I can recall when I first started trying to "eat healthy" while in university. I bought the 'Clean Eating' magazines and books and dog-eared a whole bunch of recipes. I set out with the best of intentions. I spent hours scouring the grocery aisles for a long list of items and then hours again prepping my meals every week. Over time, this became exhausting, frustrating and far too expensive. I've learned that healthy doesn't have to be so complicated. After years of prepping healthy meals I've accrued a few "fail proof" recipes that are tasty and easy. I also think it's about time that we work through our self-made "I can't eat healthy" barriers.
Healthy Eating Misconceptions
1. It's expensive.
When you're trying to eat healthy your grocery cart will resemble the food pyramid below. Just one look at that food and you're likely thinking dollar signs ($$$). There are a few things you can do to help make healthy food more affordable:
- buy produce when it's in season
- buy frozen produce (bonus: it doesn't go bad!)
- buy your meats when they're on sale
- buy a quality protein powder to help supplement* your protein intake (typically around $1-$1.50/serving compared to a $3-4 chicken breast)
- plan meals around sales and items that you already have in your pantry
- shop with a grocery list and only buy what is on it
- experiment with beans and legumes
Some people swear by couponing. I do not have time for coupons. You've got to choose what you can fit into a day and couponing is not going to be one of them for me. I'll buy things in bulk when they're on sale.
*Note: I really do mean to supplement your intake with protein powders, not live off them. Real foods first.
2. It's too complicated.
I can understand why you would think this way. If you take a look at healthy cookbooks these days or if you follow any healthy, foodie-type Instagram pages you've noticed that the recipes, although mouth-watering in appearance, require far too many ingredients. I don't want to search the depths of the world for some random spice nor do I want to buy things on Amazon.
I want it in my city. Right now.
If you have your heart set on a complicated recipe then go for it, but make your other meals for the week easier OR save that complicated recipe for a weekend treat. Also, if you're alone in prepping meals for the household you need to put a stop to that. If others want to eat they need to be helping you. For those with children, showing your kids how to prep healthy foods will benefit you both in the long run. This can now turn into time spent with one another. Catch up while you make dinner...win/win.
3. It's boring (aka tasteless).
I'll admit that I've had a boring meal or two in the name fueling my body properly. Seriously, some days when you're short on time a chicken breast, handful of veggies and scoop of nuts is just going to have to cut it, but that shouldn't be everyday. If food is boring you won't stick to it. Don't be afraid to experiment with foods and try new things. I can't get a whole lot of boring food past my husband. He's quick to nix a tasteless recipe. That means that a lot of our meals, although simple with the number of ingredients, are full of flavour from seasoning and healthy fats.
In the name of TASTY, INEXPENSIVE, and EASY here is a recipe!
Ingredients for the following recipe (with their prices):
$0.90 + $0.68 + $0.42 = $2/serving. These are the current prices at Superstore.
Sorry, I'm not calculating the olive oil or spices. That's overkill.
P. S. Did you notice all of these ingredients are super easy to find?! No need to go to Narnia!
Sweet & Spicy One Pan Dinner
(Makes: 2 servings)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 'hot' Italian sausages (remove casing and cut sausages into large 'chunks')
- 1 large sweet potato, diced (2 heaping cups worth)
- 2 large handfuls of kale
- Fresh cracked pepper and sea salt, to taste
- (optional spices: chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne powder, to taste)*
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Microwave sweet potato for 3 minutes on high. This helps to reduce the cook time and helps fully cook the sweet potato.
- While sweet potato is in microwave, heat oil in a large pan.
- Add sweet potato to hot pan and cook for 5 minutes. This is when I add the optional seasonings. Allow the potato to lightly brown.
- Add sausage to pan. Lightly brown sausages for 5 minutes.
- Add kale to pan. Stir pan to lightly wilt kale. Cook for 1 minute.
- Cover with lid and let sit for another 8-10 minutes.
- Enjoy while hot.
*Optional because the sausage has a lot of flavour in it already.
That's a wrap! Thank you for reading.
Do you have any healthy eating tips? Or needing tips on something? Comment below!