September – What’s in Season

Whether shopping at the grocery store or farmer’s market, it pays to shop what’s in season. You’ll get the most bang for your buck and nutritional value when the produce you seek was just harvested out of the field.

Here’s what’s in season during September in the United States.

What is your favorite dish to make with what’s in season this month?

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August – What’s in Season

Whether shopping at the grocery store or farmer’s market, it pays to shop what’s in season. You’ll get the most bang for your buck and nutritional value when the produce you seek was just harvested out of the field.

Here’s what’s in season during August in the United States.

What is your favorite dish to make with what’s in season this month?

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Shred10 Favorite Meals – Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks & Dinner

Contemplating your first Shred10 or just tired of the same foods every month? This post is all about my favorite Shred10 friendly meals. New to Shred10? Check out this page – Shred10. 

During Shred10, we are trying to follow these guidelines:

Shred10 Guidelines

Breakfast

Juice Plus+ Complete shakesJuice Plus+ Complete

My typical breakfast is a Complete shake or two. With 13g of plant-based protein and 8g of fiber per serving, it makes for a complete meal to start the day. Mixed with unsweetened almond milk, I always add chia seeds to my shakes for even more fiber and omega-3. Of course, you can always blend with even more fruits and vegetables; like banana, strawberry, kale and spinach.

Juice Plus+ Complete

Vegan French toastVegan french toast

When looking for an egg-less french toast recipe recently, I happened upon a recipe from The Minimalist Baker for vegan french toast. We also use the gluten-free bread from Aldi to make this work for our family.

Vegan french toast

Sausage & Eggs

When I start my day with protein, it helps me stay full longer, so sausage and eggs are another favorite breakfast of mine. Sometimes I’ll even make an omelet with mushrooms and spinach as well.

Snacks

Fruits & Vegetables

Apples, bananas, berries, snap peas, bell peppers, really any fruit or vegetable. You can dip in no sugar added peanut butter or hummus for added protein.

Juice Plus+ Complete barsJuice Plus+ Complete Bars

Juice Plus+ Complete bars are great for a mid-afternoon snack or post workout. Low-glycemic, gluten free, non- dairy and vegetarian with 5 or 10g of protein and 5g of fiber. My favorite is Tart Cherry + Honey, but if you crave some chocolate, the Dark Chocolate + Fig may be right up your alley.

Juice Plus+ Complete Bars

Lunch & Dinner

Stir-fries with protein, rice & veggies

Our go-to, in a rush dinner is to stir fry some chicken or beef with veggies (broccoli, carrots, peppers, bok choy) and serve over rice or quinoa. In an even bigger rush, the veggie steamer bags are great.

Burrito BowlsBurrito Bowl

My son’s current favorite meal is to make Qdoba-style burrito bowls. We even make the ingredients ahead of time and pack for his lunch. We use brown rice, blacks beans, chicken, avocado, and various salsas.

Sunbasket

One of the best solutions for my family has been to subscribe to meal prep boxes, Sunbasket being my favorite! You can read more about my experience with meal prep boxes here – Meal Delivery Services. One reason I love Sunbasket is they offer 18 different meal options each week and clearly identify meals that are gluten-free and dairy free. They are also very easy to prepare with most ingredients ready to go.

Sunbasket

Additional Resources

Healthy Living Revolution & Shred10

Shred10 | 5 Steps to Prep

Taste of the Shred & A Shred10 Potluck

Shred10 Day #1 & How Did I Do?

Shred10 Day #2

Shred10 Day #3 & Recap

Shred10 Day #4 | I’ve Made It This Far

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Back to School with Juice Plus+

Back to School with Juice Plus+

Whether sending your child to college for the first time or getting ready for kindergarten, get ready for the shock to the immune system that comes with new surroundings. New kids, new germs, new stress. And for those going away from home from the first time, you as a parent won’t be there to make sure they eat as they should. Studies show that 95% of college students don’t eat the amount of fruits and vegetables they need!  That’s where Juice Plus+ comes in for all your back to school nutritional peace of mind.

Though not just for kids, Juice Plus+ Chewables deliver added whole food based nutrition from up to 30 different fruits, vegetables, and grains in a tasty, soft chewable form. The appealing taste comes from two all-natural sweeteners – tapioca syrup and organic cane syrup – with absolutely no high fructose corn syrup. It contains no artificial flavors or artificial colors and is 100% vegetarian; the ‘chewiness’ comes from fruit pectins, not gelatin.

When you sign up for the Juice Plus+ Family Health Study, you can receive Juice Plus+ capsules or chewables for your child – free of charge – for up to four years as a study participant. Your child must be between the ages of 4 and 18 or a full-time undergraduate college student in a four-year degree program. With more than 1.5 million participating families and backed by 20 years of results, the Family Health Study helps you document the lasting, positive effects of the changes you and your family make. All it takes is 1 participating adult with their own capsules or chewables order.

 

Next Steps

  1. Learn more about the Family Health Study – here
  2. Sign up for the Family Health Study – here
  3. Order Juice Plus+ products individually

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3 Steps to a Healthy Thanksgiving

 

Thanksgiving is less than a week away! And while it is traditionally a holiday full of sweet treats, fat filled sides, and lots of calories, with some advanced preparation and knowledge, you can make it a healthy holiday. Follow these 3 steps to a healthy Thanksgiving:

Volunteer to Bring a Healthy Side

If you are worried that there won’t be any healthy sides at Thanksgiving dinner, bring your own. Your host will likely be thankful that you offered to bring something and you can control the ingredients and calories contained. Some of my favorites are sweet potatoes, green beans and mushrooms. Green beans and mushrooms can be simply sauteed with olive oil and garlic and taste delicious. Here are some recipes that I will be trying this year from Cooking Light:

Healthy Food Swaps

  • Swap skinless turkey breast for dark meat with skin and save up to 50 calories per 3 ounces
  • And if you have the choice between turkey and ham – go turkey!
  • Traditional pumpkin pie is the big winner over pecan pie (save up to 540 calories, 27 grams of sugar & 16 grams of fat per slice). Pumpkin pie also trumps apple pie.
  • Sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes
  • Skip the dinner roll and go for vegetables (celery, carrots, peppers, and broccoli) and hummus

Pick 1 Indulgence

If you love your mother’s pies, pick 1 pie, cut a small piece, and indulge. Choose healthier options for the rest of your meal and you’ll feel satisfied when you finally get that one indulgence.

 

What tips do you have to have a healthy Thanksgiving?

3 Steps to a Healthy Thanksgiving

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Shred10 – 5 Steps to Prep

Shred10 Prep Cover

Are you preparing to participate in a Shred10?  Or wondering how you could survive 10 days without dairy, gluten, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine? Preparation is key! It’s very easy to fall back into unhealthy habits, but with a little advance work, you can do it!

Shred10 Background – What Is It?

Meal Plan

Meal planning is key! When you schedule your meals in advance, you can grocery shop for several meals at a time, and be prepared when dinnertime has come. I like to meal plan early in the day on Sunday while looking at the calendar for the week, then head to the grocery store later in the day. It’s important to look at your calendar when meal planning so you know when a quick meal is needed. For my family, we have one day where we go straight from work to soccer practice, then it’s nearly bed time for our little one. I can’t be planning a meal that requires an hour prep that day. That would be a perfect example for when a crock pot meal is needed.

See my full post on how I meal plan here – Meal Planning

Advance Prep

Prepare veggie strips (like carrots, celery, bell peppers) that you can keep in the fridge to snack on during the day. When you have a healthy snack ready, it is much easier to avoid the chips or candy so readily available. You can also roast veggies ahead of time to reheat for meals or snacking. Great veggies to roast include sweet potatoes, broccoli, squash, and brussel sprouts.

Going to the grocery store before Shred10 starts is also good advance prep. If you haven’t bought good food, you can’t eat good food. Planning and buying in advance prevents you from going through the drive-through, as you know you have something good to eat at home and you don’t want to waste the food that you have already paid for.

Mindset

Mindset is key in so many areas of life, but is essential in believing that you can accomplish your goals, including completing a Shred10. I love affirmations and here are a few that will work well as you prepare and complete your Shred10:

  • I always succeed.
  • I love and respect myself.
  • This is the greatest day of my life.
  • I am very positive at all times.
  • Everything I do turns out exquisitely better than I could have ever planned.

I use an app called My Affirmations that would periodically provide a notification with one of my affirmations. You can also write down your affirmations on index cards and pull them out throughout the day to read.

Get Your Kids Involved

The great thing about Shred10 is that it is safe for children too! Have your kids pick out their favorite fruits & veggies at the grocery store for lunch and snacks. My son loves coming up with new combinations to blend with his Complete shake, from blueberries and peaches to peanut butter and kale.

You can also let your kids help prepare meals. Give them age appropriate tasks like stirring and cutting. My son  also loves forming meat balls and anything that involves his hands. When kids help pick out their food and help prepare it, they take so much pride in the food and can’t wait to try it.

Clear the Cupboards

As we just wrapped up Halloween, there is so much candy on our counters and throughout the house. Before Monday, I will be gathering all the candy and hiding it in a low, minimally used cabinet so I won’t be tempted.  Out of sight, out of mind. If you think you’ll still be tempted, you can go ahead and throw it all away or donate it to the many organizations who collect for military overseas.

Now is also a good time to clear your cupboards of other non-Shred10 approved items – sugar filled, processed, and gluten. If it’s not there, you can’t eat it.

Shred10 Infographic

What other things do you do to prepare?

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Healthy Nutrition On-the-Go – What’s in Your Bag? Healthy Snack Ideas

With so many demands on your time, it can be tough to keep up healthy habits on a daily basis.

That’s why it’s so important to pack healthy snacks in your car or handbag. You should look for items with protein and fiber and limited or no sugar.

Some of my favorites are:

Almonds

1/4 cup of almonds provides approximately 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Look for raw, unsalted almonds to avoid empty calories.

almonds

Dried Fruit

Although dried fruit can be calorie dense with high amounts of sugar, it’s a much better option than a candy bar from the vending machine. Dried fruit contains high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. My favorites include peaches, apricots and apples.

Blender Bottle and Single-Serving Juice Plus+ Complete Shake Mix

Now you’ve added 13 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber to your daily diet, while enjoying the delicious, creamy taste of French Vanilla or Dutch Chocolate. While the shakes taste great with almond milk, they can also be mixed with water, making it a great option for throwing in your bag. Just pack a bottle of water or find a water fountain when you’re out and about.

Juice Plus+ Complete Nutrition Bars

Nothing is more convenient than a Juice Plus+ Complete nutrition bar if you need a quick snack. Available in two delicious flavors – Dark Chocolate + Fig and Tart Cherry + Honey – they’re packed with protein and fiber. They are low-glycemic (meaning they won’t cause your blood sugar to shoot up), gluten-free, non-dairy, and vegeterian.

Juice Plus+ Complete Bars

 

What is your favorite snack for on-the-go eating?

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Meal Planning – Happy Planner & Washi Tape Style

Happy Planner with Washi Tape meal planning

I’ve tried several different styles of meal planning in the past, but most weren’t flexible enough for me. Events come up on the calendar, meetings run late, or I’m just too tired to cook anything. When I purchased my Happy Planner last December, I had no plans to use it as a meal planner. I just thought of it as a calendar, but what better place to meal plan than your calendar. You can see what events are scheduled that include dinner outside of the home or when you’ll need something quick.  So here’s my setup.

Happy Planner with Washi Tape meal planning

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my family uses Blue Apron and Sun Basket for most of our meal preparation. With Blue Apron, you can schedule meals 4 weeks in advance and 3 weeks in advance with Sun Basket. I use a solid colored washi tape to write the meals that I’ve selected. Although there are so many cute designed washi tapes, solid is much easier to read when written on. I’d also recommend a lighter color. I use mainly yellow and pink. First, I cut the washi tape to fit the width of a day in my Happy Planner. I then write the meals I’ve selected on each piece of tape. Next, I’ll stick the tape where I “plan” to prepare each meal. But this time, when new events get added to the calendar or I decide “I’m not in the mood” for whatever I planned, I can easily remove the meal and move it to another day.

grocery cart stickers

I also use these cute grocery cart stickers to mark the days that my Blue Apron and Sun Basket boxes will arrive. As I don’t regularly get each box every week, it’s a nice reminder to know when I need to check our front porch and get those items into the fridge.

Happy Planner with washi tape & grocery stickers

How do you meal plan for your family?

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Back to School – Setting up for a Healthy Year

Schools all across the country are gearing up for students to return in the next month or two. And while most families are busy getting school supplies ready and buying new clothes, how much thought is given to making sure kids are healthy enough to learn? Here are some steps to make sure you are setting your family up for a healthy year.

Steps for a Healthy Year

1. Eat breakfast – We’ve heard it for years, but eating breakfast sets your child up for success for the day. Without breakfast, kids are going 15-16 hours without something to eat. I know when I’m hungry, I’m cranky and can’t stop thinking about my next meal. If your child is thinking about food, he or she is not paying attention to the teacher or test in front of them.
2. Get enough sleep – Sleep is so important and it’s sometimes difficult to see that kids don’t get enough sleep, because instead of slowing down, they wind up. In fact, sleepiness can look like symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sleep is required for the mind to process what happened the previous day and to allow the body to rest. Check out this table for the recommended amount of sleep by age.
Recommended Sleep Schedule
3. Add more fruits & vegetables – Besides the fact that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers, fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized. But it’s hard to get kids to eat those veggies, and even some fruits. That’s why I love Juice Plus+! It gives me the piece of mind that they are getting the nutrients of 30 different fruits, vegetables and grains every day! And kid’s orders are free under the Children’s Health Study.
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Shred10 Day #4 – I’ve Made It This Far

I’ve made it to Day #4. By Thursday I am usually running out of healthy snacks and feeling deprived by the afternoon, but I’ve been full and satisfied this week. I switched up when I drink my shakes for this round of the Shred10 and I think that’s made a ton of difference in keeping me full in the afternoon. I usually drink both shakes in the morning or have 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon, but this week I haven’t started my shakes until the afternoon. This does usually leave me finishing up after 6pm, but I’d prefer missing that guideline than eating something unhealthy because I’m starving.

Breakfast

I enjoyed 2 scrambled eggs with a slice of bacon from the office cafeteria this morning for breakfast. Quick and easy protein!

Lunch

As you know from Day #2, I have a real weakness for Chinese food. The special in the cafeteria was sweet n sour chicken with rice and a bottle of water.

Snack

I had prepped my 2 shakes again at home before leaving for work. Craving some chocolate mid-afternoon, the Chocolate Complete shake just hit the spot. Unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, and Chocolate Complete, shaken until smooth. Perfect treat!

Chocolate Complete with chia seeds and unsweetened almond milk

Dinner

I made a simple dinner of salmon and arborio rice. Looks pretty plain, but pretty tasty. After dinner, I finished my shake that I hadn’t finished in the afternoon.

Sleep / Movement

Blogging has been keeping me up late at night, so I missed my sleep goal today, but I’m working on the blog earlier today, so hopefully I can catch up tomorrow. I also met my step goal! I use my Garmin’s autoadjusting goal, so when I meet my goal, my step goal for the next day goes up, and when I miss the goal, it goes down.

Water

I did a little better with my water today, but still short of my goal. 

Conclusion

I definitely attribute my blog to helping me be more accountable during this Shred10. I’m not perfect, but I feel the shred is a great tool to make you more aware of your food choices. There is always room for improvement, but without tracking my choices, I know that I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am.

Shred10 Tracker - Day #4

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