Aisles of the Grocery Store

As a general rule of thumb, the perimeter of a grocery store has healthier, fresher, and less processed food items.  Most foods – some still have hidden sugars like pre-made salad dressings and sauces – are healthy and fresh.

The middle aisles carry more processed foods such as chips, crackers, packaged cookies, condiments which tend to be high in sodium.  These typically contain preservatives which are a chemical or additives to keep them on the shelves longer – shelf stable products to last longer.1

Although, not all middle aisles are bad.  There are whole grain pastas, rice, canned and dried beans, canned tomato products (just watch out for sodium), broth and stock, nuts, seeds, spices, seasonings – still being essential grocery items.2

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One Pot Dishes or Casseroles

Some of my favorite dishes to make are one pot wonders and casseroles.  Every ingredient is in one spot – protein, starch, vegetable.  You could still make a side dish or large salad, but every component of a meal is in one pot!  One of the best parts is there’s only one dish to clean up!  Aside from the cutting board, knife, and utensils.  Plus these dishes make for great leftovers and to take for quick lunches.  Be sure to pack a lot of flavors, herbs, spices, protein, fat, and carbs into the dishes to keep you full and going!  One pot dishes and meals are so homey and warm, making you feel good while still loading up on healthy ingredients.  

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Flavor Up Your Water

Infused water – add flavor to your water to enhance and look fancy!  This also can add vitamins and minerals, while making for yummy snacks after the water is gone.  Refrigerate your flavored water overnight or the morning of.  One of my favorite things to do is freeze ice cubes with a berry and/or mint in each cube compartment.  Also freeze straight lemon or orange juice to add to water or sparkling beverages.  Have fun with it!!  

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Swap Proteins to Try Healthier Dishes

Many different types of proteins can be substituted whether it be for health, flavor, or availability.  Trying new proteins, especially lean proteins can decrease your intake of fats and salt while still achieving great flavors.  Explore new options and recipes; I know I’m always researching how I can change a recipe or create a new one with ingredients I have!  Many recipes you can easily change the main protein while still using the same seasonings and marinades.  Also, changing the form of cooking such as using the grill, smoker, oven, stovetop, or braising pot can alter the flavors and textures.

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Vitamin A – Nutrition Month

Vitamin A is the fourth fat soluble vitamin in the series.  Fat soluble means that the body stores this for later use, mainly kept in the liver.  This vitamin is found in food sources such as in animal products and plant foods – dairy, liver, fish, fruits, vegetables, and oils.  Think of foods in the orange and yellow color family.

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First In, First Out Rule

The First In, First Out (FIFO) system is used for old and new foods that need to be rotated in the fridge.  Specifically when food and box cartons are labeled with an “opened” date or simply the expiration date.  Now in a home fridge (versus restaurant) you probably aren’t going to date your food since it’s your fridge, but you can watch for expiration dates.  FIFO for a home fridge is more to be aware of food that is opened, old, or needs to be used up.  FIFO = food that goes in first, needs to be out first.

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Happy National Nutrition Month! Vitamin D

Series on Fat Soluble Vitamins – Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which is in some foods, through sun exposure, and available as a dietary supplement.  This vitamin works with calcium and phosphorus which promotes absorption in the body.  Along with helping to reduce inflammation and work with cell growth, neuromuscular, immune function, and glucose metabolism.  Vitamin D helps bring calcium and phosphorus to our bones and teeth, regulates how much calcium stays in our blood, and protects against bone mass loss. 

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Is Super Bowl about football or food?

Well DUH….it’s probably football, which I love watching.  I also love creating a great menu with healthy options!

Super Bowl is today!  Lots of sitting on the couch, so get out for a walk, play with your animals, or dance around hooping and hollering during the football game.

Besides football and all things, my mind floats to what food to make, always potluck style.  When I think of traditional foods, naturally I think how can I add a healthy element or sneak in ingredients.  Such as using lean meats like in my homemade meatballs – use ground chicken, turkey, or beef.  Add lots of flavor using garlic, herbs, parsley, and seasonings to pack in flavor while reducing salt.  

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