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Eating Green to Save Green

Americans are meat lovers. While meat does provide important amounts of protein which keep our bodies lean and strong, most of us consume way more meat than the body requires. In fact, a typical American diet consists of about 80 to 90 percent more meat than necessary. With the economy in a slump, more and more Americans are trying to cut costs on transportation, entertainment, and even medical expenses, but they seem to overlook one of the most important reasons for their blown-up budget- their protein-heavy diet. Switching to a more vegetable-based diet can actually lower your grocery bill. It's time to eat green to save green.

A Misconception

When most people think about a strict vegetarian diet, the processed "faux meats" come to mind. It looks like a hotdog, tastes like a hotdog, but it's really vegetables! While these items are a nice treat for occasional indulgences, they certainly do not need to make up any part of a true vegetarian diet. It is a common misconception that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is more expensive than eating meat and other processed food. When you do the math, vegetables are often less expensive. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables also results in better health. Not only do you save at the grocery store, but you save on future medical expenses as well. You can switch to a vegetarian diet that is healthy, affordable and better for the environment.

A Healthier You

If you are still skeptical about the benefits of a vegetable diet, just try it for a few days. Start with a simple stir fry. Include a bunch of garden vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peppers and asparagus. Serve it over rice. Eat until your belly is bulging. Then see how you feel the next day. To compare, indulge the same way with a dinner of greasy burgers and fries, pizza or another favorite meaty food. You will undoubtedly find that after the vegetable meal, your body feels less bloated and more energetic. Vegetables give you all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals your body needs to function at its best without all the fat, cholesterol and salt.

In the long run, a healthier body results in lower healthcare costs. Buying and eating fresh fruits and vegetables will save you money on prescriptions, doctor visits and more. Many people have been amazed at the hidden benefits of eating a vegetarian diet.

More Energy

What you put into your body has a direct correlation to all the other aspects of your life: attitudes about work, self-confidence and your personal relationships. A vegetable diet is filled with natural foods that go right to work in your body. You'll feel more energetic and vibrant throughout the day. You'll be more productive, more active and have a better attitude about life in general. All of these positive results lead to even more positive things like weight loss, reduced stress levels and a happier life.

Cheaper Life Insurance

A healthy diet leads to a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle results in less medical concerns. When you purchase life insurance, the company looks at an entire profile of your health. The healthier you are, the cheaper your life insurance premiums will be.

Grow Your Own

One of the best things about a vegetarian diet is that people can easily grow their own vegetables. A vegetable garden requires a little elbow grease and maintenance, but the fruits of your labor will be well worth the effort. Home grown vegetables are delicious and nutrient-rich. The initial investment of a vegetable garden will pay off long after the growing season has ended.

Add Up the Savings

A vegetable-based diet saves green at the supermarket. It saves green on health expenses. It saves green on life insurance. It saves green in other aspects of life that are directly affected by your overall health and well-being. When you add up the savings, that's a lot of green on your plate and in your wallet.

Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email jessica@savingtools.com. Thanks!

 

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