Sunday, January 26, 2014

And So It Begins

As promised, for at least the next few weeks I'm going to post what we're eating along with our grocery receipt and the time we're putting into our meals along with recipes.  Rik's done SO good.  He's lost almost 40 pounds and the biggest change in him (like it was in me if you've followed up to this point) was changing how he eats.    

Sunday is usually grocery shopping day.  Today we went to Sprouts Market here in Longmont.  They've got AMAZING prices and the best produce for grocery stores locally.  Huge selection, and lots of organic if you swing that way (we don't). We also hit Natural Grocers for Vegenaise (click here for explanation) and hazelnuts for some more of that home made sugar-free Nutella I made last Thursday night (and we had  finished off straight outa the bowl with spoons by Monday).  

I can't find the receipt for Natural Grocers (thinking it blew out of the box on our way inside), but you can add $35 to the total here if you're so inclined, for what we spent there which also included the Udi's gluten free pizza crust, pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella for the pizza Rik was craving for dinner (he decided against Dominos!  I'm expecting a tearful driver sometime in the next few days asking what he ever did to make us mad), and some nutritional yeast I'm craving on popcorn when I finish this post, and some pita pockets. 

Anyway here's the receipt.  We spent $90 today total which is a bit more than normal due to the fact I didn't shop in the middle of the week like I normally do and was gone all last weekend.  So this is basically 2 weeks of food for us minus some incidentals like fresh fruits/veges.  The bulk items are only purchased every-other week or so.
Notice the big bite taken out of the edge of the Colby cheese...yah...right there in the middle in the front.  We took The Rocket Dog with us in the Jeep just to get out of the house for a bit, and someone snuck into the bag in between grocery stores and we didn't find it til I was unloading everything.  Soooo..... yaaaahhhhhhh..... (we're still totally eating it).

So here's a typical Sunday evening.  We got home from our hunting/gathering having conquered strangely busy grocery stores sanity intact (not sure what the heck was going on was busy everywhere), and I emptied the bags and got things put away.  I put on 1 c. of barley and 1 c. of brown rice to cook on the stove and cleaned some garbanzo beans and put them to soak overnight while I got dinner going.  (I'm not crazy about garbanzos, but found this cool recipe I'm going to try and will share here this week, so this is in preparation for that.) 

I also usually cook half a dozen eggs (good for a snack or lunch) at the same time I'm making the rice/quinoa/barley which will last all week.  Got the groceries put away while the rice/barley was cooking and put a yam and a sweet potato in the microwave to bake while this was going on which then got peeled and cubed and put in a plastic bowl in the fridge, another item you can use to throw into a bowl with rice or as a side to a piece of grilled chicken which we still have cooked from the middle of the week.  But usually I'll grill the chicken on the outside grill while the grains are cooking.  This sounds time consuming, but ALL of it took me a total of maybe 30-45 minutes.

Rik got dinner started, which was pizza tonight as stated.  By the time the pizzas came out of the oven and we sat down to eat, the items on the stove were about half done.  Groceries were put away, so after we ate I totally sat on my butt watching The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and did absolutely nothing.  

After the movie, I went in to clean up from dinner, got breakfasts made for Rik to grab on his way out the door in the morning, these cool little Overnight No-Cook Oatmeal To Go that I saw on Facebook a few weeks ago and gives him some variety and are super easy to grab and toss in his backpack if he's running late in the morning or just wants a change from hot cereal or a protein drink.  (The link above is to the original website.  Try as I might, I couldn't find a recipe on the site that had instructions with measurements, so let me know if you need them.  I figured it out and wrote it out with measurements per serving).  I could have done this earlier and been done with the whole prep thing, but got sidetracked being lazy.  This took about 10 minutes.  Again, notice here that I'm still under an hour for prep time total!  :D

This went into the fridge which is now full of the following:  
  • A tub of black beans I cooked on Wednesday.  
  • A tub of navy beans and ham that was dinner on Thursday night whose leftovers will probably be lunch tomorrow.
  • Half a dozen eggs I cooked on Wednesday.
  • A tub of brown rice cooked tonight.
  • A tub of barley I cooked tonight that will be made into Warm Chicken and Barley Salad for Rik's lunch when I can get to the store and pick up the mint leaves I forgot for the sauce (I'll post the recipe later this week).
  • A tub of baked yam/sweet potato.
  • 2 pint containers of Oatmeal to Go.

With the exception of the items I cooked on Wednesday, 
all of this prep took me about 1 hour.  That includes putting away the groceries, fixing dinner, and cooking everything.  I promise: it's not time consuming, and now we have almost everything we need to toss things into lunch pails, track intake, and not eat out for lunch because we aren't home.  

We got these cute little plastic containers for the dry goods we get in bulk at Sprouts.  You'll notice on the receipt that both the barley and the oatmeal are only $0.99 per pound, and the garbanzo beans are $1.61 per pound.  Buy in bulk when you can.  It really is a great way to save money.  And most Sprouts stores have a large bulk section.  If you're not sure what store in your area sells in this way, remember that Google is your friend.  You're friend who knows the best places to save you money and help you eat healthy within your budget.  

Some of the items that I'll use this week are things I already had to hand from my abbreviated trip to the store in the middle of last week, like the pineapple, bananas, and spaghetti squash pictured below.  These are pretty incidental though.  
So here we go!  I'll try to post every day with recipes of what we ate so you get an idea of the time spent in preparation and how much you can eat when you're eating healthy.  It's NOT like 'dieting'.  I intially lost 23 pounds eating as much as I wanted of the following foods:  

Non-gluten grains
Raw nuts and raw nut butters
Lean meats

Add to this any herbs for seasoning, salt within reason, honey and/or stevia, and some rare low-fat dairy if you're so inclined, and you've cut out 90% of the items in the average grocery store and pretty  much anything that has more than 1-2 ingredients.  Added bonus:  You've avoided that 90% of the store that generally pisses people off the most: almost every narrow cart-filled aisle!)

We're proof that this works.  And weight loss notwithstanding, we feel so much better.  Rik's blood pressure medicine was made obsolete and his joint pain is only a rare occurrence (usually if he's dehydrated).  When you're giving your body real food, it thanks you in unexpected ways.  And it doesn't have to be time consuming or costly.  I promise.  

So stick with us kids...