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Running on Food: Food Budgets

This article is part of a new series on Nutrition for Runners.   Heather from the blog, Trials of Training, has offered her expertise in Nutrition to runners in the Lounge to pass along information on recipes, nutrition, and running/food related questions.  She has her BS in Nutrition from Penn State, she is currently working to be a Registered Dietician, and is a loves to help runners with their questions.  

Food Budgets

by Heather

Running on foodSomewhere in the last few months I stopped allowing myself to purchase frozen dinners. I used get one per week; my reason being I knew there’d be at least one day where I wouldn’t want to cook and/or have time to make something filling and healthy. So, this was my substitute. But then I realized how much these meals add up (cost) but don’t really fill me up. I also know that I feel much better when I prepare fresh food and make new things on my own!

This meant I needed to get creative with my grocery shopping and cooking! I try to stick to my budget; typically I can keep my food purchases around $30-35 per week.  Recently, while browsing the web for some cheap and easy recipes (just one of my hobbies, you know…), I found a new addition to one of my favorite web sites. Kraft, you just made my life a little bit easier!

I went straight to KraftFoods.com, and saw a “new” navigation; Budget Wi$e. Look around and you find both dinner and lunch recipes, snack ideas, desserts and the “1 bag, 5 dinners” list. Honestly, I stumbled onto something good here!

Basically I have NO more excuses for opting out of a fresh home-cooked and budget-friendly meal!

These were a few of my favorites; some are also tagged with the “Healthy Living” symbol*:

Lunches:

Veggie Packed Pita Pocket *– add some lean protein if you have it on hand!  
Options – grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese slice, deli sliced ham or turkey

Tuscan Turkey Wrap – this one doesn’t qualify for “healthy living”; cut out the cream cheese and you’ll lose some of the saturated fat!

Dinners:

Tuna Cakes – substitute Light Mayo and cheese with 2% milk to save on total fat and calories! 
Enchilada Casserole – choose Lean ground beef (look for 90/10 or 93/7 on the label), Low-fat Sour Cream and 2% milk cheese to save on calories and drastically reduce the saturated fat! 
Spicy Pepper Steak *– serve with a glass of skim-milk for extra nutrients and protein! 
Quick Chicken Parmesan Pasta *– serve with a side salad and glass of skim milk for even more nutrients, fiber, and protein! 

I hope you enjoy these recipes, and the new Kraft page, as much as I do. This gets me excited to write up my next grocery list, trying out some new things! 

Do you shop on a food budget?? If so, feel free to share some tips on how you stay within the lines!  

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