Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's Peanut Butter!


Grind up peanuts, maybe add a little salt. How hard is it to make that taste good? I made the switch years ago.  Natural peanut butter is so good, but it does suck that you have to stir it up. 
Apparently, it's so difficult that many companies feel compelled to add sugar or high-fructose corn syrup into the mix. Some manufacturers, such as Skippy®, are up front enough to admit this and call their product "Peanut Butter Spread," but many others still refer to this sugary concoction as good old peanut butter.
Read your  labels. Considering real peanut butter has one ingredient, two ingredients, max. It should not be too hard to figure it out.  It's also great in shakes. I love peanut butter.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Milk or Juice?


The range in the nutritional value of store-bought juices is massive. On one end, you have "fruit drinks" with barely any actual juice in them. On the other end, you have fresh-squeezed, 100% preservative-free juices like Odwalla® and Naked Juice®. But no matter which you choose, it's important to remember that it's never going to be as healthy as whole fruit. And if you're trying to lose weight, it's a flat-out bad idea.
 First off, it's been stripped of fiber, so you absorb it faster, which makes it more likely to induce blood sugar spikes. Secondly, you consume it faster and it's less filling, so you're more likely to drink more.
There are a few instances when juice is okay. For example, a home juicer can make predominately veggie-based drinks that are loaded with vitamins and minerals and lower in calories. If you're using this as part of a supervised juice fast, or you're trying to target a particular nutrient while concurrently not trying to lose weight, go for it. Otherwise, it's simply not worth it.
If you buy it, go fresh-squeezed, but you maybe better off just skipping it entirely.  I still drink it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Get that white meat


Red meat is full of saturated fat (animal fat), so many people are making the switch to chicken.  Are you still safe?  If you are eating mostly white meat (breast) you are doing ok, but what about those wings and legs?  Here are some nutritional facts for you.
Three ounces of raw chicken breast, meat only, has 93 calories, 19.5 grams of protein, and 1.2 grams of fat. Three ounces of dark meat (wings, thighs, and legs), meat only, has 105 calories, 18 grams of protein, and 3.6 grams of fat. It may not seem like much, but it adds up.
So stick with the breast, and while you're at it, ditch the skin. It's nothing but fat.  I know it's tasty, but is it worth it?  I have not even gotten into the bacteria that can be found on raw chicken and how they are raised differently.  That is for another post.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Making the switch with a friend.


Here are 8 tips on how to start shopping for organic food and still staying on budget.
1. Go Organic-Generic: Major grocery store chains like Safeway and Kroger, and big box food retailers like Costco and even Wal-Mart, now carry their own organic foods. And all foods labeled “USDA organic” are created equal, no matter where you find them. No need to upscale your grocery store when Wal-Mart gets it done.
2. Buy Frozen: Frozen foods (like strawberries and fish) are cheaper than those that are delivered fresh. So if the prices on fresh produce are eye-popping, cruise on over to the frozen food aisle for a discount.
3. Eat with the Season: Retrain your taste buds to think like your grandmother did. She didn’t eat strawberries in the middle of winter. Locally grown foods are usually cheaper than those flown in from another hemisphere so if you eat with the season, you’ll be eating more affordably.
4. Skip the Box, Embrace the Bulk: Food that comes in boxes costs more because of the packaging costs associated with designing those pretty pictures! When you buy in bulk, you’re not paying for all of the packaging, you’re paying for the food which is what you want anyway. So slide on over to that bulk food aisle in Safeway and look for noodles, cereals, rice and beans in your local grocery store.
5. Support the US economy and Buy Local: You can save money by becoming a member of a local farm (just like you became a member at Safeway or Costco!). How do you find a local farm, you ask? Well, thankfully, the USDA now has a list of online sites to help you find the closest farm near you, so click here to log onto the USDA site.
6. Comparison Shop: You wouldn’t buy a car without comparison shopping, so before you even head out the door, you can compare the prices of organic foods at different retailers from the safety of your own computer at www.eatwellguide.org
7. Coupons, coupons, coupons: Organic bargains are everywhere so click on About.com’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.
8. Grow One Thing: If you’re as busy as we are, there’s not a chance in creation that you are going to be able to feed your family off of your home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can be incredibly inspiring. And it’s not as intimidating as it seems. So pick one thing to grow – you can do it (we all grew lima beans in cups as kids, right?)
If you start shopping with a friend that is wanting to learn or even go organic, it will make your shopping trips more enjoyable and you will help keep each other from buying bad food.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fat-Free Salad Dressing.....Are you for real?


Dressing by definition is supposed to be fatty, and thus, highly caloric. You use a little bit of it, and in doing so, you get a healthy hit of the fats you need for a nutritionally balanced diet. Unfortunately, people prefer to buy fat-free versions so they can drown their greens while avoiding excess fat. Nothing's free. All this stuff does is replace the fat with carbs and salt, so you've basically gone from pouring a little healthy unsaturated fat on your salad to dumping on a pile of sugar.
Make your own salad dressing. One part vinegar and one part olive oil with a blob of Dijon mustard makes an awesome vinaigrette. And here's another trick: Make your salad in a sealable container, add a tiny bit of dressing, and shake it up. It'll coat so much more than tossing will.
 And finally, make that salad with romaine lettuce, spinach, or some other nutrient-rich leafy green.

 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Still have the Summer weight?


Ok, here were almost finished with summer.  Did you lose those extra pounds this summer like you planned on doing?  Did you even attempt to do it?  You are not alone.  I got some of my pounds off, but it was not enough.  It happens so don't go and beat yourself up for it.  If you just change one or two bad unhealthy foods you eat for healthy ones, than you are on a better track than a lot of other people.  
Here we are at the beginning of September, and Fall will be around the corner in no time.  I can already hear it.  It's too cold to go walking out side, and I have to start getting ready for the holidays soon.  These are the worst reasons not to exercise for anyone.  If you have any size of floor space in your home than you can do something good for your body.  It's a given that you have internet access, or how would you have found my blog.

I'll be posting all different sorts of things that you can do at home or outside even that will help you lose those few or several pounds by the end of the year.  You can be healthier on your own.