Health and Wellness

Oral Health Care – Time to Start a Routine!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.  All opinions are mine alone.

 
 

Now that school has started back again, our family is working into getting back into our routine – cleaning, eating, playing with friends, hygiene, etc.  I’m so ashamed to admit this, but we feel out of our routine over the summer.  We fell HARD.

It’s summer, man!  Who needs routine?  Right?  Ha ha, wrong.

 

LISTERINE is helping my family get back into our oral care routines this fall.  Kinda important, you know.  I wish we’d kept our routines all during the warm/hot weather season, so it wouldn’t be so stressful getting back into them now.  After our $502 dental fiasco for Buddy Boy, I’ve been watching our oral habits more closely, and I’m seeing a lot of things I don’t like:

  •  
     

    My son, when brushing his teeth, hardly gets his teeth at all.  He swishes the toothbrush around in his mouth, sucks up the toothpaste, and calls it good.

  • Neither of my kids brush for as long as they should.

  • NONE of us floss as well as we should.  This is usually due to us scrambling to run out the door to get to school in time, and flossing gets a whole 30 seconds of attention before we’re outta there.

  • My son has a really hard time figuring out the whole flossing thing.  It takes more hand coordination than he seems to have.  Because of this, I’d like to start having him do a mouthwash rinse in addition to his routine, but he hates the taste and smell of anything that is even close to minty.

Listerine

We’ve got a plan!

We now have a plan to try and fix some of these issues.  I searched and found a bubble gum flavor mouthwash for Buddy Boy.  I’m also planning to brush my teeth at the same time my kids do so that I can observe them more closely.  Next, I gotta figure out a way to make flossing easier.   Thank goodness there are so many different options!  Here’s the main gist of my plan:

Buddy Boy - Listerine UltraClean  – LISTERINE has a ton of different mouthwashes, depending on your needs/wants, and we’ve got a BUBBLE GUM flavor for kids, along with a HEALTHY WHITE CLEAN MINT wash.  We tried the Bubble Gum flavor for Buddy Boy, and Hallelujah!!  The kid likes it!   Munchkin has no problems with mint and will be using the adult mouthwash, which is peroxide free.

 

 – See that LISTERINE ULTRACLEAN ACCESS FLOSSER he’s holding?  I’m hoping that it’ll make flossing easier for him.  With it’s long, ergonomic handle, it should make getting those harder to reach spots, well, less hard to reach.  The “yarn” on it is also designed to be extra strong, so it should hold up pretty well!

 

 

 – I’m personally looking forward to trying the  GENTLE GUM CARE FLOSS.  I’m a gum bleeder.  I hate flossing for that reason, but I still do it in the hopes that one day I won’t bleed as much.  This floss is specifically designed with a “cushion” for sensitive gums.  How cool is that?

 

 

Munchkin - Listerine – Munchkin is excited to use the POCKETPAKS BREATH STRIP.  Silly girl.  Not that I blame her.  I often worry about my breath in between brushing.  She kinda wants to focus there, and I’m okay with that, especially after learning that these strips actually kill 99% of the germs that cause bad breath.  I had assumed it would simply mask the smell, but nope!  It’s doing much more.

 

That’s the bulk of our plan.  I love that I can find all these products locally AND online.  It makes things incredibly convenient.  Now, the last thing we need…MOTIVATION.  Right?  I’ve got mine RIGHT HERE at the Listerine US Youtube Page feauturing America’s Healthiest Heroes.  One day I’ll be featured.  (ha ha, probably not, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try!!)

 

 

Motivation for the kids?  Hmm…still working on that. :)

 

 

 

15 Healthy Snacks on a Budget

indexIt’s 11 O’clock and you still have one hour before your lunch break.

 

You find yourself rummaging in your drawer (or office fridge) looking for something to snack on. Ah!  There’s a bag of potato chips and with a sigh of satisfaction; you happily munch your chips.

 

But wait a minute…….

 

That snack you are happily munching contains about 200 calories that you don’t really need!

 

No, don’t spit it out!
Nutritionists have confirmed that snacking helps fight weight gain and also keeps your metabolism stable.

 

imagesSnacking is great as long as it is healthy and within your budget.  Don’t worry. There are loads of budget friendly healthy and tasty snacks that you can reach for when that snack craving hits you.

Healthy and budget snacks together?

Is that possible?

Definitely!

Below is a list of 15 health budget snacks that you can treat yourself to:

• Air-Popped Popcorn

• Hard-boiled eggs

• Apples

Bananas

• A serving of nuts (raw almonds are my personal favorite, though I eat them in moderation – they can be pricey!)

• Yogurts (make sure they aren’t filled with sugar!)

• Pickled vegetables

• Crackers and cheese

• Carrots (buy the big ones and slice them yourself – no need to pay extra for baby carrots)

5012685818_4bdc2e74baSo…..

 

Be rest assured that you are not alone in your craving for snacks.

 

But next time the craving creeps up on you, try to choose one of the healthy snacks above instead of reaching for that bag of potato chips.  Your body will thank you!  (No really, it will!)

 

Do you have a favorite frugal and healthy snack? Please share in the comments box below.

 

*Linked up at Frugal Friday

Pick Me Up Ideas for Tired Parents

Raise your hand if you’re tired.

Being a parent can be fun and also leave you feeling frazzled and exhausting.  Sooner or later you will need to take some me time for relaxation and pampering.  

Designed for parents you know or for yourself – here are some ideas of a DIY gift basket of goodies to help parents feel better.  (Or you know, if you want to send yours truly something to help me relax ;) )  Thank you.  Or you’re welcome, depending on what you choose to do with this list!

 

The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil, 3.3-Fluid Ounce

The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil, 3.3-Fluid Ounce

Um, hello.  Massage oil?  Yes, please!  Designed to help you drift away as you experience total relaxation with an unbeatable, stress-busting, tension-taming massage using this blend of calming oils.  Pure French lavender essential oil relaxes the senses, while camomile promotes a sense of calm and soothes skin. Sesame oil and sweet almond oil moisturize and soften skin.

The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil, 3.3-Fluid Ounce – $24.40, Free shipping – Available at Amazon.com Marketplace


1-800-Flowers.com – Flowers – Fields of Europe for Summer Basket

1-800-Flowers.com - Flowers - Fields of Europe for Summer Basket

Flowers are so great.  What a pick-me-up!  While I usually just pick flowers from my yard to put in the house, it always feels extra good to be surprised with a delivery like this.

 

1-800-Flowers.com – Flowers – Fields of Europe for Summer Basket – $39.99, -1.00 shipping – Available at 1-800-Flowers.com


Wonka – Chocolate Bars – ORIGINAL: 18-Piece Box

Wonka - Chocolate Bars - ORIGINAL: 18-Piece Box

CHOCOLATE.  I really don’t need to say more, do I?

 

Wonka – Chocolate Bars – ORIGINAL: 18-Piece Box – $39.60, See Site shipping – Available at CandyWarehouse


EiioX – EiioX Aromatherapy Essential Oil Purifier Diffuser Air Humidifier with 4 Timer Settings & 6 Colors Changing, Black

EiioX - EiioX Aromatherapy Essential Oil Purifier Diffuser Air Humidifier with 4 Timer Settings & 6 Colors Changing, Black

I really like the look of this Essential Oil Diffuser.  I have one that I got somewhere else, but it cost twice as much.  I wish I’d seen this one first!!

 

EiioX – EiioX Aromatherapy Essential Oil Purifier Diffuser Air Humidifier with 4 Timer Settings & 6 Colors Changing, Black – $53.99, Free shipping – Available at Amazon.com Marketplace


Deep Steep – Organic Lavender Chamomile Bubble Bath-17 oz-Bubble Bath

Deep Steep - Organic Lavender Chamomile Bubble Bath-17 oz-Bubble Bath

Bubble Bath.  So you can sit in the tub filled with hot water, and soak your cares away.  This organic Lavender Chamomile sounds heavenly, doesn’t it? 

 

Deep Steep – Organic Lavender Chamomile Bubble Bath-17 oz-Bubble Bath – $6.99, Free shipping – Available at Puritans Pride

(2 reviews)


Moroccan Hand Woven Basket, Braid Design Large (Palm Leaf)

Moroccan Hand Woven Basket, Braid Design Large (Palm Leaf)

This is a great basket that is hand woven with palm leaves that be used to present your gift. Afterwards it can be used for a trip to the beach, books, as farmers market bag.

Moroccan Hand Woven Basket, Braid Design Large (Palm Leaf) – $28.00, 11.49 shipping – Available at Amazon.com Marketplace


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.


3 Superfoods (They are Seeds!)

Searching for some healthy ways to get better nutrition into your diet?  Try some of these super seeds.  They can be easily integrated into your eating plans or diet with out too much fuss.  I’m sure EVERYONE can use an additional nutritional boost! 

Organic White Chia Seeds

Organic White Chia Seeds

Called a superfood by some, Chia seeds contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids as well as high levels of fiber and minerals such iron, calcium, magnesium etc.

Enjoy them on your oatmeal or cereal, stir it into your veggie shakes or add to yogurt for a nutritious boost.  You can also try adding to baking goods (like in this delicious looking gluten-free Quinoa Chia Bread)

 

Organic White Chia Seeds — 12 oz – $9.33 (55% off), Free shipping – Available at PureFormulas

(8 reviews)


Eden Foods Dry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Eden Foods Dry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Popular and known as Pepita in Mexico, they are rich in protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium and some fatty acids.  They also contain L-tryptophan can also help with anxiety attacks, depression and mood disorders.  Amazing, right?

Enjoy them toasted by the handful or add them to your salads for a tasty crunch (crunch, after all, makes every salad better)!

 

Eden Foods Dry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Original, 4 oz – $3.25, See Site shipping – Available at Tropical Traditions


Organic Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seed

Organic Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seed

This is a product that I’m new to.  A truly versatile plant, Hemp is used in a variety of products, from clothing to food.  It contains a high percentage of edible oils and fatty acids.

Enjoy them raw, ground in a powder, sprinkle into your favorite cereal or shake or use in baking.

Have you tried hemp?  What are your thoughts?

 

Organic Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seed (12 oz) by Manitoba Harvest – $15.89, 5.59 shipping – Available at Amazon.com

(1 reviews)


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.


Special Diets on a Budget

As you have probably noticed, I am eating a “special” diet right now.  And by special, I mean that I’m NOT eating any of the following foods:

  • Dairy (including butter, cheese, yogurt, shortening, etc)
  • Eggs
  • Gluten (including wheat, oats, rye and barley)
  • Tomatoes (tomato sauces or anything else containing tomatoes)
  • Dehydrated Fruit
  • Rice, corn, potatoes
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee, black tea, and soda
  • Fruit juices
  • Iodized salt
  • Sugar and natural & artificial sweeteners (including honey, agave, coconut sugar, stevia)
  • Soy or any products containing soy
  • Peanuts
  • Beef, pork, shellfish, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meat, sausage

ai_dietWhy?  I’m following an Anti-Inflammatory diet given to me by my holistic care doctor.  I’m currently on day 7 of this new diet, and I’ve found already that I’m not having to take my daily nap every day anymore.  I had 2 good days during this first week, and that’s more than I’d had in the previous month!  What a blessing.

It is, however, more expensive to eat this way….at least for me.  No matter how you look at it, sweet potatoes generally cost more than white potatoes.  Quinoa is WAY more expensive than rice.  It’s just how it is.

So, how do you eat a special diet on a budget?  Well, it’s something that I’m slowly figuring out, and I wanted to share what I’ve found so far with you:

 

 

  1. Shop the Sales (?)

This can be very hard when you are so limited in what you can eat.  For example, if you are allowed fresh veggies, but the veggies you are able to eat aren’t in season, well then what’s a girl to do?  Just this last week I went to pick up some bell peppers and the cheapest I could find them was $1.29 PER PEPPER.  Ridiculous!  So, I went without.  Instead, I ate other veggies that frankly, I’m not as fond of.  If you’re on a tight budget though, you’ll just have to learn to be less choosy (a lesson I’m currently learning).  Shop the sales.  It’s critical.

2.  Buy in bulk

indexBy “bulk”, I do not necessarily mean “buy a ton”.  Sure, Costco and other warehouse locations offer some great deals.  I’ve been very impressed with Costco’s selection of healthy foods.  The quinoa there is a great deal.  However, in addition to that type of shopping, try to shop the bulk sections at other stores – you know, when you bag your own stuff, tie it up and weigh it.  Winco is my favorite place to do that.  There are bulk bins at most health food stores as well, like Whole Foods and Sprouts.  That way, you’re not paying for the packaging.

3. Keep a price list

Oh my gosh, keep a price list.  If you find yourself trying new foods you’re not used to, I’m betting you’re not familiar with the average price for that food.  You’ll have NO idea if you’re getting a decent deal or not!  Ask friends and family what they pay, and when you make a purchase, write down the cost-per-ounce or pound and take that book with you when shopping future sales.  Know what a good deal looks like.

4.  Stick to the basics

I know.  It’s hard.  You want to try a new recipe because you are SO SICK of eating carrot sticks and baked chicken.  I feel you.  (really, I do.)  If your budget allows, try some new food ideas, but don’t plan a huge shopping spree to buy all new stuff.  What if you don’t like half of it?  It’ll go to waste, and you’ve lost that money.  Try a few new things at a time, and stick with the basic meals you already know for now.  As you slowly build up new recipes and items that you like, your menu will expand, but only do it as you can afford to.

5.  Give yourself an occasional break

Don’t expect that you’ll be perfect all the time.  When I first went gluten free, I refused to buy $5 frozen gf pizzas, because it would cost more money than making my own.  Then I would get a hankering for pizza and not have anything on hand, so I’d go out and spend $12 to get a freshly cooked one from a gf friendly restaurant.  If you have a weak spot and you know you’ll eventually cave, don’t be afraid to spend a little money buying some of those items pre-made and frozen.  If you truly have the time, then save even more $$ by pre-cooking and freezing some of your favorites.  Speaking of which…

6. PREPARE

I know life is busy, and not everyone will be able to do this.  If you have the time/energy, I’d highly suggest doing a freezer cooking session.  Make a double or triple batch of gluten free cookie dough, or of dairy free rolls, and freeze them.  Mix up a huge batch of turkey burgers, shape and freeze them.  This makes buying in bulk during the sales easier, and it makes your life a whole lot easier when you don’t feel you have time to make an involved meal.  If you don’t have an entire day to devote, you can do a mini 1-hour freezer cooking batch, like I do.

7. Stick with natural foods

10487226_10152495996751815_3535428456217654932_nAs much as possible, try to stick with foods that are naturally dairy free, or peanut free, or whatever your need may be.  Fresh fruits/veggies and unprocessed meats are generally allergen-safe (depending, of course, on the allergen you are avoiding).  Buying the gluten-free version of something generally is going to cost at least TWICE the money than it’s wheat-filled counterpart.  If you stick with the naturally safe foods, you’ll save.

I realize that not all of these tips will work for everyone.  Do what you can with what you can.  I’m sure there are a lot of other fantastic ideas.  Like I said, I’m new to this, and am still figuring things out.  I’ll happily share any other tips that I find as I go!  And hey, if you’ve got a great idea to save money on these types of meals, you’d better tell me! :)  Now let’s go save some moolah.

*Linked up at Thrifty Thursday!

FREE Ebooks for Kindle: Smoothies for Health

If you’re joining me in the Summer Health Challenge, I’ve got some great freebies for you!

Smoothies are an easy, effective way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.  These two kindle books are FREE today and will make your smoothie making a breeze:

PicMonkey Collage

These other recipe books are FREE today as well, which you may have interest in, depending on your health needs:

Enjoy!

Summer Challenge is HERE! Are You Ready?

Summer Healthy ChallengeToday is day one of the Summer Get Healthy Challenge!  Did you do your homework?  Are you ready?

If you haven’t already, answer the 3 questions I posted the other day.  I will post them here again, with my own personal answers:

  1. Weigh and measure (if weight/size loss is your goal).  Write it down.  TAKE A BEFORE PICTURE as well!
    I’ve done this, but I’m keeping the pictures and details personally to myself. :)

  2. Write down your goal(s).  What in your health is lacking?  What needs improving?  It’s not always about being skinnier or sexier.
    My goal is to be healthy.  That means a lot of things:  I want to clear up my joint pain.  I want to resolve the digestive issues and bloating that I’ve been experiencing.  I want to have energy and motivation.  I want to manage my stress.  I have very specific goals written down to address all of these desires. 

  3. Decide what you are willing to commit to.  Will you drink more water? Will you work out every day?  Will you promise to make time for meditation each day?  What are you willing to do on a daily/weekly basis to achieve better health?  Write this down, as you will use it to hold yourself accountable!
    I commit to working out daily.  I personally will be following the Slim in 6 program, since I happen to have it at home.  I will be increasing my daily water intake by 8 oz each week until I reach half my weight in ounces.  I will spend 30 minutes daily watching/reading something funny.  I will laugh daily.  I will meditate daily.  I will track everything I eat using the MyFitnessPal app. 

I will be only using resources that are already available to me, as I’m not going to spend unnecessary money on gym memberships, new equipment, etc.  I recommend you do the same.  Here are all the workout DVDs I happen to own.  Some are ones that I’ve bought, others I’ve won from blog giveaways.  IMG_1224

I also have a stability ball, resistance bands, a pair of 5-lb dumbbells, and a yoga mat.  Oh, and I have a gazelle machine that I bought from an online classified site a year ago.  I want to emphasize, this Healthy Challenge will be done on a BUDGET.  No extra money for groceries and/or equipment.  Anything I buy during this challenge will have to fit into the budget our family is already living within.

IMG_1225As I mentioned, I’m doing the Slim in 6 program.  As my energy increases, I may add some TurboFire in there, but I’m not there yet.

Food-wise, I’ll be doing much the same I’ve already been.  Avoiding processed foods, cutting down on the sugar etc.  I’m going to try eating smaller meals more often throughout the day.  I will check in with my stats weekly, and throughout each week I’ll share helpful tips and tricks I come across.  It’s time to get healthy!  Good luck in getting started!

90-ish days of Getting Healthy Challenge

Sooo…it’s summer!  I had planned on starting a “Get Healthy/Fit” challenge a few months ago to get ready for the summer, and then I got sick.  I started experiencing migraines often, and then the joint pains started and got really bad really fast.  Nausea and vomiting 2-3 days each week followed, along with weight gain and complete loss of energy.  Depression and anxiety got bad soon after, as well as extreme bloating (like I look 6 months pregnant), ulcers, lower back pain and the inability to eat without being in awful pain.

IMG_1071

SO bloated and in pain!

Let’s just say my plan fell by the wayside really quickly.

I’ve had an ultrasound and multiple other tests done, all to find nothing..  I’ve been to my family care physician, a general surgeon, a registered dietician and a chiropractor.  No one can figure out what’s wrong.  I have another appointment this upcoming Tuesday, and I’ve been telling myself, “as soon as I know what’s wrong, I’ll make a game plan to get healthy once and for all.”  And you know what?

I’ve got to stop putting it off.

That’s why I’m starting a summer Getting Healthy challenge for myself now.  I’m making the “official” start date Monday, but I’m kinda already starting.  I don’t care if I have no energy.  I don’t care if I’m in constant pain.  I’m going to eat right and I’m going to work out every darn day, even if all I can manage is a walk around the block.  I’d love to have you join me!!

Summer Healthy Challenge

Because here at Better on a Budget, we are all about doing things frugally, I will be using only the equipment I already have at my disposal….jump ropes, a stability ball, workout dvds, etc.  I’ll be reading healthy eating books found at my local library, and trying out recipes from those books.  Any frugal and/or easy tips and tricks I find, I’ll pass along.

If YOU are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and want to make getting healthy a priority, don’t wait!  Feel free to join me and post your progress in the comments.  We can support each other.

To get ready for Monday, you will need to do the following:

  1. Weigh and measure (if weight/size loss is your goal).  Write it down.  TAKE A BEFORE PICTURE as well!

  2. Write down your goal(s).  What in your health is lacking?  What needs improving?  It’s not always about being skinnier or sexier.  My goal is simply to feel healthy.  That means a lot of different things, so I’ll be writing each of those things down.

  3. Decide what you are willing to commit to.  Will you drink more water? Will you work out every day?  Will you promise to make time for meditation each day?  What are you willing to do on a daily/weekly basis to achieve better health?  Write this down, as you will use it to hold yourself accountable!

If you have books, products, tips/tricks that you would like to recommend, message me and let me know!  I’d be happy to feature additional options.

See you all on Monday!! :D

Parsnip, Bacon and Carrot Medley

Okay, so one of my goals for the New Year is to try a couple of vegetables/fruits I haven’t before tried.  One of those is parsnips.  I’ve heard about them, seen them in the store, and I get the feeling they are probably pretty good, but I just haven’t up and tried them yet.  I was excited to find this recipe the other day, and look forward to trying parsnips for the first time very soon!

 

You can get the recipe for this Parsnip, Bacon and Carrot Medley HERE!  Happy eating. :)

Giveaway: ItWorks! Ultimate Body Applicator

I’m really excited for the New Year – for the chance to recommit to my health (physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial), and for the chance to help others do the same.  Today’s giveaway goes right along with this idea…but first, I gotta ask:

934078_604496312894814_2082911019_n

 

I’m very happy to be able to report that I reached most of my goals for 2013, including weight loss and getting healthier.  I’m now working towards tightening and firming up, and a big focus of my goals for 2014 will be financial.  That is where that “Crazy Wrap Thing” comes in.

ItWorks is a company that offers much more than just the wrap, although the wrap is a pretty big deal.  It is an all-natural based formula put into a lotion on a wrap that you can apply to anywhere on your body from the neck down, and it will help you to tighten, tone and firm that area.  A full treatment consists of 4 wraps, which retail for $100.  And when I say they are all natural, I mean it!  Non GMO as well.

1006133_485942854821696_1077648260_n

 

 

ItWorks is a network marketing company, which means that instead of finding their products at a store, you must purchase through an individual, a distributor.  Buying these products helps the “little people”, so to speak, since each distributor is a small business owner.  I’m a big fan of supporting small business.  You should have seen all the small business presents my family members got for Christmas! :)

 

ItWorks offers people 3 different options when dealing with the company:

  • Buying retail
  • Loyal customer (get up to 45% off retail prices)
  • Distributor (get wholesale pricing along with the option to make commission and bonuses!)

I am currently getting ready to start a Healthy 90 Day challenge on facebook using the ItWorks products. We will have a prize for EVERYONE at the end! If you have any interest or questions about any of these options, don’t hesitate to contact me and I can get you started on the challenge as well!  ;)
 
 
As I mentioned, they offer much more than just the Ultimate Body Applicator (the wrap).  They offer many supplements designed to improve your quality of life, with options to help those suffering from menopause, depression/anxiety, lack of energy, joint pain, and more.  They offer a skin care line.  They carry protein shakes.  They have an amazing product designed to help alkalize and detoxify your body.  ALL of their products are natural, non GMO.  Great, huh?

blitz

Today, however, because I know that so many of us are looking to lose weight/look better for the New Year, we are going to be giving away one wrap (retail $30)!  You can enter below.  Here’s to a healthy and happy 2014!!  :D

 

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway