Nan, our guest author today, has some interesting ideas about food. I especially like her idea about making our own snack mixes. Lots of them, for instance, have pretzels and I don't like them much. They're not repulsive or anything – just boring. For instance, who would eat saltines unless they were nauseated? Same kind of dull food, IMO.
Becoming more conscious about how to eat healthy can provide significant benefits to your waistline, especially as you get older and your metabolic rate decreases. The good news is that reimagining your eating habits doesn't have to break the bank. Using resources like printable coupons can make a trip to the grocery store a little more palatable, ushering in a new dawn of culinary exploration.
While it's tempting to fall for the latest celebrity diet plan, few who jump onto the 'change everything now' bandwagon will succeed in doing more than dropping a few pounds – temporarily – and a lot of dollars. Adjustments need to be made gradually.
Concerned about getting more servings of fruit? Begin with adding an apple or banana to a daily meal plan. An immediately available healthy snack can help reduce your dependence on an afternoon snack from the vending machine and save money at the same time. Slowly eliminating foods and beverages that are less than kind to the body can spell success in making nutritive changes.
Create Your Own Mix
Store-bought trail mix can include a decent variety of fruits and nuts but it can also contain ingredients that the health conscious might want to avoid, like candy. Additionally, the cost for just a few ounces can be quite costly compared to buying ingredients in bulk. To save money and get a more healthful mix, put together an assortment at home. Combining one cup of nuts with a quarter-cup of dried fruit will fulfill one serving each in the food pyramid's meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts food group and in the fruit group. Try a selection of raw almonds, cashews, and walnuts with dried banana chips (opt for those with no extra sugar), apple, mango, or raisins. Fruits like dried pineapple and cranberries, while tasty, tend to be coated in refined sugar, thereby greatly reducing their benefits.
Consider a Substitute
Switching from a 'lifelong food' like eating white rice with meals can be difficult but embracing whole grains is paramount to better health. White rice is more processed than its whole grain counterparts and quickly converts to sugar in the body. Grains like brown rice and quinoa are complex carbohydrates and an excellent source of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Also good is couscous, which generally takes less time to prepare than rice and provides a nutty flavor that white rice is missing. The price is comparable to white rice but its true value is in its taste and health benefits.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Options abound for eating more mindfully. Adding a piece of fruit to your lunch sack or choosing one type of dried fruit over another might not seem like big steps, but combined with other good-health efforts, they can result in pleasant and noticeable changes. The trick is to slowly incorporate them into daily life rather than running at them, full force, expecting immediate and lasting results. Gradual modifications, experiments with cooking something new, and buying less processed foods can be quite the adventure, both for your pocketbook and dietary budget.