Saturday, February 2, 2013

10 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

This was originally posted last month, but I had updated it so that those of you new to the site will have a better sense of what has been going on for the past month, as well as be able to read the tips you came here looking for.



Of course you are welcome to go back and read beginning January 1 and for a summary of the first food stamp project you can go here.

Stirring the Pot is now an orphan program. It began about two years ago when I began working with Dr. Rhonda Trousdale an Endocrinologist and friend to try and help diabetics find new way to eat and live that would support their health.

In developing recipes I relied heavily in libraries to finds the multitudes of original foods from Africa, the food of the ancestors who are now developing diabetes. I used that cannon of foods to create recipes that had ingredients that were low cost and could be purchased in America.

In September I came to Harlem Hospital to begin Stirring The Pot, the program was originally funded by the Bariatric department and we needed a finished kitchen in order to be able to get grant and other monies.

The Bariatric department dropped their support, the Hospital never finished the kitchen and the program became an orphan.

I adopted my orphan and am trying to raise the funds to keep her alive.

I noticed several comments on Paula Deen today. I have tried 6 ways to Sunday to reach that woman, I've sent letters care of her Network, I have sent letters and made phone calls to her drug company and she has so many barriers to the world I am sure she knows nothing about this.

If anyone out there knows her....ask her to give me a call.

The press thus far has told part of the story, but hopefully I can fill in the gaps and garner the support to take Stirring the Pot to communities all over the US. Join hands with me and Michelle Obama and eat your vegetables America.   

To Read about Stirring The Pot Harlem go here.

To donate to the program go here.


My 10 tips for staying eating well while on a limited budget.A reporter asked me for these.

1.  Shopping:

A. Never make a shopping list. Instead take advantage of sales and in store promotions. If you have several stores in the your area that do not require a long drive, try to hit each one weekly. By improvising your menu you can find ways to use deals you never imagined.

B. When you go to Farmer's markets go at the end of the day and don't be afraid to ask for deals. There may be something perishable that they do not want to re-pack, or tomatoes or fruit with a slight blemish they will let you have a deal on.

C. Visit your cheese shops if you have one in the area. Grocery stores rarely package their own cheese but upscale shops often have odds and ends for sale at a great price. Those little pieces can be added to omelet, grilled cheese, or grated atop a dish or casserole.


2. Breakfast: Learn to make a one egg omelet.  Cooked in butter it provides 11% of the protein needed for a day as well as B12. Have with whole grain toast (read labels, most grocery brands are not truly whole grain and often contain added corn syrup and fat.) and a whole orange. If you have leftovers find a way to incorporate them into breakfast. Leftover pizza topped with a poached eggs is a delicious way to start the day.

3.Eat Omega 3's: We are told over and over again to have them but not everyone can afford wild caught Salmon. If you have a fresh fish store seek out Mackerel (Inexpensive and delicious broiled) or Bluefish, both are on the lower end the price scale and great for you. Canned Sardines are another source and also contain Vitamin D, as do canned Clams. Vegetable sources of Omega 3 include Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts.  Trader Joe's is often a source for seafood at 3.99 a pound, they sell frozen scraps of fish that allow you enjoy seafood even in landlocked areas.

4. Fiber: Fiber is your friend. No one enjoys being backed up. The best way to get adequate fiber is to shop the aisles. Avoid all processed food as it tends to be a poor source of both nutrition and fiber.  Quinoa is a high fiber substitute for rice that contains a lot of protein. Trader Joe's carries the most affordable Quinoa that I have found.

5. Avoid GMO Food: GMO is a big buzzword right now. A lot of people want to avoid Frankenfood but are not sure how. The easiest way is to avoid all products containing corn and soy in any form. That includes Corn Syrup, Corn Chips, Taco Shells and almost everything on the McDonald's menu. Soy is often found in mayonnaise, and under the names

  • TSF (textured soy flour)
  • TSP (textured soy protein)
  • TVP (textured vegetable protein)
6. Oil: Avoid Vegetable Oil, Soy oil, Corn oil and Canola Oil. When was the last time your broccoli gave you oil? Vegetable just means derived from something grown in the ground.  Use instead Sunflower, Grapeseed, Peanut, and extra Virgin Olive Oil. While they are slightly more expensive you really should not be using a lot of oil anyway.


7. Eat Your Vegetables: Cabbage and Carrots are your friend. No matter where you are in the country these are often the least expensive vegetables in the market. They are both nutrition powerhouses. Make these mainstays and shop for sales.

8. Get off the Beaten Path: If you have ethnic markets in your city you can often get deals on certain items. Spanish markets have great peppers, tomatoes and avocados at lower prices than grocery stores. If you are lucky to have a local Chinatown there are great deals to be had on produce. Otherwise check the internet or talk to friends and try to find your local ethnic markets.

9. Learn to Season: Season your food. Look for deals on seasonings and spices. No one wants to sit down to a plate of steamed vegetables and brown rice (there are a few people but I won't dine with them) but any vegetable can be put in a wok or roasted and when seasoned with garlic, hot chili oil, curry, or the more subtle tarragon you can wake up the flavor without adding too much salt.


My favorite salt free flavor booster is to puree 1/2 cup ginger, 1/2 cup garlic and the juice of two limes in a food processor or blender. Dip roast chicken or vegetables in this paste and you will not even dream of adding salt.


10. Eat Less, Move More: This is a weight loss tip that works for everyone every time they actually do it. Don't go ON a diet, eat what you love, only less. Add vegetables that you find on sale into the mix to let the fiber fill the gaps. No matter how poor you are, no matter how unhealthy, love yourself. You always take the best care of people you love. Remember matter cannot be created out of nothing, fat needs to be fed.

4 comments:

Jennifer in Oregan said...

That was actually great. I do this all the time, the list thing. I was told in my home economics class to plan my meals for the week, shop for the week and stick to my plan.

I do this and then see a flyer for a different store and realize that pork tenderloin is on sale or whatever it is, so I also buy the sale items and we end up throwing food out or filling the freezer which I always forget about when I make my plan and list.

Sunday afternoon is shopping day and except for popcorn, which I have to replace I am going to try to shop without a list and make my plan as I go on my iphone.

Anonymous said...

I heard on a gossip site that you might be appearing in Broadway Bares this year?

Any truth to that rumor?

da bitch in 23 said...

Paula Deen where are you...you got enough shout outs to talk to this boy.

You know good food, he knows pig tails and vegetables. Get together and make a plate.

Karl Wilder, Chef said...

I've no plans to do Broadway Bares, just a rumor. However if Broadway Cares wanted me to do anything I would be happy to do so.

I love the Actor's fund and their home in New Jersey is a cause I can get behind.

Broadway Cares shares money with a lot of causes dear to me.