UNITED STATES—Eating healthy, I know it is something that we all want to do more of, but it is easier said than done. A lot of the time we want to go for the fruits and veggies, but mentally we’re choosing the easier option. What precisely does that mean? That means opening that bag of chips or cookies and simply going to town, when you can cut up an apple or orange.

For many Americans, we don’t want to do the work and it ends up catching up to us with our waistline or other parts of the body that we don’t find as flattering. Temptation is perhaps the thing many of us have to work on more. Don’t give in so easily to that craving when you have plenty of other options available at your fingertips. Instead of grabbing for the chips, when you have apple slices in the fridge, go for the apple slices.

If you have some veggies that you are concerned about spoiling or going to waste, chop those items up and eat them plain, but if you just have to have something to dip them in, then utilize perhaps hummus versus veggie or fat-saturated dips. We can find ways to eat healthier if we just get a bit creative in the fridge, freezer and pantry. There are items in there that need to be used and consumed. Anyone who knows me knows with a passion my biggest pet peeve is wasting food.

I’m not excessively putting stuff on my plate and then throwing it into the trash. However, I don’t like spending my hard-earned money on items and not actually utilizing them. I feel like I’m constantly throwing away veggies and fruits because I don’t get to utilize them in a timely manner and I hate that. I have gotten a bit smarter with freezing fruit after I have chopped it up.

Veggies are a bit harder because they have a lot of water content and a lot of the veggies I like to eat don’t freeze well; they just don’t unfortunately. So I get a bit more creative if I’m having a salad. I load that salad with more veggies, as many that possibly makes sense for the dish. Now, I’m not throwing butternut squash or potatoes in a salad, but I can have those items on the side as a starch with a three-course meal for dinner (protein, veggie and starch).

There is plenty of discussion to have about the price of food in this country. Yes, there are things that cost way too much and you should not be flat broke to eat healthy. We are constantly talking about obesity and health issues in this country, but we’re not making the healthy food option that are organic, gluten free and so many others affordable. They are nearly double or triple the cost of the exact same item that is not considered as healthy.

Groceries at the current moment are beyond expensive. That is just a fact, not speculation. You have to budget your funding to make it stretch or go as far as possible. Does planning your meals out help you be a bit healthier? I tend to think so. If you can cook a meal or two over the weekend for the upcoming week, you have dinner and lunch planned in advance. That means you’re not reaching for possible snacks or the quickest food item when you want to indulge in something to carry you over.

If you think about the amount of money you spend on junk food and fast-food or even fast-casual food items that are not that healthy compared to just buying the food that is NOT processed you will realize the choice to eat the right thing versus the wrong thing is a bit easier than it looks.

Written By Jason Jones