and how it will save you money in the long-run
As I am writing this post I am sitting in the hospital keeping my Grandmother company. My grandmother suffers from congestive heart failure; but at 91, she is fairly healthy. She takes care of herself, cooks her meals, and is mentally alert and sharp. For the most part, she has taken good care of herself by eating healthy and exercising. As I am sitting here, my grandmother is napping, I began thinking about aging, caring for oneself, and the importance of investing in our health today…and everyday.
As a nutritionist I encourage individuals to eat healthy and I often hear how expensive it is to eat healthy. I know. I see the cost of food and I understand that cost is a factor for most people. It is very unfortunate that unhealthy, processed foods cost less than fruits and vegetables. How unfortunate is it that purchasing fresh produce is not an option for some families? This is upsetting. We should all have access to healthy foods without paying ridiculous price.
I often hear from individuals that have financial limitations. But, I also hear from individuals that drive fancy cars and sport the latest iPhone. They are concerned with the cost of food despite having the financial means to purchase fresh foods. Some individuals prefer to spend money on material items rather than spend money on healthy foods. I get it… we all work hard and can spend our money how we please. We are all adults. We make our own choices. And, healthy food options are clearly not the priority…for everyone.
Some individuals just prefer to eat junky food. Cost is an excuse to eat fast foods, fried foods…you get the point. If I am calling you out…sorry…so not sorry. I am getting real with you. Because at some point you may look back and say I wish I would have made different choices.
You will either pay for your health now or later. I suggest investing in your health today. Invest in your health by making healthy choices daily. One of my favorite quotes comes from Ann Wigmore, the founder of Hippocrates Health Institute.
The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison -Ann Wigmore
Read it again. Let it sink in. The foods we choose to nourish our body with can either promote a healthy immune system and protect you from illness or it can wreak havoc by weakening your immune system and making you susceptible to heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
I want to point out that managing an illness is very expensive. So, it’s your choice. Pay for your health now with healthy foods that will improve your quality of life. Or, you can continue to eat unhealthy, processed foods because they are less expensive. But, keep in mind that prescriptions, doctor visits, and hospitalizations cost a fortune. Your quality of life will be impaired as you live with the uncertainty of an illness.
By investing in your health now, you may avoid having to invest in healthcare later
Okay, ready to invest in your health today and everyday? Oh yea you are! Here are my favorite cost effective methods so you can begin investing in your health today!
- Plan ahead so you know exactly what you need for the week. You will avoid unnecessary purchases and only purchase what you need.
- Re-purpose left overs. I am all about making a little extra so you have leftovers. I make a whole chicken and can prepare 2-3 different meals. Awesome!
- Check out your local farmer’s markets. You can purchase fresh produce for less than what you would spend at the grocery store. I get two grocery store bags filled with fruits and veggies for under $20.
- Purchase frozen fruit and veggies. Frozen is often less expensive than fresh AND they are usually more nutritious. Frozen produce is picked at peak ripeness, washed, chopped, and frozen. Whereas fresh is usually picked before it’s ripe which affects nutrient content. And, if you find that your fresh produce goes bad before you can prepare them, definitely purchase frozen to eliminate food waste.
- If you are close to a Trader Joe’s make sure to stock up there. I get a bag of 5 avocados for $2.99. My local grocery store offers 2 for $5. You can purchase a bag of lemons for $1.99 compared to 2 for $1.50. Veggies are less expensive and they have a wide variety of organic foods. I leave Trader Joes’s spending way less than shopping at my local grocery store.
- Buy in bulk! Buying in bulk saves you money. Store meat in the freezer. I often buy berries at Costco and freeze them so they don’t go bad. And, did you know Costco is the largest distributor of organic food? It sure is! They support small farmers to supply organic produce to their stores. It’s a win-win!!
- Join a farming co-op. Farming co-ops allow you to receive a share of local, seasonal, organic produce at a discounted price. You pay in advance and get fresh produce every two weeks. It’s awesome. Click here to locate a co-op near you.
- Make bean soups. Bean soup, such as lentil soup, black bean soup, and chili are inexpensive to make, tastes delicious, completely nutritious, and usually makes enough to last 3-4 meals. And, you can freeze any leftovers to have later.
- Buy seasonal produce. Seasonal produce is often less expensive. Look for buy one get one free deals. Take home your produce and look up a new recipe to try.
- Purchase from bulk bins. You know those bins in Whole Foods and Fresh Market? They are filled with grains, nuts, and seeds. The price per pound is less than if you purchase the same item in a package.
- Buy a whole chicken instead of chicken breasts. A whole chicken is about $1.99-$2.99 per pound as compared to chicken breasts that can cost $5.99 per pound or more.
- Eat less meat. Plant based foods are less expensive than meals prepared with animal protein such as chicken, red meat, pork, and fish.
- Grow your own. Learn how to grow your own produce. Start with herbs then experiment with tomatoes and strawberries. Noting is better than the food you grow.
Take the time to invest in your health. Yes, you will pay extra for healthy food. This is just the way it is. But, think about
a life filled with health and happiness. A life free of illness. A life that brings you energy and joy. Don’t you deserve it? Don’t your loved ones deserve it? You deserve to be healthy, vibrant, and energetic. The choices you make today will affect how you live your life as you get older.
Invest in your health. You are certainly worth it, my friend.
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