1. You can afford to eat fresh, healthy whole foods on any budget. When you stop buying as much pre-packaged processed stuff, it frees money up for the healthier items. I live in the Midwest and shop a lot at Aldi. Owned by the same company that owns Trader Joe's, Aldi has a great selection and the value is hard to beat. Their produce is amazing!
2. I would love to be 100% organic but that doesn't fit into our budget. Do some research and decide for yourself if buying organic is a priority for you and how you want to go about that. You can find more information about what organic produce you might want to choose here
3. Farmers' Markets are fantastic, but as far as organic produce goes, they are NOT cheaper. Still, you can get some great prices on seasonal, local produce sans the organic label.
4. When you first start out trying my recipes, you will likely spend more than you are used to just getting items you may not have in your pantry. The good news is that a lot of these items have a long shelf life and will last quite awhile. Once you have a good set of pantry staples and have reduced convenienc foods, you grocery bill will even out a bit. However, you will likely still spend more than you were before.
5. Try to get past store and brand loyalties. I shop at five different stores each month and purchase items online as well. This is the best way for me to get what we need and still stick to our budget.
6. If going plant-based just isn't your thing, no worries! Every entree recipe you find here can be converted to a side dish or you can simply add an animal protein of your choice. Whatever gets you eating more fruits and veggies!
7. This may blow your mind...refined, white table sugar, or sucrose, and high-fructose corn syrup are exactly the same as far as your liver is concerned. And let me be clear, both are toxic to your liver. Read more about why sugar is so bad for you here. Being natural does not make something healthy. After all, excrement is natural but you wouldn't willingly spend money for it then ingest it! Here's another mind-blower...unrefined sugars like sucanat, maple syrup, honey and coconut sugar get broken down into (queue the suspense music) sucrose and fructose for the most part. If you eat a healthy, whole foods, plant-based diet on a regular basis, then a snack or dessert here or there, even every day is probably not going to poison your liver. But beware of everything you buy and be a diligent label reader. Sugar and fructose (exactly the same) are being added to everything!
8. If you have kids, they will protest any changes you make at first. The best advice I can give is to first explain why you are making the changes. Help them understand that eating a largely, if not completely, plant-based diet can actually prevent diseases like Type II diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Then, involve them in meal planning and shopping if you can. And you can't be afraid to say no to the junk food requests. Again, it's not about perfection but rather about overall good habits! Your kids won't starve. If they get hungry enough they will eat what you give them. Promise!