Wednesday, October 28, 2015

8 Vegetables You Should Eat Raw

Cooking vegetables is usually a good idea: Heat breaks down cell walls, releasing antioxidants. But heatingcruciferous vegetables (part of the Brassicae family) actually destroys their unique anti-carcinogenic potential. That’s because crucifers, unlike other types of vegetables, are high in glucosinolate, a plant compound that produces naturally occurring small molecules called isothiocyanates, which have been shown to fight cancer.
“An enzyme in cruciferous vegetables converts glucosinolates to isothiocyanates when they’re chopped or chewed,” says Canadian dietitian Leslie Beck, author of The Complete A-Z Nutrition Encyclopedia: A Guide to Natural Health. “But this enzyme is easily destroyed by heat. That means that heating cruciferous vegetables reduces the conversion of glucosinolates to their active isothiocyanates, which may reduce their cancer-fighting potential. You will preserve more phytochemicals in these vegetables if you steam them rather than boil or microwave.”
“Glucosinolate hydrolysis products could help prevent cancer by enhancing the elimination of carcinogens before they can damage DNA, or by altering cell-signaling pathways in ways that help prevent normal cells from being transformed into cancerous cells,” writes Dr. Jane Higdon, nutrition research associate at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. “Some glucosinolate hydrolysis products may alter the metabolism or activity of hormones like estrogen in ways that inhibit the development of hormone-sensitive cancers.”

Some exceptions...

It should be noted that people with goiter or hypothyroidism must limit their intake of cruciferous vegetables, which are goitrogenic; i.e., they induce the formation of goiter through enzymes that interfere with iodine uptake. And as with most things, too much glucosinolate can be hazardous, particularly for people who are seriously ill. Always check with your doctor about any dietary changes. But for people who have no problem eating crucifers, these unique vegetables should be a part of a healthy diet, especially considering the fact that there is a growing body evidence that they are effective at protecting against cancer.
According to the National Institutes of Health, isothiocyanates can help prevent cancer by protecting cells from DNA damage, inactivating carcinogens, inducing cell death (apoptosis), inhibiting the formation of tumor blood vessel (angiogenesis) and migration of tumor cells (needed for metastasis) and causing antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Scientists at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, agree that heat kills the cancer-fighting potential of crucifers. “Cooking can substantially reduce or destroy isothiocyanates,” they said in a 2008 study in which they found that “cruciferous vegetables, when consumed raw, may reduce the risk of bladder cancer, an effect consistent with the role of dietary isothiocyanates as chemo preventive agents against bladder cancer.”
1999 study by the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto and a 2000 study by the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii, both case-control studies, found that people who consumed greater amounts of cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Women appear to benefit from cruciferous vegetables more than men. The Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer (2000) found that women (but not men) who had a high intake of cruciferous vegetables had a reduced risk of colon cancer. A Harvard Medical School study, also from 2000, found that women who consumed more than five servings of cruciferous vegetables per week had a lower risk of lung cancer. One case-control study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001 found that women who ate greater amounts of cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk of breast cancer.
Here are eight of the most popular cruciferous vegetables that are best to eat raw to get the most out of their cancer-fighting power—and also to prevent their water-soluble vitamins from leaching out during the cooking process. But if you’ve got to add heat, less time is better and don’t let them touch water: a light steam will help keep more of their nutrients intact.

1. Arugula

In Italy, raw arugula is often added to pizza after baking so that it doesn’t wilt, and coarsely chopped arugula is often added to pasta. In her book The Oxford Companion to Italian Food, Gillian Reilly notes that arugula is a part of “many unpretentious recipes in which it is added, chopped, to sauces and cooked dishes.”
Photo credit: Shutterstock

2. Bok Choy

Bok choy, a type of Chinese cabbage, was ranked second for nutrient density out of 41 “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables by the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Bok choy is delicious raw: Just chop it up and add to your favorite salad or simply toss with a light dressing.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

3. Broccoli

In addition to its potent anti-cancer properties, broccoli is high in vitamin C: A half-cup serving provides 52mg, almost all of the recommended dietary allowance for an adult (60mg). Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli has the highest level of carotenoids, which may reduce the risk of renal cancer and lung cancer.

4. Brussels Sprouts

Like other crucifers, Brussels sprouts contain potential anti-cancer properties, and they also have high levels of vitamins C and K and B vitamins like folic acid and vitamin B6. People taking anticoagulants should talk to their doctor before eating Brussels sprouts, as vitamin K has a blood-clotting factor. While they are most often cooked, they are great raw as well: Just chop and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a simple salad or side dish.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

5. Cabbage

In addition to its possible cancer-fighting properties, cabbage is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, containing more than 20 percent of the daily value for each per serving. Cabbage has also been used throughout history as an herbal remedy. The Greek used it as a laxative, while ancient Roman nobleman Pliny the Elder recommended eating cabbage to cure hangovers. For a delicious raw cabbage dish, simply chop it up and toss it with lemon, garlic and olive oil.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

6. Cauliflower

Low in fat and carbohydrates and high in dietary fiber, folate and vitamin C, cauliflower packs a powerful nutritional punch, in addition to containing all the cancer-fighting compounds found in other members of the Brassicae family. For a deliciously different raw cauliflower treat, try grating it, which gives it an fluffy texture, and adding it to a salad of chopped red peppers, black olives, capers, olive oil and lemon juice.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

7. Kale

Kale has become such a fashionable vegetable, but in ancient times, it was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. In addition to its cancer-fighting properties, kale is very high in vitamins C and K, calcium andbeta carotene, which has been used to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women before menopause, and the risk of age-related macular degeneration. For a delicious and simple raw kale salad, just chop it up, massage the leaves with olive oil and toss in a little lemon juice and black pepper.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

8. Watercress

Watercress is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables eaten by humans. In addition to its anti-carcinogenic properties, watercress has significant amounts of calcium, folic acid, iodine, iron, manganese and vitamins A, B6, C and K. It is also effective as a diuretic, expectorant and digestive aid. Eating raw watercress is easy: Just add it to your favorite sandwich for a healthy crunch.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

10 Surprising Ways You Are Making Your Vegetables LESS Nutritious

10 Ways You Are Making Your Veggies Less Nutritious

In her book Eating on the Wild Side, investigative journalist Jo Robinson details a decade's worth of research on nutrients in fruits and vegetables. She focused not only on the "standard" vitamins like A and C and minerals like calcium and iron, but also on phytonutrients that are far newer in terms of scientific research.
In order to maximize the nutrition in your produce, be sure to be aware of these common habits that may make your food less nutritious.3

1. Always Choosing Raw Tomatoes

Lycopene — a carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and watermelon a pink or red color — is one nutrient you'll want to be sure you're getting enough of.
Lycopene's antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than other carotenoids such as beta-carotene, and research has even revealed it may significantly reduce your stroke risk (while other antioxidants did not).
Lycopene has been shown to have potential anti-cancerous activity, likely due to its antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that people with a diet high in lycopene from tomato-based foods have a lower risk of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer.
However, lycopene is one example of a nutrient that becomes more bioavailable when it's cooked. Research shows that cooking tomatoes (such as in tomato sauce or tomato paste) increases the lycopene content that can be absorbed by your body.
It also increases the total antioxidant activity. In one study,4 when tomatoes were heated to just over 190 degrees F (88 degrees C) for two minutes, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes:
  • Beneficial trans-lycopene content increased by 54 percent, 171 percent and 164 percent, respectively
  • Levels of cis-lycopene (which is a form easily absorbed by your body) rose by 6 percent, 17 percent, and 35 percent, respectively
  • Overall antioxidant levels increased by 28 percent, 34 percent, and 62 percent, respectively
So while tomatoes are healthy to consume raw, it's also wise to consume them cooked as well. You could try a cooked salsa or make your own tomato sauce at home… if you opt for a store-bought variety, make sure it comes in a jar, not a can.
You're best off avoiding canned tomatoes and tomato sauces, as can liners tend to contain potent estrogen mimics such as bisphenol A (BPA), which is a toxic endocrine-disrupting chemical.

2. Storing Your Lettuce Wrong

Do you store your lettuce leaves whole? You may be better off tearing them before storing them in your refrigerator. When lettuce leaves are torn, a boost of protective phytonutrients are produced.
As long as you eat the lettuce within a couple of days, you'll be able to take advantage of this extra phytonutrientcontent in the torn lettuce.

3. Boiling Your Vegetables

Do you boil vegetables like spinach? This allows valuable nutrients like vitamin C to leach out into the water. The different in nutrient content can be dramatic before and after boiling.
For instance, after 10 minutes of boiling, three-quarters of the phytonutrients in spinach will be lost to the cooking water. While this isn't as much of an issue if you're making soup, in which you'll be consuming the water along with the nutrients, if you're looking to prepare a vegetable only, you're better off steaming or lightly sautéing.

4. Eating Salad with Fat-Free Dressing

One of the most important toppings on any salad is the dressing, and here you'll want to avoid most store-bought brands, especially those that are low-fat or fat-free.
When fat is removed from a food product, it's usually replaced by sugar/fructose in order to taste good, and this is a recipe for poor health. Excess fructose in your diet drives insulin and leptin resistance, which are at the heart of not only diabetes but most other chronic diseases as well.
Further, some nutrients and antioxidants are fat-soluble, which means you must eat them with fat to properly absorb them. Using a dressing that contains healthy fats helps you ensure maximum nutrient absorption from your salad.
Coconut oil may make a particularly good choice, as it's been found to increase the absorption of nutrients. In an animal study that compared the effects of feeding coconut oil versus safflower oil on the absorption of carotenoids from tomatoes, coconut oil enhanced tissue uptake of tomato carotenoids to a greater degree than safflower oil.5
If you prefer to dress your salad only with vinegar, you can still achieve this fat-absorbing effect by adding other healthy additions like avocado or poached eggs. When men added 1.5 to 3 eggs to their salads, they increased their absorption of lutein and zeaxanthin by four to five-fold.6
Other carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lutein, increased three to eight-fold compared to the no-egg salad.

5. Cooking Garlic Without Letting It Rest

Garlic contains the precursors to allicin, which is one of the most potent antioxidants from the plant kingdom. In fact, researchers have determined that sulfenic acid, produced during the rapid decomposition of allicin, reacts with and neutralizes free radicals faster than any other known compound—it's almost instantaneous when the two molecules meet.
Garlic technically does not contain allicin, but rather, it contains two agents in separate compartments of the clove that react to form the sulfur-rich compound allicin when the plant needs it: alliin and an enzyme called allinase. So, what makes them react?
Garlic has a robust defense system to protect itself from insects and fungi. It enzymatically produces allicin within seconds when it is injured. The crushing of its tissues causes a chemical reaction between the alliin and the allinase, and allicin is produced—nature's "insecticide."
This is what makes garlic such a potent anti-infective, as well as what produces that pungent aroma when you cut into it. Allicin is quickly deactivated by heat. Just two minutes on the stovetop or one minute in the microwave will basically eliminate any useful allicin from the garlic.
However, if you let chopped garlic sit for 10 minutes before exposing it to heat, the enzyme that creates allicin will have time to finish working, and your finished dish should have a much higher allicin content. That being said, allicin is short-lived, lasting less than an hour. So once you've crushed your garlic and let it rest, try to consume it as quickly as possible. Better still, use a garlic press instead of a knife. As TIME reported:7
"Using a garlic press is even better than mincing, as it releases more of the compounds that combine to create allicin."

6. Discarding the Most Nutritious Parts of the Vegetable

Many Americans dutifully peel and chop away skins and upper greens on their veggies. Yet, these components often contain the most concentrated sources of nutrients. For instance, the dark-green tops of scallions are among the most nutritious, but many people toss this section away. The same goes for beet greens, which are equally, if not more, nutritious than beet roots, with nutrients that may strengthen your immune system, support brain and bone health, and more.
Apples are another example. Much of apples' antioxidant power is contained in the peel, where you'll find antioxidants like catechin, procyanidins, chlorogenic acid, and ploridizin. Even adding carrot peels to a carrot puree boosted antioxidant levels. The same goes for watermelon rind. Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat.8
Watermelon rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh.9 Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and this amino acid is important for heart health and maintaining your immune system. While many people prefer seedless watermelon, black watermelon seeds are edible too and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. One caveat: if you'll be consuming rinds or peels, opt for organic produce to minimize your intake of pesticides.

7. Eating Potatoes Right After Cooking Them

I don't recommend eating white potatoes often, as their simple sugars are rapidly converted to glucose that raises insulin levels and can devastate your health. However, if you do choose to eat them at least chill them for about 24 hours after cooking. This converts the starch into a type that's digested slower, and turns this high-glycemic vegetable into a low-glycemic one.

8. Cutting Carrots Prior to Cooking

Resist the urge to chop up your carrots before adding them to soups and casseroles. Research suggests that keeping the carrots whole, and cutting them up after they're cooked, helps retain nutrients. Also, like tomatoes, carrots may be better for you cooked than raw. Cooking helps break down the cell walls so your body has an easier time absorbing nutrients. Further, one study found that cooked carrots had higher levels of beta-carotene and phenolic acids than raw carrots, and the antioxidant activity continued to increase over a period of four weeks.10

9. Buying Broccoli Florets Instead of a Whole Head

Broccoli is one of the healthiest, cancer-fighting veggies you can eat. But it's also surprisingly perishable. One study found that broccoli can lose 75 percent of its flavonoids and 80 percent of its beneficial glucosinolates just 10 days after harvest.11 When the broccoli was cut into florets, the rate of antioxidant loss doubled, so choose fresh, locally grown broccoli in whole-head form for maximum nutrition.

10. Discarding the Cooking Liquid from Beans

Cooking dried beans from scratch is preferable to canned versions because of the potential for BPA in the can linings. However, the cooking liquid will hold much of the nutrients after the beans are done cooking. One trick is to let the beans sit in the liquid for about an hour after cooking to help them reabsorb some of the lost nutrients. Cooking beans in a pressure cooker may also preserve more nutrients than cooking beans using other methods.

Buying Organic Is One of the Easiest Ways to Increase the Nutrient Content of Your Produce

If you want to purchase the most nutritious produce for your family, opt for organic as much as possible. In addition to lowering your pesticide load, organic produce is more nutritious. For instance, organic fruits and vegetables can contain anywhere from 18-69 percent more antioxidants than conventionally grown varieties.12 And growing tomatoes according to organic standards results in dramatically elevated phenolic content and vitamin C compared to tomatoes grown conventionally.13
In 2010, PLOS ONE also published a study that was partially funded by the USDA, which found organic strawberries were more nutrient-rich than non-organic strawberries.14 So by starting off with organic ingredients, your meals will naturally be more nutritious.

More Secrets to Boosting the Nutrient Content of Your Diet

I firmly believe the solution for more nutritious food is to optimize the microbiology of the soil so the microbes can provide the optimal nutrients for the plant and maximize their genetic expression. Composting, vortexed composttea, and mineral replacements are far superior to commercial fertilizers and also improve rather than degrade the quality of the soil. You can try using some of these methods to grow nutritious food yourself, or find someone locally who can do it for you.
In the meantime, consuming plenty of raw, locally harvested, organic vegetables is one of the best ways to get the key nutrients your body needs, in levels that most closely replicate those found in the wild foods of our ancestors. For starters, this will ensure that you're avoiding all genetically modified (GM) produce, which also appears to be far less nutritious than non-GM food. Beyond this, there are several additional measures you can take to make sure you're getting the most nutritious food available:
  • Choose brightly colored foods: Produce in shades of blue, red, purple and dark green are among the most antioxidant-rich foods available.
  • Eat more bitter foods: Many of the most potent, disease-fighting compounds in food (phenols and polyphenols, flavonoids, isoflavones, terpenes, and glucosinolates) are bitter, acrid, or astringent in flavor. Expanding your diet to include these bitter-tasting foods is one of the healthiest moves you can make. Examples include grapefruit, arugula, collard greens, parsley, dandelion leaves, radicchio, cranberries, endive, and pomegranates.
  • Indulge in herbs and spices: Many herbs and spices remain largely unchanged from ancient times. Along with containing some of the highest antioxidant levels of all foods, herbs and spices are also very dense in other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and they also have medicinal properties. As a general rule, you really can't go wrong when using herbs and spices, and I recommend allowing your taste buds to dictate your choices when cooking. However, you can also choose spices based on their medicinal benefits.
  • Grow your own foods from heirloom seeds, including sprouts: This is one of the best ways to access nutrient-dense food, especially if you use heirloom seeds that have been carefully cultivated to produce the best plants possible. You can plant an organic veggie garden even in small spaces, and sprouts, which are also among the most nutrient-dense foods available, can also be grown easily at home.
  • Forage for wild, edible plants: Some of the "weeds" in your backyard or local environment are incredibly nutritious and very close to the wild plants consumed by our ancestors. Dandelion, stinging nettle, prickly lettuce, chickweed, sow thistle, red clover, burdock, cattails, Japanese knotweed, and sheep sorrel are examples of wild nutrient-rich foods. While you should only consume plants you are entirely sure are not poisonous, learning to gather safe, wild edible plants is quite simple.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10 Strategies For Clean Healthy Eating When You're On A Tight Budget

Knowing full well we are short on time and often money, fast food manufacturers and grocers lure us into convenient, heavily processed meals that take a toll on our waistline, our overall health, and believe it or not, our budget.
With our busy lives, these temptations seem so much easier and affordable than cooking. Between our never-ending to-do lists, demanding jobs, children’s busy schedules, and perhaps less-than-stellar skills in the kitchen, cooking seems to slide down to the bottom of our list of priorities.
Unfortunately, we’ve now raised several generations of Americans who don’t know how to cook. And it’s killing us.
The food industry wants us to believe that cooking is difficult, time-consuming, inconvenient, and expensive. They’ve brainwashed us to believe that we “deserve a break today.”
Nonsense. You can eat well for less money by making simple, whole, fresh food. In fact, a simple dinner for a family of four consisting of roast chicken, vegetables, and salad can cost about half of what dinner at a fast food restaurant would.
I visited an obese sick family in the south who had never cooked. They lived on food stamps and disability. With one simple cooking lesson and the guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) called “Good Food on a Tight Budget,” they started cooking.
The mother lost over 100 pounds, the father lost 45 pounds, and their obese teenage son lost 40 pounds. The son then gained the weight back because a fast food chain offered the only job for teenagers in the food desert where they live. It’s like sending an alcoholic to work in a bar!
While today over 50 percent of meals are consumed outside the home, I want to help you reconnect with your kitchen, discover the bounty of benefits it offers, and learn just how inexpensive eating healthy and preparing your own food can be. 

The Expensive Cost of Cheap Food

When people tell me they cannot afford organic produce or healthy cuts of meat, I ask them to consider the gargantuan markup of many convenience foods. Manufacturers package them in “value-priced jumbo sized” containers and grocery stores promote them with price cuts to create the illusion we are getting value.
When people tell me eating healthy is expensive, I ask them to factor in what they spend on designer coffees, bodegas, grab-and-go meals, and other conveniences that might spare them a little time but at the expense of their health.
Relying on inexpensive, overly processed food is tempting given our demanding lives and schedules, but the cost is quite large.
Feasting on the sodium, fat, and sugar bombs disguised as food can lead to serious diseases that cost hundreds of dollars in doctor’s visits and prescription drugs. Chowing down on these things make us sick and sluggish, resulting in less productivity. When we feel crummy, it ripples into other areas of our lives. We have less patience for our loved ones, for instance, and less energy to work or enjoy ourselves.
In the bigger picture, that “value menu” is anything but a value. 

You Don’t Need to Spend Half Your Paycheck to Eat Healthy

Even if time and money aren’t on your side, you can still eat healthy. This is one of the most common misconceptions I hear. I understand the challenges of trying to eat well with limited financial resources, limited time, or both. But you don’t have to be rich or retired to eat well and take care of yourself.
I know what it’s like to live on very little. In college and medical school, I lived on $300 a month (for rent, food, and entertainment). And in residency, I lived on $27,000 a year while supporting a wife and two children. Even though that was 20 years ago, it still wasn’t much for a family of four.
These days, I’m even busier, but I haven’t forgotten how to incorporate simple but effective strategies for eating good-quality, healthy food that’s prepared with little money and time.
Likewise, I’ve met numerous folks with limited finances and time who nonetheless have access to good quality food. Trust me, they don’t search out arcane ingredients or shop at trendy food boutiques. Instead, they realize the immediate and long-term value of eating healthy and employ some savvy strategies to make their food budget work harder. 

Dispelling 3 “Healthy Eating on a Budget” Myths

I mentioned earlier that the food industry spends billions of dollars each year and has become incredibly crafty at convincing us that sugary, processed foods are a real value. Let’s look at three of their myths and consider the truth about eating healthy.
  1. Healthy food costs more. Research shows eating healthy, whole, real foodisn’t necessarily more expensive than eating junk food, fast food, processed foods, or convenience foods. In fact, the top four things purchased in supermarkets are ALL drugs: sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol! If you give up those “drugs,” your grocery bill will go down dramatically.
  2. Healthy food is hard to find. You don’t have to shop in a gourmet food store, a health-food store, a farmer’s market, or eat only organic to eat well. There are plenty of healthy foods right in your local supermarket. Just shop around the outside aisles of the store. Another convenient way to access healthy food is online.
  3. Healthy food takes lots of time to prepare. You don’t have to spend hours cooking complex meals to eat well. Good quality, fresh food is easy to prepare and enjoy once you learn how. 

10 Strategies to Eat Well on a Budget

Ultimately, it is up to us to take control of our kitchens and our lives. The most radical message we can send the food industry – which considers money, not our health in regard to its bottom line – is to prepare our own meals, make the best food selections within our budgets, and reclaim our health.
This does not mean turning bargain food shopping into a second hobby. We are all overworked, overstressed, and overtaxed. Most of us don’t have time to scrupulously compare store prices or cut coupons.
Even so, there are ways of making choices that work within our resources. Here are 10 ideas based on how I save time and money AND create better health for myself. 
  1. Keep a journal. This might be the most eye-opening experience you will encounter to better budget your time, resources, and money. For just one week, keep a journal of every cent you spend and how you spend every hour of the day. Think of money as your life energy. It represents your time in physical form. How do you want to spend this life energy?
  2. Choose three things that give you more money. For example, don’t buy that $2.00 coffee every day — that’s $730.00 a year! Likewise, you might find yourself gravitating to the vending machine daily. You can put that money towards much better use.
  3. Buy in season. You will almost always get fresher produce, probably locally grown, for less money, when it is in season.
  4. Learn the Dirty Dozen. Not everyone has the budget to buy 100 percent organic, but the more you can, the more you will avoid GMOs and have better health. To learn the most and least pesticide-ridden foods, visit this link.
  5. Frequent discount grocery stores. Search out cheaper sources of fresh, whole foods in your neighborhood. My top choices are stores like Trader Joe’s and shopping clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club, where you can buy vegetables, olive oil, fruits, nuts, canned beans, sardines, and salmon at much lower prices than regular supermarkets or other retail chains.
  6. Think about joining your local food co-op. Co-ops are community-based organizations that support local farmers and businesses and allow you to order foods and products in bulk at just slightly over the wholesale price. This takes a bit of advance planning but will save you money.
  7. Join a community-supported agriculture program. Buy direct and cut out the middleman. We get organic, mostly seasonal, local vegetables delivered to our house for $55 a week, or a little more than $10 a person for a family of four per week. We don’t always get to choose what we get, but it makes us more creative cooks.
  8. Keep some basics on hand. Develop a repertoire of cheap, easy-to-prepare meals. Have the ingredients available at home at all times so you don’t get stuck eating food that doesn’t make you feel well or help you create the health you want. This takes planning but is well worth it.
  9. Create a “potluck club”. Have coworkers share the responsibility of making lunch for the group once a week or every two weeks. No more buying lunch out, and you get to eat real, whole fresh food and only have to cook a few times a month. Or create a “supper club” with a group of friends; rather than go out to dinner, once a week or once a month rotate dinner parties at one another’s homes. You will build community and health at the same time.
  10. Order staples online. Why pay retail for healthy kitchen staples liketurmericcoconut oil, and almond butter? My new favorite online store, Thrive Market, has everything I need at discount prices. They have a stellar reputation and top-quality products for less than you’d pay at most retail or grocery stores. Once you become a member, you’ll have direct access to wholesale prices on over 3,000 healthy, organic foods and products at 30 to 50 percent below retail, with fast shipping directly to your door.

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