I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the SPLENDA® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.
Just. want. to. eat. sugar.! Oh, I want something sweet. Dessert… I really want dessert.
No, try to be healthy. Go for a cheesestick, grapes, anything! Stop thinking about something sweet! It’ll just stick to your hips and waist! Don’t do it!
Ice cream, brownies, apple dumplings…
Sometimes the mental battle between wanting to be good (healthy) and satisfying that sweet tooth can be exhausting!
Over the last 18-months, our family has drastically cut down on sugar and upped our level of activity. But it’s hard to deprive yourself completely. We have found that having a sugar substitute like SPLENDA® to reduce added sugar is a great alternative and still let’s us have our cake and eat it too.
This summer, SPLENDA® is launching a Summertime Sweet Life campaign challenging us all that when bringing sweets to the table, try a sweet swap! Don’t give up the goods… just get up, get moving, and make smart choices!
Smart choices. It’s a loaded phrase, I know. Breaking down the ways we can make smart choices into body and food simplifies the process and gives us options to help us be our best!
The thought of having to exercise can be daunting like another thing on the to-do list. Trust me, I know. (If this is you, you’ll appreciate the 11 Reasons I Love the Gym!)
Rather than scheduling exercise, schedule family time or doing things you enjoy. They don’t have to be BIG monumental things like a marathon. Any kind of activity that gets your body up and moving makes a difference! Consider these ideas:
- Take a dance class… or my personal favorite, Zumba!
- Walk your pets
- Yoga (only poses within your comfort level)… relaxation yoga is amazing! Try it!
- Mat pilates
- Walk or run… grabbing a buddy to go with you is even better! Our family often goes on a walk/ride. Hubby & I walk and push our youngest in the stroller while our older boys ride their bikes ahead of us. They LOVE this and it’s great together time!
- Go swimming or do water aerobics
- Garden… pulling weeds can really be quite a workout!
- Choose the stairs over taking the elevator
- Clean your home indoors/outdoors
- Play with your kids… a game of t-ball or kicking a soccer ball is a great way to get active and it makes memories the kids will remember for years!
Our family loves to ride bikes. We chose to get active one beautiful Sunday afternoon by biking the local arboretum with some of our best friends. It was wonderful biking with our buds!
The arboretum’s rolling hills provided a challenge as we towed children behind us on tag along bikes or in child seats. And for the oldest two boys who took turns switching between the stand alone bike and the tag along, the hills seemed like mountains. Yet the beauty of nature and intoxication of fresh air made those grueling moments not so bad, especially when friends were awaiting you at the hill’s crest.
I found an interesting article from USDA.gov that surveyed how much time Americans spend eating. “On an average day (2006-2008), Americans age 15 or older spent 67 minutes in primary eating and drinking. An additional 23.5 minutes were spent eating while doing something else considered primary, and 63 minutes were spent drinking beverages while doing something else.”
Between the time we spend eating, thinking about what we’re going to eat or prep for cooking, and planning activities around food (cookouts, dinner out, birthday parties), food can really consume our thinking.
So how can you make smart food choices?
- Consider how you eat. Do you primarily eat at the table? Do you eat with family? Are you a grazer? I found it interesting that the above mentioned article pointed out that those who eat/drink in front of the television tend to have a higher BMI. Another great reason to get up and get active!
- Be more mindful of the ingredients you use in recipes. Try finding new ways to make your favorite sweet treats by substituting refined sugar with SPLENDA® or natural sugars like honey and fruit. (BTW… did you know you can save more than 600 calories just by swapping one cup of sugar for one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetner?!)
- Learn portions. Yah, this is a hard one. If I had my choice, I would devour an entire cheesecake in one setting. But we all know one portion controlled size is a smarter choice. It’s that way with ALL foods. It’s amazing how unhealthy sauces, drinks, and processed food can be. Don’t deny yourself, just enjoy in moderation.
- Track the food you eat. Want to know how many calories, fats, carbs, sodium, sugar or protein you’re consuming? Nothing is more eye opening than tracking it. There are so many great food trackers online now. Just Google “food tracker” and pick your favorite one (many are available as an app too). It will really make you consider what you’re putting in your body once you see the honest truth.
- Find websites and blogs with healthy recipes… and visit them often! Every Friday on Makeovers & Motherhood is our Food Friday featuring tips, tricks, and recipes to healthier, sugar-free, lower calorie options of your favorite foods. Or check out SweetSwaps.com! So many delicious recipes there too!
Remember that making smart choices doesn’t just affect you… it affects those you love too. Your kids. Your spouse. Your family. Your friends. So don’t be embarrassed to ask them to join you in making smarter choices. Have fun getting active together. Or try out a new recipe on them… like the Pomegranate Spritzer recipe I found on SweetSwaps.com (found under the Entertaining category)!
Every year after my boys’ finish the school year, I invite their whole class over for a playdate. Unfortunately, us moms got rained out of a t-ball game with our kiddos, but we were able to enjoy a glass of the Pomegranate Spritzer together!
AND… we even took the Pomegranate Spritzer on our bike ride. I simply mixed all the ingredients together (except the seltzer water) into an extra water bottle. I put the water bottle, 2 cans of lime seltzer water, and 4 plastic cups into our backpack. After we journeyed 6 miles of bike trails, we found the perfect place to relax and mix up our drinks… a bench overlooking one of the arboretum’s ponds. Kids had their snacks. Parents enjoyed a refreshing spritzer together.
Whether you are the host entertaining a group of friends at home or you’re out having fun on-the-go, smart food choices should be a priority. It’s all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having fun along the way!
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