You Are What You Eat

My husband and I cancelled cable a few years ago and subscribed to Netflix.  I had never really liked television programing and we knew cancelling could save us money.  We've enjoyed the streaming films and shows, but the decision has changed the types of programs and films we watch.  At this point, we've seen many of Netflix's available documentaries, including almost every one on food.  Health and nutrition have been important to me for much of my life, so having access to information via streaming video is wonderful. 

A particularly inspirational film for our mindful food journey was Food Matters.  The documentary's blurb says, "This film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better."  I didn't know exactly how much I would enjoy it or what kind of an impact the information would have on our eating habits.

About nine minutes into the movie, David Wolfe, an authority on raw foods and superfoods, said, "We've probably, as a culture, got our values inverted...we'd rather spend money on a car or a house than feeding our children the greatest superfoods that have ever been discovered...we should take that money and invest it into our families' health by the best food ever."  At this, Danny and I actually paused the film.  We discussed what he had said.  Is it true that we are choosing to feel how we feel by not choosing to feel better through eating better foods?!  I had never once considered this sentiment.  How much better could I really feel?!  I'm (relatively) young; I'm healthy; I feel great. 

We continued watching and saw many of the interviewed experts looked positively radiant.  No exaggeration, at the conclusion of the film, we hopped into the car and immediately went to purchase a juicer.  We'd heard the benefits of juicing from other sources, but this was the final push.  We purchased it, washed it, and began using it that night.  We have made fresh juice each day since then.  All this is to say, we have benefited tremendously from finding information and being open to making positive changes.  (See the "Get Your Juice On: Beginner's Guide to Juicing" for how we got started and other tips.)

I've been asked to write about eating healthy on a budget, and to an extent, we do.  We eat healthy meals everyday, but like David Wolfe mentioned, we've decided good food is worth a higher price.  Therefore, instead of cutting from our food budget, the way many households attempt to save money, we've actually steadily increased our food budget and cut from almost every other spending area.  For us, the good we feel from eating great food outweighs the desire to buy other stuff.  As you might imagine, juicing is wonderful, but juicing fresh, organic fruits and vegetables daily is expensive. 

So, I will happily share some of my "secrets," but overall, eating cheap is not what we do.  I am notoriously cheap--and I love it.  Overall, I try to incorporate healthy and inexpensive staples into each meal, such as beans, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or whatever vegetable was on sale that week.  Eliminating meat from my diet and most processed foods (particularly because of going gluten-free) has definitely helped, but the cheapskate in me is silenced by the increase in vitality and well-being that has accompanied moving towards whole, fresh, and organic foods. 

Each day we aim to progress to feeling even better than we had the day before.  It's been a long, slow process, but we've made small changes and stuck with them.  If you make the decision to increase your well-being through good food, you will see small results pretty quickly.  Weight loss may eventually come (Danny lost weight I didn't think he had to lose--me, not so much...), but the objective is an increased awareness and vitality.  Today, consider the saying, "You are what you eat."

                                                            The above image is from Amazon