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Blog : Eat your way out of a recession

Blog

Eat your way out of a recession


Jessica Cain, Managing Director learnpurple Bristol

It's not a secret that eating healthily and exercising gives you energy and makes you feel alive. I should know - being pregnant recently and letting go of the discipline for a while (bad me!) led me to fully understand how lethargic you can feel when not eating the right kinds of food to support a healthy mind and body. I had an excuse - weird cravings, but what's yours?

Whilst reading 'Men's Health' recently (it was hanging around my house) I came across an article about how eating healthily in the credit crunch is hard. What an excuse that is. 'Sorry I had to eat that cream bun, it was on offer and I just couldn't afford the carrots - that credit crunch again!'

All joking aside, I do fully agree that eating the right things and exercising can be costly. Take my £80 a month gym membership for example, with a new business and a new son, that rarely gets used. Or the fact that I am a big lover of aubergines and mangoes and often now feel I have to walk by those shiny and delicious items because of the price and because of their carbon footprint. I still do my best to eat healthy food because with my busy lifestyle, it is even more crucial. I need all the energy I can get. I need to stay healthy.

So the crux of it is that eating healthily and exercising really does help us achieve our goals. I think the idea should be 'EAT YOUR WAY OUT OF RECESSION' not 'eat your way through one!' It is a fact that the off shoots of recession are unemployment, poor nutrition, depression, stress, alcoholism and increased levels of obesity. It is not surprising that when faced with difficult times we head for the easy option and go for comfort eating and the convenient convenience of convenience foods. But stop! Wait! Hold the Bus! Would you fill your beautiful car with the wrong petrol and expect it to run like a dream? Of course not, so why do we think we can fill our bodies with all the wrong foods and still be productive, efficient and ahead of the pack in the workplace? It just won't happen. Even if the ping of a microwave is so much more convenient than the whizz of a blender or the whoosh of a steamer, it will not make you faster in the long run.

Remember how low you felt after the huge cheese baguette and chips on-the-side you ate yesterday for lunch? This type of eating brings energy in a short burst, which and then disappears so you have to eat a little chocolate, sweet coffee or cola for a hit to reach a normal level of energy again. Swap that baguette for a healthy salad with some protein and complex carbohydrates like brown pita bread and the energy will last much longer. Eating healthy can actually work out more cost effective if done correctly. I'm not a dietician or a nutritionist though I can give you my healthy, money saving ten top tips:

  1. Plan ahead to avoid grabbing the quickest thing to hand
  2. Cook wisely and fresh where at all possible
  3. Cook and buy in bulk
  4. Eat more complex carbohydrates like whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice and oatmeal
  5. Substitute beans and pulses for expensive meats
  6. Cut out the snacks
  7. Shop around or even online
  8. Buy less popular cuts of meat and be creative
  9. Walk everywhere you possibly can - now that's mega cheap and healthy, and take in the farmers market en route
  10. Make time to eat, sit down and enjoy your food - you work hard for it!

All this should help you to 'EAT YOUR WAY OUT OF RECESSION' and maybe achieve some of those things you always wish you could.

I plan to run the London Marathon in 2011 - let us know what your healthy goal is......

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