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Healthy Home Recipes

Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup

This easy cream of broccoli soup recipe is a great way to get more vegetables into your diet. It pairs well with a salad or sandwich for a quick and easy meal. This soup makes great leftovers for packed lunches.

This post may contain affiliate links. I ear commission of qualified purchase at no additional cost to you.

What special tools do you need to make this soup?

  1. Immersion blender
  2. Large Pot
  3. Chef’s Knife
  4. Cutting Board
  5. Can opener
Easy Cream or broccoli Soup with a sandwich

Cream of Broccoli Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 1 Pound Broccoli
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 15-ounce can of peas, drained
  • 5 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Broccoli Soup Directions:

Sauté the onions and celery in the olive oil until slightly softened. Then, add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute. Toss in the broccoli and sauté a couple minutes until slightly softened. Finally, add the broth and canned peas. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Use an Immersion blender to cream the ingredients until smooth. Stir in the cream, vinegar and peeper.

Nessie serving cream of broccoli soup

If you need some extra cute in your life, this Nessie Ladle is a great addition to get kids more interested in eating this delicious and healthy soup. Our Nessie served up so much soup, we hardly had any leftover!

Recipe By Kristin
Course: Soup Cusine:American Difficulty:Easy

Servings

6 minutes

Preparing Time

15 minutes

Cooking Time

15 minutes

Calories

kcal

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

  2. 1 medium onion, diced

  3. 1 pound broccoli

  4. 3 cloves garlic

  5. 1 15-ounce can of peas, drained

  6. 5 celery stalks, diced

  7. 1 cup heavy cream

  8. 1 quart vegetable broth

  9. 1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar

  10. 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

DIRECTION

  1. Sauté the onions and celery in the olive oil until slightly softened.

  2. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.

  3. Toss in the broccoli and sauté a couple minutes until slightly softened.

  4. Finally, add the broth and canned peas. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.<br>

  5. Use an <a href="https://amzn.to/3wI765c">Immersion blender</a> to cream the ingredients until smooth. Stir in the cream, vinegar and peeper.

NOTES

    You can peel and slice the broccoli stems and add those too.

More soup recipes:

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Healthy Home

How to sneak more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Are you trying to eat more healthy food? Fruits and vegetables pretty much top the list for health benefits, when paired with other healthy food groups. There are many ways to sneak more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Here are some suggestions for how to eat more fruits and vegetables:

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Add more fruits and Vegetables to your favorite recipes

Problem: Your favorite recipes don’t have many fruits and vegetables.

Solution: Take your favorite recipe and add more vegetables or fruit. Start with a small amount, like 3 carrots instead of 2. I do this all the time. For example, try comparing my Italian Mac & cheese with Rachel Ray’s. Mine has more vegetables, and it is better! I dare you to add an extra half cup of shredded carrots to my morning glory muffins! You will get another muffin and they will have more vegetables! I know this because I have tried it. Try adding a 1/2 cup of blueberries to your favorite banana bread or lemon bread. Be brave! It’s fun!

Make fruits and vegetables more convenient

Problem: If you need a quick snack, it’s much easier to grab a cheese stick or a handful of pretzels than to chop up some vegetables or peel an orange.

Solution: Prepare a container of sliced vegetables. Keep it in the refrigerator, along with your favorite dip or hummus. This way you can easily pull out the tray to have a quick and easy snack. Slice up the vegetables on the weekend, when you have more time. Many vegetables will last a whole week this way, if stored in the right container. The same strategy works well for fruit. Simply having the fruit peeled, sliced, and ready to eat will make it easier to consume when you are in a hurry.

Note: I recommend storing cucumber slices separate from other vegetables, since they will not last as long. Slice fresh cucumber slices every 2-3 days.

Eat more vegetables by making them convienient

Keep fruits and vegetables where you can see them

Problem: If you keep all of your fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator, they can get lost and forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind.

Solution: Many fruits and vegetables can be stored on the counter for a few days. It’s best to store fruits and vegetables in a wide, flat fruit bowl with holes for better air circulation. This type of design will help your fruit last longer. Although, the goal would be to eat it quickly so you don’t have to worry about self life. If you buy a bag of oranges or apples, put 2 in the fruit bowl and store the rest in the refrigerator. Keep refilling the fruit bowl throughout the week. Some fruits and vegetables should be stored outside of the refrigerator. Bananas and tomatoes prefer the counter. Keep them where you can see them. Also, be sure to haul out that fruit or vegetable tray during premium after school or after work snack time!

Make salad prep easier

Problem: Salads are delicious, but they are time consuming to make. It’s easier to buy lunch than pack lunch.

Solution: Lettuce is the most difficult part of the salad. Some types of lettuce do not last as long as other varieties. Iceberg lettuce will not last long once washed. Meanwhile, washed romaine can last a week if washed, patted dry and placed in a gallon Ziplock bag with a paper towel. If you prefer Iceberg lettuce because of the crunch, add some chopped cabbage to your romaine.

Alternatively, you can purchase baby spinach, mixed greens, or other lettuce that is ready to eat.

Use the washed lettuce and the already sliced vegetables from your tray to make a quick and easy salad anytime.

Try to eat a new fruit or vegetable

Problem: You need to eat more fruits and vegetables, but you really don’t like very many.

Solution: Try a new fruit or vegetable, maybe you will like it.

Try it, You'll like it

Try it, you’ll like it was a silly song on Yo, Gabba, Gabba. My kids used to watch it when they were younger. I would sing it when I wanted them to try a new food. As a parent you may feel like this strategy does not work. Don’t give up! It will work eventually! It took about 17 years for my son to eat asparagus. We always encouraged it, but never forced it. One day he ordered it at a restaurant. I was thrilled!

This method works for adults too. I used to dislike mushrooms and olives, but i kept trying them, now I like them. Try it, You’ll like it!

Try a new fruit or vegetable

Try different cooking methods

For example, if you don’t like boiled or steamed brussels sprouts, you might like them roasted. They taste totally different.

Some cooking methods can increase the nutritional value of certain vegetables, others can decrease the nutritional value. When you are mainly concerned with increasing your overall consumption, it’s best to focus more on which method will encourage you to eat more, rather than concerning yourself with which way is best. Any way you choose to eat more vegetables is healthier than not eating them. Bottom line, feel free to experiment with many cooking methods with many vegetables. Find what you like!

Boiled Vegetables

This is the most common, yet least desirable way to cook vegetables. They end up soggy and not very appetizing. If this is the only method you use, try one of the other suggestions. If it’s your preferred method, use it!

Steamed Vegetables

Steaming vegetables gives a little better flavor, texture and color than boiling. All you need is a steamer insert and a pot with a lid. Just add some water to the bottom of the pot, place the insert inside and put you vegetable of choice on top, cover and steam the vegetables to desired firmness.

Roasted Vegetables

Many vegetables are very tasty roasted. Brussels Sprouts are my favorite! Sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are awesome roasted! Just place them on a sheet pan, coat with olive oil, season as desired and roast in the oven at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Roasted brussels sprouts recipe

Grilled Vegetables

Choose a tasty marinade, then place your vegetable of choice on kabobs, in a grilling basket, or wrap in aluminum foil and grill to desired firmness.

grilled vegetables

Smoked Vegetables

Vegetables can be smoked! Smoke low and slow to maintain some crispness with a nice smoky favor.

Smoked Asparagus recipe

Vegetable Stir Fry

This is a great way to cook vegetables. Traditionally stir fry is done on a large grill or in a wok. Start with some stir fry oil , add the carrots and cauliflower first, fry for a couple minutes. Then add broccoli and snow peas, add more oil and some soy sauce to coat. Fry for a couple more minutes. Add bell peppers, onions and a few drops of sesame oil. Continue to fry for a couple more minutes. Add minced garlic, canned bamboo shoots, canned water chestnuts, and sesame seeds. Continue to fry until all vegetables are warm and slightly softened.

stir fry

Pressure cooked vegetables

Many vegetables can be pressure cooked faster than roasted. One of my favorites is pressure cooked beets. I use a Ninja Foodi. Just place the washed beets in the Ninja Foodi, add 1 cup of water. Close and pressure cook on high for 15-20 minutes with quick release. Peel and slice the beets!

Pressure cooked Chioggia beets
Pressure cooked Chioggia beets

Go meatless one day per week to eat more vegetables

Meatless Monday is gaining popularity. Some Catholics go meatless on Fridays. Whatever your reason, if it helps increase your consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables it’s worth a try. Here are a couple of great meatless recipes:

Caribbean rice
Pumpkin soup

Puree your fruits and vegetables

Problem: You don’t like the texture of fruits or vegetables.

Solution: Puree them! Make a smoothie or a pureed soup! Soups and smoothies are a great way to eat more fruits and vegetables. Check out this post for more great smoothie ideas:

Smoothie vs. smoothie bowl infographic

Try a cream soup:

Try a New way of preserving your fruits and vegetables

There are many different ways to preserve fruits and vegetables. Each will give your produce a new flavor and texture. These methods are worth a try to give you some more variety.

Canned fruits and vegetables

Canning is quite a project, but it is worth a try. If you are interested in canning, I recommend the this book. Canned fruits and vegetables have a different flavor and texture than fresh or frozen. Some people prefer it, if you like canned fruits and vegetables better, then canning it is a good way to eat more of them.

Fermented vegetables

Try it, You’ll like it! Fermented cabbage is sauerkraut. It is a very healthy way to enjoy cabbage. Here is a recipe for homemade Sauerkraut.

Homemade sauerkraut

Pickle your vegetables

Pickling isn’t just for cucumbers, aka pickles. You can pickle many vegetables: beets, peas, beans, asparagus, and more. Give it a try.

Fill half your plate with vegetables

Problem: You need to eat more vegetables.

Solution: Put more on your plate! It really is that simple.

Pork Schnitzel served with roasted vegetables
Pork Schnitzel served with roasted vegetables

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Healthy Home Recipes

Easy Morning Glory Muffins Recipe

These morning glory muffins are a favorite in my home. It’s best to make them on the weekend, that way you will have easy breakfast all week. They are loaded with heathy ingredients. Plenty of nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables to start your day out right.

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Morning Glory Muffin Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium apples, cored and grated
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup orange juice or juice of one orange

Morning glory muffin instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease three 6-cup muffin tins.

In a small bowl soak the craisins in hot water. Set aside.

Grate the carrots and apples in a food processor.

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and seasonings. Then stir in carrots, apples, coconut, nuts, and seeds.

In a separate bowl beat together the wet ingredients: eggs, oil, juice, and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mixt until well combined.

Drain the water from the craisins and stir them in.

Morning glory batter

Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top. You should be able to fill 12-16 cups.

Filling muffin cups with morning glory batter

Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a fork comes out clear.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Morning glory muffins baked

Store in an airtight container for a few days, or freeze for longer storage.

Morning glory muffins make a great breakfast

Morning glory muffin served with yogurt and fruit

Recipe By Kristin
Course: breakfast Cusine:American Difficulty:Easy

Servings

14 minutes

Preparing Time

15 minutes

Cooking Time

25 minutes

Calories

kcal

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 cup Craisins

  2. 2 cups flour

  3. 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda

  5. 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  6. 1/2 teaspoon ginger

  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt

  8. 2 cups carrots, peeled and grated

  9. 2 medium apples, cored and grated

  10. 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  11. 3/4 cup chopped pecans

  12. 1/3 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds

  13. 3 large eggs

  14. 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil

  15. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  16. 1/4 cup orange juice or juice of one orange

DIRECTION

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease three 6-cup muffin tins.

  2. In a small bowl soak the craisins in hot water. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and seasonings. Then stir in carrots, apples, coconut, nuts, and seeds.

  4. In a separate bowl beat together the wet ingredients: eggs, oil, juice, and vanilla.

  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mixt until well combined.

  6. Drain the water from the craisins and stir them in.

  7. Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top. You should be able to fill 12-16 cups.

  8. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a fork comes out clear. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a cooling rack. Store in an air tight container for a few days, or freeze for longer storage.

NOTES

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Healthy Home Recipes

Easy Pumpkin Apple Soup Recipe

Try this easy vegan pumpkin apple soup for a meatless Monday meal or for a Friday during lent. It is so delicious and warms you up in the winter. This soup is loaded with healthy vegetables and makes great leftovers for packed lunches. It’s a great way to get more vegetables into your diet.

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Pumpkin Apple Soup Ingredients

  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sweet potatoes cubed
  • 1 large apple diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 15 ounce can of diced tomato
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree ( or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree)
  • 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons Jerk Seasoning
  • pumpkin seeds for garnish

How to make Pumpkin Apple soup

Sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Grate the garlic on a plate grater.

Garlic grated on a plate grater.
Garlic grated on a plate grater.

Add the sweet potatoes, apple and garlic to the pot and cook for one minute.

Stir in the stock, tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, and jerk seasoning. Find a great homemade jerk seasoning recipe here. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.

Serve with pumpkin seeds.

Is Pumpkin Healthy?

Yes, pumpkin is loaded with vitamins and is a low calorie food that is great for filling you up without excess calories. Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron and folate. Unfortunately many pumpkin recipes include tons of sugar and fat because it is so delicious it ends up being included in many desserts and lattes. If this is how you plan to enjoy your pumpkin, then the health benefits may not be as great. Pumpkin apple soup, however, is a very healthy way to enjoy pumpkin.

Easy Pumpkin Apple Soup Recipe

Recipe By Kristin
Course: main Cusine:American Difficulty:Easy

Servings

6 minutes

Preparing Time

10 minutes

Cooking Time

25 minutes

Calories

kcal

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 large onion, diced

  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil<br>

  3. 3 sweet potatoes cubed<br>

  4. 1 large apple diced<br>

  5. 4 cloves garlic<br>

  6. 4 cups vegetable stock<br>

  7. 15 ounce can of diced tomato<br>

  8. 15 ounce can pumpkin puree ( or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree)<br>

  9. 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed<br>

  10. 2 Tablespoons Jerk Seasoning

  11. pumpkin seeds for garnish

DIRECTION

  1. Sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Grate the garlic.

  2. Add the sweet potatoes, apple and garlic to the pot and cook for one minute.

  3. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, and jerk seasoning. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.<br>

  4. Serve with pumpkin seeds.

NOTES

Printable Recipe:

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Healthy Home Recipes

Caribbean Rice with Jerk Seasoning Recipe

Are you looking for a vegan or vegetarian recipe, or maybe you just need something for Meatless Monday or a Friday during Lent? Maybe you just want a great unique side for something you grilled! If you are looking for any of these, this Caribbean Rice with Jerk Seasoning is for you!

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Caribbean Rice Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked white rice (~1 cup of dry rice)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 4 Carrots, diced
  • 1 Red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 13.6 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tablespoons Jerk Seasoning -more if desired
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges (optional)

How to make Caribbean Rice

Start by preparing the white rice according to package directions. Make sure you rinse the rice before cooking. This will remove the outer layer of starch, so the rice will be more fluffy and less sticky. The easiest way to rinse rice is with a fine mesh strainer or sieve.

Rinsing rice through a fine mesh strainer
Rinsing Rice

Next mix the dried coconut with 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and set aside to soften. Hint: Shake the can of coconut milk before opening.

Dried coconut with coconut milk
Dried coconut with coconut milk

Grate the garlic on a plate grater. Set aside.

Garlic grated on a plate grater.
Garlic grated on a plate grater.

Add the coconut oil to a large pot or wok, and begin to sauté the carrots.

Sauté carrots
Sauté carrots

When the carrots are slightly softened, add the peppers and onions. Continue to sauté, mixing often.

Peppers onions and carrots in a pan
Sauté peppers onions and carrots.

Once all the vegetables are softened, mix in the shredded coconut mixture and the grated garlic.

Adding coconut and garlic to sauteed vegetables.
Adding coconut and garlic.

Then add the kidney beans, corn and 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. Mix well.

Add kidney beans, corn, and 1/2 cup of coconut milk.
Add kidney beans, corn, and 1/2 cup of coconut milk.

Once the corn and beans are warm, add the rice and mix well.

Caribbean rice
Add the rice.

Add the cilantro, jerk seasoning and remaining coconut milk. Mix until well combined and heated throughout. Taste and add additional seasoning if desired.

Add cilantro and jerk seasoning to Caribbean rice.
Add cilantro and jerk seasoning, and remaining coconut milk.

Serve with a lime wedge if desired. This dish is a delicious vegetarian meal on its own or makes an excellent side dish to baked or grilled chicken or pork.

Caribbean Rice
Caribbean Rice with Jerk Seasoning

Printable recipe for Caribbean Rice with Jerk Seasoning

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Healthy Home Save Money

How to save money on over the counter medications

I suppose it’s time to help my readers save on over the counter medications. As a pharmacist, I do have plenty of secrets to share with you.

Recently, I was checking out at the grocery store. The cashier told me she was sleepy because she accidently took her night time cough medicine instead of her day time cough medicine. I cringed because there should be no difference. Read on to find out why.

Common symptoms that can be treated at home

  • Pain/fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Allergies
  • Insomnia
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

How to save money on Cold and Flu medications

Here I will share some secret tips that most consumers do not know about the over the counter cold and flu medications. Pharmacists are always a great reference to help you choose a medication for your symptoms. There are thousands of cold and flu products on the market sold under many brand names, although all of these products are just combinations of very few ingredients.

Disclaimer: Always read the safety information on all over the counter medications. Follow the manufacturer recommended dosing. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any over the counter medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any health conditions, allergies or are taking and medications.

1. Don’t buy oral phenylephrine or any oral product containing phenylephrine

Phenylephrine has been found to be ineffective at treating nasal congestion in oral form. It has no value, but is still on the market to give manufacturers time to reformulate their products. The reason it has been allowed to remain on the market is because it is still considered safe, but not effective. Even though it is not effective you will still have drug interactions and side effects associated with it’s use, but no benefit.

What should you use instead of phenylephrine to treat nasal congestion?

If you want an oral medication for nasal congestion your only option is pseudoephedrine, which you do not need a prescription for. You will have to ask a pharmacist for it. It can be found at most local pharmacies for as low as $2.49 for 24 tablets ~ 21 cents/dose, max of 4 doses/day = 84 cents/day.

Another great option for treating nasal congestion is Afrin nasal spray. Afrin can only be used for 3 days. It is dosed 1-2 sprays in each nostril every 12 hours for 3 days. After 3 days, you will need to use something else to treat your nasal congestion.

what to use instead of phenylephrine

2. Save on Cold and Flu medications by choosing single ingredient medications

Brand name manufacturers try to simplify your purchase by listing symptoms in the name of their product. You could get the same benefit from taking the individual ingredients for less cost, and you could take only the ingredients you need. Usually a cold starts with fever, body aches and sore throat, then nasal congestion, ending with a lingering cough. It would be better to purchase the individual ingredients and treat only the symptoms you currently have.

Lower cost options for “day time” non- sedating cold and flu medications

Instead of using a combination product like these:

Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe -Current cost is $7.67 for 24 caplets ~64 cents a dose, max of 5 doses per day = $3.20/day

Vicks DayQuil Cold and Flu – Current cost is $16.57 for 48 liquicaps ~ 69 cents/dose, max of 4 doses per day = $2.76/day

Treat only the symptoms you have with the single ingredients in these products:

Acetaminophen – This ingredient is effective for treating pain and fever. If you have body aches, sore throat, other pain or fever, then this ingredient will help. Current cost for 325mg tablets = $2.12 for 100 tablets ~ 4 cents/dose, max of 6 doses 3900mg/day = 24 cents/day (note-this is adult dosing)

Dextromethorphan – This ingredient is a cough suppressant. It is used in adults and children 12 years and older to suppress a cough. It is not always good to suppress a cough. If your cough is productive then an expectorant may be a better choice. Current cost for 15mg soft gels = $8.99 for 100 soft gels ~ 18 cents/dose, max of 4 doses/day = 72 cents/day (note-this is adult dosing)

Guaifenesin – This ingredient is only in the Tylenol Cold & Flu severe, not in Vicks DayQuil Cold and Flu. Guaifenesin is an expectorant that helps thin mucus in the bronchial passages to make it easier to cough up mucus. It is most effective if you drink plenty of water. If you drink plenty of water you will help to thin the mucus anyway. This medication is best used to treat a productive cough. It will not help a dry cough at all. It does not suppress a cough. Current cost for 400mg tablets = $8.79 for 200 caplets ~4 cents/dose, max dose of 6 doses/day = 24 cents/day (note-this is adult dosing)

Phenylephrine – Is found in both Vicks DayQuil and Tylenol Cold & Flu Severe. Phenylephrine has been found to be ineffective at treating nasal congestion. If you do have nasal congestion-use one of my phenylephrine alternative suggestions above.

Lower cost options for “night time” sedating cold and flu medications

Instead of using a combination product like these:

NyQuil Cold & Flu – Current cost $17.88 for 48 liquicaps ~ 75 cents/dose, max of 4 doses/day = $3.00/day (note-adult dosing)

Tylenol Cold + Flu + Cough Night liquid – Current cost $10.67 for 8 ounces ~ $1.33/dose, max of 5 doses/day = $6.65/day

Treat only the symptoms you have with the single ingredients in these products:

Acetaminophen – This ingredient is effective for treating pain and fever. If you have body aches, sore throat, other pain or fever, then this ingredient will help. Current cost for 325mg tablets = $2.12 for 100 tablets ~ 4 cents/dose, max of 6 doses 3900mg/day = 24 cents/day (note-this is adult dosing)

Dextromethorphan – This ingredient is a cough suppressant. It is used in adults and children 12 years and older to suppress a cough. It is not always good to suppress a cough. If your cough is productive then an expectorant may be a better choice. Current cost for 15mg soft gels = $8.99 for 100 soft gels ~ 18 cents/dose, max of 4 doses/day = 72 cents/day (note-this is adult dosing)

Doxylamine – This ingredient is an antihistamine. It is used mostly as a sleep aid because it is very sedating, but also has a drying effect that can help with congestion. If you are taking either of the above combination products to help you sleep, you could save a lot by using the single ingredient. Current cost for 96 – 25mg tablets = $7.17 ~4 cents for a half a tablet dose (12.5mg is the amount in a dose of the 2 combination products above). (Note-this is adult dosing.)

Phenylephrine – Is found in Tylenol Cold + Flu + Cough, but not NyQuil. phenylephrine has been found to be ineffective at treating nasal congestion. If you do have nasal congestion-see my phenylephrine alternative suggestions above.

3. Buy generic cold and flu medications

I am a pharmacist and I almost always buy generic medications. They work just as well as brand name medications for a fraction of the cost. There are a couple of exceptions. I prefer brand name for flavored medications. Liquid or chewable medications often taste better if you buy brand name. The other exception is nasal sprays. I have found brand name Afrin to sting less than the generic.

4. Non-drug options for helping with cold and flu symptoms

  • Stay hydrated, this will help with cough, congestion and fever.
  • Use a humidifier, this will help with cough and congestion.

How to save money on seasonal allergy medications

Disclaimer: These recommendations are for mild seasonal allergy symptoms, not severe life threatening allergy symptoms like shortness of breath, hives or severe swelling.

There are many over the counter medications to treat allergy symptoms. Read on for some tips on allergy treatment savings.

1. Avoid combination products

Same as my advice on cold and flu medications, there are plenty of allergy products on the market with more than one ingredient. Watch out for phenylephrine on any product promoted for allergy and sinus relief. Do not buy any product with phenylephrine listed as an ingredient.

2. Choose the right allergy product for your symptoms

Allergy symptoms and treatment options include:

  • Runny/Itchy nose – Oral or nasal antihistamine, nasal steroid
  • Sneezing – Oral or nasal antihistamine, nasal steroid
  • Itchy watery eyes – Oral antihistamine, antihistamine eye drop

Disclaimer: Always read the safety information on all over the counter medications. Follow the manufacturer recommended dosing. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any over the counter medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any health conditions, allergies or are taking and medications.

The first step is to try the lowest cost option of the non sedating oral antihistamine options: (take only one)

If you still have nasal symptoms, then the next step is to add one nasal steroid . Start with the lowest cost option: (these will take a week or two of daily use to show a benefit)

If you still have nasal symptoms then you can add a nasal antihistamine.

If you still have itchy watery eyes, add an antihistamine eye drop.

3. Buy generic allergy medications

I always choose generic medications for tablets and capsules. It’s okay to try generic flavored oral liquids and chew tabs, but sometimes I choose brands in those cases due to better flavor. Generic nasal sprays are worth a try, but sometimes I opt for brand name if the generic stings more.

4. Use your HSA account if possible to pay for allergy medications.

You may be able to use your HSA to pay for chronic medications for allergy symptoms, but you may need a prescription from your doctor even though these meds due not require a prescription. Just in case, ask your doctor for a prescription at your annual check-up. It will save you money if you can use tax free dollars in your HSA account to pay for OTC medications.

How to save money on OTC insomnia medications

Disclaimer: Always read the safety information on all over the counter medications. Follow the manufacturer recommended dosing. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any over the counter medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any health conditions, allergies or are taking and medications.

There are plenty of over the counter options to help with occasional insomnia. The marketing for this indication is very effective in persuading consumers to overspend on very inexpensive medications.

1. Avoid combination products for insomnia

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but there is nothing more frustrating than watching people get sucked into spending more money just to get an advertised brand name medication with extra ingredients they don’t need.

Example:

Advil PM – Current price ~ 52 cents per dose – or take the individual similar ingredients: diphenhydramine 25mg tablets ~4 cents/dose + ibuprofen (if you have pain or fever in addition to your insomnia) ~4 cents/dose.

2. Buy generic medications for insomnia.

Cost saving examples:

ZzzQuil 25mg tablets – Current price ~ 55 cents/dose or you could choose generic (same ingredient) diphenhydramine 25mg tablets ~4 cents/dose.

ZzzQuil Ultra 25mg tablets – Current price ~ 35 cents/dose or you could choose generic (same ingredient) Doxylamine 25mg tablets ~ 7 cents/dose.

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Nutrient Packed Smoothie vs. Smoothie Bowls

Save a ton of money by making your own smoothies and smoothie bowls at home. Learn how to create your own recipes and which ingredients provide the best nutrients for your health.

A smoothie is a simply a beverage made by pureeing fruits and vegetables with other ingredients in a blender. A smoothie bowl is a thicker more nutrient packed smoothie, thick enough to eat with a spoon, and often topped with fruit, granola, nuts, and seeds. Lets review some common smoothie vs. smoothie bowl questions and how to pack them with nutrients.

Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these recipes have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these recipes have not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These recipes are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Smoothie vs. smoothie bowl

A smoothie is thin enough to drink through a smoothie straw. For a smoothie bowl you can use the same ingredients to make a smoothie, but it will be thick enough to eat with a spoon.

Basic smoothie vs. smoothie bowl ingredients:

Smoothie: 1 cup (8 ounces of fruits and veggies) to 1/2 cup to 1 cup of liquid. Less liquid will make a thicker smoothie, more liquid makes a thinner smoothie.

Smoothie bowl: 2 cups (16 ounces of fruits and veggies) to 1/4 cup liquid.

Optional additives can be mixed in in small quantities. For example, a tablespoon of honey or a scoop of protein powder.

Basic Smoothie recipe example:

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

1 frozen banana (sliced before freezing) ~1/2 cup

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup milk

Optional: 1 tablespoon elderberry syrup.

Puree in a blender

Serve in a cup with a straw.

Basic Smoothie bowl recipe example:

1.5 cups frozen mixed berries

1 frozen banana (sliced before freezing) ~1/2 cup

2 tablespoons yogurt

2 tablespoons milk

Optional: 1 teaspoon honey

Puree in a blender

Top with fresh blueberries, almond slices, and hemp hearts. Serve in a bowl with a spoon.

Smoothie vs. smoothie bowl infographic

Which blender is best for making smoothies?

I personally prefer the Ninja Professional Blender. It has a large capacity, it blends everything smoothly. It is also dishwasher safe for quick and easy clean up.

Another awesome option for delicious smoothies is the Vitamix Blender. The only drawback is the price. Although it is expensive, it has a few features that the Ninja does not have. It will heat soups, but that is not necessary for smoothies.

If you need a smaller blender for a college dorm or a small kitchen, a handheld immersion blender or a personal size blender are also great options.

Lastly, there is the Ninja Creami which is perfect for making smoothies and best for making smoothie bowls with the added benefit of making ice cream.

Ninja blender making a smoothie

Can you make a smoothie the night before?

The best way to make a smoothie the night before is to prepare all of the ingredients. Chop and freeze the fruit you wish to use. Measure out the liquid ingredients and place them in the refrigerator. Then you can quickly blend them together in the morning.

Can you store a smoothie in the refrigerator or freezer?

If you prepare a smoothie with ice or frozen ingredients then it will thin with refrigeration because the ice will melt and the frozen ingredients will thaw. The smoothie will be thinner, but still tasty. It will probably need to be stirred before consuming.

You can freeze a smoothie, but it will thicken like ice cream or sorbet. Frozen smoothie would require a spoon to consume. You can defrost it but depending on the ingredients, it may not remain smooth. It is possible to blend it again, but the consistency may not be the same.

Are smoothies and smoothie bowls healthy?

Smoothies and smoothie bowls can both be very healthy depending on the ingredients you choose. Read on to learn about healthy and unhealthy ingredients found in smoothies and smoothie bowls.

Which smoothie is anti-inflammatory?

Most smoothie ingredients are naturally anti-inflammatory, which makes smoothies and smoothie bowls a great option for an anti-inflammatory diet. Here are some ingredients to avoid and some to include in anti-inflammatory smoothies and smoothie bowls:

Smoothie ingredients to avoid because they can increase inflammation:

  • Processed foods
  • sugar
  • sweetened teas
  • sugary drinks
  • sweet cereal
  • canned fruit packed in heavy syrup
  • non-dairy creamers (unhealthy fat)

Best Anti-inflammatory smoothie ingredients:

  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Citrus fruits: oranges/grapefruit
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach/kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Quinoa
  • Soy
  • Nuts/seeds
  • hemp hearts/chia
  • Spices: ginger/turmeric/cinnamon

Which Smoothie is best for weight loss?

There are plenty of fad diets out there that will each have their own smoothie recipes. The key to consuming smoothies for weight loss is choosing the right ingredients. Fruits and vegetables are typically the main ingredients in most smoothie and smoothie bowl recipes. The reason why fruits and vegetables are good for weight loss is because they have low energy density. Meaning they have few calories in a large volume of food. This way you can fill up, and feel full while consuming fewer calories. There is some research to prove that consuming low-energy-dense foods will lead to weight loss without feeling hungry.

If you choose low-energy-dense ingredients for your smoothie, you can stay full longer on fewer calories and lose weight.

Best ingredients for a weight loss smoothie or smoothie bowl (low-energy-dense foods)

  • Fresh or frozen vegetables
  • Fresh or frozen fruits
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products with no sugar added
  • Whole grains
  • Water or ice

Worst ingredients for a weight loss smoothie or smoothie bowl (high-energy-dense foods)

  • Fruits canned in heavy syrup
  • Juice
  • Sweetened yogurt
  • Sugar
  • Full fat dairy products
  • Dried fruits
  • Refined grains: white rice or cereal made with white flour

Smoothie vs. smoothie bowl, which is good for diarrhea?

If you have diarrhea hydration is important. If you are recovering from a stomach bug and have been vomiting also, you should probably start with clear liquids. Once you are feeling better, then a smoothie would still be better than a smoothie bowl because smoothies have more liquid. In the past a BRAT (banana, rice, applesauce, toast) diet was often recommended as a bland diet to eat for the first day of solid food after a stomach bug. These four foods are still a great option, but many experts recommend adding in a few more foods for better nutrition. There are still some foods that should be avoided when you have diarrhea.

Ingredients to avoid adding to a smoothie when you have diarrhea:

  • Dairy (with the exception of yogurt or kefir-especially with antibiotic associated diarrhea)
  • Citrus fruits
  • pineapple
  • leafy green vegetables
  • raw vegetables
  • Spices
  • berries or seedy fruits
  • oils
  • caffeine

Best smoothie ingredients to add when you have diarrhea:

  • Banana
  • Cooked white rice (gritty)/baby rice cereal
  • Kefir or yogurt
  • Apple sauce or juice
  • Pedialyte
  • Coconut water
  • Peaches
  • Melons
  • Squash-e.g. pumpkin puree
  • Cream of wheat
  • Oatmeal

Smoothie vs. Smoothie bowl for constipation?

Hydration and fiber are both important for prevention and treatment of constipation. Smoothies will help more with hydration, but you can pack more fiber in a smoothie bowl. Both are good options for constipation. I unusually try to help my patients choose good foods to treat occasional constipation before resorting to medications.

Best Smoothie and smoothie bowl ingredients for constipation

  • Prunes or prune juice
  • All Bran
  • Plums with peel
  • Berries
  • Squash
  • Leafy Greens
  • Water/Ice
  • Flax seeds
  • Nuts
  • Kombucha
  • Apples with peel/apple juice
  • Kiwi

Which smoothie is best when you are sick with a cold or flu?

If you are sick with a cold or flu you need hydration, especially if you have a fever. Smoothies are a great way in increase hydration. Fruits, vegetables and other immune boosting foods are also beneficial when nursing a viral infection. A cold smoothie made with frozen fruits and/or ice can help to sooth a sore throat. Top your smoothie bowl with my immune boosting granola.

Best Immune boosting smoothie and smoothie bowl ingredients:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Berries
  • Elderberry Syrup
  • Matcha
  • Ginger/turmeric
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Peppers
  • Sweet Potato
  • Pomegranate
  • Yogurt
  • Papaya
  • Kiwi
  • Acai
Immune boosting smoothie and smoothie bowl ingredients infographic.

How to make a hydrating smoothie.

Although both smoothies and smoothie bowls contain hydration, smoothies are more hydrating because they contain more liquid. There are some fruits and vegetables that have a higher water content and are better for improving hydration. Electrolytes are important for improving hydration lost due to sweating from exercise or illness. For more hydration tips, check out my post on hydration.

Most hydrating Smoothie ingredients:

  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Leafy Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Cantalope
  • Strawberries
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ice
  • Coconut Water
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Bento Box Packed Lunch Ideas for Kids and Adults

It’s easy to make healthy packed lunches for kids and adults using a bento box. Use the healthy bento box packed lunch ideas for kids and adults above to make a balanced meal. School lunches sometimes get a little boring and repetitive, but these bento box packed lunch ideas will help you spice it up a bit. The free school lunches are mostly made up of processed food that lack fiber and fresh fruits and veggies. These bento box lunches are easy to prepare ahead and a much healthier option to the school lunches. They will also help your child learn to pack and eat healthy options for life. Bento Box packed lunches are great for adults too. Make a quick and easy well balanced packed lunch for work. Packing a lunch saves time and money. No more waiting in line for food on your lunch break. Just sit down and enjoy your packed bento box, then use the extra time for a relaxing walk instead of waiting in line.

What are Bento Boxes?

Bento Boxes are lunch boxes with sections that separate the different food options. They originated in Japan and initially contained common foods from that region. Mostly rice, fish, pickled vegetables and some fruit, to make a balanced meal. Bento is a Chinese slang term for convenient, which is fitting since they are very convenient for packed lunches.

Why Choose a Bento Lunch Box?

The Bento box makes a very convenient lunch box. It is so simple to choose items to fill the sections. The sections encourage small servings of a variety of foods to help include more food groups to make a more balanced lunch. The convenient sections also reduce waste from packaging. If your box doesn’t have enough sections you can purchase extra dividers. You don’t have to wrap sandwiches in paper or plastic. Many items like yogurt and apple sauce can be purchased in bulk instead of individual servings which not only reduces waste but also saves money. Check out my other post for more ideas on how to save money on groceries.

What are some Healthy Bento Box Packed Lunch Ideas for kids and Adults?

The Asian Bento box

This traditional bento box includes: sushi, snow peas, pickled ginger, and kiwi.

Asian Bento Box

The Superfood Bento box

This bento box includes: Broccoli salad, blueberries, almonds, and Greek yogurt.

Superfood Bento Box

The Berry Nutty Bento Box

This bento box includes: Almond Butter and Jam sandwich triangles on Whole Wheat bread, blueberries, Greek yogurt, and granola. For a very healthy granola recipe check out my other post. This Bento box could also be a breakfast bento.

Berry Nutty Bento Box

The Quick and Easy Box

For this Bento Box I just used whatever I had in the fridge. This Bento Box includes: Pasta salad, Raspberries, Oranges, and a hard boiled egg. Use the chart above to make any box you would like using the current contents of your fridge.

Quick and easy Bento Box

Greek Bento Box

This Greek bento box includes a Greek salad, grapes, Hummus, and whole wheat Pita bread.

Greek Bento Box

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College Dorm Medications – Pharmacist Recommended

Pharmacist recommended College Dorm Medications

If you are getting ready to send your teen off to their college dorm? Look no further for some practical pharmacist recommended college dorm medications. These items will make a very helpful medicine and first aid kit. I am a pediatric pharmacist with over 2 decades of experience and I am also a mother of three teens. Obviously I need to caution that I cannot just give blanket recommendations because all medications have some contraindications and potential drug interactions. Always read the product safety information and/or speak directly with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other medications or have any health conditions or medication allergies.

Make sure your teen is up to date on immunizations and has a copy of their immunization record and health insurance card. Here is a link to the vaccine recommendations for 19-26 year-olds.

Always send all college dorm medications prescription and non-prescription in the original containers so your teen can read the instructions.

As a pharmacist I usually recommend single ingredient medications. It might save space to include multi-symptom cough and cold medications, but it is not worth the saved space to have you teen taking medications that are not needed. It is also easier to overdose on acetaminophen or ibuprofen with multi-symptom medications. Which is why my pharmacist recommended college dorm medications are nearly all single ingredient medications. I usually buy generic medications because they work just as well as brand name medications. Sometimes I prefer brand name medications due to better flavor.

Which medications should you bring to your college dorm?

Prescribed Medications

Please make sure your teen has all of their prescribed medications and knows how and where to obtain refills. If your teen is going out of state make sure they are still able to obtain refills in that state. All state laws are different, so make sure you have a plan in place ahead of time. Please also make sure your teen is aware of their medication allergies and what their reaction was to the medication. If your teen is taking any prescribed medications or has any medication allergies or health conditions, check with their doctor or pharmacist if any of the other medication listed are still safe to include in their kit.

Pain/Fever medication

Include a small bottle of Ibuprofen (MOTRIN, ADVIL) and/or acetaminophen (TYLENOL). The bottle size depends on how much how much you expect your teen will need. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are both good choices for pain or fever. They can both provide relief from a sore throat or headache. Ibuprofen is better for menstural cramps, tooth or bone pain, and is also an anti-inflammatory. It would also be a good idea to include a digital thermometer.

Gastrointestinal medications

Heartburn medication. A small bottle of Tums. Even if your teen does not have trouble with heartburn now, they may start to have problems when they get to choose all of their own food for the first time. College meal plans are sometimes all you can eat, including many dessert options. If they use up their supply and request more, that would be a good time to discuss better food choices and smaller meal sizes.

Diarrhea/Constipation medicine. Travel size Imodium. If they make poor food choices or get sick from close living quarters they will love you forever for including medication for diarrhea. This would not be the medication they will want to walk to the nearest pharmacy to obtain. For constipation I recommend better food choices and exercise as first line treatment for occasional constipation. Fruits, veggies, All-bran, prunes, prune juice, more water, and nice walk. If that doesn’t work, and it’s a new problem, it’s probably due to lack of fiber in their diet. Most college students to do not eat enough fiber in their diet. It would not hurt to include a fiber supplement in the medication kit. If they take the fiber supplement, make sure they are staying hydrated.

Hydration. Diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration. Including a few packs of Pedialyte or Liquid IV will help if your teen is dehydrated. Staying hydrated can also reduce the risk of constipation. Check out my other post on how to increase your fluid intake.

Cold and flu medications

Nasal Congestion medicine. I recommend including something for allergies and at least one decongestant. Maybe your teen does not suffer from allergies, but could if they move to a new area. I prefer Zyrtec for allergy symptoms, but Claritin and Allegra are also good choices for a non-sedating antihistamine. I would also include a decongestant incase the congestion is from a cold or flu. In this case pseudoephedrine is my first choice. In some states it can only be purchased from a pharmacist. I would also include a bottle of Afrin nasal spray. This can only be used for three days, six doses. It is dosed 1-2 sprays each nostril every 12 hours. It cannot be used for more than 3 days, but it will be three glorious days of breathing through your nose during the worst of any cold or flu.

Cough medicine. For cough in teens and adults it is okay to use Delsym. There are age restrictions on the purchase of Delsym in some states due to abuse potential. This should not be a problem for most college students because the age to purchase is 18. I still think it is the best over the counter option for cough for teens and adults and I am sending a bottle to college with my teen. I would also include cough drops that have menthol as the main ingredient and some that are just soothing throat drops with pectin as the main ingredient. The menthol drops are best for cough suppression. The pectin drops are better for sore or irritated throat, but can also help a bit with cough.

Topical medications

For cuts and scrapes I recommend triple antibiotic ointment and a package of a variety of sizes of Band-Aids.

For itchy rashes a tube of 1% hydrocortisone cream will be a helpful medication to bring to your dorm room.

Canker sores can be brought on by stress, which is why I recommend including Kanka, a topical anesthetic for mouth sores.

Sleep Aids

I prefer non pharmacological treatment as first line for insomnia. I can understand how sleeping in a new place might be a problem due to noise, stress, or just a new environment. Honestly, I used a box fan to block out the noise when I stayed in a dorm. Earplugs are an inexpensive option that might be helpful. A sleep mask might help if your teen is sensitive to light. Good sleep hygiene would be ideal, but if all else fails it wouldn’t hurt to have a small supply of melatonin. I’d recommend 2.5mg or less as a starting dose.

College dorm medication checklist

Disclaimer: Always check with your teen’s doctor or pharmacist if they have any allergies, medical conditions, or are taking any prescribed medications before including these medications in your college dorm medication kit.

  1. Prescribed medications
  2. Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  3. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  4. Cough drops (menthol)
  5. Throat Drops (pectin)
  6. Tums
  7. Imodium (loperamide)
  8. Fiber
  9. Pedialyte packets
  10. Non sedating antihistamine (Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra)
  11. pseudoephedrine
  12. Brand name Afrin nasal spray (oxymetazoline)
  13. Delsym (grape flavor)
  14. Triple antibiotic ointment
  15. 1% hydrocortisone cream
  16. Kanka
  17. Lubricating eye drops (Artificial Tearsnot Visine)
  18. Melatonin 2mg tabs
  19. Multiple vitamin
  20. ChapStick
  21. Sunscreen
  22. Insect repellant

Basic First Aid Supplies for College Dorm Checklist

  1. digital thermometer
  2. Variety of Band-Aids
  3. Ice Pack
  4. Scissors
  5. Tweezers
  6. Cotton balls/swabs
  7. Gauze pads
  8. Medical tape
  9. Ace bandage
  10. Tick Key
  11. Alcohol swabs
  12. Gloves

Other College Dorm Needs

Check out our other post for what you need to make your dorm your home. This post includes many items we forgot to pack. Be prepared!

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Five Sneaky Tricks to Increase Your Hydration

According to the CDC the average American adult drinks about 39 ounces of water per day. This is below the recommended amount. If you are like many adults who wish to increase your water intake, read on for five sneaky tricks to increase your fluid intake.

Why should I drink more water?

Water is essential for life. Your body is about 60% water. You need water for temperature regulation, clear thinking, eliminating waste, and proper circulation.

Drinking adequate amounts of water prevents dehydration, keeps your skin healthy, reduces fatigue, prevents constipation, and reduces the risk of kidney stones.

How much water do I need?

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that healthy men consume 3.7 Liters ( 125 ounces) and healthy women consume 2.7 Liters or 91 ounces of water each day.

These are just guidelines for adults with average activity. There are other factors that could change your water needs such as physical activity, climate, age, sex, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Warm climate could increase your fluid intake needs.
Warm climate could increase your fluid intake needs.

How can I increase my hydration?

Increasing your daily fluid intake could be as easy as just setting a goal and finding ways to stick to it. If you don’t really care for drinking plain water than finding ways to flavor it could help. Maybe you just need to find ways to fit drinking more fluids into your daily routine. Read on for some great ways to increase your daily fluid intake.

How to increase your hydration infographic

1.Set a goal to increase your fluid intake

Use an app to keep track of your water consumption goals.

If you already enjoy drinking water you may just need to set a goal and find a way to stick to it. Believe it or not there are plenty of apps out there to help you keep track of your water consumption goals. These apps will be best used with a water bottle with measurement marks on it to help you keep track of your consumption.

2. Flavor your water to help increase your fluid consumption

Tea is a great way to flavor water
Tea is a great way to flavor your water.

If you struggle to drink plain water it may really help if you flavor your water. I like to infuse fruit flavor into my water. My favorite is lemon, but there are plenty of fruits and vegetables that can give your water a pleasant flavor without adding too may calories. I like to use a water pitcher with infuser to add fruit to my water because it keeps the seeds out of my water. It is also easy to clean out and refresh the fruit. If you prefer you could drink iced or hot tea as an alternative to plain water or fruit infused water. It’s best to try decaffeinated teas if possible. I’d recommend trying several teas before you rule this out. There are so many different teas you could try; there has to be at least one you would like.

3. Make drinking water a habit to help increase your hydration.

You can easily increase your fluid intake by making drinking water part of your daily routine. Jim Kwik, author of Limitless has a great example of this in his morning brain enhancing routine. He drinks a tall glass of water every morning to help replace overnight losses from breathing. You could also make it a habit to drink a tall glass of water before each meal. This can also help you to eat less and could improve your weight loss goals.

4. Eat your water to help increase your fluid consumption.

Celery is 95% water.
Celery is 95% water

Simply increasing you consumption of fruits and vegetables could help to increase your overall fluid consumption. Some fruits and vegetables are very high in water. Examples of fruits and vegetables with the high water content are cabbage, celery, watermelon, peaches, bell peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, and strawberries. Other foods with high fluid content are yogurt, cottage cheese, and soup. Try adding some of these foods to your diet. You could swap French fries for coleslaw, or swap a sandwich for a salad or soup. Have a breakfast smoothie or try my Immune Boosting granola with yogurt.

Immune-boosting-granola-served-with-yogurt
Immune boosting-granola served with yogurt.

5. Keep water convenient to help increase consumption.

Find a water bottle you love and make sure to take it with you. Make sure it fits into the cup holder in your car. Find one with a handle that is easy to carry, or invest in a water bottle carrier.

Leave a glass of water on your night stand at night. Keep a glass near you at work. Fill a pitcher with plain or fruit infused water and keep it in the refrigerator. Keep a tray of fresh sliced fruit or veggies in your refrigerator.

Prepared veggie tray
Grab and Go veggie tray to keep in your fridge.

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