Is bottled water worth the cost?

 

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Bottled water is everywhere nowadays, especially with more and more people becoming health conscious and wanting to down their H20 intake by the gallons each day. Carrying a bottle of water with you has become human nature for most people. But, really is it worth the cost , not to mention the damage to the environment?

In a word, I say no. @suzannehobbs stated in a post on NewsObserver.com that bottled water is costly and really is not as good as the Beverage Marketing Corporation says it is.

Okay, if you live in a rare country that does not have clean drinking water, (United States is not one of them), then I would recommend bottled water. For everyone else that live in countries where the drinking water is relatively safe, BOTTLED WATER IS A WASTE OF MONEY!! We are tricked by marketers that bottled water is “enhanced with vitamins, electrolytes”..so it must be better right? Wrong! Okay, the bottled water isn’t going to kill you, however neither is that tap water! We are tricked by these marketers that tap water will cause sickness etc.. .and in most civilized countries that is strictly false.

Not to mention that even the cheapest bottled water is more expensive than taking a sip from the drinking fountain, all of these millions of plastic bottles clog the landfills and our oceans. (Where are fishies swim and mistaken the plastic particles for food, which then you eat..) Yes, there are other things made from plastic, but by not buying bottled water any more, this will SAVE our oceans from being contaminated by just a little bit. It’s one simple step.

If you don’t trust your city’s tap water, I’d suggest you have it tested and/or invest in a filter for your sink. PureH2O water filtration system is a great choice. Comment below to find out more about this filter system.

Also, investing in a glass, BPH free water bottle is still less expensive than purchasing all those bottles of water, besides..its heavy to carry all that around. Save your back, save our oceans; drink Filtered tap water!

What are your thoughts on drinking bottled water? Let me know below

Stay Healthy!

Losing Weight doesn’t have to cost you big bucks

 

Choosing to live a healthier life is not more expensive than eating “fast food”. In fact, I actually think living a healthy life is much cheaper than the fast food life, not to mention the amount of hospital bills you will be saving by eating healthier and living an active lifestyle. Still confused on how to go about living a healthier lifestyle when living on a budget? Here are a few tips to help you start living healthier, without hurting your wallet:

1. Choose simpler items vs. “fancy”

Sometimes you can eat out in restaurants, save money as well as your waistline. It’s all a matter of the choices you make. Most restaurants, usually “simple” items listed on their menu that are both less in calories and less in dollars. For example, at Panera Bread, take the Salads menu for example. On the bottom of their Salads Menu (This is usually where the “simple” items end up being) they have a Greek, Classic and Caesar Salad. (Now if you’re on a weight loss plan I would not recommend the Caesar Salad.) However, the two other salads are almost half the cost of the “Premium salads” on the menu. The Premium salads are usually made with heavier ingredients like “creamy dressings”. These salads are not only costly, they also add up on calories. I recently made the choice to have a Greek Salad (half sized) with a Whole grain baguette, I also had a $2 savings from having their “loyalty” card. The salad came to less than $3 and I was satisfied when I finished.

2. Choose “Half-sized portions” or “Kids sized”

ImageThe example above of the Greek salad, brings me to the next hint, choosing Lighter portions will of course be less calories, and be less money. It’s okay to say no to the “upgrade” adding dessert. Remember, they are required to ask you if you’d like something else by suggesting an item, if they don’t do it and their boss hears they will never hear the end of it. So, just politely tell them “No, thank you”. If you make your own meals (suggested), choose to eat on a smaller plate, this way you will not overeat. Always portion out the meal, instead of serving “family style” . You will be less likely go back for seconds this way.

3. Buy Frozen Vegetables

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There has been much debate about Frozen Vegetables vs. Fresh Vegetables. Frozen Vegetables have all the nutrients of Fresh Vegetables, and the advantage is they don’t lose their nutrient value with age. Fresh Vegetables do taste better, but they must be ate FRESH for full nutrient value! For those on a budget, always go Frozen! It’s much cheaper, and you can buy in bulk. Think Save! Check out Joanna Soh’s video on saving money on a budget for more info on this: joannasoh.com

4. Make a List and Stick to it

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Making a list before you go to the Grocery can really help you save money, so you are not tempted to buy the impulse items. Always Always Always remember to work the Grocery Store in “perimeter”, by Starting at the produce section, and going around the store (this is where the freshest and healthiest items are), Next hit the Frozen section for you Frozen Vegetables and if your basket has space pick up any boxed items. Another trick would be to pick a smaller basket. This will help you buy less junk. Fruits and Vegetables are cheaper and healthier for you to eat, and will “fill” your cart up.

5. Limit your Coffee habit

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Fancy Coffee house drinks can really pack on more damage than good, as well as cost you loads of $$$. The average coffee house drink costs roughly around $4/cup. 5 days a week that’s easily $20. Was it really worth it? Depending on what you get, it can be more. Read my previous blog on “How to order at Starbucks….” for more tips on saving money on your coffee habit. Those Coffee (also the non-coffee ones) have HUNDREDS of calories per cup, and very low nutrient value. If you really need coffee, switch to just regular cup of coffee, with minimal amount of sugar and cream. Be wary of the refills as well (even if its free).

Here you have it, 5 tips to help you save money and your waistline! Do you have any other tips that you live by to save money and calories?

Stay healthy my friends!

How to order at Starbucks without gaining weight…

 

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We all love our coffee, we also love our bodies and with the warmer weather approaching, more of us are more cautious about what we eat. Even though you have switched from that sandwich to a salad, and you taken your Workout to the next level, your weight still isn’t going anywhere. One thing to consider can be your Coffee routine, Your Morning or afternoon Coffee “treat” can be packing on more calories (and pounds) than you may have liked. Good News is, You don’t have to give up your Coffee to maintain your weight loss goals. However, being a little more careful about WHAT you order at Starbucks (or other coffee-chains) can make a difference on your pant-size. Here are a few guidelines to remember next time you are deciding what drink to get.

1. The Less Words in the Drink the Better

The more “simpler” your drink order is the more likely it is to contain less calories. For examples that Grande White Chocolate Mocha Image

has a Whopping 470 Calories and 59 grams of Sugar!! (made with the Standard 2% milk and Whipped Cream). If you take off the Whipped Cream you drop 70 calories and 1 gram of sugar. Still a little too much calories. If you got your White Chocolate Mocha “Frappuccino” Style, there’s a little less calories (430 calories), however there’s not less sugar, there’s 67 grams of sugar in a 16 oz. Grande Beverage! That’s a bit hefty for a “snack”. Even “Iced” the White Chocolate Mocha still has a whopping 450 Calories and 55 grams of Sugar.

If you are in the mood for Chocolate, choose the “Regular” Mocha, this drink (Grande Size) has 330 Calories and 35 Grams of Sugar (Still a bit heavy, but a lot better than that 470 calories).

ImageAnd that “Nonfat” milk still has the 67 grams of sugar, with 420 calories with the white chocolate). It may be “nonfat”, but certainly not a better choice. Nonfat milk is harder for your body to digest and will actually cause that Sugar to turn into fat much faster VS. with “Whole-milk”, the milk has natural probiotics to allow for the better digestion and absorption.

Think “Sugar-Free” is any better? Think again! Sugar Free syrups are made with Splenda, which is a chemical that actually makes you gain MORE weight. So that “Skinny Vanilla Latte” Really isn’t that “Skinny” after all.

2. Always say “Unsweetened”

A few weeks ago Starbucks unveiled their “NEW” Sweet Iced Tea. The Standard Grande Size Sweet Iced Tea has a whopping 80 calories and 21 grams of Sugar, while the “Unsweetened” version has 0 calories/sugar. If you need a little sugar, just add ONE pack of Sugar in the Raw or your own “Stevia” (natural-plant based sweetener). Even the Iced Coffee should be “lightly Sweetened” with “Less pumps” and “less milk”

3. Choose “Iced” verses “Blended”

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If you do want that heavy cold-espresso based drink ALWAYS choose “Over ice” VS. “Blended” or in Starbucks terms “Frappuccino”. Most Coffeehouse blended drinks have extra sugar in the “blended/frappuccino” base for consistency. Iced drinks are made with Milk, Espresso, and Sugar. (Opt for no whipped cream as well, and Choose Whole milk instead of 2% or Nonfat). (i.e. Frappuccino drinks have more processed junk, and “iced” drinks have more “whole” ingredients.)

A ‘Flavored” Iced Latte has 190 Calories with 28 Grams of sugar, VS. the Frappuccino Version containing a Whopping 310 Calories and 67 grams of Sugar!! (This is with Whole milk and NO Whipped Cream). So, when that “Frappuccino Happy Hour” rolls around, think twice about going….

Well there you have 3 simple suggestions to order your Coffehouse drink this summer (and year round).

What are some ways you order your drinks during the Slim-down Summer months?

**All nutrition information Courtesy of starbucks.com , based on Grande Drinks.

There’s always time to workout

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The past year I have been blessed with not having a “normal 9 to 5”, which made it a whole lot easier to hit the gym and keep up with my Active lifestyle. I know most people do have to attend to a 9 to 5 and sometimes its a 9-7, slacking on your physical fitness should NEVER be an option. Giving yourself time to workout is SO important for your health. Why work if your health is in shambles?

Here are a few tips to help you keep an active lifestyle even for the busiest person:

-Wake up early!! Waking up early can really kickstart your day, give you more energy AND you’re more likely to have a BETTER day at the office. Since working out kicks in your endorphins, you will more awake than before. Just try it once. If you’re a Gym-goer, there are plenty of early morning classes to choose from. Like the outdoors? Go for a morning run/walk before all your kids wake up. You could also stay home and pop in your favorite workout video, there are plenty of videos out there. Try Insanity!

-Pack your Workout clothes. If you’re not a morning person, pack your workout clothes to stop at the gym or park after work. I’m sure there’s at least ONE gym/park on your way home. Heck, this will even free up that traffic on the roadways so you don’t have to sit in traffic for hours. One hour at the gym is all it takes. Plenty of After-work classes to choose from!!!

-If Location allows, choose to bike to work. If you live in a Metro area and within distance to your office, choose to bike to work. If you don’t and you don’t have anything holding you back where you live; consider moving closer. Choosing alternative forms of commute is not only better for the environment its healthier for you.

-Turn your lunch hour into Fitness Hour. Sometimes your schedule is just so busy on any day with late meetings after work, not allowing for an after work Workout. So, do it on your Lunch Hour! You can even choose to walk (speed walking is best) to a restaurant near by; save gas, get exercise, save time. It’s a win, win situation. Plus, you won’t get too sweaty like you would going to the gym. If you do have more time for lunch, hit the gym or see if your work offers Lunch hour fitness classes and join!

-Have a Romantic & Healthy Date Night. Making time for relationships is important for your relationship health. Why not go for a stroll or hit the gym together? Afterwards, you can still go for drinks/dinner. You’ll both feel so much better after some exercise. Nothings better than working out with the one you love. Can’t find a sitter for your little ones? Take your kids with you, just strap them in their stroller or on a child’s bike seat and let them enjoy the fresh air. Trust me they’ll thank you later.

Well there you have 4 tips to fitting your Workout in your schedule. Do you do any of these? Any other tips you have for keeping up with a busy workout routine?

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