5 Ways to Waste Less Food

salad

An ongoing problem we have as American’s is that we don’t always think about food waste. Americans throw out nearly 40% of food, translating to over 20 pounds of food per person per month. So yes we waste a large amount of food and let’s face it, it may seem unintentional but we can definitely work to bring that number down. This is the chance where you start to make a difference. If you adopt just one of these crafty ideas, you can start making that difference…and saving some money. Now who’s in!?

1. Plan Out Your Meals

Create a schedule of meals you’ll cook on certain nights of the week. And commence the organized part of you! With a scheduled list, you can utilize the foods you buy at the grocery store because you know exactly what to get for each day. This makes the shopping experience quicker and much less stressful. You won’t have as much wasted food when you know at what point you’ll use each item you are purchasing. It’s also helpful to use the ingredients that expire more quickly first.

2. Only Buy What You Need

Ever felt like you’ve wondered around the store aimlessly as if you’re in a foreign city? I have. Sometimes the grocery store, market, etc. can seem like an overly appetizing land where opportunities are endless, in other words- it’s easy to get distracted. Concentrate and remember why you came. Look at that list you wrote for your schedule of meals you planned out. I don’t think that those beets will really go with that casserole you’re planning for tomorrow. The beets will still be there next week…and all of the following weeks to come. If you really want those beets, plan a way to incorporate them into your cooking schedule for next week.

3. Freeze Foods

If you have plenty of leftovers that can be tossed in the freezer for next week or month- toss it in the freezer…or place it in the freezer, whichever you prefer. When you find yourself exhausted and not in the mood to cook, you’ll be ohh so very thankful for your frozen goods. Tossed, slung, placed, or set in the freezer, you’ll be glad there’s leftover food there on those long, grueling days.

4. Think About Your Veggies

I have had many a green vegetables wilt before I even remember that they are so contently sitting in my fridge. I imagine how lonely they get without a soul in the world to care for (consume) them. Those green little veggies need to be remembered, they are delicate and always seem to wilt…quickly. They are often our first food item to be tossed to the garbage after our most recent trip to the grocery store. If we take time to invest on learning how to properly store our vegetables, then we can prolong their life by many days.

5. Use Those Food Scraps

With all of your leftover veggie scraps, make a homemade vegetable stock. Freeze all of your leftover veggies and once you have accumulated enough over time, whip up some homemade veggie stock. That broccoli stem does in fact come into good use.

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Move! Protect yourself from the sun

Protect yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays

Summer is just around the corner, so why not celebrate with a fresh bottle or two of sunscreen?

You are probably walking outside more, so it makes sense to take a few minutes and protect yourself from skin cancer.

You are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays all year round, even on cloudy days, so it makes sense to cover up. Take these precautions when you go out walking this summer, and all year round.

- Stay in the shade during midday hours
- Cover exposed skin with clothing — if you can see through the fabric, so can the UV rays.
- Wear a wide brim hat to shade face, head, ears and neck
- Wear wraparound sunglasses with both UVA and UVB ray protection
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF (sun protective factor) of 15 or higher, regularly and generously

Sunscreens contain chemicals that interact with the skin to block UVB rays. The SPF number equates to UVB ray exposure. For example, using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 means you get the equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30 minutes you spend in in sun. So, one hour in the sun with an SPF 30 is the same as spending 2 minutes in the sun unprotected.

Sunscreens come in SPFs ranging from 15 to 100+, but higher numbers do not mean more protection — an SFP of 30 does not provide twice the protection of an SPF of 15. An SPF of 15 filters out 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 about 97 percent, SPF 50 about 98 percent and SPF 100, about 99 percent.

The key is to reapply sunscreen generously every couple of hours when exposed to the sun. Use 1 ounce, about a shot glass size, to cover your arms, legs, neck and face. Apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Also, sunscreens have a shelf life of 2-3 years, so check the expiration date, too.

When you grab that bottle of water for your walk, you may want to grab the sunscreen, too.

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Four Ways to Incorporate Clean Eating

Hand serves a bag of fresh fruit and vegetables

Clean eating is a buzzing topic that has been catching the attention of many. This way of eating healthy means choosing foods that are at their most natural state (and straying away from the processed) in effort to reduce risk for disease and promote healthy weight. Here are four ways to incorporate clean eating into your daily life.

1.  Choose whole foods.

The key to clean eating is to eat foods as naturally as they come (Mother Nature does knows best after all). This form of eating provides the most optimal levels of nutrients food has to offer. The less processed the better. Eating habits and diets with a high intake of whole foods have shown to reduce chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as keep your body at a healthier and more fit weight.

2.  Keep it local.

Processed food in the U.S. can travel over 1,000 miles before reaching its destination, meaning your food could be on a truck in route to your plate for up to two weeks! The nutrients of your food could be diminishing with all that time it spends on a truck. Let’s not forget that buying locally ensures that the food must be in season, giving it a fresh taste. When buying locally and having food that is promised to be fresh with a natural taste, you don’t need to add all of the extra salts and sodium to have a pleased pallet.

3. Read labels.

Corporate America is so often on the go and it is easy to turn to food that is most convenient. When you go to the most convenient packaged food, read the labels. You want to make sure the ingredients used are natural ingredients and with minimal chemicals or modified ingredients. Do your best to stray away from foods that contain artificial food coloring, preservatives, or added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Research suggests that they can disrupt the natural flow of your metabolism, which can negatively regulate your body’s ability to process the real and natural sugars.

4. Conquer the kitchen.

Make the kitchen your new domain. Love the kitchen. Conquer the kitchen. Stock your kitchen with nutritional and fresh foods that you love, you can whip up a healthy meal in the time it would take to have your take out from your favorite Asian cuisine up the road. Foods in restaurants are usually over-processed and higher in calories and are typically more costly than staying in to cook. So that home cooked meal is not only more nutritious, it will also make your wallet happier.

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24 Tips to Beat Hunger Cravings

Do you eat out of hunger…or do you eat out of habit?


Often it is difficult to determine if you are craving food because of physiological hunger or psychological hunger. This method may help give you the time to determine if you really are hungry or if you just need an alternative to keep you busy.

Rate your level of hunger: 0 – 10

Ask yourself, why are you hungry? Is it because you skipped a meal or snack? Sometimes we become so busy we forget to eat our snack or even skip a meal. Be sure to have your snack with you if you are not at home. If you are home, make sure that your snack is easy to grab. If you skipped a snack or a meal, then your body is telling you that it is  hungry and needs to be fed. If that’s the case, choose healthy options. Eat a handful of nuts, nibble on some raw veggies or drink a bottle of water to hold you over until you either eat your snack or eat your meal

Ask yourself, are you hungry because you are just having a bad day or are you bored? If that is the case then your hunger is psychological and you can try journalling what you’re feeling and keep this in a feelings log to see if there is a pattern.

Try some of the following activities the next time you want to eat.

  • Go for a walk
  • Fix that leaky faucet
  • Call a friend
  • Play a board game
  • Brush your teeth
  • Work a crossword puzzle
  • Take a bath
  • Write a note to a friend
  • Check your email
  • Re-pot a plant
  • Take a drive
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Read a book
  • Work in the garden
  • Work on a hobby
  • Clean a closet or organize a junk drawer
  • Visit a neighbor
  • Write in a journal
  • Pray or meditate
  • Go to the library
  • Get up and stretch
  • Look at a photo album
  • Vacuum your car
  • Practice your golf swing
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Take it outside – walking that is

Taking your walking routine to the great outdoors has mental and physical benefits.

Studies have shown that where you walk can impact your mood. People who walk outdoors, compared to those who walk indoors, are less tense, angry, depressed and feel more energy. Some people even feel more satisfied with their walking routine. Who would not feel revitalized with all that sunshine and fresh air, not to mention the green grass and spring flowers that are starting to bloom?

And walking outdoors is a great way to develop muscles and increase stability. During your walk you encounter obstacles you are probably unaware of, such as curbs, stairways, stepping over or side stepping debris or puddles, stops and starts at road crossings, uneven surfaces, inclines and declines. You end up working a lot more muscles when you’re outside. So remember to warm up and cool down, and listen to your body.

Dress appropriately for the weather, remember your sunscreen and hat, and wear a good pair of walking shoes.

So take it outside. You might find that you are walking longer and farther. Just 10 extra minutes a day (about 1,000 steps) adds 70 minutes of walking to your week!

OUTDOOR WALKING SAFETY TIPS

  • Notice your surroundings so you can anticipate a change in the terrain and traffic.
  • Face oncoming traffic and stay on designated walkways and paths when possible.
  • Share your walking route and what time you expect to return with someone you trust.
  • Carry a flashlight and wear reflective material when walking at dusk or at night.
  • Walk with a buddy or take Fido with you. There is safety in numbers and company can make the time pass more quickly.
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