I hear and see on social media (a lot) from people who say they can’t eat healthier because it cost more, or they can’t exercise because it cost too much to join a gym, on and on. I realized this weekend, just like all MY excuses — this is exactly what you are hearing excuses.
This time of year is the BEST time of year to eat healthier. Even if you don’t grow your own garden — all the fresh fruits and vegetables are in season. Also, in addition to your local farmers market (a big trend in all areas) — lots of communities now have community gardens (even in big cities). We; however, do grow our own favorite vegetables and supplement others we want occasionally from the Market.
So now we have our veggies…let’s talk about what else we are eating. Meat — we as Americans love meat. The thing about meat is it is helpful to us in small portions (3 ounces or less). We have gotten so used to huge portions, we don’t even know what three ounces is any more. Below is a good image of what 3 ounces looks like (photo credit to: community.ihealthlabs.com)
Also, at least in my part of the Country (the heartland) — meat has gotten very, very expensive. So to counter-act the rising costs and in the hope of eating better; we have not only reduced the amount of meat we are eating we now try a couple of times a week to have a “meatless day”. So for instance, last night we had some peppers and onions from the garden we needed to cook. I took the peppers, onions, a can of mushrooms and sautéed in butter (yes real butter). I added a bit of taco type seasoning. We then ate this on the Aldi brand of Fit and Active flatbread, with a little grated cheese and a little low-fat sour cream. This whole meal (including butter, cheese and flat bread) was about 264 calories and tasted delicious (wish I had taken some pictures). My point is this meal was good, feeling and healthy…we had plenty to eat and it cost us less than $5 for the total meal.
This afternoon, I’m going to spend some time cleaning vegetables and putting them in nice containers so I have healthy choices at hand for my lunch and snacks all week. I am also working on the quality of the foods we buy and as I have brilliant finds and ideas, will share more.
If you eat local, in-season and cut down your meat — this should not impact your budget too much. You do need to trade some of those packaged foods for fruit and vegetables. Look online for recipes — I have found lots of recipes I can through together in less than 20 minutes and have a much healthier, more delicious meal.
The next excuse is the dreaded “EXERCISE.” Believe me, I am not by nature an athletic person. However, I know if I want to live a healthy life into my elder years I need to get healthier and more fit. I also know from experience, the only way to get fit and feel better is to exercise (which has the added benefit of making you feel better). Again, this time is a great time of year because you can get all the exercise you need without any gym equipment or much added expense. You can walk. Funny thing about walking, you can do it anywhere — big city, out in the country, small town — anywhere. You just to make time, not excuses.
I am fortunate, in the community I live there is a “rails to trails” trail-way. It is close to our house and from where we start to the heart of our City it is a little over three miles. We also are very lucky to have a great park systems with lots of paved trails, making walking easy. When we first started the healthier journey, I was lucky to be able to do 1.5 miles. However, over the last month we have greatly stepped up our game and this morning we pushed ourselves to the wall and did 6.1 miles.
Because it is the end of July, it is blazing hot and 99% humidity. So, to make sure we didn’t get to hot or dehydrated we started our walk around 8:00 in the morning. Although it was hot when we finished, we did finish. We also took water with us and stayed very hydrated. There are also water fountains along the trail where you can refill your water if you need.
To track what I am eating and exercise, I am using My Fitness Pal. It is free and very easy to use. MFP has lots of tips, a huge database of foods and makes it easy. You can either use it on a computer or on your phone. Again this is FREE at http://www.myfitnesspal.com. There are other similar sites, but this is my favorite.
So the point of all this — just get started, NO EXCUSES.