MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Healthy Food Choices for a Healthy Life and Body Composition
These choices are easier than you think!
We are all overworked, overstressed, and overtaxed! Even so, there are ways of making choices that work within our resources.
Healthy food doesn’t have to cost more. Research has shown that eating healthy, whole, real food isn’t necessarily more expensive than eating junk food, fast food, processed foods, or convenience foods. In fact, the top four things purchased in supermarkets are ALL drugs: sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol! If you give up those “drugs”, your grocery bill will go down dramatically.
Healthy food isn’t hard to find. You don’t have to shop in a gourmet food store, a health-food store, a farmer’s market ,or eat only organic to eat well. There are plenty of healthy foods right in your local supermarket. Just shop around the outside aisles of the store.
Healthy food doesn’t take lots of time to prepare. You don’t have to spend hours cooking complex meals to eat well. Good quality, fresh food is easy to prepare and enjoy once you learn how.
Now that you’re in on those secrets, you’re ready to start eating well! Here are a few ideas based on how I save time and money AND create better health for myself.
Search out cheaper sources of fresh, whole foods in your neighborhood. My top choices are stores like Trader Joe’s and shopping clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club, where you can buy vegetables, fruits, nuts, canned beans, sardines, and salmon at much lower costs than regular supermarkets or other retail chains.
Think about joining your local food co-op. Co-ops are community-based organizations that support local farmers and businesses and allow you to order foods and products in bulk at just slightly over the wholesale price. This takes a bit of advance planning but will save you money.
Develop a repertoire of a few cheap, easy-to-prepare meals. Have the ingredients available at home at all times so you don’t get stuck eating food that doesn’t make you feel well or help you create the health you want. This takes a bit of advance planning but is well worth it. Here are a few of my favorite quick, easy snacks and meals.
Almond Butter on Whole-Grain Rye Bread with Fruit Spread
Take a slice of rye bread, add a bit of almond butter, and top it with sliced fruit for a delicious snack. You can even dip bananas or apple slices right in the tub of almond butter — which is cheaper to buy in bulk at a food co-op.
Hummus with Celery Sticks or Carrots
In just five minutes, you can take chickpeas (canned or cooked yourself in advance), sesame paste, lemon juice, water, garlic, cumin powder, salt, and pepper; mix them in a food processor, and have fresh hummus on your table. It lasts a week in the fridge — and is a great source of protein, fiber, essential oils, calcium, minerals, and vitamins. Want to save even more time? You can also buy hummus already made.
Sardines in Lemon Juice
These fish are cheap and an excellent source of protein and the best source of omega-3 fats. Just open a can and squirt with lemon juice. Just give it a try, you might be surprised.
My Favorite 5-Minute Dinner
I keep a large container of quinoa — which you can make in advance or at night while you are watching TV – in the fridge. I also keep greens — like collards, kale, or spinach — in the fridge. And I always have canned sardines or salmon in my cupboard. These foods mix together to make a great 5-minute dinner for those nights when I’m just too tired — or too lazy – to make anything else!
Here’s the recipe:
Heat about 1/2 to 1 cup of the pre-cooked quinoa or brown rice in a pan with a little olive oil. If I’m really, really lazy, I heat it up in the microwave. Put the rice in a bowl.
To the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and some crushed garlic, which you can buy by the jar. Heat for 1 minute, until the pan is warm but not smoking.
Add washed the spinach or chopped greens. Add salt and pepper and stir. Cook just until the greens begin to wilt, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Put the greens in a big bowl on top of the rice and top with a can of sardines or salmon.
Season with hot sauce — and enjoy!
Want more quick and easy ideas to manage your time and health?
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