Friday, September 26, 2008

Saving Money While Eating Healthy

This post is in response to a comment from a friend in the last "Wednesday Weigh In". My friend Ann commented how expensive it is while trying to eat healthy. I found that at first it is expensive to eat healthier because I tried so many new recipes and bought low-fat butters and margarine's that slim fast recommended. I also bought slim fast bars and drinks while I was still buying junk food for the family. Since I've been doing this now for about 2 months, I have more of a routine and the family is on board now so I buy less junk and more healthy crackers etc. I still like to buy the slim fast bars because they are so good and give me a chocolate fix without all of the calories.

One expensive thing that was in most of my new recipes was peppers- green, red, yellow and orange. I tried to find the cheapest place to buy peppers in bulk (Sam's Club)and then cut them up and froze them. This saves me money and time in the kitchen. I cut the peppers into four or more pieces after taking out the seeds. Then stick'em in a plastic Ziploc bag and freeze. I buy only garlic in the clove and as a whole bud. I found out that by buying the previously peeled garlic, it goes bad faster. I am lucky that our garden is growing tons of tomatoes right now so I don't buy those.

Lettuce was always a part of our diet but I try to buy the whole heads because you get more for your money. I can see if you are single though, it would be wasted faster so for you it probably is better to buy it bagged. My personal favorite lettuce combo is l head of each of these- Romaine, red leaf and green leaf. I don't buy iceberg since it is mainly a filler without much nutritional value.

The most expensive part of switching to healthier eating is buying the spices that help to flavor the foods. With less fat, it needs more flavor since fat is what gives most foods flavor. If I was on a really strict budget, I would buy only one new spice or seasoning a week(or month) and then make due with pepper and other already bought seasonings. I recommend cumin because of its stimulant properties it helps with appetite. Click on the link to understand the word stimulant when talking about food and drugs. It doesn't "increase" your appetite like in the word stimulate, it suppresses your appetite. In our society, cumin is used in currys, chili powder, taco seasonings etc. In researching cumin I found an awesome blog about spices and foods. Click here to go to it.

My last suggestion is to try out Mrs. Dash seasonings. In my previous Wednesday Weigh In, I mentioned a friend of mine that is a body builder. One day when we were visiting his house he was cooking some fish in a pan on the stove. He was preparing for an upcoming competition and had a very strict diet to stick to. I asked about the seasonings he was using and he said Mrs. Dash because it is MSG free, salt free and had great spices in it. I then checked it out at our local Walmart and was very surprised with the number of combinations you could choose from. From a good chicken grilling seasoning to a barbecue seasoning, to a yummy lemon pepper seasoning. You should also make sure your seasonings are low in salt because we all tend to get too much salt in our diet. It makes our bodies hold onto too much water which makes our weight loss seem less. I think I will need to do a post on MSG as I learn more about it. I seem to have a reaction to it that I need to watch. Look for that in the future!

With all of this food info and weight-loss talk, maybe I should start a second blog and keep this blog dedicated to family. What do you think? PS- did you notice I looked up html and found out how to separate my paragraphs? Yea!!!!


Angie Nelson said...

Thanks for answering a few questions and giving me some great tips! I think you should have a different blog just for your weigh ins and for your food advice.

Mama Nirvana said...

Congrats on sticking to your healthy eating plan, Julie. You definitely have gotten creative. Peppers are VERY expensive. Good idea for freezing them.

I loved seeing the pictures of your family!