I just got back from a fabulous holiday in Florida and was shocked by the supersize portions and amount of junk food. It got me thinking about eating healthily without breaking the bank.
So, here’s my top 6 tips for eating well, staying healthy and spending less:
1. Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential – it affects your mood, sleep and fitness. However, a balanced diet doesn’t mean cutting out sweets or treats altogether. Treats should be occasional, not every day.
2. Skip the junk food
Junk food is packed full of unhealthy ingredients and isn’t always as cheap as people assume. Try baking your own healthier cookies by substituting sugar for honey (or try @Deliciously Ella’s fantastic sweet potato brownie recipe!), and choose wholesome alternatives, such as sweet potato wedges rather than chips. You’ll reduce the unhealthy fats and sugars, whilst pleasing your taste buds and your wallet.
3. Home cooking
Instead of eating out or ordering take-aways, ask your parents if you can cook. You’ll have fun and might earn some brownie points too! If you’re stuck for ideas, then there are loads of free recipes online (BBC Food is a great source) and the likes of Buzzfeed and other sites provide great checklists of low-cost meal ideas that won’t break the bank. Cooking meals that can be made in bulk and frozen, can also be a great way to save money and time.
4. Milkshakes vs Smoothies
Summer’s coming and the weather is warming, but next time you crave a thick, cold milkshake, think twice before ordering that Oreo McFlurry. Ditch this unhealthy option and make a delicious, healthy smoothie. Get creative – you can add almost any fruit to yogurt, or try something different like oats, honey and peanut butter; a great post-exercise drink packed full of protein. Smoothies can usually be made from things already in the fridge or cupboard, meaning you save your pennies for something longer-lasting! Check out @The Body Coach’s tasty recipe for a blueberry avocado smoothie if you’re looking for inspiration, or try @The Food Medic’s cinnamon roll smoothie recipe for healthy dose of cinnamon-y sweetness.
5. Less Meat
Eating meat everyday costs more and can be bad for your health (as well as the environment). Less expensive, healthier protein sources include eggs, nuts, beans and chickpeas – @Budget Bytes’ sun dried tomato and white bean skillet recipe is a tasty and cost-friendly example of this. Try making a chilli or curry with chicken or mince alternatives such as Quorn. They taste great, are super healthy and I bet your family won’t even notice the difference!
6. Frozen, Not Fresh, for your 5-a-Day
Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day can be costly if you’re buying fresh. Did you know that frozen or tinned fruit and veg can be just as good for you, and will cost much less? Plus, they last longer, so you’ll have less waste. @Dr Axe has a brilliant and simple acai bowl recipe that uses frozen bananas and berries – worth a try as a tasty and healthy breakfast option!
So, eating healthily doesn’t need to be difficult or cost more. In fact, it can cost less.
And remember – a balanced diet means you can still enjoy some treats. Here’s something I enjoyed whilst in Florida…!!
By Sophia Wilson, nimbl featured blogger