Healthy Living on a Budget: 4 Smart and Simple Tips

Healthy Living on a Budget: 4 Smart and Simple Tips

Raise the Rates campaigns have been in the news recently. While most of us are fortunate enough to not have to turn to the social safety net, it’s still important to know that healthy living on a budget is entirely possible. Keeping food costs low while looking after health is an essential life skill, but one that few of us are taught at school.

Here are four tips for healthy living on a budget to help your family practice mindful spending while prioritizing health:

Plan, plan, plan 1. Plan, Plan, Plan

It can’t be said enough. If you have a plan and stick to it, you can dramatically cut food waste and outlandish expenses.

Start by designating a time, perhaps before grocery shopping, to work out a meal plan for the week ahead. Write down all the groceries you need to meet that meal plan, and any pantry items that need refilling. Head to the store and only get what is on your list.

When planning, opt for meals you can prepare in bulk, such as chilli, soups, casseroles, or curry. This will allow you to take advantage of economy size packs, saving you money while cutting down on food waste. It’s also a big timesaver, as you can freeze extra batches for a quick meal later.

2. Shop the Edges

Hitting the grocery store with a list is one of the best ways to stay healthy on a budget, but it also pays to shop the edges at the store. In most large grocery stores, this means sticking to the fresh food aisles, bulk and dried goods, and the bakery.

If you know your kids get peckish and demanding at the store, plan distractions. This might mean taking a healthy snack for them to eat, or allowing them to listen to music through headphones. Whatever you do, don’t give them their own cart unless you assign them specific items to track down for you. This will also help avoid the middle of the grocery store where the highly processed and packaged foods tend to lay in wait.

Build stronger communities through food sharing 3. Build Stronger Communities through Sharing Food

If you’re shopping for just yourself or a small family, it can be hard to take advantage of bulk discounts. You may also find that without careful planning you tend to generate a lot of food waste. One way to tackle both costly problems is to set up a network of friends who share food.

This could mean forming an organized buying club that shops for specific goods at certain times of year. It could also be a less formal arrangement where you take extra food over to a friend’s place to share when you have it. Or, it could simply be getting together with friends to cook a large, shared meal.

Preparing healthy communal meals can be a fun, social way to avoid the cost and temptation of restaurant fare. Sharing food is also a great way to form close friendships and build stronger communities, allowing everyone’s resources to stretch a little further when times are hard.

4. Pack a Picnic

Piggy-backing on the idea of sharing cooking responsibilities, packing a picnic is another great way to stay healthy on a budget. If you are going for a hike, a stroll in the park, a day at the beach, or even to the movies, packing your own snacks and meals is almost guaranteed to be cheaper and healthier than anything you pick up. Below are some great, healthy options for a picnic:

  • Homemade granola bars
  • Fruit
  • Raw veggies and hummus
  • Rice crackers with almond butter and banana slices
  • Homemade popcorn with nutritional yeast and olive oil

Whatever you choose to pack, you’ll be avoiding overpriced, heavily salted, fatty, and sugary food that can hurt your health and your bank balance.

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5 Foods to Help You Feel Full and Satisfied

5 Foods to Help You Feel Full and Satisfied

Does your breakfast, mid-day snack, or dinner leave you feeling hungry a short time after eating it? Incorporating foods to help you feel full into your meals and snacks throughout the day will help with that!

Fiber and Fullness

Foods high in fiber take a longer time to digest, thus making you feel full for longer. Pairing high fiber foods together during meals will help keep your cravings at bay and allow you to go longer periods of time without feeling that gnawing of hunger.

The following are the daily recommended intakes of fiber for men and women [1]:

  • Women 18–50 years old, 25 g
  • Women 50+ years old, 21 g
  • Men 18–50 years old, 30–38 g per day

Here are five simple and delicious foods to help you feel full throughout the day:

Raspberries 1. Raspberries

A lot of people don’t know that fruit can bring in a great amount of fiber, especially raspberries. Just one cup of these tart berries brings in 8 g of fiber a day!

Whether they’re part of your morning smoothie, tossed on top of your overnight oats, or stirred into yoghurt as an afternoon snack, raspberries are a filling sweet treat.

2. Lentils

Lentils are a wonderful legume that can be used in a variety of ways such as soups, salads, breads, stir-fried recipes, and more. Just one cup of lentils boasts 15.6 g of fiber – and as a bonus, lentils are also high in protein and have been known to help with digestion.

3. Black Beans

Black beans come in with a fiber count of 15 g per one cup. They also help maintain a healthy colon, and who doesn’t want that? * Toss a hearty handful of black beans into your burrito, stir-fry, soup, or salad and you won’t be reaching for a snack anytime soon!

Green Peas 4. Green Peas

Green Peas make this list because they’re an often overlooked veggie, even though they’re full of vitamins and mineral and so easy to add to meals.

Peas are great in soups, fried rice, pasta, and can even be blended into a nutritious soup! Best of all, these green goodies provide 8.8 g of fiber in just one cup!

5. PGX Satisfast Organic Vegan Protein Bar

Containing 15 g of plant protein, PGX Satisfast Organic Vegan Protein Bars** are the perfect treat to help keep you full and satisfied when you’re on the go! Available in three tasty flavors, these bars are also vegan and gluten free!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

**Drink additional water [8 fl. oz] after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.

References:

[1] Vann, Madline. “Fiber: How Much Is Too Much?” EverydayHealth.com. N.p., 2 June 2011. Web. 15 May 2016.

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Strength Training for Runners: 5 Basic Moves

Strength Training For Runners: 5 Basic Moves

Do stronger, more efficient, comfortable runs sound too good to be true? Not at all! These are the benefits of strength training for runners.

Running is a repetitive movement that works specific muscle groups. The right strength training exercises can help even out imbalances between opposing muscles while maintaining your current muscle mass. In other words, your goal is not to bulk up, but to support your running performance.

To get started, here are five basic strength training exercises to do once or twice a week:

planks 1. Planks

Planks work your abs, back, shoulders, glutes, and hips – not to mention your willpower! These core muscles support your upper body as you run and help keep your movements efficient.

As a bonus, the plank is an exercise you can do virtually anywhere, making it an ideal move for people who travel a lot.

Tips:

  • Begin with 3 sets of 15 second planks, gradually working towards one minute.
  • Keep your stomach muscles tight when executing this move.

2. Heel Walks

As a runner, your feet, ankles, and shins take a lot of stress. Help keep them strong and reduce your susceptibility to shin splints with heel walks.

Tips:

  • Begin with 3x 30-second walks, gradually working towards one minute.
  • Execute the heel walks in bare feet.
  • Walk in place, not forwards.

lunges 3. Lunges

The good ‘ole lunge! Anyone who’s done even the most basic exercise program is familiar with the lunge – and for good reason! Lunges build strength and balance in your quads, hips, and glutes, important muscles for everyone, but particularly for runners.

 

Tips:

  • Begin with 3 sets of 5 lunges per leg.
  • Lower yourself slowly into each lunge.
  • Keep your forward knee behind your toes.

4. Seated Row With a Resistance Band

Strengthening your middle and upper back muscles can help reduce upper body fatigue during long runs.

Tips:

  • Begin with 3 sets of 20 reps.
  • Use a slow, controlled motion.
  • Keep your back stationary.

4. Nordic Hamstring Exercise

Maintain sturdy hamstrings with diligent eccentric hamstring training [1]. These are exercises where the muscles extend as they contract.

Tips:

  • Begin gradually with 1x 10 rep session per week
  • Keep your hands in front to stop your fall forward

After your next strength training session, refuel your muscles with a PGX Satisfast Organic Vegan 15 g Protein Bar.*

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.

References:
[1] Thorborg, Kristian. Why Hamstring Eccentrics Are Hamstring Essentials. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012; 46:463-465. Web. 4 February 2016.

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