Day 7

What to Expect:

“Two more weeks… I want a cookie!”

You may experience: A slipup or temptation to eat off-plan foods over the weekend; guilt over having had a slipup. Fatigue can also kick in at this point if you didn’t experience it very early on.

Your best bet: Don’t beat yourself up over a slipup, whether you realized it was happening or not. A slipup doesn’t define you or your entire 21DSD experience, though it should be a wake-up call that you need to recommit to your plan and to yourself. You deserve to get through this simple three-week program on track! But, hey, you can always have a 21DSD friendly treat!

Today's Lesson:

All this grocery shopping—how can I save money?!

Here’s the hard truth: your grocery bill may increase while you complete this program. The reality here is that stocking your house (especially your pantry, initially) does add up. Unfortunately, fresh meats, seafood, eggs, and vegetables don’t benefit from the government subsidies that make processed foods a lot less expensive. Plus, the way the cost of groceries balances out to the rest of your budget is something you’re currently not used to. What I mean is, the dollars you spend on healthy food have a direct effect on health and wellness. The more your health improves because you’re eating high-quality, nutrient-dense foods (and, just as important, because you’re not eating foods high in sugar), the less you’ll spend on things like pain medications, cold care, doctors’ visits, and beyond.

Choosing to spend more on healthy foods means a major shift in lifestyle and priorities. That said, there are ways to make healthy shopping and eating more budget-friendly. Here are my best tips!

Spend more on healthy fats and proteins. Whenever you can grab organic fats and oils (like coconut oil and olive oil, for example), it’s a good idea to do so.

How to save on healthy fats and proteins:

  • Make ghee at home from grass-fed butter—I promise, it’s super easy. (See the recipe here.) You’ll save a lot over buying pre-made versions, and your house will smell great while you make it!
  • Buy meat in bulk and on sale. Stocking up on proteins at a bulk rate or when they’re on sale is very budget-friendly if you have some space to freeze them. A basic chest freezer (provided you have a bit of space in a garage or storage area with power) runs about $150 or less and will save you a ton in the long term! Of course, you can also freeze extra protein in your regular freezer, especially once the ice cream has been kicked out (wink). Consider buying meat in bulk from a local rancher or farmer—find one in your area on eatwild.com.

Spend less on healthy carbs like vegetables and 21DSD-friendly fruits and gluten-free grains (Level 1). When buying produce, go for local and organic as often as you can, but don’t sweat it if you need to mix it up with conventionally grown produce.

How to save on healthy carbs:

  • Buying in season is almost always more affordable. There are lots of guides to in-season produce online, and it may be a good idea to print one out and hang it on your fridge so it’s handy when you’re planning meals or swaps.
  • Bulk gluten-free grains are a really great budget solution. Many grocery stores either have bins or larger bags of gluten-free grains that cost less per pound. Whenever possible, get these without packaging from bulk bins—that’ll save you the most.

The Dish from Diane:

Do not, I repeat, do not throw in the towel after one week! The weekends tend to be some of the toughest days. Facing social events, dining out, friends who aren’t on the 21DSD with you . . . the list of reasons why this can get rocky goes on and on. Be here now. Be present with yourself, and yank yourself out of the downward spiral of a headspace that tells you to quit. I know it gets hard. But you knew this wasn’t going to be easy, right? Now’s the time to revisit your “why.” Why did you start? You know that if you hang with us for the full three weeks, what awaits you on the other side is not only a newfound set of skills and feeling better physically, but a new sense of confidence that, yes, you can do hard things. And, yes, you are capable and strong—and while situations that challenge you will come along, they won’t shake you. You’ve got this!

Today's Checklist:

  • Revisit your “why.” Spend time journaling at least a few sentences about why you started in on this journey.
  • Post to social media using the hashtag #21DSD about your day 7 meals and experience. If you have a great budget tip, share it with us!

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