Last updated: January 01. 2014 9:57AM - 721 Views
Rob Treynor The Madison Press

A major nationwide survey of 43,000 U.S. adults by the National Institutes of Health shows that only about two in 100 people who drink within both the single-day and weekly limits below have alcoholism or alcohol abuse. SOURCE: National Instutute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
A major nationwide survey of 43,000 U.S. adults by the National Institutes of Health shows that only about two in 100 people who drink within both the single-day and weekly limits below have alcoholism or alcohol abuse. SOURCE: National Instutute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
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Here are 10 tips to eating healthy on a budget, courtesy of choosemyplate.gov:

10) Eating out: Restaurants can be expensive. Save money by getting the early bird special, going out for lunch instead of dinner, or looking for “2 for 1” deals. Stick to water instead of ordering other beverages, which add to the bill.

9) Get your creative juices flowing: Spice up your leftovers — use them in new ways. For example, try leftover chicken in a stir-fry or over a garden salad, or to make chicken chili. Remember, throwing away food is throwing away your money!

8) Cook once…eat all week: Prepare a large batch of favorite recipes on your day off (double or triple the recipe). Freeze in individual containers. Use them throughout the week and you won’t have to spend money on take-out meals.

7) Easy on your wallet: Certain foods are typically low-cost options all year round. Try beans for a less expensive protein food. For vegetables, buy carrots, greens, or potatoes. As for fruits, apples and bananas are good choices.

6) Convenience costs. Go back to the basics: Convenience foods like frozen dinners, pre-cut vegetables, and instant rice, oatmeal, or grits will cost you more than if you were to make them from scratch. Take the time to prepare your own — and save!

5) Buy in season: Buying fruits and vegetables in season can lower the cost and add to the freshness! If you are not going to use them all right away, buy some that still need time to ripen.

4) Buy in bulk It is almost always cheaper to buy foods in bulk. Smart choices are family packs of chicken, steak, or fish and larger bags of potatoes and frozen vegetables. Before you shop, remember to check if you have enough freezer space.

3) Compare and contrast: Locate the “Unit Price” on the shelf directly below the product. Use it to compare different brands and different sizes of the same brand to determine which is more economical.

2) Get the best price: Check the local newspaper, online, and at the store for sales and coupons. Ask about a loyalty card for extra savings at stores where you shop. Look for specials or sales on meat and seafood — often the most expensive items on your list.

1) Plan, plan, plan: Before you head to the grocery store, plan your meals for the week. Include meals like stews, casseroles, or stir-fries, which “stretch” expensive items into more portions. Check to see what foods you already have and make a list for what you need to buy.

Happy New Year. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

“My New Year’s resolution is to not have any New Years resolutions,” said Shane Coffey of London.

He’s not alone. The frustration from not reaching past goals often stifles the setting of new ones.

Still, most people are looking for ways to better themselves.

“I had a good year this year and I hope to have another just like it,” said Paul Faust, 82, of West Jefferson. “But I’m a diabetic, and I need to cut down the sweets.”

London’s Terry Johnson of Play N Trade said, “I know it sounds corny, and it’s pretty much the same old, same old: I’m looking to better myself and make next year a better year than this last one.”

Popular New Year’s resolutions are often about improving physical well-being: eat healthy food, lose weight, exercise more, eat better, drink less alcohol and quit smoking.

A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol showed that 88 percent of those who set New Year resolutions fail. Often resolutions fail because they’re too vague.

Selecting a specific goal (e.g. lose 10 pounds by April, exercise twice a week for 30 minutes, etc.) may prove to be a more successful way of keeping to a resolution.

Working together with a friend, colleague or loved one toward a goal of a healthier lifestyle may also benefit and allow the resolution to be achieved.

There are numerous free resources on the web that can aid one in a healthier lifestyle. Here’s a few examples:

• MyFitnessPal is a free app that allows users to track the calories of the foods they eat. Users set a goal of calorie limits per day, and then track the food and drink consumed each day. The app adds up the calories, and the user can see how well they’re eating. The app is available for most smartphones and tablets at myfitnesspal.com. There’s a web-based version available, too.

• ChooseMyPlate.gov is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition website, which offers solutions to how to eat healthy on a budget. The site includes a body mass index calculator, tools for tracking calorie intake and tips and advice on exercising.

• FitnessBlender (youtube.com/user/FitnessBlender) is a Youtube channel with 300+ full-length workout videos plus new routines every week. Workouts are broken out into various playlist: Fat Burning Cardio Workouts, At Home Ab Workout Videos, All Full Length Workout Videos, etc. The Fitness Blender website (fitnessblender.com) also offers 4-8 week fat loss programs for sale.

• The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a website called “Rethinking Drinking” (rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov) which offers valuable resources to people seeking to curb alcohol consumption. Included on the site is a cocktail content calculator, which measures alcohol by volume of popular mixed drinks.

• QuitNow! is an app available for Android and iPhone to aid those quitting smoking with how to cope with the anxiety which goes along with nicotine withdrawal. The app tracks the time (days, hours, minutes) since the last cigarette of one’s life, how many cigarettes one has avoided, and the money saved since the user’s last cigarette.

Here’s to a successful 2014, and to successfully keeping to one’s New Year’s resolutions. If not, there’s always the resolution to quit making resolutions in the future.

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