There seems to be an assumption among many that a healthy lifestyle is an expensive undertaking. True, going to SoulCycle classes multiple times a month, plus Pilates and yoga…that could add up to a small fortune very quickly. When I worked in advertising, I could justify such expenses because my salary was good and I didn't have to worry about things like 'overhead.'
However, when I left my good-paying job to pursue my passion in Nutrition, and hit the books again, the reality that I would need to find less expensive alternatives to fulfill my fitness needs was looming. First world problems, you might say? At no point have I attended a Megaformer Pilates class and thought I was doing the world a great service. It does wonderful things for me and that’s about it. However, there are many other things I can do to reap the same benefits, and most of them are free. When I embarked on entrepreneur life, I started incorporating more of these free activities into my life, and to be honest, most days I'm so busy building my business and studying-- Pilates and SoulCycle are about the last thing on my mind. Fitness is a choice, and one I work hard to fit into my life where I can.
On the food end, I have found, and invested in, a good system of buying natural/organic products that’s simple and saves a lot of money. Did I mention, I dropped 10% of body fat from it while working long days and planning a wedding? Not looking for a pat on the back here, but do want to highlight that I understand how difficult it can be to play the part of professional plate spinner. Social media can only give you a small glimpse into the life people want you to see, and based on what I choose to share, my life looks pretty delicious green smoothie and abs all the time… but I’ll tell you, I’ve had weak moments on my path to getting to where I am. And I have them still! I just know how to better navigate away from them now than I used to.
All of this is to say, you’re not alone, and it is possible to have a million and one things going on in your life, be on a budget, and succeed at health. It DOES takes committing to yourself and the goals you’ve set. And sometimes, just knowing you have permission is enough to take the first step.
Prioritizing your health is the greatest investment you will ever make. Here are some ways to save on that investment.
- Thrive Market (www.thrivemarket.com)—this online health food store is a great option if you want to buy in bulk and save a lot in the process. I save about 33% on average buying pantry products from Thrive versus Whole Foods. From dehydrated fruit, to chia seeds, cacao powder, bone broth, coconut milk, cream and more, Thrive is where it’s at. A shipment I received yesterday had 12 products and was only $40. They will last a month!
- Buy the largest size option of products with a longer shelf life. For example, I buy the large size container of protein powders in stores or online. Prices vary depending on the brand, but in general, the larger size will save you about $6-$10 on average.
- When in doubt, select food with ingredients you can read, and aren’t labeled “low fat” or “diet.” If the ingredients are whole, real food, not passing themselves off as a gimmicky “diet,” you will save money in the long run. Most of the food I buy comes directly from the earth or an animal, which finds me eating less because I fill up on full-fat, nutrient-rich products, thus making them last longer. A cauliflower curry and coleslaw salad I make regularly might appear in 3 separate meals over the course of a week. The ingredients are about $15.
- Buy fresh produce and freeze it. I also buy most of my berries for smoothies from the freezer section (still buy organic!). They last a lot longer and also makes the consistency of smoothies thicker and more refreshing.
- Plan meals ahead and meal prep. I was never good at this until I wanted to eat healthier, and now meal prep is one of my favorite things! It’s nice spending an afternoon cooking everything you need for the week knowing it’s a). Done, and b). You saved a lot of money by making multiple meals with the same ingredients.
- Working out doesn’t have to cost money. As a nutrition coach and student, I've made sacrifices, cut back where I can, and put my heart into every step I take towards my new career goals. Hiking, running/walking at the beach, lifting weights at home — working out doesn’t have to cost money. But it does require commitment, like everything else. Set a reminder every day to dedicate 30 minutes of your day to doing something active. Try to work your way up to an hour over time if you can. Make your activities varied and fun! If you don’t like running, now is not the time to try to “make” yourself. You’re goal, after all, is to find a plan you can stick to — and actually look forward to. It makes all the difference. Here is a link to great hikes in Los Angeles you can check out this week: https://modernhiker.com/best-hikes-in-los-angeles
Of course, I still do SoulCycle at least once a week-- because it's my happy place, and I believe we need to prioritize where our money goes so that we can enjoy something that truly makes our lives better.