Hey guys, been interested in paleo for awhile but the cost of it has always put me off. I have however got two things that made it a bit more realistic for me to be able to do.
1. A Makro card
I am not doing grass fed because the only place that does it near me is a butchers and it costs me over 20 pound for a si ngle grassed steak there, This is not feasible for me. I had the attitude of if i can't do grassed and wild fish I might as well eat a bagel which robb wolf addresses in his book and it spurred me to seek out a way to do paleo, even if its not optimal i.e. grassed.
I just picked myself up 60 free range eggs for ??8.00
5kg chicken breast fillet for ??20.00
I have got a big bag of fresh coffee at home already
The rest of my food will be fresh fruit or vegetables picked up from the shop on my way home daily.
So how would something like this look:
3-4 egg omelette with a black coffee
Chicken salad with some olive oil and lots of leafy veg and carrot, pepper etc maybe an apple or orange
small cup of chicken or egg for a protein source with either fruit or salad again.
1 gallon of water daily
Omega 3 capsules
I understand this is not optimal in any sense of the word, but buying bulk and factory farm chicken is the only way my money can stretch enough to do paleo.
Also how much harm will using a sugary and gluten containing marinade sauce have in terms of ruining the benefits of the paleo diet? I get bored of chicken but it is the only bulk protein i can afford. Using something like a levi roots sauce or a teriyaki or other kind of marinade just to make it tasty would probably relive some of the boredom of food and make it much easier to stick to.
However if this is taking the whole 90% paleo idea too far I will just slug the chicken breast down.
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What raydawg said, plus canned sardines,smoked oysters, smoked clams, trout and tuna (in BPA free cans) can all provide lots of protein, omega-3 oils, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, manganese, B-12, at a fraction of the price of meats, and you can buy them on-line in bulk for better savings and have them shipped if you can't find them close to home.
Comprably the difference between paleo with factory food and some gluten/sugar is far, far, far smaller than paleo vs junkfood. But the actual difference, how much is it? Noone really knows as far as I can tell, there have been no studies on things as relatively insignificant as this. If you have celiacs then the gluten may be an issue, if not just forget about it. Sugar is also more than fine in moderation.
One way to get the cost down is to eat A LOT of vegetables and not necessarily buying these certified organic IF they are listed among the "clean fifteen" vegetables over at EWG (and vice versa if they are listed among the "dirty dozen"). This has enabled me to eat a lot of great vegetables full of dietary fiber and micronutrients for a relatively low cost.
Regarding grassfed meat, I only buy that in bulk directly from the farmer, which will bring the cost down a lot. It is actually not much more expensive for me to eat grassfed certified organic meat when I source it directly from the farmer compared to store-bought conventional grainfed meat and it is actually much less expensive compared to store-bought grainfed certified organic meat. Since you cut out the middleman this way, it will bring the farmers margins up and your expenses down at the same time. Win-win for everyone except your supermarket! :)
It pays to hustle. Go to different shops, source stuff over the internet, check up alternative ways to get hold of stuff. This might become a lot of effort on some days, not so much on other, but in the end it really pays off when you are able to eat great food that makes you feel great for a relatively low amount of money.
I assume, since you are referring to pounds, that you are in the UK? If so - try a local market for veg. They are very fresh and cheaper than supermarkets etc. I think fresh non organic are better than old non organic though I'd rather have organic where possible.
Try a different butcher - my local butcher (in an expensive part of Surrey) sells me a couple of grass fed rib eye steaks for about £8 / 10, depending on the size. Mince from free range grass fed beef and lamb is a cheap option, as are liver, kidney, tongue and heart. Also VERY nutritious. Bones for stock are free or cheap - depends on how well you get to know your butcher.
I buy free range chickens direct from the farm which supplies local butchers and get the chickens for about 60% of the cost from a shop. Also chicken carcasses and feet for free. A local organic pork farmer / butcher gives me fat for free which I can render down to make lard - I haven't paid for cooking fat for year and years.
Lots of places locally sell eggs from free range (and sometimes organic) hens at the farm /garden gate. Great buy, lovely eggs.
Fish - again markets are good, and if you live near the coast, a lot of fishing boats sell direct from the boat so you can load up the freezer very cheaply. Herring, mackerel, herring roes are all hugely nutritious and very very cheap.
You might want to try tracking your calories for a few days. What you've laid out is almost exactly what I used to eat, which typically amounted to 1,000 calories or fewer. (Back when I was in the grips of an eating disorder.) Try increasing your calorie intake by adding a little more fat. Luckily for you, fat is calorie-dense (i.e., wallet-friendly).
I think your meal plan needs more fiber.
Maybe some high fiber snacks? Fiber at breakfast?
Try frozen veggies as well, they are cheaper and don't go bad.
@PatriceOneal, I don't think it's accurate to say that "no one knows" if traditionally-raised livestock is definitively better for you than industrial meat. For example, chickens are omnivores. When they're raised in pastures, they'll eat grass, bugs, and even small mammals that the chickens hunt in packs. Industrial poultry are fed GMO corn and other supplements. This produces a very different fatty acid profile — much higher in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids — than pastured chicken. Since chicken is naturally high in O-6 fats to begin with, industrial chicken "doubles down" on that intake. In addition, there are animals studies (but not human studies) showing that GMO crops lead to infertility, insulin resistance, abnormal cell proliferation and other problems (http://tinyurl.com/m7lx7k5).
For lean protein, farmed fish is safer. Farmed tilapia, both fresh and frozen, is usually cheap and safe to eat. Cod, pollock, and haddock are also good choices (http://tinyurl.com/kadpav5).
You can get creative with homemade sauces for these bland fish to put flavor in your diet, but stop using sugary and gluten-containing marinades and sauces. The problems caused by refined sugar are legion. In addition, the research of Dr. Alessio Fasano of Harvard and others have shown that the gliadin protein fragment in gluten *always* causes the tight junctions of the small intestine to open as the body attempts to flush out this potent toxin at the cost of letting other substances out of the small intestine that should never enter the body, causing havoc at remote sites.
If you can, replace the fish oil with a can of sardines once or twice a week. I'd add in some liver as well.
I think you can also make your own sauce and put it in the fridge for later use. I think you can find some liver and I'm not a fan of omega 3 capsules also, freshly ground flaxseeds may replace them better, if you can't find good enough seafood. Mark Sisson has a page explaining which not-wild seafood may be good enough to consume, and even when you have seafood, flaxseeds may be a helpful addition.
PS: Apparently there are more than one: