I’ll be the first to tell you that healthy eating isn’t cheap, but it can actually work to your benefit you are eating gluten free. Hit two birds with one stone. Lower your overall spending while staying true to your diet. It may take a bit of effort but it is possible.
Eliminate Baked Goods
There’s nothing that breaks the bank more than gluten free baked goods: bread, cupcakes, pizza, crackers, etc. etc. These delicious go-to items are the reason that the gluten free industry is booming right now! With most brands, you end up paying more than double the price you would for your average gluten-containing item. They are also the worst possible items to keep in your diet.
Baked goods are high in sugar and fat, but low in nutritional value. That means, your body gets little to no benefit from eating them. In fact, consuming baked foods are actually proven to have negative consequences on your health, such as lowered immune function, digestive issues, trouble with memory, and increased risk of chronic diseases such as Crohn’s or Diabetes. Instead…
– Eat Simple Starches and Grains
Swap out the baked items for unprocessed staples, such as rice or potatoes. Even corn tortillas can be a satisfying alternative to their flour-filled counterparts. They are also MUCH cheaper and can be bought in bulk for only a few bucks! Bonus: These types of foods process differently in our bodies. They contain less sugar, fat, and sodium than their baked counterparts. So if you’re hoping to lose weight, you’ll likely get better results.
Pro tip: Make sure to manage your portions. A decent portion size for a woman who works out is 3/4 – 1 full cup of rice or 1- 1/2 cups of potatoes. A man can have 1- 1 and 1/2 cups of rice and 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of potatoes.
If you MUST have your gluten free treats every now and again, choose one to indulge in each month and buy just ONE package. It can be a box of Van’s Waffles, Ancient Grains pizza, Brazi Bites, whatever your heart fancies. But once the package is finished, you’re done for the month. But keep an eye on how you feel in the days after you indulge. If you feel bloated, tired, experience mood swings, or other after effects, you may want to rethink having them again in the future.
– Bulk Up on Fruit and Veggies
One thing I constantly remind my friends as well as my clients is that fruit and veggies are carbs too! And if you’re dieting, you’re in luck. If you choose the right types of foods in these categories, you can have MORE of them than your starches and grains. Not only are they filled with nutrients that your body needs in order to feel energized and healthy, but they are like nature’s treats!
Pro tip: When choosing fruit, go for low sugar options like berries (any kind!). Every 1/4 cup of rice translates to a full cup of berries you can enjoy over yogurt, with a smidge of honey and almonds, or mixed into a green salad.
Trust me on this one. It may take some time to adjust to the changes, but with a little dedication you can make your gluten free meals count and save a lot of cash in the meantime!
Good luck! 🙂