It’s the middle of January…how are your New Year’s resolutions/goals coming along? Here are a few tips to help you reach your health-related goals while maintaining a thrifty budget.
Eat Fat. I know that sounds like counter-intuitive and maybe even bad advice. However, we were told for so long that we needed to eat a “low fat diet” in order to lose fat. However, science has proven that to be wrong. Our bodies need fat in order to burn fat. What’s key to remember is that our bodies do best with “good fats,” like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, and nuts.
Eat Slowly. The other important thing to remember when it comes to eating fats is listening to your body to know when you are full. Think of the times when you’ve eaten too much too fast. Minutes after you finish your
binge meal, you realize you overdid it. We’ve all been there! There’s a delay between the time our tummy is full and time our brain can send us the signal that our tummy is full. So, eat slowly.
Eat Less. Eating good fats has another advantage (besides burning fat); it also allows us to eat less and still be satisfied. That is just as important to weight loss as eating the right foods. Eating less and being satisfied is a great way to lose weight…and save money. Seriously. The Standard American Diet includes a lot more food (lots of it not any good for our bodies) than our bodies need. You’ll find that your meals will stretch just a little bit more. Not a bad perk, is it? 😉
Eat. Too many people are starving themselves in January in the name of “cleansing,” health, and weight loss. Most of those people will put the weight back on throughout the year. Don’t be one of those people. Eat, and enjoy it!
How are you doing with your health-related 2014 goals?
Over the weekend I made a quick Whole Foods stop. I had just a handful of items I like to buy there because–believe it or not–the price on those items is better than it is at my local grocery store. (More on that later.) While at the check out, I had a conversation with the cashier who proceeded to tell me that it had been a hectic day there. I took inventory for a second. Why would it have been so busy at Whole Foods on a Friday night? “Oh, because everyone's going back to school and work on Monday?” I asked. No, he said that a lot of people bought juicers and items like that. He informed me that these were New Year's Resolutions shoppers. “If you're going to be healthy, you're going to shop at Whole Foods,” he remarked sarcastically. I had to laugh…and shake my head at the same time.
Too often when we make our resolution or simply decide to get healthy, we think it has to cost a chunk of money. I have friends to call Whole Foods “Whole Paycheck” because it tends to be pricey. In reality, most of the things that Whole Foods sells can be purchased at other local stores for a better price. Because I comparison shop, I know the prices of our staple items at the few stores we shop at. So, I actually do save money at Whole Foods.
Here are just a few tips to help you make healthy choices and save money at the same time.
1. Substitute fresh fruit or vegetables for your packaged snacks
This one can be a tough change to make at first because our bodies have gotten used to the sugar or salt and carbs in whatever that snack is. A candy bar, a bag of chips, even a granola bar. Instead purchase fruit that is in season and on sale. I'm always looking for sales on apples because they travel well and are easy to have on the go. And, there always seems to be a decent deal on apples. We like to buy organic apples. So, for us the best deal on a regular basis is on a 2lb bag of organic gala apples for $3.48. I've gotten to the point that I'll eat at least two apples a day. They are a great, filling, healthy snack and great if you are looking to shed a pound or two this year.
Carrots are also a great snack. And, you can usually get them for a great price in bulk (I like getting 5lb bags). I started eating them in the afternoons when I needed something to crunch on. Now, my children who weren't big fans of carrots eat them with me and we all say, “What's up, Doc?” to each other. (They have never watched Bugs Bunny 😉 )
2. Buy In Bulk
You see that even when I talked about fruit and vegetables, I mentioned buying in bulk. Do the math. Buying in bulk is not always cheaper. However, if you do the breakdown per pound or per ounce or even per item, you'll know whether in bulk works for you. We buy coffee in bulk and pay less than $.50 per ounce on the best organic coffee we have ever had. I buy organic rolled oats, flax seeds, brown rice and shredded coconut in bulk. And, I don't have to go to Whole Foods to do it. It's right there at my local grocery store.
3. Buy Generic Or Store Brands When Available
I mentioned that there are just a few things that we buy that are actually a better price at Whole Foods. Well, most of those things happen to be the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value brand. I trust the brand because they don't use any GM (genetically modified) ingredients even if it's not an organic product. I also buy the generic/store brand organic items from other stores, like Trader Joe's and even our local grocery store, HEB. Doing that helps our family be able to afford organic, whole, unprocessed foods at more reasonable prices.
There are so many easy and inexpensive ways to get healthy. How are you keeping costs down while getting/being healthy this year?
Is getting in shape one of your goals for this year? If so, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg and sign an annual contract in order to make it happen. There are many ways to get in shape and pay little or no money at all to do it.
One of my favorite ways to work out is to simply get out and walk or run. I have friends who take their children with them for a bike ride. If you have little ones at home, it takes planning. So, for me that means, either before my husband leaves for work or after he comes back. Neither of those are ideal times. But, it’s possible and I’ve done it. The short winter days have made it a bit more challenging. So, I usually get out on the weekends and do something else during the week (see below).
Turn On The TV
Since having children, I’ve learned to enjoy working out using a workout DVD. I used to think that a work out DVD would not be as challenging as the workouts I was accustomed to. However, I discovered some very challenging instructors. And, if you’re limited to your house, you can really make it work.
Incidentally, this is a good time of the year to buy work out DVDs. You’ll see lots of exercise DVDs and equipment being discounted this month.
Find A Routine
If you look online, you will find a wide range of workouts you can do at home on your own without a DVD or weights. Just you. It typically looks something like this:
15 Push Ups
15 Sit Ups
Plank (45 seconds)
(Repeat 3 times)
That’s just something I made up. Here’s another example. You can find the one that suits you best, or make up one!
It doesn’t have to cost or cost much to get in shape!
Is working out on your list of goals for 2014?
It’s January 7th which means many of you are a week into your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier. You may also be noticing that eating junk is sometimes a little cheaper. Sad to say that is generally true. However, we are always posting deals on healthy foods too, so make sure you keep checking out Thrifty Divas for some awesome deals.
Also, here are some ways to keep those resolutions going while not breaking your wallet.
1. Measure everything. Part of healthy eating is proper portions. I know my huge problem (no pun intended) is overeating. Overeating also obviously costs more because more food is consumed. By measuring everything, you’ll eat less and of course, save money.
2. Drink water. Ditch the sodas and high calorie lattes and switch to water. It’s VERY cheap and way better for you.
3. Buy frozen vegetables. Fresh veggies are better for you most of the time, but honestly the difference it’s huge from fresh to frozen. Especially because most frozen foods are flash frozen right after being harvested. Frozen is cheaper than fresh vegetables.
4. Meal plan! This is always a plus, but if you want to stay healthy in your eating AND save money, you MUST plan for it. It’s too easy when you are hungry to throw in the towel and eat out or just whatever you can get your hands on. Failure to plan will result in failure!
5. Don’t buy anything in a box. This is a great rule of thumb if you are trying to get healthy. I once heard a nutritionist say you should only shop on the outer sections of a grocery store. Then you mostly get fresh produce and dairy. I think that’s a great plan for a healthier you!
6. LOVE beans! If you are dieting, beans are great for you. They are full of fiber and are incredibly CHEAP!
7. Don’t sign up for anything. This time of year Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and 24-hour fitness are being bombarded with new memberships. Nothing is wrong with these companies, but generally people sign up for these things around the New Year and end up going off their plan and being stuck paying for something they aren’t using. It’s such a waste of money! Instead, try it on your own for a month and if after that you want to join a gym or some other weight loss program, do it! You are more likely to stick with it once you’ve done it on your own.
What are you doing for a more healthier you?