So you think it costs too much money to eat healthy! Think again. It might indeed cost a little more today to shop for healthy foods. The pay back will be in many years of health. Once you start getting sick, it will cost a bundle to get your health back. To keep your health, you must look in the kitchen. Back to health and back to kitchen basics.

It is very important to me to be healthy now and through my entire life. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I am a hospice nurse. I recently had a very interesting patient who at the tender age of 91 was on no medications until a few weeks before he passed. That is very unusual. Most of us are on some form of medication either as a regular medication for a disease process or for periodic symptoms. By the time we are in our 30-40’s the chronic diseases start to creep in and the medication list starts to grow. Medications for the most part, only treat symptoms. That means you will experience some progression of disease as well as side effects from the medication (that may require additional medications).

As a nurse, I am reminding you to keep an accurate list of medications, dose, times to be taken. Bring this list to your doctor on every visit.

Now lets get back to the kitchen. Food and fitness are so tied to our well being. You have no idea. Also you may not know that the companies who provide our foods have many practices that will reduce their costs (good profits), extent shelf life of product, put ingredients in that will entice you to buy. Not everything in the supermarket is healthy for you and me to eat.

Never fear! There are ways you have have a healthy diet with healthy foods on a budget.

For the next several days I will write about ways to choose healthy foods and stay in buget.

The first thing you need to start is a menu plan. Write down your breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. In my       e-book I have a menu plan that I use. You can get your free Weight Loss Success tips and information on the   e-book @ www.HealthyWeightLossForBoomerWomen.com. Both are chocked full of healthy tips.

Generally, my breakfast during the week are all the same. Sunday is an omelet/pan cakes and Saturday we go to a dinner. So write that out. You can figure out how much bread, cereal, eggs, milk, juice etc that you will use in a week.

Lunches: I usually have PB&J on whole wheat, double fiber bread. I use fresh peanut butter and homemade no sugar jam. I add vegetable sticks and some fruit. For the work week that would be 10 slices of bread, 5-7 tablespoons of peanut butter and 5 teaspoons of jam. My husband has a meat and cheese sandwich. That would be 10 more slices of bread, 10-12 slices of turkey, 5 slices of swiss or provolone cheese, mustard.

Dinner tonight is shrimp scampi as I have a little shrimp and lots of peppers, onions, mushrooms. Tomorrow soup and salad. One evening, will be grilled chicken, baked potato, vegetables. Another evening will be left overs. I also fill in a night out or pizza night if that is what we will do.

Do you get the idea? I also will put the cook book page next to the menu item so that it is easy to find. When I am making out my menu, I make out my grocery list. Include your snack items too.

You can do this for a week at a time or for 2 weeks. I get paid every 2 weeks, so I like to do a 2 week menu. I shop ever 2 weeks.

2 tips for today. Make out a menu and your shopping list at the same time. When you shop, stick to your list. That will cut down impulse buying. If you shop every 2 weeks, your annual food bill will be lower than if you shop every week. You have half of the temptation to buy extras. You wallet and your body will thank you.

Blessings, Mary Pat

Mary Pat FitzGibbons RN MS