One of the most common complaints by people who are struggling to eat healthy is that it is too expensive. Well, it can be. I am not going to sugar coat it. For some strange reason, some of the most nutritious food is more expensive.
It doesn’t have to be but manufacturers, stores, and other ‘business people in the food industry’ have chosen to make junk food cheap and make healthy food more costly than it has to be. But, and there is always a but, if you make some wise choices in your shopping habits, the cost starts to be more livable.
- First of all, stop comparing a bag of chips to the cost of an apple. Seriously, think about what you are doing. You are comparing apples to chips, it’s like comparing apples to oranges, only chips are basically a bag of fat. There is a little-processed potato, but the reason you like them is that they are basically fat and salt, not apple. So, try to remember that this is the fuel you are using to make the engine called your body needs to run. Sure you can use junk food to fuel your body, but it won’t work as well as it does when you fuel it properly.
- Think of the food you are eating as an investment into your single largest investment, your body. If your body is not fuelled properly, it won’t run properly. Your body has a long list of nutrition it needs to function and if we short cut that list with too much of the wrong thing, it’s not going to work right.
- When you choose to eat right, you won’t have the same desire to eat the junk food, so you will not come home with a buggy of pizza, chips, buns, cookies, frozen food, you will come home with food that will make you feel better and keep you fuller longer, so less snacking on empty calories.
- You can learn to eat what is in season. When it comes to produce, a lot of fruits and veggies are around all year. They are imported and grown even when they are out of season in most areas. If you learn what is in season, it will always be cheaper than the summer fruits that you buy in the middle of winter. So, learn to pay attention to seasonal imports and always try to buy by the season.
- Shop local. Just because the chain grocery stores are huge and generally carry everything for one stop shopping, they are not always the cheapest place for fresh food. Take some time and shop around. Quite often local butchers and bakeries are a better value and offer less processed food.
- Changing your shopping habits are harder than they should be but that is because we are creatures of habit and changing habits are always hard. If changing all your shopping habits are really hard then just change a couple at a time. Choose to read more labels and shop more around the outside edges of the store. Make sure that you are getting enough protein. When you think about snacks, think of them as a meal and therefore there should be protein included in it. So, if you are snacking on an apple, have some cheese or peanut butter with it. When planning meals, the same rules apply. Make sure you have protein with each meal, breakfast, lunch and supper.
- Try to take time when shopping for your food. If you can, spend as much time reading labels as you can. The longer the ingredient list, the quicker it should be put down. Stop paying for things that you can’t pronounce. If you don’t know what it is, chances are your body doesn’t know how to use it, so will store it.
- Plan your meals to have leftovers. When you pick up chicken, plan for some chicken salad later in the week. Maybe some roast beef sandwiches later in the week. It is better than fast food. Soup is a great way to use leftovers and can be eaten all week as lunch.
- Read more about ways to have meatless meals without sacrificing protein. Beans and lentils are super cheap and are really good for you.
- Keeping your portion size in mind goes a long way too. Most chicken breasts are big enough for two meals for most women. Lots of fruit is now very large. If you keep your portions under control, you will find that you actually have more food than you think.
The more you learn about ways to eat healthy, the more you will enjoy the food that you do eat and then the special treats you allow yourself will taste even better.
Why do I always choose the shopping cart with the squeaky wheel? Is it my bad luck, or are all the carts dysfunctional? – Rachel Nichols