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The Right Way to Read a Food Label: Don’t Overlook the Fine Print

Clients love to tell me about the new snack bar or cereal they found at the grocery store. They tell me how it’s all natural or full of whole grains. I hate bursting their bubble when I ask how much sugar it has.

label

In your quest to be a healthy and fit you need to be a vigilant food detective.   You can’t trust the health claims on the front of the box. You have to read the back of the box, the ingredient list in particular, to really understand what is (or isn’t) in the oatmeal or protein bar you’re about to buy. Unfortunately, it’s not easy deciphering food labels. Without sounding too much like a conspiracy theorist, I think they do it on purpose.

The marketing team believes if they highlight the words “natural”, “light”, or “reduced” on the label we, the consumer, won’t look any further than that. We will simply trust that the product is good for us, load up our carts and go on our merry way.

The problem is a lot of people do just that. This is where they often get into trouble. You have to read the label to get the real story of what’s going on. Even on products you buy regularly you need to check in every so often to make sure they haven’t changed anything without telling you. Do a quick scan of the products going in your cart and look for these 5 things:

  1. Serving Size
    Don’t be so sure that a bottle of juice or a small bag of granola is just one serving. More often than not what appears to be a single serving package of chips or beverage has at least two servings. You could take in double or triple the calories without really even noticing.
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11 Quirky Foodie Friendly Gifts Priced Under $50

Fa-la-la-la and Deck the Halls! It’s Black Friday and you know what that means, zealous bargain hunters will be out in full force, ready to knock you down for a Hello Kitty television. The holiday shopping season has officially begun, so if there’s a foodie on your list, but you’re tired of getting him or her the usual fare, check out the fun gift guide below. Since everything is priced under $50, you can afford to pick up a few things for yourself, too.

salt robot collage

Spice Lab Gourmet Salt Collection – Are you so over table salt? Do you wish sea salt came in exotic flavors? Well, it does and now you can have your very own international sea salt collection. The Spice Lab Gourmet brings you a set of 11 different salt samples from around the world including Bolivian Pink Sunset from the mountains of Bolivia. Mmm, mountain salt. Comes in a stylish wood holder. $44.95

Robot Tea Infuser – Tea is often touted for its health benefits and tea enthusiasts prefer loose leaf for its bold flavor, but brewing can be tricky. The Robot Tea Infuser is a kitschy functional way to brew one mug at a time without ending up with swimmy bits floating around. Just fill up his little chest, attach his adjustable arms to the cup, and plunge him into hot water to steep. $9.99

glasses infuser collage

Tear-Free Onion Glasses – If you’re tired of onion vapors wrecking your mascara before dinner, put tear-free onion glasses on your list. They slip on and off comfortably, but fit snug like goggles to keep out airborne irritants that cause eye weepage. The only reason you should cry while chopping onions is if you’re also watching the movie Titanic. Seriously, why didn’t Rose just scootch over on that door? Includes storage case. $19.95

Herb Oil Infuser – Now this is fancy infusing! Even famous foodie and self-proclaimed EVOO lover Rachael Ray would be impressed. The stylish carafe lets you add flavor to olive oil by putting a sprig of herb right inside. The plant is partitioned so you get all of the delicious infused flavor without the debris. $15.00


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3 Yoga Poses to Avoid Holiday Shopping Aches and Pains

From the day after Thanksgiving up until the very last minute on Christmas Eve day, we find ourselves frantically racing around in our cars and walking for miles in the shopping mall. This tight schedule of spending, wrapping, stacking, and mailing off gifts in a busy post office where the line doesn’t seem to move at all can wreak havoc on our lower back, legs and feet if we are not careful. The following yoga poses will offer a reprieve from the stress our bodies endure while we are trying so hurriedly to be prepared for the big day.

Standing Forward Bend

It doesn’t matter if you are in your work clothes or donning your favorite shopping sweater; practice forward bending every chance you can get. Standing for hours while perusing the isles of robes, slippers and neck ties can tire out the muscles of your low back in a heartbeat. Take the stress off of it by doing a simple forward bend with both knees slightly bent and your feet hip width apart. When you are ready to come out of the pose, roll up slowly vertebra by vertebra and then roll your shoulders back and down upon standing.


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Budgeting For Better, Healthier Meals

By Ashley Watson

Budgeting for meals can be easier than you think if you remember that saving money will also encourage healthier eating habits. You already know that whole foods are more healthful than processed foods, but did you realize they were cheaper, as well?

Here are some tips to remember when creating your grocery budget and shopping lists:

Plan Your Meals

Planning your meals for the week may feel a little too ambitious, but it will save time and money in the end. Think about how long it takes to decide what you want to eat after a long day at work when you are already tired and hungry. You don’t have to sit down and write a detailed menu for every night of the week, but it’s a good idea to have a general sense of which meals you want to prepare.


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Black Friday Shopping Saves Money and Burns Calories

The day after Thanksgiving, known  as Black Friday, is a shopper’s dream, and a famous tradition across the country. This year, you can use it to save money and burn calories.

People might look at you like you’re crazy for doing some of this stuff, but who cares? Everyone there woke up at four am, but you’re the one turning a marathon sale into a marathon workout. They’re spending all of their energy fighting over the last whatever-the-hot-toy-of-the-year-is and nothing more. Now who looks like the crazy one?


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