This is the single comment I hear most often from patients, clients, and people who meet me and assume that as a dietitian, I must be the food police. I'm not. All foods fit. The only foods you will hear me say "don't eat that" are those that are moldy in the bottom of a dumpster surrounded by rabid dogs. Although we could even make that work if our situation absolutely warranted it.
What I'm saying is---eat what you want, mindfully. If what you want to eat is a croissant, but due to your thoughts/preoccupations about food you instead eat a carrot, you are going to end up eating a whole lot of carrots and other foods seeking out the same satisfaction you would have gotten from the croissant. Just eat the croissant and get on with your day! More on mindful eating in future posts......
Today's point is---if the obstacle getting in the way and preventing you from eating quality food that provide nourishment is cost--I'm here to help. Let's do an activity to look at things a little differently. It's going to blow your mind, so hold on to your hat.
"Produce is expensive"....say about $3.00 per pound. (That's actually a high estimate, as most in-season produce is often retailed closer to $1.00 per pound)
Now let's take a bag of chips. You know, the single serving "Big Grab" bags that you get alongside your sub sandwich. These bags are often retailed at 99 cents per bag. For ease of math, we'll round it up to $1.00
Those bags are about 2 ounces --right? This means that in order to get 1 lb (16 ounces), I'd need to buy 8 bags and the total cost would be $8.00 per pound for that product.
By purchasing produce that is in season, or frozen on sale, we can save a lot of money and gain vital fiber, vitamins, and minerals that their processed counterparts may not offer.
We aren't wired to think about price in the way displayed above, instead we have previously thought--vegetables $3.00 per pound vs. bag of chips $1.00. Knowing that 1 is clearly less than 3 it seems cheaper to buy the chips. If I have done my job correctly you now see that is not the case.
This price per pound comparison applies to other foods as well--check out your whole grains, beans, fish and meats, and dairy case. You may be surprised.
Not convinced? No problem, I just encourage you to conduct a couple of these cost comparisons on your own and see what you find.
Of course remember that if what you really want, desire, and need is potato chips---eat the darn chips. You have unconditional permission to eat. Perhaps this permission paired with your new attitude on the cost of eating well can help you move toward balance.
For more information on this and other eating topics, contact us!