How To Stay Nourished in 2023 With The Rising Cost of Living
How To Stay Nourished in 2023 With The Rising Cost of Living
2023 is beginning to look like a follow-on from 2022’s outrageous grocery, fuel, and housing prices. A large majority of people are feeling the stress of the new normal and it has left many of us to rethink how we live, and what is actually important. If the last couple of years has taught us anything, big changes can happen out of nowhere. Things that many of us may have taken for granted in the past have been rediscovered as privileges, such as the ability to be out in the world and move our bodies, eat well, and be close to loved ones. With a shift in what's valued as necessary, right now there is an opportunity to make small changes that could not only benefit your health this year but also your pocket, at a time when these two things could be your greatest asset.
We have collated a list of some tips and tricks to help you nourish yourself and your families this year, and no they do not include doing a 12-week challenge to “get in shape” after Christmas or preaching about following an x,y,z diet. It’s 2023, we know there is more to feeling good than this.
Focus on The Small Things
Small things continued with consistency can keep you happier and healthier, the best thing is that the small things are usually free and severely underrated!
1. Review Your Sleep Habits
Sleep costs nothing however, the benefits are priceless. Depending on your individual needs, 7-9 hours of sleep each night can boost your immune system and improve your overall health. Looking into your bedtime habits could be a great start, this is also referred to as sleep hygiene.
- Creating a relaxing bedtime routine
- Creating a sleep-conducive environment (e.g. cool, dark, quiet)
- Limiting exposure to screens before bedtime
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bed
- Regular exercise during the day
- Relaxation techniques before bed (e.g. deep breathing, yoga)
- Look into sleep-supporting herbs such as lavender, camomile tea or ashwagndha. (1,2,3)
2. Save Money On Your Grocery Bill and Stay Active
Check out your local farmer's markets. You can dramatically reduce your produce bill by taking advantage of the deals your local farmers have on offer. Buy in bulk and freeze what you can. Your body will thank you for the fresh produce and you might be more likely to spend the time in your kitchen creating nourishing meals, much cheaper than takeaway or other alternatives. This can also be a great family adventure and overall mood and vitality booster, it’s free and comes complete with fresh air and sunlight. BONUS points for riding your bike or incorporating a walk into this adventure, including incidental exercise into your days can reduce fitness class costs and improve overall health.
Keep the cuttings from your fruit and veg and make your own stock, throw it in a pot or slow cooker for a few hours and you have your own homemade nourishing stock on hand. Freezing the leftovers in an ice cube tray is also a great idea! Same goes for keeping your meat bones and making bone broth, more about that here. Sounds simple however, this one small step could get the ball rolling for you to create other homemade condiments and meal boosters, which can turn into quite large savings over the course of a year.
3. Take Advantage of Deals, Sales and Buy in Bulk
Keep an eye on your inbox instead of deleting emails this year. Sign up for the brands you love and buy when you can get a great deal. The influx of emails can be annoying, we get it! So, unsubscribe to those who you no longer resonate with and subscribe to the ones that you do. There is always a deal to be had so take advantage of it when you can.
4. Use Herbs, Spices and Level Up Your Food.
When considering how to reduce food costs, herbs should become a staple for flavour and food elevation! The same ingredients from one night to the next can be transformed into a new flavour sensation with the addition of a different herb.This could be the best thing to happen to you yet! It is truly amazing what herbs can do, if we were to cover everything there would be a textbook worth of information for you to read. To summarise as briefly as possible, various culinary herbs can have anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antitumourigenic effects as well as the ability to help with mood and cognition. There is also a great deal of evidence around the health benefits of polyphenols on the gut microbiome and their ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and even diabetes just to name a couple from a very long list of benefits. (4)
Common and easily accessible herbs that you can use for both flavour and health:
- Fenugreek, (blood glucose control, satiety, vascular health, liver health) (4)
- Rosemary, (cognition, mental health, liver health, skincare, vascular health, blood glucose control)(4)
- Cinnamon, (anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular health, blood glucose control) (4)
- Thyme, (antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular health) (5)
- Basil (blood glucose control, cardiovascular health) (6)
- Coriander (blood glucose control, cholesterol)(6)
- Cumin (blood glucose control, cholesterol) (6)
- Oregano (blood glucose, vascular health) (6)
5. Manage Stress
Stress is unavoidable, and in the current world there could be a new stressor lurking around every corner, we get it. The key is to find what your ongoing stressors are and work on ways to manage them that fit into your lifestyle. Do you like to smash out a workout, strike a yoga pose, have 5 minutes of quiet and reflection, go for a walk or hug a loved one? What is it that you love and makes you feel at ease? Do that, whenever you can and schedule the time for it. Stress management does not have to be expensive, it just has to be prioritised… over and over again. This is your reminder, give yourself the time out you deserve.
Stress in all it’s forms, mental or physical can drive up inflammation. If you are having a particularly hard few days you can offer your body some support through herbs and nutrition that won’t break the budget.
- Turmeric (4,7)
- Garlic (4,7)
- Ginger (4,7)
The Take Home
There are many ways to stay nourished without breaking the budget and there is so much more to health than hitting the gym and the old “new year new you” mentality. Use what you have, be kind to yourself, and continue to move forward with the current journey you are on with your health. We are certainly cheering you on and hope you can take away a few key reminders from this blog. The simplicity of nature's herbs has an abundance of benefits, and incidental movement and fresh produce does amazing things for mental and physical health, buy food and other treats in bulk when things are on sale and make the time to manage your stress and inflammation. This all sounds simple but sometimes we need a reminder and a cheerleader, you have got this!
(1)Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006–. Lavender. 2022 Feb 20. PMID: 30000925.
(2)Ali R, Tariq S, Kareem O, Fayaz F, Aziz T, Meenu, Pottoo FH, Siddiqui N. Nutraceuticals for Sleep Disorders. Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2021 Sep 14;24(10):1583-1592. doi: 10.2174/1386207324666210121111446. PMID: 33475068.
(3)Cheah KL, Norhayati MN, Husniati Yaacob L, Abdul Rahman R. Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2021 Sep 24;16(9):e0257843. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257843. PMID: 34559859; PMCID: PMC8462692.
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(5)Salehi B, Mishra AP, Shukla I, Sharifi-Rad M, Contreras MDM, Segura-Carretero A, Fathi H, Nasrabadi NN, Kobarfard F, Sharifi-Rad J. Thymol, thyme, and other plant sources: Health and potential uses. Phytother Res. 2018 Sep;32(9):1688-1706. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6109. Epub 2018 May 22. PMID: 29785774.
(6)Bower A, Marquez S, de Mejia EG. The Health Benefits of Selected Culinary Herbs and Spices Found in the Traditional Mediterranean Diet. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Dec 9;56(16):2728-46. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2013.805713. PMID: 25749238.
(7)Yatoo MI, Gopalakrishnan A, Saxena A, Parray OR, Tufani NA, Chakraborty S, Tiwari R, Dhama K, Iqbal HMN. Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Herbs with Special Emphasis on Herbal Medicines for Countering Inflammatory Diseases and Disorders - A Review. Recent Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2018;12(1):39-58. doi: 10.2174/1872213X12666180115153635. PMID: 29336271.