Tag Archives: eating healthy

12 Cheap Meals You Can Make on a Budget

 

Who wants to do this FREE challenge with me? Let’s do a 10 dinner / 2 breakfast challenge (with two build-in cheat / pizza / celebration / out-to-eat nights built in).  That’s 12 days of a planned, healthy, affordable meal.

Go to My FACEBOOK group to join – we’ll share ideas and encouragement! Click here!

If you have questions or comments – or would like modifications – just go to the facebook page and ask!  Share / invite your friends.

There are two breakfasts in here … I just had to share because they are so great.  For these recipes – you CAN eat them for dinner…just add some protein – like an egg or something.  Or – just have another “free” dinner night – and fix those for breakfast in the morning (see below).

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Eating healthy does not have to be expensive.

If that’s the excuse you’ve been using to put off improving your diet, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s simply not true. Healthy food doesn’t mean $10 juices and $12 açaí bowls and so on. Healthy food doesn’t have to be elite. It also doesn’t have to be boring.

Sure, there won’t be much filet mignon on the menu, and you might opt for a 50-cent apple instead of a $5 basket of blackberries, but if you are willing to cook, there are a plethora of low-cost meals available at your fingertips. Also, meal planning can help reduce food costs. Before picking your recipes, look at store circulars before you shop and build your menu around what’s on sale that week. Shop the bulk bins for dry goods like whole grains, legumes, dried fruits, and nuts, and buy just what you need.

To test this “eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive” theory, I compiled a list of my favorite recipes from the Beachbody Blog and calculated how much a serving of each costs using prices gathered at Ralph’s, a Southern California branch of Kroger supermarkets. Since sale items change every week, I relied instead on the normal retail price. Also, I did not include the cost of common pantry items such as olive oil, vinegar, spices, honey, and maple syrup.

What are some of your favorite inexpensive meals? Let us know in the comments or tag us on Instagram @BeachbodyLiving, and we may include them in a future blog post.
Savory Slow Cooker Beans with Rice
Cost per serving: 70¢
Beans and rice are staple foods in many cultures for a reason: they’re cheap and can easily be transformed into a variety of meals. This savory dish flavored with garlic, chiles, and tomatoes, cooks all day in a crock pot, and is ready for dinner when you get home from work. Get the recipe.

Savory Slow Cooker Beans with Rice

 

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins and Walnuts
Cost per serving: 45¢

So, they aren’t all dinners – but you can add this one to your breakfast – and have a free dinner…or better yet, eat breakfast FOR dinner.  They are pretty good.
If your mornings are busy, you’ll love these baked oatmeal cups made with walnuts and sweet raisins. They freeze well, too. Get the recipe.

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins and Walnuts

 

Turkey Chili
Cost per serving: $2.72
Ground turkey was the most expensive ingredient, but this chili still costs less than $3. To save even more dough, use dried beans instead of canned. Get the recipe.

Turkey Chili

 

Spinach Salad with Quinoa, Chickpeas, and Paprika Dressing
Cost per serving: $1.48
Unlike most salads which get soggy within hours after you add the dressing, this leafy green version stays fresh for days even after you add the paprika dressing. It makes for a filling lunch that’s great year-round. Get the recipe.

Spinach Salad with Quinoa, Chickpeas, and Paprika Dressing

 

Lentil Soup
Cost per serving: 45¢
My frugal grandmother always made lentil soup for our family, and no wonder. It costs just pennies per bowl, and it’s good for you. This recipe has 13 grams of protein and 179 calories per serving. Get the recipe.

Lentil Soup

 

Chicken with Quinoa, Oranges, and Walnuts
Cost per serving: $2.20
Chicken is pricey when money is tight, but in this recipe, the bulk of the volume is comprised of quinoa, fresh herbs, oranges, and walnuts. To make each serving go further scoop half-portions onto fresh spinach or other greens. Get the recipe.

Chicken with Quinoa, Oranges, and Walnuts

 

Slow Cooked Steel-Cut Oats with Apples and Cinnamon
Cost per serving: 45¢
For this breakfast oatmeal, add the ingredients to a slow cooker before you go to sleep and it’ll be ready to enjoy when you wake up. Get the recipe.

Slow Cooked Steel-Cut Oats with Apples and Cinnamon

 

Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup
Cost per serving: $1.66
Another excellent way to turn a small amount of chicken into a lot of filling meals is by using it in soup. In this recipe, we combined butternut squash, red bell peppers, and corn to create a hearty winter soup. Get the recipe.

Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

 

Sweet Potato Skins with Chicken and Spinach
Cost per serving: $2.57
These stuffed sweet potatoes look like appetizers, but they’re actually pretty filling since they’re packed with spinach and chicken. Get the recipe.

Sweet Potato Skins with Chicken and Spinach

 

Carrot and Spiced Chickpea Salad
Cost per serving: $1.05
If you’re trying to be budget conscious, definitely consider carrot recipes. Carrots, though starchy, are an excellent source of fiber and nutrients, and in most grocery stores a couple of dollars will buy a hefty bag of them. This recipe pairs them with another thrifty favorite: protein-packed chickpeas. Get the recipe.

Carrot and Spiced Chickpea Salad

 

Hearty Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Apples
Cost per serving: $1.85
It should go without saying that by using up leftovers from other recipes, you can stretch your food budget. This recipe calls for cooked chicken and sweet potatoes, so meal plan your week so you have leftovers of each. Get the recipe.

Hearty Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Apples

 

Lentil and Feta Salad
Cost per serving: $2.23
Once you’re done chopping the fresh vegetables and herbs to compose this lentil salad, you’re left with a large enough recipe to feed you all week. Plus, it’s a good vegetarian source of protein and fiber. Get the recipe.

Lentil and Feta Salad

Add a lunch of SHAKEOLOGY and you’ve got a great meal plan going!  Click here for more information.
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Why I Picked Juicing

 

Why I Picked Juicing

There are many benefits to juicing. Why did I specifically pick to juice? I’m not even really sure, to be honest. It started back in 2011. My best friend, Brandi, and I were in a weight loss contest. We were both determined to win.  Picked a healthy-eating diet, but it was very low-calorie.  She picked a juicing diet. I was intrigued I had never really heard of juicing.  She recommended some documentaries – the main one being Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.

I watched the videos, read a ton of books and articles, and learned about the benefits of adding juice to our diet.

Over the next few days, I’ll talk about different things concerning juicing…depending on what research comes up that interests me. But, the main thing to know is the WHY of juicing. Coming soon (be sure to subscribe to get updates): recovery juicing, juice storage, juicer vs. blender, importance of fiber, what to juice, etc…

What’s so great about juicing?

Why is juicing for health so important?

Live juices (not canned or bottled) are full of active enzymes that our body uses to convert nutrients into energy used for cellular growth, repair, and health. That’s the “you are what you eat” of dieting. That’s the way our cells stay healthy.  Something to think about:  nothing new is ever made.  All the base elements and “stuff” has always been around and will always be around. The cells that are replacing old and dying cells in our bodies have to come from somewhere. Where do they come from? What are they made of? The stuff we eat…that’s the answer. We eat stuff – it gets broken down. It gets filtered through our body…and new cells are created from the stuff.  Plain and simple.  You truly are what you eat. Live, healthy, organic, fresh? Or dead, canned, and processed?

What are Plant Enzymes?

All of the enzymes are lost when you cook live food. This goes for all plant life.  There are some plants – like spinach – that release good properties when cooked.  Cooking food isn’t all bad. But, a majority of our food needs to be raw.  Cooked, “dead” food requires the body to work extra hard to create the enzymes that are needed to convert that food into beneficial nutrients.  We need those nutrients for cellular regeneration.

Commercial bottled juice has been pasteurized and has no active enzymes.

The only way to get the enzymes and the full benefits of juicing for health is with fresh vegetables.  Another option is the powered green juice – something you can buy at health food stores. If it has been cold processed, it retains the active enzymes. Reconstituting it with water or juice will activate the needed enzymes. You can drink this as a substitute, or add it to your home-made juice.

Vegetable juicing with fresh, live vegetables is loaded with minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and oils. These are just a few of the wonderful benefits of juicing.

Scientists haven’t come close to identifying all of the benefits of raw, organic food.  They are still figuring out what is in vegetables that our body needs.  There are literally 1000s of undiscovered natural chemicals that are contained in whole, live plants.

Nutrition experts are just learning the full benefits of juicing.  One think I discovered: it’s just as healthy and much more do-able to juice than to consume all the vegetables needed daily. It would be difficult to consume all of the different foods (carrots, brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, bok choy, apples, celery, just to name a few)- but juicing provides most of the needed nutrients in 8 – 12 ounces.

More juicing information here…