There’s no missing the fact that February is the month in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day. But, did you know that February is also American Heart Month? That’s not the month in which we practice making heart shaped cookies, cakes, and brownies. Rather, it’s a time to step back and make sure you are taking care of the one heart you’ve got.
Here are a few heart healthy tips in honor of American Heart Month.
1. Get your omega-3 fatty acids. Your heart loves omega-3 fatty acids. You can get omega-3 fatty acids in a variety of ways. Eating fish is a great way to get it. However, there are quicker, easier, and less expensive ways to get it, too. Flax, walnuts, pistachios, grass-fed beef, and enriched eggs are all great sources of omega 3s.
2. Have a glass of wine. Research suggests that a glass of alcohol a day helps to increase our levels of HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) to support a healthy heart. So, enjoy that glass of wine and know that you’re actually doing your heart some good!
3. Unplug. Take some time each day to de-stress. Turn off your phone, computer, iPad and do something relaxing. Doing that for just 15 minutes a day will go a long way to support your heart.
4. Sleep. Research shows that people who sleep more than seven hours a night have healthier blood pressure numbers and have lower levels of the hormone cortisol, the “stress hormone,” in their blood stream. Higher levels of cortisol make arteries more susceptible to plaque build up. So, go to bed early and sleep to your heart’s content, literally!
5. Watch your waist. It’s extra wait around your mid-section that can be an indicator of risk for heart disease. So, watch your waist. If you are a man and your waist measures more than 40″ or a woman whose waist measures more than 35,” begin target the source of excess calories. They are likely to be coming from sugar and/or white flour. That’s the easiest place to start.
What are you doing to show some love to your heart?
Cold and flu season has struck our home. I was so relieved that both of our children were healthy enough for our entire family to go to church together on Sunday. Then, my daughter woke up congested and coughing. Two days later, my son was coughing, too. Here we go again…
Is it that way at your house these days?
Honey-Lemon Tea. Studies have shown that honey has antibacterial properties that help fight the common cold. It is also soothing to the throat and helps reduce inflammation, which may accompany a sore throat. As a matter of fact, my children’s pediatrician recommends a teaspoon of honey about a half hour before bed time to help ease that yucky night time cough. It has actually been proven to be more effective in preventing and reducing coughing than over the counter cough suppressants.
Elderberry Syrup. Elderberries have antibacterial and antiviral components to help fight off cold and flu symptoms. Check out this easy recipe for yummy elderberry syrup. If your children are like mine, they will remind you, if you forget to give it to them, because it’s yummy!
Cinnamon and Honey. Cinnamon also has antibacterial qualities to fight off colds, especially at first signs of sickness. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to a teaspoon of honey and you will have a tasty remedy that won’t be a struggle to get your children to take.
Homemade Bone Broth. Grandma’s chicken soup may have seemed like just a comfort when you were sick. But science has backed up the immunity building properties of chicken broth. So enjoy that bowl or cup of broth, knowing it really is good for you and your children!
I had several “tea parties” yesterday with the children. I think that today, we will add a little “broth party” to the mix. In reality, it’s helping me get this good stuff in my body, too!
Do any of your new year’s resolutions involve eating healthier and saving money? It can seem impossible to do both. But, if you’re serious about both of those resolutions, it’s possible. You can be thrifty and healthy! Here are a few tips to help you navigate the world of organic foods (which can be very expensive) on a budget.
1. Check out the frozen section.
You can get organic produce on sale–and should look for organic produce to be on sale seasonally. However, you can generally find better deals on organic fruit and vegetables in the frozen section than you can in the produce section. Then, on occasion, when frozen foods are on sale, you can get even better deals and stock up your freezer.
2. Look for local organic brands.
With the increasing demand for organic foods, local stores have started their own lines of organic foods and products. Kroger, HEB, Costco, Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s all have their own organic brands, which tend to carry more reasonable price tags. So check your favorite store for it’s own line of organic foods to save money at the register.
3. Buy in bulk.
We buy all our organic oatmeal in the bulk section. Two of our local stores often have bulk discounts. So we tend to stock up on oatmeal during those times. You can also get great deals buying bulk organic foods from warehouse stores, like Costco. We now buy our organic rice, coconut oil, bread, among much more, at Costco.
4. Buy online.
Comparison shop is the key to determining whether you should buy something online. I used to buy our coconut oil online until Costco started carrying their own brand of organic coconut oil. I also used to buy organic black beans in the bulk section of our local grocery store until I found a great deal on bulk organic black beans online. I’ve shopped for organic foods and products at Vitacost, iHerb, Azure Standard, and Amazon.
How do you save money eating organic?
Every January we are all inundated by weight loss ads everywhere. “Get your best body now!” is an ad that popped up on one of my screens recently. They all pretty much say the same thing. But they act like you can’t do it unless you pay someone for work out training, packages of food, coaching, or some sort of fancy app. Now, I do think that most of those things can be very useful. But I don’t believe that you need to pay to get in shape!
About a year after having our youngest child, I realized that after trying so hard to lose all the baby weight that year, I was still carrying a few post-baby pounds around. So, I got more intense and in the process got into the best shape I’ve ever been in… without spending a single dollar. You can do it, too!
1. Have Fun.
Find some way to exercise that you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it just a little bit, you won’t be doing it for long. I began running. I love working out outside. It’s much more refreshing to me than running on a treadmill at the neighborhood recreational center. Maybe you don’t like running. Walk. Take your iPod or phone and play music. Honestly, I am not sure if I could even run one mile if I don’t have my music playing! It makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable.
2. Eat fat!
Yes, I said, “fat.” Studies show that eating good fats, like what you find in coconut oil, eggs, avocado actually helps boost your metabolism. One of the habits I started when I was trying to lose that baby weight was putting a spoon of coconut oil (or grass fed butter, when I happen to have it on hand) into my coffee every morning. It’ll help boost your metabolism in the morning. Plus, it tastes great! Some experts recommend getting good fat like that three times a day to keep your metabolism working for you all day. Don’t deprive yourself of food. Just eat whole, nutritious food that will satisfy you rather than processed foods that will fill you with calories and leave you hungry and looking for a snack in an hour.
3. Eat lots of raw fruit and vegetables.
They are great for your body but a lot of fruit and veggies require more calories to burn than they have. So, you can eat and burn calories at the same time. 🙂
There’s no reason why you have to pay for a program or a person to help you get in shape. You can do it and enjoy it. Enjoying it is one of the best motivations to making it a habit and not another failed resolution.
What do you do to get in shape?
If you shop organic and know the prices of organic apples, molasses and spices, among other things that might be on your grocery list, then you know when you see a good deal on organic foods. And as you peruse this week’s Whole Foods organic foods sales and deals, you will see that there are some very good deals on this week’s list. Your holiday meal can be both tasty and healthy (or, at least healthier) if you use wholesome, organic ingredients. And you don’t have to break the bank to do it. This week’s list of organic deals at Whole Foods proves it! Check it out!
Organic Fuji Apples $1.49/lb
100% Organic Grass-Fed Organic Grass Fed Beef Brisket $8.99/lb
Natures Path Organic Oatmeal Pouches $3.50
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Frozen Pizza $6.99
Suja Elements $3.50
Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Molasses $4.49
Amy’s Organic Soups 2.50
Use one $.75/1 Amy’s Coupon
Final Price: $1.75
Imagine Organic Soup $3.00
Use one $1/1 Imagine Whole Foods Coupon
And use one $1/1 Imagine Coupon
Final Price: $1.00
Spectrum Organic Shortening $5.39
Use one $2/1 Spectrum Coupon
And use one $2/1 Spectrum Whole Foods Coupon
Final Price: $1.39
Imagine Organic Broth $2.99
Use one $1/1 Imagine Whole Foods Coupon
And use one $1/1 Imagine Coupon
Final Price: $.99
Kettle Organic Potato Chips $2.99
Use one $1/2 Kettle Chips Coupon
Final Price: $2.49
It’s sweet potato season, in case you hadn’t noticed. You can get sweet potatoes at amazing prices right now. We happen to have a bunch because we grew sweet potatoes in our garden this year. So, it has been fun coming up with various recipes to use the yummy veggie.
This weekend my husband asked for a sweet potato pie. We had made one for Thanksgiving. One that was full of butter and sugar, among other things. All that sugar was part of our Thanksgiving exceptions. This time, I didn’t want to make an exception. Instead, I thought I’d give the same recipe (from Paula Deen) a healthier makeover. I cut the amount of sugar used and replaced it with honey and I substituted coconut oil for the butter. I did the same thing for the pie crust. I don’t think I have ever made pie crust by substituting coconut oil for butter. But, since the pie was just for our family, I thought I’d give it a try. (It worked!) So, here’s what I did.
2 cups peeled, cooked sweet potatoes
3/4 cups honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup milk
9 -inch unbaked pie crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the filling, using an electric hand mixer, combine the potatoes, the honey or maple syrup, the coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Add the milk and continue to mix. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for about an hour, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
The coconut oil won’t give you a flaky crust; it’s crunchier. But we like it! And while my ideal “healthy” pie would substitute some other kind of flour for the white flour, overall it’s a healthier yummy rendition of an old time favorite!
How do you make old time favorites a little healthier?
Sprouts sales on organic produce are of the very best, if not the best, deals you will find on those items they have on sale. I challenge you to compare the prices of the organic produce you would normally buy elsewhere with the sale prices at Sprouts. You will find that Sprouts prices are, at the very least, competitive. At best, they will be worth making that weekly trip to Sprouts.
◾Organic Grape Tomatoes $2.50 (1 pint)
◾Organic Honeycrisp Apples $2.50/lb
◾Organic Red, Green or Black Seedless Grapes $2.50/lb
Rosie Organic Whole Chicken $2.99/lb
Sprouts Organic Frozen Fruit $2.00
Alpine Valley Organic Bread $2.99
Tazo Organic Tea $1.00
Annie’s Organic Mac-N-Cheese $2.00
Spectrum Organic Refined Coconut Oil $4.99
Sprouts Organic Apple Sauce $2.99
Sprouts Organic Coffee B1G1 Free at $9.99
Organic Valley Milk $2.00 (32 oz)
Use one $.35/1 Real California Milk Coupon (if applicable)
Final Price = $1.65
Cascadian Farm Cereal, Granola or Granola Bars $2.50
Use one $1/1 Cascadian Farm Protein Granola
Final Price = $1.50
Stonyfield Organic Yogurt $2.50 (32 oz)
Use one $.50/1 Stonyfield Yogurt
Final Price = $2.00
R.W. Knudsen Organic Juice $2.99
Use one $1/1 R.W. Knudsen Sprouts Coupon
Final Price = $1.99
Back To Nature Products 25% Off
Use one $1/1 Back To Nature Sprouts Coupon
Garden Of Life Kind Organics 25% Off
Use one $3/1 Kind Organics Coupon
Final Price = varies
Acure Facial Care 25% Off
Use one $1.50/1 Acure Product Sprouts Coupon
In your back to school shopping frenzy, don’t forget that you can get great deals on healthier options for your children to eat when you send them back in their cute new school clothes and cool back packs. Sprouts is a great spot for healthier foods and organic foods at a fantastic price. And, if you are done with your school shopping or don’t have children who are going to school, you can still get these great deals 😉
Organic Grape Tomatoes $2.50 (1 dry pint)
Organic Red or Green Grapes $1.98/lb
Organic Cantaloupes $.48/lb
Organic Pink Lady Apples $1.98/lb
Organic Strawberries $2.98 (6 oz)
Organic Bartlett Pears $1.50/lb
Organic Table Carrots $2.98 (5 lb bag)
DOUBLE AD WEDNESDAY DEALS
Organic Kale $.98/each
Organic Strawberries or Raspberries $2.98
Organic Leaf Lettuce $.98/each
Organic Red Mangoes $1.50
Organic Cantaloupe or Honeydew Melon $.88/lb
Organic Red or Green Grapes $2.50/lb
Frozen Frenzy: Save 20% Off All Frozen Items
$.75/1 Cascadian Farm Coupon
$1/2 EVOL Products Sprouts Coupon
$1/2 Sunshine Burgers Spouts Coupon
$1/2 Three Twins Organic Sprouts Coupon
$1/1 So Delicious Sprouts Coupon
Annie’s Back To School Savings: Save 40% Off Annie’s Select Varieties
$.75/1 Annie’s Homegrown Snacks Coupon
Gluten-Free Back To School Savings: Save 30% Off Select Gluten Free Items