Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thrifty Food 31 Day Challenge

In these current economic times many people are on a tight budget. I am no exception. Now that I’ve cut down on my other expenses I’m working on cutting down my food budget. As I mentioned in other posts, many believe that a high raw food diet is too expensive, especially when buying organic produce. While researching the internet for tips on budget shopping I ran across this article about the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan. The Thrifty Food Plan “serves as a national standard for a nutritious diet at low cost.” They base their recommendation on age and gender. Their latest calculations for the Thrifty Food Plan, May 2010, state that a female between the ages of 19- 50 years should be able to eat nutritious meals on $34.60.

My challenge is to eat a nutritious High Raw based Organic diet on no more than 34.60 for the month of July. Eat week I will post my grocery list, grocery bill and my meal plan. I will also post a list of my meals each day. My goal in this challenge is to prove that a high raw organic diet is possible with a little planning. I also want to prove (to me) that a high raw diet is not difficult.

Note: I will be incorporating beans and some non organic produce based on the Dirty Dozen List in my previous post.

So, feel free to join me, watch and comment.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How I buy Organic on a Budget

Purchasing organic food on a budget can be a bit difficult but following these few tips will help get you started.

  1. Visit your local Farmers Market. Local farmer usually grow organic produce with getting accreditation.
  2. Buy a Share from a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture is a system where people purchase-in advance-fresh, usually organic, products from their neighborhood farm. The average cost is around $18- $30 a week for about 8 weeks.
  3. Be your own Farmer. You don't need a huge garden to get the benefits of organic produce. Try growing herbs and sprouting seeds and pulses (legumes) in the kitchen. 
  4. Buy Seasonal Produce. Please don't look for strawberries in November. :) In season produce will be cheaper than out of season produce.
  5. Plan your meals. Shop according to your weekly menu. Try to plan meals around what's on sale.
  6. Change your Shopping day. Try grocery shopping on Wednesday instead of the usual Saturday or Sunday. Sometimes grocery stores have better sales in the middle of the week. 
  7. Partner Up. Get a couple of friends and purchase in bulk.
  8. Check the List. The FDA has a list of the Dirty Dozen (foods to buy Organic) and The Clean 15 (conventional foods that are safer to consume). *See Picture Below
  9. Buy prepackaged. Buy frozen organic fruits and veggies may be cheaper.
  10. Don't Stress...Relax. Make the best choices for you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blog Change- Chelz High Raw Lifestyle

Since I have completed my original raw food challenge, I’ve decided to change the focus on my blog. While eating mostly raw a few friends asked me how I afford it and how can I stay on track. As for “staying on track,” I’ve decided to continue on with a high raw diet (85- 90%). I will include cooked foods such as whole grains and beans.

I’m sure you’ve heard people say healthy eating is more expensive than eating junk. I have found this to be true, particularly while eating raw- organic raw. During these economic times when prices are increasing and services are decreasing, I must be practical in my approach.
The reality is I will not always eat organic nor will I be able to afford all of the ingredients needed to prepare some of the exotic meals that may also require excessive preparation. They are definitely eye-catching and I’m sure they taste great but they don’t fit in my lifestyle often. Organic foods are said to be healthier because of the absence of synthetic materials used during the growth process. There are many intricacies that determine the health aspect of organic produce. I’m not going to go into detail right now.  However, I do believe and studies have shown organic produce is healthier than the pesticide laden produce.

The main goal of my blog is to demonstrate how I eat high raw on a $20-$35 weekly budget. Choosing seasonal produce will help me stay on track. Sprouting some seeds such as wheat berries, sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats are great ways to save. Sprouts do not require any dirt- just a little rinsing. Smoothies, juices, salads, pastas, nut milks and granola (dehydrated or not) are great quick and easy economical meals. They can get as creative as you want.

Stay Tuned