Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 66 of 365 - Healthy Living is Expensive

MealDescriptionReference FoodsCaloriesProteinCost
Meal 1Breakfast with nutritional supplementsWeekday - Oatmeal with Flax, Nuts, Tea, Vitamin
Weekend - Pancakes with Fake Meat, Tea, Vitamin
Meal 2Bean based mealChili with Brown Rice and Frozen Vegetables
Dal Makhani with Brown Rice and Frozen Vegetables
Tostadas with Salad and Dressing
Soft Tacos with Guacamole
Hummus Plate with Fresh Vegs, Fruit and Nuts
Frozen Burrito with Salad and Dressing
Meal 3Grain based mealWhole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli and Cheese
Teriyaki Stir Fry - Brown Rice with Broccoli and Tofu
Homemade Vegetable Pizza
Cheese Plate with Fresh Vegs, Fruit and Nuts
Snack 1High protein dairy with active culturesCottage Cheese and Whole Wheat Crackers
Greek Yogurt
Snack 2FruitApple
1/3lb pineapple
1/4lb strawberries
1/4lb grapes
Snack 3Junk food (optional)1/4 cup popcorn kernels, popped in oil
Ramen Noodles
3oz Chips
2 Homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
Homemade brownie
3 Aldi little schoolboy cookies
TOTAL  2675925.89

This morning I did a more intensive analysis of my $4 a day food goal. It is achievable, if I am willing to cut all snacks and live on 2000 calories a day, with only 68 grams of protein. Of course, when I want to lose weight (1-2lbs a week), I eat 2000 calories a day. 68 grams of protein a day is plenty, for a sedentary 120lb woman...

My affinity for weight training, coupled with a vegetarian diet, requires I eat a little more. The table above is more realistic (though still pretty low in protein) and reflects the cost cutting measures I have made over the last year. I think there is room to cut a few % here and there, maybe 15% at the high end. $5 a day might be attainable without nutritional compromise. $4 a day? No way.

In my defense, it seems like every time I go to the store, food prices have gone up. The references I was using to establish this goal certainly did not account for the food inflation we have seen over the past few years. I also doubt the diets were as nutritionally sound as what I am eating. I believe the long term health benefits of eating this way are substantial.

I am going to continue working on that 15%, but I am no longer chasing $4 a day. Health comes first.