Category Archives: Health

Aldi

Adventures in Aldi: Frugal Healthy Grocery Shopping

A new Aldi just opened 3 miles from my home. If you’re unfamiliar with Aldi it’s a discount supermarket that sells primarily generic groceries at prices lower than the average supermarket. They keep their costs low by very little advertising, locking up their carts to prevent theft and not providing free grocery bags.

My first experience with Aldi was in college. I had never heard of it until I moved from Maryland to Pennsylvania my freshman year. At first I thought it was the shoe store Aldo which led to much confusion initially. As a broke college student I was attracted to the low prices. But as an immature 18 year old I was slightly weirded out by the generic products which I thought were knock offs of brand names. The labeling on their generic products was very similar to popular brand name packaging. Toaster Tarts instead of Pop Tarts or Aunt Maple’s instead of Aunt Jemima.

toaster tarts

 

Aunt Maple's
However, now being a bill paying older adult I have a totally different view of Aldi.  Also they have really made an effort to sell more than processed junk. They now have many organic products and fresh produce.  Don’t get me wrong some of their products are not very healthy or natural. And contain artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. This is where label reading is a must — which you should do in any grocery store.

Check out this innocent looking box of ‘Quinoa Blend.’

It contains Yeast Extract, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors (not really natural – they are produced in a lab) and Maltodextrin (again created in a lab). No thanks!

I do not do the bulk of my grocery shopping at Aldi but I have a few favorites that I found which are truly natural and healthy.  Some of my Aldi favorites are their organic dried herbs and spices,  nuts, organic tortilla chips, canned organic beans. Also their fresh produce including avocados, pineapples and organic salad mix.

Here are some photos from my last Aldi trip. I did not purchase all these items but I wanted to show you some of their selection.

 

If you do not have an Aldi in your area now, you might very soon. According to their website, they plan to have 2,000 stores in the US by 2018. So give them a try, you might save a few dollars. And be sure to read those labels carefully!

 

Have you ever shopped at Aldi?

Hello I’m Candice the creator of Frugally Fit and Natural. I want to help you live a healthy lifestyle without breaking your budget.
25 lb kettlebell

Quick Kettlebell Workout Video

Here’s a quick workout combining the three kettlebell movements I showed you in this post. In the video I am not using the kettelbell I bought on Amazon last year. I am using the new 25 lb kettlebell I bought after the other one.

25 lb kettlebell

This kettlebell is the same brand, CAP, as the 40 lb kettlebell but it is slightly different in that it’s not enamel coated. I find that I can grip this bell just a little better since it’s 15 lbs lighter  less smooth and slightly bumpy.  It’s very easy to handle and comfortable in my hands.

Here I am performing sets of 10 of goblet squats, single leg deadlifts and Russian kettlebell swings. I did an additional set of 10 of the single leg deadlifts to ensure that each leg  gets worked out twice.  Gotta keep it even!

This was my first time recording myself working out for others to see. It is definitely harder than it looks. Kudos to Denise Austin, Billy Blanks and Shaun T.  This was definitely good motivation for me to not rest in between sets. You will see my form went away on a few reps and I lost my balance a couple of times. But that’s what happens when you workout. Remember to keep your core tight, don’t rush through each sets and take rest breaks as needed. I hope you enjoy this workout.

Don’t have your own kettlebell – use a dumbbell.  Don’t have a dumbbell either – use a jug of water or just your body weight. You can certainly decrease or increase the repetitions.  Keep in mind lower repetitions are most ideal for increasing strength. And higher repetitions are more ideal for increasing endurance.

Exercise tips

  • Keep core engaged with each exercise
  • Don’t allow your torso to rotate (like mine) with the single leg deadlifts
  • Push knees outward with goblet squats
  • Don’t hyperextend your back when straightening up during the swings
  • Keep your head and neck in neutral looking straight ahead (I tend to look up when squatting)
  • Remember to BREATHE!!!

Have you worked out with a kettlebell before?

Hello I’m Candice the creator of Frugally Fit and Natural. I want to help you live a healthy lifestyle without breaking your budget.

Blue Diamond/Almond Breeze Lawsuit

As you may or may not know I do not consume dairy products. So almond, coconut, hemp or any other plant based milks are a staple in my diet.  I recently found out that a class action lawsuit against one of the more popular brands of almond milk, Almond Breeze.  I mostly buy Silk milk products or Trader Joe’s Almond Milk, I have purchased Almond Breeze in the past. Blue Diamond Growers is the parent company that makes Almond Breeze, Blue Diamond almonds and Nut Thins.

Almond Breeze

The lawsuit alleges that Blue Diamond Growers inaccurately label their products as natural. The packaging for Almond Breeze and Nut Thin products were advertised as ‘All Natural’ when in fact they contain synthetic ingredients.  The synthetic ingredients in question are potassium citrate, synthetic Vitamin A Palmitate and Vitamin D-2. Also Blue Diamond falsely or did not report the amount of almonds in its almond milk.

The lawsuit also alleges that the ingredient list included ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’, the label did not disclose the amount or percentage of almonds in the product and the packaging contained the ‘heart check mark’ from the American Heart Association. You are eligible for a claim if you purchased Almond Breeze or Nut Thins  between May 28, 2009 and November 18, 2016.

This is a good example of a common problem now that manufacturers know more consumers are looking for ‘natural’ products. I see many junk products using natural on the label when they contain all kinds of lab made, artificial ingredients. This isn’t limited to food but also beauty, cleaning  and healthcare products.  On the FDA’s website it states:

FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives.

Well there you have it. Natural has no meaning…according to the federal government anyway. So we definitely need to educate ourselves and read labels. And research ingredients. If it’s something you can’t pronounce, have never heard of or contains more than 10 letters – avoid it.

Here’s is the website to submit a claim: http://www.breezeandthinssettlement.com

The last day to submit a claim is Thursday April 13th, 2017. Without proof of purchase you can receive up to $5 and with proof of purchase up to $10.  So don’t delay if you purchased any of these products. And read those products labels carefully.

Have you ever received money from a class action lawsuit?

 

Hello I’m Candice the creator of Frugally Fit and Natural. I want to help you live a healthy lifestyle without breaking your budget.
Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Long time no post.

Happy 2017 everyone! I hate to say what everyone always says every year but ‘boy did the year go by fast.’ I hope you all had a great 2016.  One of my big goals for 2016 was to start this blog. I did that but I feel like I didn’t put my best effort into it.  That’s one of the reasons I was hesitant to start a blog in the first place. I didn’t want it to be one of those really interesting blogs you stumble upon where the last post was 3 years ago.  I only wrote 7 posts in 2016 – despite having so many ideas. Ugh! Blogging is definitely a lot more work than I thought. I have new found respect for bloggers now.

But that’s what a new year is for right? Being better than last year. Setting new goals. Self improvement. Crowding the gym for one month.

Speaking of the gym, I, like many people have set plenty of health goals for 2017. I want to continue to eat healthy which to me means eating fewer animal products. More fruits and veggies. And drinking at least 60 ounces of water a day.  Getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.  For these first 5 days of the year I’ve been doing pretty good on that front. Only 360 more days to go!

I also have a lot of fitness goals this year. I want to step up my CrossFit game. By that I mean push myself harder during the WODs, workout at least 3 times a week and put in work outside of the scheduled classes. Towards the end of the year I started staying after class ended and worked on some things on my own. And I actually noticed a big improvement in just a few weeks. I’m not trying to compete in the CrossFit games or anything but I want to see what my body is capable of.

Often in CrossFit or any fitness program, progress in measured in being able to lift heavier weight or decreasing your time on a run. But I like to measure my progress in other ways. One of the biggest things that gives CrossFit a bad rep is risk of injury and people using horrible form. I worked hard on my core strength this year which allowed for me to avoid injury and to see improvements in pull ups, push ups, handstand push ups and freestanding handstands.  But I did have some great improvements in my weightlifting one rep maxes too. It is good to see those objective numbers sometimes too.

Here’s a video of me failing practicing handstands. (I did not pick the music playing in the gym). I posted this on my personal IG page and got some good feedback from other CrossFitters on improving my technique. Please if you have any tips for mastering these let me know in the comments. I need all the help I can get. My goal is to be able to consistently hold handstands for 30 seconds. So far I’ve gotten up to 5 seconds.

Financially, I am aiming to cut my spending significantly and increase my savings this year. Sales and coupons will continue to be my two best friends.  But I also want to cut out the unnecessary spending ie fewer Target runs and less eating out.

I saw a savings challenge where you save every $5 bill you get for the entire year. So far I’ve already saved $15!  I will definitely post my total savings at the end of the year.

If this doesn’t sound good to you there’s also the 52 Week Challenge. With that challenge you save $1 for the number of the week it is. So first week of the year you save $1, second week $2, …, week 52 you save $52. In total you will have saved $1378.  I tried it last year and stopped around week 13. It was difficult to have a set amount of cash on me every week. For me the $5 challenge is easier.

I am super excited to see what 2017 brings for me and Frugally Fit and Natural. I wish you all health, love and prosperity this year.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions or goals this year?

 

 

 

Hello I’m Candice the creator of Frugally Fit and Natural. I want to help you live a healthy lifestyle without breaking your budget.

GMO No!!

Genetically modified ingredients have invaded gummy bears. You may have noticed in my last post about my fabulous Harris Teeter Super Doubles haul I purchased 3 packs of Black Forest gummy candy for free. Two of the packs were organic and one was not. I only bought the non-organic pack because there were only 2 organic packs left on the shelf. Well, halfway through gorging on the bag of nonorganic gummies I turn the bag over and see this:

Frankengummy GMO

Produced with Genetic Engineering. It’s stamped right on the crease of the bag so it’s hard to notice right away.  I was surprised because #1 this is the first time I have seen the genetic engineering labeling. And #2 I failed to realize they contained artificial flavors also. But common sense should have told me a little green bear cannot naturally taste just like an apple or a pineapple. I wish it stated which ingredients were produced with genetic engineering but I am assuming it’s the corn in the corn syrup. I am usually an avid label reader but I think my excitement for a good deal distracted me this time.

Sad gummies

After this experience I threw the bag of gummies away and did a little research. I looked up the use of genetic engineering in foods and the labeling of genetically engineered foods.  According to the FDA website,  products containing genetic engineered ingredients only need to be labeled if the genetically engineered plant is compositionally different that it’s traditional counterpart (http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/GEPlants/ucm346858.htm). So if the new plant has a higher sugar content or lower fiber content for example than the original plant it needs to be labelled as such. But if it’s identical chemically to the original no labelling is required.

Eating GMOs make me nervous because there’s no research on the long-term effects of them on our bodies.  In reality we all have been eating foods GMOs for years without knowing it.  About 85% of the corn produced in the US is genetically modified. Corn is in a ton of foods. Not just as a whole corn kernel but also  in the form of corn oil and cornstarch.  If you would like to know more about genetically modified foods check out the documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs. The full documentary is available on YouTube.

There is a  bright side to this story.  The two packs of organic gummy worms do not contain any ingredients produced with genetic engineering and no artificial flavors. And I learned a good lesson to read labels more carefully, even during Super Doubles.

 

Are you concerned about eating foods containing genetically modified ingredients?

 

Hello I’m Candice the creator of Frugally Fit and Natural. I want to help you live a healthy lifestyle without breaking your budget.