Saving $ With OFM
The OFM diet saves you money!
There are several reasons why:
- Use of mainly whole fresh foods which are nutrient dense and are a bargain compared to “Heart Healthy Whole Grain” Cereals and snacks etc.
- You eat less due to improved nutrient availability, greater metabolic efficiency and eliminating processed foods actually designed to keep you craving more
- Appetite control so no overeating
- Less need for supplements in the diet
- The overall savings are so large they more than cover the cost of VESPA!
Shopping and saving:
One underlying philosophy to the OFM approach is to make it doable for most everyone. This applies to the food you eat. We try to make this affordable because so many athletes are on a tight budget. Unfortunately we see so much hype that is simply not supported in the science.
So let’s start with whether you should be eating organic, grass-fed etc.?
You see these terms all the time in nutrition recommendations and the word organic seems like some magic health blessing giving that food a special power for health and superiority over conventionally raised foods. Unfortunately the science simply does not support it and, in special cases like peanuts, organic could actually kill you.
Does this absolutely mean you need to eat organic / grass-fed to obtain optimal OFM benefits?
The short answer: Only if you can afford it. Otherwise there are other easy strategies that will get you there for a lot less money.
Seriously, grass fed is much more expensive so if you are on a budget shop the sales and supplement with fish oil to save the money. Buy conventional produce, wash thoroughly cook (except for salads), garnish with butter or bacon and enjoy. Keep reading if you want to know the details.
There is organic and there is organic. Due to the higher margins and price point big businesses entities are offering loads of organic options. So the organic you are buying at in the big warehouse stores is probably not much different from the conventionally grown supermarket produce but at a much higher cost whereas the organic from your local farmer’s market most likely is of better nutritional quality.
Pasture versus grain-fed: Again, a lot of push for pastured cattle, pigs and chickens. Based upon our reading of the literature the fatty acid profile for ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, bison, etc.) is clearly superior for grass/pasture fed versus grain fed. This applies equally to the dairy as well as the meat.
With pigs and chickens the term “pastured” or “grass-fed” is entirely inaccurate and misleading. While chickens and pigs can and do eat grass they do not do so preferentially and it does not constitute the majority of their diet like a pastured ruminant. Really, you don’t want to know what chickens and pigs eat for optimal organic meat and egg quality.
Eggs from true free-range chickens who are getting plenty of insect and insect larvae in their diet (didn’t I mention you probably did not want to know?) have yolks which are much richer. This is easily seen and is reflected in the nutritional density profile compared with conventional eggs.
So, yes, there is a difference in the quality of the eggs, meat and dairy when these animals are taken off a largely corn-based diet and given options that more closely mimic their natural diet. This, however, does not mean a conventional meat, eggs and dairy are “bad” by any stretch and this is a point that is often missed.
If you are on a budget like us, here are some easy daily strategies for the foods you should be looking for:
Eggs are ridiculously cheap and easy to prepare in a variety of ways. Always use whole eggs not egg whites unless you are making something which specifically calls for egg whites.
For fresh meats:
For red meat, poultry, fish shop the sales. Supermarkets use fresh meat as a “loss leader” to attract customers in their weeklies. Take advantage of this as it will save you a bundle. Now, because grain finished beef is fed a lot of corn, make sure to supplement with fish oil to balance the Omega 3 to the Omega 6 fatty acids.
Fresh Fresh or fresh frozen liver is probably the biggest bang for the buck nutrition-wise and a key to obtaining optimal nutrition from the muscle meat you consume. If your store carries it they tend to practically give it away. Try to have fresh or fresh frozen liver every 2 weeks and in the days leading up to an endurance event and immediately following. Sautee lightly and do not overcook.
If you cannot stomach liver, pate, foie gras, liverwurst and Braunschweiger are solid second tier options that are easily available and relatively inexpensive. If these are not an option then desiccated liver tablets will also work fine based upon athlete feedback.
Fresh vegetables and fruits you consume as vegetables (avocados, tomatoes, etc.).
Shop the sales and what is in season when you can. Cooking vegetables provides a lot more nutrient bio-availability for humans and reduces many of the phytates, lectins and other mico-toxins some plants contain which are natural defenses to prevent being eaten.
If you are consuming some fruit again, try to shop the sales and season. Because your fruit consumption will probably be significantly less there is a savings.
Full fat cultured dairy is also a nutritional bargain most people tolerate well. Whole milk should be limited to those who tolerate it well. If you have any symptoms of lactose intolerance or milk protein allergy like gas, itchiness or mucous we suggest eliminating fresh dairy. Things like butter, ghee, and sour cream are normally well tolerated as they are mostly fat with little to no lactose and milk protein.
What you are cutting out of your diet:
You will save a lot of money through cutting way down on the volume of food you eat. So snack foods (which are very high margin and high cost in terms of actual nutritional content) will largely be a thing of the past except for a few rice crackers for your cheese and pate.
Since most busy professionals do not have a lot of time to cook from scratch many of the grains they consume are in the form of processed food products which are very expensive and are designed to promote excessive consumption. These items; cereals, snack foods etc. are eliminated and so is the cost of them.
Legume will be largely eliminated.
Because consumption of starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. will be reduced and so will their ability to stimulate appetite more costs will disappear in your diet.
Supplement foods will largely be eliminated from the diet and supplements like gels, bars, candy etc. will be significantly reduced.
Beverages like fruit juices, sodas, energy drinks, etc. will be largely eliminated. The major replacement for these is tap water so you will save a bundle here.
Other easy $-saving tips:
Homemade broth is one of the staples in the OFM diet due to the plethora of nutrition it provides the athlete. One of the easiest and most cost effective ways a time-constrained athlete can implement broth into the diet and a strategy we use personally is to purchase a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Have the chicken for dinner. If there is significant meat leftover, separate this and use it for another meal or make into a chicken salad if only a little just don’t bother with this step. Throw whatever is left over into a Stockpot, add water, 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer cook for several hours until mot bones are soft. Strain & discard solids, cool, then separate and discard the fat/oil which has floated to the top. Use the broth either heated straight or as a base for soups and sauces etc. Homemade broth should be somewhat gelatinous in consistency when cold.