23 Jan HOW TO EAT HEALTHY ON A BUDGET
Feb 2018: it is time to take your new year resolutions into action. What are your goals for this year? Losing weight, working out, eating well?
This post focus on the last one, which is so important yet not always on top of our list. We all know we should be eating healthy, just as we know cigarettes are bad for us. But what we usually do not know is how IMPORTANT eating healthy is: “You are what you eat, abs are made in the kitchen”…all these mottos are reiterate one thing: eating nutritious foods in 2018 is what will keep us healthy and get you in great shape! If you are looking at weight loss, nutrition plays at least 70% of the work. You can burn up to 800 calories with us but if you drink sweet cocktails or have fried chicken after that, you are basically ruining all your hard work!
Eating healthy is THE KEY ingredient to weight loss. To put it bluntly, you can push as hard as you want on the bike and you will NOT get results if your diet is all over the place. Unfortunately there are no way to out train a bad diet!
So, did I convince you to put eating healthy on the top of your list this year? YAY!
Ok so where do we start? The common reaction I get to this, is, the age old question: “Eating heathy sounds great but it is expensive, and after the holidays my account is a bit tight (insert your excuse here)” I know, I still get a shock when I look at the price of kale and mushrooms (??) in SG. Why do we fail at eating healthy? Because in theory it sounds great but in practice, it looks like healthy without breaking the bank is mission impossible.
Good news – eating healthy is not only for the rich and famous! You can eat healthy on a budget: you just have to be a bit careful and choose your products wisely. We always think about how much kale or quinoa is, but if you think about it, we are ok to pay on average 15-25$ for a take out, and that can buy 1-2 packs of kale!
I would like to share a few tips to be healthy even if you are on a budget.
Disclaimer: at the end of this post, you will have no excuse not to be the healthiest version of yourself in 2018!
TIP ONE: FORGET THE SUPERMARKET
Let’s say out loud what everyone thinks here. Supermarkets in SG are a rip off. You will get fresher food from the markets at a fraction of the price. You are worried about where your food is from? Ask the stall owner, he/she will let you know. They are really honest and once you find the one that has good products stick with it. If they see you coming back for more they might even throw in a carrot or two for free .
Markets have a better quality and wider offering of vegetables than supermarkets, we can even find baby spinach, asparagus and organic produces from Australia! Trust me, have a look you will not want to go back to the supermarket after that!
Disclaimer: I do not eat much meat so not too sure about meat quality at the markets sorry!
Also, I’m not an extremist, I still go to the supermarket for special stuff like feta cheese or nut butters or certain herbs.
TIP TWO: BUY WITH A PURPOSE
Do not buy anything and everything without thinking what you will do with it. Otherwise it will end up not being eaten and buying veggies to throw them away is everything BUT eating healthy on a budget. I am often shocked to see how much food we throw away, as there is one simple way to stop this behavior: plan your meals and buy exactly what you need, nothing else! Benefits: It makes cooking a lot easier, less overwhelming and reduce your food waste to almost zero. That’s a good tip for your wallet and the planet!
TIP THREE: PRE-COOK AND PLAN YOU MEALS
I can see a recurring theme here… Now that you have the exact ingredients for your recipe, there is only one thing to do: prepare it! When I buy food I usually think of the number of meals I will eat at home in the next 2-3 days. Knowing that I have food ready to be consumed in my fridge really helps me resist the temptation of a quick meal out when I finish late at night. Try it and let me know if it works for you! I always cook a lot at once and eat it over the week so I don’t have to cook too many times… You went crazy and made too much? Freeze it! You will be happy to find it one night when you can’t be bothered cooking.
TIP FOUR: THINK 80% – 20%
A.K.A 80% eating at home VS 20% eating out (and yes this includes take-away!)
I know this one can be quite hard in SG. I’ve lived here on and off for 7 years and I am always amazed on how we get constantly bombarded with food, available 24/7. It is sometimes really hard to say no even if we have healthier options waiting for us in the fridge!
Start by counting how many times you ate out in the last 2 weeks? What’s your ratio like? Most likely around 50-50. How many of them were really necessary? If you honestly think about it, there are a lot of meal we eat out because we do not want to cook, not because it is a must for your social life. Eating out to be social is one of the most common objections I get from my clients however there are so many ways to be in a social setting without eating out. For example, with our previous tips you can pack up your meals and bring them to work and still enjoy a meal with your colleagues even if you are not eating the same thing! Another way to bring your ratio down is to meet your friends for activities rather than food. If you have been living in SG for a while chances are you meet most of your friends around a dining table, so it might take a bit of time to get used to it, but it is definitely doable and this will save you a lot of money you can then use to… buy healthy wholesome ingredients for your next recipe!
TIP FIVE: DO IT YOURSELF
For most of them, there is no baking required, they use basic ingredients you can find anywhere and bonus, when you do it yourself you make sure there are no extra additives or sugar in your food. How good is that?
I know it will probably take longer to make than buying at the store, however it feels pretty amazing to know you can have just as good (or even better) snacks for a third of the price!
Once you have tried it once it gets easier and easier and you won’t be spending too much time on it I swear!
Well here you have it! Tried and tested! Follow these simple steps and eating healthy might even save you a bit of money .
If you have any questions please feel free to ask I’m here to help.
In the meanwhile, enjoy the great food!