Mitzi Dulan, RD
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Sunday, February 22

12 Ways to Eat Cheap and Healthy

Eating healthy is often associated with expensive foods. While this can be true for some foods there are many simple changes you can make that will save you money AND calories! One easy way to eat healthier on a budget is to eat fewer processed foods. Buying fewer packaged and ready-to-eat products is a first step to eating a more wholesome diet that can also save you at the cash register. Adopt one or many of the following 12 tips to eat healthy on a budget!

1. Cook at home more often. This is a no brainer since eating out can get expensive very quickly. By simply reducing the number of meals that you eat out you can help both your bank account and your calorie budget.
2. Make less food and eat less food. Since most Americans eat too much food in the first place, now is a great time to truly stop eating when you are satisfied versus being full, stuffed, or sick.
3. Save green by eating more green! Include more plant-based meals. It's not a secret that meat is one of the most expensive parts of a food budget so by simply switching to some other vegetarian sources of protein like beans (black, garbonzo, kidney, etc.), lentils, or quinoa you can definitely save some significant money. Consider a bean soup or use quinoa as a substitute for rice in recipes to boost the protein.
4. Buy in bulk but with a list. If you live close to a Costco, consider buying some items in bulk (some of my personal Costco favorites: organic spinach, Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter, 1% Organic Milk). Just make sure you don't overeat because you buy in big portions.
5. When eating out share an appetizer and an entree between two people. Most restaurants serve big portions in the first place so cut back on the amount you order.
6. Take a healthy snack to work. This is a great way to make sure you are getting more healthy foods in your diet. Pack some fresh fruit or vegetables. To boost the protein you can try a low-fat cottage cheese.
7. A little advance planning can save a lot of time and make your dollars stretch more for your food budget. Spend some time each week planning your meals/snacks and grocery shopping to make sure you have the ingredients you need.
8. Stop buying ready-to-eat and get to cooking. You are paying more for ready-to-eat foods and they are less wholesome so make it a plan to try at least two new recipes a week. For example, making your own black bean soup can last several meals and it will also be made with less sodium (as long as you don't add too much)and taste more delicious than buying a can of black bean soup.
9. Consider buying store brands. For less money you can often get a product which is very similar in quality. Foods to consider (canned beans, tomatoes, broth).
10. Don't shop when you are hungry and try anything to avoid shopping with your children. If they must shop with you give them their own grocery list to keep them focused on better foods.
11. Replace soda, juice, bottled tea, and other high-calorie, high-cost drinks with water. Also, be good to the environment and your budget by choosing tap water instead of bottled water. Consider buying a water filter like a Brita.

12. Whenever possible, shop at farmers' markets. It's a great way to support your local farmers and you should save money. Now, this is a great place to take your kids shopping with you! Fresh, delicious and nutritious! Visit to find one close to you!

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Monday, February 16

How to Lower Your Blood Sugar, Rest Your Pancreas, and Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Are you eating a diet that makes your pancreas work so hard that it literally loses its ability to produce insulin over time? If you do, you might be "burning out your beta cells" and on the path to developing type 2 diabetes or already be living with type 2 diabetes. New estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that around 24 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, which is a 15% increase from two years ago. This is 8% of the U.S. population and 90-95% of these people have type 2 diabetes. The type 2 diabetes crisis is directly related the increasing numbers of people being overweight and obese in addition to our aging population.

Here’s the ugly truth about what happens when you load up on high sugar foods, beverages, baked goods, and other refined carbs: Your body gets flooded with sugar. This is followed by a release of insulin, which causes a sharp decline in your blood-glucose (blood sugar). The insulin moves the sugar from your blood to your liver and muscles, and can also store some as fat. Then you can feel tired and have poor energy from the sudden drop in blood sugar. Repeating the sugar rush–insulin surge cycle several times a day, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year sets the stage for insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and, possibly, developing type 2 diabetes. It usually begins as insulin resistance, a disorder in which the cells do not use insulin properly. As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce it. This is because your pancreas simply gets worn out from working so hard due to all of those high sugar foods you have eaten over the years. However, type 2 diabetes is rising quickly among children, in fact, so much that they no longer use the term adult-onset diabetes.

So what can you do to "lighten the load" on your pancreas.

5 Nutrition Tips

1.) Eat a source of protein and fiber with every meal
2.) Switch to all whole grains
3.) Cut back your portions of carbs like
4.) Avoid drinking sodas, lemonade, kool-aid, most juices, and other high sugar drinks
5.) If you need to lose weight, start eating smaller portions


A new study in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders suggests that 7.5 minutes of intense activity per week could have significant health benefits for reducing the risks of developing type 2 diabetes. It recommends four to six 30-second bouts of intense exercise two times per week. This recommendation is appropriate for people 20 to 40 years in good health. People living with diabetes, heart disease or who are older should discuss increasing their activity level with their physician.

So eat less, and move fast!

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