Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 13: Anxiety and Compromise

I added up the cost of all my grocery bills for the past two weeks and the weekly average was a staggering $225. That's about $75-$100 over budget each week. Ack! In this household, when you want to analyze something you make a spreadsheet (M. and I are all about the Excel spreadsheets, though he is much better at the complex ones that I am). I figured out the percentage of budget I was spending in each category (meat, fruit, veg, fat and other) and set a budget. I went to three stores and had mini-anxiety attacks in each one about meat. The problem is this: I believe in grass fed, pastured, organic etc. It's healthier for me, healthier for the environment, better for the animal-- all around a better idea, especially when you are doing Paleo and eating a ton of meat. The problem is it costs THREE TIMES more than the regular kind of meat. Which is where my grocery anxiety sets in because I usually buy 75% of our protein from relatively clean sources-- as free of hormones and antibiotics and stuff as I can get, grass fed when I can, and now and then we eat some steak that's the normal kind. I like that system, but right now, for the next month until I get caught up with the grocery budget, that is not going to happen. I felt guilty and anxious about buying so much regular meat, wondering how much exposure to antibiotics and hormones I'm going to be getting and fretting about it. But I did get my budget down. Here's what I bought: H-Mart: the local Asian grocery store. I don't normally shop there-- I find it overwhelming. It reminded me of being in Japan, except everything had a label that was something like English. The meat section I just gave up on-- none of the cuts of meat were recognizable and it didn't smell very good. I got a shocking deal on strawberries and onions: organic strawberries for 0.99 a pound and a 5 lb bag of onions for $1.89. I also bought some chard, kale, yams, and a 15 lb frozen antibiotic free "natural" turkey for $14: it looks like it's been in the freezer a while (probably since Thanksgiving) so it was a risk but it was a good deal and hopefully it's not too freezer burned! I bought a couple organic apples but they look like the might be a little old. Total: $32.62 Trader Joes: I'm mad at myself for not paying more attention here. I thought the ground beef that wasn't grass fed was $2.25/lb, but when I got home I realized that must not have applied to the extra lean which was $4.49/lb. Still $2 cheaper than the grassfed, but I might have gotten some of each if I knew the real price. Anyway I bought 3 pounds of that, antibiotic free chicken thighs, 2 giant bags of Southern Greens blend, shredded cabbage, zucchini, brussels sprouts, frozen roasted bell peppers, and a can of light coconut milk, which I don't think I'm going to like but it was half the cost of the kind I usually get so I'll try it. Total: $42.49 Fred Meyer: I really want to make pot roast this week and didn't find any at either of the other stores so I stopped in at FM and bought a 4lb one, plus 2 lbs of steak, a can of regular coconut milk (still not my fav brand, but that seems to be only at the health food store), and a jar of salsa that was on sale. Total: $36.55 Sub-total: $111.66 Yesterday I went to our local butcher, which weirdly carries antibiotic/hormone free meat but not grass-fed, and bought 1/2lb of pepper bacon and 4 pork chops for $15 Grand total: $126.66 I also still have some frozen fish, 1/2 a costco sized bag of broccoli, 3 avocados, 5 apples and a few kiwis left from last week. I'm hoping this is more than enough for the week-- I wasn't sure how far that turkey would stretch. Maybe next week there will be more wiggle room for some grass fed stuff. Hopefully we won't keel over and die from so much conventionally grown meat. *sigh* The more I learn about nutrition, the more guilt and anxiety over not eating optimally seems to weigh on me. I'm going to have to just accept that I'm doing the best I can and go from there. As for how I feel-- I started taking a couple herbal supplements to try and support my adrenal glands yesterday and I feel a little buzzy on them-- I don't think I slept very soundly-- I had a lot of strange dreams, and in the midst of my shopping I got really dizzy, which I think might be a not enough carbs with breakfast issue. I have not lost any more weight, but the scale is only one part of the equation. More to come.

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