Tag Archive | Amazon.com

Quick, Nutritious Meals on The Go~ Intro

Eating on the Run

I had a request a while back when I thought I was going to start blogging regularly again. The request was for a post on snacks and meals for busy families that would be healthy instead of the usual grab-n-go fare.

There are several keys to maintaining nutrition while eating on the run.

  • First, preparation is important. Actually, I’d say, paramount. Without preparation, junk food and fast food will reign supreme and keep you from being as healthy as you want to be.Food Prep on Cutting Board

But you ask, “Wait, if I’m on the go, I have to grab what’s handy in the cupboard or at the drive-through.” Not if you prepare. If you know that you are generally on the go, then create snack bags for yourself and your family. When I say snack bags, I’m not talking about candy, cookies, or chips. I’m talking fresh fruit and veggies that you have already portioned out that you can take or baggies of dried fruit and nut mixes, cheese sticks, or crackers and peanut butter.

Then you say, “Not just snacks. What about meals? They require more time and prep.”

  • This leads me to the second key: have the tools on hand to help cut down your prep time and work. To which there are several tools and tricks that will help.

Crock Pot

Owning a slow cooker or crock pot is one helpful tool to get a healthy meal on the table without too much fuss. The food goes in before you leave for work and is ready to serve when you get home, so you can feed yourself and your family then get to any extracurricular activity on time. And slow cooker meals can be portioned out in freezer bags so that all you have to do in the morning is dump it into the crock pot, but again this takes forethought and preparation. So take a day to experiment. Get the ingredients for the meals you want to make, portion into freezer bags enough for at least 4 servings, and freeze them. All the chopping, peeling, and cutting is done, then all you have to do is pull them out when you need them. Follow this link to get started experimenting with your crock pot.

Rice Cooker

Another handy tool is a rice cooker. Most only take about 10-15 minutes to cook rice or other grains, such as quinoa, so you can heat up some soup, beans, lentils, or meat of some kind to complement the rice and have a meal that way. And remember to get your greens, heat up some fresh, frozen, or canned veggie to go along with the meal.

As far as tricks, this plays into preparation. Store cut lettuce in a gallon sized storage back and then your toppings in plastic containers, so you can grab and build a salad in a minute or two. Also, if you like canned fruits and veggies, this cuts down on prep time and can still be nutritious. I, personally, prefer frozen or fresh produce to canned. Though, canned beans, tomatoes, and soups can still be found in my grocery cart.

  • The third key is to buy produce in-season (this will help those here in the USA: http://www.eatwellguide.org/i.php?id=Seasonalfoodguides) . This will save you money and adds to the level of nutrients that you’re actually getting. (Also, consider supporting your local farmers market as an option for getting your in-season produce.)

In Season Produce

You say, “But fresh stuff is more expensive than the packaged stuff.” Generally, this is true, but when an item is in season it becomes much more economical to purchase. Take for example, citrus fruit. By mid-summer prices have gone so low that most stores offer multiples for a price (i.e. 10 for $1 on limes or 5 for $1 on lemons or 3 for $1 on oranges- all really good buys). Now, a word of caution, only buy what you will actually consume, so you aren’t wasting food or your money. Again, this takes some forethought. Plan your meals based on what you’d like to buy that’s in season.

Honestly, there’s no sure-fire way to make meals any quicker than 20-30 minutes and still keep them fresh and nutritious. But these are the things that I do when I know I’m gonna be on the go. Actually, I do the second and third regularly, not just when I’m in a rush. And there are plenty of books out there of people who have figured out their own tricks and solutions, like this one on Amazon.com.

Now, I realize I’ve been pretty general in this posting, but I did so with the intent of doing follow up articles with specific meal suggestions that are healthy and filling to get you where you need to go. Until next week, experiment with the preparation process and see what you can come up with that works for you and your family. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a great week!

Cozy up to a Kindle or Settle into the Nook? THAT is the question!

For the past several years, I have toyed with the idea of purchasing an eReader of some sort. Yet, because I’m not a big fan of phasing out “real” printed books, I’ve hesitated. Some of my family swear the Kindle is the best, while others insist the Nook is better. So the question remains, which of these two is the better eReader?

To answer that, I looked up the specs for the Kindle Touch and the Nook Simple Touch. Each make bold claims about being the lightest, fastest, and a host of other attributes. In order for me to make my decision on which I believe offers the best product, I need to do an item by item comparison. The following lists detail how they stack up to one another:

The Same or Similar Features:

Kindle Touch Nook Simple Touch
-7.5 oz., 6” screen -7.5 oz., 6” screen
-$99 (w/ads), $139 (w/o ads) -$99 (“No annoying ads”)
-Get books in 60secs with built in WiFi. -Simply claims to download in “seconds”.
-Borrow books from your local Library -Can do the same
-EasyReach touch technology, tap to turn pages. -Can do the same
-Read (even) in bright sunlight -Boasts “Best Text” and says no glare.
-600×800 pixel resolution, 16-level gray scale -Same
-Over 1 million titles to choose from. -Over 2.5 million titles to choose from.
-800,000 books $9.99 and under. -“Most $9.99 or less”
-Free out-of-copyright books (pre-1923) -Didn’t specify, but probably can get too.
-Free book samples -Free samples as well.
-Free wireless book delivery -Didn’t specify, but probably the same.
-WiFi AT&T hot spots access -Same
-Ready to use right out of box with QuickStart Guide -Also, has a QuickStart Guide.
-Adjustable text size. -Same
-Similar feature to Nook -Share content with friends with LendMe.
-Wide selection of accessories -Wide selection of accessories
-Charge with USB microConnector or wall outlet. -Ditto
-Supported Graphics: JPG, GIF, PNG, & BMP -Supported Graphics: JPG, GIF, PNG, & BMP
-Xray feature, look up characters, historical figures, and interesting facts. -Similar feature.

The Biggest Differences:

-4GB memory, holds up to 3,000 titles -2GB memory, holds up to 1,000 titles with expandable memory card opt. up to 32 GB.
-2 month battery life from single charge with WiFi off and 1/2 hour daily reading. -2 month battery life from single charge w/ WiFi off and 1 hour daily reading.
-Battery charges in approx. 4 hrs. with USB connector through your computer. -Battery charges in approx. 3 1/2 hrs. with USB connector through computer.
-Supports Text-to-Speech, Audiobooks, MP3 -No Audio
-3.5mm stereo audio jack, rear mounted speakers -Nope
-Amazon Prime members choose from thousands of books to borrow for free. -Not that I saw. (other than the Public Library)
-Online Tech Support from Amazon.com -Free In-Store Tech Support at Barnes & Noble.
-Frustration free packaging. -No such boast.
-Free Cloud back up. “Never worry about losing” books -Doesn’t say.
-1 yr. Limited warranty -Didn’t specify.
-Email PDFs and personal documents to Kindle -Not sure.
-Supported Documents: AZW, TXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC, HTML, DOC, and DOCX. -ePUB and PDF
-Supported Audio: AA, AAX, and MP3 -None
-Whispersync allows for “Buy once, Read” on iPhone, iPad, Android devices, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, Mac, PC, or web browser with their free Kindle Reading Apps. -Syncs with smartphone and computer.
-Didn’t say. -Webster’s Dictionary loaded on the Nook
-Not sure. -Create/personalize your library with pictures, shelves, and bookmarks.
-micro USB port, not sure about SD slot. -Has both, micro USB port and SD slot.

This information has helped to make my final decision easier. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the Kindle’s features! I don’t care about the ads or the 1/2 hour differences on battery charging/life, would like the audio option and the document options. Plus, the warranty and free Cloud back up are bonuses.

I’m sold! 😀