Tag Archives: healthy eating tips

Healthy Eating Tips: Giving your pets the right diet

This blog was written by PennySaverUSA.com staffer Elizabeth, who has four pets and considers herself a passionate pet lover

In my household, we have two dogs, a Siberian husky named Luna and Australian cattle dog named Logan, and two cats, a big Russian blue named Buddha and a lean Tom cat named Bradley. It’s quite a full house. We love our furry friends to pieces and are always on the lookout for healthy eating tips to ensure we’re giving them the very best. Here are some of the pet care tips that I’ve found helpful.

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Elizabeth's family of pets are healthy in large part because of their carefully monitored diet.

Food amounts for healthy weight levels

Luna and Logan are drastically different sizes and have very different activity levels. Luna thinks she’s training for the Iditarod and weighs about 40 pounds, while Logan loves to sleep in the sun all day and weighs only 20. If we fed them the same amount, one would probably become underweight and the other would blow up like a blimp. I used this Dog Food Calculator from Dog Food Advisor to determine exactly what they needed. We feed our dogs twice a day, and Luna needs a little over 2 cups total, while Logan only needs about 1 1/2. We aren’t as strict with our cats, who can eat any time they want, but we probably should be. I plan on trying out this Cat Food Calculator for them.

Food Ingredients

The ingredients you should choose vary significantly based on your pet’s age, lifestyle, and breed. Before choosing a pet food, you should speak with your vet about the optimal ingredients for your pet, and they can send you in the right direction.

Our vet recommended Kirkland Superior Premium Pet Foods because of the low cost and healthy ingredients. We feed our dogs the Superior Premium Adult Dog line which is rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (for shiny coats and strong joints) and high-quality protein like lamb and eggs. We feed our cats the Adult Cat Healthy Weight and Hairball Control. Buddha is a little chunky, and we’ve noticed improved weight using this brand. It’s also chocked full of omega fatty acids, vitamins, and natural proteins like chicken.

Whatever you choose, watch out for foods containing these unhealthy ingredients that could harm your pet:

  • BHA and BHT – preservatives that can harm the kidneys.
  • Corn syrup – pure sugar and can cause “finicky eater syndrome” if they get addicted to the taste.
  • Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) – can cause allergic reactions in pets and people.
  • Dry blood meal – low-quality protein that’s hard to digest

If you see any of these ingredients in your pet food, it’s a sign that it’s not a high-caliber product and you should leave it on the grocery store shelf.

Treats and Snacks:

Who hasn’t felt the urge to give into those pleading puppy eyes when you’re enjoying a delicious burger? However, as a rule, you should avoid feeding your pet people food. Feeding your pet from the table can lead to annoying begging and hurt their health, as not all ingredients for people are good for pets. We opt for treats that mimic what they would eat in the wild as much as possible. Our dogs love the all-natural PCI freeze dried chicken breast treats, and our cats go bonkers for catnip. We reserve the occasional pre-cooked chicken or steak, without any seasonings. Just avoid table scraps and treats with the harmful ingredients mentioned above and you and your pets will be happy.

For more pet care tips, check out our other blogs. Happy meals to you and your pet!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Healthy Eating Tips for busy moms

Between getting the baby to go down for its nap and calming your toddler’s tantrum, trying to fit in a lunch is the last thing on your mind. Today we’re rounding up some of our best healthy eating tips for the busy mom.

Even if you don’t think you have a second to spare, these tips are simple to follow and will start you on a healthy path.

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Being a mom and maintaining a healthy diet isn't always easy, but it is possible.

  1. Drink Water – Our bodies are made of 60% water, but between rushing to drop the kids off at day care and getting to work on time, it can be tough to fit in our recommended 9 glasses. A simple solution is to buy a water bottle with a carabiner attached so you can clip it to your purse. Drinking water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and energized. To find out exactly how much water you should be drinking, check out this fun water calculator.
  2. Snack Smart – We’re busy, and grabbing the office donut is sooo much easier than trying to cut up carrot sticks before work. Plan your snacks the night before, and make them easy to grab and go. PennySaverUSA.com Staffer Alisha remembers her fit grandmother snacking on delicious frozen grapes. Bananas, granola bars, and mixed nuts are also get snack alternatives, and won’t take much time to put together.
  3. Plan Your Meals - When we’re trying to plan dinner last minute, more often than not we’ll end up choosing the less healthy, easier option just so we can have extra down time with the family. If you plan your big meals a week ahead of time, you’ll have more time to choose healthy ingredients. You can also cook some of the dishes over the weekend and freeze them. Dinner is a cinch when all you have to do is pop it in the oven.
  4. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake - I know, you’re only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night, and the thought of parting from your morning, afternoon, and evening best friend sounds hellish. But habitual coffee drinking can actually cause disrupted sleep cycles, headaches, irritability, and more says  wisegeek.com – things no mom can afford to deal with. Try healthier alternatives like green tea, which has much less caffeine and is rich in antioxidants and metabolism boosters.

Start practicing these healthy eating tips now to feel like a lean, mean mama machine by Mother’s Day. You deserve it.

Do you have a healthy eating tip for the busy mom? Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to enter our #Pennyshout contest where you could win $100 for a Mother’s Day brunch.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Spring Cleaning Tips: Cleaning Up Your Diet

Spring cleaning shouldn’t stop at your closets and carpets. Once you’ve organized your home, keep up the motivation to get yourself in shape (bikini season is just around the corner). In this edition of PennySaverUSA’s spring cleaning tips, we’ll be sharing simple food replacement tips for cleaning up your diet.

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Spring cleaning tips don't end with organizing the basement. Your diet plays an important part as well.

We all do it, sneak in the late night snack or grab a soda from the work vending machine. We’ll help you replace those snacks and more with equally satisfying treats for a healthier diet.

Snacks

Chips, donuts, candy — these diet killers can really hurt your work out efforts. But snacking can be healthy. Replace the bag of chips with carrot sticks and this tasty Whole Living recipe for minty pea dip, the donut with a granola bar, and the candy with sweet slices of Clementine oranges. By snacking on these healthy alternatives, you’ll actually keep your metabolism running all day and burn more calories (learn more at fitday.com).

Soda

The occasional can of soda may perk you up, but it can cause serious hazards for your health. According to Water for Life USA, soda is more acidic than vinegar (not good for your teeth or stomach), leaches calcium from your bones, and increases your risk for obesity by 1.6 times. Yikes! Replace your afternoon soda with a bottle of sparkling water, and you’ll skip these serious side effects and stay hydrated. Plus, the fizzy carbonation will perk you up. Add a squirt of lemon or lime for extra flavor.

Meals

If you’re as busy as the rest of us, skipping a meal is probably not unfamiliar to you. While you might think this helps you get more done in a day, hunger will actually slow your thinking process and cause you to take in too many calories at meal time. Break your meals into 5 small portions a day with a healthy balance of fresh fruit, vegetables, and protein. Smaller meals are easier to take a break for and will keep you mentally sharp for your busy day.

Now that you’ve revamped your eating habits with these delicious and healthy alternatives, add in a workout routine. The CDC recommends at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic and strength training a week for a healthy lifestyle.  Three Before Thirty has a great list of stylish fitness gear and nutrition products to help you get the most from your workout. You’ll be rockin’ that itty bitty, polka dot bikini before you know it.

Have a healthy eat tip you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Healthy Eating Tips: Introducing a New PennySaverUSA Blog Series

Donuts the latest diet trend… of course that’s what we all wish this post was going to be about, but let’s be real. Until they make some huge scientific breakthroughs, we’re going to have to learn to love our fruits and veggies. In our new monthly blog series, Healthy Eating Tips, we’re going to share healthy recipes and tips for making nutritional choices that are as flavorful as they are fun.

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Healthy eating doesn’t begin and end with the foods you choose at meal time. It’s a choice that encompasses many decisions throughout your week. One of the biggest decisions in this cycle is how we go grocery shopping. If you’re anything like us, there have been times you’ve gone shopping without a plan of attack, only to end up going home with frozen pizzas and ramen noodles. But by following a few of the simple grocery shopping tips below, you’ll be able to make much healthier buying decisions.

  1. Make a weekly menu plan – Planning a week’s worth of healthy meals in advance keeps your commitment to eating healthy on track. Whole Living magazine, which is chocked full of recipe ideas each month, is a good place to find healthy recipes.  The free Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List App, which shows you the nutritional information for thousands of healthy meals, is another fantastic resource. Once you’ve picked your recipes, organize them into a handy menu plan (Tsh of Simplemom.net has some great menu planning tips).
  2. Make a grocery shopping list –Going into the grocery store with a shopping list makes it less likely you’ll come home with pizza bagels and popcorn. Inventory your recipes and write down everything that’s not in your fridge or pantry. Of course, there’s always room for Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, but stick to your list as much as possible for a healthy week ahead.
  3. Grocery shop at your local produce market – Head to your local produce or farmer’s market to find the freshest fruits and veggies at a reasonable price. Being in SoCal, we frequent the farmer’s market at the Orange County Marketplace on weekends and Wholesome Choice grocery during the week. We’re usually able to find every ingredient on my list without going over budget.

When beginning this endeavor you might think sticking to a meal plan will be boring, but it’s likely to turn out to be quite the opposite. Making the healthy recipes you pick turns the shopping experience into an adventure and makes actually eating the fruits of my hard work much more rewarding.

Until next time, happy meals to you!

Rating 3.00 out of 5