Monday, September 17, 2012

Eating Plant-Based Meals Requires Simple and Inexpensive Shopping!

Last night one of Bret's family friends asked us, “So why did you decide to go vegan?

I answered,  Well, it wasn’t like one day we woke up and said: ‘we’re going to go vegan!’"

I continued, "We already had a healthy diet, for the most part, and we gradually improved on it until we got to a point were we could be called ‘vegans’."

Another man, who I never met before jumped in the conversation, “Do you wanna know something? There are 7 types of vegans.

In my mind I was like "Okay..." And I asked him, “Oh really? What do you mean?" I was trying to be polite, "Vegans just don’t eat any animal products. I didn't know there were several kinds...

So he said, “Yes, there are there are the vegans that eat local, organic…and there are other vegans that…...

By this point I knew that this man was just talking to talk. Now that I think about it, I think he may have been little drunk from having too much wine that night.

The conversation carried on and the man continued, “I don’t shop at Whole Foods (WFM) because I can’t afford it, it’s too expensive. Evertyime I go there, I don’t know what to do-- it's just too expensive.
“We shop at WFM, ” I said to him. The reason why I told him this was because I wanted him to know that healthy food can be affordable, it doesn't have a lot to do with where you shop. You just have to know what to buy.

Well, when you have two incomes and no children, you can afford to shop there, Wait until you have kids, " he said.
"It's not expensive for us because we don’t buy prepackaged or boxed food, that stuff is expensive and we just don’t buy it. We prefer to cook our own food.” I continued by saying that at WFM we buy things that are on sale and in bulk. We usually don't get our vegetables from WFM because they are more expensive there.

By this point the person was not listening to us anymore, he just wanted to prove his point (whatever that was). Nothing we said mattered anymore. I realize that that is how people are: When they try to prove their point they just don't listen. (Generally, we all don't have good listening skills. But some people are just not interested in hearing different opinions or learning from others, they just want to talk.)

I didn't think about telling that man that right now we are living on only 1 income (Bret's). I also didn't tell him that when we have children--which will be 2, max-- they will only eat healthful, natural, wholesome and nutritious food.

I will breast feed our children until they're old enough (maybe 2.5 to 3 years old). I also plan to do my best to make our own baby food! (Honestly, I don't really trust those baby food jars or packages). 

A child will eat what the parent(s) give him/her. Knowing the way Bret and I already eat, I strongly believe that our children will NOT ask us for pizza, mac n' cheese, french fries, ice-cream or any of that type of stuff. They will ask for more veggies and fruit! :D

I see our family thriving on plants and our kids will have no desire of eating junk food because they will know it is not good for them. (If they do eat it--outside of the home, of course-- they will probably get sick; and that will be a lesson they will learn on their own.)

The reality is that Bret and I don’t shop for so much food. We eat plant-based and the food we do buy is healthy, fresh and affordable.

We dedicate each  Saturday to shop for what we need that week.We always make a list before we leave the house and know what stores we're going to hit and what we’re going to buy. Sometimes this depends on their their availability or any sales going on that week.

This is our typical shopping list looks like: 

99 Cent store: Organic spinach, shredded carrots, spices

WFM: 32 organic bananas,1 lb. organic peanut butter (We get it from he little machine that crushes peanut in front of our eyes), organic oatmeal, beans, seeds, any bulk items we need. Bret also buys Daiya cheeze and that's about it.
Trader Joe's: Organic celery, organic Persian cucumbers, organic Roma tomatoes, organic bell peppers, oranges, organic kiwis, organic pears, organic frozen berries, organic lemons, Ezekiel bread, organic yellow corn tortillas

Sprouts: Organic greens (kale, collard greens, chard, and sometimes mustard greens), cream of wheat, cantaloupe, watermelon and other fruits (when on sale).

Culver City Farmer's Market (Tuesday's): More bunches of organic kale, cabbage, cilantro/parsley, organic avocados, and more fruit.
So about the man's comments on income and children...

Costco (once a month): Bret likes to buy soy milk, agave nectar and any other item we may need at the time. We end up walking out of that store with only 3 or 4 items and no more!

I just want to say that having a plant-based diet, free of processed and junk food actually saves you money, calories and the any guilt trip from eating poorly.

If you buy food on sale, in bulk, in season, frozen, fresh and in their natural form, I guarantee you, you will save so much money!

Next time you go shopping, I encourage you to...
  • If possible, pick 1 or 2 days to do all of your shopping (This strategy alone will save you some time!)
  • Make a list of food that you'd like to eat that week or recipes you want to try.
  • Based on weekly sales, make a mental map of the stores you want to hit during one trip
  • Shop around the perimeter of the store staying away from the middle aisles, as they are filled of processed food 
  • Buy REAL food; that is, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils, brown rice, tortillas, whole wheat bread (Ezekiel 4:9 is the best!), seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin), nuts (can be pricey, but vary them and buy them in bulk. 

I love our plant-based diet. Eating this way makes Bret and I feel so happy, healthy and strong. It's one of the best decisions' we both have made in our lives! I encourage anyone, everyone to try it!

In health,



  1. Organic, unfortunately, means expensive to most of us but that is probably what the food corp. want us to believe. I suggest posting the receipts from your weekly shopping so that people can compare them to there own receipts and see if there really are savings they are missing out on. We just did our grocery shopping at food for less and spent a total of $140 for enough groceries for two weeks for a family of 4. Also some recipes would be helpful to those of us that aren't already living the "plant based" life style. I know that fresh fruit and plant based food has to be better for you than anything with preservatives or hormones but maybe we just think we can't afford it and we just need more information.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, "Anonymous". I had already planned to post our receipts and I will definitely do that!

      I understand that shopping for a family of 4 is more costly than for 2 individuals without kids. I definitely would like to experiment shopping for the SAME foods at different stores and compare "conventional" foods to "organic".

    2. Absolutely, I will post plant-based recipes that are easy, fast, and tasty!

      I will also do my best to get more health information out. Thanks for asking. My goal is just to help people make healthier choices, and not necessarily follow a "vegan" or "vegetarian" diet.