Swap the Salt

Salt, or sodium, is everywhere.

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It’s in our bread, sauces, cheese, processed foods such as deli meat and frozen dinners, canned soups, and condiments such as soy sauce, Tabasco and ketchup.

Ingesting too much salt can lead to hypertension, stroke, and every woman’s enemy..bloating

It’s important to keep our sodium intake to a healthy minimum, about 1500 mg a day. Here are some easy ways to swap the salt in your diet.

Read the labels

When purchasing items at the grocery store, read the ingredients on EVERYTHING

  • What is in your food?
  • How much sodium per serving?
  • Is there a better option?

Use Spices and Herbs in cooking

  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Mr. Dash Seasonings

etc…

combine spices to make taco, ranch, Cajun and onion flavors

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Make your own…

Salad dressings

  • Oil and Vinegar
  • Lime juice and cilantro
  • Fresh lemon with thyme basil and oregano
  • Fresh salsa

etc…

Soups

Pasta sauces

  • All pasta sauces are not created equal. Look for organic canned sauces like Walnut Acres, or make your own using Hunt’s and other Low Sodium options.

Frozen Meats

Chicken, and other frozen meats, have added salt to extend freshness and flavor. Read the ingredients and compare your options. Look for  lean cut, low sodium, and organic if possible. And no skin!

Bread

All bread has salt, but certain brands such as Ezekiel Low Sodium, is a great option.

Oatmeal

Purchase plain oats and add your own flavoring, such as unsalted nuts, fruit and honey.

Beans

If you cannot find low sodium options, rinse regular beans under cold water to rid access salt. Or, purchase bagged beans and cook yourself.

Tuna

Choose low sodium, packed in water, not oil.

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Add On’s

Watch your marinades, sauces and toppings such as pickles, vinegar peppers and olives.

Out to dinner.

  • Ask for no salt or lightly salted.
  • Steer clear of pasta dishes which are loaded with salty sauces. No greasy sides such as onion rings or French Onion soup.
  • Watch for high amounts of cheese and bacon on salads, and ask for dressing on the side.
  • Choose Water over Soda and watch your cocktail consumption.

Pass on the Margarita mixes, dirty martinis and scorpion bowls. Choose clear alcohol such as vodka, gin or tequila, and mix with Soda water, lemon, lime, or splash of fresh juice.

All of these small choices make a huge difference overall.

The important thing is to read labels, choose real, whole foods, go organic when possible,  and of course, exercise Smile 

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Battles

When life hands you Lemons…

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Cleanse Smile.

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And when Chobani sends you free samples of their new flavors to try…

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Battle them against each other.

Battle of the ‘Bani’s!

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Banana 2% vs. Pear 0%

Both delicious. Both satisfying. Both filled with real bites of fruit.

But there can only be one winner, and in my opinion, Pear 0% takes the prize.

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It’s refreshing, not overly sweet, and actually TASTES like pear…Which for a yogurt flavor, could get a little tricky.

Thank you to Chobani for helping make snacking healthy an easy part to our day.

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And for inspiring a new workout that pins our opposing muscles against each other for a quick and effective total body burn!

Body Part Battle

Make sure to use proper form and take breaks when you need to.

Enjoy!

Country Fest and Camping

I had the BEST time at Country Fest, and camping for the weekend with Matt and some friends.

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I made time for fitness…

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And fun

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morning coffee, night time Vodka

On our way to Gillette!

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The tour bus

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Let the fun begin!

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Tim McGraw!!

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Kenny Chesney!

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Kenny rockin’ his Boston Red Sox hat

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“drunk eyes”

Most amazing concert ever!!

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Hangover helper…

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Poolside Saturday afternoon…

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followed by a quick workout in the gym, and hanging by the fire for the rest of the night

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Caribbean and buffalo marinated steak tips, Caribbean sausage, lemon pepper chicken, corn and sweet potatoes

And of course…S’mores!

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It was perfect and I can’t wait till next year!

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A Year Ago Today…

A year ago today, I was sailing the Eastern Caribbean to the islands of Bahamas, St.Thomas and St.Maarten.

It was Matt’s first cruise and I was so excited to see his face light up when we boarded the ship. He was not expecting to walk into a legit floating hotel, and his eyes widened at the spectacular vessel.

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We explored the entire ship from the skating rink, to the rock climbing wall, to the wave rider.

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Then we got straight to business

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Our first stop was Coco Cay Bahamas, where we snorkeled and swam with beautiful tropical fish.

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Unfortunately, this was one of the only sunny days that we got. The rest of the week was overcast with scattered showers and thunderstorms. But, we made the best of it!

Our next stop was St. Thomas, which was a lot different that I had remembered from years before. The island seemed…less safe, to put things nicely. There was quite a bit of fighting going on among the locals and the tourist spots were not as clean as they had been during my previous visits. I was disappointed at the change.

However, St. Thomas is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Magens Bay. There is also some amazing shopping at the port, which Matt had to drag me away from Smile.

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me and mary st maartin

We also visited Coki Beach, where we snorkeled and enjoyed the lukewarm water surrounded by grass hills and tropical plants.

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Our Final stop was St. Maarten.

We went directly to Sunset Beach to watch the airplanes land at the airport across the street.

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It was definitely cool to see!

We then drove over to the French Side of the island and spent the day at Orient Beach. We rode jet ski’s, ate lunch and took some free shots with the bartender.

Free shots..what’s better than that?

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Once back in town, we spotted some mountain goats who were also trying to hide from the rain

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The rest of our trip was spent eating amazing food, gambling in the casino, watching hilarious shows and dancing the night away.

Formal Nights/Professional Photos

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Our Table Servers and Head Waiter

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Celebrating the last night

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Matt and I plan on booking another cruise in the future.

For our next big vacation, we will be traveling to ARUBA in April with my parents and brother/sister in law.  Aruba is one of my favorites places to visit and I cannot wait to go back!

As for right now, I am enjoying the summer months and excited for our weekend getaways, cookouts and lazy days.

Where are your favorite places to visit?

Dashing Through Disney

Monday was our last day in Florida and we spent the afternoon laying by the pool. We had intended on meeting up with our friends in the evening to bar hop the countries in Epcot, catch the Illuminations show at 9pm and then head over to the Boardwalk for a bit.

Around 5:00, Matt and I drove over to the Sheraton Safari Hotel to meet up with everyone and go down the snake water slide.

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Finally ready to go at 6:30, our relaxing evening had suddenly changed. One of our friends who lives in Florida was able to get us a hopper pass to all of the parks…For Free! This meant that we had 6 hours to run around Disney and do much as possible.

We strategized our plan, hoped in the car, and were off!

7pm-9:30 Epcot.

Visit the countries

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Ride Test Track

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Quick Photo Shoot

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Watch Illuminations / Down 3 glasses of Sauvignon Blanc

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9:45 – Hop on monorail to Magic Kingdom

See Fireworks

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Ride on Space Mountain

Catch The Electrical Parade.  I love Tinkerbelle!

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11:00-1am Grab a Bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s

Ride Rock n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror

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Buy Chocolate Covered strawberries and an Ice Cream Sundae to enjoy on the bus back to Epcot parking lot. (no pic Sad smile)

2am…Last cars left in the Epcot lot!

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2:15..Breathe again

We have all been to Disney multiple times before, so we knew which rides we wanted to hit. Even though we did not get to do much at each park, catching both firework shows and the electrical parade made up for it.

By the end of the night, our feet were throbbing. We had successfully done Disney World in 6 hrs. We got home around 3am and awoke by 6:30 to catch our 9am flight. I am beyond thankful that I have the rest of the week off.

 It was the perfect little vacation with lots of great memories, yummy food and PLENTY of exercise. We plan on visiting his grandmother again in the fall. This time, I’ll bring better shoes.