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healthy living

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.