8 Tips for Eating Healthfully on a Budget
source: Live Food Factor
When people think of healthful food, they often think it costs more.
Yet, during the Great Depression, some people actually got healthier because
they could no longer afford the frills of processed foods, which were made of
refined wheat and sugar. With a bit of planning and armed with the following tips,
you can actually get healthier and at the same time spend less!1--Go to your local farmer's market at the last half hour.
Buying at the local farmer's market assures you that you are not buying
irradiated food (which is full of toxic free radicals), whereas if you buy from the
supermarket, even produce labeled organic might be irradiated! Also, talk to the
farmers: often they use organic methods, but cannot afford to go through the
process that it takes to be able to label their food as "organic." Go when the
market is about to close, when the farmers will often give drastic reductions.
I have seen fruit go from $4 a pound down to $5 for everything that fits in a bag.2--Ask the farmer to bring you a box of weeds next time.
Offer $20 for a box of weeds to a farmer using organic or sustainable
(nontoxic) methods. Weeds are usually discarded, but are more nutritious
(alkaline and mineral-rich) than the foods growing around them! Use them in salads
and smoothies. Dandelions are an example, and are very detoxifying to the liver. 3--Go vegetarian or reduce meat consumption.
Meat is expensive; nuts and especially seeds as a source of protein are much cheaper.
If you feel you must eat meat, cut back to no more than the size of a deck of cards
or your palm, 3 times a week. Other good sources of protein are greens, hemp seed powder,
sprouted beans and grains, nuts and seeds.4--Eat in, not out.
Forgoing even cheap, fast food restaurants will save you money. Learn some
simple fast recipes that are packed with nutrients, such as steamed vegetables topped with
grated walnuts or flaxseeds, smoothies made with fruit and greens, and raw soups. Go out
to eat on occasion, for the fun of it, but just for a salad and smoothie.5--Eat raw.
Eat as many raw foods as you can. 84% of the vitamins are destroyed by cooking. 100%
of the enzymes are killed when you heat food over 118 F. Minerals are coagulated
and difficult to assimilate. In cooked food, because of coagulation, the protein
is 50% less assimilable, as research showed at the Max Planck Institute for National Research in Germany. This means that a person needs to eat twice as much protein if it is cooked
as opposed to raw. 6--Sprout organic seeds, grains, & lentils.
Sprouting is an inexpensive way to get a nutrient-intense superfood.
Simply buy some organic lentils and grains and a sprouting jar at your
local food co-op, then order some organic seeds online. Soak the seeds,
grains or lentils overnight, rinse with pure water, and let the jar sit by a
window. Rinse two to three times a day. By the third day,
most sprouts are ready to eat and should be refrigerated if not
eaten immediately. (You can get sick if eating moldy sprouts.)
Go online to learn more. Anne Wigmore,
a pioneer in the raw food movement, went to India and taught beggars to sprout
their beans and rice. The difference in their nutritional gain was enough to get
them off the streets, no longer needing to beg! 7--Grow your own food.
During the Great Depression, this is how many people fed themselves. For
those without a yard, hydroponics make it possible to grow food inside your home! 8--Go into the wild!
Learn from a local forager how you can safely pick wild berries and greens.
Find a book that tells how to choose wild edibles. (Just be sure to read the details
so you don't make the same mistake made by "Into the Wild" Christopher McCandless,
who died from eating wild food that was toxic.) Wild foods are actually much
richer in minerals than conventional hybrid foods are. Don't forage in the city,
unless you are certain the weeds or greens have not been sprayed with toxic chemicals.
Avoid wild mushrooms, which are too risky and potentially deadly.
I know people who ate some, thinking they matched the definitions of edible
mushrooms in the book, but got very sick and took a long time to recover.