Pennies for pounds: Making ends meet living simply

All large successful trim healthy populations of people throughout all of known human history have obtained the bulk of their calories from grains and other starchy vegetables. Consumption of meats along with other rich foods in any significant quantity has been limited to the diets of fat, sick aristocrats (kings and queens)—until recently.

To regain our lost health and save planet Earth we must return to a starch centred diet”

John Mcdougall

More than a few families are struggling to make ends meet nowadays. There are lots of people still out of work and living costs are rising faster than income for most middle class families. This all points to the importance of breaking out of this system and living life more simply.

While most families spend hundreds of dollars per month it is actually enjoyable, easy, healthful and very cheap to eat well.

If you ask a two year old what does a rabbit eat they’ll say carrots, a lion eats antelope and a monkey eats bananas. Almost every adult can play this game until you ask them what humans should eat. Food they will mumble. As a consequence people spend their ever decreasing food allowance filling their supermarket trolley with ground beef, chicken, fish, milk and eggs which are all unhealthy and unbelievably expensive.

Paleo diet promoters applaud such food selections. According to them this way of eating is our natural diet that we ate when we lived tribal lives in more natural settings. Unfortunately, this line reasoning highlights a serious lack of awareness of: history, basic human anatomy, physiology, environmental disaster that is industrial food and clinical nutrition research into human health.

Contrary to the uneducated theories the paleo pundits inundate us with we were made to eat complex carbohydrates (sugar that is). Starch grains from plants. Unlike paleo diets eating plant strong is associated with prevention, reversal and effective management of the major diseases that affect us in record numbers. Even better news than a lifetime of health (if there is in fact any news that is better) is that eating a starch centred diet is incredibly cheap. Oats in the morning, a salad with beans for lunch, and sweet potato and gravy for dinner. Cheap like the Budgie.

A large bag of potatoes, a large bag of brown rice, a sack of oats and a selection of dehydrated beans costs less that $20, but could feed a family of 4 for a month with another $20 of herbs, spices, vegetables, fruit and ingredients (like low salt soy sauce, dairy free milk and so on). Not exactly breaking the bank. The last time I did a comparison we nearly spent less in a year than our neighbours spent in one month. Admittedly they have an extra child, but that doesn’t come close to accounting for the annual expenditure difference of hundreds vs thousands! Add to the savings the fact that a small garden could dramatically reduce your eating costs down to a few bucks worth of ingredients and perhaps a bag of rice. For any families on hard times this way of eating has to be a serious consideration.

A common reaction we encounter when people find out we are a plant strong family is those who say they would rather eat eggs, cheese, beef and bacon and die happy. Your choice, but what this perspective fails to appreciate is that starches are comfort foods. They are flavorful and sating. Think mashed potatoes, bean chilli enchilladas and apple crumble. The other swing factor is that within 30 days of changing to plant based eating your tastebuds will crave starchy vegetables. The smell of cooking bacon will make you queasy and you will never return to a diet of poisonous dead muscle, veins, bacteria, nerve tissue and artificial, chemical hormones.

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