Several years back a local elected official in order to prove a point to government, set himself on a poor man’s diet. What he did was basically put his whole family on welfare for a month, to show how a poor family survives on little money. He took a $200 check and used it to buy a month’s supply of groceries. What do you think happened to him at the end of 30 days? What do you spend per month on food?
I’ll tell you what would happen to the average family ( not this particular one ), if it has to eat cheap food: the whole family would end up unhealthy, feeling bloated and tired. They also would gain weight. It’s interesting that there is a nationally known term as “fat poor.” We used to assume that people who are poor would be skinny, because they couldn’t afford to eat, but instead, the horrible truth is that they eat unhealthy, cheaper food, filled with sugar and starch that fills them up longer. A nice dinner out for a family who can’t afford a sit down restaurant is usually fast food, which is loaded in fat, but quick and cheap.
The unfortunate truth is that eating healthy, and eating well is not cheap.
There are always smarter choices that someone can make, no matter what budget they are on (more lean meats, filling vegetables and fruit, less carbs and dairy for adults) but the highest quality food and ingredients cannot be bargained. No matter what the economic climate, what you eat plays the most important role in how your gut functions, and your gut is crucial to the way you live, love, work, behave, function and survive. And that has to be taken care of no matter what the cost is.
My advice? If you want to cut something from your diet to save money: stop buying bread and milk! Instead, fill your belly with grass fed beef, organic fruit and vegetables. Splurge on these items instead of cheeses. Buy an organic chicken because the couple of dollars you pay extra is worth the added benefit to your vitality and life. Save money by cooking your own meals or growing your own vegetables. This way you can manage ingredients and chemicals and make sure that what you are eating is quality and more affordable. Even a city-dweller can grow tomatoes! Don’t spend money on coffee or alcohol. Drink water! High-priced juices? Skip them and go for the fruit instead. It’s much healthier! Go to a holistic doctor to get your gut checked out and see where you can begin to a healthier lifestyle.
The bottom line is this: You have a wallet and it’s filled with bills. Would you rather it be filled with singles or hundreds? We all know what the answer is. And you might be saying that you can’t afford to fill it with hundreds and that’s ok. But maybe you can start by filling it with 20s for now. Every little bit helps. Do you feel like the food that you are eating is doing more harm to you than good? Do you sometimes feel hungry, even after eating a big, fattening meal? Are you concerned with the quality of ingredients you are taking in? Here’s something quick you can start with right now: a list of the foods that contain the most and least pesticides. Start buying organic now at least with the foods that contain the most pesticides. See how much difference every little change makes! Here is a pocket guide you can print out for when you are food shopping: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehkids/pdf/walletguide.pdf