Frugally Food

Grocery Shopping Workout

Jun
12

My favourite workout is what I like to call the grocery shopping workout.

What it involves is leaving your car at home and walking to the grocery store.  Most neighbourhoods have a local grocery store (although if you live in the suburbs you may be SOL – I’ve been in huge suburbs with thousands of houses and the only grocery store is on the very edge of the burb.  If this is your situation then modify the workout to include riding your bike instead of walking).

So step one is wear comfortable shoes.  Step two is make sure to shop with a grocery basket hanging over your arm so that you don’t end up buying too much food because you are going to have to haul it all home afterwards.  (Step number two is obviously the most important step!)  Step three: walk home.

It’s a great workout for your arms and legs.  And you save a lot of money on gas and gym memberships.

Also since you can’t buy cartloads of food to stuff into the trunk of your car, you will have to go to the grocery store more often.  Which means you will be getting this workout in every two to three days.  How’s that for a regular workout?  And nothing is more motivating than the threat of starvation to get you out the door and going for a walk.

 

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Nutrition and You

Jun
09

I recently found an interesting website that explains the nutritional value of any fruit, vegetable,  herb, spice as well as nut and seed you can imagine.  It lists the health benefits of the various foods and breaks out the vitamin and mineral content of each as well.

If you want the best bang for your buck, you may as well spend your dollar on the foods that will benefit you the most nutritionally.

I found out many interesting things.  For example did you know that basil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties?  I always loved pesto but I love it even more now!

I learned that peanuts have health benefits but also that they have 567 calories in 100g!  Just to make that for more visual for you, 100g of peanuts would fit into a shape the size of a tennis ball.  And that is 567 calories worth!  The average healthy sized adult needs approximately 2000 calories per day to maintain their weight.  So that would be one quarter of your daily requirement of calories in one handful of peanuts!

So eat some peanuts if you want but make sure to put just a few in a dish and only eat what’s in the dish (it’s far too easy to overeat peanuts and before you even know it, a lot of calories have been consumed.)

Anyway check it out.  The website is Nutrition and You.

 

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The Yuppification of Yams

Jun
07

Yams used to have two things going for it: they were one of the least expensive vegetables in the grocery store and they were good for you.

Now they are just good for you.

What with the surge in popularity of yam fries (aka sweet potato fries) this root vegetable is now the darling of the grocery store, with the price tag to match.  Don’t get me wrong they are still less expensive than a lot of vegetables.  I guess I’m just bitter because I’m not used to paying three dollars for a yam (okay the yam was big enough to make two cookie sheets worth of fries – so the value is still there.)

And it is a whole lot cheaper to make the fries yourself (recipe here) than to buy them in a restaurant.  Recently on vacation I went to a fish and chips place and they had the nerve to charge $7.50 for a small quantity of yam fries!!!  If I didn’t have a plane to catch…grrr.

So even though yams are more expensive than they were and people might be tempted to switch over to the regular potato here are some google facts about the benefits of yams over potatoes: Sweet potatoes have 400% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A per 100g and they have the highest amount of beta carotene of any root vegetable.

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Arm Workout Apps

Jun
05

I read a book recently that talked about the importance of regular strength training exercises.

It explained that everyone’s muscles are in a constant state of regenerating themselves but if you don’t make use of your muscles, the body doesn’t see a point in wasting energy on rebuilding them to what they were before.  So if you don’t use it, you literally lose it!

Imagine it: some people might end up with a highly developed thumb muscle for working the tv remote and a highly developed hand for working the mouse and not much more ( that’s not going to happen anytime soon obviously but if that icky imagery motivates you to get off your butt and exercise then it’s a good thing.)

There is also help to get you to exercise.  Free help!  In the form of apps.

There are many easy to use workout apps to get you started toward a healthier life.  I found one that has arm workouts of different timed lengths.  You just follow along with the repetitions that the instructor is doing.  There is a little countdown clock so you know how much longer any one exercise will last.  There is a little counter that tells you how many remaining exercises are left in the workout.

And there is no need to spend money on a gym membership or invest the time it takes to go all the way to the gym.  It’s an easy way to get started today in your own home on a healthier life.

 

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Frugally Fit Resource

Jun
01

I read a really interesting book entitled “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge M.D.   They have one version for men and one for women and I highly recommend them.

It is written in a really easy to read, humourous way but it explained the importance of daily exercise and eating properly to maintaining excellent health throughout your life.

Aerobic exercise is required four days a week while strength training is needed two days a week.  That is exercise six days a week, every week, for the rest of your life.  Think of it as a part time job.  And the most important job you have ever had!

What they say in this book that struck me the most is that people are living longer but many people are not living WELL longer.  They break a hip or get dementia and are in pain every day but they still continue to live for many, many years.

However if you exercise and eat right and take care of your health, you can live for all those many years pain free with as few problems that are humanly possible.  It comes down to you taking care of you.  No one else is going to do it for you.  So do it!

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The Monetization of Disease

May
27

Before anyone had ever heard of coeliac disease you could walk into a grocery store and get a package of ordinary, unflavoured, run-of-the-mill rice cakes for about a buck.
Nowadays when you go to the grocery store you will find exactly the same product for two times as much and that’s only when it’s on sale! When it’s not on sale, it is almost 3 times as much!!

The only difference between these two products is that the packaging now reads gluten-free.

The same thing has happened with many other products ranging from rice crackers to corn chips based solely on the manufacturer’s ability to slap a GF label on it, coupled with their limitless greed.

Faced with all this rampant capitalism in action, it makes finding ways to be more self-sufficient through gardening a whole lot more appealing. And it makes a whole foods diet even more wonderful largely because you can grow the whole foods yourself.

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Sedentary Lifestyle

May
24

There has been research lately saying that a sedentary lifestyle is just as dangerous to a person’s health as smoking or drinking. But if you’re like me, it’s difficult not to sit all day because the computer at the office is on a desk and I have to sit at the desk in order to work on the computer. I have never seen standing desks in an office environment. I am sure they exist.  Just not near me.

So it’s important to get up and walk around every hour or so at the office to get some exercise in.  Walk to the kitchen and get some water.  Print one document at a time and walk back and forth to the photocopier to pick them up.

If you are like me, you work in an office that takes up several floors in one office building. Which is great news!  So now once an hour, go for a walk and take the stairs. Start slowly. Maybe just go down the stairs to start with and ride the elevator back up to your floor. Or walk down three flights of stairs and then back up one flight. Change it up. The point is to get some exercise and not be all sweaty for your next board meeting.

Cost to you: zero. And if you can sell your stairmaster on Craigslist you will even make money!

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Savoury Breakfast

May
20

At what point in history did breakfast become a dessert?

I am sure when the principal occupation was farming that people didn’t start the day with sugary cocoa fruity puffy loops with sprinkles and milk on top. Of course jam filled this and syrup covered that is definitely dessert like too.

Don’t get me wrong I am certainly not advocating a return to the stick to the ribs hearty breakfast of yesteryear because those people were working hard! All day long! They needed the calories.
We here in computerland with our sedentary lives do not need all those calories. But I would say there is definitely a need for savoury breakfasts. So I am going to be trying some out and see how I like them.

Savoury breakfast number one (superfast)

rice cakes and

hummus
I have been trying this breakfast for awhile now and is it ever good!

You need to have the original rice cakes which are just plain brown rice (no flavouring whatsoever) and then you get whatever type of hummus that you want.

I like my hummus  with roasted garlic but you can get all kinds of hummus these days.  There is  sweet potato hummus or avocado hummus  and on and on.

With all the different varieties of hummus available you will never get sick of this for breakfast!

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Peace on Earth

Dec
25

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.

Sir Winston Churchill

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Tis the Season

Dec
23

Tis the season for enjoying yourself and relaxing after a long, difficult year.  Thankfully there are ways to indulge this Christmas season and yet still be healthy about it.  For instance:

  • dark chocolate is very good for a person.  The darker the better.  Especially if it has not very much sugar.  The polyphenols in dark chocolate (70% oocoa or higher) are known for their protective effects against cancer.
  • red wine is good for a person (in moderation).  One glass a day to accompany your healthy diet of fruit and vegetables will give you a shot of the molecule called resveratrol which has positive effects on the cardiovascular system and in cancer prevention.
  • berries are anti-cancer powerhouses.  Raspberries and strawberries contain ellagic acid which blocks at least two proteins essential to the development of cancer.

If you want to read more about it, I found this information in a book called “Cooking with Foods that fight Cancer”.  It was written by two PhD’s and talks about foods that are beneficial for people.  Plus the book is chock full of recipes!

So get out there and enjoy your dark chocolate and berries with your glass of red wine.  Mmmm sounds good!