bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cheap Healthy Meals for a Working Lifestyle

Some people will lead you to believe that eating the right foods will cost you an arm and a leg. Others may think that the right foods are bland and tasteless. Would you believe that you can make cheap healthy meals in the comfort of your own home? That’s right! Using ingredients from your local grocer, you can make a huge difference whether it is your goal to lose weight, reverse a medical condition, or simply start living a healthier lifestyle.

1. Start with preparation methods

You can do this by writing down some of your favorite meals and looking into how they are prepared. If your favorite dishes are prepared by another person, include these as well. Many of us love foods that are cooked in oil. Though lard is relatively inexpensive, it is the most fattening of the cooking oils available on the market. Some restaurants use lard in the preparation of their meals, but you can go online and look up ways to cook the same foods using canola oil. Though some grocers price canola oil slightly higher than corn or vegetable oil, your best bet would be to buy the largest size possible at a grocery warehouse or discount store. You can also look into ways to reduce the amount of oil used. Dishes like fried chicken can be prepared using less than half the amount of oil that would be used if It were cooked in a deep fryer. Also, look into using oil sprays to make things like french fries and sautéing vegetables.

2. Take a look at the ingredients

Some of us work long hours and want to have the quickest meal possible. There is nothing wrong with wanting a quick meal, but taking shortcuts can result in taking in extra calories -- fat and sodium. This is especially the case with processed meats and meal starters. If you like to make beef stroganoff, try using a low-sodium or reduced fat cream of mushroom soup along with a teaspoon of your favorite seasonings. If your dish needs more flavor, then add more of the abovementioned ngredients carefully. Dried and fresh herbs are a great alternative for those who are trying to cut back on sodium. Also, roasted garlic cloves can be made easily in your own oven. After spraying the cloves with oil, place them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. If garlic cloves cook uncovered without oil, they will most likely scorch and have a bitter aftertaste, which will make them inedible. Garlic cloves are also good for lowering high blood pressure.

3. Portion Control

Many of us take pride in eating a large meal and when done in moderation, there is nothing wrong with this. However, constant consumption of large servings can expand the stomach, which lead to more an increase in daily calories. Ways to watch our portions is to chew food slowly before taking another bite and to fill up on vegetables instead of breads and other starches. Weight Watchers suggests placing your eating utensil down on the table between bites. This is a natural way to tell your brain that you arefull and will not need more food. Practicing this on a daily basis will lead to less food intake per meal, which will give you more leftovers for later!

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