Permimeter Shopping!!

She LOVES shopping!

Save Money AND Get Healthy By Shopping the Perimeter!

Buy Fresh and Feel Better
Did you make a New Years Resolution this year? Perhaps you vowed to Get Healthy,To Lose Weight, or to Save Money. Studies show that only 8% of those who make resolutions are successful. There is one way to do do all three in one easy step. Try Perimeter Shopping at the Grocery!
You may never have noticed but you will certainly see it next time you walk around your grocery store.....The GREAT stuff is around the outside perimeter of the store. As you read this, picture your favorite grocery store as a square. I would bet that in 95% of the cases, you have the produce section, meat, seafood, and dairy sections around the outside of the square. Now...think of the inside of your visual square...that's where they get you. The inside of your square is filled (just like a donut) with fat laden, rich, and tempting goodness. Their alias...convenience foods.

There are many books, diets, and fitness outlets who promote perimeter shopping. Avoiding those tempting inner aisles will not only steer you in a cheaper direction but also one filled with fresh-healthier meal options!

Here is the ingredient list for a popular brand of flour tortillas: Cost for 10- $2.89
The homemade version....made with only things i can spell and pronounce!
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Rioboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (interesterfied Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with Monoglycerides), Glycerine, Corn Syrup Solids, Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Baking Powder (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Calcium Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Potassium Fumaric Acid, Sorbate, Calcium Propionate, Monoglycerides, Dough Conditioner (Sodium Metabisulfite).
Do you even know what dough conditioner is????
My favorite tortilla recipe: Cost for 10-under $1
flour, salt, water, baking powder, oil

If you plan to try this shopping method on your next grocery had better know going in that it WILL involve you cooking from scratch! This means that you are in charge for once of what is going into your body.

Tips for Perimeter Shopping:
  1. Make a list before you go of meals that you love and that you would like to try making!
  2. Plan a week's worth of menus. Try to plan for items that can be used more than once....For instance- make homemade tomato soup--the next day, make the leftovers a sauce for a whole wheat pizza or for fresh Italian vegetables or to serve over grilled chicken. You will use the same ingredients so there will be no need to overbuy!
  3. Cook smart! Who has time to cook from scratch every night after work? Place a roast in the crockpot on day 1....Day 2- add some spices and use the roast in whole wheat tortillas! If your roast is big enough to make it to Day 3- add veggies and beef stock and you have vegetable soup!
  4. Make A LIST!!! Know what you are buying BEFORE you visit the grocery.
  5. Stock up on handy snack replacements for craving time. Sweet and Salty! Choose strawberries and salted nuts....or whatever you like!
  6. Don't stray from the plan!! Avoid the freezers and confections aisle unless you really need to go down it.
  7. Careful in the Dairy Section!Try to choose hard cheeses, organic items, and yogurts. Boost your protein intake by choosing greek yogurts! They contain double the protein of regular yogurt!
NOTE: Many grocery stores have caught on to this and placed a trap for you! The Bakery section is now conveniently located on the outside and usually near to the checkout! Impulse shopping at its best. Buy smart when hitting this section. They offer fresh baked whole wheat bread, rolls, and bagels too....not just donuts and cakes!

Some of the veggies my kids WOULDN'T EAT before we started cooking from scratch and trying new things!Not only will avoiding cardboard boxes save you money, but it will also force you to eat healthier. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are known to be full of vitamins and minerals and each add benefits to your health. SOME of these nutrients are lost during the packaging when they are used in ready-made foods. They also contain powerful antioxidants, which play a hand in free radical absorption. Free radicals are damaging compounds that raise the risk for chronic diseases.
Benefits of Perimeter Shopping!
  • GET HEALTHY! Since you are now cooking from scratch, you will be more aware of what you are adding to your meals (remember the tortillas)!
  • GET INVOLVED! Getting the family involved. Making menus together and preparing the items is so much better than --open bag, boil, and serve!
  • SAVE MONEY! Think about a can buy one in the freezer case for $4-$5. Make it yourself and you will make a much better pizza for about $2. Yes...its only $2 but think about it as $2 per item! A bag of fries is about $2.50...peeling a WHOLE BAG potatoes and baking your own fries less than $1! It adds up
  • FEEL BETTER! The rule is certainly true. You eat with your eyes. You will automatically be attracted to the brightly colored fruits and vegetables instead of the picture on the box of oozing cheese! This means better food goes into your body!
Is my family perfect? No way. I have 5 young kids so of course I have some convenience items. I also will note that since I have been shopping the perimeter, they are eating better and they love getting involved and making foods from scratch. They also prefer homemade pizzas to the boxed ones now! Its a game to see a restaurant item advertised on tv or a billboard and figure out how to make it ourselves!

Next time you visit your grocery try to live on the "edge"....It will save you money, save you time, and get you on the track to healthier eating!

How to Make Healthy Homemade Tortillas

Healthy Homemade Tortilla Recipe!

Healthy, Easy, and Tasty...and only 5 ingredients!

You will never buy storebought AGAIN!

As a low carb dieter, I am always craving carbs on my cheat days. I still try to avoid white flour on and have found that the wheat tortillas sold at the store are expensive and lack flavor. I have recently began homemaking noodles, crusts, and pretty much everything else so why not tortillas?
I went on a search for the perfect homemade wheat tortilla recipe. I found many but they didn't seem to work well for me so I continued to tweak the recipe until I had the one that I felt was the best. This recipe is quick, easy, and great for thrift people like me! The store bought tortillas will cost anywhere between $3 and $5 depending on the brand...10 wheat tortillas cost me less than $1.

The BEST part about making these tortillas at home is that you can add your favorite flavoring to make them extra special! Try adding cilantro, chili powder, garlic salt, sun dried tomato paste...or anything else you can think of!

Enjoy making your homemade tortillas and eating them!

Finished Product

They may not look perfect but they taste AMAZING!
They may not look perfect but they taste AMAZING!

Cook Time

Prep time:
Cook time:
Ready in:
Yields: 10 tortillas


  • 3 Cups Flour, Wheat or works with white
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil, vegetable or canola
  • 1 cup water, hot
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • to taste SEASONINGS, your choice

Get your hands dirty!

  1. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add the oil and get your hands dirty! Incorporate the oil until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add 1 cup of hot water and mix with your hands until a ball develops. You should let this ball rest for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Pull off a bit of the dough and roll it out until it is pretty flat. These don't need to be perfect circles BUT if you must have a perfect circle- simply use an upside down plate and a pizza cutter. Lay the plate (one smaller than your rolled out circle) upside down on the rolled out tortilla and trace with the pizza cutter! Presto...perfect circle!
  3. Simply place this in a warm skillet that is set on medium-high (I spray mine with cooking spray but it isn't necessary). You will see the air pockets taking shape as it cooks. When it becomes golden on the cooking side - flip it over! You will be left with a beautiful golden tortilla!

Have Leftovers? Want to make them for all week?

Leftovers can be refrigerated in a plastic storage bag or container and warmed in the microwave when you are ready to use them. Make a big batch so you have them whenever you need a quick snack!

Losing Weight on a Low Carb Vegetarian Diet!

Losing Weight on a Low Carb Vegetarian Diet!

I must start this article by stating that I am not any type of medical professional nor do I profess to be highly knowledgeable about the exact amounts of vitamins and nutrients your body needs. I am simply a mother of 5 children who as always worked a more than full time job and one who needed to lose a bit of weight.
I have been a vegetarian for 5 years or so and did at first have a significant weight loss. As I started my trek into the vegetarian lifestyle I went for the healthiest options and while I am not a fan of most vegetables out there (long list of dislikes) through exploration, I found many vegetables that I loved and was also excited to learn and develop my meatless cooking skills. I can't tell you how many times I tried to pass off tofu for meat to my family! Epic Fail! Well, as time passed and the number of my children in the home diet made a change to what I lovingly call a "BAD-Vegetarian". I quickly realized that cooking 2 separate meals wasn't always going to happen. So I progressed to only eating side dishes like rice or mashed potatoes with a dinner roll as my meal. I ended up with full plates of CARBS! Mashed potatoes, rice, corn, bread and cheese were the mainstays of my diet. After many holiday functions..I also learned that desserts were almost always vegetarian therefore safe. On a side note- I would like to thank the person who started the Bacon-dessert trend...turns me off just to see it but I imagine its fantastic. After the holiday meals, the gift baskets, cookie plates, and birthday celebrations were all said and done, I realized that I couldn't even call myself a "bad-vegetarian". I was now a "COOKIE-TARIAN". So, needless to say, the weight began to creep back on.

I had no clue what to do. I was increasing my gym trips to 2 a day. I was reducing my calories to less than 900 a day and still there was no positive scale movement. I understand that you can add muscle, its heavier than fat, and that can add weight but that wasn't the case. I realized the problem was HOW I was eating my calories. I am not the best at measuring and tracking so I signed up for an online program where I was able to better gauge what I was eating. Yes, I was eating a low calorie diet but very high in still gaining. I tried the well known fat-burners, diet pills,weight loss shakes, and even herbal weight-loss remedies...STILL GAINING!

After some thought, I decided to go back to the only diet that ever worked for me-the low-carb diet. I was able to lose a lot of weight (about 40 pounds) that way when I was a meat-eater! I was never one of those "bacon&cheese only" dieters so I was able to execute the low-carb diet in a healthy way. My only concern was that I knew that being a low carb-vegetarian (who hates most vegetables) would require a little more thought. Hey- I had nothing left to lose other than weight.

By following the Lifestyle (I call it it this because for me it wasn't a quick-fix! I needed to make positive long-term changes), I was able to drop 20 pounds. I still exercised a few times a week but it mostly was all diet related. I avoided all carbs initially then re-introduced them after the weigt-loss on a limited basis. Here are some of the tricks that I learned along the way as well as a sample day for me. I would certainly consult a doctor before trying any weight loss program and especially before making the move to a low-carb or vegetarian lifestyle!
  • I learned that it was pretty expensive to buy the low-carb and vegetarian products on the shelves at the store. So, used them sparingly. I also note that they are pretty over-processed and some not that tasty anyway! Making your own dressing and buying fresh items (bigger yields) was healthier and cheaper!
  • To track success, you can purchase Ketone test strips. These are usually used by diabetics to track their sugar. They look for Ketones which in short are the result of the body burning fat for energy or fuel. I plan to go more in depth about these in my next blog. Basically, they let you know that the diet is working!
  • Eat safe foods until you are full. Try to avoid over-snacking. Once you are used to the diet, you can add in more snacks.
  • Don't eat late and DON'T SKIP MEALS!
  • GIVE THE DIET AT LEAST 3 DAYS! The first three days of a low-carb diet are the worst! After that, your body seems to regulate.
  • Take a weekend off every 10 days or so. Also, don't be afraid to have a cheat meal every few days! This is more of a lifestyle than a diet and missing out on important events like a birthday or office party aren't part of lifestyle plans for me!
  • On salad dressing--I prefer to make my own. Ranch and other creamy dressing are usually low in carbs but not always the best for you. A little vinegar, oil, and seasonings Goes a LONG WAY.
  • Watch out for items labeled LOW-FAT!!! These usually get extra flavor from sugar which isn't a fat but does become one in the body. These are usually higher in calories and carbs. For instance---ranch dressing--its better to go for the full flavor version than the low fat. Look at the labels and it will make sense!
  • Eat for COLOR! If it's pale or white---it's likely a carb! Just kidding but it is kinda true!
  • Diet sodas are okay but go lightly!
  • If you accidentally over do it on a "carb-y" item. Head to the gym or get a jog in. It's okay! The long term goal is to get healthy!
  • Fresh and dried seasons are your best friend! They are all low in carbs. Also things like mustard and hot sauces are pretty safe. Sour cream is also low in carbs.
Some safe foods:
Asparagus, Onions (preferably red), Mushrooms, Green Beans, Certain Squashes, Cheese (in moderation) go for whole cheeses not processed, Cucumbers, pickles, Nuts (don't get the sugar coated ones:)) , SPINACH!, Peppers, broccoli, lettuce (again, go for the better ones like Bibb, romaine, endive, mixed greens), cabbage, mayo (sparingly for health), tomatoes, Celery, eggs, etc. , even Berries in moderation. Some people also add a small glass of milk at this meal.
Yes....a traditional low-carb diet allows for mayo, cheese, creams, BUTTER in any amount and it is true that you may still lose weight BUT again, this is a Lifestyle and adding that all day everyday can not be good for your heart and body!

Potatoes, Breads, Corn, Croutons, Chips, Crackers, Yogurts, Desserts, Sugars, Butternut and Acorn Squash, Carrots, Bananas, Most fruits actually are pretty sugary so avoid them in the initial weight loss portion, etc.
Sample Day for me:
Omelet (eggs, mushrooms, spinach, onions)
3 strawberries and tablespoon of peanut butter

a small amount of nuts and a few strawberries

BIG SALAD (load it up with safe foods)
Cup of Soup (I make my own-vegetarian french onion or chili (recipes to come later)

Veggies! Cucumbers, peppers, and broccoli with ranch dip and 2 ounces of cheddar cheese
Choose some safe foods sauteed in a little butter. Add a tablesppon of peanut butter, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes,and top with chopped peanuts if you want and its pretty darn good!
A few strawberries with a dollop of real whipped cream! Low-carb vegetarian isn't always bad!

This is just a sample of what I eat on a daily basis.Over the next few blogs, I plan to talk more about what you can eat and even give some recipes!

Making the switch to a low-carb vegetarian lifestyle isn't for everyone. For me, it was much easier than counting, measuring, and LIMITING MYSELF. It was so easy and unlike other diet and meal plans it was healthier, CHEAPER, and easier to maintain long term. I know that some people will question if I get enough protein...that's why I add the peanut butter and daily vitamins! I feel better and look better. After the initial loss, I added in black beans once a day and even a doughnut or bagel on occasion and haven't gained the weight back. I think this is why the diet works for me! I can eat with family and enjoy myself without counting numbers or bringing small pre-portioned salads!

I hope that my experience may help others who are struggling with weight loss and getting healthy. I think this lifestyle and even a HEALTHY low-carb diet for meat eaters is a great option! If you like your meat...add in meat on each meal. Stay with grilled lean meats like chicken, pork, fish, even a lean steak. Avoid the processed meats. You will get all of the benefits of a low-carb diet and not the added FAT that people sometimes add in---remember seeing the guy ordering the double bacon burger on a works for weight loss but can't be healthy in my opinion.

Remember that being LOW-CARB can be healthy!! Its not the LOW-CARB diet that it bad, it's what people have done to it. Follow this plan guideline and you will usually lose a pound a day while you are on the diet. If you have a cheat meal (in moderation...I mean a piece of pizza not a whole one) you may not lose your pound that day but you shouldn't add it either. Don't expect the results day one! As is typical with most plans, it will take a few days but I promise if you do it correctly, you WILL SEE RESULTS!
Good luck with the lifestyle and stay healthy!

See some of my easy recipes at

Losing Weight (and Getting My Sexy Back) With Flirty Girl Fitness

I must say that I remember seeing the commercials on MTV for Flirty Girl Fitness for the first time and I remember being shocked at the concept. I saw the workout as a bit on the racy side and assumed that it had little fitness value. C'mon, were you really going to lose weight gyrating around and popping your booty? I usually will not admit that I am wrong (just ask my husband) but I am here to state for the record that I, indeed, was WRONG.

I recently found myself (a 32 year old mother of 5 kids under 9) standing in the middle of my gym's aerobic's class feeling less than sexy and extremely out of place. I was attending all of the trusted method classes: Zumba; step aerobics; and dance aerobics. I quickly realized that I wasn't as coordinated as I used to be and I also wasn't getting the results that I wanted to see. The last straw came when I attended my step class and had to do 1 hour of step aerobics to Christmas tunes. Needless to say low impact and extremely boring. I was trying all of the diet supplements available both herbal remedies and enhancers but still no results...actually there was one- I was gaining weight! I was desperate to win my weight-loss war!
Well, the holidays kicked in and my gym time dwindled. I really didn't overeat or go crazy BUT I did end up skipping my workouts. They didn't seem like as much fun as I had thought they would be. If it's more like a chore to do it...then it isn't the right workout for me. I had to find something that could get me motivated. Something that would get me to enjoy the hour of my workout instead of dreading it. As if it were meant to be, I sat up late on a Saturday night and caught a commercial for Flirty Girl Fitness "Booty Beat" . This time, its didn't look like a racy looked like exactly what I needed. A chance to lose some weight and a chance to get back that "sexy" feeling.

I quickly found some Flirty Girl Videos online and tried them. I was HOOKED! Yes, I will also admit that the first time I "dropped it like it's hot"....I dropped and was stuck --but hey, we all have to start somewhere! I felt like I was dancing at the club and could feel the workout in my legs and in my core. The moves were easy to alter for lighter impact and all of the routines were set to fun and funky songs by today's top artists.
I quickly started to see results! I began seeing my jeans fit better and my booty was certainly toning up. Anxious for more, I went to the website for Flirty Girl Fitness I found out that they have many varieties of their workout! There is the "booty beat", The "Chair Dance" , "Video Vixens", "Hottie Body Boxing" , and even Pole Dancing aerobics kits. I think that the best part of what they offer is the "Teaser" collection. It allows you to sample the workouts buy purchasing 2 shorter videos for only $9.99. I have not been brave enough to get the pole kit but certainly see the pink boa in my future! They even offer videos online and they operate Flirty Girl Fitness Gyms.

To my surprise, I also found that I can attend a "Flirtification" to become licensed to teach the classes! I am so in! Will my first class laugh at me when I thrust my booty and pelvis around?...maybe. Do I care? I usually laugh at those who claim to be "empowered" by a workout or by something that they have done but in this case it truly fits the way I feel. While Flirty Girl Fitness was a little awkward at first, I settled right in, saw results, and got a bit of my sexy back.

I recommend this workout to anyone looking for a FUN way to lose weight! I also hope to be teaching it soon at a gym near you!