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Days 1 & 2 sticker shock

I have been meaning to try the “true raw” lifestyle for some time, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to afford this.

Sunday’s approximate intake:
  • 6 bananas
  • 3 oranges
  • 4 apples
  • 3 avocados
  • 1 whole papaya
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1 9-oz. bag of baby spinach
  • 1 pound of carrots
  • 1 pound of almonds
  • 6 lemons (juiced)

...and I was slightly peckish at bedtime. Today looks to be an almost repeat.

Is this normal? Does the amount of food needed ever decrease?

At this rate, I’m going to have to go to the grocery every other day or buy another fridge to hold everything. I’m just not sure if it’s going to be financially viable.


  • if you’re okay with it, you might want to invest in some cheap staples such as lentils, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, etc…generally low glycemic works great for budget raw diets. sprouted grains are great. sprouts in general are fantastic.

  • 1 lb of almonds?!

  • food intake typically decreases with time, but it depends on the individual.

    that doesn’t look like it was all that expensive though? i mean, i get ten pounds of oranges for $3, organic bananas for around $1.20 a pound, heads of spinach and celery for $1…

    also, even if it does cost a little more, i find the lifestyle to be completely worth the expense, for how i feel, not to mention the lifelong medical $$ i will save.

    and uh, i agree with newbie, that uh, i couldn’t eat a pound of almonds in a day. that’s what i eat in a week (me and my husband) and again, costs me about $4. but when i started i ate alot more too, so, it could be that.

  • That could be really expensive. The almonds I buy are 12 dollars a pound, and they aren’t organic!

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    sunflower seeds and walnuts might be cheaper than almonds. fruit is pretty expensive in northern climates this time of year. I can’t wait until the farmer’s markets are back. try trader joe’s or costco for avacados too. spinach in the bunch is cheaper than bagged. Do some price comparisons. Or maybe join a produce-delivery club or CSA seasonally. We are considering one for this summer for price reasons.

  • no, not typical. but then this is how i imagine my body-building brother on raw. ;)

    are you mono-eating? i’d recommend making more complex meals if you are.

    are you drinking enough water?

    also, i know from experience. eating a lot of fruit makes you feel like you could eat forever. you don’t have any greens in there, except for the spinach. you need to be getting many more “green” calories. this will stave off the sugar cravings. mixing fruit with greens and a tiny bit of fat would be beneficial to you i think. green smoothies???

    also, experiment NOT eating that much and see what happens. being “peckish” doesn’t necessarily mean you NEED food.

    you can get a 10 lbs of REALLY RAW almonds for $50 here: wholesale-almonds.com with free shipping.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    I have always been a volume eater. About 2 1/2 – 3 weeks into it, my food volume dropped by almost half. I couldn’t believe it but I just wasn’t hungry any more. Now, I try to eat a little something ever hour or so. I keep little cucumbers, kiwis, apples, roma tomatoes, or pears in a bowl by my desk at work and every hour or so I eat one. I used to have to remind myself to do that but now I am started to get hungry at least every 2 hours.

  • Boy, I feel your pain. As a single mom, I struggle to make ends meet. The sticker shock was a biggie for me, too. I have been a vegan for some time, but was used to eating lots of grains (cheap!). Now that I’m raw, the fresh veggies really add up. I am going to garden this summer and start an indoor garden in the fall to help me make it through winter. We have an awesome farmer’s market here which will help.

  • I thought my regime was expensive, and then I realized, THIS is what I’m PASSIONATE about! I can cut back on gas, I can cut out other things in my life. I can do little things during the week to cut down costs, because these days I refuse to let there be a limit on my food. Somedays I eat very little, and others I eat the world. I don’t let the numbers get to me. And that’s what’s important. Because yeah I’m not well off by any means, but I’m making do with what I have! ALSO, I don’t know where you live, but there are always natural resources! I go foraging every week with a raw friend of mine. We just went this morning and got TONS of citrus, and as the seasons change, we will go with it…It’s free, it’s fun, it’s grounding, it’s an excellent reason to be outdoors…Get creative!! :)

  • That sounds pretty typical for me, as far as calories, at least at first. The thing that finally made my appetite settle down was when I started eating and/or juicing a ton of greens! My body seemed to just take a while for all the nutrient deficiencies to be satisfied, and now I don’t eat as much as before, but it has taken me a couple of years. As for the expense, well, I was on state (welfare) health care, so my medical costs were paid for me, but after about 4 months, I called the pharmacies to find out how much the cash prices would be for my prescriptions (many of which I had decreased or was no longer needing). My pharmacy costs had gone down by $500 per month, and I had more energy than I’d had in years! I think I was spending maybe $120 more per month eating raw than I had been spending on food before. I have now been able to reduce my food costs by sprouting (I finally figured it out so it is easy) and growing a garden in the summer. I also have a good juicer and a dehydrator now, so I can make things like flax crackers that fill me up without spending a fortune.

  • I eat what’s on sale at the grocery store each week. If you have a high speed blender, try eating more green smoothies (ex: spinach, bananas, water, flax). It’s super super cheap, cause you can just use a variety of greens with bananas. Throw the whole green in there, don’t remove the stem first. If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can still make some green smoothies, maybe not with kale but with other things (spinach, lettuce, etc). If you have 3-4 green smoothies a day, and very few nuts, you can cut costs to probably $10 per day. Here’s a thought – getting the day old produce from behind grocery stores – i hear some stores leave produce in boxes, not in the dumpster, and you can find useable stuff. Also, intake will decrease. I spend $100 per week, eating very very nice raw food. It’s very very possible to eat on $50 – 80, from what i hear from other people. Oh, and grow sprouts! They’re SOOOO cheap, and SOOO healthful. : )

  • Thanks for the tips, folks.

    I dropped by the store last night and grabbed about 3 lbs. of various salad greens, We’ll see if increasing those helps at all.

    Yes—an entire pound of almonds. I was throwing a handful in each smoothie and more or less picked at them all day. I can get 1-lb. bags for around $7-8.

    I probably shouldn’t be surprised, though. I was known for eating two Hardee’s Monster Burgers at noon and started getting hungry again around 7pm or so.

    We’ll see how things go the rest of the week. Right now, I’m estimating $15-20/day, which is going to amount to around $450-600/month in groceries. I could be driving one of the new Shelby Mustangs for that amount. grin

    Oh, one more question—Where are you all getting your vitamin B12 from? The only foods I can find with any significant amounts of it are animal products, soy-based Frankenfoods, and vitamin supplements.

    Thanks again!

  • cool. the hardest ones to chew tend be the the most nutrient dense (kale, collards…).

    instead of almonds—and as an aside, you’re buying them TRULY raw right? in the store they are pasteurized—to bulk up your smoothies, try mixing it up with seeds (cheap—sunflower, sesame) and young coconut meat (if you can get them for $1.50, there’s a lot of nice fat in the flesh and that’s cheaper than the equivalent amount of almonds).

    b-12 is brought up quite a bit here. i recently read an article that someone posted about a raw athlete who was severely “deficient” in b-12, but still in vibrant health and winning all his races. the article stated that b-12 is used to break down excess protein, and since raw vegans don’t eat animal protein, our body doesn’t have that enormous task. sort of like asking, “raw vegan person, you don’t buy hot pads? how do you take your pans out of the oven?” well, we don’t put them there in the first place!

    that’s one idea… another is that you can get it from spirulina/blue green algae (i buy the powdered kind), wheatgrass has trace amounts of it.

    another one… you can’t get b-12 from plant foods… you have to take supplements

    another one… if you eat food in its natural state, your body creates it’s own b-12. (so don’t use the dehydrator so much!). “if a rabbit can make b12, i certainly can” they would say. =)

  • i know how you feel! in the beginning of this year i started saving grocery receipts, in january i spent over $800 just for me! at that point i tried to incorporate some cooked foods, like rice and potatoes into my diet, just because i couldn’t afford it. after about a month or two of that i felt awful, i was depressed, lacking energy, my diabetes was out of control again. i was miserable. now i’m back to nearly 100% raw, feeling way better, and i’m just trying to be a smart shopper. i buy bags of apples, oranges and lemons and always shop where theres a sale.

    here in richmond, va. a pound of almonds, not even organic cost over $17! one organic lemon is $1.29! organic oranges 2 for $3. its maddening, here i am trying to be healthy and i can’t afford it!

    i can tell you your appetite will diminish considerably with time. the first month i went raw i was going through a 5 lb bag of carrots every 2 days!

    hang in there it is worth it. when you take into consideration all the money you are not spending on dining out, i bet it evens out.

  • shiitake mushrooms are great for b vitamins, although i can’t say if it provides enough b12, also spirulina is 80% protien and i believe it has b12.

  • ZoeZoe

    Yeah it goes down! I used to eat as much as you and now I am on one green salad and a smoothie a day. With tastes and nibbles of fruit here and there. I’m totally satisfied and have more energy than I know what to do with. The cleaner you are inside the more nurtients you assimilate so the less you eat. But in those first months it seems like you just have to constantly eat, I think this is common.

    Why not invest in a dehydrator – or make one yourself. Dehydrated food is cheap and filling, you can use all your pulp and scraps in the bread/cracker mix too, it will save you loads of money long term.

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