Three Things


1. Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite grocery stores (don’t worry Whole Foods, you’re still at the top of my list)! Buzzfeed did us all a favor and put together a list of some of the best and most delicious products at TJ’s. From the list the Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole with Greek Yogurt is one of the usual items on my grocery list. Plus, the Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix is a super easy, make at home Sunday morning kind of breakfast savior. I would also like to add to the list the Unsalted Crunchy Almond Butter because I use it pretty much every single day. Also, the Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese is my secret (not so secret anymore) go-to dinner on the weekend when I’m in a rush. What are your favorite products?

2. Quick update on that soda tax I was talking about before! There is now more evidence that soda taxes cut soda consumption. A new study took place in one neighborhood in California which showed that since the soda tax self reported consumption of soda decreased by 21% and water consumption increased. All great things! I’m still so proud of Philadelphia for passing this tax.

3. If you don’t eat after working out then you’re doing it wrong. You need to fuel your body after a workout to reset and recover. These snacks are all great options for your post workout. Smoothies and protein shakes seem to be what I go for the most, but handfuls of nuts, yogurt and granola and hummus are all great options as well!

Raquel

Three Things

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1. A very small number of adults meet criteria for a “healthy lifestyle.” Surprise! Or not. According to 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, 97.3% of the study group did not meet the criteria. They used four markers to determine if one lead a healthy lifestyle. These were a balanced diet, being active, meeting criteria for body fat percentage, and whether or not people smoke. I do believe that this number has likely gotten better over time as more and more people are realizing how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle. Plus, there are more dietitians available than ever to help adults achieve a balanced diet! You can even work with me.

2. Common nutrition myths are everywhere. I know I’ve posted about this before, but here is another article to debunk more myths. “Shop the perimeter” is actually something I think can be helpful while grocery shopping. Yes, there is “unhealthy” food at the perimeter, but that’s where you’ll find all your fresh ingredients and the center aisles can be good for bulk items such as whole wheat foods, grains, and legumes. “Avoid all white food” is targeted more towards white flour and white potatoes as opposed to garlic, onions, and bananas. So keep this “myth” in mind when it comes to breads, pastas, potatoes, and baked goods!  “Late night eating” is something you should try to avoid, but if you are hungry before bed eat something high in fiber and protein and low in fat and sugar.

3. Do you use protein powder after the gym? I do! While it is possible to get plenty of protein throughout the day through protein-rich foods, a protein shake after the gym can be beneficial. Find a protein powder that has 15-20 grams of protein per scoop (that’s all you need) and find a brand you trust with ingredients that you know. I like to mix mine with skim milk. If you’re not into protein powder find a snack that is a good combination on carbohydrates and protein for recovery such as an apple and peanut butter or Greek yogurt and berries. You are in charge of your post-workout recovery so choose what works best for you.

Raquel

How To: Save on Groceries

Around the holidays I’m always looking for ways to save money so I can splurge on holiday festivities. Saving money on groceries can be done and these tips can be used anytime. Personally, I use most of these tips especially the meal prepping and stocking up on bulk items. Cooking for one can be tough and it can be tempting to waste food, but planning ahead can help avoid that.

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Top 10 Tips to Save on Groceries

  • Stick to your list – Always, always, always go to the grocery store with a list! This will help prevent you from throwing things in your cart that you don’t need. When making your list be sure to assess your refrigerator and pantry for items you may already have.
  • Don’t go hungry – I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. Don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. You will be tempted to add extras to your cart that you don’t need!
  • Buy in bulk – If you have the space to store bulk items then you have an advantage. Buying in bulk lowers the price of many items such as dried beans and lentils, rice, quinoa, nuts and seeds, pasta, etc.
  • Buy in season produce – In season produce will always be cheaper than out of season produce. Plus it will be much more fresh and flavorful. Bonus!
  • Buy generic brands – Each grocery store chain has their own generic brands. These products are generally cheaper than name brand items and will still give you what you’re looking for.
  • Don’t buy toiletries – The prices of toiletries are spiked at grocery stores! While it may seem convenient to pick them up while grocery shopping it will hurt your total. Save toiletries for a trip to Target or another store.
  • Avoid prepared foods – Prepared foods include all those pre-made meals at the deli counter, as well as fruits and vegetables that are already cut. If you simply spend some time on Sunday prepping your fruits and veggies and other meals for the week you can save some cash.
  • Stock up the freezer – This goes along with avoiding prepared foods. If you meal prep on Sunday freeze some meals for the week or month. Buy meat and seafood in bulk and pre-portion and freeze that as well.
  • Take reusable bags – Most places give a few cents back for using reusable bags. While this isn’t a huge saving technique it helps! You can also donate the cents you get back from using reusable bags to good causes at some grocery stores.
  • Stock up on sales – Don’t be afraid to use coupons as well. Sign up for coupon booklets and pick up your grocery stores sale flyer to plan meals around what’s on sale. You can always find fruits, vegetables, and protein on sale each week. Make it fun and come up with creative meals around sales and coupons.

Where’s your favorite place to grocery shop? Tell me below!

Raquel

Three Things

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1. Healthy options in checkout lanes may be the next step to hindering those last second cravings. Instead of chips, candy, and sodas being available to grab as you leave a store, imagine some healthier options. I love this idea. Consumers may not be as tempted to make a poor choice and instead pick things like granola bars and fresh fruit. Tip: In a rush, grab a granola bar or a snack from the refrigerated section in convenience stores. Generally, they have some sort of yogurt, cheese and fruit combo, or vegetables with dip.

2. These are the top 10 specialty food trends for 2016. One of them is “convenience foods” which ties in with the article above! My favorite trend would have to be full fat products making a comeback. Case in point: Siggi’s whole milk yogurt. The fig & lemon flavor is amazing and that extra fat makes a creamy product. Don’t be afraid of fat, all foods fit! Balance is key.

3. BuzzFeed always entertains me with their food articles. This one is foods that should never have been invented. Pecan pie and cafe mocha M&Ms sound pretty good if you ask me! Peeps-flavored milk is by far the worst. Wonder how much sugar is in that…

Raquel

Three Things

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1. Great news! White wine may be just as good for you as red wine. Cheers to those of us who are Pinot Grigio fans! Some new studies show that both red and white wine help to control blood sugar levels. Plus, white wine has been shown to have more antioxidants than red wine. Red wine is still in the lead in terms of heart health. So that just means I should probably have a glass of each… Right? {Washington Post}

2. Ever wonder what it takes to burn off those fall favorites? Looks like I’ll be taking many steps after a double dose of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! On average pumpkin pie takes 8,250 steps, a skim pumpkin spice latte takes 5,000 steps, and pumpkin beer takes 4,550 steps. {Fitness Magazine}

3. Let’s take a look at some of the most expensive ingredients in the grocery store. Of course some of my favorites make the list including walnuts and almond butter. Tip: buy walnuts and other nuts in bulk to save some money. While some others on the list you can do without such as vanilla beans and cultured butter. Check out my grocery list essentials that won’t break the bank. {Food 52}

Raquel