How to Eat Right and Save Money at the Same Time

Michael Merschel wrote . . . . . . . . .

You want to eat healthy. You need to save cash. Can you have it both ways?

Yes, experts say.

“People think that healthy eating is an elite thing, that it’s something you can only do if you have lots of money, and lots of spare time, and all kinds of fancy equipment,” said Christine Hradek, a nutrition specialist at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Ames. “And really, that isn’t true.”

Here’s how to make it happen.

Start in a happy place.

The first step is to think about what kinds of foods you like, said Cheryl Anderson, dean of the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at the University of California San Diego. Then, envision the healthiest version of them.

Are you a french-fry fiend? Ponder a baked potato seasoned with herbs as an affordable, not-soaked-in-fat option. Is boxed macaroni and cheese your go-to quick meal? You can get a whole bag of pasta for much less per serving. Sprinkle olive oil, fresh herbs and spices and maybe just a sprinkling of cheese, and you’ve just stretched your dollar and made something that’s better for you.

Learn to cook.

“If you are always buying food that is at least partially prepared for you, chances are you’re going to spend a lot more money on food than you need to,” Hradek said.

You don’t need to make something out of a gourmet magazine, she said. “But for overall habits, we tend to say investing a little bit of time can save you a lot of money.”

Plan on it.

“You should not have to start fresh cooking from scratch every day,” Hradek said. Planning before you shop can save time in the kitchen and money at the store.

If the idea of planning out a whole week is too much, start by planning just workdays, or just one meal a day. Take inventory of what you have on hand to make sure perishable items won’t go to waste. Then fill in your list with things to purchase. It can help keep you from being tempted by things you don’t need.

Planning also can ensure you hit all the healthy food groups you need each day. Several resources can be found online. For example, Iowa State’s Spend Smart Eat Smart webpage has a printable menu planner with a checklist.

Leverage your leftovers.

Hradek calls them “planned-overs.” Find a meal you can make, double the size, freeze half. You’ve just knocked out two meals in the time it takes to make one.

Planned leftovers let you take advantage of sale items. And they take away an excuse to grab something unhealthy in a rush.

Anderson, who travels a lot for work, uses this strategy. “When I make a meal on a Saturday afternoon, it looks like it’s Thanksgiving in my house, because I’ve not just thought about me eating today – I’m thinking about that day when I get off of the airplane, and it’s 9:30, and I don’t want to drive through some fast-food restaurant.”

Planning lets her go home and pull a nourishing, home-cooked meal out of the freezer.

Canned can be OK.

Frozen, too. At least when it comes to fruits and vegetables.

If canned beans make your time in the kitchen easier, have at it. “Just be mindful of what’s in the can by looking at the labels,” Anderson said.

Be store-savvy.

A lot of things that look like a sale are actually advertisements, Hradek said. Always compare the price with the items above and below on the store shelf.

Coupons also call for caution. If it’s for a product you use regularly – fine, she said. “If the coupon is instead acting as an advertisement and is getting me to buy something I wouldn’t have bought otherwise, I would probably avoid it.” Especially if it would cause you to buy a bunch of something perishable.

This is another area where planning helps, Hradek said, by preventing you from impulsively stocking up on things you won’t use. “Don’t improvise with perishable items outside of your plan, because chances are you’ll lose them.”

Know where to get help.

If you’re struggling to put food on the table, you’ve got plenty of company. According to Census Bureau numbers gathered in May, 19 million U.S. adults reported their household sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat in the last seven days.

Although many people look to local food pantries, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the best place to start, Hradek said. State-by-state instructions can be found at the Department of Agriculture’s website.

SNAP even allows shopping at farmers markets, Anderson said. “So that’s a new and healthy thing.”

Remember, she said, cheap food that’s heavy on calories and light on nutrition comes with long-term costs, including obesity, diabetes and other heart disease risks.

Enjoy yourself.

“Food is more than just nourishment,” Hradek said. It’s about culture and memories, and there’s no one-plan-fits-all approach to find balance. “If you’re miserable, you’re doing it wrong. It should be a source of pleasure.”

But, she said, “a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of planning can add up to a lot of savings and healthier choices, regardless of your budget.”

Source: American Heart Association

My Food: 6-course Dinner

Cauliflower, Fennel, Bacon Soup

Puff Pastry Tart, Smoked Salmon, Herbed Goat Cheese

Beet, Grapefruit, Avocado, Spinach, Pistachio Salad

Lobster Bolognese

Lamb Chop, Roasted Potato, French Beans

Red Wine Poached Pear

Too Little Sunlight, Vitamin D May Raise Colon Cancer Risk

Robert Preidt and Ernie Mundell wrote . . . . . . . . .

New research finds that countries with more cloudy days tend to have higher colon cancer rates. Lower levels of vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” may be to blame.

So, boosting your vitamin D levels through exposure to sunlight could help reduce your risk of colon cancer, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

“Differences in UVB [ultraviolet-B] light accounted for a large amount of the variation we saw in colorectal cancer rates, especially for people over age 45,” said study co-author Raphael Cuomo. His team published its findings July 4 in the journal BMC Public Health.

Cuomo stressed the the data cant prove cause-and-effect and is “still preliminary.” But “it may be that older individuals, in particular, may reduce their risk of colorectal cancer by correcting deficiencies in vitamin D,” Cuomo said in a journal news release.

Human skin manufactures vitamin D naturally upon contact with sunlight, and having an insufficient level of the nutrient has been tied to higher risk for a number of health issues.

What about colon cancer? To find out, the San Diego team tracked data from 186 countries to assess possible associations between local exposures to UVB light from the sun and colon cancer risk.

They found a significant association between lower UVB exposure and higher rates of the cancer among people ages 0 to over 75. After accounting for factors such as skin pigmentation, life expectancy and smoking, the association between lower UVB and risk of colorectal cancer remained significant for those older than 45, Cuomo’s group said.

They noted that other factors that may affect UVB exposure and vitamin D levels — such as use of vitamin D supplements, the clothing people wear and even air pollution — weren’t included in the study.

Dr. Elena Ivanina, a gastroenterologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, called the findings “provocative.” She wasn’t involved in the research.

“It is difficult to draw any steadfast conclusions from this study, but it certainly raises a thought-provoking consideration of the role that vitamin D plays in colorectal cancer formation,” Ivanina said. She said it might add a bit more impetus for anyone already “contemplating a move to a sunnier climate.”

Source: HealthDay

Roasted Gold Coin Chicken

Ingredients

160 g lean pork
160 g chicken liver
160 g pork fat
4 tbsp maltose
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp Hoi Sin sauce
1 tbsp Mai Kuei Lu Chiew (Chinese cooking wine)
1 tbsp ginger juice
1 tbsp chopped shallot

Method

  1. Rinse pork and chicken liver, wipe dry, trim into cylindrical shape and slice into 0.25 cm thin rounds, set aside.
  2. Cook pork fat in 1/2 pot of boiling water for 15 minutes, remove and rinse well. Slice into 0.25 cm thin round pieces.
  3. Mix marinade together with pork, chicken liver and pork fat, set aside for 1/2 hour.
  4. Preheat gas oven at 220°C.
  5. Thread alternate layers of pork, pork fat and chicken liver together on the skewer. (Makes 2 skewers.)
  6. Place skewers of meat on a rack over a baking sheet, roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn over and roast for another 10 minutes until cooked.
  7. Brush meat with maltose and cook in the oven for a few more minutes to glaze.

Source: Towngas Millennium Cookbook


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