People are often erroneously under the impression that for a healthy diet with full nutritional value you have to spend a lot of money, and waste a lot of time at shopping, preparation, and cooking.
If you are looking to understand how you can eat fully nutritional meals every day, cheaply, and efficiently, you came to the right place.
The goal of this article is to offer you the understanding and tools to eat more efficiently; not relying on random purchase of groceries in the store and then hoping it has everything your body needs at suboptimal financial cost.
1. Understanding the Human Machine
Throughout most of history people have been unable to decipher what exactly is the effect of each food type for human body and why. Only through trial and error was something definitively discovered. Good example for this was scurvy, which had devastating effects on maritime exploration, resulting in up to 80% mortality rates on long voyages. Entire ships were lost and explorations failed due to vitamin deficiencies; primarily vitamins C and B.
Today, we know to what extent the human body is just a biological machine, and which groups of nutrients in which doses are required for the optimal functioning of this intricate biological wonder.
Without this knowledge it would be impossible to streamline the process so that you could defy the old proverb – you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
After reading this you will know how to eat cheaply, efficiently, and fully.
2. Nutrient Groups
There are 6 basic nutrient groups you always have to consider when creating your optimal diet:
Of course, the story is much more complicated than that but these are essential. Everything your body needs is contained within these groups. All together they give a certain amount of calories – a unit of energy your body expends – and the key is to know which food item gives the most of every category, but not overdoing it so you don’t gain weight.
The allocation should be as follows:
- 45% to 65% of calories eaten should come from carbohydrates
- 20% to 35% of calories eaten should come from fat
- 10% to 35% of calories eaten should come from protein
Of course, depending on your physical activity and weight status you can tweak these percentages.
For example, if you want to lose weight quickly you can drastically reduce the intake of carbohydrates. By doing that your body shifts from taking the energy it needs from carbs to fats. This process is known as ketosis and there are many ketogenic diets you can find.
3. Selecting the Right Tools
If this already seems too complicated, do not worry. In the past it indeed would be a difficult and time consuming task, but today with the power of internet and vast knowledge just a few clicks away it is quite banal to accomplish.
The primary resource you would want to use to create your perfect cheap diet is here.
It is completely free and it is by far the best tool you could wish for. A very powerful, easy to use tool that gives you everything you need to quickly create your dieting plan.
After you have registered, log in and click on Add New Recipe, here you will fill the required data for your new recipe, with the most important part being the Nutrient Profiles. Nutrient profile will create constraints to all the nutrient groups, depending on what your goal is:
- If you want to lose weight, select – U.S. government DRI, male 19-50, 1500 calories, low carb
- If you want to use the standard one, select – U.S. government DRI, male 19-50, 2000 calories
- If you feel confident about your nutritional knowledge you may select one of dozens of other profiles or create your own custom nutrient profile.
After that, the Recipe Editor tab is where all the magic happens. Each food item you enter is broken down to all the nutrients you see below the cost breakdown table; beneath the nutrient profile, that table determines the range of all the nutrients according to your set nutrient profile.
Once each nutrient reaches the required dosage, the row turns green, if the dosage is above the recommended it turns red.
When you enter food items many are already present, so as you type them it will auto-complete the rest for you. However, if you do not find some, here are two additional great tools to use to complete the job:
- large database on pretty much all the food you could encounter
- comparison finder tool which enables you to list foods according to set nutrient parameter, extremely useful!
Remember, the whole point of this is to remove the unhealthy randomness of your eating habits. Most people have not acquired the habit of doing this, so they will continue to eat unhealthy, insufficiently, and unnecessarily costly.
4. Creating the Perfect Diet
Everyone has their own idea of what a perfect diet consists of. For the purpose of this article we will set the following criteria:
- no more than $70 per month of total food expenditure
- no cooking or other elaborate time consuming preparation
- no dishes that need to be washed afterwards
- no need to go to store every day wasting time and money on transportation
- no lactose
- full spectrum of nutrients present, according to this nutrient profile – U.S. government DRI, male 19-50, 2000 calories.
To accomplish this seemingly impossibly feat, thinking outside the box is required so you need an additional expenditure – an automatic bread maker.
It is recommended that you use this one as it has by far the highest rated reviews. Definitely do not try to buy a low quality one, as this is a delicate process that needs to be done right consistently.
But don’t worry; it will pay itself off within a couple of months.
5. The Recipe
You will have to slightly tinker with this on your own as it depends on where you live, so it would be useless to list specific products. Also, you should inquire if you can have monthly deliveries so you can permanently scratch the chore of going to the grocery store from your daily to-do list.
Additionally, stores often offer a heavy delivery discount if the merchandise is above a certain range: $40, $50, $70, depending on each store. Most of the time, if it is done once per month the cost becomes negligible.
Finally, this is the baseline recipe according to this nutrient profile – U.S. government DRI, male 19-50, 2000 calories
The end result will be tasty sandwiches.
Making of the bread
Using the Automatic bread maker, no longer will you have to worry about poor flour, preservatives and other chemicals in your bread as you will now have full control over making your own bread!
The technology in this area has quite advanced so it will require less effort than putting your laundry in the washing machine.
- 200 g whole wheat flour
- 50 g soy flour (make sure it’s the toasted one)
- 14 g sesame seeds, whole
- 10 g flaxseed
- 14 g sunflower seeds
- 3.75 g dry yeast
- 4 g iodized sea salt
- 14 g butter
- 175 g water
As this bread will last for two days (for one person), when actually making the bread multiply all the mass values you see here by 2. Obviously, the reason we split the values here in half is to enter them into the table, so it can properly calculate everything, from nutritional value to cost value.
This bread on its own covers almost all minerals, proteins, fats, fiber, and fatty acids. If your manganese level gets into red, do not be concerned, whole grains and iron create a barrier for manganese absorption so the real absorbed value will be significantly less.
We finish it off with:
- 2 eggs (per day), whole, boiled, you can use this to cook them, slice them up and put the slices into the sandwich
- effervescent vitamins, with emphasis on: calcium, vitamins C, B and D. These will be your drinks during the day, 2 per day
It is important that vitamins are not in the form of a pill as they have much less capacity for absorption.
Ingredients in effervescent vitamins are 100% bio-available, are more stable than their liquid or tablet counterparts. Effervescent form of supplementation is known to be gentle on the digestive tract, causing less stomach and esophageal disturbances. Effervescent vitamins form a buffered solution. When mixed in water it forms the perfect pH – the perfect ratio of acid and alkaline, so that nutrients can be easily absorbed. A powdered effervescent form of vitamin is better than an effervescent tablet. Tablets need a chemical binding agent, powders do not.
If you have something against anything that is deemed not 100% natural you could always use parsley or packaged chopped carrots. Just bare in mind though that this will not yield the efficiency of vitamin absorption as would be the case with effervescent or powdered vitamins.
Lastly, select a bread spread that tops off anything you see missing in the nutrient table. The selection here is huge and will depend on what kind of sandwich you want.
Accomplishing this you will:
- spend maximum of $70 per month for food
- gain all the nutrients your body needs every day, something you have very likely never been able to do
- not have to worry about cooking or washing dishes
- not have to go to the store, thus saving time and money on transportation