If you’re like most people in North America, one of your biggest expenses is food and most likely your biggest complaints are money and health-related issues like aging, energy levels, obesity, and disease. Our food is our bodies direct link to the external world, every day we enjoy our meals our snacks and everytime we digest that food becomes our body, becomes us. Our gut bacteria, our cells, our blood, our being is determined by what we let in us. Hippocrates said “natural forces within us are the true healers of disease” this statement is still true today and with the right strategy and these eco-thrifty hacks you can save money and improve your health.
- Bulk Bins: you can find practically all dry goods in an unpackaged form, you take what you need and leave the rest, without all the packaging involved, the price of these foods comes way down and cutting back on packaging helps the environment as well.
- Online Shopping: if you are busy or to keep your eyes from wandering another great option is online stores like Amazon and omfoods.com, you can find good quality food for great prices and it gets shipped right to your door.
- Farmers (market): Opting for higher quality food often means buying local. You are looking for food without added hormones, antibiotics, chemical pesticides and fertilizers that could be harmful to consume. Buying from a farmer directly gives you the opportunity to ask questions and see for yourself.
- Store Bands/Freezer Food: In most cases, store brands are comparable to name brands (or even better), but cheaper and go on sale much more often. Also, frozen can be just as nutritious as fresh since it can often take days to get from farm to plate and what you find in the freezer is frozen immediately, which helps lock in the nutrients.
- Organic vs. Non-Organic: The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists are very helpful in getting a specific list of fruits and vegetables (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/index.php) Always look for organic animal products or buy local from a trusted farmer, this is usually the best option because the healthier animals come from happy homes not the store.
- Buy in Season: Find what foods are in season in your area, print the list and circle what you love, discover recipes using those ingredients. It’s not usually worth buying produce when it isn’t in season. Besides the cost, it won’t be as fresh, as it likely traveled very far to get to your store.
- Label Tips: Find whole grains When you purchase processed ingredients or bakery items. Avoid items that are overly processed or contain added sugar, salt or fat. Choose items that are unsweetened and unsalted by adding flavor yourself you can control the quality and quantity. Limit the ingredients, as a rule of thumb, avoid items with five ingredients or more. Look at the top and bottom shelves at the grocery store, the eye-level ones stock the priciest items. When deciding between sizes of packaged foods, make sure you aren’t being fooled by checking the unit prices.
- DIY Preserves: Freeze leafy greens and use them in your smoothie. Buy in-season fruit/veg when it’s cheap, and freeze it for later. Ferment your own food like kefir, kombucha, sourdough and sauerkraut. Cultured or fermented foods are essential for maintaining a healthy gut. The culturing process produces beneficial microbes, also known as probiotics, which help balance your intestinal flora. Fermented foods are also capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. Just a quarter to a half a cup of fermented vegetables per day is sufficient for most people.
- Grow your own: If you have space, grow spices and veggies, if you don’t check out your community garden or start an apartment garden. Sprouts are another way to grow your own and anyone can do it, sprouts support cell regeneration, and source antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and enzymes that protect against free radical damage.
- Drink Pure Water: investing in a water distiller or filtration system and drinking from a glass, stainless steel or wood will give your body the water it needs to function properly without all the additives found in the city and bottled water.
Another eco and thrifty hack is to buy drinks and condiments that come in glass because you can reuse them to store those bulk groceries, drinks, sprouts and fermented foods. Thrift stores also carry a lot of glass items, you can find so many health tools there that will last forever like cast iron pans, stainless steel and glass items that do not leach chemicals and these are all eco-purchases and helping your local community.
Do you have any tips you would like to share? Let me know in the comments down below.
As always I am sending you much love & positivity on your Elemental Growth journey.
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