Affordable Healthy Eating

Many people always wonder how to best manage their diet. The reality is that eating healthy can be challenging. First of all, there are your guilty pleasures that are always around to tempt you. Secondly, and the bigger issue for many, there’s the cost of healthy eating. Let’s be real — healthy foods can get pretty expensive. Whole wheat flour is more expensive than white flour. Whole grain flour is more expensive than whole wheat… and should you be eating flour at all? Maybe you should stick to quinoa — which is an expense in an of itself. So how do you manage? Chau to the rescue!

Let me first address the guilty pleasure problem. It’s really quite simple: have them! This doesn’t mean every day and it doesn’t mean to have the exact same items that you normally have. Try having a single cheat day every week where you choose one of your “cheat foods” to have. Also, see if there is a healthier option that tastes as good or almost as good as what you’ve grown accustomed to. This is where the cost issue can come in.

Here’s the kicker — healthy foods don’t have to be expensive. Try having ground provisions for carbs (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, eddoes, etc.) instead of regular rice. They have a higher nutritional value and tend to be quite cheap. Also, see if you can change your food source. Maybe you can find 5 or 10 like-minded health-conscious individuals and you can form a commune. Each of you can grow something and you can all share as opposed to buy.promise_basket.jpg

Finally, you can, as a group, approach farmers and/or wholesalers directly and purchase in bulk. I’m actually part of a programme here in Trinidad & Tobago called The Promise Basket. We pay a monthly subscription fee and get grocery items at a reasonable rate. The manager of the programme brokers directly with local farmers to get the best products at the best prices. Below are two examples of baskets:-

Regular Basket Healthy Basket

5 lbs of flour
5 lbs of rice
5 lbs of sugar
1 lb of lentils
1 lb of split peas
6 farm fresh eggs
1 lb of onions
2 lbs of plantains
2 lbs of sweet squash
2 lbs of sweet potatoes
2 lbs of green bananas
2 lbs of Melongene (eggplant) *or* 1 bundle of bodi (string beans)
1 bundle of dasheen Bush (taro)
1 bundle of Patchoi (bok choy)
2 whole chickens (4 – 4 1/2 lbs average weight)

Fresh Veggies🥦🥒🥕Ground Provisions 🥔
Ground Provision flour 🥖
Fresh local fruit
Beans and peas🥘
Coconut oil for cooking and baking🥥
and lots more healthy items 🥒🥗
Cost: 200 TTD (approx 30 USD) Cost: 200 TTD (approx 30 USD)

So there you have it. A few ideas to cut down on your healthier grocery bill. I hope this helps your quest to lead a fitter, healthier life. Enjoy 🙂

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