so. much. food.


Darien

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I have an 18 month old girl, an 8 year old boy, a 12 year old girl, and my husband is a fairly big guy. I just can't believe how much food we eat, now that we don't eat out or have much in the pantry or freezer. I have to go to the store every 2-3 days, and I completely fill the fridge, and a few days later, it's gone again. I spend so much time cooking and chopping, not to mention the grocery bill (which thankfully is offset by our savings from not eating out). Could not be doing this without the recipes/planning in Well Fed. But still...it's a lot of cooking and chopping. And they're like locusts.

I do have to say that I'm having more success getting them to eat healthier food by having things cooked and chopped and ready to go. Lunches are easy when they just pull a grilled chicken thigh, some already chopped carrots, and some fruit from the fridge. (My kids make their own lunches - they have for years.)

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I'm not a mom, but I just wanted to say that it sounds like you're doing an amazing job...as a kid of an awesome mom who invested so much time in cooking and getting us interested in healthy foods from a young age, trust me: your kids will be SO grateful to you in their healthy and happy adulthoods! Keep up the good work. =)

(And good for you for directing your kiddos to make their own lunches, too!)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bwahahaha!

. . . . And they're like locusts.

Thank you for making my day. I have the same "problem". I am shocked at how much my 3 kids are eating. The other day when I checked out at Central Market (HEB), it came to $200. I had a mini panic attack . . . that either we wouldn't eat it all before it spoiled, or, that we'd eat it all in 3 days and I would have to come back for more. It was the latter. :-(

I'm realizing the hard (and expensive) way which foods are the better bang for the buck, and that I'm going to have to start buying whole birds and really using up every last bit.

There is an awesome knife skills book out there and I've been going through it with my 10yo and 15yo . . . the better we get at chopping, the easier this becomes. And, boy, are we getting a LOT of practice.

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It's just me and my 27 yo daughter (Paleo if not Whole 30) part of the time. I am shocked at how I load up the fridge with what I think is more than we/I can eat and seriously, 2-3 days later, it's empty again. I always cook extra of things like spaghetti squash sauce, stews, soups and freeze them and they disappear as quickly as they got there. Astonishing!

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I have a family of locusts too! There are 6 of us here (3 adults, 1 teen boy and 2 kids) and we go through so much food! I have two fridges, so I can usually stock up enough that I can stretch out my shopping to every 5-6 days. Meat I have in the freezers and only shop 1x a month.

What has impressed me even more than the amount of food we eat is the lack of trash we produce now. Before we started eating this way, we had so much recyclable trash from boxes of cereal, boxes of frozen foods, boxes of crap. It feels great to be eating well and not being the cause of so much trash too. I look at my neighbors' piles of recyclables out by the curb each week and just shake my head and feel sad for them. They have no idea how well they could be feeling if they gave it up.

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I am in the same boat just feeling like we are going through so much food and it is so expensive. I have two children (4 and 7 months). My son doesn't eat a lot and daughter isn't really eating much food yet. (so I can only imagine when they get older). We just ordered a 1/4 of a grassfed cow and it is so worth it. I have a small extra freezer in the basement. I was buying grassfed meat at our grocery store where the ground beef is $5.49/lb. and the steaks are upwards of $10/lb. This way I'm getting all of the cuts for around $5/lb. so it really is worth it. My husband is allergic to pork but I've also been contemplating doing a 1/2 pig so I can have healthy sausage and bacon and a few roasts for when he is at work late. We also did an organic CSA share which helped but I still find myself astounded at the amount I'm spending. Definately buying in bulk locally from a place that you can go and see how they are treating the animals and knowing for sure you are getting what you are paying for is the best way in my opinion.

I also have been feeling like I'm in the Kitchen all the time so last night I implemented a strategy that I think is going to make life much easier. I'm doubling up on all of the quantities I"m making for each meal. After dinner when I'm cleaning up I get breakfasts and lunches ready for everybody and plate them (and pack my husbands breakfast and lunch). So when I go to bed all we have to do the next day is pull the stuff out of the fridge and heat some of it up when necessary. Now I can spend more time with my kids (I'm a stay-at-home mom) and less time cooking and cleaning. Also I always have a container of chopped raw veggies in the fridge. My 4 year old has adjusted very well with some resistance at first to this lifestyle.

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There is an awesome knife skills book out there and I've been going through it with my 10yo and 15yo . . . the better we get at chopping, the easier this becomes. And, boy, are we getting a LOT of practice.

Could you post a link to the knife skills book?

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We have 5 - 2 adults, 3 kids (6,11, 13) (plus three dogs who like broccoli!). We eat a ton! I agree with Tracy above-- we produce so much less trash now, it is awesome! Our compost pile is rockin' and we have no trouble eating our way through our CSA veggies. It is expensive, but as someone else said, the cost is offset by not eating out very often and in the long run by lower medical bills, I hope.

It's made me very aware of how much of a cheap filler carbs are-- there isn't much to a burrito without rice, beans, tortilla... why on earth did we ever pay so much for sodas (sugar water or worse!)...

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Here is the knife skills book we've been using.

I'm going to put it out there . . . I've been spending at least $400+/week on groceries since "going Paleo". That is up from $250/week + eating dinner out several times per week. I always eat lunch out on work days (5x/week), for another $50/week.

That covers:

  • 1 adult, and three kids (15, 10, 6)
  • A weekly box from Greenling (delivered) with a small assortment of local organic produce, two half-gallons of pastured whole milk, local organic pastured butter (8oz), a dozen of the super-best eggs we've found, 1 to 3 packages of high-quality local meat and a few other local products. The box runs $80 to $150/week. I do this, despite the painful expense, for two reasons: to support local/organic food-producers and because the box is delivered on Friday evening and I can avoid the grocery store for weekend groceries (shopping with 3 kids = not fun). More expensive weeks are the weeks where I order more meat (again: local, pastured, damned expensive).
  • I also go to Whole Foods, Central Market (HEB's version on Whole Foods) and the regular grocery store 3x/week and spend about $100 (2x) and $50 (1x). I try to buy mostly organic produce.
  • I pack lunch for 2 of the three kids 5 days a week, and I pack my own breakfast to eat at work.
  • The teen cooks breakfast for herself from Paleo foods, skips lunch, then east mostly Paleo at home. She has almost no budget for eating out but she's been eating up the few remaining non-Paleo foods I didn't clear out of the house. :-(

I have 2 kids with ADHD (the teen and 10yo), and another who is/was just WILD (crying, explosions, hyper . . . but surprisingly, probably not ADHD).

I am eating Paleo, with a little pastured butter. Not yet W30 - still on the giant learning curve of what to eat and what to avoid. My non-W30 foods are mostly non-compliant meats - the ones with a little bit of added sugar like the Applegate Farms bacon and sausage.

The teen is mostly Primal, but is very confused and distracted by the hoards of crappy fake-Paleo/Primal "advice" out there. Her ADHD plus her age make keeping her on track a challenge. She lost 10 pounds in a month, though, without actually trying, and her acne and sleeping patterns have improved greatly.

I restricted the boys (10, 6) from food colorings and added sugars about 2 months ago, and from grains almost 2 weeks ago. They also started eating primarily organic produce and higher-quality meats 2 months ago. BIG difference in both from the first change, and a noticeable improvement since the grains were cut out. The 10 yo snuck some candy home from school a few days ago, ate it on the sly, then spent the evening crying, whining and fighting. I think he made the connection between the crap he ate and how it made him feel.

Yesterday I was down hard with a cold and let the boys eat cafeteria food for breakfast and lunch. They came home WILD and angry. After getting some salad, trout and pears into them, we were able to have a very enlightening conversation about why they've been restricted from eating sugars and grains.

For the FIRST time in years I feel that I have the mental clarity, self-control and focus to manage what we eat. The daily blood-sugar roller coaster is GONE, the mental fog is GONE, I can even shop when I am "hungry" and make good choices. Every. Single. Day. that the kids stay off the grains, sugar and additives is a better day for our family . . . and we still have a lot of experimenting to do to see what other foods are screwing with our brains and bodies.

Although our current food budget is painful, I know it will improve. We are wasting less food, I'm learning to gauge how much they will eat of the new foods, and which ones will keep them full and not crying for snacks. They eat more and waste less of the lunches I pack. We use more of a cut of meat, and I've greatly improved and learned to control what I need to take to eat at work.

My 10yo is taking half of his ADHD meds and his teachers are reporting NO problems at school . . . nothing that would suggest he is as behaviorally-challenged as he has been in the past. He has on-going problems with writing (dysgraphia), but he's staying on-task at school and not driving the teachers out of their minds. The decicion to take him off grains was driven in part by several scary ODD episodes (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). Other than his candy-sneaking day and yesterday (cafeteria food), he has been remarkably more even-tempered and able to cool down when he does get heated up (as opposed to exploding and throwing things and screaming).

I am gearing up for a W30 (or more realistically, a W100) for me, and then one for the kids.

For those of you reading this and wondering if Paleo eating will help your kids, I would say: DO IT NOW.

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What has impressed me even more than the amount of food we eat is the lack of trash we produce now. Before we started eating this way, we had so much recyclable trash from boxes of cereal, boxes of frozen foods, boxes of crap. It feels great to be eating well and not being the cause of so much trash too. I look at my neighbors' piles of recyclables out by the curb each week and just shake my head and feel sad for them. They have no idea how well they could be feeling if they gave it up.

This is definitely something we have noticed, as well! We even started composting since we have a garden, and since we go through SO MUCH veggie matter. The trash never stinks anymore, it's awesome! I need to sign up for recycling, though. We do go through a fair amount of cans (from tomatoes and sparkling water) and glass bottles.

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Here is the knife skills book we've been using.

...

For those of you reading this and wondering if Paleo eating will help your kids, I would say: DO IT NOW.

Thank you for the reference and for your inspiring story. I have 3 children, including one with behavioral challenges and anxiety. Good diets help all of them. I have already eliminated dairy from the diet and we drink nothing but water. I have almost eliminated the grains and most processed foods. The real challenge facing me is the sugar. It is everywhere, they beg for it, I can eliminate it from my home but they get it from so many sources outside and so never get past the cravings. I feel a little defeated by it. I really admire your persistence in pursuing this healthy lifestyle for your family. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

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