by Leila Dayne
While working out today it got me thinking about fitness and diet in general.
We live in an amazing country where we have SO many options but at times it seems to be too much. With our crazy hectic lives and an even crazier economy I know makes healthy choices can be hard. As someone who is always on the go, and a single parent to an active youngster I know first hand that sometimes it’s easier to sacrifice quality for convenience. Has anyone noticed how much cheaper and more available junk food is to our kids than fresh produce?! INSANE!! I mean, a salad costs 3 times as much as a McDouble and both cost WAYYYY less to actually make. What is that nonsense?!?
I do my best to make the most health conscience choices…though I will admit I do falter at times…I’ve found that with a little time put into making the right choices it can be a little less stressful. I have a few go-to tips that help me try to stick to a healthy diet.
1.) Plan Meals Ahead of Time. This helps you avoid impulse purchases and also helps to ensure that your meals for the week are healthy. Being attentive to what’s in your kitchen and what you need saves a lot of unnecessary buying. With your shopping list planned, see what ingredients overlap and consider what you can do with the leftovers.
2.) Look for sales! I try to take at least a few minutes each weekend to glance through the sale papers and see what the deals are. Even if it just means I’ll use it to price match.
3.) Don’t ever shop hungry or without a list. Make a list and stick to it and definitely have a snack or meal before shopping. Planning is key. There’s no better way to overspend than to shop when you’re hungry.
4.) Shop in bulk. Whether you shop at a health food store or a warehouse-style store, stock up on the affordable stuff while it’s affordable. Buy beans and legumes, whole grains and spices in the bulk section at your local health food store. Stock up on larger, yet more reasonably priced items at warehouse-style stores, especially if you have freezer space. Lean meats, seafood and other such items can all be frozen, saving you money every time you defrost. Plus you will be more likely to whip up a meal at home as opposed to going out when you have the food available to you.
5.) Give em the bird. Okay, not really but it’s best to go the whole enchilada, or in this case the whole chicken or turkey. It will always be a better deal than buying individually packaged chicken breasts or something similar. Roast it, pick off all the meat and then make stock with the bones and some veggies. I invested in a great little roasting set from Pampered Chef that has more than paid for itself!
6.) Cook from scratch. Believe it or not, cooking from scratch is one of the most affordable ways to eat. While nothing will ever measure up to a 0.10 cent pack of ramen noodles, you can certainly make a much healthier version for not much more. And what extra you spend on some groceries, you save on others by shopping frugally.
7.) Store Everything Properly. Ever open your vegetable crisper and realize that your tomatoes are mush or your lettuce wilted? Look up the best ways to store your veggies instead of just tossing them together in the fridge. Certain produce like potatoes excrete a certain gas that can spoil its neighbors quickly, so take the time to see the best storage place to keep your produce longer.
I’m sure there are a ton of other Go-To Tips that I’m unaware of, but these are the ones I try…TRY…to stick to when possible!!