Plant Based On A Budget (Part 2 of 3)
Welcome to part 2 of my Plant Based On A Budget series.
In my last post I covered....
- staples that will save you money
- how having a meal plan can save you money
- why you don't need to supplement and how this will save you $$$
- plus there was a fun video with some meal suggestions for staples
If you missed it... I highly recommend you check it out here - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/plant-based-on-a-budget-part-1-of-3
So now you are all caught up, let's dive in to part 2.
Literally these days all it seems like everyone is talking about when it comes to health (besides supplements) are superfoods.
Lucuma, Maca, Reishi, Spirulina, Kale... the list goes on.
And while yes there are some merits to superfoods... they actually aren't that special or super.
You want to know what the OG super food is???
Do you think you can guess?
*hint* it's one of my favourite foods.
Think you have worked it out?
Now why are potatoes are superfood?
And no, it's not because they make vodka lol!
It's because during famine, potatoes literally kept people alive.
They are so jam packed full of nutrients that they were able to sustain populations for cheap, when everyone was going through extreme poverty.
They are high in b vitamins, have enough amino acids (protein) to sustain us and have resistant starch to feed our good gut bacteria.
PLUS they were used by sailors (and pirates) on long voyages to stave off scurvy due to their high vitamin c content.
So you don't need to go looking for rare and expensive foods that make UNBELIEVABLE claims, you only need to look at one of the cheapest and most common vegetables in your supermarket or farmers market to get something that is jam packed in exactly what your body needs!
My friend Andrew, was able to live on just potatoes for 12 whole months and not only did he get his health under control, lowered his weight AND beat food addiction - he has no gone on to put together the 'Spud Fit' cookbook... which I was lucky enough to contribute to (along with other plant based professionals like Dr Michael Greger, Dr Michael Klapper and James Aspey). For more information about that you can check it out by CLICKING HERE.
Another superfood that are very humble and common - are brassicas - like broccoli.
I know, I know, broccoli isn't really all that exciting.
But, cutting edge research shows brassicas are powerful NRF2 activators, meaning they are an expression of antioxidant proteins that protect against oxidative damage triggered by injury and inflammation. This helps prevent aging and disease. Woohoo. And all this for between $2.00 to $4.00 a kilo. Bargain.
See there is no need to buy an expensive powder, or certain superfood just because it sounds good.
If you have a good look at your regular supermarket veggies you can find so many hidden benefits without spending a fortune.
Don't let superfoods put you off starting a plant based diet, there are plenty of regular 'every day' foods that are healthy, nutritious and will fit your budget!
So now that we are putting the superfood myth behind us, and are just focusing on buying healthy whole foods, let's talk buying in bulk.
Now, with fresh food it is a bit trickier... cause obviously you don't want food spoilage. But choosing fruits and veg and stocking up on sale items and building recipes around that for the week can help save you money.
You can also substitute 'like for like' veggies in recipes. For eg, if you have a stirfry recipe, one week capsicum, broccoli and carrot might be cheap... the next week cauliflower, beans and bok choy might be cheap. So you just substitute the veggies for whatever 'like' ones are on sale each week.
Stocking up on things like rice, nuts, potatoes, onions, lentils and beans when they are on sale or for 'larger' quantities for cheaper can help save you a lot of money.
For eg, if you watched the video on my last post, there was a bag of rice it was $19.25 AUD. On sale I have actually purchased that same bag of rice for $9.95, a saving of nearly $10. That bag of rice lasts me literally months. So when you are only spending $9.95 on a bag of rice that lasts you months, you can get meal costs down to like $2 - $3 per meal with some veggies, tofu and sauce.
Beans, rice, corn & taco seasoning can be another cheap meal based around two bulk foods, beans and rice. As a bonus beans are really great sources of iron and amino acids. Add a tablespoon of avocado for some healthy fats and a squeeze of lime juice for vitamin c (also to help with iron absorption) and top with fresh cilantro and purple onion and you have a delicious and meal full of antioxidants, iron, vitamins and minerals. And it would cost less than $5.
Asian supermarkets are also a gold mine for cheap bulk product like beans, lentils, herbs, rice, rice noodles and sauces.
So as you can see there are plenty of easy to source, cheap and delicious options that you can easily put together on a budget.
Don't get caught up in having to have superfoods or 'special' foods to be plant based. If you are on a budget you can thrive on a plant based diet too.
Buy foods when they are on sale, or in bulk and you can eat an abundant, healthy array of foods that literally have so many benefits for you.
Try not to get caught up in having to have the latest 'algae' drink or mushroom tea, or magical vegetable only grown by unicorns in subtropical climates where magical pixies live. Yes they can be fun, yes they do look pretty on instagram... but no you don't have to have them to be healthy.
So what's coming up in the next post??
We'll be looking at budget friendly beverages, how batch (bulk) cooking can save you $$$ and MUCH MORE.
And, as always if you have any questions about eating plant based on a budget, let me know in the comments and I will answer your questions Fri-YAY!
P.S. please feel free to share this article on Facebook, in relevant Facebook groups or on Twitter to help others go plant based on a budget :)
P.P.S part 3 is live now - https://becomeaplantbasedbabe.com/blogs/news/plant-based-on-a-budget-part-3-of-3
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