HEALTHY OPTIONS MADE EASY
Having budget smarts doesn’t mean you have to have lots of money in the bank all it means is that you are doing whatever it takes to provide for yourself the best way you can while spending less than you earn along the way.
Whether you are wanting to lose, gain or maintain weight, increase your energy or simply just live a healthy life, making good choices when it comes to the foods you eat is important.
Healthy eating may be expensive so they say, but it doesn’t have to be.
Even though I love my vegetables, I have to admit that making healthy choices when it comes to food is something I have not always been the best at and if you ask my mom she will tell you (as she tells me often) that she thinks I don’t eat enough.
I sit down every night and have dinner with my kids but during the day when I am constantly on-the-go eating seems to sometimes be easily forgotten.
These last few months I have been doing some research trying to improve my eating habits as well as eating more often.
I thought I would share some of the healthy choices I am learning to incorporate into my life and how I’m doing it without paying a fortune.
I want to be healthy all around, not just for myself but also to make sure I am around as long as I can be for my kids and hopefully one day grandchildren. I know I am a still quite a few years away from that but it’s never too early or too late to think of the years ahead.
Skipping the convenience
As proven by many who follow the blog and post weekly in The Grocery Game Challenge, buying groceries and preparing your own food is much more cost-effective and healthier than eating out all the time.
I spend a lot of time in Wal-mart for my job and I walk past those golden arches every time I walk through the doors and believe me it’s enticing.
Most days I have enough work to do to not have enough time to sit and eat as I have to be home to get my son off the bus.
Too many times I have grabbed a burger from McDonald’s and quickly scarfed it down as I make my way back to what I was working on.
Eating fast food is too convenient and certainly not healthy so now I just keep on walking past. If my hunger strikes I just simply reach into my bag and grab an apple or sandwich which I have brought with me from home.
Simple food substitutions
Lots of people think that healthy foods do not taste good, though I will be honest and agree that this is sometimes true. You can make some simple substitutions in your meals to add some nutritional value without tasting it so much. The best part is that these substitutions don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg and can easily be stretched out. When you compare the cost to convenience foods, well there really is no comparison.
I like to use hummus instead of butter or margarine on a sandwich. Pre-made hummus isn’t too expensive to buy though making your own like Mr CBB’s Creamy Garlic Hummus can be cheaper and you can make it exactly how you like it. Hummus is high in iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and folate as well with chickpeas being a main ingredient it’s a source of dietary fibre.
Who remembers Chia Pets?
Really with that catchy jingle who could forget I haven’t seen Chia Pets in years though I have recently been introduced to eating Chia seeds.
The cost of buying Chia seeds can vary greatly depending on what brand you purchase, the bag of Mila touted “The Miracle Seed” (given to me for free) costs $45.00 per 16 oz. bag though some brands sell as low $10.00 a bag or container and can also be purchased in bulk.
Chia seeds require little or no preparation as they can be consumed hulled or with the seed coat on and still provide the same nutritional value.
Chia seeds really can be added into anything as they lack flavour. I like to add Chia seeds into our home-baked muffins, oatmeal, salads and yogurt.
Chia seeds can really be added into whatever you want as they are tasteless, you can even just mix them with water, not leaving them in water too long though as they will become very gelatin-like and the texture can be hard to swallow.
Chia seeds are high in healthy omega-3 fats and dietary fibre as well as a good source of calcium, manganese and phosphorus.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts. Though previously thought to have been bad for our hearts, coconut oil has actually been proven to be exactly the opposite.
Health benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil works as an anti-oxidant in our bodies, helping to prevent damage to healthy fats and tissues including our hearts. The regular use of coconut oil can greatly reduce or eliminate the need for the intake of other antioxidants.
Coconut oil uses
How to use Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil can be used to replace butter when cooking or in baking, added into oatmeal and as the jar in the picture suggests it is great over popcorn.
Though not food related, coconut oil can also be used as a moisturizer for your skin and hair. It contains a good amount of Vitamin E which our bodies use to protect and repair itself.
I was in a car accident when I was 15 years old and was left with some severe injuries to my face. I used Vitamin E on my face daily and was amazed how much my face healed in three weeks.
I wish I had known back then about coconut oil as it would have been a lot easier to apply than breaking open vitamin E capsules like I did.
Though I still have room to improve, especially with eating more, I have been getting a lot better in making healthier choices of what I do eat and finding ways to maximize the nutrition in my meals.
Eating healthy shouldn’t feel like work and if changing your diet to include better food seems overwhelming, gradually make changes and substitutions until healthy living becomes a way of life for you.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or break your budget, what simple things do you do to make sure you are receiving adequate nutrition.
What healthy substitutions do you make to eat right for a healthy life without costing a fortune?
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