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  • Healthy Green Budget

    I was talking with a woman recently who shared that her attempt to regain her health and lose weight was too expensive. I asked her why she felt that way. In sharing, she said that she spent over $140 on fruits and vegetables and ended up wasting most of it due to the produce going bad. She said, “I simply can’t afford to be healthy”. Well, gee, neither could I if I spent that type of money, but I don’t.

    The decision for her to buy all the produce was at the recommendation of a consultant that was teaching her how to eat better, but also selling a plan, an idea, along with other supplements. The plan had her actually purchase all this produce with no real guidance.

    Okay, it is now time to STOP the wheels!! First, it does NOT cost a lot to eat healthy and be healthy. Well, it should not cost $140 for your fruits and vegetables.She was not guided appropriately in “how much” to purchase. When I asked her “why so much?” she shared that her consultant told her what she needed for the week. My goodness!! One simply cannot become healthy if their body is full of stress from financial loss.

    In addition, there are simply way too many MLM’s (multi-level marketing) and other type programs that sucker you in, to simply sell and/or consume their product line, with their greatest healing hype. I’m not saying they are all bad, but if you can’t afford what they are selling you, all on the hopes that you will heal and/or lose weight, then don’t do it.

    Personally, if I were a millionaire, I would still not buy into a product line until after researching and possibly asking my physician their thoughts. Yet, when it comes to the food I consume, I mostly eat the produce I enjoy while occasionally trying something new, or try a new cooking method to enhance the boring or tasteless tastebud memories of something I might not have liked in the past.

    Your best source for nutrition is your physician or a recommended nutritionist. My physicians know that I would rather change my diet a bit vs. consume pharmaceuticals. With that knowledge, they have recommended healthy food options, a supplement or herbal option that can help with the concerning health need.

    Nutrition is definitely about your choice in what you put in your grocery cart as well as what you put into your body on a daily basis. It is a choice. It does not have to rob you of your hard earned resources.

    I only purchase what is in season and what looks fresh in the market. Buying organic is unfortunately not one of our budget options, so I do my best to select quality-looking produce and follow later by washing. NOTE: All produce, whether organic or not, should be washed.

    One thing I have learned is that not all pre-packaged produce is all that great. When I do purchase a pre-packed item, such as spinach and berries, I look it over quite a bit to be sure there is no beginning signs of mold. This happens frequently with berries. With spinach and other leafy type produce, the leaves show wilting and/or dampness. It is not always avoidable, so when you get home, go through and pull out what is not good.

    Do not over purchase. This is where my friend went wrong, and I have done this on occasion in the past as well, when my ambition was greater than my diet would allow. Purchase a variety of leafy greens, preferably not in a package. A few heads of various lettuce, kale, spinach in raw form will actually last quite long. Part of the reason is that leafy greens and other healthy produce fills you faster with the capacity to keep you full longer.

    I mentioned to do your best not to purchase pre-packaged when possible. When I first started purchasing Kale, I purchased that large bag in the grocery store and found that I really did not like it. The flavor was not palatable and too often it contained more of the stalk than the leafy greens. Basically, these were left over bits. I purchased it to make it easier when making smoothies, when in fact it made it more work, as I had to weed through the bad, sometimes throwing out half of what I purchased. When I switched over to purchasing it in its natural form, a stalk, I had more leaves for far less money. I discovered that this option was much more flavorful while enhancing the taste of my salads and less frustrating with smoothies.

    The best advice I can give, purchase quality fruit and vegetables, and only purchase what you will consume before it spoils. There is always a risk of spoilage, yet purchasing in reasonable quantities that can be consumed will reduce waste. Until you get a grasp on how long something will last and what can be frozen, it is healthier for you and your pocket to return to the store for fresh replacements.

    One last bit of advice: There are some things I do purchase in bulk, and mostly when it is sold at a great price, as these items can be frozen, such as banana’s, berries, and apples. I use the bananas and berries for winter smoothies. Berries can be used by the handful on your cereal as well as in morning muffins. Depending on how many you might have picked at the farm, you can also make jams and jellies even after being frozen. Apples can later be used to make applesauce, and my husbands favorite, is to put together the makings of an apple pie filling with all my seasonings and freeze, so that his favorite pie can be easily made anytime after the apple-picking season is over.

    Laura – Blogger and paid Freelance writer

    Potpourri of Health www.potpourriofhealth.com
    Freelance writer at www.reflectivetapestryoflife.com
    Seamstress consultant at www.davinadawnsewing.com