Eating Healthy On A Budget | The Cycle Project


Eating Healthy On A Budget

Today’s economy has everyone pinching for pennies, but no one wants their jeans to pinch when they put them on.  Sure eating healthy can be costly and even a daunting task for most, but there are some major guidelines that if followed will leave you with option after option for healthy meals at a low cost.

Tip #1: Cook. Cooking your own food will cut your monthly food bills drastically and it also puts you in control so you know what goes into your meals. Simply eating out and going for a meal that has the word chicken in it, can leave you packing on the pounds in no time, so get out there and hit the grocery store.

Tip #2: Buying Groceries. You can go a long way to your goals simply by stocking your cupboards and fridge with healthy snack, fruits and vegetables. It takes a lot of effort to discipline yourself all week long, but if you take the approach of disciplining yourself at the grocery store all week, you don’t give yourself any options for those bad habits to win over. Get your potato chips, ice cream, and all that other food that you know is bad for you, out of your cupboards and commit yourself to taking the time to buy healthy foods so you have no other options.

Tip #3: What to buy. One of the best tips I can give anyone is to have balance and variety in their diet, but it can drive you nuts if you don’t know much about nutrition trying to really strike that balance. So, in today’s economy, get the best of both world’s by visiting the produce section and letting the sales choose for you. It takes away the painstaking task of figuring out what produce you should buy, and builds in a natural rotation in your vegetables and fruit – a staple to a good diet and to maximizing your results in the gym. I’ve utilized this tip successfully for over 5 years.  I visit my local grocery store and one week they have broccoli, red peppers, and mangoes on sale – so that’s what I buy. These foods are nutrient rich and for that week – reasonably priced. The next week I go and it’s watermelon, grapes, lettuce, and carrots on sale, so I naturally decide to have salads with my dinner and watermelon or grapes in my lunches and snacks – perfect. It helps me eat healthy, naturally rotate my foods to get a variety of vitamins and minerals, and saves me money, because we all know we need to drop weight, not drop serious cash at the grocery store. Do the same thing with meats sticking to the healthier meats such as chicken, turkey, sirloin steak, tilapia, salmon and other fresh fish.

Tip #4: Tying it all together.

Vegetables and fruit – let what’s on sale choose for you what vegetables you eat, but as much as possible, the brighter the color vegetable or fruit, the healthier it is for you.
Meats – stick to chicken, turkey, sirloin steak, extra-lean ground beef, tuna, tilapia, shrimp, salmon, orange roughy, and trout. Again, be driven by what’s on sale and you will find yourself a no-brainer, natural variety of these meats which all offer different nutrients your body needs.
Carbs – same deal once more. See what’s on sale, but keep your limitations to whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread, whole-grain rice, couscous, potatoes, or my favorite – quinoa.
Meal time – a healthy balance of nutrients, carbs, and proteins are necessary at each meal to really reap the rewards. To make things simple, make a fist with your right hand. Now stare at it. That’s the rough size portion you should have in your dinner for your carbohydrate-based food and your meat (or protein food). Two of your paws should be the rough size of your veggie portion, and of course, nothing wrong with some healthy fruit-based desserts. Cook one of those items in your meals with extra-virgin olive oil, and you are set with hundreds of ultra-healthy meals that are pretty tasty with a little seasoning, marinade or garlic.


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