Wednesday, May 30, 2012

9 Ways You're Overspending at the Grocery Store

How many of us look at the grocery receipt on our way out of the store thinking "S*#^, this is definitely more than I wanted to spend"? . . . I bet quite a few.

Since food is pretty much an item you have to purchase (no one likes to go hungry) there are many ways you can avoid overspending on groceries.

Here's 9 ways to save some $$.

1. Pre-packaged Salad -  It really is convenient to have your lettuce already cleaned and trimmed in plastic tubes but it also costs nearly three times the price.  Save a few bucks a month and purchase a head of lettuce, wash and trim right away and you'll have it ready to use.  Do this right after the groceries are unloaded.

2. Caned Beans - Yes, beans in a can are already cooked and easier (less maintenance) to prepare for meals than dried bagged beans.  If you have the time just put beans on the stove 20-30 minutes prior to prepping your other food items and they'll be done before you know it.  I do recommend soaking beans for at least 12-24 hours before cooking.

3. Bottled Water - Did you know drinking four 16 oz. bottled water a day (recommended amount) equates to $120 dollars a month? Are you crazy?? This is something you can get straight from your faucet for FREE.  Obviously Bottled water is a billion dollar industry.

4.  Fancy Spice Mixes - Many spice mixes and marinade rubs you can make on your own.  You probably have most if not all of the seasonings already on hand.  Next time you're thinking of making this purchase read the ingredients on the back, write them down and create your own spice mix.

5.  Microwave Popcorn - Sometimes you can pay almost double the price just for the convenience of having individual microwavable bags but most of us don't have the luxury of popping our own.  If you do, then in fact, I suggest doing just that.  Add your own butter, salt and other fixings.  Not only will it be a lot healthier but you'll save some moolah!

6. Exotic Spices - Taking the time to make a trip to an international market can save you a ton (almost 10 times in savings) on spices and specialty ingredients.  It may be out of the way but if you like to experiment with your cooking then why not check out other food items while you're there.  Who knows what you'll find.

7. Out of season produce - It's the basic law of supply and demand.  When crops are in season you'll be rewarded financially by purchasing what's in season now.  There's many factors that go into having a crop shipped in from 3000 miles away.  For example, those crops must be harvested early and refrigerated so they don't rot when transported.  Doing this disrupts the flavor immensely.  Does that sound appetizing?

8. Fresh Herbs - Save by starting your own herb garden.  You can often buy the entire plant for less than you can a few sprigs at the grocery store.  Even if you don't have enough room for a garden here's hoping you can fit at least a few pots somewhere in your home.

9. Pre-cut fruit - This is something you can easily do yourself.  Yes, it may take a little bit more extra time to do but I would think it would be worth the savings.  Unless, at that particular moment, you need something quick to go, then I'm for it.  Better than junk food!

Even though replacing some of these items with others (for example, dried beans vs canned beans) won't break the bank, every little bit will add up.  Also, it's always a good idea to wait until these items go on sale.

Happy Shopping!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Don't let the rain dampen your Workout!

Neoprene Dumbbells 15 lbs
So much for heading outside today for a workout.  Looks like the weather folks are calling for rain all of these week (at least here in NY).  At first I was a little annoyed but I think I'd rather have it rain during the week vs having it rain this (Memorial Day) weekend.

Here's hoping to nice weather this weekend.  I just checked the forecast and they're calling for more rain.  NOT COOL.

Well...if it's so, the rain will not make me miss a workout this week.  Unfortunately I won't be able to go for a run but there's plenty of options for getting my sweat on in my apartment.  

Here's what I did yesterday.  3 x's through.

1. Half burpee and raise with half bosu (10-15)
2. Chest fly on stability ball (20)
3. One-leg one-arm row (15 ea.)
4. Leg raises (20)
5. Static lunges with bi curl (20)
6. oblique crunches - legs straight (20 ea.)
7. tri ext on stability ball (15)
8. squat thrusts (15)

Feel free to save for a rainy day.  I understand you may not have this equipment at home but use your imagination.  Use your coach, stepper, chair, etc. 

Got questions? Email me

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where do I get my protein from other than animal meat

The question "Where do I get my protein from other than animal meat?" is often asked by many - mostly meat eaters but also newbies converting over to the vegan side.

Do you wonder how you're going to stay fit and lean, build muscle and still find the right foods to maintain a healthy diet? Not to fret - below I've listed a handful of sources in which you can get your adequate amount of protein in each meal.

Veggies - 2 cups of cooked Kale has 5 grams of protein, 1 cup of spinach - about 7 grams of protein, 1 cup of peas - 9 grams.
Quinoa - about 9 grams of protein per cup
Tofu - 4 ounces has 9 grams of protein
Nut butters - a tablespoon will get you about 8 grams of protein
Non-dairy milk - 1 cup of soy or almond (depends on brand and flavor) contains 7-9 grams of protein
Lentils - one cup cooked has a whopping 18 grams of protein
Beans - you'll get about 13-15 grams of protein per cup
Tempeh - one cup provides 30 grams of protein
Hemp seeds - 3 tablespoons has about 16 grams of protein
Spirulina - 10 grams provides 6 grams of protein

It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein.  In fact, one (vegan, vegetarian, etc.) can survive without meat, eggs and dairy and never suffer a protein deficiency.

Here's a few athletes and (in my opinion) in shape celebrities that don't eat meat.

Prince Fielder - First baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers
Dave Scott - Iron Man World Championship record holder
Rich Roll - two-time top finisher at the Ultraman World Championships
Carl Lewis - World famous track star
Bob Harper - Biggest Loser trainer
Hilary Swank
Natalie Portman