Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Healthier Alternatives

Tomorrow night I will be giving a short presentation at my church on nutrition. My topic is healthier alternatives--which is much of what this whole blog is about. It was a bit difficult to condense everything I thought of to discuss, but I managed to fit onto one page what I felt were the most important things to cover (it doesn't fit quite the same here). I include it below for those who are new to my blog or those who may appreciate a refresher, complete with links to places where I talked about them (or found the information) in more detail.


  • Try to do most of your shopping around the perimeter of the store (or better yet, produce as much of your own food as you can). (See Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food.)
  • Cook from scratch - Get as close to possible to the natural source. Ex: Kroger’s All Natural sour cream has only cream, milk, and enzymes. Use butter instead of margarine. Even make your own spice mixes and cook desserts from scratch too.
  • When you do buy prepackaged/prepared foods, check ingredients: The fewer the ingredients the better--and if you don’t know what some of them are, it’s probably better to opt for something else. (Again, see Michael Pollan.)
  • Avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate). It’s added to many bottled sauces, salad dressings, canned soups, premade spice mixes, bullion, prepackaged foods, and even some sausages (not to mention many restaurant foods).
  • Eat more vegetables. Try planning some dinners more around vegetable (and bean) dishes than meat dishes. This can also be cheaper.
  • Limit or cut out white flour and refined grains. Bake with whole wheat flour and whole grains, including whole grain pastas and brown rice. Whole wheat flour is best ground fresh, since wheat begins losing its nutritional value (particularly its protein content) 72 hours after it is milled. You can also save a lot of money by grinding your own.
  • Add more beans to your diet (preferably cooked from scratch). Ex: Substitute hummus for your vegetable or chip dip. If you do use canned beans, be sure to rinse off the sodium. Beans are super nutritious and very inexpensive. (Tips on how to get rid of much of the gas when cooking dried beans.)
  • Refined sugar: Cut it down or out! Examples:

- Use healthier substitutes like honey, fruit juices, or raw sugar.

- Drink 100% juice instead of punch or soda.

- Replace fruit snacks with dried fruit.

- Instead of pancake syrup, use honey. Buy items such as peanut butter and

applesauce without sugar.

- Conscientiously check for corn syrup on labels and limit intake (there’s even some

new ketchup without it!)


Brandi M said...

there's also miracle whip without corn syrup (to my utter happiness since that's my fav-- not so healthy, I realize). Great tips! I bet everyone will be glad to know about this stuff if they don't know already.

Rob & Emily Willardson Family said...

Great information. Hope it went well!


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