It's been a week since I started this project, eating on a budget, and while I'm staying within the confines I set for myself, it's not exactly ideal. Let me explain, I've always wanted good food to be accessible, but to me, good food means something entirely different than the majority may think. This first week showed me that. As I've mentioned before, I struggle with allergies, as I know a lot of people do. I also used to struggle with fatigue, oversleeping, pms, volatile emotions etc. When I changed how I ate all of that faded away. It has been the most amazing year because of it. Now, after a week of trying to fill in my diet with grain products again and cheating in a few other areas, I already feel the repercussions. My allergies are acting up, I'm more tired in the morning, more emotionally unstable. It proves to me, once again, that nutrition is everything. (hence why I wanted to become a Nutritional Therapist in the first place) This makes it really hard for me to come to terms with because I know that the way I eat and how much time and money I spend doing it isn't possible for everyone, I've organized my life around nutrition. And I know that the cheapest food will always be the food our government subsidizes, which is grown, raised or made poorly. I know eating on a budget could work, but you've got to have some amount of time, I don't know how to fully cater this way of eating to someone with no time and no money, it just might not work.
Although, if someone is willing, anything is possible.
Week One: Recap
Amount Allotted: $85
Amount Spent: $85
Comments: While I did stay within budget, we did have a few parties and BBQ's this week so a few of our meals we didn't pay for. And I ate grains, which I don't want to do this week (besides sprouted rice). It proves to me that my allergies are indeed food related and not just environmental.
Breakfast: For the most part I eat eggs for breakfast because they give me fuel and nutrition for the day, I wouldn't trade this for anything. I used to eat oatmeal in the past, which is by the far the cheaper option, but it would fall hard in my stomach and I would not digest it well. If your breakfast isn't giving you energy for the day then what's the point!?
Lunch: Lunch is always light for me. I'm either on the go or just not as hungry in the midday. I attribute this to my high fat/protein diet, it keeps me satisfied for way longer than starting the day with carbs. On Monday I was out and about all day with no food except my fat bomb and hard boiled egg. Needless to say I was pretty dang hungry for dinner. It's actually not bad to be hungry (unless of course you struggle with blood sugar regulation). When your stomach grumbles you are actually creating a hormone called Ghrelin that helps the body in so many ways; I'll explain more about that in my next post.
Dinner: I usually try to have a decent sized dinner, and I also try and eat it early in the evening. (Late breakfast, light lunch, early dinner) This gives my body more time to detox overnight, and if you're eating high quality protein and fat it should usually satiate you for a good 12 hours overnight. This is when your body is making repairs so it's best to not hinder it with heavy digestion.
Snack: I like my snacks to be nutritious, not usually chips or anything like that. Apples and peanut butter are a big go to for us, fat bombs are great for in between meals, popcorn with butter, nutritional yeast and sea salt, or some dark, fair-trade chocolate now and then.
Things I learned about budgeting and eating well:
*Buy in bulk whenever possible
*Buy in bulk with friends if you can't afford the large amounts up front: this is especially helpful with pasture raised meat.
*Meal planning and batch cooking. Plan your meals ahead so you don't spend more than you need to, and prepared them on your day off so you have meals ready all week in the fridge and freezer.
*Hard boil eggs and Fat Bombs when you're on the go.
This next week will be a bit different as I will go back to my regular diet. I'm hoping to make it affordable and accessible, but that's why this is a project! Trial and Error are welcome.
Thanks for continuing to follow my journey!
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David