Is it Possible to Be Healthy On A Budget?

9:06 AM Posted by Jo Pedranti


Is it possible to be healthy on a budget? I believe it is. The key is simplicity. I learned early on that in order to be able to afford to buy the good quality health food I had to keep it simple.

I don't mind buying things such as clothes, toys, furniture or used books used, but I don't want to compromise my health. A couple of years ago I had to find ways to stay healthy on a lot smaller budget than before. I found it tricky at first, but it was possible.

It is not always what you eat, but what you don't eat.  You stay healthier by avoiding processed foods, refined grains and sugar, since they rob the body of important nutrients needed to stay healthy.


Here are some of the things you can do:

Environmental Toxins

Toxins cause free radical damage in the body which eventually leads to disease. Removing toxins should be a priority. By reducing the toxins we minimize our chances of becoming sick. This is especially important if there are no funds for antioxidant supplementation or high antioxidant organic produce.   Unfortunately, organic cleaning products are very expensive.  Cleaning  naturally with vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemons, and essential oils is not only safer but cheaper. You can use the same essential bottle for cleaning and soap making. I use vinegar and essential oils for my garden too.

You can make your own skin care products with only a few ingredients that are safer and more cost effective. Try to minimizing packaged products since a lot of food packaging contains harmful chemicals such as BPA that mess with our hormones. Fluoride is another toxin that should be avoided, fortunately it is not too hard to make your own tooth paste.


Simplicity is the key

As I mentioned earlier, simplicity is the key so keep the meals simple with a few ingredients. I always have meat, veggies, spices, herbs, and good fat at home.  I can make many meals out of those ingredients. Stir fried chicken for lunch with sauteed kale, garlic, and onions are delicious and quick to make. I also like to saute cabbage, onions, carrots and ground beef for a quick and inexpensive one bowl meal. You can easily add rice if you like.


Buy in bulk if you can

Buying meat in bulk normally saves money, Eat Wild has links to local farms selling natural and grass-fed meat. I do realize that it is not possible for everyone to buy grass fed meat, but Jenny over at Nourished Kitchen  found that meat and some produce were cheaper to buy from the local farmer than from the grocery store. Some meat markets also offer special meat packages for a reasonable price. Take a look at Yahoo groups to see if there's a local food co-op in your area. I found a local natural food group that orders meat, fruit, veggies and dairy from local farmers. As a group we get a better price. Farmers markets are also a great place to find food; be aware that some sellers import their products, so ask where it came from.


Spices are good

Keep in mind that many spices such as turmeric, oregano, thyme, cayenne, cinnamon, sage, and basil are very nutritious. Invest in good quality dry herbs and spices, or grow your own in the kitchen window for some extra healing. Garlic and onions are inexpensive with powerful healing properties.  I use garlic and onions daily in addition to a lot of healing spices and herbs. I avoid regular store bought spices that don't offer any nutritional value.

Bone broth is great

Bone broth is high in minerals and inexpensive to make.  It can can be eaten as is or used to make soups, stews or rice. Any meat or vegetable scraps from the kitchen can be added to make the broth. You want to make sure that you buy bones from grass-fed animals since bones tend to be high in heavy metals. Most people are actually more deficient in minerals than in vitamins so a broth is an inexpensive way to get minerals and other healing nutrients. Our soil is depleted, and the food is low in minerals, so we need to be creative in adding more minerals to our diet.





Don't buy into the organic fad

Just because it says it is organic on a package doesn't mean it is good for you. Many of the organic products are just as full of sugar as the non-organic versions, the difference is that they are stricter on chemicals and cost more. The organic labeling has turned into big business and it seems like  there's an organic version of almost all of the conventional products. Again, keep it simple and remember that organic or not, sugar still weakens the immune system.  Wheat  has been found to be the main culprit behind leaky gut, and it doesn't just affect the autoimmune patients, but it also affect healthy people. Try to increase more grain-free and sugar free snack options.


 

Grown your own produce 


I highly recommend that you grow your own fruit and vegetables if you have somewhere to grow them. Not only is it cheaper, but homegrown produce contain more nutrients than the store bought versions . This is also a way to make sure your produce is not genetically modified or contain harmful chemicals.


Supplements

When on a tight budget it is not that easy to come up with money for supplements. Unfortunately it is not easy to come up with money for high quality food high in nutrients either, and deficiencies lead to disease. I found that super foods such as spirulina and alfalfa are not only high in nutrients but also cost effective.

Vitamin C, D, and selenium are considered hard to obtain from the diet alone, but if you are on a budget you are probably better off  purchasing a good quality food based multivitamin or invest in some super foods instead of single vitamins.

Essential fatty acids are essential for optimal health and unfortunately they are also fairly expensive to buy, but you should add them if you can afford them. I don't recommend you to get the essential fatty acids from canned tuna, but if you eat fish a couple of times a week you are probably fine.

Probiotics are important but expensive to buy. It is normally not enough to eat natural yogurt if you have been on antibiotics.. You can also make your own Probiotics at home that support the gut health. Kefir, fermented vegetables, and kombucha can be made at home fairly inexpensively.

So, keep it simple and minimize your exposure to toxins as much as possible.

Photo credit

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Johanna is an aromatherapist and an independent distributor of Young Living Essential Oils and Nature's Sunshine. She is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. She also runs Naturally Sports & Wellness together with her husband.  
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.


This post is linked to:
Fight Back Friday hosted by The Food Renegade
Monday Mania hosted by the Healthy Home Economist 
Frugal Tuesday Tip hosted by  Learning the Frugal Way
Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways 
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes