America is in the midst of a major health crisis, and more people are beginning to realize how important it is to eat healthy and make better choices. People across the nation are becoming conscious of the reality that our food supply is tainted with antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals; however, at the same time, many justify buying and eating conventional foods because they believe that eating healthy and organic can be quite costly.
What do you do when you want to be healthy but also need to watch your budget?
Prioritize your purchases—choose to buy the most important foods organic. Start by getting all of your meats, dairy, and eggs organic so you can be sure that they are free of antibiotics, pesticides, and added hormones. Eggs are a great source of pure protein and also budget-friendly: a dozen organic eggs cost only about $3. Even after washing, peaches, nectarines, apples, strawberries, cherries, pears, peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, and coffee are found to have a high amount of pesticide residual, so it would be wise to buy organic and avoid this “dirty dozen.”
Another great way to save money is to eat a few vegetarian meals a week. Meat and fish average a higher cost per pound than beans and tempeh, which are tasty sources of vegetarian protein that are much more cost-effective. I recommend tempeh over traditional tofu as a soy option because tempeh is fermented and therefore much easier for your body to digest. Even my parents have become tempeh lovers after they tried my tempeh tacos and reubens!
Pack your lunch! Buying lunch can become very expensive, averaging $10 a meal. Eating lunch out everyday means you’ll be spending $2,500 a year—and that doesn’t count your morning latte! Instead, buy organic deli meat and bread—usually for much less than $50 a week. Also try a tasty veggie option such as hummus or avocado with tomato, lettuce and some sprouts for a satisfying healthy alternative.
Eat according to your blood type and body type and you will feel less hungry and have more energy. Most likely, you will eat smaller, more nutrient-rich meals and that means less money out of your pocket. For example, I am a Type O and do well with a protein and veggie diet. Carbs are not great for Os, so I only make them about 30 percent of my diet. When I eat a lot of carbs, my energy crashes, and I reach for sugar and snacks. Do the breakfast experiment and try a different breakfast food for a week and document how you feel right after you eat and two hours later. Try a protein smoothie, cereal, eggs, and fruit for a different breakfast each day. This will give you an idea of what foods work best for your body and blood type.
Most importantly, don’t stress out about it. Do the best you can and enjoy life. Every little bit you do to incorporate healthier options into your life will bring you one step closer to radiant health!
Cylleria Johnson is a Certified Health Coach trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is coaching people who are looking to improve their overall health and happiness. Together you will design a healthy and flexible lifestyle that works perfectly for you and your budget. You can contact her at Cylleria@yahoo.com and visit her website at www.cylleria.com.