I always tell people "the easiest way to change is by making baby steps." But if you don't know what steps to start with, what will have the biggest impact on your health, or where you should start, then you're just as likely to give up.
So here it is, the Baby Steps series!
For the first few weeks we're going to focus mainly on mental blocks. Granted, if you had these mental blocks it's extremely unlikely that you would even be reading this, BUT just in case you're here by some cosmic accident, I'm going to cover them anyway.
OR you may have been interested in transitioning to real food, but gotten caught up on one of the very mental blocks I'm about to address. Hopefully I can help you get past it.
In my experience, there are three excuses people give for not eating real food:
- It costs too much.
- My kids won't eat it.
- It takes too much time.
- It's too hard to find.
- "They" say everything is bad for me, so I might as well just eat what I want (or "we're all gonna die someday, I might as well die happy" or any similar excuse), aka being confused about "what" is real, good food.
The important things to remember when thinking about the cost of real food are as follows:
- When adjusted for inflation, we spend far less on food than we did even 30 years ago. You can find thousands of articles exclaiming "food prices rising!" But they are looking at actual prices, and ignoring the fact that the value of a dollar has changed significantly. And in the link above, it isn't even adjusted for inflation- face value prices of food are lower now than 30 years ago. Figure out what percentage of your take home income you spend on food. Odds are good it's lower (often far lower) than 10%. In the 50's (my source? A Betty Crocker Cookbook from 1950) it was common to spend 20-25% of one's take home income on food. It confounds me that we complain about the price of food when we are spending so much less, and that we automatically dismiss the idea of spending more for higher quality food, but we don't hesitate to spend hundreds on our data plans and cable bills.
- You need to eat less- Due to higher nutrients and lower toxic load, eating organic foods leads to faster satiety, meaning we eat up to 30% less food. (Paul Chek, Real Food Summit)
- Pay now or pay later- continuing to eat the SAD will almost certainly lead to higher health care costs now and in the future. My journey is still in it's infancy, but I haven't paid a doctor bill or seen a health care professional (nor have my kids) in over two years. The cost of medicine to "manage" chronic illness can be immensely pricey, and most have undesirable long term side effects. On the other hand, if you pay a little more for food now you'll save money on health care in the long term. According to Gary Graham, author of Pottenger's Prophecy, in 1960 we were spending 18% of our national income on food and 5% of health care. Today we spend 9% of our income on food and 17% on health care.
- IT CAN BE DONE ON A RESTRICTIVE BUDGET. I never use caps lock. You know that's kind of a big deal if I do. It takes more planning, a little more work, and some tips (I have those, too!).
And watch out for more Baby Steps in the future, as well as tips on how to save money eating real food.
UPDATED: Check out my series, real food on a budget, for tips on saving!
This post has been shared on Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday and GNOWFGLINS Simple Lives Thursday.