is the Eat to Live diet affordable and kid friendly? (part 2 - lunch and grocery shopping)

The first post in this riveting series covered the epic saga that is breakfast smoothies (based on the Eat to Live nutritarian diet) for a family of six. Read that here.

Next up: lunch! and GROCERY SHOPPING!

For my hubby's lunch, I try and bump up my dinner portions so that there are enough leftovers for him to take to work. Along with this, he takes (every day):
- an apple
- a banana
- an orange
- a bag of raw almonds
and he finds this to be pretty much enough food to get through the day without being hungry. Because, of course, the point of eating this way isn't to be hungry--it's to get rid of the addictions to salt, sugar, and fat laced with salt and sugar that have become the Standard American Diet (SAD, ha). The point is to protect the body against disease by eating nutrient-dense foods, all day, errry day. 

Great resource: the ANDI Food Scores. It ranks the nutrient-to-calorie ratio for a bunch of common  foods. For instance:

kale - 1000
spinach - 707
cauliflower - 315
tofu - 82
salmon - 34
avocado - 28
chicken breast - 24
cheddar cheese  - 11
cola - 1 

These numbers don't tell the whole, story, of course. But you know what tells the whole story? THE BOOK. Read the book. Buy the book. Library the book. Borrow my book!

Grocery shopping. I once wrote an ode to not grocery shopping every day. It was fabulous.

Then I took this nutrient-dense nosedive started grocery shopping nearly every day again.  

Why? Kale. Kale doesn't really last a week in the fridge. Mushrooms! We go through so many. Then we're out of bananas. Or we have 3 ripe bananas left and no green ones coming up to the plate. Then my soy milk stash is running low. And FRUIT, we're out of frozen berries again. This way of eating has me constantly buying and washing 9,000 different kinds of produce.

The crazy thing is, I like it. I feel good doing it. About a week before Sean came home and told me about Eat to Live, I looked in my kitchen cabinet and got depressed. My cupboards were stocked with chips, crackers, cookies and processed granola bars. Everything was a refined flour, doused in sugar. My kids' diet had bothered me for a while, but I had talked myself into believing it was fine, as long as they were eating something--after all, I was in the survival mode of motherhood, and I just didn't have the mental bandwidth to invest in making changes. 

But, now it's a little better here. I'm neither growing nor nursing a little human. I'm not moving to a new state nor juggling a job. I have the time to invest in my family's health. And I'm deeply grateful for it.

Every week for this family of six, I buy roughly: 
18 apples
18 bananas
1 bag of cuties
7 oranges
2 lbs mushrooms
1 lb broccoli
3 lb onions
3 heads of kale
3 heads romaine lettuce
1 head living butter lettuce
1 big box of spinach
3 lb frozen berries
3 lb frozen mixed fruit
1 bag baby carrots
2 cucumbers

Behold the Great Pantry Shelf o' Beans.

Beyond produce, we weekly use: 
2 containers unsalted chicken broth
4 boxes unsweetened soy milk
1-2 containers of firm tofu
12 cans of beans (either pinto, black, chickpea or kidney)
5 cans of corn
3 cans tomato paste
1 jar unsalted marinara sauce
1 container carrot juice
1 jar POM juice

Condiments I keep stocked for recipes: 
pure tahini
soy aminos
cashew butter
natural peanut butter
ground flax seeds
chia seeds
sesame seeds
raw almonds
artichoke hearts (in water) 
picked jalapenos 

Necessary no-salt spices: 
chili powder
onion powder
garlic powder
Costco organic no-salt seasoning
cayenne pepper
italian seasoning
bay leaves
Mrs. Dash

WHEW! Finally: Costco run weekly for bulk produce that lasts a while in the fridge (bell peppers, frozen fruits, bananas, apples) and monthly for BEANS. Oh the beans. Weekly run to Trader Joe's for the kids' cereals, cheapest soy milk, tahini and nut butters, cheap organic sprouted bread. Daily or every-other-day runs to local grocery or Walmart for assorted produce and herbs.

Next up: our favorite dinner recipes! 


  1. Black beans at least can be cooked in your slow cooker if you want to buy them dried and save a little money! 1lb dried beans in 6 cups liquid (broth or water, your choice) on high for 4-6 hours will yield plenty! I need to get other types of beans, because I get tired of all the waste from so many cans + how much space they take up...

    1. What a great idea! Opening 3+ cans for dinner does occasionally make me feel like I should be cooking over a campfire or something. But other than that I like having a nice ready-to-use store of so many varieties.

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