Posted By Miriam Campos Root
‘Eating healthy is expensive.’ ‘It’s too much work and I don’t have the time.’ Heard this before? Everyone is faced with challenges eating a wholesome meal both financially and nutritionally especially with all the processed and refined foods that are available for our convenience. Eating too much processed foods may lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, food sensitivities, digestive disorders, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune diseases. There are numerous ways to keep meals simple, stay within your food budget, and still eat nutrient rich foods.
Three basic steps:
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, and they are loaded with 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 with whole fruits, and homemade snacks.
Plan your meals ahead of time by looking at recipes you will use to create grocery lists. Grocery lists will help with your budget, time, shortages and overages, and impulsive buying. Weekly planning can be more manageable. Knowing your way around in the grocery store will 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 (processed and packaged foods).
Prepare as many meals at home as your time permits. Home cooked meals are more nutritious and balanced; less processed, contains lower levels of salt and fat, economical, and tastes 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 left overs 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! By making your own meals you will be saving time not having to go out to eat; parking, waiting in line, and having to ask for special dietary requests. Reserve those days you decide to go out for quality time with family or friends. Finally, make meal preparation part of a family affair or social gathering. Involving children in food prep teaches them healthy habits. Sharing recipes and meal preparation with friends promotes healthy human interaction, and unity in your community. Happy Eating!
“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
© 2018, Positively Whole