Eating clean on a small budget made simple with these five simple tips

Ever find yourself in a position where you want to clean up your diet, but the hefty price tags on healthy foods stop you from doing so? You’re not alone.

 

“It’s really challenging for people to make the right choices when price is sometimes the thing that strikes them in the face,” says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Libby Mills, also a nutrition and cooking coach in Philadelphia in the US.

 

But is there really merit to the claims that cost makes eating clean unattainable for budget-minded people? And how can you reap the benefits if you’re unwilling to fork out huge amounts of cash?

 

I’ve got the answers for you…

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Clean eating comes with a price tag

If you’ve ever walked down the snack food aisle in a supermarket, you’ll know that you can buy a jumbo-sized bag of chips for less than the price of a bag of baby spinach. A recent Cambridge University study found that healthy foods are three times more expensive than unhealthy foods.

As for organic foods, while they might cost you more than their non-organic counterparts, the price gap is getting smaller, says Allison Enke, a product compliance and nutrition analyst for Whole Foods Market in the US. “In general, as demand for organic products has grown and volume has increased, prices have become more competitive over time,” she says.

But it’s possible to clean eat on the cheap!

While clean eating can be money-sucker (if you let it), it doesn’t have to break the bank! These tips and shortcuts will help you plan, shop and eater smarter so you can save your hard-earned money for something more fun than groceries (or, you know, for your paying rent)!

Five tips for making clean eating on a tight budget possible

#1: Opt for in-season produce

During harvest time, the costs of in-season produce usually drop due to increased availability, Enke explains. That also happens to be when fruits and veggies are at their peak in terms of flavour as well as nutrition! If you’re not sure what’s in season, ask someone who works in the produce department at the supermarket.

#2: Don’t splurge on organic everything

It’s important that you know when to skip on organic. Certain foods, like corn, pineapples, avocados and cabbage, absorb a minimal amount of crop chemicals and are okay to buy conventionally grown. Others, known as the “dirty dozen”, including apples, grapes, strawberries and peaches, often have high levels of pesticide residue, so spending on organic will eliminate your chance of consuming chemicals.

#3: Buy staples in bulk

Buying up supersized quantities of everyday staples like olive oil, nut butters and spices can help you score big savings. Enke says: “It also helps eliminate excess packaging and reduces spoilage and waste, which means even more savings.” Grains, such as rice, barley and quinoa, are especially good bulk buys, because they’ll double in size once cooked, explains Mills.

#4: Take advantage of frozen convenience

Frozen fruits and veggies are a great, affordable option when it comes to eating clean on a budget, Mills says. “Whether it’s summer or winter, they’re often more nutritious than the fresh fruits and veggies,” she explains. That’s because they go right from the farm where they’re picked to the processing company where they’re flash frozen at the peak of ripeness.

#5: Always save some for later

Preparing leftovers can help cut back on food waste. It’ll also allow you to take advantage of produce when it’s at its peak (and cheapest), according to Mills. “If your casserole calls for tomatoes during tomato season when they’ll be at the height of flavour, nutrition and most adorable, then why not make a double recipe of that casserole?” she suggests. When you’re done eating for the evening, package leftovers in usable quantities and freeze them for another time.

Must-have make-up for the winter

I haven’t posted in a while amount my favourite make-up of the season, so I thought I’d write a quick post on it now.

These are my favourite make-up products this winter! They’re absolute must-haves!

MAC Powder Blush in Prism

Why I love it: It’s matte pinky-nude blush that’s easy to blend and gives a flawless face a warm, pinky tone

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MAC Skinfinish in Natural Medium Dark

Why I love it: It gives your skin a very natural bronze glow for when you lack it most (during winter!) – best-used with a large powder brush

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Shavata Arch Enhancer Pencil

Why I love it: It gives the arch of my brow a lifting effect and it’s very blendable and long-lasting

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MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer

Why I love it: It keeps my dry winter skin hydrated while giving brilliant coverage

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MAC Satin Lipstick in Myth

Why I love it: It’s the perfect peachy nude lipstick for a bare-faced look

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MAC Satin LIpstick in Snob

Why I love it: In winter, I find it’s too bright to wear alone so I wear it over Myth – it’s a gorgeous baby/bubblegum pink shade

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Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss

Why I love it: It’s super moisturising and gives my lips a natural peach tint

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MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set

Why I love it: It keeps my brows in place all day long!

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Relax – your skinny jeans aren’t likely to land you in hospital

The internet’s buzzing over the Australian woman who was hospitalised for four days due to her too-skinny jeans (you can read the story here).

 

Now perhaps the world’s most famous fashion victim, the 35-year-old had been helping a family member move “which involved many hours of squatting while emptying cupboards,” as per the case study reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

 

By later that day, her feet felt numb and swollen, and walking became difficult until finally, she fell and couldn’t get back up. Once she arrived at the hospital, doctors cut her jeans off and revealed that nerve constriction cause by squatting in them had restricted blood supply, leading to various complications.

 

But here’s a reality check: What happened to this woman is incredibly rare – and unlikely to happen to you.

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Doctor says it’s unlikely for anyone to incur muscle or nerve damage from skinny jeans

According to New York City doctor Roshini Rajapaksa, “it’s extremely unlikely for anyone to incur muscle or nerve damage from skinny jeans – most people aren’t doing a whole lot of squats in them.”

Dr Rajapaksa  adds that while skinny jeans tend to be tight in general, the lady in question’s (her name hasn’t been revealed) were probably quite constrictive on the skinny jeans spectrum.

You don’t need a doctor to assess that though… If you struggle moving around in your skinnies (or any pair of pants for that reason), they’re too tight and will result in unfortunate conditions like “the muffin top” or decreased blood circulation.

The bottom line: Don’t wear too-tight pants!

It’s pretty simple. If you know you’re going to be moving around and squatting all day long, wear yoga pants – not skinny jeans.

Dr Rajapaksa leaves us with this simple advice: “Skinny jeans are meant for fashion, not extreme activity.” You know, just in case you were planning to run a marathon in them…

Wearing high heels can actually be good for you! But not for long…

You’ve heard the stats. Yup – high heels are notorious for causing pain in the foot, ankle and lower leg, along with a number of other foot-related injuries.

 

But according to a new study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, wearing heels could also strengthen your ankle muscles. For the first few years, at least…

 

Read on to find out more.

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New study finds that wearing high heels can be good for your ankle muscles

The study looked at young women who were studying to become airline attendants at the Hanseo University in South Korea. Researchers instructed the group to wear heels to class – a wardrobe requirement should an airline hire them.

Over four years, researchers studied 10 women from each class, ranging from freshmen to seniors. In a lab, they examined each woman’s balance and tested their ankle strength using a wobbly board and computerised exercising machines.

Much to their surprise, they found that the women’s’ legs seemed to get stronger the more they got used to wearing heels – at least at first.

…but over time, they’ll have the opposite effect

Compared to freshmen, juniors exhibited a greater strength in the muscles surrounding their ankles; especially those on the inside and outside of the joint. However, seniors – who’d been wearing heels the longest – showed weakening in those same muscles.

In addition, seniors also showed dramatically worse balance, even compared to the freshmen.

Jee Yong-Seok, a co-author of the study and professor of exercise physiology at Hanseo University, told the New York Times: “While wearing high heeled shoes may at first lead to adaption and increased strength, the ratio of strength between the side and front and back muscles may eventually become unbalanced and unstable.

Translation: Your sexy stilettos still aren’t great for your body in the long run – even if you feel like you’ve gotten used to them.

Protect your feet by wearing high heels in moderation

Unwilling to completely forsake your favourite pair of heels? You can protect your feet by practising moderation. Researchers say their best advice is for women to stick with a heel no higher than 7 cm and vary their heel height as much as possible. For example: High heels one day, comfy flats the next.

Also, remember that it’s always important to give your feet a break from time to time. If they hurt, carry sensible shoes with you so you can change if you need.

Yong-Seok also told the Times that women who wear high heels often should practise heel lifts and drops whenever possible to prevent injury to ankles and other leg muscles: Stand barefoot, then rise onto your toes repeatedly; then stand on the edge of a stair and slowly lower your heel over the edge. Doing both exercises regularly can help strengthen your ankle muscles.

Why you might want to pass on buying protein powder and bars again

About ten years ago, the protein powder and protein bar craze began as many brands of whey powder and protein bars started to show up on the shelves of health stores.

 

Protein powder labels boasted 15 g of protein per scoop, and protein bars 20 g of protein per bar. And they weren’t just any old labels either – great packaging and marketing too!

 

And then protein powder and bar manufacturers took a creative turn. Protein powder with vanilla, protein powder with BCAA, protein powder that’s the number one in the world because they said so.

 

Today I’m going to break something to you: There’s no magic in powders and bars. They’re food! Not some magic potion. Read on to find out more…

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Quest Bars are my favourite (I’m especially obsessed with these three). But they’re actually not that healthy – so their delicious taste isn’t actually worth it…

 

Protein powders can’t compare to “real” protein

There’s no doubt that protein powders are convenient. They can boost your favourite beverage with protein and they’re a great addition to just about any smoothie. But most powders contain whey protein; a by-product of milk.

There’s nothing special about whey protein. It also has no advantage over lean proteins like chicken or fish. Plus, many people are overdoing it on protein shakes, which can lead to health problems.

I’d say protein powders are handy for if you’re on a trip or out of the country and your diet is dicey. But to take protein powder daily as if it’s candy isn’t necessary. Also, let me me reiterate the fact that too much can be bad for your health.

Look up the proportions of proteins, carbs and fats. Also, if you have a smoothie with whey protein, you’ll be hungry soon compared to if you had a fillet of seared salmon with veggies. And, most importantly: Salmon and veggies have less and better qualities than a carb-loaded smoothie.

Protein bars are loaded with carbs and sugar

And then there are protein bars… They sound great! Cookies and cream, peanut butter, white chocolate with raspberries – I can go on and on. They too brag about their protein content.

If you’re having a hunger emergency, these bars are great. For example, if you’re on a road trip or a long flight. On the other hand, eating them daily or three times a week isn’t such a great idea…

Protein bars are loaded with carbs and sugar – and they don’t satisfy your hunger cravings for long. And, in my personal opinion, they also lead to cravings for more sweets later on. If you’ve ever broken a sweet tooth habit, you’ll know it takes several weeks without eating sweets to get used to it and break the habit. These bars taste so good you might start craving other sweets.

The bottom line: Always look at the label

Before purchasing a tub of protein powder or a box of protein bars, look at the label! It’s so important. Don’t let labels like “organic” or “natural” fool you.

I mean, fruit is natural, right? But dieticians recommend you don’t eat pineapple and grapes, for example, every day because they’re high in excess sugar. Yes, fruit contains sugar in the form of fructose. Sugar is sugar, which is a carb. You get what I’m saying.

Protein powders and bars are expensive – so before you invest, ask yourself, “do I really need this?”. If you struggle to eat sufficient protein on a daily basis, then sure, upping your intake by drinking protein shakes and eating protein bars can help. But like I said earlier: Nothing compares to “real protein”. So that’ll always be first prize.

Undo dry and damaged hair with this honey and coconut milk hair mask

Does your hair lack a smooth, silky texture and a healthy shine? Does it grow at a frustratingly slow pace?

If you answered yes and yes – your hair’s probably dry and damaged.

Luckily, there are two natural remedies for this that are readily available: Honey and coconut milk.

Today, I’m sharing an amazing deep conditioning honey and coconut milk hair mask recipe that’ll have your locks feeling and looking luxuriously healthy in no time!

But first, let me explain how honey and coconut milk can help repair your hair…

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Honey attracts replenishes moisture in your hair

Honey is a natural humectant (moisturiser). It’s also full of antioxidants and nutrients to feed hair follicles that house the “live” part of hair, encouraging hydration and growth.

That being said, it needs a medium to be spread around, otherwise you’ll just end up with a sticky mess. This is where the coconut milk comes into this hair mask recipe…

Coconut milk fortifies the fibres in your hair

Coconut milk helps fortify the fibres in your hair with proteins, iron and oils. In addition, honey, it’s very moisturising and won’t strip your hair of its natural oils like some products and natural remedies do.

Now let me get to the hair mask recipe…

The deep conditioning honey and coconut milk hair mask recipe

All you’ll need to whip up this hair mask is a can of organic coconut milk (or, if you can get it fresh, even better!), raw honey and hair oil (alternatively you can use olive oil or castor oil – both are great for your hair).

You’ll also need a shower cap, a hair dryer and your everyday shampoo.

Once you’ve rounded up the ingredients, you can get started. Here’s what to do:

  1. Mix four tablespoons of coconut milk with four tablespoons of honey and a teaspoon of hair oil.
  2. Heat the mixture in the microwave for two minutes, let it cool for one minute and then apply it to your hair (be warned – this process can get messy).
  3. Put a shower cap over your hair and wait one hour. Then, use a hair dryer on your hair with the shower cap on for two minutes.
  4. Remove the shower cap, rinse the mixture out of your hair with warm water and then wash it with shampoo.

I wouldn’t recommend using conditioner on your hair after shampooing, as your hair should be left feeling conditioned from the hair mask alone.

Use this deep conditioning hair mask on your hair once a week. In just one month, you’ll see dramatic improvement in the texture, thickness and length of your hair.

I’m loving Kendall Jenner’s new bold red-orange lipstick!

When it comes to make-up, Kendall Jenner tends to stick with a less-is-more approach, unlike all of the other perpetually-contoured Kardashians… And I love that about her!

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But while she’s often fresh-faced, she’s rarely without a swipe of poppy-hued lipstick.

And yesterday, Kendall debuted her own bold-orange shade Estée Lauder lipstick called Restless. I just love the bold shade – it’s so Kendall!

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I can’t wait to order my own tube. It’s something you can wear to work, while running across town, out to events and even to dinner.

You can order this pout popping lippie online only – and it’s limit edition – so be sure to hurry (it’s bound to sell out fast)! Simply search “Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Restless” to find it on the site. I think it’s well worth the $50 price tag…