Review Wednesday: Brawny Produce Protector Reusable Bags

At some point at the grocery store I had noticed green bags for sale, which claimed they could keep produce fresher longer.

My grandpa and I even discussed these. He mentioned he had tried them and they worked. But he didn’t know why.

So I decided to experiment with them myself using Brawny’s Produce Protector Reusable Bags.

I used two fresh slightly green bananas that looked pretty much the same. One went into the green produce bag the other sat in the fruit bowl. (Top left photo)

After four days (top right photo) I compared the bananas. The bottom banana had a few spots.

After a week I compared the two bananas (bottom left photo). The bottom banana, the one that stayed in the fruit bowl, had many more spots than the top. The top hardly had any spots.

After two weeks (bottom right photo) the bananas were both gross but were very different looking. The bottom banana was almost completely black. The top one looks OK. But I didn’t want to eat either one of them.

These Brawny Produce Protector Reusable Bags worked. I think a week is the max they should be utilized … for bananas anyway. I haven’t … Continue reading

Getting grateful this month

Wow, we are now entering November. Can you believe how quickly this year has gone by?

Since it is November (and Halloween has passed) it means we are thrown into the holiday season.

I love the holidays.

But there is also a part of me that is glad when the holidays are over. This time can be so stressful and overwhelming.

And then there are all the temptations of overeating, so much sugar, lots of alcohol, parties, potlucks, etc.

At the beginning of this year I started a the jar project challenge for myself and shared it with all of you.

I did OK with adding slips of paper in the jar until sometime in April. Though I sometimes felt like I was playing catch up.

I went on vacation and never picked it up again.

We should be grateful all year around of what we have (instead of focusing on what we don’t).

But since it is November and the month most of us celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s do the jar project for the month of November as part of the GFG! Monthly Challenge.

Throughout the month let’s plan to fill the mason jar (or whatever you use) with little pieces of paper … Continue reading

Fruit, veggie tips & tricks

I have recently gotten into eating grape-nuts. Funny, I hated them as a kid. (My brother and I weren’t allowed to eat a lot of sugary cereals.)

Grape-nuts are crunchy, yummy, filing, healthy and have some fiber and protein.

But that’s not really what this post is about.

Over the summer I was eating my grape-nuts with about a half sliced up nectarine. Perfect combo!

But sadly summer fruits are disappearing …

A tip I learned when attending Weight Watchers meetings was you could use canned fruit and just rinse the syrup out so you were just eating fruit and none of that yummy sugary syrup. Yes, that is the best part, but the unhealthy part.

So this morning at the grocery I bought the little snack packs of peaches. I rinsed one out and added it to my cereal. Not quite as good as the fresh nectarine. But good enough.

As I was thinking about this I was thinking about some other quick, easy fruit/veggie food tips I have learned along the way, either from trying something or from advice from someone else:

Going green by reducing, reusing, recycling

I consider myself environmentally conscious and environmentally friendly. Nothing extreme. I just try to be aware.

When I first moved to Oregon recycling was a big deal. And dividing each item was important as well: cardboard; paper; brown glass; green glass; etc. At the apartment complex I first lived in there were bins for each item. It made it easy to recycle.

When Curt and I first moved to the Phoenix area we lived in a townhouse. There was no recycling onsite. We bought our own bins and recycled glass and cans. About once a month we took all the stuff to a recycling center.

Recycling in Berkeley is pretty strict. Pretty similar to how we had to do it in Oregon.

Curt and I recycle and compost. We also recycle batteries, CFL bulbs, turn in ewaste at designated drop-off locations.

I reuse plastic bags, including the produce bags. When we had Joey all those bags were great for cleaning the litterbox. Now I try to be even more conscious about using reusable bags and reusing the produce bags multiple times.

I carry a Chico bag in my purse in case I have an unexpected shopping trip. The bags … Continue reading

Planning exercise, caloric intake for weight loss

One of my readers, Keri, asked me a question on my Go Fit Girl! Facebook page earlier this month. I do my best to answer her question(s) here.

Dear Go Fit Girl,

Can you help me understand why I can exercise 5 days a week for two months and not have lost any weight? Seriously, not even a pound.

P.S. Any suggestions on healthful lunches I can make at home and bring to work?

My initial response to her question is with a few questions myself: What kind of exercise are you doing? Does it vary? Have you changed what you are eating? Are you eating more now that you are working out?

When I was losing weight about five years ago the first 20 pounds had to do with my adjustment with food and calories. I hadn’t started exercising yet. I learned how to make better food choices along with portion control. And drinking more water helped as well.

The last 10 pounds I lost while introducing exercise (a lot of yoga) and continuing with my eating in moderation and portion control.

Here’s what I think the biggest mistake people … Continue reading

Trying to de-clutter my life

I recently signed up for a super cleanse with Lory Benson Pilates, which started yesterday. I haven’t actually started the green smoothie cleanse as the timing isn’t quite right for me. But before the end of this month I plan to imbibe in some fruit and veggie smoothies.

The seven-day cleanse is about de-cluttering physically, mentally and your surroundings.

Because the cleanse technically started yesterday Lory is sending out daily e-mails. Her encouragement and advice on our de-cluttering in all aspects is really great, motivating and inspiring.

Yesterday and today Lory has been giving advice on how to de-clutter our surroundings. I am totally excited and motivated to do this. I had planned to attack my closet and our spare room/office over the week off between Christmas and New Year’s and then I got a cold. So nothing was taken care of then.

We have friends visiting in March. So that gives me a goal and deadline to have the spare room in tip top shape followed by the rest of the house.

This morning I attacked the kitchen. I cleaned the top of the fridge, inside it, outside of it; moved on to pots and pans; various drawers, … Continue reading

Not exactly detoxing

After three days of no exercise and pretty much stuffing my face with Mexican food and other delicious and delightfully unhealthy stuff I was back at it with my regular routine today.

I hit the gym for 45 minutes of endurance spinning and 15-20 minutes of some arm weights and abs.

For lunch today I had a salad. I tried to make it healthy and filling with a little grilled chicken, spinach, carrots, a little cheese, beets, a little corn, quinoa, strawberries, onions, mushrooms, etc. For dressing I had oil and vinegar.

I wouldn’t say I exactly detoxed today. I had one cup of coffee and then water for the rest of the day. Though that is usually the norm.

For dinner tonight I had steamed broccoli and brown rice with some seasonings. It was filling and pretty tasty. It’s one of my regular and favorite dinners when eating healthy.

The two Hershey’s kisses were much better than what I could have been stuffing my face with. Plus, there were leftover breakfast burritos from some morning meeting and I didn’t have any of that. Especially since I had already had my Bagel Thin with Light Laughing Cow cheese and a … Continue reading

Seasonings save me almost every time

I indulged at lunch today. So I am trying to keep it simple and low calorie for dinner.

For dinner tonight, I am having “tuna salad.”

Some Spring Mix Greens went on a plate. In a separate bowl I dumped a can of light drained tuna, which was stored in water, not oil. In the bowl of tuna I added some garlic (I like to buy the crushed garlic in a jar), a small tomato from our garden, salt, pepper, Kick’n Chicken and onion powder. (The onion powder was a mistake buy about a month ago. It ended up being a great seasoning mistake.)

I dumped the tuna on top of the mixed greens and spritzed with Ranch Salad Spritzer.

The best part of this meal is all the seasonings I added. My staples are the crushed garlic in a jar, crushed pepper, salt, Kick’n Chicken and onion powder.

BYOB

Today at work we had an early Fourth of July barbecue. As I have been trying to limit my caloric intake and bringing my own breakfast and lunch to work this week I didn’t want to fall off the wagon on Day 4.

I brought my own bread. (I have been known to go to barbecues with my own bread and portobello mushroom.) I brought a Sandwich Thin with me.

I was careful with my choices at the barbecue buffet. I had a little helping of coleslaw and potato salad. I grabbed a huge portobello mushroom, a slice of cheese, onions and a little barbecue sauce. I did grab a cornbread muffin. For dessert I skipped the pie, ice cream and bread pudding and went with a piece of watermelon.

I planned to take a photo of my not so unhealthy barbecue plate. I didn’t remember until my plate was empty. Woopsie!

I was a little late to my 6:30 p.m. spin class at the gym tonight. But I still made it. I needed a good workout as my points were pretty much depleted throughout the day, despite my careful efforts at the barbecue.

Tonight for dinner … Continue reading

Veggie munching, summertime grillin’

In most parts of the country it is unofficially summer. Except where I live … in the Bay Area. It has been like winter around here: cool, rainy, wet, windy, not sunny.

So I am guessing my readers from everywhere except here have already done some grilling, been to a barbecue or are planning one very soon.

I have figured out a few ways to make those summer barbecues a little less scary when it comes to caloric intake.

When invited to a barbecue I have been known to take my own food with me to grill. A portobello mushroom is a great burger substitute. When you put the mushroom on the grill all the juices come out and it is absolutely delicious. The portobello is a meaty mushroom.

Boca burgers or Morningstar burgers work as well. I personally prefer the mushroom over the “fake” burgers.

I have also taken my own bread before. Two slices of Sara Lee Delightfuls are only 90 calories. Oroweat Sandwich Thins are 100 calories and are a good bun substitute.

For snacks you can have crunchy veggies with salsa or a little ranch or hummus or whatever. I talked about crunchy … Continue reading