Yes, I’ve started a new eating program. It’s supposed to help me keep on a KETO diet and avoid raising my blood glucose measurements which are averaging about 150 when normal is below 100. So I signed up for this program to help me make smart menu choices.
I spent $60 on two meals yesterday. And a lot of the things on the grocery list were prohibitively expensive. I spent over $10 for 3 cups of ground flaxseed meal. I had to have fresh asparagus. I was bad and cut up a single Roma tomato instead of buying 16 cherry tomatoes for $5. I bought frozen cod and that gives me 4 meals for $15. I have to start an herb garden to have fresh parsley, basil, sage, dill… I wondered if it would kill me to use 3 rings of a white onion instead of a red one because they specified red, and there weren’t any available at the store.
If I buy peanut butter, it has to be organic without added sugar and comes in a tiny jar 6-8 oz for $6. I had to have organic mushrooms, a specific type of garlic, almond milk…
And the almond milk you get is 98% water. Well, I guess so is milk from a cow. It costs $6/gal and about $2/gal for cow’s milk. Oh and healthy? Look at the ingredients: Organic Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Organic Almonds), Sea Salt, Tricalcium Phosphate, Gellan Gum, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2), Dl-alpha-tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12). Oh and check out cyanocobalamin: The most common man-made form of vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) in supplements is cyanocobalamin and although this form includes a cyanide molecule, it is very safe. … Even at a very high dose, it would provide about a thousand times less cyanide than is toxic, and the cyanide is excreted in the urine. This milk is to be preferred opposed to the unhealthy but organic milk from a cow.
Check these ingredients (prepare to be shocked!) Organic Milk, Vitamin D3.
ANNNNYYYWAY, in order to eat “healthy” I have to spend 2x what I normally do in order to get the specialty items.
To be fair, I was expecting to have to spend 1-2 hours preparing these specialty meals, but they only take 20-40 min. If I wanted to get everything on my list, I’d have to go to some specialty food store across town or have it delivered (which adds a whole bunch to the cost.)
Here’s the thing. Very few of these ingredients can be found for a reasonable price in your local grocery store. Heck, I can find foods from Guatemala and Mexico and Taiwan and Nairobi but I cannot find red onions today. So to have a steady supply of the ingredients for my new menus, I have to move to NYC, or LA, or follow my daughter Jo around to her favorite food stores in Pittsburgh.
How did we Rounds kids ever survive my mom’s cooking? She didn’t weigh anything. She didn’t spend hours reading labels and looking for plant alternatives and low sodium and low carb and high protein and…
3 thoughts on “If you want to eat right, move.”
Best wishes on your new diet.
First of all, healthier is always more expensive even if you skip the “organic” labels (which I do bc they don’t regulate that at all). Part of the reason there is an obesity “epidemic” is that healthy food costs more money and takes time/space/equipment to prepare.
Second, between grandma’s cooking and now is abt 60 yrs of fad diets and corporate interests meddling with our food to make it cheap to make, shelf stable, and *addictive.* Read anything written by Michael Pollan, who is a brilliant food writer and gets exactly the frustration you’re dealing with rn.
Third, you can make almond milk in a blender or just stick to water.
Fourth, I admit to being frustrated by a lack of selection where we live. We got used to having access to Mexican and Asian staples that are hard to find unless we drive an hr into the city. We substitute a lot or plan meals around what we can find. Unless I’m making something special like when I was testing Alton Brown’s cookbook.
Fifth, red onion is the best to eat raw, little sweeter with less bite. I don’t think there’s a significant nutritional difference between onion varieties but I wouldn’t consider them interchangeable. Like potatoes or apples, some just work better in certain applications. But tomatoes are all tomatoes, even the canned ones (just look for salt-free versions).
Sixth, I am proud of you for doing this. It is hard, it is expensive, it is frustrating. It’s a big ask, but the bright side is prep time wasn’t as long as you thought. Huzzah!
How about making your own peanut butter? It’s cheaper and easy.
Things like almond milk always baffled me because of all the ingredients in it.