Putting a Price on Healthy

30 Jun

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard that obesity is on the rise – not only in the US, but around the world. And since you’re reading a blog on healthy living, I’m going to imagine that this disgusts you. (As it should). Not only does this whole obesity thing disgust me – it flat out pisses me off.

For some reason, a burger in this country costs more than a salad. I wish someone could explain this one to me. You’re telling me that it cost more to grow that head of lettuce than it did to feed that cow, butcher it, process it, and fry it up into some greasy patty of “meat”? Doubtful. Nonetheless, I can walk into a McDonald’s right now and pick up a double cheeseburger, small fries, and a small Coke for $3. THREE DOLLARS. Cheap. Cheap. Cheap. Meanwhile, if I want to order one of their McHealthy salads, it’s gonna cost me $4-$5 depending on the location. Seriously!? Why do they punish people that are trying to live a healthy lifestyle?

I’d also like to point out that when I was on a business trip recently, I stopped at a McDonald’s in the morning for some breakfast, under the assumption that they had a low-fat yogurt / granola concoction (I had no idea where I was and McDonald’s was the only place I could find). I was wrong. This McDonald’s only served coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Since I was starving, I ordered an orange juice and an Egg McMuffin. That “sandwich” reeked so horrifically that I threw it out, headed over to the local gas station and bought a ridiculously over-priced granola bar for breakfast. Lesson learned.

But since I plan to never walk into a McDonald’s again, I’m going to shift gears. Apparently Salad Works is the latest craze. They offer super healthy options and make-it-yourself type deals which sounds great to me. Except that they charge you like $57.26 for a salad. Wait, you wanted a scoop of almonds on your salad? That will be an additional $2.50  (I’m exaggerating, but it’s expensive!) So as much as I’d enjoy a nice, quick salad for an on-the-go option, I’m not about to spend as much on a small salad as I would spend to go to a sit-down restaurant.

Even at the grocery store – produce is one of the most expensive things I buy! And if you want organic produce, you’re going to pay even more! But if I decided that I just wanted to live off of Pop-Tarts, Ramen noodles, Easy Mac, and chicken fingers, I think I’d easily save about $300/month. It’s ridiculous.

Luckily, I have a good job and I can afford to eat foods that I feel good about. But this brings me around to my original point – obesity pisses me off because it’s kind of being forced upon the lower class. Some people can’t afford healthy food. They can’t afford to buy fresh produce at the market. They have to buy greasy burgers off of the dollar menu and options like Easy Mac at the grocery store. And while there’s absolutely no excuse for laziness (at the very least, people can take walks everyday) this epidemic isn’t going to disappear until eating healthy becomes affordable.

With that said, I had an amazing home-made healthy dinner last night (and even Steve enjoyed it, so win-win).

  • Red Quinoa & Mahogany Rice – cooked as per directions
  • Chopped zucchini, portabello mushroom, some sweet peppers, and onion, satueed in olive oil, teryaki sauce, lemon juice, and topped with minced ginger
  • Gardein chicken for me – and normal chicken for Steve
  • Throw it all together.

Wednesday Workout:  Spin & Lift

  • Warm-up
  • Intervals: 1st set at 45 sec, 2nd set at 1:00, 3rd set at 1:15 [Sprint, Seated, Standing, Hover, Jumps]
  • 1 min Seated, 1 min Hover, 30 sec sprint
  • 2 min Seated, 2 min Hover, 30 sec sprint
  • 3 min Seated, 3 min Hover, 30 sec sprint
  • Rolling hills [Seated, Standing Hover] repeats
  • Cool-down
What’s your favorite *affordable* healthy meal / snack?
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8 Responses to “Putting a Price on Healthy”

  1. Tara June 30, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    I was talking to my mom about this yesterday! We passed a McDonalds that was advertising “20 chicken mcnuggets for only $4.99”. I realized that you could feed more than one person (or just one person) with those mcnuggets, or you could get the salad, but you would probably have to pay an extra 2 dollars, oh and if you want grilled chicken you have to pay 3 dollars. It’s no wonder we’re expanding.
    My favorite affordable meal is chili! Canned tomatoes and beans don’t cost much and are so easy to make into a delicious, filling, healthy dinner.

    • Jessica Rose June 30, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

      Chili is a good choice. I made it all the time in the winter. I should figure out how to “summer”-ize it and make more.

      And the fact that you can get 20 mcnuggets for $5 is disturbing. Ha what’s in those things

  2. In Sweetness and In Health June 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Awesome post- and so so true. It pisses me off that healthy food is so expensive!

    • Jessica Rose July 1, 2011 at 9:07 am #

      I know, right? Are there coupons for produce?? ha

  3. Niki (Life's a Payne) July 1, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Hey I just found your post through Lindsay’s blog. It looks great and I love this post.

    My first job was at a grocery store in a largely low socio-economic area. I would see obese people bringing in 5 year old kids who already weighed more than me. What would be in their carts? Soda ($1) not milk ($3-4) and Kraft Dinner and other such processed foods. It made me sick. Those kids don’t even have a choice. This is all they can have because that is all mom and dad can afford. It breaks your heart!

    • Jessica Rose July 1, 2011 at 9:01 am #

      That is heart-breaking. It’s such a tough problem. On one hand you just want to yell at people to get out and exercise, but when you see something like what you described, you have to sympathize with their situation. Ugh.

  4. Lindsey July 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Jess! You are so right about everything. I was in the airport the other day reading this and it was so true. I didn’t have many options so I went to McDonalds to try to get a salad, but they were all out of any “healthy” salad (they had the chicken bacon ranch one of course) and my only other options were cheeseburgers and fries and stuff. So I went to a little To-Go Cafe and got a chef salad and Snapple and it was $15!!!!! Can you believe that? It’s more than going out to eat. Ridiculous

    • Jessica Rose July 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      Airports are the WORST. I had to travel for business and I was given a dinner budget… which meant I could starve to death and buy a $20 salad, or go to some lame fast food place and eat enough crap to fill me up. Luckily I packed tons of granola bars for myself. But yeah – it makes me want to fight someone.

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