Due to health concerns, we are changing the way we eat.
Since March of this year, we've been adopting a mix of GAPS/Paleo/lower carb ways of eating. It requires a huge change in the way we've been taught to eat.
I do not follow the USDA's Food Pyramid any longer. Instead, I follow a nutrient-dense food pyramid. It looks a lot different than what we're used to!
Now, you can say that this cannot be healthy, but my bloodwork showed differently. My overall cholesterol dropped by 40 points and my LDL and HDL levels are finally within optimum ranges, all without the help of medications (and it all happened in a 4 week period!) My blood pressure went down to within normal range, again without medications. My blood sugars are easier to control, my skin breakouts cleared up, I don't have digestive system issues any more, and I have so much more energy!
Changing the way we eat also requires a change in planning meals. I no longer use breads/pasta/rice as fillers. I've more than doubled the amount of veggies/fruits in our diet and I'm not afraid to eat red meat. In learning more about the benefits of whole foods, I also realized that we needed more fish & nuts in our diet to get the healthy fats. I no longer bake bread except on the rare occasion.
How do I still manage to feed my crew of 3 adults, 2 teen boys and a tween girl on a restricted food budget of $60 or less a week? Well, by eliminating bread/pasta or expensive alternatives (think gluten-free bread, low-fat cookies, etc.), I also don’t use sauces, syrups, or spreads that are required to make bread/pasta tasty. By eliminating expensive breakfast cereal, I don’t use much milk at all. Those savings can go into buying nutrient dense foods. My shopping cart is typically 1/3 full of meat & cheese & eggs, and 2/3 full of fresh/frozen fruits & veggies with a few cans of coconut milk and spices that I need.
Here's my menu plan for this week.
breakfast – spinach & cheese omelets
lunch – skipped because we had breakfast late and just weren't hungry
dinner – baked chicken, salad
breakfast - cottage cheese & fruit
lunch - tuna patties, side salad
dinner - German meatballs in sauce, tossed salad, pear & blueberry salad
breakfast - dairy free mango smoothies, scrambled eggs
lunch - ham & pepper roll ups, fresh fruit
dinner - artichoke & chicken bake, romaine salad, crustless coconut cream pie
breakfast – no-atmeal with blueberries
lunch - turkey rollups with veggie sticks
dinner - triple meatloaf, steamed broccoli, oven fried potatoes
breakfast - sausage/spinach/cheddar frittata
lunch - beef liver & caramelized onions, beet pickles
dinner - provolone smothered chicken, tomato & veggies salad with Italian dressing
breakfast - cottage cheese, grapefruit
lunch - chef salad, beef broth
dinner - tilapia, tropical fruit slaw, green beans
breakfast - poached eggs,cheese/fruit plate
lunch - family reunion (taking sweet potato/bacon/egg salad)
dinner - sausage & potato skillet, tossed salad
Snacks: blueberry banana pops (pureed berries & bananas, frozen in popsicle molds), trail mix (almonds, craisins, sunflower seeds, dried banana chips, coconut), peanut butter on celery sticks, primal energy bars
Some of the recipes are already posted. I'll post more recipes as we try them and find them to be good!