PITA PIT BLOG
BY SHANE LOUGHLIN –
CONSULTING NUTRITIONAL CHEF
Posted on May 14th 2021
As summer approaches and we look forward to putting on lighter clothes for our staycations or vacations, lots of us are looking for ways to feel at our best. Lockdowns and winter for many of us included eating and drinking a little too much and inevitably gaining an extra few pounds. Being a bit more aware of what we are eating and how we can get in shape is a great way to ensure that we hit the beaches and boardwalks feeling good about ourselves.
For this edition of our blog, we want to share with you some information on the calorie content of popular foods and drinks and what that equates to in terms of calories burned during exercise. Calories are a measure of how much energy food or drink contains. Simply put, to maintain body weight we should not consume more calories than we burn in a day.
Our bodies need calories to provide energy for everything from breathing to sleeping. How many calories our bodies need varies from person to person depending on many factors such as age, activity levels and lifestyle. On average an adult female requires 2000 Kcal per day and an adult male requires 2,500 Kcal per day, children between 6 & 12 years old need between 1500 Kcal and 2000 Kcal. These are the number of calories we “burn” without additional activities i.e. just to live.
Any additional activity will be fuelled by extra calories, but the bad news is that, while any form of exercise is probably the single most important thing you can do to stay healthy, most of us don’t do the type of exercise that burns a lot of calories. For example, walking is highly recommended for everyone of every age to keep your heart and lungs healthy, your joints in good shape and to boost your mood and mental health. And it does require extra calories – but just not that many.
That’s why it’s important to have some awareness of the calorie content of the foods you choose to eat, and one way to think about it is how much energy they provide – do you really need enough extra energy to run half a marathon?
While the figures shown below are only indicative as portion sizes vary everywhere, this information gives an idea of the exercise required to burn off the calories that we consume. A 30 minute run at an average pace of 7km/h will burn around 450 Kcal, an average 30 minute H.I.I.T. workout or 30 minutes on a punching bag will burn around 300Kcal and 30 minutes of tennis will burn you around 240 Kcal.
This shows the effort required to burn off those excess calories that we may consume without really noticing. That’s why at Pita Pit we provide you with accurate nutritional information for all our menu items allowing you to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing what you would like to eat, so for the most up to date information check out https://pitapit.ie/nutrition-2/ and let Pita Pit help you eat healthy without compromising on taste.
1000 Kcal for 4 slices
1450 sit ups
Quarter Pounder & Fries
1300 sit ups
480 sit ups
25 km walk
2900 sit ups
Pint of Beer
250 sit ups
Glass of prosecco
180 sit ups
Can of fizzy drink
190 sit ups
Posted on March 31st 2021
Mark Twain once said, “the trouble with the world is not that people know too little, it is that they know so many things that just aren’t so”. Even though this quote was written over 100 years ago it still has resonance today. There is so much misinformation around nowadays especially when it comes to nutrition and health. At Pita Pit, we aim to provide you with accurate nutritional information in relation to all our offers to allow you to make informed decisions about the food we offer. That’s why our nutrition page on our website https://pitapit.ie/nutrition-2/ is constantly updated as we add new offers.
When it comes to healthy eating and lifestyle, we are top of the class at giving you the correct information to help you achieve your nutritional goals with our delicious healthy offers. As we have previously mentioned the Mediterranean diet has been widely recognised for its health benefits. Other diets or lifestyles can have huge benefits for the body, a whole food plant-based diet has been found to improve overall general health in many studies. There are simple choices we can all make to eat healthier without having to go on a radical diet, cut down on processed foods as most contain trans fats and lots of sugar and salt, try not to eat too much food from jars and tins as these usually contain lots of sugars and salts, reduce intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, eat more whole foods, drink more water, and get some exercise. These few changes in the way you eat can have a major benefit to your overall health. A vegan diet of processed foods is equally as unhealthy as a non-vegan diet of processed foods, the processed foods are the problem not whether it’s vegan or not. That’s why at Pita Pit we offer a range of foods that are not only super tasty but also, they are super healthy.
If we all ate some more vegetables and fruits and reduced the amount of meat we consumed just a little, maybe Meat-Free Monday’s or something similar we would not only do wonders for our bodies but also wonders for the planet. Did you know that 26% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food production and a lot of that is from livestock and fisheries production? It takes 15,400 litres of water to produce one kilo of beef, whereas it only takes 287 litres of water to produce one kilo of potatoes and 250 litres of water to produce one kilo of cabbage. Water is a precious commodity and if we all make some small changes in our choices of what we eat it can make a big impact on our planet’s health. So, let’s all try to make a little difference for ourselves and the planet, your body and the planet will thank you. We at Pita Pit are here to help you make those healthy choices with our delicious range of healthy pitas, salads, and bowls so why not try us for your meat-free day. Don’t forget to check out our website to view our healthy foods and visit our nutrition section to help you make those informed decisions.
OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
Posted on March 5th 2021
Diets and eating habits are hot topics right now with most of them focusing on the idea of abstention in one form or another and are only temporary measures that usually last for a defined period of time. We see diets that range from a 7-day detox to 30 day eating plans and many others in between. If you want to lose weight and eat well it’s all about a healthy lifestyle and not a time-constrained eating plan. To ensure a healthy lifestyle, the WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends eating lots of fruit and vegetables, reducing fat, sugar, and salt intake, and exercising.
So, which is the healthiest diet? Studies have shown that the healthiest diet and lifestyle is the Mediterranean diet. This diet and lifestyle covers all countries that border the Mediterranean Ocean from Southern Europe to North Africa and the Middle East. Our pita bread that we use in Pita Pit is a Lebanese style bread, we use Middle Eastern falafel and dips like our hummus and Greek-style tzatziki. One of the key aspects of the Mediterranean diet is lots of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts. Have you seen our deliciously stocked salad counter instore full of whole vegetables and salads? It is a temple to good health. All of our salad bowls only use brown or red rice (the healthy stuff) that provides you with lots of gut health fibre. The core of our menu comes from concepts based around Mediterranean foods.
How can we at Pita Pit help you lead a healthy lifestyle? When you order from Pita Pit, we can guarantee we’re offering you the highest quality unprocessed foods around. All of our pitas, bowls, salads, and Yogun Fruz items are produced using whole foods rather than processed ones. By incorporating these foods into your diet and cutting back on processed items you do wonders for your health. Incorporating whole foods and embracing a little exercise in your daily routine can help you live longer. That’s a good trade-off – more fruit and veg and fresh food and a little exercise daily as well as cutting back on processed foods can add years to your life. At Pita Pit we can help you on your health journey by not only providing you with healthy food but also by providing you with detailed nutritional information on all the items available on our menu, check out the nutrition section of our website to access all this information to help you make healthy choices https://pitapit.ie/nutrition-2/.
We can’t guarantee you the sunshine of the Mediterranean, but we can guarantee you a lot of the foods that make the Mediterranean diet the healthiest of them all.
Posted on February 25th 2021
At Pita Pit, we are always trying to bring you delicious tastes, flavours, and experiences that help you embrace a healthy lifestyle. Pita Pit are delighted to introduce you to Yogen Fruz, a mouth-watering, healthy, guilt-free, frozen yoghurt treat. Here’s how it works, we take a healthy low-fat Yogen Fruz frozen yoghurt bar which is 130 Kcal and you select which premium-grade frozen fruit you want to flavour your delicious treat. We pop them into our Yogen Fruz blending machine, which works its magic and we dispense you a whipped delicious healthy treat moments later. Fast, tasty, and healthy!
Just like regular yoghurt, frozen yoghurt contains live probiotic cultures. Probiotic cultures, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are healthy bacteria which are beneficial to gut health. With nearly 70% of the body’s immune system found in our gut, it is imperative to maintain a healthy digestive system. Probiotic bacteria can assist in the maintenance of a healthy gut and consumption of probiotic-rich foods such as frozen yoghurt can help with this.
Yoghurt and frozen yoghurt have other potential health benefits such as improved calcium absorption for the body due to the presence of lactic bacteria. Research has shown that the effects of lactose intolerance are greatly reduced or eliminated in many people when they consume yoghurt, because of the cultures present in the yoghurt. The bacteria in the yoghurt breaks down lactose making it more digestible for sufferers.
Acidophilus, another healthy bacterium found in yoghurt has been shown to assist in the lowering of cholesterol levels in the blood. Yogen Fruz is 97% fat-free and with a portion coming in at under 200 Kcal, it is an excellent, healthy, immune-boosting treat for you to try the next time you feel like a guilt-free indulgence. Check out the new range of Yogen Fruz at https://pitapit.ie/
OUR DELICIOUS, HEALTHY
Posted on February 12th 2021
Did you know that children between 6 and 10 years of age need on average between 1600 Kcal and 2000 Kcal daily? Also, did you know that around 40% of a child’s energy intake goes towards supporting brain function and growth? With this in mind here at Pita Pit, we recently launched a new kid’s menu. The pitas on this menu have been carefully designed to provide your kids with essential nutrients to help in their development.
Our delicious and healthy kid’s menu has been designed to suit all tastes.
- Moovin’ On Up: packed full of Irish beef, carrots, crunchy cos lettuce, Ballymaloe relish and swiss cheese all wrapped in one of our handmade pitas. Coming in at 299Kcal this pita provides a child with 40% of their protein requirement, 18% of their fibre needs and 40% of their Vitamin A needs for a day.
- Popeye’s BBQ Chicken: the clue is in the name, this pita is full of BBQ chicken, Popeyes favourite spinach, sweetcorn, & delicious Irish cheddar cheese wrapped in one of our handmade pita’s. This delicious pita comes in at 287 Kcal and 45% of your child’s protein needs, 18 % of their fibre needs and half of their vitamin K needs for a day.
- Looney Tuna: filled with delicious healthy tuna, sweetcorn, crunchy cos lettuce, Irish cheddar cheese, & tomatoes. This marine delight comes in at 368 Kcal and contains 50% of your child’s protein needs, 18 % of omega 3 needs, & 80% vitamin B12 needs for a day.
- Dustin’s Destiny: this one is packed with protein-rich turkey, crunchy cos, carrots and grated Irish cheese wrapped in our handmade pita. Our turkey pita comes in at 332 Kcal per serving and has 35 % of protein, 30 % omega 6, & 35% Vitamin A needs for your child in a day.
- All Vegetables Matter: our handmade pita is filled with plant-based goodness for this one. It contains crunchy cos lettuce, delicious ripe tomatoes, carrots, and nutrient-rich red cabbage with a sprinkle of Irish cheddar cheese. This vegetarian delight comes in at 231 Kcal and contains 25 % of fibre, 40% of Vitamin A, & 35% of Vitamin K1 needs for a day for your child.
As we come to midterm break time and a much-needed break away from home-schooling for all, why don’t you check out our great value family deal where you can feed a family of 2 adults and 2 kids with a delicious, healthy and nutritious meal for just €37. This deal includes 2 Original Pitas for the adults, 2 Pitas from the kids’ menu, a delicious snack (Cali Crisps or Broderick’s bar) for everyone and a thirst-quenching drink of choice for everybody. It’s not just great value but good for you too, what a combination.
Posted on February 3rd 2021
As we begin to see the days get a little bit longer and the January blues are starting to dissipate, let Pita Pit help put a spring in your step with our range of bowls. At Pita Pit our aim is to provide you with delicious healthy food to energise you throughout your day. Our pitas are packed with fresh, healthy, and nutritious ingredients with our brown pitas, which are handmade in Dublin, delivering nearly a quarter of your fibre needs for a day.
For our customers that are more calorie conscious, did you know that you can enjoy one of our delicious pitas in a bowl minus the bread and reduce the calorie content by 200Kcal? This gives everyone the opportunity to experience and taste our delicious menu on your terms whether in a bowl or in our handmade pitas – rolled or bowl’d you can have it your way.
Another tip for our more calorie conscious customers is to half the cheese in your order, while our cheeses are delicious and a great compliment to our dishes and also a great source of protein, having a little less can help you improve on your overall calorie consumption in a day.
Don’t forget to visit our nutrition section on our website for accurate information on all of our delicious, nutritious offerings.
Posted on February 1st 2021
As we finally see the back of a gloomy winter and there is an air of expectation with the tentative signs that spring is coming, let us use the time wisely to banish those winter blues and embrace spring and all that it has to offer. Now that the days are getting a little longer and the temperatures are getting a little warmer, let’s take a moment to appreciate it and all that it brings.
With so many of us still working remotely and involved in homeschooling the pressure on us to perform can be relentless and at times, extremely stressful. It can be quite challenging to try to juggle and keep on top of everything. That’s why it’s good to take a little “you time” and during that time maybe you could consider exploring mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
Spending too much time planning, problem-solving, daydreaming, or thinking negative or random thoughts can be draining. It can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you direct your attention away from this kind of thinking and engage with the world around you.
What are some examples of mindfulness exercises?
There are many simple ways to practice mindfulness. Some examples include:
- Pay attention. It is hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. For example, when you eat a favourite food, take the time to smell, taste, and truly enjoy it.
- Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting, and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
- Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
- Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
Exercise is also a great way to improve our mood, it has been shown to increase serotonin (the happy hormone) levels in our brain, and it is both physically and mentally beneficial for us. The more we do the better we feel, so here are some simple ways to get a little exercise into your daily routine even if you are working remotely
- Get up and move every hour, walk around for two minutes, you could even try a few jumping jacks if you feel like it.
- Use what you have, you do not need fancy gym equipment to do a home workout. Sit-ups or push-ups don’t require anything except yourself. Tin cans or bags of sugar from your larder or bottles of laundry detergent can replace weights for strength training.
- Go for a walk, if you can get out for a walk on your lunch break, even fifteen minutes is of benefit. If you can leave your phone behind while on the walk and practice some mindfulness while walking (living in the moment and clearing your head of negative thoughts) the benefits of this can be huge.
A healthy diet can support your mind and body to get through these stressful and challenging times and that is where Pita Pit can help. On those days when you might not feel like cooking but you still want something fresh, healthy, and nutritious, let us help you with our range of delicious and healthy whole food pitas, salad and rice bowls, healthy snacks, and superfood smoothies. For our full range and complete nutritional information on all our products please visit https://pitapit.ie
Posted on December 21st 2020
We take nutrition seriously here at Pita Pit and want to help you understand it easier. A healthy diet is all about balance. We should all try to eat more fresh foods and cut down on processed ones. Some simple tips include:
- Increase your intake of high fibre starchy Carbs, these include whole grains, wholemeal pasta, and brown rice. That’s why we use brown rice in our bowls. These carbs are good for us, are slow-release, and provide energy over a longer period. They also feed all the good bacteria in our gut which promotes a healthy immune system.
- Eat more vegetables and fruit. All of our pitas are packed full of fresh, tasty, nutritious vegetables and salads. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrients for your body.
- Eat more healthy fats like the ones found in salmon and avocados, these fats are good for us and have great benefits for the brain and the heart. You can find these in our bowls and pitas.
- Drink plenty of fluids. We should try and increase our intake of healthy fluids such as water or some of our other in-store beverages such as kombucha, which benefits our immune system by feeding those bugs in our gut and promoting a healthy immune system. There is also our delicious range of smoothies which have all been nutritionally analysed to provide you with a delicious, nutritious drink that is packed with vitamins and minerals.
There has been a lot of attention in the media in recent times about the benefits of various different diets and eating habits often endorsed by celebrities who look great, with perfect figures and smiles. But before we rush to jump on a celebrity-endorsed bandwagon let’s just stop and think for a moment. Celebrities are not the general public, celebrities have personal trainers, celebrities have the time to spend with personal trainers. All photoshoots are managed and staged with great lighting and makeup. These celebrities don’t wake up in the morning looking like that. We all should eat healthier and we all probably know that.
The Eat-Lancet report of 2019 stated that as a planet to achieve a sustainable food system we need to reduce our consumption of animal-based protein and increase our consumption of plant-based alternatives. This is both for our own personal health and for the health of the planet.
- Currently, more than 50% of the planet’s ice-free land is used for the production of animal protein between grazing land and land used to grow feed for these animals.
- As economies become wealthier, the demand for these products which may have been luxuries previously will grow, thus putting pressure on the planet.
- It is reported that 1kg of beef requires 10 times the amount of water required to grow 1kg of wheat and that 1kg of poultry requires 5 times the amount of water than beef. Remembering that water is a finite resource.
- As consumers, we may consider reducing our consumption of these products a little, if we all did a little bit it would do a lot for the planet.
Consuming more vegetables and fruits is both good for us and the planet, some of the benefits include:
- Plants are high in fibre which is good for our gut and our immune system.
- Plants are a good energy source and also contain good quality protein such as that found in soy, lentils, chickpeas, and peanuts.
- Fruits and vegetables are packed full of micronutrients and vitamins which help the body run at an optimal level.
- The more fruit and vegetables we eat the more benefits for our bodies with regards to weight management and healthy outcome.
- Every meat-free day by a person can save 1100 gallons of water, 10kg of grain production, and 10 kg of carbon dioxide production.
- Always remember that we should eat whole foods and not processed ones – a vegan sausage roll is no healthier than a regular sausage roll.
At Pita Pit, we love Oumph which is a plant-based protein product derived from soy. It is all European grown and does not contribute to deforestation. It is GMO-free and is rich in protein and fibre and high in Iron and Folic acid. It comes in a range of varieties and flavours. Why don’t you check out our Spiced Oumph or Kebab Oumph Pitas as a great introduction to plant-based meat alternatives? For more information on this great product check out https://oumph.uk/.
Posted on December 2nd 2020
Here at Pita Pit, we are all about providing you with the healthiest and most nutritious food possible, but there is one time of the year where we should all treat ourselves to a little indulgence and that’s Christmas time.
With that in mind, we have created our new Festive Pita for you to enjoy.
Our Festive Pita is filled with succulent roast turkey and ham, delicious stuffing, baby spinach and onion for some crunch, juicy cranberries and rich tomato relish, all wrapped in one of our traditional pita’s.
THE BEST INGREDIENTS
Posted on November 18th 2020
At Pita Pit, we pride ourselves on using only the finest quality ingredients to provide you with the healthiest, most nutritious, and tastiest pitas on the market. To achieve this, we work with local suppliers who source the freshest local seasonal ingredients to help us craft our delicious pitas for you. These suppliers provide us with;
- Pita Bread: our traditional and healthy pita bread comes from Safa Foods who produce these wonderful breads in their state-of-the-art factory in Dublin 24.
- Fruit and Vegetables: we work closely with two suppliers, Pallas Foods and Keelings to source the freshest, tastiest, seasonal, and Irish (where possible) fresh produce to use in our pitas and bowls.
- Meat: our meat and poultry are supplied to us by local firm Fine Food Dining based in Dublin 12. They supply us with Bord Bia approved 100% Irish beef and chicken for us to serve in our pitas, salads, and rice bowls.
- Falafel: the lovely falafel that we use in our dishes is from another Irish supplier, Safco Fine Foods, who makes and supplies the falafel from his premises in Dublin 24.
This is just a little glimpse to show our customers how we at Pita Pit strive to find local producers and suppliers to help us to bring you the freshest, healthiest, local produce to use in our pitas, salads & rice bowls.
Posted on November 4th 2020
If you’re looking for great flavour without the guilt, here at Pita Pit, we have plenty of light, healthy and low-calorie options for you to choose from.
Here are our 4 under 400 Kcal and 5 under 500 Kcal options for you to enjoy:
4 Under 400 Calories
- Mediterranean Immune Booster
- Pita Pit Garden
- Kebab Oumph!
- Veggie Brekkie
5 Under 500 Calories
- A-Tuna Matata
- Grilled Irish Steak
- Had Me At Halloumi
- Piri Piri Chicken
- Rajin’ Cajun
10 PITA FACTS
Posted on October 23rd 2020
Pita bread is the indigenous bread found in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and neighbouring regions. In recent years it has become readily available throughout the world.
Here are some Pita Bread facts to think about:
- It is a yeast-leavened round flatbread baked from wheat flour.
- There are many types of pita, most commonly known are the ones with the interior pocket (often used for kebabs) and the flatter types with less conspicuous pockets (used for souvlaki).
- Recent archaeological finds in Jordan have uncovered evidence of flatbread being made as long as 14,500 years ago.
- In ancient Babylonia around 4000 years ago, flatbread became an important staple in the diet and there are bread recipes dating back to this time where bread was baked in a clay oven similar to today.
- The word pita was first cited in the oxford dictionary of 1936 and it seems that the anglicised version of the word derives from modern Greek which in turn derives from old Byzantine Greek.
- Pita can be used as a bread and also a utensil to pick up food, as is often done with dips such as hummus and baba ganoush.
- Pita bread is traditionally cooked in an extremely hot oven to convert water in the dough into steam which causes the pocket to form.
- One of our brown pita breads contains 25% of your daily fibre recommendations, less fat and salt, and more protein than 2 slices of wholemeal bread.
- One of our white Pita’s contains 20% more protein & 50% less fat than 2 slices of white bread.
- In Lebanon, the bread is not called pita bread but “Khebez” which means to bake in the oven.