Category Archives: Food Expenses

Health, Meal Planning, and Shopping Traps to Avoid

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Over on Cage Free Family I have begun a series of posts about food, food costs, and managing increased cost inherent in eating a healing diet.

The series began with my post Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, where I discuss how meal planning (or a lack there of) can affect not only your budget, but your health and waistline.  I also touch on topics of food additives and Fibromyalgia.

Second in the series is Meal Planning Steps 1 & 2, where I go into detail about the process of meal planning, how to make it easier, and how to make it more effective.

Third in the series is Step 3, Making the List, Where I give a step by step instruction on turning your meal plan into a grocery list.  There is also help with learning more about where you lose money in the grocery store, how to avoid this, substitutions, and escaping the common shopping mistakes.

I do hope you find this helpful, especially as I move into deeper discussion on the connection between health and the food we eat (or don’t eat!).

Each of these posts takes hours to compile, so bear with me as I sort through available resources to choose those that are most relevant and most helpful.

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Update – Week 2 Beginning

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We took a trip to Santa Fe this past week to pick up the pasture raised meat we buy from a farmer in West Texas.  It comes out to be ever, ever so much more nutritious than the meat we can buy at market, and even with the trip to Santa Fe it is considerably less expensive.  This time we brought home 82 pounds of meat and soup bones.

Because it is about two hours drive, and we have two small children and an infant, we prefer to stay the night,  take in the museums, and get the shopping done that we cannot do in Taos where we have only a small Walmart for most necessities.  This can pose a problem for a family that is working with severe diet restrictions, a budget and supplementation.  Sooo, we use an online booking site to score our favorite time-share hotel/condo.  The units come with a bedroom, full, stocked kitchen, dining table, and living room, for around $70 in the summer and $62 in the winter.  This allows us to prepare breakfast and dinner at our hotel and keep our food ready for packing a healthy, on the go lunch.

This time we opted for organic, homemade granola and plain yogurt with honey for breakfast so that we could just lounge in our PJs and have a lazy morning before taking in the town.  For lunch we had sliced Applegate Farms Peperoni, raw organic cheddar, rice crisp crackers, apples, and  oranges.  For snacks we had apples, oranges, dried figs, dried mango, raw almonds, pecans, peanuts and raisins.  Nichola had an extra snack of Wild Planet Sardines in marinara sauce and Quinn had the lemon variety.  They will each eat about 2/3 of a can and share some with Simone and Jeff.  Packed full of healthy omega fatty acids, and lacking in the mercury found in larger fish like tuna, this is a wonderful, not too expensive snack for them to be having.  I’ll be honest.  I can’t eat them straight.  Marinara sauce, or no, they wig me out.  I prefer to have them mixed in canola-free mayo with spices and served on crackers, just like tuna salad.

For dinner we took a jar of pre-soaked chickpeas and made soup.

Because of the fridge in the hotel (most come with at least a mini-fridge these days) we were able to take our cod liver oil, and I used my ceramic lidded coffee cup to take my tinctures through-out the day.  I found though that I only felt like I needed them once.   Sticking to “the rules” is helping a lot faster than I had expected.  I also noticed that the city water did a real number on the kid’s skin, and everyone developed a stuffy-head feeling as we entered the city that dissipated as we got about 45 minutes outside of the city on our way home.  I guess there really is something to say about clean country air and water.

Since we’ve been home I have only taken my tinctures in the morning and evening.  I’ve been going to bed by 10pm and waking up feeling a lot less achy.  Today I’m definitely feeling just plain tired, but altogether not “sick”.

I’m looking forward to homemade hot cocoa tonight and planning on a lazy night with a DVD (The Bucket List).  Neeka fell asleep (hopefully for the night) at 7pm.  She’s been fighting a bit of tonsilitis.  Here’s hoping that the baby will follow her by 8:30 and I can get to bed (post movie) by 10pm again.

To our health!

xoxo

Update – Week 1

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It’s been about a week with the aforementioned changes in place and there is a definite improvement.  I’ve been taking St. John’s Wort and Skullcap tinctures every 4-5 hours and it’s been sufficient to keep the pain in check for the past four days.

Friday was a pretty painful day and I wound up taking a dose of Vicodin in the morning while I had the kids at the park, which sucked.  I also had an 8oz decaf Americano on the way.  All in all not the best morning.  I over did it on account of the Vicodin, so that when it wore off a few hours later I felt positively wrecked.  Miserable.  I drank about a quart of water while we were out, but this was definitely not enough to counter the desert sun and wind, the dried fruits and nuts we were snacking on, or the diuretic effect of the coffee.  I had another pint of water in the car on the way home, but this was too little too late and I could feel the burning feeling that I get in my bones, eyes, mouth, nose and ears that comes of not enough water.

Yesterday was similar in the hydration department.  I tend to forget to drink enough early in the day, not noticing until I start to feel those icky signs of dehydration.  Then I have to drink a lot all at once to try to catch up and douse the rising pain.  This kept me up for an extra hour last night so that I could get in that last quart of water.  Which of course led to three trips to the bathroom in the first 90 minutes of sleep.  Again, not the best I could have done, but it was a productive day with very little pain.

Today I woke up completely free of pain after a fairly heavy night of sleep (after the initial interuptions) and feeling well enough to get ready for a trip to town straight out of bed.   I had the energy to oil my skin, braid my hair and dig through the summer clothes for a new T-shirt to wear.

I had dried fruit, nuts and tea for breakfast and followed it up with a quart of water dosed with a chlorophyll supplement called Chloroxygen, 25 drops of St. John’s Wort, and 60 drops of Echinacea.  I also took two capsules of probiotics, and a teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil.

I had a couple of slips with food this week that resulted in feeling icky.  Even though the package says “no ADDED MSG”, the organic Beef broth available here definitely has MSG derivatives in it.  I rarely have access to organic beef stew bones, so when I need beef broth we wind up buying it.  I always regret it though.  It’s not worth it and I will begin substituting veggie broth or chicken broth instead.  I always keep my vegetable scraps in a a bag in the freezer for making a no cost veggie broth and we have a beautifully rich chicken stock everytime we cook with chicken since we always buy it either whole or as bone-in pieces.

For more info on how I keep us (a family of 5)  in a totally organic, whole food diet for $400-$700 per month (depending on what I have to work with) you can check out this post. Or this one.  I’m planning to write a lot more about eating healthy on a serious budget, menu planning, dealing with food limitations, and the like.  Whenever I do, I’ll copy a link to the posts here.

Another slip I had this week was Alden’s Organic Ice Cream.  It has soy lecithin in it, which bothers me at this lowered level of health.  At healthier times when I’ve been living within the rules for months Alden’s Organic Ice Cream is an acceptable treat, but I have to limit to once or twice in a week and not repeat the treat too often in a month.

It seems complicated, but it’s rather like learning the same rules you learned as a child:  We don’t run into the road without looking, we don’t eat too much Halloween candy, ice cream for breakfast is not okay, onions and peanut butter don’t go together, etc.  Once you get it, you get it and it’s a choice whether you adhere or not.

To our health!

xoxo

Aimee