14 January 2013

It's Not Just Calories that Count

Like the title of the post says- it's not just calories that count when you're selecting what foods to eat.  Specifically, I am going to address how this impacts looking at nutrition labels when choosing prepackaged meals such as frozen entrees.

Healthy frozen entrees are healthier than their unhealthier counterparts, but that doesn't mean they're good for you.  Nothing replaces eating fresh, unprocessed foods that have no additives.  Most, if not all, frozen entrees have a ton of added sodium that is used as a preservative.  However, all that added sodium can have negative effects on your health.  For example, it can lead to fluid retention and high blood pressure.  Adults should limit their sodium intake to between 1500-2300 mg per day, but about 90% of adults consume much more than that.

Take, for example, one of my favorites- Lean Cuisine Asian-Style Pot Stickers.  Based solely upon calorie count, the 230 in this dish seems like a great choice for a meal or a snack.  But take a look at the amount of sodium- a whopping 530 mg, between a quarter and a third of what you should be eating in an entire day!  Another Lean Cuisine entree, the Steak, Cheddar, & Mushroom Panini, has 340 calories, which seems great for a sandwich loaded with steak and cheese, but packs a whopping 640 mg of sodium.

Because most foods contain sodium (yes, even water and milk do!), this is another number that people need to become more aware of when selecting what to put into their bodies.


07 January 2013

Being healthier in 2013!

Well first off, Happy New Year!  I definitely slacked on blogging towards the second half of 2012 but I want to get back more into it this year.  One thing I want to write about is my goal of getting healthier this year.  Ideally I would like to lose some weight as a result, but at the very least I want to feel better about myself and know that I am treating my body better.  So, I am going to do my best to post weekly about what I am doing in my life to achieve this goal.

The easiest way, I think, to start getting healthier is to change what you eat.  You don't even have to completely change your diet- just make small changes towards foods that are better for you.  Any little bit helps.  My post today will address some ideas for making your lunch healthier.

1) Swap out bread for vegetables.  Maybe you're thinking, 'how do you make a sandwich without bread?'  There are plenty of ways!  You can make a lettuce wrap.  Practically any cold cut tastes good in lettuce; simply use it instead of bread and make your sandwich the exact same way otherwise.  Another vegetable that you can use as a substitute for bread is cucumber.  Cut a section of cucumber in half lengthwise, then cut out some of the inside, creating a well (like in celery) but leaving enough around the edges so that the cucumber is still sturdy.  Then pile on your favorite cold cuts and toppings into each half.

2) Use better condiments.  Mayonnaise may taste great (believe me, it's my favorite sandwich spread!), but there are plenty of other condiments that pack a lot of flavor with a lot less calories and fat.  Mustard is one option, but there are also plenty of others that may not immediately come to mind.  Balsamic vinegar is one great alternative, and you can sometimes find flavored balsamic vinegars if you want a little bit different flavor.  You could also use other vinegars, like rice wine vinegar, depending on the taste you're going for.  Stay away from salad dressings or oil-based sauces.

3) Pick healthier sides.  Chips are easy, but other things are better for you.  If you want to stay with something salty, nuts are a great option.  They have protein that chips don't have.  Fruits and vegetables seem like an obvious side, but it still takes a conscious effort to pick those over less nutritious options.  If you pick applesauce, look for one with no added sugar or sweeteners.  And if you really can't give up your chips, go for a baked option instead of fried.

These are some of the tips I'm incorporating into my routine to get healthier this year.  Hopefully they can help you, too!  Let me know if you have any ideas you'd like me to share that have worked in your life.

06 January 2013

Purex Baby Laundry Detergent

I received a bottle of Purex's new Baby Detergent to review.  Unfortunately, I was not able to test the detergent out myself because I have so many open and partially used bottles of laundry detergent in my house and so I am trying to save the closed bottles I have until I really need them.  However, I will share with you some specs on this detergent to help you decide whether it is right for you and your family.

From the product information sheet:
"Purex Baby detergent delivers the same bright, white clean you've come to expect from Purex, yet is sensitive on baby's skin... The dermatologist-tested formula guarantees to remove stubborn stains without hurting delicate clothes, like those adorable little footie pajamas."
Purex Baby detergent is "hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and delivers a bright, white clean with a gentle baby-inspired fragrance."

You can find Purex Baby detergent in 50 oz. bottles now, and 100 oz. bottles soon!

Like I said, I have not had the opportunity to use this product myself, but I wanted to share information on this new laundry detergent for any of my readers who might have little ones at home and could benefit from a safer detergent for their kids.

FTC Disclaimer:  I received free products from Purex Insiders in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way by Purex Insiders or my receipt of free products.

Dial Holiday Hand Soap

I was lucky enough to receive two of Dial's Holiday Hand Soaps for review.  These festive bottles combine Dial's delicious smelling antibacterial foaming hand soaps with fun holiday designs on the bottles.  There are four different bottle designs, and I received the candy cane and snowman ones.  There are also Santa and Christmas tree ("Holiday Scene") patterns available.  Even though the holidays are over, it's still winter and these soaps definitely add a festive flair to any bathroom.  They're fun to look at and they remind me of all the happiness this season brings.  I like having little touches of festiveness in my house year-round, and these soaps sure do bring that.  They are a lot more exciting than a boring bottle of hand soap with no pattern on the front!

The actual soap looks red in the bottle and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the soap smells like apples!  The scent is not overwhelming but it does smell a lot better than most foaming hand soaps.  I find that in general they have a more sour scent than many other types of soap.  If you can't stand any scented soaps (like my mom), then you might have a problem with these, but if you like something lightly scented, these soaps are perfect for you!

The one thing that I noticed was different about these soaps compared to other foaming hand soaps was that they recommend you pump the soap onto your hands while dry instead of wetting your hands first.  I didn't follow these instructions at first because it seemed strange, but the foam aspect of the soap deflates rather quickly if your hands are wet.

The four holiday soaps come in 7.5 oz bottles.

You can find out more about Dial at their website or Facebook page.

FTC Disclaimer:  I received free products from Purex Insiders in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way by Purex Insiders or my receipt of free products.
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