“Eating healthy is expensive.” “It’s too much work and I don’t have the time.” Sound familiar? You’re not alone!
It’s common to feel overwhelmed when it comes to eating wholesome and clean food, both financially and nutritionally, especially with all the processed and refined foods out there. Processed food might seem like the convenient choice, but eating too much of it may lead to a number of chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and more.
It’s important to understand that eating clean is all about incorporating more natural, fresh and all around healthier ingredients into your day-to-day. It does not need to be a rigid, all-or-nothing approach that is time-consuming and bank-breaking, in fact, it can be quite the opposite. Here are some ways to keep your meals simple, budget-friendly, and nutrient-dense…without sacrificing taste, of course!
Whenever possible, choose ‘SOUL’ foods that are Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed and Local, consisting of whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and high-quality meats. Whole foods provide every essential nutrient your body needs, including fiber for healthy digestion and elimination.
Choose inexpensive protein sources such as beans and rice, eggs, lentils, quinoa, millet, nuts and seeds, spinach, chard, broccoli, and tofu. Dry bulk foods and canned foods have a longer shelf life, reducing your grocery list each time you go to the store. Buying in bulk can be cheaper than buying packaged food items. Substitute packaged sweet snacks loaded with refined flours and sugars for fresher options, like whole fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Plan your meals ahead of time by creating grocery lists based on what recipes you plan on making for the week. Grocery lists will help with your budget, time, shortages and overages, and impulsive buying. Knowing your way around the grocery store will also help you reduce your time spent there. Try to keep within the live zone (perimeter—fresh food) and not be tempted in the dead zone (middle—processed and packaged foods).
Prepare as many meals at home as your time permits. Home cooked meals are more nutritious and balanced; less processed, contain lower levels of salt and fat, are highly economical, and taste better! Cook extra so you can have leftovers for lunch or freeze for future meals. Adding fresh ingredients, savory spices, and a few staples in your pantry can transform your leftovers into tasty meals. Just three main recipes prepared at the beginning of the week can stretch your meals for the entire week. Crock pots, rice cookers, and pressure cookers are great time savers and perfect for making bigger family style meals.
Bonus! Making your own meals also means saving time—no traffic, parking, waiting, and other factors that are out of your control. Plus, you can make meal preparation part of a family affair or social gathering. Involving children in food prep teaches them healthy habits and teamwork. Plus, sharing recipes and cooking with friends is a great way to connect over a delicious meal.
“A good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf
For more helpful tips on eating clean from coach Miriam Campos-Root, or any of our other awesome providers, call or book a 1-on-1 live video call today.