If you find yourself being consumed by running your business and not taking the time to eat healthier meals, then this post is for you. Registered Dietitian and entrepreneur, Renee Wiggins, RD. LD., joins us today to provide tips for eating healthy for the busy entrepreneur.
As a Registered Dietitian, my email is flooded with questions like, “I am busy with work, kids, husband, taking care of parents, how can I find time to make a healthy meal on a budget.”
First, STOP! Breathe. Technology is supposed to make our life simple, easy and help us to find time to be with the family. The fact is technology has consumed us so much with the latest gadgets that finding time to be with our family is out of the question as well as eating healthy. Believe it or not we can find the time, but we must apply new disciplines and then follow through.
Let’s get started on a manageable plan and how to improve your grocery shopping.
Weekly Meal Plan
Choose one day during the week to plan meals for the following week. Follow the steps below:
STEP 1. Plan your menu for a whole week
STEP 2. Next, write your grocery list. Make sure you include vegetables and fruit at all meals.
STEP 3. Look for coupons online or offline. Cut out the coupons that you want to use.
STEP 4. Clean out your refrigerator or pantry of old items, so you will have room for the new food items. Get rid of any high fat, salty and sugar foods and replace with grains, legumes, and spices.
Shopping Day Tips
Tip 1. When you go shopping stick to the list and buy only what you need.
Tip 2. If you have children, let them pick out two of their favorite items.
Tip 3. Make sure you have all you need including food, spices and pans.
Tip 4. Keep your receipts? This will help you know what and how much you are spending.
Tip 5. Look for coupons to get discounts and see if the store can offer an additional discount on a product.
Tip 6. Seek a dietitian. A dietitian can show you how to live on 5 to 7 dollars a day. Keep track of what you buy and spend.
Tip 7. Buy food that is in season.
Buying Food in Bulk
Don’t believe the hype of going to the bulk stores to buy food unless you have a large family. Buying in bulk doesn’t mean you save money.
MEAT. Buying meat in bulk, will say you money, if you plan to freeze your meat and use within 2 months.
LENTILS. A good example for buying bulk is cooking the whole package of beans and freeze half to be use later. Then you can cook the black beans as a soup one week and the other half use in a black bean taco mixture.
FRUIT. However, buying fruit or vegetables in bulk is never a good idea because fruit goes bad fast. Therefore, you lose money. The main key is buying fruits and vegetables and storing them properly.
If you do purchase fruit in bulk, clean, diced them up and place in small plastic bags to be used for smoothies or frozen ice cream. You can also make the smoothies the day you shop and pour the smoothies in ice trays or make your smoothie ahead of time and place in plastic bags to become smoothie kits. The kits can carry to work with you or on a trip or in your car stored in a cold bag and drink when ready. Smoothies blender are inexpensive and easy to carry and store. You can have a single blender for work and have a large blender at home. There is not excuse in not making smoothies.
VEGETABLES. If you buy greens such as kale, collards, chard in bulk, store them in containers with a paper towel around them to protect them from turning yellow. Another way is to wash, clean and blanch your vegetables and then store them in small plastic containers, with the date on the container.
Food Storage Tips
When you come home during the week, having food prepared in containers will make preparing meals much easier.
- Cut or dice your onions and place in a container.
- Dice your bell peppers and place in a container
- Dice cabbage and place in a container
- Cut up all your vegetables and place in a container and label them with date and year
- Separate your meat cuts and place in freezer bags and label.
- For berries and mushroom, wash only what you need and eat/use right away. If you wash these food items too far in advance, they will spoil quickly.
- Fresh herbs can be stored in a (1) cool place or (2) in a plastic bag that’s inside a container filled with water or (3) wrapped in a paper towel inside a container.
Quick Snack Tips
- Have fruits, celery, carrots sticks, unsweetened applesauce, popsicles and 4 ounce yogurt containers on hand. These items are easy to grab and go.
- Mix avocado with kale and lemon a quick salad that can be eaten as a snack.
- If you or your family isn’t allergic to nuts, a handful is a great snack.
- Baked pita bread, kale or sweet potato slices for a snack treat. Rub chickpeas in a chili rub and then roast them in the oven. These are all great low-fat snacks.
Leftovers With A Twist
Learn to eat leftover with a twist in other words, re-purpose your meals.
If I eat veggie chili on Monday night and have leftovers, for lunch the next day I’ll spread the left over chili on flat bread and eat it like a pizza. Another idea would be to spread the leftover chili on lettuce or eat it like a taco salad with low-sodium chips.
If I eat faux chicken with rice and beans, then the next day I can add the chicken with waffle.
I like to use my uncooked collard greens in a salad. I shred the collards along with red cabbage and shredded carrots. Finally, I will pour an Asian dressing over the salad. It is good! With the any leftover collard greens, I’ll add black eyed-peas and sweet potatoes and have it as a soup. Collard greens, black beans, rice, and pickled onions in a bowl are also good and healthy.
Now you try thinking of different ways to eat the same food.
Work With Renee Wiggins, RD. LD.
I hope you found this tips to be helpful as you learn to eat healthy on a budget. If you need help I can help you with a pantry and refrigerator makeover. I can be reach at email@example.com.