Donate a non-perishable food items and get a holiday membership for FREE!
I am glad I doubled checked with a phone call – before just sharing this with you…as the card has NO asterisk or small print to let anyone know that getting the “Holidays Free” means you get the month of December free WHEN you sign up for a membership.
It tends to cost a little more to buy the organic version of an item than buying the “non – organic” version.
What does “Organic” mean?
“Organic” is a designation used by the USDA National Organic Program to certify food that is produced without synthetic chemicals or fertilizers, genetic engineering, radiation or sewage sludge. (I know – EWW!)
It helps to know WHEN to buy Organic items and when you really don’t need to.
Not everyone knows about the “dirty dozen” items that are usually high in pesticides – the items you want to avoid as they tend to increase your chances of certain kinds of cancers and other diseases. It’s ironic as you eat more fresh produce to PREVENT that from happening and the stuff they use to help grow it defeats that purpose! These are the items you want to eat the organic versions of — as some of them can have up to 47 different pesticides on them, some as many as 65!
•sweet bell peppers
•spinach, kale and collard greens
All the produce on “The Clean 15” bore little to no traces of pesticides, and is safe to consume in non-organic form. This list includes:
What is the difference in the lists?
Some items have a protection defense because of the outer layer of skin. Not the same for strawberries and berries…you simply can’t wash those items and remove all the pesticides. You can reduce the amount that is on there to lower your exposure.
I hope this helps you figure out where to focus your precious grocery budget when you are considering what to buy…we are lucky in Wisconsin with so many great CSA farms! Locally grown, fresh, Organic produce that can cover most items on the Dirty Dozen list while you directly support your local economy. What a win-win situation!
We have had fun picking cherries off our tree, strawberries at the Jen-Ehr farm, apples at Zickert’s orchard, and enjoying greens from our own garden….making family memories as we went along. It is easier than you think to do.
I have had a long few weeks: A routine mammogram that came back with a problem, another – more localized mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy. The end result, a small lump with no cancer.
As hard as that is to deal with, and rationalize, and wait…that wasn’t the bad part for me.
My Grandmother died of breast cancer, many years before I was born, when my mother was just four years old.
Guess how old Ms Sarah is?
The thoughts racing through my head of a sweet little girl not having her momma anymore and her life totally turning upside down…(my mom) and then, thinking “what if” history was going to repeat itself again in our family…..
I didn’t sleep much for the last few weeks – or talk to my mom. (sigh).
I would think “I want my Mommy…” and realize that she never had that option as she grew up, to just pick up the phone and ask what ingredient was missing in the recipe she was making, or how to get a certain stain out…or to talk about the big stuff.
I also didn’t want to “worry” my Mom as she had been through this on the other end…which I know is silly, but she has been through enough in her life to not add more to it.
My words to you:
If you are over 40 and haven’t gotten at least a baseline mammogram yet – make the call NOW. Things have come a LOOOOONNNNNGGGG way in the 60 years since my grandmother died – with all of the technology and medicine available. Don’t put it off and make someone else wish that they could still talk to their Mommy.
When I was a “tween”, going through puberty, I first learned of these hereditary headaches in my family. Hormones seemed to be the big driver for them, but a diet rich in nitrates or a lack or consistent sleep both added to their frequency and intensity.
Then they went away (yippee!)
Fast forward 25 or so years to when I was starting all that fertility work so we could have a baby. Yup, increased stress levels, massive hormone injections, etc brought them back.
There doesn’t seem to be a real pattern now…weather, stress, sleep, can start me off. I really watch what I put into my body – so no more nitrates or wine.
I had a doozy this week –
After trying my “protocol”, I went in for a morphine shot. Back home to try to sleep it out. It didn’t work. So, into the big clinic for the IV therapy yesterday.
It’s really quite interesting They start with magnesium and then this stuff that is basically epilepsy medicine – it helps calm all the nerve action in the brain down. They have a few other bags to add on and, if none of that works, they do nerve blocking injections to the back of the head.
Yes, I have been through it all before.
Yesterday, they couldn’t get a vein. They blew out two and then I said that I was done…
I drank a ton of fluids and got a lot of rest at my Mom’s while they watched Sarah.
The tightwad in me finds it hard to believe that I spent $30 ($15 office visit co-pay) over two days so I could continue to feel crummy. Then, I just remember, they have a license to practice medicine. The license doesn’t say that they master it — just that they can practice it.
When the Doc said yesterday that she wasn’t satisfied yet, that I was still in pain and she had to come up with something else — THAT is when I knew it was time to go. (Even if it was AMA)
Have you ever been practiced on?
I don’t have just a cold, I had a sinus infection that turned into pneumonia…
Yes, I did it right, LOL!
There is one thing to be thankful for: I didn’t overbook myself for the holidays!
I am not a snack helper at the school…I had only one holiday type event planned for each week, I have a cookie party instead of making a bajillion different kinds of cookies, and everything is already wrapped and under our tree!
This makes it easier to be home, under a blanket on the recliner and drinking a lot of fluids. This makes it easier to deal with 10+ inches of fresh snow. This makes it easier to not go out in the incredibly chilly weather we will get after that!
It does pay to simplify the holiday and be proactive…it lets you be stress free if something like pneumonia sneaks up on you.
Saturday is the “Polar Express” program — I will venture out, bundled up with Ms Sarah and hopefully, get some great pictures of her with Santa.
(Then, back to my recliner…)
Have a wonderful, festive and healthy weekend!
I got a GREAT question from someone who read one post on my blog this week – here is what my AWESOME bud said:
Ok girl, you know I love you but I have to say this…..
When I was doing this couponing thing I found that I was buying all junk and going to your blog you don’t have to much healthy stuff either from your last shopping spree. Not that I eat healthy all the time because I don’t but what I do know is that by having all the “junk” in the house, I ate it all. I had to stop.
Cleaning supplies and things like that are what I like to save money on. You cant find to many coupons for veggies, fish, chicken and things like that and that is what I need to force myself to eat.
Here was my reply:
Of course I love you!
You can’t go off of my one day – I work a stock pile system
Two weeks ago I got 10 bricks of assorted cheeses and 22 bottles of fruit/veggie juice…kind of a strange weekly list!
You CAN find coupons for veggies – Frozen all the time and occasionally fresh with “meal deals” or just outright like I got free avacados that day…and there are coupons out there for meat (Brakebush chicken, or what they call catalina’s – print outs from your register good for $X off your next order, etc that has ground beef, etc.)
I have to bake cookies for a school related event, that is why I have 10 packs of the Nestle’s ready-to-bake on that transaction – I can’t make 400 cookies for $5… Campbell’s Select soups are pretty healthy, and 8 boxes of cereal are already in the food pantry box for church – I kept the corn flakes and raisin bran! My kid brother likes sweets but lives alone – those Sweet Moments are for him…we will surprise him when we go out to lunch on Saturday.
Dear Hubby is my problem.
I drink soymilk – he refuses to.
I like whole grain wheat bread (think brownberry) and he likes white bread.
He likes canned crap for his lunchpail at work when he is working certain stations that he can just heat and eat.
Usually I take more time on my blog post to say what goes where — I was just lazy that day and didn’t fill in all of the blanks
Those of you that have been following along see what I do – and how I work the raw ingredients into real meals…know my daughter calls the Yoplait Delites Yogurt “chocolate raspberry pudding” and occasionally asks for “half and half” – which is half cow milk and half vanilla soy milk, LOL!
This IS an important topic to cover – as there are a LOT of coupons out there for the RTE (ready to eat) meals that are high in sodium, all the sweets/juices with high fructose corn syrup and so many things with tons of chemicals and preservatives!
You can get a lot of GOOD food too – dairy, meat, veggies, low carb or whole wheat pastas, grains and more…you just have to know your store cycles and work the deals!
I WELCOME questions and comments – if you ever have any, just fire away!
Both my mother and mother in law have diabetes so I try to keep current on all the available information. I even sat in on the classes with my mother, who is now diet controlled. I am a big girl, but keep an eye on what my Mom deals with, so I can make sure that I don’t get the same thing!
The free magazine from the Pharmacy department at Walgreen’s, called “diabetes and you”, had a very interesting article in it. (summer copy) It says what we eat may be the key, more so than the risk facto of being overweight or inactive!
The paragraph I found the most interesting is:
The researchers who did the study found that people in these two groups who ate a lot of fats, meats, eggs and refined grains, had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study also showed that vegetables help protect some people from getting type 2 diabetes. Diets rich in fruit, milk and yogurt were found to be very helpful, especially in women.
The first thing that came to my mine was “I TOLD my husband that eating like he does puts him in a high risk category all of his own!”
Then I took a look at what *I* eat: Fruits, Veggies, yogurt every day, whole grain wheat bread, brown rice, skim milk, wheat pasta, etc. (whew!) I do some fats, but usually the healthier ones like olive oil, etc. I also tend to stick with baked or broiled instead of the nasty fried variety. Instead of the red or process meats that they were saying were evil, I do poultry and fish more often. I try to eat the “rainbow” of colors in the produce world, and often try veggies in different ways instead of the same old presentation time after time. I know that WHITE is a bad word in the world of food and try to avoid it…
Don’t get me wrong, I have been known to indulge in the chocolate chip cookies that a friend makes, or have a second bread stick if I am having a salad at Olive Garden…I really think moderation is the key.
I have a “mini me” in the house, which means that Sarah is on the same path that I follow…her snack box in the fridge has everything from homemade granola to string cheese and she knows that she can have anything in there. (and occasionally reminds me that her choices are getting low…LOL!) She is empowered to make her own choices, but I have narrowed the field of selection down for her.
It’s not just for diabetes, the same diet can help prevent cancers, and more! Take a look at what you keep on hand in your home. The old saying is right: you ARE what you eat! Why be a pile of processed crap when you can make simple changes to change your future. You can save a LOT of money by staying healthy: less doctor visits, less medications, longer lifespan, and more. We can’t cheat death but we sure have the power to post-phone it a while.
It’s kind of funny that my hubby thinks he is healthier than I am…he just goes by looks. I am a large gal — cursed with a very slow metabolism from my FibroMyalgia that I inherited with a car accident in 1993. However, I have better than normal levels of everything from cholesterol to blood sugar, rarely get a cold/flu and seem to get more things done in a day than many people. Compare this to him, who as a cold of some sort every other month, rarely goes to the gym with his FREE membership, and is often commenting on how tired he feels…I must be doing something right!
Have you ever used the excuse “It’s just too EXPENSIVE” when it comes to improving your health?!?! I once used this excuse too, but cutting back from having my favorite latte everyday to making coffee at home has now allowed me a little extra money to make better decisions. Here is how you can save $150 – $600 per month to put towards your healthier lifestyle, a personal trainer, gym membership, savings, and so much more… It’s easy! Life is simply about choices – we make them all the time : this or that… Just remember, YOU have the power do make any changes you really want to! It’s the simple little things that let you be healthy – enjoy the following list!
1) Stop buying soda and sugar filled snacks! The average person drinks 2-3 sodas per day. Not only is soda pop horrible for your teeth, health, etc it is expensive! You could save…$90 a month by switching to water! Snacks – Do you run for that candy bar or bag of chips for a snack when you are hungry? Anyting with high fructose corn syrup is a slow zapper of your energy! Switch to homemade treats or something as simple as the breakfast cookies that I shared and help balance your blood sugar, give yourself a “full” feeling, and provide doctor-recommended fiber, which is vitally important for gastrointestinal health. (don’t you just love using big words, LOL>?)
2) Start brewing your coffee at home. B.I.Y. (Brew it yourself) – Save about $5 per day by brewing your coffee at home.
3) Get Trained! Start using some of the new savings from the 2 small steps above and Hire a personal trainer to work with at least one day a week! (or be like me who is a member of health club where I can use one FREE. A few sessions with a trainer can not only motivate you – but teach you a regime that will work for YOUR body…YOUR level and teach you how to do the exercises correctly. You can then take it from there yourself until you think you are ready for more of a challenge.
4) Go Green! Literally! We all know white foods are bad for you, so work on eating the rainbow colors of produce! Tis the season – get ready to start shopping at your local farmers market – locally grown organic food is not only better for you, it leaves a smaller carbon footprint on our planet!
5) Brown Bag It and stop getting your meals “through a window”.Save big cash by bringing your own lunch to work. You could save… $5 dollars per day, or $25 in a 5-day work week. Don’t eat anything that comes through a window!!!!!!!!Even if you are ordering off the dollar menu, you end up spending more on food than you would by purchasing ingredients at the grocery store and cooking them at home and let’s face it what are you really eating by ordering off of the $1 menu. Do you head to restaurants or order takeout because of boredom, lack of cooking skills or being short on time? Resist boredom and improve your cooking skills by looking up new and fun recipes on the internet. Try cooking something you normally wouldn’t whether it’s your favorite dish from a gourmet restaurant or an interesting dish from an exotic destination. There is something for everybody from the frugal to health conscious available on the internet.. You could save: $10+ dollars per meal
Here is a biggie –>6. Quit smoking- Seriously. There is no benefit whatsoever. Smoking is horrible for your health, drains you of money, and is no longer perceived as “sexy” or “cool” by pop culture standards. The taxes on cigarettes rise up to ten times per year, with each pack costing at least $5.00. If you can’t quit, or decide that you are going to have to wait until another time you should consider switching to a discount or value brand. You could save: Depends on how much you smoke. Smokers will spend over $40,000 in twenty to thirty years on cigarettes…gee, look at the number: $40,000. (tee hee)
These are not new ideas — you can see them anywhere from the Biggest Looser TV show on NBC to a late night infomercial that is touting the latest “must have” gadget for a newer, slimmer you…but they all make great sense! Remember, little things add up-you can pick just a few things off of this list and gradually change not only your health, but find that you are really able to tuck away some serious cash! Add it to your vacation fund, retirement fund or your downpayment for your first house…what ever trips your trigger
Until next time…how can YOU become more healthy?