With the New Year right around the corner, and so are their resolutions. Many of them involve adopting a better diet in the New Year, but tend to lose steam with the idea that in order to eat healthier you will have to break the bank.
People tend to think eating healthy costs more, and become defeated and don’t ever get started, according to Hope Anderson Frugé of Health with Hope in Monroe.
“Nutritious foods don’t have to be expensive,” Frugé said.
The key to healthy food is to prepare it yourself, which is the best way to slice your food bill.
Frequently eating out may be fun and easy, but even the most economical restaurant meals are more expensive than ones made at home. Taking the time to make a grocery list and plan your meal prep is the first step in eating both better and more affordably.
“If you’re planning meals around what you’re comfortable cooking that’s an easy way to save money,” she said.
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Plan ahead to make a bigger quantity of whatever you normally cook for one meal for your family.
“You can pack the kids’ lunches, have lunch for yourself the next day,” Frugé said. “Some people prefer going ahead and batch cooking for the weekends and making bigger quantities of things. You remove the impulse buy.”
Stop frequenting boutique grocery stores
You don’t have to go frou-frou with nutritious foods. You can shop at a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and buy generic brands of items that are just as healthy as those marketed to upscale shoppers.
“That’s where my family shops, and we can do so on a budget and still eat healthy,” Frugé said.
Look for fresh food at a reduced rate
Look for fresh produce that has been marked down, even if they’re not on your shopping list, and get creative.
“If there’s bananas, mix something out of that or freeze them to throw in smoothies,” she said. “If it’s pears then throw a pear in your salad, have it in your oatmeal so you can find quality edible, fresh fruits and vegetable that are a reduced rate.”
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Buy frozen foods and vegetables instead of fresh ones
Frozen foods and vegetables do not deplete in quality as quickly as fresh fruits and vegetables.
“You can make smoothies or throw them in your cereal,” Frugé said. “I always tell my clients to throw frozen berries in your cereal or in your oatmeal. Make a whole-grain muffin with those. Those are some ways to add nutrition that are not expensive.”
Color half of your plate
If you’re looking to eat healthier, an easy tip is to add foods with color to half of your plate with fruits, vegetables, leafy greens and plant-based foods.
“The more colors you have on your plate the better,” Frugé said. “Here in America, we have this portion distortion where you go to a restaurant and order an entrée that comes with two sides, say that’s a ribeye that comes with a stuffed potato and fried okra. The ribeye is going to take up half the plate, and the other two is going to take up a quarter of the plate.”
Frugé said redefining what your plate looks like can have a big impact on your overall health.
“That’s just an easy way to get nine to 11 servings of fruits and vegetables that we need a day without having to count servings,” she said. “I don’t do that, and I’m a dietician, so even nutrition professionals lose track of what they had. But if I’m coloring half my plate, I’m ensuring that I’m getting enough of those plant-based foods which are full of antioxidants and fiber minerals that we need.”
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