CornerStone Blog

Workout At Home Using Everyday Objects

With a little creativity, anyone can turn a space in their home into a home gym. It is true that a dedicated workout space and proper equipment can make things a little easier – and set the “mood” for a workout. But in a pinch, it’s still possible to get a decent workout at home using everyday objects most of us already have laying around.

Yoga Using Everyday Objects

Fortunately, yoga classes don’t require a lot of equipment and rarely require a large workout space. In lieu of a yoga mat, you could use a small rug. Just make sure it’s non-slip or placed upon another larger rug for traction.

If you use a yoga block for hand support in a standing posture, a low table or stool may suffice. If a step is being used under your foot, sometimes the bottom step on a set of stairs will do the trick. If the block is to be used for hip or back support, a large book may do the trick.

Yoga straps are easy to substitute. Look around for an old necktie, scarf, robe tie or towel. And don’t forget about a chair. If you need support or have trouble getting up and down the floor, a chair is essential.

Workout at home using everyday objects - a towel as a yoga strap.
Barre Using Everyday Objects

The most essential pieces of equipment for you home barre workout are a non-slip floor, a sturdy support (this can be a chair or any other sturdy piece of furniture in your home) and a pair of lightweight dumbbells for added resistance. If you don’t own a pair of dumbbells, read on for some excellent swaps.

From Barre Instructor Catie Tritremmel:
“You can use a rolled up towel to replace a squishy ball and water bottles to replace light weights.”

Workout at home using everyday objects - a chair in place of a ballet barre.

Weight Training Using Everyday Objects

You might consider it impossible to participate in livestreaming classes like Group Active, Group Power or Tighten and Tone without a barbell and a few sets of dumbbells. But this isn’t true! There are plenty of everyday objects you can substitute for weight training.

In place of lighter dumbbells, consider using canned food or smaller water bottles fille with water, rocks or sand. In place of heavier dumbbells, grab a couple of 5 gallon water jugs and again fill with something that adds weight. A 72 oz jug of laundry soap weighs about 5lbs, and like a water jug, has a handle making it easy to lift and manuever.

For squats, lunges and other leg work done with a bar on the back, use a backpack and fill it with something heavy. Books, canned goods and bags of pet food or sand can add serious weight to a backpack.

In place of gliding discs, grab some paper plates. Yes, it’s that simple!

Finally, don’t forget chairs and stairs. A chair can be used for anything from step-ups to tricep dips. Turn your bottom step into a “bench” for pushups (hands up for something a little easier and feet up for something a little harder).

From Group Fitness Instructor Alyson Zimmer:
“This past summer, I used a hose as battle ropes, a staircase to do offset squats, jump lunges, reverse lunges and calf raises and push-ups. Broom sticks are good for stretching. I’ve had people use couch throw pillows as balls for ball slams (gets your heart rate up and it’s great for core activation!!). I’ve also had participants use gallon water containers for farmers walks.”

Workout at home using everyday objects - heavy cans as dumbbells.

From Group Fitness Instructor Morgan Fink:  
"Here are some quick and simple ways to execute basic moves from Group Power using dumbbells (or water bottles, cans, etc)."

Using dumbbells in place of a barbell to execute basic Group Power moves.

Don't let a lack of equipment prevent you from participating in some of our most popular workouts at home. Whether you are staying safe during the pandemic, traveling or unable to get to the club for other reasons, you can still workout with Cornerstone!

Check out our CLASS SCHEDULES.

How Exercise Can Help You Beat SAD

Do you suffer from the “winter blues”?

If so, you are not alone. Many people endure a funk during the late fall and winter seasons.  The technical term for this is Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.  Fortunately, there are things you can do to beat SAD, including engaging in regular exercise.  Read on to learn more about exercise and SAD . . .

Winter can cause SAD

What is SAD?

SAD is essentially seasonal depression.  SAD can affect your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy levels. Sadly, this can take a toll on all aspects of your life from your relationships to work, school, and your sense of self-worth. 

The further you live from the equator, the more likely you are to suffer from SAD.  This is because you receive far less winter daylight in latitudes greater than 30 degrees either north or south of the equator.  According to research, only 1 – 2% of the population (mostly women) suffers from the most extreme version of SAD. But, fully 10-20% of people still experience symptoms that affect their every day lives.

SAD causes depression

Signs and Symptoms of SAD

Most of the symptoms of SAD are consistent with general depression. The main difference lies in the fact that sufferers experience remission when the winter is over.

Common symptoms include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Lack of interest in activities you previously enjoyed
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Anger, irritability and stress
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Poor sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of energy
  • Use of drugs or alcohol for comfort
  • Feelings of sadness and despair

As with clinical depression, the symptoms of SAD do very from person to person and often depend on your geographic location. 

Causes of SAD

Science has not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of seasonal affective disorder.  But most experts believe the disorder is due to reduced daylight hours during the winter. The reduced exposure to sunlight that occurs in winter is thought to affect the body by disrupting some very important processes.

Circadian rhythms:  This is your body’s internal clock.  It responds to changes between light and dark to regulate everything from mood, appetite and sleep. During winter, the longer nights can disrupt your internal clock.

Melatonin production:  Your brain produces the hormone melatonin when it is dark to help you sleep.  Then, during the day,  sunlight triggers the brain to stop melatonin production so you feel awake and alert. However, during the winter, your body may produce too much melatonin causing drowsiness and low energy.

Serotonin production:  Reduced sunlight can lower your body’s production of serotonin. This neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. Low serotonin levels may lead to depression.

SAD affects circadian rhythms

How Exercise Can Help

Regular exercise can help you beat SAD.  It is a powerful way to beat any kind of depression, including the seasonal variety.  If you get and stay moving, you can boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good chemicals in your brain. In fact, exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Regular exercise can also improve sleep and increase your self-esteem.

Choose exercises that are continuous and rhythmic.

To get the most benefits, choose rhythmic exercise such as walking, running, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancing-where you move both your arms and legs at the same time.

Make room in your schedule for enough exercise

To get the most out of exercise, plan to workout for 30 to 60 minutes every day.  Keep in mind, this exercise time doesn’t have to be continuous. Even if you break it up into chunks (for instance, three 20 minute sessions), you will still benefit.

Exercise and SAD

Additional Steps You Can Take

Consider light therapy. Inexpensive light boxes are now available from many sources.  These devices A deliver light that up to ten times the intensity of normal domestic lighting. They are easy to use too.  Just sit about 12” away from it for 15 – 20 minutes each morning. 

Practice self-care.  This can include things like regular massages or engaging in activities that normally give you joy.

Reduce stress in your life.   Many people find relief in gentle yoga, meditation or muscle relaxation classes. 

If You Need Additional Help

If you are really struggling to beat the winter blues, we strongly advise you to contact your doctor.  And whatever the season, if you overwhelmed, in severe despair or suicidal, please know that there are people who want to help.  You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

Learn more about Wellness Coaching at Cornerstone.

Common Questions About Covid 19 Vaccines In Bucks County

Here we address common questions about Covid 19 vaccines in Bucks County. 

Unfortunately, demand for the new Coronavirus vaccine is high, but supply is low. So, what is the actual status of vaccines in Bucks County and when can you expect to have access to one?

When Will Vaccines Be Available?

According to the state, Covid 19 vaccines will be rolled out in two phases with phase one consisting of three sub-phases, 1A, 1B and 1C. Currently, we are in phase 1A. In this phase, various medical personnel, emergency workers, people 65 and older and those ages 16 – 64 with high risk conditions qualify to receive the vaccine when available. To learn more about the phased rollout and to sign up for a vaccine when you meet the criteria, CLICK HERE.

Covid 19 Vaccine

 

Where Can I Get A Covid 19 Vaccine When Available?

Major hospital systems and medical providers have been provided with a limited supply of vaccines.  Each hospital and provider has their own procedures and guidelines – and all require appointments.  Right now, there is only one vaccination site available through the Bucks County Health Department. This is located at Woods Services.  It is only available to front line health workers and first responders who cannot get vaccinated elsewhere. For more information about the vaccines, the phased rollout and vaccine provider information, CLICK HERE.

 

Vaccine Provider Map

 

How Much Will The Covid 19 Vaccine Cost?

The vaccine will provided to everyone at no cost, regardless of whether you have health insurance. However, there may be fees associated with doctor visits or other office administration fees.

How Long Will I Have To Wait?

A large number of people are eligible for the vaccine during this first phase 1A, but the vaccine is in short supply. According to the state, about 3.5 million people qualify, but there are only 1 million doses currently available. As for subsequent phase rollouts, the timeframe is currently unknown. At the current supply rate, it could take several months to a year to vaccinate those eligible in phase 1.  The good news is that additional manufacturers have vaccines in the pipeline.  If other safe, effective and more efficient options become available, then obviously that timeline will speed up. 

 

Calendar Page

 

As more information becomes available, Cornerstone Clubs will pass it along to you.  If you would like to check the most up-to-date data from the state, we recommend that you regularly check Pennsylvania’s Vaccine Information page.  

To read about how Cornerstone is protecting the health and safety of our members and staff, please check our comprehensive safety guidelines and standards.

How To Stay Healthy Over The Holidays

HEALTHY HOLIDAYS ARE POSSIBLE

The holidays are here.  I absolutely love this time of year and I am sure so many of you do, too.   But, many of us wonder how to stay healthy over the holidays.  This year has been different for sure and the holiday season hasn’t exactly felt the same!  The holiday season is supposed to bring families and friends together and light up our children’s faces!  Meanwhile, making everything magical causes A LOT of stress and this year even more than ever!!   We all have our holiday traditions that we look forward to every year.  And I am sure we are all wondering how we are going to keep them while limiting our gatherings, but it is ever so important to continue to celebrate even if on a much smaller scale! 

MANAGING STRESS

One of the biggest stressors of any holiday season is how to manage our health and fitness during this time.  With limited gatherings, maybe this won’t be as big of an issue for some.  But, I know we are still very busy and have limited time in our schedules.  We are also planning on baking cookies, decorating our gingerbread houses and, of course, eating our holiday favorites during our feast.  I want to try to keep things as normal as possible.  I still want to take time for holiday fun without sacrificing my waistline.

Gift Wrapped Dumbbells

Give yourself the gift of a healthy holiday.

Some suggestions to help you create a healthy holiday:

Try not to stress eat –
Take a virtual yoga class or try some deep breathing to manage stress instead.

Make smaller batches of cookies and treats –
Since we aren’t going anywhere to bring our goodies we might as well make less and then we will eat less.

Meal plan –
Yes, even around the holidays of course you may stray but if you have a plan you are more likely not to fall completely off the rails

Eat smaller portions –
Enjoy your favorites but don’t overdue it.

Don’t skip your workout –
Cornerstone is open every day over the holiday season EXCEPT Christmas day!

Pamper yourself –
All of Cornerstone’s Spa services are going to help you de-stress

MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
You can’t be your BEST self if you are not taking care of yourself!!!

We are all looking forward to the New Year – this I know for sure!   Wishing everyone a very HAPPY and SAFE holiday. 2021 is just around the corner!!! 

Kristin Fredericks
Doylestown Wellness Coach

Cornerstone Clubs offers all members free wellness coaching (including InBody analysis). For more information on our Wellness Program, please CLICK HERE.

How To Avoid Weight Gain During Quarantine

Here’s a big challenge – how to avoid weight gain during quarantine. 

As we’re all spending more time than usual at home, it can be a really tough adjustment both mentally and physically. Our routines are entirely thrown off, our socialization is down, and so is our activity level. If you’ve noticed the scale increasing over these past few months, you’re not alone when it comes to weight gain during quarantine.

We’ve all heard about the “freshman 15”, but did you know that we now have a new term called the “quarantine 15”? Whether you’ve gained 15 pounds or not, it might be time to start making some healthier choices.

Most people are quick to blame their lack of exercise now that they are spending more time at home. While this absolutely plays a role in weight gain, I believe that our changing eating habits are the bigger culprit.

Junk food will cause weight gain during quarantine.

Plate of donuts.

Let’s face it…it’s much harder to make healthy food choices when our routines are off. And if you’ve been working from home these last few months, then your routine has completely flipped upside down. It’s a lot easier to make healthier choices when we are packing food to take into the office with us. And once the food is packed, we are much more likely to eat it. So now that we’re home more, it’s harder to stay away from the processed junk, hence the quarantine 15.

Instead of throwing your diet out the window and eating everything in sight, here are 3 tips for healthier eating at home:

Plan out your meals

Planning out your meals is important for everybody, whether you’re working full time in the office, working from home, or even retired. When we can plan ahead with healthy intentions, we are much more likely to be successful in the moment.

I recommend grabbing a calendar and writing out your meals for the entire week, or at least the weekdays. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once you have your plan set, make sure you go grocery shopping and have all of the ingredients that you need on hand.

Make healthy snacks easily accessible

The reason it’s so easy to give in to chips, pretzels and cookies is because they’re easily accessible. There’s no prep work needed. If you have the choice of grabbing a bag of chips or washing and chopping carrots to eat with hummus, chances are you will pick the chips.

Healthy Snacks

Glasses of fruit and fruit and veggie smoothies.

So how do we combat this and avoid dreaded weight gain? Make healthy snacks just as accessible as pre-packaged foods. This means washing and chopping your veggies ahead of time, or pre-portioning out some peanuts or nut butter. You can either prep your snacks at the beginning of the week, the night before, or the morning of. Simply choose a time where you won’t be rushed.

Stick to an eating schedule

This one is really important. If you went from a busy, full-time job in the office to a slow, remote job at home it can be easy to throw off your eating schedule.
Start out by eating breakfast every morning. I find that a lot of people are skipping breakfast and just waiting until lunch. But by then you’re starving and more likely to just grab an unhealthy option.

Spreading out your calories throughout the day will not only help you avoid overeating later in the day, but it also helps keep your blood sugar stable and can increase energy levels and focus.
Implementing these 3 tips into your life can really help to not only avoid weight gain, but it can help you feel better both mentally and physically. And who couldn’t use a little bit of that these days?

~ Submitted by Morgan Fink, Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, Cornerstone Doylestown

Cornerstone Clubs offers members free Wellness Coaching. For more information about our Wellness Program, please CLICK HERE.

EXERCISE AND IMMUNITY

Exercise and immunity is clearly a timely topic right now.

“Each bout of exercise, particularly whole-body dynamic cardiorespiratory exercise, instantaneously mobilizes literally billions of immune cells, especially those cell types that are capable of carrying out effector functions such as the recognition and killing of virus-infected cells.”

That quote is from an article on Immunity and Exercise during COVID from the American College of Sports Medicine. As we leave the more active months of summer behind and head indoors, keeping our immune system mobilized is uniquely important this year. We’ve talked about immune boosting foods already on the Cornerstone blog, but I don’t want to ignore this other crucial aspect of boosting immunity – regular exercise.

It almost should go without saying . . .

Exercise = Better Health

But in the cacophony of news, stressful life changes and fear that fills our minds, we can sometimes miss basic truths. It is in these moments especially necessary that we reground in these basics, give ourselves a gentle reminder of what has kept us well in the past and translate that into our present and future.

Our exercise routines may not look exactly as they did before. We may not join classes of 30 others in Indoor Cycling (personally, I miss doing this so much!), but that doesn’t mean we need to give up on doing anything at all. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 150–300 min of moderate to vigorous intensity cardiorespiratory physical activity per week and two sessions per week of muscle strength training. So how can you make that transition? Here’s a few ideas:

Work with a Trainer:

In times of change, exercise professionals are a valuable resource for safely establishing a workout routine. Our Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Director Joanna Abbott says she stresses the importance of strength training to her clients – “It is proven to lower stress and fight off different diseases.” At Cornerstone, we’ve established safety protocols in the clubs to allow members to comfortably work one on one onsite. We have also worked with all of our trainers to establish best practices for virtual training for those who are not yet ready to come back into the club.

Take a Walk:

It’s so basic. But, the health benefits of a brisk walk can’t be understated. Add in a route with hills or stairs or pick up the pace and that’s even better. Even in colder weather, walking can get your heart rate up and provide a bonus dose of Vitamin D.

Come In – or Zoom In – to a Class:

Working out together is a motivator for many and that hasn’t changed during this challenging time. If you visit the clubs, you’ll find that we have added extra safety protocols and set strict capacity limits . Whether it is Group Power or Yoga, there’s a blue dot on the floor ready and waiting for you! On Zoom, we can still work together as the Cornerstone community – from Group Active to Barre, our online class schedule has an array of options to keep you moving!

Join a Challenge:

There’s a reason several hospital systems in our area have started fitness challenges. They work! Actually, YOU WORK! Join with a friend. Challenge a frenemy. Find a team! Whatever gets you going – GO!

We know better than anyone that exercise isn’t exactly easy these days. Exercise has always been work but, like always, it’s worth it!

Boost your energy, boost your immunity and boost your health!

Michael Strouse
Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor

Need some health and fitness advice? Looking for some motivation to keep you going? Just need an ear to bend? Contact one of our Wellness Coaches – they are here to help you!

New Hope – Michael Strouse, 215.862.2200

Doylestown – Morgan Fink, 215.794.3700

Learn more about Wellness Coaching at Cornerstone.

For more information, visit nih.gov for the latest research:   Physical exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: an integrative review of the current literature.

Staying Resilient in the Face of Uncertainty

In only a few weeks, it seems that life has been completely turned on its head. Staying resilient in the face of uncertainty is more important than ever.  Routines have been disrupted, events have been cancelled, work may be on hold, and there is so much uncertainty surrounding how much longer this will continue. In situations like this, how are we able to bounce back and maintain some semblance of normalcy? For some, resilience may be a natural strength in someone’s character; however, if you find that you struggle to keep moving forward with positivity, here are some things you might try to practice.

Look on the bright side of life.

There are so many benefits to practicing optimism including greater physical health, boosted immunity, better ability to handle stressful situations. It is easy to think of optimism as being ignorant of the realities of a situation and only seeing the good in everything; however this belief is not entirely accurate. It is entirely possible to be aware of a situation and still consider things optimistically. Be hopeful for the future and this will help you stay resilient; this time will pass and we shall all be stronger for it.

Understand your sphere of control.

In our current situation specifically, there are many variables that we have absolutely no control over which can be extremely disheartening, stressful, and perhaps maddening. To take a more optimistic approach, you may consider categorizing those things over which you have no control, some control, and absolute control. Your energy is precious and does not deserve to be wasted upon things that you have no control over; acknowledge those things and accept them for what they are. Then, devote your energy to those things that you have total control over. An exercise you may try is to fill in the graph below with all of the possibilities you can think of, graciously accept what is outside of your control, then make an action plan for devoting your energies for what lies in the two inner circles.

Put a new frame on that picture.

What is a better way of looking at this negative situation? Re-framing something negative into a positive is a powerful way to boost your resilience. Perhaps instead of thinking that you are stuck at home, you may re-frame it by saying that you are safe at home with your loved ones.

Practice gratitude.

How many times have we heard “count your blessings”? This common adage can easily go by the wayside. But, it is a wonderful way to stay grounded when it is so easy to fall into negative thinking. Think of three things that you are thankful for, and either begin or end your day with these reflections. Up for a challenge? Look at a negative situation and try to find the blessing within it.  Gratitude is an extremely important component of staying resilient.

Uncertainty and the emotions that it brings can be very difficult to combat, but stay positive throughout this situation. Know that you are not in this alone, and also know that it is okay to not be okay. Hug your loved ones tight, reach out if you need some help, and know that this too shall pass. Cornerstone is a community and we are here for you in this time; always feel free to reach out for help or if you need someone to talk to. We shall get through this together.

~Katie Conn, Wellness Coach

Learn more about Wellness Coaching at Cornerstone.

The Time for Self-Care is NOW!

The time for self-care is now.  Yes, now! Especially now!! Over the past months, all of us have experienced so much change.  While change is clearly a part of life, frequent and radical change can be very disjointing – to say the least. Massive change can make people feel overwhelmed, frustrated and even anxious at times.  It is during times like these that practicing self-care is absolutely essential. When we are able to care for ourselves, we are better prepared to take care of others and to deal with situations as they arise.

Image courtesy of https://tinytribes.co/

Self-care is a buzzword we have all heard about, but what is it really? And, how do we even start? In short, self-care is deliberately taking control of your health. It is a plan you make to take care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Self-care is the key to a balanced life. While it will look a little different for each person, practicing a few things from each self-care category will help you feel ready to tackle the day. Practice self-care daily so taking care of you becomes routine.

Physical Self-Care

This means taking care of your body through an activity you enjoy (any activity that improves the physical health of your body).
– nourish your body
– get moving- exercise, stretch
– drink more water
– get enough sleep

Emotional Self-Care

It is important to become more in tune with your emotions.   Choose activities that help you process and reflect on your emotions, to work through them and not keep them bottled up inside.
– set boundaries (be able to say no).
– practice meditation/mindfulness
– journal thoughts and feelings
– be creative (paint, cook, play music, etc)

Spiritual Self-Care

Nourish your soul and strive for inner peace.  Seek a purpose. Select activities that allows you to think bigger than yourself- this does not have to be religious, although for some it is.
– pray/say intentions
– yoga
– write a graditude journal
– spend time with nature
– donate to a charity

Social Self-Care

Connect with others using any activity that strengthens relationship with others.
– spend time with loved ones
– reconnect with an old friend
– join a class or group to meet new people
– use social media wisely

Intellectual/Mental Self-Care

Challenge your mind, expand your knowledge and stimulates your intellect.
– read a book/
– learn a new skill
– unplug/ device free time
– complete projects

Practical/Professional

Complete the core aspects of your life. Choose activities that prevents future stressful situations.
– know your worth
– work/life balance
– continue to grow and develop
– create a budget
-organize

Practice self-care daily so that taking care of YOU becomes a routine. Be intentional. Make the time and the effort. Invest in your health. Be the best you that you can be! And, remember… taking time for you is not selfish. It is preparing you to be your best!

~ Kristen Fredericks, Wellness Coach

Learn more about Wellness Coaching at Cornerstone

Thriving During Quarantine With Cornerstone Wellness Coaches

Thriving during quarantine is possible!  Being in quarantine is such a new and unnerving time for many. It can be easy to fall into a negative head space surrounding all of the uncertainty in the world right now. However instead of just focusing on “surviving” the quarantine, learn how the Cornerstone wellness coaches are choosing to “thrive” during the quarantine!

Michael Strouse (New Hope Club)

“During quarantine, I had to really refocus on my own values and strengths. As I had to transition to being more involved in the day to day of my kid’s education, patience and fun had to come into it but also a little irreverence and innovation. It’s really shown me how I can best tackle other issues, either existing or new!”

Morgan Fink (Warrington Club)

“For me, the key to staying positive and sane during quarantine is having a routine. Without a routine you might start to treat this like a “stay-cation”. One way I have been doing this is by setting an alarm each morning and starting my day with some sort of workout. Working out at home has really given me the opportunity to change up my workouts and try new things. I have really been enjoying the variety in my routine lately and this is something I’m hoping to continue even when things return to normal. I have also made sure to continue writing out a structured meal plan for the week and sticking to it. This is something that I have always done and I find that it really helps me stay on track. It’s also a great way to stick to my grocery budget each week and prevents impulse/boredom eating.”

Kim Stone (Warrington Club)

“I think now more than ever we have all realized how important connection is to our overall well-being. It has been tough not being able to see our family and friends like we used to which is why we have all had to get a little creative. My BFFs and I have been having weekly Zoom class to stay connected. We don’t all live locally so I’m not sure why we never thought of doing this before, but it has truly been a lifesaver in keeping us sane, staying connected and sharing some laughs.”

Wellness Coaches Thriving During Quarantine
Kristen Fredericks (Doylestown Club)

“I think what has been working for me and my family keeping some sanity during quarantine is keeping our routine as close to normal as we can! We still go to bed at our normal time, we set an alarm to wake during the week, and we get ourselves ready each day – including a shower, getting dressed, doing hair/makeup. In addition, we keep a schedule daily for school and for work – it’s a bit modified due to circumstances. We are using our school stomach so we do not go into the kitchen/pantry all day.

Having a sense of normalcy in uncertain times keeps us grounded and also keeps us from falling into bad habits. I think it also helps to keep anxious feelings at bay with so many things in our lives being so different. So much has changed in the past few weeks and our routines are the one thing in our lives that we have control of.”

Cheryl Watkins (Doylestown Club)

“At the Watkins house, we are trying to keep things as normal as possible. This includes keeping up with a healthy sleep cycle, showering and putting on our business casual clothes before retreating into our home offices each morning. Also, we make time for physical movement every day.”

Remember, thriving during quarantine is possible!  Learn more about Wellness Coaching at Cornerstone.

Making Healthy Choices On A Budget

Whenever money is tight it’s easy to think that healthy food has to be the first thing to go. However, being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your nutrition. It just means you need to be a little smarter about your purchases and plan accordingly! So today I want to share with you how to make healthy choices while on a budget.

grocery store healthy choices on a budget
1. Check For Coupons/Sales

This tip might seem obvious, but let me elaborate on this. Most people check for coupons for items they are already planning to purchase. But to really save the most money you’ll want to get into the habit of checking for coupons/sales before you go to the grocery store! A lot of grocery stores have an app or website where they have digital coupons and list their weekly sales ad. Once you can see what they have on sale, try to incorporate those items into your meal plan for the week. Instead of looking for coupons/sales for items already on your shopping list, you should plan your shopping list around the items on sale.

Planning for healthier choices when shopping.
2. Plan Your Week

Now that you’ve looked around for the best sales and deals, it’s time to plan your week around these sales. If chicken breast is on sale, then find some simple, healthy recipes that use chicken as the protein source. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to eat the same meals all week. Try to find creative ways to use the same ingredients for totally different meals. Chicken doesn’t have to be boring. Maybe you use it to make baked chicken parmesan one night, shred it for tacos another night, and then use it for BBQ chicken another night. Making delicious, healthy choices is so much easier when you have a plan!


3. Use The Freezer

If something you typical use is on sale, can you buy more than you need and freeze it? I always do this when chicken, beef or turkey is on sale. Another great strategy when on a budget is to stock up on frozen fruit and vegetables. This way they have a longer shelf life and you don’t need to worry about eating everything right away. I always have bags of frozen fruit in my freezer for smoothies.

4. Don’t Forget To Check Your Cabinets!

Now that you planned out your meals for the week, it’s time to make a list. Look at each recipe and write down the items that you need to buy. Always take a look around your kitchen to see what you already have, that way you don’t accidentally buy more.  This is also a great time to see what foods you already have in your pantry/fridge and plan your meals around it. Sometimes I buy more of something than I need because of a good sale. Then I always make sure I use it in the upcoming weeks so it doesn’t go to waste.

On the same note, always use all of your leftovers. Never throw anything away just because you don’t think you will use it. Do you have extra marinara sauce from your pasta dinner? Save it and use it later that week to make chicken parmesan, or homemade pizzas.  Never let being on a budget keep you from fueling your body with the nutritious food it deserves. With a little bit of planning you can absolutely make healthy choices on a budget that taste great and the family will love!

~ Morgan Fink, Warrington Wellness Coach

Learn more about Wellness Coaching at Cornerstone.

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