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6 Ways to Save On Organic and Good-for-You Food
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We all want to live well—but those impending costs at the organic store’s cash register can be hard to swallow.

It may be discouraging to think that 1,000 calories of junk food costs $1.76 compared with $18.16 for 1, 000 calories of the healthy stuff, according to a 2007 University of Washington study. Still, the benefits of eating healthy are insurmountable.

If you want to have your organic veggies and eat them too, consider these six ways to eat healthy on a slim budget:

Cut out the middleman
If you’ve ever been to a local farmers’ market, you’ll see truckloads of produce, exuberant children chasing after one another in a game of tag, and local merchants lining makeshift aisles, some of them timidly glancing in your general direction from time to time. That’s because most farmers are not born and bred salespeople—they’re producers. That isn’t to say they don’t want your business. Make connections with local producers and offer to pick up their products on a regular basis for an agreed-upon amount of money. By reaching out, you have a pretty good chance of scoring a decent deal on what they can offer you.

Don’t be a victim of labelling
While food labels are typically in place to help consumers understand what they’re purchasing, there are certain labels out there that hold no validity through the legal system or otherwise. In short, these words will make you feel better about buying the product, but they may not necessarily be better for you. According to Bicycling.com, the following terms don’t necessarily hold any weight in the context in which they’re used: natural, free-range, cage-free, antibiotic-free, chemical-free, hormone-free, rBGH-free, eco-safe, environmentally friendly, and green. Beware the lure of the label.

Soup, soup, soup
You’ve heard it before and we’re telling you again: water is the key to one’s well-being. When you buy organic meats and vegetables, you can increase how far the food (and nutrients) go when you turn that meal into a broth. While this is a great way to cut costs on meals, it’s also much healthier for you. When you heat your food, you destroy more than 30 percent of that food’s nutrients. But since water has the capability to absorb those forgotten nutrients, soup is your key to locking in many of those vital ingredients.

Juice, juice, juice
Similarly, juices also serve as a way to lock in nutrients. Your body naturally loses many of the nutrients in food during the digestive process. It takes a lot of energy to break down food. By juicing, you’re able to retain many of those nutrients, much more of your energy, and since much of that mass is water, you’re cutting costs on food yet again.

Inspire a community garden
It doesn’t get more inexpensive than doing-it-yourself. Inspire a community garden that everyone on the block can contribute to and take advantage of. You can plant potato sprouts, avocado pits, seeds from fruits, and all sorts of things you’d otherwise be disposing of in the trash. What a waste (literally) to not do it! Furthermore, you can apply for grants to help fund your community garden project. Check out Evergreen.ca or other local funding programs to find out how.

Become part of a co-op
Take a stroll through your neighbourhood—chances are you’ll stumble upon a co-op food store. In the smaller scheme of things, you can volunteer your time in exchange for co-op member-only prices on organic food. In the grand scheme of things, your time and support may help spark a larger movement that could one day change the way your grandchildren source and eat food. In both cases, the outcome leaves you feeling richer.

So it comes down to this: eat well or eat cheap. Or, look for ways to curb costs while enjoying a happy, healthy, and wealthy lifestyle. After all, living well should encompass living well within our means, too.

 

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7 habits that will transform your health and happiness
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The first time I heard the statement that happiness was a decision, I wasn’t sure I agreed. I often thought happiness was a splendid mixture of good fortune, great circumstances, great people and our environment. The more I’ve questioned, the more curious this topic becomes. I have concluded that the happiest people in the world seem to have very little. It’s intriguing that we think surrounding ourselves with more stuff will make us happy. More stuff tends to steel our beautiful energy and make us less happy over time.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a wonderful read as she explores how to live a happier and more fulfilling life. Check out this video.

There are heaps of books, seminars and people to share their advice and strategies for living a happier and healthier life. I decided to share simple habits you can implement today that will help you connect more with yourself.

  1. Eat clean and eat consciously. One of the first amazing nutrition books I read was The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. What I love about Natalia is that she explains how ‘weight=waste’ and the less clean we eat, the more grumpy our cells are. Poor food choices suck our energy and prevent us from vibrating at our most radiant frequency.
  2. Boost your good fats. Nuts and seeds, avocados, fish oil + plant based oils do wonders for your mental attitude as well as your body. You’ve likely heard a trainer tell you that good fats help fight bad fat. This is so true! Incorporating good fats in your diet is so important for maintaining a healthy weight.
  3. Do a passion check. The passion test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood is a great guidebook to tuning into yourself about what makes you feel alive. I remember a period in my life when I was so busy achieving that I couldn’t remember what I was passionate about. I was truly living the life of a productive robot. This book was part of my rehab!
  4. Create space for new relationships. Sometimes we just need an infusion of inspiring new relationships. It’s so wonderful to have beautiful friends and family in our lives but sometimes meeting new people who challenge us to be better is refreshing. Reach out to someone new today. Someone who grabs your attention and triggers that intuitive nudge to reach out.
  5. Love more. Michael Brown has a wonderful book Alchemy of the Heart. Opening our hearts to ourselves and to others in a deeper way always results in goodness. For most, loving oneself is the ultimate challenge. We are so good at being hard on ourselves and always striving to be more and do more. Here’s a great video from Michael on loving ourselves.
  6. Buy less. Go on a shopping diet and experience how easy or challenging it is for you. Buying less does wonders for your being and your bank account. It’s the most delicious personal psychology experiment. It will help you identify if you have a major or minor addiction. Remember that practicing non-attachment is part of yoga practice. I do love my car but I could also live without it. There are things in my life that I do love but I am not emotionally attached to them.
  7. Meditate more. I have attended wonderful meditation retreats but must admit that meditating daily is challenging for me. Gabby Bernstein has a great video for starting a daily meditation practice. Even if you don’t feel you are quite ready or prepared to meditate daily, taking the time each morning and night to sit quietly in your room to breathe is divine. Practice sitting quietly in your room each morning when you get out of bed to do 10 deep belly breaths. Do the same thing before you jump into bed at night and watch the space that is created in your life.
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