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Friday, November 29, 2013

Thoughts On A Month Of (Mostly) Paleo Eating

For the past month or so, we've been eating a mostly paleo diet.  It was actually easier than I thought, at least in some ways.  Here's a breakdown of how it went:
Budget. Our food budget has gone up.  We were at $150 each month, along with $50 for household items.  However, looking at our past few months of statements, we had also been spending a couple hundred dollars a month on eating out.  Ouch! We really needed to reign that in anyways, regardless of how our grocery budget changed.  We ended up spending about $250 on food, but we only ate out I think twice, so we ended up spending less total, even thought the grocery budget went up.

Time. Obviously making real food, especially with lots of veggies, takes time.  I have already been making quite a bit from scratch, so it didn't add too much extra time to that. I did spend a lot of time chopping veggies and portioning meat over the first few days after each grocery trip though.  It also took me longer to plan the menu each two-week cycle because I didn't have a lot of paleo recipes to pull from, so I had to go find those, then make detailed ingredients lists, then combine those into shopping lists.

Grocery Shopping. Because paleo eating requires so many veggies and fresh produce items, even though I made a two-week menu plan, we went shopping at least once a week.  We did a bigger trip for non-perishables and produce that would last for two weeks (as well as items that freeze well that I could prep and throw in the freezer), and then a smaller trip the second week.  I was definitely more conscious of not wasting food and making sure every bit was used up since the grocery bills were a bit higher than I was used to.

Recipes. We used mostly recipes from Everyday Paleo, a cookbook we picked up from the local bookstore. Out of all that we tried, there were only two that weren't really hits, although the kids didn't like quite as many as we did. 

Kids. We supplemented the kids' paleo eating with milk, yogurt, bread, pasta, and occasional treats. We did this mostly because they are used to eating these things, and to help them adjust to eating what we were eating, we included some things they were used to that weren't paleo.

Cheating. I have some candy in a cupboard, and we each pulled an occasional treat from there. Some of our meals contained beans. We had cereal and oatmeal for breakfast some mornings, which also included milk.  And I continued to have my almost daily coffee.  Not perfectly paleo, but these cheats helped us stick with the rest of it.

So will we continue? Generally, yes. We will include many of these paleo recipes in our monthly plans. However, we've both agreed that we will not stick completely to the paleo diet, as it is also more budget conscious for us to include things like beans and brown rice in our diets rather than just meats and veggies.  Plus, we do have some favorite recipes that aren't paleo that we would like to include.  We will, however, try not to return the the hundreds a month in eating out, because that was a bad habit we were glad to break!

What about you? How do you feel about the paleo diet?

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