Tag Archive for: health eating

Committing to Eating Healthier Can Lead to Savings in Your Pocket Both Now and in the Future

Have you ever eaten something that you really love but for some reason it doesn’t seem to like you back? I have. For instance, ice cream used to be my favorite desert. But sometime in my 30’s, ice cream started making me feel ill. And because of that, no matter how much I wanted it, I began to lose interest. I also started feeling better. The older I became, the more I realized that most foods containing sugar were making me feel sluggish along with some other no so pleasant symptoms. Additionally, bread became my enemy. Now I have to admit this was particularly hard. I absolutely love some hot crusty bread with pure Irish butter. Yum!!

Now I have more energy, sleep better, and have better focus as a result changing my eating habits. Another real surprise, I no longer had the body aches and joint pain I once suffered. Upon research, I found that sugar and carbs can cause inflammation. So, I also started reading labels. There is sugar in almost everything, including seasonings, ketchup, milk, breads, and so much more. And did you know that a lot of the foods you buy from restaurants are loaded with sugars and salts? To offset too much salt in a dish, sugar is added. And vice versa. So, I’ve begun to eat a lot more vegetables, and whole grains such as whole wheat, and quinoa, as well as nuts and fruit. Doing so also allowed me to explore other herbs and seasonings to add flavor. Also, being more mindful about what I ate made me think about the amount of red meat I was eating and how much I was eating out. Suffice it to say, way too much! I kept a journal of what I was spending eating out and found it added up to over $400.00/ month.

I surmised that a lot of people were in the same boat. And that this was as a country are making us obese, diabetic, have heart attacks and strokes, perhaps making us more prone to cancers, and migraines and neurological problems and learning problems and the list goes on and on. So, how does this relate to saving money? Well. Now that I’m more conscious of what I’m eating, I cook more often with better choices of food. I lean toward organic now and am limiting the amount of red meat. I am learning to shop more from the periphery of the store. In the summer, farmer’s markets are the way to go. I even have a small potted garden, which is so easy to maintain with fresh herbs, and some vegetables. These illnesses are making us less productive and we are taking more sick days from work than we probably used to take. And we are going to the doctors more often than we used to. Spending more on co-pays, deductibles and other out of pocket costs. Now that extra money saved on eating out can be directed to other needs such as medical treatment costs or other expenses or savings programs.

Now I’m teaching my 5-year-old granddaughter how to cook, raise a garden and especially understand nutrition and how to read labels. With the cost of healthcare going up more than inflation every year, I can’t imagine what the cost burden will be for her when she is an adult. In fact, in 2019, according to the OECD Health Statistics database and the CMS National Health Expenditure Accounts data, the US spends more per capita than any other comparable country on health care and related expenses. In 2019 that was $10,966 with comparable countries averaging $6,697.

That was an astounding 17% of the US GDP! And unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that we as a country are healthier. So hopefully, educating my granddaughter now, when she is young, will lead to a heathier lifestyle for her and reduce her costs of healthcare. So, if I can get heathier now, perhaps it can help keep me out of the doctor’s office and also save me money.

I shudder to think of all of the money I’ve wasted over the years buying meals that perhaps satisfied my immediate taste but all along was contributing to poorer health. In hindsight, that money could have been put to better use elsewhere. I could have felt better for most of my life if I had paid more attention to what I was eating, and my savings account could be bigger as well. I still occasionally eat out and enjoy the rare ice cream as well as the bread with butter. I’m not a nutritionist, I am a financial advisor, and financial coach. I just know that as a result of my personal experiences, and after 20+years working with my financial clients, many of those who have become more mindful of even just their eating out habits, have drastically improved their health and their financial lives.

3 Keys To Choosing A Healthy Snack

With 94% of Americans snacking at least once per day, it’s never been more important to pay attention to what we’re snacking on. Many of the snack foods we’re bombarded by at the grocery store are deceptively marketed to us as ‘healthy.’

But what exactly makes a snack ‘healthy’ in the first place? With all of the marketing ploys we see nowadays on snack foods, like low-fat, sugar-free, light, and reduced-fat, among many others, it can be hard to determine what’s actually a good and healthy option.

Here are a few tips for making nutritious choices when a snack attack hits.

1. Read the Nutrition Facts. Whether you’re browsing the snack aisle at the grocery store or looking for something to grab quick at a convenience store, make sure you’re turning the package over and looking at the nutrition facts. Try to choose a snack that has a higher protein and fiber content while staying away from foods that have a lot of added sugars. Unlike foods that are loaded with sugar, foods higher in fiber and protein help increase satiety hormones which make us feel full.

2. Read the Ingredients. It’s not enough to just look at the nutrition facts. Make sure you’re looking at the list of ingredients as well! Many of the snack products we’re surrounded by everyday are laden with all kinds of preservatives, chemicals, dyes, and sweeteners. A good rule of thumb is: the less ingredients, the better!! Luckily, there are a lot of great snack options out there that are made with quality, wholesome ingredients. Some of our favorites include:

Hint: Be especially cautious with foods that say things like low-fat, sugar-free, light, and so on. Many of these foods combat the lack of sugar, fat, or sodium with other harmful sweeteners and chemicals to make sure it still tastes good!

3. Choose Whole Grains. If you’re looking for any kind carbohydrate-based snack, try to stick to ones that are made with whole grains. That includes things like crackers, granola bars, and popcorn. Some of our favorite options include:

Don’t forget to look at the ingredients though; sometimes foods labeled as whole grain don’t actually contain very many whole grains! When you’re choosing a whole grain snack, make sure the whole grain is within the first couple ingredients on the list. Otherwise, the amount of whole grains that are actually in the product is probably negligible.

The moral of the story? Stick to real wholesome foods! Try to snack on things like fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition. And if you are reaching for a snack that’s packaged, be sure to sure to look at the nutrition facts and ingredients. Typically the fewer ingredients it contains, the healthier it is!