Category Archives: Nutrition

The Cost of Healthy Dieting

As a personal trainer I have come across many people who make countless excuses as to why they haven’t, or in their opinion, can not succeed in terms of living a healthy lifestyle. Not enough time to workout, not enough money to afford a gym pass, not enough energy to be active, the list goes on. One of the most common excuses I hear is that related to healthy dieting. When I speak of healthy dieting, be mindful, I am referring to dieting in terms of making healthy eating choices and not starving yourself or getting on a celery diet for a week. Many people say that the reason they can not eat healthier foods is simply because healthier foods is significantly more expensive than unhealthy foods. They claim that the cost of eating healthy is too much, therefore they are forced by finances to eat unhealthy. I decided I would do research on Louisiana State University’s campus in order to see why this may be.

I began my research by creating polls that asked four questions pertaining to what the participants were eating, where they were eating and what they thought about eating healthy. The results of my poll of 100 students showed that 64% of them agreed that healthy foods were significantly more expensive than unhealthy foods. On the other hand 36% disagreed and thought that healthy dieting was not significantly more expensive. This made me realize that according to my sample many people believe this statement to be true that healthy foods are just too much to afford.

Question two asked the participants what played the most important role in their grocery shopping decisions. The results of this showed price to be the biggest role for 45% of people. The taste of the food was the most important for 30% of people. The healthiness of the food was most important for 18% of people and convenience was most important for 7% of people. These results showed that although people believe healthy food is more expensive, they base what they buy on the price and the taste of the food before looking at healthiness. Question three asked the participants how often they ate fast food in a week. The results showed that 40% of people ate fast food 3-5 times per week, 7% of people ate fast food over 6 times per week, and 32% ate fast food 1-2 times per week, and 15% ate fast food less than 1 time per week. This information told me that the majority of people ate 3-5 meals from fast food places per week. The last question I asked played a huge role in my research. I asked participants how often they cooked their meals that didn’t include instant foods. The results of this question showed that an overwhelming 55% of participants only cooked 1-2 meals a week. To add to this 34% of participants only cooked 3-4 times per week, 3% cooked 5-6 times per week, and 11% cooked over 7 times per week. These results showed me that the majority of participants did very little cooking other than instant foods such as Ramen Noodles or Kraft Easy Mac.

From my data I collected I was able to determine that based on my participants, although the majority claimed that healthy food was more expensive, the healthiness of the food came third in the list of importance when grocery shopping. Also I was able to determine that the majority of the participants didn’t cook their own food and ate fast food 3-5 times per week. With the majority of people not cooking and eating fast food 3-5 times per week the cost of eating healthy would be more expensive. If you do not know how to cook trying to find healthy instant food would be a challenge in itself much less trying to find healthy instant food at a good price. On the other hand, if you know how to cook, it is much cheaper to buy grocery and prepare meals that are healthy and save money in the long run with left overs.

Many people get caught up in the gimmick that is Whole Foods and believe that the only place to get healthy foods is a place called Whole Foods. You don’t have to shop at Whole Foods in the organic aisle to be healthy, despite what many people think. Eating healthy is a matter of making good decisions over poor ones. For instance a 21 oz box of Cheerios is $3.98 and a 20.5oz box of Lucky Charms $4.18, one is a healthy choice the other is not. Another example would be Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal over Poptarts. PopTarts are $3.68 for 8 packs of 2 and oatmeal is $3.65 for 22 packets. I could literally do this all do. A McDonald’s Big Mac combo is approximately 7$ while a 4lb bag of chicken breast is the same price. A Hot N’ Ready Little Caesars Pizza is $5.45 but a rotisserie chicken from Walmart is $4.95. We have healthy choices all around is if we are willing to look for them. A bag of frozen vegetables is $1.98 while a bag of chips is $2.00. The only time unhealthy foods are more expensive is when you are eating out and because that seems to be where the majority of people are eating their meals, they blame their poor eating habits on price. You can find healthy foods almost anywhere and you don’t have to be rich to do so. In some instances healthy foods may be more but not as significant as people claim they are.

In conclusion I think that people believe that healthy foods are more expensive because they are not preparing the food themselves. With health not being a top priority when it comes to eating, people probably won’t be inclined to eating healthy. If you enter a grocery store and first look for cheap food, then look for what is good and cheap that you do not have to cook. Chances are you won’t find very healthy foods in that aisle, and you probably won’t throw away your first two criteria for the third which is healthiness. People are buying what is cheap, good, and instant. This is the source of the problem that can only be adjusted by the actions of the consumers.

Football – Healthy Eating

You Can Use a Healthy Recipe and Make Healthy Meals.

Football season is in full swing and so are all of the parties. Not everybody is a football fan, but almost everyone, likes the parties that surround this time of year. With all of the parties there is also a whole lot of eating going on. You can use a healthy recipe and prepare healthy meals for your friends and family to eat healthy or put out the traditional snacks and prepared food that sends healthy eating right to the sidelines where you usually find the players sitting on the bench. If you’re not active the last thing you need is some of the bad snacks and meals that don’t promote healthy eating and proper weight management.

It is possible to enjoy all of the parties and still eat healthy. You don’t have to allow your eating at these parties to turn you into one of the tackles on the field that everyone is talking about. So let’s think about the alternative healthy meals and snacks we can prepare to turn Sunday Football parties into a great day of fun and activity to promote good health not more fat.

Barbeques are a great way to prepare healthy meals. Change your way of thinking about the foods you usually make on the grill and check for a healthy recipe to make chicken or veggie burgers, fish or vegetables. If you’re doing hot dogs for instance, they don’t have to be so bad. Look to make sure they aren’t packed full of all the bad preservatives, nitrates and sodium. Most people can’t tell the difference between beef and turkey dogs and don’t care. If you use whole grain mustard and Sauerkraut on your dogs, you have used a healthy recipe to let your friends and family eat healthy and they probably will never know it unless you tell them.

A lot of people don’t want to spend their day at home, they would rather go to a club or bar. Just because you go out, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy. You may have to read the menu more carefully or ask about what they have to offer for alternatives, if you take the time, you can find healthy meals at your favorite clubs and bars. When you go to your favorite club or bar with a food menu they almost always have the traditional foods, finger foods and snacks. Stay away from the fried foods, avoid Wings drenched in sauces and dunked in blue cheese. Sad as it is chicken tenders are a better choice and use the sauce lightly. If you just have to have a snack, ask if they have veggies or tortilla chips, they’re usually made with whole grain wheat or corn and if you combine them with bean dips or hummus, you’ve used a healthy recipe to eat healthy. Stay away from French fries and opt for a baked potato instead.

It’s Your Turn to have the Party at your House on Game Day.

Why not take the time and use a healthy recipe that let’s all of your family and friends eat healthy. Healthy meals don’t take any more time than unhealthy meals to prepare. Stay away from fried potato chips and corn puffs with powdered who knows what on them. Instead use the baked version of these snacks. Potato skins stuffed with veggies covered whit fresh salsa or guacamole. Whole grain chips with bean dip or hummus, fresh salsa is full of vegetables packed with antioxidants. Put out fresh salad instead of fried finger foods Coleslaw or Macaroni salad are great and go heavy on the vegetables. My buddy makes a great chili using turkey instead of hamburger meat, pack it with beans and onions, bell pepper and throw in some carrots and chili peppers. This is a healthy recipe full of foods packed with anti-oxidants and energy to burn. Your guest will eat healthy and not even recognize the healthy meals you’ve provided for them.

So it’s someone Else Who has to throw the Party

You’re going to your friends house, it’s their turn to clean up the mess and make sure everyone has what they need to watch the game. When it’s your turn, I hope the teams playing, don’t mean much to you. Because everyone knows when you’re throwing the party you don’t have time to enjoy it yourself. By the way, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Believe me people recognize the quality of your preparations even if they don’t say it to you. Comments between husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend abound about how great or bad the snacks and food were. If you have given the party first, you will be surprised how much people recognized the quality of what you did and remember to be copied is the highest form of flattery one can receive. When you go to someone else’s house, take your own snacks with you. Fruit or nuts, almonds in particular are great for you and make a very good snack. Take some vegetables celery and carrots, olives if you set the example they will follow. When you think about the drinks beer, mixers, soda, juices and the all new and improved energy drink of the month, well you get the idea. Think water, the more water you drink and less of everything else, the better your choices will be about the rest of your diet and you will be more likely to eat healthy.