Tag Archives: shopping

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. (more…)

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

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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?

(more…)

5 Tips to Stick to Your Diet While Shopping

From Panda Express to Cinnabon and the ever-alluring Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, shopping malls are full of diet saboteurs. Black Friday until Christmas Eve the store aisles are full of shoppers, the streets are packed with cars, schedules are crammed with holiday events, checkbooks are overflowing with receipts, ears are ringing with holiday bells, and menus are expanded with seasonal specialties. The stress of the holiday season makes us more susceptible to temptation, not just at holiday parties but even during tasks like shopping. Try these five tips to help you stay on track while shopping.

1. Eat before you shop – You will be better able to manage the stressors of the season and less tempted if your blood sugar is stable. Even what is supposed to be a quick stop can stretch out with long lines and full parking lots. By the time you make it out of the store, your stomach may be growling with nothing but fast food in sight. (more…)

Save Money and Calories On Your Next Grocery Trip

In 2009 the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the average American family of four spends $8,513 per year on groceries. That’s a lot of trips to the market and probably a lot of empty calories purchased each week.

While some people can afford to splurge on premium ingredients and brand names, the grocery store is also one of the most common places where people overspend.

“Take your grocery list to the store when you shop,” said Teri Gault, CEO of TheGroceryGame.com “Don’t buy groceries that you don’t need. If you have a list of everything you’ll need for the next few weeks, you’ll gather all the ingredients you need while saving money and avoiding the panic of the last minute rush.”

Follow some of our tips to keep your grocery budget to a minimum – and your grocery list full of healthy food.

(more…)

Pay with Cash to Lose Weight

cashA recent study showed that people who use their credit cards to buy food make poorer nutritional choices than those who pay with cash. The New York Times reports that using a credit card decreases the “pain of payment,” but also seems to make consumers feel less guilty about purchasing junk food.

“[W]hen consumers encounter vice products — such as cookies, cakes and pies — the emotive imagery and associated desire trigger impulsive purchase decisions,” the authors write. But “pain of payment can curb the impulsive responses and thus reduce the purchase of such vice products.”

(more…)

Kroger Makes Healthy Shopping Easy as 1-2-3

NuVal in KrogerThe nation’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger, has rolled out the NuVal nutrition scoring system to 23 Lexington, Kentucky stores to help shoppers make healthier food choices. The scoring system gives each food a score, from 1 to 100. Foods with high scores are more nutritious, foods with low scores are less. Shoppers also have the added confidence that the ranking system is provided by a third party, not food or beverage producers. NuVal was developed by nutrition and medical experts from top health organizations and universities.

Perhaps the most surprising part of the NuVal scores is how poorly some of the “health” foods ranked against regular snacks. For example, Garden of Eatin’ no salt added blue corn chips actually score better than an Odwalla Fruit smoothie: the chips earn a score of 52 while the smoothie gets a 49.  Fresh fruits and vegetables get scores near to 100.

(more…)

Buying in Bulk Helps You Eat Healthy on a Dime [VIDEO]

Do you ever find yourself in one of those warehouse stores where they sell in bulk, but you’re afraid you’ll never get through the whole thing without getting tired of it? Well, this week’s healthy on a dime tip will help you save your dimes and your time.

(more…)