How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

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Healthy Eating on a Budget

You may think that eating healthy is expensive and will run you dry, but this belief is far from the truth. While eating healthy can be costly, it can also be cost-effective if you apply a few of the tips down below. I think this discussion couldn’t come at a better time, especially in the current state of the world, so today we’re going to be going over a few tips to help you eat healthy on a budget.

Tip #1. Buy Frozen Veggies & Fruit

Fruits and veggies can sometimes be pricey, for example; blueberries are one of the most expensive berries. Which is why the best option is to buy them frozen; as they are just as healthy and they are prepped when they are in their prime stage. Moreover, you can use these in smoothies, your oats or stir fries.

A few good options are:

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • kale
  • berries
  • mango chunks
  • veggie mixes

Tip #2. Choose Whole foods Over ‘Fake Foods’

By fake foods I mean, if you have to choose between your $100 Protein powder and actual fresh protein, choose the whole food. Making the right choices and prioritising is essential in eating healthy with minimum cost. Instead of buying 20 protein bars, buy filling whole foods that are less processed, because you may think that one ‘processed’ food item is cost effective but when you add up the amount you may be buying in a month, that adds up. So remember to look at the big picture and that inexpensive isn’t always the best option.

Meal Prep and How to eat Healthy Eating on a budget

Tip #3. Meal Prep at Home

Eating out is usually more expensive than eating at home and you can be even cost effective by planning your meals or meal prepping for the week. This will help you plan you monthly food budget and avoid any food waste.

Tip #4. Make a Grocery List & Stick to it

Often we find that we go to the supermarket with a budget in mind, but end up exceeding that by an unreasonable amount and that’s because we all get distracted by and tempted by things we don’t need. This is why planning ahead can be beneficial, if you know which meal you have planned for the week, it’s easy to make a list and buy only what you need.

Tip #5. Don’t Buy in Bulk

Avoid buying fresh vegetables and fruit in bulk, if it’s possible try buying them weekly or once every two weeks. This is to avoid any wastage as most of the time, buying veggies in bulk means some goes bad before you get a chance to use it.

However, buying other ingredients such as grains; oats and quinoa, in bulk is a good idea.

Granola Recipe and cheap ways to eat healthy

Tip #6. Make Your Own Recipe

Sometimes making a product at home is much more cost-effective than buying at the store. For example you can make your own gluten free granola or protein bars at home rather than buying the overpriced product at the store. Moreover, these products often contain unnecessary sugar and preservatives, which you can avoid by making your own.

Check out my easy and quick Gluten Free Granola Recipe.

Tip #7. Support Local Markets

Local produce is often less expensive and a great way to support the community. Try finding your produce at a local farmer’s market, you’ll often find that it’s more cost-effective than buying at a supermarket. In addition, this means you’ll avoid unnecessary packaging/plastic used in stores, making your shopping and lifestyle more environmentally friendly.

Tip #8. Baby steps

When starting a healthy lifestyle, it’s not practical to jump into the gluten free, sugar free or vegan world, because you’ll feel lost and you’ll find the cost overwhelming. Instead you should approach it steadily, for example, buying 10 different brands of almond milk is not the way to go. What you should do is start by making some healthy food swaps, you can check out a list of my grocery staples right here.

Healthy one pan meals

Tip #9. One Pan Meals

One pot or one pan meals are quick, inexpensive and everyone loves them, besides it doesn’t get any easier than throwing some protein and veggies in a pan and calling it a day. Stir-fries are also a great options for this and the best part is you can cook in bulk and save for meal preps.

Tip #10. Try Grocery Delivery

I’ve seen two types of grocery delivery services; one where you select a few meals and you’re set the ingredients for those recipes and second, where you put together a grocery basket and have it delivered. Either way, these are a great way to eat healthy on a budget and brands such as; Thrive Market and Hello Fresh claim to save you a considerable amount of money through their services so it’s definitely worth trying out.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, it’s definitely possible to eat healthy on a budget and you should never feel pressure to completely jump to the other side. Balance is key so take it step by step and you’ll find what best suits your lifestyle. The important thing is not to let your eating habits or food itself rule you, you control your habits. I hope you enjoyed this post, please like and leave a comment if you did and feel free to follow for more posts like this one. Thank you for reading, xoxo.

Gluten Free Donut Recipe (must try)

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Hey guys, I’ve been playing up with a recipe recently and ended up making these amazing donuts. I shared it with the whole family and they love it, so I thought I should share the recipe with you! These are pretty easy to make and they are dairy and gluten free as always. You can also alter the recipe and add a flax egg for a vegan option or use a blend of erythritol to make it sugar free. So here is how you can make them:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 80ml coconut oil
  • 80ml almond milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar or sugar substitute
  • 1tsp white vinegar

STEPS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together; flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the egg, milk, vanilla, coconut oil, and vinegar.
  4. Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and fold until well incorporated.
  5. Spray a donut pan with coconut oil and spoon the batter into the moulds until 2/3 full.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins or until golden. (I always use a skewer to check if it’s cooked all the way through)
  7. Leave to cool and then you can coat it in cinammon and coconut sugar. You can store them in a cool, dry place for a few days.

This recipe is really simple and takes about 15 mins of prep time, let me know down in the comments if you try them out. Thank you for reading and please like and follow for more, xoxo.

Blueberry Mango Smoothie Bowl

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Vegan Smoothie Bowl

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I’ve posted but I’m coming back with the best vegan smoothie bowl! This recipe is very easy to make and you don’t even need a high-powered blender (I used my Nutribullet) it may take longer but it’s worth it. I usually like having this as a snack but it also makes a great breakfast. You can also add any supplements/protein powder to your smoothie bowl ( I was out of protein that day). So here’s what you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 Cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Toppings

  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1tbsp almond butter
  • Cacao nibs
  • Coconut Flakes

STEPS

  1. Pulse the mango, blueberries and almond milk for about 30 secs.
  2. Stir with a spoon, gradually add the almond milk and pulse again.
  3. Blend until smooth and scoop into a bowl, topping it with anything you like. You can also use any liquid sweetener you like.

Thank you for reading, comment down any of your favourite smoothie bowl flavours, I’m looking to try out new combos. This was a quick one but let me know what you think and please like and follow for more, xoxo.

What I eat in a Day (Cutting)

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Hey guys, so I just started cutting about a month ago and I thought I’d share what I eat in a day. Please keep in mind that every body is different and our caloric needs vary depending on gender, height, weight, and activity level, which means you shouldn’t determine your nutrition on what I eat. This is just to give you some inspiration and to share my progress. Also, let me know down in the comments if you’d like to know how I’ve been dealing with the cut. Keep in mind, I only eat this way during the week, I allow myself more flexibility on the weekends.

With this cut I’ve aimed to up my protein and healthy fats while slightly lowering my carbs. My calories have dropped compared to my bulking phase but it won’t remain like this for long; I will gradually increase my calories to maintenance level with time.

Healthy Breakfast For fat loss

BREAKFAST

Definitely still my favourite meal of the day! I usually have breakfast around 10am, consisting of two eggs with gluten free toast and almond butter every morning. I usually train right after breakfast so this is a filling meal and it’s balanced with protein, carbs and healthy fats, giving me the energy I need for weight training. I also had coffee with almond milk right after.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

LUNCH

Lunch hits at about 2pm for me and I keep it pretty simple with chicken and veg, I always love to add the carbs smart 1000 island dressing, which is a low calorie dressing. I’ve also been sticking to chicken breast most of the time as it’s more lean than dark chicken meat and I make sure I have a healthy serving of greens. I also have my second cup of coffee after this because I love it!

SNACK

My snacks vary each day but on that day I had a few almonds and blueberries, sometimes I have apple slices with almond butter instead, but again I kept it simple with protein, fats, and carbs. I also have a bowl of popcorn from time to time if I’m craving something salty. I snack around 3-4 pm.

Healthy Dinner Ideas

DINNER

My last meal of the day right before 6pm, I had beef stir fry with chickpeas. I always use lean grass-fed beef, it’s great protein along with the chickpeas. Again I’m addicted to this banting dressing! I also had a piece of Sweet Switch 70% Dark chocolate after dinner; it’s dairy and sugar free! I usually have tea after, I’ve been loving this Chocolate Roobois Blend, or if I’m being reckless I have coffee, but I’m still working on stopping that. (Just keeping it real nobody’s perfect).

Check out my last what I eat in a day Bulking edition right here!!!

Thank you for reading this post! I hope you enjoyed it, if you did please like and comment. Follow for more posts like this one, xoxo.

Minimalist Skincare

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I understand that not everyone has the resources or the care for a 10-step skincare routine, some of us want a minimalistic approach that is still effective. So I’ve decided to bring you 3 skincare products you do not want to live without. There are days when I don’t want to go all out on my skincare routine, but I always make sure to get these three in. Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time and this post is to show you that there are no excuses. If you want to check out my full skincare routine, you can do that right here and even pick out what you want in your regimen.

#1. SPF

Ancient civilisations used a variety of natural products to protect their skin from sun damage; Ancient Egyptians used extracts of rice, jasmine, and lupine plants. Chemists invented the first sunscreen in 1930s, made with a mixture of cocoa butter and red veterinary petroleum and it has evolved over the years since.

Sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays and you should always wear it, regardless of your skin colour or tone. UVA light is responsible for premature aging and skin cancers. You should even wear sunscreen when it’s covered, when you’re inside and during winter, because over 80 percent of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds and glass and even snow reflects UV rays. Therefore, you need SPF to decrease your risk to sun exposure and damage. I always aim for broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher, you can also opt for water-resistant or hypoallergenic sunscreens.

Benefits:

  1. prevents premature ageing
  2. lowers the risk of skin cancer
  3. helps prevent discolouration and maintains your skin tone

#2. MOISTURISER

Moisturising is essential for any skin type; it balances the skin and applying it daily helps with both dryness and oiliness, which can help reduce acne. Moreover, keeping the moisture in your skin helps reduce the signs of ageing and wrinkles, so do not skip out on moisturiser.

Benefits:

  1. Maintains the balance of your skin, protecting it from irritation.
  2. There are Different types of moisturisers for each skin type; oilfree lotion or richer creams.
  3. Your skin fails to regenerate cells without moisture, moisturiser gives you a healthy complexion

#3. CLEANSER

Cleansing is a highly important step in your skin care routine and while over-cleansing is a thing; a gentle cleanser is still necessary to remove impurities and the build up of bacteria and sebum. This is essential in preventing breakouts and keeping the skin fresh. There are several types of cleansers; gel, cream, foaming and milky. Find the one best suited for your skin type; foam cleansers tend to dry out the skin. Here’s a tip; if your skin feels tight after use, the product is too harsh for your skin.

Benefits:

  1. Removes the build up of bacteria, makeup and impurities from pollution.
  2. Balances the pH of your skin
  3. Essential in allowing your skin to absorb other products

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this minimalist post. Please like and follow for more skincare tips and let me know if you’d like to see a budget friendly skin care routine, xoxo.

3 Fitness Myths

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Hey guys, I thought I would address one of the major problems in our society today regarding women and young girls. I’m sure that, just like me, you grew up with the idea, that losing weight was the best possible thing to happen to a girl. Being told that we lost weight was a compliment and it made us feel better about ourselves. We were fed the ‘diet mindset’ by society and the media, throughout our lives and we ended up fearing our weight and food. That mindset is still very present and it is still destroying the mental and physical health of so many girls. DISCLAIMER: I know that simply saying these things won’t solve our problems, it will take a lot more to do that, however I do hope to increase its awareness.

1.DIETS ARE THE HOLY GRAIL

I want you to think about how many times you’ve said ‘I am going on a diet’ in the past. Just saying those words gave you a feeling of relief, but why is that? Growing up as young girls we are led to believe that the slimmer or the skinnier you are, the better. Moreover, we are duped into believing that skinny equals healthy. I remember when I was overweight and would go for a checkup, doctors would always tell me to lose weight. However, no showed told me the right way to do so and I delved into the world of endless diets. Long story short, none of them lasted long or had lasting effect.

One thing we need to establish and preach is that food is not the enemy. Instead of banning foods and being afraid we need to have a healthy relationship with them which takes time. That means making the healthy choices most of the time and indulging occasionally, but most of all knowing that ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean punishment or steamed broccoli everyday. You don’t need a cheat day once a week or the guilt of enjoying food you love. Our main goal should be a sustainable healthy lifestyle. I want you to view the food you eat as energy for your workouts, because at the end of the day, that is how your body processes it. You need energy to lose weight and thus food.

2. CARBS MAKE YOU FAT

Now it is true that some bodies react better to carb intake than others and low-carb diet can make you lose weight however carbs do not make you fat. Let’s break down why you may think carbs make you fat. When we eat carbs, our body breaks it down as glucose, thus rising our blood sugar and our pancreas in return produces insulin which signals our cells to use up the glucose. 50% is used by our brain and our muscles and liver store the glucose as glycogen, so as you can see, extreme low carb diets can have a debilitating effect on your health and muscle growth. Finally, the rest of the glucose is stored as fat, which is why people are afraid of carbs.

However, know which types of carbs are best for your body. Stick to complex carbs such as oats and quinoa and avoid simple carbohydrates that spike your blood sugar and provide little to no nutrients. You do not have to eliminate carbs completely from your nutrition, it isn’t sustainable and besides carbs release serotonin (your happy hormone) so don’t deprive yourself. There is only one way you can put on weight or fat and I clear that up down below.

Now, let’s get the gist of all of this. The only way you can lose weight is through a caloric deficit through nutrition or increased physical activity, similarly you will only put on weight/fat if you are in a caloric surplus. If you are working out; combining resistance training with some form of cardio, your body needs the carbs and the calories. Someone who is not active at all would require the same caloric needs. The key thing to understand is that no one’s nutrition can be exactly the same and you will have to change your nutrition throughout your fitness journey.

For example; right now I am trying to build muscle in my end goal to have a lean physique. Which is why I am in a slight caloric surplus and it’s a carb fest for me (I am literally having a bowl of overnight oats while writing this). In a few months, I will slightly decrease my carb intake simply to help my body burn fat faster (your body will still burn fat if you are working out, regardless of your carb intake). I am definitely going all out on my workouts but I am enjoying the process. I like to call this lean bulking.

3. WEIGHTS MAKE YOU BULKY

This is one I hear pretty often and I have to confess that I used to believe that as well when I was younger. Many women believe that if they pick up a dumbbell that’s heavier than 2kg, their muscles are going to puff up in 2 seconds, but that is not the case. For a woman to be able to bulk up like a man, she would need a ton of supplements/drugs. We don’t have the levels of testosterone that men have, therefore lifting weights will not give you a manly physique, instead it’ll help you lose fat and achieve a lean build much faster.

Lifting weights has done a lot for my physical and mental health. We’re led to believe that we need to override on cardio to achieve our ideal body, but I call that torture. I do incorporate cardio into my workouts in the form of HIIT training but I mostly focus on resistance training. One thing to takeaway from this is to try out different types of workouts and choose the one you enjoy doing, not the ones you dread.

Let me know your views or other myths down in the comments. The main objective is to create a healthy community and encourage this mindset. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please like and follow for more, xoxo.

My 3 Go-To Snacks

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Hey guys, welcome back to my blog. In this post, I’m going to share the 3 snacks I alternate between in a week. I always aim to be completely honest with my content, because I believe that transparency is necessary especially with health/fitness influencers. So, as you can tell, my snacks are loaded with carbs. Now, let me first say that carbs are not the enemy, it is true that some bodies thrive on a higher-protein diet, but that does not mean everyone will or that carbs are evil. I love carbs, they make me happy and they fuel my workouts which is why I have them in every meal. You can easily add more protein to these snack ideas with a few tweaks, but anything works as long as you’re using whole foods with real nutrients.

#1. Banana Toast

I love this combo, it’s something I’ve seen my family have plenty of times and I am here for it. You may think carb on carbs is scary but it’s a great pre-workout snack, especially when you’re going all out. I sprinkle some cinnamon on top and if you want you can add almond butter as well. You can use any type of bread you like, but I always have gluten free bread, I either bake it (here is the recipe) or buy this one.

#2. Banana Coffee Smoothie

I’ve talked about this one a couple of times and you can find the recipe here. However, a few alternatives that I’ve been liking are cacao-coffee with raw cacao powder and cacao nibs and vanilla protein. I also have a new recipe coming up so look out for that.

#3. Popcorn

I love popcorn, it’s salty and crunchy and just fun to eat. This is my usual late night snack; I use raw popcorn kernels (I like this one), pop it in a small saucepan with a little bit of olive oil for 5-10 mins or until the popping slows down and sprinkle in some Himalayan pinks salt or garlic salt.

That’s it for today’s post, it was a quick one but I hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to know what are some of your favourite snacks so let me know down in the comments. Please follow and like for more recipes and health posts, xoxo.

Should I Track My Calories?

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We all know that a calorie deficit is needed to lose weight, but is it a good idea to track your calories? I am currently not tracking my calories, but I did track vigorously for more than 6 months in the past, and in my case, it wasn’t the healthiest experience. I became obsessed, foods became numbers, and I tracked every morsel of food that went into my mouth. Before tracking, I would suggest ensuring that you have built a wholesome relationship with food. The best advice I was given is that ‘food is a fuel’, it isn’t the enemy so stop being afraid of it, instead use it to achieve your goal.

Do NOT track calories if you have/had an eating disorder or if you have an inclination towards it.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

  • It’s often hard to discern your exact caloric needs, which can affect tracking and your goals.
  • Lower calories does not always mean weight/fat loss, undereating inhibits your goals.
  • Studies show that it isn’t beneficial for women to decrease their calories below 1400.
  • Calorie Trackers are often inaccurate.
  • Even ‘healthy’ calories can lead to weight gain, if in a surplus.
  • Everyone’s caloric needs are different!!
  • Your body needs energy to burn energy.
  • Instead of focusing on how many calories you burn in a workout, focus on how it makes you feel or you will never enjoy it.
  • When tracking it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re eating less, which will also dampen your goal.

When Should I Track?

I believe that you can meet your goals without tracking, I started making progress and building muscle when I stopped worrying about the calories. However, it does matter where the calories are coming from. If you are just starting on your weight loss journey, I wouldn’t advise you to track but to replace processed, unhealthy foods with whole foods. If you are well advanced in your progress and you’ve hit a plateau then it might be beneficial to see where you are in your caloric intake.

If you must track, I’d suggest:

  • Tracking simply once a week to see if you are still on course with your caloric needs.
  • Avoid tracking throughout the day, instead do it at the end of the day.
  • Don’t have cheat days, instead eat in moderation or follow the 80/20 rule, whereby 80% of your nutrition consists of healthy whole foods and 20% consists foods you love.

My perspective on losing weight or fat has shifted throughout the years. I’ve definitely made mistakes but they have led me to where I am right now. The biggest shift has been my mental health and overall happiness. I used to view my workouts with the idea of how many calories I would burn, but now I do it to gain strength. I no longer fear or ban foods, but sometimes we need help to view things that way. I had someone that triggered that shift for me and I hope I can help you in the same way. Thank you for reading, please like and leave a comment, xoxo.

What I Eat in a Day…

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Hey Everyone, I’ve recently noticed how my relationship with food has changed within the past few months. I know exactly what my body needs and following that instinct has led to making progress in my fitness goals and mental health. This is sometimes referred to as ‘intuitive eating’ but it doesn’t always come naturally. Intuitive eating is personal to every individual; which means that intuitive eating for me is different from what it means for you. Nevertheless, a ‘what I eat in a day’ can give you some inspiration and show you that eating healthy doesn’t mean bland food. This is what I eat on an average day, keeping a balanced dairy and gluten-free diet.

BREAKFAST

This is definitely my favourite meal of the day! (That’s saying a lot cause I love every meal) Before eating I have a glass of water and my coffee with almond milk. I normally eat around 10am and I have a few breakfasts I alternate between, but today I chose my healthy banana pancakes. These never get old, they taste amazing and they usually hold me over until lunch. I love adding protein powder to the mix, especially if I have a weight session that day and my go to protein is the Organifi Vanilla.

LUNCH

This is my second meal of the day and I usually have it between 1-2pm. I like to think of my meals as balanced; carbs, protein, and fats. Today I had stir-fried veggie quinoa with grilled chicken breast. Quinoa is definitely one of my favourite sources of carbs, it’s easy to make and it takes less than 15 mins. I usually stick to lean protein so chicken breast is also a usual.

AFTERNOON SNACK

This is my pre-workout snack that I have between 4-5pm. This time, I had a protein coffee smoothie with banana, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. Gives you a great boost of energy while still being light, plus it’s ideal for my coffee lovers. If you’re tired of your typical green or berry smoothies give this one a try!

DINNER

Gluten Free Pizza! You can’t go wrong with that. The crust is from Schar and it takes about 30 mins to prepare. This is a quick, easy dinner that I indulge in at least once a week. Unfortunately, Schar recently added Soy protein to their recipe so if you know any good gluten, soy, and dairy-free crusts, let me know down below. After dinner I tend to have something sweet; either dark chocolate (I like sweet switch’s 70% Dark), vegan hot chocolate or if I’m hungry, like I was on that night, I have some granola with blueberries and almond milk.

That’s it for the day, as you can see, I don’t restrict my eating or track my calories. Keep in mind I am currently trying to build muscle steadily and I workout 4-5 times a week. One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone should eat the same diet, but this is what works for me and I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Please like and follow for more posts, xoxo.

Healthy Food Staples

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Healthy Grocery Staples

When trying to eat healthily, it’s easy to get confused by the variety of products on the market. Many foods are marketed as being ‘healthy’ but are often not; brands use words such as ‘low fat’, ‘low carb’, ‘high in protein’ and ‘low calorie’ to entice us into buying their products. However, these foods are often filled with several unhealthy ingredients. For example; protein bars are marketed as a healthy, ‘high protein’ snack, but are filled with sugar. This is why it’s important to always read the ingredients.

It will get easier to choose which foods are best for you with time, but to make it simpler, here are some whole-food staples that are widely available and versatile. These are gluten and dairy-free but I’ve also listed foods (italicized) which I don’t include in my nutrition due to allergies.

CARBS

  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • GF bread
  • Potato Gnocchi
  • Veggie Pasta

PROTEIN

  • Chicken Breast
  • Lean Beef
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Chickpeas

FRUITS & VEGGIES

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Spinach/Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Bell peppers

OTHER

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Organic Honey
  • Unsweetened plant-based milk

I hope this post is useful in helping you tackle the basics of eating balanced, please follow and let me know what you think. Thank you for reading, xoxo.