Hi, I'm Andrea! Our little family of four lives in South Florida and leads worship. We are here to share the love of Christ and live life together. We're learning a lot here and enjoy looking for opportunities to grow. Thanks for listening and coming alongside us!

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Monday, August 4, 2014

5 Budget Tips for Paleo Living

I am so thrilled to introduce you to a wonderful gal -- Julie from Homegrown State of Mind! You may remember my first guest post -- Raising a Gluten-Free Toddler -- that was on Julie's lovely blog! Be sure to check her out! AND in 1 week you will see us collaborating for a special GIVEAWAY - so be sure to subscribe and stay tuned. ...and NOW it's time for Julie to share some great tips and tricks from her dietary lifestyle! I hope you enjoy :) 

Hi! I'm Julie! I blog over at Homegrown State of Mind. I'm so honored to be guest posting for Andrea! Today I'm going to be talking about some budget tips for living the Paleo lifestyle. But first things first, what is Paleo?

What is Paleo?

The Paleo diet has grown in popularity over the years and is quite a buzzword in the health world. But what is it exactly and why are so many people deciding to "go Paleo"? Well, the Paleo, short for Paleolithic, diet is based on foods that mimic the food groups of our hunter-gatherer, pre-agricultural ancestors. Think about what our ancestors ate - way before we packaged everything in plastic wrappers and had drive-thru fast food. They ate REAL FOOD. Food that came from the land and animals - and those animals weren't pumped full of synthetic hormones and antibiotics; they were "organic," so to speak.

So, what kinds of foods are considered REAL FOOD? Vegetables. Fruits. Meats/fish. Nuts/seeds. Now, that may seem like limited options, but let me tell you, I've eaten MORE food while sticking to a Paleo lifestyle than any other diet I've tried. When I first went Paleo, I found the below list to be helpful in explaining what is accepted as Paleo.
{Source: Balanced Bites}

Now, if you'll notice, on that list there are some asterisks marked on some vegetables and fruits. That means those are the produce items you should be buying organic. When thinking about grocery shopping, organic can mean $$, and so can all those fresh meats, and I think this is where some people may shy away from Paleo because of the cost involved. But there's a kicker.

Why Should I Try Paleo?

I'm not going to sugarcoat it for you - yes, adhering to the Paleo lifestyle is expensive, and probably more expensive than your current food lifestyle. But what is your health worth to you? Let's ponder this for a moment. Would you rather buy cheap, highly processed foods, pay doctor bills, and feel sluggish all the time? Or would you rather buy Paleo-approved foods, feel energetic and not have to see your doctor very often?

{Source: Primal Palate}

I decided to try Paleo about a year and half ago, purely for the health benefits. And it was the best decision I've ever made. My body was crying for help on the inside with the foods I used to eat - breads, cheese, processed foods - and it was starting to show on the outside with a little weight gain, bloating, no energy, no motivation. Now, I actually feel good after I eat and feel energetic all day. I actually ate MORE and initially lost 12 pounds and have maintained that for a year and half without trying. I'm human, so I don't stay 100% Paleo all day, every day. I have treats occasionally, but at least stick to gluten-free options. Budget was a concern at first, but my health benefits outweighed everything else, so the added expense is justified for me.

5 Budget Tips for Paleo Living

There are some things you can do to stay on a budget while sticking to Paleo, however. You just have to be a smart shopper. Here are 5 tips.

  1. Buy Local and Eat Seasonally - More and more farmer's markets are popping up everywhere, and you should be utilizing them and your local health food store. If you can afford it, buy fresh, in-season veggies and fruits in bulk. It may be more expensive upfront, but cheaper in the long run. Find a local farmer?s market here. If you shop at Walmart, Kroger, or any other chain grocery store, look for signs that say the produce is grown locally. Sometimes these are cheaper. Also, check out local butcher shops and health food stores for bulk meats. Be sure to look for "grass-fed" or "free-range" items. Note: I don?t always buy organic. EEK! Sometimes it?s just not economical for me. I use my best judgement and think, "Will I be eating the skin of this veggie/fruit?" If so, I'll try to buy organic. If not, I?ll opt for a cheaper option. Here's an excellent guide on the most important foods to buy organic.

  2. Cook in Bulk  - When going Paleo, it's a bit impractical to eat out all the time, as you never know what could have some ingredients in it that aren't Paleo-approved, and it's expensive. So, simply cooking all of your meals at home is the way to go. On Sundays, I cook for the upcoming week. I love using my crockpot for Paleo chili or Ratatouille (even in the summer!), or making a big stir-fry. I sometimes make egg muffins for breakfast or some Paleo pancakes.

  3. Coupons - Yes, some brands of Paleo-approved items have coupons! Google is your friend here. I like Laura's Lean brand for some of my meats, and they have coupons on their website. Silk brand of almond milk and coconut milk often go on sale, too. Muir Glen, an organic brand of sauces, salsas and canned tomatoes (the only canned product I buy), also has coupons/sales. Some brands of coconut oil offer sales, as well, like Tropical Traditions. Online vitamin/health food stores offer discounts and coupons, like VitacostiHerb and even Amazon.  

  4. Make You Own - This goes along with cooking at home, but you can also make your own almond butter/nut butter, fermented vegetables, kombucha, etc. Where I live, the Paleo-approved almond butter is $15 a jar! Ouch! I'm NOT paying for that. So I make my own with raw almonds. Tutorial here. I also ferment my own vegetables (helps your veggies last longer and is cheaper in the long run), and brew my own kombucha (fermented tea).

  5. Don't Stress - Paleo is more of a lifestyle than diet, really. So don't feel overwhelmed when grocery shopping. Buy what you can afford and go from there. Have Paleo friends? Or friends who want to try it too? Go in together, buy in bulk and share the cost. Like I said, Paleo is a lifestyle, and you'll learn as you go. :-)
Here are some excellent resources for more information about the Paleo diet and Paleo recipes: The Paleo DietBalanced Bites, Primal Palate, Paleo Schmaleo, and Paleomg.

Thanks for reading! 
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1 comment :

  1. Thank you so much for letting me guest post on your blog!! Can't wait for our giveaway! :-)


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