Save Money; Live Better

Save Money; Live Better

Dr J’s Top Tips for fighting inflation and promoting health using Nature’s pHarmacy: Part 1

Claim health, well-being and thrive in the 21st century while spending less money and gaining more value. Invest in yourself. You will need to pay less at the doctor or hospital if you put this information into practice. Knowing is good. Doing is better.

For Part 1 in this series, we’ll look at some ways to save money and promote health by growing your own herbs, fruits, and vegetables, and making some of your own condiments, dips, and milks.

First, let’s talk about growing your own herbs, indoors or outside, if you have the space. From seed, herbs like basil, arugula, and parsley will be ready to harvest in a few short weeks. Others such as thyme, rosemary, and sage have longer growing times from seed, and are often started from cuttings. In sunlight, or under plant lights, herbs are easy to grow, and self-replenishing. They add color, nutrition, and are likely less contaminated than store-bought and expensive versions.

Along the same vein, strawberries are a great fruit to grow yourself. Commercially grown strawberries are considered one of the “dirty dozen” fruits that are highly contaminated with pesticides. Buying organic can help, but organic fruits can be pricey. Growing your own will eliminate the risk of contamination and will also allow the fruit to ripen completely on the vine, providing a more nutritious and delicious snack!

In general, to improve health, you’ll want to eat more fruit, berries, and nuts. If you have the space to plant blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and fruit trees (apple, cherry, peach, pear, plum), you’ll enjoy a plentiful and varying crop ripening in succession. Whatever is in season is preferred. If you like, making all fruit preserves, jams, or conserves is fun, easy and yields high value, delicious results at a nominal cost. No room for trees? Pick your own fruits at a local organic/biodynamic farm or orchard and make your preserves/conserves from the extra.  Another option is to join an organic or biodynamic community supported agriculture club (CSA).

Grow your own vegetables, and make salads with edible flowers, seeds, and toasted nuts. Salads can be main attractions at the table especially if they include toasted seeds or nuts, edible flowers, and complementary herbs. Salads provide fiber, easily digested nutrition and if organic or biodynamic or home grown, taste better and are better for you and your digestive transit time. We prefer undressed salads, as dressing reduces the gustatory sensations and usually contains edible oils.

Next, experience the joys of pickling. You can pickle most any vegetable for a nutritious, delicious, less expensive source for condiments. Pickling is fun, easy, and can save much at the store. Pickling uses water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, dill, and various herbs, and takes just a few days in the refrigerator. Use glass or ceramic jars, as plastic leaches chemicals into the brine and whatever is being pickled. You can use the brine in soups, chilis, or cocktails.

Dips/Spreads
You can also make your own hummus and guacamole. Cooked chickpeas, mashed avocado, and tahini can be put together in a variety of combinations that are satisfying, nutritious, delicious, and much less expensive than store bought. Perfect condiment or appetizer for any meal. Onions are excellent additions in these recipes and among onions, I rotate between shallots, red onions, and Vidalia onions, depending on which is in season.

Dairy Alternatives

Finally, nut milks and nut cheeses are a great substitute for dairy. Using a blender, you can make almond, cashew, or pine nut milk. They taste even better when the nuts are toasted before blending. You can use as is or add organic vanilla or fruit for different flavors. Nut cheeses can be made at home and matured in the refrigerator. (Cow’s milk in any form likely has too much bad and too little good to be included in a healthy diet.) Nut milks and cheeses are delicious, provide a healthy alternative to store-bought nut milks (which have added stabilizers, gums, and flavorings), and are less expensive when made at home.

Following the principles of Nature’s pHarmacy will help keep you healthy, and using some or all of the tips above will help you to stay nourished and well-fed while saving money. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and beyond which will include tips for Healthy choices at the grocery store, and Healthy changes to make to your routine when home and out to save money now, as well as to keep medical costs down into the future.

We want you to THRIVE with Nature’s pHarmacy.