Food is life. It's everything. Our bodies start as simple cells and multiply into organs, arms, legs, face and body; all from the food our mothers ate. This food started the same way, it was fed by the nutrients in soil. The health of the soil determines the health of the food and the health of the food determines the health of the individual. Something terrible has happened though. We've neglected not only the soil, but in turn, our food and our bodies. We've lost this connection to our food, the building blocks of our well being. We don't associate our woes, our pain, our disease, our depression with what we are eating. Instead, we spend our money on things and products we don't need at the expense of healthy food, it's no longer a priority for a lot of people. And then there are those who want it to be a priority but can't afford the cost of good food. It makes things even more complicated to know that our government subsidizes poorly grown crops like corn and soy. They have artificially made food seem cheap. All our processed foods contain these ingredients, all our sweeteners and colorings, our fruits and veggies are sprayed with it and our animals, instead of being fed what they were intended to eat, are fed corn and soy. We are corn and soy. This is what has built our bodies for years.
The good news is, we can do things differently. Every 7 years our bodies have fully regenerated, this means we have switched out all of our cells for new ones. If we start eating a whole foods, nutrient dense diet now, there is hope for health in the future. This has been my own journey for the last 5 years. I've gone through lots of different diets trying to find what was ideal for me as well as what was going to be best for the environment as a whole. I found that this was not a cheap way to eat. For the sake of full transparency as I begin this 30 day experiment, we have been spending over $700 a month for 2 people. For a lot of people this can seem insane. But food is the most important thing to me and I forgo a lot of other things to have it this way. Another interesting thing to mention is the food spending habits of other countries compared to us. According to this graph, Americans spend on average 6% of their income on food...this is utterly insane to me!
So, is it possible to eat a whole foods, nutrient dense, organic, local diet on a budget!?! I don't know. But I wanted to find out. So, starting May 1st Johnny and I will be embarking upon a 30 day experiment where we will only spend what someone could get on food stamps as a couple, $200 a person. This will be cutting our monthly food budget almost in half! I will be blogging once a week about the experiment, what I'm eating, how much things cost, how long my prep time is for meals, how to cut costs, etc. I will also choose a food product to highlight and talk about pros and cons. Here is a list of what we will be eating as well as what we will not be eating:
Thing's I've cut out of my life to have more money for food:
-Smart Phone: I've got a flip phone and I'm on a family plan.
-Internet/Cable: We do pick up Wifi at our house, but for some people they are close enough to a coffee shop to forgo wifi, unless their job depends on having it at home.
-Eating out: We eat out maybe once or twice a month, if that. Restaurant food is more expensive and usually prepared with rancid vegetable oils. (which are disease/cancer causing) We also don't drink but for those who do, drinking out is obviously the most expensive way to do it. Having some drinks at home with a friend is more cost effective.
-Clothing: Most people have enough clothes, so excess spending in this regard can definitely be cut out.
-Gas: If you have access to a bike or are walking distance from places you are going try and save on gas with these alternative modes of transportation, you'll also get a workout. Bonus.
-Sugary/Processed Packaged Foods: These are lose lose. You are destroying your body and spending money on it. So later on in life you may also have pay a large hospital bill for the damage of these foods.
-Household/Body Products: When you're eating better, your skin will follow suite. Cutting back on excess hair products, body products, makeup and household products is an option. Besides, a lot of these things have gnarly chemicals in them. Instead, switch to simpler homemade things or take note of what is necessary and what is not.
(I will be adding more tips for saving money as I go)
So, there you have it. I'm really excited to share this experiment with you all and I hope it will be successful! One of my main goals with nutrition is to make it accessible to everyone. It may take a little extra effort on your part, but the life/health benefits are worth it. Thank you all for following my journey and supporting these endeavors. I will be starting this experiment on May 1st. Check back in next week for my first blog post on the experience!
To health and vitality!
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David