What I actually eat (Keto Lacto-Ovo Vegan) $20-$25 per week

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What I actually eat (Keto Lacto-Ovo Vegan) $20-$25 per week

What or how does it feel like living / eating for just under $20-$25 per week? I am here to share with you the very impossibility itself that I alone endured day to day. Under 1800 calories.

I won’t bother introducing you all my ‘life stories’ as a sort of emotional intro-mercials. Because I am not here to make you feel worser or lower by way of comparison. But I implore you to stay for a moment for the insight.

For many of you this is likely to be another epiphany of yet another impossibility. And I am here to share with you the possibility of still living within this paradigm in an even more restricted ways and means of survival.

This post is a snapshot of what I actually eat in a day. Within the lowest bracket of survival category $20 to $25 per week within a Ketogenic Vegan (with some dairy allowances). This has been my living budget put into trial and sustenance practise back ever since the 18th of February 2016 (rotating between vegan and non-vegan supplies) as raw and pulled straight what I’ve written from my own personal Keto survival diary.

Without further ado – we’ll begin breakfast.

The food

Meal 1 / Breakfast

Keto flaxmeal breakfast with egg, butter and coconut oil (bought previously on a tri-annual bulk spending budget on February). Or just simply four eggs (2 microwave poached, 2 boiled) with 40g of butter. Below I’m putting out a flaxmeal version instead.
  • 25g of Melrose Organic Omegapet flaxseed supplement. Good news for you who live in the northern suburbs – Kakulas Sisters also stock linseed (whole seeds) as well as the meal’ed versions at very affordable prices.
  • 3 eggs (cheapest 600g variants I’ve found thus far).
  • 35g of Woolworths homebrand butter.
  • 1 teaspoon Bio-Medicals coconut oil (get it here). However, interestingly Myfitnesspal recognises the barcode as “Nutivia brand”. Although you will not be able to find the exact caprylic / carbonic / lauric acid chain breakdown. Calorie wise – they are very similar to each other and more or less the same with other “boutique” coconut oils you’d find at three or four times the price tag.
What I actually eat (Keto Lacto-Ovo Vegan) $20-$25 per week
For at least two months – the Omegapet Flaxseed (flaxmeal) remains plentiful. And still is my best friend for now.

Macros as best calculated with Myfitnesspal: 564 cals. 49g fats, 11g Carbs (8 of which is fibre), and 25g Protein. Mix 25g of the flaxmeal together with two eggs plus around quarter cup of water to aid in whisking / mixing everything with a fork. Microwave on high on three minutes. Serve with another hard boiled egg the butter and coconut oil.

Total resource consumption and cost breakdown

This meal cost $1.09 per serve.

  • Melrose Organic flaxseed  (2kg bag as part of tri annual bulk food buying) initial cost – $13.24. As each serve: 19 cents. Say at most 30g per serve: 2000 / 30g = 67 total servings. thus 67 days per daily 30g total serve. Therefore $13.24 / 67 servings = 19 cents each single serve.
    If using linseed meal from Kakulas Sisters
    (1kg as initial investment) – $5.30. Each serve = 16 cents. 1000g/30g per serve = 33 total servings. Therefore $5.30 / 33 total servings = 16 cents each single serve.
  • The eggs (600g smaller variants) Weekly replenishment cost – $7.5 (for 3 cartons of 12 = 36 eggs) 3 eggs as each serve = 62 cents  ($7.5 / 36 eggs  = 21 cents each egg)
  • Woolworths homebrand butter Weekly replenishment cost – $3 (500g) or $2 for 250g (if previous week surplus are available) 35g as each serve: 21 cents.  (3 divided by 500 / 35) 500g offers 14.28 serves of 35g. Hence $3 / 14.28 servings = 21 cents.
  • Bio-Medicals coconut oil (2 litres as part of tri annual bulk food buying) initial cost – $37 As each serve (1 teaspoon): 7 cents. Say 4ML (teaspoon) per serve onto food = 2000ML / 4ML = 500 total servings. Therefore $37 / 500 servings = 7 cents each single serve. 

Inbetween Meal/s

Three to four 375ML glass of straight black coffee. Helps to abstain hunger anywhere between three up to five hours. Around two and half to three hours later (after breakfast / meal1) these are usually times when I’m starting to feel hungry and tired. Should the coffee gets cold within half hour I add more water and microwave for on high for a minute. Also to make sure I meet my daily Keto salt intake I sprinkle some (iodised sea salts + himalayan’s) in one or two serve.
  1. A tablespoon of any instant / existing available whole coffee beans (in this case Woolworths Homebrand instant coffee granuled) with boiling water (please by all means invest in a good fluoride-removal water filter).
  2. 10 (or up to 15ml) of harvey fresh whip cream (unwhipped) for each glass. I fail to see the purpose in actually “whipping” the cream and serve on top of the coffee; only to find that it will melt into the coffee anyway.
  3. 6g of raw cacao powder for each glass (equivalent to two smallish teaspoons). I’m using Phragos which is on recent record the most affordable on eBay since January 2016. 1kg delivered for $26. Four months later still okay in supply. Though there is slightly more carb/fibre content in this one than what I would’ve liked (27g).
  4. Stevia (whatever is available either liquid or crystals form) 3g crystals for each glass.
What I actually eat (Keto Lacto-Ovo Vegan) $20-$25 per week

On the more luxurious $35 a week plan I could afford to make my own raw egg protein shakes (which simply are two raw eggs, up to 40ml of whip cream unwhipped, and 14g of cacao powder and stevia drops on a 800ml water bottle).

However in the $20 to $25 per week there is very little to no room for luxury. I had to simply preserve as many egg supplies possible for my remaining actual solid Keto meals for this week AND as ongoing surplus creations for the week ahead.

Sometimes I could get away with two and half glasses. But others I may need up to four to pass the time. Macros as best calculated with Myfitnesspal: more or less up to 200 cals. up to 17g fats, 6g carbs (4 fibre from cacaos). Little to no protein.

Total resource consumption and cost breakdown

Each 375ML glass of coffee is 30 cents. 30 cents x 4 glass = $1.20 per day.
  • 200g Woolworths Homebrand instant coffee granuled beans / any existing shared coffee in pantry Lasts for every 1.5 months replenishment cost – $4 (for 200g) Hence every 4.5g serve = 8 cents each ($4 / 45 serves = 8 cents)
  • Harvey Fresh Whipped Cream 600ml Every 2 weeks replenishment cost – $2.1 (600ml / 10ml accomodates up to 60 serves of coffees). Each serve for straight black coffee (10mls) = 3 cents. ($2.1 / 60 serves = 0.035)
  • Sugarless® Stevia Crystals 250g  Initial cost – $6.75 (special price @ Coles on 5th April). Projected usage: buy every 4 weeks. Each serve into straight black coffees (2.5g) = 6 cents.
  • Raw Cacao Powders 1kg (1kg as part of tri annual bulk food buying) initial cost – $21.5 (990g / 6g = 165 serves). Each serve for straight black coffee (6g) = 13 cents ($21.5 / 165)

Meal 2 / Postworkout

This could be interpreted as late lunch or next meal after the multiple glasses of coffees. This could be anywhere between three to six hours after as I’m still sipping the coffees.
  • 35g of TVP textured vegetable protein (total vegetable protein from Kakulas Sisters). Sometimes depending on how hungry I am I could use up to 50g TVP. But in this case I go by my doable regular minimum (35g dry powder weight).
  • 1 hard boiled egg.
  • 35g of butter or two and half tablespoons of extra virgin olive oils.
  • 60g boiled cabbage or 1 full cup of DIY sauerkraut (up to 90g).
  • Only if within workout days – 15g of whey protein concentrate (from last year/s previous tri-annual bulk spending) + 5g of creatine with a glass of water. I would drink this first then wait for a several minutes before consuming the actual above meal.

Alternatively from time to time – I also make my own DIY Soymeat loaf instead of TVP. Get the instructions here. Just from $3 per kilogram makes up to two weeks worths of meat replacements. However I am consuming whole soybeans themselves hence and also its’ polyunsaturated fatty acids hence so still – it is imperative to maintain a favourable, balanced intakes between Omega 3 and 6s.

What I actually eat (Keto Lacto-Ovo Vegan) $20-$25 per week

TVP is simply prepared by mixing water and the powder in 1:1 ratio, then microwave for two minutes let stand for a minute and serve. Although I’d caution to watch over is being cooked because it may or may not has the tendency to boil over. Sometimes condiments are available depending on previous weeks of surpluses – these are for example – soy sauces and garlic powders. A $2.5 150g of garlic powder lasts for eons, and so do soy sauces (however keep in mind that natural fermentations within may lead to alcoholisation if it were left unconsumed for very long time). Otherwise I remained content with sauerkrauts or DIY yoghurts.

Macros as best calculated with Myfitnesspal: (with whey protein) around 500 Cals. 33g fats, 13.5g carbs (6g fibres). 35.5g protein. Otherwise it’s around 450 cals as an absolute bare minimum standard humility Keto meal.

Total resource consumption and cost breakdown

This meal costs less than 90 cents per serve. That is the meal only, without the whey protein.
  • 1kg TVP (from Kakulas Sisters Nollamara) (1000/35 = 28.5 serves) 1kg Every two and half Weeks replenishment cost – $5.50 for 1 kilogram. Each serve of 35g: 19 cents. Each 35g per serve = 1000 / 35g = 28.5 total servings. Therefore $5.50 / 28.5 servings = 19.2 cents each single serve.
  • The eggs (600g smaller variants) Weekly replenishment cost – $7.5 (for 3 cartons of 12 = 36 eggs) 1 eggs as each serve = 21 cents ($7.5 / 36 eggs = 21 cents each egg)
  • Woolworths homebrand butter Weekly replenishment cost – $3 (500g) or $2 for 250g (if previous week surplus are available) 35g as each serve: 21 cents.  (3 divided by 500 / 35) 500g offers 14.28 serves of 35g. Hence $3 / 14.28 servings = 21 cents.
  • Whole Cabbage (with outer leaves) / DIY sauerkraut Every four-weeks replenishment cost – $2 (at Spudshed whole cabbage with extra loose leaves) 60g / 100g projected cost per serve of boiled cabbage / leaves or DIY sauerkraut = about 7 cents of use PER DAY.

Meal 3

Around three or three half hours later, I do get hungry. This would be considered a before supper meal. This is more or less the same as meal 2. If I have different condiments I would use them here but otherwise, I remain happy to eat the same so long as the butter, egg and/or olive oils still remain plenty for another day.
  1. 35g of TVP textured vegetable protein (total vegetable protein from Kakulas Sisters). Sometimes depending on how hungry I am I could use up to 50g TVP. But in this case I go by the doable regular minimum (35g dry powder weight).
  2. 1 hard boiled egg.
  3. 35g of butter or two and half tablespoons of extra virgin olive oils.
  4. 60g boiled cabbage or 1 cup of DIY sauerkraut.
  5. Alternating condiments (optional).
Macros as best calculated with Myfitnesspal: more or less 500 Cals. 33g fats, 13.5g carbs. 23.5g protein

Total resource consumption and cost breakdown

This meal costs just under 90 cents per serve. More or less the same as Meal 2.

Meal 4 / Prebed

Depending on how I felt many days I would encounter another slight hunger pang/s, but paradoxically on very few days (even on training days) I would feel no need for another prebed meal except a 3 or 5g of stevia flavoured BCAA on a 400ml water. An initial investment of $33 for 500g goes a long way. I am still yet to finish my batch from previous 3/4 of last year annual bulk food purchased supply.

However regardless – again, on a $35-$50 per week plans I would be able to enjoy another raw egg shake which consists of one raw egg, 8g of  cacao powder, and 30ml heavy cream. But on $20 to $25 per week plans those are no longer possible. Hence this is just simply a simple keto hot chocolate on a single 375ML glass / cup serve. It calms and provide warmth during winters which is a must.

  • 15 ml of harvey fresh whipping cream
  • 6g of cacao powder
  • boiling water

This Keto hot chocolate would cost 33 cents per day.

  • Harvey Fresh Whipped Cream 600ml Every 2 weeks replenishment cost – $2.1 (600ml provides approx 40 cup serves of coffees) Each serve for each hot chocolate (15mls) = 5 cents. ($2.1 / 40 serves = 0.05)
  • Sugarless® Stevia Crystals 250g Initial cost – $6.75 (special price @ Coles on 5th April). Projected usage: buy every 4 weeks. Each serve for each hot chocolate (2.5g) = 7 cents. ($6.75 / 100 = 0.0675)
  • Raw Cacao Powders 1kg (1kg as part of tri annual bulk food buying) initial cost – $37 (990g / 6g = 165 serves) Each serve for each hot chocolate (6g) = 22 cents ($37 / 165).

Total Calorie breakdowns

More or less 1800 calories per day. Around 140g of fats. 50g Carbs (30g of fibre), 85g to 90g of protein. For those times when I’m really hungry – I could extend to 1900, but those were paradoxically (and thankfully) few in occassions. As a sidenote all this is as accordingly to maintaining a slightly modified Ketogenic ratio of 70/20/10; a ratio I’ve chosen to live and to sustain since the end of 2015.

 $4.50. That is correct. All this for living at just under $4.50 per day.

But “Wait”, you asked. “How does that make sense? $4.50? But that turns out to be $31.50 per week?”, “I thought you’re only meant to be spending $20 to $25 per week!!?? You’re cheating aren’t you!?”

You are bound at some stage be glaring at me; just like the above questions. Think about it once. And think about it some more.

You’d realise sooner or later that this value ($4.50 per day) is also determined by the remaining of other surplus’es I’ve maintained in value from the previous efforts of reusing, recycling and re-preserving throughout months if not; years of frugality cycling and downgrading from $50 to $40 per week. Then down to as low as $18 per week.

Self-Arrogance? No. I instead both implore and invite you – to read my manuscript (at its’ current edition), garner yourself more attention over how all this is possible.

What I bought Versus what I actually consume

Should anyone wish to be incessantly technical I am more than happy to further deliver my rationale and methodology below. This has been a process that has been effectively in continuum for at least six or so months.

Let us begin with a breakdown of what I actually bought from last week grocery cycle (so in this case it’s May the 12th, 2016).

  • 500g butter Woolworths Homebrand: $3
  • 3x 600g eggs: $7.5
  • 3x Woolworths Homebrand sardines: $2.10 (73 cents each)
  • 1x Coconut Cream 400ml : $1
  • 2x Woolworths Homebrand Salmon: $4.6 ($2.30 each, an increase I noticed from $2.20 in recent year/s)
  • 1x Woolworths Homebrand Pesto (16th of May is my birthday; so I’m giving myself bit of a treat) of course this remains only a luxury condiment treat and thus this Pesto is excluded from my actual diary above. As nevertheless – the above food diary still represents what I actually and honestly eat realistically on most days and as regularly on average calorie trackings as they are.

Hence, the total Principal Spending / actual expenditure I had to make out of my own pocket cash is: $18.20 (until May the 19th)

…And now versus / compare this expenditure with what is currently available. What I am actually consuming as remaining previous surpluses. All of which these of course – were previously and honestly bought within the $20 to $25 per week limit brackets and I was able to preserve and lengthen their survivability supply:

  • My previously bought and remaining butter (one week ago / about 100g left)
  • My previously bought 1kg TVP meat replacement powders (two weeks ago / about 400g left)
  • My previously bought and fridge-preserved (water+salt) boiled eggs (one week ago)
  • My previously bought coffee beans (200g) (three weeks ago)
  • My previously bought Stevia crystals (two weeks ago)
  • My previously bought whole cabbage + ongoing DIY sauerkraut for prolonged consumption and preservation (still got a 5 kilogram chunk four weeks ago)
  • Any of my previously bought preserved, and frozen meat based protein supply for rotating Keto vegan and non Keto Vegan principles. 
  • Any of my previously bought and preserved and frozen – DIY pumpkin puree, and DIY fermented pumpkins.
  • Other remaining surpluses; that of my tri-annual bulk foods, vitamins and few supplementations (of no more than $100). These include the raw cacao powders, bulk olive oils and coconut oils.

Hence, what I actually am doing is that I am surviving on the previous week’s reservoire and buying only what is needed for the next week ahead.

You might think that at first all of the above surplus are impossible to make given the questionably low $20 – $25 per week budget. The key here is knowing how to preserve, restrict, recycle and reuse from what you’ve initially bought towards the next.

Ever wondered I only spent $18.20 instead of at least $20? Simply because I only bought what is empirically needed for what is lacking for this week and the week ahead. It’s all about a matter of introducing, restricting and reinforcing new challenges to your everyday means of reusing and living.

So, where to take from here?

Ignite your own curiosities. Ignore all institutions.

Even better – look at life, the people and finally – the food on your table – implicitly for what they are. Stop reading and collecting “recipes”. Introduce yourself a goal; whatever goals you have in life – be it as simple as surviving and thriving less – to add your a life as a change to live for all the more minimal honesty.

Not by way of following what’s “Hot” or “new” or “scrumptiously” trendy “feel good” recipes. See those “hot weekly inspiration” bookmarks in your browsers? Still following those Pinterest channels? Throw them out.

These “recipes” are all institutionalised means of instilling coercions over what is creatively known as indulgence and pleasure. Food Pornography and Elitism. That’s it, nothing more. They are wasteful in resources and are never constructive or implicitly meaningful or productive by way of resource management. Who are you trying to impress? Society? Or that of your own humility and situational changes and circumstances?

There is a long and winding road in every hardships in life. I would kindly ask you that no matter how destitute you are as I myself struggle – you are nonetheless remain the grace recipient for the passing of time itself

Yes. I know how you are feeling right now. You’ve just been told to skip meals. All of a sudden your thyroid, endocrines and gut biome takes a toll to operate in ways they never have before. Your oxytocin to stress hormone cortisol balance becomes chaotic. You increasingly are finding things “difficult” to work with as they are. Because you’re struggling to realign and to re-coordinate your existing arrangements, and social compliances and obligations together with all these new methods of learning and surviving within your means.

All these is inevitable because these are early times for you to realise (of many Realisation/s) that this is indeedLife; as honestly difficult as it might ever get, and perhaps even more for the days ahead. But it is a journey to implicitly fullfils you. Not for anyone else.

It is difficult not just because it has to; it is difficult because it enforces you to look at things in at a more deeper, empathic perspective without prior judgments.

Give it “time”. You would look at Struggle Street no longer in a laughable, amusing light in the name of so called “reality-drama-television” entertainment. Or perhaps you will at some stage never frown or look at the same way at any beggar, or any commoner lining up at a Centrelink office the same way ever again. The next time you read and stumble across sensational news headlines about “scrumptious dinner recipes” and “spark-up lunch ideas” and then having a glance over a page-long list of “ingredients” – you are no longer convinced as these are nothing but selfishly egocentric and not to mention resource wasteful – pursuits for “creative” influence.

There is a force; undeniably loud – yet quiet in its’ own manifestation that you patiently and honestly develop through time. And that in an overall sense – is humility. Your Nutritional Humility.

I sincerely hope that in all eventualities; this blog post is more than just a figment of reality. Beyond that – an imploration remaining at your side to remind you to reevaluate what you can; as well as what you cannot do. At least for the time being.

Do you have so far any budget plans you would like to share with others? Please leave your thoughts and feedbacks below! Share and empower one another with humility.

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