Real Food and Plant Based Diet

Nutrition makes me come alive. I enjoy it so much that I try my best to live a healthy lifestyle everyday. I’m passionate about helping others understand nutrition and implement  changes into their own lives as well. It’s one way that I can extend love to others. Giving them the information and tools to live a healthy life and feel good from the inside out. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it! Once you decide, take action and start to experience the benefits, you will find that there is a motivation that will start to well up inside of you. Then it will come more naturally.

So, why am I telling you this? As a Registered Dietitian, I want to give the best nutrition advice I can. And I’ve come to the conclusion that nutrition is constantly changing and becoming more and more confusing for the average consumer. What is the best diet? I get asked that all the time. It’s hard to pick one, but it is difficult to beat the simplicity of eating real food and mostly plants. And I want to tell you why.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” -Hippocrates

Why a Plant Based Diet?
produceI know after reading those words, there is already some push back. I hear you. I like meat too. And dairy. And eggs. A plant based diet seems impossible to many of us. Especially living in America and constantly being bombarded with the idea that we deserve fried chicken, a nice filet, or the next triple patty burger. But, have you ever considered what you are actually putting into your body when you eat that kind of stuff? There is a lot of speculation, but I won’t get into that in this post. Our bodies run off of the food we eat. We need good, nutritious fuel to keep us going. When it all comes down to it, I have realized whole foods (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) are truly the building blocks of a healthy diet. As Michael Pollan said in The Defense of Food, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”. Continue reading Real Food and Plant Based Diet

100 Days of Real Food

“Eat food, mostly plants, and not too much” says Michael Pollan in his book about eating simply. Our diets can become extremely complicated with all of the choices available and the extras that have been added into the products that line the grocery store shelves. Even when we try to eat healthily, many of the products we buy are filled with highly processed ingredients that do not even sound like food. Overall, our family tends to eat a pretty balanced diet, but occasionally we like to try new things to challenge ourselves and break the routine of our weekly diet. So, bring on the 100 Days challenge.

100daysWe discovered 100 Days of Real Food a couple years ago while searching through food/nutrition blogs, and have completed the 100 days challenge in the past (a 100 days without eating any highly processed, refined food). The blogger and creator, Lisa Leake, implemented this meal plan in her family, saw amazing results and is now challenging others to do the same. The plan simply promotes healthy eating, learning to read the ingredient labels on packages, and removing highly processed foods. We conveniently received her cookbook for Christmas, and thought the new year would be the perfect time to start.

Health is one of the most important aspects of lifestyle design. It is hard to do anything efficiently when our bodies feel bad or we do not have energy. So fueling up with healthy foods is a must for feeling good, sleeping well, and overall productivity. 100 Days is really about simplifying our food choices and removing all of the crazy substances that have crept into our food over the last fifty years. -SE

Continue reading 100 Days of Real Food

Designing a Healthy Lifestyle

ID-100203856Everyone wants to be healthy. Everyone wants to exercise more, eat healthier, be financially secure, and have high quality relationships. But we all know, a healthy lifestyle does not happen by accident. We don’t accidentally become healthier. In fact, most of our outside influences tend to make it more difficult to be healthy. Designing a healthy lifestyle is about putting structures in place that are conducive to living healthily. In addition, design takes place before action. A well designed life will make the the actions much easier to achieve. So, before many of us are really ready to take action, we must start by understanding, planning, and designing the life we want.

It is actually easier to notice when we have designed an unhealthy lifestyle. A fridge full of unhealthy, fatty, sugary, processed foods. A schedule so full we don’t have time to prioritize things like rest and exercise. A budget so over packed the next bump in the road will send us over the edge. A house that makes it hard to run, bike or play outside yet feels great for wasting away watching hours of mindless television. Surrounding yourself with people who live unhealthy lives or participate in contagious bad habits. Your environment influences you more than you think. So, we will address four main tenants of a healthy lifestyle in this article: diet, exercise, financial security, and relationships. -Stephen SE

Continue reading Designing a Healthy Lifestyle

Ms. Simple Economist’s Favorite Things

Hi SE readers! I’m excited I get to write another guest post. Mr. SE shared his favorite things a few months ago and asked me to do the same. So, here is a list of some items that bring joy to my life. I believe these are things that I will always enjoy no matter what stage of life I am in, and I think you may enjoy them too.

pbFreshly Ground Peanut Butter
I love peanut butter and always have. I’m one of those people who can just eat it by the spoonful. I used to get the processed stuff, but then I decided it might be better to get something with less added sugar if I am going to be eating it everyday. I used to buy it from the market already ground, but now I make it conveniently at home anytime I have the urge. Just put some unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts in the food processor, give it a little wiz, and there you go. Awesome, delicious peanut butter ready to eat! You can do this with any other nuts as well, but peanuts seem to work best.

nikeNike Tempo Shorts
Probably any girl from the age of 12-35 will tell you these shorts are amazing. Not only trendy, they are great for working out, going to class, running errands, or lounging around the house. They come in any color you can imagine whether you want neon, your school colors, or to go with that favorite t-shirt. And they have built-in underwear and elastic band for the perfect fit! Continue reading Ms. Simple Economist’s Favorite Things

Staying Fit: Cheap, Free, and Efficient Exercise

Author: Ms. Simple Economist (Awesome Mom and RD)

My second post, Woohoo! If you don’t know from my previous post, I am a registered dietitian and much of what I do deals with weight management, chronic disease prevention through nutrition, and giving people the information they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am an advocate for real, whole foods and practicing moderation when it comes to fueling your body. Another big component to a healthy lifestyle is staying physically fit and engaging in exercise on a daily basis. Getting exercise every day can be easy and fun, and if done well you will look forward to it and even enjoy it. Plus, you don’t even need to pay a gym or a trainer to stay fit. If done efficiently, you can do a lot at home, outdoors, and using your own body weight.

My Favorite Exercise/Financial/Efficiency/Life Tip is: Ride a Bike, And more than just the yearly ride with a friend. Try biking a few of the solo trips you might traditionally make in a car. Consider transportation options the next time you move. Bikes don’t have to be expensive and you can get a nice, older road bike for $20-$100. You don’t need gas, get exercise everywhere you go, have no trouble parking, save money and tread lighter on the planet. It’s my favorite win-win. -Mr. Simple Economist

run Continue reading Staying Fit: Cheap, Free, and Efficient Exercise

Healthy Eating for a Family on $200 a Month

Author: Ms. Simple Economist (Awesome Mom and Registered Dietitian)

The new year is here and for most of us our resolutions probably involve eating healthy and taking control of our spending habits. These two goals interact on a daily basis as we plan our meals, prepare and eat food, allocate how much we are going to spend on food, and create new habits to manage our weight. Have you ever thought about how much you spend on food each month? Where does most of your food come from? Do you cook or eat out? These are the questions that ultimately affect our waistlines and our budgets.

What if I said you could eat healthy and feed a family for $200 a month? May sound crazy, but it’s possible if you start making some simple changes to your eating and spending habits. My husband and I have been successfully living off of a grocery budget of $200/month for almost two years now and continue to do so after having a baby girl this past December all without using coupons.

I know families come in many different sizes and with certain dietary needs or restrictions that can influence how much you allocate to your food budget. However, there are some simple steps you can take to start feeding your family for less. Continue reading Healthy Eating for a Family on $200 a Month