Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. You can enjoy satisfying and nutritious meals by following these grocery shopping secrets.
Learn How to Cook
What’s the secret to your successful budget friendly, healthy food success? Learning how to cook! You don’t have to become a master chef, but if you can learn how to cook some simple nutritious meals, you’ll save money each time you cook them. Also, when you cook your own food, there aren’t any added ingredients you’re trying to avoid.
More Ways to Save
Store-brand foods are generally less expensive than bigger brand names and the food tends to be just as tasty. Also, grocery stores tend to list their own brand items in sales. Speaking of sales, when you find food you love, stock up. Let’s say you use ground turkey in a lot of recipes and you see there’s a sale, make room in your freezer and buy as much as you can. This will save you money in the big picture.
Buying fruits and veggies are critical to our healthy eating and they can make our shopping trips expensive. Shopping seasonally is not only more affordable, but you’re also buying more nutritious options.
If you don’t mind spending some time online, a lot of grocery stores are putting coupons on their website which can be added to a club card or store app.
Create a List and Follow it
Go to the store with meals planned and a list in hand. If you have a list, you’re less likely to buy extras and you’ll also always know exactly what you’re spending. Also, don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. Even with a list, your stomach is going to want to veer away from it.
Tasty, Less Expensive Protein
Beans, chickpeas, lentils and dried peas provide great proteins and cost pennies compared to meat and fish. We need protein in order to maintaining a healthy diet, but if meat and fish are not in our budget or if we want to try different dishes, toss these proteins into your cart.
Better quality olive oil tends to have more nutritional benefits and if used sparingly, it can last a long time. Also, keep your favorite spices on hand. They can transform a boring meal to delicious.
Freezers = Best Friends
This is not only for when you want to stock up. You can use it for leftover proteins and produce and anything that is about to go bad. You can chop them all up and make things like soup and then freeze it in small batches and remove when needed.
1 banana, mashed
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Combine mashed banana, egg and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until combined.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil (you can also use butter) and pour about 1/4 cup of egg mixture onto pan. Let cook until bubbles start to form on the edges and then flip. Repeat with remaining pancake batter.
Top with cinnamon and maple syrup. Serve warm.
Consuming large portions leads to overeating, which can be dangerous to your diet and your health. The average person overeats in 100 to 200-calorie increments, and adds up overtime to equal weight gain. Portion control can be a breeze if you follow these simple rules.
Don’t skip meals- Eat a minimum of three meals a day, avoiding going longer than five hours without eating.
Measure and weigh food- Measuring food is great if you are a fan of meal prepping. Often, we overestimate how big a cup is and end up eating more than we should. To be spot on, measure or weigh your food!
Know the difference between serving size and portion size- Serving sizes are listed on the nutrition label, and let you know how many servings a package contains. A bag of popcorn may contain two serving sizes, so if you eat the whole bag you need to double that information on the label, calories included.
Use the “Half Plate Rule”- Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables, or a mix of fruits and vegetables. Fill the rest of your plate with equal parts whole grains and lean protein.
Drink more water- Although you should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day, make sure to also drink a glass before each meal. This will fill you up and curb your appetite, allowing you to feel fuller.
Get enough protein- Protein keeps you feeling fuller longer, allowing you to consume less calories throughout the day. Try to have protein in each meal, whether it be lean meats, nuts, or plain Greek yogurt.
Incorporate these rules into your diet to have a better control of the portions you consume.
2 cans cannellini beans
2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
14 ounces canned diced tomatoes
7 ounces canned diced green chilies
4 cups chicken broth
6 frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs
1) Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour all ingredients on top of chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for about 6 hours.
2) Remove chicken from slow cooker and use a fork to shred. Add shredded chicken to slow cooker and stir until combined. Top with shredded cheese and avocado slices if desired. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
1½ lbs. flank steak, cut into ¼-inch strips
3 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup water
½ cup hoisin sauce
?. cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 can water chestnuts
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 head broccoli, cut and lightly steamed
½ onion, chopped
- Coat beef with corn starch and let it sit on the cutting board for 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, prepare the sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and sauté garlic for one minute. Pour water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and rice wine vinegar in the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Keep warm while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Stir-fry beef quickly until it’s crisp on the outsides, but not cooked all the way through. Transfer cooked beef to a large plate.
- Place vegetables in the skillet and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add beef and sauce and let simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and let cool slightly before serving with rice or noodles.
Consuming quality calories and nutrient dense foods is what you need to put into your body if you’re trying to gain healthy weight and lean muscle mass. This means you want to stay away from burgers and fried foods. They are filled with empty calories and lead to putting on unhealthy weight. Instead, follow these suggestions to add lean muscle mass and healthy weight.
Eat Often and Snack
What you put into your body and being consistent is critical to putting on healthy weight instead of fat. Eat every three to four hours, make sure the calorie count is reasonable, and consisting of nutrient rich foods.
For example, there are about 300 calories in 24 ounces of soda, which is similar to a cup of full-fat Greek yogurt, ½ cup of blueberries and two tablespoons of flaxseed. The number of calories is the only similarity between them with the latter being far better for you.
Our bodies thrive off energy and if we’re not properly fueling, it slows down and starts dipping into our muscle mass. The number of calories is going to vary and depend on the body type, but on average, 500 to 600 is a reasonable number.
Snacking is also important. Keep these between 100 to 200 calories. A good snack is almonds or fruit. These will keep your energy level up and provide a number of health benefits.
Drink your Food
Liquids aren’t as filling as solid food, but the right drinks are rich in nutrients and won’t leave you feeling full. Smoothies are a great way to get fruits, veggies and protein into your daily diet. Other options include 100% fruit juice, carrot juice, and organic skim milk or alternatives such as almond milk. Start enjoying these instead of soda, sports and energy drinks.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Fuel your body with a blend of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. A good balance is 50%-60% carbs, 15%-20% protein, and 25%-30% healthy fats. By incorporating food from each group into meals, you’re providing your body with a broader spectrum of nutrients.
The carbs you consume should be complex such as whole wheat, grain cereals and potatoes. Protein is great way to add muscle, but you don’t want to go overboard. Protein requires a lot of energy to digest and tends to be very filling.
For example, if your breakfast is a banana, this isn’t going to sustain you for very long. Add in a few eggs and cook them in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. This is a smaller meal that gives your body the energy it thrives on.
Incorporating these foods and drinks into your diet will not only help you add healthy weight, you’ll also feel better the more you consume them.