AIP Week 2: Budget Update & Meal Plan

We are one week into my AIP journey.  Things are going well, I suppose.  I’ve found I can very quickly start to focus on everything that I miss…but as that won’t help anything for the next 23 days, I’m doing my best to just not think about it.  In that mindset, I have realized that I need to spend far less time on Instagram and Pinterest, because food is PROMINENT on both of my feeds.  You’d think I enjoy cooking, or something!  I’ve had friends who do a round of Whole30 and I watched them spend the whole time Pinning all these decadent, non-Whole30-compliant recipes…I don’t know how they can stand it.  I’d be out of compliance in a minute.  Needless to say, I am now taking suggestions of books, TV Shows (not-food-related), and hobbies to take up my new found time!  Hahaha.

It is nice to notice all of the changes that are happening after just a few days on AIP.  My sugar cravings haven’t been insurmountable–though they are starting to pick back up in this second week.  Thankfully, I’m already noticing just the barest amount of sugar in ingredients.  Fruit is awesome.  Coconut milk is too–even the unsweetened version already tastes nice and sweet.  I seem to be sleeping better–I feel like I am waking up less.  Of course, this may be the sudden absence of my daily caffeine, which is making me a little grumpy around 3pm and 8pm each day.  (And I use to really only have coffee in the morning…I’m surprised at how long the effects lasted!). But my general, non-stimulated fatigue might be the cause of my better sleeping.  Maybe I’m just more tired!

Last week I made really lovely beef koftas and green, tomato-less tabbouleh; a super filling broccoli salad; the love-child of meatballs and chicken nuggets (aka Sweet Potato & Chicken Poppers); and wonderful bacon-wrapped shrimp.  Last week was Sauces week.  I made Coconut Milk Tzatziki which was STELLAR!  My first foray into AIP sauces, and, given how important dipping sauces are in my life, I should have guessed that it would make all the difference.  I’ll have to make the tzatziki again, as I didn’t take any photos and I want to share the recipe here, but it was so good!  AIP cuts all spices that are…well, spicy, because they are made from peppers or seeds.  But a couple cloves of grated raw garlic in the tzatziki added a zing that seemed very spicy!  I might….maybe…just like Coconut Milk Tzatziki better than the regular stuff.  Or I’ve been so deprived the last week that my brain cannot remember the real stuff.  :). I don’t think its quite that serious…

On the first week, I craved cottage cheese, deviled eggs, yogurt, and mayo.  Obviously missing that unctuous-ness that comes from eggs and/or full-fat dairy.  At this beginning of week two, I’m craving nut butters.  It is interesting to me that I’m still craving high-fat foods, as I am still consuming a lot of fat on AIP: avocado, coconut products, and pork sausage or bacon make it onto my plate on a daily basis.  I think a sizable portion of my cravings are actually for textures…if I could just eat something that has the same texture as cheesecake, it would be total heaven.  In the meantime, I’m making batches of gummies from gelatin and fruit juice, which seems to tide me over.

This week, we had our harvest box delivered once again.  It has been so easy with Hungry Harvest–I just updated my “Never List” to include nightshades (tomatoes, all peppers, white potatoes, and eggplant) for the duration of my AIP.  Any nightshades that are slated to be in the weekly box will be swapped out for something I can eat, without my lifting a finger!  Without tomatoes and eggplant, my veggie haul this week was very green and gold, my alma mater’s colors.  Woot.

I did a little better on my budget this week, since I had less to stock up on.  It was just under $90, but I feel like I purchase A LOT of meat products.  TJ’s has jacked up the price on their shaved steak, but, since I am preparing all of my meals at home from scratch for the next 30 days, I am allowing myself to cut corners when I can.  That means store-bought shaved steak and tubes of pureed fresh ginger and garlic from last week.  Right now, it’s definitely worth the extra money.

I’m hoping I might be able to the budget closer to $75 next week…we’ll see how it goes.

Here is what we spent this week:

receipt AIP w2

Trader Joe’s: $36.86

Aldi: $32.08

Hungry Harvest Box: $20.00

Total: $88.94

Here is what we got:

IMG_8593

Groceries AIP w2

From Stores: cabbage, 3 lb onions, 1 lb ground chicken, 4 lb BI,SO chicken thighs, 2 packets tuna, apple cider vinegar, black olives, prosciutto, bacon, dried figs, plantain chips, mushrooms, blueberries, cucumber, 1 lb shaved steak, coconut aminos, arugula, baby kale, coconut milk x3, applesauce, limes, roast beef, giant green olives, matcha powder

From HH produce box: zucchini x2, leek, fennel, honeymoon melon, lettuce, cauliflower, onions, avocados, grapefruit, apples

And here is how we are eating:

Sunday: Cracklin’ Chicken, Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, & Coconut-Creamed Spinach:  NomNomPaleo’s chicken thighs were super tasty, and fresh cauliflower florets were a nice change from sweet potato in filling the “starchy” part of the plate.  The only change made to my beloved CC Spinach is leaving out the garam masala and chili flakes.  I missed that flavor, but this whole dinner touched on some Indian food notes, which was refreshing!

Monday: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Cauliflower Rice  I’m please with this end result, riffing off of my copycat recipe for PF Chang’s wraps.  A smidge of honey and some extra vinegar helped to take over for the usual hoisin sauce.  I was also happy to use water chestnuts and wasabi–two ingredients that I would never have guessed to be AIP compatible!  Looking forward to a little more spice with wasabi in the mix.  I did misjudge the lettuce that we got from Hungry Harvest–this was more like Lettuce Bites, because the leaves were small!

Tuesday: Leftovers  Working the late shift, but we have plenty left over from Sunday and Monday.

Wenesday: AIP Sushi with “Hot and Sour” Soup   My first attempt at cauli-rice sushi.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for success.  Soup will be just bone broth with a few doctoring additions (vinegar, coconut aminos, wasabi, etc) to get all those traditional hot & sour flavor profiles.

Thursday: Crockpot Pho with Steak & Zoodles  I was very excited to get fennel in our box–I think a portion blackened up for the broth alongside the ginger and onion will lend the licorice flavor that I usually get through anise-seed–which is off-limits on AIP.  I also love in raw, so I will slice up the rest for a cold salad alongside my lunches later in the week.   I haven’t had much luck with zoodles in the past…we shall see!

Friday: AIP BBQ Pork-stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Cole slaw  I found a recipe with apple butter as the base, but couldn’t find any apple butter at the store.  So I’ll use the applesauce to make a quick cheat’s apple butter in the microwave and then use that as the base for my BBQ sauce, to go over the pork from the freezer.

Saturday: Leftovers  Time to clear out the fridge for next week’s shopping!

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