Save Money, Eat Well, and Experience Health
Rumor has it, people are trying to save money. They’re scrimping and saving because the economy is in a slump. I don’t really choose to see it that way. I believe it’s a matter of perception, how we allow ourselves to be affected by such news and experiences. After all, money is just money. It doesn’t have a beating heart like you or me. It doesn’t make you laugh. It doesn’t hold you when you’re crying. It doesn’t befriend you and it fools you into thinking that the more you hold on to it, the more secure you’ll be. I think if anything, this economical situation has shown us that we can’t really “own” money.
With that in mind, I know people still are trying to avoid spending money. I think it makes sense not to be wasteful, and maybe this is a wake-up call about wastefulness in our society. What do you think?
I wanted to paint you a picture about how you can save money, eat well, and experience greater health all at the same time. How does that sound?
I don’t go to grocery stores. Well, I go sometimes, when I need to restock on gluten free English muffins or soap. And I stop at Whole Foods to get my bulk grains and fresh fish. But for the most part… food is here and it’s abundant. No matter where you live or what your financial situation is, I guarantee I can help you live a little more frugally and happily with these suggestions.
What does this mean to you? It could mean many different things.
For me, it means signing up for my local produce delivery service that services local farmers up and down California, displays their seasonal crops on-line and I pick my food each week on the internet.
I use Planet Organics. They’re local (for me), so friendly, and I love their recipes, recommendations, and very personal customer service. Check out their website: www.planetorganics.com - you might even see a picture of me with my dog!
Others to look into are: www.greenling.com, www.diamondorganics.com, and www.doortodoororganics.com to name a few. Go to your Google search engine and type in: organic produce deliver service + your city and state!
For others, it means signing up with a local Agricultural group, commonly referred to as CSA’s or Community Supported Agriculture. You can look on the website: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ to find one near you.
There are deeper and wider benefits to going local also.
On one hand, you are supporting your local economy in the area that most affects you and you are helping the farmers who are in your area. By choosing to spend your money in your local economy you are actually saving money in the long-term.
What does this mean?
It means that when you buy an apple from Washington state for example, and you live in Southern California, you are not only paying $1.19 a pound, you are paying for the packaging and transport of that apple, the labor, the fuel to drive or fly it, and if it’s not organic, you’re also paying for the pesticides and preservatives to make sure it lasts long enough and looks pretty enough on the shelf. It’s worth considering.
On the other hand, you are also expanding your experiences with food, while eating seasonally. Perhaps you have only heard of “eating seasonally” but don’t really know what it means. By eating local, you will eat the foods that are in season, for example apples in the fall and berries in the spring. It won’t be difficult to figure out what’s in season, because you’re getting it from farms within a small square mile radius of where you live. The benefits of eating seasonally are great as well, with two of them being health and respect. Health, because our bodies thrive on varied diets. When you eat the same foods day in and day out, your body can actually begin to view them as invasive and turn on them, resulting in an allergy. In my experience, I used to eat a ton of baby carrots every day for almost a year. Now? I’m allergic to raw carrots. If I eat them without other foods combined with them, I get dizzy and nauseous immediately. Moderation is the key. This is where a lot of our allergies come from nowadays (gluten, soy, corn, dairy, etc.), but I’ll write more on that another time! Respect, because you’re respecting the earth’s cycles. If we were meant to have tomatoes in February in Northern California, they would grow, but they don’t. I respect that tomatoes during this time frame are not going to be from a local source and if I must have one, I keep the “real” costs in mind (as discussed above).
Don't know where to start? The "Idiots" and "Dummies" books aren't meant to put anyone down and frankly I think they're the easiest books to read! Start here for outdoor basics!
Get outside! Fresh air and movement are probably the two most important additions you can make to your life. I recognize that not every area has the freshest of air, or the safest of neighborhoods, and by this I am deeply saddened. For those of you who do have some fresh air and a sense of safety in your neighborhoods, count your blessings, please.
Here are some suggestions:
Wind down your day with a walk. Include a partner, friend, spouse, or child and connect after a long day.
Grow an herb garden in your kitchen or living room window. Some resources for that are Indoor Herb Garden Kits from www.herbkits.com and a “How To” explanation from e-How at www.ehow.com/how_312_grow-herb-garden.html.
Try Square Foot Gardening (my latest and most favorite gardening method). It’s written by Mel Bartholomew and I think makes it possible for anyone to garden, no matter how much or little room they have. Get it from Amazon or check it out from your local library.
Look at your local area National, State, County, and Regional park systems. I know how amazed I am by all the different places there are to explore. Dust off your bike. Plan a hike with friends. Pack a picnic. Take your dog for a stroll.
Moving your body in a way that’s pleasing and joyful is the cheapest, easiest way to live a healthy life.
I hope you are encouraged and inspired by these suggestions and resources. Let me know if you have other great ideas for saving money and increasing health!
---- Theresa Singleton, MA Visit www.FreedomFromDiets.com for more free resources from Theresa!