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Ok, so here’s the thing: investing in your health on the front end will save you lots of money (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). One of the most common reasons people file for bankruptcy is because of exorbitant medical bills. Don’t get me started on our health care system. Yes, organic food is expensive, but so are pharmaceutical drugs. We’re just now beginning to make the connection that what we put into our bodies is directly related to the state of our health. With that said, here is Holistic Nutrition Bytes’ Guide to Good Health on a Budget, complete with recipe included!

*Do some research on the front end. Some farmers’ markets are quite expensive. Others may have vendors that grow organic but are not certified (it is quite costly and laborious for farmers to go through the USDA certification process), so talk to the farmers and get to know their growing practices.
*Learn what foods to always buy organic and what can slide. Good rule of thumb is that anything with a peel is ok conventional. Here is a link to help: CLICK HERE.
*Do some comparison shopping. Yes, Whole Foods can be prohibitively expensive, but I’ve found certain products and produce at Whole Foods that run cheaper than Safeway. I usually buy produce at the farmers’ market and staples from my local organic co-op, where they have bulk bins. Buying certain items in bulk saves money.
*Consider joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) project, where you’ll be delivered fresh from the farm produce and/or meat.
*Do some menu planning for the week. Here is a great book that spells out how to plan and prepare for several different weeks’ worth of meals: Garden of Eating
It’s more than a cookbook – it’s a whole foods nutrition guide with recipes. Cook in bulk and utilize leftovers.

Here is a wallet-friendly recipe that will give you mileage. I often use the crockpot to make meat and vegetables, and these recipes last for days. Here is my delicious and easy roast chicken. Impress your friends for a dinner party, or make on Sunday night and use for sandwiches (with gluten-free rice bread, of course!), atop salads, or make chicken salad with it. I adapted this from Martha Stewart’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe.

Roast Chicken
tips: make sure chicken is completely dry, inside and out, before you begin (moisture prevents skin from crisping). Bring chicken to room temp before roasting. It will roast better and more evenly.
* 1 four or five pound organic roasting chicken
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, or olive oil
* Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
* 1 lemon
* 6 large cloves garlic, peeled
* 4 sprigs fresh thyme
* 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
* seasonal root vegetables: beets, carrots, potatoes, yams, more garlic

Directions

1. Let chicken and 1 tablespoon butter stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and set aside.
2. Cover bottom of pan with onion slices and chopped seasonal root veggies. Place the palm of your hand on top of lemon and, pressing down, roll lemon back and forth several times. This softens the lemon and allows the juice to flow more freely. Pierce entire surface of lemon with a fork. Using the side of a large knife, gently press on garlic cloves to open slightly. Insert garlic cloves, thyme and rosemary sprigs, and lemon into cavity. Place chicken in pan, on onion slices. Cut about 18 inches of kitchen twine, bring chicken legs forward, cross them, and tie together (not required).
3. Spread the softened butter over entire surface of chicken (or olive oil is fine too), and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. You can shove garlic cloves and herbs de provence under the skin for more flavor. Place in the oven, and roast until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when pierced, about 1 1/2 hours. When chicken seems done, insert an instant-read thermometer into the breast, then the thigh. The breast temperature should read 165 degrees.
4. Remove chicken from oven, and transfer to a cutting board. Let chicken stand 10 to 15 minutes so the juices settle. Untie the legs, and remove and discard garlic, thyme, and lemon. Carve and serve!