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  • FIRST POST
    weezl74
    Old Style vs the USDA head-to-head challenge...
    • #1
    • 29th Mar 08, 2:52 PM
    Old Style vs the USDA head-to-head challenge... 29th Mar 08 at 2:52 PM
    Hi
    I’ve been reading with interest about how the US gov't ensures every family has healthy food to eat, it’s sparked an idea which I think will motivate me to make my grocery challenge uber healthy.
    I thought I’d have a go at blogging about it, and others can join me too.

    The US system is as follows: the US Dept for Agriculture has a mandate to ensure that the poorest families eat healthily. Meal plans and recipes were developed by Pennsylvania University nutritionists, called the ‘Thrifty meal planner'.

    This is a diet based on allocated ‘food stamps’ ensuring that if families eat this way, their diet will still be healthy. More here:

    So what’s this got to do with me? Since tightening my Grocery Challenge, my friends in real life have shown alarm at what I’ve been spending. Their key objection: the ‘5 a day’, are me and Mr W getting enough?(fruit and veg!)

    The icing on the cake came when mum sent vitamins through the post.:rolleyes:

    So, I thought I’d look @ what the ‘thrifty food planner’ gives to a couple our age in food stamps. As 33 yr old male, and 34 yr old female, we'd get $71.60 per week, if on the poverty line.
    So then I converted this to pounds sterling, this makes £35.80 per week.

    For April to June, I have set myself a budget of £40 a month for the two of us. The USDA would give us the equivalent of £155.18, to make sure we were adequately vitamined! Oh dear, I seem to be doing it on a quarter of that! Am I sending Mr Weezl to an early grave?

    But I think it can be done. And I thought I’d diary it so you can see how I get on.

    So what are the rules? Well the USDA say that the healthy American should:

    ‘Choose most of your foods from the grain products group, vegetable group, and fruit group. Eat moderate amounts of foods from the milk group (2–3 servings) and the meat and beans group (2–3 servings)

    I shall try to adhere to these guidelines whilst keeping to my budget as much as possible. I will be doing this as old-style as poss. Batch cooking from scratch will be my method.

    So here I go! It’s me versus the USDA and the University of Pennsylvania. Ding Ding! Seconds away…
    Anyone else wanna play?

    :confused:
    Weezl x

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    Last edited by weezl74; 08-07-2008 at 9:47 AM.
Page 1
  • seraphina
    • #2
    • 29th Mar 08, 3:06 PM
    • #2
    • 29th Mar 08, 3:06 PM
    That sounds really interesting -good luck!

    Are the USDA food plans actual meal plans? Or are they just nutritional guidelines? I had a quick poke on the USDA website but couldn't find an answer.
    • Paulie'sGirl
    • By Paulie'sGirl 29th Mar 08, 3:09 PM
    • 917 Posts
    • 2,735 Thanks
    Paulie'sGirl
    • #3
    • 29th Mar 08, 3:09 PM
    • #3
    • 29th Mar 08, 3:09 PM
    Hiya,

    I'm game for that. I'm a bit deserate this quarter. And my mum has also bought me vitamins, more important than ever now I'm ditching the veg box and so will feel less pressured to much my way through a mound of veg.

    I eat alot of pulses as a meat substitute (meat being expensive), but that seems to indicate they rank them together, that's very interesting. I'd assumed even adults needed a decent intake of protein (else their nails snap, leading to stress )

    PM me? Maybe we could IM about it a bit.

    Count me in for a challenge, I can only fall off LOL

    PGxx
  • funkyfunkymonkey
    • #4
    • 29th Mar 08, 3:14 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Mar 08, 3:14 PM
    That sounds really interesting -good luck!

    Are the USDA food plans actual meal plans? Or are they just nutritional guidelines? I had a quick poke on the USDA website but couldn't find an answer.
    Originally posted by seraphina
    There's a meal plan that starts on page 14 http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/MiscPubs/FoodPlansRecipeBook.pdf and loads of recipes.

    Thanks weezl, this is going to give me hours of reading and hopefully lots of ideas.

    FFM
    AMAZON SELLERS CLUB member 0077 come and join us make some space and get hold of some cash, we're on the ebay and other auctions, car boot and jumble sales board.
  • weezl74
    • #5
    • 29th Mar 08, 3:17 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Mar 08, 3:17 PM
    Hi Seraphina and PG,

    Glad to have some company!

    Here's an interesting link showing ways of getting your 5 a day on a budget.

    found it while trying to work out what weight of sundried tomatoes makes a 'portion'.:confused:

    Yes the thrifty food planner does have recipes and a suggested daily diet, I'll just go hunt, I'll be back!

    Weezl x

    P.S oh FFM's found it already, cool!

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • weezl74
    • #6
    • 29th Mar 08, 4:25 PM
    sun dried tomato bread
    • #6
    • 29th Mar 08, 4:25 PM
    Just having a go at baking 2 loaves of this. From my calculations, 3 slices of this will count as a veg portion.

    If your sun dried toms are each made from half a plum tomato, then you only need 2 to 'count'...

    Thinking as well of making onion and herb bread too, to sneak in more of those '5 a day' if it comes out nice I'll post the recipe!

    TTFN,

    Weezl x

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 29th Mar 08, 4:28 PM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    thriftlady
    • #7
    • 29th Mar 08, 4:28 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Mar 08, 4:28 PM
    That sounds very interesting Weezl I shall follow with interest.

    Just one thing though -if the US govt is doing so much to get their citizens to eat healthily how come 63% of Americans are overweight ?

    Just had a look at the mealplan in the link above -interesting, what a lot of drinks! milk, juice, cocoa plus others with every meal -why not water? And a lot of margarine.


    Sorry, I've come across as a bit negative there -don't mean to. Good luck
    Last edited by thriftlady; 29-03-2008 at 4:38 PM.
  • weezl74
    • #8
    • 29th Mar 08, 4:35 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Mar 08, 4:35 PM
    I completely agree with you thriftlady! I guess they are spending their foodstamps on Reece's peanut buttercups rather than collard greens. (these seem to feature heavily in the thrifty meal planner)

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • ravylesley
    • #9
    • 29th Mar 08, 4:41 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Mar 08, 4:41 PM
    Weezl having read the so called healthy eating recipe suggestions I am amazed that the americans arent even fatter!It might just be me but I didnt think that the healthy eating recipes were that healthy

    Lesleyxx
  • MRSMCAWBER
    Hi weezle74

    oooohhhh going to have fun watching this thread .... I eat more fruit n veg than anyone i know although i have actually cut it down..YES i was eating that much I have mainly cut down as im losing weight at the moment and know that "extra cals" are extra cals no matter where they come from ....
    I know a lot of people think healthier eating is expensive, and it can be -but for me if you go back to basics it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg..
    My hubby very rarely eats fruit.. but he has enough veg to compensate.. at the moment he gets more than his 5 a day in his flask of HM soup for lunch and evening meals we do have meat most days but smaller amounts and more veggies...salads with plenty of variety.. peppers etc to get the different vitamins in
    To save money at the moment (and to stop me eating to much) i buy big navel oranges, then i will buy tinned bottled fruit in juice at the moment peaches, cherries, to have in sugar free jelly and have sliced banana (in the freezer)or stewed apple puree (in bottles here)on my porridge.. and thats befor i get to my veggies...
    Ok im rambling now..will go away and be quiet
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • weezl74
    Hi MrsM,

    Chuffed you've joined in, there'll be some nomnom recipes before long I'll warrant!

    Speaking of which, hubbies 5 a day soup, how do you cram in the 5 portions?

    Hi Ravylesley, I completely agree with you, that's why I think we OSers can do better! I'm gonna aim for a lowish fat, low salt at least 5 a day plan and see how I get on.

    I'm gonna need to include twinks hobnobs tho, cos without them MrWeezl goes all skinny. At 6foot 3 and a fast metabolism he needs constant fattening!

    Weezl x

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 08, 4:57 PM
    • 9,770 Posts
    • 23,787 Thanks
    pavlovs_dog
    wow mrsmcawber - just seen your sig. wir gratulieren - impressive stuff! you go girl
    know thyself

    MFW 2018 #22 - 2180.08 /6,000 (36%)
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    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • MRSMCAWBER
    wow mrsmcawber - just seen your sig. wir gratulieren - impressive stuff! you go girl
    Originally posted by pavlovs_dog
    Thankyou so much ... still have a way to go but im going in the right direction ...
    Since dumping all the diet, low fat rubbish and going back to basics -using butter, lard etc , but eating sensible portions it seems so easy :confused: .. no cravings for rubbish..in fact since starting i have only had a bit of choc over xmas -back home in the UK, and since then -14 weeks with no crisps, choc etc..i really don't want it anymore wish i had thought of doing it this way many moons ago :rolleyes:

    Weezle... oh to be 6ft 3 and have a fast metabolism

    well hubbies soups vary but his faves are:-
    Chicken n sweetcorn -made using the chicken carcass
    chicken n noodle -as above
    cream of veg
    ham n pea -made using the water when i boil a gammon
    spicy goulash
    .... but I regularly use the middle of the broccoli, cabbage, cauli - i prefer the stalks anyway but make them into soups...
    So his last batch of veg was made with the scrubbed potato peelings,carrots the stalk of the cauli n broccoli, plenty of onions as they are good for the blood lamb stock cube and water and then i also use split peas, lentils, broth mix, pearl barley -depending what i feel like....cook until tender and then blitz... i make it smooth and rather thick (takes up less space in my freezer that way ) also when hubby warm it up in the micro in the mornings it reduces further..so it condenses...so 1 mug full probably started of as 2 mugs . Hubby doesn't do brekkie so his flask and HM bread does him for his morning break, lunch and afternoon break
    The goulash 1 I concocted has potato, onion, peas, carrot, peppers, mushrooms, pork, passata in...again you can condense loads of veggies into it .
    To say it keeps him warm and full all day there is very little fat etc in so he is losing a bit of weight without trying too
    God i waffle ..i will go away again..for now...but i will be back.. im off to spend an evening with my recipes..so if i come across any nice healthy, tasty and economical ones i will let you know
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • ceridwen
    Hillbilly Housewife
    You'll find ideas on this blog (written from the same sort of viewpoint):

    www.hillbillyhousewife.com/index.htm
  • weezl74
    ooooooooh lordy it's tasty!
    I think I will post this recipe now! My house is filled with the fresh bread, rosemary and tomato scent as I type this:

    590g plain white flour - 15p
    approx 220ml of just boiled water- free
    20 sun dried tomato halves (making 10 portions of your 5 a day)- i paid 1.20 on the farmers market
    2 tsp sugar -1p
    2 tsp salt - 1p
    Fresh rosemary from the garden -free
    fresh yeast (approx 9g, but I think I could've used less!)- free from asda bakery

    Makes 2 loaves in 2lb loaf tins and enough spare for two fat bread sticks.

    Pour just boiled water on the dried tomatoes to rehydrate and plump them. After 15 mins ish, add the yeast and sugar to activate the yeast. chop the rosemary into little pieces and add to the tomato liquid.

    Mix all the above into the flour and salt, and knead for about 5-10 mins or until your arm aches!

    Divide into 2 loaf tins and 2 bread sticks.

    Allow to rise, covered, in a warm place until dough peeks above the top of the tins.

    Bake for 25 mins at GM6.

    Lush!

    And 3 slices is one portion of our 5 a day: price per loaf 63p and a few pence for delicious bread sticks...

    Weezl x

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • ceridwen
    There's a meal plan that starts on page 14 http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/MiscPubs/FoodPlansRecipeBook.pdf and loads of recipes.

    Thanks weezl, this is going to give me hours of reading and hopefully lots of ideas.

    FFM
    Originally posted by funkyfunkymonkey
    Hmmmm......dont think I can participate in this one - the vegetarian recipe section contains all of...........ONE!......recipe....

    or have I missed something?
  • weezl74
    Hi ceridwen,

    I'm not gonna use their recipes, I'm gonna try to eat 5 a day, little salt, lowish fat and whip their !!! on the budget front! Being a veggie, I bet you could do it too!

    Go on..... you know you want to!

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it 67/3.60/0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for 40
  • MRSMCAWBER
    Ohhhhhh

    I didn't get far from the PC did I ?

    That sounds like my kind of thing ... hubby would be overly keen...mind he could surprise me -if i served it with his goulash soup ... will have to wait until i have a bit of freezer space and then give that a go... unearthed a tub of sundried tomatoes last week..and was wondering what i could do with them
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • ceridwen
    Hi ceridwen,

    I'm not gonna use their recipes, I'm gonna try to eat 5 a day, little salt, lowish fat and whip their !!! on the budget front! Being a veggie, I bet you could do it too!

    Go on..... you know you want to!
    Originally posted by weezl74
    Just one teensy point - I'd lose on that one big-time - a certain little thing called "organic price premium" on a lot of my food - so, with me having no hopes on that front, and just about to start on a diet - think I'll just sit back and watch this one with interest
    • Justamum
    • By Justamum 29th Mar 08, 6:08 PM
    • 4,685 Posts
    • 35,888 Thanks
    Justamum
    This should be interesting. I can see it getting as long as Thriftlady's wartime rations thread! The sundried tomato bread sounds tasty so I think I'll give that a go.

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