I’m a Fraud

22 Oct

Today I got up and went to a morning yoga class. It was glorious.

I then went to the local co-op to grab a bite to eat and pick up a few things. It was also glorious.

Then I went to Walmart. It was far from glorious.

I felt like a total fraud. I spent my morning in tune with my body, health, and values. Then I went to a mega store. No local foods. No helping the little guy. No supporting local businesses that I believe in. I felt incredibly guilty, but my wallet thanked me.

I would love to only buy my groceries at local produce stands and co-ops. I would love to support the local, little guy all of the time. I also would love to continue living in my house and being able to afford food for Buddy and myself. We like to eat.

This is quite the dilemma.

One of the first things people will mention about my lifestyle (which by the way, is not extreme or strict by any means) is the cost of food. I guess my food can be more expensive then what others are eating. I haven’t done a cost comparison. Instead, I choose to focus on what feels good to me. Paying $5 for McDonald’s doesn’t feel good. Paying $5 for a bunch of avocados does. (side note: how much do you love avocados?!) I have seen various information out there regarding the cost comparisons of buying healthier, perhaps more seemingly expensive foods, and their unhealthy, seemingly less expensive counterparts. Many of these studies will reveal that eating a more plant based, whole foods diet has the same effect on your budget as a meat based diet. Mama Pea sometimes even does a cost breakdown of her recipes. I’ve also found a new goldmine in the blog Budget Bytes. She isn’t vegetarian, but every recipe I’ve ever tried can be modified without affecting her budget breakdowns. Score!

For me, I know that by not buying meat I am saving money that can be used towards better options for myself. At restaruants, I always have the cheapest bill, even when ordering entrees. Of course my love for wine can occasionally get the in the way. Whoops.  At the grocery store, I can skip the expensive boneless, skinless chicken breasts and use that money to buy veggies instead. Sometimes even organic. Most of my produce comes from smaller vendors, which is how I show my support to that community.

Then we have the other side of things, which is things like the “staples” that are just simply cheaper in places like Walmart. Today I shopped for things such as various nuts and beans. Man, I loaded up on beans. [Insert joke here] And then I buy random things such as spices, pastas, and condiments. These are things that stay in my cabinet or fridge for months on end, thus rendering the trips to Walmart few and far between.

I’ve decided that while I much rather spend all of my money in smaller, local stores, this entire lifestyle is all about balance. It’s a process. It’s about doing what you can and makes you comfortable.

Choosing to eat less meat was a process. Choosing to do the research and make informed choices I feel good about is a process. And choosing to spread these choices to other areas of my life is a process. I’m already spending more money exploring the local co-op and less time in the aisles of hell at Walmart. I’ve come to a place where I recognize these decisions I’m making and the impact they have on the bigger world around me. This is a step I’m proud of.

Here’s to following my path without feeling like a fraud! Now where did that wine go…

To love and the process,
Amy

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