I'm on week three of eating paleo right now and a couple of things have happened. My acne has reduced significantly and I don't shit bricks anymore for the first time in YEARS. I love these changes and I feel like it must be a sign that I'm moving in the right direction, but at the same time I'm having some issues.
First of all my wallet is hurting, a LOT. On a college students budget the rise in my grocery bill is horrifying compared to what I used to spend. It's like a month of groceries spent away in five days or less, not good. I won't lie; I'm hungry, a lot, and I'm finding it really difficult to do anything about it with such strict limitations on food. A bowl of grape nuts before bed, some whole wheat toast with peanut butter, a bowl of steel cut oats in the morning, brown rice and beans for lunch, or even barley as a side dish for dinner... a HUGE portion of my diet has suddenly been removed and even after three weeks I have completely failed to find affordable solutions to fill that void. I work late hours and when I get home I just stand in the kitchen and think "what now?" Slices of bell pepper? A carrot? Yea right, I just worked nine hours, that's not gonna do it! On the one hand it's wonderful that my acne is going away and my bathroom habits are improving, but this just doesn't feel sustainable in the long term seeing that I make $700-$900 a month.
I'm also frustrated by the endless contradictions and fighting that goes back and forth with nutritionists and bloggers and such. Paleo is good, paleo is bad, paleo actually encourages insulin resistance, this guys a quack, that guys a fraud, you should eat less than 150 grams of carbs, you should eat less than FIFTY grams of carbs, you should have high protein, you should have high fat and low protein or this and that will happen, you'll get kidney stones, you'll die etc... It's just an endless source of frustration for me, how do you guys do it?
How do I do it? Take no one's word as "truth". You have to figure out what works for you.
If you have simply removed a portion of your diet, of course you are hungry! Potatoes? Sweet potatoes? Sometimes, if I feel like I haven't eaten enough, one sweet potato (nuked, with coconut oil & cinnamon applied after) is enough to fill me up.
Are you sourcing foods at a regular grocery store or farms/Whole Foods? If you can't go for top quality, don't. Spend what you can, within reason. Vegetables and fruits are not that expensive, are they? Meat is probably the most expensive thing.
Yes, potatoes. With or without butter, cream, cheese, or bacon.
"A bowl of grape nuts before bed, some whole wheat toast with peanut butter, a bowl of steel cut oats in the morning, brown rice and beans for lunch, or even barley as a side dish for dinner". You're not on the paleo diet. Read the book. It doesn't have to be expensive and you're spending the money in the wrong place.
She seems to be saying that these are the foods she used to eat but no longer can.
Originally Posted by Cryptocode
I don't read the blogs anymore.
Originally Posted by mageta
Are you primal or paleo? I would think about eating potatoes, yogurt and cheese. Yogurt can be really inexpensive if you can catch it on sale. Sweet potatoes are great baked or microwaved. An omelet is quick to make and can be a good meal. If you really shop around and get things on sale you could have tuna salad or egg salad or chicken salad already made and waiting in the fridge for a quick meal that isn't too expensive.
Glad to hear you're reaping so many benefits already!
I buy whatever meat happens to be on sale and get enough for the week, or if really cheap buy some extra to freeze. I sometimes end up eating the same food all week, but it doesn't bother me to do that. I'd rather eat the same thing than eat garbage that will make me feel like crap.
Yesterday at Sam's Club I bought a 6-pack of steaks that were reduced for quick sale (4 lbs for $12), 3 lbs of bacon for $10, 36 eggs for $4, big bag of lettuce for $2, and big bag of broccoli for $4. That will feed me all week plus into the next week (I won't eat 36 eggs in a week).
If you don't like reading all the bickering and whatnot, stick to the basics and just avoid it. I might personally find it intriguing to look at a Peter Attia article on Ketosis then flip over to Chris Kresser or Paul Jaminet's page and read about the benefits of dietary starch. I like it when my viewpoint is forced to evolve. But that doesn't mean I have to keep my finger on the pulse of every point of contention to utilize the general framework on which they agree.
tl:dr version: Stop trying to micromanage "being paleo" and start macromanaging "being well."
As far as the cost issue, you have to do your best. I've been trying to bulk up a bit lately but also my budget has been tight. Ironically, these have actually been synergistic rather than antagonistic circumstances (since starches = cheap, and starches = good for bulking).
So I've been eating a lot of eggs, (sweet and white) potatoes, bananas (mostly with eggs as faileo pancakes), canned sardines, and beef liver. If I get tired of the tubers, I'll even resort to white rice. So there's 5 or 6 super cheap food ideas that contain a ton of nutrition for very little money. I'm not telling you to copy me (can you copyright a shopping list?), but it's not really hard to do this on a reasonable budget.
tl:dr version: You can eat this way cheaply. Liver, sardines, canned tuna, eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, rice
As far as what to eat after your work shift: why not come home and make up a quick omelet? It takes less than 5 minutes. Get a French whisk and it will come out fluffier than it would with a fork or regular whisk.
tl:dr version: Make an omelet when you get home from work
Welcome Mageta and congrats on your health improvements so far. Primal eating is pretty much peasant eating, it is not necessarily expensive. It's time to apply your frugal skills in a slightly different way. As long as you have good cooking facilities you can do this. I wouldn't worry about ratios of anything, just focus on eating real food.
Eggs are economical and great nutrition - scrambled or fried for breakfast, hardboiled or in a quiche for lunch, beaten and combined with mashed veges as a side dish at dinner, blended with a banana and cocoa powder to make mug cake.
Bone broths also are cheap - you get another meal from the same meat purchase. eg Use it in pumpkin soup or to cook a (nearly primal) rice risotto in.
Starchy veges can help fill the gap left by grains. Add plenty of butter to them and they will fill you up for longer. eg Oven baked potato wedges - you could probably make a huge batch in dripping saved from a grilled chop.
Full cream milk - hot and cold drinks, smoothies.
Bananas - baked with dark chocolate and drizzled with cream, frozen and blended with cream for softfreeze icecream, or blended then refrozen into moulds with an iceblock stick for a ready snack. Add flavours for variety.
A lot of this lifestyle is about being prepared. it's a learning curve and you don't need to get there all at once. Good luck.
The killer for me is nuts, seeds and meat, a typical day might look like this...
Originally Posted by namelesswonder
Sausage / bacon / some kind of meat? ( I might cut out processed meats )
fruit ( frozen berries, tomato slices, banana )
Fish / meat
Various vegetables ( salad, squash, sweet potato, steamed veggies... )
Trail mix ( 1/4 cup of almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit )
Sweet potato bowl ( sweet potato, avocado, mango, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice )
can of tuna ( for later since I work nine hours )
I'm going to try to get slow cooker meats this week to see if I can save money, but some other money pits I've encountered are; coconut oil, almond butter, nuts and seeds. I'm sorry but I'm not shelling out 9 bucks for a little jar of butter or oil, it's just not affordable for me, the trail mix is a problem that I'd like to eliminate if I can find an alternative ( maybe just one inexpensive nut as opposed to the mix? ). That period between 4pm and 2 am is a problem for me, I don't want a full meal but I'm still pretty darn hungry and don't feel like nibbling on carrot sticks. Any advice would be awesome, I'm still really new to this and trying to figure things out. I'm sorry if my replies seem behind but by the time I post a lot of other responses have come in, thanks for the help so far.
Last edited by mageta; 03-21-2013 at 01:19 PM.