In many places, the most healthy food options are uncomfortably expensive. Choosing healthy, organic alternatives is difficult if you’re strapped for cash. While it can be a shame that many of us feel obligated to spend extra money to eat healthier, there are ways to eat healthy without breaking your budget.
At Vitality Fitness, we recognize that diet is a vital aspect of a comprehensive plan for health and wellness. While it’s important to be active and maintain a regular workout routine, these efforts are moot if you’re not eating healthy foods that help your body recover from these workouts, as well as build strength and stamina.
Fortunately, eating healthy while on a tight budget isn’t impossible. While it might take a bit more planning and searching through the grocery store, as well as a bit more prep time in the kitchen, there are ways to stay within your budget while giving your body the fuel it deserves. Here are some tips for eating healthy on a budget:
Create a Meal Plan
Planning your meals is a huge step towards eating healthy on a budget. Most importantly, it eliminates eating out or picking up unhealthy meals on the fly. Having a meal plan can reduce the number of monthly trips you make to the grocery store and can cut down your overall meal prep time.
Purchase ‘Whole Foods’
Unprocessed foods are much cheaper, and also more nutritious, than their processed counterparts. Buying whole foods gives you greater control over the specific ingredients in your meals. For proteins, look for quality ground beef, frozen chicken breast, or eggs. When it comes to carbs, potatoes, beans, and broccoli are great choices, as long as they don’t come from a can. Fats from fish oil, flax seeds, and real butter are also preferable to alternatives that are higher in trans fats.
Most people fail to eat healthy because they don’t have time to prep and cook decent meals at home on a regular basis. With the hectic lifestyles led by many people, spending time in the kitchen doesn’t always remain high on the priority list.
However, setting aside a few hours one day a week for meal prep can significantly increase the health of your diet. In addition, it’s extremely convenient to grab pre-prepared lunches on your way out the door during the week, rather than throwing something together last minute or eating take-out five days a week.
While whole foods are still a better option, supplements are relatively cheap, and they can make your meal prep much simpler. Whey is usually the cheapest protein supplement you’ll find, and fish oil is less expensive that buying whole fish. Because many people suffer from vitamin deficiencies, multi-vitamins can be a relatively inexpensive way to get the nutrients your body needs.
Buy Into a Local CSA Program
With today’s emphasis on non-GMO products, more local farms are beginning to offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. For an annual or monthly fee, your local farmer will put together a basket of healthy, organic fruits and vegetables for you to pick up on a regular basis. A little online research may also reveal cheaper, local sources of grass-fed beef as well.
At Vitality Fitness, we are committed to helping our clients stay fit and healthy, and we know how diet is important in that overall scheme. Once you’ve got your diet locked in, it’s time to get into the gym and get your fitness on! Give us a call at 587-777-3378 to learn more about our classes today!