How To Eat Healthy On A Budget – Local, Sustainable, Nutrient Dense

We’ve all heard how eating a healthy, nutrient dense diet is expensive. Maybe you’ve given it a shot and came to that conclusion from your own experience. If you haven’t given it a shot yet and you’ve found yourself here, then you’ve come to the right place. While yes, you can most certainly rack up a pretty high grocery bill by filling your cart with nutrient dense goodies, you can also do it on your own budget, whatever it may be. 

Let me show you how.


Eating Healthy On A Budget.JPGEating Healthy On A Budget.JPG

THE WHY

Why Source Local & Sustainable?

Knowing where your food comes from is the first step towards filling your kitchen with high quality foods. Sourcing locally and sustainably not only provides you with a deeper connection to your food, but also packs a more nutrient dense punch. 

“When you choose to support your local farmer, as a result you’re supporting

  • the environment for future generations 

  • economic profit for farmers

  • social and economic welfare

  • the welfare of animals and livestock

To achieve these goals, sustainable agriculture includes measures and methods

that promote soil health, minimize water use and wastage, and support the health

and well-being of both farm workers and livestock”*

THE HOW

How to Source Local & Sustainable

Before I share a few tips on how to source local and sustainable food, let me tell you what you don’t have to do.

You don’t have to overhaul your whole kitchen and change your entire life. Not at all! You can make small changes day by day and week by week that will add up to big changes over time.
This isn’t a race and it’s not all or nothing. Do what you can when you can and be proud of the steps that you’re taking.

The first and most accessible way to bring more nutrient dense foods into your life is to start with organic.

“These standards require that organic foods be grown

without synthetic agricultural inputs like synthetic fertilizers,

fungicides, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, or food additives”*


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You don’t have to buy everything organic. You can check out the Dirty Dozen by the EWG and follow

their recommendations for which products to prioritize purchasing organic.

Secondly, join a local CSA or shop at farmers markets.

This is a great method to get to know the locals around you who grow and provide your community

with food. You can ask questions, get advice, and create amazing relationships while selecting fresh

as you can get items. This will also help you to eat seasonally without even thinking about it. When you

eat seasonally you’re automatically saving on cash because seasonal foods are in abundance, therefore,

they’re cheaper, too.**

When you do go to the grocery store, check out the bulk options for grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
You might even be able to find these at the farmers market, but if not, a natural grocer is another great

option. 

And, before you head out into the world to implement these new tips and tricks, make a list!

Creating a list of items that you’re looking to purchase is key to sticking to a budget. I’d suggest heading

to Pinterest or your favorite cookbook and planning out meals for the week, seeing what you have on hand

already, and making note of what you need. This will help you to keep on budget and to create a calmer

shopping experience overall.


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PREPARATION

Now that you have your kitchen stocked with fresh, local foods, it’s time to cook them.

Here are a few methods of preparations when it comes to making the most out of your

purchases.

Baking and Roasting – Cooks food with dry heat. This is a great option for large batches of foods, such as

root vegetables and meats. 

Steaming – A quick way to prepare vegetables in a way that retains nutrients and makes them easy

to digest. 

Saute and Stirfry – An easy way to create a meal. Throw veggies, meat, and butter into a pan

for a simple clean up and delicious meal. 

Grilling – Great for social gatherings. Use meat, veggies, or stone fruit for a summer picnic to infuse a

pleasant smoky flavor into your foods.

And last but not least, have fun! Let yourself explore and make this a fun experience for yourself in the

kitchen, at the farmers market, and in the grocery store. Take the steps that are most realistic, enjoy

each experiment and experience along the way, and be proud of where you’re at in your journey. 


*Nutritional Therapy Association (2020) Culinary Wellness [PDFdocument]

Retrieved from https://www.nutritionaltherapy.instructure.com

**Nutritional Therapy Association (2020) Culinary Wellness Pt. 1 Kitchen Basics [Video]

Retrieved from https://www.nutritionaltherapy.instructure.com

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php

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