Thursday, February 12, 2015

THE SAVVY SHOPPER'S Seven Healthy Swaps

Photo: PBS: Hasselback potatoes
A huge part of everyone's budget is food and drink. Make these seven healthy changes to your diet and get a bonus ... cash left in your wallet:

1. Swap boxed cereal for unprocessed whole grains: oats, millet, quinoa, brown rice and others. Not only are unprocessed whole grains much cheaper (especially if bought in bulk), they are easy to cook and delicious. You will eat less sugar.  Add your own raisins and honey for a nutritious breakfast. Or prepare whole grains as a savory dish.

2. Swap soda for coffee and tea to drink as hot or iced beverages. You'll save a bundle, plus reap the health benefits. Soda has harmful chemicals. Even soda with artificial sweeteners is bad for your teeth and metabolism, while coffee and tea contain anti-oxidants that are good for your heart, skin and brain. In giving up soda, you may drop a few pounds.

3. Swap canned soups for dried and canned beans. Or buy dried peas. Or lentils. Or cut up your own fresh vegetables and add leftover beef, ham or chicken to make hearty soups. Homemade soup is a convenient one pot meal to cook and freeze, and the taste is far superior to canned soups.

4. Swap frozen french fries for fresh french friesYes, you can have french fries as long as you make them yourself: Brush cut potatoes with olive oil and bake on an oiled baking sheet at 350 degrees F until golden brown. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Swap potato chips for Hasselback potatoes: Cut a potato into 1/4 inch slices (thin) crosswise (without slicing the potato all the way through). Fan and brush each slice with olive oil and season it with salt, pepper, garlic and spices to taste. If you wish, you can also sprinkle it with a little cheese or crisp bacon. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes. Hasselback potatoes are a cross between french fries and potato chips. 

Future goals for myself:

6) Swap the gallons of Arizona Diet Tea I buy for ice tea made from tea bags - Homemade ice tea, whether it's black, white, green  or oolong, costs pennies a glass in lieu of what I spend on ready-made tea. I'll sweeten the tea with a tiny bit of Stevia, a zero calorie sweetener, extracted from a plant.

7) Swap bottled salad dressing for homemade vinaigrette dressing, using healthy extra virgin olive oil. I have a scrumpuious recipe, but just need to implement the plan!

Make Ahead Vinaigrette Dressing

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar (balsamic, cider or wine, etc.*)
2 teaspoons mustard (dijon, brown or yellow, etc.*)
1 tablespoon minced onion (or dried*)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or dried*)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix, and refrigerate in a jar.

Over time you may prefer the DIY (do it yourself) dishes over the retailer prepared ones. Here's to a healthier you starting right now ... then deposit the extra savings in the bank. You will need it in your old age!

* I'm a great believer in using what you have in your cupboard. Growing up, my Mam'ma was the best cook in the world! But, she didn't consider herself a gourmet cook, and we weren't foodies. Our mindset was make healthy and tasty food, then get it on the table!! We eat every day. Who has time to be a fusspot?

You may also enjoy:
The Health Benefits of Tea   
Healthy Spices In A Well-Stocked Kitchen
Cheap Botanical Beauty For Body And Hair
Essential Oils Are A Household ... Wait For it ... Essential

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