Spending Freeze Report: Week 2

Not only was this past week Valentine's day but I ended up driving home to Tennessee to spend some time with my mother and sister as well.  My mom was planning on visiting me in Georgia within the next few weeks, but with a change of plans she decided to have me visit and volunteered to pay for my gas since she wanted to visit anyways.  I am very thankful I got to spend time with them especially because I think it will May before before I get to spend time with them again.  Valentine's Day was different for us because of the Spending Freeze so unlike most couples we didn't go out to eat or spend money on each other and get gifts.  I seem to have spent so much on the dinner supplies because I was out of many staple ingredients at my house or forget to snag them from Bernard's before driving back to my house to make dinner.  Things like flour, powdered sugar, chocolate, cheese and strawberries add up.  Thankfully there are plenty of leftover items to use in other recipes.  Here is the breakdown:

Monday 2/11:  Walmart $24.09 (groceries)  

Tuesday 2/12:  Color RUN $43.60 

Wednesday 2/13:  Walmart $45.94  (Valentine's Day Dinner supplies) 

Thursday 2/14:  Publix $22.92 (more Valentine's Day Dinner supplies)  Chloe's Vet $64.25

Friday 2/15:  McDonald's $3.49 

Saturday 2/16:  NO SPENDING DAY

Sunday 2/17:  NO SPENDING DAY

Monday 2/18:  Sonic $5.89  Walmart $34.51 (groceries)

Other than all the grocery expenses this week wasn't so bad.  A friend asked me to do the Color Run 5K with her in Atlanta at the beginning of April and of course I said yes.  The cost was $40 plus tax but ultimately it will be once the Spending Freeze is over even though the cost is immediate and is a goal to look forward to reaching.  I am hoping to be moving my treadmill to the boyfriend's place soon to make it easier for training and I am excited to get back in shape.

Happy Spending Freeze!



Antioxidants have been showing up in food trends for years now, but what do they mean and how can they help with a healthy life?  Antioxidant fortified foods are showing up everywhere and often the word antioxidant is added on food labels to make that otherwise unhealthy food seem more healthy and nutrient rich.  As with anything I believe in whole foods and ingredients that can be found in nature instead of created in a food lab.  That being said let's look at whole foods that are antioxidant rich and see how you can incorporate them into your diet for clean eating.  These powerful vitamins in previous studies have shown to help slow and prevent cancer.  Apparently new studies are unclear according to the National Cancer Institute but a list of facts concerning antioxidants are available on their website.

According to WebMD, antioxidants can be broken down into three vitamin categories: beta carotene and other carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E.  Foods that are saturated with these nutrients are usually fruits and vegetables and are gorgeous in color usually red, blue, red, orange, and yellow.  WebMD also recommends eating these foods raw or lightly streamed to get the biggest benefits of the vitamins.

Here are just some examples of foods loaded with antioxidants:

Beta Carotene and carotenoids

Sweet Potatoes
Kale
Carrots
Turnip Greens
Mustard Greens 
Spinach
Butternut Squash
Collard Greens
Broccoli 
Beets
Asparagus
Green Pepper
Mango
Apricot
Corn 
Peaches
Pink Grapefruit

Vitamin C

Berries
Kiwi
Honeydew
Orange
Tangerine
Snow Peas
Red, green, or yellow pepper
Sweet Potatoes
Tomato
Broccoli

Vitamin E

Nuts
Papaya
Sunflower seeds
Spinach 
Pumpkins

SuperFoods

Prunes
Apples
Raisins
Berries
Plums
Red Grapes
Alfalfa Sprouts
Onions
Eggplant 
Beans

As you may have noticed some of these foods can be found on more than one list which is awesome.  More power in the punch of the foods that you are eating, I mean what's not to love?  A lot of these foods can easily be incorporated into your diet as snacks or side dishes for entrees.  Whether you are trying to shed pounds and are slowly introducing healthier foods into your everyday or you are fit and always looking for different options these foods are nutrient rich whole foods that will surely benefit your body.  Antioxidants are great for your immune system and taste great.  These foods may have questionable links to helping prevent cancer and disease, but they are vitamin rich, low calorie super foods to make your body tough.

source: Healthaliciousness and WebMD


Spending Freeze Report: Week 1

February is almost half way through and here is my spending report from the 1st through the 10th.  The first day of February fell on a Friday and this month is after all only 28 days.
 
Friday 2/1:  Rent $711.04  Walmart (groceries) $17.25

Saturday 2/2:  NO SPENDING DAY

Sunday 2/3:  NO SPENDING DAY

Monday 2/4:  NO SPENDING DAY

Tuesday 2/5:  Insurance (auto & renters) $70.00

Wednesday 2/6:  Gas $20.01

Thursday 2/7:  NO SPENDING DAY

Friday 2/8:  Gas $15.00

Saturday 2/9:  Walmart (groceries) $24.09

Sunday 2/10:  NO SPENDING DAY

So far this month is going really well when it comes to my spending.  As of now I don't have a lot of extra expenses that I foresee popping up other than the extra $50 to terminate my cable.  I don't have any student loan payments ($48) until next month and I don't start another class until mid March, so I am hoping to sell the book I am currently using to help offset some of the cost of the new one(s).  I also got my final paycheck from my last job on Friday and it was over $200 larger than I had expected.  Woohoo!

Happy Monday and Happy Spending Freeze!

XOXO,

Alaina M.


Some people have the impression that yoga is for wimps, I would also argue that these people have probably never tried yoga.  I urge you to check out the bodies of the folks attending the yoga class at your gym...tell me you aren't envious.  Yoga is for tough people who think that quality is better than quantity.

Yoga has a lot of benefits associated with it, but I think the greatest one is the flexibility and body strength that allows you to be better at other activities.  Whether you are a cyclist, runner, swimmer, or love to hit the weights yoga will help you shape your body and regulate your breathing.  The ladies over at Self Magazine have listed some of the benefits to yoga practice.

Regardless if you want to try yoga to relieve back pain, get better sleep, or just get fit yoga is worth your time and is something that you can tailor to meet you wherever you are in your fitness journey.

Ways to Get Started

1.  Look for a class at your local gym.  This will help you know if you are doing the poses correctly because the teacher will have experience in yoga and you will be able to figure out what types of styles of yoga you may enjoy.

2.  Check out some yoga DVDs.
Here are a few options:
Yoga for Beginners with Barbara ( I use this one and love it!  The instructor walks you through everything and is filmed on the beach for a calming effect)
Yoga Meltdown with Jillian Michaels ( This is more cardio/strength than traditional relaxing yoga, but will work you out to be super fit)

3.  Follow a yoga diagram of progression poses like these.




4.  Check out YouTube for different styles of yoga, different instructors, and poses that target different areas of the body for the best variety.  You can also determine how much time you have available and find something that coordinates with that time window.

Whether you are looking to expand your horizons, calm your nerves, get in better physical shape for another activity, or what long, lean muscle yoga is for you.  Get out of your fitness rut and mix it up for results you can see and feel.


Spending Freeze Report: Week 5

Closing out January was amazing and I feel so great about how everything came out.  Here are the last few days of January and the breakdown for the whole month:

Monday:  NO SPENDING DAY

Tuesday:  $10.00 utilities - gas  

Wednesday:  $9.62 PetsMart ( Chloe's pill pockets)  $32.09 Barktown and Suds (Chloe's dogfood)

Thursday:  NO SPENDING DAY

January Budget: $1,531

Actual Amount Spent:  $1,709.05

Extras:  $351 (Boarding Chloe over NYE, Georgia Association of Paralegals dues, textbook for paralegal class, and two books for Bible Study)

Total without the Extras:  $1,358.05

Basically, without the "Extras" this month I would have saved an extra $172.95.  All in all I am really pleased with how it all turned out and how I was able to slim my budget down by running errands only one day a week and being smarter on my grocery shopping and planning meals.  The best part is that I was able to change my habits and that shows in the numbers.  I also cancelled my satellite tv account which will pay for itself starting in March and am spending more time at the boyfriend's house because it is drastically closer to Emory's campus and has internet access.  My goal for February is to continue to keep my budget as tight as possible so that the wages I have saved can go farther until I am able to find a job.  I start my paralegal classes tomorrow and am ready to get in the classroom!

Happy Spending Freeze!


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