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Food on a budget, food allergies!

Commented on September 20, 2013
Created September 19, 2013 at 8:30 PM

I am a mother of 3 (7,5,1) who eats pretty close to Paleo, more along a clean diet.

We all organic 95% of the time-some things I just cannot find organic. We are 100% gluten and dairy free.

I am in desperate need of help with a meal plan for 2 weeks at a time-without breaking the bank. Soon, we will have venison, squirrel and rabbit-but right now we do not!

My problem is this: I am nursing said 1 year old-and I have dropped 6 more lbs since my allergy appointment.(a month ago) I have had the healthiest-most miserable year of my life. I want to be trim, in shape-but this kid had me gain 60lbs (I craved HORRIBLE FOODS) only to leave me with a smaller pant, and bra size than I began with and extra stretched out skin. I was 138 size 3/4 prebaby (but NOT healthy...we will not talk about those horrible choices!)

My baby boy presented with gluten issues-after figuring them out it was a no-brainer to change my diet and just live a greener/healthier life. I took meds while pregnant for asthma/allergies as my Doc had me convinced my baby was not getting enough oxygen with me covered in hives and wheezing. After baby was born-I ditched the drugs and battled allergies -that lead to asthma issues- on a regular basis. Looking for an alternative to Zyrtec or those lovely "homeopathic" remedies that do not work-I ended up with an allergist doing sublingual immunotherapy. Not sure if it works for sure or not yet-but my allergy test came back with shocking news!

I am allergic to eggs!

I am allergic to corn (he says high fructose corn syrup-that organic corn is fine...)

milk-i knew this

and am unable to test for wheat/gluten as I do not eat it anyhow.

I am not allergic to peanut butter

mild intolerance to soy-not enough to worry-though I use it in moderation

Anyway, I was LIVING on bananas w/ p.b. (not paleo-but I love p.b.) and eggs basically-I stopped eating eggs per Docs recommendation and TADA my allergy symptoms are almost gone. Now, I am starving!

We do not use a microwave or toaster but choose to use the wood stove (heat and cook on top) or my regular stove/oven. I want my family eating healthy meals-and I have a lovely Ninja-that I HATE-you cannot get the darn thing clean-it is junk! We eat a lot of smoothies (and will hopefully do more/different kinds when I get a nicer blender)

I am not even sure what to include in my diet for my kids and myself. I feel like a failure as a mother for just NOT KNOWING. So many families do the basic pizza, mac n cheese kind of deal-that when I google "healthy family meals on a budget" I find NOTHING useful.

I will admit-we do gf pancakes w/ bacon on Sunday every week-the pancakes are from a mix-I cannot for the life of me make a pancake gf that tastes good and doesn't cost a small fortune.

all the recipes I see involve so much coconut and almond products-and to be honest-I cannot afford those! I am a meat eater, not a big veggie fan-organic meat is EXPENSIVE!

any help?

Medium avatar

(238)

on September 20, 2013
at 09:36 PM

Sure teach your kids to dent cans and steal from stores, great advice.

148922320b1957d405eed2f0ddc85944

(5)

on September 19, 2013
at 10:20 PM

Thank you for your advice...I do not know that we can give up the pancakes-it is once a week...I know they are not the best, but the kids really do look forward to them. I cannot eat sardines-not.going.to.happen. Soon enough, we will have free meat (venison, rabbit...) and I am hoping that solves some of the issue. My biggest hurdle is planning meals and not losing too much weight.

As for smoothies-I will starve without them. My grandmother was not a great example...I am 25 so eating like my grandparents would be feeding my kids formula and McD.

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2 Answers

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C081372eb93b10e8c8512edf76890588

on September 20, 2013
at 09:27 PM

@tamika You're not a bad mother at all. I commend you for trying to find food for your children that is healthy and filling when I know people, like my relatives, who live with other people and simply feed their children junk or portions that are much too small to sustain them. Here's the thing; they need to get used to soup at first. Get the cheap cuts at a grocery store or a butcher and put it in a crockpot with some carrots, potatoes, even beets and rutabaga. The crockpot can do more than the blender. Look through the sales papers/online for something that is cheap and has cheap produce as well. A local market - NOT a farmer's market, but a market that is very area isolated - is better because they have to compete with bigger chains. Don't worry so much about organic/free range, just get the meat that you can afford because it'll help them and yourself gain some healthy fat. Olive oil is a miracle food and I prefer it to coconut oil, and it'll add some fat, which helps keep them full.

You can even make grocery shopping a game with your kids! Let your seven year old look at the prices and tell you which are cheaper and your five year old can pick out the vegetables that they think are pretty and tell you the colors. And if you do want to feed them "normal" food, I've found that making my own potato chips and "fries" cheers my little cousins right up. Slice them very thinly, leave the skin on - it adds some tang, saves some time - and then toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, bake at 350 for around twenty minutes.

Actually, here; I'd advise you to get lots of chicken - the frozen kind is cheaper and there's a lot less work - and beef and whatever else:

Week one:

Monday

Breakfast - Smoothie, since they like them so much, or a fruit salad with some bacon

Lunch - Kale and chicken with bell pepper for colors

Snack - Peanut butter with raisins on celery

Dinner - Brussels sprouts (call them "tiny cabbages" and they'll think it's amazing) with more chicken

Tuesday

Breakfast - Smoothie or a kind of 'breakfast stirfry' with onion, garlic, tomato, lots of spinach and sausage.

Lunch - All veggies! Throw on a little salt and pepper, maybe some beef, they'll love it.

Snack - Paleo chips, which I wrote above.

Dinner - Stew; cheap meat that you'll leave in a crockpot if you have one or a normal pot if you don't from the morning and some potatoes and carrots that'll soften through the day. Throw in an onion around an hour before it's done, and a piece of garlic at around the fifteen minute mark. Some basil thrown in there is also good. Rice is good for this.

Note: rice is controversially paleo, but it is filling and they like it. If you can, get the Jasmine rice - gives /everything/ a different flavor.

Wednesday

Breakfast - The stew from last night if you have leftovers, but if your kids can tolerate it, eggs. Otherwise, they'll be fine with some rice instead. A smoothie or another fruit salad otherwise.

Lunch - Again, stew. Otherwise, a lettuce wrap.

Snack - Almonds/nuts with an apple

Dinner - Pork loin in a crockpot or in the oven. If in the oven, stuff garlic pieces in it randomly, baste with butter or olive oil to give it a crispy crunch. Spinach and rice.

Thursday

Breakfast - Pork loin over some fruit.

Lunch - Lettuce wraps again, but put some mayo - it's not paleo but it's fatty and they're kids; take it out of yours if you don't want it - and again, a little pork loin. (I keep saying pork loin because it has a tendency to stretch so long as fifty billion people aren't all eating it)

Snack - Chips or Kale chips.

Dinner - paleo spaghetti sauce with either spaghetti squash or zucchini or whole grain pasta.

Friday

Breakfast - Spaghetti. Or peaches and some bacon.

Lunch - Rice with some duck sauce/soy thrown over and some tuna mixed in there.

Snack - Pecans or other nuts and fruit.

Dinner - Salmon cakes. Get the bone in and it's less than $4 a can. Get two, dent them (just let the five year old carry them, haha) and they'll be up to .50 off, so you go from around $7 to $6 - make sure your store does this; larger chains might not. Debone the salmon, throw in some onions and bell pepper, toss some salt and pepper, some olive oil, and then make balls - there's no meal in this because almond meal is unnecessarily expensive and you guys are gluten free, so the balls means they won't break in the pan - and throw them in a pan with some hot oil. Two cans makes enough for dinner and breakfast.

Saturday

Breakfast - Salmon cakes with fruit/smoothie.

Lunch - Salmon cakes with spinach/kale.

Snack - Kale chips.

Dinner - Chicken, rice, and spinach.

Sunday

Breakfast - Chicken with fruit/smoothie and/or bacon.

Lunch - Chicken wrap.

Snack - Chips and/or almonds.

Dinner - Pork shoulder. I'm giving you my mom's recipe for this; start the night before to let it marinate. Poke holes under the skin and stuff garlic and chopped bellpeppers/onions in the holes. Do this at the pork shoulder end, where the bone is, as well. Throw mojo and cooking wine on it, leave it in your fridge. The next day, cover it with aluminum foil and put it in the oven at 425. After a few hours, flip it and take the aluminum foil off. Put some raw/wild honey on it to give it a sweet edge. Flip it again in the last half hour once the crust sound ready on the top that's up. Take this out and let it /rest/; this is essential. Serve slices with some spinach or asparagus. Maybe mashed sweet potatoes if you want to.

That's it for the week! Rinse and repeat ad nauseum until things start looking up. A regular menu helps you with prices and your kids definitely know what to expect. Hope that helps!

Medium avatar

(238)

on September 20, 2013
at 09:36 PM

Sure teach your kids to dent cans and steal from stores, great advice.

0
718fd304d7abab150730638bf2be5153

(184)

on September 19, 2013
at 10:15 PM

Very cheap proteins, with lots of good omega 3 fats ? Get sardines. A bit more expensive, salmon and chicken. Bone broth is extremely healthy and the meat is cheap too. Butter is a good fat for cooking, and olive oil for salads, you don't need the fancy coconut oil. If you cannot afford good veggies every day, you can give the kids some rice, sweet potatoes, or potatoes.

Try to get rid of the pancakes, even gluten-free. It's like giving the kids sugar. Try to find veggies you and the kids like. And try to avoid the smoothies - in general, the more you eat like your grand-parents, the better.

148922320b1957d405eed2f0ddc85944

(5)

on September 19, 2013
at 10:20 PM

Thank you for your advice...I do not know that we can give up the pancakes-it is once a week...I know they are not the best, but the kids really do look forward to them. I cannot eat sardines-not.going.to.happen. Soon enough, we will have free meat (venison, rabbit...) and I am hoping that solves some of the issue. My biggest hurdle is planning meals and not losing too much weight.

As for smoothies-I will starve without them. My grandmother was not a great example...I am 25 so eating like my grandparents would be feeding my kids formula and McD.

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