Tuesday, June 26, 2012

71 Ways to Lose Fat (From Men's Health Magazine)


71 Ways to Lose Fat 

Article from Men's Heath Magazine, but applicable to all.

Here are some amazing tips that are sure to give you results.  Follow these and you will look better, feel better and lose fat in no time! 

  1. Have a clear goal that anyone in the world can measure and understand.
  2. Drink tea. Research suggests that those who drink tea (black, green, or white, as long as it’s from real tea vs. herbal tea) have lower BMI’s and have less body fat.
  3. Eat cayenne pepper. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that when compared to placebo, capsaicin (the active ingredient in cayenne) increased fat burning.
  4. Decrease/eliminate simple carbs.  They do nothing for you outside of creating a favorable environment for gaining fat.
  5. Eat more veggies. They fill you up, without providing many calories.  Just avoid the high fat/high calorie dressings.
  6. Eat more fruits: No one ever gained weight from eating more fruit even the so called “high sugar” fruits, like bananas, melons and others.
  7. Lift weights. Heavy weights. Build more muscle, burn more calories.
  8. Cut down rest time between sets. This will keep your heart rate elevated causing an increase in calories burned.
  9. Do intervals. No more strolls through the park.  Study after study after study continues to show intervals are more effective (and in less time).  And physically just look at the body of a sprinter vs. the body of a marathoner.
  10. Eat more protein. Replacing refined carbohydrates with lean protein will not only help satiate you, but will also increase your metabolism, through something called the thermic effect of food.
  11. Eat protein more frequently. Piggy backing on #10, it’s important to also time your intake so you’re eating protein regularly throughout the day … not just in one lump sum, like most do at dinner.  Every meal and snack should include some protein.
  12. Supplement with fish oil. A study published in Lipids fed mice diets enhanced EPA and DHA (fish oil).  The researchers learned that the mice fed diets higher in omega-3 fats had significantly less accumulation of body fat.  Other studies have shown similar results.
  13. Do full body exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, pullups,chinups, pushups, etc. You’ll get more bang for your buck out of each workout.
  14. Cycle carbs depending on workout routine. Sure, carbs are important, but you surely don’t need as many if you’re not working out or if you workout just 30 minutes per day and then are sitting most of the other 23.5 hours.
  15. Start meals with a salad.  Salad will provide some bulk to help fill you up, so you eat less calories overall.
  16. Include low-fat water based soups as snacks. include this with a salad and the two of them will fill you up before getting to the calorie laden meal.
  17. Don’t forget the fiber. Think of fiber like a sponge; it absorbs water and makes you feel full. Focus on fiber, not carbs.
  18. Drink water.  Professor Dr. Brenda Davy and her Team from VA Tech found that giving people 2 cups of water before each meal resulted in greater weight loss after 12 weeks.  The reason?  It helps fill you up.
  19. Add beans to your salads. It’s a nice way to add some additional fiber, protein, and healthy carbs.
  20. Replace one meal/day with a large salad and lean protein.
  21. Self monitor.  Keep a journal. There’s no better way to track what you’re putting in your mouth.
  22. Watch your portions. Avoid the buffet line and never super size a thing; instead make sure you’re following what the nutrition label recommends for a serving.
  23. Weigh and measure foods. You won’t know how much you’re eating unless you pull out the food scale, measuring cups and spoons.
  24. Switch to calorie free drinks. All calories count, whether they’re liquid or solid, so unless it’s low fat milk, opt for tea or water.  Or something I was introduced to in the Netherlands – large bunches of mint, lemon and hot water.
  25. Weigh yourself. Studies show daily weights help enhance weight loss efforts.  Don’t live and die by the number.  And of course a scale doesn’t decipher between fat and lean body mass, but it can still be of benefit to keep things “in check.”
  26. Eat whole eggs. Daily.  A study published a couple years ago showed that those who ate whole eggs vs. a bagel for breakfast ate less at the next meal.  A similar study showed eating whole eggs increases HDL (good) cholesterol.
  27. Eat breakfast (which is convenient with #26 above). A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who ate breakfast are more successful with long-term weight maintenance.  Other research has shown the same for weight loss.  Grab hardboiled eggs, scrambled eggs, Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and handful of nuts, or make a smoothie.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.
  28. Eat the bulk of you meals in the AM and eat progressively less throughout the day. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that eating the bulk of your calories earlier in the day positive influences weight changes.
  29. Stay upright-you burn more calories. This means not sitting in front of a computer, TV, phone, etc all day.  Stand and you’ll burn more and be more productive.
  30. Ask your waiter to doggy bag ½ your meal before serving it to you. If you wait and tell yourself you’ll just eat half.  You won’t.  So don’t even have it put in front of you.
  31. Use the stairs, skip the escalator and elevator. These won’t make or break success, but every little bit helps, so get in all the movement you can.
  32. Eat low energy dense foods. These are foods that are high in water and lower in calories, such as fruit, veggies, soups, salads, etc.  Studies at Penn State University have showed that the inclusion of these foods helps individuals eat less total calories overall.
  33. Don’t grocery shop hungry. Rather than stick to your list, you’ll buy everything in the aisle; foods that are sure to sabotage your goals of getting lean.
  34. Replace side dishes with steamed veggies. Restaurants will often allow you to switch the fries or chips with steamed veggies; all you have to do is ask.
  35. Bake, don’t fry
  36. Switch to smaller silverware; it forces you to take smaller bites.
  37. Use a grill
  38. Order dressing on the side, dip the fork in dressing, and then in the salad. This saves a ton more dressing than if one was to order it on the side, then poor the entire cup on the salad anyhow.  Less calories equals less weight.
  39. In the airport? Carry your luggage, don’t roll it.  Again, not a deal breaker in terms of success…just another way to increase energy expenditure.
  40. Skip the “Venti lattes” and opt for plain coffee or, better yet, tea. Those extra large “designer” coffees can pack a wholloping 500 or more calories per serving!
  41. Got oats? Plain rolled oats will help fill you up more than the high sugar breakfast counterparts.  Moreover, 1 serving provides a lot less calories than the sugar coated alternatives.
  42. Fidget. A study published in the journal Science showed that those who fidgeted more often, changed posture frequently, etc weighed less than those who did not.  This extra movement was termed NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis).
  43. Laugh often. A study presented at the European Congress on Obesity found those who laughed hard for approximately 10-15 minutes each day burned an additional 10-40 calories/day.  Multiply that by 365 and those calories can add up!
  44. Don’t use email within your office—get up and walk to a co-workers desk.
  45. Switch to water first thing in the morning vs. juice; you’ll save 100+ calories.
  46. Steam your veggies—don’t sautée oil
  47. Leave something on your plate at the end of the meal-every little bit counts.
  48. When out to eat, split a meal. The portions are usually big enough to feed a family.
  49. Skip dessert
  50. Don’t socialize around the food tables at parties; you’re more likely to pick, even though you may not be hungry.
  51. Don’t eat your kids leftovers; every little bit of food adds up, including these “BLTs” (bites, licks and tastes)
  52. Keep chips, dips, and other high fat snack foods out of the house—it’s not about willpower, it’s about being realistic.
  53. If you have a dog, take it for a walk—don’t just let it out in the back.
  54. If you don’t have a pet, offer to walk a neighbors dog.
  55. Use smaller plates and bowls, there will be less room for you to fill up and it makes less food seems like more.
  56. Skip buffets. You will feel you like you have to get your moneys worth and overeat.
  57. Slow down.  It takes approximately 15-20 minutes for the stomach to sense it’s full.  If you woof down your food like a starving dog, you’ll likely out eat your hunger.
  58. Decrease your food intake by 100 calories per day; theoretically this translates to nearly 1 pound per month (1 lb = 3500 calories).
  59. Buy a pedometer and accumulate at least 10,000 steps each day.
  60. When possible, walk or bike to do your errands.
  61. Don’t buy in bulk, unless you’re buying toiletries or feeding an army. The more that is there, the more that you’ll eat.
  62. Stay away from the alcohol—I don’t care if it’s low-carb anything, alcohol provides 7 calories/gram, which means a lot of empty calories and just 1 drink lowers your inhibition so you overeat other calories too
  63. Plan ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
  64. Pack your meals for the week on Sunday; you never want to be without options.
  65. Keep some healthy snacks — like nuts — in your glove compartment so you’re prepared at all times.
  66. Take before pictures and write down your goals.
  67. Get new friends. If your friends prefer pizza, wings, nachos and beer on a regular basis, find one’s who are like minded and want to be healthy.  Research has suggested that friends enhance (or can hurt) success.
  68. Put yourself first. Many people (women in particular) put everyone else ahead of themselves and let their health fall by the side.
  69. Be honest with yourself—you’re not fooling anyone by “sneaking” different foods.
  70. It’s not all or nothing; if you fall off the bandwagon, jump right back.  Don’t let yourself continue to fall until all progress has been lost.
  71. Wake up early to exercise; you’re more likely to get it done if you don’t wait until after work.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Bench Press-Part I

The Bench Press-Part I

***One of the most popular free weight exercises; yet one of the most misunderstood exercises***

 The reason I say misunderstood is that a large percentage of the gym population is performing this exercise in a manner that places them a greater risk for injury than they might realize.

As I stated in my blog posted back on Oct. 16, 2011- What Is Good Exercise Form? (if you haven’t read this blog,  I highly suggested reading it to help put this article perspective), all exercises have a certain amount of risk-to-benefit ratio.  The goal for most of us is to find exercises that have a high benefit/low risk ratio.

Where the bench press is concerned many who have a goal of general health/fitness and the aesthetics; are performing this exercise using the form/technique that was developed by the sport of Power Lifting.  The problem with this is that this form can be very detrimental to the long-term health of the shoulder joint.

The crude version of the Brench Press that eventually evolved into the exercise as we know it today first surfaced in the early 1930’s.
The form that we most frequently see today mirrors the rules for the strength competition we know as “Power Lifting”.   It is very surprising to me that much of the research findings into the biomechanics of weight lifting has not filtered down to the everyday gym floor.  These research findings have been out for several years now, but the “old school ways” seem to be hard to break.  Even more concerning is that a quick google of the words “Bench Press”, will feed us links that give us the standard Power Lifting form.  Also, a glance at many of the mainstream fitness magazines and bodybuilding books will again yield the standard Power Lifting form. 

It is not until you delve into the teachings of such modern day fitness experts such as Douglas Brooks, M.S., and Everett Aaberg that you realize the hidden dangers of the “Power Lift” version of the Bench Press.   Also, it will be a great surprise to many that using this form will limit us from reaching our maximum muscular development potential. 

Now let’s get specific about this exercise.   The main problem with the Power Lift style bench press is that it requires us to lower the bar all the way to the chest (as seen in the photos below).

As can be seen in the photos above, when the bar is lowered to the chest (elbows going below the midline of the body) the larger more powerful pectoral  muscle is stretched  which lessens its ability to generate force.    The greater the stretch, the less force this muscle is able to generate, thus putting the pectoral muscles at mechanical disadvantage.  As a consequence of this a larger portion of the loaded barbell weight is then shifted to the much smaller and more venerable shoulder joint.  Here in lies the danger of this method for the Bench Press Exercise.    The shoulder joint is one of the most complex joints in the body, and thus very susceptible to injury. 

Above is a very simple (layman’s terms) explanation of this issue.  For those who would like a more explicit explanation of the anatomical issues involved, I listed an excerpt below taken from Douglas Brooks’ book Effective Strength Training (Official Textbook For The International Weightlifting Association). 

How “Deep” Should A Chest Press Or Flye Be Performed?
It is common, when performing chest exercises to bring the fists to the level of the chest, or to cue “touch the chest” with, for example, a barbell.  However, this places the joint in a loaded, horizontally extended/abducted position, which in turn puts the shoulder joint capsule at risk for injury. Cahill (1992) was the first to describe a series of weight trainers who suffered trauma to the distal clavicle.  In other words, hyperextension of the shoulder—elbows behind the midline of the body—places excessive stresses on the acromio-clavicular joint during pressing movements, and is likely to contribute to an injury process in this area of the body (Reeves, et al., 1998 Weight Training Injuries, Part 2).

In addition, allowing the elbows to move beyond the body line that divides it into front and back halved decreases the force angle (the line formed from the elbow to shoulder) of the shoulder.  As the force angle decreases, the ability of the pectoralis major to produce muscular force continually decreases.  When the muscle is extremely stretched at this angle, insufficient actin and myosin overlap occurs. (Actin and myosin are the protein filaments that slide past one another to produce muscular force and movement.) Insufficient overlap leaves the muscle in a position where it is not capable of effectively producing muscle force, which in turn leaves the join vulnerable to injury.  Why? The joint is literally being held together passively by relatively weak shoulder muscles and ligaments, since the pectoralis major is largely incapable of producing significant force.  Any exercise that places the elbow behind this mid-body line places the shoulder at a mechanical disadvantage that may contribute to rotator cuff injury or anterior shoulder instability (Reeves et al., 1998 Part 1; Wolfe et al., 1992). The pectoralis major doesn’t have a good line of pull until the elbow-shoulder line reaches a point where it is in line with the frontal plane that divides the body into front and back halves.

In the coming weeks, I will post Part II of this blog.  In Part II,
I will break this exercise down into its most basic components and present a safer more effective way to perform it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Which Food Additives are Safe? Which Aren't? (from the Center for Science in the Public Interest)

There has been much speculation in recent months about all that goes into our foods. We at Fit For All Now did some digging to come up with some real and factual information on all of those chemicals that you ingest or question ingesting. Read for yourself and let us know what you think.  

Which Food Additives Are Safe? Which Aren’t?

Nutrition Action Healthletter Revisits “Chemical Cuisine,” the Classic A-to-Z Guide
April 29, 2008
WASHINGTON—Would you like some butylated hydroxytoluene with that?
If a waiter offered you some BHT in a restaurant, you’d probably decline. Yet that chemical is one of scores of hard-to-pronounce additives that routinely show up in the fine print on packaged foods’ ingredients lists. Is BHT safe? For the record, food manufacturers use it to keep oils from going rancid, but animal studies differ on whether in promotes or prevents cancer. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, publisher of Nutrition Action Healthletter, says it warrants caution.Nutrition Action’s revised “Chemical Cuisine,” its classic guide to food additives, is the cover story in the May issue.
“Just because an additive is artificial doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsafe,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson, who began researching food additives in 1971. “That said, the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t done nearly enough to police the preservatives, dyes, emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners and other chemicals many of us eat every day.”
Chemical Cuisine ranks additives as “safe,” “cut back,” “caution,” “certain people should avoid,” and “everyone should avoid.” Some additives that fall in the latter category include:
• Acesulfame potassium, Aspartame, Saccharin. Those artificial sweeteners are either unsafe or poorly tested. The only artificial sweetener to get a “safe” grade is sucralose (Splenda).
Partially hydrogenated oil. This is one artificial food ingredient that CSPI has asked the FDA to get out of the food supply, since its trans fat component is a potent cause of heart disease and possibly other health problems. Yet Burger King and many other restaurants still deep fry with it; many manufacturers of frozen foods par fry with it; and some manufacturers, restaurant chains, and bakeries still use it in pie crusts, pastries, and other foods.
• Potassium bromate. This chemical strengthens dough, and most of it breaks down harmlessly. But bromate itself does cause cancer in animals, and isn’t worth the small risk it poses to humans. Many bakers have stopped using bromated flour.
An example of an additive that “certain people should avoid” is:
Mycoprotein. Fortunately, this substance—a vat-grown fungus—is only in the Quorn line of meat substitutes. Several percent of people who eat it will experience nausea, severe vomiting, or dangerous anaphylactic reactions. (If you are one of them, report your symptoms here.) Despite CSPI’s warnings, FDA refuses to take it off the market or require labeling.
CSPI says these food additives are safe:
• Maltodextrin. This thickening agent and sweetener is made from starch. You might find it in canned fruit, salad dressings, and instant puddings.
• Sodium Carboxymethyl-Cellulose. This thickening and stabilizing agent prevents sugar from crystallizing and is used in ice cream, beer, pie fillings, icings, diet foods, and candy. Studies indicate it is safe.
• Thiamin Mononitrate. Scary name, perfectly safe ingredient. It’s a form of vitamin B-1 used to fortify cereals and flour.
• Sucralose. Don’t believe the manufacturer’s claim that this sweetener is “natural” or “tastes like sugar since it’s made from sugar.” But also don’t believe the Internet conspiracy theories that it’s toxic; it appears to be safe. Used as a tabletop sweetener (Splenda) and in some baked goods, frozen desserts, and diet soft drinks. Unfortunately, it’s often used with acesulfame.
Jacobson says that while it’s important to pay attention to the presence of many of these food additives, one shouldn’t fetishize them at the expense of several ingredients whose presence we take for granted in foods, namely sugar—in both its naturally occurring forms and in high-fructose corn syrup—and salt.
“Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure are such problems in this country in part because Americans are eating way much more sugar and salt than our bodies can handle,” said Jacobson. “They’re both perfectly ‘natural’ ingredients but everyone should cut back.”


Saturday, February 4, 2012

10 Tips (from March-April 2009/La Mode Magazine Dallas)

La Mode Dallas Magazine

We asked Stephen Volcik, one of Dallas' best personal trainers, to give us some good ideas to stay fit and healthy in 2009. His tips on nutrition and exercise are sure to keep you on track to get that perfect swimsuit figure. 

1. Don't fall victim to the latest fad diets. These may give them short term results, but be aware that you must live with this diet, or a modified version of it, in order to keep your results. People who achieve lasting weight loss do so through modification of eating habits and finding ways to make better choices on what we eat.

2. Make a food log listing everything you eat on a daily basis. This will allow you to research better choices for some of the problem foods you may have eaten and find ways to fill gaps where you are too long without eating. Once again, it is still true what you have heard for so many years now: it is better to eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than two or three big ones.

3. When embarking on an exercise program, if you can't hire a Personal Trainer, do your research and learn proper form for the exercises you plan to do.

4. When planning your workout routine, try to learn several different exercises (mixing both machines and free weights) that work a particular muscle, and rotate these exercises as you do your workouts throughout the week. This will ensure that you continue to progress, in that your muscles will constantly have to adapt to changing exercises. Also, it will help to prevent boredom caused by a regular routine.

5. Know that circuit training can be a very effective form of exercise for people who want to tone up and lose weight. By this I mean that you have two or three exercises that you work back-to-back rather than just three sets of one exercises and rest in between.

6. Incorporate pieces of equipment that will change your balance, such as a Resist-A-Ball or the BOSU. These are not only excellent tools for working the core, but are also very beneficial to maintaining strong joints.

7.  Before you begin your exercise routine, have your measurements, body fat percentage, weight and photos taken. It is very important that you have a clear benchmark reading of where you are when you start your program, so when you start achieving your results you have concerete proof that your hard work is paying off. Pictures are my favorite because percentages of body fat are one thing, but to actually see visual proof of the new and the old is the greatest motivation in the world.

8. Another good motivational tool is to create a journal, and write whenever you feel a positive change in your body (i.e. more energy, a little more definition in a certain area, etc.) Also, when someone pays you a compliment, you can make an entry of this. Then when you are tempted to let your workout slack because of life's other challenges, you can refer to your journal and see what exercise has really done for you.

9. If the job and home life are stressing you out, know that the best release for this is the gym. Either by lifting weights or joining a kickboxing class, there is no healthier release than exercise.

10. Don't fall victim to the latest TV "Guaranteed Six Pack" abdominal exerciser. Know that unless you modify your diet and lise the body fat covering the abs, you will never see them.  A combination of diet and exercise (meaning weights and cardio) is the only true ticket to great abs.

Stephen Volcik, Fit For All Now
(Personal Trainer in Richardson, Texas)
Story by Lauren Kent of La Mode Magazine, Dallas 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

(Repost) 15 Ways To Eat Healthy Without Breaking The Bank

This is a great article we are reposting from Positively Positive with some great tips and wonderful insight. 

I am very committed to eating really healthfully and feeding my family as much nutritious food as possible. Many people complain to me that they can’t buy fresh, organic food because it’s too expensive. It’s interesting to me that 100 years ago we spent twenty-five percent of our disposable income on food and now we only spend ten percent. Furthermore, we’re actually consuming more food than before, while getting fatter and sicker. But I do think we’re starting to make the connection that we have a lot of cheap food in this country, and that cheap food has hidden costs—to our physical bodies, as well as the environment.
How can we eat healthfully without breaking the bank? Although they may not work for everyone, here are the strategies I have used over the years to allow me to eat the way I want and stay within my budget:

1. Cook from Scratch

Fast food and convenience food come with a hefty price tag. Someone’s got to pay for all that packaging and marketing! We have got to get back in the kitchen and learn how to cook some simple basic meals and staples. Making a pot of soup with vegetables and beans, homemade salad dressing or an omelet are not only easy and inexpensive, but they will almost always be higher in quality than what you get from outside your kitchen. Even if you just swap out ridiculously expensive boxed cereals with steel cut oats or homemade muesli, over time you’ll save more than you think.

2. Have a Plan

Americans waste about 25% of the food they buy. Not only are we piling more into our landfills, but we are throwing money in the garbage. The most important thing I do every week to help make sure I am organized to actually cook every night is to make a menu for the week and shop accordingly. This means everything I buy has a purpose and I rarely put anything into my cart that’s not on my list. This cuts waste dramatically. If you do nothing else, shopping with a meal plan in mind will save you tons of time and money.

3. Bulk Bins

The bulk bins at my supermarket sometimes offer savings over buying the same item in a package. This is also a good idea if you want to try out a food and you’re unsure of buying a whole bag of it which could end up going to waste.

4. Case Discounts

My local Whole Foods will offer a discount of 10-20% when buying a case of an item, typically in quantities of 12. This is great for things that I go through quickly like olive oil, or for non-perishables such as packets of frozen acai puree. However, this isn’t a great strategy for foods with a short shelf life like nuts or cheese.

5. Shop the Salad Bar

Don’t supermarkets mark up items on the salad bar? Not everything! Normally, there is a flat price for all the items at the salad bar, for example $6.99 pound, so there are deals to be found. Foods like grilled chicken, nuts, seeds and cheeses are usually cheaper at the salad bar than if you bought them separately on their own.

6. Eat Seasonally

You’ve heard it a million times, but there’s a reason for that! Produce purchased in season is almost always less expensive than out of season because it’s usually locally grown and also fresher and tastes better, too. Sometimes you can even stock up during the season and freeze it for later. We use a lot of berries in smoothies, pancakes and muffins, so at the end of the summer, I will buy many flats of them and freeze them for the “off-season.”

7. Great Deals on the Web

Everyone knows that warehouse clubs like Costco and BJ’s offer great deals on bulk items and many of them are starting to carry foods like organic quinoa and wild fish. But also think about websites like amazon.com,vitacost.com and mountainrose.com for great deals on many more items – and you don’t need to leave your house to do it! I save lots of money on Amazon buying everything from cases of Eden Organic canned beans toCeltic sea salt to seaweed.

8. Farmers Markets

Buying directly from the farmer can offer lower prices than the supermarkets on locally grown, seasonal produce, eggs and meat. This certainly depends on where you live, but I also find that farmers sometimes cut their prices a little half an hour before the market closes.

9. Cut Back on Meat

We all need protein (although many of us consume more than necessary), but animal protein is usually the highest ticket item on the grocery bill. And organic or pastured meat is even more expensive than non-organic, but it’s an area where I am not willing to compromise. The key is to have enough high-quality protein, while staying on budget. When I do buy meat, I plan for 3-4 ounces per person, 3-4 days per week. The rest of the week we eat vegetarian meals that rely on quinoa, eggs, beans and lentils which are a nutritional bargain especially if you cook them from scratch.

10. Prioritize What is Important to Buy Organic

Very few people can afford to buy everything organic, so prioritize. In this order due to higher amounts of pesticide contamination, I focus on organic meats and wild fish, butter, dairy, foods we eat a lot of (oats, eggs, olive oil, nut butters) and then I follow the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen for produce.

11. Nutritional Bangs for the Buck

Just because $5/bunch purple heirloom carrots and at $12/pound shiitake mushrooms are out of my budget, doesn’t mean I have to throw in the towel. There are nutritional bargains to be found. Try canned wild fish instead of fresh, dried beans, free-range eggs, bananas, Russet potatoes, cabbage, carrots, rolled oats, brown rice, and frozen vegetables which all pack a lot of nutrients for less money.

12. Skip Prewashed Salad, Precut Vegetables

Again, these come with a price for the convenience of having someone else do the prep work. If finding time to prep vegetables before dinner is an issue, try doing this work in the morning before you leave for the office or the night before.

13. Drop the Canned and Bottled Beverages

It goes without saying that sodas and sweetened beverages offer you nothing in the way of health benefits, and all that plastic and glass don’t do the environment any good either. But these drinks are just wildly expensive for no nutrition. Water is all you really need, so invest in a water filter if you can and BPA-free water bottles for everyone in your house.

14. Ethnic Markets

Local, ethnic markets can offer an amazing array of affordable produce and specialty items. In my area, I have been to Japanese markets with incredibly fresh fish at a fraction of the price at my supermarket. The same is true for produce that I have found at local Middle Eastern markets. I’ve also found some really cool, inexpensive spices and condiments that I’ve never seen in my local supermarket.

15. Purchase Store Brands

Many supermarkets carry their own brands which are of comparable quality to name brands and offer a big discount. Look to see if the store has calculated the unit price on the display so you can make a educated decision about which brand is a better value.

Pamela Salzman is a certified holistic health counselor.  She shares her approach to nutrition through her natural foods cooking classes and website, a resource for her healthful, family-friendly recipes and nutrition tips.  She was recently profiled in Elle Magazine. Please visit Pamela’s website or Facebook page for more information and great resources.