Sheila Lake, Service Director

Hi, I am Sheila Lake. I have worked at Reliance House for 20 years and am currently a Service Director for 6 different programs. As I have grown and learned from so many people, particularly our members and staff, I came to realize how closely our mental and physical health are entwined.

I became passionately interested in wellness and have just completed a certification program in Holistic Health. I love to find, test, and pass along new recipes and information regarding simple ways to become healthier and am thrilled to be sharing these gems with you on the new Reliance House blog. I hope you find this information helpful!

I hear from a lot of folks about how difficult it can be to purchase healthy foods on a very tight budget. Many people believe that healthy, fresh foods are out of reach and feel defeated. The following eating healthy on a budget tips come from Rebecca Pratt from the site SparkPeople.

Basic tips for healthy eating on a budget:

  • Limit your intake of junk foods. Foods that are processed or bought from a drive-thru seem inexpensive but are high calorie-low nutrient foods and loaded with chemicals that do not belong in your body.
  • Instead, stock up on fruit and vegetables. Buy in season for the biggest bargain in both cost and freshness. Look for sales and stock up on frozen fruit and vegetables. Frozen fruit and milk (or non-dairy milk) makes a quick, delicious smoothie for breakfast and is more nutritious and cost effective than a breakfast sandwich at the drive thru!
  • Drink at least 8 cups of fresh water a day. Start your day off with a tall glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon! Proper hydration is crucial for balancing hunger and digestion.
  • Limit salty or sugary foods and those loaded with saturated fats. Salt, sugar, and fat cause a lot of serious health issues, are very addictive, horrible for your heart, waistline, and wallet.
  • Instead, strive for a variety of foods to stave off boredom and to ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Examples include carrots, apples, mixed nuts, and yogurt.
  • Save dining out for special occasions (you will save money, fat and calories), and stock your kitchen with affordable, easy to prepare foods such as:
    • Beans and lentils: Whether canned or dried, these make nutritious and filling meals -think soups, taco and burrito fillings, and casseroles. You can stock up by shopping at JobLot!
    • Brown rice: Cook a batch ahead of time and add to the above mentioned soups, burrito and taco fillings, or stir fry with vegetables. Brown rice packs more fiber and nutrients than white rice and won’t spike your blood sugar like white rice can.
    • Pasta: You can find a wide variety of dried pastas at JobLot. Pasta is cheap, easy and quick to prepare. Add extra fiber and nutrients by including beans and vegetables. Try a whole grain pasta or a mixture of whole grain and white pasta.
    • Soups: Once you get the hang of making a flavorful soup, this will be your once a week go to meal! You can use up leftovers by adding them to broth and seasoning with garlic, herbs and spices. Soup is easy to make in big batches for the perfect “make once eat twice” meal, making a great lunch for work the next day.