Eating Clean on a Budget

I know it sounds impossible, but I can assure you it’s not! I agree that it is unfair that we have to pay more for healthy food than for junk, but that is something that we just have to grit our teeth and bear. Just the other day I found a 10 pack of little bear-shaped cookies for $1 but had to spend about $5 on a bag of little oranges for my kids. This is when we have to decide where our priorities are and how badly we really want to make a change in the way we eat.

My husband and I don’t go out to eat that much; we choose to spend extra money for healthy groceries and therefore sacrifice a weekly dinner out. One meal for two people at a restaurant can easily cost $50. Think of how much that can buy at the store - definitely more than one meal. Even eating fast food can cost more than a homemade meal. We have three children and just to take them to a fast food restaurant is at least $20. For $20 at the store, I can buy five pounds worth of chicken, a marinade, a two liter bottle of sparkling water, a bag of vegetables for steaming, four sweet potatoes, and probably get back some change.

Let’s say you have a $100 budget and need to buy groceries for a week for you and your significant other. Here is a sample meal plan and grocery list that will keep you under budget:

Meal 1- 2 scrambled eggs, ½ cup oatmeal
Meal 2- 1 can tuna, 2 rice cakes, 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
Meal 3- 4-6 oz. chicken breast, ½ cup cooked brown rice, 1 cup steamed veggies
Meal 4- 1st Step Pro-Wellness shake and 1 banana
Meal 5- 4-6 oz. marinated chicken breast, 1 small sweet potato, 1 cup veggies
Meal 6- 10 almonds, 2 boiled eggs

*7 lb. of chicken (1.99/lb.) = $14 *14 bananas= $2.50
*2 Large bags frozen veggies ($7.50 each )= $15 *2 Bottles Marinade= $5
*Oatmeal = $3 *14 sweet potatoes= $7
*14 cans tuna ($.68 each) = $9.52 *bag of almonds= $8
*2 pkg. rice cakes = $4 *5 dozen eggs = $9
*Peanut butter = $3 *Bag of brown rice = $3
*1st Step Pro Wellness Protein Powder = $17

That makes a grand total of $100.02! Not too shabby.

There is a good rule of thumb when purchasing food: fresh is better than frozen, and frozen is better than canned. Depending on what your budget is, we all understand that you just have to make the best decisions possible. Just remember, eating clean is essential to losing weight, but most importantly, being healthy.

The Truth About Carbs and Dieting

When people set a goal to lose weight, the first thing they aim to change is their diet. They set out to eat as few calories as they can and rid their house of all carbohydrates. That is a recipe for disaster! Neither of those plans will make for long-term weight loss and maintenance.

I overheard a gentleman at my gym say, “If you want to get a tiny waist you don’t take a pill. There’s only one thing you can do: not eat. Or, you can stop eating carbs.” I had to bite my tongue to the point of pain to keep from correcting him. When preparing for my last figure competition, I ate at least 2,000 calories per day – including a ton of carbs.