Last week we explored what foods are healthy and nourish our body, and we compared those with fad diets and foods that simply fill the hunger void. All that information is great, but we still need to know what exactly we should fill our plate with. And what about snacks?!
At Living Wellness, we follow the recommendations of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, and researcher Westin A. Price. They considered the government’s MyPlate model and took it a step further to create a plate that takes one’s whole body and nutritional needs into account. To nourish all the cells and systems of your body, you need macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), water, and healthy bacteria to maintain proper gut balance. The sample plates below are guidelines on how to properly nourish the body. Using these expert’s guidelines, your three main meals may look like the top example and your snacks may resemble the 2nd example.
Let’s take it a step further and briefly establish parameters for each food type on these plates.
- Vegetables - You will notice that it is recommend a vegetable be eaten with every meal and snack throughout the day. The ultimate goal is consuming 7-9 servings of vegetables and fruits each and every day.
- Protein – In general adults should consume approximately 8 grams of protein for every twenty pounds of body weight. For example – A 200 lbs person will follow this equation: 200 (Weight)/ 20 (pounds of body weight)= 10 x 8 (grams of protein) = 80 grams. Actual amounts of protein needed depends on activity level and health goals, but this equation provides a ballpark number.
- Fats – This is one of Ashley’s favorite topics to discuss. Healthy fats do not make us fat. Healthy fats play a role in brain and organ function, digestions, vitamin and mineral absorption, nerve health & maintaining a healthy body weight! Healthy fat actually helps you stayed satisfied longer & it does NOT make you fat!
- Fermented Food – Fermented foods help your body break down and absorb nutrients, boost your immune system, and keep your bowels regular. Fermented foods also support necessary bacteria in your digestive tract. Certain medications, chlorinated water, and antibiotics in our foods can crush our body’s natural supply of flora (good bacteria). This is why it is so important to have 3 servings of fermented foods or beverages per day. Yes, wine is considered a fermented beverage. . .but as with anything else, too much of a good thing is no longer good. Some examples of fermented foods include:
- Enjoying unsweetened yogurt or kefir are two more great ways to add a serving of fermented foods in your day.
- Kombucha is also a fantastic fermented beverage that is becoming very popular. Although very expensive in the store, Kombucha can be made very reasonably priced at home. Keep an eye on our events calendar for our next Kombucha class to learn how to make it at home!
- Pickled cucumbers, beets, kimchi, or sauerkraut will each provide a serving as well.
- Just 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar added to your salad or steamed veggies give you a serving of fermented food.
- Sour dough bread – one slice and you have one of your 3 servings in a day.
- Water - Up to 60% of one’s body is made up of water. Remember the goal for daily water consumption is ½ your healthy/ideal body weight in ounces of water.
- You may also notice that dairy is not included in this meal plan. Dairy is actually a phenomenal source of nine essential nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, and niacin. But because our body does not specifically need dairy and because so many people now a days do not digest dairy well, the researchers decided to leave it off of the plate. Therefore if your body handles dairy well…ENJOY it in moderation, especially in its raw form.
In most cases our plate may not be quite as simply as a plain protein, vegetable, healthy fat, fermented food and water. . .because of this, Living Wellness has created a list of ingredients to avoid as well as the FOSS Chart. Stay tuned! We have an upcoming post where we take a close look at ingredients and food labels. We'll share our ingredients to avoid and the FOSS chart in that post.
Phew! We just finished a crash course on Healthy Eating! Now let’s dive into the how to apply all of this great info to our grocery budget!
Top 10 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget!
- Meal Plan –
- My biggest money & time saver. Yes, it does take time & effort, but well worth it
- Consider: How many meals do you need to prepare each week?
- Look for sales at your grocery store & then meal plan
- Plan to get majority of item at 2 local stores
- Plan to complete monthly stops at “other” stores
- Real Plans is a great service you can use to help you meal plan
- Prep your meals ahead -
- Complete Food Prep on shopping day if possible (Check out a complete list of a sample meal prep found in Living Wellness for Growth Groups, pg 228)
- Will your family be eating on the go or at home?
- Make some snacks for on the go to prevent splurge purchases
- Buy Fresh Produce when in season -
- Savings Cards/Warehouse Savings –
- Sign-up for your local grocery store's local savings cards or coupon app provided at no charge
- Consider sharing a membership to Costco/Sam's Club with a friend
- Watch for coupons in the paper, email lists, or at the front of the store
- Consider items to buy or not buy at specific locations (e.g. Just because you're at a warehouse store, is that toilet paper price better than the sale price at another store?)
- Embrace Whole Grains and Beans --
- Whole grains and beans can be a very inexpensive addition to your plate.
- Be sure to look for BPA free cans, and soak or sprout grains/beans for best absorption
- Brown Rice ~ $0.18 per ¼ cup ($2/lb)
- Black Beans ~ $0.30 per ½ cup ($1.50/can)
- Try less expensive cuts of meats –
- Ask the helpful staff at the meat counter for their recommendations for your particular meal. Note they can cut up meat at the store for you turning a large roast into stew meat size chunks for no charge. Be sure to ask how long you can store the fresh meat safely. They also give great tips on how to cut meat so that it is most tender!
- Add a Crock Pot meal each week for an easy meal with leftovers!
- Get Creative: Look at recipes on our blog, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
- Keep it organized! -
- Keep an ongoing grocery list on your phone
- Label leftovers with dates
- Use clear glass containers so you can easily identify what is in the container and quickly put your meals together
- Package leftovers in serving sizes
- Waste is a HUGE money drainer, so regularly check your pantry and fridge for leftovers that need to eaten up
- Use the Living Wellness Journal to keep track of what you are eating. Bonus: There's a section each day in the journal that will help you to follow the food plate recommendations discussed above!
- Be Adventurous
- Taste Test! Get the kids involved. Be food scientists!
- Try new things (get ideas from Pinterest, Friends, Co-workers)
- Switch it up! Have breakfast for dinner
- Soup is a fantastic at the end of the week (and a great way to use up random ingredients you have on hand)
- Plan for Leftovers
- Make enough for leftovers (provided you will eat them)
- Reuse/repurpose the same meal
- Turn leftovers into a sandwich on whole grain sour dough
- Freeze for a later date (store in serving size portions for easy defrosting and to minimize waste)
- Mindful Eating
- This experience has changed MANY lives
- Check out the exercise in Living Wellness for Growth Groups, pg. 241, or check out the Living Wellness blog post on Mindful Eating
We just covered a lot of information in this series on Eating Healthy on a Budget! Which of these strategies was most helpful for you? What one NEW THING are you going to try this week?
Please SHARE this article with friends and family and COMMENT below how you save money while eating healthy on a budget! Looking forward to learning from you! Together we can revolutionize health, one community at a time.
You are worth more than mediocre. You are worth exceptional health!
With contribution from Caitlyn J. Hanson
© 2017 Living Wellness, LLC Revolutionizing health, one community at a time.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.