This week marks British Nutrition Foundation’s annual Healthy Eating Week. In 2023, the theme is “Healthy Eating Week - For Everyone!”, with a focus on accessible healthy foods for everyone. With this in mind, here are some ways to get more bang for your buck whilst also improving your diet.
1. Canned beans, lentils and vegetables
Canned foods have a long lifespan and are typically cheaper than fresh alternatives. Drain, rinse and add to whatever you are cooking to bulk up your meals. This also increases your meal's nutrients and fibre, which can help improve your digestion and overall gut health. You might also have leftovers for lunch the next day by bulking up your cooking. Money-saving, gut-smart and time efficient. Win-win-win!
2. Dry beans and lentils
These might be more expensive to buy as you often buy a large amount, however, they swell in size and weight and are extremely versatile. Soak the beans/lentils in water overnight, boil and add to your meals. They are a great plant-based protein and fibre source and can be used in place of meat or added to your meat dish to bulk it up and get more servings.
3. Make use of the reduced aisle
If you find fresh fruit and vegetables expensive, stopping by the reduced aisle can secure you a side salad or a side of roasted vegetables with the dinner you were originally shopping for.
4. Fresh versus frozen?
Fresh fruits and vegetables are in some cases less nutritious than their frozen counterparts. This is because they’re frozen immediately after harvesting, whereas fresh fruit and vegetables spend hours in transport, leading to the nutrients oxidising. Did we mention frozen fruit and vegetables tend to be cheaper, too?
5. Make smoothies the healthy way
Smoothies are a refreshing Summer treat for many, however, they are typically high in sugar which sends our blood sugar levels on a roller coaster. Therefore, nutritionists recommend replacing some of the fruit with vegetables such as spinach, kale, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, peas, celery and cucumber. It is also beneficial to add a complex carbohydrate source, like oats, Weetabix, bran, or sweet potato.
“But won't my smoothies taste bad?”, you ask. Adding lime/lemon juice and/or pineapple juice will help neutralise the taste of vegetables! Experiment with the vegetable-to-fruit ratio and find your new favourite smoothie.
6. Eat regularly
This tip is not directed at a particular superfood - instead we focus on how your behaviours affect your spending habits. If you eat frequently and listen to your hunger cues, you will be more successful in avoiding hitting the “I-want-to-eat-everything-within-a-one-mile-radius” hunger ditch. We tend to make unhealthier decisions when we’re ravishingly hungry: buying more (and less healthy) foods, snacking whilst we’re cooking, being tempted by the snacks in the office, and so on… By making sure we’re fuelling our bodies regularly throughout the day, particularly before going food shopping, we can save money and make healthier choices.
Want long-lasting weight loss results, for free?
The key to sustainable weight loss is finding a method that works for you. This doesn’t have to be a diet, but instead small changes you make to your lifestyle to gradually lose weight - and maintain the results. For instance, relying on walking more than your car on short-distance trips, introducing fruit as an evening snack in addition to a small portion of the chocolate you'd normally have (slowly moving to have fruit only), and our tips mentioned above to improve your diet.
Does this approach sound like something you would like to try? Achieve Oxfordshire offers several free weight management programmes, including Gloji Groups, which…
…helps you change your lifestyle gradually
…gives you group accountability and support
…doesn’t judge your struggles but invites you to talk about them and find solutions together with your practitioner and the other clients.
…lets you book 1-on-1 chats with your practitioner when needed.
…is a free programme that lasts 12 weeks and can be done either in-person or online.
Learn more here and sign up using the red button in the top right corner.