Be Totally Fit for Life!

 For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

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Living a Healthy Lifestyle is More Affordable than You Think

Posted on May 9, 2019 at 7:25 PM



One day, when I was reading through Facebook posts, I came across an organic meal service that advertised how reasonably priced AND healthy it was. That intrigued me so I read more about what they had to offer along with the comments. Wow! Someone decided to blast them for “false advertising” saying how ridiculously expensive it is for a family to eat healthy and organic. Friends, nothing could be further from the truth! We can be good stewards of our finances AND our bodies at the same time.


My Boaz and I eat healthy and mostly organic, with a bit of non-GMO sprinkled in. There are just two of us mid-lifers at home, and we have to watch our grocery budget like most people. I use key tags for stores I shop to not only get the sale prices, but also instant coupons. I also shop the ads and price match whenever possible. Natural food stores are only good for specific items I can’t find anywhere else because they tend to be pricier. Remember that I have to eat gluten-free and allergy-friendly which changes how our grocery budget works. I grow quite a bit of our own produce, too. Everything is cooked from scratch. Recently, we got a membership at Costco and saved a lot on meat, produce, and some gluten-free, allergy-friendly foods. They also have a good supply of organic foods. Their produce is amazing and reasonably priced. We have a freezer to store extra food that freezes well. By the way, my hubby used to raise chickens and wanted to share that as a possibility. Obviously, it isn’t for everyone.


As for exercise, I didn’t renew my gym membership which expired in April. I can pay each time I go instead. But I have exercise equipment, teach online exercise classes, and work in my exercise during my chores. Gym memberships can run from $10 per month ($120/year) to over $500 a year! We have used our Health Spending Account funds at the end of the year to buy exercise equipment like a treadmill. We've turned in my attendance and receipt to our health insurance for reimbursement. I do like to get out of the house to swim, ride the bike trails, or do fitness walking in parks. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get fit.


Single Working Mom with Kids Can Do It


My daughter, Lauren, is a certified personal trainer and single mom with three children ages 3, 4, and 7 who have endless appetites. She uses Ebates to load online store coupons and shops sales. She always cooks from scratch. Two of her big staples with celiac disease in the family, are tuna and rice to fill out meals. She uses eggs quite often because they are an inexpensive source of protein. Crockpot meals save her a lot of time in her meal prep. She drinks water with a bit of lemon instead of pricey sodas and makes her own kombucha.


Lauren also said that food stamp recipients can use food stamps at many farmer markets for veggies. Those with food stamps can get coupons for the grocery store from the vendors for the same amount they spend on produce at participating markets. She said to check with the farmers markets to find out if they participate. WIC also gives money for cereal, rice, juice, and milk for the children.


Lauren works at a gym so she can get her workouts there. She also has some exercise equipment at home. 


Work at Home Woman Saves Big


My writing coach, Kathy Carlton Willis, also has some great ideas that she uses to keep costs down for her healthy living. She and her husband share their home with Kathy's mom, so this changes food considerations for this mid-life couple. She says, “It’s possible to look after your WellBeing/BeingWell on a budget. In fact, I lost sixty pounds due to healthy eating and exercise while my husband was unemployed for eight months. Here are some ways I did that:


1. Use the internet and library to research healthy choices, fitness plans and recipes.


2. Buy marked down produce and use right away.


3. Buy frozen produce and supplements on store close-out.


4. Save money by not buying processed/packaged foods.


5. Walk outdoors or at mall with a goal of getting heart rate up and breaking a sweat.


6. Sign up for a free online food tracking site such as myfitnesspal.com.


7. Do calisthenics while watching TV.


8. Try new recipes and see it as an adventure rather than work.


9. Go meatless for some meals.


10. When on the phone, walk fast around the house.


11. Make a fruit side dish that can satisfy like a dessert—doing double duty.


Kathy is an author, writer, speaker, and writing coach. You can find her at kathycarltonwillis.com and on Facebook.


Woman with Family Beginning to Leave the Nest


My niece, Jessica, is married with two kids, one who just graduated college. She lost weight and improved her health simply by using organic, non-gmo foods and cooking everything herself. She also runs on her treadmill regularly. They just started going gluten-free because a family member needed that dietary change. Here are some of her suggestions:


1. Buy organic meats on sale and in bulk. She puts hers in a large freezer. Take advantage of buy one, get one free offers and use coupons that can be loaded onto the store app for your phone or key tag.


2. They picked up on cycles in advertising. You will see organic, healthy, and gluten-free foods in January, which runs again about every three months. She stocks her pantry for the next round of specials.


3. Stores like Aldi can be a lifesaver for families. They have a great selection of organic and gluten-free foods.


4. Combine coupons whenever possible and take advantage of fuel points for gasoline in your vehicle. She uses the coupons loaded onto her key tag during the 4x fuel points. Stack your coupons and offers whenever possible. Sometimes you can also earn gift cards from your shopping to use for food.


5. Work out outdoors. Use Youtube videos. Groupon can also help you find a great deal on studios in your area.


6. Buy produce in season. Can and freeze when you can buy a lot really cheap. Also, if you can grow your own, you will save a lot of money.


7. Buy local. Many farmers sell eggs, grass fed beef and free range chickens. It is far cheaper than in the stores.


Jessica is a speaker for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). She wrote Crimson Sunshine and is a contributor to the Grief Diaries.


Here are some other ideas I’ve shared here at Be Totally Fit for Life!:


Food


1. Stay out of the drive-thru! Not only will your health and waistline thank you, but so will your wallet. Instead, pack your own meals for trips and work. Add ice packs to keep food cold and fresh.


2. Along similar lines, steer clear of those pricey coffee concoctions at the coffee shops. Use a travel mug that keeps your coffee hot for a long time. Add your own non-dairy creamer and honey or Stevia.


3. Shop the perimeter of the store and avoid the eye-level shelves in the middle as much as possible. Breeze past the impulse buys. If you do the self-checkout system, you can easily bag your food yourself to protect your goods from damage and thawing before you go home. You can also do the pre-shopping online to avoid buying items not on your list.


4. Add up how much money you spend on snack foods, sweets, and soft drinks each week. Dedicate that money to lean unprocessed meats, fresh or frozen produce, and other healthy foods (minimally processed).


5. Buy in bulk whenever possible. Divide and freeze or store in vacuum sealed bags for later use. You can also prep meals from bulk buys to divide and freeze to save time and money.


Exercise and Fitness


1. Use the walking track/paths at schools when not in use by students and with school permission. Walk, ride bike, rollerblade, etc on bike and hike trails.


2. Use groups like Zulilly for your exercise shoes or close-out stores for your workout gear.


3. Pick up used exercise equipment at Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Play It Again Sports.


4. Find workouts online. I have a great deal for PraiseMoves and ChiRho Flow by paying $20 per month for unlimited classes to save.


5. Join an exercise class at a church. Many instructors teach for free or donation.


6. Use dvds and online videos.


7. Check with a local Y about volunteering in exchange for a reduced or free membership.


8. Use activity trackers that either aren't expensive or have been refurbished.


Wellness


1. Do your own massage and avoid the New Age mumbo jumbo. Buy a foam roller and tennis balls and look up various massage techniques with those tools from reputable resources online.


2. Use a massaging showerhead. I do this. The showerhead isn’t expensive either.


3. Don’t waste money on pricey essential oils. Buy small candles that use essential oils for their scents. Put them on a candle warmer instead of burning them.


4. Do your devotions and Bible study during your prayer time. Nothing can change our frame of mind except time with our Creator God (Romans 12:2).


Hopefully, you found some helpful tips you can use. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” May we use what God has given us wisely, whether it is our finances, resources, and our physical bodies for His great purposes.


Feel free to share some of your tips in the comments below. May God bless you!


Categories: nutrition, health, exercise

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