Reduce Your Foodprint & Save Money

Each day, Americans toss out enough food to fill the Rose Bowl stadium! As much as 40% of edible food in the United States goes uneaten. That’s a drain on your wallet of between $28-$43 a month. All that uneaten, but perfectly good food doesn’t just lay waste to your budget, it rots in landfills and pollutes the planet.

While your virtual self is looking for spare change in that mountain of food trash, we’ve got good news: With a little mindfulness, there are easy ways to reduce your foodprint and put money back in your pocket!
  1. Net-Zero Your Fridge. Before you restock, make sure it’s emptied of all edible food. If you really must stick to a shopping schedule, try freezing, canning or preserving foods.
    Befriend Your Freezer. Most frozen foods remain safe indefinitely. Freeze leftovers if you won’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad.
  2. FIFO Your Meals. Plan and cook meals using the “First In, First Out” rule. Place the most recently bought items toward the back so older items, in the front, are used first.
  3. Love Leftovers. Look for recipes that will help you get creative with using leftovers.
  4. Shop Smarter. Plan your shopping and avoid impulse buys. If you have no idea how much food your family wastes in a month, do what restaurants do to manage profit and loss: keep a log of what you buy and what you throw away.
  5. Get Savvy about Expiration Dates. “Sell-by” and “use-by” dates are manufacturer suggestions for peak quality. The dates are not federally regulated to indicate safety, except on certain baby foods. Not sure if you should keep a food or toss it? Search online for a shelf life guide.
  6. Bought Too Much? Donate or Compost. Non-perishable and unspoiled food can be donated to a food bank, soup kitchen, church, or a neighbor in need. Perishable food you can’t donate can be composted to recycle their nutrients and nourish the planet.
  7. Use the Resources List to access charts, instructions, and tools to help you reduce your foodprint.

Resources List

  • Turn Leftovers into Great Meals: Love Food – Hate Waste website:
  • How to Know Your Food Waste.
    (also search online for ‘household food waste journal or log’)
  • National Center for Home Food Preservation.
  • Keep it or Toss It- Shelf Life Guide.
  • Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart.
  • Simple Food Preservation Methods. Mother Earth Living.
  • Tools for Assessing Wasted Food.
  • How to Compost Kitchen Waste. Home & Garden TV.
  • Feeding America – Food Donation Programs.
  • Reducing Wasted Food Basics.
  • Sustainable and Fair Eating Habits. Think-Eat-Save.


Quinnie’s Kitchen Vegan Lasagna 

Vegan dishes are a great way to reduce your environmental footprint.  Meat-less (and cheese-free) meals use fewer natural resources from farm-to-table.

Tomato Sauce
24 oz. store bought vegan tomato sauce
To taste: Approx 1-2 tsp. each: Fresh (or dry) Basil, Oregano, Sage, Cumin, Cilantro, Parsley
Dash of sea salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper

Vegan Cheese Sauce
5 T. Earth Balance (soy free) or 5 T. Sunflower Oil
1/4 c. gluten-free flour mix
4 c. unsweetened vegan milk: almond, rice, coconut etc… ( Or make your own)
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp wet mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Noodles: Lasagna Noodles – Regular or Gluten-Free

Tomato Sauce Preparation
Mix ingredients together and heat up but do not bring to a boil. The longer it sits, the more flavor the herbs release into the sauce.

Cheese Sauce Preparation
1. Heat Earth Balance on low heat until melted (If using Sunflower Oil heat on medium for about 5 min).
2. Whisk in 1/4 cup regular flour or gluten-free flour mix; Immediately add 4 cups vegan milk.
3. Whisk continuously over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes or until thick.
4. Add sea salt, paprika, mustard and garlic.

Noodle Preparation
Preheat Oven to 350° F. Cook noodles as box instructs, rinse and lay out flat on parchment paper right away, but do this right before you put the lasagna together so noodles do not dry out.

Put the Lasagna Together
9×11 baking dish
Place a layer of tomato sauce in baking dish, layer of noodles, spoon Bechamel sauce over noodles; Drizzle some tomato sauce, layer of noodles, Bechamel, Drizzle of tomato sauce;
Last layer of noodles, tomato sauce and Bechamel.
Cook at 350° F for 30 minutes, allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Healthy Add-ins:
Quartered or chopped artichoke hearts, mushrooms, zucchini or other squash, diced/shredded onion, spinach or just about anything you like can be added in between the layers.

Place an order with Quinnie’s Kitchen or schedule a class!


Meditate: It Does a Brain Good!

Amazing changes happen to mind and body when you meditate. During meditation, there is a physiological shift called ‘the relaxation response’ (RR). This response is exactly opposite the stress response that so many of us have a hard time avoiding in our daily lives. You may think you have lots of ways to relax-sleeping, watching TV, reading-but these activities do not produce the same physiological changes that happen when you meditate. Yoga woman

In addition to changes in brain waves, heart rate and respiration rate, meditation results in disengaging from the thinking process. You become a detached observer of the clutter that fills your mind and learn to let go of it all, one breath, one moment at time. Your troubles won’t magically disappear, but your perspective about them will shift, even if you meditate just a few days a week.

How does Meditation work?
When you are stressed, your body releases hormones that can have a negative effect on your health. Research shows having stress hormones (e.g., cortisol) circulating through your body for prolonged periods is associated with certain diseases. Meditation brings about the RR and reduces the levels of stress hormones. Now, your immune system is better able protect you from illness, recover quickly, and restore optimal wellbeing.

What can Meditation Do For You? 

  • Reduces tension-related pain
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Strengthens neural pathways
  • Improves emotional stability
  • Enhances creativity
  • Boosts brain chemicals associated with mood, memory and learning

Start a Meditation Practice
Begin with 5 minutes a day and progress to 20 minutes at least 3-4 times a week. Use sounds of nature, music, a candle, or a guided imagery to help you get started. Meditation is often done seated or lying down. Use cushions or a chair to support your posture. Eyes closed or open is up to you.

You’ll soon discover that meditation is a state of mind involving awareness and acceptance, that you can do in the midst of any activity.



Reduce Your Foodprint & Save Money

Jensen, Brennen. “America’s Food Waste Problem is Bigger than You Think.” Johns Hopkins Magazine (Fall 2015). Accessed on Nov 12, 2015

Lipinski, B. et al. “Reducing Food Loss and Waste.” Working Paper, Installment 2 of Creating a Sustainable Food Future. (2013). Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Available online at

Food is simply too good to waste. Natural Resources Defense Council: Environmental Issues- Food and Agriculture. Statistics last updated September 18, 2013. (refers to the dollar figure shown in paragraph number one)

Sustainable Management of Food. Environmental Protection Agency.

Meditate: It Does a Brain Good!

Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress. Mayo Clinic.

Types of Meditation. Spirituality and Health Online.

Resources for Learning about Meditation: Institute for Noetic Sciences

The Relaxation Revolution: Enhancing Health through Mind-Body Medicine. Dr. Benson speaks to a small group about the role of the relaxation response in enhancing personal health with mind-body techniques.

Kabat-Zinn, J. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (Delta Trade Paperbacks, 1990).

Mehrmann, Craid S., “Meditation: Classifications, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications” in Naturopathic Doctor News & Review 11:1, (January 2014), 1; 6-9

What is Mind-body Medicine? University of Maryland Medical Center

Tang, YY, et al., “The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation.” Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Apr;16(4):213-25. doi: 10.1038/nrn3916. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Morgan, Nani et al. “The Effects of Mind-Body Therapies on the Immune System: Meta-Analysis.” Ed. Reury F. P. Bacurau. PLoS ONE 9.7 (2014): e100903. PMC. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Joseph E. & Murray, Michael T. (eds.) Textbook of Natural Medicine (4th ed). (Churchill Livingstone. 2013.

Chiessa, A. and Serretti, A. “Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: a review and meta-analysis.” J Altern Complement Med. 2009 May; 15(5):593-600.

Boccia, Maddalena, Laura Piccardi, and Paola Guariglia. “The Meditative Mind: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis of MRI Studies.” BioMed Research International 2015 (2015): 419808. PMC. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Anderson JW, Liu C, Kryscio RJ. “Blood pressure response to transcendental meditation: a meta-analysis.” Am J Hypertens. 2008;21:310-316.

Ospina, M. B. et al. “Meditation practices for health: state of the research.” Evid. Rep. Technol. Assess. (Full Rep.) 155, 1-263 (2007).

Epel E, Daubenmier J, Moskowitz JT, Folkman S, Blackburn E. “Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres.” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug; 1172:34-53.

Vitetta L, Anton B, Cortizo F, Sali A. “Mind-body medicine: stress and its impact on overall health and longevity.” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005;1057:492-505.

Xiong GL, Doraiswamy PM. “Does meditation enhance cognition and brain plasticity?” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Aug;1172:63-9.

Disclaimer The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.

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