Radical Metabolism doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive – here’s how you can save both time and money on the plan.
It’s no secret that eating healthy and taking nutritional supplements is an excellent investment in your health and for your weight loss goals, but sometimes a budget or a busy schedule can get in the way of your best intentions. Over the past four decades, I’ve worked with thousands upon thousands of men and women looking to improve their health and slim their waistlines. Along the way, I’ve taken notes on the creative solutions they’ve come up with to fit my plans into their hectic lifestyles and tight budgets. And took them all into account when writing my new book, Radical Metabolism.
While at first glance, Radical Metabolism may look like it’s full of expensive, exotic ingredients, I can assure you that I created this plan with options in mind just for people like you. I’d like to share with you my comprehensive Top 10 Tips to keep this plan within your budget and save on time.
1. Don’t Skimp on Supplements
This may sound like a strange way to save money, but hear me out. Inexpensive supplements that seem to “fit the bill” for this plan are not always all they’re cracked up to be, and not worth the investment in my opinion. Several retailers were investigated in 2015, and the worst was found to have only 4 percent of their products contain the DNA of the ingredients listed on the label (read more about this here). This is why I’m so careful about the manufacturers I recommend to you, and I believe their quality is worth the investment. If you follow the tips I’m giving you, I assure you it will free up some room in your budget to invest in a few high quality supplements to enhance your success on this plan.
2. Menu Plan
Ever heard the phrase “failing to plan is planning to fail?” It’s especially true when it comes to your diet. It’s important to plan out your meals and snacks, and make your weekly grocery list from that plan. Plan at least a week at a time to really make your budget work for you. By sticking to your list and buying only what you need, you’ll avoid the added expense of buying foods you won’t use that eventually spoil in your refrigerator.
Even though I’ve included a sample menu plan for the three weeks of the Radical Reboot, you are welcome to create your own if it doesn’t suit your tastes or your budget. Make sure you keep track of which recipes you and your family enjoy, so you have a list to pull ideas from later on when Radical Metabolism becomes a lifestyle for you.
3. KISS (Keep It Simple, Sister)
If you’re like me, when a plan like this comes your way, you flip right to the lists of allowed foods to see what you’re going to be eating. Radical Metabolism has a wide variety of foods, from every day vegetables that are probably already in your refrigerator, to decadent treats you haven’t even thought to buy for yourself. When you’re on a budget or have limited time, it’s important to keep your ingredients list short and simple.
The three foods I’ve seen questions about in my Radical Metabolism Facebook group, are watercress, daikon radish, and celeriac (celery root). If you have trouble sourcing any ingredients in the plan, substitutions can always be made, just choose from the list in the book and be sure you aren’t using a more starchy carb or vegetable. For watercress, substitute arugula or rocket, or another bitter green. For daikon radish, substitute red or icicle radishes, or simply omit the radish altogether. My favorite substitute for celeriac is cauliflower, which is widely available and easy to find on sale.
When looking at the healthy fats, choose only a couple of budget friendly options to start with. My recommendations for the best bang for your buck are hempseed oil, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, bone broth, and ghee. Look at your menu plan and see which of these fabulous fats fit with what you plan to cook.
Radical proteins are another investment to consider. At first glance, they may all seem out of reach, but I assure you, this is not the case. Choose the most versatile proteins that can provide more than one meal. My choices would be grass-fed soup bones, grass-fed hamburger and whole pastured chickens.
When looking at fruits and vegetables, except for the juices, frozen alternatives can be considered for both cost savings and convenience. It’s such a treat to put frozen pineapple in the blender for a sorbet-like dessert to get your serving of fruit in for the day. Or cover frozen berries in fresh cream and sprinkle with a little Flora-Key probiotic for a sweet, almost ice cream-like treat. Also look at which vegetables will give you more than one day’s worth of servings. Cooking one butternut squash and freezing into the ½ cup portions you need will yield at least a week’s worth of starchy carbs you can use in many recipes.
4. Buy in Bulk
Even if it’s only food for one person, you can still take advantage of bulk bargains. For instance, if your favorite grocery store has organic blueberries on sale, they will give you a discount if you buy by the case, and you can take them home, wash them, and freeze what you know you can’t eat within the time they’re fresh. The same goes for cases of pastured chicken breasts, grass-fed hamburger, and even nuts and seeds.
5. Don’t Limit Yourself to the Grocery Store
There are nationwide coops, local buying clubs, farmers markets, and you can even go direct and get to know your local farmer to get deep discounts on excellent quality meats and produce. Timing is everything when it comes to farmers markets and local farmers. Hitting the market at the end of the day often means deep discounts so the farmer doesn’t have to take their produce home. Farmers offer CSA memberships or if you go directly to the farm, they may have cuts of meat that don’t sell well you can get for a steal, or you can exchange work on the farm for your monthly share of produce.
Azure Standard is an organic coop that has monthly drop sites around the country. You simply place your order online, choose your pickup site, show up at the appointed time, load your food, and go. Apples keep a long time when refrigerated properly and they often sell organic by the case for less than $1 per pound. Bountiful Baskets is a bi-weekly produce delivery with organic options, and there are many others that are similar. Local buying clubs take advantage of deep discounts on foods and non-irradiated spices offered by companies like Frontier Coop.
If you stick with the grocery store, it pays to shop around. Stores like Sprouts and Aldi are popping up all over the country and sell grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, and organic produce for much less than conventional grocery stores. And don’t forget Costco. Their frozen organic vegetables and fruits are some of the best deals I’ve found.
6. Make It Yourself
Whenever possible, cook from scratch and make it yourself. Whole, natural foods prepared from scratch, full of love, are the healthiest thing you can do for yourself and your family. It not only saves money, but tastes so much better than storebought alternatives. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming if you plan ahead.
Ghee is simply clarified butter, which can be made from regular butter in your oven. Buying dried beans in bulk and cooking in an Instant Pot breaks down lectins and is healthier and more budget-friendly than canned alternatives.
Save the peels from your vegetables in a bag in the freezer and add to the bones from your chicken and make your own bone broth. Freeze in individual serving sizes to save time later when life is too hectic for much meal prep. Throw frozen vegetables, pre-cooked meat and frozen bone broth into a pot and heat, add Radical spices, and you have a quick and flavorful soup that cooks itself while you are busy doing other things.
7. Meal Prep Ahead of Time
On the weekend (or whenever your days off happen to be), prep and cook foods for the week. Make Radical Lemon Cubes, and wash and cut the fresh vegetables you need for the snacks and recipes you’ll be using during the week. Store in labeled containers in the refrigerator in the portions needed for each recipe you’re using that week. Cut vegetables like jicama, carrots and celery make great crunchy snacks and store well in water in a wide mouth, quart size glass canning jar while saving space in the refrigerator.
8. Batch Cook to Save Time and Money
For a while, crockpot meals were all the rage. You do the meal prep all at once, freeze the meals in gallon-sized bags, then thaw one the night before, throw in the crockpot in the morning, and have dinner when you get home. While this is a great option for soups and stews, some vegetables don’t freeze well and these meals often share the same texture, which can feel repetitive after a while. Batch cooking is another time-saving alternative that gives you a wide variety of options.
When you buy pastured chicken, it’s usually whole, which is good for our purposes. Depending on how many mouths you have to feed, roast one or two (or even three!) whole chickens in the oven, then pick the meat off the bones and put in individual serving sized containers. Use the bones to make bone broth for many of the Radical Metabolism main course recipes. One chicken can be used for 3 meals or more, even in a large family.
Brown several pounds of grass-fed hamburger at once and freeze in the portions you need to make taco salads and a variety of other recipes. Reheating the meat in a little water with dried spices on the stove will actually infuse the flavors you’re looking for better than it would if you were adding them to raw meat.
9. Grow It Yourself
I know this sounds daunting, but it’s much easier than you think. Microgreens, especially from sunflower seeds, are some of the most expensive greens served in fine dining establishments. You can grow them on a tray in a sunny window and harvest in less than a month for just a few dollars.
If you are feeling more adventurous, you can grow most vegetables and herbs in a pot or even in a bag of soil, or try your hand at gardening. A packet of seeds is less expensive than even one head of organically grown lettuce, and yields so much more, in a surprisingly short amount of time. There are a variety of gardening techniques that are simple and time saving, and your county extension office has free information available and even a master gardener who will consult with you for free to get you started or help you problem solve.
There are also a lot of “weeds” that are edible and pack a big nutritional punch. Dandelions are a great example of this; the greens can be used in salads while the root can be roasted for a delicious tea. Make sure they haven’t been sprayed with herbicides or insecticides before harvesting. It takes time to learn friend from foe, but learning to “eat your weeds” can be.
10. Enlist the Help of Friends
There’s a new type of gathering emerging, and it’s pretty exciting – meal prep parties. At these gatherings, participants either pay a fee to the organizer, or it’s done potluck-style, where each member brings an ingredient or part of the list of ingredients, and everyone gets together and assembles the same meals for the week. If you have friends you want to introduce to Radical Metabolism, this is a great way to do it! You can start with a 4-Day Cleanse party, split the list of ingredients between friends and do all the juicing and make the soup together, then share your weight loss successes at the end.
For most of you, this isn’t your first “diet rodeo.” You’ve searched for years and tried a variety of plans, only to end the day still feeling fat and fatigued, struggling with an “over forty” sluggish metabolism. On top of that, it seems like your thyroid problem is progressively getting worse, not better. If this is you, then get ready for Radical Metabolism to breathe new life into that tired thyroid and recharge your stalled metabolism!