Healthy Eating – What’s the point?
When you are busy and hungry, fast food or microwave dinners are a ‘no brainer’ solution and it is easy to overlook the advantages of preparing your own food from good ingredients.
Hold onto your pizza slice because I am going to bust a few of those myths.
Save Your Wallet
Firstly, cooking at home is cheaper than buying pre-prepared food and definitely cheaper than take away meals.
Contrary to popular belief, when you opt for whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, you’ll find that their cost per serving is nearly always lower than processed, pre-packaged meals.
With a little planning and some savvy shopping, you can enjoy delicious meals while stretching your dollars further.
So, forget the notion that healthy eating burns a hole in your wallet. Feast on flavour without breaking the bank!
Cooking at home. Easier and less time consuming than you think
Cooking at home can mean that you need to plan a little but by using some clever shortcuts, you can whip up a nutritious meal fast.
Salads take only a short time to prepare, it is simply a case of cutting up the ingredients and throwing them into a bowl. And some ingredients don’t even need to be sliced!
When you load a meal with colourful veggies and protein-packed grains you have a much better nutrient picture than any pre-prepared meal.
Other things that don’t take long to prepare and eat are;
Stir-fries, almost like a warm salad,
Lean meats. A medium cooked steak can be cooked in around 6 minutes,
Anything with eggs. Eggs are a superfood you can cook in around 5 minutes. Omelettes, scrambles eggs, fried, boiled. There are so many options.
The other option is to cook something like a roast where you turn the oven on, put everything in and take out your meal an hour or so later. It takes longer to cook but you can use that time to do something else.
Another plus is that you can easily adjust recipes to suit your tastes or simply leave out the garlic if you have an important meeting the next day 😉
If you buy in bulk and take advantage of sales you can save even more money while you transform your diet.
Meal Prep Magic
Meal prepping is the superhero of healthy eating on a budget but it also can save you hours of time.
By dedicating a few hours each week to plan and prepare your meals in advance, you can save both time and money.
Batch cooking and portioning out meals ensures you have nutritious options readily available and also reduces the temptation to rely on pricey take away or unhealthy convenience foods.
When you have a fridge or freezer full of meals ready to go, you’ll be armed and ready to conquer the week.
More Flavour for Your Food
Using great ingredients means more flavour.
If you start with budget-friendly staples like beans, lentils, and add spices and seasonal vegetables you can create meals that pack a flavour punch when you compare them to pre prepared food.
Often, as foods are processed, they lose flavour along the way, or have high levels of salt to try to overcome the loss of flavour.
Get creative with your cooking, explore new recipes, and try different herbs and spices to add variety. A basic bolognaise sauce can be altered into a Mexican style by swapping out the Italian herbs for Mexican spices. It probably won’t be strictly ‘Mexican’ but your kids are unlikely to notice.
Long-Term Savings for Your Health
While the immediate cost savings of healthy eating are obvious, it’s also important to consider the long-term financial benefits as well.
By investing in your well-being through a nutritious diet, you can potentially reduce healthcare expenses associated with chronic diseases and maintain good health in the long run.
There are so many micronutrients and phytochemicals in whole food that you will benefit from when you start from fresh ingredients.
A healthy lifestyle can contribute to fewer doctor visits, lower medication costs, and an overall improved quality of life, translating into significant savings down the road.
You may even notice some of these savings quite quickly!
Setting a Great Example for your Kids
Probably one of the most important reasons to eat well is to set a great example for your kids.
When they see you taking care of yourself, and them, they will start to understand how they can do that too.
If you take the time to explain the difference between food you eat most of the time and ‘sometimes’ food then they will be able to carry this knowledge forward into their own lives.
Get them involved as well so they learn how to cook a meal or a cake or something to enjoy their accomplishment.
Nourishment for health
Eating well most of the time can have a dramatic change on so many aspects of your health.
You may notice that you have enhanced energy and more vitality, or you may discover that you have lost some weight, or that your body has changed.
You may find that you have more mental clarity and your cognitive function is better.
You will also be helping support your immune system and will be building resilience towards any time that you do become unwell.
There are so many benefits to eating healthy. What are you waiting for?
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