The Economics of Eating Healthy

So, an update on the Fuhrman diet.  He really does have the right formula, at least for my body.  Last week, I was really sick of salads at every meal, and beans, and salad dressings.  I stayed on the vegan, whole foods type of diet and I lost only 1 pound.  So, the total lost so far is 16 pounds, still going in the right direction.  But I think that the addition of the salad and beans is really a good fat mover, so I’m back on the salad and beans this week.  I also made another one of the Fuhrman dressings:  his healthy thousand island dressing.  I really like the Dijon date dressings, but I think one of the reasons that I got sick of salads is because it’s a very intense taste.  I’m a salad lover, but it was just too much twice a day with the nut dressings.  Anyway, back on track with the two salads a day and we’ll see how the scale moves this week.  The healthy thousand island dressing is not as intense, so it’s a good break from the other dressings.  It has cucumber in it, which mellows the taste.  And it tastes really fresh too.

Now on to the economics of eating healthy:  it’s expensive.  I know that you can’t put a price on health and having something, like cancer or some other chronic disease, is a lot more expensive than eating healthy.  But, it’s very costly and if you don’t have the money, you just don’t have it.  I’m learning to be more frugal in how I prepare dishes.  Also, things like kale and cabbages can really stretch a dish and bring down the overall cost.  I limit the organic produce I buy to the “dirty dozen.”  This is a list of produce put out by a group called the Environmental Working Group that ranks produce according to pesticide residue.  They say that you can reduce your exposure to pesticides by 80% if you buy organic produce according to their list.  Here’s the list (by the way, I found this pretty picture on fullcircle.com):

dirty-dozenIn brief, the ones with the most pesticides are apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, potatoes, and they added green beans and kale to the list (but still kept it at ‘the dirty dozen’ because that just sounds a lot cooler).  If you have to pick and choose, like I do, try to buy these organic.  The produce that is lower in pesticide residue are these:  onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, kiwi, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and watermelon.  Also, if you go by what Dr. Weil would say about eating produce, you should peel all of your fruits and vegetables when possible because that’s where most of the pesticides are concentrated.

Today, I was reading about a girl who did this experiment with fruit flies and organic produce, trying to determine if organic is better.  Now, granted we’re not fruit flies and our bodies seem to be more resilient than your average fruit fly, but her findings were pretty interesting.  Here’s the link to the article:  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/is-organic-better-ask-a-fruit-fly/?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=HL_IOB_20130418

Basically, the fruit flies that lived on organic produce had longer life spans and reproduced more prolifically than the fruit flies living on non-organic produce.  Like I said, we’re not fruit flies, but it’s interesting anyway.

The moral of my story:  it definitely doesn’t hurt to go organic.  If you can’t afford to go completely organic, try just buying the important ones organic.

Until tomorrow….

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