With the perfect Instagram shots of rose petal bejewelled smoothie bowls, almond milk matcha lattes and expensive celebrity endorsed superfood infused baking mixes, healthy eating can appear to be destined for only those with a fat wallet.
Fear not, this superfood trend need not cost a fortune, in fact clean eating is actually very simple, super nutritious and can save you money. The reality is that you do not have to go out and buy fancy packaged food that is marketed as the latest superfood in order to be healthy. There are many health foods that are sitting in the health food aisle of the supermarket that are actually not very healthy at all!
Many gluten-free foods for example are high in refined carbohydrates and sugar, contain minimal nutrients and fibre and are twice the price of their regular counterparts. My advice would be to avoid the supposedly health friendly supermarket aisle and follow my simple tips to ensure both your family and your wallet stays friendly! Here are my other ‘clean eating’ tips:
• Ditch the packet food. Sauces, frozen meals, packet mixes etc. are not only more expensive to buy, they are usually full of added salt, sugar, preservatives and flavour enhancers. Stock your pantry full of quick easy to go to items such as dried herbs and spices, tinned tomatoes and legumes. Keep frozen veggies and home cooked stock in the freezer. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh and are good to have on standby for when you need a quick easy meal. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to take a long time and it is a much cheaper and healthier way to feed the family.
• Prep your own lunches instead of eating out. If you pack your own lunch not only will it save you money but it avoids being tempted with the wrong foods when you are out and about.
• Buy in bulk and cook at home. For example cook a whole chicken as opposed to buying individual portion sizes. The left over chicken can be used in a salad for lunch the next day and added to stir frys for a quick, easy and super healthy dinner. Use the chicken frame to cook homemade chicken stock.
• Swap refined white, gluten free or wheat based products to more nutritious wholefood options e.g. white pasta to buckwheat, white rice to brown rice.
• Food prep. Allocate a time each week to precook meals for the week ahead. Place individual servings of meals in containers and freeze. This allows you to have meals readily on hand, all you need to do is simply cook and eat when needed. This saves mindless food prep snacking and wasting left overs. By monitoring portion size it also ensures that you do not eat too much in one sitting. Cutting down portion size is so important when it comes to weight loss.
• Exercise for free. Walking costs nothing and is a wonderful way to connect with nature, clear the mind and destress. Check out free community classes as often local businesses offer community exercise classes for free. LuluLemon offers free weekly yoga classes for example and some yoga studios offer free or by donation only community yoga and meditation.
• Surf the net for healthy recipe or meal plan ideas. There are some fabulous healthy eating plans available for free online.
• Use glass recyclable water bottles. Rather than buying expensive plastic water bottles, use a glass bottle that you can refill at home. Water keeps you hydrated, helps flush out toxins, keeps you regular and is free.
These simple tips and food swaps will have you feeling fab in no time. Eating healthier not only helps you to feel fitter, it can boost self-esteem giving you the confidence and motivation to continue on a healthy eating path. Start now and your body and family will thank you for it!