Stephanie Rubino, ND
Special to the Village News
Shocked by your recent grocery bill? Food prices continue to climb, and food insecurity has serious health implications for everyone. Healthy food access and consumption are essential and should not be compromised.
One of the first steps to eating well while protecting your wallet is meal planning, which helps people create a focused grocery list and search for deals that allow them to save. There are useful phone apps that can help people shop for sales6 and compare store prices. Have you ever been told not to shop when hungry? It’s true. Research has shown that hunger can influence what a person buys, including non-food items.
Try some of these tips to also eat healthy on a budget.
Don’t throw out leftovers. Turn leftovers into new meals or store them in the freezer for another time to decrease food waste.
Discover your green thumb. Grow your own food to help reduce grocery purchases and improve access to food grown seasonally.
Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Healthy and convenient, frozen fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and easily accessible. When purchasing fresh produce, select long-lasting items, such as apples, carrots, beets and potatoes.
Stock up on long-shelf-life foods. Nut butters, beans, canned fish and whole grains can be purchased in bulk and last a long time when stored properly.
Prevent nutrient deficiencies with fundamental supplements.
The best possible source of vitamins and minerals is a healthy diet that limits processed food, but diets alone do not always provide enough of the nutrients we need. When faced with nutrient deficiencies, nutritional supplements can help, but are they worth the investment when on a strict budget? Supplements can vary in cost, so search for ones that are affordable and provide the most benefit for your family.
Some examples include vitamin D, which helps prevent deficiency, maintain immune function and support bones and teeth, and magnesium, which is an important mineral for normal growth and development as well as proper muscle and nerve function.
Supplements provide a cost-effective solution to preventing potential deficiencies caused by stress and poor food choices.And the best part is that these two supplements are inexpensive.
Engage in low-cost exercise routines.
Regular physical movement helps improve mood, enhance quality of life, reduce anxiety, manage blood sugar and body weight and support cardiovascular health. Expensive gym memberships and costly equipment are not required to achieve your fitness goals and promote physical and mental health.
Low-cost exercise routines are accessible for many people. Following online exercise videos or fitness apps that target various fitness levels. Using low-cost gear, such as resistance bands, dumbbells and jump ropes. Connecting with nature by walking, running, or biking outdoors. Using outdoor exercise equipment at your local park.
Manage stress and prevent burnout.
Higher inflation and increased financial limitations are sources of stress for many adults. When left unaddressed, chronic stress can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health, leading to difficulty concentrating, headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, moodiness, changes in eating habits and social withdrawal.
Beat stress and prevent burnout by consuming healthy protein and fats, whole grains and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables; staying hydrated with water and limit caffeine and alcohol intake; replenishing nutrients commonly depleted during stress, such as vitamin C, magnesium, and B vitamins; getting seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night and lastly, moving, laughing and breathing.
Can you maintain your best health while facing increased financial limitations? Achieving optimum health does not have to be expensive. In fact, the greatest costs come when people neglect it. Affordable strategies to support energy, improve mood and manage stress are essential to help them stay strong during these uncertain times.
Dr. Stephanie Rubino operates a general naturopathic practice with a focus on women’s health and digestive health. She has a special interest in educating the public and other health professionals about a range of health topics and natural health product issues.