Monday, October 22, 2012

Does Healthy-Eating Have to Cost Your “Whole Paycheck”?

Does Healthy Eating Have to Cost Your “Whole Paycheck”?

Too Poor for Produce?

In this recession, many mothers feel they are facing an impossible dilemma:  the choice between their family’s finances or their health.

Conscientious moms around our struggling country may be thinking, “I would love to buy my family organics or shop at a healthier grocery store, but how in the world will I ever pay for it? In this economy, we are barely getting by as it is.  To feed my family healthier food I’ll have to spend even more”.

Believe me, I do understand why you might feel this way. In fact, I thought the same thing when I first got started with my Self Health Revolution.  I come from pretty humble origins; my family worked hard for every dollar.  I clearly remember times my mother and father had to struggle to make ends meet.  That said, here’s what I’ve learned, buying healthy food may not cost as much as you might think (only 20 to 30 percent more). 

Less Food Is More Food

One reason we suffer from food cravings and binges is because our bodies are literally starving for more nutrients. Cheaper, processed, fake foods are stripped and sucked dry of these necessary nutrients. In an attempt to make up for this emptiness, our bodies must consume massive volumes of fake foods. 

Think about the humongous portions served to us at our local restaurants, cafés, and diners, not to mention all-you-can-eat buffets. Portion sizes across the board are exponentially larger than they were only twenty years ago (bigger portions, bigger profits, bigger people). Even our plates at home have gotten larger, from your grandmother’s ten-inch plates in the 1950s to over fourteen inches today. And they’re still growing.

When living a healthy eating lifestyle, you are consuming much more powerful, nutrient-dense foods, so your body is not forced to eat quite as much in order to feel satisfied. This may not seem possible at first, but you will see that it does work. (Just as better fuel takes your car farther.) And less food equals less money spent at the market.  So your food costs a little more, but it goes a lot further.  And you’re going to love how it makes you feel (no more bloating after dinner).  Plus, serving your meals on smaller, ten-inch plates can save you about 20 percent on your caloric intake and about 10 pounds a year off your waistline.

Home Is Where Your Heart Lives

These days only half of what we eat is food we make ourselves; the other half is mostly defrosted, microwaved, and reheated food we consume from fast-food and sit-down restaurants (much of it from the same food trucks that stock most restaurants). If you really want to save your family’s Self-Health, determine now to start preparing and eating more food at home (more like 75 percent). Kids alone consume 55 percent more calories when eat- ing out, compared to eating foods pre- pared at home. 

You may be thinking this is a good idea in theory, but impossible to achieve with our busy schedules. I truly understand, but you always have time for what’s really important to you. Here are a few time-saving tips that work well for me.

When I’m in a hurry, I simply bypass the fast-food joints and head straight to my local healthy grocery store, where I can usually find a beautiful hormone-and antibiotic-free, cooked rotisserie chicken for around $7 (organic is $9).  I simply add my favorite vegetables and maybe some brown rice, Presto.  I have a delicious healthy meal.  Health-conscious groceries now also offer drug-free and organic, prepared beef, fish, turkey and pork.  

You can swing by, pick it up, run home, and mix it with your favorite veggies and whole grains.  Many health-minded grocers like Whole Foods Markets are now offering family meal deals that feed four people for around $15 to $20.  To make healthy foods cheaper, 
Whole Foods has also created 365 Everyday-Value, in-house label products that are now several dollars less than other products in the store.  So, eating at home can be much easier and much more affordable than you realize!  Plus, you might actually get some quality time with your family members.

Don’t Let Organics Stop You

Perhaps you have heard about the new Stanford Study? It reportedly confirmed that organic fruits and vegetables are no healthier than conventional ones.  The truth is that the study confirmed conventional produce has 300% more pesticides in them.  These pesticide chemicals are designed to dissolve the nervous systems of insects and are labeled by law as poison by the U.S. government.  Probably not what you would prefer to feed to the people you love the most.

But if you truly can’t afford the more expensive organic, grass-fed, wild-caught foods, then don’t buy them!  Buy what you can afford. You can still buy non-processed foods, conventional fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and rice, and steroid and hormone-free meats.  You’ll still be so much better off by putting real food in you and your family’s body, even if it’s not all organic.

The important thing is to start feeding yourself and those you love the most healthy foods that you can afford. So please don’t let the price of organics be an excuse for you not to get started. Get out   there and get the best nutrient- dense foods you can afford.

"It's bizarre to think that the produce manager is more
important to my children's health than the pediatrician"
~ Meryl Streep
Pay the Farmer Now, or the Doctor Later!

In 1970 we spent 20 percent of our income on food. With the advent of mass-produced fake foods, we now spend only 10 percent, and it’s going even lower. (Perhaps McDonald’s will end up with a 50 cent menu.) We are now learning the hard way that, when it comes to food, you get what you pay for. It may be time for us to put our money where our mouth is and decide to eat to live rather than living to eat, like so many American families.

Decide right now that your and your family’s Self-Health is worth an extra 20 to 30 percent in your food budget.  If you or someone you love is diagnosed with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity or another chronic illness, it’s going to cost you so much more in money, time, and lifestyle.  Recent studies show that in a recession, due to stress and cheaper, junk-food eating habits, people are 3 times as likely to get sick.

You Can Save Your Family’s Health

If you start now, eating fewer calories by choosing powerful, nutrient-dense foods for your meals, you can actually lower your grocery costs. If you reduce your expenses by avoiding the top four things typically purchased in grocery stores (sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol), you will certainly decrease your budget. If you buy your food from local farmers and farmers markets, you can often save big on produce and get more healthful foods into your body.

Sometimes making the Self-Health transition is not always about time or money. Your family, friends, spouse, and children may initially resist the  Self-Health change. That’s very normal and to be expected.  All real, long-term change happens in the mind and begins with baby steps.  Slowly start to mix healthier foods in your family’s diet.  Their bodies will start craving these powerful nutrients, and over time they will want more. Like anything in life that is truly valuable, it will take time and effort, but the outcome is indeed worth it.  Picture the people you love living healthy, long, energetic lives, free of chronic illness, debilitating disease and pain. 

What’s that worth to you and your family?

~ J. Michael Zenn, Author of the best-selling book, The Self Health Revolution 

1 comment:

AMBER said...

These ideas are revolutionary to me. A seemingly impossible challenge of transformation into organics is now a simple venture to undertake. Investment into this now easily attainable lifestyle for my future as mother and wife raising a healthy family is incredibly important. This information will have an impact on all families who only see that brick wall called 'UN-Affordable' when it comes to eating healthier. Great article! A must read.