Posts Tagged ‘health’

8 Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthy!

spendingEvery regular grocery shopper knows that food prices are rising.  This can put a lot of financial strain on people and families who are trying to eat healthier.  It is a common misconception that you have to spend more money if you want to eat better.  This is not always true.  For example, a 5 pound bag of potatoes can cost about the same as a bag of potato chips!  But you will be spending more if you are buying the chips than the potatoes.

  1. Make a Shopping List- Avoid one item trips to the store that waste time and gas.  Fewer trips also mean less impulse buys which are usually more expensive and you probably don’t need them anyway!
  2. Proper Portions- Serve smaller portions of more expensive items like meats and cheeses.   Not only will this help you control your weight, but it will help stretch your food dollar.
  3. Plan Your Menus Around Sales- Don’t throw away those store ads you get in the mail or in your newspaper.  They can be very helpful for saving money and pre-planning.
  4. Stock Up- Buy canned and frozen foods, cereals, and even meats when they are on sale.  Wrap meats in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. Don’t Get Coupon Crazy- Only use coupons for the items that you normally buy or are on your shopping list.  It may seem like a good deal, but it’s a total waste if it just sits on your pantry shelf.
  6. High Nutrition / Low Food Costs - Use low cost protein sources like beans, lentils, peanut butter, eggs, canned salmon or tuna instead of pricier meats.  Starches like potatoes, oats, brown rice and barley offer big nutrition with a small price tag.
  7. Grow Your Own- It is surprisingly easy (and cheap) to grow your own food!  Many garden centers have lots of food plants and offer sage advice.  If your thumb is less than green, start off with easy plants like herbs and tomatoes.
  8. Convenience Equals Paying More- The more “processed” a food is, the more you will pay for it. For example, a whole cut-up chicken will cost more than a whole chicken that is not cut-up.  The same goes for cut-up fruits, bagged lettuce, pre-sliced cheese, etc.

Do you have more tips for how to save money while eating healthy? If so, please leave them for us and our readers in the comments below. Happy (healthy) shopping!

How to Make a Successful New Year’s Resolution – Dos & Don’ts

Do: Get a Head Start

Healthy New Year's Resolutions Dos & Don'ts

The first day of the New Year seems like the perfect day to start a new lifestyle, but why wait for a specific day to begin a healthier way of life?  Waiting may actually be doing more harm than good to your resolution.  The holiday temptations and the “I can indulge today/ this week/this month because I am going to lose weight in the New Year” mentality can actually set you back farther and make your resolution harder to achieve.  There’s no sense in putting off for later what you can start today.

Don’t: Go to the Extreme

The most common reason that New Year’s resolutions fail is because they are too unrealistic.  It’s great to be motivated to improve your health, but people often try to change too much at once.  For example, a sedentary person will fail in the long run if their goal is to go to the gym every single day.  Instead, it would be more doable for this person to resolve to walk around their neighborhood for 15 minutes, three days a week.  Once they are in the habit of doing this, then they can gradually increase the length and frequency of their workouts.

Do: Think About Your Goals

Simply saying that you are going to lose weight won’t make it happen without creating a plan.  To do this, think about where you are right now and what baby steps you can take to reach your larger goals.  Try these tips that will help you along the way: write your goals down, get a friend to help you, track your progress, and reward your accomplishments (but not with food!).

Don’t: Forget to Revisit Your Resolution

It’s OK to revise your goals.  In fact, it will actually help you achieve them.  Life happens and you can’t always control it.  Focus on the elements of your lifestyle that you can control and forget about what you can’t.  This will help you stay positive and focused.

Helping You Overcome the Exercise Shoulda, Coulda, Wouldas

Exercise excusesReasons we are not Exercising and Strategies to Overcome all of the Excuses

Weight loss is not an easy task to accomplish.  Often times it involves a lifestyle change in which we are forced to change habits we have developed over a lifetime. Many of us have trouble incorporating physical activity into our daily routines and come up with a number of excuses as to why we are not going to do it.  It is time to combat these excuses with pre-contemplated strategies so these excuses cannot hold us back.

With that said, these are the top 5 excuses we hear most often for not exercising and tips to help you overcome excuses:

1) I’m Too Tired

  • Wake up 30 minutes early and work out.  It will increase your energy for the rest the day!
  • Choose to do an activity you enjoy instead of “working out.” Garden in the spring or ice-skate in the winter to burn away the calories.
  • Start small; exercise will increase your energy.  Try going on a 5-minute walk and see how you can progress each day!

2) I Don’t Have Time

  • Utilize your lunch break.  Walk outside, or try going up and down the stairs for a challenge!
  • While watching your favorite TV show, do crunches or push-ups during the commercials!
  • Schedule time to exercise in your calendar, phone, etc the same as you would for a meeting or your child’s play date.

3) I’m Too Sore from My Last Work Out

  • Exercise a different part of your body.  If your legs hurt from walking, focus on your upper body.
  • Stretch!  This can help to improve flexibility and reduce the tension in your muscles.

4) Exercise is Boring

  • Experiment! Try swimming or Zumba — find something you enjoy!
  • Bring a book, magazine, or iPod to entertain you while you exercise.
  • Bring a friend!  Ask someone to join you to chat and the time will fly by.

5) I Hate to Sweat

  • Exercise in the pool! Join a water aerobics class or just kick your feet while holding onto the side of the pool.
  • Walk indoors! Ladies try a walk around the mall, and men try a sporting good store to workout and cool off.
  • Try resistance exercises.  Not all exercise makes you sweat.  Try this website for some great strength training suggestions!

So now it is time to stop with all of the excuses, and get moving.  Incorporate one or all of these strategies into your workout routine to keep you focused and motivated on your long-term goals.  It is not always easy, but when you feel the excuses escape your lips, recall these strategies to keep active!

Looking for even more ways to incorporate effective weight management techniques into your daily life? Tomorrow, Meagan Mohammadione, Registered Dietitian from the Emory Bariatric Center, is hosting a free web chat to discuss healthy recipe modification tips to boost the nutrition of your Thanksgiving menu, while lessening the guilt! There’s still time to sign up and join her!