Saying Yes

I wanted to reply to a comment left on my Facebook in response to yesterday’s blog post, but I don’t know how to do that without sounding over-the-top preachy.   So, suffice it to say that my husband and I do not have an extravagant income, nor do we have exorbitant food bills.  However, we make careful choices in how we spend our food dollars.  Since we’ve cut out almost all processed foods (because they contain gluten) and replaced that with more things made from scratch, our food bill has stayed pretty much the same and we’re eating better, more nutritious food.

When we started this adventure, I was the only one gluten-free.  So I was still buying conventional breads, etc. for Tim and GF bread for myself.  I also took the opportunity to cut down the amount of bread I was eating, so while a loaf of GF bread did cost more, it also lasted me a month.  That turned out to be an even exchange.  I turned all the money we were spending on takeout and fast(er) food into shopping the perimeter of the store only.  I found the supermarket that had the best produce (and the lowest prices…go figure), and even though it’s out of my way, I make it my business to shop their once a week, buying what’s on sale.

There is a whole world of food that is naturally gluten-free.   Rice and beans are really cheap.  Red lentils and rice (in equal proportions) are the base for many of my lunches.  I make a big pot of it early in the week and top it with leftover green veggies from the night before.  I had to open my palate and my mind to different tastes, but because of that, I discovered which dark, green, leafy veggies I adore (most of them) and which I don’t particularly care for (mustard greens).

I tried different grains and now Quinoa is my go-to grain instead of rice.  It’s a whole grain, it’s packed with protein and I like the taste.  Buckwheat (Kasha) is not made form wheat.  In fact, it’s not even a grain.  It is naturally GF and I use it as a side dish frequently.   I also use rice (brown or white depending on what I need it for)  where I used to use pasta and my big splurge is brown rice pasta.  Again, I would make conventional, cheaper pasta for Tim and use the expensive stuff in single servings for myself.

I also cut back on dairy.  I hadn’t realized how much money I spent on processed cheese that really wasn’t doing me any good.  I credit the dairy cut back for 15 of the 30 lbs I’ve lost in the last year.  At first I really missed it.  Then I didn’t miss it as much, then I did and I went back on the dairy…and now I don’t feel so good, so it’s going again.

My next venture is to become a working member of my local food co-op.  That will get me a 25% discount on everything I buy there.   After that I want to look into starting to bake my own GF bread.  If I calculate out the difference in price, it will probably pay for me to get a bread machine fairly soon.  If I buy my flours from the bulk bins at the co-op I can’t see it costing my $5/loaf.  I will, however, let you know.

All this writing about food is making me hungry.



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