There’s a common misconception that to eat healthily you need to spend big bucks. That’s a big enough reason for some to give up on the idea of a healthy life, and to ‘compromise’ with delicious fatty, fried food. I have to be honest – there’s nothing I love more than a McDonalds burger with fries. But too much of anything is never a good thing. Not only is fried food bad for our waistlines, it can also have a massive effect on our moods. After I eat those types of foods, I always feel tired and sluggish. Believe it or not, unhealthy food can actually cause depression. When we eat healthily, our energy increases and the risk of diseases such as diabetes dramatically decreases. But how can we eat healthily without breaking the bank? Quite easily actually!
Get creative with your choices of protein
Meat can be expensive. But that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on it. There are other cuts of meats that are actually a lot less expensive. Tougher cuts of meats, and the ‘insides’ are very cheap. I never thought I’d eat the insides of an animal, but it’s actually delicious, and you can really get creative with recipes. Apart from that you can also buy frozen minced meat which is also much cheaper than fresh cuts. Chicken is another great option which you can stack up in your freezer in small batches, and use whenever you need. Frozen fish can also be dirt cheap, and it’s great when you feel like something light. Eggs are another wonderful source of protein that are also extremely cheap if you buy in bulk. Protein is vital for a healthy diet, and you definitely should not give up on it!
Grains and beans are your friends
Whole grains and beans are a wonderful choice when you’re trying to eat healthily. Not only are they extremely good for you, they also make you feel full and satisfied after a meal, making it less likely for you to grab an unhealthy snack. Go for grains such as quinoa and freekeh, and beans such as lentils and black beans. The amount of creative recipes out there with beans and grains is incredible. My favorite dish using these items is a Mexican Quinoa Salad, with quinoa, black beans, feta tomatoes and chili. My husband (who is a one of the biggest junk food fans out there) demolishes the entire bowl when I make it! Healthy salads and side dishes don’t have to be boring – they can actually be the highlight of the meal!
Plan plan and plan some more
There’s nothing I hate more than getting to the point where I have to throw food out. When we don’t plan well, a lot of food (and money) can go to waste. Plan your meals a week in advance, and only then do your weekly shopping (according to the ingredients you need for the meals). Never go to the supermarket without a plan! That’s when you can get carried away and land up spending a small fortune. Freeze meals for the week and take them out each morning. Not only does planning ahead save you money, it also saves you a lot of time. Because with our busy lives, who wouldn’t want an extra few hours a day to do what we love?!