We are here to help make your life a little easier and give you more time for the things you love. With that, Chef By Request will be running a Twitter sweepstakes to set you up with some free food! The sweepstakes will select one random winner each day from April 30th to May 5th.

Here’s how it works:

-Follow @MyChefByRequest on Twitter

-Retweet the tweet;

#Win awesome prizes from Chef By Request. Just follow @MyChefByRequest and retweet.

Good luck to all!

For official rules and restrictions go to: Official Rules.

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Green Health

April 28, 2010

With this month’s focus on the environment, and preserving its integrity, I thought I would touch on some ways you can maintain a health conscious attitude while focusing on the health of the environment as well.

Eating Local

Locally grown food can provide fresh produce while avoiding some of the shipping costs associated with importing goods over long distances. With the shorter distances, less people are handling the food throughout the transportation process and there seems to be more of a focus on quality and freshness over ease of production and transport. If you are cooking larger meals, and your doorstep delivery won’t fit the bill, try checking out a local farmer’s market for some high quality meats and produce. (You could even ride a bike to save some energy and get your exercise in the process)

The New Oxford American Dictionary selected their word of the year for 2007 to encompass these concepts of eating locally with; locavore. The Oxford University Press states, ““Locavore” was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Other regional movements have emerged since then, though some groups refer to themselves as “localvores” rather than “locavores.” However it’s spelled, it’s a word to watch.” If you are short on time and are not able to make it to your local farmer’s market, Chef By Request is here to help. Let us do some shopping for you!

According to Sue Nicholson Butkus, PHD, RD, director of Cornell University’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, “The reality is that if you get tomatoes right out of the field, the vitamin C content is higher, as well as other nutrients. And I would believe that would hold true for other produce, too” If you have the time, and resources, growing some produce at home can be a great way to save some energy. Plants inside the house can provide food, supply additional oxygen and air purification, and have been known to psychologically affect your attitude in a positive way.

Use your own energy for exercise

Exercising occassionally without the use of a gym can also lower your total energy consumption. Getting outside for a run, or bike ride, will still allow for some serious calorie burn without having to plug in a treadmill or power the overhead lights. If you are not a runner, or don’t have  a bike at your disposal, try just going for a walk. Especially if you are short on time, an uphill walk can burn more calories than a run in some cases. Although, there are many benefits of the local gym workout like personal training, or the various weight programs, so if you live close enough to your local workout facility; try running or cycling to the gym for a solid warm up.

-Karl

Oxford University Press

Planet Green

American Diabetes Association

CHEF BY REQUEST SWEEPSTAKES

OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES:

These are the official rules that govern how the Chef By Request Sweepstakes promotion will operate.  This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Sweepstakes” throughout the rest of these rules.

In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Chef By Request, the sponsor of the Sweepstakes. “You” refers to an eligible Sweepstakes entrant.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES?

This Sweepstakes starts at 12:01 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time (PT) on April 30, 2010, and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on May 5th (“Entry Period”).  The entry period will consist of one prize period as defined in the table below:

Prize Period Start Date and Time End Date and Time
1 April 30, 2010 at 12:01 AM PT May 5th, 2010 at 11:59 PT PT

During Prize Period 1 participants will be required to enter separately each day and daily entries will not carryover into subsequent daily drawings.

CAN I ENTER?

You are eligible to enter this Sweepstakes if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

  • You are a legal resident of the 50 United States (including District of Columbia), You are a resident, with a mailing address, in one of the following zip codes: 94102, 94103, 94104, 94105, 94107, 94108, 94109, 94110, 94111, 94112, 94114, 94115, 94116, 94117, 94118, 94121, 94122, 94123, 94124, 94127, 94129, 94131, 94132, 94133, 94134 (PO BOX are not valid for this contest)
  • You are 18 years of age or older.

If you are 18 years of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Sweepstakes; and

  • You are NOT an employee of Chef By Request Corporation or an employee of a Chef By Request subsidiary; and
  • You are NOT involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Sweepstakes; and
  • You are NOT an immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of a Chef By Request employee, an employee of a Chef By Request subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Sweepstakes.

This Sweepstakes is void outside of the geographic area described above and wherever else prohibited by law.

HOW DO I ENTER?

The method of entry for each Prize Period is the same. To enter, you must do all of the following:

1.    Sign in to your Twitter account. If you do not have an account, visit www.twitter.com to create one. Twitter accounts are free.

2.    Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of @MyChefByRequest.

3.    From your own account, post a tweet using the following format:

#Win awesome prizes from Chef By Request. Just follow @MyChefByRequest and retweet.

By posting this tweet, you will automatically receive one (1) entry into the Prize Period sweepstakes drawing.

Polularity Contest Portion: After posting your tweet as described above, you can participate in the Popularity Contest portion of the promotion by getting your friends to retweet your tweet. You will collect one (1) point for each retweet of one of your original tweets; in order to receive a point, each retweet must adhere to the following format:

RT [Your Username]; [Your tweet].

Tweets cannot exceed one hundred forty (140) characters in length.

Prize Period 1: You will only receive one (1) entry into the daily sweepstakes drawing for your initial tweet and one (1) point for each re-tweet. Non-winning daily sweepstakes entries will not carryover to subsequent daily drawings; you must re-enter each day.

WINNER SELECTION AND PRIZES

Prize Period 1:

Sweepstakes Drawing: At the close of each day during Prize Period 1, one (1) winner will be selected at random from among all entrants who posted the initial tweet described above (for an overall total of 1 daily winner) to receive the following prize:

  • One (1) 3 Day trial period of Chef My Request’s food service for one person. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $120.00 each.

Winners have the option to submit for an additional weeks worth of food. Upon receiving the initial trial period, winners have one week to submit either:

-One video, at least one minute in duration, discussing winner’s perceptions and experience with food trial period. The video may not contain any profanity, or nudity, and must be appropriate for all ages. Video submissions must be approved by Chef By Request.

Or

-One original written document, atleast 300 words in length, discussing winner’s perceptions and experience with the food trial period. In addition to this article, winner’s will be required to submit 3 photos covering their experience. The photos, and written submissions, may not contain any profanity, or nudity, and must be appropriate for all ages. Photo and written submissions must be approved by Chef By Request.

The total Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of all prizes: $1900

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a message to the twitter account you used to enter the sweepstakes.  If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award the prize to an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we will consider the potential winner to be the authorized account holder of the twitter account used to enter the Sweepstakes . If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release and a W-9 tax form or W-8 BEN tax form within 10 days of notification.  If you are a potential winner and you are 18 or older, but are considered a minor in your place of legal residence, we may require your parent or legal guardian to sign all required forms on your behalf.  If you do not complete the required forms as instructed and/or return the required forms within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Sweepstakes:

  • You may not exchange your prize for cash or any other merchandise or services.  However, if for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, we reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value; and
  • You may not designate someone else as the winner.  If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, we will award it to an alternate potential winner; and
  • If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize; and
  • If you are otherwise eligible for this Sweepstakes, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf; and
  • Unless otherwise noted, all prizes are subject to their manufacturer’s warranty and / or terms and conditions;

WHAT ARE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING?

Your odds of winning this Sweepstakes depend on the number of eligible entries we receive.

WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS ARE YOU AGREEING TO BY ENTERING THIS SWEEPSTAKES?

By entering this Sweepstakes you agree:

  • To abide by these Official Rules; and
  • To release and hold harmless Chef By Request, and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Sweepstakes or any prize won; and
  • That Chef By Request’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Sweepstakes; and
  • That by accepting a prize, Chef By Request may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Sweepstakes, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.

WHAT LAWS GOVERN THE WAY THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS EXECUTED AND ADMINISTRATED?

This Sweepstakes will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Sweepstakes.

WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE SWEEPSTAKES CAN’T RUN AS PLANNED?

If cheating, a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Sweepstakes, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Sweepstakes.  This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Sweepstakes, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Sweepstakes.

If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Sweepstakes, so please play fairly.

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT WHO WON?

We will post the names of winners who received a prize online at https://chefbyrequest.wordpress.com/. This list will remain posted until May 31, 2010.

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS SWEEPSTAKES?

Chef By Request

For more information on Chef By Request go to http://www.mychefbyrequest.com.

Immunity Aid and Myths

April 9, 2010

The human immune system is strongest when the body is active and well nourished. In order to fight off, or help prevent, a cold, proper hydration and nourishment are crucial to the battle.

Make sure you have a jacket

The common cold cannot be picked up by solely stepping outside without a coat on. This is achieved by picking up a virus. Take, for example, the polarbear swim. For those of you who consider yourselves fitness enthusiasts, this one may be worth a try. For more information, check out the Dolphin club for some swimming aficionados. http://www.dolphinclub.org/polarBearinfo.html So go ahead and enjoy the cold weather. You may actually be safer outside as everyone else will be inside passing around these germs.

Spring Fever

A fever is the body’s response to a virus and is there for a reason in many cases. The increased temperature will improve the function of cells to help fight the infection as well make it more difficult for the illness to spread further. It is important you have plenty of fluids and nutrition as a fever requires excess energy from the body. Keep drinking plenty of water and eating a regular diet.

Sleep Tight

Proper amounts of rest can also boost the immune system as the body needs to time to rebuild. Energy expensed needs to be replenished and a full nights sleep can help. A recommended 7-8 hours a night will be beneficial.

Stressed out of work

Although hard to document specifically, it is proven that a more stress free lifestyle can boost the immune system. Emotional health is important to balancing out physical wellness and response to infection.

Exercise can help limit stress levels as well. A mild exercise program will get that blood pumping but too vigorous of an exercise routine can actually work the opposite direction. It can wear the body out and make you more likely to get sick.

-Karl Norelius

WebMD

WebMD2

MSN Health

A month ago we had a blog discussion pertaining to kids nutrition and I feel it is worth re-addressing. This article has some great ideas and techniques to aid in the health of today’s youth and for very good reason. Personally, I greatly underestimated the severity of our current situation with the health of Americans of all ages.

There is a new TV show called Food Revolution with chef Jamie Oliver where Oliver looks to help change the food distributed at local schools and promote kids to take an initiative in the quality of their own diets. If you have not seen the show, I would highly recommend it. He has a unique approach which seems quite effective.

On Oliver’s website, he offers some facts and figures about the current health issues facing America, which you can find here.

A couple of the facts that stood out to me include:

– “Obesity, and with it diabetes, are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they’re getting worse rapidly”
CDC Director Thomas Frieden, told the Weight of the Nation Conference in July 2009.

– After smoking, obesity is America’s biggest cause of premature death

– Today’s generation of children are predicted to be the first which will die at a younger age than their parents due to obesity-related bad health.

-8% of the population, 24 million people, in the US have diabetes (of which more than 90% is type 2).

-Type 2 diabetes is the problem. It used to be an adult disease, appearing over age 40, but it is increasingly being found in teenagers, even children as young as eight.

SCHOOL LUNCHES

I distinctly remember my personal experience of school lunches full of french fries, chicken rings and nuggets, nutty bars, and 50 cent sodas. How about 50 cents for a corn dog or three dollars for the salad bar? Little did I know that in fact these foods were not the healthiest options. Apparently I was not alone. According to Oliver, ”
31 million American children eat lunch at school, funded through USDA’s Child Nutrition Program. It was set up after the war to feed hungry children and deal with surplus agricultural commodities.” Now this all seems well and good but what happens when the food quality drops as the cost increases for healthier alternatives.

“The School Nutrition Association estimates it costs more like $3 to produce lunch – still cheaper than a cappuccino at Starbucks – but schools have to find the extra money, and often it comes from the sale of nutritionally poor foods sold through vending machines and snack lines. ”

I challenge you to consider what your kids are eating and what you can do to help prepare them for a healthier future. There are many examples of alternatives to “cheese zombies” and Chef by Request is only one of these options. Here are a few additional ideas- Healthy tips for kids nutrition If you yourself, or someone you know, has diabetes we have programs in place that can help. Check out the Chef By Request website for more information on availability and pricing.

If you are interested in the health profile of your community, check out the USDA’s Food Atlas website

I would love your feedback and further ideas on how to help kids, or adults, pay attention to their nutrition and diet.

-Karl Norelius

“Seventy-five to ninety percent of physician visits are related to stress and, according to the American Institute of Stress, the cost to industry has been estimated at $200 billion-$300 billion a year.” Many Americans lead their lives in the pursuit of stability and progression and in the process sacrifices are made. Time to relax with family and kids, spend time with family, travel, or take the necessary time to grow personally is becoming more and more sparse.

Health risk is another aspect of a high stress environment and as time becomes inevitably more valuable, less time is spent preparing quality food. As mentioned in a previous post, Stress relief can be aided through proper nutrition and avoiding some of those quick fixes on the way home from the office. We will dive into fast food on another day but there are healthy alternatives to some of these high calorie “meals”. Fruits and vegetables are great temporary solutions for hunger and to increase energy. When it comes time to prepare that full meal, you can spend over an hour with shopping and cooking to ensure all the proper food groups are in place. There is an alternative where you can avoid sacrificing convenience and still maintain a proper diet. The best part is it can be delivered fresh to your doorstep daily.

What would you do with the time you save from not having to cook? Or better yet, if you are already enjoying the benefits of Chef By Request’s service, what are you doing with that time?

If you have suggestions on topics you would like to discuss pertaining to health or nutrition, let me know! I would love your feedback.

-Karl

Power of Water

April 1, 2010

What if you could lose weight just by drinking more water? The human body is made up of about 60% water according to Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology. So how important is hydration in the interest of health and losing weight? Whether you are aggressive in your exercise plan or are just hoping to manage your weight, water can help.

According to Mara Z. Vitolins, assistant professor of public health sciences, and Science Daily, it can be hard to distinguish between being thirsty and hungry and when many people turn to their favorite soda or cup of copy to quench thirst, you can actually be taking a step backwards. Many sodas contain a high content of sodium and operate as a diuretic through caffeine content and can further dehydrate the body.

As a recommendation from Vitolins, try replacing these high calorie beverages with a glass of plain water. Not only will you decrease your calorie and fat intake but you could save some money in the process.

Drinking water has additional benefits for the human body including the removal of waste products, carrying vital nutrients, and regulating body temperature. A good way to ensure your body is receiving these vital nutrients is a well balanced diet like Chef by Requests zone inspired program.

The next question is how much water?

The amount of water to be consumed by an individual is a little subjective, and you should consultant a medical professional when making drastic changes to diet or fluid consumption, but Vitolins has a quick calculation to get you an idea. Take your body weight and divide it by two. This number is the amount of daily water consumption in ounces.

If you have suggestions on how to optimize your water intake, let us know! We would love to hear from you.

-Karl