An excuse that I heard all the time as to why people don’t want to eat healthy or “can’t” eat healthy is because it’s too expensive. Sure, some things are totally out of my price range when I’m going food shopping, but I promise you that it’s possible and easy to eat healthy without spending a ridiculous amount of money. You just have to know what you’re doing.
1. First, I’ll start with what should be the most obvious. Produce really isn’t that expensive. You can get a whole bundle of asparagus for like $3, and it can last you about 3 separate meals if you cook for yourself. $3 for 3 side dishes is a steal. And, if you are cooking for yourself, make sure you don’t buy too much. You don’t need 15 peaches during your shopping trip. You can buy two and be content. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve bought produce and it went bad because I didn’t eat it in time. This can totally be prevented if you don’t overstock your fridge. Sure, the bagged salad might be on sale at 3 for $5.00, but how fast can you eat three bags of salad? And who wants to eat three bags of salad that fast? Anyway, my point is that fruits and vegetables aren’t nearly as expensive as we may think. They’re priced by the pound, and you really don’t need a lot of pounds of food to feed yourself.
2. You should really take advantage of living in 2012. In this year, we happen to have freezers, which are attached to our refrigerators. We can store things in these freezers for long periods of time without having to worry about the food going bad. For instance, you might buy chicken at the store that only has a good date for another 4 days, but this time limit can be extended by freezing the chicken. You can literally freeze anything. Here are a few more ideas.
Bananas go bad fast, but if you cut them up, but them in Ziploc bags, and freeze them, you have instant fruit for a smoothie. You can do this with other fruits, such as berries, if you want to keep them longer to use in shakes and smoothies. This is something I should have taken advantage of this week, since I just threw out two black, rotten bananas.
Bread can also be frozen. If you buy a whole loaf of bread, (which better be whole wheat or multi-grain) it’s hard to eat the whole loaf yourself before it goes bad. If it’s not hard, make it hard, because you don’t need to eat an entire loaf of bread in a week. If you freeze the bread, you can use it to toast at a later date. This can also be done with bagels and english muffins.
Make large portions of food, and freeze the rest to eat during the week. Some good foods that work this way are soups, pasta dishes, and sauces. It will also help you save time during the week, since heating up some soup is a lot faster than making it from scratch. And, you will prevent all your hard work and ingredients from spoiling. I’d say to pick a day, such as today, since it’s Sunday, and make a large portion of something for the week. Today I’m considering making vegetable soup. Let’s see if I actually get it done.
3. Separate or cut fruits and vegetables and place them into personal Ziploc or Tupperware so you can grab them throughout the week. It’s a lot harder to cut an entire stalk of celery to bring to work than it is to grab a bag with already cut up pieces. This will also help you eat more servings of fruits and vegetables, which will obviously help you not let your food go to waste.
4. If you’re not scared of frozen fish and chicken, buy it. I do. And it’s not bad at all. It lasts as long as you want it to, as opposed to fresh fish and chicken. It’s also not very expensive, and the bag usually comes with a ton of servings.
5. Stop eating at restaurants. Seriously, for the price of a sit-down meal, you can go food shopping and get way more for your money. And obviously, it’s healthier. Restaurants taint their food with pounds of butter, salt, and unknown ingredients that you don’t need to risk ingesting if you are trying to lose weight. Instead, go food shopping, and cook your own dinner. At the end of the day, it will be a lot more fulfilling than going out to eat.
Sorry there aren’t any fun pictures in this post, but you all know what fruits, vegetables, and chicken looks like anyway.
So stop making excuses. Excuses get you nowhere.