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The real cost of a healthy lifestyle


It’s so expensive to eat and live a healthy lifestyle! Or is it? While it can be expensive to eat and live healthy, it doesn’t have to be. Eliminating the myths of healthy living and implementing some better alternatives can help you achieve your wellness goals while not breaking the bank.

Things to ditch to live healthy on a budget:

Too Many Supplements

Most supplements are helping you live a healthier life, but you don’t need all of them all the time. If you are spending a lot each month on your supplements trim back. Can you get all of your Vitamin C by eating more Vitamin C rich foods rather than supplementing? Take a look at what you are doing each day to see if there is an easy whole foods fix. Ensure you have quality supplements as well. Do a little research and make sure they are coming from a country that regulates their supplements. Your money will surely be wasted on poor quality supplements.

H2O Swap

This is one of the easiest ways to get healthy and save money. Ditch the soda pop, energy drinks, juices, sugary smoothies and coffee you purchase every day and switch to good ole’ H2O. Your blood sugar should be a bit more stable which leads to increased energy. When we drink items full of sugar our blood sugar spikes. Then, as it drastically drops, we get tired, hungry and it triggers cravings. With fewer stops at the convenience store for those costly drinks we will spend less on those snacks we aren’t craving anymore as well!

Going Organic

Organic foods will help improve your overall health. Ingesting chemicals and toxins in traditional junk foods can cause you to be tired, lethargic, and have stomach issues and headaches. Switching to organic can save you money on fixing those costly symptoms. Eating healthy organic foods should help improve your immunity too, leading to less chance of you coming down with the common cold or flu and saving you sick time from the office.

The good news is not all organic foods have to be costly. Try these tips to cut down on your produce budget:

• Buy items that are in season, when it’s out of season the cost can be double or more.

• Shop at the local farmers market when available. Not only are you supporting a local business, the cost is very competitive with the big box store.

• Buy only what you need. It’s been said Americans throw out $2,200 worth of food each year. While it may make for more frequent trips to the store, buy less each time to ensure it won’t go to waste.

• When it’s not an option to buy 100% of your produce organic, stick to the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list. These are the top 12 items that you should get organic and the top 15 that are a bit safer, and typically contain less pesticide residue, although not organic.

• The Dirty Dozen: Strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.

• The Clean Fifteen: Avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, honeydew melon, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and cauliflower.

Eating and living a healthier lifestyle can be an instant or neutral cost savings in the moment, but the long-term savings are priceless. What is the cost of getting sick frequently? Being tired all day? Frequent doctor visits that cut into your time and wallet with expensive premiums and co-pays, not to mention the time you have to take off work or be away from your family to sit in the waiting rooms.

Your body wants healthy options and will thank you when you give it that. I’m certain it will add years to your life and who knows, it could even add life to your years.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


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