Yeah, even though it is hard work at times, I can't really think of anything worthwhile sustaining that isn't on some level of effort, time, and planning. We live in a such a backwards society though where hard work is looked upon as some type of disease. Living like a good steward means something a little bit different to everyone and our decisions about what to sacrifice or what not to are all going to differ. That is OKAY.
A little convenience here and there is fine. What is not normal is a meal that cooks in 60 seconds from a little box that has waves strong enough to alter our brains. It can't be okay to eat something on a regular basis that you ordered through a voice box that took five minutes for $5 for someone to give to you through a window. Maybe you haven't abandoned the "the little box" yet (thats the microwave by the way). The more you learn, the more you will grow, and the more you will be open to and want better. You don't have to be strapped to a mill somewhere. Each family is different and there lots of ways to do things.
I want to encourage you and tell you God is pleased. He's pleased not because you are fitting in your jeans better or because you went trendy organic. He is pleased because He wants the best for you. He made you and He loves you. He wants your health to be blessed. He placed these fabulous foods, herbs, clean water, fresh air, and sunshine to be used by us for us to do well. He wants us to use what He has given us. By the way organic is not new, organic is the way God made everything.
What can make this an easier process is the surrendering of our thoughts and ways to God. There are a lot of modern concepts that plow against trusting God and His Word. I go through this with my health counseling clients. Looking at our lives, our families lives, and our bodies and committing to what it says in Romans 12: 1, "And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him." Embracing clean living is more than the food we eat, it's part of your Christian walk.
Challenge # 1: Money
A major blockade for many of us is our finances. We think we can't live healthier life styles because our bank accounts are slim. Don't let money stop you from living a higher quality of life. Many times an adjustment or a few adjustments in budget can make things much more feasible. Often we are paying for things we simply do not need, like 80 extra cable channels, lots of meals out, convenience foods at the grocery store, or high priced movies at the theater.
Maybe that isn't the case for you and you have a large family or are a single parent. I happen to fall in the category of single parent. I understand what it means to be strapped for cash. This is even more of a reason to bring things back to basics. Who can afford to keep going to the doctor and the continuing the perpetual hamster wheel of never achieving true healing? Eating real foods means the body is receiving the nutrition that it needs to work properly and stay healthy. Keep in mind everyone's body is different and there is NOT one perfect way of eating for everyone. We all have extenuating circumstances that may throw monkey wrenches in the mix here and there. Some people may need the supervision of a holistic doctor or counselor to go in the right direction.
How to Save:
Eat local and what’s in season. I love getting to know my local farmers. A lot of time they will give me a good deal if I ask. Be willing to drive to their farm if you can to seek out their practices. good farmers are happy to show you around and discuss how they farm. Sometimes for farm pick-up they will take a couple dollars off too.
I seek out expiring organic produce in grocery stores. Many stores have a section just for that and often it’s still good. Buy foods in bulk and by the case. Often you can get 10-15% off. Ask your grocery store to cut you a deal. Watch for sales at Whole Foods. One Friday a month they have a great sale in the fresh produce section, then stock up, stick fruit in the freezer.
Trader Joes can be a great resource for certain products. They carry less expensive specialty items.
Buy a Costco membership if you have one locally. I get great deals. Even if you can only go once a month it's worth it for frozen wild fish, gluten free grains, best price on organic unrefined virgin coconut oil, and more.
I shop for organic products online as well with free shipping, especially superfoods, then take them with me on the road. Superfoods travel really well and it doesn’t take a lot of them for nutritional value. I keep a mix of goji berries, coconut flakes, and raw almonds in my purse.
Two sites I love are:
- nuts.com (shipping isn't free, but they have great stuff, especially Superfoods in bulk)
- greenpolkadotbox.com (like Costco for organics, awesome)
Join or start a food co-op.
Plant a garden, at least grown your own herbs. Herbs grow easily, and then you can dry them and avoid buying dried ones for winter. Save up for a dehydrator. I love my Excalibur.
Know what’s edible and what’s not. Often we throw away perfectly edible parts of produce.
Make foods at home, and take them with you. There are so many healthy easy to make foods. Avoid eating out. Invest in a small rolling cooler.
Clean water is important, but stop buying bottled water. Invest in a good home water filter and fill a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle. Target has affordable glass water bottles with silicone guards to prevent breaking.
Time, the one resource we all share the same exact amount of yet must allocate differently. There are more dual working families today and single parents today than ever. According to 2010 census single parent home have more than doubled in the last 50 years. Homeschooling in the USA has also boomed. A study done had shown that in 1999 there were 850,000 homeschoolers and that increased to 1.5 million in 2010. All that is to say we are one busy culture!
Regardless, if true health and wellness is a priority, then making adjustments to certain practices and spending habits is most assuredly in order. Making meal plans and using recipe binders either physically or virtually makes a world of difference. Keeping a running shopping list and tally of what's in stock is invaluable. You are also need to redo the family budget in order to maximize savings, eliminate spending that isn't helpful to the goal, as well as deciding where funds will now go to further this goal.
Saving for certain appliances will be a welcomed spending venture as well, trust me. There are a few kitchen appliances that make this cleaner lifestyle abundantly easier. Buying a Vitamix blender has saved me money and time. I make my own smoothies, grind my own gluten free grains, and make soups easily. The Vitamix has two containers, a wet and dry cup. Get both! I grind grains/pseudo grains like buckwheat in the dry cup so quickly. NO, a Nutribullet nor a Ninja can do what a Vitamix does. A competition for the Vitamix is the BlendTec. Either is fine, truly.
As mentioned before I adore my 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator. I confess I use mine predominantly right now for my addiction to kale chips, be that as it may I also make crackers, and have dried herbs and fruits. Honestly, a dehydrator should not be your first investment though. I put it off for while and did fine. While I wouldn't go without it now, a Vitamix is really where the money should be spent first. Costco is the cheapest place to purchase a Vitamix. I also adore my 9 cup Cuisinart food processor. A good knife will do wonders! I love my Pampered Chef tomato knife. It can cut almost anything really well. I have a hand mixer by Kitchen Aid. I don't use it super often, but it does come in handy.
Another expense in the beginning, however what could prove to be an education of a life time and time saver in itself is to hire someone for a while who can help you like a clean eating coach or holistic health counselor. Mainstream doctors simply are not educated in this fashion. This is a lot of information though and getting assistance from a trained professional could really be beneficial. There really is a lot to learn about toxicities, how shop cleaner smarter, safe food storage and preparation, knowing what way of eating is best for your body, how to make your own herbal remedies, body care, and so on. It can be a daunting process on your own. That is what pushed me to become a certified holistic health counselor because I really wanted to help others get through this almost never ending sea of info.