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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

What's in Your Cart?

I often get questions about living natural specifically about how we do it on one income. Surely it costs more right? How can I afford “good” products that are pure?

After beginning our natural health journey over 3 years ago I am firmly convinced the problem isn’t living natural or even the budget constraints many of us face in our family. The problem is our own choices we make every day. It is the single biggest barrier between us and health.

If I ask you how to lose weight or improve a health matter I’m facing but I have a very limited budget where would you tell me to look first for help?

Most would say a gym membership, a trainer or new shoes. You have to invest money to improve your health and if you don’t… well then you better prepare for the medical treatments you will face. There are no options for you if you don’t have money to deal with it. You should just get to the point you can spend money and fix it then.

That is a lie but unfortunately many of us fall for it all the time. We can’t afford to join a gym, sign up for a meal plan program or other “standard” health support option so guess we are just doomed. NO!!!

I have found that answer to be a busted myth in my own journey. There is actually an answer even more basic than needing to spend money I don’t have in our family budget to support my health needs and those of my family. The best part is it won’t change the family budget by adding a new line item or increase what you spend now. I don’t have to increase costs to get healthy. Well actually it will probably decrease over time and then I can afford the gym, trainer and anything else I want to add if it’s right for us and our budget.

The place to start is with your grocery cart!

It does not matter where you shop either. We do online shopping at WalMart. I can’t necessarily find everything we use at WalMart but surprisingly they are growing in their natural options including recently adding things like hemp heart seeds, almond flour, and more! I also shop at Kroger and sometimes Aldi if I’m out and need a few things. Again though place doesn’t matter.

The place of focus that will significantly indicate where we are with our health is in what we put into those metal carts and push up and down these massive aisles trying to choose what we need to feed our family. It’s great if you get new shoes but let me tell you the ones you have right now will work fine in step one of improving your health.

As my son and I stood in line to check out at WalMart the family in front of us had a bunch of things they were putting on the belt. They put a bag of green peppers, some onions, noodles, Prego spaghetti sauce and a few other things up there. It appeared they were going to make pans of lasagna. Then underneath that was another layer on the bottom of the cart that was nothing but junk food. Hi-C “juice”, chips, Taikis, more single serving neon colored “juice”, candy, fire edition Fritos and more. The bulk of their cart was junk food. Highly processed and lacking in any form of nutritional value. Even our son quietly whispered to me, “Mom they have A LOT of bad food.”

It was in that moment I was really proud of my son in what he has learned in recognizing healthy and unhealthy foods but it also made me look at my own cart. I am not one to judge another family at all and there are times we too have a junk food cart but those days are not the norm anymore for us. In our cart that day was a jar of coconut oil, oatmeal, hemp heart seeds, milk, Pop-Tarts, shredded cabbage, Stevia in the Raw, whipped Jif peanut butter, almond butter, carbonated flavored water and P3 snack packs. Other than the Pop-Tarts that my son and husband love on Saturday mornings the rest of our cart was considerably healthy. Our son who picked out the whipped peanut butter exchanged his chocolate syrup he was going to get for this instead because he wanted it for his apples in his school lunch. Again I’m not judging that family that was in front of us at all! I was taking note of the choices me and my family make now and reflecting on the fact we were once that family too.

The amount of money we spend on our food can be used in a multitude of ways to help or hinder our health. The same money used to buy chips, sugar beverages and junk food can be used to purchase ingredients for healthy meals. I totally get it may not seem like we are getting as much for the same amount of money but we definitely are and the options we have for using these ingredients are much greater than a one time consumed bag of chips. The same money can be used to significantly shift our weight and health all by revising what we put in our carts. It happens while you’re in the store too. Once you walk out of the store it’s over, you’re committed to what you have purchased. You’ll use it, consume it or it will sit in your pantry and fridge until you toss it. The point where we can influence our health is while we’re in the store pushing our cart.

Our family lives on one income so we are careful with what we spend and cut back where we can to make sure we can keep things paid and our pantry full. I firmly believe in living by the budget. The ironic thing is though as we shifted to more natural based living I didn’t see an increase in our food budget. What we spend has not changed dramatically but what we use that money on has definitely shifted. When I hear people say living natural is expensive and they can’t afford things like essential oils and good quality supplements I have started asking what’s in your grocery cart? How are you framing your family’s health by how you shop?

Do you know it’s possible to live, eat and be healthy without changing that amount? It can include essential oils, good supplements and even personal care items that are good for you. I was excited when I found this out. When I realized I could make laundry detergent for 90% less in what I was spending and have something good for my family you better believe I jumped on that. That difference in cost gave me the money to buy almond flour that is slightly more in cost than all-purpose flour and healthier. It also spared me the money to put towards high quality supplements!

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