Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's in Stephanie's Fridge?

I thought eating gluten and dairy free would be super expensive. I imagined high priced fancy foods that I could only purchase from grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. This was true... at least for the first couple of months after I began my gluten free lifestyle. My boyfriend and I had this grocery shopping complex in our heads and only shopped at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's.

Then we realized that I'm not that special and we can grocery shop anywhere - because our main diet consists of meats, fruits and vegetables. You can buy those main foods anywhere. (We even went grocery shopping in Iceland and got all the food I needed!) I still stop by Trader Joe's to purchase my favorite gluten free snick snacks once in a while, but I mainly try to stay away from those processed sugars. Because I know that if we buy a snack like that - I ALWAYS FINISH IT. So to stop eating those foods, we stopped buying them. For us it's easier to control what we buy, not what we eat. (Side note: Trader Joe's may not be an innocent and organic as you think.)

We just shop at our local grocery store on our block, and we buy fruit from the local guy on the corner. We do not buy organic meat or organic fruit. Yes - it's great to eat organic and avoid those extra chemicals and pesticides... but it's all about baby steps! Can't do everything perfectly right away.

I'm happy to eat locally and we can buy A LOT of fruit for $10 -$15 a week from the guy on the corner. At this point we are spending significantly less on food every week than we ever have before. Because we pack our lunches and cook dinners, we don't spend extra money on take out food (easy to do in NYC). I haven't tracked, but I would say we spend around $60 total each week for groceries.

We grocery shop twice a week - since our diet consists of fresh fruit, meats and veggies, we prefer to grocery shop in the beginning and middle of the week to purchase the freshest foods possible. We buy fruit whenever we finish our first round that we have bought - we just buy what is in season.

So what does my gluten and dairy free fridge like? The first picture is our fridge on a Sunday night. We have finished all the food for the week and it's time to go grocery shopping again. Our freezer is usually empty because we eat fresh and don't keep anything frozen. I do keep gluten free frozen chicken nuggets on hand to eat in case we're ever in a rush. In our fridge I keep 2 large containers of gluten free baking flour and gluten free pancake mix. We mix our own gluten free all purpose flour - a recipe from Silvana's Kitchen - it's a mixture of a bunch of different flours, and it's the best recipe we have tasted so far! We keep refilled water bottles to use on the go, along with some canned jam and our favorite gluten free sauce to use for dinners.

Empty Fridge - just the basics

We go grocery shopping to kick off the week and buy enough to cook crock pot for lunch and dinners for the first 2 or 3 nights. We stock up on dairy free milk for the week (I buy rice milk, soy milk, almond milk - all unsweetened - to drink every morning, and D loves the almond chocolate milk.) We buy the carrots/celery/onion/potatoes/beef to make for lunch crock pot, along with fruit, meat for dinner, and we usually keep eggs in the fridge for cooking/baking purposes (and I LOVE breakfast for dinner!)

Grocery Shopping - beginning of the week

Let me know if you have any questions about how we plan our weekly gluten and dairy free foods out. I'm learning more every week about how to make this lifestyle as easy as possible to manage - it's all about trial and error, and taking small steps to make a big difference in the long run.

- Stephanie

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