Friday, April 20, 2012

the original food diet | the cost of groceries + learning where to shop

the whole foods store: convenient but pricey

I couldn't be more excited to report that the original food diet has rocked my world. The first 10 days were incredibly difficult, but the last week has been nothing short of amazing.

I'm in love with it. Call it the honeymoon stage; whatever it is, I've never been this excited about the food that I eat.

Last week I couldn't find a single food that I enjoyed. This week brought a complete turnabout- I've tried a new food almost every day and I love them all!

This week I tried red lentils, tempeh, polenta, leeks, kabocha, napa cabbage, corn grits, tamari {soy sauce without wheat}, red miso, bok choy, carob powder, tahini, chai tea, and medjool dates, and I still have new foods waiting in my pantry and fridge that I haven't tried yet: black quinoa, millet, fennel, ginger root, daikon, and more.

The craziest thing happened- everything tastes amazing now! Seriously. I loved food before, but it seems that my taste buds have come back to life {and I didn't even know they were dead!}.

That list of strange new foods did come at a price, though. This week, we spent close to $200 on groceries {including everything for the kids}.

I stocked up on several items, so I think we can stretch those groceries to last two weeks or more. Some of the high price came from things I will have for a while, like brown rice, and large jar of tahini, and two 2lb. containers of medjool dates.

As with any newbie, I'm making mistakes along the way. I really bought too much at the whole foods store; but the good news is that I am learning {and you get to learn from my mistakes too! ha!}.

Here's what $52 gets you at the "whole foods" store:

Not so impressive, really. But I found carob powder at 9 p.m. on a Friday night. That's why I paid a little more than I should have for it.

I love the convenience of the huge whole foods store, but I balked at buying a little container of red miso for $10.49. That's when I did some investigating, and asked an employee if he thought I could get it somewhere else, like the asian food store, and he was kind enough to even give me directions. That's customer service! {oh, and I bought the very same container at Drug Emporium for $3.65!!!} :D

We've even made new friends along the way. I met the sweetest Israeli vegetarian girl working at the whole foods store.  She knows her stuff, and in two weeks we've run into her four times!

We can ask her anything, and she'll know the answer. And it's awesome to talk to someone who understands why you don't want even a little bit of high fructose corn syrup or meat. :) She even knew where to find specific items I couldn't find otherwise. I just love her! :)

The key to saving money, as in regular grocery shopping, is to know where to buy each item. I didn't know that I could save a ton on daikon, ginger, and bok choy by buying it at the asian store, and I didn't know that I could save 50 cents off each pound of squash, and $1 off a pineapple by buying it at the Mexican food store.

Oh, and here's what $16 will buy you at the Mexican grocery store:

The $200 {take a deep breath, sweet frugal shoppers! heehee} we spent this week did feed others as well. We made dinner for my dad's birthday. He converted to the plant-based diet on his 57th birthday! {yay, dad! Happy birthday! :D}.

Who said you can't have an awesome meat-less birthday dinner? :)

We had grilled zucchini and squash, black beans, corn on the cob, guacamole, green apple salsa, pineapple, cantaloupe, roasted garlic new potatoes, and for the birthday dessert:

Okay, so it doesn't look so appetizing {you can tell by dad's face!} but it sure did taste good! It was a raw "cookie" bite made from medjool dates, carob powder, sesame seeds, oats, and coconut. It was amazing!

This week was definitely part of the learning curve of living on the original food diet, for sure. We are finding out all kinds of new things about food {like where to buy each item}, and our minds are changing about what we eat and why, and even better, we are changing what the kids are eating too.

I've never been this excited about healthy eating!

It might cost more than chips, bread, granola bars, and cereal, but I can honestly say the extra cost is worth every penny. It's food that makes you feel good, instead of bloated, or sluggish, or anxious {that's how corn syrup left me feeling}.

I'm excited to hear your story: how did you incorporate healthy foods in your diet? Do you find yourself shopping at five different stores too? :)

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