Eat Healthy, Live Healthy
By: SGX Coach Dominic Frazier
To a Spartan, April means it is time kick up our training, as we make final preparations for Spring races. Complete fitness requires more than logging hours at the gym or miles on the trail, however. It requires eating well and nutritiously, too.
So, How Is That Going?
Most Americans spend only 10% of their income on food, which is in stark contrast to most other countries in the world, and each month the average adult in the United States spends about $62 on video games, $45 on porn (yeah), and only $20 on organic produce. While the percentage of income spent on food has dropped in recent years, spending on drugs and surgeries has increased.
Yet, we say eating healthy is a priority.
Although eating healthy may seem expensive, and can cost more, it is within most everyone’s reach. By putting into practice these tips, you can eat more nutritiously without breaking the bank.
Three Guidelines to Keep in Mind When You Grocery Shop
- Shop on a full stomach. You will focus on what you need and not buy out of hunger.
- Focus on the perimeter of the supermarket, this tends to be where the fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthier options are.
- Buy non- or minimally-processed foods, from plants and animals.
10 Tips to Help You On Your Food Journey:
- Use food you already have in the pantry and refrigerator. Get creative with what you already have before paying to stock up again.
- Eat out only for special occasions. For many, this could be the single-most-important way to save calories.
- So you are not tempted to grab a quick bite out, prepare meals from scratch, in advance. Make Sundays or Wednesdays your prep days, and cook double or triple portions.
- Be sure the food you make tastes good, to dull take-out temptations.
- Buy in bulk. Yes, get a lot, and put it in containers, baggies, mason jars, whatever. You may buy more up front, but in the long term you will save. (Dry beans? A pound is equivalent to four cans!)
- Produce that is soon to expire is marked down big time. Buy it, and use it ASAP or freeze it. My wife does that, and it is a life-saver for the wallet.
- A small dent, scratch or tear on a can means you save. Call me crazy, but if the core packaging is still intact, buy it. Now that you have saved a few bucks, invest them in healthy Spartan practices and foods:
- Visit a farmers market to shop. Since moving to South Florida, I have learned so much about this. Food in season tastes extra delicious, and supporting local businesses is a plus.
- Look into whether eating organic food is right for you. It can end up being 1-2 times more expensive as conventional foods, but many people swear by it.
- I love power shakes. Try mixing blueberries, fruits, greens, nut butter, protein powder (optional) and chia seeds for a tasty, easy, on-the-go meal filled with quality nutrition.
- Learn how to use a slow cooker. My grandmother and mother taught me you can pretty much cook a unicorn in that bad boy and it will taste delicious (just joking, about the unicorn part).
- If you go organic, pick and choose smartly what you buy. Organic sugared cereal is expensive (at maybe $4.49 per box) and not even healthy because of the added sugar.
This transition will take time, but you can have great success by changing your outlook and trying new things. Implementing some of these strategies can help you live a longer, leaner, healthier life while putting your hard-earned money to its best use.