The internet abounds with lists of healthful foods to eat while sticking to a budget. However, many such lists don’t address the mind-body-spirit aspects of eating when financial resources are limited. Consider these tips to nourish and satisfy hunger:
Practice mindful eating.
Budget worries can be stressful. Mindfulness can help create a sense of calm, which can help improve digestion to achieve satiety. Try taking deep breaths before each meal and focus on the pleasures of the colors, textures and flavors of the food. Connect with your loved ones around the table, and with those in your heart. Create a spirit of gratitude and appreciation for all whose labors have made the food available. Remember that the food you are eating is becoming part of you. Practicing mindfulness increases the capacity to feel nourished.
Listen to your body and not to food fads.
Diet fad and “super food” promises result in pricey, processed food products that become obsolete when the next fad bursts forth. Ignore the buzz! Don’t waste your money on food products that come with “guarantees.” Instead, practice listening to your body. Choose foods that make you feel full, energized, well and vibrant. Avoid buying foods that leave you tired, uncomfortable or craving more.
Include a variety of flavors and textures in each meal.
We’ve all experienced that feeling of needing yet one more crispy chip or sweet candy, even when we’re not hungry. Such foods carry one dominant flavor, such as salty or sweet, which still leaves us wanting despite the pleasure they bring, because our palates crave a range of flavors to be satiated. In the practice of Ayurveda, each meal is to include all six flavors — sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent — to be fully balanced and satisfying. Follow this practice when planning meals and include multiple flavors to achieve satiety. Think about texture too. Is there something crunchy, something chewy, and something smooth to fully engage the senses? And don’t forget a liquid, since thirst can come disguised as hunger.
Stay well hydrated.
Don’t forget a liquid, since thirst can come disguised as hunger.
By Debra A. Boutin, MS, RDN, CD
Associate Professor, Chair of Department of Nutrition & Exercise Science and Dietetic Internship Director