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It’s a new year and welcoming the new year usually means that we are all looking to work on resolutions, goals and in many cases, losing weight.  For me, trying to lose the weight and improve my health are a never ending journey but I am always so thankful for the little tidbits and tips I learn along the way.  While losing weight is great, to me – it’s all about improving my nutrition and overall health and today I’m excited to share with you a few tips that help me keep my body and mind in check.

When you are reassessing your health and nutrition goals for the year, the biggest advice I can give you is to make smarter choices but don’t completely strip your body or mind of the things you love.  Here are a few tips to help you on your journey:

1.)  Replace your sodas with flavored sparkling waters if you simply can’t give up the carbonation and fizz.  I am a huge water drinker and love it, but I’ve been told time and time again that eliminating soda is one of the hardest things for a person because sometimes it’s not the flavor you crave, but the fizzy.  By replacing your favorite soda with a Zero Calorie drink, you’ll be making a big difference in how you feel.  On average a 20oz soda has 66 grams of sugar – wowzers! When I need the fizzy bubbly drinks I crave (I’m a Pepsi lover by the way), I turn to Cascade Ice Sparkling Water.  Cascase Ice has no sugar, sodium, calories, gluten or caffeine.  Cascade Ice drinks come in so many fun flavors (my family and I have probably tried them all) and they can be purchased at most stores.

“I love my Pepsi and I’ll admit that from time to time, I’ll have a small sip to not only wet my whistle but quench that craving, but when it comes down to it – it’s rare.  Again the key to success in improving your nutrition is not to deprive yourself of the things you love but substitute them for healthier versions or cut down how much of it you consume.”

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2.)  Replace your white rice with Quinoa to give your taste buds a little variety and to add more fiber in your diet.  I love Quinoa and it’s something I can eat daily.  Transitioning to an “all Quinoa” diet for my family is not something we are ready to commit to yet, but it’s something we slowly incorporate into our meals.  White rice is a huge part of who we are as locals of the Hawaiian Islands.  Everyone eats white rice here and most local restaurants have it on their menu consistently.  But, that’s what I love about changing up your meals – there’s no need to complete omit and discard your favorite foods.  If you’re not sure that you like Quinoa, instead of eating it on its own – try mixing it with your white rice.  Just like with brown rice mixed with white rice (we call it “hapa rice” here in Hawaii) you can easily incorporate both to make it more tolerable for you and your family.  Like I said before – I love Quinoa, so I use it to top my salads or as a side to my favorite veggies and protein.  I also enjoy mixing it with vegetables or in a stir fry.  The options are endless.  I’ll try to post some of my favorite Quinoa dishes this year so you have a little inspiration.

Why Quinoa?  Quinoa has over 21% of the recommended daily intake of fiber while white rice only has 14%.  Quinoa also offers 50% more protein which makes it ideal for those days where you need the extra fuel.  Studies have shown that white rice is linked to obesity when consumed on a daily basis, but while I can’t give up my rice just yet – supplementing and replacing my rice with Quinoa is definitely something I can do.

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3.)  Substitute your favorite snack foods for a healthier alternative.  Oh – this one is absolutely my favorite tip of all.  Thankfully, I’m not a huge snacker and not someone who craves chocolate or candy often.  But, when I do – I’ll pull at anything and everything in the house to fill that craving.  Whether it be chips, cookies, cake or candy bars… if it’s in the house and I don’t have an alternative – I’ll eat it if the need and craving arises.  My suggestion – try taking out your stock of junk food in the house.  If you like to keep a candy bar or two around or a small bag of chips – hey, sometimes we need it, but eliminate shopping for them in bulk if at all possible.  Small portions are okay in moderation but if you feel the need to pick up a large bag of potato chips or fries, try going for something like Kale Chips or unsalted no butter popcorn.  I find that instead of candy or chips, I love snacking on carrots and broccoli with hummus.  Fried foods like chips are high in saturated fat and salt which can make you vulnerable to diabetes, among other diseases.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s okay to have a few of your favorite foods from time to time – but again, all in moderation and only enough to satisfy that taste – don’t over indulge.

Here’s the deal – at the end of the day, you will only truly improve your nutrition or diet if you put in the effort.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was the habits that you developed over the years.  I’m a believer that change never happens overnight, but making the effort to change – even if only a little at a time, makes a huge difference.  I  never believed in weight loss fads and diets (let’s just say I have been down that route and know how it worked or didn’t work for me), but I do believe in hard work, determination and one day at a time.  If your goal is to improve your nutrition, making little changes each day will make a huge different in the long run.

How about you?  Are you a healthy eater already?  If not, what steps can you take to change up your nutrition, diet and overall health?

Signature Honey


Disclosure:  Some of the products featured in this post were sent for editorial consideration for Honeygirlsworld.com.  This post may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details, an outline of my product review disclosures and policies, affiliate links, etc. please visit myDisclosures page. 

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As I sit here at my desk writing up this post, the sun is peaking through the clouds.  You see, we just experienced a heavy downpour due to a tropical storm in our midst, but even with the rain – it’s still quite hot and humid.  I honestly forgot to share this delicious recipe with all of you and decided I better hop on it and get it out before Fall approaches us and I completely forget altogether.  It’s been pretty warm lately here in Hawaii and while I do enjoy the summer months, I enjoy a great drink that just hits the spot to cool you down in a heartbeat.  Today I’ll be sharing with you a couple of easy to do recipes that are for drinks that are refreshing and light – perfect for the last of the summer months.  These drinks feature Cascade Ice and a few ingredients but they will be an absolute hit at your backyard BBQ or potluck or just to enjoy while sitting on the veranda enjoying the warm summer and what’s left of it.

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Let’s start with the Coco-Lemonade:

Let’s face it, a BBQ isn’t complete without some good ol’ fashion lemonade and it’s probably one of my favorite summer drinks.  This Coco-Lemonade is great and offers a fun little twist.  Start with a chilled glass full of ice and add 3 oz. of Cascade Ice Coconut and 4 oz. of Cascade Ice Lemonade.  Garnish with sliced lemons and a sugar rim for that sweet and tart taste and a little glam.  This is the perfect drink for the little ones because it’s refreshing and who doesn’t love a great lemonade.  Looking to spice it up a bit?  Add a shot of coconut rum to give it that pina collada twist with some lemon flare.  Garnish with coconut sugar and you have yourself a delicious drink.

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Cascade Ice offers a variety of delicious drinks for any BBQ or Summer Party (as well as year round).  Blueberry Watermelon, Strawberry Lemonade, Coconut, Lemonade and Pomegranate Berry are all delicious and refreshing all on their own.  You can experience guilt-free taste without the sodium, caffeine and gluten and enjoy the taste that’s absolutely great.  Cascade Ice offers 30 great tasting varieties.  Cascade Ice water is a flavored sparkling water with a clean crisp, delicious taste.  Cascade Ice water eliminates the unnecessary, unhealthy “extras” you can find in other flavor waters like sugar, sodium, carbs, caffeine and gluten and gives you pure, refreshing taste that you’ll love.

Not into coconut or lemon?  Don’t you worry – I got you covered with a few more recipes you can try.  For my melon lovers, try the Melon Mixer.  That delicious watermelon we see in stores can be used in a wonderful and refreshing, thirst quenching drink.  Start with 3 oz. of Cascade Ice Blueberry Watermelon (yum).  Pour in 1 oz. of club soda and add several slices of watermelon and blueberries to the mix.  Stir to release the fresh flavor and you’ll have a drink fit for the Gods.  Add a little vodka for an adult version of this drink and you are good to go.

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Love Pomegranate?  Well, try the Pomegranate Icer.  Since Pomegranates pack a punch of vitamins and anti-oxidants and they are in season for summer, this is the perfect time to try this drink.  Start with 4 oz. of Cascade Ice Pomegranate Berry and 1 oz of Cascade Ice Strawberry Lemonade in a glass with crushed ice.  Top it off with fresh pomegranate seeds for the perfect touch.  You can turn this drink into a cocktail version by adding a shot glass or two of vodka and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

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Looking for more ideas for summer drinks that will cool you off?  Check out the recipe section on the Cascade Ice site and get inspired.  http://www.cascadeicewater.com/recipes.html

I’m looking forward to trying out new recipes and I love that I can find Cascade Ice at so many locations in the islands.  The drinks are delicious and I love that there are so many flavors that everyone in my family will find one they enjoy.  What about you?  Do you think any of these drinks will tickle your fancy this summer and if you do – which one do you think you’ll give a whirl.

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  The products mentioned in this post were sent for review consideration and feature.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased as with anything on this site.  Affiliate links may be listed through out.