Today I answer the second part of a letter Jim received from a Pure Jeevan member who was seeking advice about her daughter who has decided to become a vegetarian. Rather than quote parts of her letter, I'll summarize the questions (because they are general questions that we hear a lot and our answers are given for everyone, not just the individual who sent the most recent letter).
1) I don't have a lot of money for all the produce and kitchen appliances, so how can I eat a healthy diet
2) I live with others who don't eat the same diet, so how can I possibly make this work
For those of you who know me well, you know I am very loving and gentle. Sometimes, however, theres no way to say things other than just saying them in their raw form. Here's one of those times. I'll try to cushion what I'm saying as much as possible, but the truth is this:
No matter what your financial situation, you can and should make healthy eating your number one priority. This is even more important when you have children. I know, I know... but I don't know your [speaking to a general audience here, not specifically to the individual who sent the letter] particular situation. If I did, I'd surely understand why it's impossible to eat healthy, right?
Well, guess what? It doesn't matter what your situation is. We all make choices in life (and when our children are young we are making choices that affect their lives, so we need to be extra conscious of our choices as parents), and what we choose to make a priority is up to us.
Without our health, we have nothing. Nothing. So, why should we let anything other than our health be the first priority in our lives? There are things we can all do to reduce our monthly expenses so we have enough resources to eat a healthy diet:
- Cell phones are not a necessity.
- Cable television (or even television without cable) is not necessary.
- Two automobiles are not necessary (and neither is one, if we live in a city with adequate public transportation).
- Even your computer is most likely not a necessity if you aren't making an income using it.
Just about all of the items you possess are above and beyond what you actually require to survive. Healthy food is not something to be pushed into the background of wishful thinking. It should be our number one priority. The healthier we are, the happier we are. The happier we are, the better we are able to deal with stressful situations. The better we deal with overall stress, the better we are able to tap into our creative abilities to find ways to grow and move and change for the better in all matters. Above all else, we need to take care of our physical health to set an example for our children.
Okay, that was definitely not directed to any one person. It's just a general response to something I hear far too often. We dont need to create budgets to see how little we can spend on our groceries each month. We need to create budgets to work around how much we are going to put into our health through the foods we choose to eat.
Until we get our creative juices flowing and can figure out how to increase our resources for a healthy diet, however, we don't need to be left feeling helpless. For starters, it's best to shop for seasonal produce which is almost always selling for less. Shop around for the sale items each week. Not only will you save money that way, you'll also end up eating more variety since the sale items are always changing. For those trying to eat a raw food diet on a tight budget, check out an incredible web site offering suggestions for meals under $10: ?rawon10.blogspot.com
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When it comes to group living, its almost always going to be a challenge. The best way to approach such living situations, when some beliefs clash with others, is to be completely honest and ask for complete honesty in return. With diet, each situation is unique and one answer can't fit every living situation. Be honest about what is most important to you, and allow the others in your living space to openly share what's most important to them, as well. Talking about issues together, in a loving way, can many times ease tension and issues. Bring up a concern and ask the others in your living space if they have any suggestions for how to help you with that concern. If we approach issues as a way of working together, there will almost always be a solution that everyone can agree on.
Im sorry if my response was a bit harsh and caused any discomfort for anyone. Please know that I am passionate about health and want nothing but the best for all of you!
Lots of love to you,
p.s. See also this previous post for similar ideas about overcoming financial stress where diet is concerned.