Always Eat After 7 PM: The Wrap Up!

AlwaysEatAfter7PM_FrontCoverThis post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

This is week four for us, and my final post (for now) about this pretty cool plan. Check out my previous post here.

As I was hunting for some recipes to try over the coming weeks last night, I came across this quote, “Scientists have established that consuming at least 20 grams of protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis for two to five hours after eating a meal. However, recent research also shows that protein synthesis drops to unexpectedly low levels during sleep, even if you eat ample protein during and after evening exercise. This has led researchers to speculate that this process may fall off during sleep if you don’t eat protein prior to bedtime.” I found it so interesting that I highlighted it. 

We’ve been taught that we need to avoid carbs, and focus on Protein, protein, protein. I love how Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight shows us that we need to have a balance. Rice is ok, veggies are ok, meat is ok, fats and sweets are ok too!

Now that we into week four, I’ve read a lot, learned a lot, and tried some really yummy recipes. I’m not sure I will keep to the plan 100%, but there are aspects that I do like and that I will be continuing on with (like starting with lemon water-  swear that’s a better wake up that a cuppa joe!

We all know water is good for us, but do we know why? Always Eat After 7 PM tells us, “Water helps digest your food, expel wastes, regulate your temperature, protect your tissues, cushion your joints, and protect your spinal column, among many other vital functions. It is through water that hormones flow to the proper organs, that nutrients reach all cells, and that toxins are diluted and removed from the body.”

And now that I’m not ravenous when I wake up each morning, I have more focus to get the kids through our morning routine. The most challenging times to curb hunger are just before bed and in the morning. By following the Always Eat After 7PM program, you have the most willpower to stay on the diet because you are eating during the hours when you are most hungry. This also puts you into both intermittent fasting increasing testosterone and your metabolism, while putting you into ketosis.

One of the things I liked most is that there is such a wide array of foods to choose from- and that nothing is ever 100% veteod. If you need a cheat day, take one!

If you’ve liked my posts and picked up a copy of this book, let me know! I’d love to see which recipes you’ve tried, and what swaps you made to live healthier.

Learn more about Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight and how to purchase it here.

Tracking PixelThis post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed are my own. To learn more about how and why I partner with brands, check out my disclosure page here.

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Always Eat After 7 PM: Goal Setting and Updates!

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own. hi-res Cheesy Ground Beef skillet - vertical

This is the Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet from Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion.

Most people assume foods like red meat and white rice can’t be fat loss friendly, but the latest research confirms the combination of protein and carbs (especially at dinnertime) actually helps regulate cortisol (known as the “belly fat hormone”), induces deeper sleep, and even helps stabilize morning blood sugar.

Ours wasn’t as photogenic, so I borrowed the pic from the book. It was simple, filling, and there was enough for lunch the next day! at 30 grams of protein per serving- I was pretty satisfied all night long, and well into the next morning.

And a quote from the book really resonated with me about the lack of hunger I was used to feeling within 20 minutes of rising each morning. “Those who ate breakfast ended up eating about 260 calories more a day, the review found. Those who skipped breakfast were about one pound lighter than those who ate breakfast. These findings led the researchers to conclude that eating breakfast isn’t necessarily a good strategy for losing weight. The science isn’t really there. Breakfast could very well be the least important meal of the day.”

My main reason for joining the Always Eat After 7pm journey is that we just aren’t able to exercise as much as we were pre-lockdown, and I want to keep up with my healthy lifestyle. And wow! Have we ever! You can see my first post here, and the second post here.

The food lists are great! They really help with shopping and meal planning. It is real food and real ingredients.  And the recipes are easy to follow. You don’t need to be a chef or foodie to follow them. Oh, and they are kiddo friendly.  There are so many ideas for snacks too- So you are never left feeling hungry (or in my case… hangry).

The other thing that has really been working well is the Lemon Water 3-Minute Fat-Burning Morning Rituals. “One of the simplest 3-Minute Fat-Burning Morning Rituals, lemon water is a glass of water mixed with the juice of one half of a lemon. This drink provides all the benefits of regular drinking water, which supports weight loss, digestive health, physical performance, and cognitive function.”

We bought some large plastic tumblers recently to help all of us (including the kids) to drink more water. I do my lemon water in the morning while I make coffee and make the kids breakfast. At the same time, I pour ice water for the kids and top with a lemon slice. They feel fancy that they get to drink “spa water” like mommy. Water is a great way to start the day!

“Water helps digest your food, expel wastes, regulate your temperature, protect your tissues, cushion your joints, and protect your spinal column, among many other vital functions. It is through water that hormones flow to the proper organs, that nutrients reach all cells, and that toxins are diluted and removed from the body.”

Learn more about Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight and how to purchase it here.

Tracking PixelThis post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed are my own. To learn more about how and why I partner with brands, check out my disclosure page here.

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Why I Chose Always Eat After 7 PM

AlwaysEatAfter7PM_FrontCoverThis post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.

Over the past few days I’ve read Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion cover to cover twice, making notes, and checking our current groceries.

I posted about Always Eat After 7PM last week here.

I decided to give Always Eat After 7pm a shot because we needed something new that helped keep us full, and in my case, help with sleep. I’m not sure if you gentle readers know, but when you have kids, sometimes sleep is elusive.  I also like how nothing is off the table. Moderation and balance are key! “Cheat” days or meals are built into the program. Joel Marion’s Always Eat After 7PM program makes dieting easy and eliminates 90% of the reasons for resistance.

Joel head shotThe author, Joel Marion took his time to research and develop the theories and practices behind this program. In an interview he states, “It actually took several years of researching for me to discover the real science of eating late night. After a few years of tweaking and refining, I finally came up with a rapid fat loss solution that overcomes all the pitfalls of traditional diets.”

Another quote from that interview really spoke to me. Most diets or eating programs are hard to follow, When asked if the Always Eat After 7pm program is hard to follow, Joel Marion said, “It’s not. And that’s exactly why I wrote the book. While any diet is never truly easy, it can be more enjoyable and much easier to adhere to when you understand how Always Eat After 7pm works because it caters to our bodies natural instincts.” And, ladies and gents, is what hooked me. 

We’ve been traditionally taught to avoid carbs, have an early dinner, and never eat before bed. But the fact is, the latest scientific research shows us this earlier model is not the most ideal. We’ve been having big, tasty meals full of flavor (and rice last night- it was so good!).

“A research paper published in Sports Medicine in 2014 showed that people who eat the majority of their carbs at dinner actually sleep better. Carb-induced, quality sleep decreases cortisol (a fat-storing hormone) and ramps up the production of your sleep hormones, serotonin and melatonin. Restorative sleep increases fat-burning hormones—the main one being growth hormone—overnight.”

We’re spending a portion of today meal planning and doing food prep, so our first full week in the Always Eat after 7PM program can be successful! You’ll probably see some new recipes and foods on the weekly Meal Plan post that will be coming up today (or early tomorrow morning, depending on how today goes).

Learn more about Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight and how to purchase it here.

Tracking PixelThis post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed are my own. To learn more about how and why I partner with brands, check out my disclosure page here.

Always Eat After 7PM Book Challenge: It Starts Now!

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.
AlwaysEatAfter7PM_FrontCoverRecently I was offered the chance to check out Joel Marion’s new book: Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight.  Since we aren’t able to hit the gym and we still want to stay on our journey to health, I decided to read the book and give this program a try.

We are still going out for walks several times a week, but I am not able to get the same level of exercise as I was pre-quarantine. And this is in no way a complaint- just a fact of life.

After reading the first few chapters of the book and browsing the recipes, I was hooked. So many parts of this program resonated with me. Here are a few excerpts that got me excited:

 “So, despite all the bad press over the years, certain carbohydrates play an important role in balancing your hormones and regulating your metabolic rate, while avoiding the dreaded weight loss plateaus that accompany conventional mainstream diets. Furthermore, when you eat these carbohydrates, you’ll feel much better than you would if you were following a traditional diet.”


“In general, healthy fats can also help increase feelings of fullness and satisfaction because they regulate appetite through a number of mechanisms, including the release of appetite hormones. What’s more, combining fat with fiber has been shown to further increase the satiating potential of fat. The satiating power of fats is often one explanation offered to describe why some weight loss trials have shown that low-carbohydrate (and higher-fat) diets tend to lead to greater weight loss than low-fat diets.”

We’ve been traditionally taught to avoid carbs, have an early dinner, and never eat before bed. But the fact is, the latest scientific research shows us this earlier model is not the most ideal. I’m excited to try out this program! Joel Marion is a fitness expert and nutritionist debunking the myths underlying traditional dieting and offers a simple, highly effective weight loss program.  This program is easy and eliminates 90% of reasons for resistance.

One thing that has stopped us in the past is snacking. With kids and a busy life, we don’t always have the time or ability to sit down and eat mini-meals or spend hours cooking recipes with strange ingredients. Always Eat After 7PM offers some really great snacking and meal options! All the recipes that I’ve looked at so far actually look tasty and are family-friendly.

If this sounds like something that interests you, I encourage you to follow my blog- I’ll be posting weekly updates with my progress and more tips and tricks from Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion. Learn more about the book and how to purchase here.

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed are my own. To learn more about how and why I partner with brands, check out my disclosure page here.

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4 Fresh, Healthy Smoothie Recipes Kids will Love!

37f39aabb6da4ee265e271d175c59991.jpgWe have smoothies a lot. It’s a good way to get fruit and/or veggies into the kids without any fuss.

It’s important to have a good blender that can handle fruits/veggies and ice. I love our new Calphalon Blender. I received it through one of my review programs.

We also have reusable shake straws– they are perfect for thick smoothies.

Here are the four recipes that my kids love!

Copycat Strawberries Gone Bananas (from Jamba): 1 cup apple juice (or milk), 1 frozen banana, 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup ice (or more, depending on how thick you like your smoothies). Blend all ingredients- makes 1 BIG smoothie or 2 kid-sized.

The Big Orange Smoothie: This one is the big kids’ favorite and is a version of one of his Jamba Juice favorites that is no longer on the menu. 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup frozen peaches, 1/2 c. frozen mango pulp, 1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1/2 cup ice (or more, depending on how thick you like your smoothies). Blend all ingredients- makes 1 BIG smoothie or 2 kid-sized.

Green Berry Surprise: The surprise is the spinach. You can’t see it or taste it! 1 cup water & a scoop of protein powder (Or milk of your choice), 1 cup frozen berries, 1 frozen banana, 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach, 1/2 cup ice (or more, depending on how thick you like your smoothies). Blend all ingredients- makes 1 BIG smoothie or 2 kid-sized.

Tropical Freeze: 1 cup juice (I like to mix orange and the pineapple juice from the can if you used canned pineapples until it’s 1 cup), 1 frozen banana, 1/2 c. frozen mango pulp, 1/2 cup pineapple,  1/2 c. frozen peaches, 1/2 cup ice (or more, depending on how thick you like your smoothies). Blend all ingredients- makes 1 BIG smoothie or 2 kid-sized.

The nice thing about smoothies is that you can use fresh or frozen fruit or veggies, any kind of juice, it’s all up to you!

Liquids:

  • Milk: Dairy, Oat, Hemp, Soy, Almond, or other nut milk. Your Choice.
  • Juice (Apple, Orange, and Carrot are popular)
  • Water and a scoop of protein powder
  • Water

Some of our favorite fruits include:

  • Bananas (I peel and slice overripe bananas and put them in ziploc bags, so they are ready to use!)
  • Strawberries- 99 Cents Only and Dollar Tree both stock 12 oz bags of strawberries. If you can’t find them in season, this is a great alternative.
  • Peaches- I usually buy them frozen.
  • Mangoes- 99 Cents Only sells Mango pulp, which is just the good parts of mango formed into a brick and frozen. I love mangoes, but I hate peeling and slicing them.
  • Mixed berries- 99 Cents Only sells mixed berries, which is usually strawberries, blueberries, blackberries.
  • Pineapple- Either canned in its own juice or frozen chunks. Frozen Pineapple is good straight out of the bag. Fresh pineapple is a lot of work to process just to turn into smoothies.

Tasty Veggies we enjoy in our smoothies:

  • Carrots- I usually chop them up small so they are easily incorporated.
  • Spinach- It blends in well and isn’t noticeable.

 

Talk Back: I’d love to hear what your favorite smoothie flavors are!

 

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Celebrate 9/9 Day all week with 99 Cents Only!

September 9th is coming. For most of us, that’s not a big deal, but for 99 Cents Only, it’s HUGE!

Every year they celebrate 9/9 day with a week of great deals! Starting on Monday, September 9th, 99 Cents Only has awesome deals each day for nine days- In addition to their daily deals and bargains.

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  • Monday 9/9* Only 6ft Stuffed Bear $19.99 (limit 1 per household) and 3 lbs. of Chaquita Bananas for .99!
  • Tuesday 9/10* Only Assorted Name Brand Skin & Hair Care 12 – 24 oz (limit 4 per household) for .99 each!
  • Wednesday 9/11* Only 18 Count Large Grade AA Eggs (limit 2 per household) for .99 each!
  • Thursday 9/12* Only 24 Pack Niagara Water (limit 4 cases per household) for $1.99 each!
  • Friday 9/13* Only Tide Simply Clean & Fresh 100 fl oz liq. (limit 1 per household) $2.99! This is a great deal- It’s usually about $5-6/bottle at Wal-mart/Target
  • Saturday 9/14* Only Light Up Razor Scooter (limit 1 per household) $4.99 each, and 3 pairs of flip flops .99!
  • Sunday 9/15* Only Assorted Premium Pet Beds up to 22 x 24 inches (limit 1 per household) $2.99
  • Monday 9/16* Only Pikmi Pops Surprise! (limit 2 per household).99 each
  • Tuesday 9/17* Only Bathrobes, Throw Blankets (limit 4 per household) .99 each

Some of these deals would be great for stocking stuffers or little surprises. I won’t be there every day, but I’ll definately be there a couple times to stock up on Tuesday 9/10/19 and 9/11/19!

 

Talk Back: What deals are you excited for?

Recipe: Homemade Chicken Soup!

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Yummy soup made with my favorite Seasoning Blend from Penzey’s

I love making chicken soup from scratch. The cook time is lengthy, but, you don’t have to pay a lot of attention to the soup for most of the cook time.

You can use whatever kind of spices/herbs you fancy. I love Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming, it’s a great smoky, rich compliment to the veggies in the soup.

Speaking of veggies, I use carrots, onions, celery, Italian squash/zucchini, but you can use whatever is in your fridge. Good additions would also be diced bell peppers, diced fresh tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes).

You can omit the noodles/macaroni is you don’t care for them or are GF/low carb.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs of chicken parts, bone-in or a rotisserie chicken with some of the meat removed and set aside
  • 2 cups of carrots chopped, divided
  • 2 cups of celery chopped, divided
  • 3 cups sweet onion diced, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic diced, divided
  • 1 large shallot diced, divided
  • 1T. cooking oil, your choice. I’ve been using grapeseed oil lately
  • 12 cups of water
  • bay leaf
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cups Italian squash/zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 14-ish ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice, or 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (optional)
  • other herbs/spices as desired
  • 1 cup uncooked pasta/noodles/rice (your choice)
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After cooking all day! Yummy Chicken Stock!

Directions:

  1. If starting with 5 lbs of raw chicken, place 1/2 of the carrots, onions, and celery into a large stock pot with the cooking oil.
  2. Cook on medium until veggies are soft, and onions are clear.
  3. Add 1/2 of the garlic and shallots, and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add raw chicken, and cook for about 10 minutes, until chicken browns.
  5. Turn stove down to low, add 12 coups of water, bay leaf, salt & pepper, and cover. Cook stock on low for about 4-6 hours- you can cook it for up to 12 hours in your crockpot if you wish instead).  Pull out a few pieces of chicken, pull off the cooked meat and set aside (you want about 2 cups of chopped cooked meat). Put bones back into the pot. Cook for another 20-30 minutes.
  6. Take the stock off the heat, and once cool, strain off the solids, and discard. The remaining liquid is your chicken stock. While you start with 12 cups of water, after cooking the stock down, you may end up with 6-8 cups of rich, velvety stock.
  7. Place chicken stock on the stove in a large pot, add in chopped chicken, remaining veggies, and any herbs/spices.
  8. Once veggies have started to soften/cook, add noodles/macaroni/rice if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.
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Mire Poix- Aka carrots, celery, and onions with a bayleaf, garlic and shallots. The perfect start to any soup!

As soon as noodles/macaroni/rice is cooked, remove soup from heat. Serve with hot bread (and butter).

*If you are starting with a rotisserie chicken, pull off 2 cups of meat, and add the carcass after the veggies are cooked and fragrant. proceed with remainder of recipe.

Women’s Health Week!

Womenshealth.gov - National Women's Health Week!
It’s only fitting that Women’s Health Week starts on Mother’s Day. While not every woman is a mother, everyone has a woman they care about in their life. National Women’s Health week is May 13- May 19, 2018.

The Women’s Health Week website has all sort of great guides and resources all about how women at any stage of life can care for themselves. And they are SIMPLE STEPS!

Here are just a few daily choices that women can make to live a little more healthier:

  • Eat healthy — go to ChooseMyPlate.gov to get started
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity
  • Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep

See, baby steps!

A few other helpful hints that are good for your body & mind as well as your wallet…

If you have health insurance, don’t forget to get your annual check-up/exam (it’s covered for free under all health insurances in the US)! You can take that time to address health questions with your PCP. If you don’t have health insurance, many Planned Parenthood Clinic offer annual exams (in addition to annual reproductive health exams) for free or very low cost.

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Getting outside with a friend (or pet) is a great way to relieve stress!

If you don’t belong to a gym or health club, many employers offer discounts or work with gyms to offer discounted memberships.  If you aren’t a gym person, check out your local parks. Lots of parks in our local area have special walking loops and even fitness stations (Mast Park in Santee has both!). Other parks in San Diego with fitness/exercise stations include: Mission Bay Park,  Embarcadero Parks North & South, Tidelands Park near the base of the Coronado Bridge as you arrive in Coronado, Hilton Head Park in Rancho San Diego, Chollas Lake Park, and Morley Field (near Balboa Park). If your local park doesn’t have a fitness course, play on the jungle gym or go for a walk!

Taking care of your skin is a great way to practice a little self-care and relax. Here is my DIY Frugal Facial.

And the easiest step I can recommend to better your health: Have a glass of water! We have all sorts of water bottles at home, including infuser bottles like this one. The kids each have a water bottle too!

And if you are a budget, don’t forget to check out freebie sites for health and beauty freebie- I’ve gotten free SPF, skin care products, a pedometer, and vitamins!

I’d love to hear from you: What simple steps do you incorporate into your life to improve your health? Guys, you can comment too!  Better health is for everyone, not just ladies!

 

Easy, Family Friendly Water Saving Tips

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You may have heard, California is in a pretty severe drought situation, which has led to some pretty severe water use restrictions.

As a California Native, I honestly don’t remember a time when we haven’t been actively conserving water. However, now it’s more important than ever.

How can you and your family help out? Like most things, small tweaks can lead to big  changes, especially if many people pitch in.  Here are a few examples of ways YOU and YOUR FAMILY can help out:

Fix any leaky faucets. It may be as simple as replacing a worn out gasket in the faucet. Depending on how many drips you count per minute and how many faucets you have that are drip drip dripping, you could be wasting up to 5 gallons of water A DAY!!!

Limit showers to 5 minutes or less.  I know take a long, hot shower is nice, but realistically, most ladies don’t need to wash their hair every day, and all that water is just going down the drain. If you need to relax, take a bath.  Once you are done… try the next tip.

Got kids who still take a bath? Once they (or you!) are done, scoop the some of the water out of the tub in a bucket (I like the 5 gallon Homer Buckets from Home Depot) and use it to water your lawn, houseplants, or even your garden. For more tips and info on how and when it’s ok to use gray water in your garden, check out this segment from KPBS Midday Edition.

Only run the dishwasher when it’s full. That seems like a no-brainer, but it really does save water!

Use the correct setting on your washing machine! If you don’t have a large load, remember to change the load size on your washing machine. Using Energy Star rated appliances will not only help you save electricity, but it will also help you save water! Read the washing machine  manual to learn about which water settings should be used.

Turn off the sink while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. You could save up to 8 gallons a day per person who brushes their teeth.

Consider removing your lawn. I know having a lush, green lawn is a source of pride for some homeowners, but now is not the time!  You can Xeriscape, which is where you pull out the lawn and replace it with decorative rocks or mulch and native, drought tolerant plants. It’s really pretty. And you’ll be saving tons of water!

Pick up some rain barrels. I know, I know, we’re in a drought! But it still does rain here from time to time. The City of San Diego has a rebate program for those who purchase and install rain collection barrels. For those of us who can’t install barrels, you can always set out buckets to collect water and store it appropriately.  We always set out a few buckets to collect water for our patio garden.

Take your car to the carwash! Most commercial carwashes use  recycled water, so taking your car to the carwash is a great way to conserve water. It’s a lot more water efficient- the average commercial carwash uses 30-50 gallons of water per carwash (and most of it is or can be recycled), whereas a DIY at home car washing can use upwards of 100 gallons of water!

Compost your kitchen scraps! Instead of running your garbage disposal (which requires water!) to dispose of organic waste (that includes food waste), start a compost pile/bin.  You can find small compost bins (including table top versions!) at Home Depot for those who don’t’ have a large yard (like us). In addition to most food waste, yard waste, newspaper, and cardboard can be added to compost piles/bins. You can learn more about composting here.

So, there are just a few ways you can be water wise. How do you like to conserve water?