Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ways to Save Money when Eating Healthy

We are a family on a budget.  Up until recently, we were a two income family.  I kept a budget but I didn't worry too much on if I went a little over.  Now that we're on a tight budget and still wanting to eat clean, I need to really focus on how I can get the best bang for my buck.  Over the past couple of weeks there are some key things I've done to save my grocery bill from being out of control.  It's also amazing how much the junk you used to buy no longer makes it into the cart because you just can justify the purchase.

Here are my favorite tips for eating healthy on a budget.

1. Create a meal plan with over lapping proteins, fruits and veggies BEFORE going to the store.

Creating a meal plan not only will keep you on track with your eating but it gives a great visual on which proteins, fruits and vegetables you can overlap.  Try using recipes that ask for similar fresh ingredients so you're not letting any of them parish before your next shopping trip.  Don't be afraid to switch up your fruits and veggies if there is a sale. 

2. Go to the store with a set budget.

Keep your budget in mind and try to keep a rolling total as you shop.  If you're over budget when you check out, omit the boxed and processed foods first.

3. Purchase dry goods (beans, quinoa, rice) and cook from scratch.

Not only are dry goods a lot cheaper but you can season them according to your diet.  A 1 lb bag of white beans for example can usually be found for less than a dollar, which yields about 6 cups of cooked beans.  You're also omitting all the sodium and preservatives you'll find in canned beans.  

4. Buy flash frozen fruits, veggies and fish.

Canned vegetables tend to lose a lot of nutrients during the preservation process.  Frozen vegetables however, may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets.  Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.

For fish that is flash frozen, the fish is usually frozen within hours of being caught.  Never buy frozen fish that is in a damaged package. Also if you can see the fish through the package, do not buy fish if you can see frost on it. Frost can mean that the fish has thawed and then been refrozen.

5. Buy in bulk.

When I say buying in bulk, I'm not referring to the quantity you're buying but how the product is merchandised.  Generally speaking, bulk products can be found in larger bins without packaging.  By not paying for all that individual packaging, labeling and advertising, you're getting more product for your money.  The other great thing about buying in bulk is that you can try new grains, seasonings or foods without making a large investment on something that may just sit in your pantry.

6. Don't shop hungry.

Hopefully I don't need to explain why this is key.  When you're hungry, your stomach becomes your eyes.  Eventually you purchase items with your stomach and not with your list.  Just avoid it!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Easy Pumpkin Maple Granola

I love homemade granola.  
It's so easy to make, it's cheaper and so much healthier then store bought granola.  When I get the chance to make a warm batch myself, I'll do it.  The smell of granola baking radiates throughout the house.  I usually make a standard granola but don't think I'll every go back since making this mixture.  It was gone within the first couple of hours of making it. 
This pumpkin maple granola is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Jar it up and it will make the perfect hostess, teacher or holiday gift. 

Serving size: ~1/4 cup Calories: 170 Fat: 10.7g Saturated fat: 3.5g Carbohydrates: 16.9g Sugar: 6 g Sodium: 2mg Fiber: 2.5g Protein: 3.4g
3 cups rolled oats 
1 1/4 cups raw pecans
1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
3 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp of sea salt
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 340 F.
  2. Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, spices, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the coconut oil, maple syrup and pumpkin puree and whisk. Pour over the dry ingredients and quickly mix with a wooden spoon.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly onto two baking sheets (or bake in two batches) for 15 minutes.
  5. Rotate the pans to ensure even cooking and cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Once the granola is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool completely. It will crisp up as it cools.
  7. Transfer to an airtight container. Should keep for a couple weeks unless everyone in the house eats it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Powerful & Strong Group

Over the past couple of months, I've started weight training.  I've always incorporated weights into my routine but have recently found a passion for weight lifting.   Physically, I've toned my muscles and have lost inches.  Mentally, I've grown stronger, tougher and feel more powerful then every before.  

Most women tend to shy away from weight training when in fact the benefits are so important as we get older.  If any of these apply to you, you should consider incorporating weights into your exercise routine:
~ Trouble losing fat
~ Lacking muscle tone
~ At a weight loss plateau

  It can be intimidating to use weights but once you learn the basics and see results, you'll be hooked. I
f you're new to weights or want to incorporate them into your current cardio program, I'd love to coach you in my next group.  Spots are limited so contact me if you'd like more information.

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