Live Total Wellness

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

50 Healthy Foods for Under $1 a Pound

I loved this list of foods that are healthy and keep the grocery bills low for those of us trying to eat healthy.  Each item is followed by the authors little quip but the list is extensive and a great way to plan healthy meals using a lot of variety.  If you have any good recipes using any of the items listed, feel free to share them.  Here's to your health!

50 Healthy Foods for Under $1 a Pound

These cheap healthy meals prove eating well doesn't have to cost a fortune.

Buzz up!
dried lentils
If you are what you eat, then I should weigh-in at under $1 a pound.
That's because, as a general rule of thumb, I try to only buy foodstuff that costs under a buck per pound. Under $1 a pound, year-round --- that's my grocery shopping mantra.
It's not just because I'm a world-class penny-pincher and smart shopper; believe it or not, it's also about eating healthier. When you look at the USDA "food pyramid," many of the things we should be eating the most of -- grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables -- happen to cost the least. It's often the stuff that's bad for us (at least in large quantities) -- red meat, fatty dairy products, and processed foods high in trans saturated fats -- that cost the most, on a per pound basis.
To prove my point, I've put together this list of 50 healthy foods that I've purchased at least once in the last six months for under $1 a pound. First, a few disclaimers about my list-o-fifty:
NO, I don't live on another planet or in a part of the country where the cost of living is deflated. In fact, I live and shop in the Washington, DC metro area, which has one of the highest costs of living (and groceries) in the country.
NO, I'm not saying that all of these items are available in every store, at all times. But if you shop carefully, you can always find at least some variety of these foods around which to plan your meals. Many of the items on the list (e.g. most root vegetables, bananas, beans, etc.) can usually be purchased for under $1 pound even when not on sale or in-season. Other items on the list were "store specials," and typically would cost more than $1 a pound, and/or they were in-season so cost less.
NO, none of the items on my under $1 a pound list are organically grown. The pros/cons of that debate aside, for most people with a limited budget, the choice isn't whether or not to buy expensive organic, it's whether or not to eat highly processed crap like fast food or eat inexpensive healthy foods like those on my list.
See the dirty dozen foods with the most pesticides to maximize organic purchases.
NO, I'm not saying that by eating only these foods you'll have a complete, healthy diet. But they certainly can be the backbone around which to plan healthy, inexpensive menus for your family.
NO, I don't burn up a lot of time and gas by running around to a lot of different grocery stores, and I rarely use coupons. I shop only once every week or two, and I usually shop at only one or two stores. I plan my meals around the-best-of-the-best weekly store specials (aka the "loss-leaders"), the sale items that are usually on the front page of the weekly circular most stores publish. If you're not a creative cook like me, try a website like Delish or Epicurious, where you can enter the ingredients you have to work with and get all kinds of recipes.
So rev-up your shopping cart, but be careful: There's a Green Cheapskate loose on aisle five!
* Apples - One a day keeps the cheapskate away.
* Asparagus - HUGE store special at 99 cents a pound during Easter week. I bought 10 pounds, blanched it and then froze it.
* Bananas - Potassium for pennies.
* Barley - A tasty alternative to rice and potatoes.
* Beans - (canned or dried) Kidney, pinto, navy, black, red, and many more.
* Bok Choy - Steam and serve with a little soy sauce.
* Broccoli - Yes, a store special. Usually closer to $2 per pound.
* Bulgar Wheat - Try it in pilaf or a tabouleh salad.
* Cabbage - Green and red -- I like mine fried.
* Cantaloupe - No, sorry, I can't; I'm already married.
* Carrots - Raw or steamed; rich in carotenes, a healthy antioxidant.
* Celery - Stir fry it for a change.
* Chicken - Whole or various parts, on sale.
* Chickpeas - AKA garbanzo beans -- mash 'em up as a healthy sandwich spread.
* Cornmeal - "Polenta" is all the rage these days, but I loved it 40 years ago when Mom called it "cornmeal mush."
* Cucumbers - Try peeling, seeding, and steaming with a little butter and salt.
* Daikon Radish - My new favorite raw veggie.
* Eggs - Don't overdo them, but eggs provide high quality protein and still cost about $1 per pound. (Plus, there are many eggscellent things you can do with the shells.)
* Green Beans - Frozen, but fresh are sometimes on sale for under $1 a pound in-season.
* Greens - Kale, mustard, turnip, and collard greens are rich in vitamins and a good source of fiber. Here's how I cook 'em.
* Grapes - Store special @ .99 a pound.
* Grapefruit - Bake with a little brown sugar on top for a healthy dessert.
* Lentils - Perhaps the perfect food -- healthy, cheap, and versatile (think soups, salads, sandwich spreads -- and those are only some of the "s" possibilities).
* Liver - Chicken livers usually cost under $1 a pound, and sometimes beef and pork liver can be found in the DMZ ("Dollar Maximum Zone").
* Mangoes - High in fiber and vitamins A, B6, and C.
* Milk - Yep, on a per-pound basis, milk still costs well under $1 a pound.
* Napa Cabbage - Delicious steamed or raw in a salad.
* Oatmeal - The good old-fashioned "slow cooking" kind...that takes all of five minutes.
* Onions - Try baking them whole in a cream sauce.
* Oranges - Frequent sale price when in-season.
* Pasta - Store special @ .89 a pound -- I nearly bought them out!
* Peanut Butter - Special sale price, but stock up because it usually has a long shelf life.
* Pork - Inexpensive cuts of pork frequently go on sale for 99 cents per pound or less; sometimes even ham during the holidays.
* Potatoes - White and red - baked, mashed, boiled, broiled, steamed.
* Pumpkin - Yes, you can eat the same ones you buy as holiday decorations, and they usually cost under 50 cents a pound.
* Rice - White for under $1 a pound; brown, a little more expensive but better for you.
* Rutabagas - Hated them as a kid; can't get enough of them now.
* Sour Cream - 99 cents on sale, but long shelf life, so stock up. My cucumber awaits.
* Spinach - Frozen (but Popeye doesn't care).
* Split peas - Add a hambone and make the ultimate comfort soup. Try it in the crock-pot!
* Squash - Try baking acorn squash with a little brown sugar.
* Sweet corn - Canned, or fresh on the cob, in-season. (Try this recipe for summer corn fritters.)
* Tomatoes (canned) - Canned are often better than fresh to use in cooking, and occasionally you can find fresh on sale for under a buck, in-season.
* Turkey - A popular bargain priced loss-leader around the holidays -- buy an extra bird and freeze it for later.
* Turnips - Make me think of my grandparents, who always grew them.
* Watermelon - Whole, in-season melons can sometime cost less than 20 cents a pound if they're on sale and you find a big one.
* Wine - Well, at least the stuff I drink - 5 liter box (approximately 11 pounds) for about ten bucks, on sale. (BTW, the beer I drink is even less expensive per pound.)
* Yams/Sweet Potatoes - One of the healthiest foods you can eat, and usually available year around for under $1 a pound.
* Yogurt - 8-ounce containers on sale two for $1.
* Zucchini - OK, they're a type of squash (above). But I love them so much they deserve their own place on the list. Plus they look great in pantyhose.
See how a slow cooker becomes a mean, green, $30 recession-fighting machine
Now look at all the money you've saved!
Jeff Yeager is the author of The Cheapskate Next Door and The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches. His website is Connect with Jeff Yeager on Twitter and Facebook.
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Photo Credit: Martin Koch / IStock

Friday, June 11, 2010

Skip Styrofoam Cups...for Your Health

Not only is the material no friend of the environment, but it can leach toxic chemicals.

By Brian Clark Howard

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recycling symbols number 6 for plastics, ps polystyrene plastic
Photo: Istock

By Brian Clark Howard
Avoid polystyrene (commonly known as the brand Styrofoam) for cups, plates, carry-out containers and anything else that might touch consumables.
Any green worth his or her salt knows that polystyrene is bad for the environment: but also know that it isn't so great for your health either. Plastics marked with the recycling code 6, for polystyrene, can be fashioned into soft or rigid foams, and are in common use. Not only do they require petroleum to make, but they take eons to break down in the environment.
But what you might not know is that polystyrene can also release potentially toxic breakdown products (including styrene), particularly when heated! If you don't want harmful chemicals leaching into your food or drink, even at low concentrations, choose ceramic, glass (recycled), paper or safer plastics like numbers 1, 2 or 5.

Why I Use Safer Products

Why are 100’s of Thousands of Families Switching Stores Every Month around the World?

Are safer products truly THAT important for you and your family?

The answer is YES! We know that the healthiest consumer is an educated one. It is critical to your success that you educate yourself regarding toxins in your home and their health effects. This will help you to first be your own best customer, and create a safer home for your own family. This will enable you to reach out, educate others and have a true impact on other families.

I work with an international health and wellness company. We are not just a store for products that work better, although they do. We are not just a store for products that are more cost effective with better value, although they are. We are not just a store that is a more convenient to shop, although we are. We are a store that first and formost makes SAFER, HEALTHIER products that are focused on prevention while also being better quality, more effective, more cost effective and more convenient.
Our goal here is to give you some research that will help you to first eduacte yourself, and then provide you with tools and resources to help you educate others.

Did you know…

The United States of America Federal Code of Regulations exempts manufacturers from full labeling of products if used for personal, family or household care. [USA FCR: Section 1910.1200C, Title 29, Section 1500.82 2Q1A]

Environmental Protection Agency studies have shown that indoor air pollution can be 3 to 70 times higher than outdoors.

Almost 50% of all illness is due to poor indoor air quality [1989 State of Massachusetts Study]

According to the National Safety Council, more children under the age of 4 die of accidental household poisonings than are accidentally killed by guns at home

The EPA conducted a study that found that toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air pollution.

Of 2,983 chemicals analyzed that are found in personal care products:
· 884 are toxic
· 146 can cause tumors
· 218 can cause reproductive complications
· 778 cause acute toxicity
· 314 can cause biological mutations
· 376 can cause skin and eye irritations
[Source: United States House of Representatives Report through NIOSH, 1989]

Ingestion only accounts for about 10% of household poisonings. 90% of poisoning happens through inhalation and skin absorption.

Women who work in the home have a 54% higher risk of dying from cancer than women who work outside of the home because of their increased exposure to household chemicals. [Toronto Indoor Air Conference of 1990 from a 15+ year study]

150 chemicals found in the home have been connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders. [The Consumer Protection Agency)

In an EPA report to the US Congress regarding the Indoor Air Quality Act of 1989, they stated that indoor air quality is one of the nation’s most important environmental health problems.

“Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to health. The diseases we are beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of (the 1900's) and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin.” [Dr. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist, Texas A&M University]

Diseases that used to occur later in life are now appearing at younger ages. Diseases that used to be rare are more frequent. For example:
· There has been a 28% increase in childhood cancer since the addition of pesticides into household products.
· Cancer is now the #2 killer of children – second only to accidental poisonings. Since 1977 the rate of cancer among American children has been steadily rising at a rate of nearly 1% each year. [National Cancer Institute]

Some products release contaminants into the air right away, others do so gradually over a period of time. Some stay in the air up to a year. These contaminants, found in many household and personal care products can cause dizziness, nausea, allergic reactions, eye/skin/respiratory tract irritations and some cause cancer. [American Lung Association]

In 1901, cancer was rare: 1 out of 8,000. Since the Industrial Revolution, the cancer rate today has risen to 1 in 3 and is not improving. [The American Cancer Society]

In one decade, there has been a 42% increase in asthma (29% for men, 82% for women). The higher rate for women is believed to be due to women’s longer exposure times to household chemicals. [Center for Disease Control]

Just by reducing (not eliminating) environmental carcinogens alone, we could save at least 50,000 lives taken by cancer annually. [Dr. Lee Davis, former advisor to the Secretary of Health]

Even small doses of neurotoxins, which would be harmless to an adult, can alter a child’s nervous system development. [Environmental Health Perspectives 106 Supplement 3:787-794 (June 1998)]

Out of 2,435 pesticide poisonings in a one-year period, over 40% were due to exposure to disinfectants and similar cleaning products in the home. [State of California Study]

Developing cells in children’s bodies are more susceptible to damage than adult cells that have completed development, especially for the central nervous system. During the development of a child, from conception through adolescence, there are particular windows of vulnerability to environmental hazards. Most disturbing – until a child is approximately 13 months of age, they are virtually no ability to fight the biological and neurological effects of toxic chemicals. [Herbert L. Needleman, M.D., Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., Raising Children Toxic Free]

Today, children have chemical exposures from birth that their parents didn’t have until they were adults. Because children are exposed to toxics at an earlier age than adults, they have more time to develop environmentally triggered diseases, with long latency periods, such as cancer. [Environmental Policy and Children’s Health, Future of Children, Summer/Fall 1995; 5(2): 34-52]

Household bleaches which claim to disinfect are classified as pesticides under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Inadvertently mixing bleach with other cleaners that contain ammonia produces a toxic chloramines gas. These toxic gases can cause coughing, loss of voice, a feeling of burning or suffocation, and even death. [Source: Guide to Hazardous Products Around the Home, Household Hazardous Waste Project, 1989]

There is an increased risk for leukemia in children where parents have used pesticides in the home or garden before the child’s birth. [Journal of the National Cancer Institute]

Formaldehyde is a highly toxic substance and one of the most common indoor air pollutants. It is a highly suspected cancer-causing agent. It is an irritant to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs and may cause a wide variety of reactions, including skin reactions, ear infections, headaches, depression, joint pain, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, sleep disturbances, and many more. How many of these names would you have recognized as formaldehyde? Manufactures can legally use over 30 different trade names for this chemical. Below are some… ( and for more info on formaldehyde)

· Formalin
· Quaternium-15 (formaldehyde releasing agent)
· Methanal
· Methyl Aldehyde
· Methylene Oxide
· Oxymethylene
· Bfv*
· Fannoform*
· Formol*
· Fyde*
· Karsan*
· Methaldehyde
· Formalith*
· Methylene Glycol
· Ivalon*
· Oxomethane
· Formalin 40
· Formic Aldehyde
· Hoch
· Paraform
· Lysoform*
· Morbocid
· Trioxane
· Polyoxmethylene
* denotes trade name

More Online Research Resources for you and your customers:
Take a virtual home tour with the EPA:
Video Clip of “Are you Exposing your Children to a Toxic Brew in your Home?”
Children and Household Toxics: – Research reports, toxin brochures and educational tools
What makes Melaleuca’s EcoSense line different:
National Cancer Institute (NCI).

National Cancer Institute SEER site (for stats on cancer)

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1997, Facts on Lead,

Environmental Working Group article “Are We Poisoning Our Kids?”

Environmental Working Group (EWG) (Chemical Industry Archives Project)

American Lung Association

American Lung Assoc article Indoor Air Pollution facts

Chemicals found in fabric softeners, by the EPA

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (US Department of Labor group)

Department of Health and Human Services (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)

Department of Health and Human Services (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) article on Formaldehyde

Department of Health and Human Services (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) article on Ammonia

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

FDA authority over cosmetics; Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Cosmetics Fact Sheet, February 3, 1995.

Environmental Protection Agency

The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality:

Environmental Protection Agency Chemical Fact Sheets

American Cancer Society

Children’s Health Environmental Coalition

Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ)

Health and Environment Resource Center (HERC)

Household Products Database: The National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine’s extensive database of harmful chemicals in cleaning and health products. http://hpd.nlm/.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Article “IARC Classifies Formaldehyde as Carcinogenic to Humans”

Info on Asthma from the American Lung Assoc:

The National Safety Council definition of warning label terms:

Mercury in household products:

In Harm’s Way -

Chemical Education Foundation:

Pesticide facts:

News Articles for Review:
ABC News Report:
The CBC: es/home/cleaners/
CNN on toxins in autos:
ABC News _Toxic Schools:
EWG: Body Burden:
NBC: Housework could be making women sick:
“Not Under My Roof” - Article with Kelly Preston and Olivia Newton-John:
Thorax Online : Asthma and the Environment:
The Consumer Law Pages:
Cancer Prevention:
Head Lice and Chemicals:

FREE Materials for you:
The EPA’s online booklet: "The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality"

Free brochure samples from

To obtain a pamphlet containing more household products and their associated risks, or for more information about hazardous household products or about indoor air pollution in general, contact your local American Lung Association. Call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872).

Free Poison Prevention Community Action Kit from the National Safety Council:

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