It costs too much and it takes so much time to eat healthy!

The two most common arguments for not eating healthy are (1) it costs too much, and (2) it takes too much time. The high cost is the easiest concern to lay to rest. Everyone has heard that you either pay now or pay later in health care. True. But we’ve saved money in health care already. I have never felt so good and I haven’t been sick since we started this journey. I also feel more focused and content than ever. Another way to save is by cutting portion sizes, especially in the expensive meat department. I knew our portion sizes were out of control, but I didn’t realized how much until I started counting calories. Oh and go back to your roots and be a hunter-gatherer. Hunt for good deals even if you have to gather them from a few different places.

The other less obvious, but true fact about the costs is that processed food costs more. Really! Yes, I know I can get a box of something resembling a snack (through the filter of my deluded mind) for under a dollar. I could also get a frozen prepared “meal” for a buck if I combine a coupon with a sale. I was an avid coupon-er. Sometimes they even pay you to eat it (creepy). What are we really buying? Well, mostly fillers that will only feed an addiction to junk food. “Bet you can’t eat just one!” Ch-ching! And I bet you’ll be hungry again soon. The truth is, by weight, whole food costs less than processed food and is more filling. Advertisements show healthy happy people consuming their products, but who really feels happy and healthy after eating a value meal chased down with a giant soda. Oh and the diet soda. There’s no sugar in it, but there’s a lot of salt. So you’ll still be thirsty and have nothing to show for it. No nutritious value and you’re still feeding the addiction to sweeteners.

Trying to convince someone that’s it worth the extra time is a little harder. It is more time consuming. But it is worth it. Change is hard. Once it’s second nature, it won’t take as long. You’ll figure out ways to save time. It also helps to change your view about the additional time it takes. I could have just poured four bowls of cereal this morning. Then I could have quickly eaten mine and headed upstairs to work, all within about fifteen minutes. Inevitably one of my kids would run up to tell me that they were still hungry and thus, start my hectic day. Then I would have spend the next couple of hours trying get my sluggish brain going while intermittently being interrupted by my unhappy, unsatisfied children who are starved for my attention (and no doubt, food itself). Instead, I spent an hour making and then eating breakfast with the girls. We ate French toast made with whole grain bread and small amount of pure maple syrup, cantaloupe and unsweetened coffee for me. The girls drank packaged lemonade or hot cocoa because we were out of milk and I try not to be a stickler about everything they consume all the time. Can you hear the birds chirping and see me dancing happily around the kitchen while serving my perfectly happy children a perfectly healthy breakfast as beams of sunlight and fresh air pour through the open windows? Well, not quite, but I did stop to take a picture of London happily eating the nutritious meal. We not only satisfied our hunger, but we were satisfied emotionally. You just can’t get that kind of satisfaction from a bowl of cereal. So they didn’t miss me much when I came upstairs to write this and I didn’t feel guilty about not spending more time with them.

London Eating French Toast

London enjoying her French toast.

I have also come to realize that the extra time spent on preparing these meals got me out of an unproductive sedentary life style I’d been in. My small garden takes time, but it also provides exercise, as does running around to collect all this wonderful food. Even the small amount of energy that it takes to prepare meals is better for me than sitting in front of the t.v. or computer.

Another thought just occurred to me. If this lifestyle was more time consuming and costly, then shouldn’t we be suffering financially by now? We’re not. We’re actually in better shape then we were six months ago. Brian is getting a promotion and I’m putting a few more hours in at work each week. But how is this possible if I’m spending so much time gathering and preparing all of this food? I think our healthy lifestyle choices have a lot to do with this. As I said, we’re feeling better, looking better and performing better than we were before.

My unsolicited advice is to start small. Throw away anything that you want to eliminate from your diet. If you just don’t want to waste that jar of peanut butter, use it. When it’s gone, replace it with a healthier alternative that fits your food philosophy. Continue to do that until all the products in your house fit your philosophy. We are getting there, but still have a lot of work to do.

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About Michele
Wife and Mom of three girls doing her best to lead the family into a healthier lifestyle and evolve gracefully.

4 Responses to It costs too much and it takes so much time to eat healthy!

  1. heather says:

    you are a wonderful writer and always have been. i love you.

  2. lisa hayes says:

    Added to my favorites! wow! you are an awesome writer!!! i love the information! good job! Congrats to Brian!!! and you as well for the extra hours! 🙂 i am trying so hard to get todd on the bandwagon with me…he doesn’t know how to eat healthy even when i tell him what to cut out and add….work in progress always! keep blogging girl! LOVE IT!!!!

    • healthymamma says:

      Thanks Lisa! Getting the entire family involved is definitely a must. I didn’t give them much choice. I buy and cook most of the food in the house, as I’m sure you do. They were at my mercy. Once Brian started seeing and feeling results, he bought in to it! Everyone’s comments on how great he looks gave him encouragement to keep going.

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