The current economic state may have us buckling down, pinching pennies, and tightening purse strings. In the midst of a financial meltdown, survival comes as a blessing in disguise, returning us to the tradition of healthy and nourishing home-cooked meals, family, friends and time!
During this time of economic hardship, do not be lured to the fast foods and junk that may initially seem cheap! Such foods waste money on empty calories and come with a heavy price on our health. Good, clean food, prepared with just a little time and a lot of love has always and will continue to see us through both the good and bad times. As Manuel Villacorta advises, “Be careful where you invest your money – It may be safer to invest in your health!””¨”¨
Here are some tips to keep your health and spirits up and costs low:
• Eat out less – Prepare your meals at home and as our clients always tell us when following our program, “I am saving so much money because I’m eating at home!”
• Make things from scratch -Bring lunch to work and save your lunch money or save time by cooking large meals and freezing portions for the week.
• Eat plenty of local fruits and vegetables and shop at farmer’s markets – Local produce is often cheaper than produce traveling long distances and you are helping to build the local economy.
• Buy seasonal – Also cheaper and more nutritious due to less distance travelled.
• Whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa along with starchy veggies like beans and legumes can go a very long way.
• Buy whole animals such as a whole chicken with skin and bones. Be sure to remove the skin to reduce saturated fat; throw the bones in a pot with water and make your own high-mineral chicken broth; and lastly, partition the bird yourself because there’s no need to pay for butcher costs!
Supermarket shopping tips:
• Go food shopping with list in hand so you are not tempted to buy unnecessary items.
• Keep in mind that wholesome, nourishing foods that are nutrient-dense and replenishing such as meats, dairy, and produce, will give you more bang for your buck and are located on the perimeter aisle of the supermarket!
• Within the aisles, focus on whole foods such as whole grains, rice, pastas, frozen veggies, or low-sodium canned goods.
It is truly a time to reflect on exactly where we spend our money and time and to change our ways for the best. Turn your current financial burdens into an opportunity to take hold of both your wallet and your health. Return to a slower time when food was the reason for our hard work and preparing and sharing meals with friends and family were the benefits. Sit down, take time to prepare and eat your meals, and as we always say here at MV Nutrition, practice mindful eating.