A lot of us have been feeling the financial pinch lately and if you are wanting to change your lifestyle, it can make things more stressful and feel too hard. Hands up if you have found a nice healthy recipe and once you bought the ingredients, it turned out to cost more than a restaurant meal!
The lucky thing is, it doesn't have to be like this. We can still eat heart healthy without breaking the bank.
Here are my 3 top tips on eating heart healthy on a budget.
1. Find out what fruits and veg are in season in your area and stick to those.
In season fruits and vegetables will always be cheaper than the non-in season fruits and veg. A simple google search in relation to your specific area will give you a good list, or better yet, visit your local farmer's market!
*Friends in Australia, I find this resource quite useful: http://seasonalfoodguide.com/
2. Opt into a fruit/veg delivery box. Getting a fruit and veggie box delivered to your house is a great extension to the previous slide. It ensures all the fruit and veg are seasonal and local. There are even companies that box up the “ugly” looking fruit and veg that get rejected from the supermarkets. The prices are a lot less and you are saving yourself time and money going to the shops.
3. Eating highly plant-based. If you have looked at my previous posts, you may have gathered that I am an advocate of a highly whole food plant based diet. Fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes/beans, nuts and seeds. The evidence on the cardiovascular benefits is clear. Extra points, plants are cheaper than meat, so make them most of your focus.
It is currently winter in Melbourne, Australia and the picture above is my favourite heart healthy breakfast at the moment. Porridge with seasonal fruits. It is super warming and filling (I have 1 cup of oats, which is usually twice the amount that recipes call for- but this is the amount that makes me satisfied and full until lunchtime).
Here I have some kiwi (high in vitamin C and GREAT for keeping you regular).
On top of that, I have some stewed apples and pears, which are in season, cheap and also excellent for your bowel habits (which we know is important for cholesterol balance).
Always top your porridge with freshly ground flaxseed (check out my previous post here if you don't know why I absolutely love flax). In short: flax is great for bowel habits, reducing cholesterol, getting a good dose of omega 3 and extra benefits for women and keeping excess oestrogen in check.
Sprinkle in some cinnamon for warmth and blood sugar balance, and top with any seeds or nuts that you like for some extra crunch, protein and good fats.
Quick, easy, delicious and cheap! My rough estimate is a bowl oats like this costs approximately $1-2 (if not less).
Enjoy your seasonal, heart health eating!