Friday, February 17, 2012

Healthy Food is NEVER "Too Expensive"

The beginning of 2012 was a giant kick in the pants for me to actually make some healthy changes in my life. My motives were not very good. Last December, I got engaged, ate a ton of cheese, shared multiple ill-advised celebratory drinks with essentially everyone I’ve ever known and made a conscious decision that serious running is not for me. And then I was having trouble buttoning my pants and was looking for someone to blame. With the impending white dress shopping (and subsequent fittings and wedding) I decided that something must be done.

Photo: Alicia Fairfield
I want this on my table now...
A year ago, Outside magazine ran a “new years resolutions” series where a number of their writers and editors tried out some health trends and reviewed them. One of the programs that really caught my attention (and held it for a year before I actually got up the nerve to try it) was Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. Dr. Junger’s program suggests a re-set for your body. What caught my attention was his assertion that at the end of a three week (which is a reasonable period of time) cleanse, my cravings would be different, and geared towards food that was actually healthy for me. If I’m being honest, I was also attracted to the idea that I could drop significant weight in only 3 weeks.

Photo: Me
Delicious and healthy Moroccan salads
So I went for it. I bought the book, I hit the health-food store. I got the Grige on board. I had smoothies filled with fruits and vegetables for two meals a day. I eliminated most meat, grains, dairy (including cheese! Horror of horrors!) from my one solid meal each day. I swallowed olive oil right before bed, started taking dietary supplements (fun fact  - did you know that birth control depletes your vitamin B? You know, the vitamin that helps you convert energy? So that’s where that depression and lethargy started…) and generally upended my normal existence.
Photo: Alicia Fairfield
Eating "Clean" meant replacing coffee with green tea. No funzies, but I'm loving it now.
Surprisingly, it worked! Even more surprisingly, I spend less on food now. A lot less. Certainly we spent a bit more on groceries than we used to, but none of them rotted in the back of the fridge. And since we were making delicious, healthy meals at home, we ate out far less and brought our lunches to work. The impact this made has been amazing.

Photo: Marissa Weeks
This was taken on a foodie trip to Morocco... YUM!
I’ve also learned that healthy foods are not that expensive. Apples, kale, carrots, sunflower seeds, garlic, avacados (this time of year, at least), are some of the cheapest items out there. Seriously, find me the person who says they can only afford McDonalds and I will show you that for less than the price of a big mac you can literally buy a pack of kale the size of a two-year-old. Then you can sauté it, roast it, make it into a salad, stir-fry whatever… it’s the most magical vegetable of them all.

Here I am eating the food pictured above... NOM NOM NOM
I’ll share more later on our results from living “clean”. For now, check out Dr. Junger’s website (skip the crazy expensive powdered supplements part and read the recipes!) and see if you’re as intrigued as I was!


  1. If I start today, I can be through my 3 weeks the day we go to Napa. I AM intrigued...

  2. oh, he should probably take demi moore's endorsement off his site...

    1. No kidding! I should have caught that. I can report that if you have healthy eating attitudes to begin with, it will be fine :-)