eating healthy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14656/all en-US Best Money Tips: Eat Healthy and Amazing for $50 a Month http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-eat-healthy-and-amazing-for-50-a-month <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-eat-healthy-and-amazing-for-50-a-month" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/AqZoY5XogRU3LZuWbABmfQB6ZTuNl5-4Z0A6-08lkCc/mtime:1416603635/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-eating-breakfast-174231730-small.jpg" alt="man eating breakfast" title="man eating breakfast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some terrific articles on how to eat healthy for $50 a month, financial moves to make in your 20s, and tips for living on one income.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2014/11/eat-amazing-healthy-50month.html">Eat Amazing (and Healthy) for $50/Month</a> &mdash; Protein is your friend! You'll go longer with more energy before you feel hungry again. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.imoney.ph/articles/3-smart-financial-moves-make-20s/">3 Smart Financial Moves to Make in Your 20s</a> &mdash; Develop a system for paying off debt and growing your savings &mdash; both are very important! [iMoney]</p> <p><a href="http://www.coolchecks.net/blog/budgets/6-tips-for-living-on-one-income.html">6 Tips for Living on One Income</a> &mdash; If you can, test out single-income living first before you take the plunge. Use the second income to build up your emergency fund. [Coolchecks.net]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dinksfinance.com/2014/11/6-ways-save-20-today">6 Ways to Save $20 Today</a> &mdash; It's nice to go out with friends sometimes, but skip dinner if you can; lunch is usually much cheaper. [DINKS Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-common-turkey-mistakes-you-wont-make-this-thanksgiving.html">10 Common Turkey Mistakes You Won&rsquo;t Make This Thanksgiving</a> &mdash; If you don't use a roasting rack, the meat on the bottom of the turkey will end up dry, overcooked, and often burned. [Lifehack]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Group-Gifts-36126899">DIY Gifts to Make When You Have a Ton of People on Your List</a> &mdash; DIY cup cozies are easy to make, cute, and always useful! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-simple-squash-recipes">8 Simple Squash Recipes</a> &mdash; Squash soup is hearty and delicious. Try Delicata Squash soup or Pumpkin and Leek Soup tonight! [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/turn-pc-on-make-money/">4 Lazy Ways to Make Money by Leaving Your Computer On</a> &mdash; Companies like Slicify pay you to partition off your PC so others can run software on it without having access to your any of your programs or files. [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="http://www.productivity501.com/tips-for-productive-reading/9128/">Tips for Productive Reading</a> &mdash; Don't get stuck in a reading rut &mdash; pick up something your normally wouldn't read and you may gain a new perspective by the end of it! [Productivity501]</p> <p><a href="http://www.raheelfarooq.com/5-practical-tips-to-improve-your-social-life">5 Practical Tips to Improve Your Social Life</a> &mdash; If you have trouble interacting with people, interact with more people. Visit your friends and family, dine out &mdash; it'll get easier as you go. [Raheel Farooq]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-eat-healthy-and-amazing-for-50-a-month">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-tasty-and-cheap-meals-for-one">14 Tasty and Cheap Meals for One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">23 Fantastic Uses for Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-portion-control-to-lose-weight">How to Use Portion Control to Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/grocery-jargon-10-terms-to-know-before-you-hit-the-aisles">Grocery Jargon: 10 Terms to Know Before You Hit the Aisles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-food-taste-better-with-rituals">Make Your Food Taste Better With Rituals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips eating healthy Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:00:21 +0000 Amy Lu 1258335 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Your Food Taste Better With Rituals http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-food-taste-better-with-rituals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-food-taste-better-with-rituals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/A1RNP8zRZW1KS3JI8-2D0ZsEIW6NVfwbYZNKtIvpD_8/mtime:1376592473/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-4726534-small.jpg" alt="eating marshmallows" title="eating marshmallows" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I always thought it didn't matter how you eat &mdash; it all ended up in the same place, anyhow.</p> <p>Turns out, I was wrong.</p> <p>Not about where the food ends up (whew!), but about the importance of what you do when you eat. According to a <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/07/17/0956797613478949.abstract">study conducted at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and Harvard University</a>, the small rituals you do before you eat can enhance your enjoyment of the food. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/imagine-eating-to-lose-weight-and-save-money">Imagine Eating to Lose Weight (and Save Money)</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/rituals-make-our-food-more-flavorful/">Says Catherine Saint Louis</a> of the <em>New York Times</em> Well blog:</p> <blockquote><p>Far from being mere quirks of personality, rituals like these may actually enhance how much people savor what they eat or drink, new research shows. Flavor is intensified. The meal is enjoyed more. It may be one reason why birthday cake is savored more than the stumbled-upon 4 p.m. brownie, because of the singing and candle blowing that precedes it.</p> </blockquote> <h2>The Rituals</h2> <p>What kind of rituals are we talking about, exactly? Donning a ceremonial cow costume, singing a prayer over a carton of milk, and finishing off with a cereal baptism? Will that make my original Cheerios taste less like cardboard?</p> <p>Actually, yeah, it might. But a ritual doesn't have to be as elaborate as that. In fact, you may already have some food rituals under your belt:</p> <ul> <li>Sing before eating a birthday cake.</li> <li>Tap a can before pulling the tab.</li> <li>Scrape wooden chopsticks together before digging in. (Watch out for splinters!)</li> <li>Separate an Oreo cookie before dunking it into milk. (Wait, so it's NOT just a marketing ploy?)</li> <li>Unwrap and uncork a wine bottle yourself.</li> <li>Anything you always make sure to do before you eat a certain food. Anything. Seriously, the sky's the limit!</li> </ul> <h2>The Study</h2> <p>The study consisted of four experiments:</p> <ol> <li>Participants were divided into two groups. Both were given chocolate. One group was asked go through a series of chocolate-unwrapping motions, while the other just at the bar.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Participants were given baby carrots. Some were told to knock twice, grab a bag of carrots, knock again, breathe, <em>then</em> eat the carrots. Others were instructed to perform other, similarly not-related-to-actual-eating motions. Some had to wait between carrots, and others did not.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>One set of participants mixed lemonade as another set watched.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Researchers asked the participants how fun and interesting it was to eat the chocolate.</li> </ol> <p>The participants who were asked to perform some kind of gesture &mdash; unwrapping chocolate just so, knocking and waiting before eating carrots &mdash; rated their pleasure higher than those who simply ate the food they were given. And as the baby carrot experiment showed, any old ritual will work &mdash; it doesn't have to be related to eating the food. Also, watching someone perform the ritual doesn't do anything for your own enjoyment &mdash; unless you're laughing at their silliness, in which case, joke's on you! The lemonade mixers enjoyed the drink more than those who watched from the sidelines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-luscious-ways-to-enjoy-lemonade">12 Luscious Ways to Enjoy Lemonade</a>)</p> <p>So, why is this roundabout way of eating more enjoyable than a direct approach? By way of Experiment 4, the researchers found:</p> <blockquote><p>[O]ne reason food rituals enhance flavor and enjoyment is their ability to focus people's interest on the ensuing consumption. The researchers called this focus &quot;involvement.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <h2>The Application</h2> <p>OK, great. So I might enjoy lobster more if I took the trouble to de-shell the crustacean myself (groans, many groans), but are there any other benefits to this culinary ritual business?</p> <p>Why, yes, there are.</p> <p>The New York Times brings up the possibility of finally enjoying a food you &mdash; or a picky preschooler &mdash; previously disliked. Fun rituals, like singing a broccoli song or dancing bitter squash style (no idea what that entails), can make the food go down easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-cut-waste-when-feeding-kids">10 Ways to Cut Waste When Feeding Kids</a>)</p> <p>Plus, taking the time to savor your food can give you better control over how much you eat:</p> <blockquote><p>[Dr. Susan Albers], the author of <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/160882330X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=160882330X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">Eating Mindfully</a></em>, noted that rituals may also help in portion control, something the University of Minnesota researchers did not address in their experiments. She noted that in a <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22243980">small randomized controlled trial</a> at the University of Texas in Austin, researchers found that teaching restaurant diners to focus on awareness of hunger and taste, along with other strategies, was effective at promoting weight management. &quot;When you savor food you enjoy it more, and sometimes you eat less,&quot; she said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Then again, some foods don't need the flavor boost. The researchers caution that the extra kick in some tastes may repel some eaters.</p> <p>I think I'll hold off on choreographing that bitter squash dance for now.</p> <p><em>What food rituals do you engage in? Are there any foods that you want to enjoy more, enough to create a ritual for it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-food-taste-better-with-rituals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-tasty-and-cheap-meals-for-one">14 Tasty and Cheap Meals for One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">23 Fantastic Uses for Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-portion-control-to-lose-weight">How to Use Portion Control to Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/grocery-jargon-10-terms-to-know-before-you-hit-the-aisles">Grocery Jargon: 10 Terms to Know Before You Hit the Aisles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-scientifically-proven-to-increase-your-energy">10 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Energy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink eating healthy research Thu, 15 Aug 2013 18:34:46 +0000 Amy Lu 981311 at http://www.wisebread.com Grocery Jargon: 10 Terms to Know Before You Hit the Aisles http://www.wisebread.com/grocery-jargon-10-terms-to-know-before-you-hit-the-aisles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/grocery-jargon-10-terms-to-know-before-you-hit-the-aisles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/fmmhLYDhWt0X33Jq_3o1BPBbfaiMh0uKsAnznPqgVWg/mtime:1361185204/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3488109255_7d558ec387_z.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The last thing you want to be confused about is the food you're eating, but with all the grocery buzzwords out there, it can feel like you're staring at some insider jargon. To break it down, we've put together meanings behind common terms that you'll find all along your supermarket aisles. Hopefully this will make it easy to remember why the labels are there in the first place &mdash;&nbsp;to help you make better decisions about what you're consuming and what's worth your money.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Ways-Youre-Wasting-Money-Groceries-26174949">RELATED: 7 Ways People Waste Money on Groceries</a></p> <h2>Free Range</h2> <p>This is a bit of a tricky one because, according to the FDA, free-range simply means that the birds have access to the outside; that doesn't necessarily mean that they actually spend large amounts of time outside. In contrast, cage-free typically describes birds raised outside of a cage, but it doesn't imply much else.</p> <h2>Grass Fed</h2> <p>Instead of being fed grains, these cows have only eaten grass throughout their lives. Advocates of grass feeding say it's a win-win for the cow, the consumer, and the planet because it requires less energy, there's less fat, and it's more humane.</p> <h2>MSG</h2> <p>In scientific speak, MSG stands for monosodium glutamate. In regular speak, it's a salt that's added to food to taste better. It's extremely hard to find items without MSG &mdash; it's in everything from frozen foods to restaurant meals &mdash;&nbsp;and there are different opinions on its effects. Some say it doesn't hurt, while others claim it's harmful to the body.</p> <h2>Whole Grain</h2> <p>This means that the entire grain is used in the product, including the parts of the kernel with the most nutrients. Rye and brown rice are common examples of whole grain. It shouldn't be confused with multigrain, which simply means that more than one grain is used in the product.</p> <h2>GMOs</h2> <p>Also known as genetically modified organisms, this term refers to organisms that have been altered to grow faster, have a longer shelf life, be disease-resistant, change color, and so on. Certain GMO-products don't require labeling for different reasons, so it's important to research before buying.</p> <h2>Natural</h2> <p>It's hard to believe, but just about anyone can slap a &quot;natural&quot; sticker on their product; that's because there's no set definition of the term from the FDA or USDA, so it can mean many different things. For example, even sodas have been labeled natural.</p> <h2>Organic</h2> <p>To be labeled &quot;organic,&quot; a product must go through rigorous federal regulations. Essentially, you can rest assured that something organic has gone through strict farming or production practices and is made without pesticides, other toxins, GMOs, or artificial growth hormones. Many people say the quality of the product is worth its higher price tag.</p> <h2>Gluten Free</h2> <p>We should first understand what gluten is. The protein, commonly found in wheat and barley, gives dough its elasticity and allows it to keep its shape. Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular these days, and they're essential for people who suffer from digestive diseases, because it can damage their intestines. It typically doesn't affect others that strongly, but many are boycotting gluten because it's an unnatural additive.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Food labels are covered with feel-good terms these days — but what does &quot;natural,&quot; &quot;organic,&quot; or &quot;grass fed&quot; really mean? Find out here. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/fZexBBzxBb0j2OPOyijGWONUPXd1v3XQRXyyUGIhTds/mtime:1322527161/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Milk-26129366">How to Save Money on&nbsp;Milk</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Store-Brand-Items-25627224">8 Store-Brand Items That Are Just as Good as Name-Brand</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Organized-When-Grocery-Shopping-21843868">6 Ways to Stay Organized When Grocery&nbsp;Shopping</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/grocery-jargon-10-terms-to-know-before-you-hit-the-aisles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-meaning-of-milk-label-colors">The Meaning of Milk Label Colors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-buy-at-a-farmers-market">What NOT to Buy at a Farmers Market</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink eating healthy grocery shopping organic groceries Mon, 18 Feb 2013 10:50:16 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 967916 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Tasty and Cheap Meals for One http://www.wisebread.com/14-tasty-and-cheap-meals-for-one <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-tasty-and-cheap-meals-for-one" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/gi1l0CikZ-MIY6hjG9IBs7mXGZEcHNTLMsaoUT0itoI/mtime:1327492765/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating_alone.jpg" alt="Woman eating alone" title="Woman eating alone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve always loved to cook, but when I was single it was chore. I mean, what&rsquo;s the point of spending all that time in the kitchen cooking &mdash; then cleaning &mdash; if you&rsquo;re the only person who&rsquo;s going to enjoy the meal?&nbsp;</p> <p>That was a poor philosophy to have, mostly because I didn&rsquo;t put any effort into thinking of delicious dishes to prepare. I deserved better than ramen and ham-and-cheese roll-ups &mdash; you know you&rsquo;ve made that for dinner more than once &mdash; and so do you.</p> <p>To help you get cooking, here are two weeks&rsquo; worth of meals I go to when it&rsquo;s just me, myself, and I enjoying the fruits (and veggies) of my culinary skills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-making-cheaper-faster-better-meals">6 Tips for Making Cheaper, Faster,&nbsp;Better Meals</a>)</p> <h3>1. Spinach and Parmesan Omelet With Hash Browns</h3> <p>Anderson Cooper and I have a few things in common, one of which is a hatred for greens, especially spinach. Maybe that&rsquo;s because when I was younger my mom made me eat (force fed is more like it) canned spinach, which is absolutely disgusting. I was on a trip to California once when I saw this healthy-ish omelet on the menu, so I decided to order it &mdash; totally out of character for me. When in Rome, right? To my delight, I loved it &mdash; and it&rsquo;s totally easy to make at home. Prepare an omelet the way you normally would &mdash; whole eggs or just the whites &mdash; and when it&rsquo;s still just a tad undercooked, add in the spinach and Parmesan cheese, flip, and season with salt and pepper. For a quick starchy side, peel and grate one potato and sauté it in butter on one side on low-medium heat for about five minutes or until golden brown. Flip to cook the other side to perfection.</p> <h3>2. Beet Salad</h3> <p>You can use canned beets for this recipe, but I wouldn&rsquo;t recommend it; at many markets you can find fresh, cooked beets in the produce section. Build the salad with mesclun greens, the sliced beets (perhaps even quartered), orange slices (a smaller type would be ideal, like a clementine), walnuts, and Parmesan cheese; and top with a citrus vinaigrette that you can make with the juice from another orange, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.</p> <h3>3. Carrot and Ginger Soup With Oyster Crackers</h3> <p>Have you seen this <a href="http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/cuisinart-soup-maker-blender-sbc-1000/">soup maker and blender from Cuisinart</a> on TV lately? Even though I don&rsquo;t need it &mdash; and you probably don&rsquo;t either &mdash; I live for anything that pulls double duty. In any case, for this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/all-american-festivals/ginger-carrot-soup-recipe/index.html">carrot-ginger soup recipe</a> you&rsquo;ll need chicken broth, carrots, fresh ginger, parsley, onion, sour cream, sweet cream butter, and whipping cream. If it sounds rich, that&rsquo;s because it is &mdash; taste-wise, anyway; it&rsquo;s fairly easy on the wallet. Top with oyster crackers, because, well, who doesn&rsquo;t love those? This recipe yields eight servings, but freezes very well.</p> <h3>4. Lemon-Pepper Grilled Shrimp With Mixed Greens</h3> <p>This may be hard to believe, but shrimp are relative expensive, depending on the size and quantity you&rsquo;re purchasing. For a meal for one, pick up about six medium-size shrimp, which will probably cost you less than three dollars. At home, sprinkle the shrimp with a lemon-pepper seasoning salt and grill in a pan while brushing with a bit of butter. When the shrimp are cooked through &mdash; one to two minutes per side is all it takes &mdash; arrange them on a bed of greens lightly dressed with a lemon vinaigrette that you can make with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.</p> <h3>5. Grilled Cheese and Bacon With Tomato Soup</h3> <p>Everybody knows how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, but this one gets extra oomph by placing slices of cooked bacon between the bread before putting the sandwich together. You can use any kind of cheese you want, but I believe that there isn&rsquo;t a better tasting grilled cheese than one made with good ol&rsquo; Kraft American Singles. Once your sandwich is grilled, golden, and bubbly, dip it in a bowl of warm tomato soup (Campbell&rsquo;s condensed, of course) that will take you right back to your childhood.</p> <h3>6. Chipotle-Cilantro Quesadillas With Mexirice</h3> <p>All you need to make quesadillas is tortillas and cheese, but to kick this version up a notch, add a few chopped chipotle peppers and cilantro. Place one tortilla in a 10-inch skillet &mdash; no butter; that&rsquo;ll make it greasy &mdash; and top it with the ingredients. When it&rsquo;s all good and melty, top with the other tortilla and flip until that side is crispy and golden brown too. Cut the quesadilla in quarters so it&rsquo;s dippable in salsa or sour cream, and serve alongside a Mexican-style rice, like Uncle Ben&rsquo;s.</p> <h3>7. Baked Potato With Broccoli and Cheese&nbsp;</h3> <p>A friend of mine in Hawaii says I make the best baked potatoes in the world &mdash; and that&rsquo;s probably true (I&rsquo;m patting myself on the back right now) &mdash; but the problem with making the best baked potatoes in the world is that it takes time. Cut the time it takes to make yours in more than half by poking holes in the potato with a fork and microwaving it for whatever time your microwave recommends. While it&rsquo;s cooking, steam a handful of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-tasty-frozen-broccoli-recipes">broccoli florets</a> and heat up a bit of Cheez Whiz. When the potato is tender inside, cut it open, add the broccoli tossed in butter, and top with the Whiz.</p> <h3>8. Turkey Club With Homemade French Fries</h3> <p>Here&rsquo;s how this goes &mdash; toast three slices of bread (preferably whole wheat) and spread one side of two slices and both sides of one slice with mayo. On the bottom piece of bread (one with only one mayo-ed side), layer turkey breast, lettuce, bacon, and tomato, and top with the slice of bread that has mayo on both sides. Repeat the process until you have a double-decker sandwich. Before that, however (because making the sandwich doesn&rsquo;t take long at all), cut one large Russet potato in wedges, season with olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook on 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.</p> <h3>9. Prosciutto and Melon</h3> <p>I was in Spain when I had melon and jamón for the first time, and that&rsquo;s all it took for me to fall head over heels for this incredibly delicious and quick dish. In fact, among these dishes on the list, this is the fastest. You can buy a whole cantaloupe, but unless you&rsquo;re going to eat the entire fruit before it goes bad, I would recommend buying a slice or two of prepackaged melon. While you&rsquo;re at the store, go to the deli and pick up about four slices of prosciutto or another salty, thin ham. When preparing this dish, all you need to do is drape the ham over the sliced prosciutto and dig in.</p> <h3>10. Tuna Tartine</h3> <p>Tartine is French for an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-painless-ways-to-cut-calories">open-faced sandwich</a>. For this version, toast a slice of bread, and top with tomato, cucumber, mixed greens, and a scoop of prepared tuna. If you want to get real fancy, you can crumble feta or blue cheese on top if you have it.</p> <h3>11. Pork Chop With Sautéed Cauliflower and Raisins</h3> <p>You have to go to high-end market or butcher to get single slices of pork (or any meat, for that matter), so to cut costs, buy a pack of two chops and put one in the freezer. Pan fry or grill the chop &mdash; your preference &mdash; and serve along side steamed cauliflower and raisins. The latter may seem like an unusual combo, but trust me, it&rsquo;s good.</p> <h3>12. Mussels Provencal</h3> <p>I know what you&rsquo;re thinking &mdash; mussels are expensive. And, like most seafood bought in a large quantity, they can be. But if you&rsquo;re eating for one, you only need to purchase as many mussels as you think you&rsquo;ll consume; my recommendation would be 10 to 12. When you&rsquo;re ready to eat, <a href="http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/311/Mussels_Provencal44686.shtml">prepare the mussels with this recipe</a> that calls for ingredients that you probably already have on hand. This dish is a real treat for those who want to eat like a prince on the budget of a pauper.&nbsp;</p> <h3>14. Beef With Brown Rice and Gravy</h3> <p>This is a no-frills, very affordable dish that I used to make in college. My roommates would laugh at me because it&rsquo;s one of those meals that you eat when there is nothing left in the house, but I had the last laugh when it was in my belly. Stew meat, which is totally cheap, is what this dish calls for. Sauté the meat in olive oil, salt, and pepper while boiling one pouch of brown rice; I buy my fast-cook rice in pouches so it&rsquo;s perfectly portioned, by the way. Prepare the brown gravy from an instant mix as directed and pour over the combined beef and rice. The mix makes enough gravy for two, but I use it all. Mikey don&rsquo;t share his gravy.</p> <p><em>Have even more recipes or tips on how to make meals for one? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-tasty-and-cheap-meals-for-one">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/win-your-next-potluck-with-one-of-these-23-cheap-easy-potluck-dishes">Win Your Next Potluck With One of These 23 Cheap, Easy Potluck Dishes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-tasty-frugal-eggplant-recipes">14 Tasty, Frugal Eggplant Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-mostly-frugal-valentine-s-day-recipes">14 (Mostly) Frugal Valentine’s Day Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">23 Fantastic Uses for Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-portion-control-to-lose-weight">How to Use Portion Control to Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink eating healthy frugal recipes single people Wed, 25 Jan 2012 11:36:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 876842 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Fantastic Uses for Apples http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/I6fjdC-T6OigNU6R6rZ3mEg-IpixsYa_krRdHsI_Yos/mtime:1319713225/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple_on_head.jpg" alt="Woman with an apple on her head" title="Woman with an apple on her head" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="157" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, think of what you can do with a bushel. From apple desserts and ciders to potpourri and candles, here are 23 things you can do and make with apples this fall. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a>)</p> <h3>1. Carved Apple Candle Holders</h3> <p>What a festive way to add mood lighting to your home! This idea to make <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4493325_make-carved-apple-candle-holders.html">tealight candle holders with apples</a> is nothing short of amazing. Just cut a hole in the top of the apple, scoop out the fruit to a little more than one-inch deep, and pop in the candle without the foil lining. Once the candle has burned for 10 minutes, the melted wax will fill the hole so nobody will ever know your short-cut secret.</p> <h3>2. Shrunken Apple Heads</h3> <p>This isn&rsquo;t a particularly useful application for apples, but it&rsquo;s quirky, crafty, and fun. To make <a href="http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/3-things-to-do-with-apples-710710/">shrunken apple heads</a>, carve faces into the fruit and bake for three hours at your oven&rsquo;s lowest temperature. When you pull them out, let them sit for a few days in a warm, dry area. Once the apples are all shriveled up like skeleton and witch faces, decorate them with black beans for the eyes and dry white-rice grains for creepy teeth.</p> <h3>3. Infused Vodka</h3> <p>Why pay premium prices for fruit-infused vodka when you can play mixologist at home? This <a href="http://www.boulderlocavore.com/2011/01/apple-infused-vodka-how-to-make-your.html">recipe for apple-infused vodka</a> is so simple it practically makes itself. Just core and cut your favorite kind of apple and place them in a jar. Fill with medium-grade vodka, seal the jar, and let the apples soak for a few days up to two weeks. Once you&rsquo;re satisfied with the level of the vodka&rsquo;s infused flavor, drain the vodka into a bottle and discard the fruit. Bottoms up!</p> <h3>4. Apple Cider</h3> <p>Been to a farm this fall? If so, you know just how expensive a gallon of apple cider is. Cut costs for the fabulous fall treat by making it from scratch. You&rsquo;ll need about 36 apples, a food processor, and cheesecloth. Surprisingly, there&rsquo;s not much else to it. For detailed steps, check out this TLC post on <a href="http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/how-to-make-apple-cider.htm">how to make apple cider</a>.</p> <h3>5. Apple Butter</h3> <p>Another easy-to-make recipe for an otherwise expensive apple item. To <a href="http://chefinyou.com/2010/07/apple-butter-recipe/">make your own apple butter</a>, you&rsquo;ll need four pounds of Granny Smiths, fresh-pressed apple juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and assorted holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Prep time is under 15 minutes with cooking time under 30 minutes.</p> <h3>6. Applesauce</h3> <p>This <a href="http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/applesauce/">applesauce recipe</a> doesn&rsquo;t say how much it yields, so I don&rsquo;t know if it&rsquo;s cheaper to buy premade sauce or make your own, but it has to be much healthier than the former since you can control the types of apple you use (organic versus non-organic) and the amount of sugar. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand, which, in addition to three to four pounds of apples, include lemon peel, lemon juice, a cinnamon stick, dark brown sugar, white sugar, water, and salt. The final product will last up to one year in the freezer.</p> <h3>7. Apple Facial Mask</h3> <p>What can you do with that homemade applesauce recipe, besides eat it? You can turn it into a soothing facial mask when paired with cucumber, wheat germ, mint leaves, honey, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-uses-for-oats">oatmeal</a>, and more.</p> <h3>8. Apple Cinnamon Potpourri</h3> <p>To <a href="http://everydaymatters-patricia.blogspot.com/2007/09/holidays-are-coming-fast-and-it-will.html">make fresh apple-cinnamon potpourri</a>, you may need to take a quick walk through a nearby wooded area. After you&rsquo;ve dried your apple slices, you&rsquo;ll add ground cinnamon, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, canella or nandina berries, 10 small pinecones, and cinnamon oil. Red sumac berries &mdash; plentiful in the wild &mdash; are a great stabilizer for potpourri. When presented in a nice jar with a festive ribbon, this would make a great gift for the host of a fall dinner party.</p> <h3>9. Caramel Apples</h3> <p>You can make your own homemade caramel with this <a href="http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/how-to-make-caramel-apples-00412000068487/">recipe for caramel apples</a>, but I find it easier to buy the caramel squares and melt them down. They&rsquo;re less time-consuming and virtually foolproof. But if you want to go all out, definitely try this. The ooey-gooey beige caramel shines on the green Granny Smith apple. Before they set, add any number of toppings, from chopped nuts to crushed cookie and candy pieces.</p> <h3>10. German Apple Pancake</h3> <p>Frugally feed four with this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/german-apple-pancake/detail.aspx">recipe for a German apple pancake</a>, which is basically an apple tart in a skillet. If you think you might be pressed for time in the morning, you can prepare it the night before and pop it in the oven when you&rsquo;re ready to eat. Pair it with a side of bacon or sausage and spiked apple cider, and you&rsquo;ve got one hearty, satisfying brunch on a crisp, cool day.</p> <h3>11. Apple-Cranberry-Sage Chicken</h3> <p>Just looking at the picture for this <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/apple-cranberry-sage-chicken/e2f68eaf-5652-4295-a5f1-4625f4c1e560">apple-cranberry-sage chicken recipe</a> made my mouth water. It&rsquo;s one of those semi-homemade recipes that calls for grape jelly, butter, a red cooking apple, celery, cranberries (fresh or thawed), Bisquick, ground sage, dried thyme, water and, of course, chicken. Less than 10 minutes in the skillet then about 45 minutes in the oven, and you&rsquo;ll have yourself a delicious and juicy weeknight meal.</p> <h3>12. Ripen Green Tomatoes</h3> <p>Backyard tomato harvesting is over for the year, but even if you get a green tomato at the grocery store you can use this method of <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/5-things/5-things-do-apples?id=2">placing it in a paper bag with an already ripe apple</a>. Over the course of a couple days, the apple will magically transfer its ripeness to the tomato.</p> <h3>13. The Ultimate Caramel Apple Pie</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m not sure you can ever go wrong with one of Tyler Florence&rsquo;s &ldquo;ultimate&rdquo; recipes. I haven&rsquo;t found a bad one yet &mdash; and this recipe for the <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/the-ultimate-caramel-apple-pie-recipe/index.html">ultimate caramel apple pie</a> is no exception. The thinly sliced apples are piled high inside a crisp crust along with fresh vanilla bean, red wine, cinnamon, heavy cream, and butter. As Ina Garten would say, &ldquo;How bad can that be?&rdquo; Although I guess it depends on your diet.</p> <h3>14. Apple Juice</h3> <p>Kids and adults alike love apple juice, which is why this <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2224418_make-apple-juice.html">recipe for fresh apple juice</a> is perfect for the whole family. It&rsquo;s not exactly easy, but putting in the time will save you cash on pricey, sugary store-bought juice. You&rsquo;ll need a juicer for this, so that might be prohibitive, but the end result will be worth it. Besides, Christmas is coming. Maybe the juicer is something to put on your list.</p> <h3>15. Apple Cider Vinegar</h3> <p>Just the thought of apple cider vinegar brings back memories from childhood of when my family would have a pig pickin&rsquo; (that is, roast a whole pig for everyone to share at a big barbecue &mdash; soooo good!) and putting apple cider vinegar on the pulled pork. This <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_6185830_make-apple-cider-vinegar-yourself.html">recipe for apple cider vinegar</a> is moderately easy, but it&rsquo;s not one you can enjoy right away. You have to let the vinegar ferment for at least a month. The upside is that there&rsquo;s no apple peeling or coring involved. The apple flavor is derived from unpasteurized apple cider.</p> <h3>16. Soften Brown Sugar</h3> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t have a <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/5-things/5-things-do-apples?id=3">stiff brown sugar problem</a>? I have a bag of brown sugar in my pantry that&rsquo;s hard as a rock right now. Instead of tossing it, I plan to pop in an apple slice for a day or two until the brown sugar returns to its original soft state.</p> <h3>17. Creamy Apple-Cinnamon-Raisin Oatmeal</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re making oatmeal out of a package, you&rsquo;re doing it all wrong. Homemade oatmeal is almost as easy to make &mdash; and it&rsquo;s much better for you. This <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/creamy-apple-cinnamon-raisin-oatmeal/detail.aspx">recipe for creamy apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal</a> doesn&rsquo;t leave much to the imagination &mdash; maple syrup and brown sugar are the two other ingredients &mdash; but it will pleasantly surprise your tastebuds.</p> <h3>18. Pumpkin-Apple Muffins</h3> <p>Two fall faves in one recipe! These brown beauties, chock full of apple chunks, have all the seasonal flavor you crave. This <a href="http://www.sweethappylife.com/2011/easy-family-recipes/pumpkin-apple-muffins/">recipe for pumpkin-apple muffins</a> combines canned pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie mix), white and brown sugars, olive oil, and lots of fragrant spices &mdash; and they&rsquo;re ready in about 30 minutes.</p> <h3>19. Green Apple Slaw</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s another recipe down this list for apple barbecue sauce, so here&rsquo;s what I want you to do. When you&rsquo;re done fermenting your apple cider vinegar with the recipe above, prepare pork shoulder (easily done in a slow cooker), which will later become pulled pork. Combine the pulled pork with the apple barbecue sauce and pile it high on a toasted bun. Served that yummy sandwich with a side of this <a href="http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/green-apple-slaw-688793/">green apple slaw</a>, which features Granny Smiths, raisins, and pecans. When you&rsquo;re done, send me a message about how that meal sent you into a tailspin of foodphoria.</p> <h3>20. Keep Cakes Fresh</h3> <p>To <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/5-things/5-things-do-apples?id=1">keep cakes fresh</a>, store them with half an apple. Like putting a slice of bread in a cookie tin, the apple will help keep the cake moister than storing it in the fridge.</p> <h3>21. Apple Barbecue Sauce</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s too much goodness in this <a href="http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/specials/foliage/galleries/applesnowwhat?pg=2">recipe for apple barbecue sauce</a> to list, but you know when Worcestershire sauce is involved, it&rsquo;s got to be good. If you want to know what to do with the finished product, see number 16 on this list.</p> <h3>22. Apple Black Bean Salsa</h3> <p>I never would have thought of using apples this way, but I&rsquo;m always game for a little Mexican flair at dinnertime. This <a href="http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/specials/foliage/galleries/applesnowwhat?pg=9">recipe for apple black-bean salsa</a> calls for plum tomatoes, diced apples, lime juice, a jalapeno pepper, red onions, and black beans. So delicioso, right? Perhaps this is the perfect side for pulled-pork quesadillas?</p> <h3>23. Remove Excess Salt From Soups and Casseroles</h3> <p>Added too much salt to your soup? Don&rsquo;t fret. <a href="http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/5-things/5-things-do-apples?id=4">Place a few apple slices in the mix</a> a few minutes before it&rsquo;s finished. They&rsquo;ll suck up the extra <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-uses-for-salt-besides-seasoning">salt</a>, and no one will ever know your boo-boo.</p> <p><em>Have even more ideas on how to cook and craft with apples? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-things-you-can-make-with-an-ice-cube-tray">14 Cool Things You Can Make With an Ice Cube Tray</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/out-of-the-frying-pan-24-unusual-uses-for-butter">Out of the Frying Pan: 24 Unusual Uses for Butter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink Home affordable recipes apples autumn crafts eating healthy Thu, 27 Oct 2011 10:36:26 +0000 Mikey Rox 763150 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use Portion Control to Lose Weight http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-portion-control-to-lose-weight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-portion-control-to-lose-weight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/U3y6KtLJgwshCByhpYHu2PAzW4nVNDnIHRqbEhWQ8J8/mtime:1315821871/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating_chips2.jpg" alt="Man with a bag of Doritos" title="Man with a bag of Doritos" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="152" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult in our &quot;fast food nation&quot; where many restaurant servings are enough for three people. Even if you try to follow <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/portion-control/NU00267&amp;slide=2">recommended serving guidelines</a> for the major food groups, controlling your portion sizes is a start to ensuring that you aren't eating too much and, ultimately, losing weight.</p> <p>Keep in mind that exercise and a balanced diet must be part of any weight loss plan. As you probably know, fad diets and diet plans that are seemingly effortless rarely work. Simply watching what you eat is a time-tested way to lose weight. Portion control also promotes healthier eating habits and a healthy attitude toward food and dieting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">Fitness for People Who Hate Exercise</a>)</p> <p>Here are some ways in which you can start sizing down rather than super-sizing your meal portions.</p> <h3>Use Smaller Plates</h3> <p>One of the best ways to control how much you eat is to use the &quot;smoke and mirrors&quot; method. If you are cooking at home, serving your meals on smaller plates will ensure you are not overeating. Pay attention to how much you put on your plate when serving food. Most people tend to fill the plate, so until you are more aware of your portion sizes, simply use a smaller dish. If you are dining out, this can be tricky, but you can always split an entree with your dining partner to cut down your portions and your bill.</p> <h3>Measure Out Your Food</h3> <p>If you want to be precise about your serving sizes, the best way to make sure you aren't eating more than the recommended amount is to use measuring cups and spoons. You can also purchase bowls and cups that have measurements right on them to make it easier, or you can just reuse bell jars and other food or drink containers that have built-in measurements.</p> <h3>Use Visual Guides</h3> <p>The Mayo Clinic recommends <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/portion-control/NU00267&amp;slide=3">using visual cues</a> for maintaining portion sizes. This is a quick and easy way to determine if you are eating healthy amounts, especially if you don't have time or the desire to measure out your portions. Try to use cues that are versatile and you will remember easily. A golf ball, for instance, is about the same size as some of the common standard servings &mdash; 1/4 of a cup of nuts, 2 tablespoons of salad dressing, or 1 oz. of dried fruit. It also helps to know if you are getting enough of the right kinds of foods, so check out the Mayo Clinic's <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/portion-control/NU00267&amp;slide=3">recommended serving guidelines</a>, or ask your doctor what he or she recommends.</p> <h3>Keep a Food Diary</h3> <p>Many doctors and nutritionists will tell you that keeping a food diary is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. This does take some extra discipline, but if you have trouble being consistent, try using a notebook that is small enough to carry around with you. Pick one that looks visually appealing to you, or decorate it to make it more personal &mdash; anything that you will be more drawn to using. And if you are a gadget geek, you can even find <a href="http://www.myfooddiary.com/?source=g_fs_mfd&amp;OVKEY=my%20food%20dairy&amp;gclid=CNKYouKdjqsCFc9n5QodeFcG8Q">fancy electronic diaries</a> that do everything except eat for you. No matter how you choose to keep track of your daily food intake, just remember to list everything you eat, including how many servings and the total number of calories (as accurately as possible).</p> <h3>Read Labels</h3> <p>You might be surprised at what is considered a standard serving size, particularly if you are not a label reader. There are four servings in just one pint of Ben &amp; Jerry's, for instance, and at 260 calories per serving, you will have consumed 1,040 calories if you polish off the pint in one sitting! That is over two-thirds of the amount of daily calories recommended for many people. If you aren't sure how many calories you need, you can easily find a <a href="http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/calculators/calories-required/">calorie calculator</a> that will determine how much you need to consume per day depending on your body type and lifestyle. Even if you aren't strict or precise about your serving sizes, it does help to be more aware of the serving sizes on food labels.</p> <h3>Don't Drink From the Carton</h3> <p>In addition to being aware of serving sizes, you are less likely to polish off that pint of ice cream if you don't eat right out of the container. How many times have you opened a bag of chips and suddenly realized you've just eaten the entire bag? While it may help to stay away from junk food if you are trying to lose weight, sometimes you do have to treat yourself. Use a dish for everything. Even healthy food or drinks can add a lot of calories to your diet if you aren't aware of how much you are consuming. So follow mom's orders, and don't drink milk from the carton.</p> <h3>Divide Snacks Into Smaller Portions</h3> <p>Eating right out of the bag can be dangerous, but you don't necessarily have to use a plate. Next time you open a large container of snacks, try immediately dividing the contents (chips, cookies, nuts, etc.) into individual servings in plastic bags or containers. Even pastries and other baked treats tend to be twice the size of what is recommended (a baseball for muffins and cupcakes), so they can be divided and placed into bags as well. Not only will this method keep your snack portions under control, it will also keep them fresher longer, and it saves time when packing lunches and snacks for work or school.</p> <h3>Take Leftovers Home</h3> <p>Most people don't want to waste food, which may be one of the reasons we tend to eat way too much when dining out. Use your visual cues to determine if you've just been served more than a reasonable amount of food (if you live in the U.S., most likely you have). Don't be afraid to ask the server to wrap it up. Plus, it's also a great way to budget food costs if you think of going out to eat as two meals in one. Even if you are eating at home, don't think you have to eat everything on your plate if you accidentally served yourself too much. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-strategies-for-using-your-leftover-food">Leftovers</a> are a great way to stretch your meals and your dollar, and save time by adding another day that you don't have to cook.</p> <h3>Slow Down!</h3> <p>Whether you are dining out or eating in, slowing down while you eat will serve you (no pun intended) in a number of ways. When you eat more slowly, your stomach has time to tell your brain when it is full; therefore, you will eat less. Chewing slowly also improves your digestion, as it increases saliva production and gives your digestive tract more time to process the food. Slowing down ultimately increases your enjoyment of the meal, and in the end, a happy eater is a healthy eater.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-portion-control-to-lose-weight">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hungry-have-a-drink">Hungry? 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