Healthy Choices & Healthy Compromises
by Jessica Smalls on December 8, 2011 at 02:27 PM EDT

Based on last week’s discussion invitation, the question this week had a considerably involved answer.  I hope you enjoy the content :)

Question:

I’d love to ask you about compromises.
Of course we would all love to consume as in a way that is as healthy for our bodies (and the environment) as possible, but this type of lifestyle can be very costly financially.  For someone who is on a budget, what are the areas where you suggest one can compromise and the areas where you probably should dish out the extra money. For example: making the switch to gluten free breads and pastas seems to be costly but have a significant impact on over all diet this is an area that I myself feel the extra money is well spent…but to switch to a raw food diet entirely is something beyond what I can afford…. or perhaps in regards to green cleaning products vs traditional, and cheaper, products. =)

As a Mom handling a very small budget, I can assure you, this is a topic very close to my heart.  We make compromises every time we go to the grocery store.  I make compromises in our diet because I don’t always have the time to make food the way I want, or simply make it from scratch at all.

1.  Fruits and vegetables….buy them organic.  There is not a huge difference in price where I live and shop.  Occasionally I will find they are unavailable, so when I have to choose, I never purchase apples, bananas, potatoes and tomatoes that are not organic.  I still believe that fruits and vegetables are necessary even if they are not organic.  In this case I soak everything in a sink of water and natural cleanser (NSP Concentrate) for 10 minutes to eliminate pesticides and other chemical residues from the food I will consume.

2.  Meats….buy them from organic or free from sources.  If you can’t afford that, buy whatever you can afford and cut the majority of the fats off the meat.  When we buy meat that isn’t ideal, we ensure we cut off the visible fat, cook it well, drain the fats from cooking and add olive oil for the fat content.  It’s obviously not saturated fat, but better than fat contaminated with who-knows-what, since most chemicals reside in fat stores.  We prefer to buy our meat from farmers, and that is not always possible because that typically means we are purchasing in bulk.  When we can though, we do.  The only meat we never eat is pork.  It doesn’t do great things for us and there are very few organic pork sources, so we simply avoid it.  Once you have organic pork, you will never eat inorganic again….no matter how cheap it is.

3.  Breads, pastas, etc….If you have allergies to gluten or any other product that may be involved in the creation of the deceivingly delicious bakery items, AVOID it altogether if you cannot afford the healthier option for you.  This will serve you in the long run.  If you are craving it, you have an overgrowth of yeast anyhow and should definitely be avoiding it.  We buy brown rice pasta for nearly the same price as wheat pasta.  It is a little more sticky when cooked but it still does the trick, and you can get it in nearly every kind of noodle…even lasagna.  We typically stick to eating batsmati rice and a bit of quinoa mixed together.  The quinoa helps fill us up and is a great source of protein.

4.  We never compromise on cleaning products and our alternatives are extremely affordable.  This is because once you go “au naturel” it is impossible to reverse.  The effects of common cleansers are tenfold when you utilize them after long periods of not using them.  For example, we use NSP concentrate as our dish detergent and ran out.  I wasn’t placing my next order for a few weeks, so I bought the best and greenest liquid dish soap I could afford at the grocery store.  I washed one sink of dishes only to find that the skin around my nails was cracked and bleeding.  I could have worn gloves, but my feeling is that if my hands react like that from the soap in the water, if there is residue on the dishes it is getting into my digestive system and could be doing the same thing.  For disinfecting I use a combination of NSP Concentrate, Nature’s Fresh and Silver Shield (another NSP product that kills nearly all bacteria and viruses it comes into contact with and has no smell).  For tough stains I use baking soda and white vinegar.  We take all the money we save in cleaning supplies and spread that to the other areas of our food budget.

This is what we do.  It is neither right nor wrong, it just works for us.  What compromises do you make for your budget?

Have a question of your own? Feel free to post it below! 

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