Episode 39-The Cost of Unhealthy Foods
I’ve been asked about the cost of eating healthy versus unhealthy a lot. I know we really think healthy food is more expensive, but I’ve found eating unhealthy is even more expensive because when we are eating everything in sight we are eating more and that cost continues to skyrocket. If you are eating a bag of chips a day and drinking two to three two-liter sodas or diet sodas a day plus a bag of cookies and whatever “meals” you eat, buying frozen chicken breasts to grill and the fixings for salad is a lot less expensive.
If you eat the same quantity you are eating when you don’t have a stop button, yes even eating unhealthy can be expensive. Still I know my food bills are a lot less these days than when I was eating whatever I wanted and however much I wanted. Eating healthy is not just about eating the same quantity of food only making it more healthy food. That might help in the beginning. But it is really about changing our entire lifestyle.
When food is what we crave, we don’t really realize the cost of what we are doing. Take the cost of a dozen large cinnamon rolls. They used to be my favorites. I could get them for less if I bought them by the baker’s dozen, which I did just to get the free one.
You Can Afford To Eat Healthy
I know I save money when I go to the grocery store today even eating gluten-free items, which are usually more expensive than the regular processed foods. That’s because for at least the last 10 years I have not been using food as a panacea for every emotional turmoil I feel. That was pretty much a constant thing because I had programmed myself to eat whenever I felt an emotion rise up that I didn’t want to deal with.
After learning how to deal with my emotions in a much more positive way, I found that I was eating a whole lot less than I ever did before. In the past I would cook pasta or potatoes every meal. I don’t do that anymore because salad or fruit is just as filling.
I eat a lot less of everything than I did when I was super morbidly obese. The operative word here is “less.” Part of the issue with baking with processed sugar and flours is we eat more. The same thing is true of junk food, pre-packaged frozen foods and fast foods.
They are all geared towards making us want to eat more, so we buy more. However, we aren’t really eating more because we have stomach hunger. We are eating more because it is filling a different kind of void.
We have feelings associated with foods we remember as comfort foods like mashed potatoes and gravy, country fried steak, fried chicken, green beans slaughtered in bacon fat and ham, cherry cobbler with ice cream, homemade cinnamon rolls and anything else Grandma used to make. We remember the look of those foods, the smells, the tastes, the feelings of warmth and comfort associated with those foods. Our mouths start watering just thinking about them.
The costly nature of cinnamon rolls and other such tasty treats is not just in what we spend purchasing grocery carts full of empty calories, it’s also in the cost to our bodies.
We gain weight. We contract diseases because of the weight gain. You know what they are—heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and many others.
Thomas Edison said it this way, “The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
By diet he didn’t mean going on another diet. He meant what we eat. We are all on a diet right now. It might be all we can eat whenever we want it and whatever we want diet, but we are on a diet.
The biggest cause of most of our ailments stems from what we eat. Change what we eat and we can fix a lot of our health problems. Sometimes, though, we don’t know what we are eating. Even the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat, we aren’t sure whether or not they have pesticides unless we know exactly who grew them. And our meat is subject to what the animals ate.
One thing we know for sure, though, processed, pre-packaged, even canned foods have additional additives. If we read the label we’ll see things we can’t even pronounced. These are added to give enhanced flavors and prolonged shelf life.
They are added for the producers convenience, though they tell us it’s for our convenience. They do make it so we don’t have to do anything except take that frozen family meal and stick it in the oven for an hour and dinner is served.
The Cost of Convenience
Yet, what cost is that convenience? Many of these foods are high in sodium and sugar. Why sugar has to be added to chicken broth, I’m not sure.
These costs we absorb into our bodies. When our bodies break down, we wonder why. We go to a doctor who treats the symptoms but does not tell us the core of the issue. That issue is the supposedly cheap food we put into our mouths. But is it really that cheap?
Which costs more? One item for $10 or 10 items for $1 each? We can eat the one and be full and healthy or we can cram the 10 down and be overstuffed and have the beginning of a big problem.
Not only that, we now have an illness the doctor is treating with expensive prescriptions, but not really solving the core issue
Finally, the biggest issue is we want someone to fix our problem. It’s obvious the doctor isn’t going to do it unless you have an awesome doctor like I did who believed wellness therapy included educating his patients on the right things to eat and the right vitamin and mineral supplements to take to enhance health.
However, the most help I found when I was stuck in this endless weight gain loop was a group to help me untangle myself from the snare of addiction to the unhealthy foods I was eating. I had a mentor and an accountability group that led me on this journey.
And yes, I paid for the group. Through the years I had paid thousands of dollars for weight loss supplements, pills, plans, and programs. I had a closet full of such stuff and tons of diet books. None of these worked for me because I didn’t stick with them and didn’t plan to change my lifestyle to become more health-oriented.
I knew what I needed was a mentor to challenge me and hold my feet to the fire. I needed someone to ask me the tough questions. I had to begin to think about what I had done to myself and my body. I needed someone to help me begin a total lifestyle change. This is nothing like a diet, though along the way I had to understand what things I needed to stay away from because they were highly addictive to me and what things I could eat in moderation.
Understanding that I am a sugar and comfort food addict was huge for me. God had already told me to stop eating sugar and breads and to eat more meats, fruits, and vegetables. That finally made sense to me when I looked back over my life and saw all the times I tried to go on diets and lost some weight, but then gained it back when I went back to eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it.
Not everyone is a food addict like I was and still would be if I were eating things made with sugar and flour today, but I know God has a lifestyle change plan tailor-made for each of us. Surrendering to His plan for us is where it all begins. Part of surrender is doing away with all the excuses we have as to why we can’t follow what God has laid out for us.
My mentor was instrumental in helping me make some monumental changes. I could only to that, though, by knowing that God was leading me all the way. Having a group that was on the same journey I was, also helped. We encouraged and supported each other. In the final analysis, what really made the difference for me was knowing I was following what God wanted for me.
Committed to Change
That’s why I began weight loss coaching. In Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy, I desire to work with those who are really ready to commit to change. Food is definitely not the only thing we work on in the group. I lead the members to understand how to develop their own lifestyle eating plan with God’s help. To some, this sounds frightening at first, but God really wants to be involved in every area of our lives—body, soul, and spirit.
Romans 12:2 MSG says: “Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” That’s what Overcomers Academy is all about. It’s about putting God first. It’s about surrendering our food issues to Him. It’s about learning how to change and what’s so important about that.
Let’s figure out how to eat to fuel our bodies with the right kind of fuel. Do yourself a favor. Invest in you. That might be in changing the way you eat or getting some help on your journey. Whatever God is leading you to do, you, my friend, are worth it.
Overcomers Academy: https://www.teresashieldsparker.com/overcomers-christian-weight-loss-academy/
Teresa’s Books: https://www.teresashieldsparker.com/books/
Marigold bars: https://www.marigoldbars.com/?ref=12