Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Holidays


That picture is me and the hubby at his squadron's holiday party on base, and we had a great time. Sure I have my lil 24 week baby bump, but thankfully the usually overactive Dylan stayed cool and calm inside my tummy so that I could enjoy the fun, food and festivities!! It was nice to get a little dressed up and head out for the night. With work and school and the occassional dinner with friends, we really haven't done anything like that in a long time. It was the first time Scott had his spouse to accompany him to an official military event on base, so I know it meant a lot to him.

In less than two weeks we head toward Chicagoland to spend the holiday with my family. It will be great to see my son, Liam, and my family as well. I'll be adding a couple more family faces this year, as my half-brother Jason found me on Facebook, and I look forward to meeting up with him and just doing a life's worth of catching up. I'm definitely excited about that.

I just wanted to say that I'm so thankful for all the wonderful people that I have in my life, and I feel very fortunate, especially for those that have been there for me throughout the years. You ROCK!! and I love you with all my heart.

Whatever you celebrate this holiday season, make time for family, friends, love, laughter and cheer! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

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Monday, November 1, 2010

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month


I know after October, some people are burnt out when it comes to an "awareness month", because we were bombarded with pink everything for breast cancer. Well, diabetes kills more people a year than breast cancer and AIDS COMBINED!!!

I would love to see more advocacy for diabetes, as there are people with type 1 that cannot control it, but a larger growing number is type 2, which IS controlable through weight, diet, and lifestyle.

To find out more about this epidemic killer, please visit the American Diabetes Association website at www.diabetes.org.

You can also help fund diabetes research by buying your holiday gifts and cards through Gift of Hope. They have some beautiful cards and gifts, and each card expresses on the back what your purchase went to.

My pregnancy is going well, and we found out last Tuesday that we are having a baby boy! His name will be Dylan Thomas, and our families are just thrilled beyond words! My own diabetes is well under control this time around, as my last pregnancy, I had gestational diabetes (which developed into type 2) which caused me to gain 90 lbs during that pregnancy. This time around, I'm into my 5th month, and have barely gained 10 lbs so far. I'm so glad that I know about my disease ahead of time, and that it's under control.

School is going exceptionally well, as I'm averaging 100% in one class and a 98% in the other. I'm actually loving both classes. I'm currently taking Academic Stradegies for Health Care Professionals (my 100%) as well as Food Safety & Mircobiology. So far it's been a rewarding and challenging experience. I know it will seem like it will take me forever to get my bachelors, but in the end, it will make our lives so much easier when I graduate, with Dylan going into preschool and Liam wrapping up high school.

Hope all is well with everyone! Take care! *hugs* ShareThis

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Funny.. Jillian Michaels

Saw this on Jillian's Facebook page last night. Had to capture it! LOL. You mean Playboy wants REAL bodies that women worked for and didn't enhance??


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Friday, September 24, 2010

Football Food & Couch Time


It's that time of year again, and we all know we're guilty of splurging a bit when it comes to all the fat, greasy, unhealthy, yet sooooo tasty snacks and food while watching our favorite teams kick butt. Here's a few articles put out by BeachBody.com that really can help you make some better choices this football season, so you don't have to make another new year's resolution to lose weight! We get enough food with the holidays!! LOL

Tailgating Tips: 8 Tips to Survive Football Season

10 Healthy Snacks for Couch Time

Great articles, and of course they always have to include BeachBody products, which I'm a fan of myself, but have to cut back, because some are just too intense to be doing pregnant!! Hope you all have a great weekend!! As for me... my weekend football extends to Monday night! BARE DOWN CHICAGO BEARS!!! GRRRRRRR!!! :)

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

One Wild Ride



Well, there's the new baby at 12 weeks 6 days! I just had my first ultrasound on Monday, and that was the only picture I got that actually showed the whole body :) I get to go back end of October for another one, and hopefully find out if it's going to be a boy or a girl! yay! I was just glad to finally get proof that I'm not having twins, as friends and family were dead set on the notion, and it was a relief to prove them wrong! Not that twins wouldn't have been a blessing, it just would have been more blessing than I feel I would be able to handle! LOL

Since finding out I was pregnant, it's just been a crazy roller coaster of emotions and doctor's appointments. With my first and only son, I never had any morning sickness, or cravings, or really felt bad. With this one, this first trimester has been kickin' my butt! There were two mornings that I actually had to call off work because of how sick I was getting. It's been definitely new territory for me, because aside from having diabetes, I'm overall, a pretty healthy person. Lately the fatigue and tireness I've been feeling has been overwhelming, but I'm getting through it, and now that I'm back on insulin, things seem to be going much, much better.

I really haven't had a chance to catch up on my friend's blogs as much as I'd like to, but I rarely get on the computer much anymore. I usually check my email, Facebook, and call it a day after about 10-15 minutes. I'm sure one of these days, I'll get back into the swing of things, as I used to love reading everyone's entries, or articles, but it just hasn't been on the "to do list" lately.

My temporary status at work is over, and I guess I'm considered a regular employee now. Thanks to all the gals that gave me the thumbs up to management. I do like working there, and was really worried about the mornings I had called off due to being ill, but since I've been feeling better, I can't see that being a problem anymore.

School's been delayed for now, and I'll most likely be starting up in the winter. There was some paperwork mix up with applying for educational benefits through my hubby's GI Bill, but since we finally got someone to help with all the stuff, benefits have been transferred, and I just need to fill out the final application. I've decided to go for my BS in Nutrition Science through Kaplan University Online, which also has an accelerated option for obtaining the Master of Health Care Administration and/or a Master of Public Health. It will take a while, but hopefully by the time the baby gets ready for public school, I'll be finished up with my degrees. After that, I can look into interships, and credit requirements needed to become a Registered Dietician with the ADA. I guess I'm taking the longer approach, as online is really the only option at this time, with the hubby going back to school, and not knowing if he will be reassigned or not. Things may change, but for now I'm excited for the future.

That's about all there is for now. I'm really struggling to keep my weight down, as going back on insulin has given me a few extra pounds I could do without, but now that I'm feeling better, and not as tired and sluggish, the hubby and I will most likely start up walking again, and for my birthday last month, he got me a, what I like to call my, prego-yoga dvd. I know with the enormous amount of weight I gained with my last pregnancy, I'm petrified of repeating that due to my diabetes. Because no matter what I did or ate, the weight just wouldn't stop, so I'm trying to nip it all in the bud this time, and do not want to even go over 200 lbs, let along get up to in the 280's like I did with my son.

With all that said, hope all is well with everyone. Best way to keep up with me and day to day little things is to connect with me on Facebook. I'm into the quick read these days, so I can usually stop and say hi there! *hugs* Love you all!

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Killer at Large: Obesity Epidemic




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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Just a lil funny,,,



Just a little reminder to make sure you read labels, and see what you're really feeding yourself and your family. Have a good one :)

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Monday, August 2, 2010

National Farmers Market Week Aug. 1st-7th


Everyone enjoys healthy, fresh and local food. National Farmers Market Week starts August 1st. Visit your local farmers market and bring home fresh, delicious, local produce, meats, breads, and cheeses! Supporting local farmers markets puts money in the pocket of our farmers and in our community. Find a market near you at the Agricultural Marketing Service of the State Department of Agriculture. It's a great way to get the best REAL and organic food around, helping to support a healthy lifestyle.

Take the family out this week, and enjoy some time together walking outside in the fresh air and filling up on some good eats!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Unhealthy vs Healthy Food for Kids

9 Foods Not to Give Your Kids
By Joe Wilkes


If you've followed the news on childhood obesity lately, you know the state of affairs is pretty grim. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past two decades, and most signs point to the next generation being the first whose life expectancy will be shorter than their parents'. Much of the blame for this trend has deservedly been laid at the feet of the producers and marketers of unhealthy food aimed at our youngest consumers, whose parents face an uphill battle: trying to pit fresh, healthy foods devoid of mascots or sidekicks against superheroes and cartoon animals in a struggle to tempt their children's palates and stomachs.

Since most kids have hummingbird metabolisms that adults can only envy, it's often easy to give them a free pass and let them eat whatever they want. But eventually those metabolisms slow down and the pounds settle in. Also, as physical activity decreases and processed food intake increases annually, kids aren't burning calories the way their parents might have when they were their age. And even if the kids aren't getting fat, they are establishing eating habits they'll take into adulthood. As parents, you can help foster a love for healthy eating and exercise that will last your kids a lifetime—hopefully a long one!

Eating can so often be a classic power struggle where kids try to finally locate their mom and dad's last nerve. (I can remember family dinners with my brother and parents that could teach Hezbollah a thing or two about standoffs.) There are a number of strategies you can use to mitigate this type of deadlock. One is to let your kids help with the selection and preparation of the food. If they picked out the veggies at the farmers' market and helped cook them, they might be less inclined to feed them to the family pet. Another is to frame eating vegetables and healthy food as being its own reward. Otherwise, by offering dessert as a reward for finishing vegetables, you create a system where unhealthy food is a treat and healthy food sucks. With these thoughts in mind, let's take a look at some of the most unhealthy foods being marketed to your kids today, and some healthier alternatives you can offer to replace each of them.

Note: The following recommendations are for school-aged children. Infants and toddlers have different specific nutritional needs, not addressed in this article.

1. Chicken nuggets/tenders. These popular kids' menu items are little nuggets of compressed fat, sodium, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and in some form chicken. Depending on the restaurant, chicken might not even be the first ingredient. Oftentimes, the nuggets or tenders are made of ground pieces of chicken meat and skin, pressed into a shape, flavored with HFCS and salt, and batter-fried in hydrogenated oil (the bad, trans-fatty stuff). Then, as if that weren't unhealthy enough, you dunk it in a HFCS- or mayonnaise-based sauce. With all the fat, salt, and sugar, it's easy to understand why they're tasty, but the nutritive value weighed against the huge amount of calories and fat consumed is incredibly lacking. Even healthier-sounding menu items can be deceiving, like McDonald's® Premium Breast Strips (5 pieces), which pack 665 calories and 40 grams of fat—and that's before you factor in the dipping sauce. (By comparison, a Big Mac® with sauce has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat.)

Instead: If you're cooking at home, grill a chicken breast and cut it into dipping-size pieces either with a knife or, for extra fun, cookie cutters. Make a healthy dipping sauce from HFCS-free ketchup, marinara sauce, mustard, or yogurt. Let your kids help make the shapes or mix up the sauce. Try and go without breading, but if you must, try dipping the chicken breast in a beaten egg, and then rolling it in cornflake crumbs before you bake it. It'll be crunchy and delicious, but not as fatty.

2. Sugary cereal. I can remember as a child, after going to friends' houses for overnights and being treated to breakfast cereals with marshmallows that turned the milk fluorescent pink or blue, feeling horribly deprived when faced with the less colorful and sugary options served up in my home kitchen. But now I can appreciate my mom and her unpopular brans and granolas. True, they didn't have any cartoon characters on the box or any toy surprises, but they also didn't have the cups of sugar, grams of fat, and hundreds of empty calories that these Saturday-morning staples are loaded with.

Instead: Read the labels and try to find cereal that's low in sugar and high in fiber and whole grains. Remember, "wheat" is not the same as "whole wheat." Also, avoid cereals (including some granolas) that have hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, or chemical preservatives. Add raisins, sliced bananas, berries, or other seasonal fruit to the cereal for extra flavor and nutrition. Again, letting your child help design a healthy bowl of cereal from choices you provide will get you a little more buy-in at the breakfast table.

3. Lunch meat and hot dogs. Kids love hot dogs, bologna, and other processed meats, but these are all full of potentially carcinogenic nitrates and nitrites, sodium, saturated fat, and artificial colors and fillers. A study in Los Angeles found that kids who ate 12 hot dogs a month had nine times the risk of developing leukemia.1 And more health risks are being discovered all the time. Leaf through any research about kids' nutrition, and you're bound to read about the bane of the cafeteria—Oscar Mayer's Lunchables®. These and similar prepackaged lunches are loaded with processed meats and crackers made with hydrogenated oils. These innocent-looking meals can boast fat counts of up to 38 grams. That's as much fat as a Burger King® Whopper® and more than half the recommended daily allowance of fat for an adult.

Instead: Get unprocessed meats, like lean turkey breast, chicken, tuna, or roast beef. Use whole wheat bread for sandwiches; or if your kid's dying for Lunchables, fill a small plastic container with whole-grain, low-fat crackers, lean, unprocessed meat, and low-fat cheese. This can be another great time to get out the cookie cutters to make healthy sandwiches more fun. For hot dogs, read labels carefully. Turkey dogs are usually a good bet, but some are pumped up with a fair amount of chemicals and extra fat to disguise their fowl origins. Look for low levels of fat, low sodium, and a list of ingredients you recognize. There are some tasty veggie dogs on the market, although a good deal of trial and error may be involved for the choosy child.

4. Juice and juice-flavored drinks. Juice—what could be wrong with juice? While 100 percent juice is a good source of vitamin C, it doesn't have the fiber of whole fruit, and provides calories mostly from sugar and carbohydrates. Too much juice can lead to obesity and tooth decay, among other problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests 4 to 6 ounces of juice per day for kids under six, and 8 to 12 ounces for older kids. Juice drinks that aren't 100 percent juice are usually laced with artificial colors and that old standby, high fructose corn syrup, and should be avoided. Your best bet is to make your own juice from fresh, seasonal fruit. You won't have to worry about all the additives, and it's another way you can involve your kids in the cooking process. Let them design their own juice "cocktail." (And if you were even considering soda, see "Top 10 Reasons to Give Up Soda" in the Related Articles section below.)

Instead: Water is still the best thirst quencher. Explain the importance of good hydration to your kids, and try to set a good example yourself by carrying around a healthy reusable hard plastic or stainless steel water bottle. Get your kids used to carrying a small bottle of water in their backpack or attached to their bike. If they're very water averse, try water with a splash of fruit juice in it. But just a splash. The idea is to get your kids used to not having things be overly sweet, overly salty, or overly fatty. Another great beverage is milk. Growing kids need plenty of milk (or fortified nondairy milks, like soy or almond)—which is filled with nutrients, calcium, and (in the case of dairy and soy) protein—but they don't need too much fat, so choosing low-fat or nonfat options will help ensure that they get their milk without actually beginning to resemble a cow.

5. French fries. High in calories, high in fat, and high in sodium—and unsurprisingly the most popular "vegetable" among kids. Fries offer virtually none of the nutrients found in broccoli, carrots, spinach, or other veggies not cooked up in a deep fryer, and the fat they're fried in is often trans fat, the unhealthiest kind for the heart. To top it all off, studies are beginning to show cancer-causing properties from acrylamide, a toxic substance that is created when starchy foods like potatoes are heated to extreme temperatures. In some tests, the amount of acrylamide in French fries was 300 to 600 times higher than the amount the EPA allows in a glass of water.2

Instead: Vegetables like baby carrots, celery sticks, and other crudit├ęs are great options, but if potatoes must be had, there are some options that don't involve melting a brick of fat. A scooped-out potato skin with low-fat chili and a little cheese can provide lots of fiber and vitamins, with even higher amounts if the chili has beans. You can also try making baked fries, using slices of potato with a light brushing of olive oil. Or the classic baked potato could be a hit, with plain yogurt or cottage cheese instead of sour cream and butter.

6. Potato chips, Cheetos®, Doritos®, etc. These are full of fat, oftentimes saturated, and way more sodium than any child or adult should eat. Some chips also have the acrylamide problem discussed in #5, French fries, above. Also, watch out for innocent-seeming baked and low-fat chips that contain olestra or other fake fats and chemicals that could present health issues for kids.

Instead: Kids gotta snack, and in fact, since their stomachs are smaller, they aren't usually able to go as long between meals as adults. Cut-up vegetables are the best thing if your kids want to get their crunch on, but air-popped popcorn and some baked chips are okay, too. You can control how much salt goes on the popcorn, or involve your child in experimenting with other toppings like red pepper, Parmesan cheese, or dried herbs. Try making your own trail mix with your kids. They might be more excited to eat their own personal blend, and that way you can avoid certain store-bought trail mixes, which sometimes contain ingredients like chocolate chips and marshmallows that aren't exactly on the healthy snack trail.

7. Fruit leather. Many of these gelatinous snacks like roll-ups or fruit bites contain just a trace amount of fruit, but lots of sugar or HFCS and bright artificial colors. Don't be misled by all the products that include the word "fruit" on their box. Real fruit is in the produce section, not the candy aisle.

Instead: If your child doesn't show interest in fruit in its natural state, there are some ways you can make it more interesting without losing its nutritional value. For a healthy frozen treat, try filling ice-cube or frozen-pop trays with fruit juice or freezing grapes. Or buy unflavored gelatin and mix it with fruit juice and/or pieces of fruit to make gelatin treats without the added sugar and color (let it solidify in big flat casserole dishes or roasting pans—another good time for the cookie cutters!) Try serving some raisins, dried apricots, apples, peaches, or other dried fruits that might give you that chewy, leathery texture without the sugar.

8. Doughnuts. These little deep-fried gobs of joy are favorites for kids and adults alike, but they are full of fat and trans-fatty acids, and of course, sugar. Toaster pastries, muffins, and cinnamon buns aren't much better. The worst thing about doughnuts and these other pastries, aside from their nutritional content, is that they're often presented to children as acceptable breakfast choices. These delicious deadlies need to be categorized properly—as desserts, to be eaten very sparingly. And you can't have dessert for breakfast.

Instead: Honestly, a slice of whole wheat toast spread with sugar-free fruit spread or peanut butter isn't going to get as many fans as a chocolate-filled Krispy Kreme® doughnut, but at some point, you have to stand firm. Be the cop who doesn't like doughnuts. Doughnuts—not for breakfast. Period.

9. Pizza. In moderation, pizza can be a fairly decent choice. If you order the right toppings, you can get in most of your food groups. The problem comes with processed meats like pepperoni and sausage, which add fat and nitrates/nitrites (see #3, Lunch meat and hot dogs, above); and the overabundance of cheese, which will also provide more calories and fat than a child needs.

Instead: Try making your own pizza with your kids. Use premade whole wheat crusts, or whole wheat tortillas, English muffins, or bread as a base. Then brush on HFCS-free sauce, and set up a workstation with healthy ingredients like diced chicken breast, sliced turkey dogs, and vegetables that each child can use to build his or her own pizza. Then sprinkle on a little cheese, bake, and serve. If your child gets used to eating pizza like this, delivery pizzas may seem unbearably greasy after awhile.

Someday your children will come to realize that caped men in tights and sponges who live under the sea might not have their best interests at heart when it comes to food. Until then, however, why not involve them in the process of selecting and preparing healthier alternatives? Some of these cleverly disguised wholesome foods might become their favorites. Who knows, they may even tempt some of the overgrown children among us!


Full article at: http://www.beachbody.com/product/newsletters/nl_418.do?code=NEWS_418_V1_ARTICLE1#article1

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eat Healthy on a Budget



There's always the debate on how healthy foods are so much more expensive than fast, convenient, processed foods. While I'd love to go into the debate on how much Americans spend on excessive housing, trend clothing, and the latest electronics instead of using that money toward their own health and being body conscious, here's a few times from one of the writers at BeachBody.com to show you how you can save while trying to weed out those caloric, fat, nasty cheaper alternatives.

9 Ways to Eat Healthily (and Cheaply)
By Joe Wilkes


By now, most of us know what we should be eating—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and fish, among other foods. But anyone heading off to the supermarket with a shopping list of the best recommendations for a healthy diet is in for a bit of sticker shock. Over a two-year period, a recent University of Washington study tracked the costs of "nutrient-dense" foods (foods high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories) and "energy-dense" foods (foods high in calories and low in vitamins and minerals—a.k.a. junk).* The nutrient-dense foods rose in cost by almost 20 percent while the cost of junk food declined. The study found that getting your average day's worth of 2,000 calories from the junk side cost $3.52 while getting your 2,000-calories' worth from nutrient-dense cuisine would cost $36.32. Since the average American spends about $7.00 a day on food, you can see where the rise in obesity might come from.

Other studies have shown similar findings. While the income percentage that Americans spend on food has decreased dramatically over the last few years, the obesity rate has risen even more dramatically, as has the incidence of type 2 diabetes, an obesity-related disease. And the obesity rate has grown the most in the most impoverished sectors of society, further emphasizing the connection between the rising costs of nutrient-dense foods, declining junk-food costs, and rising obesity rates. If you've priced out what a nice piece of Chilean sea bass with a side of asparagus costs compared to the latest offering from your local fast food joint's dollar menu, it's easy to be tempted to go to the dark side—especially if your budget is shrinking more than your waistline.

It is possible, however, to eat healthily and still have some money left over. Even on the tightest budget, you can do a little legwork and research to make the most nutritious choices for you and your family. And even if you're fortunate enough to have the cash to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, as my grandfather would say, "There's no point putting your paycheck through your stomach." (And he lived to be almost 100 . . . but that was before the advent of dollar menus.) Here are nine tips for getting the most nutritional bang for your buck.

1. 'Tis the season. Eating seasonally is the best way to get the most delicious fresh fruits and vegetables. When harvest time comes around for your favorite fruit or veggie, the market is usually glutted, and following the time-honored supply-and-demand curve, the prices of those fruits and veggies plummet. And not only is it cheap to eat fruits and veggies that are in season, it's the best time to get the most flavor for your money. Most fresh fruits and veggies sold in the off-season are either shipped from faraway lands or produced in greenhouse factories and don't have nearly the richness of flavors produced by Mother Nature. It's a good time to stock up, eat what you can, and freeze or can the rest for a rainy day. If you're fortunate enough to live in a community with a decent farmers' market, it pays to get to know the men and women who are selling the produce. They can let you know when the best time to buy the best stuff is and give you a preview of what's coming up harvest-wise, so you can plan your menu accordingly.

2. The big freeze. Speaking of freezing and canning, these are great ways to save money and still have your nutritional needs met. Not only are frozen and canned foods way cheaper than fresh foods, but in many cases, they're more nutritious. Fruits and vegetables are usually preserved within hours of harvest, when they have their maximum vitamins and minerals. Fresh fruits and vegetables can take days, or even weeks, to make the journey from the field to your table. Add that to any time spent lingering on supermarket shelves and then your fridge's crisper drawer, and suddenly, fresh doesn't seem so fresh anymore. And for many recipes, frozen or canned might even be better than fresh. A pint of fresh off-season blueberries can cost more than $5.00 while a one-pound bag of frozen blueberries can cost less than $3.00. And the frozen berries will be a lot better in your morning smoothie. Any chef will tell you about the virtues of canned tomatoes over fresh ones when making your favorite pasta sauce. The only thing to be wary of is the sodium and sugar content in canned goods or frozen veggies that contain high-calorie sauces or other not-so-healthy ingredients in not-so-healthy amounts.

3. Shop around. Smokey Robinson was right. It does pay to shop around. Check out those supermarket circulars that are stuffed into your mailbox every week. Each week, your supermarket advertises "loss leaders," including fruits, veggies, lean meats, and fish. Their hope is to lure you into the store with these bargains that they don't make so much money on and tempt you to buy extra high-profit stuff while you're there. But if you stick to your list, you can fill your cart with the loss leaders and save a ton of money. They'll usually be items that are in season as well, since they're cheaper for the store to buy anyway. Also, signing up for their club or rewards cards can help save you money, too. It's better to monitor sales and promotions rather than clipping coupons, as coupons are generally for processed, less healthy foods—although you can sometimes find good coupons for canned and frozen produce.

4. Get to know your grocer. And your butcher, your produce manager, etc. Find out what day produce is delivered to the store so you get maximum freshness for your dollar. Find out from the butcher when meat goes into the half-off section as its expiration date approaches. The meat isn't spoiled yet, and if you cook or freeze it that day or the next, it's no different from buying full-priced cuts and leaving them in your refrigerator for a couple of days. Only your pocketbook knows the difference. Also, many butchers will custom-grind for you without charge. If a package of factory-ground turkey breast costs $6.00 a pound and a whole turkey breast costs $2.00 a pound, why not buy the whole breast and ask your butcher to grind it for you? You'll save a lot of money, and you'll actually know what went into the turkey burger you're eating.

5. Think outside the big box. Instead of always going to the big-box supermarket chains, investigate if there are farmers' markets or food co-ops in your area. The food will be fresher, cheaper, and hopefully, not as coated with pesticides, waxes, or other unsavory elements. It's a good way to save money and support your local community at the same time. You can get organic produce for the same price or cheaper than traditionally grown produce this way as well. (It's also worth checking out what your state defines as organic.) Organic food is great, but if you're trying to save money, traditionally grown food isn't essentially less nutritious than organic; it just may require a little more scrubbing.

6. Start your own farm. If you have a yard, start your own vegetable and/or herb garden. With a little online research, you can find out what grows well and easily in your neck of the woods. And if you're an apartment dweller like me, you can get a lot out of a container garden. I have big pots on my balcony that keep me in tomatoes, peppers, and fresh herbs all summer long. And if you don't have a balcony, you can grow small pots of herbs in your kitchen—decorative, tasty, and economical!

7. Plan ahead. Take some time on Sunday to plan out your menu for the week for all your meals and snacks. Find out what's in season and on sale in your area. If you can only make one shopping trip for the week, front-load your menu with fresh ingredients and stock up on canned and frozen items for the latter half of the week. One of the areas where my budget always falls apart is not having the ingredients that I'll need or a plan for dinner; I end up grabbing takeout or having food delivered—both unhealthy and expensive. Just by planning ahead and not wasting money on unplanned restaurant meals, you'll find that you have a lot more money to spend at the grocery store so you won't have to cut as many corners for the meals you prepare.

8. Tap into tap water. Not your wallet. If you're going to spend money on your beverages, invest in a decent water filter to improve the taste of your tap water. As we've discussed in other articles, tap water is subject to a lot more regulations than bottled water, which is good for you, and it's not shipped in from Fiji or Norway, which is good for the environment. And it's practically free! It's a lot better for your waistline and your wallet than multiple trips to the soda machine.

9. Take your vitamins. Here's the easiest, most economical way to ensure that you always get a base level of proper nutrition. Taking a good multivitamin and a fish oil supplement will help you get the benefits of a diet that would otherwise cost a whole lot more to get you the same nutrients you'd get from food sources—and fish oil supplements are especially good for those who don't care for fish.

*Don't confuse "nutrient-dense" foods with "high-density" foods, which is a common term for "energy-dense" foods. High-density foods aren't always unhealthy but your diet should consist of mainly "low-density" foods that have few calories per volume, generally due to the presence of fiber. Foods in their natural state tend to be low volume. Processed foods tend to be high volume.


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Food Matters

While at the video store picking up "Food Inc.", a documentary I really wanted Scott to see, I found another independent documentary called "Food Matters: You are what you eat". I highly recommend checking this out at your local video store if they have it, or even watching some of the trailers on the website. Just like "Food Inc.", it's an eye opener on how eating raw, healthy, organic foods can improve the quality of life and even help in avoiding cancers and sickness. Here is the excerpt from the back of the dvd:

FOODMATTERS is a hard hitting, fast paced look at our current state of health. Despite the billions of dollars of fudning and research into new so-called cures we continue to suffer from a raft of chronic ills and every day maladies. Patching up an over-toxic and over-indulgenty population with a host of toxic therapies and nutrient-sparse foods is definitely not helping the situation.

Join the world's leading authorities on nutrition and natural healing as they unovers the true cause of disease.

Find out what works, what doesn't, and what's killing you.

Becoming informed about the choices you have for you and your family's health could save your life.

FOODMATTERS sets about uncovering the trillion dollar worldwide 'Sickness Industry', and exposes a growing body of scientific evidence proving that nutritional therapy can me more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than most conventional medical treatments.


The documentary goes into how only a small percentage of doctors in this country are fully educated in nutritonal health, and how we've become such a pill popping nation, instead of looking at the start of it all... what foods we eat, and what we put into our bodies, and the importance and studies of superfoods and vitamins in our diet.

It's documentaries like this that really inspire me, and drive me even more when it comes to going back to school this fall/winter and pursuing my nutrionist and fitness certifications. Like the movie points out... there's not much money to go around when people are healthy, which makes these science-based drugs and treatments so profitable. The pictures and documentations from the vitamin C & nutritional based cancer treatments are astonishing. It's sad that these proven findings never make it into the books for the AMA. Definitely an eye-opener for me, but you can judge for yourself.

Check out www.foodmatters.tv for some INCREDIBLE links on other documentaries, as well as a "Take Action" section for weight loss, diabetes, cancer, mental health and more! Definitely worth checking out. Sometimes when what the docs are doing isn't working, it's time to dig a little yourself, and become the expert on YOU!!

And for those that aren't on my Facebook, the rumors are true! I'm pregnant! Yay! Due March/April 2011!! Have a great week!


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