May Wellness Update
But as the days tick away we are getting excited for the summer and that means this will be the final edition of the Wellness Update Newsletter.
For this year!
That's right, we'll be back to sending you wellness news in the fall. Which means, go out and enjoy your summer when June rolls around! If you have any ideas or suggestions for things you would like us to look at next year email firstname.lastname@example.org !
In Season Fruits & Veggies
Yes, I've put this one in before, but really, it's good!
Check out our ways to use zucchini HERE
Okay, we'll let you wrap it in bacon, but just this once!
Eat Healthy on a Budget
Tip #1: Most Important Factor In Eating Healthy Without Breaking the Bank- Meal Planning!
This alone has made the biggest difference in reducing our food budget and staying on track eating healthy foods. Meal planning allows me to make some foods ahead and have them available for lunches or to re-purpose for dinners.
To make your own healthy meal plan system:
- Write down 14-28 recipes that your family likes that are healthy. If your budget is tight, pick recipes that are also inexpensive to make.
- On the front of a 3×5 index card, write the meal and the recipe.
- On the back of the index card, write how much of each ingredient is needed for this recipe for your family size. (I usually plan for leftovers for lunches)
- To meal plan: once a week or once a month, pick out the number of meals you need and put them in order for the week. Turn them over, add up the total of the ingredients, and you have a shopping list (just cross off any ingredients you have already)!
- Stick the cards on the fridge or bulletin board and put them away in your recipe box as you use them.
Tip #2: Prepare in Bulk
This can be especially helpful with regards to meat. When your budget is tightest, prepare a large, inexpensive cut of meat and reuse it different ways throughout the week.
To further stretch the budget, use the bones of any meat you eat to make a healthy bone broth or stock. My mom always uses the ham bone to make some really great soup!
Some examples of how to repurose the meats:
- For turkey: leftover meat is rolled in lettuce leaves for lunches, made into turkey enchiladas for dinners, slowcooked in Crock Pot for soups, added to omelets, put in stir frys etc. Bones used for broth/stock.
- For Beef (Brisket, roast, etc.)- leftover meat is seasoned for fajitas, put in omelets, made into barbecue, thrown in soups, made into omelet quesadillas, etc. Bones used for broth/stock.
- For Ham- Roasted with cauliflower for “ham and potatoes” dish, used with bone for ham bone soup, put in omelets, wrapped up in lettuce or on salads for lunch, stir fry with cabbage for fast meal, etc.
Tip #3: Find Inexpensive Vegetables
Veggies can vary tremendously in price, depending on the time of year and the source. Focusing on veggies that are in season will help cut costs some.
In the winter, you can use a lot of frozen vegetables since they are cheaper, and in some cases, fresher than the “fresh” produce that has been shipped halfway around the world.
Vegetables like cabbage and sweet potatoes are inexpensive year round and can be great fillers and substitutes in recipes. I stock up on things like these when they are in season, usually buying several cases of sweet potatoes in the fall from farmers markets.
Cabbage costs just pennies a pound from farmers when in season, and can be made into sauerkraut for later use. Winter squash also stores well and we buy this in bulk too.
Tip #4: Order in Bulk
Though there is more of a cost upfront, ordering in bulk can usually save money in the long run. You can order non-perishables like coconut flour, shredded coconut, olive oil, coconut oil, herbal teas, liquid castille soap, almond flour, etc. in bulk from a co-op. Finding these resources in your area can be tricky, but once you find and establish a relationship with farmers, it can be a tremendous help to the budget.
Tip #5: Find a CSA, Farmer’s Market or Local Farmer - Try Wheatsfield!
Websites like Local Harvest and Eat Well Guide can help you find a farmer, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), or farmers market in your area. Websites like EatWild.com have resources for finding a local supplier for healthy animals. Ask around too! Check with local health food stores - many will know places to find these items locally.
Tip #6: Grow Your Own Food
Even if you live in a big city, it is often possible to grow at least some of your own food. You can try Square Foot Gardening to maximize space in small yards. Consider checking out a book on this if you are tight on space.
Tip #7: Get Some Chickens and Even a Cow! (Melissa Appel I know your kids want one)
This isn't available for everyone but for some having chickens can be a great way to save on healthy food while on a budget, especially if you eat as lots of eggs. You could reuse an old shed to make a chicken coop in your backyard. For most people, it isn’t feasible, but having a cow can also really cut down on the food bill in the long run. Hadn't hear of this before but you can get beef from cow-sharing, where you purchase part of a live cow and pick up the meat once it is processed. If keeping a cow isn’t for you, look for a farmer that offers beef in your area if you want a bulk order that isn't available at the store.
Tip #8: Preserve When Possible
Another factor that can really help cut down a food bill is the ability to preserve foods for use when they aren’t in season. My grandma is a whiz at canning, and I always like when she gives me some leftovers! Freezing is another way to preserve foods while dehydrating is another option, though it takes a while and can be a slow process. Try dehydrating apples, they are like sweet chips (I love it!). If money is tight, look for dehydrators and canners at garage sales and thrift stores to save money over buying new.
Tip #9: Don’t Buy Drinks!
If you are trying to eat healthy, hopefully you’ve already cut out things like soda, canned drinks, and processed juices from your food budget. If not, do it now! This alone is a big step in improving overall health. If you have consumed much of these beverages in the past, go back and look at the percentage of your food bill that they take up. In general, buying beverages in any prepared form is an expensive and unhealthy option.
School's out... Now what?
Want some fun activities to do with friends, family or just on your own.
Now get to moving!
Stress Relief Stretches
Just for Laughs!
PD Early Out - May 6th
Mother's Day - May 10th
Memorial Day - May 25th
End of School - June 1st
Teacher Inservice Day - June 2nd