Eating. It seems like a simple enough task. I mean, we all eat. We eat to satiate ourselves. We eat to socialize. We eat to
fill the void entertain ourselves.
But no one ever said it would be this hard.
By “it” I mean making meals for a single human being that are both healthy and cheap. Just because I am a graduate, doesn’t mean I have all the green to splurge on the greens. And I’m sure you know, eating healthy is not cheap. Or easy.
Sometimes a bowl of Cap’n Berry Crunch sounds better than a bowl of berries… that’s a lie. I like fruit a little too much for my own good (if only I could eat an unlimited amount of natural sugar). But seriously, unhealthy choices are usually less time-consuming and easier to think about making after a long day (or night) at work.
So I had to come up with some rules to keep myself in check:
1. No picking up takeout if you are on your way home to a fridge full of food.
We all have those times when we haven’t had a chance to get to the grocery store. Life is busy. I get it. Every once in a while I get too busy at work to really get enough to eat so I will have to pick up something on the way because I have a long drive home. But living by this rule saves you both money and calories.
2. Sugary cereal is not breakfast.
I love a good bowl of Cap’n Crunch just as much as the next kid, but as much as we want it, a sugar rush is no way to start the day. That doesn’t mean I never eat it. While I have been eating cleaner recently, I don’t see any reason I can’t have a bowl from time to time–as long as that it really is just from time to time. So if I do have it, I pour myself a bowl, close the box and put it back in the pantry. And it is a dessert.
3. Prep as much as possible.
I never have enough time in the morning. I give myself a decent amount of time to get ready in the morning–and somehow I still find myself rushing out the door at the last second. Because I know that I am like this, preparation is key. Even sticking some watermelon or carrots in a container the night before gives me a head start. And it also prevents me from buying a bag of Cheez-Its or potato chips at work!
4. Limit the number of times you eat out per week.
We ran a story at my news station last week that said Millennials eat out more than any other generation before them. It says we’re splurging on takeout, drinks, and coffee multiple times a week. I like to think that I am pretty good about this one, but my goal is to limit this category of expenses to social activities. There’s no reason for me to go spend $5 on a latte just for the heck of it. But if I am catching up with an old friend, it’s money well spent in my book.
5. Eat like you love yourself.
This one might sound a bit strange, but hear me out. One of the best Tweets I’ve ever seen was something to the effect of, “Eating grocery store sushi is a good way to show the world you hate yourself.” Just because something is at a supermarket doesn’t mean we should eat it. I once went on a date with a guy that told me his diet consisted mainly of Hot pockets and Ramen. I would rather go broke buying vegetables than fill up that way. I’m not saying quit junk food forever and live off of vegan burritos and kombucha. Not everyone wants to have a crazy healthy lifestyle. And that’s fine. But really? Hot pockets and ramen? You deserve better.
6. Learn how to use your oven.
Believe it or not, a stovetop is not just a great place to spread peanut butter on a slice of bread. In fact, great things can come out this wonderful kitchen appliance. My mom always told me that she wanted me to know how to cook before I went out into the world, and I couldn’t be more grateful. It’s pretty neat what you can do when you know you’re way around a kitchen.
Now, close out of that food-delivery app, and eat like an adult.