Healthy New Year Resolution Tips + KIND bar giveaway!

kind bar giveawayMonth one of twelve has come to an end for 2015.
How are you doing on your new year resolutions?

I just shared my goals for 2015 and while I didn’t make a specific nutrition goal for myself I am always pursuing two goals on a daily basis:

1. Eating real food (no or little ingredient list with REAL food ingredients)
2. Eating the right balance of protein, fat, and carbs every meal and snack.

If you want some practical tips, here are 3 that I agree with and have talked about in various articles I’ve written:

3 Healthy New Year Resolution Tips (provided by KIND)

1. Make Calories Count
It’s important to make your calories count, focusing beyond the number of calories and really looking at the quality of foods you put in your body. Focusing on diet quality can help control your calorie intake and can improve a number of health outcomes.

Main tip: Choose simple, wholesome, nutrient dense foods and snacks made with a balance of healthy fats, protein and fiber, such as KIND bars to improve diet quality. 

2. Embrace (Good) Fat
A new saturated fat study published in Annals of Internal Medicine caused even more unnecessary confusion on the fat debate. Some dietary fats are better than others, but when you cut down on one nutrient, you end up making it up for it with something else – it’s all about finding the right balance.

Main Tip: Stop picking on fat and put emphasis on your food choices as a whole versus one specific nutrient.   

3. Skip the Fad Diets and Focus on Your Needs
“No size fits all” when it comes to all of the diets you hear about in the news. Many have elements that are beneficial, but according to a recent study published in Annual Reviews which reviewed major diets to determine what’s best, found there is no winner.

Main tip: Instead of following trends, focus on a lifestyle that incorporates foods that are close to nature and minimally processed.

KIND Product Review
When I share recipes or provide product reviews on my site, I make sure the recipes include real food ingredients and that I only promote a product I would use myself. I will only give my honest opinion so if there are ingredients I don’t agree with I will make it known. I’ve turned down plenty of product reviews because they don’t align with what I preach here at Budget for Health.

With that said, I was contacted by KIND asking to review some of their bars. I’ll admit that I’ve tried plenty of KIND products before but have probably only bought my own KIND bar once or twice (ever) because it’s cheaper to make my own version and I don’t usually promote bars since sugar is often added. However, if you were stuck in meetings all day and forgot your balanced lunch you packed yourself I would then tell you to reach for either a KIND bar or Larabar if they are options amongst a pile of sugary & processed crap-laden “healthy” bars.

I was given a sample of ten KIND products to review (all bars):

KIND Nuts & Seeds
KIND Fruit & Nuts

I preferred the KIND Nuts & Spices bars over the other two because they only contain 5 grams of sugar. My two favorite were the dark chocolate nuts & sea salt and the caramel almond & sea salt. The most sugar I saw in the KIND Fruit & Nut or KIND Plus bars was 14 grams. Some of that is due to the natural sugar in the fruit but some bars have added non-GMO glucose, sugar, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten the bar. You wouldn’t believe how crafty some companies are at hiding artificial sweeteners in their product and claiming to sell a natural or healthy product (hello Quest bars?? They contain stevia (ok in my book if it’s real stevia), erythritol (why did they even need to add more than stevia??), and sucralose (please no). To save a rant, I wrote a separate article all about navigating the different types of sugar.

You can learn about all the other KIND products they carry on the KIND website. If you decide you want to try a product out you can get 15% off + FREE shipping by using my promo code KINDNUTRITION through the end of February! With this deal you can get them for roughy $1.18 per bar.

KIND bar Giveaway
Now for the fun part; the KIND bar giveaway!
One lucky winner will be sent a prize package of 10 bars. This giveaway will end by midnight on Tuesday, February 3rd so tell folks about it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this article aside from the KIND bar samples given to review. All opinions are my own. 

Financial resolutions for the New Year

If you read my post about SMART goals, you know that I believe goals are great things to have if thought out well. We still have a few days left in the year to think about healthy habits we want to carry over or start in 2012. Aside from your goals on food and fitness, have you thought about making resolutions for your financial health? Personal financial health is of high importance in addition to physical fitness for those who want to have a more secure future. Whether you want to pay off a large amount of debt or just want create your first budget sheet to keep track of expenses, you need to start somewhere.

Our financial goals for 2012:
1. Pay off the rest of student loans
2. Complete our 6 month emergency fund
3. Increase our retirement fund to 15% of our gross income
4. Save $4,500 for a new (to us) car.
5. Save up 50% of a down payment on a house

Need some ideas for where to start?

– Download Dave Ramsey’s budget sheet and categorize your spending
– Create an account at to set up budgets and keep track of your money
– Put back a percentage of your paycheck into savings. If you’re already doing this, can you increase that percentage this year? You can usually set this up automatically with your bank.
– Cut costs. Are you eating out too much? Splurging on clothes too often? Do you need that coffee every morning?
– Analyze your credit score and find out how to increase it
– Contribute to your retirement savings (get rid of debt and jump on this one!)

What are your financial resolutions for 2012?