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Eating Healthy on a Budget

October 2, 2012 By: consultant 34 Comments

Eating healthy does not need to burn a hole in your pocket. If you are following a food budget, the task of food shopping may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to. You can save money and still have a variety of healthy foods without breaking the bank.

Simple switches to save money:

  • Limit alcohol
    Alcohol is an additional cost to your weekly budget that if you cut it down or cut it out, it can help you save money and lose weight. Alcohol has “empty calories”, meaning that the food is higher in calories and lower in nutrients.
  • Drink water (aim for 8 cups a day)
    Make 2 purchases that can save you money in the long run: a water filter and a reusable water bottle. You can filter tap water right from your home. Other drinks provide empty calories and can become pricey. Even when you go out to eat, order water. Think water is too boring? Try adding orange or lemon slices to your water bottle for some natural flavoring.
  • Avoid the drive through
    Think you are saving money by hitting up the drive through everyday for lunch. Think again. By skipping the drive through and packing your own lunch can help you save money and keep you on track to healthy eating. Skip the double cheeseburger, fries, coke, and large cookie. Buy a loaf of whole wheat bread, turkey from the deli (often on sale), and fruit (in season is often cheaper). Pack a turkey sandwich, a piece, of fruit and your water bottle. Have a sweet tooth after lunch or dinner? Go for small individually wrapped treats like a couple dark chocolate Hershey kisses.
    This also includes limiting dining out.
  • Make sure to have variety!
    Variety is key. No one wants to eat the same thing everyday. Seasonal foods are cheaper during their peak season. Switch it up all the time. An easy thing to switch up is snacks. Buy a variety of fruits to choose from for a healthy snack.
  • Clip coupons
    Clip your coupons. Do a little research before your shopping trip. See what is on sale to incorporate in your meals for the week. Become a member of the store to get a discount on store items. These might seem little, but they add up to big savings at the end.
  • Buy in bulk
    Buying in bulk is often cheaper. You can freeze perishables like breads and meats and use smaller portions when needed.
  • Make extra
    Double a recipe you like and save the rest for leftovers later in the week or freeze the rest for later.

 

Exercise Tips for Busy Schedules

September 28, 2012 By: afeldman 6 Comments

 

Not enough time to exercise is the number one excuse that we make for ourselves to get out of taking care of our bodies. How can we fit an exercise session into a busy schedule? Here are some tips:

1.Organize your time

If you don’t have a planner, then buy one or download one on your phone. If your schedule is jam packed with activities, start recording them as a doctor or CEO would to schedule appointments. This will allow you to see exactly how you spend your time. If you spend an hour studying or cleaning the house, throw that on this schedule. Try to structure your schedule so all tasks become clustered into one area of the day. For example if you go to class in the morning, try to fit your studying and chores in right after class to give you a larger free time window after. Next, schedule exercise into free time windows, even if they are smaller 10 minute time windows throughout the day.

2. Take advantage of unexpected downtime

If you have a cancelled class or an appointment becomes rescheduled, take advantage of this time to fit an exercise session in. This may mean using the time to get ahead on work so you can exercise later or dropping what you are doing to exercise and then returning later.

3. Limit your lazy time

Set a limit on the amount of time that you are sitting around watching television, playing on facebook or playing words with friends. If you have time to do those things, then you have time to exercise. Put a little sign on the inside of your laptop under the screen that asks you if you exercised yet today. Put an hourly reminder on your phone that lights up and asks the same thing.

4. Have equipment and space easily accessible for down time

If you are operating on limited amounts of time then you need to move quick. This means having everything that you need to exercise ready to go. Have multiple gym bags; one in your car, one in the office and one in your room. This way, when you have a half hour for lunch or before you have to pick up the kids, you can change quickly to get your workout in.

5. Multi-task

Do you have to watch the kids for the day? Then exercise while they are watching tv for a half hour or while they are doing chores. Go outside and play basketball with them or go to the park. Take them for a walk around the neighborhood. Do you have a dog that needs walked? Take him for a jog or a longer walk. Do you have to walk to your next class? Take the long way, use the stairs and do an extra lap around campus. Do you have to do chores? Move fast to turn it into activity.

6. Wake-up earlier and exercise first

Exercise before you start anything else for the day. That way it is done and there is no excuse of missing it as the day gets closer to an end. Set your alarm clock that much earlier, put your clothing out and have a plan- meeting a friend for a walk or jog is a great way to prevent you from just hitting the snooze button.

7. Choose your priorities

What is important to you? List all of the activities or responsibilities that you have over the course of the week. Number them in order of importance. Where does exercise fit into this? Does it score high or low? Theoretically, exercise should take precedence over anything that it scored higher then. Exercise involves taking care of yourself and if that does not fit high on the priority list, then it will be harder to schedule in. If it does score high on the priority list, which it should, then you need to make time for it. That means getting rid of other things so you can fit exercise in. If you are a student, this may mean registering a lower credit load at school or turning down some extra hours at work; at the end of the day, what is more important than health?

How can you restructure your day to MAKE time for exercise?

 

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