Real Food on a Budget?

When we are traveling, one of our favorite things to do is find local restaurants and try them out.  Although we are all very adventurous eaters, we do try to eat as healthy as possible, even while on the road.  You’ll often find us enjoying vegetarian dishes, beans & rice, salads and fresh fruit.  Not to say that we don’t tend to indulge a little more when away from home, we just try to keep what we eat as close to real food (food that isn’t heavily processed, has simple, whole food ingredients, and isn’t high in sugar) as possible. Because we aren’t as strict when traveling, when we are at home, it’s super important for me to create meals that are as healthy as possible.  That way I can ensure we are following my 80/20 rule of 80% healthy eating and 20% not quite as healthy.  I do love to cook, but with a full-time job, kids in two different schools, and year-round sports it can be challenging to get a real food meal on the table. One of my favorite tricks is to find cookbooks I love that have pages full of delicious real food recipes.  Then I’ll plan the weekly menu using just that one cookbook – it’s fun for me, easy as I’m not looking up recipes all over the place, and if I like the author, I find I’m happy with the meals. Lisa Leake’s cookbooks are some of my favorites.  I’ve been using 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous: The Easy and Delicious Way to Cut Out Processed Food and 100 Days...

Color for your Thanksgiving Table

It’s the time of year most of us think about cranberries.  Even if you don’t normally enjoy them, you might consume some cranberry sauce this week while enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner. However, we really should be eating cranberries much more often than once a year!  Cranberries are chock full of antioxidants, vitamin C AND they are great for your digestive system. If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you may have been advised to drink cranberry juice.  That’s because cranberries contain proanthocyanidins.  This helps prevent E.coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. Thanks to all those antioxidants, they also help our body get rid of toxins that can cause our immune system to weaken – and a weakened immune system makes us more likely to pick up an icky bug. If you’ve never had real cranberry sauce – this is the year to start.  Here is my favorite recipe – it’s incredibly simple, delicious and can even be made a few days before you want to serve it. Other ways to add more cranberries to your life include drinking them (make sure it’s real cranberry juice and not a bit of juice with tons of additional ingredients), adding fresh ones to baked goods, or dried cranberries to your salads.  Or just snack on them raw – yum! This is also the time of year to stock up on cranberries – they can be pretty hard to find at the grocery after December.  Buy an extra bag or two and stick it in your freezer.  They’ll even keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator’s crisper...
Stay Healthy This Fall – Food

Stay Healthy This Fall – Food

With the kiddos in school, the germs are flying.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to get sick these days.  Sometimes you just can’t avoid a cold, but you can bet I plan on doing everything I can to stay healthy this year.  With those thoughts on my mind, all month I’ll be sharing my best tips and tricks for staying healthy.  As a bonus, doing these things will also help you feel healthier and happier! Eating well is an important component to staying healthy.  When you consistently eat junk, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs and you’ll start to feel run down.  Today I’ll share some of my favorite foods to bump up your immune system and load your body with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Dark leafy greens.  Greens such as kale, spinach and swiss chard are wonderful to add to your daily diet.  They are full of antioxidants, calcium, vitamins A,C, K and fiber.  Greens are also rich in anti-inflammatories.  Try to enjoy a cup or so each day. Apples.  Yes, that old saying about an apple a day keeping the doctor away has some validity to it.  Apples are loaded with fiber and also pectin – both of which keep you full longer.  So eat an apple and you are less likely to be hungry for junky snacks.  They are also very fresh and perfectly in season right now so will taste delicious and cost less.  My favorite way to stock my fridge with apples right now is a trip to the apple orchard. Sweet potatoes.  Another fabulous fall food with...
Kick Start Your Eating

Kick Start Your Eating

How’s your summer going so far?  Hopefully by now you’ve done at least a few FUN things and gotten a few good workouts in.  Please keep that up!  Your family and your body will thank you. This week we are going to jump into healthy eating.  Summer is a great time of the year to switch up your diet.  Food tends to be fresher, we often don’t want to eat as much when it’s hot outside and we don’t have to contend with sports practices and homework every evening. For the next few days I want you to concentrate on breakfast.  It’s a super important meal, and one most people don’t take seriously enough.  When you eat in the morning, you are essentially “breaking the fast” from not eating throughout the night.  Breakfast will also set the tone for the rest of your day.  Eat sweets and a coffee and you’re just not going to crave that healthy salad for lunch.  Skip it completely and you’ll be so hungry by noon you’ll probably overeat. So you can see why what you eat first thing each day is critical.  Something I have all my clients do is drink a glass of water as soon as they wake up.  I drink mine while my coffee is brewing as part of my morning routine.  Next be sure to enjoy a breakfast that consists of a healthy fat and a light protein or whole grain.  Fruit and/or vegetables are an ideal compliment.  Some ideas: Avocado toast (1/2 an avocado on a piece of toast – sprinkle sea salt, pepper and a splash of...
Spring Cleansing – Exercise

Spring Cleansing – Exercise

It’s the last week of our Spring Cleansing – and this week we are talking about exercise. If you’ve been doing the same routine for months now, you may be starting to notice that you aren’t enjoying or getting as much out of your workouts as you did in the past.  It’s very common to start to just “dial in” our workouts when they are the same day after day.  As soon as that happens, we lose the intensity and some of the benefit.  What a waste! When you start feeling this way, you know it is time to switch things up.  What I like to do is try to find something VERY different from what I’ve been doing.  It means you have to really concentrate and focus on the activity – and when you are paying more attention you are automatically working harder. For example – if you’ve been running, try biking or swimming.  If you’ve been doing yoga for a while, start walking or hiking in a beautiful or calming environment. Make sure to visit outdoorempire.com for everything you’ll need while hiking. Maybe you’ve been lifting weights?  Give pilates a try.  You’ll still get similar benefits, but the exercise itself is quite different from what your body and mind have been used to. I plan on adding a lot of hiking and biking to my summer workout, and pulling my yoga mat out for daily pilates.  What is your plan? Need an easy and environmentally safe way to clean your yoga mat?  Here is my favorite spray: Yoga Mat Spray small glass or metal spray bottle water Thayer...

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