When people hear the word diet they think of all sorts of fads or ways to lose weight. I am here to say bullshit. The actual definition of diet is the kinds of foods a person habitually eats. Diet culture has conditioned us to believe the word "diet" is bad-- when in reality the word diet is just an easy way to talk about the food you consume on a regular basis!
A lot of people are really put off by the word diet and I think that it is so, so, so sad. I made a post a few weeks ago about what I eat and I referred to it as a diet and people were like well I don't like the word diet, I would prefer to talk in terms of lifestyle. Okay I guess I kind of~ get it but WHAT.
It is time for us to reclaim the power from the word diet and start talking openly about what we consume. Diet does not have to be a bad word. It just is because our society and communities have conditioned us to think that way. I challenge you to speak more openly about what you consume and call it your diet. Because that is what it is.
As many of you know I suffer from a chronic condition that makes my diet incredibly strict in order to keep the inflammation of my gut down. EOE has been a part of my life for over 10 years now and I am just NOW really understanding the condition and how food affects my body and health.
I took an IgG blood test to test myself for food sensitivities since those can wreak havoc on your gut even though it is not an allergy.
I am allergic to coconuts and peanuts. I have a severe sensitivity to dairy, and in the next tier I have a sensitivity to gluten, eggs, wheat, soy, almonds, mushrooms, green beans, and pineapple. This has DRASTICALLY changed my diet and the things that I eat. I eat for the most part, only products that are vegan and gluten free. The problem with a lot of vegan products though is that they contain coconut further limiting my choices. Since I have had to limit my soy intake I had to return to eating meat. I eat a lot of lean turkey and chicken and mostly fresh fruits and vegetables! During the week I have a very regimented diet that I stick to.
I have a protein smoothie for breakfast and a couple cups of coffee. I always prep 3 meals a week that usually consist of rice, meat, and a veggie side and then I have a piece of fruit as well! Since it is getting warmer I have been making salads too! Dinner is usually something easy like burgers, or chicken nuggets, or fish with veggies! I try to take a look at what we have at the beginning of the week so I can come up with at least 5 meal ideas so when dinner time rolls around I’m not stuck looking at ingredients.
During the weekend I am usually a little more flexible and allow myself to have a small treat but still only eat things that are within my restrictions. I’m really lucky to live in a place where establishments offer a ton of vegan and gluten free options! One of my faves is the vegan and gluten free cookie from Insomnia cookies!
From this diet I’m on I have had to learn to be really savvy when grocery shopping. A vegan gluten free diet literally breaks my bank sometimes. I feel like I can’t find a lot of options for things and when I can they are SO expensive.
As a young professional I literally cannot afford to buy all my groceries at Whole Foods which is where I find some of the best things!
These are my tips for healthy grocery shopping on a budget:
I always look at what’s on sale at every store I go to before I go! I also use Ibotta sometimes.
Buying frozen fruit can be more expensive than buying normal fruit, I look at what’s on sale and buy some and cut and freeze it for my smoothies!
I try to only buy sustainable meats and Sprouts has a lot of good affordable options. I’ve also started eating lunch meat from the deli counter and it’s so much better and more filling!
Fresh vegetables are pretty cheap most of the time, but if you find that cooking vegetables isn’t your thing bags of veggies from the frozen aisle are so easy and take like 5 minutes to make.
Buy stuff in bulk when you can. Look up the nearest bulk store. It will be a game changer for things like rice, oatmeal, granola, etc.
I buy a lot of whole ingredients and make my own things like cookies, granola bars, muffins, bread, etc! It helps cut down on processed foods, packaging, and adheres to my diet and budget. I wish that I had all the time in the world to bake and cook but unfortunately that is not always the case.
My last suggestion is to go to different stores for different things! I know that this probably isn't the most economical and practical way to shop from a transportation stand point BUT I routinely shop at Whole Foods, King Soopers, and Sprouts almost every week because different places have different things and prices! Grocery shopping is a hassle to be honest but it is something that I have to do if I want to enjoy the foods I am eating (and I am too much of a foodie to be boring with my meals!)