Healthy on a Budget: Shop Smart

8 Apr

[read time: 2 minutes]

Smart food shopping is certainly required if you are interested in improving your health. Here are a few things that can reduce cost and boost health for you and your family.

Shop on Full: Eat something balanced and beneficial before you shop. This simple action seriously reduces junk food and impulse buys.

Choose Label Free Items: No one checks the label on an apple or a head of cabbage. You can be confident that it’s all good, especially when it’s organic. Consider including primarily single ingredient items in your basket. For example, make rice pilaf from scratch instead buying a prepared pack of rice pilaf mix.

Shop With Meals in Mind: Based on your weekly schedule, decide ahead of time what meals would be best on which days. Then shop with a list that reflects at least 2-3 meals and stick to it.

Finally, always include the highest quality natural foods you can possibly afford.

Remember: High quality food = high quality health.


3 Responses to “Healthy on a Budget: Shop Smart”

  1. Anitra November 7, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    What would you say are the top 5 (or more) staple items one should always have in their fridge/cupboards to prepare a variety of healthy meals? Thanks!

    • compassionaterenegade November 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      thanks so much for this GREAT question…

      #1 high quality oil – though it can be expensive, it’s one of the best investments to bump up your health and reduce harmful compounds (such as acrylamide and free radicals) from entering the body in the first place. i recommend almond oil which sautées beautifully and plays nice with salads, too.

      #2 fresh fruit – it’s my secret weapon against crazy-food snacking. having fresh fruit in the house is a great way to calm down a growly stomach before cooking dinner. plus the fiber (two types) helps clean out the junk and helps your body absorb more nutrients from the food you eat. many fruits are VERY portable, so they can be your snack on the commute home or between meals that will boost your energy and derail the fat-snack train. (this train has been shown to be made of chocolate bars, candy windows, and donut wheels… it rides on licorice tracks).

      #3 high quality protein – there is a huge debate about sources of protein and what’s physically (and morally) better for a human to eat. when it comes to protein, it’s critical that you experiment to determine the best level and source for your body. too little protein and you’ve got sugar cravings and low energy. too much protein and you’ve got sugar cravings and possibly some other health challenges looming. i’ve found that a good mix of primarily organic plant protein and an occasional supplement of high quality animal protein works best for my body. make sure whatever you’re choosing is the highest quality you can afford and play with the balance for yourself.

      #4 reliable breakfast – different bodies like different things to get the day started. there are some who think skipping it is best (unfortunately for them, this is less than optimal). do an experiment over several days to find what gives you the most consistent energy through to lunch time and then make that a habit. try the following breakfasts and see what happens:
      – grain whole breakfast like bread, rice, or oatmeal (no oils, fats, or nut butters)
      – pure protein like an unsalted nut and seed mix, eggs, or yogurt (can be soy, or coconut too);
      – seasonal, organic raw or steamed veggies without salad dressing or sautéeing oils; some spices and a pinch of sea salt is ok
      – seasonal, organic fresh fruit, eat as much as you want; exclude dried fruits and things like putting peanut butter on an apple during this experimental time

      #5 kale (preferably dino kale) – kale is one of the tastiest and most beneficial greens out there. and it’s so versatile in that it can be thrown into a smoothie, munched on raw (with hummus and blueberries – weird AND yummy), thinly sliced into all sorts of dishes and salads. i’ve been known to put kale and onions into my scrambled eggs. kale adds benefit, flavor, and nutrients to any meal. you do have to be ready to chew… please know that chewing (not gum!) is required for high quality health.

      these are just suggestions. by all means, find the staples that work best for you. what’s most important is that you make foods that boost your well being a regular part of your daily food choices.

  2. Fantastic information, thank you for sharing this with us all!

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