Thursday, 17 January 2013

5 food myths and eating well on a budget

 5 Food Myths

My husband sent me this article. He knows me so well...
I want you to please read this article entitled: 5 food myths busted by Dietitians of Canada from the Toronto Star, Jan 14, 2013. And please take note of # 2, # 3 and #5.

I was asked whether brown sugar or organic sugar is better for you and you will find that this article concurs with my answer. All sugar is bad for you. Sugar is still sugar. And by sugar I mean the stuff that comes from the sugar cane plant. This article included Agave and Honey.

The other two points address the sodium or salt issue which I spoke about in my post yesterday and then there is a timely comment about tea and whether it is dehydrating or not. I thought this article particularly valuable since on the 30 Day Challenge we are being intentional about our replacement list. If you have eliminated one or more of the following from your diet in this challenge, you really need to know why you are doing it and what the benefits are of doing so. 


Is eating healthy really more expensive? To be honest, sometimes it is. You pay a fortune for organic milk when the regular milk is almost half the price. There are many reasons for this and I will not go there. What I do want to talk about, however, is how to eat healthy on a budget without putting a strain on the family budget just because you are on a 30 Day Challenge and are replacing a whole bunch of foods which are cheap, but unhealthy. I know it costs less to have a hot dog at a drive through, but really what nutritive value does it give you? Your belly is full for a short while, but your body is craving usable, nourishing nutrients. Thankfully vegetables that are in season, or grown locally are cheaper and you can load up on those. Try a few you don't usually get, and keep your selection colourful. This subject is quite and extensive one, but I am only going to touch on two things:
  • Getting your protein and 
  • Loading up on Veggies.

Getting your Protein:

Part of a healthy diet is getting the daily protein your body needs to thrive. There are some foods that are higher in lean protein than you realise and when I found this out, I was surprised. What I thought was high in protein, and low in fat was actually near the bottom of the list! We need to consider the Protein to Fat ratio. For example, a piece of turkey is high in protein but low in fat. That is good. Bacon and sausage on the other hand may be a source of protein, but it is probably even  higher in fat.

Good sources of protein that are lean and protein rich, are turkey and shrimp, believe it or not. Although shrimp are small, they are packed with protein, and not too much fat. Fish are the same. Salmon on the other hand is higher in fats, but they are good fats such as Omega 3 fish oils.

Load up on the Veggies
Stir fry veggies can stretch through a few meals, you can use them for stir fry one day and then soup the next day and if you are careful you can even use them for an omelet on the third day. That is 3 meals with one session of chopping, just prepare them all and put them in three separate containers. Avoid the pre-packaged, pre-prepared foods if you can. Although I am not Raw Vegan, I do however occasionally take a leaf out of their book, and Mattye Lee Thompson's book: Frugal Raw has been helpful in keeping my within the budget without compromising my health.


  • Make your meat stretch over a few meals. Last week I bought a piece of steak and used it for 2 separate meals, first one I marinated it in Tamari and used it in a stir fry, and the next meal I made a beef satay soup. Slice your steak in thin slices at an angle and thread through soaked skewer sticks and marinate for a BBQ meal.
  • Substitute sunflower seeds for the more expensive nuts. (I got this tip from Mattye Lee Thompson, author of Frugal Raw)
  • Load up on the veggies.
  • Make a pot of soup. When you have had a roast chicken, make your own chicken stock by boiling the carcass with onion, celery and carrots and your choice of seasonings. You get tasty low sodium broth. Use half of the broth for a soup base and use the other half to add to a stir fry for extra flavor.
  • Buy exotic ingredients from small ethnic stores rather than your large grocery store. It is WAY cheaper. I got my Asian ingredients such as Thai spices, fish sauce, coconut milk and coconut oil and spices from a smaller store in an Asian area for much cheaper than the grocery store that I usually shop at. 



Beef Steak (about 250g), thinly sliced on an angle.
1 onion, cut into rings
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 knob fresh ginger (or ground ginger) chopped.
1 clove garlic, chopped.
3 tbsp Tamari sauce
1 pear chopped
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Grape-seed Oil


  1. Prepare all our vegetables, ginger and garlic.
  2. In a small bowl marinade your sliced beef in the Tamari sauce, toss to distribute the sauce evenly.
  3. Preheat your coconut or grape-seed oil in your pan over med-high heat.
  4. Add your vegetables and stir fry.
  5. Add your marinated beef and a splash of Tamari if you prefer
  6. Place in deep sided bowls to serve with chopsticks. Sprinkle chopped pear on top ( this is in place of the sweet and sour sauce) and toss and enjoy. Okay you CAN use a fork if you are not dexterous with chopsticks, but it is not as much fun. 
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Melony Teague a freelance writer and columnist who lives in Canada with her husband and two young children.
Founder of "Secrets of Body Transformation from the Inside Out" 
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