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Simple Solutions for Happier, Healthier Holidays

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 20th December 2013

Guest blog by: +Elizabeth Lotts writer for Vitacost.com

Do you feel full just thinking about holiday feasts? Don’t you wish for a way to stay fit and healthy, despite all the “stuffing”? Well, put down the fork and pick up a pen, because we have all the dos and don’ts you’ll want to follow. With these tips added to the holiday agenda, the only thing you’ll feel full of is victory!

DO…Take advantage of time off from work to sleep more and exercise longer. The beauty of having a day or two off from work is that you don’t have to wake up for the 5:30 a.m. spin class. But it doesn’t mean you should slack off, either. In fact, use those extra hours to stay active throughout the whole day – just 10 minutes here and there will do.

DO…Find a local race to keep you motivated (and moving!) Fall typically brings the perfect weather for running. Regardless of your fitness level, this time of year is abuzz with holiday-themed events, particularly jingle bell 5Ks, charity bike rides and the like. Committing to an event will help ensure you don’t miss a workout. Besides, accomplishing your goals will help lift your spirits as the holiday hub-bub ensues.

Do…Substitute for simpler, better ingredients. Holiday cooking can be loaded with unnecessary saturated fat, sugar galore and mountains of salt. Trim the fat when you can by using coconut oil in place of butter. Try low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise in deviled eggs and potato salad. And skip the extra dash of salt, especially if dishes already contain sodium.

DON’T…Feel guilty about saying “no.” Some things are irresistible, especially when they’re homemade or involve family and friends. Unfortunately, not all temptations are worth their price. Even though you’re a social butterfly, you may not be able to make every holiday party you’re invited to. Don’t sweat it; there’s always next year. Same goes for Aunt Jo’s candied pecans. Dessert doesn’t have to be off-limits, but choose your favorite and stick to a single serving. You’ll be more satisfied choosing the things you really want instead of killing yourself trying to please everyone else.

DON’T…Let stress get the best of you. Cooking, decorating, wrapping, traveling, socializing…the list goes on. It can become overwhelming for anyone. But stressing can pack on the pounds and leave you moody and fatigued. Break the vicious cycle by scheduling time to focus on your own health. Exercise is a great place to start, because it boosts feel-good endorphins and helps you release any pent-up frustration.

DON’T…Underestimate calories in. Keep a food journal to track each morsel of mashed potatoes, so you can avoid overeating. Writing down what and how much you consume translates to mindful eating. This kind of practice can give you a greater appreciation for how food nourishes (or upsets) your body.

Isn’t the taste of victory sweet enough?

This article has been provided by the folks at Vitacost.com. They know that a healthy lifestyle is more than organic vitamins and natural supplements.  That’s why Vitacost.com offers essentials for your home, your baby, your pantry, your beauty routine – even your furry, four-legged friends! Since 1994, Vitacost.com has been taking the cost out of healthy living. Today, you can shop over 35,000 products from your computer, tablet or smartphone with just a click of a button. Shop for vitamins for nails, vitamins for skin, vitamins for hair and more.  Some might say Vitacost.com is the silver platter of healthy living – let them serve you. Vitacost.com is not affiliated with this blog and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.

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Vita Cost

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 4th June 2013

There are so many fantastic deals on the Vita Cost site I don’t know where to begin. Vitamins, shampoos, organic foods, protein powders, herbs, and homeopathy are just a few of the items covered.

Let’s start with organic products – 22 ounces of Organic Raw Honey for $6.35, 8 ounces of organic shredded coconut for $2.68, 12 ounces organic whole bean French Roast for $8.20, 16 ounces of Arrowhead Mills organic flax seed for $2.70!

Moving right along to shampoos- 11 ounces of Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo for $4.19, 32 ounces of Avalon Nourishing Lavender Shampoo for $10.67,  18 ounces Nature’s Gate Pomegranate Sunflower Shampoo for $3.90!

Organic Agave sweetener 23.5 ounces for $6.53!

Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent White Flower and Bergamot Citrus 7 lbs for $13.73!

And Aubreys, Alba Botanica, Burts Bees, Jason, Zia!

So many types of vitamins and herbs that you are going to have to see for yourself. Please check for the most recent prices.

Now The Frugal Diva knows what you are thinking. What in the world is it going to cost to ship all this? $4.99 per order – that means if you get one item, two items, or ten items it will cost you $4.99 shipping. Sign up for their emails and find out when they have a special free shipping offer.

And as a diva it’s so nice to have things appear at your doorstep without having to schlep out to the store.

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Posted in Category Test, Fitness/Beauty | 2 Comments »

Deals and Coupons At Sprouts

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 27th February 2013

If a health food store and big box store had a child it would be called Sprouts.  This is a full service market that combines a fabulous produce department (about 40% of the store) with a natural food store’s selection of everything else at great prices.  What does that mean to the average shopper?  If your shopping list includes fresh produce,  organic cereal, whole wheat baguettes, eco friendly cleaning products, grass fed beef, and a teaspoon of rosemary this is the place for you.  With their low shelving, you can find everything you need quickly plus there are no mainstream brands to impede your search. This is for families who want more fresh and additive free food in their diet at the best prices.

While their organic produce section is still pretty small, organic products can be found everywhere else in the store.  Organic eggs, yogurt, and milk in the dairy case. Bottled organic juices, organic honey, and even organic breads under the Sprouts label on the shelves. They carry all the brands you would expect to see in any of the other health food chains however most of the prices are better and with weekly specials you can stock up when prices are really fantastic.  Especially on their own Sprouts brand of vitamins.

About that teaspoon of rosemary, I mentioned. This is something new for me, spices in bulk.  How many recipes do we pass up that have an unusual herb or use a bottle that has been there since we moved in? This is an opportunity to try out something new without wasting money.

Bulk buying is also possible for nuts, chips, and candies (better to buy a little then gorge on a lot).

Wednesday might be hump day to some people, for The Frugal Diva Wednesday is shop at Sprouts day since items from the previous weeks specials and the new specials are available. Twice the possibilities for savings!

Sprouts is proud to partner with Autism Speaks in creating a new Neighborhood Grant Program designed to fund local nonprofit organizations serving children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. As our company continues to grow, so does our ability to make an even greater impact in the neighborhoods we serve. From Feb. 27 to March 13, Sprouts shoppers can help this worthwhile program take root in their community by supporting our “Autism Speaks Puzzle Piece” fundraising campaign.

Sprouts Farmers Market CEO Doug Sanders knows the affects of autism firsthand; his 3-year-old son was diagnosed with autism in 2009. That’s when Sprouts saw an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the autism community through a partnership with Autism Speaks. Under Sanders’ leadership—backed by the support of Sprouts customers, team members and vendors—they have raised an incredible $2.2 million to fund programs that help bring autism awareness and support to local communities.

Another great reason to shop at Sprouts!

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Healthy Eating in the Fast Lane

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 10th May 2012

You only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table. It has to be quick and easy—and healthy, of course. Don’t let your busy schedule get in the way of good nutrition. Make a satisfying supper in record time—and stay within your budget—when you think F.A.S.T.

Frozen: Frozen meals have come a long way since the old-fashioned TV dinner. Today, you‘ll find healthy frozen meals low in sodium, free of preservatives and full of taste. Before you buy, read the Nutrition Facts on the package, paying attention to serving size, total calories, sodium content and sugar and fat sources. (Tip: multiply servings per container by total calories to determine how much of the meal satisfies your daily caloric needs.)

Ahead of time: Prepare your meals ahead of time and cut costs, calories and stress. When you prepare your own food, you control the ingredients, and the portion sizes. Set aside time on Sunday to plan next week’s menu. With list in hand, purchase only the foods you need for those meals and snacks. Save time by knocking out some of the prep-work in one session: Cut up raw vegetables for stir-fry, or divide trail mix and other bulk snacks into bags. This way, when you’re packing lunch, you can just grab and go!

Semi-homemade: Cook with a mix of fresh and prepared foods to save time. Homemade tomato sauce is delicious, but is it necessary? Spare time (and labor) without sacrificing quality by incorporating all-natural and organic prepared foods into your meals. Here are a few semi-homemade cooking ideas:

-          Use jarred organic tomato sauce for pasta or pizza.

-          Canned vegetable purees, such as organic pumpkin, are great with pasta dishes or baked into desserts (no carving, dicing or slicing required!).

-          Instant rice is an instant crowd-pleaser. Use it to stuff peppers, bulk up soup or just as a side.

-          Toss organic dried fruit pieces into tossed salads or stews, or use in baking recipes.

-           Use pre-cooked chicken breasts, canned salmon or canned tuna to save time preparing and cooking meat.

Take-out: Some nights, even a microwave meal is too much of a hassle. Surrendering to takeout is OK on occasion. To help ensure you’re choosing the healthiest options, gather up your restaurant menus beforehand and circle the best entrees. Keep these tips in mind:

-          Red sauces and soups are better than creamy versions.

-          Skip the cheese, or substitute avocado for cheese when possible.

-          Request dressing on the side.

-          Avoid fried foods. Go for steamed or grilled entrees and side dishes.

-          Request un-buttered bread—whole wheat, if they have it.

-          Try dividing meals in half before you eat, saving a portion for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner. This will help prevent overeating.

When you’re constantly on the go, it’s natural to reach for the nearest food in sight—candy, fast food or processed vending machine snacks. But these foods don’t provide the fuel your body really needs. Think F.A.S.T. to eat healthy when you’re in a hurry—and nothing will be able to stop you!

This article has been provided by the folks at Vitacost.com. Vitacost.com has been selling discount vitamins since 1994. Since then it’s grown into one of the biggest online marketplaces for healthy living essentials-with vitamins and supplements being just one of their many helpful categories! Get the best price on vitamins such as vitamin D and Vitamin B12, nutritional supplements, health foods and diet products. Vitacost.com’s customers mean the world to them, and it’s their goal to provide you with the best nutritional supplements, natural foods and sports nutrition to help with your health and wellness. Vitacost.com is not affiliated with this blog, and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.

By: +Elizabeth Lotts writer for Vitacost.com

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