Mom of three -new to raw, interested in learning more -could use some help though...
I'm new here, I am a full-time Stay at Home Mommy, Wife, and Homemaker; I have three little boys ages 3 and under.
I've been a vegetarian my entire life (as has DH), but know plenty of unhealthy/obese vegetarians (most of my family)
I'm very interested in a raw lifestyle or at Least vegan, but really don't know where to start.
I am currently Exclusively breastfeeding my youngest, and hope to for a Minimum of one year; Unfortunately I was only able to nurse my older two for 9 months each because I lacked enough support and that, combined with the subsequent pregnancies and not eating enough, kind of killed nursing for me...
I currently am 100% sure I do not eat enough each day and am concerned about my nursling and growing boys as well.
I'm going through some major personal life issues right now which makes daily function difficult because of the mental distractions, so really having a rough time with all my health related ponderings.
I've heard just about every crazy diet related idea I can handle, and really feel that at the Very least it would be nice to include MORE Raw fruits and vegetables in our diet and do some daily juicing and more green smoothies, but it is So expensive...
My main issue is expense. I have Under $400 per month to feed five people on (we're talking less than $3 per person per day, which is less than $1 per meal... omg I never did the math before now...), and when your two toddlers will go through an entire bunch of bananas in a day if you'll let them, it's Hard to keep healthy food in the house! (IF I am able to get my husband to bring home some fresh fruits, usually my kids will get into it between meals and I will end up not getting much at all for my pathetic nursing self...)
If this keeps up, there is no way I am going to be able to nurse for a few Years, and may not even make my 12 month minimum goal, I don't want that; I would Love to still be nursing my older two -all three at once? -Sure!
I just need to be able to eat more each day...
We do green smoothies (fruit, greens, water/herbal tea/aloe juice with flax seed meal) every now and again, though I had to quit while pregnant because they started making me bloated (something I never experienced before) and haven't gotten back to it on a regular basis since.
Could use some friends who are not so new to raw, and could give me some good ideas on making a healthier diet affordable.
I have stopped buying store bought bread and will only use my own (I can't stand the ingredient list in most commercial breads!) whenever I find time to make it that is, hope to start grinding my own flour soon -all the store flour is nearly gone now...
So... sorry this is so long, but HI! :)
Please introduce yourself, all support and advice is very welcome indeed, I just need some friends who don't think I'm crazy for wanting something better for my family despite our financial situation. (My husband works a full-time job as well as a part time job some evenings and on days off, so it's not like we're lazy and just sitting around...)
Welcome to the raw food lifestyle! I've got a couple of suggestions for you:
1. Grow your own sprouts - one of the cheapest and healthiest sources of food there is. If this is something you're interested in, look at the thread http://www.rawfoodtalk.com/showthrea...t=sprouting%21
2. You can make raw bread out of sprouted grains and dehydrate it; it's much better for you then cooked bread made from flour.
I think that growing your own sprouts would be a great idea for you, becuase of how cheap they are - 1 pound of (organic) alfalfa seeds generally costs from $8-$10 and yields 7 pounds of sprouts! That's not much more then $1/pound for the freshest greens possible! Oh yeah, and the health benefits are pretty amazing too. *smile*
On a tight budget like you are, you might want to look into learning to identify wild edibles growing in your area; most libraries have good foraging books if you don't want to buy one. Not only are wild edibles extremely nutritious, they're free! Another thing you can do is start your own vegetable garden if you have the space - also a great source of very cheap and fresh food.
I also want to tell you how happy it makes me to here that you are committed to breastfeeding your children for as long as possible; it's one of the most important things you can do for their proper development and health.
I understand your problem. I would be in the same situation if it weren't for a local store in my area. I feed one person (myself) a raw diet of fruits and veggies and generally spend no more than $20-$30 a week. This would almost hit your target of $400 a month for your family. The store I go to, "Produce Junction," however, is only in eastern PA, it seems. DISCLAIMER: a lot of folks look down on vegetables purchased in the store. It's best if you grown them yourself. I, however, think it's better than eating factory food in boxes.
Some ideas for you:
#0 start a garden.
(Living Food covered these nicely, but I though I'd reiterate.)
#2 farmers markets. If you have farmers markets by you, you can typically purchase fruits and vegetables at better-than-grocery-store prices.
#3 road side stands. During the summer months, you see these pop up on the back roads. The prices are typically pretty good.
#4 freezing. When you see a good deal, stock up. Chances are you can't eat it all before it goes bad. If you have a large freezer, you can just freeze the stuff you can't eat.
On a side note, I notice organic flax seeds are pretty cheap. After you soak them, grind them into batter and dehydrate them into crackers, it's not a bad price for what you get. It just takes a lot of work and time. This lifestyle requires a lot of work and time, fyi.
Best of luck to you. I think it's great what you are trying to do. I hope you succeed.
I have found a meal replacement which has been incredible for me. I am a new mom and I am so busy soit has just been fabulous and super convenient. Gives me everything I need and makes me feel great.
I think green smoothies are pretty economical compared to juicing and very kid-friendly too! I'd start there, re-introducing those. I'll usually have at least one fruit/greens smoothie and one savory smoothie a day (I like them heated slightly and eaten as soup).
If you do a banana search using the icon at the top of the page, you'll see some really helpful older threads on how to make eating raw more economical!
Here's one to get you started:
“Strength shows, not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.”
* Lady Merenwen* is Not Currently Fasting with the Fellowship of the Fasters
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