Clean Eating on a Budget

Clean Eating on a Budget

Marcy Cline – February 6, 2021

Can you really eat clean on a budget?  I’m going to share a few tips and tricks to help you eat clean and save money.  I know from everything I’ve read that eating clean is better for our bodies and rids the toxins and all the inflammation, but how can you do it and stay on budget?  Let me start off by explaining what is meant by “clean eating”.  Clean eating is about eating whole foods in their most natural state, or as close as possible.  Clean eating is not a diet!  It simply involves choosing foods that are minimally processed, which can provide the maximum nutrition, so essentially real foods.  Clean eating is about eating real food for a happy healthy life.  

Organize

I like to plan at the beginning of each week and this way I’m only buying items I need.  I also look at my pantry before grocery shopping and make sure I’m not out of something like flour or oats.  I have definitely saved money this way – by only buying what I actually need.  I also find that apps like instacart and walmart grocery pick up to be helpful.  Then I’m not buying unnecessary items that I don’t need – this has really saved me money!

Stay away from overpriced stores

I’m a sucker for Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s!  Yes, they have all the clean foods you would ever need, but sometimes the prices are a bit more expensive.  I like Aldi’s for my produce and lean meats and I hit up walmart for my organic milk and eggs.  Actually walmart has the largest selection of organic foods, if you’re into organic. You can definitely make the switch to eating clean and not spend an arm and a leg.

Speaking of organic

Organic just means that the food is free of chemical pesticides, and yes we really don’t want those in our body especially if we are trying to be healthy.  There are ways around that if you just can’t seem to spend that extra couple dollars for organic.

  1. Clean your produce when you get home.  I like to make a water and vinegar bath and then rinse, dry and cut up afterward.
  2. Certain foods like avocados, sweet corn, pineapple, onions, cabbage, mangos, honeydew, cantaloupe, and cauliflower are less likely to be contaminated with pesticides – so you don’t have to buy organic here.

Watch what you buy

Don’t stock up on produce.  Fruits and veggies don’t last too long, so only buy what you need for the week or two.  I buy bulk items like bread and lean meats – items that can be kept in the freezer till I need them.

So now let’s talk foods

I’m sure you’re aware that eating more fruits and vegetables are healthy, right!  I mean they contain so many good nutrients for our bodies like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that help fight inflammation and protect our cells from damage.  Sounds good right!  So here are some tips on adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet:

  1. Choose at least 3 different colorful veggies in addition to the greens when making a salad.
  2. Try adding berries, apples and orange slices to your dishes.
  3. Wash and chop veggies when you bring them home and place in containers that are easy to reach for.

Another tip is to buy organic which will take your clean eating a step further by reducing pesticides, but if that’s not an option make sure you are rinsing your veggies with a veggie detergent (either store bought or homemade).  I like to soak mine in water and vinegar and then rinse.  

Let’s talk processed foods

Processed foods should be avoided when working on your clean eating lifestyle.  Processed foods are modified, which means they don’t have all their fiber and nutrients and have gained sugar, chemicals, or other bad ingredients the body shouldn’t have.   Processed foods have been linked to inflammation and increased risk of heart disease. (Defago et al., 2014). 

What are some of your ways you eat clean on a budget?

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

References

Defago, M., Elorriaga, N., Irazola, V., & Rubinstein, A. (2014, December 16). Influence of food patterns on endothelial biomarkers: a systematic review. J Clin Hypertens, 907-913. 10.1111/jch.12431

Haas, E. M. (2012). The Detox Diet (3rd ed.). Ten Speed Press.

Five Key Lifestyle Factors for Life!

Five Key Lifestyle Factors for Life

Marcy Cline ~ February 20, 2021

If only we could just follow five lifestyle factors in life, wouldn’t that make things simpler?  Life is so fast-paced these days that sometimes it’s hard to know what’s good for our bodies.  We deal every day with these five lifestyle factors, nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, and attitude.  Are we eating healthy? Are we sleeping enough? Why am I so stressed out all the time?  I think with a few tweaks we can adapt a better lifestyle to keep us feeling healthy.

Nutrition

The definition of nutrition is the act or process of nourishing or being nourished, sounds easy right!  So what works? All those fad diets may help you lose weight at that moment, but what is the longevity of the diet.  Are you planning to eat that way for life? Better nutrition is more of a lifestyle shift.  Elson Hass said it correctly “I know when people make lifestyle and habit changes they often have improved health results.”  Finding our balance and implementing a dietary habit can help with our nutritional goals.  Focusing on a diet that is rich in:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Lean proteins
  4. Whole grains
  5. Healthy unsaturated fats

Limiting trans and saturated fats, refined grains, and high sugar can help reduce the risk of disease and illness. Small changes to our diet can make a big impact on our health.  

Exercise

Regular exercise is essential for our healthy body.  Daily movements help control weight, combats health conditions and diseases.  Exercise can also help:

  1. Improve mood
  2. Boost energy
  3. Promote better sleep

Stress Management

  1. Loss of focus
  2. Frustrated or more emotional
  3. Tired or exhausted
  4. Lack of motivation

Sleep

Getting the proper amount of sleep does make a difference it allows our bodies and mins to recharge and heal.  Sleep our bodies remain healthy and help fight off diseases.  Without proper sleep, the brain can not function properly, which can cause a lack of concentration, think clearly, and process memories.  A few positive steps in implementing a routine includes:

  1. Establish a realistic bedtime
  2. Maintain comfortable bedroom temperature
  3. Comfortable sleeping environment
  4. Turn off electronics
  5. Reframe from caffeine and large meals before bedtime.

Positive Attitude

Staying positive really can make a big impact on your health. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, positive thinking has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including:

  1. Better stress management and coping skills
  2. Enhanced psychological health
  3. Greater resistance to the common cold
  4.  Increased physical weel-being
  5. Longer lifespan
  6. Lower rates of depression
  7. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease-related death

The five key lifestyle factors are an important tool to help shift your current lifestyle and put you on track to better health.  These five key factors are an integral piece to eating-living-supporting our mind-body for health, vitality, and longevity.  

References

Benefits of Exercise. (n.d.). MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/benefitsofexercise.html

Cherry, K., & Snyder, C. (n.d.). Understanding the Psychology of Positive Thinking. verywellmind. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-positive-thinking-2794772

Foley, L. (2020, September 11). Why Do We Need Sleep? Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/why-do-we-need-sleep

Haas, E. M. (2012). The Detox Diet The Definitive Guide for Lifelong Vitality with Recipes, Menus, and Detox Plans (Third ed.). Ten Speed Press.

Healthy Alignment: Five Key Lifestyle Factors. (2020, July 09). BalancedBody. https://balancedodyfoods.com/blog/healthy-alignment-five-key-lifestyle-factors-2/

Fall squash salad

When I think of squash I don’t necessarily think salad, do you? This squash salad is perfect for fall! You can eat it morning, noon or night, too! So delicious 😋

Recipe:

Butternut squash chopped into cube pieces.

I placed in a ziplock bag and added a tablespoon of avocado oil.
I then added to my air fryer (best invention ever!)

Put it on 400 degrees for 18 minutes.
when done I placed on paper towels to cool.
Then I added – blueberries

Cranraisins

And drizzled with honey

That’s it!! Delicious fall squash salad!

enjoy🙏

Delicious Fall Latte

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Recipe:

Warm 1/2 cup of coconut milk

1/4 cup of coffee or espresso

2 Tablespoons of pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix together in blender and pour over ice. Top with pumpkin spice and enjoy!

Mood Food

What’s your mood food?

Did you know there was such a thing? Apparently what we eat says a lot about our mood!

When your feeling down you may turn to “junk foods” or foods high in sugar or high in calories. Right! Why do we do that? To try and lift our spirits, unfortunately mood can be influenced by many factors including stress, environment, poor sleep, genetics, mood disorders or even nutritional deficiencies. Did you know there are foods out there that can improve overall brain health and even some mood disorders. Lets check them out!

  1. Salmon is a fatty fish and so its rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies need and only get through diet. Salmon may lower risks of depression.
  2. Dark chocolate has mood boosting compounds that may increase feel-good chemicals to your brain.
  3. Fermented foods contain probiotics that help our gut. Kiamichi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut may improve gut and mood. Why are probiotics essential you ask – because the live microorganisms support growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and have the potential to increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood, stress response and appetite (super important).
  4. Bananas are high in vitamin B6 which help synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Bananas contain a natural sugar along with prebiotic fiber that can keep your blood sugar levels and mood in check.
  5. Oats contain fiber, which in turn helps slow your digestion of carbs allowing the gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to help keep energy levels stable. Oats are also high in iron, so if you have an iron deficiency or anemia this food could help.
  6. Berries are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants which can help manage inflammation associated with depression and other mood disorders.
  7. Nuts and seeds are high in tryptophan, zinc and selenium which may support brain function and lower the risk of depression.
  8. Coffee (YESSSS!) contains caffeine and chlorogenic acid which may boost your mood.
  9. Beans and lentils are high in fiber and plant based protein and are definitely filled with feel-good nutrients. Beans and lentils contain mood boosting nutrients including vitamin B.

So what does this all mean? When your feeling down or depressed and reach for that candy bar or bowl of ice cream it may feel good in that moment, but unlikely to help you long-term. I challenge you to try some of the foods above to help put a positive spin on not feeling so good and see what happens.

Have a positive and happy Tuesday!

Drop some ideas on blogs in the comments. Will be posting recipes that include these foods above soon!

~Marcy