How To Eat A Healthy Diet For Cheap
We are on a serious budget after my husband and I set up our own business last year and made a few misjudgements. We have two small kids. I’ve been enjoying your newsletters these last couple weeks. I’m keen to buy your e-books but I’m just wondering if you’ve noticed a recent trend in blogs and in general.
There’s a movement about “nourishing foods”. They are touting this as the best, most healthful diet ever. It’s expensive-ish to follow but they have a little guilt trip with it saying things like, “Your kids are in their important formative years. You can’t feed them cheap junk,” along with all the eco-warrior and organic foods movement stuff. I feel that people like me are afraid when they have to go on a budget because they wonder if their family’s health will suffer . Do your books give good balanced diet recipes that I know will be nourishing my kids? Did your diet when you lived on a dime contribute to your chronic illness later on?
First let me answer your question, “Did your diet when you lived on a dime contribute to your chronic illness later on?”
No. A virus or bacteria (doctors are pretty sure it’s a virus) is what caused us to become ill, not what we eat. Having said that, I do now have to go on a special and expensive diet to help try and fix some of the immune problems caused by this virus but if it works it will work out to be cheaper for me than the regular medical bills that we currently have to pay for. The diet I am currently on includes no wheat or starches, no sugar, no dairy, no corn or no beef. It’s an elimination diet. Basically all I can eat is fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, nuts and homemade chicken broth.
Frankly, I think this new movement in nourishing foods is just putting fear into people. Unless you have some medical reason to be eating this way, I suggest that you STOP READING THOSE WEBSITES!!! I am very serious. We have gone from “learning about nutrition” to “being afraid” and that is not at all what God wants for us.
My grandparents are in their 80’s and in very good health. Most of their lives were spent eating all the preservatives that are supposedly killing us now. Before we had things like preservatives and added vitamins and minerals, people were sick and dying from malnutrition. During World Wars I and II, they discovered that the farm boys who lived off of just the “great” organic foods on the farm were very malnourished and that is why they started adding vitamins and minerals to foods. They added these things to save lives.
Having said that, there is a happy medium. You don’t have to eat all raw organic food but you don’t have to live on boxed macaroni and cheese either.
Make life easy.
- For breakfast, eat cereal or oatmeal with a piece of fruit.
- At lunch, with your macaroni and cheese, eat some carrots and cucumbers with ranch dressing.
- Eat a sandwich with lettuce and tomato.
- Make broccoli and apple slices to go with your chicken and rice for dinner.
- Eat sliced apples with peanut butter or yogurt with granola or a smoothie for a snack.
Don’t make it so complicated. It sounds like you are overwhelmed and worrying about this is just making it worse for you.
Yes, the meals in our books are balanced and nutritious but we are moderate when it comes to food. We do not swing either way because you can go insane if you do!!! :-)
Here’s something for everyone to think about: Since the organic and eco-eating frenzy started in the late 80′s and 90′s, there has been a rise in child obesity, diabetes, allergies and many other things. It should make you wonder and stop and think. Yet, like Tawra mentioned, many people like my parents who were raised on preservatives and all the foods so many people are poo pooing are living to a ripe old age.
There is something else going on here more significant than the food we eat. We need to stop bowing down to fear and start rationally looking at the reasons that this is happening. Stress is a big factor in heart disease (and other illnesses) and fear, among many other things, causes extreme stress, yet we fluff over the fact that obsessive worrying about what we eat is causing us to be very stressed in our lives.
How much stress do you think it causes a child if you are always bugging him about not eating this or touching that or, even worse, how stressed is he when his classmates sit and eat a candy bar. Kids are torn between wanting one too and the fact that their parents have told them they will die of something awful if they eat one. Just the stress of being unnecessarily different from the other kids can cause a problem.
Honestly, the chances are just as great that I could get a horrible illness stewing over whether or not I should buy an organically grown banana and worrying about how to get the money to pay for it as they would be if I just tossed a regular banana in my cart.
You will have less illness if you are on a healthy diet? I’m not so sure about that. Tawra is on one of the strictest diets I know of. She eats nothing unhealthy yet she has been much sicker then I or say my elderly parents who eat “regular” food. She has colds, the flu and other things all the time. I on the other hand have had only 1 cold in the past 3 years.
We get so hung up on one certain area we don’t bother to think about or factor in other things like she has school age children who brings home all kinds of things – things her healthy eating doesn’t seem to protect her from. She isn’t the only one I know who eats unbelievable healthy but yet gets sick all the time.
Here’s one last point you need to really think about: Any doctor will tell you that more than 50% of illness is caused from stress. The confusion and hesitation you’re experiencing is a perfect example of that stress and what this movement is doing to people.
Moderation. Don’t go extreme in either direction.
It is important to make good choices with your food. Clearly, if all you eat is meat and bread, it’s not a good choice. Most people eat too many carbohydrates and not enough fruits and vegetables so reminding yourself to lean a little more toward fruits and vegetables and a little less toward breads and other carbohydrates is generally a good choice.
Regarding the “guilt trip” you mentioned – It’s good that you recognized that’s what it is. When you get the feeling that you’re experiencing a guilt trip, you’re probably right. In this case, there are two reasons for it. First, in order to motivate you to buy their products, many people know that if they tell you your children are going to die or be horribly damaged for life, you will buy just to alleviate the fear that it “might” be true. I remember one news promo that aired at 2:00 in the afternoon where the reporter said, “Could you be poisoning your child right now without even knowing it? … The story at 6.” If it’s really that serious, why do you have to wait 4 hours for the answer? That message is a good way to get you to buy it without really considering whether or not it’s wise or necessary.
The second reason someone may use a fear tactic is that the person has invested a lot of emotional effort in that area. Maybe the person does get some benefit from the extreme diet but a lot of people soothe their own fears and feel more like they’ve made the right choice if they can persuade everyone else that their way is finally the secret perfect solution everyone’s been waiting for.
In any case, when you feel afraid something terrible will happen if you don’t immediately adopt someone’s apparently extreme eating regimen, you’re probably being touched more by guilt than by common sense, so don’t let it scare you.
For hundreds of recipes for quick and easy inexpensive home cooked meals, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook.