids and mineral levels within our bodies. It is found within all our cells and its levels are controlled by our kidneys. It is necessary for numerous cellular functions including regulating heartbeat rhythms and nerve impulses, muscle contractions, preventing muscle aches, supporting digestive health and boosting energy levels.

The recommended daily intake of potassium is as follows:

  • Infants 0-12 months: 400-700mg/day
  • Children 1-8 years: 3,000-3,800mg/day
  • Teens 9-18 years: 4,500-4,700mg/day
  • Adults 19 and older: 4,700mg/day
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding: 5,100mg/day

Some people, such as athletes, require even more potassium because of their higher muscle mass. Their bodies rely on effective blood flow to carry nutrients to vital organs, bones and broken-down muscle tissue.

Low levels of potassium can be dangerous and life-threatening. It is estimated that all groups in the U.S. are getting less than the daily recommended amount. The USDA reports that the median intake of potassium by adults in the U.S. is approximately 2800-3300mg for men and 2200-2400mg for women.

People most likely to have low potassium levels include:

  • Those who take diuretics in order to treat high blood pressure or heart disease
  • Anyone who frequently takes laxatives
  • Anyone who has recently had an illness that caused vomiting and diarrhea
  • Those with certain kidney or adrenal gland disorders
  • Alcoholics
  • People with uncontrolled diabetes
  • Athletes who exercise for more than 1-2 hours a day
  • Anyone on a very low-calorie diet

Symptoms of moderately low levels of potassium include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Greater risk for heart disease, especially suffering from a stroke
  • Increased salt/sodium sensitivity
  • Higher risk of kidney stones
  • Fatigue and trouble getting good sleep
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Higher risk for diabetes and insulin resistance
  • Reduced bone formation due to higher levels of calcium being excreted in urine
  • Muscle weakness and spasms
  • Joint Pain

Very low levels of potassium can result in severe potassium deficiency (hypokalemia). Symptoms are serious, and even deadly, and include cardiac arrhythmias, muscle weakness and glucose intolerance. This condition is usually caused by other factors such as complications due to kidney function, diuretic use, or being very sick and losing fluids.

Low potassium intake causes problems, one of the biggest being that your body is not able to neutralize acids as well. Non-carbonic acids are generated during digestion and metabolism of both plant and animal proteins (meats, dairy, and grains). Potassium balances these acids in order to keep the body at a proper pH, and low potassium can mean the body becomes too acidic.

Fruits and vegetables have built-in acid-neutralizers, but meats, most grains, and other animal foods do not. Because we often have a tendency to eat diets rich in animal proteins and grains and low in fruits and vegetables, more people build up a high amount of acid in the blood. This can result in poor digestion, impaired cognitive abilities, frequently fatigue, lower immunity, poorer heart health and many other potential risks.

Although this maybe alarming, fret not! You can increase your potassium intake naturally from whole, potassium-rich foods.

Potassium-Rich Foods

  • White Beans: 1 cup, cooked = 1,004mg
  • Lima Beans: 1 cup, cooked = 955mg
  • Avocado: 1 whole = 690mg
  • Broccoli: 1 cup, cooked = 458mg
  • Sweet Potato: 1 medium = 438mg
  • Bananas: 1 medium = 422mg
  • Salmon: 3 ounces = 416mg
  • Peas: 1 cup, cooked = 384mg
  • Sardines: 1 can/3.75 grams = 365mg
  • Grapefruit: 1 whole = 354mg
  • Raw Milk: 1 cup = 260mg
  • Grass-Fed Beef: 3 ounces = 237mg

Health Benefits of Potassium

  • Lowers Blood Pressure & Supports Heart Health

Potassium helps to control the electrical activity of the heart that regulates blood pressure, circulation, and heart beat rhythms, and, in combination with other minerals (calcium, magnesium), prevents fluids from building up in cells. A buildup of fluids in cells is what causes elevated blood pressure and can result in heart palpitations, narrowed arteries, scarring and poor circulation. In addition, low potassium can contribute to an irregular heartbeat, chest pains and cardiac arrest when the situation becomes worsened over time.

  • Supports a Healthy Metabolism

Because it is partially responsible for breaking down carbohydrates, in the form of glucose, from the food we eat and turning them into usable energy, potassium is necessary to maintain and even boost metabolism. Potassium also helps the body use amino acids in order to form proteins that build muscle and can help to balance minerals that are important for the growth and maintenance of muscles and bones.

  • Prevents Muscle Spasms and Pain

Potassium helps muscles to relax by balancing fluid levels. Low potassium can result in muscle spasms, cramps, and general pains. It can also cause a breakdown of muscle mass, fatigue, trouble exercising and can even contribute to weight gain.

  • Helps Maintain Bone Health

Potassium forms conjugate anions (ex. citrate) that are converted to bicarbonate. Low potassium levels are associated with reduced bicarbonate precursors that are needed to neutralize acids that are present in commonly eaten foods, especially animal proteins.
Sulfuric acids enter the body in the form of amino acids found in meat, poultry, and other high-protein foods. Because low levels of potassium mean low levels of bicarbonate precursors, bones are not properly buffered from the effects of sulfur-acids and can become demineralized, weak, and porous, increasing the risk for osteoporosis and fractures.

  • Supports The Nervous System

Potassium is involved in thousands of cellular functions and is crucial for nerve impulses and electrical signaling that brain functions rely on. Deficiency can cause fatigue, poor concentration, trouble learning and remembering, mood changes. One of the biggest signs of low potassium is “brain fog” or the inability to focus and keep a clear-headed, upbeat mood.

  • Needed For Proper Digestion

Potassium helps to balance water, fluid, and sodium levels within the digestive tract. Thus, low potassium can contribute to bloating, constipation, or abdominal pain due to fluid buildup which can cause imbalances in minerals. In addition, potassium is partially responsible for balancing the amount of acid in the stomach, healing the gut and keeping the body at the optimal pH level – allowing healthy bacteria to thrive and kill off harmful bacteria.

  • Prevents Kidney Disorders

Thanks to the inverse relationship with calcium, low potassium levels are associated with an increased risk of kidney stones. People prone to kidney stones usually have diets higher in sodium and lower in potassium. When potassium levels are low, more calcium is excreted from the body through urine, which must pass through the kidneys. In many instances, kidney stones are actually calcium deposits. Reducing calcium in the urine is one way to combat painful kidney problems.

Which potassium-rich foods are your favorite? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Whether you’re looking for breakfast or lunch, we’ve got plenty of choices to please your taste buds. Visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for your yummy sandwich fix! Join us weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Calming Foods To Ease Anxiety

Most of us know that stress and anxiety can be fairly common. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, with roughly 18% of adults struggling with anxiety (according to the National Institute of Mental Health). Although others can relate, when you are experiencing a panic attack or are overwhelmed in a stressful situation, it may seem like you are alone and there is no way out.

Luckily, there are ways to get help. Aside from medications or therapy as prescribed by your doctor, you can look to food to help ease your anxiety. Things like eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption can have a positive effect on your symptoms. Here are some specific foods that can help to calm your nerves.

Leafy Greens
Since studies on mice have shown that diets low in magnesium lead to increased anxiety, it is believed that magnesium-rich diets help people feel calmer. Leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard are high in magnesium and provide other healthful nutrients.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile in particular can significantly decrease anxiety symptoms, according to a 2009 study from the University of Pennsylvania.

Wild Alaskan Salmon
Many studies show that a diet rich in omega-3s can lower depression and anxiety rates. Get your omega-3s from fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon or you can try grass-fed beef.

Studies on both rats and humans found that foods rich in zinc have been linked to lowered anxiety. Oysters, cashews, beef, liver, and egg yolks are all great sources for zinc.

Recently, links between probiotic foods and lowered anxiety have been suggested. In general, it is believed that gut health impacts overall health. Try pickles, sauerkraut, or kefir to improve your gut health and decrease your anxiety.

If your anxiety symptoms are severe or last more than two weeks, it is advised that you speak with a doctor. Be sure to inquire about dietary changes to supplement any medication or therapy prescribed. While food cannot replace traditional treatment methods, it may help with symptoms and overall health.

Connect with the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Visit us for breakfast or lunch weekdays from 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.

Simple Nutrition Advice

Paleo or plant-based, or Mediterranean, oh my! Nutrition and diet advice can be quite confusing. One day, a new diet or food is good for you, the next, there are dangers associated with it. From diets that boost health and weight loss to magical superfoods, it’s hard to believe what’s best for you.

Whether you’re trying to trim your waist or improve your health, the best nutrition advice can be summed up by Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health Marion Nestle in these 14 words:

“Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits; balance calories; don’t eat too much junk food.”

Or you can take this advice from author Michael Pollan:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Or, in its simplest form, as said by writer Mark Bittman:

“Eat real food.”

For the most part, the messages are similar and seem like common sense. Eat real, natural foods and try to balance your intake with activity. While these all sound simple enough, it’s almost always easier said than done.

And confusion still remains thanks to food companies and media hype. Companies exaggerate their products to get them to sell, while the media loves to report about breakthrough studies that may not have much merit behind them. If you can drown out this noise and get down to the basics, nutrition doesn’t have to be all that confusing.

With all foods, there are advantages and disadvantages. For example, we know that junk food is processed and chock full of additives and preservatives that are bad for us and that plants usually provide us with the most nutrients. However, aside from health issues, we do not need to cut certain foods from our diet completely. Moderation and balance are key.

Eat well, eat smart, and don’t overdo it – that’s something we can all understand. If you’d like to share your own nutrition advice and tips, connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find and follow us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.

For fresh, natural, and just plain yummy food, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona! Our sandwiches and salads are made to order with the finest and freshest ingredients available to us. We’re open weekdays 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm – hope to see you soon!

Unusual Nutritious Foods

When you think about modifying your diet to improve your health, you usually think about adding healthier foods, like fruits and vegetables, and cutting out the bad stuff (junk food, sugary drinks). While this is a good idea, there are other foods they you may not have heard of which can make your diet more wholesome. Here are just a few of these nutritious foods that can benefit your health and the planet.

Banana Peels
They’re called peels for a reason, right? Despite your long held belief that banana peels belong in the trash (or on the floor for a comedic slip), they are edible and pack lots of nutrients. The peels are high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, potassium, and magnesium. Try blending the peels into smoothies or frying, baking or broiling them until tender (heat breaks down the fiber making it easier to chew and digest).

Yes, you read that correctly. Crickets and other bugs are a great source of protein. Surprisingly enough, eating bugs can help reduce world hunger. Because they are easy raise, are found nearly everywhere, use less water than pigs and cows, and feed on waste materials, they are much easier on the planet.

Travel the world and you may find markets serving fresh jackfruit. They usually slice then in half, remove the fleshy bulbs from the interior, and sell them by the pound. When consumed raw and ripe, they taste akin to a cross between mango and pineapple.

Young jackfruit, however, can be shredded, seasoned, cooked and served as a meat alternative. Some may say the texture is reminiscent of pulled pork and the flavor is a cross between hearts of palm and kimchi.

It is often touted as a ‘miracle crop’ because many parts of a jackfruit tree can be used and the jackfruit itself is so versatile and nutritious. The flesh is high in calcium, iron and potassium while low in fat. And the edible seeds are good sources of protein.

While it’s not a very commonly known vegetable, kohlrabi is high in fiber, folate, potassium, vitamins C and B6, and was included on the CDC’s list of ‘powerhouse’ foods. The foods on that list pack a lot of key nutrients into each calorie (one cup of kohlrabi contains 37 calories and 5g of fiber) and are linked with a reduced risk of chronic disease. In fact, studies suggest that those who eat kohlrabi tend to be thinner and live longer than those who do not eat the cream-colored vegetable.

Try substituting your kale for chicory. It’s a good source of fiber, vitamins, folate, and zinc, plus it’s low in calories – one cup of raw chicory is just 7 calories.

Commonly found in hot, sunny, moist climates like the Pacific Islands, breadfruit is about the size of a football with prickly, geometrically-patterned skin. When opened, it resembles a large kiwi with whitish-yellow flesh. As far as nutrition goes, they are rich in energy-providing carbohydrates, low in fat, and contain 10 bananas’ worth of potassium.

Because the trees are easy to grow (no seeds, just a root and soil), and they begin bearing fruit in 3-5 years, some have said that breadfruit is “the perfect candidate for tackling world hunger.”

Broccoli Water
Save the water next time you boil broccoli. Why? Because broccoli leeches its water-soluble vitamins, you’re left with a nutritious batch of broccoli water. Use it for soups, sauces, or even gravy.

Native to the western Pacific Ocean, lionfish have made their way to the Caribbean, Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. Many believe the growing population is due to decades of owners dumping their unwanted lionfish into the oceans. Because they eat anything and everything, they are disrupting the balance of sea life in these areas. One way to control the population is to start eating the lionfish.

Although their dorsal fins are venomous and can be painful to humans if stung, the actual meat of the fish has been described as moist and buttery. Because they often get caught in lobster traps, fishermen in Florida are trying to build a commercial market for them.

Remember that list of ‘powerhouse’ foods from the CDC? Well, at the very top of that list was watercress. Watercress is an easy-to-grow, mineral rich green leafy vegetable. Swap your usually salad base for a handful of watercress.

Which of these foods would you try? Would you consider adding any of these to your regular diet? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.

For a yummy and nutritious meal, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli for a signature sandwich or salad made fresh to order. Visit us weekdays 10:30am-7:30am or Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm. Want to skip the line? Order online at!

Food Labels Made Easy

Food labels can be deceiving and tricky. It’s hard to determine what is ‘healthy’ and what isn’t if you’re not really sure what to look for. While ‘healthy’ means something different to every person, here are some easy ways to determine whether a food is nutritious.

Read The Ingredient List
The ingredients list is supposed to go in order of quantity. Be sure to take a look at the first three ingredients. If any of these are sugar, enriched wheat flour, or something relatively unhealthy, you might want to reconsider.

How Long Is The Ingredient List?
If you don’t have enough time to read every ingredient, at least take a glance at how long the list is. If the list is long and contains ingredients you don’t recognize or cannot pronounce, then you should probably pass.

Types Of Fats
Most people think fats are evil, when, in reality, we should be eliminating bad fats and increasing quality fats. For example, we should be aiming to eliminate trans fats and decrease saturated fats in our diets, while increasing our consumption of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Look For “100%”
When shopping for breads, look for “100% whole grains.” They may say whole grain or multigrain, but unless it is preceded by “100%” it is likely processed with refined grains. The same goes for juices and other drinks – if it’s not 100%, it’s probably just sugar.

Convenience vs. Nutrition
Frozen and quick prep meals can be convenient, but it’s likely that their nutritional value is rather low. If you’re looking for something healthy, it is better to buy something in its original state, for example, veggies like bell peppers, and spend some time in the kitchen.

Expiration Dates
Longer shelf lives often mean more added preservatives and fillers. Shorter shelf life may be less convenient but often provide the best nutrients.

Consider Your Location In The Grocery Store
Grocery stores know what they are doing when it comes to product placement. You have likely noticed that the foods around the checkout stand are not the healthiest. Be sure to resist the temptation as you’re checking out.

Focus On Fiber
When people check the label, more often than not, they are simply looking at the calories. However, it proves beneficial to look at it all. If a product has fiber, it helps to eliminate simple-carb, high-sugar food products.

Sugar Content
The American Heart Association recommends that we consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, even though most of us go well over that. Try to avoid foods high in sugar content, and beware of the many pseudonyms, which include syrups, nectars, and words ending is “-ose.”

Ponder Packaging
Be wary of claims like “all natural” as this is not regulated by the FDA, thus manufacturers can use it as they please. Commonly, you will find it on protein bars and snack food, despite the chemicals and other additives that would not be considered natural.

If you’re looking for nutritious foods, your best bet is to go with whole foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains. How do you keep your diet healthy? Did we miss anything? Share your tips with your peers and us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or LinkedIn. You can also find us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.

For a fresh, natural, and just plain yummy meal, visit the Brick Market & Deli – Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona. Save time by ordering online or visit us in store weekdays 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm.

Stress Relieving Practices

We all know there are times in our lives when we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Whether your schedule is full or you’re simply going through a tough time in your life, you must remember to take care of yourself, too.

Even with a little bit of stress in your life, you can begin to notice the effects. Stress related health issues come in many forms, including headaches, stomach problems, anxiety, and even depression.

Coincidentally, April is Stress Awareness Month. Take note of what triggers your high stress moments and do your best to keep those triggers at bay. When you feel the stress coming or building up, try to find time for these stress relieving acts to make sure you are the best you can be.

As we sleep, we give our bodies a chance to rest and replenish. When we are busy, we may not have much time for sleep, or stress could affect our quality of sleep. Though unintentional, depriving our bodies of this necessary rest can have negative effects on our health and mood.

Try to tune out worrisome thoughts and practice breathing exercises to help you calm down and ease into a good night’s rest.

While it is important to make time to sleep, squeezing in some time for exercise can help relieve stress, too. This may seem impossible, especially if you are on a time crunch, but a quick walk or yoga session can do wonders.

Trying getting to work a few minutes early, or take a short break during the day for a brisk walk around the office or the building. Or you can kill time at the gym as you wait for traffic to die down.

The vending machine can be tempting, but try to stay away from junk food and opt for real food when you can. Prep meals for the week, or pack fruits or healthy snacks for yourself. It will help to promote your health and immune system than junk food will.

Does your inbox get flooded with texts and emails? Step away from your desk, computer, and phone for a few minutes. Take a deep breath and just focus on having a moment of peace.

Take A Break
Give yourself a break. Whether you want to listen to music or take a short walk to unwind, even a short break can alleviate some stress.

Take It Easy
When your schedule is busy, try to keep everything else simple. Plan your outfits for the week, or make a large batch of food and have leftovers for a few days. Don’t try to take on tasks that might overwhelm you, save those for when your schedule clears up a bit.

Cry It Out
Expressing our emotions in a constructive way can be very helpful. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and tired, go ahead and cry it out.

Take time to connect with a loved one that you trust. A meaningful conversation, whether you are seeking advice, venting, or simply catching up, can help you gain some perspective on things. And it will likely make you feel better.

Grab a pen and pad and start writing. Writing can be therapeutic, giving you a way to get your emotions out in a more private manner. Bottling your struggles and emotions can wear you down. Anyway you can, as often as you can, let it out.

If the real world is getting you down, escape with some fiction. The easiest way is to carry a book with you at all times, and start reading when you have a moment. Whether it’s a book, short stories, or even a movie, escape your reality for a bit and enjoy someone else’s life.

Sure, these sound good in theory, but if you’re already short on time, how on earth will you make time for this? The key is to prioritize. It’s true, your other tasks are important, but all those tasks rely on you. If you’re not your best you, you won’t be able to tackle them in the best way. Make yourself a priority and you’ll see you can handle anything that comes your way.

How do you deal with stress? Share your own tips with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also connect with us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest.

Take a break at the Brick Market & Deli – Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona. Relax with a yummy meal in our dining room or on our patio weekdays from 10:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays 10:30am-4:30pm.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Protein is an essential nutrient which is responsible for the building and repair of body tissues. Previously, you could only get a good amount of protein from meats and dairy. These days, you can find various protein bars, shakes, and more. With the abundance of sources, how much protein do we really need?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day. For example, a person weighing 150 pounds should consume 54 grams of protein per day (150 x 0.36). Consuming the RDA is feasible. For your reference, 4 ounces of chicken contains about 32 grams of protein, while 1 large egg contains 6 grams, and an 8 ounce glass of skim milk contains 8 grams.

Because protein helps to build new muscles, its importance grows as we age. As we get older, we begin to lose muscle mass each year. This can negatively affect our abilities to walk, run, swim or dance. Even consuming the RDA for protein when you’re older may not stop the decrease in muscle mass.

A person age 40 or older may benefit more by spacing out his/her protein intake by attempting to consume about 20-30 grams of protein per meal. By moderately increasing the RDA, you may be enhancing muscle protein synthesis.

While animal sources of protein are a great source of protein, they also can contain high amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol. It is wise to stick with chicken, turkey, and fish for animal protein, since they are lower in saturated fat than veal, pork, beef, or lamb.

Fish can also add a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. If you want to decrease your intake of saturated fats while boosting the amount of omea-3′s in your diet, try consuming fish at least twice a week. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and bluefish tend to be higher in fat than white fish (ex. flounder, halibut, cod), thus higher in omega-3′s.

While most vegetarian sources of protein don’t contain all of the essential amino acids, you can still get all the nutrients you need with a varied diet.

What’s your favorite way to get your RDA for protein? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Connect with us on Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest, too!

Get your protein fix with one of our yummy sandwiches or salads today! Order online or visit us in store at 105 E. Arrow Hwy in Pomona. Did you know we offer catering, too? Call (909)596-5225 for more information.