Ever come home from the grocery store and look between the receipt and your bags of groceries wondering, “I must have left a bag in the car. Did I really spend this much and only get a couple bags of food?!”
We at Living Wellness love to eat tasty and nourishing food while also not breaking the bank. That is why we are continuing our series “Eating Healthy on a Budget.” In today’s blog post, we're sharing part one of Living Wellness team member Julie Frandsen’s presentation from Bridging the Gap’s Single Mom’s Retreat which wrapped up this weekend! What a wonderful time of encouragement and blessing.
Today we are going to talk about one of my favorite topics: Food!!! I love to cook and provide good tasting, mouth watering, nourishing meals and snacks for my family. If am I honest…sometimes I am successful at doing this, and other times not so much. My hope is that you will learn some practical tips of how to save money at the grocery store while also not compromising the quality of the foods that you buy.
First things first. In order to talk about healthy eating on budget, we first need to know how to eat healthy!
So let’s get started! Many of us are all well aware of the simple mantra: “Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein.” If eating healthy is that simple, then why does it seem to be so difficult?
During the past three decades, the focus has been on good food versus bad food with the primary focus on avoiding the “bad food.” The challenge is that what qualifies as bad food keeps changing. Fats were the enemy for years. I personally grew up on a fat-free diet. Everything in our refrigerator was labeled fat-free, as well as nutrition free and taste free, and high in SUGAR. It was during the ‘80’s, foods with little or no fat were flying off the shelves. Pretzels were good (no fat); nuts were bad (loaded with fat). Baked potatoes were OK, but hold the sour cream. And salad? Sure, by all means enjoys some greens, but hold the oily salad dressing – fat-free dressing only! Oh, and by the way, during the fat-free diet craze, you were supposed to eat lots of carbohydrates.
By the 90’s, carbohydrate were deemed bad, so the low carbohydrate diet began. This diet was just as inappropriate as the fat-free diet as it did not address the needs of the whole person. Next on stage: high lean protein diet. We could go on and on with all of the fad diets and generally they all have a few things in common:
- they focus on what you cannot eat
- they have encouraged consumption of highly processed foods
- they have forgotten about whole foods
- they do not take the nutritional needs of a whole person into account
So while we were all so focused on staying away from the bad foods, we forgot to take a look at the whole foods which provide crucial nutrients for our organs to function properly.
Nutrition research is now beginning to show, what we fail to eat may impact our health more than eating the bad foods themselves.
Each and every day we each have a specific amount of calories which our body needs to have energy to complete the tasks at hand. If we choose to fill our body with food with little to no nutritional value, there will not be enough room within the calorie count to get the foods and nutrients on which our body has been designed to function with and which our body craves.
Diets that Nourish
Living Wellness’s approach to healthy eating is based on the foundation truth that God has created every-body perfectly and wonderfully. Although our bodies are very similar in many ways, each one of us is different and our body may require slightly different amounts of foods and nutrients to function properly. There is no diet or menu plan that fits all. However, there is basic scientific information regarding what nourishment our body needs to function properly.
What foods do our bodies need to function the way they was created to function?
The food we eat gives our bodies the "information" and materials they need to function properly. If our body does not get the right information, it does not function properly and our health declines. If we get too much food, or food that gives our bodies the wrong instructions, we can become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for the development of diseases and conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease and so much more. In short, what we eat is crucial to our health. In fact, what we eat literally makes up the very cells in our body: We are what we eat!
Let me say that again: What we eat literally makes up the very cells in our body. We are what we eat!
What Is Healthy Food?
As we move forward we need to define what “healthy” food – we define healthy food as food that will nourish the cells in our body so that our body has the instructions and the ability to perform the necessary functions which it was created to perform.
What does this look like practically? What is the impact of the food we eat?
In the list below, you will see specific body function listed in bold and below the body function are the essential nutrients needed for your body perform the corresponding function.
Vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, selenium, vitamin C
Sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6, folic acid, B-12, copper, vitamin C
Tissue repair and formation
Vitamin A, vitamin E, copper, riboflavin, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C
Potassium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin C
So back to our main point here: eating healthy provides instructions to our body as to how it should function. This is why it is so important to eat nourish one’s body rather than eating to just fill a hungry void. Here is another look at how foods give our organs and body systems instructions on how to function so we feel good and have energy to complete the tasks at hand. This is an image from Living Wellness for Growth Groups on page 56.
Let’s take a look at healthy digestion: Fiber, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C & Niacin are all needed for healthy digestion –- so what this means is if we consume foods with these vitamins and nutrients we are equipping our body to digest the food we consume.
Imagine giving your laundry to someone who has never used a washing machine. If we send that person into the laundry room without the proper instructions on how to remove stains, run the machines, add detergent, separate clothes. . .you know the drill. The laundry may get done, however the outcome may not be desirable. Clothing may come out stained, a different color, bleach spots, still smelly, shrunk, etc.
The same goes with our body. If we do not equip our body with the correct healthy foods (aka the instructions to perform bodily functions), our body may figure out how to get the job done but it may not be done efficiently and there maybe undesirable results as a consequence of not providing the correct instructions .
You may be saying, "Julie this is all good information, but I do not have time to learn alI of this!" I totally get it and completely agree. I am very thankful scientists have already done all this research for us. The reason I’m show this to you to simply to impress upon the fact that when we make decisions/choices about what we eat, we need to be asking ourselves these questions:
- In this given moment, is this the best food choice which I can make?
- Will this food provide the energy and instructions my body needs to perform the tasks at hand?
Let’s do a quick recap of how we define healthy eating:
- Essential nutrients in food give the cells in our body instructions to perform necessary functions. If our body does not receive these nutrients, our health declines as our body systems breakdown & stop working
- When choosing what to eat, go beyond good food vs bad food. Focus on food which provides nutrients or instructions to tell our body how to function properly
- Remember experts are now beginning to deem that the consequences of not receiving needed nutrients may have more impact than eating simply for fuel.
Stay tuned for next week's post which continues our series on Eating Healthy on a Budget and focuses how to structure your meals/snacks based on what foods nourish, key ingredients to avoid, and our top 10 ways for eating healthy on a budget!
Please SHARE this article with friends and family and COMMENT below how you save money while eating healthy on a budget! Looking forward to learning from you!
You are worth more than mediocre. You are worth exceptional health!
© 2017 Living Wellness, LLC Revolutionizing health, one community at a time.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any illnesses or disease. Please always check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional or fitness program or before making any nutritional/fitness changes.