Let’s face it: Most of us are pressed for time or money (or both). We eat breakfast in the car on the way to work and pop TV dinners in the microwave after a long day at work. Although it can seem tough to cultivate new, healthy habits, the truth is that eating well doesn’t have to require tons of time or money. (Plus, there are invaluable benefits to fueling your body with nutritious foods.) Here are five healthy food combinations that won’t break the bank.
1. Beans and Rice
The dynamic duo of beans and rice is a go-to in many countries around the world where fresh meat isn’t readily accessible. When eaten together, the pair is a great source of complete proteins. Make a large batch on Sunday evenings, and top with your favorite veggies for a cheap and healthy lunch that will last you the whole workweek. Need to spice things up? Try different variations if your go-to recipe is getting ho-hum boring.
2. Oatmeal and Peanut Butter
Need a breakfast that will really go the distance? Oatmeal and peanut butter make a powerful pair. Oatmeal is a high-fiber carbohydrate that has been linked to lowered cholesterol levels. Instead of choosing one of the sugary packaged oatmeal varieties, add a scoop of natural peanut butter for a sweet and nutty taste. The peanut butter provides a protein boost that will help this breakfast keep you full until lunchtime.
3. Chia Seeds and Almond Milk
Chia pets were all the rage in the 90s, but chia seeds are commanding everyone’s attention these days. Mixing chia seeds and non-dairy (or dairy) milk produces a nutrient-rich pudding (like this recipe from Gina at SkinnyTaste) that will keep you satisfied. High in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and antioxidants, chia seeds can also be sprinkled on oatmeal and yogurt or added to your morning protein shake.
4. Pears and Greek Yogurt
When you’re craving a sweet treat in the afternoon, try a Greek yogurt parfait with chopped pears. This combination is high in calcium, vitamin D, fiber and protein. The sweetness from the pear will satisfy your sugar craving, and the protein in Greek yogurt will hold you over until dinner. Win-win!
5. Eggs and Mushrooms
Got an important meeting that requires your full attention later in the day? An egg and mushroom omelet is the perfect brain food. Protein-packed eggs are a significant source of choline, which supports cognitive performance, while mushrooms provide selenium, potassium, and other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Originally posted May 13, 2013.