UNITED STATES—I am trying my hardest to be healthy when it comes to eating. The thing about eating healthy is you’re told one thing by this study, this doctor or some report, but then come to find out weeks later you should not be doing this or that. It is just frustrating and annoys me to the core. Why? We are told to eat healthy, but the cost of eating healthy is so expensive, how are we expected to afford the things that we need. I mean gluten-free products are double if not triple the cost of the polar opposite.

You have organic vs. non-organic, and I get into such a debate with people about this because of the assumption that organic products are so much healthier for you when in actuality they are no different than the non-organic product. You want to know the difference: it’s the name and the cost people, that’s it! I mean a bunch of non-organic bananas at a warehouse club is $1.24, but if you purchase the organic bunch it’s nearly $0.60 more. Do the math: what you pay for 1 bunch of organic bananas you can almost get two bunches of non-organic bananas.

This is not just organic versus non-organic, it’s about fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, fruits, veggies and so much more. For me, I have to stay far away from high-fructose corn syrup because it can cause flare ups with my gout, which is a genetic condition passed down to me from my parents. On top of that I have to be careful of my consumption of soda, seafood and red meat. So it’s like the things I want to stay away from, I’m having difficulty staying away from because it’s hard to find a substitute. I mean I can give up soda without a second thought, but I want an alternative beyond water and milk. I thought tea would work, but I can’t drink bottled teas or lemonades because they are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup America.

So its water, milk and hot tea for me with honey as a sweetener, not sugar. Frustrating, absolutely, but I am doing what I can to stay on track. When it comes to protein I like red meat on occasion, but I’ve stopped eating it, but it’s hard, I want a good burger every so often, but it’s my health at stake so I have to do what I need to do to stay on track. What is my frustration? The cost of red meat is cheaper than the cost of ground chicken or turkey.

So I have to spend a bit more to have those items, but my body does feel a lot better eating it. I mean I made lasagna the other day and I normally I utilize ground chuck, but I substituted that ground chuck for ground turkey. I thought it would not taste as good, but that was not the case America. The ground turkey with a bit more seasoning, made the lasagna just as fantastic if not better than I expected. You sometimes surprise yourself if you make minor alternatives here and there America that is what I’m saying right now. Don’t feel the pressure to make massive changes right away, doing so will only overwhelm and hurt you in the long run.

Do small tweaks here and there, and that helps you get into a comfort zone where this lifestyle change becomes something permanent. I don’t like the word diet, because to me it echoes temporarily, and when it comes to your health it cannot be temporarily it has to be ongoing. Once you adapt to the change, you want to keep that change in play for as long as you can possibly. We all know change is never easy, but once you become accustom to it, it impacts everything.

Written By Kelsey Thomas