Nutrisystem Discount Code for 2017 – Diet at Lower Cost
Instead, medieval cuisine can be differentiated by the cereals and the oils that shaped dietary norms and crossed ethnic and, later, national boundaries. The regional specialties that are a feature of early modern and contemporary cuisine were not in evidence in the sparser documentation that survives. In monasteries, the basic structure of the diet was laid down by the Rule of Saint Benedict in the 7th century and tightened by Pope Benedict XII in , but as mentioned above monks were adept at "working around" these rules. Sicily" in Regional Cuisines of Medieval Europe , pp. Even if vinegar was a common ingredient, there was only so much of it that could be used. Domestic working animals that were no longer able to work were slaughtered but not particularly appetizing and therefore were less valued as meat. If you do Kegels three times a day, you should see better bladder control in three to six weeks -- some men see it even sooner.
What Are Kegel Exercises for Men?
If you see an Amazon affiliate link on one of our review pages, it takes you only to the product that is actually being reviewed on that particular page.
Whether we make money or not on a certain page does not influence the core mission of our writers and medical reviewers, which is to publish content that is accurate and informative.
All our own products are made with premium ingredients supported by science and formulated in the United States in GMP-certified facilities. Slim 4 Life aims to give you everything you need for your weight-loss journey, including in-person programs, diet pills, meal replacement foods, smoothies, drink powders, and at-home programs.
The research team also took a special look at the Slim 4 Life locations, the success stories on their website, and doctor consultation meetings. In the end, we compared this program to others like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem to see if this is indeed the best one for you.
Slim 4 Life can be purchased through Amazon or using their Official Site. Slim 4 Life is a fitness program that promises to aid in weight loss through its personalized diet menus and on-call personal counselors to help with any questions with regards to the diet program. Slim 4 Life is one of the many weight loss centers whose main objective is to achieve weight loss through a strict and personalized low-calorie diet. Providing not just on-site consultation for their weight loss programs, Slim 4 Life also has an at-home program to properly guide its customers in following, maintaining, and adjusting to their new healthy lifestyle diet.
This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment. By attributing its success completely to its healthy diet program, it promises its customers a freer and less exhausting experience with their exercise-free guarantees.
With outlets that include as many as 30 locations throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Texas, Slim 4 Life is a formidable chain of weight loss centers. Slim 4 Life promises the benefit of weight loss through an emphasis on changing your lifestyle mainly your diet. They also claim that they formulate their diet plans from easily accessible grocery store ingredients that can be easily bought and prepared by their clients.
Through constant counseling from a personal counselor who will supervise your individual diet plan, the company believes that their clients will experience losing an average of about three pounds per week if they strictly follow their Slim 4 Life dieter plan. Along with its services of diet consultations, Slim 4 Life also provides a wide variety of products to order from their main website or for purchase at their physical locations.
They have a wide variety of Slim 4 Life branded products ranging from supplements to healthy food items, such as:. Customers are given a mandatory routine to meet a counselor personally to discuss their diet regimen. Though some clients prefer to undertake the program from the comfort of their home, they are still entitled to their own personal counselor to oversee their progress and improvement. Several user testimonies have proclaimed this to be effective while others have had a flimsy relationship with the fitness center, which may be blamed on the effectiveness of their own personal counselors rather than the effectiveness of the fitness center itself.
With some testimonies attributing their newfound success in weight loss to the Slim 4 Life program, many say that their success was due to their additional expenses and personal motivation to exercise on their own.
The company operates over 30 outlets accessible throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. Within these weight-loss sites, its clients are cared for by an on-call staff of counselors to aid them in their adjustment to their personal diet program.
After paying for the length of your membership and enrolling in one of the two programs, you will be asked to undergo an assessment based on your age, sex, medical condition, and physical fitness to determine your individual diet plan. Customers are generally tasked to follow a low-calorie diet limiting their calorie intake to about 1, calories.
Although the company markets its grocery store diet, the company encourages clients to take advantage of their food supplements and products to help aid in the weight loss process, but with a hefty price tag attached. While following the diet, you will be recommended certain food types to avoid, usually those that have a high-calorie count or high-fat content.
A counselor will be available for routine consults regarding your program and changes in diet. Exercise does provide great health benefits, but exercise alone does not greatly contribute to the goal of weight loss. Feedback on weight loss has primarily been attributed to the effect of limiting calorie intake; even going as far as simply limiting carbohydrate intake.
Calories from sugar contribute to fat storage. Choosing instead to focus on dieting over exercise, the fitness centers focus on the adjustment of their clients to a healthy diet. Anthropologist Herman Pontzer proved in his study that highly active individuals expend just as much energy as moderately active individuals, yet neither group was achieving any significant weight loss changes.
The study proves that the effectiveness of an increase in physical activity reaches a plateau in individuals, which then leads to the body conforming to the energy and exhaustion levels as time passes. More than exercise, sugar intake is the main factor when it comes to fitness, according to Slim 4 Life. Another study in pushed this conclusion further by setting three test samples of fitness groups.
The three groups were categorized into those who performed exercises only, performed diet only, and both exercised and dieted during the same time period. Results revealed that the poorest results came from the exercise-only group. The diet consists of restricting certain food types while limiting your calorie intake. This means that the diet will primarily consist of small meals that are designed to provide enough nutrients to your body while limiting the risk of gaining excess fat from unneeded calories.
These food types are suggested and planned along with their recommended array of food supplements found on their website. Slim 4 Life Forbidden Foods. Like other diet plans, it is a big no-no on high-calorie products and sucrose products. Generally, salty and sugary foods are to be avoided. While there are not many side effects when adhering to a low-calorie diet, there have been reports of the following.
But these symptoms usually fade away after the body adjusts to the diet after a few weeks. Although the company boasts its year span of company history, there is no official historical background provided on the website. Although there have been studies detailing that a healthy diet is an integral aspect of weight loss, it is also important to note that every diet must be paired with some sort of physical fitness routine recommended by the company but not marketed as its selling point.
One of the main difficulties with weight loss centers is that it is a physical establishment, meaning it can only serve clients that are geographically close to their centers. The results show that an on-site one-on-one counseling session with their staff is much more effective when talking about the transition period to the new diet compared to receiving instructions from far away.
Another issue that might cause clients to be critical of the company is their relatively high counseling rates and a wide array of products.
Though the results do not lie, the results vary from person to person and Slim 4 Life proves that the more you pay, the more weight you lose. It has been proven that the most effective method for weight loss is a combination of both a healthy, calorie-reduced diet program fit to your liking and a proper exercise regimen. This can aid in weight loss by improving your cardiovascular health and in building muscle tissue to burn more calories than other types of body tissue.
If you stick to the program, you will lose weight. I lost 75 pounds ,which was my goal. I love the way my clothes fit now. Are we racing around to find a Slim 4 Life location? While this weight loss program is an ideal choice for some; as mentioned above, there are options. Weight loss involves many things, including diet, exercise and the right supplement that helps you reach your goals. One of the products we like the most is Burn TS.
The formula contains four clinically-tested ingredients, that have been shown to promote weight-loss by accelerating metabolism and igniting fat loss. Choosing the right weight-loss system can be confusing and often times frustrating. Let us know a little more about you and your goals. Also, Slim 4 Life has third-party verification of weight-loss results. Choosing the right product is the 1 question asked by DietSpotlight readers. We recommend trying any product before buying it and know that finding a product with a sample offer is near impossible - so we created our own product, Burn TS, with scientifically backed ingredients.
There are two ways to follow Slim 4 Life. You can use the at-home program or start by scheduling a consultation at one of the locations.
Slim 4 Life can be purchased using their Official Site or through Amazon. Your first Slim 4 Life consultation lasts about 30 minutes and the consultant gathers personal information to tailor a plan to fit your needs.
The company helps users gather required information for insurance companies to personally file claims. You can eat regular foods like dairy, fats, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits and proteins when following Slim 4 Life.
Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans.
Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. Do Not Send Email Notifications. My blood pressure is down and have been able to decrease my medication. I have kept the weight off for almost a year. Even during the holidays when I cheated a bit and an occasional Twix. Seems to be a very balanced diet. The only thing you lose is your sanity and money if you are truely trying to lose alot of wieght this is not for you.
Please aviod the same trappings I did the advertisement was misleading. Cut out ALL fast food drink losts of water and move. I agree with Cristy!! This program cuts your calories way too low to be healthy long not part of a medical field and have no medical training. The scrubs are deceptive as is the advertisements and representations.
If you want any information, email me at alstewart2 sbcglobal. Do you get a response to the corp office number, if so I would love for you to share.
Did anyone find a number to a corporate office- I am very unhappy with them and how I was treated- I was not losing the 3 to 5 pounds quaranteed and now am just getting blown off by the center.
I certainly do not agree with how you felt you were treated by the Slim for Life representative, as she should have maintained a professional attitude and responded to your needs with understanding,and explaniations, rather than insult.
The result would be that as people were leading a healthy lifestyle, taking care of their medical issues with herbals, the Drs industry would be negatively affected. I have used herbal supplements for many medical issues that I have encountered in my life with little to no side affects, I have been able to avoid the Dr Appointments and the prescriptions, with the long and distubing list of possible side affects that I may encounter which is longer and more damaging than the symptoms to the initial health issue I was encountering.
There are alternative solutions out there. I have several friends that have been very successful with the Slim 4 life plan as well as other plans that are availble. The internet is a great resource for research. You are absolutely right. I was saying the same thing when I was reading what the doctor said. What in the world could an herbal drug do to hinder your prescription drug except for maybe keep the prescription side affects from killing you?
You should really be looking at what that prescription is doing to your system as opposed to the herbs. I was on Weight Watchers for over a year and lost alot of weight but did not stick with it so I have gained half of it back. I just joined Slim 4 Life because you can talk to someone for support daily one on one instead of once a week in front of a large group.
I have high blood pressure and high colest. Can you tell me what program they use for people with these conditions? I started slim4life Dec. I did loose down to lbs and really maintained at about to as the year finished out — however I began to show symptoms of something. Went to doctor and turns out that my liver has been affected and that something has brought this on — I do wonder if it was all of the thermoboost powder which I drank on a daily basis for the year along with the thermo snacks required during weight loss.
If you have had a similar issue please respond back to me ASAP — I am unable to find out much since slim4life is now slimgenics and they no longer allow past participates to purchase product. I am interested in anything that might be similar to my situation. Hi, I did slim 4 life as well and lost about 35 lbs. Before I started, I had normal liver function tests. When I had my blood tested, post S4L i had elevated liver function x2 , I recently went back and had it checked again and now I have elevated liver function x3.
The only thing in my life that changed during that time was that I was on S4L. I highly suspect that either the carb blockers or the red grays have affected my liver. I am no longer on S4L and I no longer take any of their supplements. I never used the thermoboost powder but I took all the supplements as directed during the program. I too am being evaluated for elevated liver function.
It started with a dull ache in the liver area right after I started slimgenics. I have an ultrasound tomorrow, will keep you posted.
I have been off the supplements for at least a month but am still having the pain…. I started slim4life in May, at lbs…am now at and while I love the way I look, my hair is falling out and my kidney function is out of whack as well as my ferritin levels have bottomed out. I would just like to know how the product work? Another thing is how much it cost to get started with the program?
Is this something i could do without paying a large amount of money? What are the key elements to losing weight on this program? What makes this program different from the other programs out? Slim 4 Life is a good program. They do teach you the essentials of eating healthy. However, the weight that you lose is great but, you may also be losing muscle since they do not incorporate working out into the program.
You do take supplements such as a daily vitamin, essential fatty acids fish oil and an appetite suppressant they call the metabolizer not to mention the protein bars and shakes that run more than I went from to in a short amount of time. Once, I hit I plateaued miserably. I did all that they asked me to do and could not lose any more weight. I was basically told, they could not help me. I left Slim 4 Life and they still call me wanting me to come in.
I work out now and still eat healthy but, I eat corn, carrots, and cheese. All of which is forbidden until you lose ALL the weight. I am happy and healthy and still am losing in a healthy way on my own.. Wish I had read this page before I spent almost two thousand dollars on Slim 4 Life. I was on the program for aproximately three and a half weeks going to the store four times a week for weigh ins.
I lost six pounds by drinking tons of water and taking there suplements which ending up making my heart race. I ended up in the Doctors office thinking I was having a heart attack.
Believe me there is no money back guarantee. This turned out to be one big mistake….. Hi, l feel the same way two thousand dollars on slim 4 life. Porridge, gruel and later, bread, became the basic food staple that made up the majority of calorie intake for most of the population. In colder climates, however, it was usually unaffordable for the majority population, and was associated with the higher classes.
The centrality of bread in religious rituals such as the Eucharist meant that it enjoyed an especially high prestige among foodstuffs. Only olive oil and wine had a comparable value, but both remained quite exclusive outside the warmer grape- and olive-growing regions. The symbolic role of bread as both sustenance and substance is illustrated in a sermon given by Saint Augustine:. This bread retells your history … You were brought to the threshing floor of the Lord and were threshed … While awaiting catechism , you were like grain kept in the granary … At the baptismal font you were kneaded into a single dough.
In the oven of the Holy Ghost you were baked into God's true bread. The Roman Catholic , Eastern Orthodox Churches and their calendars had great influence on eating habits; consumption of meat was forbidden for a full third of the year for most Christians.
All animal products, including eggs and dairy products but not fish , were generally prohibited during Lent and fast. Additionally, it was customary for all citizens to fast prior to taking the Eucharist. These fasts were occasionally for a full day and required total abstinence. Both the Eastern and the Western churches ordained that feast should alternate with fast. In most of Europe, Fridays were fast days, and fasting was observed on various other days and periods, including Lent and Advent.
Meat, and animal products such as milk, cheese, butter and eggs, were not allowed, only fish. The fast was intended to mortify the body and invigorate the soul, and also to remind the faster of Christ 's sacrifice for humanity. The intention was not to portray certain foods as unclean, but rather to teach a spiritual lesson in self-restraint through abstention. During particularly severe fast days, the number of daily meals was also reduced to one. Even if most people respected these restrictions and usually made penance when they violated them, there were also numerous ways of circumventing them, a conflict of ideals and practice summarized by writer Bridget Ann Henisch:.
It is the nature of man to build the most complicated cage of rules and regulations in which to trap himself, and then, with equal ingenuity and zest, to bend his brain to the problem of wriggling triumphantly out again. Lent was a challenge; the game was to ferret out the loopholes. While animal products were to be avoided during times of penance, pragmatic compromises often prevailed.
The definition of "fish" was often extended to marine and semi-aquatic animals such as whales , barnacle geese , puffins and even beavers. The choice of ingredients may have been limited, but that did not mean that meals were smaller.
Neither were there any restrictions against moderate drinking or eating sweets. Banquets held on fish days could be splendid, and were popular occasions for serving illusion food that imitated meat, cheese and eggs in various ingenious ways; fish could be moulded to look like venison and fake eggs could be made by stuffing empty egg shells with fish roe and almond milk and cooking them in coals.
While Byzantine church officials took a hard-line approach, and discouraged any culinary refinement for the clergy, their Western counterparts were far more lenient. During Lent, kings and schoolboys, commoners and nobility, all complained about being deprived of meat for the long, hard weeks of solemn contemplation of their sins. At Lent, owners of livestock were even warned to keep an eye out for hungry dogs frustrated by a "hard siege by Lent and fish bones".
The trend from the 13th century onward was toward a more legalistic interpretation of fasting. Nobles were careful not to eat meat on fast days, but still dined in style; fish replaced meat, often as imitation hams and bacon; almond milk replaced animal milk as an expensive non-dairy alternative; faux eggs made from almond milk were cooked in blown-out eggshells, flavoured and coloured with exclusive spices. In some cases the lavishness of noble tables was outdone by Benedictine monasteries, which served as many as sixteen courses during certain feast days.
Exceptions from fasting were frequently made for very broadly defined groups. Since the sick were exempt from fasting, there often evolved the notion that fasting restrictions only applied to the main dining area, and many Benedictine friars would simply eat their fast day meals in what was called the misericord at those times rather than the refectory.
Medieval society was highly stratified. In a time when famine was commonplace and social hierarchies were often brutally enforced, food was an important marker of social status in a way that has no equivalent today in most developed countries.
According to the ideological norm, society consisted of the three estates of the realm: The relationship between the classes was strictly hierarchical, with the nobility and clergy claiming worldly and spiritual overlordship over commoners. Within the nobility and clergy there were also a number of ranks ranging from kings and popes to dukes , bishops and their subordinates, such as priests.
One was expected to remain in one's social class and to respect the authority of the ruling classes. Political power was displayed not just by rule, but also by displaying wealth. Nobles dined on fresh game seasoned with exotic spices, and displayed refined table manners; rough laborers could make do with coarse barley bread, salt pork and beans and were not expected to display etiquette.
Even dietary recommendations were different: The digestive system of a lord was held to be more discriminating than that of his rustic subordinates and demanded finer foods. In the late Middle Ages, the increasing wealth of middle class merchants and traders meant that commoners began emulating the aristocracy, and threatened to break down some of the symbolic barriers between the nobility and the lower classes.
The response came in two forms: Medical science of the Middle Ages had a considerable influence on what was considered healthy and nutritious among the upper classes.
One's lifestyle—including diet, exercise, appropriate social behavior, and approved medical remedies—was the way to good health, and all types of food were assigned certain properties that affected a person's health. All foodstuffs were also classified on scales ranging from hot to cold and moist to dry, according to the four bodily humours theory proposed by Galen that dominated Western medical science from late Antiquity until the 17th century.
Medieval scholars considered human digestion to be a process similar to cooking. The processing of food in the stomach was seen as a continuation of the preparation initiated by the cook. In order for the food to be properly "cooked" and for the nutrients to be properly absorbed, it was important that the stomach be filled in an appropriate manner. Easily digestible foods would be consumed first, followed by gradually heavier dishes.
If this regimen were not respected it was believed that heavy foods would sink to the bottom of the stomach, thus blocking the digestion duct, so that food would digest very slowly and cause putrefaction of the body and draw bad humours into the stomach.
It was also of vital importance that food of differing properties not be mixed. Before a meal, the stomach would preferably be "opened" with an apéritif from Latin aperire , "to open" that was preferably of a hot and dry nature: As the stomach had been opened, it should then be "closed" at the end of the meal with the help of a digestive, most commonly a dragée , which during the Middle Ages consisted of lumps of spiced sugar, or hypocras , a wine flavoured with fragrant spices, along with aged cheese.
A meal would ideally begin with easily digestible fruit, such as apples. It would then be followed by vegetables such as lettuce , cabbage , purslane , herbs, moist fruits, light meats, such as chicken or goat kid , with potages and broths. After that came the "heavy" meats, such as pork and beef , as well as vegetables and nuts, including pears and chestnuts, both considered difficult to digest. It was popular, and recommended by medical expertise, to finish the meal with aged cheese and various digestives.
The most ideal food was that which most closely matched the humour of human beings, i. Food should preferably also be finely chopped, ground, pounded and strained to achieve a true mixture of all the ingredients. White wine was believed to be cooler than red and the same distinction was applied to red and white vinegar.
Milk was moderately warm and moist, but the milk of different animals was often believed to differ. Egg yolks were considered to be warm and moist while the whites were cold and moist. Skilled cooks were expected to conform to the regimen of humoral medicine. Even if this limited the combinations of food they could prepare, there was still ample room for artistic variation by the chef. The caloric content and structure of medieval diet varied over time, from region to region, and between classes.
However, for most people, the diet tended to be high-carbohydrate, with most of the budget spent on, and the majority of calories provided by, cereals and alcohol such as beer. Even though meat was highly valued by all, lower classes often could not afford it, nor were they allowed by the church to consume it every day. In one early 15th-century English aristocratic household for which detailed records are available that of the Earl of Warwick , gentle members of the household received a staggering 3.
In the household of Henry Stafford in , gentle members received 2. In monasteries, the basic structure of the diet was laid down by the Rule of Saint Benedict in the 7th century and tightened by Pope Benedict XII in , but as mentioned above monks were adept at "working around" these rules.
This was circumvented in part by declaring that offal , and various processed foods such as bacon , were not meat. Secondly, Benedictine monasteries contained a room called the misericord , where the Rule of Saint Benedict did not apply, and where a large number of monks ate. Each monk would be regularly sent either to the misericord or to the refectory. When Pope Benedict XII ruled that at least half of all monks should be required to eat in the refectory on any given day, monks responded by excluding the sick and those invited to the abbot's table from the reckoning.
The overall caloric intake is subject to some debate. As a consequence of these excesses, obesity was common among upper classes. The regional specialties that are a feature of early modern and contemporary cuisine were not in evidence in the sparser documentation that survives. Instead, medieval cuisine can be differentiated by the cereals and the oils that shaped dietary norms and crossed ethnic and, later, national boundaries.
Geographical variation in eating was primarily the result of differences in climate, political administration, and local customs that varied across the continent. Though sweeping generalizations should be avoided, more or less distinct areas where certain foodstuffs dominated can be discerned. In the British Isles , northern France , the Low Countries , the northern German-speaking areas, Scandinavia and the Baltic , the climate was generally too harsh for the cultivation of grapes and olives.
In the south, wine was the common drink for both rich and poor alike though the commoner usually had to settle for cheap second pressing wine while beer was the commoner's drink in the north and wine an expensive import. Citrus fruits though not the kinds most common today and pomegranates were common around the Mediterranean. Dried figs and dates were available in the north, but were used rather sparingly in cooking.
Olive oil was a ubiquitous ingredient in Mediterranean cultures, but remained an expensive import in the north where oils of poppy , walnut, hazel and filbert were the most affordable alternatives. Butter and lard , especially after the terrible mortality during the Black Death made them less scarce, were used in considerable quantities in the northern and northwestern regions, especially in the Low Countries. Almost universal in middle and upper class cooking all over Europe was the almond , which was in the ubiquitous and highly versatile almond milk , which was used as a substitute in dishes that otherwise required eggs or milk, though the bitter variety of almonds came along much later.
In Europe there were typically two meals a day: The two-meal system remained consistent throughout the late Middle Ages. Smaller intermediate meals were common, but became a matter of social status, as those who did not have to perform manual labor could go without them.
For practical reasons, breakfast was still eaten by working men, and was tolerated for young children, women, the elderly and the sick. Because the church preached against gluttony and other weaknesses of the flesh, men tended to be ashamed of the weak practicality of breakfast. Lavish dinner banquets and late-night reresopers from Occitan rèire-sopar , "late supper" with considerable amounts of alcoholic beverage were considered immoral.
The latter were especially associated with gambling, crude language, drunkenness, and lewd behavior. As with almost every part of life at the time, a medieval meal was generally a communal affair.
The entire household, including servants, would ideally dine together. To sneak off to enjoy private company was considered a haughty and inefficient egotism in a world where people depended very much on each other. When possible, rich hosts retired with their consorts to private chambers where the meal could be enjoyed in greater exclusivity and privacy. Being invited to a lord's chambers was a great privilege and could be used as a way to reward friends and allies and to awe subordinates.
It allowed lords to distance themselves further from the household and to enjoy more luxurious treats while serving inferior food to the rest of the household that still dined in the great hall. At major occasions and banquets, however, the host and hostess generally dined in the great hall with the other diners.
However, it can be assumed there were no such extravagant luxuries as multiple courses , luxurious spices or hand-washing in scented water in everyday meals. Things were different for the wealthy. Before the meal and between courses, shallow basins and linen towels were offered to guests so they could wash their hands, as cleanliness was emphasized.
Social codes made it difficult for women to uphold the ideal of immaculate neatness and delicacy while enjoying a meal, so the wife of the host often dined in private with her entourage or ate very little at such feasts.
She could then join dinner only after the potentially messy business of eating was done. Overall, fine dining was a predominantly male affair, and it was uncommon for anyone but the most honored of guests to bring his wife or her ladies-in-waiting.
The hierarchical nature of society was reinforced by etiquette where the lower ranked were expected to help the higher, the younger to assist the elder, and men to spare women the risk of sullying dress and reputation by having to handle food in an unwomanly fashion. Shared drinking cups were common even at lavish banquets for all but those who sat at the high table , as was the standard etiquette of breaking bread and carving meat for one's fellow diners.
Food was mostly served on plates or in stew pots, and diners would take their share from the dishes and place it on trenchers of stale bread, wood or pewter with the help of spoons or bare hands. In lower-class households it was common to eat food straight off the table. Knives were used at the table, but most people were expected to bring their own, and only highly favored guests would be given a personal knife.
A knife was usually shared with at least one other dinner guest, unless one was of very high rank or well-acquainted with the host. Forks for eating were not in widespread usage in Europe until the early modern period , and early on were limited to Italy. Even there it was not until the 14th century that the fork became common among Italians of all social classes. The change in attitudes can be illustrated by the reactions to the table manners of the Byzantine princess Theodora Doukaina in the late 11th century.
She was the wife of Domenico Selvo , the Doge of Venice , and caused considerable dismay among upstanding Venetians. The foreign consort's insistence on having her food cut up by her eunuch servants and then eating the pieces with a golden fork shocked and upset the diners so much that there was a claim that Peter Damian , Cardinal Bishop of Ostia , later interpreted her refined foreign manners as pride and referred to her as " All types of cooking involved the direct use of fire.
Kitchen stoves did not appear until the 18th century, and cooks had to know how to cook directly over an open fire. Ovens were used, but they were expensive to construct and only existed in fairly large households and bakeries. It was common for a community to have shared ownership of an oven to ensure that the bread baking essential to everyone was made communal rather than private.
There were also portable ovens designed to be filled with food and then buried in hot coals, and even larger ones on wheels that were used to sell pies in the streets of medieval towns. But for most people, almost all cooking was done in simple stewpots, since this was the most efficient use of firewood and did not waste precious cooking juices, making potages and stews the most common dishes.
This was considered less of a problem in a time of back-breaking toil, famine, and a greater acceptance—even desirability—of plumpness; only the poor or sick, and devout ascetics , were thin. Fruit was readily combined with meat, fish and eggs.
The recipe for Tart de brymlent , a fish pie from the recipe collection Forme of Cury , includes a mix of figs , raisins , apples and pears with fish salmon , codling or haddock and pitted damson plums under the top crust.
This meant that food had to be "tempered" according to its nature by an appropriate combination of preparation and mixing certain ingredients, condiments and spices; fish was seen as being cold and moist, and best cooked in a way that heated and dried it, such as frying or oven baking, and seasoned with hot and dry spices; beef was dry and hot and should therefore be boiled ; pork was hot and moist and should therefore always be roasted.
In a recipe for quince pie, cabbage is said to work equally well, and in another turnips could be replaced by pears. The completely edible shortcrust pie did not appear in recipes until the 15th century. Before that the pastry was primarily used as a cooking container in a technique known as ' huff paste '. Extant recipe collections show that gastronomy in the Late Middle Ages developed significantly.
New techniques, like the shortcrust pie and the clarification of jelly with egg whites began to appear in recipes in the late 14th century and recipes began to include detailed instructions instead of being mere memory aids to an already skilled cook. In most households, cooking was done on an open hearth in the middle of the main living area, to make efficient use of the heat. This was the most common arrangement, even in wealthy households, for most of the Middle Ages, where the kitchen was combined with the dining hall.
Towards the Late Middle Ages a separate kitchen area began to evolve. The first step was to move the fireplaces towards the walls of the main hall, and later to build a separate building or wing that contained a dedicated kitchen area, often separated from the main building by a covered arcade.
This way, the smoke, odors and bustle of the kitchen could be kept out of sight of guests, and the fire risk lessened.
Many basic variations of cooking utensils available today, such as frying pans , pots , kettles , and waffle irons , already existed, although they were often too expensive for poorer households. Other tools more specific to cooking over an open fire were spits of various sizes, and material for skewering anything from delicate quails to whole oxen. Utensils were often held directly over the fire or placed into embers on tripods. To assist the cook there were also assorted knives, stirring spoons, ladles and graters.
In wealthy households one of the most common tools was the mortar and sieve cloth, since many medieval recipes called for food to be finely chopped, mashed, strained and seasoned either before or after cooking. This was based on a belief among physicians that the finer the consistency of food, the more effectively the body would absorb the nourishment.
It also gave skilled cooks the opportunity to elaborately shape the results. Fine-textured food was also associated with wealth; for example, finely milled flour was expensive, while the bread of commoners was typically brown and coarse. A typical procedure was farcing from the Latin farcio , "to cram" , to skin and dress an animal, grind up the meat and mix it with spices and other ingredients and then return it into its own skin, or mold it into the shape of a completely different animal.
The kitchen staff of huge noble or royal courts occasionally numbered in the hundreds: While an average peasant household often made do with firewood collected from the surrounding woodlands, the major kitchens of households had to cope with the logistics of daily providing at least two meals for several hundred people.
Guidelines on how to prepare for a two-day banquet can be found in the cookbook Du fait de cuisine "On cookery" written in in part to compete with the court of Burgundy  by Maistre Chiquart, master chef of Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy.
Food preservation methods were basically the same as had been used since antiquity, and did not change much until the invention of canning in the early 19th century.
The most common and simplest method was to expose foodstuffs to heat or wind to remove moisture , thereby prolonging the durability if not the flavor of almost any type of food from cereals to meats; the drying of food worked by drastically reducing the activity of various water-dependent microorganisms that cause decay.
In warm climates this was mostly achieved by leaving food out in the sun, and in the cooler northern climates by exposure to strong winds especially common for the preparation of stockfish , or in warm ovens, cellars, attics, and at times even in living quarters. Subjecting food to a number of chemical processes such as smoking , salting , brining , conserving or fermenting also made it keep longer.
Most of these methods had the advantage of shorter preparation times and of introducing new flavors. Smoking or salting meat of livestock butchered in autumn was a common household strategy to avoid having to feed more animals than necessary during the lean winter months.
Vegetables, eggs or fish were also often pickled in tightly packed jars, containing brine and acidic liquids lemon juice , verjuice or vinegar. Another method was to seal the food by cooking it in sugar or honey or fat, in which it was then stored. Microbial modification was also encouraged, however, by a number of methods; grains, fruit and grapes were turned into alcoholic drinks thus killing any pathogens, and milk was fermented and curdled into a multitude of cheeses or buttermilk. The majority of the European population before industrialization lived in rural communities or isolated farms and households.
The norm was self-sufficiency with only a small percentage of production being exported or sold in markets. Large towns were exceptions and required their surrounding hinterlands to support them with food and fuel. The dense urban population could support a wide variety of food establishments that catered to various social groups.
Many of the poor city dwellers had to live in cramped conditions without access to a kitchen or even a hearth, and many did not own the equipment for basic cooking.
Food from vendors was in such cases the only option. Cookshops could either sell ready-made hot food, an early form of fast food , or offer cooking services while the customers supplied some or all of the ingredients. Travellers, such as pilgrims en route to a holy site, made use of professional cooks to avoid having to carry their provisions with them. For the more affluent, there were many types of specialist that could supply various foods and condiments: Well-off citizens who had the means to cook at home could on special occasions hire professionals when their own kitchen or staff could not handle the burden of throwing a major banquet.
Urban cookshops that catered to workers or the destitute were regarded as unsavory and disreputable places by the well-to-do and professional cooks tended to have a bad reputation. Geoffrey Chaucer 's Hodge of Ware, the London cook from the Canterbury Tales , is described as a sleazy purveyor of unpalatable food.
French cardinal Jacques de Vitry 's sermons from the early 13th century describe sellers of cooked meat as an outright health hazard. The stereotypical cook in art and literature was male, hot-tempered, prone to drunkenness, and often depicted guarding his stewpot from being pilfered by both humans and animals.
In the early 15th century, the English monk John Lydgate articulated the beliefs of many of his contemporaries by proclaiming that "Hoot ffir [fire] and smoke makith many an angry cook.
The period between c. More intense agriculture on an ever-increasing acreage resulted in a shift from animal products, like meat and dairy, to various grains and vegetables as the staple of the majority population. A bread-based diet became gradually more common during the 15th century and replaced warm intermediate meals that were porridge- or gruel-based. Leavened bread was more common in wheat-growing regions in the south, while unleavened flatbread of barley, rye or oats remained more common in northern and highland regions, and unleavened flatbread was also common as provisions for troops.
The most common grains were rye , barley , buckwheat , millet and oats. Rice remained a fairly expensive import for most of the Middle Ages and was grown in northern Italy only towards the end of the period. Wheat was common all over Europe and was considered to be the most nutritious of all grains, but was more prestigious and thus more expensive. The finely sifted white flour that modern Europeans are most familiar with was reserved for the bread of the upper classes.
As one descended the social ladder, bread became coarser, darker, and its bran content increased. In times of grain shortages or outright famine, grains could be supplemented with cheaper and less desirable substitutes like chestnuts , dried legumes , acorns , ferns , and a wide variety of more or less nutritious vegetable matter.
One of the most common constituents of a medieval meal, either as part of a banquet or as a small snack, were sops , pieces of bread with which a liquid like wine , soup , broth , or sauce could be soaked up and eaten. Another common sight at the medieval dinner table was the frumenty , a thick wheat porridge often boiled in a meat broth and seasoned with spices. Porridges were also made of every type of grain and could be served as desserts or dishes for the sick, if boiled in milk or almond milk and sweetened with sugar.
Pies filled with meats, eggs, vegetables, or fruit were common throughout Europe, as were turnovers , fritters , doughnuts , and many similar pastries. By the Late Middle Ages biscuits cookies in the U. Grain, either as bread crumbs or flour, was also the most common thickener of soups and stews, alone or in combination with almond milk.
The importance of bread as a daily staple meant that bakers played a crucial role in any medieval community. Bread consumption was high in most of Western Europe by the 14th century. Estimates of bread consumption from different regions are fairly similar: Among the first town guilds to be organized were the bakers', and laws and regulations were passed to keep bread prices stable. The English Assize of Bread and Ale of listed extensive tables where the size, weight, and price of a loaf of bread were regulated in relation to grain prices.
The baker's profit margin stipulated in the tables was later increased through successful lobbying from the London Baker's Company by adding the cost of everything from firewood and salt to the baker's wife, house, and dog. Since bread was such a central part of the medieval diet, swindling by those who were trusted with supplying the precious commodity to the community was considered a serious offense.
Bakers who were caught tampering with weights or adulterating dough with less expensive ingredients could receive severe penalties. This gave rise to the " baker's dozen ": While grains were the primary constituent of most meals, vegetables such as cabbage , chard , onions , garlic and carrots were common foodstuffs.
Many of these were eaten daily by peasants and workers and were less prestigious than meat. The cookbooks, which appeared in the late Middle Ages and were intended mostly for those who could afford such luxuries, contained only a small number of recipes using vegetables as the main ingredient.
The lack of recipes for many basic vegetable dishes, such as potages , has been interpreted not to mean that they were absent from the meals of the nobility, but rather that they were considered so basic that they did not require recording. Various legumes , like chickpeas , fava beans and field peas were also common and important sources of protein , especially among the lower classes. With the exception of peas, legumes were often viewed with some suspicion by the dietitians advising the upper class, partly because of their tendency to cause flatulence but also because they were associated with the coarse food of peasants.
The importance of vegetables to the common people is illustrated by accounts from 16th-century Germany stating that many peasants ate sauerkraut from three to four times a day. Fruit was popular and could be served fresh, dried, or preserved, and was a common ingredient in many cooked dishes.
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.