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Nutrition

4 Helpful Budget-Friendly Tips for Eating Healthy

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It’s a new year, and with that comes New Year’s resolutions. If there’s one resolution lots of people can get behind—it’s saving money. But what if you want to save money AND make healthy happen? Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered with some awesome tips for saving money while eating healthier, too.

Buy in Bulk

Whether you’re buying nuts for snacking or produce to enjoy during the week—try buying in bulk when possible. Especially for those items you know you’ll always need, buying in bulk can help you save cash and also reduce trips to the store. An additional benefit to buying in bulk that saves you both time and money is the opportunity to prepare larger batches of recipes and freeze the extras. When you’re trying your best to eat healthy meals, having a freezer full of delicious recipes ready in a snap is super helpful.

Swap Meat for Alternative Proteins

While meat is a great source of protein, some cuts aren’t necessarily easy on the wallet. A great way to save a few dollars is by cutting meat from a few meals here and there. #MeatlessMonday is an awesome hashtag to search on Instagram or Pinterest for ideas on how to avoid meat while never sacrificing a healthy, tasty meal. If you’d like a head start, here are a few of our favorite veggie-packed recipes. They’re so tasty—you won’t even miss the meat, we promise.

Easy 8-Ingredient Meatless Fajitas

Freezer-Friendly Veggie Pasta Bake

Two-Bean Veggie Nachos

Spinach, Mushroom and Asparagus Quiche

Plan Your Meals

Have you ever walked aimlessly around the grocery store only to come home with 6 bags full of food but no meals to be made from them? You aren’t alone. Seriously. It happens to the best of us! But when you’re trying your best to eat healthy while saving money, planning your meals is a must. Make sure to check out our meal prep worksheet and get a head start on meal planning for the week!

Pre-Pack Healthy Snacks

Snack time can be both the most expensive and the most unhealthy—double whammy. A great way to avoid the snack time drama is to pre-pack your snacks for the week ahead. A piece of fresh fruit and a string cheese make an awesome snack-on-the-go or a bag of nuts with dried fruit will keep your blood sugar from dipping. Avoid the convenience store purchase and stay full at the same time, win/win!

Saving Money While Staying on Track Made Easy

There are lots of ways to eat healthy and we know they can make your credit card balance skyrocket. By making a few changes, you can make a big difference on your bank statement while feeling great and staying full!

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Nutrition

How to Make the Healthy Breakfast Smoothie Bowl of Your Dreams

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When you discover a good thing, it can be hard not to dive in headfirst! Tell everyone you know, and eat, eat, eat. I fell into this trap when I discovered an irresistible smoothie bowl. You may have seen them on your Instagram feeds in all their fruity, colorful glory.

The obvious hurdle is that buying smoothie bowls regularly isn’t sustainable, especially if you’re tight on time, money, or calories. So, what do you do? Find a way to mimic the goodness!

Smoothie Bowl Steps

Smoothie bowls are very similar to smoothies, they’re just consumed in a different way (spoon, not straw), and include additional toppings and texture. So, start with your favorite smoothie recipe, blending fruit, some greens (spinach, kale), ice, milk (soy, almond), juice (orange, pomegranate, carrot) or yogurt (greek), and a little healthy sweetener (agave syrup, maple syrup, honey). Have fun with it and try your favorite flavors. You can even make two different smoothies to combine in the same bowl for more interesting bites. Keep thickness in mind overall, as you won’t want it too soupy.

  • Choose colorful fruit toppings.

The trick is in the toppings. Consider your base and then add complimentary (but not necessarily identical) fruit like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, passion fruit, and raspberries. This is your chance to try something new or uncommon. When’s the last time you had a kiwi? Try a little on top.

Texture is key. You don’t want everything to be smooth, so add some healthy seeds (chia, sunflower, hemp, etc.), grains (granola, oats), and/or nuts (walnut, pumpkin, almond). A little unsweetened coconut flakes sprinkled on top is a nice finishing touch.

Beware of sweetened yogurt, high-calorie granola, and other unnatural, processed ingredients. Stay as fresh as possible, and know that you’ll get a lot of sweetness from the smoothie and additional fruit toppings. You may even find you want a dollop of crème fraîche or plain greek yogurt on top to tame things!

  • Have fun with the design.

Just like the “recipe,” which can be varied in a million ways, have fun with the assembly. Pro tip: It usually looks nicer if toppings are added in chunks, in their own space; and it’s best if the heaviest items go last. You can always mix it and lose the pretty when eating!

  • Admire your creation. Then dig in!

That’s it. Whether or not your final bowl is Instagram-worthy, you can pat yourself on the back for starting the day with a healthy breakfast. Way to go!

If you’re looking for more specific direction, find many smoothie bowl recipes online.

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Lifestyle

The Best Snacks for On-the-Go

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We’ve all read or heard the saying, “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.” When your blood sugar dips into the red, it can be hard to keep your cool and stay on track in your health journey—which is why we’re sharing our favorite recipes and snack ideas that can fit in your desk drawer, car console, purse or diaper bag.

Nut Lovers

If you love a nutty snack, these recipes are perfect for you! Loaded with protein and good fats, these snacks will keep you full, energized and ready for anything.

Fruit Forward

Grab-N-Go Ideas

Recipes can be wonderful, but not everyone has time to mix up their snacks! Below are some quick ideas for you to literally grab on the run. We recommend portioning out snacks at the beginning of the week so you can stay on track, on the fly.

  • String cheese and grapes
  • Dried fruits and nut mix
  • Jerky (beef or turkey, but turkey is leaner!)
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Protein drinks

If you need more ideas (who doesn’t?), don’t miss our awesome roundup of 20 portable snacks you’ll love!

 

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Food

Healthy Protein Cookie Dough Bites

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I think I can safely say that we’ve all been caught eating raw cookie dough straight from the bowl. However, my experience working in nutrition and in the food industry has taught me that this is not a good thing. It’s quite risky and it can compromise your health goals. You see, most people assume that the warning to not consume raw cookie dough is primarily to avoid the foodborne illness salmonella, caused by ingesting raw eggs. But there’s also a warning on flour, which is extremely dirty (until baked, of course).

This lead me to seek out food-safe cookie dough treat ideas (to fit my dietary restrictions: gluten free, dairy free). You’ll love what I found because these Cookie Dough Bites will satisfy your hankering for cookie dough. Plus, they’re low in sugar, high in protein, and wheat free!

Mini No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites

healthy-cookie-dough-bites-image

Ingredients

Makes ~ 18-20 teaspoon sized dough bites

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup pulverized oats (or oat flour, I like mine a little more chunk)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp nut butter of choice
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs, mini chocolate chips or carob chips

Directions

  1. Mix coconut oil, vanilla, and honey in a medium bowl.
  2. Add almond meal, pulverized oats, and protein powder.
  3. Stir in nut butter. Continue mixing until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add chip of choice to “dough” mixture.
  5. Using a heaping teaspoon, form dough into balls.
  6. Freeze dough bites (minimum 2 hours).
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