Beat sugar cravings without breaking a sweat

Beat sugar cravings without breaking a sweat

Dinner Diva
Beat sugar cravings without breaking a sweat

By: Leanne Ely

Breaking News! Sugar is not good for us! Bet you didn’t know that! 😉

I’m kidding of course. Everyone knows sugar is the pits. 60 Minutes recently did a big story on just how bad it is and how it even disrupts brain function!

For some folks, this isn’t enough information. Some people are just plain hooked on the stuff. Did you know that sugar is as highly addictive as heroin? Maybe even more so?

So if you’re hooked, feel hopeless and need a little help, don’t worry, I’ve got a few ideas on how to rid yourself of this sugary demon.

1) Drink Up. Increasing your water intake will help flush out those sugary toxins. Not only that, but water helps you feel full, and if you aren’t dealing with hunger pangs you’re much less likely to turn to sugar.

2) Stop It. Quit adding sugar to food and stop buying sweetened versions of things. Sugar is hiding everywhere; you need to be label reader cum laude and know what on earth is lurking in your food. Better still, a good first step is to just stop buying all packaged crap. Buy plain yogurt instead of flavored (you can always add a scant amount of natural honey to help your taste buds with the transition—honey is much better for you than processed sugar). Buy unsweetened coconut or almond milk rather than the sweetened varieties. Your taste buds will adjust. Trust. Me. They will.

3) Walk It Out. Sometimes the best thing to do to get over the craving is go for a walk or get busy with an enjoyable project to keep your mind off it for a bit. Call a friend on the phone for a chat and talk about non-food things. The craving will go away if you occupy your mind with other things.
But let’s face some facts; we’re human, we’re programmed to love sweet from the beginning (breast milk is very sweet, by the way!). No need for deprivation, here are some simple and delicious ways to get your sweet on without obliterating your health:

*Eat dark chocolate. Buy the good stuff (organic, 85% dark) and really enjoy it.
*Throw chunks of frozen banana in the blender with some fresh berries and Greek yogurt for a delicious, healthy smoothie (brownie points if you add spinach and chia seeds).
*Mix Greek yogurt with a bit of honey and dip blueberries in it. Freeze the yogurt-covered blueberries on cookie sheets and take them out when you need something sweet.
*Eat a piece of fruit. You wouldn’t believe how often a craving for a chocolate bar can be sated with a juicy apple. Give it a try!

Sign up now for our Addicted Brain webinar and learn how to beat sugar

Now Serving Dinner for Two

By: Daniel Munns

We have been getting a lot of requests recently for a Saving Dinner Fundraising package for smaller families, or couples. Many of our current fundraising products offer great meal planning solutions for families of 4 to 6 people. Those looking to cook just for two can still enjoy these great menus, however they are required to adjust the serving sizes to fit their needs. Well not anymore! The brand new Dinner for Two Package is made up entirely of meal plans built for two.

This package is perfect for grandparents supporting their grandchildren’s school fundraiser, empty nesters, or any others needing to cook just for two. Included in the Dinner for Two Package are 48 weeks of mouth-watering recipes, with 12 weeks for each season. For a taste, below is a recipe for two from one of the summer weekly menus:

Spicy Citrus Pork Chops
Serves 2

3 tablespoons orange juice
4 teaspoons lime juice
½-1 clove garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 boneless pork chops

Cooking Instructions: Combine all ingredients except pork chops in a large zip-lock plastic bag. Moosh together to blend flavors. Next, add pork chops; seal bag and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Pre-heat outdoor or indoor grill or oven broiler. Remove pork chops from plastic bag and dispose of marinade. Cook chops on grill to desired level of doneness.

Nutrition per serving: 169 Calories; 7g Fat; 22g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 67mg Cholesterol; 53mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 3 Lean Meat. Points: 4.

Test this recipe out and let us know what you think! We will be sharing our picture of these delicious pork chops on our Facebook Page.

If you have questions about our newest fundraising package, or anything else to do with our program, all you have to do is send us a note HERE.

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Beat sugar cravings without breaking a sweat
There’s nothing like it

There’s nothing like it

Dinner Diva
There’s nothing like it

By: Leanne Ely

This is the time of year where green thumbs and gardening novices alike storm the home improvement store’s gardening section and attempt to start a vegetable garden. It’s an old tradition to plant a summer garden. And while it may seem a tad romantic to have a Martha Stewart styled vegetable garden, for many people it seems highly unattainable.

And I think that’s a shame.

We complain about models being photoshopped on magazine covers, right? Well I for one will add to that complaint the pictures of unattainably beautiful gardens in magazines. They can be quite attractive, but honestly, that isn’t the ultimate goal.

One of the healthiest things you can do for your body, psyche and soul is to plant a garden that mixes the edible with the inedible. Whether that garden is huge and abundant or it’s the community garden in an urban setting you have to take a bus to get to, gardening is in my mind, a fundamental connection we can all have with understanding the importance of eating good food.

When it’s grown and cultivated by your own hands, the appreciation for that first green bean or tomato is celebrated with pictures on Facebook and a somewhat braggadocios sentence or two to display your gardening prowess– look at me, I’m a farmer!

I have yet to see pictures on Facebook about food bought at the grocery store. Growing your own food turns the monotony of opening the fridge, pulling out something you bought from the grocery store, cooking it and eating it everyday into a primal experience on many levels. There’s simply nothing like it.

Connect to the source of your food this year and try a little garden. You don’t have to plow up the backyard or even build a raised bed. Just throw some zucchini in between the petunias and impatiens and put a pretty tomato plant in a planter. With a little creativity and thinking outside of the norm, we can all enjoy a bountiful garden.

Need some inspiration to use up those garden goodies? Try our Vegetarian ebooks!

Saving Dinner Fundraising Welcomes Summer with New Packages for Sale!

By:  Daniel Munns

Summer is here, and I couldn’t be more excited!  To me, the warm weather means firing up the grill, having friends and family over for a cookout, and spending time outdoors.  Saving Dinner Fundraising has decided to welcome the season with two brand new packages for sale – the Summer Package and the Summer Deluxe Package!

The new additions to the fundraising product lineup include many of your favorite summer menus from Saving Dinner including: Summerama, Summer Grillerama, Summer Salads and Smoothies, the Summer Ebook, and much more!

These Summer packages are a great way to prepare you for the next few months of grilling season.  To assist you further, I want to share a few grilling tips from our founder Leanne Ely:

  1. Clean Your Grill – Just because everything technically burns off, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t scrape down the remains of the previous meal made.  Think about it, would you want burnt scraps of last week’s dinner sneaking into this week’s?  All you need to do is take a metal brush and either brush it down after you use it or even wait until you use it again – either way make sure it happens before the next course of food touches the grate.
  1. Put A Lid On It! (or not) – Just because you have a lid doesn’t mean you have to use it religiously. In fact, I suggest skipping the lid when grilling the essentials (steak, chicken, burgers, etc.). You’ll notice that whenever you do that you lock in the smoke and your steak that had been marinating for two days prior will have the strong taste of smoke instead of the marinade.
  1. Make It Right – First of all – don’t just throw a steak on the grill straight from it’s packaging. That flavorful first bite you’ve been looking forward to since you brought that luscious steak home in the first place is going to be severely lacking in any flavor. On the other hand I don’t want you to submerge it in a sea of marinade for a week. Think simple. As far as steaks go, I recommend rubbing each side in with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a bit of basic steak rub – taking a gallon size Ziploc and add just a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, then add the steaks and allow them you soak in that for a few hours if not one or two days. Then write me a thank you note telling me how delightful your steak was!
  1. Keep Your Eyes Peeled – When you’re grilling, you won’t have the same amount of prep time you do when you’re in the kitchen. In fact, you really won’t have any time at all because you’ll always have to keep an eye on whatever you’re grilling lest it becomes charred remains. So, before diving into the dinner you’ve plotted to be entirely cooked on the grill, make sure everything is seasoned, sliced, diced, and ready to go!

So, do you want to get your group’s fundraising off to a sizzling start?  Email for all the juicy details!


Spinach: The Healthy "Fast" Food

Spinach: The Healthy "Fast" Food

Dinner Diva
Spinach: The Healthy “Fast” Food

By: Leanne Ely

Dear Friends,

A favorite super healthy “fast” food favorite of mine is spinach. Not just any old bunch of spinach, but the stuff in a big plastic tub (I get mine at Costco). I use a ton of it during the week and eat it in a variety of different ways from salads, to side dishes and let’s just say, it’s a secret ingredient in my smoothies (shhh, don’t tell!).

It’s a quick cooking veggie (like I said, “fast” food!), 100% worthy of the title super food. Spinach is chocked full of all kinds of healthy nutrients, including a whole bunch of B vitamins, C & E, omega 3 fatty acids, glutathione, beta-carotene, alpha lipoic acid and too many minerals to name, not to mention all the phytonutrients—this is a food that will fight cancer, heart disease, cataracts and macular degeneration. This veggie has it ALL.

One thing to remember is to always buy organic spinach. This is one of the vegetables named by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) on their Dirty Dozen List (a list of foods with the worst pesticide overload. Others included are lettuce, potatoes, apples, strawberries, peaches, bell peppers, and more. You can google “dirty dozen”+EWG and get the full scoop).

Here’s a fabulous spinach salad with some unexpected ingredients, enjoy!

Double Blue Spinach Salad
Serves 6

1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
6 handfuls of baby spinach (best way to measure!)

In a salad bowl, lay down the spinach first then add the rest of the ingredients. Toss well and serve, that’s it!

Want even more great salad recipes? Check out our Salad E books!


Saving Dinner Fundraising Assists a Variety of Organizations

By: Daniel Munns

Since our founding in the middle part of 2011, we have had the pleasure of helping out a number of different types of groups reach their fundraising goals. Participants in the Saving Dinner Fundraising program have included schools, booster clubs, church groups, teams, scouts and many other types of organizations working to help out a worthy cause. I wanted to take a chance to highlight a group, Fundraising for Michelle Gordon, that recently registered to use our program.

Michelle Gordon is a wife and mother of two young kids that lives in upstate New York. In February 2012, at age 34, Michelle was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Michelle’s sister, Sandra Bratlie, helped create a website and signed up for our program in order to provide moral and financial support for her sister’s family. Sandra, being familiar with Saving Dinner’s menu-planning products, was excited to be able to raise funds through the sale of products she was familiar with.

Like many of the organizations using our program, Fundraising for Michelle Gordon will promote their Saving Dinner Fundraising page (see it HERE) through emails to supporters, advertising on their group’s Facebook page and website. Further, they are holding a benefit for Michelle and will use this event to kick off their Saving Dinner Fundraising drive.

We are thrilled to be helping organizations just like the one above raise funds. If you would like to learn how you could get started with your very own fundraising campaign, send us an email at and we can assist you.

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Spinach: The Healthy "Fast" Food
The New Year Brings a New and Improved Saving Dinner Fundraising!

The New Year Brings a New and Improved Saving Dinner Fundraising!

Food For Thought
The New Year Brings a New and Improved Saving Dinner Fundraising!

By: Daniel Munns

Many of you know that we recently created Saving Dinner Fundraising to offer organizations looking to raise funds a simple and healthy alternative to the common fundraisers. We know a lot of you cringe just as much as we do when you see those cookie dough, candy bar or doughnut fundraisers come to your door. Our goal with Saving Dinner Fundraising is to offer a solution that not only supports the Saving Dinner mission of getting families back to the dinner table, but also allows groups to make money for their cause! Our hassle-free online program allows groups to earn 50% profit from selling popular Saving Dinner menu-planning products we can all use!

Over the last year, Saving Dinner Fundraising has helped schools, teams, church groups, scouts and other organizations raise funds through the sale of custom fundraising packages consisting of Saving Dinner’s most popular digital ecookbooks and menus! A new year is here, and with it we want to announce a brand new Saving Dinner Fundraising program! Features of the new and improved online program include:

•Customizable Fundraising Pages: Each organization has their own branded fundraising site where they can direct supporters. See a sample group fundraising page HERE.

•Improved Sharing Features: Now simply share the fundraising page of the group you are supporting to Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and email with the touch of a button!

•Detailed Control Panel: Once you create your organization’s fundraising account, you will be given access to a control panel with email templates, videos and other tips to make your job of creating and promoting your fundraising page fun and easy!

•Personal Account Manager: Each organization that creates an account with Saving Dinner Fundraising will have access to their personal fundraising account manager to answer any questions and to provide tips to make the program more successful!
Are you part of the team that decides the fundraising program for your kid’s PTA/PTO, sports team or scout group? Or do you know someone or someone that is constantly looking for a new fundraising alternative? Click HERE to learn 10 reasons why you should choose Saving Dinner Fundraising for your next fund drive, or feel free to forward this email along to someone you know that might be interested! If you have any questions about the program or just want to learn more, send us a note at

Finally, join our growing community on Facebook to get all the latest updates on the program and to learn how other groups are using Saving Dinner Fundraising to support their cause! Let us know you were sent to the page by the “Daily Dish” and we will automatically enter you in our contest to win a signed copy of Leanne’s Saving Dinner book!

Top 10 Reasons Why You Need Saving Dinner Fundraising

Top 10 Reasons Why You Need Saving Dinner Fundraising

Food For Thought
Top 10 Reasons Why You Need Saving Dinner Fundraising

By Daniel Munns, Saving Dinner Fundraising

August is here and for many of us, that means it is “Back to School” time. It’s time to purchase school supplies, new clothes for the kids and time to figure out the carpool schedule. Pretty soon your children will have backpacks full of books and homework. But “Back to School” time also means that your children will soon come home with that information you dread…details of the school fundraiser.

While few parents are excited to learn about the fall fundraiser they will be investing their time and money in, school fundraising has always been a necessary activity. Budget cuts in school systems have increased the need for these fundraisers as well as parent assistance in running these programs. For busy working parents, who has time to participate in all of this?

What is not necessary is that you will soon have kids coming to your door asking for your support in exchange for cookie dough, chocolate or some other unhealthy treat. While these fundraisers may be simple and the custom, this is clearly sending the wrong message to children and parents. Schools are committed to getting kids eating better and for good reason. Research has shown that kids that eat better perform better in school.

So we have decided to give schools and other organizations a solution to these dreaded fundraisers. We have taken the Saving Dinner mission of getting families back to the dinner table and have created the Saving Dinner Fundraising program. Family meal time has always been important to us and according to a study from CASA, children in families that eat together do better in school and are more inclined to say no to drugs, alcohol, sex and smoking.

Whether you are running your PTA’s fundraiser or you are just helping your children promote theirs, we know you do not have a lot of free time to dedicate to fundraising. We have taken the majority of the work off your plate with our online program. You can have your Saving Dinner Fundraising program up and running in less than two minutes, seriously!

The Saving Dinner Fundraising program includes packages consisting of the most popular Saving Dinner digital products. Below are 10 quick highlights of the program:

1.    60% Profit
2.    All Online Program
3.    No Door-to-Door Sales
4.    No Payment Collections
5.    No Inventory Storage
6.    No Upfront Investment
7.    Program Can Run All Year Long
8.    Monthly Commission Checks
9.    Products You Can Use
10.    Healthy Fundraising Alternative

So, are you involved with your school’s fundraiser or have you purchased products in the past?

What have been your biggest complaints about the fundraisers you see every year? Does this program sound like something that could work for your PTA? Let us know below, we’d love your feedback!

For more information on Saving Dinner Fundraising, visit