Nordine Zouareg

Expert Insight on Nutrition and Budgeting

What are some of the common reasons people fail to reach their healthier lifestyle goals?


Individuals often struggle with conflicting priorities, time constraints, and the perception that adopting a healthier lifestyle is time-consuming or expensive. Emotional and stress-related eating can also derail progress. Addressing these issues involves understanding the root causes and developing strategies for time management, stress reduction, and emotional well-being. Let’s explore a couple of effective tips for addressing these issues:

  • Prioritize and Schedule Self-Care Time: Conflicting priorities and time constraints often lead individuals to neglect their well-being. I encourage clients to prioritize self-care by scheduling dedicated time for meal preparation, exercise, and relaxation. This might involve creating a weekly schedule that allocates specific time slots for these activities. Treating self-care as a non-negotiable appointment allows individuals to manage their time better and ensure that health-related tasks are integrated into their daily routines.
  • Mindful Eating Practices for Emotional Well-Being: As someone who understands the complexities of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I often recommend incorporating mindful eating practices to tackle the significant barriers posed by emotional and stress-related eating. It’s crucial for individuals to pause and assess their emotions before reaching for food, a particularly effective strategy. Encourage them to ask themselves whether they are eating out of stress, boredom, or genuine hunger. By promoting mindfulness techniques like deep breathing and meditation, individuals can learn to manage stress more effectively. Additionally, I suggest advocating for activities such as journaling or engaging in hobbies to provide alternative outlets for emotional expression, ultimately reducing the reliance on food as a coping mechanism. This personalized approach empowers individuals to cultivate a healthier relationship with food and better navigate the emotional aspects of their wellness journey.
  • Overcoming Hurdles for Success: Drawing from my own experiences, I emphasize the importance of adopting a holistic approach to overcome hurdles in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In my recommendations, meal planning plays a central role as it enables individuals to make conscious choices, steering them away from impulsive decisions and ensuring a well-balanced diet. I’ve found that incorporating time management skills, specifically allocating dedicated time for meal preparation, is instrumental in seamlessly integrating healthier habits into busy schedules.

From personal practice, I’ve also discovered that embracing gradual changes rather than opting for drastic overhauls is more sustainable and easier to incorporate into daily life. This personalized strategy encourages individuals to approach their wellness journey in a way that aligns with their unique lifestyle and fosters lasting positive changes.

Where can most of us find the most savings at the grocery store?


As someone who values the importance of a healthy diet, I consistently recommend prioritizing whole, unprocessed foods as a cornerstone strategy. These foods offer better nutritional value and are more cost-effective in the long run. To further assist individuals in managing their grocery expenses, consider these tips:

  • Smart Shopping in Bulk: Share the insight that buying non-perishable items, such as grains, legumes, and spices, in bulk can lead to substantial savings. This not only reduces the cost per unit but also minimizes packaging waste, aligning with sustainable practices.
  • Strategic Use of Sales and Discounts: Encourage individuals to plan their grocery shopping around sales and discounts. By staying informed about weekly specials and leveraging loyalty programs offered by grocery stores, they can make significant savings without compromising on the quality of their food choices.
  • Embrace Seasonal and Local Produce: Reflecting my own commitment to supporting local communities, I recommend choosing seasonal and local produce. These options not only tend to be more economical but also contribute to the sustainability of local agriculture. Visiting farmers’ markets is a delightful way to access fresh, affordable produce while directly supporting local farmers.
Is there any other advice you would provide to families beginning a healthier lifestyle on a budget?


Given my understanding of families’ challenges, while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a budget, I often recommend meal preparation strategies that have proven to be both time- and cost-effective. Here are a couple of personalized tips:

  • Efficiency Through Batch Cooking: Based on my personal experiences and interactions with numerous individuals, both past and present clients, I have noticed that engaging in batch cooking can significantly benefit budget-conscious families. I recommend encouraging families to allocate specific times each week for batch cooking. This practice not only saves time but also guarantees the availability of nutritious, homemade choices, thereby minimizing the urge to opt for costly takeout or convenience foods during busy periods.
  • Prepare Meals in Advance: Share the benefit of preparing meals in advance. Families can dedicate a portion of their weekends or a less busy day to plan and prep meals for the upcoming week. This proactive approach not only streamlines the cooking process but also contributes to significant time and financial savings over the long term.
  • Nutrient-Dense, Homemade Meals for Healthy Habits: Emphasize the importance of nutrient-dense, homemade meals in instilling healthy eating habits in children. When kids are involved in the preparation process or witness the effort put into creating wholesome meals, it positively impacts their relationship with food. This promotes healthier choices and fosters a sense of connection and shared responsibility within the family.

Families can navigate their budget constraints while prioritizing health and well-being by incorporating practical strategies like batch cooking, preparing meals in advance, and emphasizing the value of nutrient-dense, homemade options.

Read the article on

Scroll to Top