Clean Eating Habits For The Lazy And Broke

I have always dabbled in finding the right food habits for my body.  I have had serious medical issues my whole life that have restricted my personal control in many aspects of my own life.  I had limits on how much school I could go to, how much time I could spend active, and how much independence I had from my parents. The only place I had control was in my eating. I ate a strict vegan diet for 2 years, but upon getting a job at an indoor farmer’s market and specialty cheese shop, I relaxed my diet to include some dairy products and eggs.  The tiny food shop had one rule: they didn’t carry any foods with ingredients that your great-grandparents couldn’t recognize. That means no fillers, no chemical preservatives and no food colorings.  Even though I left that job 4 years ago, I kept the values that shop taught me and I have eaten clean ever since.  It seems like it is hard and expensive to eat a diet free of processed and pre-made food, but certain easy food habits keep both me and my wallet happy, healthy, and full.

Follow a 90% rule at the grocery store

Have 90% of the food bought when grocery shopping contain only one ingredient.  An avocado only contains avocados, eggs only contain eggs, and so-forth. This makes you 90% sure you know exactly what you’re eating. As for the other 10%, I love pasta and good dark chocolate too much to ignore that longing.  No one is perfect.

Always have sautéed veggies on hand

If there is one thing in my fridge at all times, it is a container of any/all types of veggies already sautéed with no specific spices. It is simple to make in bulk and the veggies will last longer than if they are just sitting fresh.  It’s the perfect filling addition a quick burrito, scrambled eggs, or quinoa stir-fry. This makes it super easy to be healthy and lazy at the same time.  

Be a whiz at lazy food prep

I have never had the dedication to truly meal prep and make cute little containers to eat once a day.  First of all, who has that many leftover containers, and second, who has enough willpower to not eat three of them for dinner? This is where the freezer comes into play. I am all about taking a free Sunday morning to whip up 40 homemade veggie burgers or a big pot of soup to freeze and save for when I don’t want to cook. It is always a small blessing when I have my protein prepared and ready to go.  The key is to be productive so you can be lazy later.

Embrace the trashcan soup (and have a broth bag handy)

Some of the best meals I have ever made came out of desperation-turned-creativity.  When I have a ton of vegetables that are slightly (or very much) past their prime, I will make trashcan soup. Old veggies, any type of beans, quinoa, and broth makes for a pretty awesome meal.  This is where the broth bag comes into play… any part of vegetables you usually throw away can be put in a large ziplock bag in the freezer. It keeps for months and once it’s full, you have all you need to create a broth for your soup! It’s the circle of life.  

Try to make what you usually buy (at least once)

I’m not about to waste my time trying to make my own butter, but so many things you usually buy are much cheaper and tastier when you make them.  Why buy 2 small cans of black beans when you can make a whole pot full for the same price? Same goes for hummus, broth, pasta sauce, and so many other things we usually don’t second guess buying.  Maybe some of the foods will be preferred pre-made, but maybe you will find a new favorite homemade staple.

Yes, it takes average amounts of dedication and willpower to thrive while eating clean, but it takes a lot less than most people believe.  Treat your tummies well, people!

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Winter Bulk Plan

One of the toughest things to accomplish in the fitness world is a successful bulk. A main reason it can be so challenging is that everyone is different so there isn’t really a set-in-stone proper way to bulk. Now I am not one to say that I am in any way “bulky” but after changing my diet and implementing a similar lifting plan, the numbers on the scale and the weights in the gym went up. I have also never done the whole bulk-then-cut plan, rather a constant “lean bulk” (in Bradley Martyn’s words). Lastly, perhaps the most important thing about gaining muscle is a clean and healthy diet. It is certainly more expensive and time consuming but seeing results in the gym and feeling healthier on a daily basis is well worth the money. With that being said, provided along with a 5-day workout plan is a very basic nutrition plan.

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There is a lot of freedom with this workout plan as well. There really is no particular order in which the exercises should happen and will totally depend upon the user. “Core” days are totally up to the user as well. 10 – 15 minutes is all that’s really needed in addition to the exercises. As far as the macros for the nutrition plan are concerned, the most important thing is to consume your body weights’ equivalent of protein plus an extra 10-20%. So 1 lb. of body weight = 1 gram of protein. Don’t be worried about carbs and fat as much just as long your intake isn’t a ridiculous amount. Carbs are needed for protein synthesis so it’s okay to eat carbs.

Finally, if there is any confusion about exercises, the internet is one of the best resources to use in order to find “how-to’s” about workouts. I truly hope this plan works. At the least, I hope it provides inspiration or a spark for any who are stuck  in their current fitness plans. Besides, a change is necessary every once in a while.

 

 

 

Missoula Fun On A Budget

Free Local Concerts

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Top Hat Lounge is a great local venue. Through the upcoming months they offer many free shows including,

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Family Friendly Friday at the Top Hat Lounge in Missoula Montana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon, Nov 07, 2016

Wed, Nov 09, 2016

Sharin’ in the Groove

Sharin' In The Groove Phish Happy Hour at the Top Hat

Fri, Nov 25, 2016

Andrea Harsell & Luna Roja

 Missoula’s Best Drink Specials

Iron Horse Bar and Grill

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Martini Mondays: 5pm-Close
Any of Our Martinis $5

Shaken Tuesdays: 5pm-Close
Everything on the shaken and stirred list  $5

Wednesday: 7pm-Close
Blue Moon $3.50 and Skip & Go Naked $5​ 

Thursday: 9pm-Midnight​Two for One Well Drinks $3.50 

 

Thomas Meagher Bar

 

Pie Hole

Missoula’s new downtown pizza shop that gives you a bang for your buck! For all you late night munchers, Pie Hole is throwin’ dough Er’day from 11AM-3AM!

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The Roxy Theater

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For any movie lover that doesn’t want to pay the astonishing 12 dollars, The Roxy is a theater like non other. As you walk in THE ROXY has the Missoula vibe painted on its walls. I highly suggest anyone looking for cheap theatrical entertainment hit up the Roxy…. By the way they serve booze there too!

Hub Family Entertainment Center

The Hub Family Entertainment Center has 50,000 square feet of fun and excitement for the whole family.  The Hub is a perfect place to have birthday parties, team parties, corporate events including team building, graduation parties, day camp parties, and youth group events. GO KARTS, LAZER TAG, ARCADE, FOOD… Hell Yeah!  

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The Art of the Chicago Beef Sandwich

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Growing up in the Suburbs of Chicago, I have spent countless minutes of my life eating Italian Beef Sandwiches. The sandwich was originally invented on the South Side, and has become a popular sandwich anywhere in the Chicago Land Area. Whether your hungry, hungover, or looking for a hearty meal to eat during a sports game, the Chicago Beef Sandwich is for you. The sandwich consists of italian beef on a high gluten french bread slice, topped with green bell pepper slices and giardiniera. Most people order their sandwich dipped in au ju sauce (gravy) to get the bread soaked in flavor. If you want to make it a “Cheesy Beef” you have the choice of adding mozzarella or provolone cheese. If you ask for “The Combo” you can get a grilled italian sausage nestled in the sandwich along with the original lineup.

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Chicago-Style Giardiniera is commonly made “hot or mild.” It consists of assorted pickled vegetables including bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, serrano peppers and gherkins, and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes. The vegetables are marinated in vegetable oil, olive oil, soybean oil, or a combination of the three. The hot version adds sport peppers.

 

Ballin’ on a Budget

Oh the struggles of wanting to be healthy but not being able to afford it, or having to sacrifice health and fitness goals to be able to eat. Unfortunately, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is quite far from being cheap. However, it is possible to keep up your fitness goals while keeping your bank account in the positives. This blog post is aimed at those who want to keep achieving their fitness goals but might not have the cash flow to provide themselves with adequate groceries, or those that would simply like to start saving money at the grocery store.

 

Ballin’ on a Budget:

 

This blog is going to provide you with a scenario that gives a VERY BASIC example of how to ball out on a tight budget.

  • We are going to have a grocery limit of $200
  • This $200 limit is supposed to last an entire month (if not, more)
  • We will balling out at Wal-Mart aka “Ball-Mart”
  • Except our Whey Protein (Syntha-6 5lb jug – 48 servings). We are ordering the protein shake off Amazon for a steal price.
  • There will be examples for both Vegetarian and non-vegetarian situations

 

A few things to keep in mind is that these are not exact prices and each given scenario will be different for different people. These Wal-Mart prices might be different than your Wal-Mart prices, and you might have to use other grocery stores in order to fulfill your list. Also, since this is very basic it is good to know that if you would like to go organic with anything, it is going to cost more. Fruit & Vegetable prices are based off organic prices (since that is the safer and healthier route) but organic dairy and poultry will cost a lot more. There are also a few products like fruit that will probably need to be bought twice in a month, if not more so those have been accounted for. Lastly, using this list month after month gets old quick (trust me) so be ready so season and sauce just about everything.

 

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Oh yeah I am not a vegetarian so if any of this strays from the guidelines, I apologize, but there are some great sites and professionals that list some amazing healthy vegetarian alternatives. Again, this is extremely basic but can be considered practical as it stays pretty healthy and any health nut or fit freak can still get their “macros”. The totals come within a dollar of each other and there is even enough left over for a little weekend fun money.

 

The beauty about this list is that you can play around with quite a bit, especially since we still have fifty dollars left over. For example, fruits can be switched out or added (like oranges) or the addition of red meats and other fish to get a more diverse diet. Diet and nutrition is truly all about trial and error so my goal for this is to hopefully provide a sense of direction to save money. What works and what doesn’t work will be up to you to decide, but it is nice to know that it is possible to maintain a fit lifestyle at a relatively low cost.