Eggnog and frothy drinks surround calorie-laden dishes during the holiday season. When the new year rolls around, it's time to revert to normal portions and healthy meals. Cheapism.com's list of healthy-living gurus to follow on social media can help motivate you to get back on track. Meal plans, tips, and recipes calling for the likes of organic greens, avocados, and paleo ingredients make cooking fun and economical and hold the potential for slimmer waistlines.
10 Healthy Living Gurus to Follow on Social Media in 2016
Cassey Ho launched her enterprise six years ago with rough-hewn Pilates videos on YouTube and gradually amassed more than 2 million subscribers. The Blogilates empire now consists of polished videos, meal plans, monthly exercise challenges, a planner, and Ho's own line of workout gear. The YouTube workout videos, recipes, and motivational monthly challenges are free to subscribers who sign up for Ho's (free) monthly newsletter.
If weekly planners and organized grocery lists sound comforting, add SkinnyTaste to your favorites list. Gina Homolka cooks for her family daily and shares her low-fat and tasty recipes on the site. Each recipe displays points according to the Weight Watchers system while the meal planner lays out healthy meals (e.g., lean turkey meatball and spaghetti soup made with fat-free chicken broth) and shopping lists. The recipes are free on the website.
Instagram's 15-second videos may go by quickly, but Kevin Alexander of @fitmencook makes the most of each second. The account, which claims more than 1 million followers, shows photos and how-to videos of colorful dishes prepared with wholesome ingredients. The free tutorials for dishes such as a black rice tortilla turkey wrap and salmon and lentil patties can liven up weekly meal plans and should appeal to anyone short on time and money.
The identity of the food blogger behind The View from Great Island remains a mystery, but her images of beautiful food and unique recipes have attracted almost 30,000 fans on Facebook. The recipes cover everything from small cheesy bites to dessert and include a variety of salad and vegetable concoctions. Try the Mediterranean tuna salad with tarragon vinaigrette or the harvest salad with pomegranate allspice dressing. Use the recipes for lunchtime fare and rack up considerable savings by brown-bagging every day.
The person behind this social media presence began her healthy-lifestyle journey in 2012 as a way to overcome a variety of ailments and frequent illnesses. In addition to the Lexi's Clean Kitchen blog, the Instagram account @lexiscleankitchen boasts more than 74,400 followers. The easy paleo-friendly recipes don't contain gluten, dairy, soy, or refined sugar. There are instructions for tasty entrées, desserts, and low-calorie drinks -- just what a family needs to spurn the costly lure of takeout.
Massy Arias turned to exercise and healthy eating because she suffered from depression and a negative body image. Years later, she's amassed nearly 2 million followers on Instagram, competes in bikini competitions, and trains her own clients. Her Instagram account, @massy.arias, offers plenty of free recipes, inspirational posts, and exercise moves. Followers will find nutritious breakfasts (such as rolled oats pancakes), healthy grocery lists, and informative tidbits about nutrients and clean eating.
Husband and wife team Sarah and Hugh Forte produce Sprouted Kitchen, which has nearly 120,000 followers on Instagram (@sproutedkitchen) and treats readers to recipes categorized by season and meal type. A section dedicated to feeding babies contains gluten-free recipes and promotes bulk cooking as a time and money saver. A sampling of the winter recipes includes kale and Brussels sprout soba noodles and sautéed chard and Gruyère grilled cheese.
A paleo diet may be a food trend, but it helped Jennifer Tam adopt a healthy lifestyle. Tam's primary goal is eating simple, lean, wholesome foods packed with nutrients. Along with her husband, she launched Nom Nom Paleo, an iPad app and cookbook and cranks out weekly recipes. Paleo doesn't have to be expensive. The nibbles (smaller items) recipes include salmon cucumber bites and crispy fried eggs on greens, while richer entrées include Indian curry lamb spareribs and shrimp-stuffed mushrooms. Cooks looking for frugal meal planning and a dietary reset can turn to the site's Whole30 recipes, a month's worth of cooking tips and recipe ideas.
Sarah Fit is a healthy-living blogger with more than 214,000 subscribers on YouTube. videos cover what she eats in a day on vacation and offer exercise tips for pregnant women. Follow her for healthy-living advice, fitness routines, and low-fat recipes, such as Buffalo chicken meatloaf muffins and low-calorie margaritas. The YouTube channel also features videos intended to help people save money, such as ways to use overripe bananas and how to cut grocery spending.
Avocados are packed with nutrients and vitamins and are low in sugar. They add flavor and texture to smoothies, dips, and even desserts. The California Avocado Commission -- somewhat of a nontraditional guru -- treats more than 26,000 followers on Instagram (@ca_avocados) to photos of perfect avocados and unusual avocado dishes. Anyone interested in upgrading the tried-and-true meal with this healthy food could try some of the recipes, such as the kale power salad with lemon cilantro avocado vinaigrette and cotija chipotle corn guacamole. Keep an eye out for deals on avocados (two for $3 is common). Mashing one whole fruit with a squirt of lemon and a touch of salt and spreading atop a slide of whole grain bread makes a simple, satisfying, and cheap dish for one.