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Cost Conscious guide to eating healthy, how buy Organic on a budget

Do you think eating organic healthy food isn’t affordable?

Do you also have those moments, where you wonder if anything you do makes a difference?  You want to live in an ideal world…. You want to eat the right organic food, make the right choices for yourself,  the environment… You are after all a responsible, conscious, aware individual.

We all have those moments when we are standing in the grocery store holding a $10 piece of organic broccoli and wondering if it’s really going to make a difference, to the $2 store brand….

And let’s be honest when faced with this dilemma unless the dollars are rolling in – we all often go for the $2 option, as the difference is too extreme for anyone to let it slide.

Endless Choices: How to Prioritize and why

The world we live in today has choices coming at us hard and fast – what is a smart, conscious girl to do in the face of it all?

organic vegetable hamper

One option is to curl up in bed and hope to wake up in a world where everything is healthy and organic?  Or can we have healthy food on a budget.  And conquer the dilemma once and for all.

I am here to share a few Healthy Organic Affordable food tips with you – Let’s call it the Cost Conscious guide to Eating Healthy.

I advise prioritizing purchases.  Here is the order of my everyday preferences, depending on what is possible, and of course the price at the time, I’ll go into each in more detail a little further down:

  1. Grow your own
  2. Organic: via farmers markets, or Health shops
  3. Local: Farmers Market
  4. Supermarket Organic
  5. Supermarket fresh food

Cost Conscious Reasoning behind these Choices

  1. Grown your own

    This takes a bit of space and effort, however, the fruits of your labor will be worth it (pun intended).  It’s cost effective, and you know what you have and haven’t sprayed. There are even options for people living in flats called Garden towers, all you need is a balcony. And if you grow your own, I also recommend using a Bokashi, the easy, organic way to recycle your food scraps into fertilizer for your crops.

  1. Organic: via Organic markets, or Health shops

    We are often shocked at the price of Organic food, on that small sad shelf in the supermarket, however, if you go to a local farmers market you’d be surprised at the difference in price and the variety that is available.

    For those that doubt the benefits of eating organic, check out the research done on a Swedish family of five, who were tested before and after 2 weeks of organic food.  Their first urine test contained over 16 different chemicals. Which were are either herbicides, fungicides, insecticides or growth inhibitors.

    Only 2 weeks later, their urine was chemical free.  Scientists admit, that while one chemical in our system would be within regulated safety limits for consumption, we have yet to test the human body for such a cocktail of chemicals.  I guess only time will tell what those results will be.

    Personally, I would rather not need to eat organic, I’d like to live in a world where our food and products are NOT toxic.

  1. Local: Farmers Market

    Get to know the regular stalls and the markets.  I’ve gotten to know some growers who don’t spray with chemicals, and who are not big enough to afford the organic certification (an expensive and lengthy process).  So, I buy my affordable fresh food from them.

    Another benefit of being local is that it is likely to have been picked when ripe, rather than when green and shipped/ frozen – which means it will be fuller of all the taste, nutrients and minerals your body requires for optimum health.  And depending on where you live, the chemicals that your country uses may be less severe from those less regulated abroad.

    An additional benefit of buying local means you also buy in season.  Which is much better for your health as the earth grows the right veggies that our bodies require in the season, once again Mother Nature knows best e.g. Vegetables in the spring detoxify getting the body ready for summer, winter vegetables like beets and potatoes add protein and build up the body ready for the winter.

  1. Supermarket Organic

    The organic selection in Australia’s Major supermarkets may be the saddest I’ve ever seen, however, it is still likely to be healthier than their GMO veggies in the next isle.

  2. Supermarket fresh food

    My last choice. There are times though that I need some vegetables, and there are no markets. If I do buy from the supermarket I try to avoid the dirty dozen (tested to have more pesticides and chemicals on them), and these are: Apples, Peaches, Nectarines, Strawberries, Grapes, Celery, Spinach, Sweet bell peppers, Cucumbers, Cherry tomatoes, Snap peas (imported) and Potatoes.

 How to save more money on your Healthy Eating choices:

Farmers market organic produce

While above is my list of preferences on which food to go for, there are also some great ways of cutting costs when the end goal is good healthy fresh food, such as;

  • Join a local community garden – these are popping up all over the place, check your local council for a list, on what’s near you.
  • Join a Local Coop: Discounted group buying, there is a focus on organic – chemical free, as the group buys in bulk you all pitch in some help packing and share the savings. Search online for one near you, or for a smaller list check here.
  • Find local harvest options near you
  • Buy online, there is surely someone selling something near you
  • Join the Sharing economy, swap your lemons or parsley for someone else’s beans, some people are even happy to swap compost for food:

Cost conscious guide to eating healthy and organicLittle steps lead to bigger changes.

We all have a say in how we live our lives, what we eat, and the small actions we can make daily for our own good health, that of our family, friends, community and planet.  Each small action contributes, and while we perhaps can’t change the world overnight, being conscious of our health, what and how we buy certainly contributes to the steps it will take to living in a more enlightened away, and in harmony with the world around us.

Be sure to enjoy your future fresh food purchases, and let me know if you have any tips that I might not have thought of, I’d love to hear them.

Sources:

Swedes show how eating organic eliminates a family’s pesticide load

 

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Keeping Cool in the Australian Heat with Guilt Free Ice Cream, and Cold Soup

Gosh, I am not sure if I am the only one on the side of the equator that is over the heat already. Struggling to keep cool (Sadly, I don’t have air conditioning), turning on the stove to cook, is the last thing on my mind.

Luckily these few guilt-free food options that are prepared in all of a few minutes with little mess, are my main sustenance right now. So get out your hand blender and be prepared to keep your cool:

Guilt Free, Yummy Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

1 or 2, Frozen bananas
A dash of vegan milk
A tablespoon of nut butter
A tablespoon raw cacao
Option items: Goji berries, a pinch of Cinnamon, Coconut milk/ cream, Cacao nibs, vanilla essence.

Put in the blender and enjoy!

I know, this recipe was in a recent post on the benefits of cooking with herbs, yet, worth adding again:

Frozen Pea & Avocado Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cup of frozen peas, few leaves of Spearmint, a few slices of onion, half an avocado, cup and half of almond milk and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper.  Blend ingredients in food processor and enjoy!  (it’s like a healthy pea avocado ice cream).

On top of this, I’ve been keeping some Grapes in the Freezer, perfect snacks.  Eating plenty of Fresh Fruit.

And keeping hydrated with my favourite Beverage: Iced Tea

I’ve Been drinking Sensado’s Bodyguard Tea – but any herbal blend will work. It is easy to prepare. Just boil it up. Once it’s cooled put it in a bottle, and keep it in the fridge. I love adding a few ice cubes and slices of Lemon or Orange.

Strangely, I used to be a complete beach person, and loved the heat – now here I am secretly wishing away my summer.  With today being a lovely 38 degrees, I am going to use this as the perfect excuse to go and make myself more ice cream.

So, how are you keeping cool??

 

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Food as a medicine: Real food challenge

Interestingly as I am reading in one book about all the medicinal values in many of our everyday food, and the benefits of the herbs we use in our cooking. I am also following the 30 Day Real Food Challenge, which is a gorgeous 30 day menu put together – it’s uber healthy, detoxifying and leaves you and your body feeling so amazing. It also has the most scrumptious recipes you can imagine, so I dislike calling it a diet or detox perse as that makes it sound like a chore or even worse a burden. When actually it’s a complete treat, it is really best for our bodies, and the way they function to step away from the processed food and relearn some of the many new ways we can cook fresh food, and how much a few herbs or different recipes can enhance the flavours, tastes and even change the palate.

Some of the simplest foods in our cupboards have at times surprising magical qualities. Did you know that Rosemary has always been known to improve memory and mental clarity, and hence the ancient Roman students would wear it around their neck or rub their hands with it on the way to their exams. Cinnamon is not only deliciously tasting and smelling, it is also an antiseptic, stimulates your circulation and balances your blood sugar. Turmeric is being declared a new superfood for its powers as a digestive tonic, anti-inflammatory and in how it supports our immune system. The list is actually pretty endless if I noted down all the qualities of all the fresh foods and herbs we’d both be here all day – it is incredible though, and this these hidden benefits is not going to be found in a can of spam or baked beans…..

I’d like challenge you to try do the 30 day real food challenge, the menu plan, shopping list and recipes can be found here. And see how much healthier, clearer (in mental clarity), fitter and more energized you feel after 30 days.