By Month > January 2017

New Year's Resolutions: Dine Out but Dine Better

January 24, 2017
New Year's resolutions often include weight loss and nutrition-related goals; dining out at restaurants doesn't have to be thrown out to stay on track.

Setting aggressive and disagreeable goals ? like quitting carbs when you haven't already been making small changes to improve your diet ? is a major cause of failure. Say you're thinking about giving up red meat as your resolution for 2017. Rather than go cold turkey (pun intended) you might decide to indulge in a burger once a week only, or cut your meat portion sizes in half and add more vegetables to your plate instead.

We felt powerful on December 31st, now we're weak as water when we realize how difficult our goals might be. The trick is translating that big and exciting resolution into a long-term lifestyle change that doesn't leave you feeling deprived.

With a few expert tips, some smart choices and determination, you can dine out and fulfill your New Year's resolutions:

  • Do your research. Many restaurants now offer nutrition information to help you make the best choices. Don't be fooled by pictures of healthy looking foods; they can be chock-full of fat, sugar, salt and calories.

  • Police your portions. If the portion is too big, even the healthiest meal can contribute to weight gain. Why not go creative?  Substitute an appetizer and salad for an overflowing main course.  Try sharing larger entrees with fellow diners.  Will it taste great tomorrow?  Box it up for a future meal.

  • More Color, Less Calories. When it comes to dining out, make half your plate fruits and vegetables; generally lower in calories and higher in fiber and nutrients. Choose a side of veggies rather than fries.  Most restaurants will be happy to steam the sides, and help you with your New Year's resolution by holding back on the butter, cream and oil.

    • Tip: Be sure to pair those fruits and veggies with lean protein (skinless chicken or fish, sirloin tip if you're going read meat) and whole grains to round out your meal and satisfy hunger.

  • Water is Wonderful. Beverages can be loaded with hidden calories. What a waste!  And those diet drinks are full of chemicals.  Stick with water or unsweetened beverages.

  • Treat yourself well-Every day. We often think of dining out as a "treat," and that mentality leads to bad choices. Because resolutions have a start date, we often think that there's an end date, too.  Successful New Year's resolutions are all about lifestyle changes.  Treat yourself to flavorful and healthy foods each and every day. You'll feel better about your occasional indulgence.

Being realistic doesn't have to compromise your goals.  Use these simple dining out tips to achieve your New Year's resolutions of weight loss and health this year.


Go Green with Beer Can Crafts

January 24, 2017
It's January 24, and surely you know what that means: Beer Can Appreciation Day! On this day in 1935, the first canned beer was sold in a shiny aluminum vessel.  After initial resistance, the market exploded—today more than half of beer sales are canned products.

Why does the beer drinking world love cans? For a few reasons, really.

  • The can itself is more portable; perfect for camping, boating, a day at the beach and basically anywhere glass is not welcome.

  • The beer cools faster in cans as opposed to bottles, which is convenient if you're running late to a party.

  • Some argue that it tastes better. The insides of most cans and lids have a special coating that eliminates contact between the beer and aluminum.

  • Light and oxygen can't penetrate the can, unlike the bottle. This helps keep the beer fresh and drinkable longer. Did we blind you with science?

So we're agreed...cans are cool.  But what to do with all of that aluminum?  We've searched the web, and found lots of beer can crafts projects to make Beer Can Appreciation Day extra special.  Here's a few of our favorites...

Beer Can Crafted Coasters

Rest your favorite beer on top of your favorite beer— or something like that. These coasters are super easy to make and a fun addition to any living room. A  great project for rainy days with the kids.

Beer Can Crafted Key Chains

You know you want one... a key chain sporting the logo of your favorite brew. Whether you're creating them for yourself or someone special, road trips are sure to be raucous when you keep your car keys on a beer can crafts key chain.

Beer Can Crafted Pencil Holder

Cut the top off those empty beer cans and use them to create unique and handy pencil holders. Kids will love decorating these as a special gift to a favorite teacher. Cover with  felt, cork, paper...the possibilities are endless!

Beer Can Crafted Christmas Tree

Start early on this extra special beer can craft project.  Picture this in the corner of your neighborhood pub or eatery.  Everyone will want to contribute to the high-jinks of this ho-ho-holiday extravaganza.

Beer Can Crafted Furniture

The perfect tribute to Beer Can Appreciation Day!  A lot of folks like to hit the easy chair with a cold beer after a long workday, so why not have that chair constructed from beer cans? The chair may not be as comfortable as a Barcalounger, but at least it's recyclable.

Even if you typically recycle cans for cash, there are things that you can do with empty beer cans that are even better than getting a few pennies for them at the recycling center.  Pop  a top, get out those snips and start your next beer craft project.

Let's raise one and toast Beer Can Appreciation Day on January 24th! Read More...

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