How do you eat healthy on an “instant noodle” budget?
When you’ve heard that healthy eating means spending more money, you might find it more difficult to commit – or even to get started – towards a better, much healthier diet. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
In fact, there’s a lot of ways to save money while still eating whole foods, and here’s how you can start doing it.
The Wet/Farmer’s Market
The local wet market or farmer’s market is your go-to place for healthier produce that’s fresh every time. You can find all kinds of fruits and vegetables that you can buy more cheaply when compared to buying in supermarkets.
It’s also important that you develop a good relationship with your favorite vendor,
Cooking, Storage, and You
The way you cook food affects the nutrients in them, and when it comes to vegetables, a lot of those nutrients can be lost when you cook them in water. But there are ways of cooking that can preserve it, such as:
• Microwaving – A great way to cook vegetables (just use a microwave-safe container and splash some water to keep them from drying out)
• Sautéing – While this does require oil in the pan, a light sear will improve the flavor and texture of the food while still retaining their vitamin and mineral content.
• Steaming – Retains the vitamin and mineral content in vegetables with the drawback being a lack of flavor, which can make you reach for additional seasoning.
Changing the Way You Eat
Aside from the groceries, the cooking, and the storing aspects of eating healthy, you also want to change the way you eat your food. Here are a few tips you can use to improve your eating habits while saving at the same time:
• Eat slowly. This lets you chew your food more thoroughly and enjoy it better. It also lets your body notice that it’s full, so it will have an easier time digesting.
• Use up what’s in your fridge before you start buying groceries. This will make it less likely for food to sit too long in your fridge and end up spoiling.
• Learn to pickle and preserve food. Not only will you have nutritious food all year for your whole family, but it’s also cheap hobby that you can start getting into.
The trick to a healthier diet is finding the right foods, cooking methods, and most importantly, the routine that you know will definitely work for you.
However, there’s no need to rush into the nearest wet market and start buying all kinds of vegetables you don’t know how to prepare – just start with a few when you go out, and slowly work your way to the ones that you like.
Whether you’re working towards a healthier lifestyle or simply looking to cut down costs, planning your meals gives you more control over what you eat.
This lets you actively build a meal with the right amount of calories and nutrients instead of basing it around what’s easy and convenient – and the best part about it is that it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you would think.
Meal planning is great for everyone, but it works especially well for those who are on a tight schedule. Depending on how far you plan, you can save yourself the time and money from several days, and even up to a week.
To do that, these are the steps you need to follow:
1. Grab a meal-planning sheet or any sheet of paper.
Start jotting down your plans for meals by writing down the days of the week that you plan on preparing your meals for. If you find that a few days or so will be particularly hectic, plan meals that don’t take up too much time to make.
With meal prepping, you can also focus less on breakfast and lunch, and more on dinner, especially if you have a hectic schedule.
2. Take a look at your weekly schedule.
Ask yourself for any upcoming plans in the week, and then proceed to plan around that. You also don’t need to plan more than two weeks at a time, especially if you’re just starting out.
In fact, the simplest way you can start meal prepping is by doing so a few days at a time. This lets you find your rhythm and your schedule, and what kind of meals you enjoy best.
3. Choose meals that are easy to prepare.
Aside from taking up a lot of time, complex meals also use a lot of ingredients, and you’ll end up spending more for them. You should also look into the ingredients in terms of volume.
One advantage to meal prepping is that because you’re buying ingredients in bulk, you get to save more money than you would otherwise spend on eating out.
4. List the ingredients you need to prepare the meals on a separate sheet of paper.
This will be the grocery list you’ll be sticking to when you need to buy the ingredients for your meals. It also helps if you don’t throw your lists away, but save them instead for when you prep for more than one time.
And don’t forget to include the seasoning!
5. Prepare the containers needed for each meal.
Whether it’s simple plastic bags or full containers with a lid, the important thing is that it’s enough for the meal in question and that there’s enough space in your refrigerator.
If there aren’t enough small containers for every meal, you can simply place the food in one large container and take small portions out of it to reheat when you need it.
We know—bed is greater than the gym, especially in the morning. But if you’re in desperate need to bring your beach bod back, you have to make time to hit the gym. You can squeeze in an hour workout after work, but wouldn’t you rather to go straight home and sink into the comfort of your couch and watch netflix?
That’s one of the major reasons why morning workouts are preferable by many. If you often skip the gym because you’re just too tired to exercise after work, here are some ways to help you stay on your fitness track and become a morning gym rat instead.
1. Go to Bed Early
Seriously though, have you ever tried going to bed at one in the morning, woke up at six and said ‘I’m ready for a five-mile run today!’ Perhaps, you’ve never had. When looking forward for a morning workout, aim to have seven solid hours of sleep. Trust us, it’ll be easier to pull yourself out of bed and into your sneakers.
2. Prepare Your Gym Kit Before Going to Bed
Some even recommend sleeping in gym clothes. But sports bras are never comfortable in bed. Instead, have your workout clothes ready and your gym must-haves—sweatband, towel, earbuds, toiletries—ready in your gym bag> keep it close to your bed, so it’s one of the first things you’ll see in the morning.
3. Make Your Morning Routine Quicker and Easier
Likewise, make your morning routine quick and easy. Prep your healthy lunch the night before, turn on the coffee maker as soon as you wake up, pack your purse before going to bed—basically, get it together ahead of time so you won’t waste 45 minutes running back and forth t get ready.
4. Keep Windows Curtain-Free
Want to be up as soon as the sun shines? Go curtain-free and let sunshine wake you up in the morning. It’s like a natural alarm clock—as it’s almost impossible to go back to sleep with the light beaming down your face.
5. …Or Set an Alarm and Place It Far From the Bed
If your room faces west or the sunshine has just no way of getting into your room in the morning, set your alarm instead and make sure to place it somewhere far from your bed. When it goes off, you’ll be forced to get up to shut it off.
Morning workout is great. It pumps you up for the day and, most importantly, you won’t have an excuse to skip a session when you feel tired after work or your schedule suddenly changes.
We all get that feeling—return home from an awesome trip and struggle to rekindle with our everyday life. Post-travel blues can leave you unmotivated, exhausted and blue. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can fix that super-bored feeling after a fun-filled adventure.
1. Start Planning Your Next Trip
The major part of the heartbreak of returning home after an awesome vacation is having nothing to look forward to. Fix that by start planning for your next trip. Even if booking another flight isn’t pocket-friendly just yet, you can start small by searching for your next prospective destination. Once you’ve decided where to go next, plan how you’ll save for the trip.
2. Go Grocery Shopping
Your fridge is probably empty—or smells funky because of the leftover you forgot to throw away before the trip. It’s time to clean it out and do some grocery shopping to stock on the regular essentials. It may be a small thing, but stocking your fridge and pantry with your staple snacks and food items goes a long way in making your place feel like home again.
3. Organize your Photos
Waiting too long to transfer, edit and share the photos of your travel will run the risk of forgetting all the juicy details of your trip. Dedicate a few hours after you have settled down to organize your travel photos. Instead of mourning the end of a fun trip, relive your amazing vacation by making a digital photo album or uploading your photos to your social media to serve as a reminder of the beautiful travel you just had.
4. Detox From Vacation Food
It’s no surprise that trying out food is one of the highlights of travelling. However, after the trip, you will start craving for fruits and home-cooked meals again, so give your body what it needs. Take a break from heavy meals by preparing healthy dinners yourself. Plus, making a meal in your own kitchen is a great way to ease your body and mind into settling back to your routine.
5. Get Some Exercise
Cheat days are over. It’s time to get back on track after a week-long hiatus. Get your bod ready for your next trip you’ve just planned. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you will feel better. It’s easier to look forward on things when you feel good about yourself.
It can be challenging to shake off the distress when you come home from a great trip, but thinking positively goes a long way to beating post-vacation blues.
Some Athletic Inspiration
It would be a crime if this classic boxing film was not present in a list about fitness! This movie shows just how much passion, determination, and hard work can lead you to success. Plus, this is where playing “Eye of the Tiger” in the background while training came from. Nothing like having good music to motivate you.
Even with the hot climate in Singapore, it’s wrong to think that the country has no Ice Hockey Club. This movie is about the 1980 US Men’s Hockey Team and how they fought a renowned Soviet Union team in the Olympics. As this is based on one of the greatest moments in the history of sports, you’ll be hungry for some competition and be motivated to work hard!
Fittest on Earth
“Fittest on Earth” is a documentary film focusing on several athletes and their journey in the 2016 Crossfit Games. Because the film includes the athletes’ struggles and triumphs in training and in competition, you may be able to relate to them on a certain level. Seeing these guys’ and girls’ physical feats will definitely light a fire in you.
For anyone aspiring to be a professional bodybuilder, you surely do not want to miss this one! Although it’s a docudrama about how Arnold Schwarzenegger got his legendary physique, it gives us peek into the world of professional bodybuilding.
For all the skinny guys out there, you can’t deny that this movie didn’t inspire you to hit the gym. Seeing that one scene of skinny Steve Rogers turning into a muscular hero should be enough to take anyone off their seats and start getting fit.
Playing the role of Batman, Christian Bale’s muscular physique is hard to miss in this one. But what happens behind the scenes is the amazing story behind it. Before “Batman Begins”, Bale had just finished filming “The Machinist”, where he lost 61 pounds and weighed only 124 pounds. He just had 6 weeks before his first screen test for “Batman Begins”. In that period, he successfully gained weight and lean muscle ending up at 185 pounds with a most-muscular physique for the movie.
This movie is about the first woman to join the US Navy Seals. All the one-arm pushups and the tortuous training will make your own workout session look like child’s play. Regardless of gender, this will get you more fired up to workout than ever.
Million Dollar Baby
This is another boxing film but it’s about an underappreciated trainer and how he helps an underdog achieve her dreams of becoming a professional. This movie can be a great motivator for the ladies to sweat it off at the gym or on the ring. You don’t have to be a boxer to see how toned Margaret Fitzgerald (main character played by Hillary Swank) is in this movie.