Category Archives: Healthy Tips

How To: Keep strawberries fresh longer

How TOOne of my biggest challenges with eating healthy is getting healthy food to stay fresh in the house! It’s a pain to grocery shop multiple time a week, but if I don’t have fresh food in the house, it’s just too easy to turn to junk food. So my goal is to grocery shop once per week and keep that food fresh as long as possible.

With strawberries, there are some things I used to do completely wrong (like wash them without drying them) and never even realized that I was causing them to spoil earlier. Strawberries are expensive, so I hate it when they spoil before we can enjoy them! Follow these easy tips to prolong the life of your strawberries:

  • Keep the strawberries as dry as possible!!!
    • Keeping the berries dry is the most important thing to remember. Moisture causes strawberries to spoil faster. As soon as I get my berries home, I wash them and lay them out on a paper towel. Then I pat them dry gently with the paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • Store the strawberries in an sealed airtight container in the refrigerator WITH a paper towel in the bottom.
    • Again, the theme here is keep the berries dry! The paper towel will absorb even more of the moisture, helping your berries stay fresh longer.
  • Don’t let the strawberries touch, if possible.
    • If you can keep the berries from touching, you can reduce the amounts of rotten spots that will show up throughout the week. To do this, you can lay all the strawberries out on top of a paper towel individually in a sealed Tupperware container.
    • Obviously when you have a whole pound of strawberries, this isn’t reasonable. If you have a lot of berries, use multiple layers of paper towels within the sealed Tupperware container to keep them separated and dry.

One question I always get: Can I slice the berries first and store them that way? YES, you can!

  • I like to slice all my berries at the beginning of the week, so I can just grab them and go. This is just fine, but keep in mind that layering with paper towels and keeping them separated and dry is EVEN MORE important when they are sliced. I have stored them sliced this way and kept them fresh for up to 4 days, though it can be hard to predict exactly how long they will last because it depends on how fresh they were when you brought them home from the store.

If you follow the above tips, you will be able to extend the life of your strawberries, reduce the number of trips to the grocery store, and hopefully throw away less waste!!

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Fit Life Basics: Hydration Part II

Whenever we start to talk about excellent nutrition, HYDRATION should always be the very first item. Drinking water is the foundation to maintaining a healthy diet. Why is it so important?

HYDRATE

  • Burn more calories — If you are dehydrated, you actually burn calories slower! So getting your water in each day is the quickest way to burn more calories.
  • Get more energy — Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume; a reduction in blood volume causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles can make you feel tired. So staying hydrated actually gives you more energy!
  • Reduce soreness — Staying hydrated keeps your joints and muscles lubricated, meaning less soreness!
  • Feel more full — Water helps keep you feeling full all day long.  Feeling hungry? Chug a glass of water! Many times that hunger is actually your body demanding more water!

Find tips on how to stay hydrated here!

On the go? 16 healthy ideas for snacks and meals

Many of us struggle with trying to eat healthy while on the go. We are running to work, kid’s events, don’t have time for a lunch break, etc. Whatever the reason, here is a list of quick, portable, healthy options to keep you on track even when you are on the run!

Snack & Meal ideas:

  • Hard-boiled eggs: This one is nice and easy because you can cook up an entire batch on the weekend and enjoy all week long.
  • Ants on a Log: Slice celery sticks, cover with peanut butter and sprinkle raisins on top.
  • Peanut Butter, Apple, and Raisin Sandwich: Core and apple and slice into round slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover a slice with peanut butter and sprinkle raisins on top. Top with another slice of apple to complete the sandwich. Wrap in Saran wrap to take with you.
  • Trail Mix: I highly recommend making your own trail mix, as most of the ones you will find in the store are actually not that great for you (high in salt, fat, etc.) Choose your ingredients carefully, and beware of extra sugar! Dried fruit, chocolate chips, and other ingredients all add sugar and sometimes fat. I like to start with a main base of something healthy like plain Cheerio-Os or air-popped popcorn (lightly salted), throw in some almonds or pistachios (they are higher in protein than other nuts), and build from there. Some ingredient suggestions: raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, pretzels, figs, apricots, whole wheat crackers, and dark chocolate chips (use sparingly!!)
  • Peanut Butter, Apple, and Granola Wrap: Take a tortilla, cover with peanut butter, sprinkle in chopped apples and granola. Roll up in Saran wrap to take with you.
  • KIND granola bars: I love these granola bars! My favorite is a Chocolate Chunk with only 150 calories. Normally, I advise staying away from granola bars because of their high fat and sugar contents, but KIND does granola bars right. Using a base of healthy nuts, these make a great snack!
  • Cottage Cheese & Fruit: This is another easy one, because you can portion out the cottage cheese into 1/2 cup portions in Tupperware containers at the beginning of the week. Also portion out your fruit (strawberries, blueberries, etc) in 1/2 cup portions at the same time. Then just grab a container of cottage cheese and a container of fruit and go!
  • Deli Wrap: Take a tortilla, fill with low sodium turkey, a sprinkle of cheese, lettuce, tomato, celery, or any other veggies you want. Wrap in Saran wrap, and head out the door!
  • Shakes & Smoothies: There are so many varieties to list here, but my favorite is 1 scoop of Chocolate Shakeology (or any chocolate flavored protein powder), 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons of PB2, and a banana.
  • Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies: Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please!
  • Ranch Dippers: Make this awesome healthy ranch dip. Then, fill the bottom of a travel mug with the ranch dip. Put long slices of carrots, celery, cucumber, snow peas, or any other veggies you like lengthwise in the mug, so they are sticking into the ranch dip. Put the lid on the travel mug and go! The travel mug will help keep the ranch cold while you are on the go, and it’s super easy to eat while in the car.
  • Fruit Skewers: Take fruit (grapes, strawberries, pineapple) and layer on skewers. Wrap the skewers in Saran wrap, grab and go!
  • Meat & Cheese Skewers: Take diced turkey and cheese and arrange on skewers. Wrap the skewers in Saran wrap, grab and go!
  • Overnight Oats: I’m a huge fan of these, because they are ready in your fridge in the morning, and you can just head out the door. Plus they are a hearty meal that really fills you up. I absolutely cannot pick just one recipe, so here are 19 recipes for overnight oats!
  • Egg White Breakfast Burritos: I make these ahead of time and freeze them, so I can just grab them in the morning and head out the door. I microwave them at work, but if you don’t have a microwave available, they can still be eaten cold after they have thawed. They aren’t as good of course, but still edible!
  • Whole Grain English Muffin Sandwich: This one you can make ahead and freeze too, so you can just pull it out in the morning and head to work. Fry up some turkey bacon on a frying pan or griddle. Using an egg ring, cook egg whites until done. Toast whole grain english muffins, and layer on the egg white, turkey bacon, and a slice of cheese. Wrap in Saran wrap and then in tinfoil and freeze. Grab and go in the morning! I microwave them at work, but if you don’t have a microwave available, these can also be eaten cold after they have thawed.