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Healthy Living: Make-Ahead Snacks and Meals


Make-Ahead Snacks and MealsMy friend, Anthony, has been on an amazing healthy eating journey.

He has a job where his weight is closely scrutinized, and he’ll be the first to tell you that a love of Raising Cane’s chicken was not good for his figure.

So, he set about to eat healthier and make a lifelong change. He started exercising and lifting weights, and he prepares most of his meals and snacks in advance. That way, he has something ready and doesn’t resort to fast-food chicken.

He posts a lot of his ideas on Facebook, and I studied one of the posts lately to get some ideas for myself.

Some ideas for healthy, make-ahead meals and snacks include:

  • Overnight oatmeal.
  • Freezer breakfast sandwiches (whole-grain English muffins, egg whites, Canadian bacon)
  • Breakfast bowls (egg whites, black beans, baby spinach)
  • Sliced apples with a cup of natural peanut butter
  • Sliced pears with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese
  • Tuna in a baby pita pocket
  • 1/2 cup of granola with dried cranberries
  • String cheese with 1/2 cup grapes
  • Zucchini crisps
  • Mason jar salads
  • Prepared stir-fry bags – slice up meats and veggies; store in serving-size bags (separately) and stir-fry when you get home


Healthy Living: Stay Hydrated


Stay HydratedWhile we’re at the beach and all through the summer months (especially in the South), it’s critical to stay well-hydrated. I, for one, don’t always notice when I haven’t had enough water.

Myriad studies have been done over the years to determine how much water your body needs each day. The answer actually varies a little, based on your activity level and various other factors, but experts agree that there is almost no such thing as too much water.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. It is critical in flushing toxins out of vital organs, carrying nutrients to your cells and providing moisture for the ears, nose and throat.

According to the Mayo Clinic, men need about 13 cups of non-caffeinated beverages a day while women need 9 cups.

Staying hydrated doesn’t have to be difficult.

Products like Propel Fitness Water and Dasani Sparkling Water count toward your water intake and add a pop of flavor that regular water doesn’t provide. You can add fruits and vegetables to your regular water for an infusion of flavor, as well.

On a day when you know you’ll be out and about a lot, running errands or going to fun outdoor activities, freeze water bottles the night before. The next day, put the frozen bottle in your car, and as you go about your routine, the ice will melt, leaving you with a cool, refreshing beverage on a hot day.



Healthy Living: Summer Water


Summer WaterI’ll admit it: I have a hard time drinking water (except carbonated water, which is a whole other blog post).

So, to entice myself to drink more water, I like to flavor it, especially in the summertime.

You can flavor your water with just about any fruit or vegetable under the sun. It’s a natural and healthy way to boost your water without adding sugar or extra calories.

My favorite combination is cucumber, lime and mint.

I just add it to the jug of water I keep in the fridge, let it sit overnight and the water is deliciously infused the next morning. Cucumber lime mint is tangy; it helps your system detox and is incredibly refreshing.

Try it with watermelon, strawberries, mangos, kiwis and lemons. You can also use celery, kale, spinach, basil or squash.

My kids even drink it up quickly!



Product Talk: Food Club +H20


Food Club +H20Drink more water!

We all know we should, but if you’re like me, you don’t really get all the water you need.

A common recommendation is to drink six or eight 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluids every day. Some adults may need more or less, depending on how healthy they are, how much they exercise, and how hot and dry the climate is.

One thing that makes getting all your water easier is Food Club +H20. It’s a flavoring you can add to your glass of water to give it flavor without adding a lot of extra stuff that negates the health benefits of drinking water.

At five calories per serving, six packets of drink mix makes 12 quarts of water.

It comes in flavors such as Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, Tea, Peach Tea and more!

Just a quick stir and your water is transformed into a yummy beverage, but it still counts as water!



Healthy Living: Body Weight Exercises


Body Weight ExercisesAt the beginning of the year, I read an article saying that “body weight resistance” exercises would be the “it” workout in 2015.

I guess if we can have a Hollywood “it” girl and guy, and Pantone can declare the “it” color of the year (It’s Marsala this year, by the way), we can have an “it” exercise.

It turns out that after I did a little research, body weight resistance exercises are vastly preferred by a lot of area trainers.

This simply means using your own body weight as resistance when you work out. Push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, planks, sit-ups, leg lifts and the like are all body weight resistance exercises.

There are no pushing machines at the gym or lifting dumbbells that your body can’t handle. It’s free; you don’t need anything beyond what God gave you, and you can work out anywhere.

My 11-year-old told me recently that he wanted to start “lifting weights” for upper body strength. Well, weight-lifting really isn’t recommended for an 11-year-old, but body weight resistance exercises are fine. He’s been doing push-ups, dips, planks and burpees, and he is having a great time with it.

So, if part of your New Year’s resolution was to get back in shape, start with what you have at home: your own body.



HEALTHY LIVING: 5-Minute Strawberry Frozen Yogurt


5-Minute Strawberry Frozen YogurtI spent a little too much time over the holidays sampling treats. Hershey kiss cookies. Cherry ice box cookies. Pecan pie. Eggnog milkshakes.

They were delicious but come with a price!

My kids ate a few too many treats, too, so we’re all going to be more conservative in the new year.

I love this recipe. It’s so fast, so easy and so healthy. I use non-fat yogurt because I can’t taste the difference. You can also use non-fat vanilla yogurt, too. I mostly use Greek yogurt with this recipe, which ups the protein content significantly.

I’ve swapped out the strawberries for peaches, and I have no doubt blueberries would work as well. Just make sure they’re frozen.

This recipe is easy to double and triple, and obviously it stores well in your freezer.

The sugars are natural, and the fruit boosts antioxidants during the winter, while the yogurt provides calcium and protein.

5-Minute Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 cups frozen strawberries
3 Tbs agave nectar or honey
1/2 cup plain yogurt (non-fat or full fat)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Directions:
Add the frozen strawberries, agave nectar (or honey), yogurt and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Process until creamy, about 5 minutes.

Serve the frozen yogurt immediately, or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 114, Calories from Fat: 0, Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 24 mg, Potassium: 13 mg, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 24 g, Protein: 2 g

View this recipe to print or add items to My Shopping List.



Family Matters: Walk the Talk


Treadmill

As a parent with children, we at times tell our kids how to act or what to do, and we later find ourselves not doing the same. Over the years, I have talked to my kids about overeating or eating healthy but not followed suit. Well, as I have gotten older, I have gained weight, and with my family history of heart problems and high blood pressure, that is not healthy. So, I went out and purchased a treadmill and starting walking every day.

I finally hit my tipping point a few months ago and realized that I needed to get in shape, not only for my own health but for my husband and four daughters. I want to be around to see my children have a family of their own (and some grandkids!). I now get up 30 minutes early every morning and walk one mile before work, and when I get home, I walk another mile. Two miles may not seem like a lot, but for someone who has not exercised in 20 years, it is a big deal. I started watching what I eat, and within two weeks, I can truly feel the difference and my family is proud of me. My goal is to increase my distance of course, but at least I have started in the right direction.

I say all this to tell you that as I have finally made the commitment to change my life for the better, I came home last week to find one of my children running on the treadmill. I was surprised and even more surprised to find out that the other three had been doing the same but none of them had mentioned it to me. Now, we take turns as a family working out on the treadmill. Not only am I now getting my money’s worth out of the machine, but my entire family is in the process of living a healthier life.

Remember: “walk the talk” in all that you do. This is so very important in our Christian lives especially. Let us all reflect Him daily in our actions and words, that His name may be glorified. Count your blessings daily and give thanks for the time you have with your family.

 



Family Matters: Running Buddies


Running Buddies“Mom, will you go running with me?” These were the words I had been waiting to hear from my 16-year-old son Luke! I had been asking him for some time if he wanted to go running with me, but his answer was always “no.”

I’ve been running for almost a year now, and one thing I know for sure is that I enjoy running with a buddy any day over running by myself. When running with a buddy, you can talk and fellowship to take your mind off actually running. Most importantly, you have someone else to help hold you accountable for reaching your goals.

Of course, I said YES to Luke asking me to run. This was the day I had been waiting for. I could just see us running together, Mom and son talking, laughing and bonding. We got on our running gear and headed to the running path. Once at the path, Luke said “Are you ready?” Before I could even say “yes,” he was gone, leaving me eating his dust! This was not what I had envisioned; this is not what I had planned for. We were supposed to be running together and bonding. He should know I hate running by myself!

We met back up at the high school football field where he wanted to work out with me next. Oh, I knew where this was going—he would be leaving me in the dust again. To my surprise, we ran bleachers together, pulled the weight sled together, did lunges together and even did some sprints together. We had a great workout together. Luke loves physical activity and enjoys someone either watching him or participating with him. Without Luke really knowing it, this is how he likes to bond with others.

After our workout, we lay in the middle of the football field. I lay there exhausted while he told me of all his athletic dreams he hoped to achieve. Now, this was my kind of mother and son bonding time. That day was another day that I decided to seize the moment with my son. It mattered not that we didn’t actually run “together” or the fact that he made me run bleachers. The point is we were together doing something we both enjoyed.

After our long talk, it was time to run back home. I’m sure you can guess that he beat me back home!



Mi Blog Hispano: Agua y Salud


Mi Blog HispanoHoy quiero compartirles algo realmente sencillo y cotidiano como lo es la importancia del agua para nuestro organismo. A veces estamos tan ocupados que nos olvidamos de cosas importantísimas para nuestra salud como lo es el tomar suficiente agua.

El agua forma parte del 70% del cuerpo humano, y una persona que no beba suficiente agua puede morir en pocos días, por allí dicen que después del oxígeno, es la segunda cosa que se necesita para vivir. El agua es parte de la mayoría de los procesos que ocurren en el cuerpo humano.

En condiciones normales, las personas pueden perder diariamente dos litros de agua, entre sudor,  respiración, orina y las defecaciones. Esto puede ser recuperado, ingiriendo agua, bebidas liquidas, frutas, sopas, etc. Estar hidratados es necesario porque nuestra sangre está compuesta aproximadamente de 80% de agua, los músculos están compuestos de 75%, el cerebro de 95%, los huesos tienen 22% y los pulmones tienen un 90% de agua. Es decir que si no tomamos agua suficiente, nos va a doler la cabeza, vamos a ponernos de mal humor, vamos a tener dificultad para concentrarnos, y hasta podemos envejecer mas rápido ya que nuestro cuerpo, tanto interna como externamente, al deshidratarse acelera el proceso de envejecimiento de las células.

El agua cumple una función vital, ya que lubrica casi todos los procesos del cuerpo, sobre todo en la digestión, la saliva ayuda a masticar y tragar el alimento, de manera que este pueda deslizarse por el aparato digestivo. El agua también lubrica las articulaciones permitiendo que nos podamos mover mejor. Hasta los ojos necesitan estar bien hidratados para evitar resequedad.

Con el agua eliminamos las toxinas del cuerpo, a través del sudor y la orina. También evita el estreñimiento y ayuda a los intestinos a eliminar mejor los desechos. Estar pendientes de tomar agua diariamente en las cantidades necesarias, nos ayudara a prevenir enfermedades. Es recomendable tomar 8 vasos de agua al día, en caso de no tomar otros líquidos o ingerir frutas, seguir esta recomendación puede evitar el cáncer de colón en un 45% y de vejiga un 50%, y un sin número de otras enfermedades y dolencias que se pueden adquirir si no tomamos el agua suficiente.

Así que vamos a recordar cada día que nuestra salud debe ser prioridad y que debemos cuidarnos como se merece, y nuestro cuerpo necesita agua. Desde que estoy consciente de esto, procuro tener en mi escritorio, donde estoy la mayor parte del dia, botellas de agua y así voy llevando el control de lo que voy ingiriendo diariamente y las tengo a la mano para que no haya excusa. Si salgo a algún lugar, trato de llevarme una botella para mantenerme hidratada a toda hora. 



Healthy Living: Deep Fried Twinkies


WalkingDid you know deep-fried Twinkies are actually good for you?

Yep, you got it! All that artery-clogging goodness can actually be a health benefit, said no one ever.

April Fools!

While we might want to try to trick ourselves into believing that a deep-fried Twinkie is in some way, shape or form not bad for you, it is. There’s nothing else to say about that.

Now that the days are longer and the evenings are brighter, it’s a great time to pick back up any outdoor activity you might have shelved during the colder, darker months.

I know I’ve started walking in the evenings. In addition, while my son practices soccer, I’ve taken to shuffling (other more fit people call it “jogging”) around the soccer fields while he works out. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

While the Centers for Disease Control recommend two and a half hours a week of moderate to high-intensity exercise, everyone has to start somewhere.

So for now, close out your computer and go for a walk! See you out there.



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The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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