Planning Ahead with Healthy Freezer Meals

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Every now and then our lives get a little hectic and making meals becomes too time consuming which often results in eating more fast food and processed foods. When we eat out more often we tend to spend more money on food than if we ate our meals at home. Dining out and fast food also do not have positive effects on our health. When our diets are full of processed, unhealthy foods we tend to feel more sluggish, tired, and less motivated which isn’t the best way to feel when you are busy and have a lot to do.

Making freezer meals ahead of time is a great way to keep your healthy habits in check while you are busy with other things. Plan a time when you can take 3-4 hours to cook large batches of a few of your favorite recipes that will be freezer friendly. Be sure to pick out the recipes you want to make and prepare a grocery list prior to your set aside time. If you have tried freezer meals before, let us know your favorite healthy freezer meal recipes!

Give Sugar Sweetened Beverages the Boot!

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It is not a lie that the American obesity epidemic continues to grow throughout the US. But, what is causing this? Is there one specific food group or item we can blame for this? Most likely it is a combination of dietary and lifestyle choices. However, we do know that sugar sweetened beverages are one of the top leading causes of obesity in the United States.

Sugar sweetened beverages add empty calories to our diets that do not benefit our overall health and often lead to weight gain. Many Americans do not realize how much added sugar is in their favorite beverage. For example, one 12 ounce can of Mountain Dew contains 11 ½ teaspoons of sugar and an 8 oz carton of chocolate milk contains 3 ½ teaspoons of sugar!

The recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans currently recommends limiting added sugars in the diet to 10% of total calories consumed. That means for a 2000 calorie diet only 200 calories can be from added sugar. That can of soda with 11 ½ teaspoons of sugar would take up about 170 calories of the 200 calorie allowance!

As an alternative to sugar sweetened beverages try infused water. Often people complain that water is too plain, by adding strawberries, limes, grapefruit, peppers, cucumbers, mint, or rosemary you can naturally infuse your water without added sugar and extra calories! Remember when making infused water be sure to wash the produce well before adding it to your water.
Infused Water Flavors:
Lemon & Lime Slices
Strawberries & Lemon Slices
Apple Slices & Cinnamon Sticks
Tangerine Slices & Turmeric
Blueberries, Blackberries & Peaches
Strawberry, Basil & Cucumber
Raspberries, Lemon & Lime Slices
Cantaloupe, Watermelon & Honeydew
Strawberry, Mint & Orange Slices
Pineapple & Ginger
Cucumber Slices & Lavender
Mandarin Oranges, Lemon Slices & Basil
Cucumber Slices, Lemon Slices & Cilantro
Orange Slices & Grapes
Grapefruit & Rosemary
Grapes, Strawberries & Lime Slices
Grape & Pineapple
Mango & Mint
Orange Slices & Pineapple
Pineapple & Mint
Cucumber Slices & Mint
Watermelon & Cilantro
Honeydew & Sage
Pineapple & Thyme
Blackberry, Lime Slices & Mint
Orange Slices, Blueberry & Basil
Lemon Slices, Orange & Blueberries
Lemongrass & Mint
Pomegranate & Lemon Slices
Cucumber Slices, Rosemary & Fennel
Raspberries & Mint
Lemon & Rosemary
Lemon & Ginger