Monday, March 23, 2009

More budgeting & food storage :)

I have been taking inventory of my food storage. Although it's not all raw stuff (I stocked up on popcorn, beans, peanut butter, etc. for my son), it's stuff that would keep us alive if we didn't have anything else to eat. We have enough food for my son & me to last about four months, calorie-wise. :)

I have also been working on a plan of what to buy to even things out a little better - like having oil to go on the popcorn, etc. :P I have made a plan of what to buy so I can keep my supply at the four-month level while gradually evening out the calorie distribution (I'm getting pretty low on oils & seeds, not to mention that we'd probably get scurvy if I don't add some dried fruits, at least) and then gradually get it to contain more of what we regularly like to eat after that. I'll do it by stocking up on cheaper raw stuff (sunflower seeds, flax, etc.) at first and then gradually "branch out" to include more variety (dried fruits, more kinds of nuts, cacao, agave instead of just the bucket of honey we already have, etc.) It's feeling really good, and it will help me with the budgeting challenge, too, because I'm paying attention to what gives me the most calories for my money! I'm hoping to be able to save enough money by gardening this summer to save up & buy another 5-gallon bucket of olive oil by the end of August - it's about $17 per liter that way, rather than $23 per liter if I buy it in one-liter bottles...that makes a big difference when you use it as much as we do! :)

What's in your budget &/or food storage plan?

Friday, March 20, 2009


If there's one thing that is constant in life (mine anyway), it's that nothing is constant - things change! For a week, I needed very little insulin. It didn't last. I started a challenge to only spend $5 per day on food. After two days, I looked at my calorie intake and realized there was NO WAY I could live on that amount & stay healthy.

For me, the key to dealing with change, is to change. If my circumstances change, and I don't change what I'm doing, then my life will change in often unpleasant ways, so...I have gone back to eating all the healthy food I want when I want it, and I check my blood sugar often. I have stopped trying to limit my budget to a certain amount per day, and I am eating healthy (& getting enough calories). :) I have learned through these experiments. Because of my food combining experiment, I have more ideas than before about different types of meals, & I have found some new recipes I really like. Because of my budget experiment, I am more aware of nutrition & calorie content per dollar of many foods, and that helps me budget better, by focusing on the less-expensive choices.

What changes are you making?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Banana Day!

I want to address something that helps me eat raw on a budget: buying extra of whatever is on sale (that I know I can use)! I went to do some grocery shopping yesterday, and I had planned to buy five or six pounds of bananas, partly to make the "Brazil Nut Pancakes" recipe from Rhio's book Hooked on Raw. When I got to the grocery store, I discovered bananas on sale for 39 cents a pound! I was thrilled, and I quickly loaded several extra bunches of bananas into my cart! I saw someone I know, who commented that I must really like bananas. I told her about the chocolate-banana shakes (recipe below) that I make with frozen bananas, and what a good deal I was getting, and as I listened to myself, I was convinced. I went back and got several more bunches! I told the cashier about my shakes, as well. After eating four bananas to tide me over through the rest of my errands, I next went to the health food store, where, to my delight, they had reduced the price on some bananas that didn't look great but weren't too ripe yet(I can't stand the brown speckled bananas!), so I bought some more at 25 cents a pound. All together, I bought 116 bananas (50.58 pounds), spending a total of only $18.27! I will spend quite a bit of time today peeling, breaking up & bagging these bananas to go in the freezer - and it's well worth the effort!

Chocolate-Banana Shake

2 bananas, previously peeled & frozen in chunks
1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
1/2 cup water, or more depending on your blender & desired shake consistency
1 - 2 Tbsp. raw nuts (optional)

Blend nuts, water & cacao powder well, then slowly add in frozen chunks of banana while continuing to blend until creamy. Yum! I usually double this recipe. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Challenge Update - Already!

So, after going through my list of foods eaten today, and going through the fridge, and going through a little craziness with my son's appetite tonight, I've decided to make this challenge only for MY eating/spending, and I've realized I need to do some freezing &/or dehydrating in order to keep some of my produce from going bad before it's "in my budget" to eat it! :D I've decided that since I eat raw, and I regularly eat enough for 1 1/2 (or more?) people, $5 a day is still pretty cheap!


Today, I have finally started something I've been thinking about for a few weeks. I read Melody's blog and was very inspired by her creativity on such a tight budget. I started to wonder if/how I could eat raw on a much tighter budget. I usually eat AT LEAST as much as a teenage boy (sometimes two!), and I am responsible for feeding myself full-time, and my son has a pretty hefty appetite as well (pobably comparable to a "normal" adult female? I'm obviously far from average in calorie consumption!), so I'm figuring (guessing) that we may be close in calorie consumption to Melody's family. I have wanted to create recipes for "raw on a budget" to include in the book I'm writing, and I can always stand to save money! Because I feel so much better when I eat right for me, I am not going to try $3.33 per day just yet - being raw I am going for $5 a day. This will take a lot of planning & work, as I spent quite a bit more than that before going raw, and now I've had a hard time keeping it under $10 a day! My son is not raw but eats healthy whole foods, and I prefer to eat raw plant foods, although neither of us is vegan. I'll let you know how it goes!

My Rules/Clarifications/Random Stuff I Feel Like Telling You:

1) Even if I already have foods in storage (i.e. grains, etc.), I will be counting the cost of what we eat every day, because I will need to replace it eventually. This way, I won't be tempted to eat it all up just because it's already there & I want to buy loads of exotic fruit with my $5 a day.

2) Our chickens are our pets (not food-making machines), so I'm not counting a cost for the eggs my son eats, since we'd be feeding the chickens anyway.

3) I buy things in bulk as often as possible, so some of the things I post will only be possible if I continue to buy bulk amounts (i.e. lentils & grain in 25 to 50 pound bags, honey in a 4-gallon bucket, gallons of agave & coconut oil, giant bags of spices & sea salt, etc.). One of my favorite places to buy bulk is

4) Several sprouting trays, a LARGE garden, lots of freezer space & a dehydrator are going to be some of my best friends in making this happen! :)

5) I refuse to compromise my health for the sake of proving something to myself - if for some reason I can't get everything I need this way, I'm GOING to change it. ;)

6) My son is eating four to five meals away from home each week for the next two or three months, so the need for food will go up after that.

Monday, March 2, 2009


In an effort to eat raw without spending a small fortune (not because I'd mind having a personal chef, but because I lack the fortune), I sometimes plan my menus based on what's on sale in the produce department. This week it was asparagus! I love the stuff, so I could just eat quite a bit of it plain, but I also love to create...I'm thinking of asparagus soup, or perhaps a savory asparagus "pie" of some sort. I'll let you know what I come up with! What's your favorite way to eat raw asparagus?


Any of you who know me well know that I eat based on what I feel my body is needing, rather than basing my diet on what someone else tells me I should eat. I read books, take classes, get blood work done regularly, etc. and I greatly appreciate the wealth of information, knowledge & experience that people share. The things I hear from other people give me ideas to start with when I feel something is missing or that I need to make changes. This listening to my body is tricky when I have taste buds, ego & habits to contend with, but it is COMPLETELY worth it! I am learning some things about me.

I've been needing calcium, so I used raw carob powder in something the other night, and I discovered what I suspected before - raw carob is HORRIBLE for me, blood sugar-wise (I'm diabetic - type 1). Carob makes my blood sugar levels go high & stay high even when I've taken "enough" insulin to cover the amount of carbs in my food. Raw milk has had the same effect on me, even worse, but not raw cheese, so I bought some raw cheese to get my calcium up. It's not my favorite way (I love eating plants!), but it works.

Lately I have been experimenting. My insulin needs are much lower (like half?) since I have been doing the following:

1) Fruit - alone - in the morning
2) Greens at lunch/early afternoon - usually combined with some sort of fat
3) In late afternoon and evening, I eat no fruit or sweeteners, but I eat vegetables, greens, sprouts, nuts, seeds, spices, salt, etc. - as much as I want.

I eat a lot less dessert now, because of the fruit/fat combination. If I DO have one of those combinations, it is usually because I don't yet have enough experience with the new combinations & timing my body seems to be wanting now. I eat fruit/fat combinations (i.e. raw pie, carrot cake, etc.) at lunchtime if I'm needing more calories or certain ingredients that I haven't found another way to use yet. Then I get my greens in the early afternoon or at dinner (or both). I don't know if this will be the way I eat long-term, but it's working really well for now, so I'll see what happens.