"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not falling down, but staying down" Mary Pickford
This year I'm determined for fresh starts and new beginnings. Through our moves and relocating to a new area and starting over again.... to health issues with both myself, Jerry and Hayley, I've decided enough is enough and I'm starting the year right. My blog has always been a journal of my family's life and sharing recipes, crafts and more and this year I want to start by sharing our journey to good health by making changes and documenting how it affects us in the process. I have heard a lot of good things about the Whole30 program, my best advice is to check out their website for all the details to get started if you think this is something that may benefit you as well. This is not a sponsored post, just me wanting to get my family healthy and back on track. I have food allergies that can't seem to be pinpointed so I will see if this process of eliminating foods will be beneficial to how I feel overall.
Here are the 2 books to get you started in your journey. I just received my cookbook companion yesterday, but will soon share recipes from that as well. Today I'm going to start by breaking down my grocery shopping, costs, etc. Then sharing what I've eaten so far and following up this evening.
Yesterday the girls had one more day off school so we headed out to get our food to start this journey as a family. Our first stop was Whole Foods.
Whole Foods had some good items, but it seems their produce area was slim pickings... I'm going to guess the holidays contributed to that. Below is my pictures from this grocery haul and I am listing prices for everything I bought. You will notice a jug of natural Apple cider and also boxed organic apple juice. These are not compliant, but with my youngest Kathleen I don't want to fully restrict on the diet at this time. She will be following most of the basic plan, especially cutting back on sweets; but for her nutrition needs I will be allowing some juice for lunches and milk.
I took a few close up shots so you can see better what I have on the table. If you notice there are 2 Larabars that Hayley wanted to try. They are rather pricey but we picked them up to see how she likes them first. On the Whole30 there are only certain Larabars approved, those flavors are:
- Cashew Cookie
- Carrot Cake
- Apple Pie
- Cherry Pie
- Pecan Pie
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Banana Bread
- Lemon Bar
- Chocolate Coconut Chew
- Key Lime Pie
We also picked up this slicer for avocados to make it a little easier. When I use it I will write a review on here of what I think ;-)
So here is what I spent at Whole Foods:
Natural apple cider (large jug) $8.99
Sage (dried spice) $3.99
Almond butter $9.99
Cumin (dried spice) $3.99
Ghee, their brand was out so I chose the brand that was left but it was expensive; ghee is clarified butter, no dairy) $14.99
Onion granules (dried spice)
Shrimp 2 pounds at $12.99/pound cost $26.63. Then I had a coupon for $5.00 off seafood.
Beef Roast round bottom 1.87 pounds at $5.99/pound cost $11.23
Beef Roast round bottom 3.33 pounds $19.95 Also a coupon for $5.00 off fresh beef.
Chicken leg thigh boneless 1.90 pounds at $4.99/pound $9.46
Ground beef 1.99 pounds at $4.99/pound $9.93
Butternut squash 5.51 pounds at $1.69 $9.31
Spaghetti squash 3.96 pounds at $1.69/pound $6.69
Spaghetti squash 4.04 pounds at $1.49/pound $6.02 (not sure why there was a price difference here..hmm)
Grape tomatoes $3.99
Tessemae dressing only approved brand for Whole 30 Honey Mustard $4.49
Tessemae dressing French $4.49
Yellow bell pepper .26 pound $3.99/pound $1.04
Orange pepper .33 pound $1.32
Sweet potato (2) 1.75 pounds $0.99/pound $1.73
No sugar bacon Whole 30 approved $6.99
Medjool dates .55 pound at $8.99/pound $4.90
Ground turkey packs, $5.99/piece $11.98
Spring greens mix for salads $6.99
Organic apple juice 2- 8 packs $5.49 each...$10.98 (not compliant)
Red Grapes 3.01 pounds $3.49/pound $10.50
Ground chicken 2 packs at $6.99/each $13.98
Celery bunches 2 for 3 $3.00
Mushrooms 2 packs $1.99/each $3.98
Baby spinach $5.99
Carrots large bag $4.99
Thyme (dried spice) $3.99
Dry mustard (spice) $4.69
Cucumbers 3.10 pounds 0.99 cents a pound $3.07
Zucchini 3.44 pounds $1.49/pound $5.13
Peaches 1.11 pounds $2.99/pound $3.32
Bag of Avocados $3.99
Kiwi 4 at 0.69 cent each $2.76
Nectarines 1.93 pounds $2.99/pound $5.77
8 Limes 3 for $1.00 $2.67
Tomatoes 2.70 pounds $1.99/Pound $5.37
5 Lemons 0.69 cents each $3.45
Pink lady apples 3 pounds $6.99
Red bell pepper 1.33 pounds $2.99/pound $3.98
Green bell pepper 1.30 pounds $0.99/pound $1.29
Onions (bag) $3.99
Larabar (2) $1.29 each $2.58
Avocado slicer $6.99
Keep in mind all these items are organic.
We had 5 of our own bags (we always use reusable bags) so they credited us $0.50 :-) Every little bit helps!
Grand total: $311.15
Next we were off to Harris Teeter as I couldn't find everything I needed at Whole Foods. This was the first time we've ever been in a Harris Teeter and we were quite happy with the selection! When I was looking for sausage the gentleman that helps me was amazing! He took the time to walk me over to where it was located and go over the ingredient lists and more. Fantastic service there!
I picked up just a few things here, but I did like they had a store card for earning points and getting coupons. Very clean and a great selection of items. Prices were more reasonable too, just wish I had a chance to use cut some coupons before hand.
Here is what I bought here and the prices I paid:
Diced tomatoes 2 at $1.29 each $2.58
Unsalted Almonds $8.99 but on sale so paid $6.99
Swanson Beef broth 2 at $2.59 each sale $.60 off total $4.58
Tuna in water 2 at $2.39 each $4.78
Organic Canned peaches $1.79 on sale for $1.50 (not compliant)
Almond slices $4.99 on sale paid $3.99
Purified water $3.29 on sale for $2.57
Organic canned pears $1.79 on sale for $1.50 (not compliant)
Boars Head Ham deli $11.32 (This brand is free of preservatives, etc. we looked through the ingredient booklet before purchasing. Expensive, but worth it)
Boars Head Pesto Ham $6.15
Boars Head golden chicken breast $11.87
Minced garlic in a medium jar $3.49
Butternut squash pre chopped $3.99
Bag of red grapefruit $1.88
Blueberries 2 packs at $2.99 each $5.98
Bag of Lemons on sale 2 for $4.00
Fresh pineapple $2.99
Strawberries 2 -14 ounce containers for $4.99
Fresh Cilantro $1.29
Fresh Parsley (Italian style) $1.29
Iceberg lettuce $0.99
Bag of brussel sprouts $3.99
18 count eggs $2.99
2 Bilinski all natural apple chicken sausage $6.99/each $4.00 off coupon on each $5.98 for both!
2 Bilinski all natural Italian sausage $6.99/each $4.00 off coupon on each $5.98 for both! These were a great deal!!
Here's a tip for storing fresh soft, tender herbs in your refrigerator so they stay fresh longer and not wilt right away. This would include Parsley, Cilantro, Dill, Tarragon, Basil (see note) and Mint. Place herbs in a container with water after trimming the ends of the stems. Change the water every couple of days so it stays fresh. If you have basil, leave it out on the counter at room temperature as it's leaves will turn black if you put it in the refrigerator. All other herbs can go in fridge when stored properly. (I used a large plastic drink cup from going to an amusement park)
Before placing in the fridge cover loosely with a plastic bag which will help them retain moisture and keep too much oxygen from browning their leaves.
To be prepared with some easy breakfast and quick to go snacks boiled some hard eggs for us to keep in the fridge.
In fact my breakfast this morning was hot black tea plain, 2 hard boiled eggs and strawberries. Mid morning I also had a banana and 2 glasses of water.
I don't eat red meat at all and haven't in over 20 years, but I want to make sure Jerry and the girls are set up for lunches. This is one Kathleen may or may not like because it's a little spicy but I know Jerry and Hayley will get a few days of lunches from it. This is the Classic Chili recipe from The Whole 30 book. (first book, page 342)
This is the ingredient list for 2 people with some leftovers, however I doubled all the ingredients to have more and to freeze if I need to.
1 pound ground meat (beef, lamb or bison)
1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic minced (I like using the garlic in the jars already minced)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
1 green bell pepper finely chopped
1 can 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
I used a tabletop nonstick skillet which I love, to cook the meat. Cook it alone until it's fully cooked over medium high heat. Then remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a separate bowl leaving leftover fat in the skillet.
Then add onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, paprika and mustard powder. Reduce heat and cook until the onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
Add the peppers, tomatoes, and broth and return the meat to the pot, turn up to high, when it reaches a boil reduce heat and simmer for an hour.
****I made mine in the crock pot just follow the recipe up until onions and spices are cooked, then transfer everything to slow cooker and add the peppers, tomatoes, broth, meat and cook on low in slow cooker 6-8 hours. :-) *******
This food processor was one of my Christmas gifts this year!!! I have one but it is so small I always get frustrated as it is not time friendly... this one however came in handy today for prepping the peppers and onions for the chili :-) Love it!
Browning up the beef in my non stick skillet....
Adding, onions, garlic and spices after removing the meat.....
All ready and set to low to fully cook in the crock pot! Lunches prepped for Jerry and Hayley next couple of days!
This was the start to my first day of the Whole30. I plan to follow up with another post this evening after dinner featuring lunch and dinner and how day 1 went.
Overall as far as shopping I think Whole Foods is a bit pricey and I won't always be spending $400.00 a week on groceries, lol. Keep in mind this was using no coupons and Whole Foods is a pricier store with a lot of organic items. I do feel I can do well at Harris Teeter with future menu planning, but I will also check Aldi's for some items and possibly Food Lion. Food Lion hasn't been my favorite place to shop lately in our area. The food is just not that fresh it seems and overall not impressed with the selection. I know Aldi has great prices but at times it is not economical because I can't always find every ingredient I need there. I will do updates on shopping and more ways to save in my future posts. Our other challenge is to not eat out all month! That is going to be hard but I know it can be done ;-) While the prices seem high now keep in mind the process for us is just getting started and finding deals, etc. for my readers is what I will be on a mission to do.
Have a great afternoon! More to come soon!!! :-)