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cheesy broccoli soup in bowl

Homemade vs Bought: Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

As colder weather arrives, I find myself drawn to a warm bowl of soup. My boyfriend’s favorite soup is broccoli cheddar, and we find ourselves craving it this time of year. The question becomes, do we go to the nearest restaurant and try theirs, grab a can from the store, or make from scratch? I recently tried all three and am here to share my thoughts!

Hot Pumpkin Drink in mug

Pumpkin Recipe Roundup

Pumpkin is a classic flavor that reminds me of the fall season. One 15 ounce can holds about 2 cups of pumpkin. Some pumpkin recipes on Spend Smart. Eat Smart. use the full can while others may use a smaller amount. What do you do with any leftover pumpkin?

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

Fall baking season is in full swing! If you are anything like me, you spend summer counting down the days until there’s a chill in the air and you can break out those sweatshirts. Whether you like it warm or cold, we can all agree that fall brings wonderful flavors with it. One of my favorite fall memories is cooking in the kitchen with my dad.

bowl of hot soup with steam

Soup…What’s Saving My Life Right Now

A co-worker asked on a recent meeting as an icebreaker question ‘what’s saving your life right now?’ My response was a good book. The more I thought about it though, soup should have been my answer. I’m in a real rut of meal planning right now. The thought of having to think about what to cook my family for supper makes my head hurt. Soup to the rescue! My family loves soup and I’m grateful for that. Here’s what I love about soup.

winter squash

#WinterSquash

It’s fall so that means pumpkins, apples, and winter squash. I’m guessing that last one surprised you bit. In the fall we hear about all things pumpkin and apple. Based off social media posts, millions of people post about pumpkins and apples while only thousands post about winter squash. Even though winter squash isn’t talked about as much, it is a great fall vegetable to include in your meals.

fresh canned vegetables

Start Simple with Food Preservation

This time of year is one of our favorites.  The work of planning and planting a garden is behind us and now it is time to think about how to preserve our summer bounty.  Whether you are freezing, canning or dehydrating there are necessary steps to take to ensure both quality and safety.

leftovers in containers stacked on the counter

Spend Smart. Eat Smart. – With Friends!

Over the past few months we’ve heard from Christine’s mom, Katy’s friend, and Justine’s children. For the final blog in our interview series I talked with my friend and colleague, Kristin Taylor.

washing spinach at the sink

Get Help Buying Healthy Foods

For many of us, money is tight right now. The cost of groceries and gas are extremely high and additional SNAP benefits provided during the pandemic have ended in many states.

zucchini

How do you like your zucchini?

My kids love zucchini…in cake that is! And their grandma (my mom!) enjoys making it for them when zucchini is in season. A couple of weeks ago Parker got to help grandma make zucchini cake for us. It was quite delicious with cream cheese frosting!

strength cardio and stretching

Strength, Cardio, and Stretching Routine

The past couple of months I’ve shared about new physical activity videos we have on Spend Smart. Eat Smart. I enjoy making these videos to share because I am passionate about helping people find ways to be active that are fun and easy for them. Last time I shared Low Impact Cardio Intervals and Lower Body Stretch. Today I’d like to share our Strength, Cardio, and Stretching Routine. During the 10-minute routine strength exercises alternate with short cardio bursts. The routine ends with stretching. It is important for people of all abilities and skill levels to be physically active. This can be done by modifying movements for various needs. This routine can be done while sitting or standing so it is adjustable to meet your needs. I do the exercises sitting and my friend Katy does them standing. Grab a friend and get moving with us!

three water bottles

Hydrate and Stretch this Summer!

Summer is in full swing and my kids are busy with sports camps and day camps. My son is doing a strength and conditioning camp and the first day after camp his legs were sore! I encouraged him to do some leg stretches to help loosen them up. I got to thinking there are lots of activities we do during the summer that might make our legs a bit sore. Going for hikes, riding bikes, playing sports, walking while sightseeing on vacation and more! A new physical activity video we have on Spend Smart. Eat Smart. that might be helpful when you have sore legs is our Lower Body Stretch. It can be done as a standalone stretch or done when the body is warmed up for a deeper stretch.

kids playing hopscotch

Physical Activity: Good for your body and mind

We often hear about the many benefits physical activity has for our physical health but it also has numerous benefits for our mental health. Mental and physical health are closely connected. By being physically active, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and your risk of depression and anxiety. And you don’t have to workout for long periods of time to get the benefits. Short amounts of physical activity throughout the day add up and make a difference.