"Eating raw is SO expensive. All those nuts, seeds, specialty raw foods, etc. is going to break my pocketbook"
Those things that cost so much - the oils, nuts, raw cacao, dried fruits, coconut, avocados, young coconuts, agave nectar, spices and seasonings - those are the things that should not be a regular part of the raw diet, or at the least should be eaten minimally.
Fresh produce is one of the least expensive things to eat.
As for the difference between a standard American diet and a fresh, raw diet, just compare a bunch of bananas to a box of snack cakes, the price is about the same but the nutritional difference is huge.
Remember also that when you are eating a superior diet, you are cutting down on other things that you don't use when you are experiencing optimal health, or just not eating as optimally:
- You are cutting down on medications, medical and dental expenses.
- Excessive amounts of cleaners, soaps, perfumes to hide body odor, lotions and potions.
- Don't forget those times when you plunk down between $20-40 (or more with a family) to go "out" to eat all of the time.
- With more energy, you won't be renting as many videos to sit around and watch.
- You won't be going to the movies as much, spending oodles of money on concessions.
- You won't be buying cinnamon rolls and pretzels at the mall.
- You won't be buying lattes, specialty coffees and teas all the time.
- You won't be buying girl scout cookies every year. You won't feel obligated to buy all those food coupons that the neighbor's kids, and friends children and family are trying to push on you for their fundraisers.
- You won't be buying all those seasonal cooked foods, bakery goods and treats. Just think of all the money you'll be saving on eggs and candy at Easter; all the meat, buns, cakes, cookies, soda and beer on Independence day; the big turkey, stuffing, rolls, cakes, cookies and pies that has made you and your relatives so sick and tired on Thanksgiving; and the sugary baked goods and tooth decaying candy on Chanukah and Christmas.
- You won't feel the need to buy big coupon books just so you can save going out to restaraunts.
- When you go to the zoo or amusement parks or other outings, you won't need to buy junky cooked lunches.
- When you go to a baseball game you won't be buying mystery meat hot dogs, pretzels, ice cream and beer.
- When on road trips you won't need to be driving through fast food places.
I just came across a great blog explaining how cheap raw has been for her family. A family of 6 eating organic produce at less than $200 a week! Wow - I am impressed! Below is the entry and a link after it:
You can check out other interesting entries from the blog here:
I have gotten a number of emails from college students wondering how I stay raw in college and how I afford such a lifestyle. Also, I have had many ask me about my social life, family life, etc... well...this is my response:
I am going to be a junior at Rice University. I started 100% raw in one night 2.5 years ago in a single dorm with no kitchen, and I washed my fruits and veggies in the bathroom sink that 27 other girls used...ya tell me I am not passionate??
At first, I barely ate organic, and I would buy by the case (bananas, oranges, lettuce), and I would get most of my fruits and salads from the salad bar in the cafeteria. After a few months, I petitioned for organic greens, and Vanderbilt began to offer them. (This was before I transfered to Rice). The next year, I was asked to be in-charge of helping to get Vanderbilt's FIRST organic munchie mart on campus. I smile at this accomplishment.
After that, it was easy to get greens, but fruits was way out of my league....especially bc I was in Nashville...SOOO, I made a bargain with my parents. Because I was on a full-ride to Vanderbilt, I told my parents that I would work certain hours at the university if they paid for me to eat all organic. They agreed. However, finding fruits in Nashville is horrible, and I hate cold weather. Last semester, I transfered to Rice University, where there is warm weather and amazing fruits. Now, I know all the local/organic farmers and all the produce managers in my area, and I buy cases for my whole family....
I feed 6 people eating pretty much 100% raw for less than $200 a week...not bad eh? IT CAN BE DONE :) Oh, and we do not limit ourselves to bananas... to the contrary...when we eat what is in season, we find more variety than our taste buds can handle...
About being social in college: hmmm let's see...well I don't drink, don't smoke, and I definitely don't eat cooked foods. I have found that the people who really want to be your friends will flock to you and they will accept you for who you are, no matter what you eat or what you believe. My closest friends will either now eat raw with me, or they will sit there and laugh as I gnarl down my two heads of lettuce...they love me don't they?
I don't like to be around keg parties anyways...they bore me half to death, and I think people act so stupid when they are drunk. I love to go salsa dancing, and simply doing the things I love, I meet new and wonderful people every day. It's that simple~ Attract the people you want into your life. Family may take more time, but as I have been told by Dr. G and by Lennie...SHOW THEM. In order to truly effect someone, you must lead by example and SHOW them the change in you.
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
My family is now almost 100% raw. My sister is 100% raw, and it has taken my parents over two years to begin to embrace this. Only this past year have they switched to 2 raw meals a day and all of their other "foods" bought from the farmer's markets. A little bit of educating people about their choices and about their dollar can make a HUGE difference...and they will THANK you for how much better they feel!
I do miss Costa Rica, and I was living a dream there, but now that I am back, I can very well see that I am needed here to make a difference. I am going to do everything I can to encourage more raw and inspire more people. I know I have a ton of people standing right beside me.