Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Shop and Save -- Your Money AND Health!

Let your little ones help so they'll want to eat what you guys buy!

Grocery Shopping Tips

Keep a running list of things you need to buy, so you don’t have to think of it all at once. Plan some meals or even just meal options, depending on what is on sale. For example, this week I will make Easy Eggplant Parmesan OR Vegetable Lasagna (recipe from the Engine 2 Diet), depending on what produce is on sale, or looks better. Be FLEXIBLE!

Surprise! Avoid COUPONS! Are coupons saving you money? Often, we buy coupon items we wouldn’t normally, never have before, or don’t actually need or want! Of course, use them if it’s something you DO normally eat, want, or need!

Shop on Wednesday nights to save the most! According to www.lifehacker.com many stores start sales on Wednesday, and still honor previous week’s sales. Stores often restock early in the week, so shelves are PLUMP on Wednesdays. EVENINGS offer less crowded aisles, shorter lines, and potential markdowns to get rid of excess! Ask your store about previous week’s sales, stocking days, rain checks, and other store rules (BOGO, etc).

Avoid packaged, prepared items. While they save valuable time, they often have a nutritional cost: added sugars, salts, and unhealthy fats, and reduced nutrients. Recently, I saw this product: hummus, crackers, dark chocolate, and dried fruit, all in one box. The price wasn’t even displayed! I bet it was at least four dollars!  You could certainly make it at home for under a dollar!

Check dates on perishables. If food goes rotten it’s worth $0, or worse if it makes you sick! Frozen fruits and veggies are awesome since they are frozen at peak ripeness, and won’t go bad (easily). Just cook what you’ll eat during a given meal to retain maximal nutrients (repeated heating and cooling promotes bacterial growth). Check out We Gotta Chill! and Some Like it Hot!

BONUS: Look at items that are high and low, since the biggest companies can afford (yes, manufacturers actually buy space on grocery shelves!) to buy the eye level shelf space!  In the cereal and snack aisles, the most sought after level is kid-eye level. Sneaky companies!

More from me here: Sassy Shopping Tips!

Check out Darya Rose's How to Get Started Eating Healthy: Seasonal Shopping and The 7 Essential Steps to Get Healthy and Lose Weight (a download at the bottom of the link).

The awesome blog called 100 Days of Real Food completed 100 Days on a Budget and here are Lisa's picks "best of" posts during that time. There are lots of super ideas and tips there!

Sally, another dietitian, writes the helpful and fun Real Mom Nutrition blog! She is changing the world of soccer snacks; I'll post about that some day! Check out her post Coupon Queen :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This Dude is Awesome!

I love how science and research can answer many questions, and I base my nutrition, fitness, and wellness advice on hard data! Dr Michael Greger, MD, of www.nutritionfacts.org is AWESOME! Dr Greger concisely and visually convinces his viewers of the often fabulous benefits of whole foods, and also dispels harmful, and often all too common myths about health and nutrition.

Here are Dr Greger's more than 1500 health topicsWatch some videos and be motivated to make some changes! Enjoy! And thank you kindly, Dr Greger!

Beans are super-nutritious!
This video explains one more awesome benefit of BEANS!

Check out the awesomeness of dates (a key nutrient in many Laraball recipes!)!

Watch this one and I bet you'll start drinking a glass of water, first thing in the morning, as well as teaching the habit to each of your kiddos!

COMMENTS: What did you learn from one of Dr Greger's videos? There are so many that I still want to watch and learn from!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fun Foods from Costco!

While WHOLE foods are always best, here are three awesome items from Costco!  
I'll share a bit about each, and nutrition labels are included too.

  • Heat in the microwave in less than a minute
  • Remind me a lot of Indian samosas, a savory fried potato pastry!
  • The first ingredient is spinach and their aren't a lot mysterious ingredients.
  • To kids, they are kind of like nuggets!
  • They are only 120 calories each with 5 grams of fiber!

Veggie Patch Mediterranean Spinach and Chickpea Patties


  • Sweetened with grape juice, rather than sugar!
  • 100 calories, and 4 grams of fiber!
  • BONUS: did you know that grapefruit enhances the energizing effects of caffeine?!
  • Note: remember to keep them in your fridge!

Kirkland Signature Red Grapefruit

Addicting CHOCOLATE-COVERED Pretzel Crisps!
  • These rock!
  • You get 5 crisps for one 130-calorie serving
  • It would be wonderful if the pretzels were whole grain or you knew the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, but really these are just a delicious treat!
  • So it's a lesson on being picky about your treats -- finding things you really love and ENJOYING them!
We ENJOY these! For more on SAVORING, click HERE or HERE for the many benefits of chocolate!
Snack Factory Dark Chocolate Crunch Pretzel Crisps

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