September 25, 2017

BUT…I’m on a budget, I can’t eat healthy!

healthy eating budget

Really?  Broke?  You can’t eat healthy, but you have enough money to get pizza or have wings and beer…hmmm, I guess your version of broke and mine are two totally different things.

I am so tired of almost every post I see written about clean eating or healthier options is followed by people making excuses about how expensive it is to eat clean or healthy. There is a way to eat clean on a budget and not feel the pinch in your wallet. Trust me, as a single mom, who hasn’t been able to work a full time job and have a steady income in the last 4 years since my accident…I have LEARNED how to still eat clean and healthy! So I decided to pass it all on to you!! And guess what…it’s FREE knowledge!

WHAT’S THE SECRET TO HEALTHY EATING ON A BUDGET?

First, learn to cook your own food. Yes, you read that correctly! Stop eating out, stop ordering to go or pizzas, stop buying snacks at convenient stores, and stop buying coffee!! All of this adds up and it adds up quickly!! Also, if your budget is so tight, you wouldn’t have the money to do any of this ANYWAYS! So really, this should go without saying, but unfortunately people hide behind the EXCUSE that it costs to much, when in reality what costs too much is giving up your fancy coffees and your over priced smoothies.  So really it is a pretty OBVIOUS that if you want to save money, learn to cook! Also you can cook in advance, so you can just grab and go and not make impulse food purchases. Remember to switch up your cooking styles so you don’t get bored. There are hundreds of different ways to cook chicken healthy!!! TRUST ME!

healthy eating budget Second, if you have a Costco, Sam’s or BJs Club around you…get a membership!!! Not only can you save by buying in bulk, but almost always their gas is slightly cheaper too.  You can also purchase your Fish Oil, Vitamins, and Protein Powder there. Now the Protein Powder isn’t the high quality, but remember you are on a budget! Also you can get great prices on chicken, ground turkey and red meats. Yes, they aren’t organic or grass-fed, but your options are limited if your bank account is. You can also buy your everyday personal and household things here too. Did you know they all take coupons too?! I use BJs here and for example, if I get a three pack of toothpaste…I can use 3 coupons on it…1 per box! Start learning how to coupon, that piece of paper is like having FREE cash in your hands! Also, when some stores have coupons like $10 off your entire purchase…this is like $10 of FREE meat or veggies!! Why would you pass this up!

Third, stop buying things in cans and boxes…if you remember this, usually NOTHING clean comes in one AND on top of it the price you pay is also for the packaging it comes in! Last time I checked, we don’t consume cardboard and aluminum as food. You can also buy some great healthy and clean options in bulk, like beans, whole grains (barley, quinoa) and even whole grain flours (if you choose to keep grains in your diet).

Fourth, you don’t have to buy all your fruits and veggies ORGANIC! There are plenty that are very low in pesticides that you can purchase NOT organic. These include: Onions, Pineapples, Avocados, Cabbage, Asparagus, Mangoes, Eggplant, Cantaloupe, Kiwi, Sweet Potatoes, Grapefruit, Watermelon and Mushrooms.  There are twelve known as the “dirty dozen” which I would recommend buying organic, those are: Apples, Celery, Sweet Bell Peppers, Peaches, Strawberries, Nectarines (imported), Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce (all), Cucumbers, Blueberries (domestic), and Potatoes. Another way to save is to grow your own fruits, veggies and/or herbs! What better way to save money and even gas, no driving needed to walk outside and pick what you want to eat! One other way is to visit your local Farmer’s Markets…talk about FRESH!!  And remember this also, buy what is in season, that’s when it is at it’s lowest price!

healthy eating budget

Lastly, remember there are different forms of less expensive sources of protein like beans, tuna, eggs, nuts, or Greek yogurt.  If you are thinking about starting to eat clean (or even started to) and your budget is tight, take a good look at where you are spending your money. Is it going towards those fancy coffees and smoothies I mentioned prior or how about those frozen microwaveable meals (if you want to call them that). How much do you spend on beverages like juice, soda or even alcohol? It takes just a little bit of extra thought to save some money, but in the long haul you making it a priority will save you so much…like in your health! If your health isn’t important to you, IT SHOULD BE!

After all, we all deserve to be HEALTHY!!

Here’s a little guide to help you on your NEXT trip to the grocery store ~

Protein Options:

Protein powder (I use whey isolate)
Eggs (organic or cage-free)
Boneless/skinless chicken breast
Lean ground turkey
Canned Tuna (in water)

Seafood (Tilapia,Wild Salmon, Scallops, Shrimp)
Plain Greek Yogurt

Fibrous Veggie Options:
Spinach
Broccoli
Asparagus
Kale
Bell Peppers
Mushrooms
Cauliflower
Brussel Sprouts
Green beans
Artichoke
Zucchini
Cucumber

Healthy Fat Options: (Read about Healthy Fats, HERE)

Almond butter (Organic if possible, there should be oil on top, low/no sodium)
Oils (EV Olive(In the darkest jars), Safflower, Coconut, Flaxseed, Macadamia Nut)
Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios)
Avocado

Complex/Starchy Carb Options:

Old-fashioned Oatmeal/Steel Cut Oats (Gluten-free options are available)
Quinoa (Gluten-free options available)
Sweet potato
Yam
Whole Wheat Bread (Gluten-free options available)
Brown Rice

Fruit:

Apples
Pears
Blueberries
Raspberries
Strawberries
Lemons (for water & fish)

Beverages

Water*
Unsweetened Almond Milk (I like vanilla)
Green tea bags
Coffee

Condiments

Balsamic Vinegar
Salsa
Chili powder
Mrs Dash (is a staple in my kitchen)
Mustard
Cinnamon
Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
Stevia

All Fresh Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Rosemary, etc)

Vitamins

Fish Oil (especially if you don’t eat fish)
Multi-vitamin

DOMS…..Excuse me what did you say?

DOMS

Have you ever heard someone use the word “DOMS”? The first time I did, I thought I was hearing a foreign language or that the person just didn’t know how to talk! Then it hit me, they were using an acronym for something fitness related (as I do frequently now). So what did I do? My normal…I RESEARCHED!! This is what I learned…

DOMS, also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is common after exercise (post-training) and it is not related to lactic acid buildup, but stems from muscle fiber damage. It refers to the gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity and it is perfectly normal! DOMS is a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to.  DOMS should not limit or affect your training, although one’s pain threshold will dictate training intensity while experiencing it.

supplementsThere are many things you can do to help limit the duration of DOMS…some natural supplements help, like Omega 3, Quercetin, Arginine, Glutamine,  and CLA. Or simply by upping  your antioxidants and your water consumption should help.  DON’T use things like ibuprofen though, try to keep it natural.

cardio

Another way is cardio at a steady state is great due to getting oxygen and blood flow to the area…which aides in recovery NATURALLY! Charles Poliquin writes that “sometimes very light, low intensity cardio the day after a heavy intense workout can help with DOMS.” There have been no studies that say working out with DOMS causes harm to you or your muscles.

So a good starting point is LOTS of water during the day (stay hydrated), a good all-round multivitamin, and then natural supplements taken pre/post training, stretching well before sleep, and then some low intensity steady state cardio the next morning.

Don’t be afraid of DOMS, I promise…they are a good thing!!

My life without Meds and with Supplements

Having medical issues since I was 18, I have been prescribed tons of different medications to take. The two times I remember taking the most were after my accident in 2000 and then again after my accident in 2008. In 2000, there was a lapse of 14 months were my Doctors could NOT figure out what was wrong me. (I ended up having severe damage done to my lower spine). In this time frame I was put on multiple medications…and at one point in time I was on 9 different (taking 21 pills a day). Two of those medications were BLACK BOXED by the FDA to cause severe/deadly reactions. No one caught this…not my Doctors nor the Pharmacy. I ended up having 3 Gran Mal seizures and adding more issues to the already growing list. After the seizures, my doctors took me off EVERYTHING, which led to me going through 5 days of the worst withdrawal symptoms ever! Then after my accident in 2008, they practically did it all over again (a different group of doctors due to workman’s comp). I was on 11, yes 11 different meds, and NONE OF THEM WERE WORKING. Come to find out my body has grown immune to ALL prescription drugs and I even have to be triple dosed with anesthesia to stay under for a surgery.

So here is a list of all prescription drugs I have been on:

For Pain: (also includes neuro, joint, & arthritic)

Dilaudid 2mg (5mg in hospital), Lyrica 150mg, Aspirin 325mg (4 at a time), Lodine 400mg, Neurontin 600mg, Voltaren Gel, Lidocaine Patch, OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Morphine drip and time release, Darvocet, Mobic, Naproxen, Celebrex & Demerol

For either Muscle Relaxer or Spasms:

Diazepam 5mg, Baclofen 10mg, Flexeril 10mg, & Soma 350mg

For migraines:

Indomethacin 25mg & Imitrex

For Seizures:

Topomax 150mg & Ultram (found out I am allergic too)

Steroid Packs: Prednisone

For Sleep: AmbienCR (was up to taking 6 pills a night with no sleep)

Blood Thinner: Coumidin

So, now I take NONE of those. I even did my last two major surgeries (spinal fusion and total hip replacement) with NO MEDS, that includes NO PAIN MEDS!

Now onto supplements:

Yes, I take them. No, I don’t tell others to take them. To each his own.

Here is what I do take, and below this lit is just some knowledge I have learned by reading.

In the morning I take:

Vitamin D 2,000IU, Super B Complex w/Folic Acid, Multi-Vitamin, CLA,  Glucomannan & Green Tea Extract

At lunch time I take:

CLA, Glucomannan, Green Tea Extract, Ester C 1,000 & FiberSol

Then at dinner:

Ultimate Flora 50Billion, Fish Oil, CLA, Glucomannan, & Green Tea Extract

Then Pre-Workout I take:

L-Arginine 500mg & 1 scoop of EVP (Evogen)

Post-Workout I take:

Glutamine 500mg & 1 scoop of CEllKEM (Evogen)

I have learned that there are different supplements you should NOT take together or should be taken with food. So I am going to touch on that a bit.

Did you know your body absorbs supplements better on a well-balanced diet than with junk (go figure)! Some of the types of supplements that need this are vitamins, minerals, and oils (like fish or flax). There are those supplements, like Amino Acids, Herbal medicines and enzymes, which are better taken 30 minutes PRIOR to eating. As for which ones not to take together and which ones benefit each other. Iron, taken with Vitamin C increases absorption, but taken with Zinc, Soy, Coffee or Tea it decreases the absorption. Calcium, taken with Vitamin D & C, protein and lactose increases absorption, while Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphate decreases it. Don’t combine your Vitamin B12 with Vitamin C either or even better for your woman on oral contraceptives, DON’T take B6 at the same time!