Medieval cuisine

3123 Nutrisystem Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Hi John — thanks for sharing your experience. This is partially true since mead bore great symbolic value at important occasions. I always got discouraged about losing the weight. These fasts were occasionally for a full day and required total abstinence. Alcoholic distillates were also occasionally used to create dazzling, fire-breathing entremets a type of entertainment dish after a course by soaking a piece of cotton in spirits. Just finished month 1. I know my readers would appreciate your work.

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Okay for breakfast I loved the double chocolate muffin. Be sure to put this in the microwave for a few seconds. Trust you will be happy you did. Also liked the buttermilk waffles, the thick french toast and granola bars worked well on the run. For lunch I like their pizzas, the pepperoni pizza melts and again the granola bars for when I am on the go. Preparing these foods is very easy.

A microwave is a great tool and fast time saver on this diet. I was surprisingly impressed with the chicken parm dinner.

Truly one of my favorites and I would order a few with each delivery. Also with this pizza, I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor. Thank goodness diets have come a long way. No need to choke down poor tasting foods and shakes. Because now you can eat real tasting foods that you are sure to love. It may not even feel like you are on a diet. Nutrisystem is quite easy to follow and very convenient. People on the go with busy lifestyles will find this weight loss program very convenient.

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The unique plan has a Turbo TakeOff Box. It is a one-week jumpstart with specially created meals, all-brand new NutriCurb bars, the best-selling TurboShakes and all-new TurboBoosters. TurboShakes have probiotics to assist with your digestive health in your belly. Nutrisystem also provides a website that includes articles, weight loss stories, blogs, chat rooms and a live counselor who is available 24 hours a day for support.

With the Nutrisystem plan I go online everyday and log onto Nutrisystems website to see my progress. I also check the discussion group forums and talk to other men who are trying to lose weight. I enjoy using the Nutrisystem web site. The Nutrisystem plan is so simple to follow.

I really can not think of any other diet plan that is as simple to use as Nutrisystem. The food Nutrisystem offers is also excellent. My favorite food from Nutrisystem is the beef stew. I love beef stew and I would not want to give it up for a diet. However, with Nutrisystem I do not have to give up beef stew because Nutrisystem offers a beef stew dinner. I have been on the plan for about one month now and have alreasy lost seven pounds which wasn't happening with Bistro MD.

I'm happy to say that losing weight has never been easier. The Nutrisystem plan is very easy to follow and simple to understand.

I get to eat three meals a day plus a snack and a dessert. As soon as I start to feel hungry I get to eat again. With Nutrisystem I get access to the Nutrisystem website tools too. The website is wonderful. I can log on and talk to other people from all over the world who are trying to lose weight. The other people on the website inspire me to want to lose more weight and become even healthier. The people on the website inspire to me to stick with the plan until I reach my goal.

It's a great support group. The Nutrisystem website also provides me with access to a counselor who is available 24 hours a day to chat with if I have any questions. It's working for me and I know it will work for you too. Now if I can only get my wife on it. I need more support! I have been using Nutrisystems plan for about two months now. I thought for sure when I started the plan that I would probably have at least one thing to complain about it; however, I was wrong.

Nutrisystem truly is a great plan. Any problems that you may read about online are obvioulsy one off items and not a consistent trend. The basic plan is extremely easy to follow.

It comes with specific instructions on how to follow it. It also comes with some great dieting tools. The best part of the plan is that it comes with healthy foods that are already prepared for me to eat. Food wise, I love the vegetable beef soup; it is one of my favorite things to eat for lunch. I love to eat the chili with beans for dinner. So far, I love all of the foods I've tried. I haven't found one that wasn't edible. Even the desserts and snacks taste darn good.

And unlike other diets, with Nutrisystem I don't crave junk food because I get a treat everyday in the meal plan: I have needed to lose weight for quite awhile and am just glad that I'm finally doing something about it.

I am very satisfied with the basic plan. Like most guys I know, I love to eat! I was always afraid of going on a hard core diet plan because I did not want to give up great tasting foods. With the Nutrisystem plan I have not had to give up any of my usual great tasting foods. Hats off to Nutrisystem for figuring out how to get great tasting food in a small package that is so easy to prepare - just stick it in the microwave and you're eating in 5 minutes.

So far, my favorite is the mushroom risotto, the chicken with dumplings, and the chili with beans, the flame broiled beef patty, the barbecue sauce pork wrap, the chocolate chocolate chip pudding, the chocolate crunch bar, the chocolate chip cookie, the creamy tomato sauce, the blueberry pancakes and the blueberry muffins.

I could go on and on about the rest of Nutrisystems dishes but I'm making myself hungry ;- I enjoy eating all of Nutrisystems foods. I do not think I have found a food that I did not like yet. Do not be afraid of having to give up eating great food because you're still goign to get great food with Nutrisystem. Nutrisystem is a great diet plan for anyone - especially men. I get to eat great food that is already prepared for me everyday.

All I have to do is follow the basic directions for following the plan and eat the Nutrisystem foods. The best part about the Nutrisystem plan is that I lost seven pounds since I started it a month ago. Nutrisystem also supplies its members with a member website.

The website helps individuals on the plan stay motivated. The website is a place where anyone who is on the plan can go for support. I enjoy logging onto the website and seeing the progress that I have made.

I also enjoy reading inspiring stories from others on the Nutrisystem plan that have lost weight. Luckily though, Nutrisystem offers many different foods to choose from. Nutrisystem is also adding new food items to the menu all of the time. Always good to keep the variety up. The Nutrisystem plans foods are also healthy. Nutrisystem has empowered me to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As an added bonus, I now do allthe cooking for my girlfriend, which has really helped our love life.

After all, who can't throw an extra dish int he microwave for 5 minutes? Give it a try guys and I expect your girlfriend will be just as happy as mine is. I have lost 20 pounds in three months and haven't been exercising at all.

Just like their marketing says, the plan really does allow you to eat healthy while losing weight. The foods are very easy to clean up when I am finished also. Just throw the microwave safe container in the trash. What more could you ask for? I take my frozen lunch with me to work and I can get more work done while losing weight!

The plan is also very simple to follow, just follow their instructions. Don't deviate by eating snickers bars, okay?! Stay away from those evil vending machines too! If you drink coffee, stop using creamer as I discovered I was drinking an extra calories a day in coffee creamer! The Nutrisystem plan is great for men who do not know how to cook and want to lose weight, feel healthier and eat healthier.

Since starting the diet, I've lost 20 pounds and have started feeling good about my body again, which has helped my love life significantly. My girlfriend can't keep her hands off of my new slimmer waist ;- She is so proud of me and she thinks I look great. Who would have thought I could eat healthy food that I do not have to prepare that I actually like? I am a married man who needed to lose weight. My wife told me I should try Nutrisystem because I could lose weight while eating good tasting food.

She also thought the plan sounded good because she would not have to cook special foods for me while I was dieting. I must say I am impressed with the Nutrisystem plan. Nutrisystem says they deliver a simple program with great tasting foods to help you lose weight. Nutrisystem is not lying when they say this. Nutrisystems foods are delectable.

I have never eaten healthy foods that tasted so good in all my life. There are foods like buffalo wing pretzels, pulled pork wraps, cinnamon buns, pancakes and many other great tasting foods. The foods are not drab and boring like with Medifast which I tried last year. The foods are flavorful and delightful. I feel great and I am beginning to look great. My wife is enjoying the smaller me and I am enjoying the attention. Nutrisystem is a simple way to lose weight.

Fingers crossed I can keep it off when I go off of Nutrisystem. Nutrisystem is diet plan that allows a person to lose weight without having to think too much about it. I haven't tried any of the other plans, but I can tell you this, the basic plan is super easy to follow. It comes with diet tools that are easy to use and awesome tasting foods albiet frozen. As they say in the support forum, it's all about taking it one day at a time and doing your best to stick with the meal plans and not deviate, which is hard to do if you have co-workers that want to eat out for lunch all the time.

The plan has helped me look better and feel great about myself. Losing weight has given me confidence that I had been lacking for awhile. I now feel confident at work and am ready for a career change. I have more confidence to ask women out on dates too. Well, at least online anyway.

I owe my confidence to my weight loss and I owe my weight loss to Nutrisystem. If you're thinking about joining Nutrisystem, see if you can get your hands on one of their chocolate puddings. It's hard to believe that something that tastes this good can help you lose wieght.

Hey, just wanted to let you know that I read all the reviews and decided to give Nutrisystem a chance. Turns out that its true The fruits of choice in the south were lemons , citrons , bitter oranges the sweet type was not introduced until several hundred years later , pomegranates , quinces , and, of course, grapes. Farther north, apples , pears , plums , and strawberries were more common. Figs and dates were eaten all over Europe, but remained rather expensive imports in the north.

Common and often basic ingredients in many modern European cuisines like potatoes , kidney beans , cacao , vanilla , tomatoes , chili peppers and maize were not available to Europeans until after , after European contact with the Americas, and even then it often took considerable time, sometimes several centuries, for the new foodstuffs to be accepted by society at large. Milk was an important source of animal protein for those who could not afford meat.

It would mostly come from cows, but milk from goats and sheep was also common. Plain fresh milk was not consumed by adults except the poor or sick, and was usually reserved for the very young or elderly. Poor adults would sometimes drink buttermilk or whey or milk that was soured or watered down.

On occasion it was used in upper-class kitchens in stews, but it was difficult to keep fresh in bulk and almond milk was generally used in its stead. Cheese was far more important as a foodstuff, especially for common people, and it has been suggested that it was, during many periods, the chief supplier of animal protein among the lower classes. There were also whey cheeses , like ricotta , made from by-products of the production of harder cheeses. Cheese was used in cooking for pies and soups, the latter being common fare in German-speaking areas.

Butter , another important dairy product, was in popular use in the regions of Northern Europe that specialized in cattle production in the latter half of the Middle Ages, the Low Countries and Southern Scandinavia. While most other regions used oil or lard as cooking fats, butter was the dominant cooking medium in these areas. Its production also allowed for a lucrative butter export from the 12th century onward.

While all forms of wild game were popular among those who could obtain it, most meat came from domestic animals.

Domestic working animals that were no longer able to work were slaughtered but not particularly appetizing and therefore were less valued as meat. Beef was not as common as today because raising cattle was labor-intensive, requiring pastures and feed, and oxen and cows were much more valuable as draught animals and for producing milk. Mutton and lamb were fairly common, especially in areas with a sizeable wool industry, as was veal. Domestic pigs often ran freely even in towns and could be fed on just about any organic waste, and suckling pig was a sought-after delicacy.

Just about every part of the pig was eaten, including ears, snout, tail, tongue , and womb. Intestines, bladder and stomach could be used as casings for sausage or even illusion food such as giant eggs. Among the meats that today are rare or even considered inappropriate for human consumption are the hedgehog and porcupine , occasionally mentioned in late medieval recipe collections.

In England, they were deliberately introduced by the 13th century and their colonies were carefully protected. They were of particular value for monasteries, because newborn rabbits were allegedly declared fish or, at least, not-meat by the church and therefore they could be eaten during Lent. A wide range of birds were eaten, including swans , peafowl , quail , partridge , storks , cranes , larks , linnets and other songbirds that could be trapped in nets, and just about any other wild bird that could be hunted.

Swans and peafowl were domesticated to some extent, but were only eaten by the social elite, and more praised for their fine appearance as stunning entertainment dishes, entremets , than for their meat. As today, geese and ducks had been domesticated but were not as popular as the chicken , the fowl equivalent of the pig. But at the Fourth Council of the Lateran , Pope Innocent III explicitly prohibited the eating of barnacle geese during Lent, arguing that they lived and fed like ducks and so were of the same nature as other birds.

Meats were more expensive than plant foods. Though rich in protein , the calorie -to-weight ratio of meat was less than that of plant food. Meat could be up to four times as expensive as bread. Fish was up to 16 times as costly, and was expensive even for coastal populations.

This meant that fasts could mean an especially meager diet for those who could not afford alternatives to meat and animal products like milk and eggs. It was only after the Black Death had eradicated up to half of the European population that meat became more common even for poorer people. The drastic reduction in many populated areas resulted in a labor shortage, meaning that wages dramatically increased.

It also left vast areas of farmland untended, making them available for pasture and putting more meat on the market. Although less prestigious than other animal meats, and often seen as merely an alternative to meat on fast days, seafood was the mainstay of many coastal populations. Also included were the beaver , due to its scaly tail and considerable time spent in water, and barnacle geese , due to the belief that they developed underwater in the form of barnacles.

The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II examined barnacles and noted no evidence of any bird-like embryo in them, and the secretary of Leo of Rozmital wrote a very skeptical account of his reaction to being served barnacle goose at a fish-day dinner in Especially important was the fishing and trade in herring and cod in the Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. The herring was of unprecedented significance to the economy of much of Northern Europe, and it was one of the most common commodities traded by the Hanseatic League , a powerful north German alliance of trading guilds.

Kippers made from herring caught in the North Sea could be found in markets as far away as Constantinople. Stockfish , cod that was split down the middle, fixed to a pole and dried, was very common, though preparation could be time-consuming, and meant beating the dried fish with a mallet before soaking it in water. A wide range of mollusks including oysters , mussels and scallops were eaten by coastal and river-dwelling populations, and freshwater crayfish were seen as a desirable alternative to meat during fish days.

Compared to meat, fish was much more expensive for inland populations, especially in Central Europe, and therefore not an option for most. Freshwater fish such as pike , carp , bream , perch , lamprey and trout were common. While in modern times, water is often drunk with a meal, in the Middle Ages, however, concerns over purity, medical recommendations and its low prestige value made it less favored, and alcoholic beverages were preferred.

They were seen as more nutritious and beneficial to digestion than water, with the invaluable bonus of being less prone to putrefaction due to the alcohol content. Wine was consumed on a daily basis in most of France and all over the Western Mediterranean wherever grapes were cultivated. Further north it remained the preferred drink of the bourgeoisie and the nobility who could afford it, and far less common among peasants and workers.

The drink of commoners in the northern parts of the continent was primarily beer or ale. Juices , as well as wines, of a multitude of fruits and berries had been known at least since Roman antiquity and were still consumed in the Middle Ages: Medieval drinks that have survived to this day include prunellé from wild plums modern-day slivovitz , mulberry gin and blackberry wine.

Many variants of mead have been found in medieval recipes, with or without alcoholic content. However, the honey -based drink became less common as a table beverage towards the end of the period and was eventually relegated to medicinal use. This is partially true since mead bore great symbolic value at important occasions.

When agreeing on treaties and other important affairs of state, mead was often presented as a ceremonial gift. It was also common at weddings and baptismal parties, though in limited quantity due to its high price.

In medieval Poland , mead had a status equivalent to that of imported luxuries, such as spices and wines. Plain milk was not consumed by adults except the poor or sick, being reserved for the very young or elderly, and then usually as buttermilk or whey. Fresh milk was overall less common than other dairy products because of the lack of technology to keep it from spoiling. However, neither of these non-alcoholic social drinks were consumed in Europe before the late 16th and early 17th century.

Wine was commonly drunk and was also regarded as the most prestigious and healthy choice. According to Galen 's dietetics it was considered hot and dry but these qualities were moderated when wine was watered down. Unlike water or beer, which were considered cold and moist, consumption of wine in moderation especially red wine was, among other things, believed to aid digestion, generate good blood and brighten the mood. The first pressing was made into the finest and most expensive wines which were reserved for the upper classes.

The second and third pressings were subsequently of lower quality and alcohol content. Common folk usually had to settle for a cheap white or rosé from a second or even third pressing, meaning that it could be consumed in quite generous amounts without leading to heavy intoxication.

For the poorest or the most pious , watered-down vinegar similar to Ancient Roman posca would often be the only available choice. The aging of high quality red wine required specialized knowledge as well as expensive storage and equipment, and resulted in an even more expensive end product. Judging from the advice given in many medieval documents on how to salvage wine that bore signs of going bad, preservation must have been a widespread problem. Even if vinegar was a common ingredient, there was only so much of it that could be used.

In the 14th century cookbook Le Viandier there are several methods for salvaging spoiling wine; making sure that the wine barrels are always topped up or adding a mixture of dried and boiled white grape seeds with the ash of dried and burnt lees of white wine were both effective bactericides , even if the chemical processes were not understood at the time.

Wine was believed to act as a kind of vaporizer and conduit of other foodstuffs to every part of the body, and the addition of fragrant and exotic spices would make it even more wholesome. Spiced wines were usually made by mixing an ordinary red wine with an assortment of spices such as ginger , cardamom , pepper , grains of paradise , nutmeg , cloves and sugar.

These would be contained in small bags which were either steeped in wine or had liquid poured over them to produce hypocras and claré. By the 14th century, bagged spice mixes could be bought ready-made from spice merchants. While wine was the most common table beverage in much of Europe, this was not the case in the northern regions where grapes were not cultivated. Those who could afford it drank imported wine, but even for nobility in these areas it was common to drink beer or ale , particularly towards the end of the Middle Ages.

In England , the Low Countries , northern Germany , Poland and Scandinavia , beer was consumed on a daily basis by people of all social classes and age groups. For most medieval Europeans, it was a humble brew compared with common southern drinks and cooking ingredients, such as wine, lemons and olive oil.

Even comparatively exotic products like camel 's milk and gazelle meat generally received more positive attention in medical texts. Beer was just an acceptable alternative and was assigned various negative qualities.

In , the Sienese physician Aldobrandino described beer in the following way:. But from whichever it is made, whether from oats, barley or wheat, it harms the head and the stomach, it causes bad breath and ruins the teeth , it fills the stomach with bad fumes, and as a result anyone who drinks it along with wine becomes drunk quickly; but it does have the property of facilitating urination and makes one's flesh white and smooth.

The intoxicating effect of beer was believed to last longer than that of wine, but it was also admitted that it did not create the "false thirst" associated with wine. Though less prominent than in the north, beer was consumed in northern France and the Italian mainland.

Perhaps as a consequence of the Norman conquest and the travelling of nobles between France and England, one French variant described in the 14th century cookbook Le Menagier de Paris was called godale most likely a direct borrowing from the English "good ale" and was made from barley and spelt , but without hops. In England there were also the variants poset ale , made from hot milk and cold ale, and brakot or braggot , a spiced ale prepared much like hypocras.

That hops could be used for flavoring beer had been known at least since Carolingian times, but was adopted gradually due to difficulties in establishing the appropriate proportions.

Before the widespread use of hops, gruit , a mix of various herbs , had been used. Gruit had the same preserving properties as hops, though less reliable depending on what herbs were in it, and the end result was much more variable. Another flavoring method was to increase the alcohol content, but this was more expensive and lent the beer the undesired characteristic of being a quick and heavy intoxicant.

Hops may have been widely used in England in the tenth century; they were grown in Austria by and in Finland by , and possibly much earlier. Before hops became popular as an ingredient, it was difficult to preserve this beverage for any time, and so, it was mostly consumed fresh.

Quantities of beer consumed by medieval residents of Europe, as recorded in contemporary literature, far exceed intakes in the modern world.

For example, sailors in 16th century England and Denmark received a ration of 1 imperial gallon 4. Polish peasants consumed up to 3 litres 0. In the Early Middle Ages beer was primarily brewed in monasteries , and on a smaller scale in individual households. By the High Middle Ages breweries in the fledgling medieval towns of northern Germany began to take over production.

Though most of the breweries were small family businesses that employed at most eight to ten people, regular production allowed for investment in better equipment and increased experimentation with new recipes and brewing techniques.

These operations later spread to the Netherlands in the 14th century, then to Flanders and Brabant , and reached England by the 15th century. Hopped beer became very popular in the last decades of the Late Middle Ages.

When perfected as an ingredient, hops could make beer keep for six months or more, and facilitated extensive exports.

In turn, ale or beer was classified into "strong" and "small", the latter less intoxicating, regarded as a drink of temperate people, and suitable for consumption by children. As late as , John Locke stated that the only drink he considered suitable for children of all ages was small beer, while criticizing the apparently common practice among Englishmen of the time to give their children wine and strong alcohol.

By modern standards, the brewing process was relatively inefficient, but capable of producing quite strong alcohol when that was desired. One recent attempt to recreate medieval English "strong ale" using recipes and techniques of the era albeit with the use of modern yeast strains yielded a strongly alcoholic brew with original gravity of 1. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the technique of distillation , but it was not practiced on a major scale in Europe until some time around the 12th century, when Arabic innovations in the field combined with water-cooled glass alembics were introduced.

Distillation was believed by medieval scholars to produce the essence of the liquid being purified, and the term aqua vitae "water of life" was used as a generic term for all kinds of distillates.

Alcoholic distillates were also occasionally used to create dazzling, fire-breathing entremets a type of entertainment dish after a course by soaking a piece of cotton in spirits. It would then be placed in the mouth of the stuffed, cooked and occasionally redressed animals, and lit just before presenting the creation.

Aqua vitae in its alcoholic forms was highly praised by medieval physicians. In Arnaldus of Villanova wrote that "[i]t prolongs good health, dissipates superfluous humours, reanimates the heart and maintains youth. By the 13th century, Hausbrand literally "home-burnt" from gebrannter wein, brandwein ; "burnt [distilled] wine" was commonplace, marking the origin of brandy. Towards the end of the Late Middle Ages, the consumption of spirits became so ingrained even among the general population that restrictions on sales and production began to appear in the late 15th century.

In the city of Nuremberg issued restrictions on the selling of aquavit on Sundays and official holidays. Spices were among the most luxurious products available in the Middle Ages, the most common being black pepper , cinnamon and the cheaper alternative cassia , cumin , nutmeg , ginger and cloves.

They all had to be imported from plantations in Asia and Africa , which made them extremely expensive, and gave them social cachet such that pepper for example was hoarded, traded and conspicuously donated in the manner of gold bullion. The value of these goods was the equivalent of a yearly supply of grain for 1. Sugar , unlike today, was considered to be a type of spice due to its high cost and humoral qualities. Even when a dish was dominated by a single flavor it was usually combined with another to produce a compound taste, for example parsley and cloves or pepper and ginger.

Common herbs such as sage , mustard , and parsley were grown and used in cooking all over Europe, as were caraway , mint , dill and fennel. Many of these plants grew throughout all of Europe or were cultivated in gardens, and were a cheaper alternative to exotic spices. Mustard was particularly popular with meat products and was described by Hildegard of Bingen — as poor man's food.

While locally grown herbs were less prestigious than spices, they were still used in upper-class food, but were then usually less prominent or included merely as coloring. Anise was used to flavor fish and chicken dishes, and its seeds were served as sugar-coated comfits. Surviving medieval recipes frequently call for flavoring with a number of sour, tart liquids. Wine, verjuice the juice of unripe grapes or fruits vinegar and the juices of various fruits, especially those with tart flavors, were almost universal and a hallmark of late medieval cooking.

In combination with sweeteners and spices, it produced a distinctive "pungeant, fruity" flavor. Equally common, and used to complement the tanginess of these ingredients, were sweet almonds. They were used in a variety of ways: This last type of non-dairy milk product is probably the single most common ingredient in late medieval cooking and blended the aroma of spices and sour liquids with a mild taste and creamy texture.

Salt was ubiquitous and indispensable in medieval cooking. Salting and drying was the most common form of food preservation and meant that fish and meat in particular were often heavily salted. Many medieval recipes specifically warn against oversalting and there were recommendations for soaking certain products in water to get rid of excess salt. The richer the host, and the more prestigious the guest, the more elaborate would be the container in which it was served and the higher the quality and price of the salt.

Wealthy guests were seated " above the salt ", while others sat "below the salt", where salt cellars were made of pewter, precious metals or other fine materials, often intricately decorated. The rank of a diner also decided how finely ground and white the salt was.

Salt for cooking, preservation or for use by common people was coarser; sea salt, or "bay salt", in particular, had more impurities, and was described in colors ranging from black to green. Expensive salt, on the other hand, looked like the standard commercial salt common today. The term " dessert " comes from the Old French desservir , "to clear a table", literally "to un-serve", and originated during the Middle Ages.

It would typically consist of dragées and mulled wine accompanied by aged cheese , and by the Late Middle Ages could also include fresh fruit covered in sugar, honey or syrup and boiled-down fruit pastes.

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