Paleo on a Budget
Whenever you think about starting a new healthy lifestyle, price is always on your mind. Sure, it might be easy for the person on the book cover to go the store for fresh produce twice a day but when you are a working mom dealing with a family and a budget it just isn't that simple.
Luckily, there are a few ways that you can get around this predicament while keeping your budget, and your sanity, intact.
Be a Planner
You don't just want to plan your meals, but you also want to plan your budget. If your family is still eating processed foods, then you need to consider their grocery expenses on top of your own.
If you are planning to eat out at all during your budget cycle you want to set that money aside as well so that you have it when you need it.
Planning your meals is also going to help you to cut costs. Figure out ahead of time all of the meals that you are going to eat and which ingredients you are going to need for those meals.
Also, you want to plan the meals that your family will be eating as well. When you know what everyone is going to eat and when they are going to eat it you will cut down on those spur of the moment pizza delivery calls because you don't have anything in the house.
Hit the Farmers Market Whenever You Can
A great way to get fresh foods is to shop at your local farmers market. Not only will you get a better idea of where your food is coming from, but you can also find a lot of organic foods at great prices.
But even though it seems like a farmers market would naturally have all organic fruits and vegetables you still want to be safe and ask them before you buy, you might be surprised to find that not all vendors at the market are selling organic.
Another good idea is to carry a notebook with you when you go to the store and when you go to the farmers market.
Write down the cost of the store bought organic product and how much you will get for that price and then do the same thing with the farmers market organic products.
Even though you can usually get more for your money at the market there are times when going the store route might be the best option, (like if they are having a sale), and you want to be prepared for that.
Freeze, Freeze, Freeze
When you plan your meals, try to look for at least two or three options a week that you can freeze. Then when you make that dish you can make extra to freeze so that you have a dinner ready in a pinch.
One of the great things about freezing things is that you will be able to make use of all of your ingredients and nothing will go to waste.
For example, the only way to buy green onions is in a bunch. But if you don't need to make the whole bunch for your recipe than you risk the unused onions going bad before you make that recipe again.
Instead, you can make a double batch of that recipe, use all of your green onions, and waste nothing.
Buy In Bulk Whenever You Can
While it might not be a good idea to get fruits or vegetables in bulk you can still save a bundle when you stock up on your other ingredients. Things like oils, nuts, and flour can be stored safely for months without going bad.
Instead of buying these items every week at your health food store, do some comparison shopping.
You might be surprised to find that a store like Amazon can offer you more of the same product for a much lower price. Also, you will have it shipped directly to your door, how cool is that?
One of the great things about eating Paleo is that you can do it on any budget. Most of the foods are things that you can easily find in a grocery store or buy online.
As long as you plan your meals and make smart choices for your wallet you can be a Paleo superstar, even on the smallest budget.
Eating Out While Eating Paleo
It has happened to all of us. You start on a healthy eating plan, you get yourself through the hiccups and the bumps of the first few weeks and finally you are in a place where you are starting to see those numbers on the scale tipping in your favor.
And then it happens….someone asks you to go out to eat and it seems like a huge wrench has just been thrown into your dieting success.
It isn't that you didn't know this was a possibility, you aren't living in a bubble after all and at some point someone is going to want you to grace them with your presence for a night on the town.
Still though, you have just worked your buns off to get to a good place with your dieting and the last thing you want to do is take a step backwards.
What do you do?
-Tell them you are washing your hair?
-Tell them you have to go out of town?
-Panic and tell them that you have suddenly gotten sick?
You could do these things, but sooner or later these excuses will run out and then you will be right back in this spot again.
You could also just bite the bullet and go out with them, but if you aren't able to eat anything then there is always that fear that your friends will think you are being rude or they will curiously ask you about your diet so that they can dissect every part of it and tell you why they don't think it will work.
Neither of those situations will work out well for you. Luckily for you, you are eating Paleo and for Paleo dieters eating healthy is simple and easy.
So what are these Simple Strategies for Eating Out While on Paleo?
Well for starters, you want to check the menu out ahead of time whenever you can so that you can go into the restaurant with a 'plan of attack'. You want to make sure your main meal has three things:
1. Meat or Fish (nothing processed in them so getting something that is smothered in breadcrumbs or swimming in sauce is cheating.
2. Vegetables (your good carb)
3. A good Fat
For example you could have some grilled salmon, a side of asparagus, and a plain sweet potato. Or if you are looking for something a little meatier you could take advantage of a steak with a sweet potato and broccoli.
It is also a good idea to have a salad before your meal. This will help you to fill up on vegetables before your main course gets there. Some Paleo dieters like to bring their own dressing to the restaurant.
Dessert can be as simple as a bowl of fruit. Many restaurants will have pound cake with fruit or some other fruity concoction as dessert.
You can just ask for the fruit without the rest of the dish. Another easy dessert option is to make your own delicious dessert before you go out.
This way while your friends are busy chowing down on those sugary desserts you can be thinking of those yummy Paleo brownies that are calling your name.
Eating out while you are on a diet is hard, but when you are doing Paleo it doesn't have to be. Just a few small strategies before you go out can get you ready for restaurant success.
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Cheers, Helene Malmsio
Related Reading: https://www.discoveryhub.net/how-to-start-paleo-diet.html
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