Healthy Eating on a Budget

Here’s a blog from B.N. Shape Clothing’s Founder/CEO, Dr. O, on ways to eat healthy while on a budget.  You can find this and other blogs at


1.  Simplify your menu

2.  Get a Sam’s Club or CostCo membership

3.  Buy in Bulk

4.  Find every local grocery store and sign up for their bonus card 

5.  Buy spices…and LOTS OF ‘EM!


Yes, I know…eating healthy can get expensive!  As a graduate student, I only had so much money left after paying bills to spend on food.  So I’d like to share some of the tools I used to keep my refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets full of healthy foods, vitamins, and supplements.


1.  Simplify your menu

When you’re on a budget, you don’t have the luxury of diversifying your menu…sorry!  If you want to eat healthy, it’s just a necessary evil.  Some of the cheaper foods include: 

Protein: pre-frozen chicken breasts, pre-frozen tilapia, fresh bone-in chicken breasts, eggs

Carbohydrates: Quaker Quick oats (unflavored), sweet potatoes

Vegetables: Frozen veggies, fresh veggies

Fruits: Bananas, apples, peaches, plums, etc.




Now, if at all possible, I would avoid frozen protein and vegetable sources, due to the lack of nutrients compared to fresh meats and vegetables.  But hey, it’s better than nothing.  But if you want your foods fresh, the following strategies will definitely help!


2.  Get a Sam’s Club or CostCo membership

Don’t be deterred by the membership fee!  These wonderful establishments will save you money in the long run.  In many cases, their prices will be cheaper than local grocery stores.  So you are able to “splurge” on fresh vegetables, meats and fruits.  This also leads to my next tip…


3.  Buy in bulk 

At Sam’s Club or CostCo, you usually don’t have a choice because most of their products are sold in bulk.  Take advantage of this!  As a grad student, I’d get the same thing from Sam’s Club: chicken breasts, Quick oats, eggs, and broccoli…in HUGE quantities!  This also applies to buying protein powder (if this applies to you).  I used to order 10 pound bags of protein powder.  It’s a large upfront cost, but it is much cheaper than buying little shakes and 1 pound tubs of protein powder.  Buying in bulk will also save gas money by decreasing the amount of trips to the grocery store.


4.  Find every local grocery store and sign up for their bonus card  

Why? Because at least every week, you should be able to find ONE store having a sale on something you need.  Fruits? Chicken breasts? Eggs? Veggies?  You’ll find it.  How?  Because all of their sale advertisements will be mailed to you!  Don’t throw them out!  For example, whenever I needed chicken breasts, I could always catch a $0.99/pound sale.  And I’d literally buy ALL of the chicken breasts.  I’m not joking!  I wouldn’t have to buy chicken for another month.


5.  Buy spices…and LOTS OF EM! 

This is the cheapest way to keep your taste buds (somewhat) alive.  Since your menu is so simple, you need to try every possible variation for flavoring your food.  If you saw my cabinet, you might think I’m Emeril.  Nope…I just had to find a million ways to flavor my chicken breasts.  Also try different marinades (not high in sodium and without high fructose corn syrup or excess sugar).


Implementing these tools kept me fit while in graduate school, so give them a try!

Dr. O 
“I don’t live to eat…I eat to live!”


BN Shape Workshop: Making Smoothies for Kids

B.N. Shape Clothing Founder & CEO, Dr. Dozie Onunkwo, recently shared his experiences during the Marine & Family Holiday Dinner in Indianapolis, IN, where he encouraged kids to eat healthy foods through a Smoothie Workshop!  Here’s what he had to say:

About two weeks ago (November 2011), I was asked by Cooking with the Troops  CEO, Blake Powers, to volunteer at a Marine & Family Holiday Dinner and provide some type of nutritional education for children.  Of course, I jumped at this opportunity.  But in preparation for the event, I initially struggled with deciding on what to present to the kids.  All of the scientific topics I’m used to discussing were definitely out of the window.  After spending a couple of days in thought, I recalled the time I spent with my niece and nephew during Thanksgiving.  While with my family, I tried to share some of my views on eating habits to encourage them to eat healthy foods (i.e. – brainwash them).  What I was reminded of was the fact that my nephew was very willing to eat healthy food, as long as it tasted good.  So, I now had my area of focus: making healthy foods taste good.  But, how could I do that in a way to get kids involved and interested?

          Well, for those that don’t know, I make the best smoothies!  But, only healthy smoothies of course!    So there it was!  I would show the kids a simple way to make healthy foods taste good: smoothies.  It is a simple way to add fruits AND vegetables into their diet, simple enough that most kids can do it on their own.

          So for my smoothie demonstration, I had the following ingredients:  V-8 Fusion (Strawberry Banana flavor), milk, strawberries, bananas, peanut butter, and SPINACH!  Why spinach?  I wanted to show the children that there a ways to make “nasty” vegetables taste good.  With my first demonstration, I added all of these ingredients together, and LOADED the blender with spinach on purpose.  Some children were reluctant to try the smoothies after seen that (LOL!).  But once they tried it, they all liked it!  Not only did they like it, they wanted more!  So, to all of their enjoyment, I kept making more smoothies. 

          Also, to make things more interactive, I gave some of the kids the chance to make their own smoothie.  This strategy reinforced how easy it is to make healthy foods taste good.  Not only were they adding fruits and peanut butter, but they were also adding spinach…by themselves!  My favorite quote from one of the kids was, “I don’t like spinach, but I like it in my smoothie!”  Once I heard that, I knew I had accomplished my goal.  Now, some of these kids will no longer associate “healthy food” with “terrible taste”.  In my opinion, that is the major deterrent that prevents some children from eating healthier foods.  Some parents also came up to me saying, “Now my kids are asking for a blender!”.  As I said…mission accomplished!






           So, what’s the take home message from this experience?  This event confirmed that kids are VERY willing to eat healthy foods, as long as they taste good.  However, it is up to parents, caregivers, and educators to provide the healthy foods and discuss with kids why it is important.  And the earlier you start, the easier it is.  Once your children know that healthy foods are better for them, you must help them avoid associating “healthy foods” with “terrible taste”.  Smoothies are a great start, but don’t stop there!  Continuously find recipes for tasty, healthy meals with vegetables to reinforce how good vegetables can taste.  As your children grow to be young men and women, they may be more likely to include vegetables in their meals and most importantly, have better health.


Dr. O 
“I don’t live to eat…I eat to live!”


For more information on Cooking With The Troops, please visit their website:

The Birth of BN Shape by Dr. Dozie, Founder & CEO


Dozie Onunkwo, Ph.D. (Founder/CEO, BN Shape) at NASDAQ

BN Shape Clothing was founded in June 2011.  However, the idea for the clothing line was sparked three years prior, by a random comment at a club.  I think it’s very necessary to share this story because 1) I think it’s funny, and 2) You never know where a good idea might come from.  By December 2007, I was about a year into intense training and proper dieting, and I was seeing great results.  These results were further confirmed during a night at a club, celebrating a friend’s birthday.  During this celebration, I received a level of female love that I had never received (Haha!).

This is me on that very night! 12-29-07

But you have to understand, as a person who had been overweight for the first 20 years of their life, this was such a new experience.  In my head, I was the same overweight person.

Yea...that guy! Age 20 @ 300 lbs...Sheesh!

But apparently, on the outside, I was much more physically attractive.  So toward the end of the night, in the midst of my excitement from all of the love, I exclaimed to my friends, “Man, I love being in shape!”  Yep….that’s where it came from!  Every since I uttered those words, it was always a personal slogan.

But it wasn’t until June 2011 that I decided to get this slogan printed on a shirt for personal expression.  I also printed extra shirts and brought them with me to a bodybuilding competition I participated in.  The response I received was overwhelming.  Many other competitors and attendees not only loved the shirt, but wanted to know how they could get their own.  At that moment, BN Shape Clothing was born.

Since then, the BN Shape has grown exponentially!  In a short time frame, BN Shape Clothing has established a rapidly growing community in the US and around the world.  I am happy to share my love for a healthy, fit lifestyle with so many people.  Thank you for becoming a part of the BN Shape community!

Dr. Dozie



“I don’t live to eat…I eat to live!”


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Here’s a blog from B.N. Shape Clothing’s Founder/CEO, Dr. O, on ways to eat healthy while on a budget.  You can find this and other

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