To further explain exactly what I mean by this podcast’s title, the question is:
Are you putting enough money into your food/nutrition to create the level of health, vitality and body that you want?
Are you continually talking about eating healthier, but when push comes to shove, you’re spending your money on other things that prevent you from investing in your health, or worse, are spending your money on foods and drinks that erode the very thing you say you want.
If you’re ready to visit or revisit this conversation and make a fresh start with how much money you spend on food and what exactly you’re spending it on, here’s a quick exercise for you:
My 3-Step Sweet Spot Process
Taking into account your current financial situation and how much of a priority your diet and health are to you, write down how much money per month you’d be happy to spend on food. First of all, write a sum for the food and drink that you buy in to consume at home, and then another sum for eating out, meal deliveries and takeaways, if applicable.
Once you’ve got your two amounts, compare what you’ve written down to what you have been spending for the past 6 months. Use your banking app or whatever system you have in place to do a quick month-by-month tot-up. If you don’t have that in place, this would be a great time to set that up, so you can track better in the future.
What do you notice? Have you been spending more or less than you’d like to? Is that in one area or both? Most people find that when they add everything up across both lists that they’ve spent quite a bit more than they realised overall, sometimes way more than they thought to quite a startling degree. Usually, a lot of what takes people over budget is food bought on impulse or food eaten out of the house or ordered in because it was a long, busy day and they couldn’t be bothered to make something at home.
If you have the data, I invite you to dig even deeper and to see what percentage of all food and drink purchased are items you feel really good about versus ones that were literally just to save time or effort. This will be hugely telling in itself.
- From the data you’ve gathered, assuming you want to stick to your newly decided budget, it’s time to make some decisions. The decisions people make will vary wildly based on priorities and preferences. However, as someone who wants to eat cleaner (i.e. YOU!) and wants to keep his/her budget under control, here’s two things that I personally do, that I recommend:
Quality over quantity
Most people are simply eating too much – fact.
Over the years I have learned just how little food my body actually needs, compared to the amount I used to give it. Even though I was eating clean for many of those years, I was still holding excess weight and a chubbiness that I just couldn’t understand. Finally, after deep-diving into macros (protein, carbs & fat), I realised that I was simply eating too many calories for my particular body and also, way too many of those calories were from fat. Even though I was eating only healthy fat, it was still too much for my small body, and thus I was still wearing it on my boobs, tummy, hips, bum and thighs.
Therefore, I recommend that if you’re ready to take your finances and diet seriously that you really get into menu planning, so you know exactly what you’re going to eat and when, and specifically, that you go for the highest quality high-nutrient foods you can afford and just the right amount for your body.
When you can manage to do both in the way that you want to, you may well be the most smug person you know, because very few people manage to do both.
By cutting out any or all of the extraneous junk food you will not only save money but also get much closer to having the body and diet that you want to have.
Plus, as a huge added bonus, the food and drink that you do consume, because it is of such high quality and potency, you will absolutely love. You’ll literally savour every bite or sip, and you’ll gain way more pleasure and satisfaction from what you’re eating overall than you ever did before, I promise.
There are so many great reasons to eat this way.
Limit takeaways, deliveries and eating out
I know, I know, you’re busy. However, if you did the exercise I mentioned earlier and added up the cost of takeaways, deliveries and eating out over the past few months, chances are you might have had a bit of a shock! It really is quite stunning how much money can literally be frittered away on foods and drinks that aren’t often of the best quality, and that if you had made them at home you would have made them healthier and for a fraction of the price.
I totally understand that eating out can be a real treat and something to look forward to for many people. However, if you find yourself eating out or getting take-out or deliveries more than a couple of times per week, that’s when you’re really going to be racking up the food bill and it’s money that you’re never going to see any true value from or ever get back.
For me personally, I now see this as a once or twice a month situation, and I don’t miss eating out at all because I love my own meals most often so much more.
To be clear, I’m not saying to give these things up, necessarily. Instead I’m inviting you to consider where you go, what you buy, at what times of day/week/month and also, for what purpose? As in, why do you eat out rather than make it yourself? For some people it’s company, for others convenience, for others just enjoying some variety. Knowing what drives you is important and will enable you to come up with creative solutions that meet all of your needs. For example, if it’s company, have more dinner parties, brunches, lunches or pot-lucks. If it’s convenience, buy more high quality foods that are already prepped so you don’t have to do a thing. If it’s diversity, then try shopping in places you never normally shop or haven’t ever tried before. Or buy things you’ve never eaten before. Get experimental in the kitchen!
Remember, there is no right or wrong here. This is simply a great opportunity to focus on you and your health and financial goals and find the sweet spot where you can eat the way you want while keeping to your budget.
Courtesy reminder: “Go Raw with Karen” starts today Monday 23rd January 2023. This will be the last live run of the program. After that it will be available as a homestudy.