Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Article # 339. Eating Healthy On A Budget
The healthy diet ideals that are based on eating more fresh produce, organic foods and ethically treated animal products, can weight down your pocket. Below are some cost-saving advice that will let you eat a nutritionally sound diet all year long without breaking the bank. Here they are:
De-meat Your Diet: Emphasize on grains and legumes that are less expensive as compared to meat but pack a solid protein packed nutritional punch. For under few money spent can kidney or canellini beans or a serving of legumes can keep you feeling full for really long. Branch out to new grains like quinoa, barley and couscous to add variety and depth to your meals. (You can get these stuffs from Dhanyam – Organic store – If you are in Chennai - Tnagar)
Cook Your Own: Get out of the lazy mode of living that makes you reach out for the corner deli fried chicken or dial a pizza. Instead stock up your pantry with essential grocery for the week so that you can mix and match meals throughout the week. A few pantry essential, for less than Rs 1500 all put together, can take you through a week of dinner for your family. What do you really need then? A little bit of imagination. Weeks’ worth of essentials are: mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic, mixed greens, herbs, roasting chicken, 1% milk, cheese, brown rice, whole wheat couscous and pita, canned beans, frozen veggie mix, olive oil and seasonings.
Power Of Bulking Up: Buying in bulk can save a lot of money. You can purchase grains, pastas, dried fruits, nuts and flours in the bulk isles of your grocery or natural foods store. You can choose the amount that works for you (bulk doesn’t mean you need 25 pounds of rice at a time!), and bulk food sections give a lower price per quantity ratio while saving on packaging.
Buy locally and eat seasonally: Don’t forget to scout out your nearest farmer’s markets for fresh produce which mostly sell stuff grown organically. Not only is fresh produce a lot healthier and better tasting but a lot cheaper as well since they are not carried half-way across the world. Get creative with your diet and experiment with season appropriate recipes like a hearty winter minestrone soup with dark greens or an arugula and cherry tomato summer salad. The bursts of fresh flavours keep you from wanting more seasonings.
Forgo processed foods: While processed foods apparently appear to be cheap, these empty calories leave us feeling hungry soon after or spike our blood sugar levels which lead to more expenditure on food and a drain on our health. Eat a reasonably priced whole food based diet to stave of unnecessary hunger pangs that has you munching meaninglessly.