Swai fillets and cauliflower
There are certain fallacies attributed to being healthy. They often say people need to spend a lot of money to buy the healthy kind of food and most likely they base it on what they see in supermarkets.
 

Obviously the leaner the meat the more costly, the fattier the cheaper. Whole Foods is more expensive than Wal-mart. And to join the weight watchers means shelling out more money.  We are surrounded by cheap processed carbs, recycled foods, preserved sweets etcetera that, given a small budget, anyone will be tempted to buy to save. There is some truth to that. But must you be enslaved by that, must you just sit in one corner fully surrendered to the notion that there is no chance for you to be healthy because you can’t afford it?

I was faced with that dilemma  before. Can I live in a First World country living in an imaginary Third World but eating healthy food? In other words, are there options for me as a cheap or poor consumer to come up with cheap but healthy food? Corollary to that question, is it possible for me to have pleasure in eating given the cheap food I’d prepare for myself?


Well, that is something I want to discover. Or perhaps I have discovered already because I lived in poverty as a young man and yet managed to reach this half-century age without major health issues except perhaps, my 120-150 sugars that can still be controlled by diet and exercise. I never grew up hungry because my family was the proverbial, “If you can’t afford it, plant and raise it.”

In our small backyard we raised chickens and pigs and grew eggplants, tomatoes, okras, all it took was hard work and perseverance. We managed to survive with less from the supermarkets and more from our own labor. That is the reason perhaps why, despite my very exhausting day job in the hospital I still look for a time to run or swim or simply roam in places like libraries and bookstores before or after work. I have learned to move  constantly since I was a kid - to clean, to water the plants, to feed the pigs and chickens. That, to tell you the truth was a very labor-intensive work. And sure, I resented it. Sure , I blamed my ‘weak’ parents for being not wealthy enough to make me sit all day doing nothing, with a maid to clean after me and a cook to just call me for dinner.

My parents having been dead now, I truly thank them for the kind of existence they provided me which I resented much in growing up. It is due to them that I still feel excitement when I see a seed grow into a plant or an egg turn into a chicken. Because they surrounded me with green things, my favorite color even today is apple green, the color of newly sprouting greens.

And because they introduced me early in life to appreciate and eat even the most unpalatable food, nowadays, I have no hesitation in eating anything because my taste buds have been used to a variety of sensory tastes. Seriously,  I eat everything that crosses my path and I still possess the eye for healthy yet cheap food and condiments. So let me begin with moderately priced food I just bought:

Swai Fillet Fish (6 for 9.99 which will take me 4 dinners to consume)
Cauliflower (1 for 2.99 which will take me 4 meals  to consume as well)

The total cost of these is 13.00 and if I divide that by 4, each meal will cost me roughly above 3 bucks. Of course I have to throw in something like dressing, a bread or rice somewhere. Compare that with a Burger King double (7.99 including tax). Tell me, which do you think is healthier and cheaper?