Family * Travel * Food

Feb 24, 2017

Food Is Fuel: Easy Ways To Boost Your Nutrition

We all know what kinds of foods we need to consume to live healthily. But life isn’t perfect- sometimes we’re busy and make choices that aren’t the best due to convenience. Other times we might make bad decisions due to emotional issues- who hasn’t reached for a big bar of chocolate at the end of a stressful day at one time or another! It’s all a balancing act, it’s fine to indulge in the things you enjoy now and again. Just make sure you’re getting the good stuff into your body too. Here are a few ways you can go about it.

Add Salad To Everything

The great thing about salad is it’s versatile and goes with most things. Having a sandwich or burger? Pile on the salad. Pop it onto the side of your plate at dinner time, or if you’re having a meal that it really doesn’t work with it, have it as a starter. It’s fresh, crisp and delicious- an easy way to get another one of your five a day at both lunch and dinner. Skip the heavy, creamy dressings which will be high in fat and calories. Create simple vinaigrettes instead: olive oil, honey, mustard, and vinegar make a delicious combination which is perfect for livening up a salad. Don't just limit yourself to boring old iceberg either. Experiment with different mixed leaves, and add extras like pickles, olives, and jalapenos for a tasty kick. Put some red and white cabbage through the grater attachment on your food processor along with some red onion and carrot for a delicious slaw. You can eat this as it is, or mix some natural yogurt with mustard for a tangy alternative to mayo.

Take Supplements

As well as a healthy diet, a supplement is like an insurance policy to make sure your body isn’t missing anything that it needs. You could check out AlgaeCal reviews if you were after a calcium supplement, this is especially useful if you’re vegan or dairy free. You could take a vitamin capsule or blend which is specifically targeted to your gender and age group. Vitamin C effervescent tablets are popular too. Work out if you’re likely to be lacking anything in your diet and go from there.

image credit

Drink Your Nutrients

Smoothies and homemade juices are a fantastic way to give your body a hit of nutrition. Not only do they taste great but they’re easy to consume, perfect if you’re not massively keen on certain ingredients but want the health benefits of them. They make a great breakfast, especially for those who struggle with traditional breakfast foods. To make life easier, chop up all of your fruit and then portion it into sandwich bags. Pop in the freezer, then you can take one out and empty it into the blender whenever you want a smoothie. Much easier than messing around chopping fruit every time. Add some fruit juice or almond milk to get the mixture going, and add other ingredients of your choice to boost it. Goji berries, spinach, beetroot, and avocado all work well. Added to the base smoothie, you can’t really taste them with the sweetness of the fruit but still get the health benefits.


Dec 2, 2016

How to Make Time for Exercise – No Matter How Busy You Are!

Exercise is so very important. Government recommendations state that all adults should take at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, three times a week. In reality, many people do nothing more taxing that putting the trash out once a week, or making the perilous journey between couch and refrigerator.

The problem is that we all lead busy lives. Between working a full-time job and studying for a nurse practitioner doctorate degree, it’s hardly surprising that fitting in a gym session comes last on a long list of things to do. Any spare time you do have is probably spent sleeping or catching up on Netflix.

But it doesn’t have to be this way, so if you are looking at online doctoral nursing programs and wondering how you can squeeze in a training program for that half-marathon you have targeted next summer, read on for some tips.

Be Organized

Unless you are organized, you won’t be able to fit anything in, let alone a workout. Disorganized people end up wasting time unnecessarily, so don’t let this hot mess be you. Take a good, hard look at your schedule and see where there any gaps. There probably won’t be many if you work full-time, have kids to take care of, and study, but you should have a few small pockets of time you can utilize.

Once you have identified some gaps, plan your exercise schedule accordingly, so if you have a 30 minute gap between clients, make time for a quick workout in your office or go for a brisk walk to clear your head and stretch your legs.

Work Out before Work

The pre-dawn hours are actually pretty good for working out - unless you have a pathological hatred of getting up early. Personally, I like getting up early to go for a run: the streets are deserted and I can get home and showered before the rest of the house wakes up.

Five Minutes Here, Five Minutes There

Trying to fit in a 45-minute workout when you are run ragged is always going to be a tough call. Instead, break up your workouts into five-minute blocks. It’s a lot easier to fit in some squats, planks, press-ups and star jumps than it is to make time for a Pilate’s class or Hot Yoga.

Core Workout Program

In line with the tip above, develop a core workout routine that targets the main muscle groups. Squats, planks, star jumps, burpees, press-ups, etc., are all fantastic exercise. You don’t need any equipment, so you can do them at home, in the office, or even in a hotel room if you are working away from home or on vacation. Make this your core routine and everything else can be tacked on as a bonus workout.

Multi-tasking is useful when you have no spare time. Do squats while you load the dishwasher, jog on the spot while you watch Netflix, or sprint to the bus in the morning. Every little helps.

Feb 10, 2015

The Tiny House Craze

I don't watch a lot of television, but when I do it is usually something news, food or home related. I flip through channels at night and have recently noticed a common thing; Tiny Houses. I assumed they meant lavish playhouses for kids. No, I was so wrong. Apparently there are many people downsizing their home for a version that is about 10% its size. The average American house size is 2,300 square feet and the tiny house size is roughly 230 square feet. I had to check out some different shows to see what it was all about.
Image credit: Tiny Home Builders
People are getting these homes either custom built or looking one in a specific location and they range from around 100 sq ft- 400 sq feet. You have people buying a house the size of a storage shed! I can't imagine it. Some of the homes are very luxurious on a teeny-tiny level and others very rustic.
Image credit: Tiny House Builders (interior view)
I personally could never do it. I saw one episode of Tiny House Hunters where a family of 6 went from a 3,000 sq ft home down to 400 sq ft. NO. No, no NO! I can't imagine that at all! I understand that people are trying to live mortgage or debt-free, but sheesh. I don't want to have people all in my personal space. It is certainly not something I would ever desire for myself. There's only so much family bonding one can take.

So what about you? Could you live the tiny house lifestyle?

Jan 2, 2014

Finally, a multi-vitamin I can take with ease! SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins review

For my entire adult life, I have had difficulty taking multi-vitamins and dietary supplements. Apparently I am allergic to a certain combination of vitamins that bring on flu-like symptoms. Crazy, huh? When I was offered a sample of SmartyPants gummy vitamins to review, I did some quick research. I wanted to read up on them before committing to try them out. My first thought was that my oldest daughter can't take vitamins because she has great difficulty swallowing pills. If anything, she might benefit from them. I decided that she would be the one to review this product in my place. 

Her initial reaction was, "Yum!". She loved the flavors and the fact that she felt like it was more of a treat than anything. I was so curious that I had to try them for myself. I was very nervous because the last thing I would want is to come down with cold/flu symptoms. I went for it and tried them out for a week. Guess what? No bad reactions were had! I couldn't believe it! I finally found something I could take to supplement my relatively healthy diet. They worked out very well for my daughter and she decided that she wants to buy them for herself when she starts her job. 
Here are some facts about SmartPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults: 

  • Only Multivitamin + Omega 3s + Vitamin D gummy on the market!
  • Excellent Source of Omega 3 DHA+EPA* from eco friendly small fish oil
  • 225% of the US RDI for Vitamin D + includes 9 other nutrients
  • No High Fructose Corn Syrup, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • Gluten & casein free. Made in California in a GMP-certified facility

You can check out SmartyPants on the web or connect with them on Facebook


Apr 30, 2013

#SmoothBlogger updates, Big Daddy style

I am participating in a campaign as a Smooth Fitness Ambassador and will be reviewing a treadmill from Smooth Fitness in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts/opinions expressed are always my own.
I wanted to update you all on my hubby's progress ever since he started his "Smooth Fitness" way of life. He has worked so hard to make sure he fits in some time in his crazy, busy schedule to get a jog or run in on the treadmill, even if it means getting up at 5:00 AM! So far he lost 6 pounds in the first 6 weeks but gained back 3 pounds. I think it was a combination of holiday festivities and stress eating that did it. He knew that it was time to get serious again.
He had to regroup and go back to eating leaner and cleaner. Thankfully, he was able to lose the 3 pounds he gained and even lost 2 more. I have to say that Dwayne really surprises me with his food choices. He is not one to eat anything he knows nothing about or sounds too trendy. One of his latest favorites (mine as well) is fat-free Greek yogurt with organic granola.

He even requests vegetarian meals and NO rice. Now that one is shocking! He can tell if he has gone a couple days without exercising on the treadmill because it shows clearly through his mood and sleep habits. Dwayne has a goal of being under 200 pounds so there is a lot of work to be done. He has 30 pounds to go right now and the whole family is cheering him on. We will celebrate his 40th birthday at the end of June on the beach so he has his work cut out for him! I will let you all know how far he gets in the next few weeks. 

Be sure to check out Smooth Fitness on the web, Facebook and Twitter to learn more about their line of treadmills and elliptical machines. 
Shelly, Mom Files
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