I spoke on these pages last year about how thankfulness affects your budget and spending habits, so I will not reiterate that (though it bears repeating not only every Thanksgiving but also every day of your life. Read more about that here)
This year for the Thanksgiving season I would like to explore another food related topic and blow a common misconception right out of the (over-fished) water. It is often said that eating healthy is expensive. This is one of the usual arguments I get from people when I implore them to save money on their groceries.
I have always been all about eating for less, and have also been mindful of eating a healthy nutritious diet. Rarely has there been a dilemma about choosing one over the other for me. But recently I have discovered that not only is it not more expensive to eat healthily, it is in fact, much cheaper to eat a healthier diet.
I have always been a pretty healthy person but I do have a family history of diabetes and heart disease so when my blood test #’s started creeping up I knew it was time to take more serious action to avoid those golden years full of drugs, tests and procedures.
I did a lot of reading on the subject of what kind of diet and lifestyle changes can help control this metabolic syndrome that can lead to an impaired existence in later years, and found the research coming time and time again back to one conclusion: The best diet (for just about any health problem you have) is a vegan diet.
Now I am not really a stranger to that way of life. Two of my kids are vegetarian and the one that lives with me is vegan. So I have a head start in knowing how to cook without meat and even to some extent without dairy products and eggs. Never the less, it is somewhat of a learning curve to eat like that on a daily basis. But we are finding more and more that it is quite easy to come up with delicious meals that contain no meat or dairy, and not feel deprived in the least. Yes, I said we, my husband has quite willingly come on this transformative journey with me. We are not completely there yet. We do occasionally “cheat” and use a dairy product in a dish. And we are still using up the meat that is in our freezer, having it in small portions once every 2 weeks or so. But we have come a long way in the process and feel that we will be eating a totally vegan diet for the most part in a short time.
I am not writing about all this to get on any high horse about veganism. Although I have also, in the process of my research, discovered just how healthy it is for the planet (and of course the lives of the animals) as well. But the real surprise that I would like to impart on these pages is the effect on our food budget! Think about it for a moment. The most expensive items you put in your grocery cart are the meats and dairy products. When you eliminate them your bill goes way down!
The trick is (and I think this is where the “expensive to eat healthy” myth comes from) is not to replace that meat and dairy with specialty “health foods” and vegan “meat” substitutes. We just buy (and eat) basic inexpensive ingredients like rice, beans, legumes, quinoa and other grains, pasta, potatoes (white and sweet), oatmeal, vegetables and fruits. And our (already low by most people’s standards) food bill has dropped to practically nothing!
Cheap and healthy (and delicious, I might add), it’s a win, win, (win) all around! How can you beat that! And we will also save on health bills in the long run. Add another win to that last sentence!
So a little food for thought for you to contemplate this Thanksgiving season. Bon Appetite! Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a bright future!