For those with chronic pain one of the things we address in our appointments is how to eat to reduce inflammation and pain in the body, this will be the basis of another post in the coming weeks for now I share some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget. I often hear clients tell me that eating healthy is expensive. I tend to disagree however I have been practicing eating healthy on a budget for a number of years. Here is a list of some of my tips and tricks to allow you to eat healthy on a budget.
Some Tips on How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
1.Plan your weekly meals
Planning is an important component of saving money and eating well on a budget to be done before heading to the supermarket
Plan what you will eat for each meal remembering to allocate for packed lunches also
Create a shopping list based on what you will eat for the week and make sure to go through your cupboards and fridge to see what items you may already have.
Make the list and stick to it like your life (or your wallet) depend on it.
2.Stick to your list!
The easiest way to do this is shop the perimeter of the supermarket first and don’t head down the junk isles or the inner isles as these often contain the most unwholesome, unhealthy, disease forming and inflammatory foods.
I use good ole pen and paper checklist style for my list, you may feel more fulfilled using an app or a notebook/memo function on your phone.
3.Cook your meals at home.
This is cheaper and you will find with good panning (see 1.) you can feed a group of 4 for what you could buy an entrée and main at a restaurant for. The bonus with home cooking is you know what the meal contains. I have one or two go to meals that take me a few minutes to prep and cook for those nights when all has gone crazy and I don’t feel like cooking, steam fried vegetables with some whisked egg over top made into an omelette is a great fast easy and healthy meal.
4.Cook larger portions and use the left overs.
The left over can be frozen and used later when you are short on time or energy.
They can be taken the next day and used for lunches (just please make sure they are stored using food hygiene and safety measures).
5.Buy whole foods and stay away from convenience foods
This is good advice on many levels, buy whole grain brown rice verses boil in a bag rice, buy grains and legumes and soak and cook in large quantities and keep in the freezer. Buying pre-cut vegetables is more expensive and you are losing nutrients in the process
6.Stop buying junk!
There is no such thing as junk food in my opinion. There is food and there is junk. Keep the latter out of your shopping trolley and you will save money and just as importantly your health. Junk offers very little if any nutritional value and creates inflammation and poor energy within the body. By missing out on the junk you will have more money for good quality whole foods and vegetables
7.Replace meat with other proteins
Eating less meat is a good way to save money, you can try using other protein sources such as eggs, canned fish, legumes, tempeh or tofu. Using grains such as quinoa will also provide some protein in the diet. These sources of protein are less expensive are nutritious and easy to prepare and can still go towards your daily intake of protein.
8.Shop for produce in season
Either at supermarkets of at your local farmer’s market if possible. Bonus is that these will also be at the peak of their nutritional value and freshness. Non-seasonal food is often sourced from overseas and will possibly have been harvested weeks before makings it way to your supermarket. Nurture your palate towards more fruit and veg and you will magically find the cravings for the sugars to start to fade away.
9.Buy frozen berries instead of fresh berries.
They still contain valuable nutrients and are cheaper than buying by the packet and have the added value of lasting longer.
10.Pack a lunch.
Take left overs and take snacks into your day also, keeping hunger pangs under wraps will mean you will be less inclined to head to the local bakery or café for a quick fix which costs more. Plan your snacks and lunches and you will find your energy stays level through the day allowing you to work and perform better.
You don’t have to break the bank to eat well.
In fact, there are many ways to eat healthy even on a very tight budget.
These include planning your meals, cooking at home, and making smart choices at the grocery store.
Also, keep in mind that junk food costs you twice.
Bad health comes with medical costs, drugs and even reduced work capacity.
Even if eating healthy was more expensive (which it doesn’t have to be), then it would still be worth it down the line.
You really can’t put a price on good health.
For more support on how to imrpove your food for better health and reduction of chronic pain please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org