Pay for your health now, or your sickness later, you have a choice!
Many people tell me that eating healthy is expensive, as they text away on their newest iPhone and tap their designer shoes in annoyance. While I do not judge people for having nice things, because after all if you’ve worked your butt off you should be able to use that money at your own discretion. Sometimes I think we need to reevaluate our priorities. I do not say any of this to cause a riot but what do we need to survive? Instagram, Orange is The New Black, and Nike Metcons? No. Our basic human needs are food, shelter and water, that’s it.
We as Americans spend LESS of our hard earned dollar than any other previous generation and most countries out there on food. We think that food should be fast, CHEAP, easy and unfortunately fake, we forget that without food that nourishes us we have nothing. Without food, what good would an instagram be anyway?
This sassy way of thinking almost got me in trouble the other day while teaching a real food lunch & learn. One of the participants became openly upset with me and told me I obviously did not understand that healthy living is expensive and it is outrageous to think that anyone could afford it. I ended up shutting down and ending the lecture early because the member of the audience was becoming so argumentative, making it near impossible to explain anything to her (as she typed away on her new iPhone 6). I understand people get sticker shock while shopping at farmers markets, Whole Foods and beyond but what they do NOT see are the end results of buying cheap non-nutritious foods.
When I worked in a hospital setting I would go home some nights and cry to my husband. I felt that what I was doing was not nearly enough for those that were sick beyond belief. I had to push sugar & vegetable oil laden products (that should probably be another post at some point) at them and it was NOT working. I may be biased because I am a dietitian but I KNOW that many of my previous patients were there because of poor diet and lifestyle habits and choices, some of which were brought about by other health care professionals. I had NOTHING to give them but advice on what to do when they left the hospital because after all, have you ever seen what we feed SICK people in a hospital? SAD (standard American diet) food. A typical breakfast tray consists of pancakes, artificial sugar-laden syrup, cereal, skim milk, orange juice, toast and maybe some egg whites. I consider this a crime. People go to the hospital to get healthy and we are feeding them food that will add to their sickness. As I tell my clients, you can choose to pay for your health now or your sickness later, you pick.
I am not trying to throw hospitals, dietitians or other health care professionals under the bus, but we NEED to do better. We have become a society that may be RICHER in posessions but we are POORER in health. We would much rather have the newest version of our phones and live off of Cheetos and cheap store bought eggs then spend money to enjoy a grass fed steak and some delicious full fat yogurt. I have had enough of it. I have NEVER apologized for paying too much for food. If you know me, the only reason I have cute clothes is because my mom is worried I would wear ragged old gym clothes EVERY day of the week (and she’s still fighting an uphill battle.) I still own clothes from high school, and wear them all the time because lucky for me they still fit (I’m going to throw this out there it may be because I spend money on healthy food). I also have a shattered screen on an old phone. While I could choose to pay for an upgrade I choose to spend that money on food that nourishes me and protects me from chronic diseases. I am unapologetic about that.
Call me crazy, but I’ve seen too much to NOT spend money on good food. I want to live my days playing, laughing and loving. I do not want to spend it trapped in my own body playing games on my iPhone wishing I was living the life of someone else’s Instagram pictures. I want this for you too, so the next time you think food is too expensive, ask yourself if being sick is too expensive, because it is. Plan ahead and prioritize. You don’t need cable but you do need nutritious food. Vote with your dollar and hopefully the food suppliers will realize we WANT healthy food.
I say this all with the upmost sincerity, I want you to be healthy, I want you to want to be healthy and I want you to eat real food. If you need help, check out this new program I am launching for support Stay tuned for a few more blog posts on how to eat healthy on a budget as I recognize you do have to save money. Heere are some resources to get you started:
How To Save Money and Still Eat Great by Diana Rodgers at Sustainable Dish
Home Much Does Real Food Really Cost?! By Deliciously Organic
100 Days On a Budget by 100 Days of Real Food