2018 is coming to a close and you know what means…new year resolutions are right around the corner. Without a doubt, I know clients will be coming to me in January looking for ways to meal prep and eat healthier!
The top reasons clients cite NOT grocery shopping and preparing healthy meals at home: TIME and CONFLICTING NUTRITION INFO. Let’s cover how to overcome these two obstacles, and then we will make a game plan for some cheap eats!
TIME – you have heard it before, I am certain, ‘you make time for what’s most important to you’… whether that is family time, putting in extra hours at work, making time for exercise or wasting time on social media. 😆 Let’s be clear, I am all about working smarter, not harder. Eating healthy doesn’t mean spending hours in the grocery store hunting for obscure foods/ingredients, nor does it mean slaving away in the kitchen all day. If you can commit 1 hour a week to shop and 2 hours total for meal prep, you can easily make it happen.
Under the time constraint umbrella, people falsely believe that making healthy food is complicated. I am here to tell you: nothing could be further from the truth. It CAN be complicated and time consuming, but it doesn’t HAVE to be (unless you’re looking to document every edible item on Insta.) I do enjoy a good looking meal, but with a baby and my man away a lot of the time, gimme quick and easy!
CONFLICTING NUTRITION INFO – ‘eating healthy is soooooooo expensive’, ‘I have to buy all organic, non-GMO, fill-in-the-blank-adjective food’, ‘my household only consumes eggs that come from chickens with an IQ over 150.’ Ok, so I made up the last statement, but…my point is that eating healthy is as easy as 1,2,3. Let’s put it in relative terms. For someone who eats a bowl of cereal for breakfast, fast food for lunch and perhaps pasta with canned marinara sauce and pre-made meatballs for dinner…healthy may look like a veggie omelet for breakfast, brown bagging it for lunch and lean protein, veggies and low glycemic index carbs for dinner. Making small changes over time is a better recipe for success, when it comes to healthy eating.
A couple things to keep in mind when grocery shopping, for health and wealth!
- Shop the perimeter. Less processed foods are found here (think produce, dairy, meat), which equals less expensive.
- Buyer beware of health claims. The Dietary and Health Supplement Education Act was passed in the early 1990’s to help protect consumers from misleading nutrition ads put forth by food manufacturers. ‘Low sodium’, ‘low-fat’, ‘gluten free’, ‘non-GMO’…all this jargon is a way for various food companies to get your money! For example, Twizzlers packages read, ‘cholesterol free’….which is true, but obvious for the nutrition savvy consumer. (Plus, just because licorice is cholesterol free, doesn’t necessarily make it a healthy snack.) That is like Dasani labeling their water ‘calorie-free’.
- Buy in season. Purchasing fresh food when it is in season is SO much cheaper! Not to mention, said food is more likely to retain more nutrients, compared to out of season.
- Buy on sale. I always check the store’s weekly ad to help cut costs. Fresh shrimp on sale for BOGO (buy one get one)…yes please! Chicken thighs on sale for 79 cents/lb…sign me up! Food Lion black beans (15oz can) 51 cents each?! Gimme some! Not buying what’s on sale is like throwing money down the drain, and who would do that?
So…let’s talk specifics. Here are some easy, peasy meal ideas, that come together quickly and work well on a budget:
Yogurt with berries and nuts (side note: this is a snack size portion, definitely wanna up the portion size for a meal!)
Oatmeal with yogurt, kiwi and wheat germ
Cocoa oatmeal with bananas and chocolate chips
You can get as creative as you choose! Hope these inspire ya!