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15 Ways To Eat Better And Save Money

15 Ways To Eat Better And Save Money

We could all use a few tips to help us eat better and save more money. Read on for some quick tips that are healthy and budget-friendly.

1. Preplan your meals.

If you preplan your meals for a week, or even a month, you will eat healthier and save money. You will make better decisions in a focused fashion, and will not resort to temptation at the end of the day when you’re tired.

Pretend you are an elite athlete. Plan your nutrition accordingly. Eat for your own performance and energy.

2. Construct your food list to avoid food waste.

In the US alone, 40 percent of food purchased goes to waste. This shocking statistic should be a wake-up call when it comes to the financial impacts on the average family’s budget. This percentage could be the difference when it comes to a college education for a child or an emergency fund. So, with that in mind, make the time to plan out uses for your food. Start with what you already have now. Dust off the slow cooker and make soups. Get creative.

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3. Make a bigger batch of main meals and use leftovers for lunch.

There are many weekdays when you simply do not feel like cooking and make poor choices by eating out or ordering in. Double up on those recipes of foods you love to eat and have them ready to thaw in the morning and reheat at night.

4. Take a picture of your fridge and freezer contents shopping with you.

Trust me when I say this works. You won’t waste your money by repurchasing the same items that you forget you already had in the fridge.

5. Buy seasonal.

Buying and eating seasonally means that you are purchasing local or regionally grown foods when they are naturally in season. This means your food is not only cheaper but has more nutrient value, as it does not travel far to make it to your table. This is a win-win for your health and your wallet.

6. Buy less meat.

Eating meat is linked to many health issues, including obesity, cardiovascular issues, and hormonal cancers like breast cancer.

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Meat is also very expensive, so this can free up a good portion of your weekly budget. Replace it with nutrient-dense vegetables that are in season.

7. Use a coupon app.

By planning and restricting yourself to items that are on sale, you will save a lot. However, just because there is a coupon does not make it a necessity for you. Be wise to this and stick to your lists.

8. Host potluck dinners to avoid restaurant bills.

When you eat out, you eat more, consume more sodium and additives, and have a liquid bill that in many cases equals or exceeds your food bill. Potluck dinners are a chance to try and exchange new food ideas and to center the evening around company, without creating additional financial pressures.

9. Drink more water throughout the day.

Next time you want a snack or have the munchies, have a glass of room temperature water instead — you might find that you were just dehydrated.

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10 Eat dinner off a smaller plate.

For some people, this simple task of going from a 9-inch to a 7-inch plate makes it easier to make wiser food choices. This, in turn, propels weight loss and promotes more conscious eating.

11. Make your own beans and pulses from dried varieties.

For the most part, canned foods are laden with sodium and other hidden chemicals. A bag of black beans can create many meals, and the beans can even be frozen — another way to have convenience food on hand.

12. Learn how to make bread this year.

Want a fun science project for the whole family? Make a sourdough starter. You will have delicious and healthy bread and a house that smells divine!

13. Organize your kitchen and pantry better to see what you actually have.

This is life-changing. Rather than repurchasing the same dry foods and spices again and again, you’ll find a treasure trove in your own cabinets.

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14. Use up things that are expiring first before replacing them.

First enact #13. Then take it once step further and organize all the stuff nearing expiry to the front of the cabinets (and get rid of the expired foods, too!).

15. Chew your food more.

Most of us swallow food without savouring it. Chewing food properly helps the body release digestive enzymes in the stomach that help to break down food. This allows it to be more easily converted into energy and helps you feel fuller faster.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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