Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Week of Food, for a (mostly) Paleo Family of Four

Feeding a family healthily is not as easy as it sounds. There are time pressures, money pressures, and the constant pressure of being surrounded by infinite volumes of unhealthy non-food stuffs. A trip into the local grocery store is a minefield of sugar and processed grain products, and an evening out at many restaurants is no better.

So what does a primarily paleo family eat? How is it prepared, and how can you feed your family quickly, easily, and healthily? I thought I'd share our week of food here in hopes that it answers some of these questions for people trying to transition their family to better eating habits.

First of all, a disclaimer: You'll notice that we're not completely paleo. My kids do eat rice, including the boxes of crispy rice cereal and one bag of rice pasta a week. If I make a stir fry, or some Mexican or Indian food during the week, they'll often have rice with that as well. Depending on my training load and carbohydrate needs, I might also have some plain white rice with my meals. We don't eat other grains.

When I go to the grocery store for the week, the first aisle I hit is the fruit and vegetable section. My typical load for the week is something like:

2 onions
4 - 8 yams
5 small zucchini
20 medium carrots
3 stalks of celery
4 or 5 cucumbers
2 heads of lettuce
3 bunches of dark greens (kale, spinach, etc.)
3 peppers (red, yellow, green)
2 avocados
2 tomatoes
1 pound of mushrooms
Other snacking vegetables (snap peas, jicama, etc.)

5 pounds of oranges
5 pounds of apples
5 pounds of bananas
2 pounds of blueberries (frozen, from last summer)
1 pound strawberries (frozen, from last summer)
Seasonal fruit (melons, berries, etc.)

All of our milk (not pictured) comes in the form of raw goat's milk from a local farmer in 1/2 gallon glass jars. We pick up 3 gallons once a week and return last week's jars. I buy a pound of raw goat's milk cheese for the kids per week, and two quarts of goat's yogurt.

Our eggs come from our free-range chickens. We go through about 2 dozen a week.

Some of our meat is from the 1/4 cow and 1/3 pig we bought last year. Buying in bulk like that gives us local, pastured meat at about $3.50 per pound (including steaks and roasts). I usually pull out 2 - 3 pounds from the freezer each week. Some meat comes from our local store, where they sell local, grass-pastured beef, I typically buy 2 pounds of hamburger a week, plus 2 pounds of organic free-range chicken. At Trader Joes, I'll buy a pound of fish or shrimp per week.

Canned goods:
1 - 2 jars of organic pasta sauce
Canned tomato paste + sloppy joe mix
Enchilada sauce or curry mix

Nuts, seeds, and snacks: I typically buy:
2 pounds of nuts (we like the almond/macadamia/cranberry snack mix from Trader Joes)
2 bars per person (Lara bars or Kind bars) for out of the house snacking
A big box of natural fruit leather from Costco once a month
A big box of Seaweed snacks from Costco once a month
2 - 3 bags of jerky if we are going to be out of the house and need quick snacks
Fruit-flavored mineral water - one bottle per kid per week
2 bottles of Coconut water - I use for my workouts
Almond meal & coconut flour for making waffles or pancakes
3 bars of dark chocolate
1 -2 cans of full-fat coconut milk

I'll write more about meals later, but typical meals for the week include stir fries with rice, shrimp, and veggies, taco salad night, chicken with curry sauce and veggies, sloppy joes without the buns (the kids like to eat it from the bowl),  pasta (kids eat rice pasta, hubby and I will eat it over a riced cauliflower), pork chops with barbeque sauce, or paleo pizza with an almond-meal crust. Side dishes include yams, fresh veggies and dips like hummus, and sliced fruit.


Marv said...

Thanks Robin. Good information. I am always looking to see what others may be doing.

My wife gets your blog too. So, I am sure she will enjoy this.
Thanks so much for sharing with such detail.

donna said...

what a great guide! looking forward to seeing a few of your meal plans.