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MyPlate on My Budget, Soy and Gluten

Can I follow the USDA thrifty food plan and feed my family the Choose MyPlate advised daily nutrients?  That’s the question I’m asking this March with MyPlate on My Budget.

One of the questions people have been asking me about this project, is “What about food allergies and sensitivities?”

Lucky for me, I’m dealing with both!  I have a soy allergy and a gluten intolerance.

Allergies and intolerances are two different things, but they both mean you have to be extra careful.

I’ve been dealing with the soy allergy by entire life.  The gluten intolerance popped up mysteriously in my mid thirties.  I’ve been to several doctors about it including a GI specialist.  It’s a real thing.

$$$ and Food Issues

1 lb spagetti and 1 can pasta sauce.  Total meal = $2.45 for a family of four.  Right?

Not so fast!

Often times the cheapest spaghetti sauce has soy in it.  That’s pretty weird when you think about it.  What’s soy doing in Italian food?

The dry/corn/gf noddles they sell at the store for $3 a lb. are really gross (imo).  The only gluten free pasta I really like is $7.40 a pack.

So on nights when I make pasta, I usually make the standard stuff for my family, and the expensive soy-free/g-free stuff for myself.  That means I end up cooking two meals and spending a lot of money.

That’s why I don’t make spaghetti very often!

Then there’s my issues with breakfast…

The cornflakes on the right are gluten-free.  The corn flakes on the left, aren’t.  Guess which one is cheaper?

And no, I can’t eat oatmeal even if it is labeled gluten-free.  It feels like little knives cutting into my stomach.  I’ve read that a lot of gf folks have the same problem with oats.

I can do eggs, potatoes, fruit, smoothies, gf toast, grits, brown rice cereal, and gf corn flakes.  A lot of that ends up being more expensive than the $1.50 box of cereal on sale at your local grocery store.

What about carbs?

Usually I eat about 2-3 servings of gluten free bread, crackers, scones, or cornflakes a day.  But on the MyPlate on My Budget experiment, I haven’t been able to do this.  $5 a day doesn’t go far when a loaf of gluten free bread is $4.50 and half the size of a normal loaf.  So I’ve been eating eggs for breakfast.

That means that most of my carbohydrates are coming from potatoes, rice and quinoa.

I’m beginning to get crabby…

I feel hungry a lot…

I’m rationing my corn flakes…

For the past two weeks I’ve followed the Thrifty budget.  I’ve fed my family healthy, nutritious, Choose MyPlate following meals.  But I’m not feeling particularly well-fed myself.

This makes me think about all of the moms out there who might not be feeding themselves properly due to cost. 

And that, is a very big issue to think about.

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