The Cost of Eating Healthy

 Too often I hear, “it’s too expensive to eat healthy!” Although I agree that it isn’t cheap, I disagree that it is too expensive to eat healthy. Some foods that are organic or all natural are definitely more expensive but just think about your basics first – fruits and vegetables! I recently went to our local Produce Market and bought 120 pieces of fruit (apples, oranges, and bananas) and only spent $29! That’s amazing! And could feed an individual for weeks! Leafy greens and vegetables like broccoli and carrots are also on the cheaper side.

I’m not saying you have to eat quinoa and kale to be healthy. Just start small. While grocery shopping, it is important to shop along the outsides of the store to be the healthiest. These departments include produce, meats, and dairy. Try avoiding the aisles as much as you can. Most things down the aisles are processed and carry more added preservatives. Those foods that are processed are okay in moderation, but too much can lead to bad habits and compromised health. Fresh is always best! Most grocery stores have weekly ads too, so shop what is on sale! You may just find out that eating healthy is not so costly, while eating unhealthy may result in a cost we don’t want to pay. 


Trying New things!

Our March Challenge – Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables every day for 10 days is overwhelming for a lot of people, myself included. I have quite the sweet tooth so fruit for me is great! The vegetables are another story. About 3 years ago, my husband decided to become a vegetarian – which basically meant I’m a vegetarian too or I am going to cook 2-3 meals a night: one for him, myself and my daughter. No thanks! So I’ve really tried to open my eyes to all food choices. I’ve tried recipes that were a success and everyone enjoyed them, while other times it was a complete fail-pizza please!

With a little bit of planning and thinking outside the box, you will be eating healthier and feeling better in no time. Here are some ideas for how to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your daily eating habits.

Try eating fruit with every meal and as a snack in between meals. Apples, oranges, and bananas are great on the go. My favorite – a berry blend of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are great at any time during the day. If you make a morning smoothie or juice for breakfast, try adding spinach or kale and maybe some carrots or celery for the more daring! Raw veggies at lunch are a great way to get another serving in. Broccoli and cauliflower with a veggie dip is easy and quick! If you like to cook your vegetables, dinner time would be perfect for that! Try a baked sweet potato, sauté some colorful bell peppers into a stir-fry, throw some broccoli into your pasta, or have a large salad with your meal. There are endless ways to start eating more fruits and vegetables. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and if at first you don’t like the taste of something, try it again and again and you may just grow to love that very food. 

Can Fast Food be Heathly?

 Our latest No Fast Food Challenge, got me thinking can fast food really be healthy?

It seems like the truth is; it’s really hard to follow a healthy diet when you regularly eat at fast food restaurants. However, I don’t believe people must avoid it all together. Fast food is ok every once in awhile, but to stay healthy you shouldn't make it a regular habit. It is the same  as eating out at any restaurant; it is all about the choices we make. We all realize that the triple cheeseburger is going to have more calories than the single burger. That the salad without bacon and crispy chicken is worse than the salad with grilled chicken and light dressing. Most fast food places have nutritional information available- even McDonalds has calories on their menus.

Calories are important but so are the other ingredients. High sodium is a real problem in fast food, and a leading contributor to cardiovascular disease. Adults should eat less than 1500 mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2.300 mg a day. It is really hard to stay in those guidelines even with the healthy choices at a fast food restaurant.  Even the so called healthy oatmeal that I order sometimes when I am in a hurry in the morning has 160 mgs of sodium. After checking into the ingredients I also found that there are 11 weird ingredients, things that I know that you and I don’t keep in our kitchens!

Is fast food even faster? After some thought, I realized I sit in line at the drive thru when I am in a hurry. Why not take 5 minutes at home and make real oatmeal ( not even instant)? I think my body will thank me and I might actually start getting to my destinations on time.


Healthy Eating Tips & Tricks

Goal: The goal is to feel good and have the energy to do our daily tasks and enjoy life!

Plan for Success: There are no quick fixes! Change is gradual and takes time and commitment. Along with healthy eating think of water and exercise as food groups in your diet.

Everything in Moderation: Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love. You can still have that chocolate you’ve been craving but consider a dark chocolate and make it a small bite to satisfy the craving. Don’t overindulge! Watch your portion control – this is what your plate should look like.

Know your Body: It’s all about how you eat too! Slow down, enjoy your food and listen to your hunger and fullness cues. By paying attention and being mindful, we will consume less calories. It’s also important to eat breakfast; often referred to as “the most important meal of the day!” because it is! It jumpstarts your metabolism and helps curb your appetite throughout the morning. It’s also important to avoid eating late at night! Try asking yourself these three questions each time you grab for food: “Am I hungry?” “Is it smart?” “How much do I need?”!

Fill up on Colorful Fruits & Veggies: Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Eat fruits with your meals or as a dessert after your meal. Fruits and vegetables should take up half of your plate. They contain vitamins and minerals that we need to keep our bodies healthy! 


Fast Food Facts

Fast food is something that has a place in the lives of most families in the modern world. When the day gets a bit too busy, fast food is there to help us shave a few minutes off our schedules. However, while fast food is not overly harmful in moderation, check out some of these facts that may affect how family friendly you view fast food...

  • 40% of American meals are eaten outside the home
  • In 1972, we spent $3 billion a year on fast food – today we spend more than $110 billion
  • Only seven items on McDonald’s entire menu contain no sugar
  • You would have to walk for seven hours straight to burn off a Super sized Coke, fry, and Big Mac
  • Each day, 1 in 4 Americans visits a fast food restaurant
  • Most nutritionists recommend not eating fast food more than once a month
  • Before most children can speak, they can recognize McDonalds
  • One in every three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime
  • Diabetes will cut 17-27 years off your life 69 percent of all Americans are either overweight or obese
  • Left unchecked, obesity will surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in America