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The Paleo Diet- Can you afford to eat like this? : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Mar 16-22, 2015

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Can you afford to eat the paleo diet

My Version of the Paleo Diet:  The Plan


Doesn’t it seem like every time you turn around there’s another new diet plan to try? Well, the Paleo diet isn’t exactly a new diet; it’s been around for the last 2.5 million years, at least in the form that our Paleolithic ancestors ate it.

The diet I’ve actually been following is called The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas and you could call it a type of Paleo diet based on what I’m able to eat but it’s actually considered an elimination diet.

I heard about it from a friend of ours in her late 50’s who I thought was healthy and reasonably physically active (she works in her farm-yard weeding, mowing grass, tending garden).

What I didn’t know was that she suffered from pretty bad migraine headaches most of her adult life. She said the migraines started in her 20s, would last for 2-3 days/week and she’d often lose a couple of days of work a month because they caused her to be bedridden & vomiting. Such was her life.

The day she told me about this diet, I was visiting with her and some other women at a dinner party and glanced across the island at her and thought “Wow!

I didn’t think she was the kind of woman who would be into plastic surgery”. Literally, her face looked 10 years younger than the last time I’d seen her about a year earlier.

As I went around the island to tell her how good she looked I made eye contact with her and she got off her chair to meet me halfway. Holy smokes! She’d lost weight too!

Not that she was what I’d call “overweight” before but she was a robust woman who I attributed to her being physically active on the small farm she lived and worked on with her husband in addition to her part-time job.

What had she done?

The Plan. She said it helped her figure out and eliminate (hence the term “elimination diet”) which foods worked well for her specific body chemistry & which foods caused inflammation.

Inflammation, she told me showed up for her as migraines which she finally managed to get rid of after suffering with them for over 30 years!

A nice side perk was that she also lost a fair bit of weight & yes, she said people were starting to ask what face cream she was using (which she thought was a bit odd).

Inflammation! I was just interested in getting my face to look 10 years younger. Oh—and dropping at least 10 lbs too. I’ve struggled with my weight since hitting puberty and while I’ve managed to finally lose just over 30lbs.

In the last 8 years I’ve been battling with another 10 lbs that has slowly found it’s way back onto my thighs & butt. Heading into my mid-40s now I’ve also been experiencing lower energy levels and severe seasonal allergies that drugs don’t help much.

Complete the mix with other hormonal changes that my doctor and I thought were perimenopause. My cravings for carbohydrates and increasingly sweets had also gotten out of control.


My health challenges before The Plan


I had no idea where to start with The Plan so my husband went out and bought the book for me. That was just over five months ago now.

I haven’t lost that much weight, maybe 7 pounds but I haven’t gained any weight either. And I’m close to my goal weight.

What’s even more amazing to me is the fact that I was recovering from a back injury when I started this diet so I’ve been unable to exercise or work for the past 5 months except for some walking and gentle swimming just recently.

I’ve STILL lost weight and had a huge increase in my energy levels. Before my injury I was a pretty faithful gym go-er 4 days a week with weight training for roughly 1 hour or running on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes until I was red-faced and soggy with sweat.

I’ve been physically active since I was a young teen and played several high school sports and continued as a young adult with swimming & college volleyball.

Over the years I found that regular exercise made me feel good but I never lost weight being active. As I got older I found that I was starting to gain weight when I exercised harder. It seemed like I was gaining muscle mass but not losing the excess body fat.


Other diets I’ve tried


When I was in my mid 30’s I was at my highest weight of 192 lbs. On a whim one day after work I decided to stop at this place called U-Weight Loss center on my way home.

To my surprise I signed up, got some recipes and supplements and went home. Just 4 months later, I had lost 28 pounds.

I was definitely eating better food and feeling like I had more energy in the morning after my workouts. However, I was also working out 6 days a week for at least an hour and that left me feeling tired by late afternoon.

About 6 months after starting the U-Weight Loss program I decided to leave that program because it was too expensive and “go it on my own”.

I’d heard people refer to my new way of eating as “cleaning eating” so I searched Google for the term online. I discovered that “clean eating” was simply eating healthy, unrefined food with good amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats at each meal..

That would equate to roughly 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 30% fats. I also signed up for a subscription to a magazine called Clean Eating because of all the great recipes and to learn how to make this my new lifestyle.


Foods I used to eat for weight loss


From that time until discovering The Plan 5 months ago I ate things like

  • Cottage cheese with berries and real cheese slices
  • Steel-cut oats with protein powder/almond milk/berries/sliced almonds
  • Greek yogurt with whey protein powder/berries/1/2 banana/sliced almonds for breakfasts.

Some of our suppers were

  • Curried pork tenderloin with dried apricots and rice or Wasa bread (delish!) Grilled salmon and a Greek salad with homemade Greek dressing (our favorite—back then).

At supper we’d make sure we made enough to have 2 leftover meals the next day for lunches.

Super simple!

So why did I change to something that now closely resembles a Paleo diet? Gas (sorry! that was the first thing that came to mind).

No point skirting around the issue. I was stinky and I wasn’t sure why exactly although I was pretty sure that my body didn’t like milk products.

For example, I noticed having issues with gas and abdominal cramping after my dairy-laden breakfasts—or after having feta cheese in my beloved Greek salad.

I also still felt hungry after eating many of the recipes or menu plans I’d received on the U-Weight Loss program. I was having difficulty keeping up the 6-day/week intense exercise program just to keep my weight stabilized down to where I’d lost.

Finally, I was pooped and tired past lunch everyday and getting more irritable. I knew I had to keep reading books and online to find out what else might be the magic bullet for me in terms of an ideal diet that my body would

  • Tolerate
  • Find satisfying
  • Help me keep my weight in check without exercising like a crazy woman

I happened to be at a party one evening with our friend I describe above and noticed that she looked 10 yrs. younger. She told me she had done “The Plan”. I was hooked and was curious if it could work for me too.


Foods I’ve had to stop eating


Fast forward a couple of years since that lucky exchange. What I have learned on The Plan is how much better I feel eating certain foods & how much worse I feel eating other foods.

For example, I know now that drinking red wine really seems to make my seasonal allergies a lot worse and my sinuses plug up. So does eating things like grains (except for a little rice cereal no more than twice a week), cow dairy, anything with gluten and too much sugar (even naturally in fruit).

My energy levels have REALLY increased—I no longer need my afternoon naps that I regularly needed so badly before but could only take after work and on weekends. I don’t have this whole “Plan” thing figured out completely yet but I plan to stick with it because I’m feeling so good.

I think it’s the right way to eat for me—at least for now.


Our grocery budget on a Paleo Diet


The big question is what has this type of Paleo diet done to our grocery budget?

Before I started following The Plan, we were spending between $500-$600 a month on groceries for 2 adults. I know because I tracked it for the last two years out of curiosity.

This January, I started playing the Grocery Game Challenge over at Canadian Budget Binder and set a goal for our budget to be approximately $260/month for groceries (I had to start somewhere!).

I started tracking our grocery budget again this January 2015 while playing the Grocery Game Challenge and found that over the last 3 months I’ve spent about $300 a month on our groceries (I say “I” because I do almost all the grocery shopping in our house).

Of course this happened by setting a grocery budget, weekly menu planning, and shopping for sales and good deals on food but it was definitely doable and very worth it to me.


Foods I now eat to lose weight… and Feel Great!


So I’m sure you’re just a bit curious what we eat on this Paleo-type diet for about $300/month? (I say “we” because my husband jokingly calls himself “an unwilling participant”.

He says our meals are good or he wouldn’t be eating them). I’m constantly trying new Paleo  recipes and ideas.

Paleo Diet Food List

Weekly, we eat things like:

  • Steak
  • Spicy apricot chicken
  • Shepherd’s pie (made with ground turkey, butternut squash, whipped cauliflower, & kale)
  • Vegetable timbale (to die for!)
  • Apple streusel (for breakfast; made with ground almonds for the topping)
  • Flax granola with Silk coconut milk, raisins, Craisins, sliced almonds (breakfast)
  • Eggs (over easy) with vegetarian hash
  • Carrot soup
  • Broccoli soup
  • Leek, zucchini & kale soup (so simple!)
  • Omelette
  • Grilled salmon
  • Sautéed broccoli/zucchini/carrots/onions with manchego (sheep’s milk) cheese
  • Sautéed kale with avocado & sunflower seeds
  • Grilled Ahi tuna with fresh parsley/lemon juice/garlic/olive oil marinade
  • Hamburger “steaks” without the bun & half a plate of sautéed veggies
  • Italian roasted vegetables (made with Italian seasoning)


Can YOU afford to eat a Paleo Diet?


The Paleo Diet Can you afford to eat like thisOften, one of the reasons people give for not trying a Paleo diet is the cost. They assume that the cost of meat will blow their budget before they even buy all the groceries they need.

I have to say I was very surprised myself that eating meat everyday was not insanely expensive (at least not for 2 people).

I’m certain we could spend even less than $300/month on groceries if I was not avoiding ALL processed meats.

I’m talking about meats such as breakfast sausages (which can often be found on sale), deli & luncheon meats, pork, canned fish like tuna and well cooked meats like stews and roasts.

I’ve also had to restrict eating eggs to just 1 or 2 times a week, otherwise my weight loss stalls as well. If I could eat ANYTHING Paleo, I know I’d be able to make our grocery budget go even further.

So don’t assume you can’t afford to eat a Paleo diet if this is something you’d like to try for whatever reason. With some menu planning, setting a grocery budget for the month (and then each week) and shopping for sales, you could be well on your way to a healthier way of eating.

Do you eat a Paleo Diet or would you?

Post Contribution: CBB FAN Leona W.

If you are a CBB fan or PF Blogger and you want to contribute a Food article to The Grocery Game Challenge, email me today! I’m open to all Food and Grocery related topics in Canada.


March grocery game challenge posts


If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you.

Join in the Grocery Game Challenge fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each blog post… here are the GGC rules!


Grocery Saving Tips


Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsFree Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the savings process in your grocery budget today.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!


Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide


the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly.

If you are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email.


2015 Grocery shop results


If you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index where recipes from CBB Home Chef Nicola Don and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out!

Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $25 per month.


  • 2x Palmolive dish soap  $1.67
  • 2x Astro Coconut $2.49- $1.00 coupons
  • Iogo Pro Mandarine Yogurt $1.88
  • Bok Choy $2.90-50%
  • Manns Sugar Snap Peas (so good) $5.99- 50%
  • 2x Bavarian Multi-grain bread $6.00-50%
  • 2 x Parmigiano Regiano $10.96, $10.71 plus 1775 pts each (these were 50% off reg price…it was crazy. We bought 6 for other family members)
  • 2x Irish Mature Cheddar $3.49-50% 350pts each

Total-out-pocket $40.82

No Frills

  • 2x Schneiders Bacon $2.77 ea
  • 2 x unsweetened apple sauce $1.67 ea
  • Astro Coconut Yogurt $1.97

Total out-pocket $10.85

Shoppers Drug Mart

Total out-of-pocket $3.97-$0.20 coupon =$3.77

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $235.00
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $20.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 28786
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Snap Groupon to date: $1.50
  • Zweet to date: $1.50
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $1.50

GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

  • Total to spend this month $204.49 (includes overage from February)
  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • Total coupons used this week: $2.00
  • Total coupons used to date: $8.00
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $11.14
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $84.69
  • Total spent this week: $54.44
  • Total spent so far this month: $124.47
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over $over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $80.02
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

We didn’t spend lots this week but we did score some cheap cheese again. It was weird because some pieces had it at $54.90 a kilo and others half that.

It was the same cheese, authentic Parmigiano Regiano with the Italian stamp on the rind. I’m guessing someone priced it wrong.

We loaded up as we had no way to tell but knew it was cheap. Other than that we still have enough to get us to the end of the month which is good because of last months overage.


 Coupon Sleuth


Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.

Uncle Bens Coupon Canada

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: Yes No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general. If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2015!

Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.



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