It can be hard to get a reasonable amount of leafy greens into your diet. An easy way to make it happen is to start your day off with a green smoothie. All you need is a blender and a sense of adventure.
In this economy staying within the family food budget and remaining healthy is a challenge. Having grown up in a family with a limited income, for me this is nothing new. When money gets tight you have to be careful about sacrificing yourself in an effort to save cash. Getting sick while broke is not any fun. With that in mind, when attempting to reduce your grocery bill don’t sacrifice nutrients. Avoid packaged food and focus on getting as much real food as you can. If a vegetable you don’t know very well is on sale – get it and experiment. With the help of Google you can research any vegetable you please. On occacion I have found it difficult to find recipes for sale items that didn’t require another trip to the grocery store. This is why I am going to start sharing simple recipes based on sale items. This week at Kroger (Nov8-Nov14) 10 bucks went a long way. Baby carrots were among the veggies you could purchase for a dollar. Here is a great recipe for those baby carrots.
1 bag of baby carrots
5c low-sodium vegetable broth
4 tsp ginger powder
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp curry powder
Salt to taste
In a large pot combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or until carrots are tender. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender in batches a few cups at a time. Purée until smooth. Return the puree to saucepan and reheat and enjoy.
If Google brought you to this post you can probably have several answers for that question, for those of you whose readership today is mere happenstance I will give you a brief overview of the benefits of vintage shopping.
•Vintage allows you to create runway looks on the cheap.
•At times a truly unique look can be obtained no other way.
•Assembling your look can inspire creativity and confidence.
•Wearing vintage clothes is way green. This is a great way to recycle and conserve resources.
For further inspiration see http://www.freewillfashions.com/
At freewillfashions activist/conservationist Monkey Queen has outlined an irresistible philospy that will have you bumrushing the nearest Goodwill. Here is a little preview:
1.Blindly following fashion trends leads you to an artistic dead end and financial bankruptcy. Seeking your own style initiates creativity and self-development.
2.Fashion is swayed by the mood of the time; it comes and it goes. Style is a force of individual life that evolves as the person evolves and is determined by the individual.
3.Fashion controls the person who pursues it. Style is controlled by the person who strives to achieve it.
4.Fashion requires an ideal figure and lots of money. Style requires character, artistic creativity, good taste and far less money.
Feeling inspired yet??? Great, lets go shopping!”
Where to get it?
Now that we have established the virtues of vintage, lets move on to shopping locales. If you are a serious fashionista you may doubt that recycling can be attractive. Realize that vintage clothing is not solely distributed by Goodwill and charity shops. There are many high-end retailers of vintage fashions. If budget is not a concern for you, explore consignment stores with high standards and some of the more polished online venders. Thanks to the internet there is a universe of vintage available to you now that was far more difficult to access just a few years ago. I suggest you try http://www.vintagetrends.com/, http://hookedonvintage.com/, http://www.rustyzipper.com/, http://www.vintagevixen.com/, http://www.monstervintage.com/, and http://www.dressthatman.com/ just to mention a few. In addition to these suggestions, don’t be afraid to explore on your own. A simple Google search may lead you to something wonderful.The yellow pages list consignment and thrift shops in your area. Scope these out. Visit yard sales, peruse the classifieds in your local newspaper, and check craigslist.com for sale items.
Ebay also has a large number of sellers that feature vintage items. Please keep in mind that clothing sizes have a changed over the years. Be sure to have accurate measurements of yourself when you are shopping online. Shop according to the measurements of the clothing, not by the size indicated by the tag. This tip applies to men as well as women. Most sellers will list this information. If it is not listed, be aware that the seller is most likely inexperienced. This may not have to be a deal breaker, but proceed with caution when dealing with ill-informed sellers. You can request the measurements but if the seller is inexperienced, their information may not be precise. Examine their return policy before you are saddled with a piece that will require extensive alterations to be of any use to you. If an item would require minor changes, feel free to purchase it. Simple alterations can typically be performed by your local drycleaner.
Exit the box
Go on and indulge your creative spirit. There are no rules here. Perhaps your favorite outfit is in your Grammy’s closet, at that yard sale just up the road, listed on craigslist, or in an unassuming pile at the Salvation Army. You never know.
Eating beautiful is challenging any day of the week, but throw some holiday cheer atop your daily hurdles and you may start to feel that they are insurmountable. That said, I assure you it can be done. This Memorial Day weekend rather than attending someone else’s moderation busting BBQ I held my own Ladies Lunch. Even though almost everyone in attendance admitted that most family functions turn into excuses to binge, we all felt controlling our portions was far less challenging with this menu.
Mango and Strawberry Fruit Skewers
Toasted pita slices topped with sour cream and cucumber pico
White – Freshly pureed grapes,blended with white wine and toasted walnuts
Red – Tomato-based puree with a smoky and tangy bite
Grilled sandwiches with black bean paste, roasted red peppers and Mexican cheeses
This is the interesting thing about eating real food. While we found ourselves satisfied (not stuffed) before we went back for seconds with this menu, at most family functions it is not uncommon to see guests eat non-stop until leaving. Excess sugar and salt found in processed foods trigger binges while whole foods satisfy hunger and allow your body to register that it has been fed.
I hired a local personal chef service to cater my lunch so that I could make the most of my time with family. You might be surprised at what a great value a service like this ends up being. If you are just getting stared with healthy cooking, a personal chef can eliminate the guess work. However, if you aren’t in a position to hire right now you can improve your summer time function menus on your own. The next time you have guests this summer try skipping the hot dogs, burgers, and chips and replacing them with fresh fruit, raw veggies, and chilled soups. You might be surprised about how receptive you guests are to healthy fare if you present them well.