Fat Kid Suit


8 Comments

60 day raw food log: day 16 Weighing the cost of a raw food diet…is it worth it?

Most people are concerned about money right now.

I am in need of an IV drip connected to a money bag myself.  The place where I bartend is only scheduling me for 3-4 shifts a week, and like many restaurants, is struggling.

So one part of determining if raw food eating is “worth” it is the dollars spent. I’ll do my best to give a dollars & cents breakdown on what eating this way is costing me and how it compares to when I ate a “normal” American diet.

Another price to pay for eating raw is taking an honest look at the things you give up to do so.  Pizza delivery and cheap beer.  Pitchers of mojitos to wash down some gourmet Cuban cuisine.  Street food (especially TACO TRUCKS!)  BBQ joints…did I mention Taco Trucks?

CIMG3610

I knew my moto was back in Cali when I came across this taco truck on a cold night just south of the border. The Oregon border!

Finally, anytime you examine somethings true cost you have to figure out just what the hell you’re getting out of it.  AKA…what are the benefits?

So is it worth it? I’m no expert and I can’t answer this (or any other question) for you.  But let you inside my abnormally large head and show you exactly how I feel at this juncture about the costs of eating raw…

Today (part 1) will focus on the monetary cost.  Tomorrow (part 2) will look at the cost of giving up things you love and are used to…like taco trucks.  And in (part 3) I’ll wrap it up with a snazzy cost/benefits analysis (sorry no charts or Excel spreadsheets) that attempts to explore the sometimes measurable, sometimes intangible benefits of a raw food life.

Part One

IS EATING RAW MORE EXPENSIVE THAN COOKED?

First few times you walk over to the raw “section” at the health food store (you know you’ve become a radical marginal member of society when you are shopping in a specialized section of a specialty store) two things will probably jump to your attention…

My first thought was “This is a really tiny section.  Not really a section actually, more like an end-cap.”

My second thought was, “Holy shit!  $14 for peanut butter!?”

Bulk Items

To make matters worse, a lot of the things you “need” to get started are bulk items. These types of items will probably last you a month, but they require payment in full today.

As an example, I bought a big bottle of spirulina for $43.  Two weeks later I’m only halfway through it.  But when I

swamp2

Spirulina bringing someone else back from the dead...

was standing there in the store trying to imagine how bad something that grows on top of a swamp might taste, and ruminating on the sad fact that lately I don’t even make $43 some nights, well lets just say it wasn’t easy to hand over the green required to buy the green. (Spirulinas really more blue-green).

My conclusion? These items aren’t in actuality expensive and can actually make raw eating more economical in some instances. At $1.4o per serving, roughly the price of a Coke, instead of corn syrup, chemicals, and an ingredient list that reads more like toilet bowl cleaner than beverage; you get the most concentrated bio-available protein on the planet.

So, score one for the spirulina and other bulk raw items you might want like cacao nibs, hemp oil, and raw honey.

Pre-packaged stuff VS. Produce

When you are new and trying to “adjust” to raw  for the first time you will naturally gravitate to the expensive pre-packaged raw items because they sorta look like what you think foods supposed to look like.

realhomerI stood there having a Homer Simpson style conversation with myself that went something like this… “Ahhhh…crackers!  I know what crackers are! This is a peculiarly small little bag with only 6 crackers in it…not exactly a Costco size box of Wheat Thins…but it says here…sun-dried tomato crackers…mmm…sounds yummy…and they are only…let me just turn this little package over and find the price….$9!  WTF!”

I bought them anyways.  Because I was scared of not having what I refer to as “food-food.”  And you know what allows you to psychologically pay NINE BUCKS for SIX CRACKERS?  The little sticker on the package that says “raw.”  And do you know what those crackers taste like, I’ll give you a hint…it’s a 4 letter word…start’s with an “S”…and it’s not sun dried tomatoes!

I’ve been reading a lot of other raw foodists blogs and watching their You Tube channels and tweeting with them and I’m starting to get the feeling that the longer one eats raw, the more likely they are to do almost all of their shopping at a Farmer’s Market, or in a good organic produce section.

My conclusion? Go ahead and buy the pre-packaged stuff.  Try it.  See what you like and what you don’t.  Soon you will save the dehydrated breads and little $4 baggies of superfood trail mix for when you need the convenience or the comfort.  Spend the bulk of your dough on fruits & veggies that are pound for pound, yes even at organic prices, the best value for your food dollar.

11/14 UPDATE!  Went to Farmer’s Market today and loaded up on fresh veggies/greens/and fruit.  I even bought a big jar of raw wildflower honey.  Grand Total = $40  Because I’m 100% raw I also got “free” breakfast out of the deal just walking around enjoying all the samples being handed out.  When I came home I took everything out and put it on the table so I could see what all I bought.  I had to take a picture…amazing isn’t it?  The honey will last a couple weeks and I’m sharing this with my girlfriend, so the real cost to me for the week I estimate to be closer to$25!!!

DSCN1435

How Much Are You NOT Spending?check-into-booze

This is really fair question to ask, and the one that pushed me over the edge on the money issue.  Do this little exercise yourself, and be brutally honest about it.

I added up what I spent each week on:

  • Coffee. Up to 2 weeks ago I was spending over $6 per day at Starbucks.
  • Booze. I’m talking drinks out (w/ tips), drinks in, wine, beer, all of it! For me drinking on the cheap was still costing  me over $70 per week. And that’s with a job where I can have a drink or two for free.
  • Cooked food groceries. I love to cook.  Shop pretty smart at Trader Joe’s.  My share of weekly groceries is about $40 per week.
  • Eating out. Make sure you include any fast food, lunches out, frozen yogurts, movie popcorn, brunch, all that!  I had really cut back lately.  In the past my girlfriend and I would grab sushi or Mexican food at least 3x per week. But due to lack of work and recently moving, I’m gonna say I was spending about $25 per week eating out.
  • Cigarettes. I don’t smoke cigarettes, so this wasn’t an issue with me.  But if you do smoke, we’re talking big bucks here, and you ARE going to stop smoking if you go 100% raw.  Maybe not immediately, but soon.
  • Other drugs including prescriptions. In one way or another, to quote Weezer, “We are ALL on drugs.”  I like to party, and think recreational substances have their place. But for arguments sake assume you won’t be spending money on that after you get hooked up to nature’s crack–raw food.  Also include most (not all, like I don’t think eating raw is going to do anything in the contraceptive department) pharmaceuticals.  Especially meds for cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, acid reflux (my GERD is 100% GONE), etc.

So for me…about $200 per week.  What’s your total?

So that’s $200 per week that I can apply to eating 100% raw food, drinking fresh-squeezed vibrant juices, and even eating out every so often in a little raw cafe or gourmet raw eatery.  $200 is A LOT of vegetables and fruit.

Another aspect of how much it really costs to eat raw vegan organic foods that I hadn’t thought of until I read Derek Markham’s blog today…is all the money not spent at the Doctors office.  In his case he acknowledges that as a father he chooses to spend a large portion of his families income on fresh organic food.  Derek says, “Our kids deserve the best fuel for their minds and bodies, and eating this way is our ‘health insurance’.” That blew me away.

What I’m NOT suggesting is that you cancel your health insurance (if you have health insurance) and count that as potential savings if you go raw.  But imagine the money you, your family, and the country would save by having less sick days, co-pays, depression, and chronic illness…

My conclusion? Money should have nothing to do with whether or not someone chooses to go raw.  If anything, I am spending a little less money each week to give my body an abundance of nutrients and delicious food.

Tune in tomorrow if you want to read about some of my misgivings about going (and staying raw long-term), as well as a candid lament about things I’m not sure I can live without (or want to).

Advertisements


Leave a comment

60 days raw food log: Day 10 A celebrity is someone who has more followers than they are following…

Day 10

**See below for what I ate today and a few more thoughts about raw food.

But today I’m dying to blog about this rabbit hole I fell into less than two weeks ago called “blogging” and the even bigger humungojumbo rabbit hole I fell into a couple nights ago called Twitter.

Jesus!  Twitter is like a Bizzaro World vortex, a place with great meaning & a place so banal and meaningless. All wrapped into one supposedly “social” space.  I love it!  But it is also so crazy self-promoting and weird, you know?

Like me.  I turned to Twitter because I thought it would be a good way to expose myself, er, my blog.  So after a few crazy cracked out of my mind “don’t bother me here I’m trying to Tweet!” hours I start to see that only people with persona’s and a high level of inter-connectivity sophistication have anyone at all reading their tweets or posts.  Makes sense I guess, but to a new blogger/tweeter its also a mix of daunting & depressing.

And then my blog…It sucked! Maybe it still does? So I spent a long sleepless night giving it a makeover: Adding Twitter to it, putting up a cool dinosaur header, posting photos of myself & obligatory cute kitten photos… But it still looks and feels so texty compared to other blogs I’ve been finding which are more sexy.

And for what? It @#$%’s with your head.  Why do I care?!? And I think that’s a good question.  If you have the answer, PLEASE tweet at me or comment on my blog or introduce me to some other new wild rabbit hole of communication I haven’t had the pleasure of falling into yet…

What I ate today:

  • Watermelon juice
  • Smoothie: Strawberries, banana, spirulina, honey
  • Raw trail mix with Goji berries
  • Mexican Salad: Cabbage, ZESTY PICKLED PEPPERS & VEGGIES, red bell pepper, avocado/sea salt/olive oil/lemon juice dressing.
  • Chocolate smoothie: raw cacao, banana, figs, honey, walnuts


Leave a comment

60 Days Raw Log: Day 4 is like groundhog day, but with gin & meatballs

 

Day 4

Almost Halloween…working in the service industry blows…you are always working when the other 90% of the world is partying. Friend from L.A. called today asking if I could come do the West Hollywood Halloween party thing…had to give the “I’m working all weekend” depressing answer.

And, unfortunately this year I’m bartending the whole weekend in a rather geriatric setting–an old school Italian restaurant/piano bar where the patrons sing the same Frank Sinatra type melodies over and over and over…like groundhog day with gin & meatballs. The old piano player is cool though.  He gets hammered and is anything but “PC” with his Obama jokes as he reaches up the old ladies dresses when they stand next to the piano to sing.

Woke up today at 1pm–felt shitty & cold.  No other way to put it.  Didn’t feel like eating anything, especially cold raw food.  Picked up a book and fell back asleep.

At 2pm I had my first meal, and my first experience with spirulina. Talk about Halloween ghoulish!  The coolest, strangest, blue-green stuff I’ve ever seen in a blender.  Wild.  The label on the glass container it comes in says “Spirulina is a HARD-CORE superfood.”  I will go so far to say spirulina is XXX! I’m pretty adventurous with food and I was afraid to drink it.  My girlfriend screamed and ran away.  I blended a heaping tbs with a whole banana, a tbs of raw honey, a tbs of cacao nibs, and a tbs of almond butter (with water and ice).  All I can say after drinking it…I think I finally met God…and Her name is Spirulina…

Here is a spirulina link to a web page that goes into great detail about the science and evolution of spirulina, it’s only one page (so you should read it) and makes me want to ingest a lot more of this stuff…was it the “manna” from God those wandering Israelites never stopped complaining about having to eat?

What I ate today:

  • Spirulina Smoothie!
  • Pear
  • Lara Bar
  • Apple
  • Giant Salad: Spinach, Lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, Greek olives, olive oil, lemon, black pepper, mustard, rawmesean.
  • Brownie smoothie: This one turned out amazing…1tbs raw cacao powder, 1 tbs raw honey, 1 tbs raw almond butter, small handful raw walnuts, 1 tsp coconut oil, 3 figs, ice & water.  Like fudge!

One note.  It was chilly tonight and very difficult on my bike ride home from work to wrap my head around not having hot food.  It also wasn’t easy skipping the normal routine of sitting down after my shift and making myself and the people I work with a nice stiff drink…they all seemed a little hurt when I told them I was going to have to skip it.