Thursday, January 24, 2013

Life is Sweet!

As I mentioned on Monday, I'm really trying to focus more this year on my health, and I'm making several changes as a result. One of these is related to my use of artificial sweeteners. I've been a fan of Splenda for years, and it's still my favorite sweetener when I'm out and about. I generally always have a few of those little yellow packets on my counter and in my bag, and when I travel internationally, it's a must-have in my suitcase.

So you see, I love Splenda, but P-Daddy is not as thrilled with it. He prefers that I not use it for sweet desserts or other items that we'll both eat. And even though I love it for myself, neither of us are convinced that we should be giving it to Pooh regularly. He's a growing boy, and he loves desserts, and we don't want to always have a separate dessert for me and the boys.

Over the years, I've tried Stevia a number of times. I like that it's a plant extract and not a chemical concoction, but it has a bit of an aftertaste. I actually really liked the bit of licorice aftertaste for my coffee, but I wasn't as thrilled with it in herbal teas and other desserts. But recently, I was told about this NuNaturals NuStevia extract, and I'm loving it! It's super concentrated, so a little difficult to figure out amounts in single servings, but working great for cooking larger batches of all kinds of desserts (with just a tiny bit of stevia). I don't find the aftertaste to be as strong as other types of stevia, and overall, this one is totally working for me.

I'll note that this Stevia doesn't come too cheaply - that 1 pound jar is listed at $60. However, it's also way more Stevia than I think I could possibly use in a year! I am splitting the jar with my sisters and niece, transferring smaller portions into much smaller spice jars for daily use. Plus, I got a really great deal on that jar!

As I stated, that jar is listed at $60 on iherb. Plus, iherb offers 5% off for orders $60 and over, and I had a discount code that gave me free shipping plus $10 off of any order $50 or over. So I got that $60 jar delivered to my doorstep for only $47 total. Woot! And now, having told you about that great deal, I'm gonna let you get as close to it as you can, by giving you a similar discount code! Here it is: QMN811.

Note that I cannot guarantee that all of the pieces of that discount will still be in place at the time of your order, but this code will definitely give first-time customers $5 or $10 off their order (any order from iherb, not just the stevia!). Also note that this is a referral code, which means that I get a kickback too - so we both get a great deal if you use it :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Focusing for Health and Fitness

It's been a hectic month. Okay, a hectic past year. A hectic past couple of years, actually:-( In many areas, things are great, but one thing that I've done is really let my health and fitness slide more than I want to. This year, I really want that to change. In order to aid that, there are several things that I'm doing:

1) Making small steps toward better exercise habits
2) Revamping my eating to match the life I live now
3) Finding ways to save money on better products for my health

In terms of exercise, I know that I can't create a huge massive plan that sets me up for failure. So I'm working on a day-to-day basis, doing what I can, and keeping my mind on the bigger picture of keeping moving.

In terms of eating, I've long followed a low-fat diet, with an emphasis on healthy carbs and natural foods. I like this practice a lot, but I've noticed that (a) my husband just doesn't eat this way. He's not a big carb fan, so there has been a major part of the food that I fixed that he has largely ignored. I'd like us to find ways to eat that work well together, so we've been exploring different options with fewer carbs and higher fat. NOT, mind you, trying Atkins or other typical low-carb approaches, but instead focusing more on the Glycemic Index and how different foods are affecting our bodies.

Finally, as always, I'm looking for ways to save money, but specifically trying to find reasonable ways to save money on products that improve our overall health.

I'll be exploring these themes more intensely and in different ways as we head into 2013. Feel free to join me for the journey!