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Surving Primally on Parent's Budget

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  • Surving Primally on Parent's Budget

    So my parents have told me I can be Primal, but that it has to be using what's in the house. I'm not allowed to buy my own food. So far this is what my daily diet looks like:

    Breakfast (split into two meals usually): 1/2c cooked quinoa, 1-2 servings of fruit, 1TBS coconut, 1/4c flax, 1 scoop whey, 2 eggs
    Lunch: 3-4c lettuce, 1/4-1/2c tuna, 1 egg, peppers, 1tsp butter (conventional), 1c frozen broccoli
    Snack: 1-2 eggs, 1-2 servings nuts, 1tsp butter, 1c green beans, 1 carrot
    Dinner: ~4oz meat (beef, chicken, or pork when it's around), veggies, 1tsp coconut oil/butter, maybe 1-2 eggs

    Some days I'll have a serving of conventional cheese, cottage cheese, more nuts, more eggs, more oil, more vegetables, etc. Really I just eat as I go to try and get enough calories in primally. This is the best I can do, but some times I feel like it's less healthy than when I was eating 4+ servings of grain a day and 250+ carbs with maybe meat 1-2 times a week and dairy almost never. Right now my macro's are split up 48-27-26 (Fat-Carb-Protein) for 1800-2000 calories a day. I've made suggestions to my mom on foods to buy, but we're on a really tight budget. Is it better to eat conventional dairy, butter, nuts, and meat on a daily basis than it is to eat higher carb with more grains, but less conventional foods? Thanks everyone!

  • #2
    What makes you feel that this is less healthy? I think it's better to eat the right types of food, conventional or not. If you can eat more eggs or some other protein in the morning instead of the quinoa and whey, I think that might help in the long run.
    Depression Lies


    • #3
      I think just the thought of all the hormones and processing the conventional meat and dairy goes through compared to whole grains not being processed (or not as much).

      Thank you! I'll try that out. I do keep a bit of quinoa in, just to get a few extra calories and carbs in the morning before I workout right now, because I'm still in transition and don't want my workouts to suffer too much from lack of carbs.

      I forgot to mention that most the eggs I eat are from a friend of mine who raises chickens, so they're home grown :].


      • #4
        I agree that I'd ditch the whey in the morning for more eggs. And instead of your afternoon snack, have more meat with dinner. You'll get tired of eating eggs 3-4 times a day.

        But why would you not be allowed to buy your own food? If it's important to you to eat healthy I would think your parents would be thrilled.
        $5 off QOC241

        "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        For nutrition/wellness tips:!/pages/One...34671179916624


        • #5
          We don't always have meat around, but I'll eat more when we do. I have been eating very healthy for the past year, but my parents believe it's become an obsession because now I want to eliminate beans and grains. That's why I am not allowed to buy my own food.


          • #6
            The thing about grains is, in the US corn is a GM crop unless organic.


            • #7
              If you are budget crunched then there are things you may be able to do. Get access to a CSA or what we here call a good food box. It is a weekly box of fresh veggies bought in bulk and divided among all the participatants, costs me 16 Bucks a week.

              Grow your own food if possible. Hunt for your own meat, foraging for wild foods. Depending on where you are some animals are not on seasons such as varmints. (Squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, pigeons etc)

              Look up any local freegans or the local freecycle community. They can show you how to do the urban foraging thing in your area.

              Get a Job with a food supplier of some sort in the area and they usually give discounts on food.

              Come up with like ideas based on your situations.

              Hope this helps.
              Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one actually.

              Join me at, where all the cavemen hang out.


              • #8
                Thanks warmbear!


                • #9
                  Eggs, dairy, cheap vegetables (potatos, brocolli). For meat try liver. Getting muscle meat is expensive though.
         - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore


                  • #10
                    Hello and welcome! We could make better suggestions if we knew a bit more about you. How old are you? Guy or girl? Why are you still living with your parents? Going to school / university?

                    I think the homegrown eggs are a very good start, whish I could get those. Learn to love eggs! I had 7 yesterday and not much else (elder lady and still overweight, so don't need so much food). Also I eat conventional food most of the time, although that might be a tad better here in Germany (no GM food allowed in the European Union). I agree with the others not to sweat that point much.

                    There is another current thread about the main thing being to get rid of sugar and flour. Avoid that and bad oils/processed food, and you should be golden as long as you are young (which I suppose you are) and don't have major health problems. Take care of specifics as soon as you are financially independent.
                    Last edited by Bess58; 07-27-2012, 03:53 AM. Reason: spelling


                    • #11
                      How often is it ok to eat conventional dairy? Mark says in moderation, but if that's all I have access to is it better than grains/carbs above 150g a day?

                      I'm a teenage girl, still in highschool for another year. I haven't had flour, sugar, or really any processed food for about a year. I wanted to start eating primally, because I found that I was eating what is considered very healthy, but my stomach was getting really sick. I was bloated, had diarrhea, nasuea, etc. Once I cut out grains and beans, it went away, but my parents think the stomach problems were due to stress since I've eaten grains and beans fine my whole life. I have a bit of disposable money and would love to invest in some real food, but due to my "restrictive" ways of eating, my parents think that would be going overboard. I can make suggestions, but I am at the mercy of what's in the house and what my parents buy.


                      • #12
                        Now I understand your situation better. I am a mom myself, although my daughter is grown up now, and I'll try to take your parents' point of view for a moment.

                        First, in this time and day, all parents are afraid that their children, especially girls, might develop an eating disorder. These disorders are really dangerous and cost many lives! So their rule about eating what's in the house maybe reflects their concern for you.

                        On the other hand, you say that your family is under financial stress. They may have a feeling that they don't have any extra money to spend on something that they regard as weird. Again, this may also be a pedagogic means to teach you to fit in and not ask for extras while everybody else is trying to be frugal.

                        But from your posts I don't read any hint that you are in some sort of deep conflict with your parents. So try to be smart about it: Emphasize the role of fresh vegetables (all parents want their children to eat their veggies). Apart from this, veggies are mostly cheap, so if finances are a problem, an extra side of cauliflower (you won't die if it is the cheap, frozen stuff) or an extra salad won't put too much stress on finances.

                        Again, as a mom who knows other moms, one problem might also be that your mother- or whoever does the cooking in your house - suspects that they will get more work catering to extra wishes. So show an interest in cooking, offer to to help with preparations and dish-washing, cook a meal sometimes or help with the shopping.

                        You say you have a little money to spare. Why don't you buy one of Mark's cooking books? Or, if you don't want to spend money, show them some of the ton of recipes and meal photos on this site. Show them the great photos and ask them if those meals look unhealthy to them. Then offer to cook them some meals (scan recipes beforehand so that, at least in the beginning, you don't break the rule about "food that's in the house").

                        Wow, I'm always so wordy, even if it's in a foreign language. Hope you can use some of my hints.
                        Last edited by Bess58; 07-27-2012, 08:12 AM. Reason: spelling


                        • #13
                          Here is another mom with FOUR daughters...

                          Have you let your mother see the Primal Blueprint books, or introduced her to the MDA blog? There is a STACK of other work by Cordain, Nora Gedgaudas, the Weston Price people, Wolff, and many others... I know I would have more respect for my daughter's unusual decisions if they showed initiative and brought me (unasked-for) a veritable PILE of real stuff for me to leaf through - libraries are great for this! It would show me that Mark isn't just some random awful shirtless California guru bum - that the Primal / Paleo / Evolutionary / Ancestral stuff is being taken seriously by a number of people with real credentials on their side.

                          And - yes - get into the kitchen and break a sweat. Cook, clean, whatever you can in the kitchen (where you don't break Mom's kitchen rules, of course). And don't go overboard with ANYTHING in your life - neither the diet, nor training, nor anything else... well, perhaps except school work.

                          Start checking for sales at your local health food store - all have sales flyers. Start finding the farmer's markets and farm stands in your area - maybe Mom or Dad will take you there for a look-see...

                          You are moving in the right direction, and any move in the right direction will be to your health benefit. It might take a while for your parents to see that you aren't hurting yourself, but wait them out. If they allowed you to go Primal, they have an open mind still - see that for the positive it is.

                          Good luck, and keep up the good work! You seem to be a wonderful, emotionally balanced, clear-headed daughter - your parents must love you very much.
                          I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


                          • #14
                            Thank you both! I'll keep trying to push them in the right direction. I do all my own cooking and cleaning, but sometimes this means I don't eat what my mom has cooked. She's said she really doesn't mind, but I think sometimes it does annoy her. I'll see if maybe I can start cooking meals for the whole family that are primal. Maybe that'll help!

                            My mom really is not interested in reading about any "fad" diet. I've tried to tell her about how great the Primal Diet is, but she believes everything in moderation. She really just wants me to not be so "restrictive" meaning she wants me to eat more grains, beans, and eat junk food every once in a while in order to "relax". That's just how she was raised. My dad is a little more enthusiastic, but he's not the one buying the groceries.

                            So in order to eat enough calories, is it healthier to eat more dairy or more carbs (i.e. beans and grains)? That's what I have to work with at the moment.

                            Thanks again!
                            Last edited by runningforme; 07-27-2012, 12:16 PM. Reason: add more information


                            • #15
                              Just keep on keeping on! Consistency impresses parents very much;but it may take them a while to see that you serious about this.