Hi Cassidy. Do stick around. I know that not only can really good quality food be expensive but also paying for the fuel to cook with is not always easy (and, if you are anything like me, food goes through better cooked than raw!). I don't know where you live or what shopping is like where you are. I am in the UK so things are a bit different here.
Try not to worry too much about
your diet, if we worry too much about
what we are eating while we eat, it can cause indigestion in itself, which makes life with UC harder.
meanwhile, here are a few things I follow:
What to avoid:
- try to not eat too many packaged foods that contain additives such as emulsifiers, maltodextrin, carageenan, watch out for cheap chocolate that uses an emulsifier called polysorbate, latest research seems to suggest that these may be bad for the mucous layer of our intestines that we need to keep intact
- wary of foods that bill themselves as healthy because they contain sunflower oil, sunflower oil is not our friend, a longitudinal study showed more incidence of IBD in people with a diet high in sunflower oil, probably due to its Omega6 content. Indeed fried food may be bad not so much due to the frying but due to the high amount of Omega6 in the oil
mostly, it's trial and error seeing if anything obviously upsets your digestion
Some ways to get nutritious food in
- bone broth is a great base for soups. Near me there is a farmer's market once a week and the sellers will often bring bones very cheaply or for free for me. If there is such a market accessible to you it is worth having a chat to sellers to see if they might do a deal for you. It can be embarrassing to ask but I find they are just happy that someone is taking an interest in their product. They also have cheaper cuts of meat that they might not display but will bring on order. Once you have your soup base you can bulk it up with some basic vegetables or make rice soup
- If you can tolerate beans and pulses soaking them yourself for 48 hours makes them much more digestible, they are cheap to buy raw, just a few mashed up can give you some good protein and resistant starch
- as Deltaforce said, ethnic stores can be great, also for things like turmeric and ginger that are probably good for us, anti-inflammatory and give some good taste to plain food like soups. Where I am, they are half the price in the local Indian store compared to a large supermarket.
- I would agree on the sauerkraut too, really worth making it yourself, one good quality cabbage goes a long, long way when shredded. Pickles in general if you can learn to make them are full of good bacteria and you can get the vegetables when in season so cheaper.
- the smaller you chop food up, the quicker it is to cook so less fuel costs.
- look around for blogs on the net from people cooking on a budget, there's lots of youtube vids too. There's a well known one in the UK called agirlcalledjack but don't know if she would use ingredients not available to you.
Good luck - it can really be fun and satisfying to discover cheap and healthy recipes. I'm always happy when I give less money to the food companies that try and fill us full of rubbish