You may be struggling financially or just choosing to be frugal when buying groceries. In this day and age you need both your health and your wits to thrive. You can’t afford to cut corners when it comes to building a better health diet plan that works for your lifestyle and your nutritional needs. Basically, it boils down to whether you’re going to take pills or eat vegetables for your healthcare. But with soaring food costs, how are you going to eat super healthfully?
How about healthy eating for under $65 a week?
It’s simple--if you have $65 a week to spend on groceries, you can eat healthfully and inexpensively while staying satisfied and getting all your essential nutrients. If you can afford to spend more, you can use this plan as a foundation and add more items as you prefer.
What is a healthy diet?
The idea here is to eat foods that are high in micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, plant chemicals) while low in calories. This is fundamental for disease prevention (e.g. a strong immune system, greater longevity) and any healthy, sustainable weight loss plans. I priced these items at my local Walmart. Prices will vary according to store and location, and organic foods will be more expensive.
Consume fresh produce as a part of your healthy weight loss – $36
For variety in your healthy diet plan, rotate produce every week. Don’t want oranges one week? Choose some apples, avocado, mango, and bananas instead. If you need to carry a calculator with you, do so.
Here’s a great idea to start with:
(4) Bunches greens (kale, collards, etc.)
(4) Crowns of broccoli
(4) Sweet Potatoes
(1) Bag onions
(6) Roma Tomatoes
(3) Romaine lettuce
(1) 3 lb. Bag of organic apples
Include frozen produce in your diet plan as a cost-effective option – $8
Because they are picked ripe and flash frozen, frozen fruits and vegetables are very nutrient-dense! Use frozen vegetables in soups and meals, like stews or casseroles, when fresh produce runs out. You can also blend greens and fruits into smoothies!
Frozen fruits and vegetables can make for less prep time and act as a much healthier alternative to pasta, sweets, and canned sauces with too much oil or salt. They are great for a healthy weight loss because they contain relatively low amounts of sugar; the sugars they do have are more complex, so your blood sugar won’t spike and you’ll remain satisfied for longer.
(1) lb. Frozen berry medley
(1) lb. Frozen chopped spinach
(18) Ounce frozen Brussels sprouts
Add dry foods to your healthy diet plan – $21
Now it’s time to head to the rice, bean, nut, and seed sections. If you go to a store that has a bulk section, you can purchase nuts and seeds in smaller amounts. If there is no bulk section, you will have to buy fewer varieties a week. So don’t worry if it takes a month or so to build up lots of healthy dry goods in your pantry!
Here are some good examples of what you could buy in a bulk section:
(8) Ounces walnuts
(8) Ounces raw sunflower seeds
(6) lbs. Beans and lentils
(1) lb. Whole grain brown rice
(1) lb. Rolled Oats
Canned beans are a lot more expensive, but a great option if you don’t have time to soak and boil dried beans. Choose low-sodium or no-salt cans and be sure to rinse the beans before warming.
Protein-Rich Foods For Plant-Based Diet Plans
You can choose either plant or animal protein. A plant based diet doesn’t exclude animal products entirely, but it definitely emphasizes plant sources. A good rule of thumb is to use animal products like a condiment, sprinkling them in small quantities overtop foods like salads or soups. Your best choices for plant protein are:
- Beans, peas, or lentils
- Nuts and seeds
Animal protein will drive up your food cost and contribute to your risk of heart disease and inflammation inside the body. A diet high in animal products can counteract the effects of an anti aging diet due to lower nutrient and higher calorie consumption. Try to limit your animal protein to four or fewer 3 ounce servings per week. Sardines are a good source of omega 3 DHA.
So remember, rotate what you buy so you get a broad spectrum of nutrients. Typically, you want your diet plan to consist of 60 percent produce, either fresh or frozen. Include both raw and cooked vegetables as well as lots of fruits and berries.
Incorporating These Healthy Foods Into Your Diet Plan Will Keep You Satisfied And Feeling Good
No, you will not go hungry. You will actually feel more satisfied over time, since these foods provide your body with necessary nutrients and fewer toxic substances, as well as fewer ingredients that induce cravings--like sugar, salt, concentrated amounts of fat. If you do feel hungry between meals, have a piece of fruit instead of an expensive energy bar or chips. Eventually, since your body is getting what it needs, you’ll feel less of a desire to snack.
To feel satisfied every day, here are some suggestions:
Beans (4 to 8 cups a day)
I know it sounds daunting, but donot skimp on beans. They are essential nutrients on this minimalist diet plan! Beans and lentils are full of protein, fiber, B vitamins, potassium, and iron. Because they stabilize blood sugar and are so filling, they will even help you with your healthy and sustainable weight loss plan, since you won’t be hungry as often.
Whole Grains (1/2 to 2 cups a day)
Buy whole grains, not processed enriched, or white flours. Purchase rolled oats, quinoa, millet, amaranth, farro, teff, freekah, and barley. Whole grain is healthier and more economical.
Nuts and Seeds (1 to 2 handfuls per day)
Let nuts and seeds be your source of healthy, cholesterol-free fat.
Let water be your drink.
And let us know your plant-based diet plan favorites! How do you stay on a budget and manage to keep healthy?