I just commented tonight on Facebook that I have managed to consume 8 avocados this week. NZ appears to have a glut of avocados this season, so Countdown have been selling 2 for $1. Avocados are one of the few fruits I don’t bother really buying organic (unless organic is cheaper than non-organic, which happens quite a bit). The local organic shop, Harvest Wholefoods, has been selling organic avocados for $1.85 each. According to the list on the Environmental Watch Group website, avocados are number 4 on the clean 15. Whilst I try to buy as much organic as possible, when you have a tight budget and you know that list, I will buy non-organic fruit and veges.
There are, however, some things I will only buy organic – broccoli (I am surprised it isn’t on that list), kale (actually haven’t come across non-organic kale yet in NZ, only organic) and pretty much everything else on the dirty 15. I don’t mind buying lettuce and salad greens from non-organic sources due to how they are grown in NZ, but during the summer organic lettuce and salad greens are cheaper, so will switch. Strawberries are also another exception, but do prefer organic as they are sweeter. It will be strawberry season very soon, and prices between organic and non-organic are pretty much the same at the height of the season. I do stay away from non-organic apples, pears, mandarins, nectarines and peaches imported from the USA (sorry guys, but NZ nectarines and peaches taste better) and potatoes.
The reason why I am talking about organic vs non-organic is due to the change of how I purchase food for myself and my son this year. I lived in Dunedin for a year and was spoilt by the fantastic farmers market there. I was able to buy only organic fruit and vegetables for $30 to $40 a week. I also ate seasonally (apart from buying a bunch of fair trade bananas once a week) and used the organic store to purchase my dry goods such as lentils and chickpeas. The New World supermarket in central Dunedin had a fantastic selection of organic food (dry and fresh) and a good range of gluten-free products that were also vegan. Since moving back to Auckland, I am no longer spolit with the choice of buying only organic fruit and vegetables for $30 to $40 a week. If I want to buy the volume of fruit and vegetables that I do each week, I would be spending twice that amount. I trialled this a couple of times when staying with family and not paying any rent. At the moment, I spend $40 to $50 a week on a mixture of organic and non-organic fruit and vegetables, and feel okay about it with that list by EWG.
Sometimes I do worry if I am ingesting too many chemicals in my food, especially as I now mainly eat raw (with one cooked meal each day). I’ve also been investigating the 80/10/10 lifetsyle and the Low Fat (well they noe call it high carb) Raw Vegan lifestyle as well, but yet again, Brendan Brazier’s Thrive principles seem to resonate with me more and his nutrition advice appears more sound. I’ve been using my body as a guinea pig to see how my body reacts to each diet before I finalise my nutrition plan for bodysculpting training.
Nutrition wise, it has been pretty good. I am absolutely loving the new web-based version of Cron-O-Meter. I do quite like the standalone version of it, but it appears they will no longer be doing new versions of it. Which kinda sucks, as some people may prefer using the standalong version and rely on updates. They also allow you to upgrade your membership to gold, which offers more functionality (such as exporting all data in .csv format). You can, however, import data from the standalone version and it doesn’t matter if you are a free or gold member. I was an avid user of MyDailyPlate on the Livestrong website, but got sick of the changes and things not working on it, so made the switch to Cron-O-Meter.
Ceres Organics have started selling this:
I am pretty excited, as Sunwarrior is hella expensive – $90 for 1kg. Even if I brought from a site like iHerb, the cost would be around the $70 a kg mark when you take into consideration currency conversion and shipping costs. This raw, sprouted, vegan rice protein powder by Growing Naturals is $27.45 for a 459g package, so about $49 a kg. A lot cheaper than $70 to $90 price for a kg of Sunwarrior. I will be using protein powder supplements when I fully get into training, but only something that will be used once a day to help increase the effects of weight training.
I’m getting pretty excited about training very, very soon. I am also hoping to get some sponsorship to help offset some of the costs involved. I only know of one vegan bodybuiler in NZ, who is male, but no vegan female bodybuilders/bodysculpters/fitness competitors.
Well that is pretty much it, and my next blog post will be exploring the reasons why I went vegan :-)
QUESTION FOR READERS – What is your stance on organic food?