“It takes too much time” and “it’s too expensive to eat healthy”
These are two of the common quotes heard when asking people what their barriers are to making healthier diet changes (also up there are: “I don’t know how to prepare them”, “they go bad too quickly”, and “I don’t like vegetables”).
If the cost of fruits and vegetables were to be greatly reduced, do you think we will have more people eating more of them? Probably not as many as we would hope. We are still going to have people who aren’t used to eating them, dislike the taste (maybe because they grew up on overcooked mushy broccoli), don’t know how to incorporate them into their diets, say they don’t have the time, etc. Habits have to change.
Conversations have been happening regarding making it a priority to lower the prices of good food (fruits and veggies especially). As mentioned above, many people make poor choices because they report they can’t afford better food. But many of us know it’s the perception of “convenience” that is leading people to eat less nutritious options.
If we are choosing less healthy food because it is “convenient,” even when we know it is bad for us, shouldn’t we focus our education on making healthier foods easy? That’s where I place a lot of my emphasis, but until people start applying it on their own at home -and making it part of their everyday lifestyle- they will never really know how easy it can be! Just like riding a bike or catching a ball, it doesn’t come naturally without practice!
Convenience: Recommendations For Quick and Nutritious Foods
For speeding up the shopping process I’d suggest looking into Thrive Market, Kroger ClickList, and Meijer Curbside pickup. By limiting your trips into the grocery, you will not be tempted with desserts, colorful boxes, and end cap displays swaying you to buy things you really don’t need or have on your list 😉 (Read more about the sneaky psychology of supermarkets here)
Other helpful websites are:
- Local Dirt, which can help you find farmers markets and things in season.
- Local Harvest has farms that you can buy from in your area.
If you have any favorites, please leave them in the comments below to help others find great options!
For creating meals that appeal, again, I don’t want to recreate the wheel; here are some good resources:
I love 100 Days of Real Food. Ditch processed foods and learn some wonderful recipes using whole foods for healthy meals.
The Wellness Mama has seasoning mix recipes (such as fajita mix, Ranch seasoning mix, Italian blends, and more) that you can mix up so your homemade meals can be just as flavor-packed as your favorite restaurant or pre-made mix (minus the artificial flavorings/preservatives, fillers, MSG, & excess sodium).
A local favorite is Real Fit, Real Food Mom, who also created a homemade taco seasoning recipe that will prevent you from ever going back to those taco seasoning packets at the store (and slightly off topic but Real Fit, Real Food Mom also blogged about her experience with me guiding her through the LEAP MRT program, which she shares here)!
Speaking of LEAP, the LEAP MRT pinterest board will really get your creative juices flowing! For those newer to cooking there are cooking lessons & tips, gluten-free/dairy-free freezer meals, 3 ingredient energy bars, & so much more!
Also, have you heard of Wildtree?
It’s a wonderful company my friend Kara introduced me to. You can make ahead, make fast, & make fresh….it’s a line of organic, all-natural products and easy-to-prepare recipes. Their products taste amazing AND Wildtree products fits the needs/desires of many of my clients:
- USDA Certified Organic Facility
- No GMOs, MSG, or artificial colors
- 100% Peanut Free, Kosher approved options…and many certified gluten-free options as well (I was happy to discover this!)
I can’t say enough good things about what I’ve experienced and learned about this company and their products. Here are some of the other highlights that stand out to me:
- You can make things totally from scratch from their individual ingredients (the flavored oils are amazing!)
- Create freezer meals on your own or with a group of family/friends to be prepped for daaaays!
- If you aren’t into making your own seasoning mixes and meals completely from scratch as mentioned above, the Wildtree Skillet Meals are an excellent choice! You get a box of several of the seasoning mixes, then you add the meat/veggies or whatever that particular meal calls for. Asian, Creole, Cheddar & Herb are just a few of the tasty options!
I should probably do a whole post just on my love of these products, but for now I’ll leave you with this nice graphic to help you learn more.
And if you are interested in stocking your freezer with some freezer meals for the upcoming months (or just want to sample some products), I’d love to host a party, help you host a party, or put you in contact with someone who can help! Leave me a note in the comments and we’ll get that ball rolling.
Finally, if you’re in the Fort Wayne area and I still haven’t convinced you to incorporate more cooking from scratch and DIY meals, you might want to check out Gainz Meal Prep LLC. This way, you’ll still get nutritious options that will fit into your health goals, but someone else does the work! Order your food, get it delivered, and get a good balance of “macros”, as well as micros.
Our kitchen plays a huge role in our health care.
In the long run, paying more for fruits and vegetables now is like a long-term savings for you and your family’s health. A balanced diet offers us the best way to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. I think of it as spending my hard earned money on helping my family stay energized and disease-free. I feel that it’s a pretty cheap method of prevention and I’d rather spend my earnings on food as medicine vs actual medicine/visits to the doctor.
It sure seems it would be more economical for people to eat well so that they don’t end up in the hospital….but that’s just me being the planner & prepper that I am 😉
Hopefully you’ve learned some things you can practically apply in your kitchen, starting today. Maybe you don’t do a complete revamp yet, but gradually making positive changes over time can still benefit you.
And I have 2 final requests: Please share with me in the comments section—
- If you want to be involved in prepping some freezer meals with me and/or your friends/family, what meals do you like to have handy?
- List one thing you do to make healthy choices more convenient for you or your family. Maybe it’s cutting up veggies and keeping them in sight in the fridge? Or getting a crockpot going in the morning so it’s ready for dinner?
Whatever it is, I’d love to hear about it! And watch my facebook page because I’m going to be announcing a similar request that will be a contest later this month!