Should you ask your doctor about your diet?

Most of us want to know about whether the type of food we eat is actually doing us any good. When we go to the doctor for our annual physical, we expect to learn more about our health and possibly our diet, but generally we get our blood and urine tests and we’re told whether everything is normal. The doctor won’t really give us details about what we should eat or what we are lacking in our diet, only what vitamin deficiency we have. If we want to learn more about our diet, what we should eat, what we should stop eating and get an individually based plan, we need to go to a certified nutritionist.

“Asking a doctor about your nutrition is like going to a plumber and asking him a question about electricity. “ says nutritional expert Elizabeth Somer, R.D.

Somer says 7 out of 10 Americans are overweight or obese and this is something we can control by what we eat. In general, Somer recommends people eat foods with Omega 3’s to lower the risk of heart disease. For eye health, eat lutein and zeaxanthin which is in dark greens. Eating 1 to 2 cups of spinach a day should cover your basis. Pregnant women should take multivitamins that contain folic acid, omega 3’s and DHA for brain and vision development.

Somer suggests folks eat 8 colorful servings a day of vegetables, 3 servings of 100% whole grains and 2 calcium rich milk cups.

So next time you have a question about your nutrition, search for a nutritionist around your area, they are the experts in helping you eat better.

Eating Healthy on a Tight Budget (con’t)

Eating healthy is essential to helping develop our bodies into a strong and energetic machine. In continuation with my healthy series, I asked Dietitian Leigh Tracy from Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD what are some of her tips on staying healthy while on a budget. She gave me the following great tips.

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Leigh Tracy

Eat seasonally. Fruits and vegetables that are in season will be less expensive. If your favorite fruit or vegetable is not available fresh, try the freezer section. Frozen produce is a great way to enjoy fruit or vegetables year around and are still packed with nutrients.

Buy whole foods and chop them up yourself rather than purchasing them pre-cut. It might take a little time, but it will help save money.

Use coupons! Coupons are an easy way to save money. Some grocery stores allow you to double up on coupons, so you get even more savings.

Write a grocery list and stick to it! Avoid impulse shopping and keep to your list of what you really need. Avoid shopping on an empty stomach as well.

Turn tonight’s leftovers into tomorrow’s lunch! Using what you already have instead of making new meals each day can help you save money and not waste food.

Try the dollar store. Some dollar stores today have a grocery section. You can purchase healthy foods such as brown rice! You can even find no salt seasonings, which are great ways to add flavors to food.

As you just read,  there are ways to avoid eating the unhealthy, processed and cheap stuff, here was the proof!

Thank you Leigh!


Eating healthy on a tight budget

Welcome to my 1st of many articles talking about nutrition. One of my favorite topics! I love trying to eat healthy and finding the most nutritious ingredients I can find. I also love interviewing the experts on what they recommend. Here is my first piece on how to eat healthy on a budget.  Enjoy!

Jumping on the eating healthy bandwagon? Excellent, just don’t believe people when they say eating healthy is expensive. While buying organic and trendy health foods IS pricey, you can undoubtedly get a great healthy meal on the table without hurting your wallet. Try following  these few great tips for inspiration!.

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Franci Cohen

I asked Franci Cohen is a personal trainer, board certified nutritionist, owner and CEO of the specialty fitness center, Fuel Fitness in Brooklyn, New York and (catch your breath) mother of 4 kids for some eating healthy tips. She was kind enough to  take some time out of her super busy schedule to provide me with some great information.

According to Cohen, buying in season, coordinating meals and eating less expensive cuts of meat are some great ways to cut down on your food shopping bill.

Tip #1

“Buy fresh produce when it’s in season, and freeze it!” says Cohen.  When something like strawberries or corn are out of season, the price can skyrocket to exorbitant amounts of money!

“Buy your corn in the summer, your cherries in the spring, and all other produce when it is in season here in the U.S.. This will save you not hundreds but thousands each year,” she adds.

Tip #2

Cohen says to look for supermarket sales and coordinate your meals around them.

“For example, if you see in the daily circular that organic chicken breast will be 1/2 price on Friday, then plan your Friday night with chicken as the star focus! Carefully planning your menus around supermarket sales can allow you to get the healthy food you want at a fraction of the cost!” she adds.

Tip #3

A good piece of advice is to choose less expensive cuts of meat says Cohen. She says that most meats that are highly marbled are extremely costly (such as fillet mignon), and cuts that have a lot of tough connective tissue are generally very cheap. “No need to splurge on the expensive stuff! Instead, buy the inexpensive cuts and use moist media to prepare the meat. For example, don’t grill or pan sear it, but instead cook it in a stew or overnight in a slow cooker. This will yield the same soft and tender meat with less fat, and for a much lower price!”

Tip #4

Utilize extremely cheap beans and grains to add more bulk to your meals she says, thereby reducing the need for expensive fish or meat.

“Beans and grains are an extremely cheap way of adding both fiber and protein to your plate. Protein? Yep! That’s right. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are stored in couplets in the body. While animal protein contain these already in couplet form, beans and grains that contain singles of these couplets can be mixed to create the couplet, and thereby the protein.”

An example of this says Cohen is rice and lentils, rice is not a protein and neither are lentils, but rice and lentils together are. “So stock up on barley, brown rice, quinoa, and other heart healthy grains. It’s an extremely cheap and versatile key element for your meal planning, she advises.

There you have it folks, awesome tips on how to eat healthy on a budget without resorting to expensive trendy foods, just focus on the basic food groups to keep yourself healthy physically AND financially!

Check out Franci at


Food and Finance

I would like to let everyone know that soon I will be posting more articles on a variety of topics in addition to personal financial pieces. In this new and updated version of Ace the Journey, I will write more about the nutritional aspect of our lives. We know how important a stable financial life can be to us, but we can’t forget about focusing on a healthy lifestyle right? How are we going to enjoy the stability we’ve created by diligently saving for our goals if we don’t feel good?
In the new series of articles I will talk about:

– Best ways to save at the supermarket

– What to ask your doctor about your nutrition and any nutritional deficiencies you may have.

– Best Nutrition books, podcasts and magazines

– What does clean eating really mean?

– How Mandalas can aide your healthy lifestyle…. and much, much more.

– So please keep posted. I enjoy bringing this information to you and hope you enjoy reading it!

Donating your car?

If you are looking for an efficient way to donate your car where it will go towards a good cause and also give you a tax deduction, I asked Morris Franco from Kars4Kids Car Donation Program to give me a bit of background on this non-profit that helps children through education and mentorship by getting funds through car donations.

What is the best way to donate your car?

As long as basic info has been submitted online or by phone, the donation will count for 2014 and donor will get the tax deduction for this year. Form can be filled out on our home page

How do I know the facility taking my donated car will actually use proceeds to help children?

The best way to tell is to see how much information they disclose online about where the funds are being allocated. After that you can check out their 990 tax forms from previous years which is usually available online.

What is the process like (from beginning to end result? What happens when I donate my car to your organization?

We actually have a web page that addresses how the process works from beginning to end, you can check that out here