“It’s expensive” and “I don’t have time to cook” are some of the excuses we hear from folks that visit our Criollo Beef booth at the Prescott Farmer’s Market. Even if this were true, the benefits of eating healthy, whole, locally raised foods far outweigh any downsides.

Eating healthy, whole foods is better for you.  Processing can remove vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber from food and often other non-essentials, like sugar, are added.  Choose eggs, whole fruits and vegetables, grass fed meats, roots, herbs and the like in their unadulterated form.  If you must purchase processed foods, look for those with minimal processing and a short ingredient list.  Beware of ingredients like added sodium, sugars, artificial coloring and flavoring.  Stay clear of the Big 3 addictive combo of salt, fat, sugar which can lead to gross binge consumption!

A diet high in protein has a bounty of benefits for you.  Protein is necessary for providing the body with the amino acids essential for the rebuilding of our cells.  Protein will satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time and has been shown to help lower blood pressure.  Conversely, diets high in refined carbs and sugar give you a quick boost of energy followed by a big crash in blood sugar.

Eating lean red meats, such as grass fed Criollo beef or elk, can actually lower your LDL cholesterol.  It also has fewer calories and fat than grain finished beef, as well higher levels of beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids.

Since most whole foods are nutritionally dense, you will feel more satiated following a meal and not have the cravings to eat more than you need.  Many people tell us they are quite satisfied after eating a 4 ounce portion of our beef along with fresh greens and maybe a small potato! In the end you will consume less food and still have your nutritional requirement met.

Water is another important component.  Since our bodies are 60% water, it is imperative to drink at least 8 eight ounce glasses per day which equates to about 2 liters or a half gallon.  Water helps flush toxins from our bodies, aids digestion, helps with weight loss, boosts energy, boosts the immune system, fights headaches and cramps, and makes your skin look terrific!  Water is very inexpensive and easy to take with you wherever you go.

Create a weekly meal plan that includes whole foods, shop at the Farmers Market (or the produce and meat aisles), learn to enjoy meal prep time and save those left-overs for another meal! In the end you’ll actually save money on your food budget, look and feel better and probably reduce your health care bills as well!


Special to Yavapai Health & Wellness

By: Ann Allen