This post is written as a motivational reminder that there is never a price on health and prevention. When I am down to the last dollar, pinching every penny, this is to remind me why we go the extra mile to eat healthy.
You would pay out your entire life savings, take out loans, sell your favorite car, or do the unthinkable if your husband or wife, son or daughter, or any loved one needed it to stay alive. Cancer, chronic disease, surgery, etc., we’d give anything for them to be healthy again, right? So, logically, we would give anything to prevent these painful things from happening in the first place.
I am taking a nutrition class and if I’ve learned anything from it, it’s that vitamins and minerals are extremely important to our systems and lacking any one of them or having an abundance of certain ones can be toxic to our health. If there’s anything I wouldn’t give up in my diet, it’s a plant-based multi-vitamin to keep my system in check. Especially with the western diet so many of us eat, vitamins and minerals are lacking in a huge way in this diet.
Processing destroys much of a food’s nutritional content, including vitamins and minerals, so it is crucial to replace these somehow. Eating whole foods is the best way to obtain our vitamins, but who has the time or desire to count out how much of what we need to eat to stay balanced? This is where my vitamin comes in handy, never consider it a luxury, but a necessity to survive!
Avoiding processed foods is a huge thing for me because they are empty foods full of artificial ingredients the body can’t digest or use properly. They may be cheap and easy, but I believe a diet consisting mostly of processed foods is preventing essential nutrition intake and introducing toxins into our body. Even the organic, natural, simple, etc. foods with “no high fructose corn syrup” or “no added sugar” are typically still processed in a way that makes many of the nutrients unusable in our bodies.
So if anything, I will always take my vitamins and avoid processed foods and this will significantly decrease my family’s chances of chronic disease and cancer.
I always make the following a priority as well, but I may be able to bend the rules if money is super short
No sugar! This one is super hard with my sweet tooth. Sugar means that white granulated stuff you put in pies and cakes and desserts, right? Wrong! Sugar is EVERYWHERE. Honey, potatoes, corn, molasses, maple syrup, bread, grains, fruit – it’s all glucose, which is sugar. Of course, like anything, the more processed any sugar is, the less healthy and less useable it is. Processed sugar should always be an absolute no-no, even the cane syrup, corn syrup, organic cane sugar, etc. It’s all dangerous. The other, natural sugars, should be monitored when eaten. Most people believe you MUST have some sort of carbohydrate in every meal for energy. Truth is, you can eat a completely carbohydrate free diet and still survive just fine. Your body has the ability to create carbohydrates from other foods like proteins and lipids (fats) and your body actually prefers fat as an energy source! Crazy concept, right? Of course this doesn’t mean you have to give up all sugars and carbs to be healthy, just be smart and don’t fill your diet with them. A bagel for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner probably isn’t the most balanced diet. Its full of sugar, much of it processed, so it’s probably doing more harm than good (despite the taste, right?). Limiting all sugar intake is smart, but when it is eaten, it’s best to go natural. Honey is sugar, but also contains many health benefits, so is a better alternative than table sugar. Coconut sugar is still sugar, but is about 80% sucrose (two sugar molecules) whereas table sugar is 100%. Slightly better since the other 20% has healthy vitamins and minerals. Fruit is full of fructose but also full of fiber, so when it’s eaten, the sugar is absorbed at a slower rate due to the fiber. Plus it’s all natural! Fruit juice on the other hand is lacking in fiber, so sugar is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream, hmm.. Go natural, healthy, and raw when it comes to sugar! And limit intake as much as possible. Fresh fruit has many vitamins and minerals and other healthy nutrients than just pure sugar. Think whole foods always.
Organic? GMO? Of course organic and non-GMO is ideal, but as I tell everyone, you can’t feed the world with organic produce. I try to eat organic with the foods that are eaten whole and settle for non-organic with the foods where I don’t eat the peel or outside. If anything I check the EWG’s website to see the items with the most pesticides still present when eaten (the dirty dozen) and always buy organic for those. The clean fifteen I settle for non-organic. If I am really in a bind, I fill our fridge with the clean fifteen and foods I can buy non-organic. In season and sale produce and foods fill our house most of the time and I find recipes that include what’s on sale. Lots of altering of recipes happens around here! 🙂 Buy what’s cheap and on sale and avoid the dirty dozen if money is tight.
I also started my own garden this year so I can freeze and can a lot of food for the winter. It only costs a few bucks in seeds and water and some of my time to get a whole bunch of my own organic food!
As someone who lives with multiple chronic diseases, don’t think you will be the lucky one. There is never ever a price on your health! Everything you miss out on when your sick is enough to eat right to prevent these diseases from making havoc in your system. And imagine living without that someone knowing you could have done more to possibly prevent it