According to a Harvard School of Public Health study, the cost of eating healthy is not as much as you think. In fact, their study showed the most healthy diets were only $1.50 more than the least healthy diets. I guess this all depends on what you consider healthy. If your diet normally consists of fast or processed foods, then making the leap to eating whole, fresh foods might only be $1.50 more a day. But what if you’re already eating fresh foods, but want to commit to eating organic, non-GMO foods? The price tag could be significantly more than $1.50 a day. But is still well worth it. One way or another you’ll pay – either down the road for ailing health, or today for a good meal. Of course, not every fresh, whole food in the grocery store comes in organic and non-GMO foods varieties, but if we do the best we can and make smart choices now, they payback will be great.
Yesterday I spoke with a doctor who said she’s seeing more and more children come in with food allergies and intolerances that aren’t just the usual variety (nuts, soy, eggs, etc.). She mentioned that shortly after the children eliminated those foods, and switched to a mostly organic non-GMO diet, the symptoms greatly diminished. Her advice: everyone should eat mostly organic and non-GMO. Smart woman.
How can you do this without breaking the bank?
- First of all, processed foods are processed foods, whether they’re organic or not. If you’re opting to buy organic lollipops or sugar-laden cereal bars, don’t buy either. I know it’s a convenience for lunches or snacks, but there are alternatives. (see recipes below)
- Shop for vegetables and fruits when they’re in season. Shopping for any produce, particularly organic, is always more expensive when you buy out of season. You’ll save a considerable amount of money if you buy your watermelon in July, not January!
- Look for sales, especially when it comes to meats and poultry. Even if you have no use for 15 pounds of chicken breasts, they freeze well. After you load up on your protein, walk over to the freezer section and check out which organic frozen vegetables or fruit you can buy at a good price.
- Shop in bulk for healthy non-perishables and save tons. Load up on coconut, olive oil and nut butter. Buy lots of butter, too (it freezes well). Lentils, beans, quinoa and oats are a few examples of starches that are looking for a large container to call home. Buy plenty.
- Get online and look for your favorite brand’s website. More often than not, there is a coupon you can print out to bring in. I recently went to Whole Foods to buy a container of Raw Meal (typically $45). I combined coupons, one from Whole Foods for $5 and one from the manufacturer for $5. The container dropped to $35. To me, it’s worth it as Raw Meal is often a meal I have in between working with clients. Breakfast for only $2.50? Not bad!
I know you can always get discounted, cheaper food. I also know that everyone doesn’t have a bankroll the size of Donald Trump. Be practical when you shop, and don’t expect perfection. If your goal is to improve your diet by eating healthier, you can absolutely do it – you just need to know what you’re looking for.
I get a lot of great recipes from fellow clean eating bloggers. You might like a couple of these:
- Here is a N’oatmeal Bar recipe (it’s grain-free and egg-free) from The Spunky Coconut, another great blog for recipes.
- Peppermint Walnut Fudge anyone? This is a recipe from Inspired RD. Great site.
- How a recipe for everyday lunch meat? Make your own and save your health. From Nourished Kitchen. I get a lot of inspiration from this site.
If you’re stumped when it comes to cleaning up your diet, contact me for a consultation. I’m taking new clients in the New Year and would love to work with you. Join me on Facebook to keep up with everything healthy and fit!
Harvard School of Public Health (2013, December 5). Healthy vs. unhealthy diet costs about $1.50 more per day. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 11, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131205171705.htm