Category Archives: Finances

Pina Colada Energy Bites

Pina Colada Energy Bites

We are all a fan of the classic flavor Pina Colada, so we figured we would give you a Pina Colada Recipe that you will fall in love with.

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Ingredients

  • ½ cup dried tropical fruits (I use Pineapples Mangos and Apricots)
  • ½ cup dates
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½ cup almonds
  • pinch of sea salt

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Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and blend until the nuts are well chopped and a thick “dough” starts to form, about 90 seconds of processing. If the ingredients are chopped into super small pieces but the dough isn’t coming together, try adding a teaspoon of water at a time (up to a tablespoon or two) to combine everything

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  1. When the ingredients are well incorporated, remove the blade from the food processor. Take 1 large tablespoon of the “dough” and roll it into a ball in between your hands. Repeat with remaining dough. I Keep the balls in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer much longer. If they are too sticky, put a small amount of oil on your hands.

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MealFit vs. Zaxby Salads

MealFit Salads in Cookeville, TN is the best option for lunch when it comes to nutrition and taste. Not to mention it’s about as quick as going to a drive in.

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SALAD BY MEALFIT!

Watch our video. 

 

We know a lot of you like to grab salads, because you assume all are “healthy” at fast food joints. I mean they look it, so of course they have to be. Also, you don’t really pay attention to the price, or what you get because it is quick. Plus, if it’s healthy we automatically think it’s suppose to be priced high. Have you ever stopped to think about the salad that fast food places serve you though? What really goes in them? 

THERE’S MORE TO YOUR SALAD THAN MEETS THE EYE AT FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS

A lot of people like to order the salad because they want to “eat light” .However, you have to be careful, because the salad you just ordered could be around 1,700 calories or more. It is also probably loaded with tons of preservatives, sodium, sugar, and harmful chemicals depending on what is on it. To be honest no lettuce looks that good when, it’s that old unless.These days, many fast-food chains offer salads. But that doesn’t mean you could name much of what goes into one. How about propylene glycol? Many chains dust their salads with that chemical to keep the leaves crisp. It’s considered safe for consumption — and can also be found in antifreeze and sexual lubricants.

Yup, not kidding. Salads are total fat (and sugar) traps! Dressings can be bursting with calories, and then to top it off, the cheese, candied nuts, dried fruit, whatever else that may seem like a “light choice” is actually setting you back more than you would think!

 

 MEAT IS CHEMICALLY CLEANED…

Chemicals we normally associate with cleaning are purposefully put into fast-food meat. Why? Compounds like ammonium hydroxide can damage e. coli and other organisms. They also lower the acidity of meats and other foods, making it difficult for pathogens to survive. Is the practice safe? The USDA says yes. Does the idea of eating chemically washed meat in your salad sound good? 

MEALFIT SALADS- Where healthy means tasty!

At MealFit Salads, our salad is fresh daily. We are known for having healthy paleo, gluten free, dairy free, low carb, low sodium, and made from scratch options on our salads. 

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How It works!

  • Come in and get your to go container.

  • Make your salad as large or as small as you would like.

  • Make your way to the counter and weigh your salad.

  • Grab a Free bottled water if you are Tennessee Tech Student our staff member.

  • Also, free fruit for kids!

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Here Are Some Highlights!

  • Smoked chicken! (We smoke it right here)

  • Real Bacon.

  • 5 made from scratch dressings.

  • Mealfit famous Broccoli Salad

  • Homemade chicken salad that is made from a 3 ingredient made from scratch mayo.

  • Salad of the week. A new salad every week that has new items on the salad bar without getting rid of our classic items.

  • 4 Different kinds of fresh healthy salad greens.

  • In house made croutons.

  • Seasonal fresh cut fruits.

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We hope to see you soon at MealFit Salads.

We are centrally located in the heart of Cookeville Tennessee.

102 N Cedar Cookeville TN 38501

Hours of operation are
Tuesday – Friday 11am-2pm

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Try it out, and enjoy!

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Why You Need To Stop Buying Shredded Cheese

Why You Need To Stop Buying Shredded Cheese…

I made a recipe last week from a renowned chef and it called for shredded cheese. In the instructions, it was very specific about grating the cheese on a cheese grater and not using shredded cheese from a bag. Someone asked me why I did that, and I didn’t really know. So I started doing some research and this is what I came up with.

 

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Why You Should Stop Buying Shredded Cheese?

What is the difference in shredded cheese and block cheese?

The main difference is the ingredients.

There are 2 added ingredients in shredded cheese that are not in block cheese.

 

#1 Cellulose Powder.

Cellulose is a product that comes from cotton and wood pulp….wood pulp… really?

It has become popular in recent years because it has no calorie content and is used in some foods to thicken like ice cream. Companies also add it to diet foods to reduce the volume of food that is packaged. Cellulose adds volume to foods, which gives the appearance of there being more food in a package than there actually is.

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The main reason it is in cheese is to prevent it from sticking together. Cellulose is an anti-caking agent. Cellulose has the ability to absorb moisture and coat ingredients in a fine powder making it the ingredient of choice for anti-caking applications. Shredded and grated cheeses, spice mixes, and powdered drink mixes are just a few of the many food items that take advantage of cellulose as an anti-caking agent.

 

So why do companies love Cellulose (AKA wood pulp) in food products?

  1. It stabilizes food
  2. Decreases fat
  3. Adds fake fiber
  4. It’s cheap

 

#2 Potato Starch

This is the other additive that is found in shredded cheese that is not in block cheese. Potato starch is a starch that is extracted from potatoes. The potatoes are crushed and then the starch grains are released from the destroyed cells. The starch is then washed out and dried to powder. Source

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Potato Starch

Potato starch is used in wallpaper adhesive and in the process of making paper bags. It is used in shredded cheese to prevent caking and reduce sweating. Wall paper, paper bags, cheese that my family eats…Good deal.

 

If you are watching your carb intake you may want to shy away from some of these products that are infused with potato starch, seeing that is has 10 grams of carbs per table spoon.

Assignment #9 -- Cutlery
Cheese

 

 

 

 

 

Why we buy shredded cheese?

  1. Convenience: It is a touch easier to buy a bag of shredded cheese and just pull it out and use what you need than it is to shred a block of cheese and use it. I get it because I do it too. But it is worth a little bit more trouble to avoid the extra additives and fillers that go into the processing of shredded cheese.

Advantages over block cheese:

  • No extra utensil to wash. (You have a dishwasher, correct?)
  • No extra time taken to grate it. (About 90 seconds: I know how valuable those 90 seconds are, but I believe you can spare 90 seconds out of your day to keep your 3 year old from eating wood chips.)
  • No sticking together. (Grate it when you need it instead of all at the same time to keep it from sticking as much when stored.)

 

Hope this sheds some light on why its better to buy block cheese over bagged cheese.

Here are 2 more sources for my info
Source 1
Source 2
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QUESTION:

Does knowing this make you want to buy block cheese from now on?

 

What it Takes to TRULY become a Garage Gym Athlete

Welcome to the three-part series on becoming a Garage Gym Athlete!!

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This is Part 3 of a 3-part series:

It is time to become a switch flipper, a decision maker and a full fledged Garage Gym Athlete. How do we do that?

Perseverance.

What does that word mean to you?

What have your persevered?

To most, perseverance is something  that is thrust upon you. You continue on, despite a difficult time because you have no other choice. There is no doubt you have persevered something, but what about intentionally practicing perseverance?

What if you were to treat perseverance as a skill?

You can train your perseverance, it can be honed and it can get stronger, just as if you were to train a muscle. Just as muscles will atrophy without proper use, so will your willpower, or your perseverance.

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To be a determined person is nothing without the right behavior. Without acting in a certain way, your will will not be tested. Luckily, for us, working out is an excellent test of your willpower, especially if you are alone in a garage. It can be small pushes here and there. Going for those two extra reps, two more seconds, and two more minutes all test your will.

You may workout regularly, but do you test your will in the process?

Here are TWO ways you can practice perseverance and willpower and truly become a Garage Gym Athlete!

Two Ways to Increase your Willpower

1.) Working out – The APA (American Psychological Association) says, while scientists are not 100% certain on the “why”, they do know that working out leads to similar changes in the brain as mediation, especially the prefrontal cortex. Regular exercise – both intense training and mindful exercise like yoga — also makes the body and brain more resilient to stress, which is a great boost to willpower. The scientists don’t know why…but if I brought them to my garage for a training session they would understand why exercise can test willpower (and improve it) in a significant manner.

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2.) Doing What You Don’t Want to Do – This one is not backed by science, rather from experience. I try to do one thing that pushes me mentally each day, something I don’t want to do. For me, it’s normally a cold shower. Some mornings after working out in the cold I just don’t want to take a cold shower. I’ll even start with hot and be like…man I really just don’t want to make this water cold. Anytime I feel like I really don’t want to, it’s almost as if I’ve trained my hand to adjust the knob before I can finish the thought. Doing this day after day has increased my ability to do things I just don’t want to do. It’s made me better.

It’s not the short term PRs, that ONE morning you woke up early or that ONE healthy meal that will make you successful at being a Garage Gym Athlete.

You have to keep after it, day after day, and year after year. Only then, when you learn how to grind for the long haul, will you see every bit of success you were looking for!

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And that’s what it takes to be a Garage Gym Athlete!!

About the Author: Jerred Moon

Jerred is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and creator of End of Three Fitness which specializes in simple, effective barbell-centric fitness for the other guy. He is also the author of “The Garage Gym Athlete” which will be released on May 2. To learn more about Garage Gym Athlete, you can go here.

How to Start a Cheap Garage Gym?

Welcome to the three-part series on becoming a Garage Gym Athlete!!

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This is Part 2 of a 3-part series:

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

-Benjamin Franklin

I don’t have enough time…

I don’t have enough money…

I don’t have the equipment…

I’m REALLY busy…

Welcome to the world. No more excuses, only solutions.

When I was in college a mentor of mine would always express how he hated it when people would present him with or tell him about a problem. He said, if you tell me about a problem, you are just complaining. There are two other options:

Option #1: Present the problem and give two possible solutions.

Option #2: See the problem, fix the problem and don’t tell anyone about it.

That’s always stuck with me. And it’s part of why I think there are no limitations in training with minimal equipment. You just have to get creative with your solutions.

This mindset is just as important in life as it is in training, and garage gyms.

So no more excuses, only solutions! Let’s make a garage gym!

A Garage Gym for Less than $500

First, you are going to need to find the core to your garage gym and that will be a barbell and some plates.

You can find cheap package deals at sporting good stores for just $220, which comes with a barbell and 300 lb of weight. Keep in mind, this is not the highest quality barbell, but when you are trying to cut costs, some sacrifices need to be made!

Plyo Box ($20)

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The first project is a plyometric box. One sheet of plywood, six cuts to suit the size you need, some glue, and screws and you are done! A plyometric box can be used for box jumps, dips, step-ups, box squats, and any other creative exercise you can think of. It is a very quick and easy project. It will only cost about $20, take you about 30 minutes, and is not very difficult to complete. Click here for the full tutorial.

 

Power Rack ($100)gym3

The second project is a little more difficult and time consuming: a power rack. However, if you build this project, and take care of it, it will last a long time and give you a great training capability. You will be able to squat with safety bars and make use of a pull-up bar. You can make any modification you like to suit your needs. If this project is too advanced for you, I recommend some cement buckets and 4x4s — you can find that project here. For the full power rack project, check out the instructions here.

Wall Ball ($12)

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The third project is very quick and easy: a medicine ball. Just cut open a basketball, fill it with pool salt (not sand) and patch it up. Now you have a medicine ball! A medicine ball is great for wall ball shots (squatting with and throwing to a target 10 feet away), weighted sit-ups, medicine ball cleans, and many other exercises. It is a must when starting a garage gym, and you can check out the full instructions here.

Parallettes ($35)

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The fourth project is also quick and easy: parallettes. Parallettes are great for deficit push-ups, L-sits, dips, pass throughs, and many other exercises. This project just takes a few cuts of PVC, some PVC cement, and you are good to go. Very easy and a great addition to a garage gym — you can check out that project here.

And BOOM!!

We just spent $387 and we can do a lot of damage in the Garage Gym!!

You could take that extra cash and try and upgrade that barbell 🙂

These projects are just the start, but with a solid foundation and these few items, you will have enough equipment to have a very simple and effective garage gym. As you become more experienced and learn more about how you operate in a garage gym you can slowly expand your DIY arsenal or purchase the additional items you need.

As with any do-it-yourself project, unfamiliarity with the tools and process can be dangerous. If you are at all uncomfortable or inexperienced working on DIY projects (especially projects involving dangerous tools), please reconsider doing the job yourself. It is very possible on any DIY to damage your property, create a hazardous condition, or harm yourself or others. Be careful!

Now, get after it!

About the Author: Jerred Moon

Jerred is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and creator of End of Three Fitness which specializes in simple, effective barbell-centric fitness for the other guy. He is also the author of “The Garage Gym Athlete” which will be released on May 2. To learn more about Garage Gym Athlete, you can go here.

 

 


7 Reasons Why You SHOULD have a Garage Gym

Have you ever thought about creating a gym space in your house?

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Check out what Jarred Moon from End of Three Fitness has to say about creating a garage gym.

Let me start by saying, everyone can and should have some sort of garage gym setup!

Why?

Well, occasionally life gets in the way, and having a garage gym can help you stay on track. But there are a lot more reasons than that, and you probably have some questions/concerns, like…

  • It’s too expensive…
  • Maybe you think your performance will suffer without a coach…
  • Perhaps you are afraid to lose your gym community…

Well, I can tell you it’s not too expensive, becoming your own programmer is pretty easy (if you work at it), and you can still be a part of your gym community!

On top of that, you get…

  • Freedom of your time (workout on YOUR schedule)…
  • Freedom of your money (cut monthly fees)…
  • Freedom to do whatever the heck you want (programming)…

Then, after you become a Garage Gym Athlete, and you want to get a little more serious there is always stuff out there like:

  • Online coaching (for a fraction of gym fees)
  • Free/paid resources and programs
  • And AWESOME technology to improve athletes (coaches eye, etc.)

Becoming a Garage Gym Athlete is AWESOME, but let’s talk about some reasons you SHOULD have a garage gym…perhaps a few reasons you haven’t even thought about.

Let’s get right to it!

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1.) Holidays – If your family is like mine, the holidays can be crazy. Even if your gym is open, it is going to be hard to make it in with all the meals, events, etc. That is one of the main reasons I think everyone should have at least a few pieces of equipment at home, or in the garage.

 

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2.) Kids/Family – Fitness is important. Having a garage gym can really help you emphasize the importance of fitness in your life to others. For your family and friends, maybe it helps them get in shape, too. For your kids, maybe it provides a lasting influence on them; it lets them know fitness is important and not optional!

 

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3.) It’s cheap! – If you aren’t afraid of a couple DIY projects you can have a very effective garage gym for very little cash.

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4.) Commuting is for the birds – You spend enough time sitting each day! Why add to it with more…SITTING! Commuting is wasted time, wasted money, and something that takes away from your health.

 

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5.) Your Garage…Your Rules – When you become a garage gym athlete, you are in charge of your programming! Want to get stronger, do it! Want to get faster, do it! Don’t sit around and wait/hope for someone to program what you want.

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6.) More Time – If you go to a “Globo Gym”, you are wasting precious time. You have the commute, which we talked about (5-20+ minutes), the check-in-put-my-stuff-away-and-get-to-the-exercise-equipment dance (10 minutes), waiting-on-randoms-doing-the-exercise-wrong showdown (10 minutes), the hi-I-see-my-neighbor convo (5 minutes)…do some of that in reverse and we are at over an hour…without factoring in the workout!! Get a garage gym and save your time!

 

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7.) It Saves You Money – Yes, you can build a garage gym for cheap, but where the real beauty is not in what it costs you, but what it SAVES you. You can cut on monthly membership fees, which add up A LOT over the years, your healthy lifestyle will help cut insurance costs, and the list goes on and on. There is a lot to a garage gym, but what it saves you may be the biggest!

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We hope you this has given you some great reasons to start planning you garage gym! Click here for more great articles and tips like this!


Change Your Life With One Book

How to change your life with one book, Girl Boss.

We have all heard the adage that “Leaders are Readers”. This statement resonated more with me when I heard Tai Lopez say, ‘That having a mentor is one of the most valuable experiences in life.’

He then goes on to say that everyone cannot be mentored by Warren Buffet or Sam Walton or Jeff Bezos. Books on the other hand are the next best thing to being mentored by these giants in their industry.

I say all this to encourage you to READ. READ. READ.

I am not just talking about being nestled up by the fire with a book. I am talking about using all the time that you have during the day and use it to be productive.

Here are times when you can read / listen to books and increase your knowledge or motivation.

• Driving to work
• Washing dishes
• Doing those mindless tasks at work
• Working out. (Running/ Rowing/ Walking)
• Any time you would normally listen to music, listen to an audio book
Click below to get 2 free books and try it out and see what you think.

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The book we are going to talk about today is not one you would probably see recommended from a dad of 3 who was a former college football player and coach.

But, a fellow business owner, who is a lot more successful than I am, recommended it to me. She said she could not put it down.

I had to cook for a lunch one day then I had to drive about 45 min to get to the lunch and listened to the whole thing in one day. This has been one of my favorite audio books of all time.

#girlboss is a book about Sophia Amoruso. She is the creator of a company called Nasty Gal. A $100 million e-tailer that has birthed out of Sophia’s drive to be great.

At 17 she decided school was not for her and proceeded to live a life of dumpster diving and petty stealing to make ends meat. Then she discovered the thrift store and e-bay.

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Throughout the book Sophia tells true stories about the process she went through to get started. How she use to go to thrift stores’ up and down the California coast looking for these “vintage” clothes then the process of using models and taking pictures and then on the next step of uploading all the picturess and info to e-bay to then sell.

She tells her process of how she use to steal items from a department store, and take them back to another store and get her money back so she could have food money.

All the way to having a multi-million dollar company and what the best practices and questions to ask on an interview.

Sophia is a true inspiration to anyone that wants to be a business owner and make something of themselves.

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There is some language in the book, so you may not want to listen to this in the car if you have young kids. Nothing terrible just your occasional cuss word.

The other cool thing about the audio version is that when you see her on the cover then you hear the voice on the audio book it’s like she is talking to you.

https://mealfit.leadpages.co/leadbox-954.js

Who is this for?

  • Any entrepreneur
    • Anyone struggling to find their niche in business.
    • A woman trying to make it in a male dominated profession,
    • Any business owner.
    • Anyone looking for motivation.

I highly recommend this book because it is
• Exciting
• Motivational
• Informational
• And FUN.

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?t=mealfco-20&o=1&p=14&l=ur1&category=audible&banner=0AQ0JDCTHYX4ZVQX2882&f=ifr&linkID=AAEBUVAQKWAHSFAG

Make this one of your FREE downloads when you join Audible.com and get the audible app.

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 2 months?
Answer the question in the comments below

How To Set New Year’s Goals

New Life

This might be a little out of the ordinary, but I’m kind of sick of New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Well, at the end of every year you find a bunch of people saying, “This year I won’t keep doing X, Y, and Z”. The New Year should be a time of setting goals, reaching high, and planning exciting things for the future, not a time to look back at the previous year and see where you can slash bad things in your life in the next year. Now don’t get me wrong, I am totally on board with people quitting bad habits and ending unhealthy behavior, but there’s a better, more positive way to do it.

Let’s look at one example of a New Years resolution that you hear countless people say: “I am going to quit eating crap and I’m going to lose weight.” Simple, harmless, but ineffective. Let me explain. Here are the Top Three Changes you need to make to set killer New Year’s Goals.

1. Enough With The Negative

We get it, you may have gained a few extra pounds over the course of 2015, but once that clock hits12:00am, it’s a new year, so leave your self-loathing in the past, literally, and focus on the positives. Instead of saying, “I will eat less crap and lose all this weight”, a simple change in the way you phrase your goals can mean the difference between actually doing them, and putting them back in the closet with all of your other failed resolutions. Instead of framing your

Make 2016 a Fresh Start
Make 2016 a Fresh Start

resolutions in a negative tone, turn it around into a positive for yourself, like this:

“I will eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugary drinks and refined foods. I will also exercise to make myself feel better and healthier.” 

Do you see the difference? The first resolution doesn’t even sound like fun, however, the second resolution gives you an incentive to actually do the thing you said you would. Eating more fruits and vegetables while cutting out sugar and refined foods will naturally help you lose weight, and thus, you can change the weight loss goal into exercising for the sake of being and feeling healthier.

2. Instead of “I will do …” Change To “I am …”

What’s the biggest difference? Procrastination. Saying, “I will do …” doesn’t give you an incentive to actually do it, it gives you an incentive to push it back as long as possible. By changing “I will” to “I am”, it gives you an incentive to actually do it, because when you write down goals in the present/future tense, it automatically enables your brain to picture that event actually happening. So, instead of “I will lose 10 lbs by summer of 2016”, switch it to, “I am 10 lbs lighter by summer of

Writing Goals Down is The Most Important Step
Writing Goals Down is The Most Important Step

2016″. Notice the difference?

3. Set BIG GOALS

There’s nothing more that I can’t stand is when people set goals they know they can’t reach without pushing themselves. What do I mean? Let’s look at it from a weight lifting perspective. Let’s say there is a woman with a 150lb squat, and her fitness resolution is to have a 165lb squat by the end of next year.

Yes, this sounds dramatic if you look at it in terms of weightlifting, but this is what people do when they set personal, spiritual, or business goals. I read a quote that pretty much said, “If your goals don’t scare you, you’re not setting them high enough.” I firmly believe that. If your goals don’t scare you, empower you, and even keep you up at night with excitement, you’re not setting them high enough and you’re not doing yourself a favor.

Top Five Reasons It Pays To Buy Local Produce

It seems like the hot debate around food, and where to get your food, resides mainly in two camps: Buying organic, or buying non-organic. However, I want to shed light on the other option, the best option there is. You see, this isn’t a cry to, “Buy 100% organic everything!’, nor is it a challenge to purge your home of foods that aren’t organic. The purpose of this post is to show y’all why it pays to buy your produce from your local farmer. You’ll learn the top five reasons you should, as well as some myths surrounding local farmers markets that will be dispelled within the text. Let’s get to the reasons.

1. You Help Stimulate the Local Economy

One of these days I am going to write more about finances and money, and this first reason fits that mold

Flowchart of How Buying Local Works
Flowchart of How Buying Local Works

perfectly. Whenever you turn on the news all you hear about is, “national economy”, but what do all the TV mongors forget? The local economy. The national economy wouldn’t be possible if millions of local economies weren’t running like steamengines. So, what’s the best way to insure that your local economy keeps growing? Buying local! And there isn’t a better way to do that than to support your local farmers. According to PayScale.com, the average salary for a US Farmer is around $33,000. Buying local from local farmers gives the farmer more money to grow his farm, which in return gives them the ability to produce more food for more people in the local economy. Can you begin to see the snowball effect buying local has in terms of a purely economical standpoint? The dividends are huge!

2. Buying Local Helps Save the Environment

Here’s a crazy stat for you: According to CUESA.org, food in America takes an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate for dinner. 1,500 miles. Just to put it into context for you, 1,500 miles is the equivalent of 26,400 football fields lined up one after another. That’s a lot of travel for your food! That happens every single day across millions of homes in America. But here’s the even crazier part: If you buy local, you are cutting the distance your food travels to your plate by nearly 95%. 95%! Instead of miles, the track becomes single digit miles, even feet from the far to your door. What kind of positive repercussions does this have on the environment?

Reap the Benefits of Buying Local
Reap the Benefits of Buying Local

For starters cutting down on the 1,500 miles it takes food to get to your plate would do amazing things in terms of saving and preserving our fossil fuels. Most of the trucks that deliver food across America use diesel. The less these diesel trucks have to travel, the fewer the pollution emissions they release, thus helping the atmosphere. Another major player in the saving of our environment comes from the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on large scale farms.

Pesticides and chemical fertilizers damage and kill produce plants. To make a long story short, this is how they work: Large scale farmers overdose their plants with pesticides to make sure that the bugs die and don’t eat the plants. Yet these pesticides still end up on the food that you and I consume! This in turn creates new produce plants that become resistant to the pesticides and drugs, so farmers have to keep using more and more toxic doses to get the same result. You can begin to see this ugly snowball effect.

Here’s how you can change it: Buy local. Almost all local farmers use organic processes that do not involve pesticides, chemicals, or other growth enhancing agents. Sunshine, water, and good soil is what you will find at these organic, small town farms.

3. Buying Local Means Buying at Peak Season

When you shop at your local supermarket, you can get nearly all types of fruits year round, 365 days, 7 days a week. In the real world of agriculture, this isn’t the case. Strawberries don’t grow in the winter, yet you can still buy them “fresh” in the supermarket. So what gives? This third reason ties into the second reason. The reason you

Buy Fresh, Buy Local!
Buy Fresh, Buy Local!

can buy “fresh” produce year round, regardless of the season, is because you’re buying from farms that are miles and miles and miles away. When you buy local produce, you’re buying what’s in season; the produce’s “prime time”. Instead of using chemical gasses to expedite the ripening process, each piece of produce that you pick from your local farmer is guaranteed to be the freshest that produce will be. When you cut down on the mileage it takes your food to get to your plate, you don’t have to chemically ripen the food, let nature do it. Trust me, use your gut test on this reason. Food just tastes better when you buy from a local farmer. It just does.

4. Ensure Humane Animal Treatment

If you’re reading this and you haven’t watched the documentary Food Inc., I would be totally fine with you exiting this blog post to go on Netflix and watch it right now. Once you see what the giant food companies (such as Perdue Farms, etc.) do with their animals and how they treat them, you will be a) appauled, and b) may consider going vegan for a week or two. The second one is a stretch, cause I would never give up bacon … Anyways, when you buy from a local farmer, this can also include meats. Buying local means that the farmer most likely cares for each and every one of his livestock. To the local farmer, a cow isn’t a serial number with an expiration date. To them it’s a gift, a living being that has lived out its life and at the end, is being used to provide for families and loved ones. When you buy your meats from supermarkets, you’re buying from companies that treat their animals like serial numbers. Buying local has a tremendous impact on the quality of life that cow or that chicken had that you’re eating. Who knew that buying from a local farmer could have such philanthropic positive consequences?

5. You Just Feel Good About Yourself

This last reason is a very simple one. When you buy from a local farmer, you just feel better about the decision you made. It’s a combination of putting a face to the food that you bought. It’s a feeling of knowing exactly where

Farmer's Market Word Bubble
Farmer’s Market Word Bubble

your food comes from, and knowing that your food was treated with respect and cared for, not just processed like a commodity on a factory line.

At the end of the day, only you can decide whom you buy from. I’m not telling you to buy every single item of food from your local farmer. What I am telling you is to try it out. If nothing else, start by buying your vegetables from your farmer, and then progress to your meats. You’ll find that there are local farmers all around you with a quick Google search. Give it a try.

In The Comments Below, What Does It Mean To You To Buy Local?

4 Kitchen Appliances You Don’t Need to Buy

Last week I published a post about the one appliance in your kitchen that you must have, a slow cooker. This week I’m giving you the other end of the spectrum. In this article are five kitchen appliances that are a complete waste of your money, and why you can DIY with a couple of items in no time. Let’s get to it.

1. Avocado Slicer

Looks fancy, right?

This is legit, Google “Avocado Slicer” and you’ll find a handy dandy tool that makes cutting avocados, “easier than ever!” Don’t waste your money on this product. Want to know how to cut an avocado so you get the most out of it? Here’s how: First, cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Then, slice the avocado flesh into cubes like you’re making a checkerboard pattern. After you’re done that, take a spoon and scoop out the flesh of the avocado into whatever you want, the avocado should come out smoothly, leaving you no mess.  Or you can watch this video. Now, do you really a device to slice avocados for you? Absolutely not. Use this method and you’ll be golden.

2. Panini Maker

Do it yourself instead!

“But how will I get that perfectly flat Panini shape without one?!”, you ask? Simple. Panini makers aren’t cheap, with the average price hovering around $40 for one single maker. The best alternative? Bricks. Yep, I’m talking about the same ones used to build houses! Here’s how: Take a brick of considerable weight and wrap it in tin foil. Once you’ve gotten your sandwich to where you want it, add the brick on top of the sandwich while it’s still on the pan cooking. Not only will the weight of the brick act as the perfect substitute for a panini press, but it will also guarantee a perfect crust on the outside while the panini is still cooking! The best part about this kitchen item? All you need to do is replace the foil each time you want to use it.

3. Popcorn Maker

This is the exact one in my house

Okay, this one was hard to put in here because my family has one, and uses it religiously every weekend. However, since this post is about things in the kitchen you don’t need, I had to put it in here because of the free alternative. With the cost of a popcorn maker ranging anywhere from $50 to $300, it begs the question, ‘Do you really need one to make delicious popcorn?’ The short answer: No, save yourself money and use a stove top kettle and pot. My best friend’s dad used a simple pot and stove top to make the best kettle corn I’ve ever had. It’s simple, easy, and saves you a lot of money. Plus, who wants to have a popcorn maker take up extra space in their kitchen anyways?

4. Deep Fryer

Use your biggets pan instead!

Southerners at heart might read this paragraph and cry a little on the inside, cause I know it’s tough, but truth be told, you don’t need a deep fryer. The average cost of a deep fryer ranges from $40 to $200 at Walmart. Instead of spending that money, save it instead and use your biggest cooking pot you have. All you need to do is fill it up with whatever oil you want to fry it at, and watch it carefully. Your biggest cooking pot easily converts into a deep fryer, while at the same time saving you space in your kitchen.

 

So there you have it! If you own any of these items, don’t feel bad, it means you’ve found a great way to use them! Use this post as a tool and a guide. Remember, before you decide to buy a kitchen appliance, ask yourself these simple questions: ‘Can I make this myself? And would that cost me any money? How much space will I save by not buying this?

QUESTION: What is the one USELESS thing in your kitchen that you would recommend people NOT buying? (Leave your answer in the comments)

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