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Holiday Survival Guide: Eating Healthy for the Season

The holidays are here, which means it is time to eat! What better way to celebrate this season than by indulging in your favorite foods? But before you start munching on that pie and drinking eggnog, take a look at this blog post. It will give you tips for eating healthy during the holidays so that you can have fun without feeling guilty.

One of the best ways to stay healthy during the holidays is in moderation. This means that you should not deprive yourself of your favorite foods, but you also shouldn’t overindulge. Try to have a balanced diet by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as moderate amounts of unhealthy foods.

Another tip for staying healthy during the holidays is to take a break. Take some time for yourself and relax by doing something you enjoy while also staying active. This will help keep your mind off of food, which can prevent overeating.

Finally, it is important that you stay hydrated throughout this season. You should drink plenty of water so that your body can function properly. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, and even stomach pains.

Finally, it is important that you stay hydrated throughout this season. You should drink plenty of water so that your body can function properly. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, and even stomach pains.

So, these are some tips for staying healthy during the holidays. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy all of the delicious food this season has to offer without feeling guilty! Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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Choosing Your Battles Wisely, Diet Positivity: The Power of the Mind, How to Manage Stress with Food

Has stress ever made you want to eat? If so, then stress is your body's way of trying to tell you that something has gone wrong. Before stress became the everyday annoyance that it is today, stress was actually meant to protect us against danger in our environment, like when we faced wild animals or natural disasters. Now stress can come from anywhere, from work stress to relationship stress to money stress. It's no wonder that stress can make us feel hungry, especially for unhealthy food. Let's look at how stress affects our health and happiness in many ways-and what we can do about it.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that makes you want to eat sugary foods like candy and chocolate. This stress eating is your body's way of protecting you against stress, because cortisol triggers the release of insulin in your pancreas for energy production. While it can be nice to eat something sugary when we're feeling down, it's not good for us long-term because cortisol also causes our body to store fat. To fight stress, stress eating and cortisol production, change your stress hormones in the body.

One way to do this is by setting boundaries in your life. For example, maybe you want to start saying no more often because it will be better for you long-term even if it does make stress worse temporarily. Saying yes all the time can cause stress because you feel like you need to please everyone all the time, so stress starts building up and stress eating begins.

Stress isn't just an inevitable byproduct of life but also a major reason why people fail at their weight loss goals. In fact, those who are stressed out about work or those going through stressful life events tend to gain more weight, according to a study published in the journal Obesity.

"Stress has a powerful impact on weight loss and other health-related behaviors," says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. "It not only influences overall food intake but also disinhibits eating." In other words, stress can lead to disinhibited or unfocused eating, which is when you mindlessly pick up whatever is handy and eat it as opposed to selecting healthy foods.

Stress can also impact your weight loss efforts in other ways: It may lead you to exercise less or more than usual, eat too little or too much, and adopt unhealthy behaviors — like smoking cigarettes — that you wouldn't do if coping mechanisms weren't needed.

No matter how stressed out you feel, though, there are certain strategies you can apply to your meal plan and overall lifestyle to help reduce the stress while also helping you meet your weight loss goals. Here, five expert-approved ways to manage stress and stay on track with weight loss.

1. Say yes to relaxation
"Taking time for self-care is the number one [strategy] that helps me manage stress," says Smith, who recommends getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Yoga is another option since it has been shown to increase serotonin levels in the brain — associated with mood stabilization — and reduce cortisol, a stress hormone.
You can also try mindfulness meditation or deep breathing. "Being mindful of the present moment and taking deep breaths increases serotonin levels," says Christine M. Palumbo, RDN, CDE, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

2. Make meal prepping part of your routine
"Meal prepping is a huge stress reliever for me because it takes the guesswork and decision-making out of mealtime," says Palumbo. "I know I have healthy food on hand and nothing will derail my weight loss if mealtime stresses me out." Smith agrees: "Make meal planning and preparation part of your daily routine so mealtime stress is kept to a minimum," she says.

3. Turn meal prep into a family affair
And meal prepping doesn't have to be just for you: In fact, it's helpful if the whole family participates since you can all reap the benefits of meal planning and preparation. "Have your kids help choose recipes from your meal plan for the week, prepare the meal together and sit down to eat it together," suggests Smith.

4. Get moving!
Exercise can not only lower stress levels but also increase serotonin production in your brain. Palumbo recommends 10-minute bouts of exercise every hour during the day if you're stressed out so you don't overtax yourself. If your mind starts to wander, focus on the physical activity and let go of what's stressing you out in that moment.

5. Practice mindfulness
Repeat a mantra when stress hits — "I am home" or "I will breathe again" — and notice how saying it out loud helps calm you down, says Smith. When stress strikes, try to notice your body's physical responses to it — like holding your breath or feeling stomach pain — and then bring yourself back into that mantra.

As Smith explains, "With mindfulness training, you can learn to notice when stressors occur and be able to quickly deal with them before they take their toll on your health."

"Stress is a normal part of life," says Palumbo. And while it's important to manage your stress levels so you're less likely to turn to unhealthy coping behaviors — like eating too much or smoking — keep in mind that stress isn't something you can completely avoid. To be successful at weight loss and maintain your healthy habits, it's important to practice self-care and know when you're feeling stressed so you can take action before the feelings get out of control.

"Weight loss is stressful," notes Smith. "But when you have the right tools to manage your stress, you can live a healthier, more rewarding life that allows you to be happier and at a healthy weight."

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The Keto Flu: 4 tips for easing into a low carb diet

We all know that a low carb diet can be great for weight loss. But how do you ease into it? The keto flu is often the culprit, and it’s just one of many side effects of going keto. In this article, we’ll go over how to ease into a low carb diet, as well as tips for dealing with the keto flu if you experience it.

What is the Keto Flu and what are symptoms?

The keto flu is just the name for an adaptation to change in eating habits caused by changes in diet. Symptoms of the keto flu include nausea and migraines, but although uncomfortable are temporary.

The keto flu, which can happen in one of two ways, is marked by headaches and nausea for a few days after going on a low carb diet, even if the person isn’t experiencing any other symptoms. This is known as the keto flu due to its similarity to influenza: “flu”.

It isn't usually serious  The keto flu will not last forever and it does not present any serious danger to your health. It's just a result of an adjustment period when your body adjusts to a new diet. The change from a high carb diet to a low car diet is extremely significant and can result in headaches, nausea, and fatigue for some people - even if they are very active.

Sometimes it's noticeable, other times not.

Although most often the keto flu is just felt as an overall lack of energy, some people do experience additional symptoms that make them more aware that they are sick. The keto flu can also present with gastrointestinal distress characterized by stomach pains and vomiting. These symptoms should be temporary as well but could last from a few hours to a couple of days.

How to avoid the keto flu?

One of the best defenses against the keto flu is to start a low-carb diet correctly. This means making sure you eat enough carbohydrates for energy and electrolytes.

This can be achieved in two ways:

1) Slow Transition - eating carbs all day long but decreasing them slowly, or

2) Fast Transition - immediately going on a low-car diet without any carbs ever.

The two methods will achieve the same results in the end.

If you go on a slow transition, gradually decrease your carb intake over a few days or even weeks so that you don’t experience any keto flu symptoms.

Tips for dealing with the keto flu if you experience it

If you do experience the keto flu, there are some steps to take for relief. The first step is to make sure that you're drinking enough water. The keto flu can cause dehydration and headaches as a result of hormonal changes. So it’s important to drink plenty of fluids and replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.

Some people find that eating salt helps ease the symptoms of the keto flu, but if you want to avoid sodium altogether it's worth trying adding a pinch of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt in with your fluid intake - this way you get some sodium without using any processed ingredients.

The keto flu is also usually made worse by the absence of glucose, so your next best bet is to eat some carb heavy foods. For example, a sweet potato is full of carbohydrates that your body can use to get over the metabolic changes it’s experiencing. This is also a great opportunity to try new low-carb recipes  in order to keep keto meals interesting and delicious!

Lastly, you should expect the symptoms of the keto flu to go away on their own. It’s normal for your energy levels and state of mind to fluctuate as you transition into a low carb diet, but it shouldn't last forever. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by a few days of discomfort. If you stick with it, the keto flu will soon become a distant memory.

Stay on track!

If you do experience the keto flu that doesn't mean your diet is failing. You are just going through an adjustment period and should expect things to get better from here on out. But if you are having trouble with the transition to a low carb diet, it might not be right for you.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out my How To Make it Through a Summer Barbecue on Keto.

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Meal Prep: What You Need to Know

Aina Meals, Meal prep

Meal prepping is a great idea for those who want to save time, money, and energy throughout the week. It can be done in as little as a few hours on Sunday or whenever you have some free time in between work and your other commitments during the week. Meal prep saves you from having to make decisions about what you need to eat at each meal which can lead to overeating or skipping meals entirely. It also helps prevent eating out so much because it’s hard not to overindulge when dining out with family or friends. Plus, if you are going through a tough time like recovering from surgery, dealing with chronic pain conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, or just maintaining good health, meal prep can be a great way to help you get back on track with healthy eating habits.

1. Basics of meal prep

  • your meals in advance.
  • Grocery shop on a weekend to buy the ingredients for those meals.
  • Prepare and cook the ingredients for those meals immediately or the day before.
  • Store them in containers or plastic bags in the fridge so you have access to them during the week.

2. Benefits of meal prep

The benefits of meal prepping are saving time, money, and energy because if you make it a habit to cook on Sundays, you will only need to spend less than five minutes making breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. It also prevents you from eating out a lot because it’s hard to overeat when you are in the comfort of your own home. Meal prepping also helps if you have a busy week or weekends and don’t feel like cooking. It really comes in handy on days when you need to eat healthily but don’t have the time to cook or go grocery shopping throughout the week. If you plan on meal prepping for the whole week, be prepared to spend at least a few hours on Sunday going through the recipes, shopping for groceries, and cooking so that your meals are ready each night before you.

3. Why do people meal prep

Those who meal prep are usually looking to save time and money. They also want to make sure they are eating healthy. Meal prepping is a great solution for those people who show up late from work, don’t have time to go grocery shopping, or just need assistance with their diet because it prevents you from overeating on junk food.

4. How to get started with meal prep

If you are not sure how to start with meal prepping but want to try it out, here is a helpful guide:

  • Plan your meals and write down the ingredients needed for each recipe. You will need at least three or more recipes that can be made in advance. If possible, try to include simple and quick meals such as salads and casseroles.
  • Grocery shop on a weekend for all of the ingredients you will need for those recipes. It is better to go shopping a week ahead if possible because then you have plenty of time to prepare them the same day or before you leave work so that they are ready by nightfall. If this seems impossible, at least try to shop for the ingredients a few days before you plan on making them.
  • Prepare and cook the ingredients. If possible, meal prep in batches so that it is easier to store all of your food in containers or plastic bags. For example, if you are preparing a roasted chicken with potatoes and asparagus, use one baking sheet for the chicken and one for the potatoes. You can also separate the ingredients between meal preps so that you are not cooking everything at once.
  • Eat your meals during the week!

5. Tips to make meal prepping easier

Preparing your meals in advance will definitely save time and money but there are some things that you need to consider when meal prepping:

  • Think about snack ideas. If you are using a lot of different ingredients for your meals, it can be hard to find snacks that make sense with those recipes so include at least one snack option in each meal prep bag if possible. For example, if you have broccoli and chicken for dinner one night, the next day you can add chopped broccoli to your salad or mix it in with hummus. This way, you don’t have to spend money on snacks when most of the ingredients are already available
  • Add spices and condiments that go well with your meals so that even if you get bored, you will still be able to enjoy your food.
  • Choose recipes that make a lot of servings so that you don’t have to cook multiple meals every night. For example, if your recipe makes 8 servings and you are only feeding yourself, half or more of the ingredients will go bad before you can use them again. This is not only a waste of money and food, but it is also an inconvenience if you are trying to save time.
  • Label your meal prep bags or containers so that all the ingredients are easy to find. You can use sticker labels or just label them with a sharpie so that you don’t have to search through every bag for the one you need. You could also use different containers and label them depending on the day of the week so that you can easily grab your meals without looking through everything.

I hope you've found this article helpful in understanding what meal prepping is all about. Meal prepping can be a great way to save time and money, but it also helps with ensuring that you are eating healthy throughout the week. If you have any questions or need help implementing these tips into your own life, give us a call!

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How to Make it Through a Summer BBQ on Keto


It’s summertime, and that means the grill is open for business! Everyone is rushing to have people over for BBQ’s and a good time. While this is no doubt a fun experience, sometimes you may find it hard to navigate with some dietary changes you’ve made. Let’s take the ketogenic diet for example. Keto has some rules to follow when it comes to actually seeing the desired changes. You consume little to no carbohydrates, while eating primarily fats and protein. It’s a great way to lose those extra pounds, but it can be restrictive when compared to the traditional BBQ menu.

So, we’re going to give you some tips for navigating that BBQ. Yes, you can still go and have tons of fun, you’ll just need to approach it a little differently!

Stick to Simple Rules

When it comes to keto, the rules are simple. All you need to do is stick to higher protein, higher fat foods. Stay away from some of the carbohydrates and you’ll be golden. Now, using this at a social gathering or BBQ can be super simple. Check out what they’re making to eat, and you’ll surely be able to find something that fits under this umbrella.

With the grill going, there’s bound to be some sort of protein source available. You can find things like burgers, hotdogs, steaks, and even chicken going at any given time. All you need to do is eat them without the bread. These are perfect options for that keto lifestyle. You may also be able to find some really good grilled or fresh veggies. Vegetables are a great keto food as they contain little to no carbs and tons of fiber.

There’s sure to be something sweet at the BBQ as well, and these are some of the things you’ll need to pass on. They’re full of sugar that can knock you out of rhythm with keto. Now, as a way of hitting that sweet tooth, you could opt out for some fruit. While fruit does have sugar, it’s a little different from added sugar. This may not be enough to pull you out of ketosis, so long as you’re paying attention to how much you have.

Watch Your Fluids

This is where you may struggle a bit. It’s a social setting and this means drinks and cocktails. However, those aren’t the best for someone on a ketogenic eating arrangement. This is due to all of the sugars that are added as mixers or ingredients. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to skip out on a good time. You just need to have an option that is low in sugar. This could mean using a zero-sugar mixer, keeping it “neat” or straight, or drinking in a very small moderation. Being mindful of what and how much you consume is crucial for still enjoying yourself while keeping things healthy.


There are always options that will allow you to have fun no matter what. It may look a little different from everyone else, but it’s what you need to do for you. Stick to your plan and learn to navigate social settings like a BBQ. Eating better for you doesn’t mean you have to give up everything.

Make sure that you prioritize high protein, high fat foods while watching out for added sugars. Pick the things that work for you and your simple rules. In addition, choose a drink that is low in sugar but still allows for a good time.

You do what you need to do with confidence, and you’ll be happy you went!

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Three Hawaiian Cooking Ingredients to Add to Family Dinners

One of the best ways to add some excitement and pizazz to your everyday meals is to enhance your dishes with a few Hawaiian ingredients. Although traditional, there are three Hawaiian cooking ingredients to add to family dinners that will more than satisfy every taste bud.


Poi is a traditional staple food in Native Hawaiian cuisine. Not only is this amazing staple food hypoallergenic but it is naturally gluten free. In fact, poi is considered one of the best digestible foods on the planet. According to Nutrition Data, poi is high in vitamins and minerals, is a good source of vitamin B6, high in slow-release fiber, contains vitamin A and C, and is rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, thiamin and phosphorus. Poi also offers quite a few possible health benefits like creating strong bones, preventing cavities, reducing gastrointestinal issues and is good for those who are undernourished.

Poi is made from the corm or stem of the taro plant (known as kalo in Hawaiian). Generally it is steamed or baked and then mashed. Traditionally, it is baked for many hours in an imu (an underground oven). During the puree process, water is added to get the desired texture. In regards to consistency, Poi is known as “one-finger,” “two-finger,” or “three-finger”. One finger would be the thickest and so forth. The flavor is very subtle and rich, similar to sweet potato but not as smooth. It has a beautiful purple color that had a nice contrast to many Hawaiian recipies.

Traditional poi recipes include poi banana pudding, crispy poi pancakes, poi noodles with shrimp, peas and scallion, poi fries with chili lime and Poi-machha ( a spinach dish and fish plate that has many popular spices like garlic, chili powder, fennel, mustard seed and turmeric).


Purple yams are another favorite food in Hawaii. The tubers are typically a bright lavender or intense violet in color. Purple yams are in fact a delicious yam grown locally that add the perfect color and taste too many traditional Hawaii dinner plates. Actually, there are several Hawaiian recipies with purple yams that are quite inviting. Some of the dishes include Hawaiian yam casserole, mashed purple sweet potatoes and purple sweet potato Haupi (a cream pie with shortbread crust, sweet potato filling and rich coconut cream).


Liliko’I or passion fruit is a delicate tropical fruit that goes with just about anything. It is often used in creamy desserts such as chiffon pie, mouth-watering cheesecake, as a mousse and as a curd (which is very popular), butterfly cupcakes, scones and Liliko’I lemon bars. Liliko’I is also made into a butter which is similar to a curd or fruit butter. It is a common staple found in most every fridge in Hawaii. Liliko’I butter is served on toast, pancakes and crepes.

On the spicier side, Liliko’I is added to many tasty Hawaiian recipies like Liliko’I lemon chicken, chicken and rice with Liliko’I and passion fruit dressing for salads and greens. This tasty fruit is also added to numerous beverages and cocktails. Some favorites include Liliko’I and coconut smoothie, passion fruit and orange soda, Liliko’I mango cocktail and Liliko’I Mai Tai.

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Hawaii Meal Delivery Service Is Saving Residents Serious Time

Aina Meals is Oʻahu’s premier Hawaii meal delivery service. The goal of Aina Meals is to serve their community by offering flavorful, cleaner, and healthier meals through the customized Oahu meal delivery.

Aina Meals is Offering Fresh Custom Menu Selections Weekly

Each week, Aina Meals releases an eclectic menu featuring an ideal mix of local and international cuisines. All of our ingredients are sourced locally to provide our customers with the island’s freshest foods. By supporting local farmers, Aina Meals provides a valuable service to customers and vendors alike. With a variety of subscription service levels, this Hawaii meal delivery service makes it easy to choose the weekly menu that best fits your needs. From a starter meal plan to a weekly meal plan to a comprehensive monthly plan, there is an option for every family size and appetite. Each weekly menu features unique food combinations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our meals are packed with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean premium meats and seafood, and healthy whole grains. Aina Meals makes it easy to skip a week or pause your subscription so that you never feel locked in.

Families on the Go Can Spend Less Time Cooking

This exclusive Hawaii meal delivery service provides families with an invaluable way to nourish their bodies and souls in the most convenient and cost-effective way possible. Each week, the customers of this Oahu meal delivery program can choose their personalized menu program. Aina Meals makes it possible to get out of the kitchen and spend more time outdoors and doing the things you love, while still feeling great about what you are putting on your kitchen table. Let us do the work for you so you can spend valuable time on the things that matter most.

This Oahu Meal Delivery Program is the Perfect Gift for Busy Working Families, Homes with New Babies, and Seniors!

Aina Meals offers three meal pick-up locations, conveniently located in Waialua, Aiea, and Honolulu, with more locations coming soon! For an additional $5 more per delivery, customers can choose the convenience of having the meals delivered directly to their homes. Meals are delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to ensure that every meal package is the freshest it can be. These convenient options make Aina Meals an ideal Hawaii meal delivery service choice for working families and seniors. We take the work out of food shopping and preparation. The only thing left to do is to sit down, relax, and enjoy your delicious and healthy home cooked meal made fresh to order on the island.

For more information or to place your first delicious and personalized order, we invite you to visit our menu page!

We look forward to serving you and your family today! Aloha!