In my personal life along with in my life on social media, I often see remarks made in regards to how expensive it is to eat healthy, with another common thread being what a nightmare trips to the local grocery store can be. You would think it is a dark place where black clouds linger overhead with gargoyles strategically planted over the doors and along the roof line just waiting to attack you. Like they are going to suddenly launch and tackle you to the ground, extracting every hard earned green back from your billfold and or maxing your credit card to no repair. Bankruptcy being right around the corner with every necessary visit so you can feed the little crumb snatchers in your life.
I do all the grocery shopping in my house and actually enjoy my weekly trip as I have developed a good rapport with the pretty little California gal who works behind the deli counter and pretty much knows exactly what I want before we even say hello, almost always one pound of Boarshead Tavern Ham and a pound of Salsalito Turkey, thin sliced for sandwiches. We have a little friendly banter back and forth as she prepares my deli meat order, and often I end up with a little more meat than I am charged for. The deli is my first stop, and then I pick up plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in the produce section. I’m that guy who wanders around looking at all the different products and striking up conversations with random unknown folks when I see them putting a piece of produce in their basket I am unfamiliar with. I am curious by nature, but cheap enough that I like to talk to someone before trying new foods. It is better in my view to be informed of flavors and textures beforehand as I hate chucking an expensive food product in the trash as I will not eat something that I can not stand the taste of.
My seafood guy is a nice young man who always has a friendly greeting for me and without fail, he will inquire how my week on the road in my semi had been. It is good to develop these relationships. Usually, once he see’s me heading to the seafood counter he is already there and grabbing the trays for my fish and shrimp order, one and a half pounds of catfish fillets and one to two pounds of freshly steamed shrimp. A lot of the protein I consume during the week comes from fish and shrimp which are lean sources and provide the body with plenty of omega three fatty acids which are good to help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia and arthritis. I eat a lot of fish as you get two types of Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA which from what I have read have the strongest health benefits. I love the fact that by eating fish that I can help my heart by curbing inflammation in the blood vessels, slow the build up of plaque in blood vessels and can lower my triglycerides.
Healthy foods are medicine in my view as eating whole foods that are not processed and full of sugars keep me from having to make visits to my doctor. Although, because I am a health freak, a fanatic if you will, I do make regular visits to have blood labs drawn only because I always want to know beforehand if any corrections in my lifestyle need to take place.
People complain all the time that it is too expensive to eat healthy thereby using expense as an excuse, which is a lame excuse. It is not too expensive to eat healthy no matter your budget. All you have to do is walk into the store with a plan beforehand to not only shop for good deals, but to go in with a list to get what you actually need instead of walking in to buy a gallon of milk and spending $50 on extra sugar-laden snack foods too. When I enter the store, there are already staples which I am going to purchase with every trip, such as meat, eggs, produce and coffee. I get my fresh produce after my deli meats and then I venture down every aisle where I look for sale items as I never use coupons. Coupons, I found lead me to buying junk that I would have never bought in the first place such as prepared spaghetti sauce which stands a good chance of being loaded with sugar. Instead, I buy fresh tomatoes, garlic and seasonings to make my own fresh sauce every time we want pasta.
I never buy anything from the end caps of the aisles except if my coffee happens to be on an end cap. End caps usually have sugar laden, processed or both kinds of food on them. I refuse to eat any of that. I go down most aisles to ensure I do not forget anything, yet there are a couple I skip altogether. I do not walk down the candy and chip rows, nor do I venture down the soda pop aisle. I’m not consuming any of it so there is no reason to venture down these rows. If I need another household product such as soaps or toiletries, I will go down those aisles, but I will know before I leave home if I need them or not. I also stay out of the freezer section where all the processed foods are located such as lasagnas and other prepared and frozen meals. Once again, if I want any of that, I will make it from scratch for a lesser price and with a little pre-planning, I do not spend much time in the kitchen toiling over a stove.
Every week, I spend about $175 on groceries which may seem like a lot. Yet, the extra I spend there is saved because I do not eat fast food, except on the rare occasion where I might get a grilled chicken sandwich or a turkey wrap to hold me over until I get off of the road. But those are very rare occasions. I also very rarely eat in restaurants, nor do I go out to the Dairy Queen for ice cream. I do not miss or crave any of this since completely kicking sugar from my diet. The other savings which are not so obvious at the store is I do not have any, none, nada, zilch for medical expenses for any ailments which can be prevented by a high protein and low carb diet which prevents inflammation in the body. Inflammation being the driver of almost all preventable illnesses brought on by the Standard American Diet, or SAD. It’s sad isn’t it that the acronym for our American diet is SAD? Our diet is killing us slowly as a nation and costs us so much unnecessary medical expense which can be totally avoided by stopping unhealthy eating practices, getting enough exercise by getting up and moving. Another hidden cost to our sugar laden processed diet is what obesity does to you not only physically, but mentally too. Sure you can save a few bucks in the store buying those fun foods that provide a temporary thrill, but how do you feel when you look at your reflection in the mirror and the shame washes over you because you have no control over your appetite? Control, you either consciously or unconsciously gave over to the beast of sweet treats. King Sugar rules your soul whether you want to admit it or not. So, next time you are in the store and you are thinking about how expensive it is to eat healthy, maybe you should slip into the stores’ bathroom and gaze into the mirror and then decide what is expensive or not. What is important to you, losing weight and being healthy, or just the idea of doing it while not actually having the mental fortitude to execute?