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Wanting to be Green....

October 16th, 2009 at 08:58 am

So, I have been really having this strong desire to eat ultra healthy. I have been devouring (punn intended) recipes for food and whatnot.

With my budget, my explorations into cooking are a bit more restricted, as I don't want to make something that tastes horrible, and it ends up being thrown out or (more likely), spoiling in the fridge.

So, my food adventurism is a bit tamed at the moment. I have been reading a lot online about a certain way of eating that I SOOOOOO want to do, but dang it, there is no money in the budget for it. Ugh.

I thank people for their recommendations about the pasta. I really want to avoid pasta and bread, but it looks like I am going to have to eat these things if I want to stay within budget AND be full. Ugh.

I now understand why celebrities can stay so slim....if I had enough money to have freshly prepared salads and whatnot, I would be sooooo much healthier!!!

I also would love to attend one of those healthy retreat places, where you have a jump start on eating healthier.

8 Responses to “Wanting to be Green....”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    FWIW, home cooking ANYTHING is better than buying prepackaged meals, etc. & anything in moderation is fine.

    From reading your posts I get the feeling you are settling for the cheap crap because it's cheap, while longing for the pretty much unattainable diet of the stars (extremely expensive and meant to stay unnaturally thin).

    Luckily, there is this whole big thing called middle ground. We aren't health nuts at all, but stay thin by just home cooking simple meals.

    I am always confused by the "eating healthy is expensive" mindset. But in the end, it all depends on how you define healthy. For us, when we needed to cut back financially, my spouse started home cooking all our meals. Though he is naturally very thin, he lost about 10 pounds in a year. (I was pregnant, but I have found it easier to maintain my weight since switching to more home cooked meals). Interestingly, whenever I notice my weight creep up, I find us spending more on food (usually eating out). I notice a direct correlation between the 2, any more. I concluded I can eat the same things at home, for much cheaper, and be much more healthy overall. We tend to avoid restaurants, and ready-made meals.

    Anyway, at least start with the middle ground. I guess the other thing is you aren't going to make the leap from one extreme to the other, overnight. If that's your goal, slowly work towards it. In the meantime, realize that some pasta, beans and grabbing some produce on sale, will go a long way. We do have the advantage of buying in bulk, but you can always cook bigger portions and freeze some for later, and see the same cost benefits.

    Not sure how helpful this link is (she's a bit of a gourmet cook - but she has some good tips):

    http://www.poorgirleatswell.com/

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    I completely agree with MM. I think you're thinking of an ideal because it seems easier and faster than the solutions within your reach.

    Chances are if you could buy all the fancy salads you wanted, you'd get sick of them pretty fast and end up ordering some pizzas! That's generally what happens when people try to go to extremes, unless they have huge amounts of self-discipline.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Would you have any interest in gardening next spring? Even if you have no yard to garden, you might be able to find a spot in someone else's yard, in a community garden, or even in the corner of an urban commercial garden if you talk to the proprietors and perhaps work in exchange for space. Many cities and public display gardens have outreach programs to get people gardening and may even help with the things needed to get started. Gardening can do a lot for depression, for exercise, for self-confidence, for the budget, and for nutrition. For me, it has even led to meeting neighbors who like to stop and see what I am doing. If you are interested, I would be willing to help you with some seed; I have a fairly large variety of seeds to spare and can direct you to an online source for others.

    Now here is a weirder suggestion. Are you aware of the sweet potato vines that are so popular in large pots such as businesses often put near their front doors. These days there are two popular types: one has purplish heart shaped leaves, the other has line green heart shaped leaves. Well those vines really do make sweet potatoes. If you could offer to clean up some people's planters, there should be sweet potatoes just under the soil! You could charge a couple of bucks per pot to clean them up and perhaps get them ready for a fall or winter display, and you could take the sweet potatoes. I, too, try to eat pretty low carb and low glycemic index. I can handle sweet potatoes fairly well, as I know from testing blood glucose (I'm diabetic.) Sweet potatoes haves lots of vitamin A.

    Likewise, if you know anyone who is putting out squash and pumpkin just for Halloween/fall decoration, ask them if you can have them when finished. A lot of people do not even eat those vegetables and will just throw them away when the holiday passes.

  4. baselle Says:

    I can't really find out from your writing, so I'll ask here. Are you in a food desert? I have several grocery stores, even a couple of farmer's markets and produce stands within walking distance. I notice that you hit mini-mart some because its on your way to work and its routine. Any possibility of taking stock of all the food and grocery places (and some of their prices) in your neighborhood/ workplace?

  5. thebestmeicanbe Says:

    I do admit that it may be a bit of a fantasy to think of wanting to eat like the celebrities do. I also agree that when I cook food at home, is usually far less fattening than regular food bought at a restaurant, and I do enjoy cooking at home.

    What I was trying to say is that the diet I would want to eat (primarily lots of lean protein and lots of veggies), is a bit more expensive in some ways, than a diet that has a higher amount of rice and pasta and beans. I am also cooking for two people, so the protein amount is the portion that costs the most on average, and I am not sure my boyfriend would be okay with eating salad stuff for most dinners.

    I will make an honest effort to see if I can up the vegetable intake and see how my budget is.

    I will say that some of the things I want to cook require certain spices and sauces, and I find those things to be a bit outside of my budget.

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    See if there's a natural-foods co-op grocery store near you. We use tons of spices and buying from the bulk section of the co-op makes it affordable. Otherwise I'd really struggle with buying so many different spices! Also ethnic grocery stores tend to have larger bags of spices for cheap, so if there's something you'd use a lot, that's an option.

  7. Paulette Goddard Says:

    See if you can borrow _Nourishing Traditions_, edited by Sally Fallon from the library. I understand totally wanting to wean from refined flour pasta and grains: in cold rainy seasons my body craves the complex carbohydrates, especially with cream sauces, and then I gain weight and have glycemic issues. Anyway, with _Nourishing Traditions_ there's a segment on what to do if you live on a budget. Every recipe I've tried from _NT_ is a success in my family and the information in the margins has greatly informed my food politics and health stances.

  8. LuxLiving Says:

    A good goal to reach for as you change your spending habits!

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