The Price to Pay

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When you like to eat organic, sometimes you can get funny looks that say, “You must spend an incredible amount of money on your food!”

Well, there is also a price to pay for our health if we don’t consider what’s lining the isles of our supermarkets, and I’d rather go the extra mile and see my family live well. Do we have to spend a lot of money? I find we don’t always have to with a little bit of time invested in our shopping and cooking.

I know now what nutritious whole foods should be the base of our diet and I know what I don’t want in our diet (msg, refined sugars, genetically modified foods). I now know the basics I need, a variety of whole grains, natural sweeteners, oils and spices for healthy tasty recipes. What I’ve been doing lately is comparing prices on these items in bulk. Costco, Azure (an online co-op) and Two Ee’s Market are good places to shop around for bulk whole foods, and Trader Joe’s for excellent priced gluten free and organic products. I look for discounted organic dairy and load up my freezer. I buy eggs from a local farm, and meat from a farm/butcher where I can get cheap bones to make broth for tasty soups and sauces ( this site explains some of the reasons why). And I try to buy in season produce from farm markets (and you can have fun growing your own!). You can even have recipe lists for different seasons to make it more convenient.

There are also certain foods that are a priority for me to get organic, and other things don’t matter as much. The dirty dozen tell me the produce I really want to buy organic. Meat and dairy products are best organic or free range as well (you are eating what they are eating). Most framers go for cheap genetically modified grain feeds rather than allowing them to be pasture fed, which is what gives us nutrition in our meat products. I only buy organic corn or soy products, and anything with “sugar” in the list of ingredients, because they are almost always GMO (genetically modified) otherwise. Sure, other items I shop for are great from the organic isle, but the cost on our health might not be so high.

So that’s is a brief look at my findings on how affordable organic/non GMO eating can be done (if you don’t have land for farming)… I hope to try make some more box planters at my parents place this year though! They are things I try to do, without success many times, but feeding a family is definitely a learning process! Hope to share more in the future!

staying healthy in the cold season, naturally!

Better than taking yearly flu shots or drugging up with cold medications, here are some tips that work to help keep them at bay.

Healthy eating:
This is where it’s best to start.
-Ease up on sugar and processed foods (look for ways to use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar if you need them). Consuming too much sugar affects our immune systems negatively by reducing the ability of our white blood cells to fight harmful bacteria, and causes irritating inflammation.
-Fluids cleanse your body. Limit caffeine which stresses your body, and drink water and herbal teas. Beverages like fermented brewed kombucha work wonders if you want a power drink.
-Nutritious fresh produce should fill your meals as much as possible. Shop at markets, and look for local (less travel means more fresh and nutritious).
-When possible go organic. Organic produce, meats and dairy have higher nutritional content. Non-organic fed animals usually have GMO soy/grain based diets. Grass-fed beef (the way it’s supposed to be!) is much higher in vitamins, minerals, and less harmful fats. It’s also usually antibiotic and steroid free. Look up locally raised and butchered meat for affordability and freshness (and obviously supporting your economy!)
-Chicken soup apparently does your body good when a cold has hit… so try chicken vegetable, chicken chili, chicken broth… yummy!
-Garlic and onions are proven to be helpful, so make up some savory dishes, adding a few extra cloves!
-Raw coconut oil is beneficial to use for it’s antibacterial properties (and you can also use it for almost anything you cook). The lauric acid in it is an essential fatty acid that helps protect us against viruses, yeasts, and parasites in the gut (those with AIDS and compromised immune systems are even treated with it now!).

Supplements and natural remedies:
-Vitamin D has so many benefits and is the #1 vitamin we take all year round (NutraSea fish oil with added vit D is a great source). If you need boosted immunity or aren’t exposed to sunshine for much of the year (as we are) it’s an important vitamin. A minimum of 1000 IU is recommended through the Winter.
-Vitamin A, C and zinc are also notable for immune system function.
-A liquid concentrate of Elderberry is a great support for our immune systems.
-Oregano oil with it’s antibacterial properties can be dropped under your tongue and then swallowed with a sip of water. It’s strong so beware, only a few drops will do!
-Gargling salt water and apple cider vinegar can provide similar relief for an infected throat.
-A vaporizer with eucalyptus oil works great as a decongestant.
-Necessary for building up the healthy bacteria again after taking antibiotics, pro-biotic capsules or powders (the refrigerated, quality kind) should be taken in a high dose for at least 3 months. We can’t fight harmful bacteria without a healthy gut.