Friday, September 5, 2014

No Grains, No Gains - Is eating no grains or organic more expensive- the financial perspective

Our Mission Statement : A group a of Primal/Paleo/Grain free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. It’s a great way for others (who may be wanting to lose weight, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding!

September 2014- Topic- Is eating no grain or organic more expensive (from a food/budget perspective) ?

Short answer: It's about the same in cold hard cash, but much cheaper from a health perspective. Less time off work, fewer over the counter meds, fewer doctor co-pays, purchasing fewer clothes

What costs more: The higher quality meats that I buy end up costing more per pound, but the savings in the long run. Plus I feel ( and look) better. So. MUCH! And a little bit more time to prep the food and do dishes- so it costs a small amount of time. Well worth it.

Organic :Buying some organic items supports my local growers. I buy only in-season , local organic at the Farmer's Market OR organic from Trader Joe's or Costco. 
Sept 2014

Here's what I do now: See how simple it is- Ingredients- Shopping EZ

1. I cook at home:  easy meals: grass-fed burgers, organic chicken thighs, lamb,soups, stews, stir-fries, Thai food, shell fish.

2. I buy very few processed foods. Meats, veggies, some fruit, and coconut and avocado oils. Sometimes spices.

3. I buy real foods. Cook them up, add simple spices. Done, easy to shop, easy to prep, easy to batch cook. Grab and go.

Costco Cart- March 2014
Simple meal prepped at a beach house for friends, 2013

 I took a peak back to Sept 2010 records  and compared that to my current monthly spending on food:

Here's what I found:  When I was 70+ pounds overweight in 2010

July 2010

1. I ate out a lot as the "old me"- Financially more expensive, high inflammatory, too.
  • Snacker :at work and during errand, 100 calorie packs, and protein bars. I was a champion snacker- Sugar burner!
  • Work Cafe:  baked chips, salads, huge wraps, crap low fat dressing. Canola oil- high dose.
  • Frozen yogurt stops: It's low fat and I can binge on the toppings walk off the points.
  • Name the Low Points Fast Food lets stop by our favorite pizza place, Panera's, Daphne's, Costco- I'll buy a "healthy" Ceaser er  salad- drown it in crappy dressing and croutons, oh, and you get a slice of pizza and we'll share it...let's get a frozen yogurt, too- dairy you know? "Low fat "healthy"- everyone does this, RIGHT? Pooooooooor me, I'm sooo busy, this is nice and fast
What did it cost me:  2-5X what a home  cooked meal would cost.

2.  I bought many more processed foods from Costco and Trader Joe's and the grocery:
  • Boxes of mac and cheese (major binge food for me)
  • Salads prepared- not a bad choice, but lots of junky toppings- 
  • Huge Lasagna's- that was my batch cooking, I could freeze down a portion and add a "healthy" low fat salad... yeah, sure- pasta = binge. Add some salty baked snack or popcorn because I wasn't puffy enough....
  • Rotisserie chickens: Funny thing was... I loved them... too much. I had a hard time stopping eating the meat. Much like my reaction to anything with MSG or sugar in it.... Hmmmm...there's no sugar or msg listed on the package.  Funny how those chicken packages got relabled with questionable contents.
  • Diet foods: Diet meals in packages, frozen, or refrigerated. Oooohhh portion controlled, low fat.. yeah. I 'll lose a lot of weight this way, and they are on sale... 5 for 10$. Awesome- NOT!
What did it cost me: Well, the store bought food was less expensive, but filled with junk food- added salt, sugar, and gluten.    0-2X more expensive than home cooking now

3. I bought real foods, but didn't quite have my thinking aligned for my goals:
  • Lots of baby carrots: They are FREE WW points. Yep.. Free, free, free... but funny thing was they never filled that numb void I had from not eating enough fat.... but they were ZERO, free, No body gets "fat" eating veggies.... RIGHT?..Hmmmm
  • Lots of fruit: Fruit was either low points or now 0 points... I ate a lot of fruit, because that doesn't make me anyone fat.... RIGHT? 
  • Lots of boxes of cereal and Fiber One bars- because "Healthy Whole Grains" were going to make me THIN... if I count the points, and eat a tiny serving  count several servings, and ingore severe cravings, and that horrible feeling after I ate wheat... because I should eat 6-12 servings. Yeah. Right.  
What did it cost me:  2X more for processed food- cereal, diet breads, toaster waffles I was addicted to buying . I figured it would come out good on my WW points tracker.. Hmmmm.
No more costly, but I had many more GI problems- I bought much more Immodium AD and Jumbo Sized Bottles of Tums. Even some proton inhibitors. Normal, RIGHT?- everyone has a King Kong sized bottle of Tums at their desk. ??Not so much...

Quick- go back and look at my first list. Basic, simple foods, cooked or batch cooked easily. Glad to be off the packaged food train.

Question: What is eating processed, "diet" foods costing you? It goes way beyond money, sick care health is expensive.

Jeannette is taking the month off. Head over to my bloggy friends to see what eating grain free costs them.

Leigh at Poonapallooza


  1. Yeah, that last serving of rotisserie chicken NAILED ME. No mas!

    Good job! :)

    1. Bummer about the label not listing ( or hiding ) ingredients , Gwen.

  2. Some good points here Karen ......

    It is true if anything has the organic label, then in my experience it is more expensive.

    I think most of us now buy the best and healthiest products that our purse or wallet allows.

    We do look out for any bargains, and we do our best to make wise choices.

    We do have to take the overall picture into consideration.

    Have a good weekend

    All the best Jan

    1. Yes! Over all picture is key. Many farmers cannot afford the organic label , but farm that way any way. Big picture, indeed! Thanks for stopping by the blog, Jan

  3. Hi Karen, I kept thinking yes, yes, yes, yes...etc... when reading your points in this post. :-) Total agreement.

    1. Hi Marion! I loved your "no " podcast, too. Going to think about my essential no's. :) Karen P