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Scientists Discover Why Eating Leftovers Is Good For Your Health

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Scientists Discover Why Eating Leftovers Is Good For Your Health

Leftovers are great! When you start thinking about what to have for dinner tonight, who doesn’t love it when they remember they have leftover food that can just be reheated to have a delicious dinner? No extra work, no extra dishes!

Scientists have shown that eating leftovers is healthy, for your body, your wallet, and the environment.

American households throw away about $640 each worth of food every year, and consumers don’t really care about the environmental impact of trashed leftovers piling up in landfills, according to a survey by the American Chemistry Council.

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Healthy Environment, Healthy You

Food waste makes up more than 20% of what’s in landfills and is a significant source of methane gas as it rots, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to Earth’s warming. Plus, there’s the environmental impact created by growing and shipping food across the country. Wasted food accounts for about 2% of greenhouse gas emissions, 35% of freshwater consumption, 31% of cropland and 30% of fertilizer usage, according to data cited in an article on food waste from Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, published in the journal PLOS in June 2015.

Marty Heller, a senior research specialist with the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, and his colleague Greg Keoleian, released a study looking at the greenhouse gas emissions involved with the production of the food we eat and the food we waste. “If we look at the greenhouse gas emissions associated with that food waste, it is equivalent to adding an additional 33 million average passenger vehicles to our roads every year,” Heller said.

Your Body on Leftovers

As for your body, when you reheat already cooked fruit and vegetables, all you’re losing is a little vitamin C (it’s heat and time sensitive) and a small amount of B vitamins, but you’ll make up for them elsewhere in your diet. The fiber content is just as high, and the flavors can be better the second time around!

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Often the taste of your food will be more intense as the water content will be lower, and if you’ve stored cold meat and gravy with cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, they will all have infused their flavors and you’ll have less need for added salt. Beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of cancer, is more easily absorbed from cooked carrots and tomatoes than from being eaten raw, and people with sensitive digestive systems can find cooked vegetables easier to digest.

What To Do With Your Leftovers

If you don’t like reheated foods, try making the food into a different texture. Leftover chicken or brisket? Time for some pulled/shredded meat! Leftover vegetables or bread? Time for a soup! Leftover pizza can be turned into omelets, quiche, croutons, and more. Here’s some more great ideas for repurposing your leftovers.

And here are some great ideas on making a new meal with your pasta from last night!

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Whoa, Money Savings Alert!

And taking your leftovers for lunch will save you money. Don’t spend $8-10 per day on lunch, when soups, sandwiches, salads, and more can be reheated at work for a healthier and less costly meal. If you’re spending $8 per day on lunch, you’re spending $2,080 per year on lunches alone. Even taking your lunch to work or school twice per week will save you a good amount of money! Buying lunch 3 days per week means spending $1,248 per year. Moreover, eating leftovers for dinner once per week will save you on average $25 for one meal for two adults, or $40+ for families with kids!

Let’s say you eat leftovers only one night per week for dinner. A family of 2 adults will save $1300 in ONE YEAR. You could go on a great vacation for less than that!

So, basically, you can save the environment, be healthier, and save money by eating the food that you already have. Help an Earth out, and eat in!

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Featured photo credit: jeffreyw, via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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