Tips to Stay on Budget and Buy Healthy Food

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It can be a challenge to cook and eat healthy - especially when on a budget and cooking for more than yourself!  Here are some tips that will support your life and keep your wallet in check.

1.  Eat Seasonally.This is the easiest way to create a healthy meal.  According to the science of Ayurveda, eating foods when they are in season support our digestion and overall health, limiting illness and disease in the physical body.  And an added bonus is the emotional body is literally "turned on" by seasonal foods.  Think of eating a ripe tomato with a bit of salt on a summer day...add some fresh blue cheese or mozzarella and basil and you will have yourself a sweet summer side!2.  Fresh is Best.Not only is fresh food tastier, it is often easier on your wallet if you buy it local and in season.  It cooks up faster and contains more nutrients.  My professor at Kerala Academy, Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, BAMS, MD, taught that any food that is overly processed, canned, even frozen is considered to be dead food; and void of the nutrients the body needs to function properly, and ultimately creates waste (ama) in the body.  I follow this creed:  Fresh is best.  Sometimes Frozen.  Avoid Canned.3.  Buy Local.Yes, organic food is great.  And when certified organic in ensures that our food (and the food we feed those we love!) is not poisoned with harsh chemicals and preservatives.  But it is just as important to think about where you food comes from.  And be honest with your local growers by having an actually conversation about what type of pesticides that use and whether or not that use antibiotics.  You may be surprised about what they have to say.  I hate the thought of buying food that was on a truck for days....but sometimes I really want organic.  It's up to you to decide.4.  Organic vs. Non-organic.  I live by the Dirty Dozen Clean 15 List when buying our fruits and veggies.  Find it here and post it on the fridge:  DirtyDozenClean15.  It is your guide in the sometimes confusing world of produce!5.  Sunday is Fun Day.Seriously.  If you like to cook, bake, plan meals; or if you don't....but want to eat well...then reserve your Sunday afternoon for prep work, baking, and planning your meals for the week.  This is when I pop in Mumford & Sons or tune into the celtic folk tunes on NPR.  But in all seriousness, find some good tunes and enjoy the experience.  And if a pint or glass of wine or cup of tea helps you, then by all means...sip!6.  Eat your Veggies.  Save cash, heal the earth, and aid your digestion just by eating a vegetarian dinner twice a week.  And this does not mean steamed tofu (unless you love it!).  Be creative. My family loves vegetarian lasagna, black bean quesadillas, vegetable stir-fry with cashews.  Protein is in meat, but it is also not in meat.  Be open to all of the options out there.  And if you cringe at the thought of this; then please, please, try some fish.Enjoy this day,

Do you think buying healthy and staying on budget is possible?  Are there any rules you follow to shop for you or your family?  Share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below.This article was written by Molly Downs.  Molly is a mother, author and Ayurveda Yoga Practitioner currently living in Dubuque, Iowa.  She is passionate about living well.  To connect with Molly, visit her website: www.mollydowns.com or her Facebook Profile.