Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some ways to work within your budget and stay healthy:

  1. Cook at home
  • People eat more than 50% of their meals outside the home. It’s convenient, yes, however it contributes to the obesity epidemic as the portion sizes are much bigger and it can make sticking to a limited budget very difficult. When you take the time to cook your meals at home, you tend to make and eat less food (and feel better after).

2. Dedicate a couple hours once weekly to cook foods in bulk to have for easy meal prep throughout the week:

  • By doing this, you can have everything prepared to just throw it together as needed for lunches and/or dinners throughout the week. Suggestions: bake fish/chicken, make quinoa, brown rice, and/or lentils, hard-boil eggs, chop or steam vegetables, have cans of beans that you can add to salads, bake sweet potatoes.
  • Have ingredients for a breakfast smoothie or crockpot oatmeal on hand, such as a protein powder, dark-skinned berries, frozen kale, frozen beets, flax and/or chia seeds, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, cinnamon, nut butter, oats, cacao powder and vanilla extract

3. Shop at the farmers markets

4. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

  • This local company, Adaptations Fresh Feast, is a subscription service that provides the customer with farm fresh local foods and provides a secure market for local farmers. Their “Basic Feast” food box is $22 per feast, which gives a family the ingredients for salad for a week and some fruit. Check out their website for other offerings and more information: www.adaptationsaloha.com, or call 324-6600.

5. Buy food in bulk:

  • Stock up on bulk food items at Costco and the health food store. Every second Sunday at Island Naturals is 15% off everything; a great time to stock up on quinoa, oats, wild rice and nuts from their bulk bins.
  • Costco has lots of healthy (and organic) foods in bulk, such as organic frozen blueberries, triple-berry mix, broccoli, quinoa, Qi’a brand superfood cereal, almond butter, beans, coconut oil, organic bean soup mix, and organic meats and fish.

6. Skip unnecessary treats

  • Although it never hurts to indulge now and then, you might want to find some healthier and less expensive substitutes for your usual snacks. Most of the treats we crave are high in refined sugar, fat, or salt and come with a lot of preservatives and packaging.
  • When having a craving for something, have an apple with nut butter, a piece of fruit, handful of walnuts or almonds, hard-boiled egg, or chia pudding.

7. Know which foods are important to buy organic and which are not:

  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) singles out produce with the highest pesticide loads for its annual Dirty Dozen list. This year, it is comprised of apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes. Buy these organic.
  • On the contrary, there is a Clean Fifteen list of foods that are not important or necessary to buy organic: avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

For more information or questions, contact Dr. Kristina Roberts, naturopathic physician at Lokahi Health Center, at 808-329-2114 or [email protected].