Balance- eating healthy on a budget!

Everything in life is a balancing act. The two aspects of myself I have been balancing lately are my desire to eat and use the most natural and highest quality foods and products with my frugality. I fully believe in eating organically, hormone/steroid-free, and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms). Although the pesticides on one apple may not be a lot, I do not like the idea of how much we get over a lifetime of eating conventional foods. I do not want to be the guinea pig in discovering what the long-term effects are of pesticides and GMO. I believe God has given us bodies that usually work really well by themselves and I do not want to add hormones and steroids to His design However, natural, organic, free-range, and grass-fed are all key words in helping the price of products to rise.

In general, I have decided that the quality of food outweighs the added cost to purchase it. I have gotten very good about buying good quality foods for my home. Eating out can be a bit of an issue because I know the vast majority of places I eat are not organic and I do not always make the best food choices (enter the doughnuts brought in to my office yesterday). However, I am a happier person when enjoying meals with friends and family and not being so fussy about restaurants. Happiness makes me less stressed and healthier, so for now eating out is not such an issue. When my frugality starts to outweigh my food choices is when something is free.

A friend offers me a cookie… I am going to eat it (probably more than one) even if I am not hungry and know I do not need the sugar. Case in point- when flying home from vacation last month the flight attendant asked for my drink preference and I had no hesitation asking for water. I enjoy water and really did not want a soda. However, when she handed me the bag of pretzels I gladly accepted. I know pretzels are empty calories and I was not even hungry but I ate them because… well, they were free. Isn’t that silly?! I value quality foods and therefore spend more on them but when offered an airplane-sized bag of pretzels I could not politely decline. Just because something is free and therefore better for my pocket book does not mean it is better for my body. I need to be okay declining or (I cannot believe I am typing this) throwing something away that does not add to my health. 

I recently went to dinner with my husband. I filled up on the bread and salad, so when my meal came I literally had one bite. It was not the worse meal choice (cheese tortellini with spinach, artichokes, and tomatoes in a cream sauce) but it was not my usual.


Instead of throwing away the leftovers, I ate them as lunch for the next two days. Two years ago I would think I was doing great to pay for one meal but eat for three meals. Now, I think I ate pasta as lunch for two days when I really didn’t want it and normally would have had a beautiful, colorful, and tasty salad. I really do enjoy salads and I know the nutrients in them are great for my body but since I had leftovers I ate them. Maybe next time I should ask for a smaller portion- enjoy the pasta when out and choosing to eat it but not when I am simply eating it because it is there and free.  Again, I need to realize that just because the meal has already been paid for and just because I have leftovers doesn’t mean I need to eat them all. Throwing them away and making a salad with the organic produce I bought is okay and perhaps better (even though while I type this it still makes me cringe to think of throwing away food).  This realization- valuing the quality of all the food I choose to eat over getting a deal- is part of my continued journey as a person and Health Coach. I must be patient with myself and realize we are all growing and transforming, figuring out what works best for us and what are our limits. I want the best within a budget. Bit by bit I will figure out this balancing act!


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