St. Patty’s Day is right around the corner and that means busting out your emerald sweater and embracing this infamous diet buster – beer! Have no fear my Savvy readers, we’ve got you covered.
The good: Some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may reduce heart disease and play a role in cancer prevention.
The bad: We've all heard of the beer belly. Truth be told, it’s not the beer that causes the belly but the excess calories that come from drinking too many and the nachos we wash it down with.
The bottom line: Like most things in life it really boils down to moderation. Here are three surprisingly good tasting beers that won't blow your calorie budget out of the water.
Sapporo Light: Light, refreshing flavor - 119 calories
Bud light: Smooth, crisp flavor – 110 calories
Guinness: You can’t celebrate St. Patty’s day without a little Guinness. Thick, rich flavor – 125 calories
Savvy Scoop: We usually use the search engines to find the best deal and book directly with the airlines if the price is the same. If you have to make changes to your flight, it'll be easier to deal directly with the airline.
BOOKING FLIGHTS (Best Search Engines, Hands Down)
Bing.com/travel - Enter your destinations and this site will make recommendations on when to Buy or Wait, with a confidence rating, giving you all the tools you need to know when to make your move.
FLIGHT DISCOUNT ALERTS
Airfarewatchdog.com - If you've got a little time before you need to book, enter your destination and date parameters into this search engine and you can expect alerts on great deals right in your inbox.
Seatguru.com - If you're always getting that unfortunate non-reclining seat right near the toilet, check out this site to find out which are the best spots on the plane.
BEST AIRPORT EXPERIENCE
Ifly.com - Whether you've got a long layover or need to see how fast you're going to have to run to make your connection, you can get all the dish you need to make the most of your airport time right here.
With the help of a dear Savvy Friend, we've concocted a Savvy Cocktail of the Week which costs less than $2 a drink, beating out any Happy Hour deal, any time.
Why Fiber is Savvy in 4 Easy Bullet Points:
Fiber adds low-caloric bulk to your meals, making you feel fuller and less prone to munchies
Fiber gets food on the fast-lane through your digestive track leading to the sweet joy of regularity
Fiber is like a Roto-Rooter to your colon, reducing your risk for colon cancer
Fiber is great for the heart, reducing blood cholesterol levels
How much should I eat?: At least 25 grams a day is recommended for women
I'm convinced! How can I get me some of that fiber?
Whole grain breads: look for 3 grams per serving or more
Cereals: look for 4 grams per serving or more, oatmeal and Fiber One are great
Popcorn: forget the butter and this is an incredible high-fiber treat
Brown rice: switch out your white rice the next time your run out
Beans and legumes
Fruits and vegetables: go for a glass of water and piece of fruit instead of juice
Traveling can be a ton of fun and it can also be a major drag. Really, it’s how you prepare that can make the difference. Based on ALL the traveling I've done recently (and there has been a lot), how you gear up for your time in the air can help make the entire experience that much better. This little savvy sister wouldn't fly without her “little special kit.” Through trial and error I've created a bag of goodies that is filled with essentials to help me stay on point. Since much of my travel is related to business, I need to arrive feeling fine! Here is what you will find in the travel kit I take with me everywhere, maybe this will inspire yours!
- Gum/mints: We choose Orbitz, the flavor never seems to end, and it’s a good stopgap if you can’t brush your teeth.
- Mini toothbrush/toothpaste: Always worth having in hand, even on a short flight. What happens if they serve fish? Opt for the travel size.
- Laxative: We love Senakot. Nothing worse than getting stuffed up, and even if there isn’t a time zone change travel creates stress and that can create a “blockage.” Just keeping it real.
- Cranberry pills: Again, may sound silly, but these pills ensure there is always a good flow.
- Earplugs: Some people find it hard to use them on flights (pressure), we can’t fly without them. Easier to sleep in than headphones (of any type) and they keep out all that pesky jet wash.
- Eye mask: A smart little mask can mean the difference between enjoying a relaxing snooze and a big headache. We love the silk ones with a bit of aromatherapy. Airplanes are not known for their fragrant scent.
- Eye pads: We are IN LOVE with Recipe for Men’s eye patches. They literally dissolve the puffy bags that form under eyes in flight. A bit expensive but SO savvy if you want to arrive looking fresh.
- Eye drops: A good accessory to the eye patch. Red eyes are never a good look.
- Tampon: Don’t get caught without one!
- Face wash and moisturizer: You can chose the brand you love, but we strongly suggest you travel with your favorite (in a small container). So good to freshen up your face, and moisturizer should be mandatory for men and women alike.
- Lip balm: We would never fly without Dr. Hauschka lip balm, this brand keeps lips dewy soft! And it smells like a wonderful afternoon at the spa. Really!
- Pain reliever: We swear by Advil, and we always will!
- Mini hairbrush: Best to get a brush with wide set bristles, less static and easier to get through bed head knots
- Band Aid: Blisters anyone? You just never know...
- Hair tie: No matter how you did you hair on the way out the door you may need a fixer upper after a few hours in the air. A sleek ponytail is always better than tresses gone wild.
- Instant coffee: Airplane coffee is just plain bad, no matter what class you fly. We always bring Starbucks instant coffee with us to doctor up the brew. Their instant brand is actually micro ground, not freeze dried. SO good!
- Tissues: In case that movie you’re watching gets you weeping (or you have a cold!)
ALL these items fit in our little bitty case. Yes, there is some cramming that takes place, but we wouldn’t leave home without it!
We've been doing a little traveling recently and so valued, so necessary, so critical to our mental health is our strong morning cup of joe, we did a little BYO action for our trip and BOY are we glad we did. (see how that works, three letters, two different ways? ; ) We saved mega-bucks, to the tune of three weeks of rich, flavorful, strong morning joe for the cost of about one Starbucks (plus a mini percolator), just by bringing our own.
Here's the Savvy Scoop:
- When you travel, especially if you're doing an extra savvy home stay and have a kitchen, bring a 2 or 3-cup aluminum espresso percolator. They cost as little as $6 (even less if you pick one up at a restaurant supply store) it's tiny, it fits in your suitcase, and it'll last a lifetime, paying for itself in about one week. (P.S. they say it makes 3-cups, but really, who are they kidding? It's about the amount of one American cup of coffee). If you won't have access to a stovetop on your travels but WILL have access to hot water, bring a mini french press and you won't go joe-less.
- Bring or buy locally, one vacuum packed espresso brick, like Pilon or Cafe Bustelo (about $2-3). If you make one cup a day, it lasts about three weeks.
- Brew, sip and savor your scrumptious cups of joe reveling in the fact that with all the money you saved on coffee, you can start planning your next trip.
First time using a coffee percolator? Check out this article for tips.Photo: Toshihiro Oimatsu via Flickr
After a recent "I need a serious treat" experience, my hard-working colleagues and I decided to have some sushi. And by "some" sushi, I mean "a lot" of sushi. I don't need to tell you how incredibly tasty, fancy and artful sushi is. But it's also sneaky. Sneakily containing about the same amount of calories and fat as a small cheeseburger and when I'm feeling not so savvy, I wholeheartedly believe that spider roll, rainbow roll and pawtucket roll is good for me. (I made up the last one, but you get the idea).
So you're watching your waistline (and your budget), how do you navigate the sushi menu? Here are a couple of examples, using Weight Watchers Points as a guide since it's an easy way to illustrate the calorie cost.
This Savvy Girl does love her sweets, but after losing a fair amount of weight, she tends to watch the waistline. Ah, Weight Watchers, you’ve been good to me! With that said, we are NOT a fan of prepackaged desserts, etc. Too much fake everything.
Here are our favorite ways to enjoy something sweet without totally tipping the scales! PS, just remember too much of anything can be a bad thing when walking a trim line…
- Marshmallows: Their spongy, sweet goodness carries less caloric punch than most other snacks of this type. And how fun is it to skewer them with a fork and roast them inside over your stove? Burnt sugary goodness! Try Jet-Puffed Marshmallows for $2.19. Approximate Calories/Fat: 19 C/.012F
- Champagne: A small glass provides a tasty, happy feeling, but doesn’t provide a million calories or any fat. Just bubbly fun! We recommend a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut for $25.99. Approximate Calories/Fat: 89C/0F
- Dove Promises: If you want chocolate their dark version is formed in the perfect bite-sized shape–great for portion control. And the chocolate truly is creamy, which is more than you can say for most brands you can buy at a convenient store. Dove Dark Chocolate Promises for only $4.99. Approximate Calories/Fat: 35C/.2F
- Caramel Rice Cakes: Very low on everything, these rice cakes supply equal parts crunchiness and sweetness, and a good time all around. We love them, especially when we’re craving cookies. Best substitute ever! We recommend Quaker Caramel Corn Rice Cakes for $2.99. Approximate Calories/Fat: 50C/.3F
- Maple Syrup: Sometimes all you really need is a big tablespoon of maple syrup to get you through the day. Close your eyes, dream of a forest filled with rippling red leaves and the woody scent of autumn. It’s right there, on that spoon! Try Aunt Jemima’s Original Syrup for $3.99. Approximate Calories/Fat: 50C/0F
- Frozen Bananas: No they are not ice cream, but if frozen just as they are about to go too ripe they can in fact substitute for the icy, creamy goodness you want to eat but know you shouldn’t. Try the Yonanas Machine for maximum ice cream appeal, only $49.99! Approximate Calories/Fat: 105C/.4F
Who said you can’t indulge a sweet tooth!
Savvy Tip of the Week
Create your own tinted lip gloss!
Simply mix any of your favorite lipsticks with a dab of Vaseline.
What is 24/Savvy?
24/Savvy is about living the smartest, most creative life possible with whatever we’ve got on hand.
You're one step away from savvy living!