Healthy eating and living doesn’t need to break your bank, here’s how to do nail it this Janu-worry | Drum – SNL24

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Healthy eating doesn’t need to be expensive.

Janu-worry is in full swing.

If you hadn’t felt the sting a week ago, you’re definitely feeling it now.

With schools reopening, the bank balances of many across the country have also gone down, if they are not already cleaned out.

Food prices don’t make it any easier. Even when the going gets tough though, a good diet is never a compromise for some people.

If anything, the battle is with incorporating nutritious food items in their diet for a fresh start to the year.

Despite rising awareness, South Africans grapple with a nutritional paradox as unhealthy dietary patterns persist, reflecting a need for widespread education on balanced and nourishing food choices that won’t break the bank.

To help recognise the importance of nutrition in one’s overall wellbeing, revered nutritionist Mbali Mapholi shares practical tips and strategies for individuals and families to maintain a healthy diet without straining their budgets.

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Planning is key

Plan your meals for the week ahead of time. This helps you create a shopping list and avoid impulse purchases, ensuring you buy only what you need. Preparing your own snacks, such as trail mix or freshly cut veggies and fruit, instead of buying pre-packaged snacks. This not only saves money but also allows you to have greater control of things like hidden additives and preservatives. If you defrost your meat ahead of time in your refrigerator before work, you will save time and avoid last-minute shopping.

Mindful shopping

While bulk buying may provide good value with pantry staples like rice, beans, and grains; taking a more mindful approach to purchasing fresh produce may save you more in the long run and help avoid food waste. With Multiply you get great discounts with various partners in several categories. You can also score a percentage of the amount you spend in the form of MultiplyRewards and partner cashbacks for living healthy.

Local is lekker

Opt for seasonal and locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Not only are they fresher, but they are also typically more affordable than out-of-season or imported alternatives. Another way to embrace local produce is to be practical about the types of ingredients that you select. Getting to know the nutritional value of your food will help you avoid purchasing costly on trend ingredients. Look instead to improving food preparation methods with versatile ancient grains like sorghum. It’s recently made a huge comeback due to its gluten- free properties.

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Cook at home

Turn your kitchen into a flavour playground.  Cooking at home allows you to control ingredients and portion sizes allowing you to experiment with new, healthy recipes. Choose satisfaction over deprivation by incorporating satiety into meals and creating sustainable habits. Spice up meal planning with creativity and make it a fun challenge for a healthier you. It’s important to plan so that you can cook more at home, so make it a habit.

Frozen and canned options

Don’t shy away from frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. They are often more cost-effective and have a longer shelf life, reducing the risk of food waste. In fact, frozen produce may even be more nutritious than fresh produce due to the harvest and quick freeze method that helps preserve nutrients. Pair them up with other affordable ingredients and use herbs and spices for high flavour pay off.

“Good nutrition should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their budget. By making smart choices and embracing simple cooking methods, we can all nourish our bodies without breaking the bank. It’s not about overhauling every aspect of life but rather creating small sustainable habits that you and your family can maintain long term,” says Mbali.

Eating well is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and it may take some time and practice to develop. However, the benefits it can offer are limitless. Adopting a more holistic approach to your health, from eating to keeping active and everything in between, will result in endless benefits.

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