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.

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.

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.

Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

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Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

Fluffy, delicious and guilt-free, these muffins will disappear in a minute! I came up with this recipe, craving for a healthy sweet treat and honestly, you wouldn’t even know whether they were gluten or dairy-free. I think cinnamon and raisins make the best combo and this recipe makes about 6 medium-sized muffins. If you’d like to see alternative ingredients for these muffins, let me know down in the comments below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cup gf flour (I used Neofoods All-purpose brown flour)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar/ erythritol
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup raisins

STEPS

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar.
  2. Add in the coconut oil, ensuring all ingredients are at room temp.
  3. Fold in the flours and baking powder until well incorporated.
  4. Fold in the raisins and spoon your batter into cupcake moulds, greased with coconut oil or lined with cupcake paper.
  5. Bake at 180ÂșC for 30 mins (less in a preheated oven).

I hope you try out this recipe and let me know how it goes and what recipes you’d like to see in the future. Thank you for reading, please follow and like for more, xoxo.

Healthy 5 min Apple Crumble

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This is a delicious new recipe that serves as a healthy snack but also as a hack for your ordinary apple crumble. It’s dairy, vegan, and gluten free, but the best part is that it’s really easy to make. I tried this when I was craving a midnight snack, so here it is;

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 tsp any liquid sweetener (agave syrup/ honey for a non vegan option)
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2tbsp granola (you can find a recipe here)

STEPS

  1. Dice the apple, mix in the syrup and cinnamon in a mug.
  2. Microwave it for 3-4 mins or until the apples turn soft.
  3. Add in the almond milk and top with granola.

This was a quick one, hope you try it out and thank you for reading! Like and follow for more easy and healthy recipes, xoxo.

3 More Healthy Breakfast Ideas

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#1. Avocado Toast

I’m sure you’ve seen this meal a few times on instagram and from health influencers and that’s because it’s a quick and wholesome option, providing essential healthy fats, protein and carbs. I find this one to be a great pre-workout meal as well and the method is pretty straightforward so here’s what you need.

INGREDIENTS

  • Gluten Free bread (or any healthy alternative of choice)
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 2 Eggs/ turkey slices/ salmon
  • S+P / chilli flakes

#2. Healthy Pancakes

You might think healthy pancakes can’t be real but they are. After making this recipe a couple of times, regular pancakes just don’t do it for me anymore. These ones are gluten, dairy and sugar free and they contain healthy fats, complex carbs and protein. Here’s the recipe. You can make them high protein if you’s like.

#3. Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowls have been the trend of healthy breakfasts right along with avocado toast, as they should be. You can basically fit any fruit and even some vegetables into a smoothie bowl, plus it’s a great alternative to simply drinking a smoothie and you get your serving of micronutrients in. This is also a great vegan option; my latest addiction has been coffee smoothie bowls but you can make any variation you’s like.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2-1 cup Frozen banana chunks
  • 1/2 cup Frozen fruit (berries/mango/pineapple)
  • 3-4 tbsp plant-based milk
  • Nut/seeds (chia, pumkin, cacao nibs, almond butter)

Hopefully these have given you some new inspiration for your breakfasts and let me know what your go to breakfast is. Thank you so much for reading, please follow and like for more, xoxo.

Check out more healthy breakfast ideas here!

Healthy Mug Cake Recipe

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I have become obsessed with this recipe because it’s the quickest cake recipe ever and it definitely satisfies my sweet tooth. If you find yourself binge eating your batch of cupcakes or eating the whole cake, perhaps a one-serving recipe is the best option for you. There are some days where you’re just craving a dessert or cake but you’re worried about your goals, so one thing to remember is it’s okay to have a little treat once in a while.

The key to having a healthy relationship with food is by eating mindfully, this means if you want something sweet, have a healthy alternative with intention rather than mindlessly binge eating a batch of processed cookies. This way if you set out to indulge, you won’t feel the guilt, you only feel guilty when it’s an impulse.

This mug cake is the perfect indulgence, it’s soft, rich and tastes exactly like a regular chocolate cake, even though it’s gluten and dairy free. You can also make a vanilla version if you’d like. So here’s how to make it…

INGREDIENTS

  • 2tbsp corn flour (or any gf flour)
  • 2tbsp almond flour
  • 1-2tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1tbsp coconut sugar (or any alternative)
  • 3tbsp almond milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1tbsp cacao nips (optional)

STEPS

  1. In a large mug, mix the flours, baking powder, sugar and cacao powder.
  2. Mix in the egg, vanilla and plant-based milk until well incorporated.
  3. Lastly mix in the cacao nibs (you can also use dairy free chocolate chips).
  4. Place it in the microwave and cook for 1-3 mins (depending on your microwave). Mine usually takes 2 mins and if the top is cooked, then it’s done but you can always double check with a skewer.
  5. Now you eat your cake straight from the mug!

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you try out this recipe and follow and like for more like this one xoxo.