“And then it came to me like an epiphany…”

I went out of town to handle some business and decided to make the trip worth while by stopping at one of my favorite restaurants. I ordered my entree and thought to myself, “I might as well get my favorite appetizer.” Then did some more thinking and thought, “Why not finish it off with this tasty desert?” So the total bill came up to around $30. I knew I probably shouldn’t have stopped there because when you’re establishing a budget you get those “Don’t buy that” inklings in your head. Nevertheless in that moment of satisfying my temporary pleasure, I set my monthly budget for food to the side. Of course after I was good and full I thought about what I could have done with that money that would’ve went a lot farther.

So I screwed my Focus Light back on and tried to make right the wrong in not thinking for the future. The next day I decided to go grocery shopping and plan my meals for the week. I went to Wally World and picked up items for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a box of snacks for me and my daughter.  At the checkout counter the total bill came to around $32. That’s approximately $6.40 a day for two people for five days. I felt like such a winner! A person that orders out for lunch during the week is looking to spend $6-$8 a day, $30-$40 a week on themselves alone depending on where they eat. That’s not including breakfast, snacks, or dinner.

And then it came to me like an epiphany…

Wow! Imagine how much money I can save  by grocery shopping and planning ahead. I mean I’ve heard other people saying it but to actually experience it for yourself and seeing that extra cash at the end of the month is liberating. There are many reasons why we would choose fast food over cooking. Fast food is easier. Cooking is too time consuming, but the decision to carve out time to shop for wholesome, healthier foods holds much more weight (not in calories) than being able to grab a quick hot meal from the burger place. Think about it, anything/results worth having takes work and that’s no different than cooking. So to make cooking a lot easier, plan ahead.

Ok you want your daily servings of vegetables, fruit, and protein right?

  • Buy a variety of each for every day of the week.
  • Get a magnet calendar to place on your fridge or use your phone to plan your meal each day of the week.
  • If your meal will take an hour or more to cook, season it the night before or place it in the slow cooker.
  • If it’s something that can be whipped up in 30 minutes, do it the morning of before work or school and just heat it up when you get home.
  • Or if you’re really pressed for time during the week, cook your meals for each day on Sunday and freeze the rest until you’re ready to eat it.

Fast Food Lunch Meal

fast food

5 days of Home cooked Meals receipt and calories

home cooked

 

Planning ahead saves time for the working parents and for those trying to lose weight or maintain healthy eating habits, this is a great discipline for controlling your diet. It’s a win win situation.

To calculate the calories in your home cooked meal visit My Fitness Pal.

Is Organic for you?

fn6_usdaorganicsealSo apparently there’s this new Organic-rave sweeping the Health and fitness community, but what do we know about Organic Produce exactly? Is it just some costly money gimmick or could it be the game-changer among those fervently trying to balance their biological systems as a whole. I admit I jumped on the bandwagon after trying to fit a pair of skinny jeans I wore last summer. I jerked one leg after another through the pant while lying on the bed to fasten the jeans and I was successful, but ended up with a muffin top. All this occurred while my 6-year-old daughter watched at the door laughing at me frantically. Needless to say I started my journey to find whatever I can, as healthy as I can for a resolve. I searched my local grocery store and found Organic brand foods offered by Full Circle and chose items I eat on a daily basis.  image1image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SO!…

What exactly are Organics?
– Foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products that are produced in an ecological environment that supports plants and animals growing together in the most natural way possible. To be labeled as “Organic”, farmers must follow national standards established in The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) for the production and handling of foods.
– To adhere to these growth standards farmers do not use pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bio-engineering; or ionizing radiation.
– Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.

What’s so bad about pesticides?
The health effects of pesticides depend on the type of pesticide. Some affect the nervous system, Others may irritate the skin or eyes, and Some pesticides may be carcinogens. Others may affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body.
See the EPA’s human health risk assessments for many pesticides.

So what do these farmers use?
• Use of cover crops, green manures, animal manures and crop rotations to fertilize the soil,
• to manage weeds, insects and diseases.
• Using rotational grazing and mixed forage pastures for livestock operations and alternative health care for animal wellbeing.
• A focus on renewable resources, soil and water conservation, and management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological balance. After all this world will need to be sustained for years and years to come.

Are Organic Foods healthier than conventionally grown foods?
According to an article published by Stanford University published in the Sept. 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

“There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” said Dena Bravata, MD, MS, the senior author of a paper comparing the nutrition of organic and non-organic foods.

On the Down side, Organic foods are more expensive than conventional foods due to more costly farming methods.

So I guess we have some decisions to make, but one thing’s for certain, I’m sure some of you will be looking at your food label a litter harder now.