Is it really to possible to eat healthy food on a budget?
It is a common belief among many that healthy foods are more expensive and some studies have helped to create this misconception.
When you consider that value is often calculated on a calorie per dollar equation then, indeed, calorie dense foods often appear to offer a bigger bang for your buck than less calorie dense foods.
If, however, you are calculating value on a nutrition scale then high calorie often high saturated fat, sugar and sodium containing foods fall short.
In other words, junk food and prepared foods offer a lot of calories per dollar but those calories come at the cost of your health by being laden with saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup and other sugars as well as dangerously high sodium levels while offering little if any nutritive value.
There is also this obsession with protein which further confuses the issue.
Americans have gotten it into their collective psyche that protein equals meat.
While it is true that meat does contain protein it is also true that almost all foods contain protein.
All foods do not offer the full compliment of 9 amino acids needed to make a complete protein profile of 21 amino acids, however, by consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and beans, it can be easily achieved in a meal or throughout the day.
Sprouted Lentils, soy and quinoa for instance, are complete proteins.
While meat can be expensive and add to high fat and cholesterol, eggs, sardines, skim milk and yogurt are healthy and cost effective ways to add protein at very little cost.
These foods used in moderation and as compliments to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains and brown rice, nutritional requirements should be easily met at little cost.
Here’s the trick: necessary ingredients include creativity, time, planning and a willingness to eat leftovers!
I eat very inexpensively and healthfully and am limited only by time and energy.
Go-to meals are often a hard boiled egg and avocado breakfast followed by a lentil lunch and veggies like cauliflower, broccoli or kale with a baked sweet potato for dinner.
I add coconut oil to cooked dishes to increase nutrition and taste.
Big pots of oatmeal, bean chills and cooked vegetables go a long way throughout the week and keep you full and energized.
The effort it takes to eat healthy may seem overwhelming, especially to busy working moms or moms who have to travel to grocery stores because they can’t find produce in their neighborhoods.
But it is also about reading labels and expanding your knowledge about what good nutrition is and why it is so important.
Eating offers one of the truly few opportunities we have to choose.
Think about it; we may not live in the home we want, love the job we have or be in the perfect relationships but everyday we put food in our mouths.
We can decide in that moment if that food will nourish us by eating something healthy and nutritious or simply entertain our tastebuds for a moment with empty calories, artery clogging fats, unnecessary sugars and enough sodium to send our blood pressure through the roof.