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canned foods



How to Afford Eating Healthy in a Comfort Food Economy

It’s no secret that the economy stinks these days. According to a survey by a Chicago-based research firm, people are passing on the healthier options offered at fast food and casual dining restaurants in favor of a super-sized serving of comfort. Eighty-two percent of respondents say their better-for-you items are selling ‘lousy.” Customers are citing economic factors for their preferences.grocery shopping mom

More than half of consumers say they are more concerned about their eating habits than they were a year ago… yet:

  • 70% say that healthful foods are harder to afford
  • 53% say they buy less-healthful items because those items are cheaper (not necessarily, as I wrote about the price of salmon vs. hotdogs)
  • 44% say their budget prevents them from eating healthful foods
  • 34% of respondents say that they are choosing cheaper fast food over more-healthful options
  • 9% are skipping breakfast and 3% are skipping lunch

To that, I say, this is totally unnecessary. People may think they are saving, but trust me, they are paying for it in their health. They’ll pay even more later whether it’s in some combination of weight gain, lower energy levels or poorer quality of life.

Instead, here are some tips to maximize your comfort with minimal strain on your pocketbook.
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Affordable Nutrition in Frozen and Canned Foods

Now that fall is on its way, the fresh summer bounty is dwindling down; but the truth is your diet doesn’t have to hibernate for the winter. You can get lots of great foods in the canned and frozen food aisles that are full of nutrition at a price that will have you dancing to the cash register. In this post, I’ll share some of my favorite picks and recipe ideas.canned black beans

Canned beans

Not just the “musical fruit,” beans provide complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. In fact, a one-cup serving provides one-third of your day’s protein needs, half your fiber needs, and 65% of your folate needs (an important B-complex vitamin that helps prevent osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, and homocysteine buildup in the blood). For less than a dollar a can, you can-not go wrong! Try cannelini beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils and black-eyed peas. You can buy them with no salt added, low sodium, or rinse them before use to remove about half the salt.

Recipe ideas: add to salads, home-made bean dip, three bean chili, and breakfast burritos.
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Top 10 Must-Have Pantry Basics

pantry-basicsSo, you’ve got a busy life.  Classes, work, errands, a few kids thrown in the mixture that have this annoying habit of wanting to eat on a regular schedule.  What’s a busy mom to do?  Well, wait – scratch that.  A busy mom might not think twice about hitting the drive-thru a few times a week.  That’s not great for your wallet, and it definitely plays havoc on your health.  I’m trying to focus more on the healthy side of the balance, though, and fast-food drive-ins don’t play well.  So here’s a list of items that I keep on hand all the time to make a quick, healthy meal on the fly.

1 – Canned Beans. HUGE amounts of flavor, fiber and protein, and low in both fat and calories.

2- Whole Grain Pasta. Quick cooking and high in protein, you can make virtually anything – pasta salad, serve it with sauce, mix it with beans.

3- Frozen Vegetables and Fruits. Flash frozen straight from the field, they have a surprisingly high vitamin content and you can add them to tomato sauce to help fill little tummies.  Frozen fruits make excellent smoothies, perfect for a fast breakfast.
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Canned Goods Don’t Last Forever

open-canAre you stocking up your cabinet with canned goods, prepping for the impending world economic apocalypse? Well, if the doom doesn’t come, you’ll still need to eat the food that’s taking up all that space. Just don’t think you can sit on canned goods until the end of time. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t last forever.

Commercially prepared canned food has a long shelf life. But like all good things, they eventually come to an end. The ending date just depends on the kind of food you’re talking about. This is how it works, according to the Department of Agriculture:
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