G-dog wrote:I am 18 years old. I am very interested in eating right and exercising regularly for the great health benefits. I have learned a lot more than I ever knew from Stadion's authors and also Phillip Maffetone. How much money per month could it cost to eat healthy? I can spend $200 a month easily but the higher it gets, the harder it is for me to pay for. I need some guidelines on what to buy and even where to shop. It seems very time consuming to put individual vegetables and fruits in a bag at Wal-Mart and then the cashier has to spend a lot of time weighing the food and looking up what some of it is. Also, since I want to be in good shape anyway and have been interested in martial arts ever since watching documentaries on Bruce Lee, I have been thinking about joining something. The problem is I live in Alabama, practically no one cares about martial arts, and I am afraid that the instructors don't know anything about the science of it and would make many mistakes. Also, the only thing around here is Karate and Tae Kwon Do. I just want to learn how to fight. Can anyone offer me some advice?
G-Dog, good question and I'm glad to see that you have an interest in nutrition. Most people your age are eating some pretty awful stuff.
If you want to stay below $200 a month, that will probably limit how much fish you can eat which is unfortunate. It's best to eat minimally processed foods so stay away from lunchmeats and stuff like that. If you want to save on money, that usually means that you'll have to "spend" more time on preparation. For example, you can buy a whole chicken for a lot less than if you buy pre-cut, pre-skinned cutlets. The tradeoff is that you have to cut up the chicken yourself.
You may be tempted to go for soybeans (e.g., tofu) for cheap sources of protein but I'm not a big fan of that. I think it's best to stick with animal protein (unless you're a vegetarian, of course) but you'll have to be a bit creative to stay under your budget. Powered milk costs a fraction of regular milk, for example.
As far as fruits and vegetables go, see how the prices at local farmer's market compare to Wal-Mart. You'll probably also have to be careful what you buy. Typically, vegies are cheaper than fruits and have more nutrient value. So even though blueberries are yummy and nutrient-packed, you might be better off spending the same amount of money on bunches of swiss chard or collard greens.
I can't offer any advice on selecting a martial arts school in Alabama. What I would say is that you should check out some martial-arts-specific bulletin boards on the web and try to get some information. Remember the martial arts proverb about how it's better to spend years searching for the right instructor than to spend years studying under the wrong one. It might require some effort on your part to find someone good. Make sure that you don't get "locked into" a martial arts school which you hate after the first month. We had someone on this board who was stuck in that situation and you could hear the anger in his words.