With one of America’s most widely-known processed food companies, Hostess Brands Inc., filing for bankruptcy, alongside the steady rise of sustainability awareness and whole food markets, healthy eating has become a thing of the times.
You can take a cue from this food movement by learning early on how to provide nutritious meals for yourself that will not only assist you in staying healthy, but will also keep you within your spending allowance.
1) Prep Ahead for the Week
Preparing early for a big test usually yields a higher score, and the same goes for planning out your cuisine. Make a plan of what you will eat a few days ahead so that you don’t feel the need to make last-minute burger stops after school.
For example, you can write down recipes for at least three meals a day for a whole week, stick it on your fridge and follow it through. You can also jump start the next day’s breakfast by grabbing an ice cube tray, placing a spoonful of frozen yogurt in each cube and freezing it overnight. The following morning, pop the cubes into a blender, along with some fresh fruit for a quick and easy breakfast smoothie!
2) Stock up on the Basics
Once you have something from each of the major food groups: whole grains, vegetables, fruit, lean meats and fish, and dairy products, start hashing out dishes that include two to three of these ingredients. Some examples can include tuna with peas or carrots, paired with some whole-wheat bread or tortilla chips.
You can also add some Southwestern flare to your food pyramid. Simply start by grilling chicken with sliced onions and bright red, green and yellow peppers, then season the mix with salt and pepper, and serve on warm wheat tortillas. If you sprinkle a bit of cheese on top, this quick recipe will cover four of the five food groups!
3) Think Outside the (Cereal) Box
Variety in your diet does not mean switching brands of cereals- you can substitute everyday condiments and add sprinklings of natural sweetness as well.
For instance, switch mayonnaise with hummus for a low-calorie spread on sandwiches. And instead of using sugar to sweeten your morning bowl of oatmeal, shave off tiny pieces of dark chocolate or pieces of fresh strawberries.
4) Research What is in Season
Knowing which products are at the peak of freshness during each season can help stretch out your cash. If you are not up to date on when strawberries are best to buy, check out your local farmers market to find produce that is grown locally.
Also, do not be afraid to ask independent farmers about which season is the best time to buy that watermelon you have been craving. A good site to check out is the U.S. Department of Agriculture since it offers advice on farmers markets and how you can help your local economy.
5) Make it a Habit
Eating healthy on a budget is as much a choice as it is a habit. Stick to making your own food at least five days out of the week and use the extra money to save for your Quince party!
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