What if I told you you could save money, lose weight, eat better, be more environmentally friendly, and never count a single calorie? Don’t diet! Before jumping on the latest weight loss diet craze or low-carb, gluten free bandwagon there are some things that can be done to eliminate the need for diets altogether, and to save money. Yup, SAVE money. The Food Cycle Diet saves money while you get fit.
This isn’t to say that reducing carbs or adjusting gluten intake are useless, but instead to say that watching what you consume is important, and watching your food cycle is how you manage what you consume.
You may have special dietary needs that require you make choices regarding gluten, sugars, allergens, or other factors. Medical needs may require specific calorie intakes. All of those things might still apply for you specifically. The food cycle is simply the management of those things we do choose to consume and how it relates to our financial, physical, and even spiritual well being.
Cost and Consumption
The food cycle breaks down as such:
Red circle = cost and consumption
Green circle = recycle, reclaim, reuse
Blue circle = grow, hunt, process
The bigger the consumption rate, the bigger the cost, the bigger the red circle is. Managing your consumption here is the only way to reduce the cost and size of the circle. This applies in a restaurant or at home: portion control is how you keep cost down. In this respect, I simply purchased set of dinnerware that is smaller than a typical dinner plate. You can see these in my salmon recipe article. These half sized plates hold plenty of food to fill you up, while being small enough to limit intake to a fairly reasonable amount for most adult meals.
The green circle gets bigger when you use leftovers, turn bones and veggie scraps to stock, and even compost. Stale bread can be dried and crushed for coating fried chicken. Herbs can be dried or preserved before turning bad. Any re-use of any scrap or product fits in the green circle. The bigger this circle is, the more of what you consume is cost free and virtually environmentally impact free. Processing bulk purchased items kind of fits into this category and the blue category.
The blue circle gets bigger when you process bulk items, grow or forage your own produce, vegetables, or livestock, as well as hunt or fish. Growing herbs indoors might be a step for an apartment resident, while someone with a house and yard might grow a garden. Going to a local farmers market and then processing the bulk items is a great way to get local produce if you can’t garden. People in rural areas can hunt and fish, whereas city dwellers might have to purchase bulk from a local butcher to get local fresh game and other meats.
Now here is where the real savings start to eclipse your costs. The more things you do in the blue circle, the more free scraps and leftovers you have to process into other products for consumption, the less things you have to buy. The blue circle feeds the green circle and eliminates more and more of the red circle. Doing pretty much anything in the green or blue circles reduces waste, packaging, and other environmental impacts.
The better food you eat, the healthier you will be. Eliminating processed foods from your diet and purchasing or growing fresh whole food will generate scraps, scraps from processing can be turned into other healthy free products, and what you eat will be informed to some extent by what you have available, in this case other healthy ingredients you did not have to go to the store to purchase.
And that’s it: The Food Cycle Diet.
Sierra is a music lover, social media manager, and legend in her own mind. When she’s not performing internet awesomeness for multiple businesses including The Rainbow Hub she likes to cook, longboard, travel, camp, hike, and write. She currently makes her home in the high desert of northern Nevada. Openly transsexual, run-on sentence offender.