|12-05-2008, 06:16 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Cheap Raw Diet?
I'm toying with the idea of a 30 day raw trial (after the holidays!), and I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on how to do it "cheap and easy" but still healthy.
I'd like to get the proper balance of foods (esp. fat and protein) and get the calories I need without going overboard on sweet, high glycemic-load fruit.
I'd also like to do so on a reasonable budget, and without spending hours of prep time each day.
I know eating raw will cost a little more and I'm fine with that; I just don't want to be spending huge amounts of extra money. I also know that less prep time means less interesting meals; I'm fine with that, too. I don't need complex prepared meals. Fruit, salads, nuts, maybe stuff in a blender, all of these are OK with me, as long as I'm not hungry all the time.
Also, should I ease into this slowly, or just dive in the deep end? I currently eat a mix of healthy and crappy foods (sweet tooth & red meat), though I avoid HFCS, trans fats, and microwaved food, so I don't know what kind of detox to expect. I'll probably try to dump coffee before going on any trial, so as not to compound my detox with caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Any tips, or pointers to relevant posts?
|12-05-2008, 06:37 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Columbia, SC
I would suggest building up your nutrition NOW before you dive in the deep end. If your diet is as 'crappy' as you say, the detox symptoms you suffer when you first go raw may deter you from your goals. Start incorporating some very high nutrition superfoods into your diet that will also help with detox: spirulina, chlorella, zeolite, blue-green algae, marine phytoplankton, etc. Just ADD these things to your current diet and build up your percentage of raw gradually until after the holidays.
By building up your nutrition now and getting a head start on detoxing your transition will be easier. Your body has been severely deprived of nutrients and the intense nutrition will really help to mitigate the detox. Drink lots of pure water to help your body flush out the toxins. That will help with the caffeine. Giving up coffee was by far the hardest thing for me!
As far as cost efficiency, go mostly for the greens, fruits, and vegetable, especially green smoothies. When you stop buying all the meat and junk food, there will be plenty of room in your budget for healthy raw foods. I actually spend less now than when I ate meat. Look for co-ops, farmers markets, etc in your area. Some things you can get for free---like dandelion greens! Just make sure there have been no lawn chemicals used on them! Go in with a friend and buy in bulk. Buy some things in bulk and freeze part of it to use later--like bananas, berries, fruits, etc.
You will want to make some 'transition' foods that help you when you start your 30 days. I do recommend just jumping in the deep end, with plenty of nutritional support. Eating cooked food, even a little bit, can trigger powerful cravings that will drag you back into the depths of the SAD. Find some simple recipes that mimic your favorite foods and rely on those. A sweet tooth is EASY to fix. The raw desserts are way better than the SAD ones!
Go to my recipe page at Defiant Health, and you will find some good free recipes. Also, Gone Raw | sharing raw, vegan recipes and advice is invaluable for finding awesome raw food dishes and is completely free!
This is just scratching the surface of a huge topic. I hope that helps! If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me from my site!
|12-05-2008, 08:07 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Two things come to mind:
Buy in bulk - This is the obvious one. Places like Sam's Club (I don't know if they sell produce.) and Cost Co sell items in bulk. You pay more at once, but you get a lot more bang for your buck.
Since I have neither available here, out in the tulies, I divert to watching the local market papers that I get in the mail. Avocados were on sale for 50 cents a piece today at a store, so I bought a dozen there. It works for me! It's really not that bad if you shop around and buy the cheapest items at the time to fit the bill (IE, Fruit, greens, vegies, etc.) Fornutently for me, I share Steve's love of bananas, and they're always cheap. p:
As far as diving in, that's what I always do, and I just started a trail run on raw. Day 3. O.o Of course, you can ease into it, as well. It's personal peference. I always dive into everything I do. When I was eatting SAD, I drank a gallon of milk every week. I quick cold turkey one day and went vegan. That's how I roll.
Oh, and for future reference: Oranges do not do well in green smooties. Pulp overload! Uck!
Last edited by Michael Howe; 12-05-2008 at 08:09 PM.
|12-05-2008, 09:22 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2008
If you have a high speed blender the oranges will work well in a smoothie. Otherwise you need to extract the juice somehow.
JSB, large amounts of smoothies and soups can be inexpensive and filling especially if you add things like avocado. You can do 2 smoothies, 2 soups and then one solid meal like a salad or wraps. Or something similar. Sunflower seeds are an inexpensive option.
I think gradual is the better way to go for most people.
|12-05-2008, 09:28 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Texas, USA
I'm not sure where you live, but one option would be joining a co-op/CSA or something similar. You get a box of in season, possibly organic fruits and/or veggies each week and support local farmers rather than big agribusiness. I'm not sure, but I would think it would be cheaper than going to the supermarket. And, Sam's Club and Costco both sell bulk produce.
To find a CSA, farmer's market, etc in your area try: Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food
|12-06-2008, 03:26 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: San Rafael, California
Winter will deprive you of the cheapness of season, the raw food diet is cheapest during harvest seasons.
Buy in bulk from a costco type place. Find out which foods do not necessarily need to be organic (pineapples, oranges etc.). Look for local family farms. As well you could take up a fasting routine to limit how often you eat, there is an excellent one somewhere on this forum where you skip about 1/3 of days. WHAT IS WATER FAST AND HOW TO DO IT ? | Raw Food Tip
Last edited by RRR; 12-06-2008 at 03:33 PM.
|12-06-2008, 06:17 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
I eat healthy stuff; I just eat junk too. Chlorella is a regular supplement for me, along with omega 3's and whole food multivitamins. If I just cut out the sugar and red meat, my existing diet would be reasonably healthy. I'd like to try raw, however, and see if I feel the same major shifts that others have.
I've even toyed with doing a 4 day water fast to get the nastiest of the detox out of the way and then starting a 30 day raw food kick afterwards; I imagine eating raw would be easy and rewarding after 4 days of not eating at all!
I've given up coffee before (many times!), and it was a real ♥♥♥♥♥. I can't decide whether to do that first and get it out of the way, or just do everything at once.
|12-06-2008, 06:20 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
I would love to get a produce box delivered each week! There are some great local farms within 20 miles of where I live, but winter is coming, and I'll have to wait until spring for the local goodies.
|12-06-2008, 06:31 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Everyone seems big on green smoothies, so I think I'll try those as a staple. Bananas, spinach, and water as the base, and whatever the hell else looks interesting to liven them up a bit.
I'm not even going to think about doing this until after New Year's Day; it will be enough of a challenge by itself, without having to turn away all the offers of holiday food.
Thanks for the tips, everyone!
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