Top Restaurant Prices https://www.toprestaurantprices.com The authority of restaurant prices online Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:04:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 The Ups and Downs of a Juice Cleansing Diet https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/the-ups-and-downs-of-a-juice-cleansing-diet/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/the-ups-and-downs-of-a-juice-cleansing-diet/#respond Fri, 14 Dec 2018 10:04:47 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9048 A three-day juice cleansing program from Juice Press is a detox diet that provides a wide range of health benefits, thus, its increasing popularity. But it has its ups and downs, too, partly due to the fact that only fruit and vegetable juices are consumed during the duration of the detox diet. Here, we will […]

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A three-day juice cleansing program from Juice Press is a detox diet that provides a wide range of health benefits, thus, its increasing popularity. But it has its ups and downs, too, partly due to the fact that only fruit and vegetable juices are consumed during the duration of the detox diet.

Here, we will take a look at these ups and downs that are common among people on the juice cleansing program. You can use the information to determine whether the juice cleansing program will work for you, as well as help you choose the best one (e.g., 3-day or 5-day juice cleanse).

Appetite, Metabolism and Weight Loss

Juicing will not shrink your stomach even though it seems that way. But it will temporarily ease, if not eliminate, your need to eat for comfort or to stress eat several days after the juice cleanse program has been completed. You will feel more satisfied even with less food on your stomach than before.

Up: Your appetite will be reduced, a benefit when you’re in need of a psychological boost to stop your destructive eating behavior.

Did you know that water – plenty of it, in fact – is locked up in your muscles alongside glycogen? But when you’re on a juice cleanse, a low-calorie diet, your body will use up its glycogen stores and lose the water weight in the process. You will feel less bloated and heavy as a result.

Down: The water weight loss is temporary, however. You will regain water weight when you return to your normal diet so it’s always a good idea to adopt other effective anti-bloating strategies.

Juicing isn’t recommended as a long-term weight loss and weight management program because of its limitations. For one thing, it is a restrictive diet since only fruit and vegetable juices are consumed. At some point, you will crave solid food and your body will need the nutrients from other non-juice food sources, such as meats and dairy.

For another thing, it is a low-calorie diet. In many cases, a person on a juice cleanse gets only 1,200 calories while a normal person requires higher amounts, as high as 2,500 calories per day. Plus, there’s also the fact that the juice cleanse diet doesn’t provide the required amounts of proteins, fats and carbs for most people.

Up: The low-calorie diet can work for many people, especially those who are overweight. It’s also a good idea for people who still want the nutrients from fruits and vegetables for a healthy body without the added calories.

Physical Energy and Cold Sensitivity

With reduced calorie intake, you will likely experience reduced levels of physical energy and mental alertness. You may be unable to perform your everyday activities with as much energy and concentration as you did before the juice cleanse.

But since it’s only for a few days and your body will be rid of its toxins, this is a minor inconvenience. You can schedule your three-day cleanse, for example, on a Friday so that your lower energy level will not have as much impact on your life. You can use the three-day program to rest your mind and body from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Up: But you will still have bursts of energy, thanks to the hydration and quick-absorbing carbohydrates in the juices. You can perform more strenuous activities during these bursts of energy, if you want.

Keep in mind that you will be more sensitive to cold temperatures when you’re on a juice cleanse program. You should then avoid doing it during the fall and winter seasons for obvious reasons. You will also likely reach for a hot tea than for a cold pressed juice when it’s 20 degrees outside.

Up: Juice cleanses are a great way to achieve a summer bikini-ready body. The refreshing taste of the cold pressed juice will not only quench your thirst but make you lose the water weight, too.

There are also other things that make juice cleanse what it is. A few of these include the following.

Up: You will also like it that your skin becomes more radiant after a juice cleanse diet. This is because the toxins in your body are being eliminated and your skin is proof of it. Just don’t be on a juice cleanse diet for more than the recommended period since a low-calorie diet can cause the skin to dry out and, thus, age quicker.

Up: You can eliminate wheat, gluten, fermented foods, and dairy from your diet. These can be the source of your health issues so eliminating them from your diet can mean better health.

Down: You may experience the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. This is true even when you aren’t a heavy coffee drinker. Then again, if you’re cutting down on caffeine consumption, then being on a juice cleanse diet is a blessing.

In conclusion, we highly recommend a juice cleanse diet for people who want to be healthier.  But don’t just drink juices from any store or make your own juicing plan – you have to be on a plan that has been approved by nutritionists and you can get it at Juice Press!

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Turn Down the Heat On Those Chicken Wings and Here’s Why https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/turn-down-the-heat-on-those-chicken-wings-and-heres-why/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/turn-down-the-heat-on-those-chicken-wings-and-heres-why/#respond Fri, 07 Dec 2018 15:04:36 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9045 There’s a reason Buffalo Wild Wings has a popular following in whatever city it is in – its crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside chicken wings served with a wide range of sauces are so delicious you can’t seem to stop eating them! There’s also the fact that the spicy sauces are equally with evocative names like mild, medium […]

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There’s a reason Buffalo Wild Wings has a popular following in whatever city it is in – its crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside chicken wings served with a wide range of sauces are so delicious you can’t seem to stop eating them! There’s also the fact that the spicy sauces are equally with evocative names like mild, medium and hot insane.

We daresay that it’s the spiciness of these sauces that bring back customers again and again. Everybody with a hankering for spicy food, or even if you’re just curious about it, will find a couple of sauces that will satisfy their taste buds. There’s the mild sauces with just a hint of red pepper for the spicy food virgins and then there’s the Abusive, Nuclear and Suicidal sauces for those who want to test their tongue.

But before you become too attached to spicy food, much less increase the level of heat on your food, here are a few things that you should take note of. You will find that there’s sense in turning down the heat when you know the possible side effects of your love affair with intensely spicy food.

Bad Breath

Onions and garlic add flavor to food as well as provide nutrients for your body. But when consumed in excessive amounts, especially when eaten raw, these can cause bad breath that no amount of brushing and chewing on mint can resolve.

Bad breath in itself obviously isn’t a life-threatening condition – unless it’s a sign of an underlying medical condition – but it can spell disaster in social situations. Just think about having bad breath on date night and you will certainly lay off on the spicy food, if only for a few days prior to the date.

Taste Bud Damage

While spices used in food, such as red peppers, garlic and onion, and ginger, add flavor to dishes, these can cause damage to the taste buds when consumed in large quantities and prolonged periods. No, it isn’t true that you will get used to the heat of chili peppers when you increase your consumption.

Instead, your taste buds experience can experience temporary or permanent damage from the burning sensation caused by chili peppers. Think of it as the wear and tear caused by long-term abuse of your taste buds and you get the idea. Think of it, if you will, as damaging your ears from constantly exposing them to loud music – in both cases, the body part can suffer from irreversible deterioration.

If you feel that the highest heat level isn’t burning your mouth as much as it did before, then your taste buds may already be damaged. You have to dial down the heat level and allow your taste buds to recover. You will find that your sense of taste becomes more refined and, thus, able to enjoy subtle differences in flavor.

Skin Irritations

If you have accidentally touched your eye area with fingers that were dipped into hot pepper, then you know that these red spices can burn your skin. Often, it doesn’t matter what kind of pepper it was or its amount – if it touches your skin, then you will feel your skin burning.

Tip: Apply lip balm to your lips to create a barrier between the delicate skin on your lips and the spicy food, if you can’t help eating the latter. Avoid touching any part of your face with your chili-riddled hands and wash your hands, too, as soon as you finish eating.

Stomach Issues

Spices like red pepper, chilies and garlic have irritant qualities that can affect your stomach, intestines and gut. These spices will not actually cause gastritis, acid reflux, and ulcers but these can make the conditions worse.

Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining usually triggered by bacterial infections in the stomach. But spicy food may also decrease the stomach’s protective barrier so it’s best to avoid them if you have been diagnosed with gastritis. Otherwise, a simple case of gastritis can worsen to become ulcers, a condition wherein the stomach’s own acids eat away at its protective lining.

Acid reflux can also be worsened with even moderate consumption of spicy foods. While acid reflux isn’t a life-threatening condition, it’s just as bothersome as bad breath, as well as increase the risk of teeth erosion.

The consumption of spicy food before bedtime can also affect your sleep. Your body has to slow down, so to speak, in terms of body temperature and metabolism before it can sleep. But since spicy food actually increases body temperature, your body doesn’t so your sleep becomes interrupted.

The bottom line: You can still enjoy spicy food but do so in moderation. Your body will send signals that you’re overdoing spicy food, such as numb tongue for several hours after eating it, so turn down the heat or reduce your consumption. Your body will also benefit from moderate consumption since spicy food contains high Vitamin C levels, speeds up your metabolism, and maybe even turn on your libido.

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Health Foods May Be Worse Than Donuts https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/health-foods-may-be-worse-than-donuts/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/health-foods-may-be-worse-than-donuts/#respond Sun, 25 Nov 2018 10:56:21 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9037 High consumption of sugary products has been closely linked with increased risks of chronic degenerative diseases including heart disease, stroke and Type II diabetes. The emphasis here is on high consumption since sugar, or glucose once it’s in the body, can be beneficial to health, too. Such is the case of eating a Duck Donuts […]

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High consumption of sugary products has been closely linked with increased risks of chronic degenerative diseases including heart disease, stroke and Type II diabetes. The emphasis here is on high consumption since sugar, or glucose once it’s in the body, can be beneficial to health, too. Such is the case of eating a Duck Donuts or Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast donut to jumpstart your brain’s normal functions in the morning, as explained in another article.

But in a bid to decrease their daily sugar intake, millions of Americans are being taken in by the misleading labels on so-called health foods. Manufacturers and marketers are partly to blame, too, because of their use of said labels to encourage customers to buy their products. These labels include low fat, low carbs, low sugar, gluten-free, and whole wheat.

The ugly truth: Many of these so-called health food products actually have higher sugar content than a Duck Donuts glazed donut! Here are several of these food items that you should be aware of.

Instant Oatmeal

We agree that instant oatmeal with milk and slices of fresh fruit as topping are great breakfast combo when you’re running late or you’re feeling lazy. Instant oatmeal is, after all, a time saver – just pour hot water on it, wait for three minutes, and then it’s done. You probably didn’t have enough time to make a fresh batch of steel-cut oats, a fiber-rich alternative that requires cooking.

But instant oatmeal lacks the nutrients in steel-cut oats, not to mention that a packet of instant oatmeal with maple and brown sugar flavoring has the sugar equivalent of three donuts!

Whole Grain Cereal

The “whole grain” labeling leads consumers into thinking that a cup of the breakfast cereal is a healthy alternative to a breakfast donut. It’s such a shame because the former has a sugar content equivalent to three of the former, as is the case for the oatmeal.

This is particularly true for whole grain cereals with words like “honey”, “crunch”, and “crisp” in them. Why? The clumps of rice or what are likely held together by fat and sugar while the sweetener isn’t unprocessed honey – it’s actually corn syrup with caramel food coloring.

Store-bought Smoothies

Bottled smoothies are seen as health food because these are supposedly made of fresh fruit and milk. But don’t let that fool you as many store-bought smoothies contain fruit juice concentrates as sweeteners – and these are just as bad for your health as high fructose syrup. Plus, fruit juice containers lack fiber, which has waist-whittling properties; fiber can suppress your hunger pangs.

If you’re craving for smoothies, you should whip a fresh batch at home and hold the sweeteners. You can skip the equivalent of 12 donuts when you do. Yes, a bottle of bottled smoothie has sugar the equivalent of a dozen donuts so you’re not doing your body a favor.

Fruit Juice

Again, just because a bottled product has “made from real fruits” in it doesn’t necessarily mean that it contains fresh fruits and nothing else. Many of the fruit juices in stores contain filtered water, fruit juice concentrate, and natural flavoring, as well as plenty of sugar. The “fresh fruit” component may well mean a slice of it in a bottle.

For each cup of a store-bought fruit juice, you’re consuming about nine sugar-raised donuts. It isn’t healthy eating so stick with a homemade fruit juice sans the sugar as sweetener.

Granola

Did you know that a 2-ounce granola bar has a sugar content equivalent to nine donuts, too? Here you were thinking that you were making healthy choices by skipping a donut and eating a granola bar instead.

Not all granola bars, however, are bad for your health. You can make homemade granola bars with more of the rolled oats and less of the caramelized sugars. This way, you can steer clear of store-bought granola bars that contain plenty of hidden caramelized sugar, perhaps with nuts and seeds to make them sound healthier to consumers.

Whole Grain Bread

Yet another misleading use of the term “whole grain” is in breads. The more disturbing thing is that many whole grain bread have higher sugar content than donuts – a single slice, for example, of a honey-flavored wheat whole grain bread can contain as much sugar as a single sugar raised donut.

Other supposedly health foods that you are well-advised to avoid, or at least limit your consumption include:

  • Dried fruit like craisins (1/4 cup equals seven donuts)
  • Salad dressing like sun-dried tomato vinaigrette (2 tablespoons equal three donuts)
  • Fruit yogurt (a container has similar sugar content as seven donuts)

In the end, every adult consumer should be vigilant about their daily sugar intake and educate others about the dangers of high sugar consumption. When you’re eating donuts from Duck Donuts, for example, you should always remember that it’s best to eat in moderation and to adopt healthy eating habits.

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Why and How to Get A Kick Out of Spicier Food https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/why-and-how-to-get-a-kick-out-of-spicier-food/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/why-and-how-to-get-a-kick-out-of-spicier-food/#respond Sun, 18 Nov 2018 10:53:02 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9033 In chicken wing-centric restaurant chains – Atomic Wings immediately comes to mind – the menu’s featured items are the chicken wings and their wide range of sauces in different flavors. Many of these sauces have spicy flavors, mostly due to the addition of chili peppers, since heat brings out the best in the juicy, succulent […]

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In chicken wing-centric restaurant chains – Atomic Wings immediately comes to mind – the menu’s featured items are the chicken wings and their wide range of sauces in different flavors. Many of these sauces have spicy flavors, mostly due to the addition of chili peppers, since heat brings out the best in the juicy, succulent and tender chicken with relatively crispy skin.

But you don’t exactly have the tolerance for spicy food except for the mildest ones! What can you do? Why do we get a kick out of eating spicy food in the first place? Let’s take a look at the answers, which will definitely be to your benefit the next time you find yourself in a friendly spicy chicken wing eating contest with your friends.

Why Spicy Food Gives Us a Kick

Do you nearly always want to eat spicy food or use spicy sauce on your food? Do you find yourself unable to stop eating spicy food even when your mouth is on fire and your sweat is flowing like rain? If you do, then you may be one of the people who get a kick out of spicy food!

Don’t worry because you aren’t in any danger of getting a spice addiction, technically speaking. But you can call yourself a chili chaser, perhaps even take pride that you can actually eat an entire bucket of the spiciest chicken wings on the Atomic Wings menu.

But why do people get a kick out of eating spicy food? The answer lies in our unique brain reactions to heat in comparison with other mammals.

Spicy peppers including chili pepper, the most commonly used in North American restaurants, belong to the nightshade family; interestingly, eggplants and tomatoes also belong to it. These plants don’t want to be eaten by animals particularly mammals and fungi and, as such, release a chemical known as capsaicinoids for protection against these attacks.

While capsaicinoids have neither flavor nor odor, these can be detected by the acute sense of smell most mammals possess and, thus, they avoid it. Humans aren’t endowed with such acute sense of smell and, thus, aren’t deterred from eating chili pepper, generally speaking.

When a human eats chili pepper, the capsaicinoids in it directly acts on the pain receptors in the mouth and throat. The pain receptors then send signals to the brain resulting in the appropriate pain response, as if the body is actually on fire (i.e., physical trauma). The brain sends a flood of endorphins and dopamine that, in turn, makes an otherwise painful experience a pleasurable one.

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that act as the body’s natural painkiller by blocking the transmission of pain signals. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter that sends messages to the pleasure receptors, thus, the feelings of pleasure and calmness. The flood of pleasure that accompany their release makes the fire in your mouth worth the pain –and that, ladies and gents, is why you get a kick out of spicy chicken wings.

How to Build Your Spice Tolerance

What if you’re a sissy in spice tolerance? Don’t worry as we all have to start somewhere, not to mention that it’s a trick that can be learned even by old dogs.

Start mild and small

Don’t eat an entire chili pepper on your first go because then the pain will outlast the pleasure shot. Instead, start by increasing the amount of crushed red pepper flakes on your mac ‘n cheese or your soup. You may also spike your ketchup with a few drops of Tabasco sauce and use it as a dipping sauce for your fries, onion rings, and the like.

Over time, you can tolerate spicier food until you can give the spice-loving Indians and Mexicans a run for their money.

You should also start with the milder peppers, such as cubanelles and poblanos. When your taste buds have become accustomed to their mild heat, you can move on into the serranos and jalapenos; seeded, chopped chiles added to your entrée is also a great idea.

Enjoy the flavor

Chili pepper can enhance the flavor of many dishes and even desserts, such as chocolate cakes with a spicy kick. Just savor the new flavors that come with an otherwise familiar food and the heat from the chili pepper will be less noticeable.

Keep coolants on hand

Don’t be foolish to think that as your spice tolerance increases, you will have little to no need for coolants. You will need them because your pain receptors have their limits, not to mention that there’s a great relief to be enjoyed after eating or drinking your preferred coolant.

You can keep a cold glass of milk, a bowl of sour cream, or cilantro or lime on hand. These are great coolants that can also enhance the flavor of your food.

But if you can’t build heat tolerance beyond the poblanos and cubanelles, then don’t force it. Not everybody can handle the heat and there’s no shame in that.

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Juice Cleanse: From Beginning to Breaking It https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/juice-cleanse-from-beginning-to-breaking-it/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/juice-cleanse-from-beginning-to-breaking-it/#respond Mon, 12 Nov 2018 10:50:33 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9029 Juice cleanse programs as managed by the likes of Nékter Juice Bar and Juice Press are popular among many types of people from weight loss watchers to believers in detoxification. But what are these programs exactly, what do these require, and how can you begin and break it? These are just a few of the […]

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Juice cleanse programs as managed by the likes of Nékter Juice Bar and Juice Press are popular among many types of people from weight loss watchers to believers in detoxification. But what are these programs exactly, what do these require, and how can you begin and break it? These are just a few of the important questions that must be answered before you plunge into one yourself.

Type of Detox Diet

Every juice clean is actually a type of detox diet wherein vegetable and fruit juices are consumed for a short period, typically just one to three days; 15-day cleanse programs are also available but these should be approached with caution, especially for beginners due to the demands involved. Depending on the program, a juice cleanse can also include smoothies as well as vegan meals and snacks for certain people. These include people who are new to juice cleanse programs, or who require more physical energy, or who want a moderate-level experience while still getting most of the health benefits.

According to its advocates, a juice cleanse program supports the body’s detox process by clearing the diet of unwanted substances. These include refined flour, processed foods, sugar, and caffeine, which can decrease energy production and increase the risk of chronic degenerative diseases, among other unhealthy effects. The cleansing process can also jumpstart your body’s adoption of healthy lifestyle habits including diet, exercise and stress management.

Keep in mind that every juice cleanse program involves the consumption of juices and smoothies made from raw fruits and vegetables. This is because the phytochemicals, antioxidants and nutrients in these natural foods are best preserved in their raw form. Most, if not all, of these natural foods are subjected to the cold press method; the introduction of heat can degrade the quantity and quality of the nutrients.

Done Appropriately for Best Results

You may be tempted to immediately jump into a juice cleanse program (i.e., without preparation) but don’t do it! You should prepare your body for its demands especially when it’s your first time to detox. A few tips in this regard:

  • Decrease your consumption of refine sugar and flour, coffee and caffeine-infused products, dairy products like milk and cheese, wheat, and alcohol as well as nicotine (i.e., cigarettes and cigars). Doing so will decrease the possibility of cravings, headaches, and other withdrawal symptoms.
  • Increase your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fluids, preferably just water. You’re essentially preparing your body for the influx of beneficial nutrients during the juice cleanse period.

Be sure to train your mind, too, for the coming days ahead. Don’t worry, however, as the demands of a juice cleanse aren’t as severe as depicted by others. You will get your daily share of nutrients for normal body functions during the juice cleanse period, even satisfy your sugar cravings through the fruit juices.

After the juice cleanse has been completed, solid food will be reintroduced into your diet over several days. Be careful about eating your fill of the food you have missed in one day because then you’re negating the benefits of the juice cleanse. Your body may also rebel, so to speak, against the sudden reintroduction of food.

During the Juice Cleanse

In a 3-day juice cleanse, the typical period, you will likely be required to consume at least 32 ounces of juices and/or smoothies; at least half of it will be green vegetable juice. Don’t worry about preparing the juices and smoothies, not even the meals and snacks, because Nékter Juice Bar will prepare and deliver them to your doorstep.

The typical 3-day juice clean can involve the following schedule: (The actual schedule will vary depending on your chosen program)

  • Drink lukewarm water with fresh lemon juice.
  • Drink green vegetable juice at 8 a.m.
  • Drink a smoothie or a cleanse food at 10:30 a.m.
  • Drink fruit or vegetable juice once every two hours in the afternoon until 6 p.m.
  • Drink a smoothie or cashew nut milk at 8 p.m.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to drink juices and smoothies at all times during the 3-day juice cleanse period. You can ask for vegan food to be included as your meals and snacks. You should also drink water, either at lukewarm or room temperature, between each juice or smoothie consumption for improved bowel movement.

Tip: Drink the juice and smoothie slowly instead of gulping them down. Drink the final juice or smoothie for the day at least three hours before your bedtime.

Drinking the recommended juices, smoothies and vegan meals isn’t the only aspect of a juice cleanse program. You must also be engaged in physical activity, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, to boost your blood circulation. You may also try massage therapy, skin brushing, and contrast showers for this purpose, too. You should also look at stress management techniques, such as muscle relaxation and meditation.

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About Acai: Benefits and Bowls https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/about-acai-benefits-and-bowls/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/about-acai-benefits-and-bowls/#respond Sun, 04 Nov 2018 11:46:42 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9025 Enter a Juice Press shop and the first item on the menu that will likely get your attention is the acai bowls. Once you eat acai with the other ingredients, such as fruits, nuts and seeds, and almond milk, you will want to eat it every day, if possible. What exactly are acai berries? These […]

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Enter a Juice Press shop and the first item on the menu that will likely get your attention is the acai bowls. Once you eat acai with the other ingredients, such as fruits, nuts and seeds, and almond milk, you will want to eat it every day, if possible.

What exactly are acai berries? These are the fruits of the acai tree, a type of palm tree native to the northern regions of South America. Here, these berries are used as food and medicine, usually eaten in their raw form as well as a juice.

In North America, acai berries are also used in the same manner. Their popularity as a super-food increased when Dr. Nicholas Perricone promoted it as such on the Oprah Winfrey show.

As a Super-food

What makes acai berries a super-food? According to studies conducted on its chemical composition, acai berries have high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are powerful substances that protect the body’s cells from the damaging effects of oxidation, the natural process wherein the cells react with oxygen. Think of them as natural anti-aging nutrients that can reduce the risk of chronic degenerative diseases like diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Acai also has higher antioxidant content than raspberries, grapes, cranberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Of course, the consumption of acai berries alone will not boost your immune system and overall health. Doctors and nutritionists strongly recommend eating them as part of a balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish and low-fat meats.

Aside from antioxidants, acai berries are rich in:

  • Fiber, an important substance in maintaining good digestion and regular bowel movements. It’s also important in keeping your hunger pangs under control (i.e., feeling of fullness) and in maintaining a steady blood glucose level.
  • Healthy fats, especially omega-3-fatty acids, which are essential for protecting the heart and improving the cholesterol profile.
  • Calcium, a mineral essential in keeping your heart, muscles and bone as well as nerves healthy.

No wonder then that acai berries are purple gold! Just remember that it isn’t a magic pill for your ills and ill health. Again, you have to add it as part of a balanced diet.

As Part of a Bowl

Many food mash-ups aren’t worth the hype but acai bowls definitely deserve the buzz! When acai berries are made into so-called bowls and topped with other ingredients, these become even more delicious and provide even more health benefits. Think about it: Acai berries on their own have health benefit so when fruits, grains and natural sweeteners are added to them, the benefits will increase.

Most first-timers to acai bowls think that these are whole acai berries mixed with fruits and grains in a manner similar to oatmeal mixed with slices of fresh fruit. This isn’t so because acai bowls are actually smoothies with an appearance like ice cream, even the taste and texture of ice cream.

The extra-thick smoothie is primarily made from acai berries with the addition of dairy or non-dairy milk, such as almond milk. Most reliable juice bars don’t add filler ingredients like frozen yogurt and crushed ice because these affect the consistency of the smoothie.

Once the right consistency of the blended acai berries has been achieved, it’s poured into a bowl and topped with whole berries, slices of fresh fruits, and natural sweeteners. The berries can range from blueberries to strawberries while the fresh fruits can include pineapples, peaches, and bananas – or whatever your heart desires in case of build-your-own-bowl options.

In most acai bowls, there’s no need to add natural sweeteners, much less artificial sweeteners like sugar. The sweetness of the fruits is all that’s necessary to satisfy your sweet tooth. But in case you want a sweeter acai bowl, you can request for honey, a low-calorie, low-sugar natural sweetener.

You can then eat an acai bowl with a spoon, just as would with ice cream in a bowl. You can eat a different acai bowl for breakfast – it’s a great pick-me-upper in the morning – as well as for lunch and snacks.

You won’t feel as guilty about indulging in acai bowls as, say, in glazed donuts for as long as you skip the filler ingredients and artificial sweeteners. Natural is the way to go when it comes to acai bowls even when these are health food, not to mention that moderation is a must. With one too many acai bowls, your calorie intake for the day will border on the unhealthy.

Of course, you can make your own acai bowls at home. But there are several possible issues about it – getting the best acai berries or acai puree, the right texture, and the right flavor combinations, for example. Remember that a great acai smoothie should have a consistency thick enough that it can be scooped with a spoon but not so dense that it won’t blend well.

If you live near a Juice Press shop, do yourself a favor and order your favorite acai bowl or experiment with other combinations.  You will appreciate the time-saving measure and get your acai benefits, too.

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The Hierarchy of Heat Among Peppers https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/the-hierarchy-of-heat-among-peppers/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/the-hierarchy-of-heat-among-peppers/#respond Tue, 30 Oct 2018 11:43:42 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9021 What may be the burning hell of peppers for you may only be the gentlest of heat for others. Don’t be ashamed about it, if it is true, because every person has his or her own level of spice tolerance. Fortunately, restaurants acknowledge such a fact and, thus, offer spicy foods with a wide range […]

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What may be the burning hell of peppers for you may only be the gentlest of heat for others. Don’t be ashamed about it, if it is true, because every person has his or her own level of spice tolerance.

Fortunately, restaurants acknowledge such a fact and, thus, offer spicy foods with a wide range of heat levels. For example, the East Coast Wings + Grill has sauces with heat levels ranging from mild (Virgin) to extreme (Insanity).

But how hot is hot? When it comes to peppers, there’s a relatively objective tool in measuring their heat and it’s called the Scoville system. Here’s what you may want to know about it and the heat measurement for many of the most commonly used peppers in the United States.

The Scoville System

First off, the heat that comes from eating spicy peppers comes from capsaicinoids, the chemicals released by peppers as a deterrent against being eaten by animals and fungi. Capsaicin, a thermogenic compound that also improves the body’s fat burning capacity through heat generation, is among the numerous types of capsaicinoids that bring on the heat, so to speak.

The Scoville scale measures the pungency – in other words, the heat or spiciness of pepper – based on the concentration of capsaicin in a certain type of pepper. The pungency is measured in Scoville units from zero to more than a million. Thus, sweet peppers like banana peppers are at the bottom of the scale with zero Scovilles while pure undiluted capsaicin is at the top of the hierarchy with 16 million Scovilles.

Interesting trivia: The Naga-Bih Jolokia pepper, a type cultivated in Indian, is considered as the world’s hottest chili with more than a million Scovilles. You may consider the habanero as the world’s hottest pepper but wait until you set your mouth on fire with the Naga-Bih Jolokia pepper!

The Scoville scale was named after its creator, Wilbur Scoville, a pharmaceutical employee who devised a test for measuring the levels of capsaicin in peppers. He developed his hierarchy of heat in 1912 and it’s still widely used today despite its subjective flaws. But for a more precise measurement, scientists use high-performance liquid chromatography, a more expensive way.

The Popular Peppers and Their Heat

Chili and cayenne peppers are the most popular type of pepper used in spicy dishes in the United States. But you will be surprised to know that there are literally dozens of types that are used in cooking as well as a garnishing. Here are a few of them and their Scoville heat units (i.e., stated inside the parenthesis).

Banana peppers (0-500)

The mild, sweet taste of banana peppers, or yellow wax pepper, makes it a popular choice for people who have low spice tolerance. It’s used on several foods including Greek salads, pizzas and sandwiches, as well as stuffed in cheese and meat since these add an interesting combo of sweet and spice.

Chipotle chili peppers (2,500-8,000)

These are actually smoked and dried red jalapenos so these have similar Scoville heat units as fresh jalapeno peppers albeit with a different flavor profile. Did you know that to produce one pound of chipotle pepper, about 10 pounds of jalapenos will be needed? Don’t be surprised then that the former is generally more expensive than the latter.

Jalapeno peppers originate from Mexico although it’s now grown worldwide for its mild heat level averaging around 5,000 SHU. Think hot but not too hot. It’s a medium-sized pepper that can grow as long as six inches although its average length is 2-3.5 inches.

Aleppo chili peppers (10,000)

These are usually used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines due to their rich fruity undertones and moderate heat. Named after the Syrian city, it’s usually dried and crushed before being used in cooking, sometimes as a substitute for paprika or crushed red pepper.

Cayenne chili peppers (30,000-50,000)

These are typically used in their dried and ground version (i.e., powder) that can be drizzled over soups, sauces, and pizzas. In their natural form, these are thin peppers with colors ranging from green to red and measuring 3 to 3 inches long.

Carolina cayenne chili peppers (100,000-125,000)

These have a similar appearance as the cayenne chili peppers but be warned. These peppers are twice as hot so these can set your mouth on fire, figuratively speaking.

African devil peppers (175,000)

These deserve their name so be careful about eating a dish filled with them. These are used in stews, soups and hot sauces that are fit for people with high spice tolerance.

Habanero chili peppers (100,000-350,000)

These are so hot that few people can handle eating them in their raw form and we don’t suggest eating it if you have hypertension, among other health issues.

When ordering spicy sauce for your chicken wings, you may want to ask about the type of peppers used in and the heat intensity of the sauce. You want to know what you’re putting in your mouth and you will want a coolant, such as a cold glass of milk on hand, before diving in to your food.

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The Heart of Southern Food https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/the-heart-of-southern-food/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/the-heart-of-southern-food/#respond Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:32:56 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9017 Southern food is steeped in traditions mostly started by the black people living in the United States’ southern part. Indeed, most of its modern characteristics are rooted in African-American traditions and techniques, particularly in the slave-based plantations. Also known as soul food, Southern food has become so popular in the United States that there are […]

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Southern food is steeped in traditions mostly started by the black people living in the United States’ southern part. Indeed, most of its modern characteristics are rooted in African-American traditions and techniques, particularly in the slave-based plantations.

Also known as soul food, Southern food has become so popular in the United States that there are many restaurant chains that offer authentic soul food or Southern-inspired fare at least. Among the best places for it is Folks Southern Kitchen, a restaurant that takes pride in its delicious, home-cooked and down-to-earth soul food.

What truly makes soul food, well, soul food? Let’s take a look at its distinctive characteristics here. Keep in mind, too, that the traditional definition of “the South” includes the states that formed the Confederate States of American from 1861 to 1865, namely: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Parts of Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri, the so-called “border states” then, also share many of the soul food traditions.

Okra and Greens Are Important Vegetables

Southerners use a wide range of vegetables in their dishes. But two vegetables stand out from the rest – okra and greens. Okra, also known as lady fingers due to their shape, were originally imported from Africa; these are usually breaded and fried. Greens, which include turnip greens, collard greens, and mustard greens, are usually slow cooked with a pork product like salt pork, ham hock, and fatback.

Of course, soul food will be incomplete without rice and beans, either as side dish or as a main course. These may be heavy in starch but these are also great sources for carbohydrates, a must for energy production. Biscuits and grits are just as popular, as is the case for dumplings in gravy and coleslaw.

Slow Cooking Is Preferred

In the South, slow cooking using smoke as the heat source (i.e., in contrast with using direct heat) is a religion, not just a cooking method. Non-Southerners are well-advised to respect the traditions of the barbecue as it’s practiced in the South.

Note: In other parts of the United States, the term “barbecue” can refer to plain grilling wherein direct heat is used. In the South, the term exclusively applies to indirect cooking using smoke.

Also, becoming a pit master is an ambition for many southerners for good reason. Pit masters are considered as cultural icons and rock stars in the barbecue universe, thanks to their ability to produce the perfect barbecued meats. Such is the intensity of their training that most, if not all, of the famous pit masters are wizened guys who have been toughened by years of laboring over the barbecue pit.

Yet another preferred cooking method is deep-frying. Southerners are known for their affinity to oil so much so they will deep-dry nearly everything that can be fried, from hotdogs to cookies dipped in thick batter. Even when pan-frying food, Southerners will not skimp on the fat and oil.

If it’s any consolation, soul food uses plenty of vegetables so you don’t need to be too guilty about your fat intake. The key here, as is the case for all cuisines, is moderation – eat everything in moderation so that you can enjoy the taste without adding too many inches to your waistline.

Simplicity Is Emphasized

Southern cooks prefer using affordable basic ingredients as well as simple seasonings. The simplicity of the ingredients, however, doesn’t mean that soul food involves simple preparations and flavors. In fact, Southern cooks will go the extra mile through labor-intensive preparation in transforming raw ingredients into delicious dishes and desserts.

Such an approach is also reflected in the use of simple and affordable cooking utensils particularly pots and pans. In the South, cast iron pots and pans are maintained and seasoned so lovingly these can be passed on from generation to generation, usually as family heirlooms. These aren’t just used as displays either because Southern cooks will actually use the cast iron pots and pans handed down from their grandmothers!

Pork Rules

Except in beef-loving Texas, the South considers the pig as the main and best provider of meat. Such is the Southerner’s love for pork that every part of the pig will be used in cooking, as well as cured and smoked for preservation purposes.

Pork is used in stews and barbecues, as well as essential in red beans, rice and greens. Cured pork products, such as bacon and ham, can be found on every table, both rich and poor. Pork fat, or lard, is used in greasing the pan for baking cornbread. Internal organs are used for making offal meat.

Of course, the typical Southern breakfast has also become a favorite across the country. Your breakfast today may have included Southern staples like ham and eggs, bacon and eggs, or sausage and eggs, perhaps with grits and biscuits with a country gravy on the side. You may even like the preferred Southern lunch with a sandwich of barbecued pulled pork with a sweet sauce.

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Eat Your Breakfast Donut, Improve Your Memory https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/eat-your-breakfast-donut-improve-your-memory/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/eat-your-breakfast-donut-improve-your-memory/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 19:29:19 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9013 Eating a delicious customized donut from donut places such as Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Duck Donuts may not be the healthiest breakfast but it may just be what your brain needs to jumpstart its function for the day! This is particularly true when you have trouble remembering things or concentrating on things in the […]

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Eating a delicious customized donut from donut places such as Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Duck Donuts may not be the healthiest breakfast but it may just be what your brain needs to jumpstart its function for the day! This is particularly true when you have trouble remembering things or concentrating on things in the morning. The reason: Donuts have sugar that your brain needs.

But don’t overdo the donuts either as too much sugar can be bad for your health, too. The mantra of moderation applies to these sugary yet so delicious treats, as is the case for all food.

Decreased Sugar Levels

When you sleep, your body continues to use sugar to maintain its normal functions. In fact, your brain considers sugar – or glucose – as indispensable without which its cells will eventually die. This is the reason why even when you don’t exactly have a sweet tooth, your body will crave for something sweet, such as from naturally sweet fruits or from glazed donuts with the works.

When you wake up in the morning, your blood sugar level will be at precipitously low levels. Your brain will then do whatever is necessary to get your body’s blood sugar level up and so you get the sweet cravings in the morning. You may satisfy it by eating your usual breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast with a glass of orange juice or a cup of black coffee but these will not be enough for your brain’s needs.

While stuck in morning traffic, for example, you have trouble concentrating and you still feel hungry. Your brain is actually craving for its sugar fix and you can choose to ignore it or you can give in to it. You may want to seriously consider the latter because your body will benefit from it.

Sugar as Brain Food

No, we’re not just making it up just to promote donuts as healthy food, far from it. Researchers have discovered the chemical reactions that happen when glucose enters the brain – and it’s something that everybody who says donuts aren’t great breakfast items should know, too.

Sugar is used by the brain as an energy source so that it can perform its normal functions. These functions include the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter crucial in good memory, concentration, and mood. Here’s how it works.

The brain makes acetylcholine from choline, a chemical that can be obtained from the diet in general and from acetyl groups created from metabolizing sugar. Choline can be sourced from food containing lecithin that, in turn, can be found in a wide range of baked goods including cupcakes, donuts and chocolate cakes. When you eat a chocolate-covered donut, for example, as part of your breakfast, you are essentially feeding both your brain and body.

Again, acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter because of its functions including but not limited to:

  • Learning new things and remembering them
  • Regulating your mood
  • Increasing your concentration ability
  • Controlling the quality of your movements

As your day progresses, your brain particularly your acetylcholine neurons continue to consume choline. Your brain, after all, keeps on learning and thinking thus its consumption of glucose as an energy source.

But as the afternoon arrives, you’re becoming more sluggish in both mind and body. You may want to reach for donut again but we suggest that you reach for coffee instead.

While your brain was learning and thinking, your acetylcholine neurons are starting to turn off, so to speak, because of the actions of another chemical, adenosine. Basically, adenosine inhibits the function of acetylcholine so much so that its influence on brain function increases the longer you’re awake.

Coffee – or more particularly, the caffeine in it – prevents adenosine from taking over and releases more acetylcholine in the brain. The result: You will become more awake, more attentive, and more alert for the tasks ahead until the caffeine wears off and it’s time for dinner.

So, don’t fight your urge to indulge in a breakfast donut every morning. Your brain actually needs the sugar in it and you can start your day on a better footing.  You will even find yourself enjoying a better mood so you are more than ready to face the morning traffic followed by your work at the office.

But don’t indulge in one too many donuts in the morning either. You are well-advised to stick to one serving of donut to meet your brain’s requirements without subjecting your body to more sugar than it needs. You may have seen the effects of a sugar crash in kids and it isn’t something that you need in the middle of the day.

Add other healthy items to your breakfast, too. You should always eat a balanced meal with protein, carbohydrates and fat as well as vitamins and minerals with every meal. You may, for example, eat an omelet with diced vegetables, a breakfast donut, and an orange juice for breakfast and know that you’re doing your body and brain a great service.

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What Makes a Cheesecake a Cheesecake? https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/what-makes-a-cheesecake-a-cheesecake/ https://www.toprestaurantprices.com/what-makes-a-cheesecake-a-cheesecake/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2018 10:26:58 +0000 http://www.toprestaurantprices.com/?p=9009 The Cheesecake Factory is perhaps the most prolific producer of cheesecakes in the world! Just take one look at its menu of cheesecakes and your first thought will likely be: “Oh my God! There are so many, more than I can shake a stick at.” This is good, too, because one can never have too […]

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The Cheesecake Factory is perhaps the most prolific producer of cheesecakes in the world! Just take one look at its menu of cheesecakes and your first thought will likely be: “Oh my God! There are so many, more than I can shake a stick at.” This is good, too, because one can never have too much cheesecake in a lifetime.

But what makes a cheesecake a cheesecake? Where did it come from? Is it even a form of cake? Here, we will try to answer these questions but always remember that a cheesecake, like life itself, is what you make of it.

The Greeks Invented It, Possibly

In the modern sense, a cheesecake isn’t a cake per se, if you’re interested in the answer. While a cheesecake has a crust – a crushed graham mixed with butter crust, to be exact – its primary ingredient isn’t flour but cream cheese.

According to historians, the ancient Greeks may have invented the cheesecake although it’s so different from the modern version. Athenaeus, an ancient Greek writer, wrote the first recorded cheesecake recipe: Take cheese, pound it until it has a smooth texture and pasty consistency, and place it into a brazen sieve to make it even creamier. Add spring wheat flour and honey, stir until well-blended, and heat until cooked. Cool it down and serve.

Apparently, it’s a cheesecake meant to fortify the minds and bodies of the athletes during the first Olympic Games in 776 B.C. But if it were served today, it will not be considered cheesecake because it will have the consistency of a British boiled pudding.

And then in 1390, King Richard II commissioned a cookbook, one of the first of its kind in the English language, known as Forme of Cury. In it, a recipe known as sambocade approximates the modern version of cheesecake. Basically, it calls for mixing sugar, egg whites, and wrung-out cheese curds (i.e., similar to ricotta), as well as dried elderflowers and rosewater to make the cheesecake filling. It is then poured into a pie crust and baked.

The New Yorkers Made It Famous

Despite these early examples of the cheesecake, it is the New Yorkers who made its modern version famous. Indeed, it’s widely considered as the dessert king of New York and many will say that no other cheesecake can compare to the New York cheesecake. We tend to agree with the assertion because, in many ways, there’s nothing like the original but it’s still a matter of personal opinion.

Why New York, you may ask? In 1872, William Lawrence invented cream cheese. William, a New York dairy farmer, purchased a factory that was previously used in the manufacture of Neufchâtel. He decided to make Neufchâtel, a soft cheese with a slightly sharp flavor just a bit milder and creamier than normal so he added heavy cream and ate it fresh (i.e., no aging).

He marketed it as Neufchâtel and Cream Cheese due to the combined ingredients. Eventually, it became inconvenient to continue saying and spelling “Neufchâtel” so it was dropped and the product was simply called cream cheese.

And thus was born an oddball cheese! Cream cheese isn’t matured at all so it isn’t like other soft cheeses (e.g., brie). But due to its high milk fat content, it isn’t like ricotta either. From such unique qualities also came the rich texture and creamy flavors of the modern cheesecake.

For the classic New York cheesecake, cream cheese is the most important ingredient and, in fact, it’s the ingredient that’s the highest in quantity. It’s also the foundation on which the quality of a cheesecake will rest on – the higher its quality, the better the cheesecake will be. The other ingredients are the baked graham cracker crust – other chefs also like using pulverized cookies like Oreos – and eggs, as well as desired toppings like whipped cream and sliced fresh fruits.

But cream cheese isn’t necessarily a crucial ingredient in all types of cheesecakes – it’s the most important only in the New York version. Across the globe, cheesecake recipes abound so much so that what may be considered cheesecake in Japan may not be necessarily so in Germany and the United States. The main differences in the wide range of cheesecakes lie in the type of cheese, crust and thickener used as well as the cooking method (i.e., baked or no-bake).

In Italy, for example, the cheese used is either ricotta or mascarpone with eggs as the thickener; while it’s also baked, it often doesn’t have a crust. In Germany, quark cheese (i.e., made with soured milk and with a flavor profile similar to Greek yogurt) is used over a pastry crust; the cheesecake isn’t baked. In the United Kingdom, the filling is a mix of heavy cream and cream cheese, which may or may not be thickened with gelatin, and the cheesecake isn’t baked; the crust itself is usually crushed digestive biscuits or any other favorite cookie.

No matter which type of cheesecake you prefer, you will agree that we have much to thank for because it’s definitely one of the best desserts we have so far!

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