Since we launched the website a month ago (it feels so much longer than that!), we’ve been getting people writing in to us with their concerns and this particular one has come up a couple of times.
Here’s the general story to paint the picture for you: They live in a remote area that doesn’t have access to a wide range of ingredients or anything that is a little different (e.g. tofu, tempeh or Tamari sauce). Their household is either on a single or low income. Their goal is also to lose some weight and be more mindful with what they eat, but don’t feel like they’re depriving themselves of food.
It can be pretty tricky to achieve all these things when you don’t have access to much. Through the years of moving around a lot, working at health food stores and fruit and veg shops, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks for many restrictions that people seem to have when it comes to eating well. Here are my 3 tips to help you eat healthier and not spend a fortune when you live in a remote area.
1. Plant some veggies in your garden.
This is a much easier and more efficient way of getting your produce in the long term especially when you’re living remotely. Gardening is very therapeutic and has many health benefits. There have been many studies done that have proven that people spending time gardening had a lower risk of getting cancer. I believe it would be due to your connection to mother nature (grounding), it’s meditative and you have fresh unsprayed produce at your fingertips. Nothing tastes better than home grown produce! Plant fruit trees and bushes as soon as you can as they take longer to establish. Do some research and plan how to have seasonal vegetables all year round.
2. Invest in the right kind of food.
If you focus on eating plenty of vegetables, fruits (in moderation), nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, vegan protein, good fats and super foods your body will be satisfied quicker as the amount of nutrients you’re giving it is much higher than empty calories wasted on foods that are unhealthy. I mean, we eat a lot but we eat the right foods. Everything is organic, I make it all from scratch. I don’t buy anything in a packet (besides pasta, rice crackers etc). We spend on average around $150-$180 per week for the two of us. It may sound like a lot but think how much you would spend on eating out every week and how much better quality the food is when you make it at home. In saying that, some weeks I spend a little more and others less as staples like grains and super foods tend to last more than a week. I buy my produce from a variety of sources and have found where the best prices are for the best produce.
Shopping online if you’re in a remote area would be the way to go. Try and get things in bulk when you can as it works out cheaper and you don’t have to pay shipping all of the time. If you have neighbours that would be interested in splitting the food with you, even better! You can create an ad on the local community notice board or send around an email letting them know that this is what you’re doing if anyone is interested in joining in.
3. Crowd it out.
If you’re looking at loosing weight and want to eliminate cravings and habits that will make you go backwards, just remember to crowd it (the bad stuff) out. Such a simple concept yet very effective. Just make sure you surround yourself with foods that you know are good for you and make sure you treat yourself every now and then. Make yourself that healthy chocolate slice if you’re craving something sweet, just don’t eat the whole thing! Being vegan helps as it eliminates a lot of the store bought sweets. Coming from someone that has had a sweet tooth all her life and then had to go cold turkey on it completely (I mean even eliminating fruit!), the way I managed to get through it was saying to myself “I can eat that but I choose not to” instead of “I can’t have that” and being super frustrated at myself because I felt like I was depriving myself of something that my body was craving. The more you create the self control and limit your sugar, bad fat and processed carb intake, the quicker you will feel empowered by your own choices. In time you will find things sickly sweet because your pallet would have adjusted. The simple flavours and textures of foods will be much more dominant and you will appreciate simplicity.
The main thing to take away from this is to just keep things simple. Simple cooking is cheap, easy and tasty. I sometimes batch cook things and have them over a couple of days. Things like soups, simple stir fries and baked dishes are great when you’re on a budget. Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself and send yourself broke. It’s just not sustainable and healthy.
Do you live somewhere remotely or on a budget? What are the things that work for you? I would love for you to share it with us in the comments below!