"When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race." Jay Foonberg



Weekly Running Log

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good News for the Tight Budget

Today I'd like to share with you an article on great staple foods to keep on hand that are cost effective for those on a tight budget. If you do not like most of these, remember you may have to make an effort to change your "likes". Your body will always crave what you've put in it for years and for most of us, that's unhealthy things. Our tastes change in different stages of our lives, so keep this list handy for your next shopping trip and be adventurous. Remember the old saying: "Try it, you might like it!"
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Top 10 Budget-Friendly Foods (Healthy Ones!)

Tightening your belt these days? You don't have to cut back on healthy foods as you're trimming your family food budget! Here are 10 top picks for economical and delicious healthy foods.
By Joy Bauer

With the economy suffering and food prices rising, your family’s grocery bill might be in need of a few budget cuts. Unfortunately, because of the misperception that healthy foods always cost more, nutritious foods like fresh produce are often the first to get bumped from grocery carts. But there are plenty of ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of your diet. Here are 10 of my top picks for healthy foods that won’t break the bank.

1. Oats
Oats are one of the cheapest healthy breakfast options around, and, as a member of the whole-grain family, they’re loaded with healthful nutrients. One serving of oatmeal (made from a half-cup dry oats) doles out five grams of protein and four grams of fiber, while setting you back only about 30 cents (and 150 calories).

Buy plain, dry oats in the big canisters rather than the (often presweetened) individual packets, which are way more costly. This way, you’re also in control of the added ingredients, sugars, and total calories in your breakfast. Great mix-ins include fresh or dried fruit (such as diced apple, sliced banana, berries, or raisins), peanut butter, chopped nuts, or a few teaspoons of preserves.

2. Healthy Frozen Mixed-Vegetable Blends
Bagged frozen vegetables are one of the greatest values in the grocery store (generic versions are typically cheaper than the popular name brands, unless there’s a sale). And because mixed-vegetable blends (such as stir-fry or California-style varieties) contain up to seven different vegetables in one bag, they are an incredibly easy and cost-effective way to incorporate a colorful variety of healthy produce into your diet. You’d spend significantly more if you bought all those veggies individually in their fresh form and would be much more likely to have the extras go to waste.

Frozen vegetables really are just as nutritious as fresh. They’re picked at their peak and flash-frozen, locking in all their healthful nutrients. Use frozen veggies just as you would fresh — in soups, chilies, casseroles, pasta sauces, omelets, stir-fries, and side dishes. Just make sure you don’t select blends that contain sauces, salt, sugar, or other unhealthy additives.

3. Fresh Fruit: Bananas, Apples, and Oranges
Refilling your fruit bowl every week can cost an arm and a leg… but it doesn’t have to! Make affordable fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges your weekly staples, and save more costly options like pineapple, pomegranates, melons, and papayas for special treats.

Bananas in particular are a bargain hunter’s dream. Select green, relatively unripe bananas at the store so they last all week. Don’t worry about them going to waste either; if they start to turn black and squishy, toss them into a plastic storage bag and freeze for later. Use frozen bananas in healthy fruit smoothies, or mash them up and mix into oatmeal, low-fat muffins, or pancakes.

Don’t forget about those oranges and apples — they’re kid-friendly, easy to tote, and stay fresh longer than most fruits.

4. Lentils
Lentils really are the king of legumes. They’ve got it all: fiber, protein, folate, iron, potassium, and a host of other trace minerals. Plus, they’re super-affordable and surprisingly easy to prepare. Unlike dried beans, they don’t require presoaking and they cook up quickly. Simmer lentils with diced tomatoes and seasonings for a hearty side dish, or add dry lentils to soups or stews to increase protein without relying on expensive meats.

5. Beans (Canned or Dried)
You can’t go wrong with these little guys. Like lentils, beans are packed with protein, making them an economical alternative to meat, poultry, and seafood. Plus, they’re healthy — loaded with fiber, which, among other things, maintains digestive health, reduces cholesterol levels, and keeps blood sugars under control.

Stockpile these pantry staples when they go on sale; dried beans will keep for up to a year, and canned beans last twice as long. If you choose canned beans, buy low-sodium whenever possible and be sure to thoroughly rinse before using to remove excess salt from the canning liquids.

Substitute beans for ground meat in chilies, tacos, soups, or burgers, or add them to cold salads. Pureed beans can even be used as a healthy, low-fat alternative to butter or oil in baked goods.

6. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a concentrated source of protein, as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Of course, it’s also a concentrated source of calories, so make sure you limit yourself to no more than two tablespoons per serving (two level tablespoons are 195 calories).

Your money will be better spent if you choose natural peanut butters without added sugars or other additives. For a thrifty, wholesome breakfast, enjoy peanut butter spread on whole-wheat toast. Or squirrel away the cash you’d normally shell out for an expensive deli sandwich and have a “grown-up PB&J” for lunch — a real comfort food — by substituting sliced fresh fruit (apples or bananas work best with the bonus of being among the cheapest fruits) for jelly on your sandwich.

7. Canned Salmon
The healthy benefits of eating omega-3-rich fish like wild salmon are clear, but the price of fresh fish can be hard to swallow, especially if you’re feeding an entire family. Canned wild (Alaskan) salmon is a much more economical way to get your weekly fish quota. If you’re willing to spend just a few extra minutes removing the bones and skin yourself (rather than buying the boneless, skinless variety), you can save yourself even more money.

Canned salmon is perfect for cold salmon salad and warm salmon melts, and it makes great salmon cakes when mixed with egg, milk, and whole oats. Kids will love its mild flavor, too. Of course, canned salmon provides a hefty dose of sodium, so you’ll want to take that into consideration if you’re watching your salt intake.

8. Fat-Free Yogurt
An easy protein- and calcium-rich snack or breakfast option is fat-free yogurt. If your family members are big fans of this dairy favorite, consider buying the large 32-ounce tubs instead of the pricier individual cartons. Purchasing yogurt in portable six-ounce containers is convenient, but your wallet will be rewarded (you’ll save at least 20 percent) by taking a few extra seconds to scoop out an individual serving into a plastic container or bowl. Since the 32-ounce containers come in only a limited number of flavors, keep plenty of fun add-ins such as fresh fruit, raisins, and flavored extracts on hand to add some variety.

9. Eggs
Eggs are another low-cost, high-quality protein source. When stored properly in the fridge, raw eggs last about three weeks in the shell, so stock up when they’re on sale. Also consider buying one of the trays of 18 or two dozen that are available in some grocery and club stores to save a few more pennies. Use eggs to whip up cost-effective, meatless dinner entrĂ©es like omelets, frittatas, low-fat quiches, and egg sandwiches. Replace some of the whole eggs in these recipes with egg whites to lower the calories, fat, and cholesterol.

10. Sweet Potatoes
Our list of cheap eats would not be complete without the humble potato. For an added boost of nutrition, try replacing your regular old white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Like white potatoes, they are one of the richest sources of potassium, but ounce for ounce, sweet potatoes deliver more fiber, vitamin C, and beta-carotene than their pale cousins. These nutritional powerhouses don’t have to be limited to Thanksgiving dinner, either. Turn sweet potatoes into everyday favorites: Use them to prepare oven fries, mashed potatoes, and stews. Or, for a super-easy side, pierce a whole sweet potato with a fork, wrap in a damp paper towel, and microwave for four to five minutes. Top with nonfat Greek yogurt… or salsa for a little kick! One medium-sized sweet potato provides about 200 calories.

For more diet and nutrition advice, visit Joy Bauer's site.

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2016 Races

  • 10/15/16...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/16...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 03/19/16...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/13/16...St. Pat's Leprechaun 5k
  • 03/05/16...Bay to Breakfast 12k...1st trail race
  • 02/20/16...Sea Turtle Half
  • 02/13/16...Double Bridge 15k

2016 Goals

  • Run 1,000 miles-Done
  • Bike 300 miles
  • Half Marathon-Done
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Push through the hard times-Done
  • Cut back on refined sugar

2015 Races

  • 12/19/15...Make It To The Line 4 Miler
  • 11/21/15...Wild Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11/14/15...Oyster 5k
  • 10/10/15...Shrimp Festival 5k
  • 05/30/15...PHind a Cure-W/D
  • 05/02/15...Fiesta Five Flags 5k
  • 04/18/15...Zydeco 5k - W/D
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Remember the Fallen 5k
  • 04/??/15...Virtual Boston Strong 5k
  • 04/11/15...Magnolia 5k
  • 03/28/15...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03/07/15...Circle K 5k
  • 03/01/15...Gulf Coast Lulu's 10k
  • 02/28/15...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/07/15...Double Bridge 15k

2015 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • Eat fruit daily
  • Overlook past failures
  • Push through the hard times/things

2014 Races

  • 12/06/14...St. Jude's Half Marathon
  • 08/16/14...Pinky 5k Virtual
  • 08/15/14...Howl @ the Moon 10k Virtual
  • 02/15/14...Sweetheart 5k
  • 02/01/14...Double Bridge 15k

2014 Goals

  • 1 Half Marathon
  • 700 Running Miles
  • Strengthen my Upper Body
  • Recuperate, Recover, Renew
  • Get active in WW
  • Eat Fruit Daily
  • Start Clean Eating
  • Begin Eliminating Sugar from Diet

2013 Races

11-30-13...Stennis 5k
11-23-13...Turkey Trot 5k
11-08-13...Run For The Kids Virtual Half [St. Jude's]
10-12-13...Shrimp Festival 5k
09-22-13...Talladega Half
07-04-13...Wesson 2 Miles
06-29-13...Emz Liverpalooza 5k
05-18-13...Pursuit of Fun 5k
04-20-13..Warrior Dash
04-07-13...Gulf Coast Half-Pensacola
03-23-13...Azalea Trail 10k
03-10-13...Leprechaun 5k
02-24-13...NOLA Marathon
02-02-13...Double Bridge 15k-Pensacola
01-13-13....Gulf Coast Half-Lulu's

2013 Goals

  • 3 Half Marathons-Done-Plus 1
  • 1 Marathon-Done
  • 1000 Running Miles-No, due to RC Tendonitis & Broken Shoulder
  • Eat fruit daily-A little aggressive but better
  • Maintain weight in 130's-Did NOT happen!

2012 Races

12-08-12...FloraBama Jingle Bell 5k
11-24-12...Jingle Bell 10k
11-17-12...Turkey Trot 5k
10-27-12...Jazz Half
10-20-12...OS Rotary 5k
10-13-12...Race for Grace 5k
09-29-12...5k For Katlyn
07-04-12...Wesson 2 Mile
04-15-12...Gulf Coast Half...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
04-14-12...Diversity Dash 5k
03-24-12...Azalea Trail 10k
03-03-12...MS50 20k...[Withdrew-bronchitis]
02-25-12...Kids Need Heroes 5k
02-11-12...Sweetheart 5k
02-04-12..Double Bridge 15k
01-14-12...Pensacola Half



2012 Goals

  • 1 Full Marathon-Marine Corp filled up
  • 3 Half Marathons-2 Down-Sick had to drop 2
  • 20 Miles-Wkly Mileage-Bronchitis kept me from this
  • Cross Training 2x Week-Poor Commitment
  • Weekly Weights W/O-Again Poor Commitment

2011 Races

  • 11-26-11...Kaiser Half
  • 11-19-11...Turkey Trot 5k
  • 11-11-11...Thumbs Up for Bill 5k
  • 11-05-11...Senior Bowl 10k
  • 10-22-11...Running the Streets 5k
  • 10-15-11...Shrimp Festival 10k
  • 10-08-11...Mullet Run 5k
  • 09-24-11...Waiting for a Cure 8k
  • 09-05-11...Labor Your Legs 5k
  • 07-04-11...Wesson 2 Miles
  • 06-04-11...Bay Fest 5k
  • 05-14-11...Stargazer 5k
  • 04-30-11...Fiesta 5 Flags 5k
  • 04-16-11...St. Benedict's 5k
  • 04-10-11...Gulf Coast Half
  • 03-26-11...Azalea Trail 10k
  • 03-19-11...St. Patrick's 5k
  • 03-05-11...Eco 5k
  • 02-13-11...Mardi Gras Marathon

Secrets to Running a 5k

Here is an excellent site for those who have thought about running a 5k race but just hadn't made that move yet. There's tips, directions and even a section on what to wear. If you have never run a race, you are missing out on a lot of fun. You will have support from most everyone you meet. Now for the site...click here to change your life and get started!

Free Online Health Calculators & Nutritional Databases

* Calories Burned Calculator - you choose the activity, total minutes doing the activity, and your weight.
* Target Heart Rate Calculator - you choose the activity, total minutes doing the activity, and your weight.
* Food Database - you type in the food category, the food and the nutritional label will come up.
* Weight Maintenance Calculator for Women - you input the info and the calculator will come up with the amount of calories to maintain your weight.
* Weight Maintenance Calculator for Men - same as for women.
* Body Mass Index - find out your BMI with this calculator.
* Healthy Weight Calculator for Women - determines your healthy weight for your height.
* Healthy Weight Calculator for Men - same as for women.
* The Longevity Game - a fun question and answer game that finishes with your "lifestyle" and how long you'll live. [I finished with a great 93 years of age!!]