Eating healthy and on a budget

How do you afford to eat that way all the time?

People are always asking me that! And it’s a fair question, as I am a full time student on a very low, next to nothing income.

Organic Meat, Organic Vegetables and Fruits… I eat only quality and in abundance of variety. But how?

Well its very simple, I see food as an investment, and investment into my health, my future, my one day to be families future. I could spend my money on other things sure, but my priority is to sustain the healthy life I have and continue to nourish my mind and body with goodness.

According to stats found in a Forbes Article online;

“In the past, feeding our families took a much bigger bite out of American budgets –and it hardly ever included dining out. In 1901, according to a 1997 Bureau of Labor Statistics study, the average family spent almost half of their budget on food. Just 3% of that went to meals away from home. Today, we only spend an average 13.3% of our budgets on food–but 42% of that money is spent in restaurants”

Of course people can’t afford organic meat and veggies if they only use 13% of their budget for this. If people stopped eating out so much they would be able to afford to eat well on a regular basis in their homes, leaving dining out as a treat for special occasions or only once every now and then.

Quality food should be your number one priority, just think too – you will save money on doctors bills if you eat better, which in return means more money in the kitty for the weekly shop.

See below my top 5 tips for a healthier, more organic lifestyle.

1. If you cant buy all organic fruits and vegetables why not check out what should be top priority when it comes to Organic.

The guys at EWG have put together a shoppers guide to pesticides in produce, it’s a list to check over which is top priority when buying organic and which are not so much.

(click links for lists)

The Clean 15

The Dirty Dozen.

2.Health Food Stores –

Now Im a sucker for this trap too – you go into a health food store and you start to browse the isles – up and down… wow so many cool and exciting yummy things. You grab a bag of coconut chips, a green juice, a yummy protein bliss ball and before you know it you have spent the same amount of $$ you could have spent on meat from the organic butcher or on vegetables to make 3 or 4 days worth of super food salads.

All the yummy fancy gluten free, nut free, dairy free, chips, pastries and sweet treats all add up fast! And are they really that good for you?

When my clients make the transition to healthy and more organic foods they often do it the wrong way, pre packaged foods can come at a high price. So think whole foods!

Instead of grabbing a $10 box of granola that wont go too far, why not make your own! Recipes can be found everywhere online or you can try mine found on my blog. It’s simple, full of goodness and delicious! Or make your own bliss balls! A big batch of them can be kept in the fridge or freezer and last you weeks.

3. Farmers Markets –

On the weekends – make it an adventure to head to the farms that are near by (if you are lucky enough to live close by to some) or head to your local farmers markets, get to know your farmers. They are more than happy to share stories and also to tell you if they are spray free or what they use on their produce. Just because they aren’t deemed as ‘certified organic’ doesn’t mean they aren’t organically grown. Some of the farmers just cant afford the hefty price tag that comes with being certified.

My favourite places on the Gold Coast –

  • Farm – Freemans Organic Farm, Currumbin Valley

  • Markets Saturdays – Burleigh – a select few farmers have ‘spray free’ produce

  • Miami Organic Markets on Sundays – The whole place is organic, advice when visiting here is go to the little farmers stalls before heading to the giant more commercial as they’re costs are lower and they have better stories to tell.

4.Bulk Food Stores –

These places are so exciting! But again you can get so caught up in these places and spend way over your weekly budget. I call these stores Candy Stores for Foodies.

I could spend hours on end wandering around grabbing different things to take home and bake with, you only need to open my cupboards to see how much I love them.

But there is a plus side to these stores too, most are of high quality ingredients, and you can buy them in bulk, hence the name. Purchasing in bulk means you will save money in the long run. You also have the ability to see where the ingredients are sourced from (Australian or International).

I am a sucker for recycling and minimal wastage, so I use mason jars or old cold press juice bottles to store my ingredients.

These stores are helpful for those who want to start making more of their own bliss balls or slices and other things at home to save $$.

– I recommend the Source Bulk food at Miami on the Gold Coast or Helens in James Street Burleigh. Both have a large range of goodies!

5. Learn to read labels – I don’t recommend eating many packaged foods as most are highly processed and are not considered wholefoods and from natures pure state in my opinion.

But I do understand there are times when we do need things that come this way, so we must learn how to read labels.

Just because something says its ‘healthy’, ‘organic’, ‘natural’, ‘better for you’…. Etc

Does not mean it is! Don’t fall for the fat free – sugar free trap either!

Firstly – Read the ingredients list – can you understand it?

Are there things on there that you have never even heard of, are they almost in another language or are they just simply numbers and letters that belong in one of my chemistry text books??? This would tell me they were man made and created in a laboratory and probably far from being real food.

Become aware of green washing, false advertising and the supposed food tick, I have lost count of the numerous foods I find with ticks on them that I almost have a mini heart attack over when I realise what they call good for you!

Just always ask yourself – where did this come from? Did it simply grow in the ground or walk, swim or fly? Mother nature wont let you down, I promise.

If you want to know more or have any questions at all – send me an email, I’m always more than happy to help people with confusion or head to my services page and let me know how I can help you!

#FoodFitnessWellness #nutrition #holisticliving

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© 2019 Copyright | Food.Fitness.Wellness | rebecca neale
{My personal opinions and journey should not be mistaken for professional medical or healthcare advice}