It’s not as costly to eat healthy as you might think

By Emily Countrman

It’s so expensive to eat and live a healthy lifestyle! Or is it? It doesn’t have to be. Eliminating the myths of healthy living and implementing some better alternatives can help you achieve your wellness goals while not breaking the bank.

Things to ditch to live healthy on a budget:

•Too Many Supplements: Most supplements are helping you live a healthier life but you don’t need all of them all the time. For example, can you get all of your Vitamin C by eating more Vitamin C rich foods? Take a look at what you are doing each day to see if there is an easy whole foods fix. Ensure you have quality supplements as well. Do a little research and make sure they are coming from a country that regulates supplements. Your money will surely be wasted on poor-quality supplements.

•H2O Swap: Ditch the soda pop, energy drinks, juices and sugary smoothies and coffee and switch to water. Your blood sugar should be more stable, which leads to increased energy. When we drink sugary items our blood sugar spikes. Then as it drops we get tired, hungry, and it triggers cravings. •Go Organic: Organic foods help improve your overall health. Ingesting chemicals and toxins can cause you to be tired, lethargic and have stomach issues and headaches. Switching to organic can save you money on fixing those costly symptoms. It should help improve your immunity too, leading to less chance of you coming down with the common cold or flu and saving you sick time from work.

The good news is not all organic foods have to be costly.

Try these tips:

-Buy items that are in season.

-Shop at the local farmer’s market and support a local business.

-Buy only what you need. Americans throw out $2,200 worth of food each year. Buy less each time you go to the store to ensure food won’t go to waste.

-If you can’t buy 100 percent organic, stick to The Dirty Dozen: Strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. And The Clean Fifteen: Avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, honeydew melon, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and cauliflower.

Eating and living a healthier lifestyle can be an instant or neutral cost savings in the moment but the long term savings are priceless. What is the cost of getting sick frequently? Being tired all day? Frequent doctor visits that cut into your time and wallet with expensive premiums and co-pays, along with the time you take off work or be away from your family to sit in waiting rooms.

Your body wants healthy options and will thank you when you give it that. I’m certain it will add years to your life and who knows, it could even add life to your years.

Emily Countryman owns Ideal Wellness and writes a monthly health column for this newspaper.