The Cheapest Health Foods

I don’t have a lot of money to overindulge in expensive super foods, dietary supplements or pre-portioned weight-loss programs but I know what works and delivers results.  The nutrients found in all foods and drinks provide nourishment for the body. This nourishment is in the form of:

  • Substances which provide energy
  • Building blocks for bone, muscle, organs, hormones and blood
  • Substances needed for processes to occur in the body (like digestion)
  • Substances that protect the body

Nutrients are drawn from a wide variety of foods and the more varied your diet, the more likely you are to obtain all the nutrients you need.  The 4 key nutrients recommended by the daily intake guide are fat, saturated fats, sugars and sodium (salt).  Additional nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals which play many crucial roles in the body’s function and wellbeing, but do not provide energy (kilojoules).

Some nutrient-dense foods include:

  • Avocados
  • Chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach
  • Bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Mushrooms (crimini and shiitake)
  • Potatoes (white or sweet)
  • Cantaloupe, papaya, raspberries, strawberries
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Seeds (flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)
  • Beans (garbanzo, kidney, navy, pinto)
  • Lentils, peas
  • Almonds, cashews, peanuts
  • Barley, oats, quinoa, brown rice
  • Salmon, halibut, cod, scallops, shrimp, tuna
  • Lean beef, lamb, venison
  • Chicken, turkey

All of these foods are important for building muscle, trimming fat and maintaining good health but some can cost more than you might be willing to spend.  These are my top ten cheaper food ideas that have gotten me through my college years and kept me in the same jeans since high school:

  1. Canned tuna/salmon/sardines (I mix the meat w/ spicy brown mustard)
  2. Bananas, apples and large bags of frozen mixed berries–> the mixed berries are great for smoothies and disguise the taste of added vegetables like fresh spinach leaves
  3. Eggs and Bacon–>Eat one egg and one piece of bacon for breakfast
  4. Turkey and Chicken–>Low sodium turkey lunch meat and larger packages of frozen chicken lasts you about two weeks, delivers protein and keeps you full compared to empty carbohydrates and sugars
  5. Whole wheat bread
  6. Skim Milk
  7. Water
  8. Generic low-fat yogurt
  9. Oatmeal
  10. Canned or frozen vegetables

Look Your Best, Feel Your Best: Say No to Ratchet

#Ratchet: a word that has recently developed in our culture to describe a woman who doesn’t dress with class or sophistication, practices poor hygiene and makes tacky, uneducated decisions.  Ratchet is not a word to be proud of and the rise of social media just points out more and more of these scenarios that can be easily avoided.  Ladies, if you have the money and resources to take care of yourself, PLEASE DO for all our sakes and reputations.  Even those of you who think you don’t have the money to sacrifice on your personal appearance, there are ways around the ratchet routine.  I will personally share some pointers for those of you ballin’ on a strict budget.

  • If you aren’t washing your hair and body everyday because you need to lower your water bill, don’t have time to or can’t waste money on shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razors, body wash, etc. there are plenty of ways to keep a clean appearance and fresh smell.
  1. DRY SHAMPOO: Pick up a Dove or TRESemee dry shampoo from Wal-Mart for $5 or less.  Dry shampoo is a spray shampoo or powder that you rub throughout your roots and ends of unwashed hair to absorb oil and give a clean appearance.  If you don’t like the dry shampoo or can’t afford it, sprinkle a baby powder through your roots and work it through thoroughly to absorb oil.
  2. TOOTHPASTE W/ BAKING SODA: Toothpaste is only a few dollars, sometimes less.  You can pick up a toothbrush at the dollar store and brush your teeth at least twice a day with a whitening toothpaste like Arm&Hammer’s Extreme Whitening (or the generic) to effectively lift stains and keep breath fresh without purchasing scope or whitening strips.
  3. DEODORANT: You need to apply deodorant every day after cleansing your armpits with soap or a wipe to rid and mask unpleasant, overbearing body odor.  Try to buy a scented deodorant (spray or roll-on) if you can’t afford a body spray or perfume so you stay fresh and smell decent.
  4. BABY WIPES: If you don’t have time/can’t afford to wash your body everyday with a body wash, buy a large package of generic baby wipes from the dollar store and wipe your body down head to toe before getting dressed to remove dirt, oil and odor.
  5. RAZORS: If you aren’t going to shave an area on your body, don’t show it off!  Simple as that!  Purchase disposable razors and use them twice or a razor with a built-in shaving cream to cut shaving time in half and reduce costs of both shaving creams and razors

Amateur or Professional in the Workplace: You Decide

I started a new job last weekend in a fine dining restaurant called Annie’s, located in Stevensville, Maryland.  Annie’s staff is supposed to be sophisticated, classy, knowledgable, friendly and satisfactory to every customer that enters and is willing to spend around $30 on an entree.  After two short training shifts last weekend for serving and one training shift for food running/expediting Friday, I was thrown to the wolves last night.  I mean literally, thrown to the wolves: my coworkers (and customers) proved to be rather vicious, arrogant, belittling and completely unsupportive of myself and each other.

I know comparing an upscale restaurant staff to innovative, college educated, salaried employees who build, uphold and represent a branded corporation isn’t the best analogy to preach professionalism in the workplace but every business can benefit from these tips by the Monster Career Coach.

1. Competence. You’re good at what you do – and you have the skills and knowledge that enable you to do your job well.

2. Reliability. People can depend on you to show up on time, submit your work when it’s supposed to be ready, etc.

3. Honesty. You tell the truth and are upfront about where things stand.

4. Integrity. You are known for your consistent principles.

5. Respect For Others. Treating all people as if they mattered is part of your approach.

6. Self-Upgrading. Rather than letting your skills or knowledge become outdated, you seek out ways of staying current.

7. Being Positive. No one likes a constant pessimist. Having an upbeat attitude and trying to be a problem-solver makes a big difference.

8. Supporting Others. You share the spotlight with colleagues, take time to show others how to do things properly, and lend an ear when necessary.

9. Staying Work-Focused. Not letting your private life needlessly have an impact on your job, and not spending time at work attending to personal matters.

10. Listening Carefully. People want to be heard, so you give people a chance to explain their ideas properly.

If you treat people around you with disrespect, keep them waiting unnecessarily, steal their thunder by using their ideas without giving them credit, say one thing then do the complete opposite, break promises regularly and are pessimistic/unsupportive of those around you, YOU ARE BEING UNPROFESSIONAL.