Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Saved some Money

Today I stopped in at the commissary not really needing anything but I was at the gym and had just checked my mail so since I was there I walked through.  I bought a large bottle of Limeade for less than half price and a package of ham chunks for half price.  Their "Sell By Dates" are tomorrow and the store wanted to move them.  Good deal for me.  The Limeade is too strong so I can cut it 2:1 and get 33% more product.

I always check the discount self first and then look for red stickers on products I routinely use.  This has saved me lots of money over the years.

I have been conducting a human experiment of sorts these past four days.  Before I went on leave I had six yogurts in my fridge.  I asked my cat sitter to take them but she declined.  The Sell By date of the oldest was 8 June and the newest was 18 June.  Being the cheap ba$tard that I am I decided to try them out.  I have eaten five of them with no ill effects and they tasted just fine. Now, to be fair, I have to tell you that I grew up in a house that threw nothing away.  Green fuzz was scraped or cut off food and you ate it.  Along with that I have been eating native food in countries with less than our high food quality standards for the past 29 years.  I have a pretty robust immune system and a healthy colony of diverse bacteria in my digestive tract.  In fact, and my wife and kids will confirm this, I often and routinely eat slightly tainted food just to keep my system strong.  As a Soldier I never know where I will be sent or what the conditions will be.  I witnessed Soldiers puking their guts up after drinking local water and eating local food enough times to know how important this can be.

I am not recommending you do what I do, it could make you very, very sick.  But there are things you can do to obtain similar resistance (in no particular order):

1. Eat as diverse a diet as you can manage.  Depending on what your racial background is, your ancesters ate from a menu of hundreds of items.  The Hunter-Gatherer ate what was available in the location and season they found themselves. This will expose you to more substances.

2. Eat mainly unprocessed foods.  Fresh or frozen is fine but the ingredient list should be very, very short. You don't want the food to be highly processed and sterile.

3. Buy fruit and vegetables from farmers markets, organic if possible.  Naturally grown fruits and vegetables contain disease fighting substances.  They also are innoculated with the local bacteria strains from the soil and natural fertilizers such as animal manures and compost. Buy from various venders to increase the variety of bacteria you are exposed to.

4. Drink a variety of real tea that you brew yourself.  Teas and herbal drinks add a host of good things to your diet.

5. Eat real yogurt with active bacteria.  Your body needs to have a healthy amount of ''good'' bacteria in the digestive tract, and many yogurts are made using active (live) bacteria. One of the words you’ll see used is ''probiotics.'' Probiotic refers to living organisms that can result in a health benefit when eaten in adequate amounts. Miguel Freitas, PhD, medical marketing manager for Dannon Co., says that the benefits associated with probiotics are specific to certain strains of these "good" bacteria. Many provide their benefits by adjusting the microflora in the intestines, or by acting directly on body functions, such as digestion or immune function. Keep in mind that the only yogurts that contain probiotics are those that say "live and active cultures" on the label. Try to eat yogurts from several different companies because they all (I presume) have their own strains of bacteria that they have developed.  The more variety of bacteria the better. Natural sauerkraut and unpasturized apple cider will also add to your body's bacteria diversity.

How will all this bacteria cultivation save you money?  First, you'll rarely get sick; your immune system will be much stronger than the average person.  When you do get sick, you will recover quicker.  Secondly, you will be able to eat a wider variety of foods and eat foods that you were able to buy in bulk, cheaply, but are past their prime.  It is nothing for me to wipe a little bit of mold off of food and safely eat it.

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