Fresh Beet Root, Carrot & Apple Juice to Boost Your Immune System

Fresh Beet Root, Carrot & Apple Juice to Boost Your Immune System

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiantEagleDelivers #CollectiveBias #ad

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to live healthier this year?  I know I didand this year, Giant Eagle is going to help me keep my resolution!

Hmmm, you might be wondering exactly how my local grocery store is going to do that?  Well, shopping for fresh produce and picking out healthier options just got easier and less time-consuming with Giant Eagle’s Curbside Express Delivery!

As a mother, it is my goal to give my family healthy meals and snacks, but as you probably know, that can be really time-consuming.  So when I found out that Giant Eagle now offers Curbside Express Delivery, I was pretty excited!  This is a huge time saver!

Here’s how it works:
  • Go online and pick your local Giant Eagle store
  • Connect your Advantage Card to your Curbside Express account
  • Choose the groceries that you wantit can be fresh produce, freezer items, meat, dairy, canned goods, etc.:
    • Shop weekly specials or search for the products you want
    • Find your item
    • Add it to your cart
    • Select how many of each item you want

  • Select a time and date
  • And kick back and relax while a personal shopper puts your grocery order together
  • Be ready for delivery of your order!

**Even if you are not located in an area that has delivery, your local store may still have Curbside Express at the store, meaning that they will still get your order ready at a specific time and date and all you have to do is drive to the store, sit in your car and they will bring your order out to you!  Still a huge time-saver!**

Now, if you’re like me, you might be a bit skeptical about having someone else pick out your produce.  I am super-picky when it comes to selecting produce.  I like to make sure that I’m not buying fruit or vegetables that are bruised or on the verge of going bad.

So how did my personal shopper with Giant Eagle Curbside Express do?
  • My order was ready on-time!
  • Before delivery of my order, they went over some substitutions that they had to make and offered me some additional options because a few items were out of stock. (You can choose to keep or delete the substituted items)
  • My bill was finalized and my groceries were delivered.
  • All items were correct in my order, and the produce all looked great!

Knowing that winter is here— and that cold and flu season is upon us, I want to make sure our bodies are getting the vitamins and nutrients that we need, so to help boost our immune systems, I am going to make fresh juice with all the wonderful, produce that I just got.

Now, my kids probably wouldn’t choose to eat beets on their own, but I can hide them in some fresh juice that has been sweetened with some fruit and sneak in the goodness!

Fresh Beet Root, Carrot & Apple Juice

Peel and wash all produce thoroughly before juicing.

  • 2 beet roots (I don’t juice the beet leaves, I save those and will cook those as a side dish later!)
  • 6 medium size carrots
  • 3 apples (any variety that you like)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 2-3 oranges

Put through your juicer and blend juices together.  Strain if preferred to remove some of the pulp… and enjoy!

Why are these fruits and vegetables so good for immunity?

Beet roota rich source of iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iodine, manganese and copper. Additionally, beetroot is rich in folic acid. This rejuvenates the resistance of the body to fight toxicity.

Carrots—rich in Vitamin A and can help reduce toxins

Apples—rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber.  Apples are just good for overall health and they help to sweeten up this juice combo!

Lemon—has many nourishing elements, such as: vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and protein.

Cucumber—very effective detoxifying agent, which clears the blood stream of excess uric acid; soothing and anti-inflammatory

Oranges—excellent source of vitamin C; also helps to sweeten this juice combo!


New year, new you… what will you do to live healthier this year?

Avoid the Stomach Bug This Winter by Doing One Simple Thing

Avoid the Stomach Bug This Winter

We are heading into the middle of winter—the heart of flu season.  And as any mother with school-age children, I worry about all the germs that they are around and bringing them back home and getting everyone sick.

As a teacher myself, I know what it is like in a classroom.  Kids sneezing into their hand, instead of their elbow, or worse yet, not covering their sneeze at all.  Seeing a student use a tissue to blow their nose and wondering to myself what might have missed the tissue and be left on their hands… I could go on and on with the stories… I was fortunate enough though to have a sink in the classroom and would send those little sweethearts right over to wash their hands—every time I saw one of these incidents occur.

I’m not a germaphobe or anything, but I just really, really don’t like to get sick.  I especially don’t like for my kids to be sick.  Nothing worse than having to take care of a miserable, sick child and being helpless to make them feel better.

Luckily for our family, we have not encountered the stomach bug for a few years now.  Last winter, only one of my three boys was sick when we thought he had strep throat (even that turned out to be negative), but none of us encountered the flu or stomach bug… Can I get a “hallelujah” for that?!  And so far this winter, we have been fortunate to, even though I have heard and seen that it is going around.  Yes, even though I am not teaching now, I still volunteer at the school and got to experience a child vomiting just a few feet away from me.  And on my preschool son’s field trip a little girl got sick right in the middle of all the fun.  So I know those germs are going around.

I have felt pretty fortunate that it hasn’t hit our house lately—didn’t know why we had lucked out, but hey, you never look a gift horse in the mouth right?!  So I’ve just been thankful.


Avoid the Stomach Bug This Winter by Doing One Simple Thing | Money Savvy Living


Then, I read an article that talked about how grape juice can actually stop the stomach bug.  Weird but true, I guess.  I’m no scientist, so I can’t really back that up one way or the other.  However, it got me thinking…

Just over a year ago, my family had started taking whole food supplements—just because I wanted to do something “heathy” for my family.  I try to make nutritious and healthy meals, but I know we fall short, so this was just a way for us to bridge that gap in our diets.  There are three varieties that we take—Garden, Orchard, and a Vineyard Blend—my husband and I take the capsules and the kids take the chewable gummies—which actually taste good!  Now, they are all packed with goodness because these are whole foods that have just been dehydrated, so we are getting all the vitamins and minerals directly from the source.  But it is the vineyard ones that came to mind for me after finding out about the goodness of grape juice.  I knew it had lots of good antioxidants and immune boosters in it, but I went back and read the ingredients and confirmed that it had concord grape in it.  So for over a year now, we have been flooding our bodies every day with that extra boost of goodness—one that seems to have had an impact on our immune systems and fighting off the stomach bug!


Avoid the Stomach Bug This Winter by Doing One Simple Thing | Money Savvy Living


After reading that article, I am definitely going to make sure we get our vineyard goodness in everyday… plus there are so many other good vitamins from plants that we wouldn’t get otherwise… I mean, when was the last time you ate black currant, elderberry, pomegranate, or artichoke??  Confirmation for me that the steps that we have taken toward a healthy lifestyle have been worth it!


Avoid the Stomach Bug This Winter by Doing One Simple Thing | Money Savvy Living


*You may notice that some of the links are to my own virtual franchise.  If you’d like more information on how get your family on the path to health and start your own virtual franchise and earn income from home, check out my post on Side Hustles That Will Actually Give You a Full Time Income.

Healthy Hacks for the Busy Family

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #KidfreshToTheRescue #CollectiveBias #ad

Healthy Hacks for Busy Families | Money Savvy Living


As the mother of three boys, I know how busy things can get with sports, school and other activities.   We just came off a busy fall season of sports with soccer and football… and with only a couple weeks of a break, we are already into basketball season.

But, in spite of being busy, I also like to make sure that I am making time for healthy meals for the kids and not slipping into the habit of going through the closest fast-food drive-thru for quick and easy weeknight meals. We are also headed into the time of year where we are faced with a LOT of cookies, candies, and goodies with the holidays approaching—we still have a ton of candy from Halloween… so having an easy and healthy meal choice for the kids is essential for keeping us on track.

So how do you stay on track?


Healthy meals

I love to cook from scratch and use wholesome ingredients, but sometimes we are crunched for time and that doesn’t happen.  But now, there are Kidfresh meals to help out with that!  I can’t tell you how excited I was to find these healthy freezer meals on my last trip to Walmart!Healthy Hacks for Busy Families | Money Savvy Living

I am always focused on feeding my family as healthy as possible, so when I saw that Kidfresh offered foods that even my picky little eater likes—macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and pizza—I knew that I had found a good way to sneak some extra goodness into the kids’ diets.

While I’m pretty sure that any of the meals would have been a hit, we decided to start with the Kidfresh Super Duper Chicken Nuggets, Kidfresh Wagon Wheel Mac + Cheese, and Kidfresh Mama Mia Cheesy Pizza.  And as predicted, they liked all of them!  My two older boys are good eaters and will eat pretty much anything that I give them, but my youngest is quite picky and definitely doesn’t like his fruits and veggies.  So the fact that Kidfresh meals are made with hidden veggies and best in kids nutrition is awesome—my little guy had no idea that there was cauliflower in his chicken nuggets, carrots in the macaroni and cheese, and pumpkin puree in his pizza!

Healthy Hacks for Busy Families | Money Savvy Living

I want to make sure I know what I am putting into my kids, so I am a label-reader.  As a mom, it is important to me that there are no artificial colors, favors, or preservatives, in their food, and I also like that Kidfresh is made with non-GMO ingredients.  BPA free packaging is used and Kidfresh meals are consistent with USDA dietary guidelines for children.  I truly feel that as a mom, Kidfresh means trust and credibility because I know those meals are providing a healthy, nutritious, and quick resource for lunches, afterschool snacks, and dinner in-a-pinch.  Convenience and relief for busy moms… what could be better?!

Healthy Hacks for Busy Families | Money Savvy Living

You can try it and save right now with a

$1.00 rebate offer from Ibotta or a $1.00 coupon from!


To keep from slipping into those unhealthy habits, here are a few more hacks that can help your busy weeknights go a litter smoother—and keep you focused on a healthy lifestyle:


Pre-cut veggies for the week

I always like to prepare carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and lettuce on Sunday for the week.  Taking the time to do this on the weekend gives me a good start to healthier living through the week because I have veggies washed and ready-to-go for side dishes for lunches and dinners all week long… definitely makes weeknights go smoother.

Healthy Hacks for Busy Families | Money Savvy Living


Keep healthy snacks on hand

Just like the pre-cut veggies, it is much easier to grab a healthy snack if they are available.  So instead of stocking the pantry with snack cakes and potato chips, I make sure that I always have healthy choices on-hand: boiled eggs, cheese sticks, cereal bars, halos (mandarin oranges), bananas, and apples.  I learned very quickly that with three boys, they are going to eat (a lot!), so I want to make sure that they are getting good, nutritious foods that will help them grow and not just filling their bodies with empty calories.

Healthy Hacks for Busy Families | Money Savvy Living


Healthy basics

Making sure that, as a family, we get plenty of water, sleep, and a good whole food vitamin, are the most basic things that we can do.  There is always enough time to drink water, give your body rest, and take a whole food supplement to help boost the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Healthy Hacks for Busy Families | Money Savvy Living


What does your family do to keep on track with a healthy lifestyle… even when things get busy?  Hopefully, these suggestions will make doing that a little bit easier for you now…

The One Sure Way to Get Kids to Eat Veggies

The One Sure Way to Get Kids to Eat Veggies

Broccoli?!  Yuck!!

If you are a parent, chances are you have heard this from your toddler at dinner time.  It is literally a daily struggle.  And it lasts for quite some time…  I’m sure that many of you are thinking, “My kids are teenagers and they still don’t eat their vegetables.”  So, as parents, we all know that getting proper nutrition into our kids is not easy.

I have tried nearly everything to get my toddler to eat his fruits and veggies—yes, he is even a picky eater when it comes to fruit—except for bananas—he loves those!  But there comes a time when you get sick of having to devote so much time and energy into threatening to take away a favorite toy or TV show and just want your child to eat what you put on their plate without a fight.

So, at this point, there are a couple of options that you have—and both of these options include utilizing your ninja skills as a parent to skillfully hide the fruits and veggies so your child won’t even know that they are eating something healthy.

Yes, I am saying that you must deceive your children and trick them into eating their broccoli.  There literally is no other way.

If you are creative with your cooking, you may be able to come up with some great ways to hide veggies in all sorts of meals, snacks, even desserts.  If you need a few ideas, you can check out my recipes for:


Sweet potato banana cookies | Money Savvy Living

Sweet Potato & Banana Cookies

Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

Very Berry Yogurt Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie5 Orange Julius Copycat Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Money Savvy Living #glutenfree #healthy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies


For even more recipe ideas on how to hide those veggies in meals, snacks, and desserts, check out 100 Ways Kids Will Actually Eat Vegetables.  To give you a little taste of what Paula has shared in her post at Beauty Through Imperfection, here are some of the “Dinners with Sneaky Vegetables” that you might want to try:


The One Sure Way to Get Your Kids to Eat Veggies | Money Savvy Living


But sometimes all the shrewd vegetable-hiding in the world won’t get your kids to eat a well-balanced diet.  Sometimes your kids will still insist on eating only pizza, grilled cheese, and Fruit Loops.  Yes, I know from experience that this is the case.  My four-year-old literally will only eat pizza, grilled cheese, Fruit Loops, macaroni and cheese, and the occasional banana and yogurt.  So clearly, he is not getting the fruits and vegetables in his diet that he needs.  Of course, that doesn’t stop me from putting broccoli, green beans, carrots, apples, and strawberries on his plate—I’m hopeful that one day he will actually try them!—but until he becomes a less picky eater, I have figured out a great way to sneak fruits and vegetables into his diet—and he loves it!


What’s my secret?  Juice Plus+ Chewables for kids.


The One Sure Way to Get Kids to Eat Veggies | Money Savvy Living


Juice Plus+ Orchard and Garden Blend Chewables are different than the typical gummy vitamins for kids.  First of all, these aren’t vitamins at all.  They are whole food supplements.  So what does that mean?  Well, these gummy chewables are made from 20 dehydrated fruits and vegetables and formed using fruit pectin—not gelatin.  And the sweeteners are all natual—tapioca syrup and organic cane syrup.  It is also a plus that they contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.  The Juice Plus+ Orchard and Garden Blend Chewables are also gluten free and 100% vegetarian.



Two of each of these chewables every day for my kids and I know that they are getting hundreds of vitamins and minerals from the all-natural source!  While these are not meant to be a substitute for healthy eating, it sure can help bridge the gap for picky-eaters.

The Garden Chewables are made from dehydrated:

  • carrot
  • parsley
  • beet
  • garlic
  • broccoli
  • tomato
  • spinach
  • cabbage
  • kale
  • oat bran
  • rice bran

The Orchard Chewables are made from dehydrated:

  • apple
  • peach
  • cranberry
  • orange
  • papaya
  • pineapple
  • date
  • acerola cherry
  • beet
  • prune


Even though my two older children are good eaters and will eat their fruits and vegetables, they don’t get the spectrum of fruits and vegetables in their diets that they should.  I mean, did your kids eat beets, prunes, kale, and broccoli today?  I know mine didn’t.  In fact, those aren’t things that I normally get in my own diet, so my husband and I take the capsules for adults…


Picky eater?  Problem solved.


The One Sure Way to Get Kids to Eat Veggies | Money Savvy Living



*This post contains direct links to my JP+ Virtual Franchise. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission.

Shake It Up: Smoothie Challenge

 Shake It Up | Money Savvy Living


You may have heard of a weight loss challenge or a fitness challenge, but you probably have never heard of a smoothie challenge.  Do you currently drink a smoothie or protein shake?  Maybe you use it as a meal replacement, pre-workout energy drink, post-workout recovery, or healthy snack.  But does it really provide the nutrition that your body is needing?  If you are using it as a meal replacement, does it provide enough protein?  Are you getting enough vitamins and minerals from a good, natural source or is your current protein shake filled with artificial colors, flavors, and manufactured vitamins?


What you are putting into your body every day matters.  Our bodies can absorb and utilize naturally occurring vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables much better than synthetically created ones.  So if you are taking a weight loss supplement or protein shake that has been “fortified with vitamins,” your body may not be able to utilize those forms as well as naturally occurring vitamins found in the whole food source.  Or you may even be taking something that is labeled “natural” or “organic.”  And don’t get me wrong, “natural” and “organic” are definitely good, but let’s not forget that the elements showing up on the periodic table are “natural” and “organic” too… and many of those, would be harmful to consume.


Read the label of your current protein shake.  What are the ingredients?  What is the source of the vitamins and minerals?  Trust me, it matters.


So what exactly is a smoothie challenge?


I want for you to compare labels.  Look at your current protein shake and then compare it to Juice Plus+ Complete.  I have a feeling that you are going to see all sorts of added preservatives, fillers, flavors, etc in what you are currently taking.  Now look at the Juice Plus+ Complete label:


I have been drinking protein shakes for breakfast since I was in college… eating a big breakfast has never really been my thing… so I have tried many protein shakes from several companies, health food stores, and I can honestly say that I like Juice Plus+ Complete the best.  For me, it has been life changing. 


Does that sound dramatic to say that a protein shake is life changing?  Maybe it sounds that way, but it truly has been.  Before I started taking the Complete protein shakes (in combination with the Juice Plus+ Trio: Garden, Orchard, and Vineyard), I had a feeling of hunger all the time.  I was hungry, but didn’t know what I craved.  I had the urge to snack to fill that hunger—and that is the wrong thing to do.  Once I started making the Juice Plus+ Complete shakes in the morning, and taking the fruit and vegetable supplements, those feelings of hunger went away—I no longer felt the urge to snack—my body was getting something that it hadn’t had before.  I felt satiated.  (Juice Plus+ Complete also comes in individual serving packets that are perfect to take on-the-go!) 


And as a result of not feeling the urge to snack, I have just an overall better feeling in my body.  You know, that #hangry feeling went away.  I started to lose weight.  YES!  In the last four months, I am down about seven pounds.  Of course, I also try to get in at least 7000 steps a day on my activity tracker… you can read about How My Activity Tracker Has Changed My Life as well.  But the point is, I haven’t done anything drastic.  I haven’t had to cut stuff out of my diet… and best of all, I didn’t have to starve myself to try to lose weight.  It is happening with proper nutrition.



So… I am challenging YOU to compare labels, replace your current protein shake with Juice Plus+ Complete for the next 60 days… and experience the difference for yourself!  If you are not totally satisfied, Juice Plus+ has a Satisfaction Guaranteed policy, so you can return your purchase for a refund.  There is absolutely no risk!   So what are you waiting for?  You will literally be able to taste the difference between the vitamins from the fruits and vegetables and the synthetic ones.  Take the #ShakeItUp Smoothie Challenge for the next couple of months… your body will be glad you did! 



Sweet Potato and Banana Cookies

Sweet potato banana cookies | Money Savvy Living

Sometimes you just crave something sweet.  But your inner, healthy self knows just how bad sugar is for you… so what can you do to satisfy your sweet tooth without overloading on sugar? Make some sweet potato and banana cookies.

Okay.  I know that sweet potato and cookie are not typically used in the same sentence, but if sweet potato pie can be a classic dessert, then so can sweet potato cookies.

I have to say, the thing that I like most about these cookies is that they are not sweetened with sugar… raw honey is used instead.  (Of course, there is a bit of sugar in the semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you really don’t even have to add these unless you want to.)

sweet potato trio

Pumpkin & Oat Healthy Cookies

½ cup butter
1 medium egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp. baking soda
½ cup quick oats
½ cup all purpose gluten free baking mix**
1 banana, mashed
2 Tbsp. raw chia seeds
3 Tbsp raw honey, melted

**or for an extra protein boost, use ½ cup Vanilla Juice Plus+ Complete

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy, add egg and beat until combined. Add in pumpkin puree, baking soda, quick oats, gluten free baking mix, banana, chia seeds, and melted honey. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Use cookie scoop to place dough on cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until light golden brown.

*to order Vanilla Juice Plus Complete for a nutritional boost to this recipe, click here.


These cookies truly are delicious… and it’s a sneaky way to get your kids to eat sweet potatoes and chia seeds.  The best part is, you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating cookies now.


New Year, New You: Transformation, Not Resolution

Transformation Not Resolution | Money Savvy Living


Have you made a New Year’s Resolution to get healthier, eat better, or lose weight?  You are not alone.  Nearly 40% of all New Year’s Resolutions that are made are related to making healthier choices.  Did you also know that less than 8% of people will actually carry through with their resolutions in a meaningful way?  Of course, we all know how it goes, everyone is excited to commit to a new path on January 1 and by January 15, most have already slipped away from their new goals…


So this year, try something different.  Don’t make a resolution.


Decide to make a transformation in your life.


So let’s look at the difference.  A resolution is the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict or problem; the act of resolving something.  A transformation is a complete or major change in someone’s or something’s appearance, form, etc.


I don’t want to just find the answer or solution.  I want to implement the solution to get results.  Knowing and doing are two entirely different things.  Perhaps, that’s why so many resolutions fail.  People simply know what to do, but don’t know how to implement it or maybe aim for too many changes, or changes that they can’t live with and set themselves up for failure.


We know that cutting out sugar and caffeine and gluten from our diets would make us healthier.  But how many people can really drop all of those things from their lives “cold-turkey” and actually stick with it.  Probably not many.  I know that I would never be able to do that.  Maybe for a few days, but probably not for the long term.  Because those are lifestyle changes that I wouldn’t want to keep.


That is exactly why this year I am not making a resolution to “lose weight” or “get healthy.”  This year, I am deciding to transform what I am doing, by adding in simple changes that I can make—that I know I can live with—and will actually continue doing.  It has to be a lifestyle change, not just being able to withstand a few days or weeks of deprivation to on a quest to obtain a magical overnight result.


Here are 5 changes that I have made, and consistently been able to live with and make a part of my lifestyle.  If you are looking to get on the path to a healthier lifestyle, these changes may be a good starting place for you as well.


Activity Tracker This summer, I bought an activity tracker to monitor how much—or how little—I am moving during the day.  Sometimes, it is amazing how active I am, and other days, it is a daunting wake-up call to get moving.  It is amazing How My Activity Tracker Has Changed My Life.  My goal is to get at least 7000 steps each day, which equals 3.5 miles.  At this rate, I will walk nearly 1300 miles during the course of a year.  Maybe you are just starting out and have a goal of 5000 steps per day, or maybe you already hit 7000 steps per day, then you can add a couple thousand to that… regardless of where you are at with your activity, you can make an effort to be more active and burn additional calories.  Here is a conversion chart to help you figure out how many miles you are currently walking and how many you want to set for a goal. Smoothie with a Whole Food Boost | Money Savvy Living Replace A Meal I really have never been a breakfast eater.  I am just not ready for a big meal first thing in the day.  So for me, a smoothie is a great option.  Now, over the years, I have tried many smoothies and some have a metallic after-taste or a are chalky—and if I don’t like the way it tastes, or it gives me a headache, I won’t stick with it—and I will end up just skipping breakfast altogether.  And when I skip breakfast, I am so hungry by the time lunch rolls around, I either eat something that is fast and convenient (not at all healthy) or even over-eat because I have waited too long—am I the only one with this problem or is this familiar to you too?  That is why I am so glad that I found Juice Plus+ Complete.  It is a whole food, plant-based protein shake, with no artificial fillers, preservatives, or colors, it’s gluten free—and best of all, it actually tastes good.  This one works well with my body and I have been able to keep this habit as a part of my daily routine.  This was just one of the things that I have been doing that kept me from gaining weight through the holidays and I have actually lost five pounds…  

A photo posted by Gina Young (@gyoung118) on

Take a Whole Food Supplement

While I have taken different herbs and vitamins over the years, I added a whole food supplement into the mix.  I had tried them before, but this time, I consistently have taken them… and noticed a difference.  The first thing that I noticed was more energy—I wasn’t as tired in the mornings.  I also noticed that I wasn’t snacking as much.  I felt satisfied after eating a meal.  Before starting these, I felt that my body was always craving something, but I didn’t know what… so I’d grab some crackers or chips to fill the void—and that was just extra calories and fat—and it never curbed that feeling.  Lastly, this was not something that I noticed, but my hairstylist pointed it out when I went in for a haircut (and highlights)—she mentioned how fast my hair was growing and said it was so much faster than most other people—and she had never noticed this (or said anything) before.  Hmmmm, maybe it was this supplement… giving my body extra vitamins and nutrients that I didn’t have before…

Drink More Water | Money Savvy Living

Drink More Water

I have always been aware of drinking a lot of water, but I noticed that when taking these supplements, I made myself drink an entire cup of water each time I took these throughout the day—in additional to the amount of water that I was already drinking.  Drink more water. This may be the easiest thing that you can do to improve your health. Simply. Drink. Water. There are several health benefits of drinking water, including:

  • Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids
  • Water Can Help Control Calories
  • Water Helps Energize Muscles
  • Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good
  • Water Helps Your Kidneys
  • Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function

sugar and weight gain |Money Savvy Living

Cut Down on Soda and Sugar

Just think of all the extra sugar and calories that you are consuming when you drink a can of pop. Not only are there health problems associated with drinking soda, such as a link to obesity, kidney damage, certain cancers, and even elevated blood pressure, but studies have also shown that you can actually lose weight when you do nothing else besides stop drinking soda.


Are you ready to transform?  Or are you just going to ease away from your New Year’s resolution in a couple of weeks?  Are you ready to make this year different?


#OneSimpleChange #6WT


*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer.  These are also products that I truly recommend and use myself and decided to partner with the company as a result of trying the products first.

10 Ways to Avoid Gaining 10 Pounds this Holiday Season

10 Ways to Not Gain 10 Pounds over the Holidays | Money Savvy Living


Now that we are in early December, I am really starting to think about… drumroll please…. weight gain.


You probably thought that I was going to say Christmas, didn’t you? Well, you are sort-of right. The weight gain that I am thinking about is actually associated with Christmas and New Year’s…and to be perfectly honest, Thanksgiving and Halloween, as well.


This time of year is absolutely horrible to my body.


It is getting colder. So I know the number of days that I will have outside—and the more active lifestyle that the outdoors are conducive to—is fading away. I will be wearing big, bulky sweaters soon anyways, so I can just hide those few extra pounds and not worry about my weight until swimsuit season rolls around again.


We have soooo much candy from Halloween. I have three kids, who each hit the candy jackpot on October 31. Yes, I know that was well over a month ago, but the candy still lingers in the pantry… the candy is literally just staring at us every time we open the cupboard. I’m pretty sure the kids hear it calling their names because they ask several times a day if they can have a “treat.” And even though I can’t remember the last time that I actually bought a candy bar for myself, when these little bite-sized treats are around, it is very easy to tell myself that I can have one… or two, it’s really just a bite anyways, not very many calories or fat could possibly even be in something so small…


I want to enjoy the holidays. Christmas is coming. I don’t want to have to worry about counting calories at every family gathering or party that I attend. After all, nothing celebrates the birth of Jesus and ringing in the new year like excessive gluttony.


It is really easy to feel complacent about it too. I mean, these are all really good excuses as to why I will likely gain weight over the next few months, right?


Ummm, NO.


This year, I am making a commitment to not allow myself the excuses and I am taking action. Now, I started before Halloween, but it’s still not too late to either change your eating habits, or lay out a plan, before Christmas to help you avoid gaining that extra holiday weight.


I am not starving myself to do this though. I am eating somewhat normally, but have just tweaked things a bit—and I have lost five pounds in the last six weeks. Ok, that may not sound like much, however, I lost weight instead of gaining it through Halloween and Thanksgiving—and that’s a pretty big deal.


I have decided to make certain lifestyle changes that I can live with and not feel that I am depriving myself or starving my body—because, ultimately, your body will reject that and you may end up gaining more weight than what you lost when you decide to stop “dieting.”


So what am I doing? How am I implementing small changes into my lifestyle? Here are 10 simple things that I am doing—and anyone can do—to be healthier and avoid the holiday weight gain:




Wear an activity tracker. Everyday. Simple, right? Throughout the day, I find it quite motivating to see my progress and if my steps are low, I know to pick it up a bit and go for a walk outside, get on the treadmill, or do something with the kids (they are always begging me to play soccer or basketball or catch…)


Drink a protein shake in the morning. I am not a breakfast person. Never have been. But, if I don’t have anything breakfast, I am so hungry by lunch time that I tend to eat too much or just make terrible, unhealthy choices because I simply want to eat something—anything—and the unhealthy choices are typically convenient. Drinking a breakfast shake gives my body the feeling of being satisfied because it takes away the hunger factor. Now, I have tried several different types of protein powder and definitely don’t like the ones that are infused with manufactured vitamins and minerals. Those tend to have a metallic-taste to me, and give me a headache. Plus, if it is something that I am going to barely be able to choke down, I can tell you that I won’t keep the habit as a part of my life. That is why I love the Complete Shakes from Juice Plus+. (Just so you know, I don’t recommend these because I am a consultant with the company, I am a consultant with Juice Plus because I love their products so much—and I have been trying different products and making a smoothie for breakfast since I was in college, so I have tried a lot!) They are whole food based—no artificial fillers, colors, or flavors—and they actually taste good, so this is a habit that I can keep.


protein smoothie


Take a whole food supplement. Studies show that you are basically wasting your money on vitamins and supplements unless you are buying whole food supplements. In fact, a study by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center states, “Whole foods contain a wide array of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and a number of other biologically active compounds, collectively known as phytonutrients. These phytonutrients, such as 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) in broccoli or isoprenoids and polyphenols in other vegetables, may work in concert to provide the best support for cancer prevention and control.” A whole food supplement is just that, a supplement to your diet. It does not replace eating healthy, but it does help to bridge the gap in your diet from what you are actually getting and what you should be getting.


Reduce the amount of processed foods that you eat. Many times, we turn to processed foods because they are basically dinner-in-a-box—they are convenient. While they may save you a bit of time, the nutritional value is definitely lacking… and you usually pay a bit of a premium for the convenience. Whole foods are foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. For example, when you eat an apple, you are getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are naturally occurring in that particular food. When foods are processed, they have been refined in some way. The natural form has changed, and through this processing or refinement, the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals may have been stripped away, so you are only getting the nutrients from what is left.


Drink more water. This may be the easiest thing that you can do to improve your health. Simply. Drink. Water. There are several health benefits of drinking water, including:

  • Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids
  • Water Can Help Control Calories
  • Water Helps Energize Muscles
  • Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good
  • Water Helps Your Kidneys
  • Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function

If you are looking for more than just “plain” water to add to your diet, you may want to check out why some people drink salt water or lemon water

Read nutrition labels. Making healthy food choices starts by knowing what is in the food that you are eating. Make choices that are: gluten-free, organic, no preservatives or added nitrates, no artificial colors, and no artificial flavors.


sugar and weight gain


Cut down on your intake of soda and alcohol. Just think of all the extra sugar and calories that you are consuming when you drink a can of pop. Not only are there health problems associated with drinking soda, such as a link to obesity, kidney damage, certain cancers, and even elevated blood pressure, but studies have also shown that you can actually lose weight when you do nothing else besides stop drinking soda.


Get enough sleep. It is sometimes hard to see the immediate connection between sleep deprivation and potential weight gain, but your body needs enough time to rest and repair so that you are able to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. If you are tired, then you may not have the energy to cook a healthy meal and may pick up fast food instead. You may also feel like you don’t have the energy to work out or be active, so you would choose to sit on the sofa and watch TV rather than going for a walk… and those choices to eat the fast food and be a couch potato, in turn, make you feel even more sluggish.


healthy snack choice


Make healthy snack choices. Instead of picking up a bag of potato chips, reach for fruits and veggies. It does take a bit of planning and work sometimes to make these snack available. But if you have a container in your refrigerator with carrot and celery sticks, pre-washed grapes, or apple slices, it is easier for you—and your kids—to reach for a healthier snack. I happen to just love these little California mandarin oranges… they are so sweet it can cure your sweet tooth as well—a much better choice than a cookie!


Breathe deep. Did you know that breathing exercises can help to reduce stress and anxiety, stimulate energy, and benefit physical and emotional health? And all of these things can help contribute to weight loss. Try these different breathing exercises, and breathe your way to better health:

  • Deep Abdominal Breathing: Slow breathing exercises may affect corticol activity and help reduce anxiety, according to the report of A.W. Yuen and J.W. Sanders in “Can Slow Breathing Exercises Improve Seizure Control in People.” Shallow breathing can occur during times of stress. Deep abdominal breathing, which brings the breath deep into the belly, helps counteract shallow breathing and creates a sense of calm. Try this deep abdominal breathing technique to reduce stress and regain focus on your weight loss goals. Sit in a comfortable position and begin by slowly exhaling through your nose for a count of five. Let all the air in your abdomen out and imagine your stomach fully deflating. Pause at the bottom of the breath for two counts then slowly inhale for a five count, allowing your abdomen to fill back up with air. Repeat five to 10 times.
  • Bellows Breathing Exercise: The bellows breathing exercise stimulates energy. Also referred to as the fire breath or stimulating breath technique, this exercise activates the lungs and chest to allow for normal breathing to occur, according to Marcelle Pick, OBGYN, NP in “Deep Breathing: The Truly Essential Exercise.” Perform the bellows breathing exercise by sitting up straight in a chair. Close your mouth and breathe in and out rapidly. Imagine your breath moving similarly to a bike pump. Continue the rapid breathing for up to 15 seconds to stimulate energy. Try performing this technique for a boost of energy before your workouts or cardio exercise.
  • Three-Part Breathing: Breathing exercises benefit physical and emotional health. Use breathing consciously to influence the involuntary nervous system, which regulates bodily functions such as digestion and circulation. Try the three-part breathing exercise to influence your health and well-being. Begin by sitting comfortably. Exhale through your nose and slowly let the air flow out of your body. Release the air in a wave movement by letting the air out of the chest first, then the upper abdomen, and finally the diaphragm. Pause for two counts, then inhale slowly, reversing the order. Repeat for five to 10 breaths.


While I have this plan in place to live a healthier lifestyle, I will still be happy to partake in all the Christmas meals and goodies that will be around. Totally depriving yourself is not good, but overindulging isn’t an option either. As with anything—keep a healthy balance in mind.




*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer.

How My Activity Tracker Changed My Life: One Simple Change




Recently, the company that my husband works for, initiated a program to promote healthy living. Through this program, there are rewards and benefits for company employees, and their spouses, and it all starts with an activity tracker.


I had seen them before, but thought that they were too expensive or that I’d forget to wear it… either way, it was money that I figured would be wasted. I was sooo wrong.


Now, I have to admit that we did get good deals on our activity trackers because it was part of a company initiative (thank you, Morton Salt for promoting healthy living!)—so you may want to ask your employer if they offer any discounts for activity trackers or have programs to promote a healthy lifestyle.


But even if your employer doesn’t offer any programs or discounts, it would definitely be worth it to invest in one. Something crazy happened when that little device arrived. I found myself actually wanting to wear it to see how many steps I took during the day, and how many miles that came to be. But it became more than that too. I noticed that when I would look at it throughout the day and see a low number of steps, it motivated me to go for a jog, or a walk, or just take the kids outside to play. It motivated me to move. Perhaps motivated isn’t quite the right word though because sometimes when I look at it, it almost feels like this inanimate object was judging me… “Should you really be sitting here now drinking your coffee? You should be exercising.” Either way, it has prompted me to be more active.


But sometimes before I go for a jog, I do need to have a little bit of caffeine motivation….


coffee cup one simple change



If you are like me, and you sit a computer for a good portion of your day, then you aren’t burning very many calories, and gaining weight is going to happen much quicker than if you are active and burning more calories.


The goal is 7000 steps per day, which is about 3.5 miles; although 10,000 steps, or approximately 5 miles per day is optimum.  So taking an evening walk with my boys is a great way to have a little bit of special time with them and get in a bit of exercise.


Evening walk with the kids | Money Savvy Living


You can get an activity tracker that you wear like a watch, like this one: Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, shown in Black:


Fit Bit Wrist | Money Savvy Living


Of course, there are a variety of colors to choose from, if you want something more fashionable than black:


fit bit wrist colors | Money Savvy Living


Or you could opt for one that you put in your pocket or clip on over the waistband of your pants, like this one: Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker.


fit bit colors | Money Savvy Living


The Charcoal one is the least expensive; you can buy it for only $48.99. Of course, there are other others, but those cost a bit more.  As you can see, I have a basic one… and that is my #MoneySavvy tip: all you need to do is track your activity and the basic black goes with everything anyways, right?  So save a few bucks and skip the color choice.


Many of these activity trackers work with apps that can be downloaded on your smartphone, so you can track your progress.



*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer. However, I highly recommend that you get an activity tracker whether you purchase through here or elsewhere.


SlimQuick Pure: A Review

SlimQuick Pure

Recently, I worked with SlimQuick Pure to test their new SlimQuick Pure Gummies for a month. The company describes the product as being able to help you lose 3 times the weight over a 13 week period (keep in mind, I only used the product for a month for the purposes of this review). The product is supposed to help you lose up to 25 pounds in 13 weeks.

Here are my results: 3 pounds in 4 weeks, that have since stayed off after finishing the product trial a few weeks ago.

I am not sure that I would have reached the 25 pound mark in 13 weeks, but I wasn’t trying to lose 25 pounds anyways. I didn’t really change anything in my diet or exercise routine: I do try to eat healthy though and exercise about 3 days a week. So, I feel like it did give me a bit of a boost during that time.

All said and done, I liked the taste of the gummies, the product was easy to use, and I feel like I did see better results than if I had not taken it during that same time period.

*This is a sponsored post.

1 2