The Train and I usually make one big run to the grocery store a week with maybe a few other mini trips for little things we may have missed or run out of. Each week we budget for roughly $100 to $150 to contribute to our health, but we have yet to put a cap on what we’ll spend on the food we eat. We are hard in the belief that you can not put a price on health and being that food is the main contributer to our health we spare nothing.
Lucky for the Train and I we find the joys in the simplest of pleasures so we don’t spend our money on much else other than food. Unlike many others our age who spend their money on big houses, cars, technology, clothes, dining out, and other meaningless tangibles, we’d rather spend our nights in, grab a vegan cookie ($1.50), walk down to the book shop and sit together reading. When it comes to time to do our weekly run and the price of organic kale has risen we often don’t think twice about it because we know this is what is truly important to us (don’t get me wrong, we enjoy an nice evening out every once in a while but nothing brings more pleasure than cooking together and enjoying a
bottle glass of Two Buck Chuck).
There are a few things I recommend always having on hand to make vegan meals easier than any drive thru. Here is a list of items I make sure to always grab each week and a list of pantry items I am always stocked with.
Weekly Staples (usually from Trader Joe’s and/or Whole Foods):
Organic Kale (lots and lots of Kale)
2 – 3 heads of organic Romaine lettuce
8 – 10 bananas (not organic)
8 – 10 organic apples (mostly granny smith) for snacks and juices
2 lbs carrots for juices and salads
4 – 5 lemons for salads and juices (not organic)
6 – 10 oranges for juices and snacks
celery for salads and juices (organic)
2 – 3 cans organic BPA free beans (garbonzo, black, kidney)
2 – 3 bags frozen organic berries for smoothies and chia pudding (blueberries & strawberries)
2 -3 bags frozen organic vegetables (organic corn, organic peas, & different combinations)
1 lb almonds for homemade almond milk (raw organic)
1 – 2 boxes chocolate almond milk (mostly for the Train, but I enjoy a glass now and then)
merjool dates 7 – 10
1 dark chocolate bar
1 – 2 Lara Bars
These are the items that are in our cart every week winter, fall, spring and summer. And if we run out of any of the above, we make a special trip for them, especially bananas. There have been times the Train and I will fight over the last bananas and it’s not pretty. We love our ‘naners here at the Train house.
The rest of our meals come from fresh organic local produce from my organic box that get delivered to a co-op near our house. It will have anywhere from 12 -15 items in it that are local and in season. Last week we got: 1 bunch kale, 1 head romaine, 2 nectarines, 2 apples, 2 onions, 3 yukon potatoes, 1 lb green beans, 1 cucumber and 2 heirloom tomatoes. This week’s box will be a joyous surprise of more local organic goodies for me to play with.
And if thats not enough or I don’t get what I’m needing, Wednesday I visit the farmer’s market near our house to get more local organic in-season fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, berries, peppers in the summer and root vegetables butternut and acorn squash, yams and sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbages. See Here for a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables).
Other Pantry Staples:
1 lb Chia seeds
1/2 – 1 lb Bulgar
1 lb long grain rice
1 lb buckwheat groats
1/2 – 1 lb whole or irish oats
1/2 lb nutritional yeast
1/2 lb sunflower seeds
cinnamon, cumin, curry powder, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, paprika, and basil are the herbs and spices I always have on hand to jazz up every meal.
If you’re really curious as to what to purchase each week to live a high raw vegan lifestyle my answer is simply this – purchase the things you know you have to have and can’t live without so long as it doesn’t come in a bag or box and is organic when possible. The rest should come from farmer’s market so that it is the freshest most nutrient dense food you can get. Now days these markets go all year round or at least deep into the winter months so there really is not excuse for you not to buy local organics.
Invest in your health. Put great things and and watch great things come out.
Tell me about you.
*Note: We as a country spend the least amount on our groceries but yet we are the fattest and the sickest. The cost upfront may seem steep, but in the grand scheme of things it is just pennies on the dollar compared to the high price of being sick. Please invest in your health and spare no cost when it comes to the foods you consume. Always buy local and organic when possible – yes there is a difference in nutrient density and the mark it makes on the Earth.