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Eating Clean On a Budget
- Updated: January 19, 2016
By Cara Trentadue – In these tough economic
times, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle on a tight budget. You are
not destined to what the cafeteria offers you. You can shop smart and
eat clean. I have listed below 10 foods that are under
$5.00 so realistically with 50.00 you can eat clean.
1. Lentils- 230 calories a cup, low fat high in protein, loaded with
cholesterol lowering fiber lentils is one of the healthiest foods on the
planet. Lentils are loaded with absorbable iron, magnesium and B-
vitamins and make for one of the tastiest filling soups you can eat.
They cook in relatively no time compared to other beans, which require
long cook times from prep to table you are looking at 30 minutes. You
can find a terrific recipe for lentils here on this site. The cost of
lentil soup prepared as I have posted is about 3.50 for a pot of lentils.
2. Sweet Potatoes- 144 calories a cup. These inexpensive tubers deliver
more Vitamin A in one serving than any other fruit or vegetable. The
antioxidant value here is off the charts. Recent research has suggested
that the antioxidants in sweet potatoes actually help chelate heavy
metals in the digestive system. These amazing gems are beneficial to
diabetics because they offer a sweet taste and actually help stabilize
blood sugars ( if you sprinkle cinnamon on them it will greatly increase
these benefits.) a 3lbs bag of ORGANIC garnet sweet potatoes were in the
store at less than 3.oo wow
3. Sardines – okay, okay… give it chance before you start flipping out.
Canned sardines in water of extra virgin olive oil are extremely
beneficial especially when you are on a budget. At about 1.00 a can,
these fish are loaded with cancer fighting selenium, good fats and
protein. They are also known to increase mood due to their high amounts
of tryptophan. You can rinse them, drizzle with lemon salt and pepper
and serve them over a salad. ( note: the bones are highly digestible
and contain enormous amounts of calcium ) they are also loaded with
4. Frozen Spinach – 64 calories per cup, there isn’t much I really need
to say about this wonderful veggie. Spinach is rich in minerals like
selenium and calcium and is extremely low calories which means you can
eat a lot of it. Spinach is also very high in Vitamin A. A bag of
frozen chopped spinach is usually a little over 1.00 a bag. Very
5. Oatmeal- Oats are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts
as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in
the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion. Oats are high in Zinc a
mineral essential for proper hormone balance in men. In addition it
provides a unique fiber known as Beta glucan which has immune enhancing
effects overall on the body. This grain is the only food endorsed by
the AHA for lowering cholesterol. There are many ways to enjoy oatmeal
both hot and cold and nothing is more satisfying that a hot bowl of
oatmeal on a cold winter morning. The best part is a 3lb canister of
Old-fashioned oats is only 4.00, and that is way more than a weeks
supply for 2 people. Oats can be used in savory dishes too by grinding
them into a flour and used in replace of white flour. Scroll through my
recipes to find a few applications using oatmeal I am convinced you will
6. Mixed Baby Greens ( organic) – 2 cups are a measly 15 calories and
loaded with Vitamins A&C iron and fiber. This is essential to have on
hand to make a quick salad. A bag of these usually go for around 2.50
and worth every penny.
7. Peanut Butter- All natural peanut butter ( not the hydrogenated kind
) is high in calories in the form of good fat and protein and
antioxidants. Make sure the brand you choose contains no added sugars
or oils. This is a very budget friendly way to get added protein in the
diet. You can expect to pay 2.50 for a medium sized jar ( made of glass)
8. Apples: AN apple a day right………well that saying isn’t without
merit. A small apple contains around 35 calories and compounds that we
haven’t even discovered yet that lie between the skin and flesh to have
extremely good health benefits. This is one item I suggest you buy
organic and eat the skin. A 3lb bag of organic apples will cost you
around 4.00. See my recipe for crust less apple pie that uses oats in
addition to apples.
9. Eggs- Quite possibly the worlds most nutritious form of protein.
This is yet another one I would say is worth the 4.00 to keep it
organic. The yolks are just as healthy and contain the most of the
quality protein in the egg. They can be eaten every day and at around
71 calories an egg, make a great breakfast coupled with a little oats.
Just skip the ketchup and home fries.
10. Onions and Garlic- Onions and Garlic are about 2.00lb and if used
daily can be responsible for keeping us healthy. Se my article about
red onions to find out more.
There you have it my friends, each item on this list is less
than 5.00 and if applied correctly can reap you the health benefits
without making your wallet sick. Thanks for reading.
My name is Cara (www.carashealthyliving.com) and I have been studying nutrition and practicing an alternative healthy lifestyle for over 20 years. After learning how the body has the innate ability to heal itself in most cases proving you give it what it needs to do so I wanted to share this knowledge with the world.
I studied Nutrition and Weight Management Counseling at American Fitness Professionals and Associates and I am always pursuing new knowledge about healing the body and prevention of disease. With over 20 years of practice behind me there is no argument that prevention is the easiest way to avoid sicknesses like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. I do not advocate “diets” I teach lifestyle change. The children of America in this generation are said to be the only generation whose parents will outlive them. Diet and lifestyle play a major role in this trend. We need to turn it around.