20 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

Access to healthy food is a basic human right (at least it should be). Without access to healthy food, people are at a higher risk for conditions such as heart disease, type II diabetes, and obesity.
However healthy foods, along with many other basic costs of living, can add up quickly. These costs of living have increased dramatically over the years, and yet wage rates and income supports have not increased at the same rate of inflation. This means people have to spend more and more money on fixed costs such as housing, electricity, etc., and the most flexible basic expense is the food budget (you can’t pay half of your rent, electricity, or power, but you can sure cut your food bill). Does this seem fair? Many people blame themselves for not being able to afford enough healthy food for their families, when in fact it is more of a societal issue (when you look at the issue as a whole and not on an individual basis). Does this sound like your situation? Then throw away that blame and don’t being so hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can with the social circumstances you are given. And if you’re one of those people who say well people should do this, or shouldn’t do that…just try to be a little more understanding about the fact that everyone is doing their best with their given circumstances.
Most people will say that a healthy diet should be affordable to everyone. The truth for many is, if you have an extremely tight budget for food for the week for yourself and your family (I’ve worked with mothers that have $20 to stretch for the week for food), a few boxes of Kraft dinner and some hot dogs, or a $3 on sale pizza, go much further than an array of lean meats, healthy carbs and veggies. A bottle of pop you can get for 50 cents on sale, yet the same size carton of milk would run about five dollars. The examples are endless. The fact is that many of us have to make some tough choices that we judge ourselves harshly enough about. Healthy eating can be done on a budget, but it takes some time, patience, understanding, effort, and trial and error to figure out the best system that works for you and your family.
Here are some tips for eating healthy on a budget:
1. Buy Generic Food and Store Brands

  • Generic versions of raw foods such as rice, pasta, eggs, milk, cottage cheese, and frozen fruits/veggies taste like brand name foods (or at least comparable), and they’ll save you money on packaging & advertising.

2. Buy in Bulk

  • Especially when there are sales. Foods like pasta, rice and oats are easy to stockpile. If they’re on sale, buy as much as you can afford and store to last you until the next sale.

3. Invest in a Deep Freezer

  • Even if you have to buy one second hand and clean it. It will save you tons of money in the long run because you can stock up on fruits, veggies, meats, etc., when they go on sale.

4. Buy Only What You Need

  • “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. The best way to avoid impulse buying is to prepare yourself before you do the grocery.
  • Plan your meals ahead, including portion size. List all foods you need for the next 7 to 14 days. Go the grocery store, get what’s on your list and get out.
  • Eat before you go shopping. This prevents buying foods not on your list because you’re hungry. Eat a solid meal before doing the grocery.
  • Shop alone as it prevents impulse buying from the significant other and/or kids.
  • Keep a list in the kitchen to write down items that you need to buy for your menu or to restock your pantry.

5. Prepare Your Own Food

  • Cook all your meals for the day on waking up or before going to bed (place ingredients in a slow cooker, or cook and then store in the fridge/freezer). It takes 30-40mins, saves you stress about what you’ll be eating the rest of the day and you eat healthy while saving money. Or choose one afternoon or evening a week to prep some meals for days when you know you will be busy. There are many websites where you can get ideas on family meal prep, such as this one.
  • Reduce processed foods: Buy oats instead of cereals, make home made protein bars, home made tomato sauce, home made pizza (recipes can be found online).
  • Keep it simple: make double portions, take leftovers with you, use cans of tuna & mackerel, rice, pasta, and frozen veggies.
  • Learn to cook from scratch: Learn to work with spices & herbs. Invest in a budget-friendly eating on a budget cookbook, or free sites such as this one for recipes. Note: it takes time, patience and practice to learn new cooking skills (as with learning any new skill). Don’t get frustrated if you burn something or don’t get it right the first time. You will slowly start to develop your skills over time.

6. Make One Meal for Everyone

  • Try to offer everybody the same foods at mealtimes. As tempting as it is to please everyone, avoid making something special for ‘picky’ eaters. Children will learn to like many different foods only if they are encouraged to try them. Making only one meal also saves money and prevents waste. (Disclaimer: this might not be true for some households with picky eaters, so I do understand that sometimes you just ‘gotta do what you gotta do’ with a very picky eater).

7. Offer Water Instead of Juice for Kids

  • Or try diluting juice with water. It’s better for their teeth and also helps reduce the risk for childhood obesity (through drinking too many calories).

8. Plan for Leftovers

  • Make larger amounts of food and plan to use leftovers for lunches or suppers the next day. Add leftover vegetables, meats, fish, or poultry to salads, pastas, soups or spaghetti sauces.

9. Use Community Gardens or CSAs

  • Community gardens offer people the opportunity to grow their own vegetables and fruit. A group of people come together to grow food, maintain the garden and share the harvest. Ask your local community centre or public health department if there is a community garden that you could join.
  • ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ (CSA) refers to a particular network of individuals who provide money to support one or more local farms. CSA subscribers pay at the beginning of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit. Often, CSAs also include herbs, honey, eggs, dairy products and meat, in addition to produce. Check if there is a CSA in your area.

10. Buy Frozen Fruits & Veggies.

  • Unfreeze berries in microwave and eat warm with cottage cheese. Buy large bags of spinach and freeze half of it so it does not go bad; use the fresh spinach in salads and the frozen in cooked recipes. Try frozen beans, broccoli, carrots, corn, etc.
  • Benefits of using frozen fruits and veggies: Saves Money – often half the price of fresh and almost infinite shelf life when kept in freezer; Saves Time – frozen fruits & veggies are pre-washed and pre-cut, which saves preparation time; Nutrient Dense – if frozen right when picked, frozen fruits & veggies can contain just as much or even more nutrients than fresh ones.

11. Plan Easy Meals Around Whole Grains

  • Add meat, chicken or dried beans, peas or lentils and vegetables to brown rice, quinoa, bulgur or barley. Follow the directions on the package to help you cook the grains.

12. Healthier Cereal Options

  • Buy unsweetened whole grain cereals when you can. Sweetened cereals are higher in sugar and are often lower in fibre.
  • Hot cereals like oatmeal and multigrain cereals are the best buys. Instant flavoured hot cereals in single serving packages are easy, but they may cost more and are higher in sugar and salt.
  • Add your own toppings to cereals to make them more flavourful: banana slices, berries, canned fruit, dried fruit (raisins, apricots, dates, dried cranberries), nuts, yogurt, applesauce, chopped apples or cinnamon.

13. Buy Discounted Meat

  • Grocery stores often discount meats by up to 70% as they approach expiration date. Buy several pounds and store in your freezer.

14. Buy Less Expensive Types of Meat, Poultry and Fish

  • Stewing meat
  • Outside, inside or eye of round
  • Blade or flank steak
  • Regular or medium ground meat
  • Pork shoulder
  • Chicken pieces (legs, thighs) or whole chicken (or buy breasts when they are on sale and freeze)
  • Plain frozen fish fillets such as salmon, tilapia, sole, haddock and Pollock
  • Canned fish like salmon, “light” tuna, sardines and herring

15. Keep Portions Small

  • A serving of meat, poultry or fish is just 75 grams (2.5 oz) or about the size of a deck of cards. Have 2 to 3 servings per day. Enjoy meals that use small amounts of meat and lots of vegetables, pasta or rice. Try stir-fries, casseroles, curries and pasta dishes.

16. Lower priced meats can be less tender because they are lower in fat. Try these ways to make meat more tender:

  • Marinate meat overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Pound the meat using a mallet before cooking.
  • Cook meat slowly for a few hours in a liquid such as water, broth or tomato juice.

17. Explore meat alternatives like eggs, dried beans, peas and lentils, soy products and nuts and seeds. Try eating a few meatless meals each week:

  • Curried chickpeas and rice
  • Vegetable cheese omelette
  • Vegetarian bean chilli
  • Lentil casserole or soup
  • Tofu stir-fry
  • Egg salad sandwich
  • Hummus and vegetable pita

18. Ways to Save Money with Dairy Products:

  • Buy milk in 4 L bags or jugs instead of cartons. Milk can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw bags of milk in your refrigerator and shake it before you open it.
  • Skim milk powder costs less than milk and is just as nutritious. Once skim milk powder has been mixed with water, try mixing it with an equal amount of milk from the bag or carton for a creamier taste. You can also use it for cooking or baking. Buy yogurt in a larger container instead of single serve portions.
  • Buy cheese in blocks when it is on sale and slice or grate it yourself.
  • Freeze grated or block cheese to help make it last longer. It will crumble when you thaw it, but it will be just as nutritious.
  • Buy yogurt in a larger container instead of single serve portions. Note: plain yogurt can be used as a much healthier substitute for mayonnaise.
  • Low fat cottage cheese can be a good substitute for regular cheese in some recipes
  • Compare brands and the price of cheese per kilogram.

19. Try These Budget-friendly Meal Ideas

  • Make a stir fry and serve it over brown rice.
  • Toss leftover pasta with diced canned tomatoes, canned or frozen vegetables and cooked meat. Put in a casserole dish and top with grated cheese. Heat in the oven or microwave.
  • Add chopped vegetables and dried fruit to quinoa, bulgur or barley and toss with oil and vinegar salad dressing.
  • Add cooked brown rice or barley to soups.
  • Cheese, bean and vegetable quesadillas on whole grain tortillas.

20. Last but not least – Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

  • Everybody has rough times for various reasons. People are usually too embarrassed to ask for help because there are judgements and stigma out there around this. Try to look past that and understand that no matter what people will always judge. Don’t refrain from seeking help just because there is a lack of understanding around who should and shouldn’t need it.
  • Community Kitchens: are small groups of people who prepare low-cost meals together to divide among their families. Ask your local community centre or public health department to connect you with a group.
  • Food Buying Clubs (e.g. The Good Food Box): The Good Food Box is a non-profit food buying club that makes fresh vegetables and fruit available at an affordable price. Community organizations and volunteers help pack and distribute the boxes. Go to www.foodshare.net to find a Good Food Box program near you.
  • Food Banks and Food Cupboards: provide basic food items to help when you do not have enough money for food. They try to offer healthy foods, but the types and amounts of food you will get depends on what is available. When you find a location, be sure to ask about the hours of operation and what information you should bring with you when you go.
  • Meal Programs: Sometimes you need a place to get a meal when money is tight. Nutritious meals that are free or at a very low cost may be available where you live. Ask about meal programs at local places of worship, community centres and other non-profit organizations in your community.
  • Student Nutrition Programs: Many schools offer breakfast, lunch and/or snack programs for their students. Ask the principal at your child’s school if they offer a nutrition program.

Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)

Official NEM Nutritionist

For the past several years, Felicia has been working at a university research centre with a focus on food security (Food Action Research Centre), and has taught university level nutrition courses. Her passion lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has recently published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.

 

One Step at a Time

For many people, cravings (and sometimes addictions – both mental and physical) for sweet, salty, high-fat foods are what hinders them from their progress and goals.
As I will reiterate over and over, making lifestyle changes can be difficult. Some people try to take on too many changes at once, and that can become overwhelming so they give up (and unfortunately feel like a failure). Instead of letting a ‘failure’ stop you from achieving your goals, learn from it instead!
If making changes is hard for you – try it one step at a time. Find your most challenging negative habits or addictions and slowly cut them out/replace with healthy behaviours. For example: someone barely ever drinks water, craves and snacks on high-fat sweet snacks at night, eats fast food several times per week, and does not get get much exercise. They could still snack at night, but instead of always choosing chocolate and other high-fat sweets, they could replace some snacks with something that is nutritious, still tasty, and has significantly lower calories (see example below). They could also try slowly increasing their daily water intake (adding in 1-2 cups per week). Once they are comfortable with making these changes (and they become habits), other changes such as adding in more exercise that suits their schedule and cutting down on fast food can be made. This is just one example, and would be different for every person, but hopefully you get the point!
If you have trouble with craving sweets, try this yummy, healthy, nutrient-dense snack to satisfy your sweet tooth!
– Layer (low sugar) regular or Greek yogurt in a glass pan or comparable, add your favourite fruits, nuts, and/or a bit of dark chocolate, freeze for a few hours and enjoy!

Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)

Official NEM Nutritionist

For the past several years, Felicia has been working at a university research centre with a focus on food security (Food Action Research Centre), and has taught university level nutrition courses. Her passion lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways.

 

Healthy Cooking Tips!

Let’s face it – it’s a new era where some of us have basic cooking skills, and some of us don’t. It’s not our fault really – it depends on how we were raised and other factors (We all have strengths and weaknesses right?).
 
 
Try these ideas to make some of your favorite recipes a little healthier. 

  • Blend a handful of spinach or kale into a fruit smoothie
  • Mash cooked cauliflower together with potatoes
  • Add puréed butternut squash to homemade macaroni and cheese
  • Shred carrots, zucchini or onions into spaghetti sauce
  • Stir canned puréed pumpkin into whole grain pancake or muffin batter
  • Sprinkle berries onto breakfast cereal or yogurt

Balance your baking with simple swaps.

There are lots of tasty ways to make your baking a little bit healthier. Experiment by using these simple substitutions in your favourite baked goods:

  • Replace at least half of the enriched white flour (if you normally use white flour) with a healhier type of flour (e.g., whole grain, coconut, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, oat, etc.)
  • Replace a quarter or more of the sugar with a healthier alternative (e.g., stevia, truvia, agave nectar, honey, skim milk powder)
  • Replace half of the fat in muffins, quick breads and cookies with mashed fruit or vegetables, such as unsweetened applesauce or puréed sweet potato
  • Use milk (regular, almond, coconut, etc.) instead of water

Get delicious results with good-for-you ingredients. 

Cooking at home lets you control the taste, nutrition and cost of your meals. Try these simple swaps to fill homemade food with flavour:

  • Use whole milk (or another milk alternative) and cream cheese instead of cream and butter for a luscious pasta Alfredo
  • Substitute greek yogurt for mayonnaise to make a creamy salad dressing
  • Sweeten whole grain hot cereal/oatmeal with fruit, such as bananas, apples or peaches, instead of sugar
  • Use lemon juice, garlic, herbs and spices instead of salt to flavour savoury dishes

Add some zing!

Think healthy cooking is bland? Healthy cooking is all about good taste. Add some zing with these mouth-watering flavor boosters:

  • Garlic is perfect for pasta, potatoes and peas, and it makes a tofu-and-veggie stir-fry’s much more flavorful
  • Fresh lime juice is a tangy addition to fish, avocado or fresh tomato salsa
  • Red pepper flakes deliver delicious heat to lightly sautéed greens
  • Ginger spices up butternut squash soup and adds depth to beef and pork dishes
  • Cinnamon pairs sweetly with apples, squash and sweet potatoes

*Notes:

  • There are many more ‘cooking basics’, these are just a few tips.
  •  Please keep in mind that people have varied skills and habits when it comes to food. As a nutritionist I meet people with all different levels of cooking skills, and many use white flour, sugar, etc. all of the time, so for many people cutting out half of what they use would be a step in the right direction.

Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)
Official NEM Nutritionist
For the past several years, Felicia has been working at a university research centre with a focus on food security (Food Action Research Centre), and has taught university level nutrition courses. Her passion lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways.

Making Behavior and Lifestyle Changes

Food for thought: Does simply telling someone to do something, or judging someone for not doing what you think is right, actually help that person change their behavior?
As an Official NEM Nutritionist, I wanted to take a moment to bring what may be a different perspective to the table. Some may be familiar with these concepts; some may think I am way out in left field. Life is a lot about perspective, so even if I can give a new perspective to a few people I am okay with that. Here are two concepts that are just food for thought! They are usually very detailed and complex, but for the sake of this post I want to be as straightforward as possible.
1)   Behavior change. Our group is based a lot around the changing of lifestyles and behaviors. Behaviors are psychological, and deeply engrained. They are habits, and a lot of times when it comes to food-related behaviors they are even addictions. They are very difficult to change, which is why many different theories and models in the scientific field that are used to explain behavior change. I don’t want to go into detail of course because you are all busy moms and don’t have all day to read a post that sounds like a lecture. The key message I want to bring here is changing behaviors is HARD. It involves many different steps and factors to change a behavior (e.g., motivation, education, support, confidence, etc.). If you think  ‘clean eating’ and living a healthy lifestyle is hard and you are alone because everyone else is making progress or some people make it look easy – think again! We all have difficulties at some point or another (we just don’t always show it, especially on social media), and with the right support and motivation (and accepting that we will have set-backs and no success comes without failure), we can overcome them.
2)   Social Determinants of Health.  This is another concept I don’t want to bore you all with and go into detail, but I just want to introduce for those of you who may not have heard of it. This is a premise that lifestyle choices are largely shaped by many different factors, including: income and income distribution, education, unemployment and job security, employment and working conditions, early childhood development/experiences, food insecurity, housing, social exclusion, social safety network, health services, aboriginal status, gender, race, and disability. Each and every one of these factors influences the choices that we make, and we don’t always have control over a lot of these factors (a lot of these factors are set by society, and individuals have no control over this). Just one example (there are many other examples, but again for the sake of us busy moms): people in various family situations (from low to middle income; single to two parent households), cannot afford a healthy diet. This is by no means their fault for many reasons, one being the cost of living (has risen significantly, and increase in wages have not kept up with the many costs of living (food, shelter, transportation, childcare, etc.). This means many families cannot afford to eat healthy, but it is not their fault. Now there may be many other factors that influence say a low-income families’ ability to purchase a healthy diet – e.g., knowledge, skills, childhood experiences, stress, etc. So as you can see, a person’s decisions around food can be very complex!
We are all human. For the most part we have good intentions and want to support and help each other by giving advice and what works for us, and we do an incredible job! Some days we might have a bad day and post something in the wrong way. Misunderstandings can happen. I get it and I think for the most part we all do. We are all busy, and most times trying to post something in between other daily responsibilities. BUT, I do know there are moms in here who feel overwhelmed at times with conflicting advice, and/or they feel ashamed because certain things that they perceive as the ‘right thing to do’ doesn’t fit their lifestyle. These feelings can really hinder someone’s progress. Telling someone to do something is one thing, but again, we all have different factors that affect why we do what we do.
My 2 takeaway messages are: 1) try to be a little more understanding of just how many factors influence a person and the decisions that they make. If we all try to be a little more understanding of this, we may be able to support each other even more than we already do; and 2) if someone gives you advice and it works for them and not you – that is okay! We are all human, different things work for different people. It doesn’t make us any less of women or mothers. We are already doing so much and are hard enough on ourselves (but shouldn’t be) – so let’s not be hard on each other!

She drank ONE GALLON of water a day and look what happened!!

*** UPDATE: Our newest challenge encourages drinking half your body weight in ounces. One Gallon is 128oz. If you are over 200lbs or very active, drinking a gallon is very achievable. For those who are less active and lower in weight, aim to drink half your body weight in ounces.
—-
What happens when you drink a gallon of water for 30 days?
First, let me begin by saying that water intake needs to be increased in slow increments and sipped throughout the day. If you consume too much water at one time, it can alter your electrolytes and cause serious health damage.
With that said, the majority of people are dehydrated. They drink caffeinated drinks that act as a diuretic to your system (it promotes urination). Drinks such as coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks are all diuretics that don’t get absorbed in your cells like consuming simple, clean water. Why is water important? Firstly, water makes up approximately 60% of our body. It is important for circulation, digestion and regulating body temperature. Not only does it decrease headaches and eliminates toxins, but it also improves your energy and overall mood.
How can you tell you’re dehydrated? Your urine should not have much color, in fact, your urine should resemble lemon juice (or clearer). If your skin is dry and inelastic, if you have more headaches and if you deal with constipation, then these are all signs you need to drink more water. Often times, people think they are hungry (and eat) when they are really just thirsty. Not only do studies show that even one glass will shut down hunger pain, but it is the number one reason behind daily fatigue.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, drinking just five glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, breast cancer by 70% and bladder cancer by 50%! While the results of consuming this relatively available commodity (water) is astounding, 75% of Americans are severely dehydrated. So how much should you drink? You should rink 8-10 glasses per day, more if you are overweight and even more when you are active. This is why I chose to challenge people to drink ONE gallon a day. I knew that if I can drink a gallon of water a day at my weight, height, age and activity level, then most people (esp those who are overweight) can do it too!
Bring on the 30 day No Excuse Water Challenge. I challenged followers to drink one gallon of water a day. Changing their diet or exercise routine was not required. They can still drink other fluids in the form of black coffee or unsweetened tea. Lastly, they can enjoy their favorite caloric beverages on their planned treat days. Of course, it took some time for everyone to adjust to this new challenge and while some struggled a bit, most people experienced positive results by the end of the 30 days.
www.brittenphoto.com
Few things to consider: When beginning the challenge, many people felt increased weight gain. Their body was in shock mode and began retaining water because it wasn’t used to being fed a surplus of water. Others also experienced acne. You must remember that your body is in detox mode and a lot of toxins are being pushed out of your body! Lastly, people weren’t prepared to go to the bathroom more regularly. In my world, I use the restroom nearly every hour. So be prepared to go through some stages before finding positive results in this No Excuse Water Challenge.
Here are some personal stories of our #noexcusewaterchallenge participants.
Taylor Walker
I did what was recommended, I’m addicted to Starbucks fraps but I just drank (at least) a gallon a day of water. No juice, coffee, soda…basically nothing but (fruit infused) water and/or herbal tea for 30 days. I struggled to finish an entire gallon at first but now I’m drinking 1.5-2 gallons a day. I didn’t change my diet (much…) and I didn’t add any physical activity. I’m a stay at home mom with a 1 year old and a 2 year old so all my exercise right now consists of chasing my girls around the house! While I didn’t lose actual pounds and still have some acne from stress, my eczema has gotten a little better and I don’t crave sweets as much.
water_taylor walker
Kate Hardman
I saw the most difference in my dark circles. Which I’ve ALWAYS had! I find I’m using less concealer 😉 BUT I did have 2 changes in the last month that you cant see on a photo. Firstly, I was born with a congenital leftover on my bowels that wasn’t discovered and removed until I was 16. So I’ve had issues with my digestive tract basically my whole life. The last 2 weeks I’ve been more regular than I EVER have been before!!! Who knew digesting could be so exciting! Hehe! Secondly, I broke my plateau!!! I’ve been stuck for MONTHS and it was rather frustrating! I’ve lost 4 lbs in the last month by drinking a gallon a day! Now I’m going to be honest… I cheated 1 time… I had a can of Coke. I was pms’ing… But other than that one slip up, I didn’t drink anything but good ol’ water and some English breakfast tea (my favorite). And the funny thing is I don’t even miss all the juices and sodas…
water_kate hardman
Maureen Roarke
I turned 31 earlier this year and found myself easily consuming two or three 20oz sodas per day (or more, unfortunately) with NO WATER, not even a drop. My addiction to soda left me feeling bloated, lethargic, always thirsty, and resulted in excessive sweating and sugar rushes which interfered with my daily life. And yes, it is an addiction. When I didn’t have a soda, I experienced headaches which I always knew would be cured with a dose of sugar and caffiene, making soda not just a beverage but a medicine to me. It’s just gross to think about now!
After participating in the water challenge, I have averaged 80oz or more per day. I may not have met the full gallon mark every single day, but using a water tracker app on my phone, I always targeted myself for 128oz. My water bottle is now my trusty companion no matter where I go! I no longer stress about getting dry spots on my face and I have found my entire body has more hydrated skin. I have healthier digestion and bowel movements and I also became accustomed to the many, many bathroom breaks with so much water in my system! I also don’t experience the dark circles, redness, blotchy spots or overall tired lines on my face as badly as I did.
water_maureen
Boa Yang
I have a red 27 oz water bottle I received for free as a trial product from one of our vendor. I drink at least 7-8 of those a day from 6 am to 11:30 pm. The first week I was running to the bathroom every 20-30 minutes. After the first week I can stretch my bathroom break to at least an hour or hour and a half. I noticed my skin cleared up and I eventually stopped wearing my bb cream. Two weeks into it, my appetite decreased. I also didn’t feel the urge to snack after 8pm. My chronic back, hips and joint pain decreased (I’ve seen a chiropractor for 5 years). My bath water is clearer (weird but had to be said!) I also used to drink coffee religiously every morning but now I don’t need it. I’m more alert throughout the day!
water_Boa
Ana Cordova
I am a mom of 4 boys. My oldest is 10, like Maria Kang, my younger boys were all about a year apart, born in 2009, 2010, and 2011. I have been wanting to get in shape for a long time, it’s hard. Sometimes I do really good, but other times life gets in the way and everything else becomes a priority except me. I’m sure many moms can relate. We keep everything from falling apart except ourselves, until one day we look up and wonder how we let ourselves get like that? I’m an immigrant from Mexico and well being skinny doesn’t really run in our culture for the most part, as Mexican food is very tasty but also very unhealthy. After drinking water for 30 days I surprisingly lost 3lbs! I have less headaches and bloating. I have better digestion and younger looking skin. I also saved a lot of money! I stopped ordering drinks at restaurants and kicked my Peach Snapple habit! Lastly, this challenge has rubbed off on my husband, who now drinks water regularly with me!
water_anacordova
Alicia Tandubuana
Before starting this challenge, I never drank that much water. I would mostly drink 2 cups of coffee daily, a cup of milk, and 2 cups of water max (no wonder my lips were always dry). Add to that some Starbucks drinks that I love, such as Vanilla latte and the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappucino that I consume once or twice per week. I also have the worse under eye bags. They are so dark that I always have to cover them with concealer all the time, everyday, because they are so embarassing. My face also always looked dull. I would never go out without make up, even to the gym.
The first few days of this challenge was tough. I never reached a gallon, and sometimes I felt sick. Then my husband told me to do it slowly. Increase bit by bit per day, and eventually, by the second week, I could drink up to a gallon of water. I infused my water with lime, so it felt refreshing. Exercising helped as well because it got me super thirsty. I am now actually used to drinking a gallon of water per day. When I drink less water, my lips get dry again. After 30 days of water I have less under eye circles, my face has brightened, I have less menstrual cramps, I lose 8lbs, I spend less money and my husband has followed suit!
water_ Alicia Tandubuana
Lorronishae Escalona
I didn’t realize I was actually dehydrated before I started this challenge. I had crinkles and dark circles under my eyes, more oily skin, colored/stinky urine, and more cravings!! I weigh 330 lbs at the moment, and I’m a big girl. After this challenge, I realized 1 gallon a day should be the norm, because I only feel normal if I drink that much!
water_Lorronishae Escalona
Congratulations to all the winners above for submitting their before and after pictures and being honest about their transformations in simply adding a gallon water for 30 days! Each one will receive a Define Bottle – a fun infused bottle that was seen on Shark Tank, created by a Teen Entrepreneur. If you want an infused bottle, you can get yours using the code: NOEXCUSES for 10% off!
define bottle
Maria Kang (me) seen here with the Define Bottle!