Many people assume a healthy lifestyle means a big hole in the budget. Staying fit requires expensive gym memberships and exercise classes and eating well equals eating into your grocery bill. Wrong.
If you actually want to take ownership of your health, you can easily do so without a huge expense.
Here are my top tips in living a budget conscious healthy life.
Meal planning is essential for saving pennies in the grocery aisle. I always set aside Sunday to plan my weekly menu. I choose five make ahead breakfasts, such as frittata or Bircher muesli which I’ll prepare and store in the fridge ready to go. One Sunday a month I’ll bake four batch cook lunches such as a Shephard’s pie or veggie bake and store in the freezer. Then when I just grab whatever I want each morning, heat and serve with huge fresh leafy green salad for a nutritious, satisfying lunch. I also prepare snacks in advance, with three different iterations such as a base recipe for protein balls but with different added ingredients so you can save time and money, plus enjoy snacks throughout the week without getting bored.
It’s so important to be prepared so you don’t buckle and buy unhealthy and expensive take outs, splash out on unnecessary groceries or meander away from your healthy eating plan.
Make the most of your ingredients
To save money, time and avoid waste, I always encourage people to consider how they can use an ingredient in multiple ways. To give an indication of what this involves one example could be you roast a chicken for one meal, save some leftovers and boil the carcass for a delicious homemade nourishing stock, both of which you can freeze for use during the week. The next day you could make a mushroom and chicken risotto with the leftovers, the day after that you could make a soup and the day after that you make something like a chicken salad. It’s so easy, quick and convenient and will save you money and time.
Make your own beauty products
Another unnecessary expense is splashing out on costly beauty products which can be made at home from ingredients you can find in the pantry such as honey, turmeric and lemon juice which you can whip into a quick face mask. I also make my own soaps made with shea butter and green tea and body scrubs made with sugar and essentials oils to save on the pennies and maintain my healthy glow.
Make a schedule for the week
It’s important you schedule, so you have a clear idea of how you are going to stay on track and not splash out on unnecessary expense. I usually write out the plan from 6am to 6pm daily. For example, my daily plan will look something like this:
6am – 30-minute at home yoga or Pilates routine
6.30 – Hot shower using one of my homemade body scrubs
7am – Enjoy one of my make ahead breakfasts such as Quinoa Bircher with berries then make one of my green tea and fresh ginger quenchers, which I’ll sip throughout the day to keep me hydrated throughout, my immune system in check and my metabolism high.
8am – Start work
10am – Enjoy one of my homemade snacks such as my Rainbow Hummus which is one made with turmeric and cauliflower, another made with beetroot and another made with carrot.
Noon – Enjoy one of my batch cook lunches such as Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie, made with cauliflower mash and a giant green leafy salad. Salad is always a hero in my lunches and dinners.
2pm – Enjoy my Matcha Green Smoothie or Beautifying Watercress Soup. It’s important to ensure your body is getting those extra greens you need to keep your body nourished and energised.
5pm – Finish work then go for a brisk 30-minute walk along the beach or park or a swim – anything to get a little cardio in and refresh the body and soul
6pm – Enjoy dinner such as Salmon and Coconut Fishcakes served with a big green leafy salad.
7pm – Relax with one of my homemade face masks, switch off all devices and ensure you don’t eat any else for the day. I strongly believe in giving your body a 12 hour fast to help regenerate cells and ensure your body has ample time to digest and heal.
Exercise at home
At least 30-60 minutes of daily exercise is a key component to a healthy life and can be done at home to save on a gym membership. We must use our muscles consistently to ensure our bodies remain flexible as we age. I personally enjoy yoga, Pilates and a brisk walk or swim as it helps me release the busy day and without it, my body suffers.
The Long Life Plan, New Holland Publishers RRP $35.00 available from all good book retailers or online www.newhollandpublishers.com
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