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Friday, January 10, 2014

My Favorite 5… For Getting Fit

Welcome to the very first post on a new series entitled “My Favorite 5”. I am happy to report that there were a tremendous amount of bloggers who are very excited to share their “Favorite 5” in future Friday posts. My plan is to contact each and every person who has already responded to my request for contributors by this weekend. By all means I would still love to hear from you if you are interested in contributing.

On Wednesday’s post I mentioned that my pants had been feeling a little bit snug due to excessive holiday merriment. Now that the season is over (and before Valentine candy somehow works its way into my mouth) I wanted to get into a bit better shape. 


Here are five inexpensive ways I found that are working to create a healthier me.

Before beginning my fitness regime I had a complete physical and received the green light that I was good to go.

In addition, I watched a few documentaries on Netflix regarding health in America. Our rising obesity rates are linked in part to two main food culprits: soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup. They are in EVERYTHING because food manufacturer's love these cheap ingredients. So I’ve become a label reader. Surprisingly enough you can find fairly tasty alternatives if you look.

1. Case in point, I use jarred spaghetti sauce at least once a week. I finally found a sauce without the two aforementioned ingredients. The price is right and it tastes good. (No, Ragu is not paying me to say this.)

I will keep reading labels and searching for good alternatives that are better for me and my family.


2. As part of a plan to create a healthier workforce Mr. Décor’s company offered free pedometers to employees and their family members. It’s now a rare day to not see me with this device clipped to my waistband. I strive for 10,000 steps a day. The Mr. and I love to compare who has walked further in a day. :) Pedometers can be found fairly inexpensively in the sporting goods section of several stores. They do motivate you to move!


3. Living in such a dry climate I would often find myself SO thirsty while out running errands. I can’t even begin to tell you the large amounts of soda or fruit juice I have purchased just to quench my thirst. So, I bought a few water bottles at the dollar store and now do not leave the house without a container of water in hand. An added bonus to saving calories is that I am also saving money.


4. Similar to the thirst issues is being out of the house and finding myself hungry. This is a dangerous combination with the excessive amount of fast food that is available. So, I purchased some mini containers at the dollar store. One or two fit easily in my purse and now I can enjoy a snack until I get back home for a healthy meal. Again, the added bonus is that this solution is also a money saver.

Tip: The containers fit in the dishwasher utensil holder and wash up beautifully!


So what do I fill the containers with? Healthy snacks of course.  But they also can get expensive and it can be difficult to find snack foods with no high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors.

5. I had seen NatureBox on various blogs and finally decided to order one. Oh My Delicious Goodness!!!! This is what arrived in our first box:

Vanilla Macaroon Granola~ I considered hiding the bag so I didn’t have to share.

Masa Crisps~ which are like super tasty Fritos.

Cherry Berry Bonanza~ sweet and yummy!

Pistachio Power Clusters~ a Fashionista favorite.

Roasted Kettle Kernels~  Sweet Guy’s favorite. They remind me of Corn Nuts, but tastier.

The box also changes every month. I am hooked!


I also like that Nature Box  donates snacks to “WhyHunger” an organization that is an emergency food provider and provides summer meal programs for low-income children.

If you would like to try Nature Box out you can click on this code HERE to receive 50% off of your first order.

(As a full and honest disclaimer I can receive credit for referrals towards future Nature Boxes. But even if they didn’t do this I would recommend their snacks as they are that good.)

So what ways help you to stay fit?


Marty from “A Stroll Thru Life” will share her “Favorite 5” next Friday.


Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

Those snacks look yummy! I do the same thing with water. If I take it in the car with me, I drink more of it so I try and always have it with me!

GSGreatEscaper said...

It's tough to drink enough water here - if you leave it in the car it freezes solid....

Linda said...

Walking. That's been my biggest way to keep fit, but even then at 3+ miles a day for 5 years, it just has basically helped me maintain my weight, which I still could lose 50 lbs. I hope to accomplish that this year, to finally be back at what I was right after my daughter was born (yep, I was one of those who only gained 17 lbs with pregnancy and weighed less after Sarah was born than I do now). A sit-down job is the culprit, since I never eat out fast food, always just bring my breakfast (which is also my lunch at 7:00 a.m.). I'm never thirsty though, so drinking enough water is a problem for me - I literally have to force myself to drink it throughout the day. I don't drink much pop - and when I did it was diet 0 calorie only.

So, my answer is - walking. That's been my best friend for a long time now and the only exercise I'll ever stick with. ♥


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Great post Laura, the snacks sound so good. I need to walk more. I had a fabulous day yesterday. Thanks for so much fun. Hugs, Marty

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

We started using that Ragu also ... the grandparents come over for dinner every Sunday, and Father-in-law is diabetic so it is perfect for him!!!!

Dawna Motz said...

I am back at the gym and have always enjoyed walking. You should do what you love for cardio exercise so I am going to check out the schedules at the skating rink and put in some laps that way. I am looking at the fit bit as a step counter. I also need to drink more WateR!
Thanks for sharing and here's to a healthier 2014

Vel Criste said...

Great plan Laura! And thanks for the heads-up on the spaghetti sauce!

Karena Albert said...

Great tips, Laura. I am one to keep water with me as well and love to have almonds on hand for snacking!

The Arts by Karena

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You have such great tips. (I have my little list made to take to CVS this afternoon from the things yesterday) I carry water every where I go and MOVE MOVE MOVE! Being on the go keeps your weight down and your life interesting! Enjoy your day!

Patti said...

I second the walking but, walking doing intervals. My cardiologist suggested it. I have lost 12 pounds since October. How I do it, On a treadmill, warm up, start a pace at 3.2 for 4 minutes then go up to 3.8 for one minute and then go back to 3.2 and do that for 40 minutes to an hour. Yes I am at a gym, but when I first start on the treadmill I was surprised that the pace I walked outside was just a stroll. And the water is a great choice. I add apple cider vinegar (the raw type) honey, lemon, ginger and a dash of cayenne to my morning and evening water bottle too. I feel great and even my skin has improved!!! Sorry this is so long but the difference from 3 months ago is substantial.

Patti said...

Also, your pedometer is a good idea. I wear a jawbone up band and if I am not at my goal my husband and I will take a walk at night through the neighborhood.

Rainey Shafer said...

Those are great tips! I especially like the little snack size containers! Great idea! Sometimes I take those snack size baggies but crackers and pretzels sometimes get smooched in my purse in those.
I would like to join in "Favorite 5" too. Add me to the list if its still open.
Rainey @ The Project Table

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Great ideas. I think I could so 5 if you want me to, let me know!!

Lorrie said...

Great tips, Laura. I wear a pedometer most of the time and find that helps. I only drink water or hot teas (occasionally a hot chocolate), but never fruit juice or sodas. Moving, moving, moving, is what helps me.

Sherry Thecharmofhome said...

These are some great tips. I am with you on eliminating the processed food with the "Bad" ingredients. I have been clean eating now for over two years and I don't eat any processed food. I fill up on veggies, fruit, beef, and fish with very limited grains and beans. I have never been healthier. I have also lost 70 lbs. I walk sporadically but, not regularly in the winter. The food that I eliminated has been the biggest change to my health. I eat real food and nothing else. It really is why the nation is too heavy. The processed food and fast food is meant for a shelf life and not to eat.
Blessings to you Laura in this New Year!

LBP said...

I just bought me the Fitbit zip and I love it. I have also joined the gym, am watching my calories and fats and of course carbs which is my downfall! I was very surprised to find that the cantaloupe that I love so much and thought was a great idea, has a crazy amount of calories! Thanks for the tips!


The Quintessential Magpie said...

I really need to get fit. Really, really, really.

We are talking Omar the Tentmaker. Is having to design my clothes of late.



Blondie's Journal said...

I love your tips...right on target. I've avoided the whole spaghetti sauce problem by making my own which is very simple with canned tomatoes, a little wine, some herbs, a smidgen of sugar or honey and just let it boil down until it thickens. I am always on the lookout for preservatives in addition to those sweeteners.

I'm interested in the Nature Box. What sort of ingredients are in these snacks if you don't mind me asking? All natural? I'm always looking at the ingredients on these bars and snacks and the "unnatural" ingredients are staggering. Thanks, Laura!


cathyvon said...

I'm also trying to lose weight. One thing I did was buy the Soda Stream, it has stopped me completely from drinking diet sodas. Thanks for the link to the snacks, I am going to be ordering one so look for my referral points.


P.S. I am still treasuring the handkerchief and art form the Laura Ingalls art swap a few years back.

Eat Drink and Be Mary said...

This is a great list! Those snacks look so yummy!