August is here. And today is the 7th day of our nutrition makeover. This is phase one: The Advanced Plan. We eliminate all artificial ingredients, all grains, and all sugar (I mean ALL; even our fruit choices are restricted to berries and sour apples/citrus.) We will now subsist on organic meats that are naturally fed and drug-free, organic raw dairy, TONS and TONS of veggies, nuts, avocados , olives, small cold-water fish, beans, healthy oils, and more veggies on top of veggies.
· We get to eat lots of healthy fat. Fat is delicious. Guilt-free is the way we all should feel when we eat God’s greatest gifts to gastronomy: butter, the skin on roasted chicken, and don’t forget olive oil, and whole milk. Mm mm mm.
· We don’t feel bloated! Seriously, without any grains or artificial ingredients, our feeling of “get-up-and-go” is on a whole new level.
· We get to enjoy as much meat as we like if it was raised right. Cows: on pasture, without drugs or grains. Chickens: fed only vegetarian grains and allowed to roam free. Fish: swimming wild through cold waters that give them a hefty dose of omega-3 -rich fats, and small enough to be less of a mercury risk.
· Now that I’ve been weaned off the sugar, foods that I didn’t ever find very sweet are suddenly amazingly sweet—like milk, and granny smith apples.
· Dave and I have both already lost some weight. Dave more than me, which is good because I actually want to gain more lean muscle, not necessarily lose fat.
· Ignorance is bliss. Knowing now what I know about the food industry in America makes me think twice about anything I put inside my body. The mere thought of a Big Mac makes me want to throw up.
· I miss baking cheesecake. I miss baking cookies. I miss BREAD.
· Good food is expensive. I’m a frugal gal, and I’m used to waiting until chicken is under $1/lb before I stock up. Now I’m lucky to find it for $2.99/lb. ON SALE. Beef? Don’t even get me started. We’ve looked into purchasing a ¼ of a cow, and it looks like the cost would be between $600-800 for just the ¼. (Good news though, we found a place in town selling it for $4.99/lb. for a mix of grass-fed organic steaks. Now to save up for the 26-lb.-box!)
· We used to pay the price of health in order for the convenience of pre-packaged foods: frozen burritos, TV dinners, boxed cereals. But now we must carefully plan, gather ingredients, prepare and cook all our meals from scratch. So not only are we paying more for our food in general, we are also paying more in terms of time spent on our meals.
I feel the keen sting of my balance sheet this month as I had to get rid of so many staple pantry items and replace them with healthier alternatives, most of which are also costlier.
1 64oz bottle of canola (which is disgusting, rancid, chemically-processed rapeseed oil) = $1.99
1 16oz jar of coconut oil
$7.99-$1.99 = $5 difference, and you don’t get half as much quantity in the exchange.
So this is my new learning curve—finding a way to eat for optimum health while remaining committed to a budget. I’ll let you know when I figure out how, because as of this month, I’m way over.
P.S. If anyone is reading this and has thoughts about how to eat whole foods/organic on a budget, PLEASE leave some feedback. Thanks.