Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 3/4, and the monetary price of raw food

To start, yesterday's food intake:

Day 3:
a glass of fresh raw almond milk
a couple heaping spoonfuls of "Mock Salmon Pate" from Living on Live Food
most of a whole pineapple
more zucchini and nut "alfredo"
several flax crackers from Foods Alive with mock salmon pate
a slice of raw pie, a friend's creation
an apple

If it doesn't seem like I'm eating a ton, well... I guess I'm not. But I'm a pretty small person, so I didn't before, either - unless I was overeating, and I felt pretty awful when I stuffed myself to the gills, so I'm making a point not to do that now! But it would be awfully easy to do with those Onion Garlic flax crackers... MM!!
My husband was very helpful yesterday in getting me through the day. I hit a rough patch emotionally, and all that fresh almond milk didn't sit right with me, as I have some trouble digesting raw nuts and I forgot to take digestive enzymes beforehand to help. So I was sitting there, feeling sad and sick, and that last slice of homemade vegan gluten-free pizza looked so tempting. "It's pretty healthy, after all," I told myself. And I told this to my hubby, who said to me, "You told me you want to eat raw this whole month, and I said I will help you. I will go make you whatever raw dish you want, and I will support you and prepare food for you all month, if you DON'T eat that pizza."
And so I rested, let the nausea pass, and then I pigged out on a whole pineapple my sweetie cut up for me, because that's what I felt like eating. ;)
And my hubby is going to finish that pizza so it stops tempting me every time I open the fridge!

One of the criticisms of the raw food diet is that it is expensive, especially if you go for all organic produce, which is the best way to do it. (I do feel that healthy eating is often out of reach for the poor, but I do think there are many reasons for that, and that is a topic for another post.) I have found that the initial, upfront investments can be pricy, but only as much as you want them to be. I recently acquired a Vita-Mix and a dehydrator, which are pretty big monetary investments, but they are also more-or-less frills that help make the raw diet more interesting. As for myself, I want to do this raw thing 100% of the time (at least for now) and learn to make a lot of gourmet dishes, both so that it is easier for me emotionally at first and also so that I can make really attractive and delicious dishes to share with friends and family. Hence the investment. But eating raw doesn't require special equipment (you don't even need a stove, microwave, or cookware!) or a lot of money. Eating more raw food can be as simple as allowing yourself to eat your favorite fruit to your heart's content.
Emotionally, I had to get past that myself. When I was little, fresh fruit and veggies were a special snack, not an every-meal food, so mentally I've had to get past the idea that one apple a day is all I can have, or eating an entire 8-oz box of strawberries in one sitting is selfish, and other ideas like that.
Anyway, today I did the week's grocery shopping, equipped with my list of everything I will need for this week's planned meals. I also picked up some goodies - like the organic mango I'm munching on right now and some Synergy GT's Raw Kombucha - for lunch. My total was under $32. Now, I will still need more greens (less than $10 worth) later this week, and I have some of the staples, like spices, almond butter, and that sort of thing at home already, so if you were starting with a bare cupboard, one week would cost more, but most people aren't starting from nothing. You can transition - when you run out of Jiffy creamy PB, buy a jar of organic raw almond butter instead. The price is higher, but the flavor is really amazing!

How much are you spending on groceries this week? Why not considering skipping the ice cream or crackers this week and buying some fresh fruit or almond butter instead? Yum! For those of us who are not chronically poor or disadvantaged, what we buy at the supermarket is more an issue of priorities than it is of having food at all or not. What are your priorities?


  1. Your husband is so supportive, yay!

    I'm definitely spending out of my budget right now... nuts are expensive! I want to make tasty, flavorful dishes, but I'm so new at this that I don't yet have the ability to just see what I have in the fridge & whip up something fabulous. I also need to do some meal planning. I'm having a hard time estimating the amount of greens I'll need in a week... I just eat so many... LOL
    I supposed it'll all be figured out in time.

  2. Alyce - If you can afford the up-front investment, I strongly recommend buying nuts in bulk. I stop by our local coop and order almonds, cashews, and other nuts in 10-pound boxes, and store the extra in my freezer. I save such an incredible amount of money on nuts that way! You do have to be careful, though - nuts stored at room temperature for months can grow mold, hence freezing the stuff I won't be using right away. I think this is what credit cards are for, so long as we can pay them off right away - otherwise you're not saving money at all, you know?

    One of the reasons I like the Living on Raw Foods book so much is that it has a 4-week meal plan with grocery lists for each week right there, so right now I'm just buying what's on the list and then I follow the plan for the week, with whatever additions I feel like.