Healthy Foods on A Budget

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Eating healthy can get quite pricey, especially those all organic foods.  But don’t make the mistake that eating out is cheaper than buying healthy food regularly.  You simply have to be smart about what you buy and how you are … Continue reading

Have Your Ice Cream, and Your Diet Too

Pic for Blog- Have Your Ice Cream, and Your Diet TooDo you love ice cream? Do you spend your time daydreaming about its creamy texture and rich flavor? Is your mouth currently watering thinking about that very first bite of deliciousness? Even in the coldest of winter months will you drive to the store to buy some ice cream, because you just can’t resist? If this sounds like you, listen up; there may just be hope for us ice cream lovers to have our ice cream…and our diet too.

The number one down fall to loving ice cream, besides being potentially dairy sensitive, is that it may seem hard to eat it without ruining your diet. Well if you simply can’t go on without ice cream in your life (me), you may find these tips helpful for at least managing your love.

First, lets start off with the obvious, portion control. Going to the grocery store and buying a gallon of ice cream may seem like a fantastic idea, but it’s a diet killer. Ideally you’d bring that bad boy home and eat a small bowl then put it in the freezer, but we all know seconds are only a spoonful away. Save yourself from the temptation and pass on the large buckets. Buying a pint size of ice cream isn’t a whole lot better. Although it may seem tiny, it can actually pack 4 servings of ice cream into that container. Eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting isn’t that hard to do either, so your best option is going to an ice cream place or restaurant and buying a single scoop. Not only will this allow you to have a proper portion of ice cream, but also once you leave the store half the temptation leaves with you. Out of site, out of mind.

My next tip is being wise about your toppings. If you find yourself in a situation where a bowl of ice cream is the only option, try adding some fruit to that bowl and give your body some vitamins! Blueberries are a super fruit and can offer tons of health benefits. For more info on that check out this article. If you’re not into eating fruit with your ice cream, sprinkle some dark chocolate shavings for a sweet taste and extra boost of antioxidants.

Next up, be aware of what you are putting into your body. Some store bought ice creams are loaded with tons of ingredients that you may not even be able to pronounce. Try sticking with the ice creams that have simple ingredients like milk, eggs, and sugar. Hagen Das 5 would be a great example of this, they offer ice creams made up of five ingredients found in the typical fridge. The more aware you are with what you are putting in your body, the better.

My last tip is to try an alternative. I know this kind of defeats the purpose of eating real ice cream but hear me out! Last year I bought a Yonana maker, and absolutely love it! It makes ice cream out of frozen bananas. You can add other ingredients such as chocolate or frozen fruits, but all you truly need are frozen bananas. It tastes slightly different than real ice cream, but if you’re serious about sticking to your diet, this option will trick that sweet craving into thinking you’re eating sweets! For more info on where to purchase a Yonana maker click here!

I hope this helped you realize there may be hope for us ice cream lovers after all!

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

Water-huh, What is it good for?

WaterSummertime sippin’ is one of the most exciting things to do! The real question is, are you sippin’ enough of the right stuff? One of the hardest things to remember in the summer is that your body needs WATER! Fruit juices, coffee, soda, and/or alcoholic beverages will not keep your body hydrated like water does. Here are some facts on why water is important and also some helpful tips to staying hydrated but yet still have fun throughout your summer activities!

What’s the point? Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. If you don’t have enough water in your body, how can it function properly?

How does it affect your weight? Drinking water won’t make you lose weight, but it will certainly help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Penn State PhD, Barbara Rolls gives the advice in the article Benefits of Water “what works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake.” Moral of the story, DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES!

Did you know…? Drinking lots of water keeps your muscles strong, your skin looking better, and makes you feel like you have more energy. One of the greatest benefits of water is it helps your “system stay clean”. What does that imply? Simple as this, lots of water makes you poop! The next time that you feel bloated or have a stomach ache, try drinking more water.

How much should you drink each day? The Food and Nutrition Board for Doctor Oz recommends, “ A person should have 1 ml (about 1/5 of a teaspoon) of water for each calorie he or she consumes. The average diet at the time was approximately 1900 calories, meaning you needed about 64 ounces of water per day.”

What is really in those powder packets? Many of you, like myself, add crystal light, Great Value energy, Mio or whichever flavored packets or flavored liquids you prefer to add to your water. Although, have you ever really looked into the ingredients and seen what they are made of? Well don’t worry, I have. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest “Two of Crystal Light’s ingredients — aspartame and acesulfame potassium — have been linked with a risk of cancer.” The Center for Science also stated “Aspartame might also lead to neurological concerns.” Those two ingredients are not just found in Crystal Light but in many of the powdered packets or liquid flavorings you consume.

For example, here are the ingredients for Grape Mio: Water, Citric Acid, Salt, Propylene Glycol, Potassium Phosphate, Malic Acid, Contains Less than 2% of Niacinamide, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Natural Flavor, Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium (Sweeteners), Potassium Citrate, Polysorbate 60, Red 40, Blue 1, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

All of those ingredients for a “healthy, zero-calorie” beverage? I just am not so sure about that! Next time, before you tear the packet and add it to your water, check the ingredients. Sure, maybe there are barely any calories in the additive, but the health risks with get you later on in life.

Looking to really spice it up? Choose a healthier and more natural way to flavor your water. One of my favorite things to do is add some slices of lemon and lime in my bottle of H2O. Adding fruits and veggies to your water not only adds flavor, but also some additional nutrients to your diet. Check out some of these great recipes:

Strawberry, Lemon, and Basil

Citrus and Cucumber

Rosemary and Grapefruit

Honeydew and Raspberry

Staying hydrated is VERY important everyday, but especially when you’re spending most of your day’s outdoors! Get into the habit of drinking enough water now and it will just come naturally in the future. See you at the water fountain.

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: Benefits of Water, How Much Water Do You Really Need? Cons of Crystal Light, ‘Water Enhancers’ Don’t Live Up to the Name