It’s not expensive to eat healthy, That’s a bold statement when, as I write this, kiwifruit are selling at over $7/kg. But hear me out.
I can write about this because I do it. I have lived it, even in times of uncertainty, on a very low budget, and living week to week.
I still keep a low budget for the weekly food spend. I’m often having to pick my jaw up off the floor when I hear how much people spend in their weekly shop…and that’s even before we start digging into the spend on takeaways, lunches, and the daily coffee!!!
From a personal viewpoint I strongly object to paying more than I think is necessary for the basic human right of being able to provide healthy nourishment for myself and my family. So I spend as little as possible so we have more to do the other things we enjoy in life.
Stay strong. If you have made the decision that it’s time to take back control of the health & wellness of you and your family then creating new habits can be challenging until they are fully formed. And yes…I said family. Why would you do it just for you and not your family? If you’re in charge of the purse strings and feeding the family then they get what you choose to provide.
I saw a truck the other day and on its side in huge letters it said “Don’t ask the kids what they want for dinner – unless they’re buying” I laughed out loud and shouted “YES – I LOVE IT!” We live in a society where we spend too much time trying to please our kids and make them happy and by giving them what they want instead of what they need. We are killing our kids with what we perceive as showing them love – did you know this is the first generation where it’s more likely that the children will die before their parents?
It is about priorities. Is the health and wellness of you and your family a priority? If it is then the following tips will be helpful. And remember – we don’t do diets, healthy living is a way of life, a lifestyle. Our health (or illness) is often a reflection of lifestyle – what goes in our bodies and how we move our bodies. So what do you choose?
Work out where you spend your money on food – EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth. The daily coffees, the takeaways, the lunches. You would be surprised at how much is spent on unnecessary purchases and then it’s a simple consumer spend shift.
Our focus is whole and real foods. Foods that will provide vitamins, minerals, fibre, quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, proteins, amino acids, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. We don’t need to get too picky at this stage about where you get what from which foods – just focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetable, nuts & seeds, beans, legumes etc
And believe me, healthy meals can be so delicious and will leave you feeling satisfied and content if you put them together in a way that includes healthy fats and proteins. Plenty of fibres from the vegetables too will help with the satiety. And what you’ll start to realise is that by eating in this way we don’t actually need big portion sizes which is another area where we can reduce cost.
For example, 100g of chicken, which provides around 26g of protein and really all you need in a meal is a lot less of a portion size than most of us are used to. Weigh it out next time you cook chicken. And combining that with plenty of vegetable and some healthy fats, you’ll find that what your body needs as a portion size is actually a lot less than you think. Your stomach is only supposed to be the size of your fist after all.
In order to prioritise our health we need to move away from the junk that doesn’t serve us and what our bodies aren’t designed to process and these include unhealthy fats, excess sugar, white flour, excess salt, preservatives, food coloring, processed foods. As Dr Libby says “Mother Nature gets it’s right”.
So what else can we do?
Learn to read nutrition labels. What other extra things have been added in. Packaged foods are fine, what we are looking for is just whole and real foods without all the added extras that our bodies don’t need.
Learn what a serving size looks like. It is often a lot less than what goes in our mouths.
Buy generic brands. Half the time you pay for the brand name. It goes back to reading labels, I’ve found that a generic brand can have less of the added extras.
Don’t be afraid to buy frozen or tinned. Just make sure that the food is in its own natural juices and has no added extra sugar or preservatives.
Cut the junk out of grocery shop. Our bodies don’t need it.
Plan your meals before you shop. Know exactly what you need and stick to your list. Better yet, shop online for the main grocery shop. The only issue here is that you can’t read the labels but once you know packaged foods meet your criteria then it’s easy. I’ve found this a great way to stick to budget and reduce spend.
Cook twice as much and freeze the rest for another day when you’re in a rush – this helps to avoid racing off to buy takeaways.
Stock up when items are on sale. Especially fruits and veges that you can freeze yourself.
Shop in season.
Shop around. Use a Fruit & Vege Co-op – I was advised that the Co-op’s get their vegetables from the same place the supermarkets do.
And then of course, where do the shakes fit in? I often hear people say “the shakes are too expensive”. Are they really though? Because a single serve of just shake mix, which is giving you everything your body needs, is only $4.65 in NZ. It is far more nutritious than that latte, that burger combo, that glass of wine…PLUS if you are using our shakes you get a coach to teach you all the other stuff that goes along with it…FOR FREE!!!
So is it really more expensive to eat healthy?
Having done both and knowing how I feel eating healthily versus non healthily I know my answer and what I choose to prioritise.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it out for yourself, see what happens for you in just 5 days with our low cost trial either at our Lower Hutt Based Smoothie Club or from the comfort of your own home.
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