It is becoming more widely known that our physical health actually can impact other areas of our lives.
Our thinking, stamina, even our mood…
These aspects of our lives could (at times) be attributed to the way we take care of ourselves.
As society hangs onto every word that Dr. Oz utters, and we continue to groan under the hardship of trying to make the change,
many a parent is wondering: how DO we do this health/nutrition thing??!
“It costs too much.”
“It’s too difficult.”
“I can’t eat that way.”
“I don’t like the taste of that stuff.”
“I don’t want to live on tofu & broccoli…”
As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist I’ve heard it all.
And I’ve been known to give my own excuses from time to time….
Are you looking for 10 EASY ways to incorporate some better nutrition into your family?
Then, please do read on 🙂
Written By Rachael J DeBruin (R.H.N. Practicing in Ontario, Canada)
*This is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please see a medical professional if you are having underlying health issues.
1) The simplest way to improve your health is to eat out less! So how do you do that? MEAL PLANNING with all caps. That’s right. Meal planning will improve what you’re eating. Looking for new ideas?Try Pinterest for starters & follow some new healthy eating boards. Join some Facebook healthy eating groups. Do an evening with healthy recipe exchanges with some of your other Mama friends. Read a post dedicated to meal planning & organizing, or two, or three!!!
2) Think fresh!!! Fresh foods are chock full of antioxidants & all sorts of vitamins/minerals. A variety is the best way to ensure a range of nutrients. I myself like to add in fresh veggies and/or fruits to every meal. It doesn’t have to be complicated: it could be a smoothie for breakfast, salad with my lunch & cut up veggies alongside my dinner.
3) Speaking of fresh: don’t forget to add into your weekly meal plan, tons of smoothies! These are such easy ways to get so many nutrients into you, AND it is an easy way to not break the bank. Now smoothies can be as diverse as people’s particular taste buds, but simply find a few staple recipes that work for you! Smoothies are versatile, and can tend to be on the more economic side (dependent on your ingredient list of course)
4) Replace your boxed snacks with homemade or more economic alternatives! A small box of crackers these days can be pricey. Same with cookies, granola bars, and the like. Cereal….shall I go on?! Find some staple homemade recipes that you can double (or triple!) batch, or find a warehouse near you that sells large quantities. Just always watch the sugar content on the label! If it’s high sugar/carbohydrate & low fiber/protein, it’s probably best left to be an occasional treat.
5) Increase your use of legumes! Bean salads, lentil soups & curries. These little fibrous friends are a great way to ensure your family is getting enough protein, and they are high in fiber (which is SO important for many reasons, but one is keeping the internal traffic moving…I digress 😉 I like to buy mine in bags, pre-soak them & cook the next day. Cans can be a good alternative when time is limited. Make sure to give any beans you use a good rinse.
6) Soups & stews are your friend! A good homemade chicken soup, I’ve heard, in Jewish folklore is a natural penicillin. Of course, I don’t know if that’s true or not, however homemade soup is wonderful for all of its vitamin & mineral content swirling around in that ‘rich’ liquid. Add a few to your meal plan, and see if your family doesn’t keep asking for more!
7) On that note of the soups & stews: make your slow cooker your new best friend! A slow cooker can take all that work out for you by cooking/steaming/roasting all that goodness you literally ‘plop’ into it in the morning. I have to be honest & admit I used to use it ALL the time, but then just got out of the habit. I recently did a few dishes in there, and they were deelish!
8) Drink tons of water! You can’t possibly adequately nourish yourself without enough liquids. & I don’t mean pop, juice, and the like. Nothing replaces a nice refreshing glass of water! Don’t forget to add some fresh lime or lemon slices for added vitamin C. BONUS: water may help support weight loss by aiding in controlling your appetite.
9) Ensure to include your good fats! Healthy fats keep you satiated (helping to curb out of control snacking, which costs money!) and they actually help nourish your cell membranes in your body. Also, fats influence our hormones (and we all know as busy Mamas how we want our hormones under control!!!) so it is vital that we don’t go on any radical ‘fat-free’ diets, unless advised by a medical professional for a specific reason. Fats may cost you a bit more on the front end, but will ultimately contribute back to your health.
10) Make time to get moving! How does this influence your eating, you may ask?? Well, quite simple: if we stay moving, we will tend to feel better about our bodies overall. When we feel better about ourselves, we’ll be motivated to change the way we eat. It’s the opposite of the downward spiral that many of us have been on again & again…but let’s try the upward one! Eat healthy. Drink water. Exercise (or for us busy parents, perhaps that’s a daily stroll for now!) but it all adds up 🙂
What about you? What do you do to help get healthy, while on a budget??