Connect with us

Healthy Eating

Laurann O’Reilly: Healthy staple ingredients to keep in your Tipperary kitchen



While many of us try to be aware of the foods that we buy and that are in our cupboards, it can sometimes be helpful to know what basic ingredients we need to prepare delicious dishes that also have some valuable nutritious benefits.

Here, nutritionist Laurann O’Reilly and owner of Nutrition by Laurann takes us through her recommended ingredients that you should always have at home, that work as key components of recipes and are also good for your health.

Healthy oils – Whether for cooking or for salads, the right base and nutrient oils in the home cupboard are a must, such as:

Extra virgin olive oil – As one of the healthiest oils, it contains over 30 antioxidant compounds and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Not only is it delicious, it is also great for cooking and salads.

Rapeseed oil – Another healthy fat option is a good source of omega 3,6,9 with vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) and a high percentage of monounsaturated fats (the good fat).

Sesame oil – Often used in Asian and Indian cuisines, this dish not only adds a nutty flavor to your recipes, but is heart-healthy because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Flaxseed oil – High in omega-3 fatty acids, it’s great for blood circulation, focus, joints, eyes, hair, skin, and nails. Tip: Add something to your granola, yogurt, or vegetables for an extra nutritional boost

Sunflower oil – Rich in unsaturated (good fats) and low in saturated fatty acids. This is a great option to cook with, and has the added benefit of lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. It’s also a great source of vitamin E, which gives it additional antioxidant properties.

Dried Herbs & Spices – Not only do these add the most amazing flavor combinations to meals, they’re a great alternative to salt, they have some health benefits too. Discover some of them and their dishes.

Turmeric – Contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects our cells from damage. Curcumin has also been found to improve brain activity and neural connections, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. This is delicious in curries, soups or smoothies for an extra nutritional boost.

Ginger – Contains the active ingredient gingerol, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger has also been shown to be helpful in stabilizing blood sugar levels. Ginger gives dishes an extra kick, similar to turmeric, and works well in curries, soups, smoothies and yogurts.

Cinnamon – Cinnamon is another great closet that is both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as antibacterial and antifungal. Similar to ginger, it has also been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels. With its unique and warming taste, it can be added to muesli such as porridge, yogurt, smoothies, soups, curries or dessert dishes.

Paprika – Contains capsaicin, a compound found in paprika that has been shown to have antioxidant properties. Smoked or sweet paprika not only gives dishes a bright color, but is also a delicious addition to eggs, salads, marinades, curries, meat, poultry or fish.

Oregano – With some wonderful health benefits, oregano is antibacterial and rich in vitamins E and K, as well as the minerals manganese, iron, and calcium. It works great with tomato-based recipes like pizza, pasta sauce, and olive oil-based dishes.

Rosemary – a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds believed to boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. This is a nice addition to meat and potato dishes.

Thyme – Packed full of vitamins A and C as well as the minerals copper, iron and manganese. It’s a nice ingredient for hearty dishes like fried meat, vegetables, and fish, as well as marinades, soups, and broths

Eggs – Not only are eggs a common and affordable ingredient, they are extremely versatile. Also rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals from a nutritional point of view and can be enjoyed as part of every meal or as a healthy snack.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Made from fermented apples and water. During fermentation, enzymes create cloudy residues called “mother” found in unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. It was found to be a natural probiotic, antibacterial, and antifungal. Since it’s an acid, it also helps stabilize our blood sugar levels by affecting the rate at which sugar is absorbed into our bloodstream, which makes it great for controlling sugar cravings. Tip: Mix 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for a delicious salad dressing

Nuts & Seeds – They are not only ideal for the cupboard with a long shelf life, but are also rich in proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and are therefore perfect for giving muesli, yoghurts, smoothies, salads and curries a nutritious boost and soups.

Dried & canned beans – They are a great source of plant-based protein and the perfect nutritious and delicious accompaniment to your meals. These are ideal in sandwiches, salads, soups, as side dishes, in burgers and stews.

Healthy cereals – Grains such as spelled, brown rice, oats, couscous and quinoa can be stored for months at room temperature. They are not only a great source of energy, for healthy digestion and for regulating blood sugar levels, but also perfect for breakfast, side dishes, boosting yoghurt, smoothies and soups.

Frozen vegetables – Similar to fresh produce in terms of micronutrient content, frozen vegetables are a healthy and convenient staple in the freezer. They are not only ideal for the budget-conscious, but are also versatile as a quick accompaniment to soups, stews and casseroles.

Frozen fruits & berries – Similar to frozen vegetables, fresh fruits and berries that are still freshly frozen retain much of their vitamin and mineral content. They are also great as a nutritious addition to muesli, smoothies and desserts.

Honey or maple syrup – For those in need of a little extra sweetness, honey and maple syrup are great natural sweeteners and have additional health benefits. Honey is known to have both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. While maple syrup, often a preferred option for vegans, is also high in antioxidants and the minerals magnesium, potassium, and magnesium. Note: These are also high in natural sugars, so it’s best to eat sparingly.

Garlic – Contains the active ingredient allicin, which gives garlic its smell. In addition to being rich in valuable vitamins and minerals, garlic is also antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and great for heart health.

Onions – Repackaged with vitamins and minerals, they’re also anti-inflammatory, powerful antioxidants (with 25 different antioxidants), and great for our immune systems and heart health.

Pineapple – Pineapple isn’t just rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also contain bromelain – a digestive enzyme that is great for digesting foods, especially meat proteins. Tip: why not crush and freeze for the amazing benefits.

Healthy Spices – Having the right sauces and seasonings in the closet can really help keep your dishes together, here are some …

Tahini – Tahini is originally from the Middle East and is made from ground sesame seeds. Ideal for sauces, dips such as hummus, dressings, desserts and vegetables

Salsa – This hot tomato-based sauce is ideal as a dressing, dip, in sandwiches, mixed with omelets, in salads and main dishes such as burritos.

Balsamic vinegar – Of Italian origin, it is a dark, concentrated and intensely flavored vinegar. Although it is traditionally used as a delicious salad dressing with olive oil, it can also be used to refine meats such as steak, eggs, fish and to give fresh fruits such as strawberries and pears an extra kick.

Mustard – With so many different mustards to choose from, my two favorites are traditional English mustard and whole grain Dijon mustard. It’s so versatile again as it’s delicious added to meat (especially ham), in sandwiches, and as a salad dressing.

I am willow – Chinese origin, another great ingredient used as a marinade, in stews, sauces, vegetables, sushi and other rice dishes. This is definitely one for the closet.

Sriracha – For those who like an extra spicy kick to their meals, Sriracha is a hot sauce made from a paste made from chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. Hot and spicy with just a hint of sweetness. This is a super versatile ingredient that can be added to sour cream, mayonnaise, or cream cheese-based dips for a little kick. It’s also the perfect addition to soups, stews, meats, marinades, eggs, and sandwiches.

About Laurann: Laurann O’Reilly is a qualified and experienced nutritionist with a BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Nottingham and Masters in Public Health Nutrition from University College Dublin. She has more than 10 years of experience in working group and clinical care, research, personalized nutritional advice (relating to healthy eating, weight loss, digestive health and sports nutrition), teaching and developing nutrition courses at FETEC level, nutritional education talks and workshops in corporate wellness, schools, Sports teams, public and private lectures), former Celiac Society of Ireland Food Manager and is part of the rollout team for the Healthy Ireland Smart Start preschool health promotion program.

For more information, visit or contact Laurann at

Healthy Eating

The #1 Worst Breakfast to Order at McDonald’s



Breakfast is always a treat, and a drive through the drive through can be a fun way to get up and shine. Unless you’ve made menu choices that are too decadent, which can make you feel heavier for the rest of the day. No fun!

The good news is that, with a little wisdom, choosing a fast food breakfast that won’t ruin your day can be easy. If you’re heading out for a McDonald’s breakfast, we’ve researched the menu. Read on to learn about the worst breakfast you can order at McDonald’s, as well as some options that will fill you up without feeling like you have let yourself down.

RELATED: 7 Healthiest Foods You Can Eat Right Now

And if you’re curious about the nutritional values ​​of your favorite food, find out what the worst ranch dressing is on grocery store shelves.


Yes, we kept it simple and based our worst breakfast order choice at McDonald’s based on calorie count. Calories aren’t the only way to gauge how good or bad a particular food is for you – but especially for fast food items that are naturally high in fat, sodium, and other nutritional information, a calorie check can be one be an easy way to narrow down which items to choose and which to avoid.

RELATED: You Should Be Burning This Many Calories Every Day, Experts Say

McDonalds drive-thruShutterstock

Let’s start by pointing out that the fast food giant has some decent products that, if you grab them occasionally, are unlikely to ruin your nutritional and wellness goals.

mcdonalds egg mcmuffin and hash brown on trayMoab Republic / Shutterstock

Even most of McDonald’s breakfast combo dishes are workable if you’re not in transit per se. A choice like the McGriddle bacon, egg and cheese combo weighs 570 calories, which is almost a third of the calories in the standard 2,000-calorie diet. While it doesn’t really fit most definitions of “healthy”, most people are probably okay with enjoying it every now and then.

Jamba Juice Purely OrangeCourtesy of Jamba Juice

The right fruit juice can offer great health benefits, so we’re not against juice overall. But ordering McDonald’s orange juice with a combo meal – or regular lemonade – consumes more calories and more sugar than a coffee.

RELATED: A Major Side Effect of Drinking Coffee Out of a To-Go Mug, According to Experts

McDonalds Egg McMuffin and Breakfast Burrito in wrappersShutterstock

It might seem like a given, but by choosing not to include meat in your McDonald’s breakfast, you can keep the calories (plus fat, sodium, and others) low.

Bacon slices close-upShutterstock

Consider requesting bacon. That’s because a single McDonald’s sausage patty drives the calorie count of a breakfast item about 120 calories higher than bacon. (That’s not to say we strongly recommend bacon – read that eating bacon could cause this type of liver disease, new studies reveal.)

At 450 calories, the sausage burrito meal has the fewest calories of any McDonald’s breakfast combination. (The Egg McMuffin Meal has the same thing.)

RELATED: 15 Unhealthy Fast Food Breakfasts That You Should Never Eat, According to Nutritionists

McDonalds big breakfastCourtesy McDonald’s

It may not be shocking that number 1 on the McDonald’s breakfast menu is the Big Breakfast of Hotcakes. This is a belly breaker – McDonald’s describes the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes as “a warm biscuit, hearty hot sausage, fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy hash browns, and golden brown hotcakes with a side of real butter and the sweet taste of maple”. (Note that they don’t say “real maple syrup,” which may tell you you don’t even have to read the syrup packet to know there’s a lot of fructose in it.)

At 1,340 calories, this is one of the highest calorie items on the entire McDonald’s menu. It even beats the 1,270 calories of the Double Quarter Pounder Combo Meal.

Those heavy carbohydrates, the saturated fat, the fried foods: this isn’t a recipe for feeling energized for the day. Unless you share this with a few other people, stay away from McDonald’s Big Breakfast with Hotcakes.

RELATED: The Best Pancakes in Every State


McDonald’s says the Sausage Burrito, Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, and an Egg McMuffin all have 310 to 320 calories. As an alternative, a single order of hash browns is only 140 calories.

All of this shows that knowing what to ask for can also be better for your health when it comes to fast food breakfast!

Get the nutritional news you need by signing up for our newsletter and checking out The # 1 Worst Blizzard to Order at Dairy Queen. Also read:

Continue Reading

Healthy Eating

The 5 Reasons and 6 Tips to Make It Happen



There is no better gift than good health. On this Father’s Day, help your father or someone important in your life say goodbye to flesh – forever. Although he loves the barbecue season, there are so many important reasons for him to avoid meat, be it for his health, the environment or the animals. Below is an overview of why pop should part with the (traditional) burger and simple tips to ease the transition to a meatless life.

Why should men give up meat?

1. Eliminating meat is good for your heart health.

“As men get older, their bodies naturally begin to store fat in the middle of their abdomen,” says Trista K. Best, MPH, RD, LDN, at Balance One, referring to this study. “This accumulation of fat can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. The fat in meat, saturated fats, along with physical inactivity and other lifestyle choices increase fat storage in this area. “

Michelle Routhenstein, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, Cardiology Dietitian, author of the cookbook The Truly Easy Heart Healthy, added, “A recent study showed that taller red meat with smaller ventricles, poorer heart function, and stiffer arteries, all of them Are signs of poor heart health. This may be because red meat contains high levels of saturated fat and TMAO production that stiffen the arteries and promote dangerous plaque build-up, leading to narrowing of the arteries and future cardiac events. ”Yikes, we’re passing that on.

2. Meat can increase your risk of cancer.

Another compelling reason for men to reduce or eliminate meat? No other organization than the World Health Organization has classified red meat as a Class 1 carcinogen, which is equivalent to smoking cigarettes. Read this to Dad: WHO says, “Eating processed meat is” carcinogenic to humans “and consuming red meat is” likely to be carcinogenic to humans. ” Skip the dogs and opt for meatless choices on this Father’s Day.

“According to a study published in Nutrients, eating red and processed meat was associated with a higher risk of stomach cancer, which men are more prone to than women,” said Brittany Lubeck, MS, RD and advisor to Oh So Spotless. If you need more evidence that a plant-based diet is the way to go, check out this article on how a Harvard study found you can lower your risk of cancer (spoiler: it’s a healthy plant-based diet).

3. You don’t have to worry about breaking up meat and affecting your testosterone levels.

If dad heard that vegan food can affect his testosterone levels, think again. “Men no longer have to worry that a plant-based diet will lower their testosterone levels because this theory has proven to be untrue,” says Lübeck, citing this study on the relationship between plant-based diets and testosterone levels in US adults .

4. Avoiding meat generally reduces the risk of a long list of health conditions.

It is not only the risk of heart disease and cancer that affects meat consumption, but diabetes and obesity as well. “Contrary to popular belief, men need to watch their meat consumption to avoid excessive consumption of saturated fatty acids, which put them at higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer,” says Lübeck. “A plant-based diet was also found to reduce cases of metabolic syndrome, obesity and coronary artery disease.”

Best adds, “A vegan diet reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome in both men and women. One study shows that the stroke death rate in men following a plant-based vegan diet was 22 percent lower. “

Research has also shown that a predominantly plant-based diet can also reduce the risk of dementia. Some doctors are even telling their clients to go plant-based to reduce their risk of contracting coronavirus.

5. It’s just not that cool.

For your health. For the animals. For the planet. Eating all that meat is, unfortunately, partly a social matter. “Meat and men seem to go hand in hand. A study by the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that men who were worried about the status of their manhood decided to eat more meat to restore their manhood, ”explains Lübeck. Just as smoking was once “hip”, the meat and grill culture also has a certain association with masculinity, although there is no shortage of incredible vegan bodybuilders and athletes who live on a plant-based diet.

Also, instead of complaining about the meat = masculinity factor, how about a sobering statistic with this meat platter: “Men would benefit greatly from limiting their meat consumption, as research-based science shows that high consumption of red meat is associated with it is at increased risk for heart disease. “[In a study published last year by Al-Shaar et al.] for every additional serving of red meat per day, it increased coronary artery disease by 12 percent! ”That heaped rib platter doesn’t look so good anymore, does it?

bonus: If your dad goes against the grain and adopts a plant-based or predominantly plant-based lifestyle, he can inspire those around him to do the same. (Read: Uncle John.)

Tips to help dad stop eating meat

1. Start slowly.

“Going plant-based doesn’t have to be made cold. This is a change that will only be sustainable if the individual is fully on board and convinced of the benefits, ”shares Best, highlighting research showing that eating a healthy plant-based diet in adults in the US can help lower risk for all causes of death.

“That’s why I recommend weaning yourself off the meat slowly,” she continues. It is best to eat plant-based foods one day a week for a full week, followed by two days the next week. “He can do this until he’s got a full week, or if he feels it’s getting easier, he can drive for several days at a time until he gets to his destination,” says Best.

2. Customize the way you look at the plate.

A little creativity in eating goes a long way. “Instead of the meat being the center of the meal, think of it as a side dish. Then [tell your dad to] are you considering taking a survey on how much red meat? [he is] eat in an average week and have a realistic expectation to slowly titrate back, ”suggests Routhenstein. “It can be easier to initially swap out red meat for grilled chicken or even dark chicken breasts. Focus on the plants first by filling your plate with veggies in a playful way – grill the veggies, use a spice mix you would use for the veggies’ red meat instead, or try different plant favorites from different cuisines. “

3. Try the “cut it in half” tip.

Routhenstein says if dad is used to eating two red meat burgers while grilling, it may help to have one red meat burger and then a grilled burger with black beans or vegetables. Following this rule of thumb can make it easier for your favorite person to switch to a more plant-based diet. “Or when [he is] Make a homemade burger, fill it up with cauliflower rice, frozen spinach, spices and mushrooms, which adds more plants but also reduces the actual consumption of red meat. “

4. Make friends with vegetable sources of protein.

“Some options for men who want to replace meat with vegetable protein are tofu or other soy products, beans, lentils, quinoa and nuts,” says Lübeck, adding that a vegetarian burger or an impossible burger are other options (like the Beyond .). Burgers and other similar products), but she cautions people to watch out for the saturated fat in some of them. “Adding a delicious fruit and vegetable smoothie with a serving of protein powder to your day is a great way to meet your daily protein goals when you’re eating less meat,” she adds.

5. Eat more vegetables.

But let them taste amazing. “Eating more vegetables is easier than it sounds. If you are already a grill master, you can cook your vegetables on the grill, ”says Lübeck. “Vegetables can be placed on skewers or directly on the grill. Some vegetables that are particularly well cooked on the grill are zucchini and other pumpkins, onions, peppers and mushrooms. “

6. Get dad to try new recipes.

Whether you buy him a herbal cookbook, or better yet, cook with him in person, this is a great way to ease the transition to a meatless life. “If he tries a new herbal recipe every week, he can discover new foods he didn’t know he liked and shut others out,” shares Best, adding that he will have to do so after a month or two quite a few herbal recipes that he likes. “I recommend using one of these recipes as a meat alternative for the grill, like mushroom caps.” (Fellas just love to grill.)

Continue Reading

Healthy Eating

Ways Eating Fruit Can Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians



Cherries, grapes, white peaches. Bananas, apricots, melon. Watermelon, apples, pears. We could go on like this, but let’s get to the heart of the matter: fruit is refreshing, tasty and affordable. It’s really pretty darn good for you too, and can help you step up your weight loss efforts – a big time. To that end, we tapped nutritionists to share all of the amazing ways fruit can keep you full and slim. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthily, don’t miss out on 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.


“Fruits are low in calories but high in nutrients, including fiber, which helps you feel full not just for a short time but for hours between meals. This often results in lower caloric intake, so it can help manage your weight, “comments Joanna Foley, RD, CLT.

Speaking of topping up, not all fruits are created equal. What’s one of your best ways to refuel between or during meals to curb overeating? The darling of all millennials: avocados. “Avocados are one of the most fiber dense fruits and they also have the benefit of providing healthy fats that will also help keep you full,” she says, noting that there are many ways to charge avocados, from soaking them in smoothies to add sandwiches to them as healthy, filling toppings.

CONNECTED: Sign up for our newsletter to receive recipes and food news in your inbox every day!

mixed berriesShutterstock

“Eating fruits that are high in flavonoid content can help control weight and limit weight gain. Several classes of flavonoids have been shown to decrease energy intake, which can help with weight loss, ”says Tara Tomaino, RD, Registered Nutritionist with The Park, a New Jersey-based work-life campus providing wellness and concierge services from The Connell Company. Just check out this research. “Strawberries and blueberries are two high-flavonoid fruits that should be included in a healthy diet. Add these brightly colored berries to your day by topping oatmeal, granola, or yogurt with sliced ​​strawberries. Frozen berries are great for one.” Bowl of Greek yogurtyo or a whole grain muffin mix, “she adds.

mixed berriesShutterstock

“The fiber in fruit ensures that your blood sugar doesn’t rise too much [compared to meals that don’t contain fiber after eating] and makes your body more responsive to insulin. Improved insulin sensitivity helps manage your weight, ”says Foley. “Berries are particularly good at balancing blood sugar levels and fat burning, and can be easily added to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or eaten alone for a delicious and nutritious treat.” A berry lover? These are the best states for berry picking.

READ MORE: 8 Low Carbohydrate Fruits For Weight Loss

Fruit saladShutterstock

Begin a cycle of habits that are beneficial to you by making an effort to eat fruit every day. “Making healthy choices (like eating fruit) can often increase the motivation to make other healthy lifestyle changes that can add up and promote weight loss over time,” commented Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD, Nutritionist for Next Luxury. For some of the best fruits useful for weight loss, check out the nine best fruits for weight loss approved by a nutritionist.

Frozen grapesShutterstock

Instead of reaching for that pint of sorbet after dinner, a handful of frozen grapes may do very well – with no added sugar and high in antioxidants and other polyphenols, says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND award-winning nutritionist and partner of Grapes from California. “Instead of lemonade, which is the number one addition to sugar in the US, replace it with a fruit smoothie,” she also suggests.

Following Amidor, Gariglio-Clelland shares: “Fruit is naturally rich in sugar, which makes it a sweet alternative to added sugar in traditional desserts. Replacing ice cream for berries with a dash of cream is a decadent but healthier treat, as is fresh fruit smoothie with no added sugar. ” Berries and cream are coming soon, you don’t have to tell us twice.

Bowl of applesShutterstock

Mmmh, bring along the gut bacteria that are good for you. “Eating fruit can improve the diversity of your gut bacteria, which research has shown plays an important role in weight management,” comments Foley. “Apples contain a type of prebiotic fiber that helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut,” she adds, noting that some excellent ways to enjoy apples, if you’re not just eating a whole fruit, are through them cut into salads or oatmeal.

READ MORE: 9 Ways Bananas Can Help You Lose Weight, Say Dietitians


Lots of fruits are good for your waistline, but let’s hear it for these summer favorites. “Watermelon, when consumed as part of an overall anti-inflammatory diet, can aid weight loss. Participants in one study who consumed a more anti-inflammatory diet including watermelon experienced a reduction in body fat,” says Tomaino, referring to the study. “The high water content of watermelons promotes a feeling of satiety, which can prevent overeating. Whip up a salad with watermelon, feta cheese and mint leaves or mix watermelon with ice cream and lime juice for a refreshing slushie, ”she suggests.

For more information, see The # 1 Best Fruits To Eat, According to a Nutritionist.

Continue Reading