Don’t let the vigor of traveling steer you away from living your healthy lifestyle. It’s still important to keep your body in tip-top shape. It’s the only one you have and you need to be at your best as you go from one amazing assignment to another. If you’re worried that healthy will be hefty on your wallet, don’t be. You can keep your intake fresh and fit for less with some easy swaps. Here’s how:
Cut it out
Cut out the soda and 2am “I. Need. Ice. Cream.” runs. Water is cheap and great for you. There are also better options than eating out especially at the greasy fast food joint down the way. It’s a matter of getting rid of poor choices. When you’re pulling a 12-hour shift overnight and your eyelids feel like they couldn’t get any heavier, choose black coffee or water. When you’re ravenous, reach for fruits, vegetables (like baby carrots!) and snackable foods like nuts.
Eating clean is the key to a healthy lifestyle. When you go to the grocery store, strive for all the colors in your cart (and we’re not talking Fruit Loops). Get your greens, yellows, and oranges from some delicious fruits and vegetables. Stock up on frozen veggies to steam and you can get some of your protein from other sources like beans, whole-grain rice, and eggs which aren’t nearly as expensive as meat products. While it might be tempting to buy in bulk, no one wants to lug a 12 pack of garbanzo beans from place to place, so resist that urge. Instead, sign up for loyalty cards at chain grocery stores and look for Farmer’s Markets in larger areas to supplement your new clean habits (and support the local economy)!
Thoughtful meal planning is what will keep you sane throughout your plethora of healthy choices. Make a plan of meals for the week that have similar ingredients to cut down on costs before heading out to shop. After buying all your groceries, take a day to cook them all and portion out meals that are ready to go for you as soon as you get home from a long shift or to grab on your way out the door. Sometimes it can be so tempting to give into those cupcakes in the breakroom for Susie’s birthday but with a little planning you can say “No, thanks!” in confidence knowing that you have a healthy meal already to go in the fridge for you. This grad student tackled food creativity on the cheap head on and created a free, downloadable cookbook to keep you eating like royalty for under $4 per day.
Keep track of every cent you spend and eat
Be frugal when it comes to your grocery list and keep track of every penny you spend and eat. Use a spreadsheet or a free tool like Mint that tracks all spend(including on groceries and eating out) for you. They do wonders for your organization technique. You’ll become dramatically more conscious and aware of what and how much you consume by keeping track. When it comes time to cook, just take your receipt and use a little mathematics to figure out the price per ounce of all your purchases and throw them into the spreadsheet. Then you can use these figures to calculate the price of each meal you consume depending on the ounces.
It may take some trial and error but getting organized, planning out meals, and using a little math can help you pull your scrubs just a little tighter and put money back into your wallet. You can also try calorie counting apps, and the popular Eat This, Not That website to keep you on track on the road.