When searching for food, isn’t it always easier to find cheap foods that are unhealthy than it is to find affordable healthy food?
Why is that?
Well mainly if you let commercials and advertisements control your appetite, you assume that the only food that those on a budget can afford is your standard westernized fast food and junk food.
What if I told you that there were lots of healthy choices inside your own grocery store?
Let’s explore ten grocery store items that you can buy so you can be eating healthy on a budget.
Foods High In Protein
Canned tuna is one of the cheapest protein sources you can find in the world!
A typical can of tuna contains approx. 22 grams of protein.
No added fats or carbohydrates, canned tuna is pure protein at it’s finest!
Be sure to go for the tuna packed in water and not the ones packed in oil. That oil is unnecessary calories for the majority of people eating this budget friendly high protein delight.
Eggs are often overlooked for being a great protein source. Over the years there’s always debate over whether or not eating a whole egg is healthy for you.
I’m here to tell you to just eat the whole egg! Egg yolk is one of the cheapest healthiest fat sources you will find.
One large whole egg contains 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fat.
Make whole eggs a part of a high protein high fat meal.
Organic and cage free are always the better options but remember this article is about eating healthy on a budget.
Buy what you can afford with your budget.
Lean Ground Beef
The leaner the beef, the lower the amount of calories you will be eating. Grass fed beef would be perfect, but it’s most likely the most expensive ground beef option at the grocery store.
The most healthy and budget friendly prices are typically between 80% – 94% lean.
Humans have conditioned themselves to having meats not look like their natural state. We are so far removed that we will pay grocery stores extra money to have our meat products boneless and/or skinless.
That’s why it’s always cheaper to buy meat with its bone and skin still in place. Nothing gets cheaper (per pound) than buying a whole chicken.
Even if you’re not a cook, you can still buy a whole rotisserie chicken from most American grocery stores. The price you’re paying per pound is a steal!
Top Round/ London Broil
The price of the overall package may seem on the high side but when you break it down as the price you’re paying per pound of protein, top round (or London broil depending on where you live) is a winner!
This cut of meat is from the leanest part of the cow and is an excellent high protein source. The reason it’s so cheap is due to its low fat content. The leanness of this cut of beef makes it very tricky to cook without getting tough.
I highly recommend you use this cut of meat in stews or slow cooker recipes. With the right recipe, you have yourself a hidden high protein gem.
If you are not lactose intolerant, then you have nothing to worry about. Milk was a big bodybuilding staple in the golden years of bodybuilding.
If you go the skim milk route, you have yourself a perfect high protein high carbohydrate drink.
If you go the 2% or whole milk route, you have a great weight gainer for those looking to add weight onto their bodies.
8 grams of protein per cup is not too shabby!
Greek yogurt has a higher protein amount than plain yogurt, which is why you should be eating Greek yogurt.
Don’t ruin Greek yogurt by adding artificial fruits or other sweeteners to it. Mix it with real fruit or use it in your smoothies.
I personally use it as a base for homemade salad dressings, dips or on top of potatoes as a substitute for sour cream.
If you want something quick, I suggest canned beans and legumes. If you are at home and have time to soak beans overnight, go the dry route.
Either way you won’t have to pay much money. Beans is a very cheap high protein high carbohydrate source.
Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, etc. are all great choices.
The cool thing about lentils is not only do they have a higher protein/carbohydrate ratio then other beans but they also don’t require any presoaking.
You can buy a dry bag of lentils and instantly throw them into a meal thus making them a very cheap healthy food.
The cheapest vegetable you’ll find at your grocery store for the size and amount you will be getting back.
Steam it, sauté it or boil it.
Buying the whole head is a cheaper option than buying broccoli flowerets. Fresh is typically cheaper but it’s ok to buy frozen as well.
Twenty years ago, Kale was rarely seen in grocery stores. Now this superfood has become a stable in most grocery stores.
There’s protein, vitamin K, C, A, potassium, and lots more inside this leafy green.
If have craving for some sure, seek out a simple banana. Bananas typically cost less than $.90 a pound at most American grocery stores.
There are many variations to choose from. Be adventurous and try different types.
Examples of apples:
If you’re following a high carb lifestyle, there’s nothing wrong with white rice. The bigger the bag of rice, the more money you will save in the long run.
If scared of eating white rice, you can always eat brown rice. Not as cheap but still an option
A 5 – 10 lb. sack of potatoes is extremely cheap. Potatoes are a very simple and very diverse carb source.
The key is to not ruin this healthy source by added tons of cheese, fat or other ingredients to your potatoes.
What exactly have you been doing to match your fitness goal?
The most successful people and companies in our world don’t magically become successful over night. They don’t wake up one day and BOOM their dreams come true.
The only time you see instant success is when you win lottery. But the truth is that 70% of those lottery winners will go broke within a few years.
What separates the lottery winners from those successful people and companies?
It’s called a plan!
The most successful people and companies in the world start out with a simple plan.
You should be doing the same when it comes towards your own fitness goals.To truly understand what you need to do, you first need to know what you are trying to accomplish.
Eat better while traveling?
Reduce knee pain?
Gain 10 lbs of muscle?
Look good at the beach?
Whatever the goal is you must have a plan!Only after having a goal in mind can you truly start thinking about how to get to that fitness goal.
When it comes towards changing your physical apperance, 80% of your success is what you eat.The sad truth is too many people follow the wrong eating plan that’s not meant for the body they are trying to achieve.
Stop trying every diet under the sun!
Start picking the one that’s right for your body & fitness goals!
Millions of people have adapted to the low carb paleo lifestyle. For some it’s used as a fad diet to quickly shed some pounds.
For others it’s a big part of their gluten free lifestyle. Whatever the reason may be, following a paleo lifestyle has many benefits as well as some drawbacks.
When traveling or eating out, it can be difficult to figure out what you can do to reap the benefits of a low carb paleo breakfast.
In today’s post I would like to put the focus on eating a low carb paleo style breakfast.
What is Paleo
Paleo is a diet lifestyle that believes in going back to the caveman days of eating whatever you could naturally hunt, gather or grow.
The majority of paleo approved foods consist of one ingredient. The closer the food is to its natural state the better it is for your body
What makes paleo a great diet choice is that its philosophy eliminates the foods that typically causes everyone to gain weight.
So if you eat foods without the extra unnecessary junk, can you guess what happens?
Massive weight loss!
That’s why the Paleo diet has become such a huge trend. At its core, eating a Paleo style diet is what we humans should be doing.
Getting rid of highly over processed foods from our diets is a major step towards being healthy. When those foods disappear, people typically experience a significant reduction in their tummy size.
That’s typically what happens when you take carbohydrates out of your diet.
Carbs are not the problem!
Carbohydrates have mistaken gotten a bad rap since this millennium has started. In the 80’s and early 90’s it was all about the high carb low fat diets.
Now most diet plans want you to ditch the carbs completely and go low carb. Ditching carbs completely is going waaayyy overboard.
Your body needs carbohydrates to function. Especially if you’re a person that works out.
If you do some form of resistance exercise (ie: lifting weights), your body NEEDS carbohydrates to do its job properly!
It’s something I preach to my clients all the time.
If you want to follow a low carb diet, that’s fine.
Just know that after you’ve performed a serious resistance focused work out routine, you MUST have some carbs in that 2 hour post workout timeframe.
Not doing so is harming all that effort you just put in the gym. Any other time of the day, it makes sense to follow a low carb paleo style diet.
Just make sure you give your body the nutrition it needs to do the job right after doing resistance exercise!
Now that i’ve gotten that out the way, let’s talk about the best options for a low carb breakfast.
Why Eat A Low Carb Breakfast?
I personally practice the art of intermittent fasting, but if you’re a person that can’t go without breakfast, you want to make sure that your first meal of the day is a great healthy choice.
We want to eat a meal that will leave us feeling energized for the rest of the day. The problem is that due to our busy hectic lives, we have been tricked into thinking that breakfast foods must be cheap and fast.
Thus you’ll find the majority of people’s favorite breakfast foods contain lots of sugar, fats and/or salt. Those are the perfect trifecta for obesity and unhealthy diseases.
So of course that combination is what 90% of the fast food menus consist of for breakfast.
Even at diners, it can become a pain to be “healthy” when you have a stack of pancakes staring at you from the next table!
When you eat those foods for breakfast, your body will quickly process those carbohydrates (sugar and flour) into glucose which will make you feel like you have this quick burst of energy.
Once that burst is over, you’re going to feel a major crash due to all that blood sugar (glucose) in your system!
With so much glucose, your body’s insulin comes into your blood stream to break up the party. It’s job is to make sure glucose goes to its proper storage location.
That’s why most people feel so drowsy and lethargic after eating carb heavy breakfast foods.
You’re feeling the high and lows of your glucose levels rising, and then insulin trying its best to get rid of all that unnecessary excess energy.
That feeling can be avoided if you eat the proper ingredients.
The Low Carb Paleo Breakfast Set Up
A low carb paleo breakfast must include lots of vegetables, protein, and fats.
Yes I said vegetables!
You should not use this lifestyle as a pass to only eat meat and cheese!
Vegetables provide vitamins and nutrients that you body needs. Its nature’s top multi-vitamin supplement. Don’t skip out!
You should be trying to eat as many servings of vegetables in a day.
Top vegetable choices for breakfast:
*yes i know these are technically fruits
If you’re in a hotel room with a microwave an easy way to get some veggies is to buy frozen or steam bags of your favorite veggies. Very easy and convenient!
The high appeal of low carb diets is the fact you can eat meat! Protein should be your top macronutrient (protein, fats, carbohydrates) when trying to improve your body.
It’s the only macronutrient that helps with satiety aka feeling full. That’s why high protein is always included with the other two macronutrient when it comes to diets.
Ex: high protein high fat diet, high protein high carb diet.
A low carb paleo diet is basically a high protein high fat diet.
When following a Paleo breakfast, the great thing is that you don’t have to be as picky about your meat choices.
It’s ok for there to be some fat in the meat because that’s the other macronutrient you’re highlighting with this eating lifestyle.
Some great protein choices for breakfast are:
Eat the whole egg!
There’s always a debate ever year about whether or not eggs are good for you.
You need to get some fats in your diet when eating a low carb breakfast. Few food sources are better than whole eggs.
Organic or not, go for the whole egg when ordering out. If you want more protein add some egg whites too!
You should not be eating only egg whites in your omelette for breakfast! Please start including some whole eggs into that omelet.
Scrambled, boiled and/or omelettes are easy traveling choices for cooked eggs.
Beef….It’s what’s for dinner!…umm I mean breakfast!
Have fun eating your favorite beef selections but be careful.
The key is to make sure you are not ruining your freedom by having sugary sauces on top of the beef.
Steak and eggs are always a classic breakfast choice. Or you could always have some leftovers from last night’s dinner. Just ditch the carb sources.
Even a burger from a fast food joint is possible if you ditch the bun. I probably wouldn’t add bacon to the burger if I was ordering from a fast food joint though, due to it being wasted fat calories.
Speaking of Bacon
If you are following a low carb style breakfast just so you can eat as much bacon as possible….You’re doing this for all the wrong reason!
The reason I say this because out of all the good high protein meat sources you can choose, bacon is mostly fat with just a little bit of protein.
One or two pieces of quality bacon along with some of the higher protein sources is one thing, but if you’re eating 5-10 slices of bacon with one egg and two slices of cheese, you’re not really trying to be healthy!
You’re just using low carb as an excuse to embrace eating lots of saturated fats!
I would put pork sausage in the same category as bacon. There’s better protein sources, so use it sparingly.
Turkey bacon and turkey sausage are better options than pork bacon and sausage.
If you’re going to eat pork, go for pork chops, roast and/or tenderloins. Those are awesome choices for breakfast!
Salmon, tuna, turkey, bison, and chicken are great choices as well.
If it walks, swims or fly, it’s fair game!
You’ll be getting the majority of your fats as byproducts of the protein sources you will be eating for breakfast. If eating the lower lean protein sources (turkey, chicken breasts,bison,tuna,etc), you may want to add some healthy fats to the meal.
When eating cheese go you want the real stuff, not the super processed generic cheese you would find on the shelf or in a box. Think swiss, cheddar, muenster, goat cheese,etc.
Avoid canned spray cheese and Velveeta!
When cooking paleo foods, try to use coconut oil, olive oil and grass fed butter.
Your meats will already contain saturated fats in them. You will want to balance your fats out with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat sources when possible.
When eating out, I understand that you can’t always control it, but if cooking the foods yourself, make sure you get these healthy oils in your diet!
Butter is not necessarily evil when following the low carb diet. You just should use it as necessary.
Cooking a healthy omelette doesn’t need 4 tablespoons of butter! One tablespoon or less is more than enough.
Fish Oil Supplements
Omega-6 is a healthy fat that your body cannot produce on it’s own. You get the majority of omega-6 fats from fish.
I’m not a big supplement person, but one of the few supplements I would recommend to people is fish oil.
If following a high fat diet, you want to make sure all your fats are covered, so it’s critical that you have a daily supply of omega-6. The easiest way to ensure this is by taking fish oil supplements.