Thursday, December 18, 2014

Let's Get Real Friday Party # 70

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

**Note:  We will be taking off next week.  Merry Christmas!

** If you are interested in co-hosting Let's Get Real with us, we would love to have you. Please email Christina at: jugglingrealfoodandreallife@gmail.com. It's super easy to host and a whole lot of fun.

Let's Get Real Friday Party
 
I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.

1) Follow all your co-hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.





2) Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least 3 other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!


3) Let people know where you party! Add our party badge or link back to the party on your blog or post.
 
http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com
 

We will be pinning our favorites!!


My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:

(Drum Roll Please!)

 
 
Pomegranate panna cotta..........sounds fancy, doesn't it?  I'm featuring this recipe because it is not only beautiful, but easy to make as well.  Janette shows how with a few ingredients and her tips on the technique just how easy it is to make this beautiful dessert that will really impress your guests.
 
 
 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

10 Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store

Whenever I bring up the subject of real food, folks seem to assume that I have a lot of money.  I often hear, "I can't afford to eat healthy."  While it may be true that real food is more expensive than the dollar menu, there are certainly ways you can budget for real food.  I didn't decide one day that I was going to eat healthy real food and then the next day wake up and win the lottery.  I have lots of expenses like you do.  My oldest son is attending college and for some reason his three siblings still want to eat.  Crazy, right?
 
 
10 Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store
 
I have two kids at home that love their meat and one that prefers to eat a primarily vegetarian diet. I need to prepare lunches that travel well and quick dinners so we can get on to our nightly activities. Planning and shopping is a challenge, but I stick with it. My family is worth the extra work.


Here are 10 tips that we use to stay within our budget.

1.  Make a list.  This is a big one for me.  Without the list, I will buy all kinds of things that look delicious and I don't really need.  This goes hand-in-hand with sticking to my meal plan.  It makes no sense to buy a bunch of fresh produce that I don't have a plan for.  Waste is a real budget breaker. 

2.  Keep an accurate inventory.  I was laughing about this with my neighbor while we were at the school bus stop the other day.  There really is no point in buying more peanut butter when you have three jars in the cabinet already. Buying staples is expensive.  Don't do it over and over. 

3.  Use your crock and buy cheaper cuts of meat.
Cooking meat in a crock all day really tenderizes it.  There is no need to buy expensive cuts of beef when you are cooking it all day.  Your cheaper cuts of meat will be fall-apart tender when cooked in your favorite crock pot recipe.  This is the crock that I use.  It is available at Amazon through my affiliate here



Programmable Slow Cooker




4.  Don't buy pre-cut veggies.  I find this really tempting and will buy pre-cut veggies in a pinch to save time, but on a regular basis it is a waste of money.  I find that the pre-cut seem a bit older than when I buy my vegetables and cut them myself.  Sure, it takes more time, but it sure does save money and the quality is usually better. 

5.  Grate your own cheese.  I like to grate cheese myself for a variety of reasons.  In addition to saving money, I can choose from a greater variety of cheeses when I grate it myself.  I also avoid that powdery white stuff they put into grated cheese to avoid it sticking together.  I just don't like that stuff!  To make things easier, buy a big block of cheese and grate it in your food processor.  Store in an air-tight container or bag.

6.  Buy fruit and veggies in season.  Fruits and vegetables are usually less expensive in season.  If you follow your local growing schedule you will save a good bit of money.

7.  Grow a garden.  Here in the US, it is pretty cold.  Most of us are not able to grow a garden right now.  However, some items can be grown indoors.  I can sure save a ton of money just by growing basil indoors.  Check out this post from Karen over at To Work With My Hands on how to grow basil indoors.  The more we can preserve from the fall harvest, the less we will pay throughout the year.  It sure is nice to grab a jar of tomato juice from the shelf instead of running to the store. 

Canned tomatoes from the garden


8.  Buy in bulk.  Not every store offers bulk foods, but if you can find a store that does, you will usually save money.  I like to buy raisins, oats, nuts, flour, and a variety of other items in bulk. 

9.  Make your own goodies.  Packaged foods are expensive.  If you can make your own cookies and snack foods, you will save quite a bit on your grocery budget.

10.  Pack snacks for on the go.  Again..........packaged foods are expensive.  I like to make my own trail mix and package it for a quick grab and go snack.  We also pack raisins, cut veggies, cheese, and all sorts of other snacks.  The kids love that they have choices and that they can grab a snack whenever they are hungry.  I like that I save money.

Real Food can be expensive, but these are a few tips to help you stick to your budget and still be able to provide healthy foods for your family.  It is possible!  Even.......with a busy schedule. 

What tips would you share on saving money at the grocery store?  Do you meal plan?  Are you a coupon shopper?

I promise to keep bringing you the best and most accurate information on nutrition I can find..........and hopefully with a little bit of humor along the way as well. You can find lots of great information on this blog (check out the tabs above and the archives). Make sure to subscribe by email so you don't miss anything. You can also find lots of great tips, tricks, advice, and fun on my Facebook page and my other social media. Please join us and share us with your friends!

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Let's Get Real Friday Party #69

Woot! Woot! Let's get this Friday started. Let's Get Real is all about Healthy Living. That's right! It's all about Real Food, fitness, health and wellness, and home life tips and tricks from Real people. That's you! Grab a cup of coffee (or other preferred beverage ). Relax into a comfy spot and take some time to get to know the great folks that link up here.

** If you are interested in co-hosting Let's Get Real with us, we would love to have you. Please email Christina at: jugglingrealfoodandreallife@gmail.com. It's super easy to host and a whole lot of fun.

Let's Get Real Friday Party
 
 
I'm not big on rules (since this is what I do for fun), but I do have a couple of guidelines.

1) Follow all your co-hosts. We follow back! Leave a comment for us on the post and we will know you are a new follower.


Christina:Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+/Instagram



2) Please don't link and run! Follow and comment on at least 3 other blogs. The more effort you put into getting to know everyone, the more you will get in return. Everyone is here to get more readers and traffic to their blogs so let's show them some love!


3) Let people know where you party! Add our party badge or link back to the party on your blog or post.

 
 

We will be pinning our favorites!!


My Let's Get Real Featured blogger this week is:

(Drum Roll Please!)



 
 
We are all looking for the perfect gift this time of year and Linda has some great ideas gathered in this hope.  Make someone's day with one of these easy homemade gifts.
 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Health Benefits of Real Food - Heart Health

Real Food has changed my life.  I went from being sick with flu-like symptoms and horrible digestive issues to being young and healthy again.  I love that term........."young and healthy".  That's the term my doctor used with me so it must be true.  Never mind the wrinkles that are slowly creeping onto my face.  I'm "young and healthy".  My other motivation for taking the extra time and effort to prepare and cook real food meals is selfish as well.  I want my family to be healthy too.  I want my husband and children to live long and have an excellent quality of life.
 

Healthy Diet for Heart Health


I mostly talk about my children on this blog so today's post will be a little different.  Today, I am talking about my husband.  I like to brag about how much my husband helps me with cooking and how he always takes care of the dishes for me.........no matter how big of a mess I make.  He is the best!  I can't imagine life without him.  He is six years younger than me so it should be safe to assume that he will be with me for my entire life.  However, I've come to find out that he has genetics working against him.  There is a history of heart issues, high blood pressure, and even stroke in his extended family.  These factors are certainly enough to worry me.

Since I have known my husband, he has had high blood pressure.  This is going to sound crazy, but I've always kind of enjoyed his high blood pressure.  I'm a freeze baby and he is always warm due to the high blood pressure.  Let's just say.........he is nice to snuggle with.  When I stop to think though...........I know high blood pressure is not a good thing.  Without a doubt, I have been hoping and praying that a real food diet would help him.  He even was put on blood pressure medicine to help the situation.

I really wanted to see an immediate change in his blood pressure when we changed to eating mostly real food.  It just didn't work out that way.  In fact, probably due to work pressures, it got worse.  I felt defeated.  Sure, I was feeling better, but what I really wanted was for my entire family to be healthier. 

Then it happened......................

My husband went to the doctor and brought home some good news.  A little over two years from the time we started our real food journey my husband finally had a normal blood pressure reading.  I couldn't believe it!  It was normal "on the high side" but in the normal range.  I should also mention that he is no longer taking blood pressure medicine. 

The take-away..........................

Keep with it.  Little by little and day by day.  Change for the good or even for the bad won't happen overnight.  It just won't.  I didn't feel bad eating fast food everyday for years.  However, one day it finally caught up with me.  The same is true for fixing the damage of a poor diet.  You CAN'T fix it overnight.  Each meal is a choice.  Do you choose to help your body or hurt your body?  The more times you choose to eat a healthy diet, the more times you are choosing to live a healthy life.  You and your family are so worth the extra effort. Food can't fix everything, but in my husband's case, food has fixed what medicine only helped.  Food is truly powerful.

Have you noticed any change in your health due to a change in diet?  Have you been thinking about changing your diet?  What are the reasons that you are still eating processed foods?

I promise to keep bringing you the best and most accurate information on nutrition I can find..........and hopefully with a little bit of humor along the way as well. You can find lots of great information on this blog (check out the tabs above and the archives). Make sure to subscribe by email so you don't miss anything. You can also find lots of great tips, tricks, advice, and fun on my Facebook page and my other social media. Please join us and share us with your friends!  

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