Frugally Food

New Documentaries

Jun
23

I recently watched a couple documentaries that could have been very useful for improving people’s lives.

One was called “Sugar Coated”.  It was about how sugar is bad for a person’s health.  Well that is what it should have been about anyway.  What they ended up concentrating on is comparing the evil marketing campaigns of sugar companies to the evil marketing campaigns of tobacco companies.

I know this will come as a shock to you but apparently big businesses who have always made a shit load of money despite mounting evidence that their products are harmful still kind of want to make shit loads of money anyway and will go to extreme measures not to have the firehose of cash turned off.

The other documentary was called “Catching the Sun”.  It was about how solar energy is becoming more of a distinct possibility for people’s lives.  At least that is what they should have concentrated on.

Instead they spent most of the movie talking about how the American political system is totally fucked up and how they can never get anything accomplished because everything turns into personal vendettas and smear campaigns.  Big surprise.  Who knew?

The only useful take away from the second documentary is that the price of solar panels has dropped by 80% in recent years which is excellent news!!!  But you’ll have to find out more information somewhere else because it wasn’t in this film.

 

 

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Grocery Shop on a Tuesday

Jun
18

Tuesday is a good day to go grocery shopping at least in my neck of the woods.

Tuesday is the day they sell off all the stuff they wanted to sell on the weekend but didn’t so it is piling up and they need to sell it at a discount to get rid of it.  They do that on a Tuesday.  Especially things that have an expiry date.

Like lunch meat.

And hummus.

And mangos!!!!

Timing is everything in life.  And in produce.  Some grocery stores have dedicated areas for the excess produce and bakery goods that are about to expire.  So take advantage of these opportunities and make bulk amounts of salsa or strawberry jam or bread pudding (with the day old bread  YUMM!!!)

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Summer Fun

Jun
16

beautyIf you live in any size city these days you will be able to find lots of creative people doing amazing things that will means tons of entertainment opportunities for you.

For example many cities have outdoor Shakespeare performances in the summer.  Bring your picnic blanket, some sunscreen and watch the Bard out in the elements.  The best version of Othello I ever saw was when the wind was starting to howl and shriek just as the play was building up to the pivotal scene, it really stirred the blood I’ll tell  you.  Often the play is free if it is a performance by university acting students.  I have also seen them as “pay what you can” as a way to encourage attendance (although if this is the case then definitely put in a decent amount if the performance has been good to encourage future shows).

Remember drive-in movies and how much fun they were?  People have started projecting movies onto the walls of large buildings to recreate the drive-in experience.  Watching a great movie under the stars is quite a magical experience and many cities sponsor events such as these so the cost to you is free.  I have also seen these combined with sing-along events to classic movies like “Grease” which is a LOT of fun for the whole family.

Festivals explode in the summer.  I have seen folk festivals (for music), fringe festivals (for theatre), funny festivals (for stand up comedy), corn and apple and rhubarb festivals (for food) and busker festivals (you guessed it).  Lots of fun can be had at these events and it doesn’t cost anything to wander around and check it out.

So be on the lookout for all the summer fun available in your neck of the woods.

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Mailbox Workout

Jun
13

I’m sure for many of you the last post about the grocery shopping workout seemed like a pretty straight forward, perfectly natural task to perform on a weekly basis.

So that post and this post are mostly directed to the many, many people I see every day who drive to the mailbox to pick up their mail.

Let me explain.  There is no home mail delivery here.  Instead mail is delivered to mailboxes that are situated at the end of each block.  So the maximum distance that a person would have to walk is half a block and that is only the guy who lives in the very centre of the block.  Most everyone else would have a lot shorter distance to walk.  And yet I see so many people get into their cars and drive to the mailbox, pick up their mail and then drive home again!!!

Gas burned needlessly and fat added to their asses in copious amounts just because they are too lazy to walk for five minutes on a beautiful sunny day to pick up a couple envelopes.

So this post and the last one are simple suggestions directed to those people, informing them that there is in fact another way to live.

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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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