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Welcome to Fit to the Core’s “Everything you ever wanted to know about fitness” blog. Everyday people are bombarded with conflicting health and fitness messages by the media. It can be overwhelming. I hope to clear up some of those conflicting messages by sharing what I have learned over the years and what I am still learning. The fitness industry is a young industry that is constantly changing and evolving. Let me clear up some of the confusion.

Beverly Brewer Karpinski

Nutrition on a Budget: Stretching Your Food Dollars

Are you trying to find ways to reduce your food costs, yet still eat well?  The most obvious way to reduce costs is by eating out less, cooking from scratch, and taking a lunch to work.  It sounds like a lot of work but with a little planning  you can reduce the time spent in the kitchen by cooking in large quantities and freezing the left overs.

 

Are you trying to find ways to reduce your food costs, yet still eat well?  The most obvious way to reduce costs is by eating out less, cooking from scratch, and taking a lunch to work.  It sounds like a lot of work but with a little planning  you can reduce the time spent in the kitchen by cooking in large quantities and freezing the left overs.

Start by reading your weekly grocery ads to see where the bargains are.  My husband and I usually spend Saturday afternoons going to several grocery stores and only buying what’s on sale.  We stock up on the really good buys (having a freezer helps).    Costco can also be a great place to shop for certain things, but be careful – everything is not a bargain!  Sometimes you can get a better buy at the grocery store.

Before you step out the door to do your shopping there are three things you need to do:   spend some time planning your meals for the week, based on the weekly sales.  Once you complete your meal plans (including lunches!) then check your cupboards to see what ingredients you need and make your grocery list for each store you will be visiting.  Thirdly, make sure you eat before you leave the house to reduce impulse spending!  When you get to the grocery store, try to shop the outer perimeters as much as possible.  That’s where you will find the less refined and processed foods.

Stretch your food dollars by fixing soups with lots of vegetables, casseroles, bean dishes, and reducing the amount of meat in your recipes.  Instead of buying a lot of snacks such as potato chips and corn chips, switch to popcorn -  not the microwave variety – but the kind you pop yourself.  It’s much healthier, less expensive and actually tastes better.  Add a little butter if you must and a little sea salt and you have a delicious snack.

To eat well it is imperative to READ YOUR FOOD LABELS! Many items that we think of as healthy for us, simply are not.  For example, many of us think of yogurt as a healthy snack.  However, it’s usually loaded with sugar.  You’re also lucky if you can find a brand that does not contain high fructose corn syrup.  This is an ingredient that you definitely want to stay away from.  Your better off buying some plain non-fat or low-fat yogurt and adding your own fruit, honey, and/or nuts.  In addition to  high fructose corn syrup you will want to stay away from hydrogenated oils or trans fats.  Focus on less refined, whole grain products as much as possible, lots of fruits and vegetables, and limiting red meat consumption.   And please don’t cut out entire food groups, such as carbohydrates.  A great place to learn more about healthy eating is www.mypyramid.gov.

One last tip is to buy in-season and locally grown foods.  The food will be cheaper and fresher.  Farmers markets are great places to pick up locally grown food – or better yet - grow it yourself!

About the author

Beverly Brewer Karpinski
Beverly Brewer Karpinski
• Owner and director of "Fit to the Core" In-Home Personal Training
• Health and Fitness Inc. Certified Personal Trainer, 2001
• A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer, 2004
• Certified Master Fitness by Phone Coach, 2005
• Strength & Conditioning Personal Trainer Certificate, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix, AZ, 2008
• Wellness Editor, Puma Press, 2007-2008
• Currently in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise & Wellness.
• Fitness Manager & Director, Curves for Women, 2004-2006
• In-Home personal training, 2002-Present
• Personal Trainer, Naturally Women, 2004-2006
• Personal Trainer, Total Woman, 2001-2004
• Core Stability Specialty Training, Health and Fitness, Inc., 2001
• Advanced Biomechanics Training, Health and Fitness, Inc., 2001


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