The cost of eating healthy

If I had a dollar for every time I heard somebody say, “it’s so expensive to eat healthy”, I would be rolling in the gold coins, like the genie in Aladdin. When I hear that, I often interject and challenge that thinking because fresh, wholesome and HEALTHY food is not as expensive as many people think. Sure, if you want to have every ‘super food’ that’s ever been touted as such, then you’re going to pay for it. I can tell you this though, eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to buy all the Acai berries, activated almonds, organic flax seed, fair trade cacao, sprouted grains (I could go on and on and on) and the like for every meal.

The media and internet have encouraged an age where information is everywhere, regardless of whether it’s factually correct or not. So I’m here to clear up a few of those misconceptions.

I’ve put together some responses to the types of questions and statements that I get often from people who want to eat a bit better but often get deterred. So you have no more excuses!

1. It’s cheaper to get takeaway. 

No it absolutely is not. If you are feeding a family of four and you order take away it’s going to cost you between $40-60 (absolute minimum!).  Meanwhile, you can buy a whole raw (or cooked) Chicken at the supermarket for between $7-11, add a few vegetables, salad and dinner rolls for an additional $10-15 and you have yourself a nutrient rich, well rounded and cheap dinner for four. At less than $30 dollars! Before you say it, there’s many other options that are better for your health, and easier on the wallet, such as; homemade soups, pasta dishes, stir-fry, and homemade pizza! Eating seasonally is another way to to get more bang for your buck.  If this is something that you want to get more savvy at, one of the services I offer is to help familiarize you with the ins and outs of eating healthy on a budget and how to shop smart!

2. It takes so long to cook at the end of the day and I couldn’t be bothered. 

It’s all about preparation. If you get to the end of the day and have no food in the house, and haven’t even thought about dinner before you’re standing in the kitchen, well yes – it’s going to be a bit of a long, tedious process. However, a little preparation at the beginning of the week, will save you hours collectively throughout the week when it comes to meals.  You don’t have to spend a whole day on a Sunday meal prepping for the week, if you don’t want to, and you don’t have to be eating the same meal every day at lunch or dinner if that’s not your thing.  All it takes is a little planning from the start, for less hassle throughout the week. Some tips include, making sure your dinners are sorted, if you make extra, they can double as lunch the following day. Also making sure you have done your grocery shopping at the start of the week, so you at least have food in the fridge to use for lunches is a big time and money saver.

3. Eat Seasonally.

Its winter currently, so vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, eggplants, cauliflower, broccoli etc are all in season and cheap! If you opt for summer vegetables and fruit in winter, you end up paying a lot more.  A prime example of this is tomatoes – currently they are between $8-12 a kilo in Canberra – in summer they can be anywhere between $2-6 kilo.

4. I end up throwing out so much of my food.

Food waste is a massive problem in Australia so if you haven’t read my post on food waste, you definitely should! It’s full of tips and tricks around how to get the most out of your produce. You can freeze meals for those nights you don’t feel like cooking, freeze meats in single portions, store fruit and vegetables properly and more. Nowadays there are stores like Naked Foods and even the larger chain supermarkets have aisles where you can purchase things like nuts, flours, seeds, muesli, dried fruit, pulses, and grains in the exact amounts you need. As opposed to purchasing a 1kg bag of Quinoa when you only need 100g, which can become quite costly, you can purchase what you need and minimise waste, both food and monetary!

5. I want to maximise my health by making sure I stay abreast of the latest Super Foods and can incorporate them into my diet.

It may seem like every week there is a new ‘Super Food’ that is going to be the next BIG thing, that will take our health to dizzying new heights of longevity, youthfulness and age defying beauty.  However let me clear this one up for you. The definition of a super food is;

a food that is rich in compounds, such as antioxidants, fatty acids, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and considered beneficial to a person’s health.

Do you know what all the Super Foods have in common? They are all rich in these compounds, and you do you know what else is rich in these compounds? Vegetables, fruits, meats, legumes, and fibre rich grains! That yogurt you had for morning tea topped with nuts and blueberries contained Super Foods! Your dinner last night of Salmon, broccoli, and asian greens contained Super Foods! Don’t get lost with all the noise out there, you’re diet may already be rich in Super Foods!

There’s a lot to think about, and it can become overwhelming when you get bombarded with information every day. However the cost of eating healthy isn’t high – the cost of not eating healthy is much higher! Both financially and nutritionally.

If you are interested in becoming more savvy around food choices and shopping on a budget and eating healthy, contact me. I can teach you the tricks and get you well on your way to a more financially conscious and nutritionally beneficial diet!

 

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