The Grocery List Makeover

groceryRoutine can be a hit or miss when it comes to someone’s diet. It might be the one factor that keeps your diet in check to stick to what you know, but sticking to the same old same old might be take a huge toll on your health. One thing that I’ve noticed in my personal diet is that I constantly end up eating the same foods. This hasn’t been brought up to my attention as a fault in my eating until my nutrition professor talked about how lack of variety is depletion of nutrients. Although it seems like a simple concept, it really clicked that our bodies need so much nutrients from a wide range of foods and we can only consume so much variety in one day, that’s why it is so important to switch up what we eat on a day to day basis. You may be sticking to health foods and that’s not the problem, the problem is sticking to the same healthy foods.

 

How to give your grocery list a makeover:

  • Ask yourself: are your “staple” items really staples?:
  • We deem certain food items as “staples” and it makes sense to have some basic food items that you feel are crucial for different recipes. It took me a while to admit that my weekly tub of hummus is not necessarily a staple item.
  • Shop according to a new recipe:
  • Look up a recipe that you have never tried before and enter the store with that recipe in mind. Often I find myself gravitating to the same foods simply because I don’t know what I would do with other food items, but if you come with a plan of attack you can quickly learn how to cook and use new foods.
  • Go through the motions and then don’t do them:
  • Observe yourself go through the grocery store just as you normally would. For me this means I would walk into the produce section, grab a tub of spinach, avocados and some sweet potatoes. But since I want to switch it up I would stop before actually putting this items in my cart and decide how I want to change it up, so instead this may mean asparagus, tomatoes, and spaghetti squash.
  • Aim for at least ⅓ of your list to routine items: Similar to number one, addressing staple items, check the ration of items you recognize and ones you don’t. Make sure that while you might have some routine items, the majority of your cart is brand new.
  • Shop according to My Plate: Sometimes we get so used to the foods we like that we don’t even prioritize balance the food groups. Make your list into sections of food groups and list the items that go under that food group. For instance: Carbohydrates: Brown rice, Sweet Potatoes, Whole wheat bread etc.

You might be a healthy eater, but being the same healthy eater might not be healthy at all. So switch it up, try something new and expand your grocery list horizon.

 

It’s a good day to have a good one.

-Alena Purpero

You Salty, huh?

saltyWe as humans are creatures of habit, we do what we’re used to and don’t even question it. This personally reigns true for me when I’m sitting at a dining table and sprinkle some table salt on my food when it doesn’t meet my flavor standards. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that this additional ingredient puts a toll on my well-being.

I generally eat pretty clean, so I had to pause for a minute and question why my seemingly harmless avocado toast was making me feel so bloated and sluggish. My thought process was that I’m better off adding salt and pepper to my food rather than a hefty sauce, butter, cheese, or dressing. Which is true in most senses, but becoming too dependent on salt only causes sluggishness, bloating and cravings for fatty foods.

I realized that once I stopped adding salt to my food I felt comfortably full, extremely energized and not bloated. Once I noticed this difference it made it easy for me to decide to give up table salt for the year. I found myself broadening my horizon to the healthy alternatives to salt and realizing how little sodium we actually need in our diet.

According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that we consume 1,500 mg of sodium a day -which is less than the amount of salt found in a teaspoon. Despite your current health status, this is an easy initiative to limit your risk factors to cardiovascular disease.

If your preferred salt intake is that of a deer’s attraction to a salt lick, this might be a troubling thought to you. However, it is easier than you think to flavor your food without salt, here’s how.

 

  • Lemon: What we tend to love about salt is it’s slight tang. What better way to make up for this with a squeeze of some fresh and tangy lemon juice?
  • Pepper: I have always added pepper to my food, personally if it’s not spicy or flavorful I’m pretty bored with that food. So I always make sure to add Cayenne pepper, or black pepper.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar is a great alternative to salt. Balsamic vinegar can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels according to livestrong.com. Plus, a little bit goes a long way when it comes to vinegar.
  • Garlic: Adding garlic to food is the perfect zest for you non pepper eaters. Not only does it give food a satisfying, hearty taste but it helps speed up your metabolism and is a good source of iron according to whfoods.org.

 

February is just around the corner, which is American Heart month. What better time than now to make this simple change that can greatly improve your cardiovascular health? Broaden your palate horizon, limit your salt intake and indulge in an energized and healthy lifestyle.

“It’s a good day to have a good one.”

-Alena Purpero

Making your Skin Better in Sweater Weather

making-your-skin-better

As the snow on the ground layers up, so do we. The only thing more crucial than layering up in a thick knit, heavy sweater is lathering up on heavy moisturizers. According to everydayhealth.com, the moisture in your skin is evaporates and gets dry just as the air does during the winter. The toll that our skin takes from the harsh brisk air has coined the name “winter skin”.

While it’s no question that we rather be somewhere warm, lathering up in sunscreen instead of coping with our winter skin -it’s important that we accommodate to our environment for the sake of health skin.

The easiest solution to healthy, moisturized skin may seem obvious, but there is more to consider when implementing your skin care plan than just slapping on thick layers of moisturizers and creams. Here are ways to create your best skin care regimen to combat winter skin:

 

Home Remedies: Don’t limit yourself to just lotion. There are plenty of natural oils that can assist in healthy skin. The best lotion substitutes may very well already be in your household. Grab some coconut oil or olive oil to apply on problematic areas and leave on overnight.

Humidifier: You can’t control the dry air outside but you might as well make sure the air around you is skin friendly while you’re inside. Getting a humidifier will replenish the lack of moisture in the air and in your skin.

Fragrance Free Fabric softeners: The fragrance that is found in softeners might be the only pleasant thing about laundry day but fabric softeners that are unscented will be your best bet for obtaining happy skin. According to Harvard Medical school, the additives in softeners and detergents can irritate your skin.

Limit hot showers: This might be the most sufferable tip to abide by during the winter time but if you at least limit your hot showers to half of your usual shower time, you can easily improve your skin’s health. Either lukewarm showers or warm showers without your face directly in the hot water will promote good maintenance of moisture in your complexion.

 

“It’s a good day to have a good one.”

-Alena Purpero

Clean Sugar Swaps

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We’re all familiar with the devil on our shoulder that always insists that we put a little something sweet in what we eat. This could lead into a binge session of ice cream, chocolate or processed and packaged treats that … Continue reading