Sometimes the prices at health food stores, farmer’s markets, and boutique grocers can be absolutely astounding. $6 for a box of heart-healthy cereal? $3.99 for an avocado? I don’t think so.
These high prices don’t do any favors for those trying to live a healthy lifestyle on a budget. Eating high-quality fruits, veggies, and proteins can start to feel out of reach if your closest grocery store is an expensive one. It’s a shame, too, because many of these stores have unique buys you wouldn’t find anywhere else, but discourage their purchase due to their high prices.
Don’t get us wrong – healthy food is totally worth it. After all, what’s more important than your health? But you need to draw a line somewhere.
Luckily, there are some super healthy foods out there that are also super cost-effective. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite cheap, nutrition-packed foods for your ultimate cooking pleasure.
- Lentils and beans. These pulses are chock-full of protein and good-for-you fiber – and are super cheap and easy to make. Throw them into stews or soups, cook them on their own with cayenne pepper and cumin, or mix them in with a whole bunch of autumn veggies.
- Eggs. Even if you buy cage-free or organic, eggs are still a bargain thanks to their cheap price and their protein-rich properties. Even the cage-free version (which can run at $3.99 for a dozen) still ends up costing only around $0.33 per egg. They’re also quick to whip up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try making your own eggs benedict, whipping up a veggie-packed frittata, or scrambling with a hint of cheese.
- Oatmeal. Forget the pre-packaged individual packets – those are chock full of sugar. Grab a hearty container of Quaker Oats oatmeal for only about $2.50, then load it up with your own favorite toppings: berries, yogurt, cinnamon, or honey. The fiber in this nutritional powerhouse is guaranteed to keep you full for hours on end.
- Tofu. Another protein-rich meal, tofu runs at only $2.99 (or sometimes less) per container and can make multiple meals. Throw tofu into stir-fry, bake it to top on salads, or blend it up to add some creamy consistency to your favorite soups.
- Canned fish. Tuna, salmon, and a wide variety of other fishes come in a can – and can go for $1 a pop at some stores. Make sure to look for the cans with no sodium added to get the full nutritional benefit of this meal. It’s also super easy to whip up with a tad of mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, or avocado for a 5-minute lunch.
- Almonds. Rich in healthy fats and fiber, almonds are an amazing snack for any time of day. Eat them plain or throw them in salads for a little crunch. At only $5 for an entire bag (sometimes less) this is a cost-effective snack worth munching on.
Add these healthy, protein-packed foods to your grocery store arsenal and watch as your health (and your bank account) rejoices!
While summer produce – greens, tomatoes, corn, snap peas – are delicious raw or in salads, fall is the time to start cooking up that delicious produce and really bringing out the flavor. Autumn veggies are perfect for roasting, baking, or melding together into a delicious fall stew or soup. Just as the weather starts to get a little colder, warmer produce highlights your afternoons and evenings to warm you up.
Fall produce also tends to be a bit heartier – potatoes, apples, and carrots – and can keep you fuller, longer. We personally love heading out to the farmers’ market, grabbing a heaping armful of our favorite produce, and finding a way to use it all up in one or two meals. That’s where soups come in.
Fall is the absolute perfect time for a great, hearty soup. Not only do they warm you up instantly, soups are the perfect way to incorporate a ton of different flavors, textures, and vitamins into one meal. With a little vegetable broth and a heaping helping of vegetables, the perfect soup is just a few simmering hours away.
Sometimes, though, it’s fun to get creative, and insert a little hefty flavor in with your favorite fruits and veggies. That’s where this recipe from One Ingredient Chef comes in.
Filled with delicious potato and broccoli, this soup makes the best of what this season has to offer, blending it into a creamy, hearty meal. This recipe blends these two veggies into a “cheesy” base, tasting a lot like the broccoli cheddar soups you can get at restaurants, without all the unnecessary sodium and fat. This recipe creates that cheesy flavor without the help of any cheese at all: a good blend of creamy cashew base and nutritional yeast lends a creamy, rich, cheesy flavor without all the fat and additives. And trust us: it tastes exactly the same… but only uses real, nutrition-filled foods!
Try whipping up this Cheesy Potato and Broccoli Soup this weekend, and let us know how it goes.
About One Ingredient Chef
One Ingredient Chef is a healthy food blog run by Andrew Olson. His goal is simple: he wants you to become healthier than ever before while cooking the best food of your life. As he says, “The One Ingredient Diet is my simple answer to a world of processed foods. But this isn’t about munching on lettuce! My job is to show you (step-by-step) how to cook deliciously healthy food with only *real* ingredients.”
With the chillier weather coming down the pipeline within the next month or so, sicknesses and colds will also make their debut. With so many people staying indoors for longer periods of time, germs tend to stay trapped within these crowded places, making sickness more likely. Even those with the best immune systems tend to catch a slight cold each winter, simply due to the germs that surround you each and every day.
When you’re feeling a bit under the weather, oftentimes the last thing you want to do is head out to the gym. But sometimes, you’ve been on the couch so long and you’re feeling okay… and wonder if it would be unhealthy for you to try out a short gym session.
Depending on the length, discomfort, and type of sickness you’ve contracted, heading to the gym might be okay. It’s ultimately a judgment call. But how can you make an informed decision, allowing you to get some movement in while not stalling your progress in getting better?
First, take a look at your symptoms. Are your symptoms mostly above the neck, including your throat, nose, or head? This sneezing and sniffling is typically fine to work out through, as long as you’re feeling up to it. However, if your symptoms lie below your neck (stomach, digestive system, aches) you may want to sit this one out. Digestive system issues tend to dehydrate, and adding a sweat session on top of that won’t do you any favors. Those with a fever should also avoid working out for the same reason.
If you’ve had this cold or these symptoms for a day or so and have yet to go to the doctor, we’d recommend sitting out the gym simply to show courtesy to your fellow gym goers. Chances are a sickness this new is still contagious, and touching gym equipment could spread germs and spread the sickness throughout your favorite exercise lovals. If it’s a nicer day out, feel free to exercise outside, though – it may even help stave off your symptoms.
If you do decide to gym it up, be aware of the intensity at which you’re performing. When you’re sick, there’s no need to fit in that long run you’ve been dying to get through in your half marathon training plan. Take it easy. This is a great time for a calming, slow jog, walking on the treadmill at an incline, a gentle bike ride, some soothing yoga, or your other favorite moderate-intensity workout. As a rule, don’t push yourself to your hardest capacity when you’re sick – moderate to stay healthy and let the benefits come to you slowly. Of course, as you work out, make sure to stay even more hydrated than you normally do to replenish the fluids you might be losing during your sickness (and your workout).
Overall, studies show that regular exercise can lead to a healthier immune system. So if you’re feeling up to it, chances are hopping off the couch and getting a bit of movement in is a-okay. If you aren’t sure, checking with your doctor is always the best way to go.
What are you most excited about this fall? Will you go apple picking with your kids, chomping on sweet, crunchy apples as you walk through the trees? Will you head up to the country for a beautiful hike, lined with colorful, rich foliage? Will you spend the fall baking up delicious apple tarts, pumpkin pies, and butternut squash? The opportunities are truly endless to take advantage of what the season has to offer.
As always, we encourage you to explore this autumn. Enjoy the season by romping around your town or city and finding new opportunities to learn or see something new. Head to a new apple orchard that you’ve never been to before. Instead of enjoying the foliage in your usual haunts, book a weekend getaway. Experiment with new flavors in your baking, adding some lemon zest and a pinch of cayenne to your favorite apple pies.
As you’re exploring new sights and learning new ideas, it’s important to have a comfortable pair of boots in tow. Knee-high boots are an absolute staple of fall fashion and for good reason – they’re comfortable, offer an extra layer of warmth, and always look fresh, sophisticated, and poised.
A quality pair of brown or black leather knee-high boots can transition to absolutely any occasion: slip your boots over a pair of jeans and a flannel for a casual apple-picking extravaganza. Add knee-high boots to a professional dress and watch as your look shines at work. Pair your favorite knee-high boots with white pants as you’re walking around your city, exploring new museums, colors, and streets. The opportunities are endless!
Knee-high boots are an absolute staple for any fall wardrobe, particularly because they facilitate that layered-and-leather look that grazes the likes of fashion blogs and Pinterest. The layered looks of fall make sense: while layering a sweater atop a chambray shirt, white pants, and knee-high boots is an adorable look, it also keeps you warm and comfortable as the weather gets chillier. Fashion, comfort, and warmth for the season: it’s a win-win-win!
Shop our selection of knee high boots this fall and grab a pair for up to 90% off. We promise – they’ll absolutely become your favorite everyday shoe for autumn.
We all know that incorporating exercise and fitness into our lives is good for us. Being active just 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your health, decreasing your risk for heart disease and obesity, among other conditions.
But exercise has innumerable benefits that extend beyond the physical. Running, biking, swimming – whatever form of exercise you enjoy, you’ve almost certainly encountered that feeling of discomfort that occurs when you push yourself beyond your limits. Your heart beats faster, your breathing gets heavier, and you exert that last amount of effort needed to accomplish your goals and get over that last hurdle.
This is one of the ultimate powers of exercise: learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. When you work each day to overcome difficult physical fitness obstacles, the daily stressors that occur each day – a deadline at work, an issue in your relationship – seem all the more conquerable. When you become used to working through the hard stuff physically, it can help you do the same in all the different aspects of your daily life.
Because these daily stressors don’t seem as difficult to conquer, exercising regularly can make your life less stressful overall and has been shown to reduce anxiety. Many studies show that physical activity boosts short-term brain function, allowing you to react more quickly to stressful situations than you would otherwise.
This decrease in stress can help you stave off other bad habits, like smoking or unhealthy eating, while bettering good habits like effective spending and productivity. It can help you practice better self control in all aspects of your life. When you practice telling your body to say “yes” when it wants to say “no” through exercise, you’re also practicing controlling the self – a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle.
Accomplishing your toughest exercise goals can also make you feel more confident. When hard work pays off, it feels good, and you in turn feel like an all star the whole day through. Exercise can also make you feel grateful for your body, your sense of self, and all that you have in life. Many people can’t accomplish the goal you just did due to physical, monetary, time, or other constraints, and you just powered through it effectively.
All in all, exercise isn’t just a physical remedy – it’s mental as well. When you think about it, when you’re working out, you aren’t just committing to physical fitness – you’re committing to your overall wellbeing. So hop, skip, or jump this weekend, accomplish your toughest goals, and let the best you shine through!
The weekends are the perfect time to blend getting stuff done that you can’t get to during the week with a little relaxation. Finding the perfect balance of these two things is what makes the weekends so wonderful.
It can be easy to get up late on a Sunday morning and waste the day away on the couch. And while that’s needed sometimes, most of the time it feels great to have a truly productive weekend. Whether you’re shooting for a promotion at work and want to learn a new skill in your free time, looking to tackle a particular fitness goal, or just need to get a little extra work done for your side job, making progress during the weekends can make you feel accomplished and satisfied.
So how can you get your butt up and make the most of your free time during the beloved Saturday and Sunday days?
- Do you have a million things you want to get done this weekend? Cut that list in half. Rather than trying to get a bunch of little things done, pick the most important tasks and do them well. Check off those tasks that will have the highest impact for the effort you are able to put in. When you check everything off your list, you’ll feel accomplished and ready to take on the week.
- Try to wake up on the early side! Weekend mornings tend to be slower and offer fewer distractions than the afternoons and evenings, so tackle your to-do list ahead of the day’s distractions. Waking up late can set a lazy tone for your day, making it easier to hop on the couch and stay there.
- But if you’re sleep deprived – catch up. While waking up early is the ultimate way to be productive, if you’re in a realm of sleep debt, checking things off your to do list isn’t going to do you any favors. If you didn’t get much sleep the week prior, use your weekend to catch up. It will make you ultimately more productive the next week to be healthy and full of energy.
- Pick one day to be obligation-free. Luckily, the weekend is comprised of two days. So even if you do have a ton of work to accomplish, designate one day for productivity, the other for restful relaxation. And if you do choose to do work over the weekend, allot a specific amount of time to do it. Once that buzzer goes off, you’re done – trying to beat the clock should make you even more productive.
- Tackle tasks that utilize different skills than you use throughout the week. Practice a new skill, or try tackling a new hobby or errand. Using different parts of your brain during the weekend – while still being productive – can make you feel more rested, creative, and energetic during the week ahead. Using a different skill set challenges your brain to think about problems in new, creative ways – making for an excellent week ahead.
Remember: if you don’t have much to cross off your to-do list this weekend, don’t force productivity where it isn’t needed! Everyone needs a rest, and sometimes, taking some time off can actually do wonders for your productivity down the road. Listen to your brain’s signals and enjoy the weekend – all with the ultimate goal of accomplishing your to-do’s while still staying healthy and energized.