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Jun 22, 2021 02:15PM
Anotherone - don't beat yourself up over this, I've found that sourcing vegetables or quality ingredients for vegan / more vegetarian eating is tough in the UK, despite the preponderance of readymade and all sorts of "vegan" products on the shelves. Also, I've noticed in the last two months the grocery produce has gotten really wet/not great, I don't know if that is because it is sitting on a truck at the border somewhere or what but its tough to turn vegetables around as fast as they need to be! Here are some tips:
- If you are looking for dried spices, beans, rices, nuts, alternative grains and alternative flours, check out buywholefoodsonline.co.uk as they have cheaper prices than H&B and a much wider selection with a range of sizes. Need 2.5kg of almond flour? No problem! Just want 250g of tapioca flour to try out a recipe? No problem! I buy organic broken cashew pieces there to turn into cashew cream for mac n cheese, and other nuts and seeds to make granola.
- cheapest avocados are at Marks - 6 Haas of reasonable size to a green pouch for £2, although I got some on sale on Sunday (bout 3pm) for £1.19 which was fab as they are just at the right point of ready now and I have been putting them on salads or with breakfast. They are over by the ready packaged salad bowls.
- best source for maple syrup is just to order the Kirkland brand maple syrup via Amazon (usually used in baking or alternate sweetener)
- Maybe look into a weekly veg or monthly organic meat box delivery. Oddbox are good for avoiding waste, but then you better be a decent cook to manage whatever they send - I found I didn't like the uncertainty. Abel and Cole or Riverford or ANY of the others where you can choose to add potatoes or not may be a better bet to start. Go with a small box and see how it goes, I think they are about £12 or so.
If you are looking to supplement with some organic meat (think of meat as a condiment rather than the main meal focus):
Turner & George do a Jim Box of lean free range meats - 30 x 200g portions of mixed chicken/turkey/lean beef for £80. Yeah I know that price is high but you could freeze and label those as YOURS and feed the rest of the family whatever is around in the area and that way you could maybe do up two chicken breasts a week for you to put on top of salads for midday,or alongside potatoes and other vegetables for dinner, or as stirfry. That gets you 15 weeks of meat, or 10 weeks (if you go three portions) which when you consider a single 400g free range steak in a packet at Waitrose will cost you the best part of £9 doesn't look so bad!
I also get the small packet of ground turkey breast at Sainsbury's to make into a large "turkey sausage scramble" with potatoes and chopped veg and eat it for breakfast or lunch (or hell, dinner) - sometimes with avocado on top, sometimes with an egg, sometimes with spinach or other stuff I have prepped in the fridge. (https://masonfit.com/healthy-turkey-sausage-breakf...). Organic mince is great to make into all sorts of stuff for multiple meals - this week I did taco meat which we will get six meals from - two nights of taco salad and one night of sweet potatoes topped with the taco meat.
Finally - Naked pork sausages and bacon are the ONLY brand that are nitrite and nitrate free. I get them on the Ocado or Waitrose, they are pricey, but then its more bacon as supporting feature in a salad or wrap rather than an every morning thing. Coombe Farm online do nitrite free pork as well, but as much as I would love to order meat exclusively from them, their prices just aren't feasible. I ordered our Christmas gammon from them, and a fancy beef steak and both were excellent. They do all organic BBQ boxes in case you have a special event coming up, or they have 6 organic pork Cumberland sausages for £5.20, if you wanted to just stock the freezer with something of your own for BBQs.
I'd suggest to pick a direction and start slow with changing one meal at a time. Maybe its breakfast you want to build up some go-to recipes, or maybe its lunch if you are set with breakfast. I found we've had to do more of the Whole30/paleo approach as dairy/wheat/corn seem to drive a lot of inflammation for me and it was too easy to slip back into eating pasta or more grains than we could tolerate in order to lose weight (and I don't believe in the level of meat eating for keto - no way!). Both of us have lost weight, significantly reduced our sugar/junk consumption and significantly increased our vegetable intake despite not really eating that much more meat. Just like cancer, everyone's body functions differently, so this works for us. Paleo is also easy to do "baking" on, more than vegan, but even then I wouldn't say Im baking up a storm and we don't need a bunch of treats.
"The closer we come to the negative, to death, the more we blossom" - Montgomery Clift
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