Changing the way you Save Money Saves Your Health

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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.

About The Author

Manuel Villacorta is a registered dietitian (RD) and certified specialist is sports dietetics (CSSD) with more than 16 years of experience. He was recently appointed national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, which identifies him as one of the United States’ leading weight loss and nutrition experts. Villacorta is the owner of San Francisco-based private practice MV Nutrition, the recipient of two consecutive “Best Bay Area Dietitian” awards (2009 and 2010) from the San Francisco Chronicle and Citysearch, and the creator of the Eating Free™ weight management program. Villacorta also developed MV Professional Nutrition (a software suite designed to assist RDs with their own private practices) and created www.eatingfree.com (an international, Internet-based weight loss and weight management program). Villacorta is a compelling, charismatic communicator—a public speaker, who is often praised for making audiences feel, heard, motivated, and engaged. His warm, approachable style, alongside his strong bilingual proficiency in both English and Spanish, have made him an in-demand health and nutrition expert on both local and national television and radio, and in articles in print publications and online. Villacorta worked closely with Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman, chief medical editor of NBC News, to provide expert nutrition advice on a number of topics for the BeWell network. He is often invited to speak at annual state and national conventions such as The Oregon Dietetic Association (where he was the keynote speaker), and The American Dietetic Association (where he spoke to other dietitian professionals about his successful private practice). Villacorta has acted as a media representative for food companies such as Foster Farms (one of the largest chicken producers on the West Coast) as well as for such California statewide health campaigns as the “California Latino 5-A-Day Program” and “Got Milk.” Prior to setting up his private practice, Villacorta worked as a public health dietitian for California Children Services and the Prenatal to Three Initiative, where he offered prenatal, infant, and childhood nutrition consulting. He has worked as a clinical dietitian for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and has held a faculty position with the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco. Villacorta received his bachelor of science in nutrition and physiology metabolism from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master of science in nutrition and food science from San Jose State University. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his research, including the Outstanding Master of Science Degree Award from San Jose State University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science.

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