5 Practical Tips for Creating Health

I don’t think it’s a secret that health comes from lifestyle changes rooted in food, exercise, sleep, and stress management.  What I do think people get stuck on is HOW to implement these lifestyle changes successfully.  Let’s face it, we live in a world where health is inconvenient.  So, there are 5 tips I have for you to create a successful environment for implementing a healthy lifestyle.  The underlying theme in all of these tips is making it MORE CONVENIENT to do the right thing than the unhealthy thing.  That means creating obstacles for yourself if you’re going to choose an unhealthy option.  We are wired for convenience and ease over anything else, so the more you can create convenience and ease for healthy choices, the more successful you’ll be.

5 Practical Tips for Creating Health

  1. Don’t buy it.  It’s a fact that if it’s there, you’ll be tempted.  Am I right?  If all you have in the house are healthy options, it creates an obstacle to choose unhealthy options.  You may STILL choose the unhealthy option on occasion because the desire outweighs the cost.  However, most times, you’ll be too tired to go making special trips just to eat something bad.  Have lots of fresh fruit and veggies on hand, and you’ll never starve.
  2. Meal prep.  I am not a prepper.  I love cooking.  That means that I often will buy what sounds good and come up with imaginative combinations throughout the week.  If you are unfamiliar with cooking or just find it stressful, then you’re more likely to make a good decision when mentally fatigued if it’s made for you.  Making meals and having them available ensures that when you get home from a busy day, and you can’t muster one more decision to come out of your brain, you do what’s convenient.  As long as that convenient thing is prepped healthy meals, then you’re golden!
  3. Hang out with good influences.  Friends are friends no matter what, but you’d be lying if you said it’s easy to hang out with friends on a different agenda when you’re trying to make healthy choices.  There are likely friends that also want the same goals.  Make plans to hang out with them and choose food options that propel you both toward positive goals.  Don’t have any friends interested in turning around their health? Then ask them to join you!  Having company in the process can force you to make good decisions even when you don’t want to.
  4. Force yourself to create all junk food from scratch.  Yup.  Think about it.  French fries. Mmm.  Not so yummy if you have to make them from scratch.  They just became a lot more inconvenient.  Cake.  My mouth is watering.   Not so appealing if I have to bake the dang thing.  I’m not saying never indulge, but it’s the same principle as having to leave your house to make a bad decision.  If you have to bake or cook these indulgences from scratch, you will likely just say “no thanks” more often than not.  Who has time to do all that baking anyway?!
  5. Find easy ways to incorporate movement.  Make it a rule for yourself to park at the back of the parking lot.  Schedule hangout time with friends that involves movement…dancing, walking, paddle boarding, biking, yoga.  You will have the best of both worlds: time with friends plus getting in your activity.


These are simple and may seem like things you’ve heard 100 times, but how many times have you tried to implement them.  Maybe just choosing ONE would have a huge impact.  Heck, I know that if many people had to cook junk food from scratch, they would never go to the effort.  The key is to create an obstacle between you and the unhealthy decision.  That also means creating a convenience factor for the healthy decision.  The more you can do that, the more successful implementation you will see.  Try it and let me know how it goes!

Are You Overspending on Food?

grocery bill
I hear people say all the time that eating “like I do” is so expensive! I’m not even sure what that means, eating real food? I have been doing months worth of research to determine how much I actually spend every month on food to see if what I spend is really THAT much more than people buying packaged goods. Let’s face it, it costs less to buy Mac and cheese in a box than some grassfed beef. I thought to myself that since I had no idea how much I was spending, that maybe I was actually spending more than I expected!!

Some of you may be wondering how I could have no clue how much I was spending, so I will give you an idea of what my food spending looks like. EVERYTHING I buy is quality; this is because I can give up the cost of baked goods with almond flour if I need to in order to have healthy whole foods. I buy all my beef grassfed, all my chicken free range, all my pork pastured, most of my produce organic (unless I can’t find it or I am peeling it). I am not saying this is the standard everyone is at or should be at, but I wanted to give you an idea of what spending is like when you do it “all the way clean.” It has taken months to evaluate because when I buy a 1/4 of a cow, it takes more than a month to eat! So, that month I may spend a few hundred dollars on meat but then won’t have to buy meat for months to come. The same with produce. I pay for my CSA share in the beginning of the year but do not get any veggies until June-Oct, which means I don’t have them as an expense through the summer.

Drum roll. I would say that on average, I spend around 300/mo (per person) on food. Let me clarify….that means everything! Meat, veggies, items to bake, beverages, eating out, etc. I looked up what the average American spends on just a standard diet and it was way more than that! In eating out one night, someone can spend what my entire week of groceries cost!

I am going to give you some of the same tips that most quality-conscious people will give you, so they should not be a surprise.

1. Join a CSA. The CSA costs me $15/week from June-Oct and I have so many veggies that are local, organic, fresh that I can’t possibly keep up with eating them all! Therefore, I freeze some, ferment some, give some away and I hardly ever buy produce from the grocery store because I have so much already.
2. Start a garden. This is partly just fun to watch stuff grow, be able to harvest your own bounty, and feel good knowing that it came from your backyard! However, seeds cost next to nothing, and if you plant accordingly, you will have plants that keep giving you FREE food all summer long!
3. Buy in bulk! I buy my cows and pigs by the 1/4, I buy my chickens by the dozen, and I buy butter by the box. In the summer, I go to the local, organic orchards or farms and stock up on 30lbs of blueberries and 2 bushels of apples, etc. This fruit gets made into applesauce, crumbles, etc and frozen to be enjoyed all year at a fraction of the price.
4. Buy what’s on sale, not what you “want.” It’s easy to go to the store with an idea of what you want to eat that week and buy the ingredients. However, if what you want to eat is not in season, then you may pay double or triple the amount for your produce than if you bought produce that the farmers can’t get off their hands fast enough. There is no shelf life to produce, therefore, when it is in season, it is abundant and fresh and nutritious….and cheap!
5. Bake with coconut flour and tapioca flour. If you bake everything with almond flour, you could risk spending 10 dollars on the flour to make one coffee cake! Consider those items “treats” not because they are desserts but because they are budget-busters.
6. Eat eggs often. They are the cheapest protein source around and are full of nutrients. Have breakfast for dinner a few nights a month and it can go a long way.
7. Figure out what things you buy may be costing you a fortune. I found that buying coconut milk ice cream was running me $6 a pint! It costs me $3 to make more on my own! Therefore, if it’s something you consume frequently, you may find that making it at home is rewarding and cost-effective! That same thing goes for chicken stock. Save your $3 a quart and simply throw your left over bones in the crockpot with water and make your own.
8. Make your own laundry detergent. I was spending obscene amounts of money on “all natural” products and laundry detergent has been one of the best things ever! It costs me less than $10 to make a big barrel of it and it lasts months.
9. Have people over! Not only is hosting friends fun, but you can enjoy better food and drinks for much less! Having friends over for dinner will save your dining out budget from tipping the scales (and you will know that the food was quality!). Especially if you drink wine, $10 at the store equals $35 at the restaurant!
10. Pack you lunch. I feel like a broken record with this one because I say it ALL THE TIME. Eating leftovers for lunch means eating amazing food, AND not having to spend $15 everyday for a crappy hamburger sans the bun.
I would love for those with families to chime in and let us know how much they spend! It is definitely a do-able thing. Once you have your pantry stocked with “new” things like coconut oil, milk, flour, spices, etc., it’s really just maintenance from there. ;)