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The Frugal Diet | Seafood.

A PRAWN AND SALMON SALAD

Many people think a seafood diet is; see food, eat it! Most seafood is quite low in calories and so useful in a calorie controlled diet. Seafood can be expensive though. Those prawns were expensive and so I used a few and added some pink salmon. I have no idea why pink salmon is half the price of red salmon but it is. It all tastes the same to me! There is just under half a tin of salmon on my salad and that would be about 100 kcal. Add a few chips to the meal and it would be about 250 kcal. It would be fairly easy to keep to 1000 kcal a day, eating meals like that.

A can of sardines in tomato sauce is about 180 kcal. You need about half for a salad and so plenty of room for a few chips on there! I bought a can of mushrooms, I thought I would add some to my stir fry, they are high protein and low-fat. The whole can is less than 60 kcal.

You can check how many Kcal are in canned foods quite easily, just by reading the small print on the can. At other times you have to guess with fresh foods, but it’s common-sense to try to cut carbohydrates and fats. You also need to eat plenty of fibre and get enough to drink. Things like home-made soup contain a lot of water and fibre; they are filling too.

Remember to get enough exercise and in winter you can burn lots of calories just keeping warm. Turn the heating down one degree and go out for a brisk walk. You’ll lose weight before Christmas, make room for the turkey and again after Christmas to look good for summer!

Drinks often contain lots of sugar and so choose diet drinks that have artificial sweeteners and use sweeteners in tea and coffee. If you have milk, make sure it’s skimmed milk and use as little as possible.

Watch portion sizes, advertisers encourage us to eat more than is good for us. If you fancy egg and chips, poach the egg, use oven chips, have plenty of vegetables like peas and only have one egg!  If you’re not greedy, you can keep egg and chips down to less than 250 kcal and it’s a cheap meal at under 50p.

For breakfast look at high fibre cereal with skimmed milk or wholemeal bread toasted. Protein at breakfast will stop you feeling hungry through the morning and so a boiled or poached egg with wholemeal bread toasted is a good frugal breakfast.

Fish is expensive, but the portions are usually very large. Have  a smaller portion of you favourite fish and cook it without extra oil or fat. Fish is quite good cooked in the microwave. It is obviously high in calories if you coat it in batter or buy from the fish and chip shop. I’ve had 4 pieces of haddock for under 3 pounds from Aldi and so that’s frugal and low in calories. Have plenty of vegetables with it and you can make up the rest of your 250 kcal with boiled potatoes or even a few oven chips.

Try to have an attitude to food and become a gourmet who enjoys the taste of food; savour every mouthful. Try different things sometimes. Try to avoid processed foods like pizza that are very high in calories, most cheeses are high too. Be suspicious of all foods that contain dairy, they use milk to fill out cakes, soups and lots of other foods. Sugar and salt is also added to foods to make them taste better and so read the labels.

Remember to choose snacks like fruit that are low-calorie. Exotic fruits can be expensive, but not always. Take a look in the discount supermarkets and around street markets and see what bargains you can pick up. You could even try growing your own fruit and vegetables; it could save you a fortune. Home grown fruit and veg tastes so much better too. Apples from the garden actually smell like apples and taste delicious. Supermarket apples taste like cardboard in comparison.

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