Friday, April 18, 2008

Eating Healthy for Less

By Courtney Westlake


Most of us know what we should eat as part of a nutrient-rich, balanced diet, but it doesn't have to cost as much as people might think.

There are several different ways to eat healthy without putting a strain on your budget, said Amanda Jillson, assistant director of fitness and instructional programs at the TRAC.

"Tis the season- it's the season of fruits of vegetables, and we're getting into the prime time when everything is fresh," she said. "Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and you can also can or freeze fruits and vegetables."

Shop around as well, and try to buy from the local farmers markets and food stands.

"It's always better to eat local than at the big grocery stores," Jillson said.

You should also plan ahead. One night a week, sit down and look at your schedule so you can plan accordingly for your meals, Jillson recommended. You won't be forced to eat on the run or make poor choices when you have nutritious meals ready to be made or already made.

Jillson also advised people to take a daily multivitamin, which is an excellent supplement to getting the nutrition that we need. And don't forget one of the simplest ways to help your body, for free: getting enough water.

"You want about eight to 10 eight-ounce glasses, so anywhere from 64 to 80 ounces of water a day," Jillson said. "But if you're especially active, you should try to consume at least 100 ounces of water daily. Water is just really important for your health."

Lastly, watch for sales and use coupons when you can. Most stores often have various items on sale each week, including produce, fish and other healthy foods.

"It's really important to shop around and look for those discounts," Jillson said. "Using some of these different tips will help you eat healthily and not break the bank."