What an exciting week! Peter was robbed, I got offered a full time marketing job with Two Moms in the Raw, we attempted homemade pizza and it came out as a deep dish disaster, a blizzard hit Denver and we worked from home mostly everyday, and Bodhi (our puppy) just threw up over the floor. (Too many apples and bananas for the little babe) Some serious highs and lows…such is life. But…Happy Friday.
Being jobless for the past couple of months and still trying to maintain my healthy lifestyle was quite the battle. I’m used to spending an hour or two a week in Whole Foods picking out what fancy superfood I’m going to decorate my bowls with and snacking on dried mango at 7.95 a pound. Like I said in my previous post, a seriously grounding experience. My credit cards are maxed and I have $25.00 dollars in my bank account. How do I continue to eat so healthy on budget? What are some of my top must have’s in my kitchen? Talkin’ about it right here, right now.
EATING HEALTHY ON A BUDGET
I hear this statement all too often. “I don’t have enough money to eat healthy.”
Well, what an excuse that is.
1.) PRODUCE, PRODUCE, PRODUCE.
Buying chia seeds at $18.00 a pound might be fun, but it’s very unnecessary. The foundation to a healthy diet is eating fruits and vegetables. You really do not need these overpriced superfoods to clean up your diet. Look up some plant based things you can blend up. (i.e.: see my raw vegan marinara sauce recipe) When I was on my 21 day cleanse last year, I would spend 30 dollars A WEEK on food. I remember my roommate at the time asked me what my Whole Foods bill was and she was in shock with how low it was. Eating produce is dirt cheap. And good for you. Stop complaining that eating healthy is “expensive” when you’re buying expensive animal flesh loaded with pus and hormones. VEGAN RANT, done.
It’s better to eat seasonal and local and also cheaper. If you have a local farmers market in the summer, buy most of your produce there. Seasonal food is way cheaper because it is at the peak of its supply and farmers and distributors can get it into the grocery store a lot easier. It seems like common sense, but most of us ignore this. Think about THIS. Food that isn’t in season is flown halfway around the world, usually picked before the peak of their flavor and that means you pay more for a lesser product.
This seems like a no-brainer but I didn’t always pay attention to grocery store sales before I was jobless. I always check out what produce is on sale, and I rotate it. I only buy berries if they are on sale, if they aren’t in season. I like this technique because it forces me to try a variety of different fruits and vegetables and find new recipes using these ingredients.
4.) THE DIRTY DOZEN
Of course I am big on always buying organic. What does organic mean? Organic is when the farmers grow the fruits and veg free or pesticides or harmful chemicals. Make sure when you’re buying organic it’s USDA certified.
BUT Organic produce can be significantly more expensive (in most cases, unless you’re buying seasonally …see #2) When you’re on a budget you need to be smart about this…have this be your bible. Pick and choose what you eat organic.
THE DIRTY DOZEN (most contaminated fruits and vegetables)
- Snap Peas
I just read an article recently that claims “not all pesticides” are created equal and buying organic for the “dirty dozen” and non-organic for the “clean fifteen” could be invalid. But listen, we’re broke as hell right now and we are making this work. There are a lot of loop holes when eating organic because of contaminated soil, labeling mishaps, etc. Just do the best you can, eating produce is still going to be significantly better for you than drinking pesticide laden milk.
PS. Always buy organic coffee! It doesn’t always differ in price that much, except if you are in Whole Foods. Coffee is one of the most contaminated crops. If you’re a coffee drinker, splurge on some organic beans.
Grains are relatively cheap. I’m not talking fake, GMO’d bread here. Brown rice, quinoa, millet, brown rice pasta, udon. Buy in bulk, organic if you can. Quinoa seems a little pricier than the others but for the $6.00 bag of quinoa you get about 5-6 servings. (In my house, the back of the bag might say differently.) So think about this. You lightly steam your broccoli that you bought for $2.00 a pound, throw it with some quinoa, pour some shoyu over it (fancy word for soy sauce) and you have a meal that is nutritionally dense and is the same price as something off the dollar menu.
It’s really not that hard. Eating healthy seems like such a hassle and all those recipes you see on pinterest are just so complicated and have words like “nutritional yeast” and you have no idea what the means…HELP. Think simplicity. The most important thing to remember is unprocessed, organic when possible, simple ingredients, and words you can understand. PEACE.
Okay, here’s the second part of this blog post. MY TOP 5 THINGS TO HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN. There is nothing that can ruin your healthy diet quicker than hunger and lack of preparation. Keep these things on hand in your kitchen, so you won’t derail your healthy diet quicker than quick.
My most versatile nut. I make milk, I throw them on smoothie bowls, I toast them and put them on savory dishes. I dice them and put them on salads. Just buy almonds, and use them for snacking/breakfast/lunch/dinner.
The best fast food. Running late? Banana. Starving? Banana. Smoothie? Banana. Breakfast? Banana. Lunch? Almond butter and banana. Dessert? Banana ice cream.
Not the cheapest food out there. And sometimes you buy them and they are dried up and gross. BUT, these little sweet guys are great at everything. I use them in my almond milk, I snack on them, I put them with almonds (see #1) and make my own trail mix. Craving something sweet? Dates. Dates are a fruit, high in calories, but 300 times better for you than grabbing that bag of M&M’s and crashing later. GO ON DATES EAT DATES BE HAPPY. Dates don’t last long in my house, I see Peter snacking on them constantly and well, this makes me happy.
Quinoa can be used at every meal. Breakfast quinoa is a big hit and high in protein to start the day. For lunch, quinoa is close to always on my salad. Dinner? Quinoa and vegetables. Hungry? Quinoa fills you up because it is a complete protein. Buy quinoa.
Avocados. Duh. Easily the star of every meal, and I find myself putting hot sauce on them for snacks. High in healthy fat and way higher in nutrients than any other fatty snack you are gonna put in your mouth. Choose avo.
To wrap up this blog post, I want to say that I’m working on a new project and I can’t wait to share results/testimonies/etc. It’s not my easiest quest, but I’m doing it for my love of health, nutrition, and my body.
have a fantastic weekend, all.