Reader Food Diary: Kiran’s Food & Spend

This post is by blog team member, Kiran, and is part of our Reader Diaries Series. To learn more about Kiran, check out our team page or her blog, Easy Real Food!


I love seeing what other people eat … it’s no surprise that this is pretty much what my entire Instagram feed includes. With that being said, I’m excited to share my week with YOU! And my gosh, I’ve had quite the interesting week to share with you. I’ve had a major diet change that included adding in one food that I haven’t eaten in 5 years and removing a ton of other foods. Unfortunately, this wasn’t necessarily by choice, but on my quest to heal myself from some recent health issues that I’ve been facing. I’ll be touching on this more in an upcoming post, but see if you can figure out what foods I added in and removed :).

I have 4 kids and a husband; we are a family of 6, and I buy mostly organic foods when available. Last week I spent $253.78 on groceries for all of us (even though I am only sharing what I ate), which is pretty typical range. And without further ado: here’s what I ate last week:

Note: I drink water all day unless noted. I’ll do one cup of warm water with lemon each morning, too.

Day 1

Breakfast:

Go Macro Bar + 1/2 of a Lenny Boy Kombucha. I fell in love with the GoMacro Bars when I did the FODMAP diet. They are tasty and didn’t cause any bloating and oh yeah – they’re pretty convenient, too!

Lunch:

Sautéed cabbage, One Pot Italian Pasta and celery with sunbutter. After taking this photo, I realized I was still hungry so I had a handful of pecans and 2 pieces of dark chocolate.

Food Diary: Sautéed cabbage, One Pot Italian Pasta and celery with sunbutter

Snack:

Carrots + hummus and a Raw Crunch Bar.

Dinner:

Indian-cooked cauliflower & potatoes (Gobi) and Saag (Indian-cooked spinach & mustard greens) with brown rice and tomatoes on the side.

Food Diary:Indian-cooked cauliflower & potatoes (Gobi) and Saag (Indian-cooked spinach & mustard greens) with brown rice and tomatoes on the side.

Day 2

Breakfast:

Banana with sunbutter + decaf coffee with coconut milk.

Lunch:

2 sprouted corn tortillas with smashed avocado and cherry tomatoes on top; Sumo orange (my absolute favorite and finally available again!). Another piece of dark chocolate :).

Snack:

Homemade trail mix with (unsweetened) dried bananas, pecans and raisins.

Dinner:

Salad with spinach, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, almond slivers and a tahini dressing.

Food Diary:Salad with spinach, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, almond slivers and a tahini dressing.

Day 3

Breakfast:

Another GoMacro Bar; a handful of blueberries.

Lunch:

Sautéed cabbage, Sumo orange, 2 hard-boiled eggs.

Snack:

Homemade gluten-free banana bread with sunbutter. Carrots and celery + hummus.

Dinner:

One Pot Taco Pasta + more celery sticks.

Food Diary:One Pot Taco Pasta

Day 4

Today I did something I’ve never done before … I did a juice cleanse! Not familiar with what this is? People choose to do anything from a 1-day cleanse to a 3-day, generally. I’ve read about others doing up to 30 days even. Yikes! It’s said to have some health benefits and, while I’m not looking to lose weight, I’m always up for trying to boost my immune system and improve my energy, mood, mental focus and overall health. Plus I wanted the challenge. Could I do this for 1 day? YES! I was up for the challenge.

My cleanse included the drinks below; if you’d like to know more of what was in each of them, you can visit their site for inclusions. I did ask for extra ginger where applicable and I have to say that the last one (the Coco Pro) was AHmazing. And yes, it was totally doable. I was hungry a few times in the day, but the coconut drink really helped satiate me.

1 Sweet Greens Juice
1 Fresh Greens with Ginger Juice
1 Fresh Greens / Ginger Greens Mix Juice
1 Mean Greens Juice
1 Ginger Greens with Spirulina Juice
1 Fresh Young Coconut blended with Hemp Seeds and Probiotics Juice

Cost of a daily juice cleanse ranges are $42.50 or $52.50; the one that I did was $52.50 but I did a contest on my Instagram page in partnership with Juice Bar Charlotte so the cost was waived.

See Lisa’s thoughts on juicing and cleanses in these posts from the archives. :)

Food Diary:Juice Bar juice cleanse

Day 5

So the juice cleanse on Wednesday was actually just very good timing on my part. On Tuesday, I got the results back from food sensitivities testing and it turns out I have a LOT of sensitivities. Now here’s the thing – this ain’t my first rodeo with food sensitivity testing (I will elaborate in another post so that we can keep the focus here).

Bottom line: I need to take a break from (wait for it): all grains, all nuts, all beans and legumes and a few other goodies like whey, tomatoes and chocolate. Cue the tears. It might not mean forever, but since I’ve been having autoimmune issues for a few years, I know that I need to really dig deep and try to get through this.

I haven’t eaten red meat or pork in 24 years, and at this point, I’m not planning on going back. I haven’t eaten chicken or turkey in 5 years, but given the fact that my food choices are so limited, I have to be more open to ideas; I realize this. It’s not what I *choose* to do, but I’ve got to get some decent calories and protein into my diet. So today begins the day of a new “diet”. Here goes.

Breakfast:

Few pieces of organic rotisserie chicken + (yet another) Sumo orange. Have I told you I love these things? :)

Snack:

Plantain chips

Lunch:

Roasted spaghetti squash topped with butter, nutritional yeast, tahini and pumpkin seeds. Not bad! I usually top with tomatoes but since I can’t do them right now, this was a great alternative.

Snack:

Made in Nature’s Espresso coconut chips. These are seriously the bomb.com!

Food Diary: Made in Nature Coconut Chips

Dinner:

Tuna seared in coconut oil and Celtic Sea Salt Seaweed Seasoning with baby spinach and cucumbers.

Food Diary: Tuna seared in coconut oil

Day 6

Breakfast:

Coconut flour blueberry muffin + banana.

Food Diary:coconut flour blueberry muffin

Lunch:

Shaved Brussels sprouts sautéed in coconut oil with turmeric and salt; roasted sweet potatoes.

Food Diary:Shaved Brussels sprouts sautéed in coconut oil with turmeric and salt; roasted sweet potatoes

Snack:

Pepper slices with mashed avocado. No tomatoes on guacamole is 👎🏼. Gotta forge forward, though.


Dinner:

Green smoothie with spinach, avocado, pineapple and coconut water + some pieces of chicken.

Day 7

Breakfast:

“Bulletproof coffee” (I make mine with mostly decaf + a little regular and blend it with this ghee/butter blend and top it with cinnamon). Soooo good!

Food Diary:bullet proof coffee

Lunch:

Roasted spaghetti squash with butter, nutritional yeast, diced avocado and tahini.

Food Diary: Roasted spaghetti squash with butter, nutritional yeast, diced avocado and tahini

Snack:

2 hard-boiled eggs, unsweetened banana chips and pumpkin seeds.

Dinner:

My husband took my 11- and 9-year old to a Father/Daughter dance. My almost 14-year old daughter felt like she was too old to go (sniff-sniff), so she came with my son and me for our outing. His choice? Chick-fil-a and Chuck-e-cheese😳. What’s a mom to do (who would do anything for her 6 year-old son who is the baby of the family)?! That’s where we went! But my daughter and I grabbed smoothies at Clean Juice (same plaza) first before heading to Chick-fil-a. My smoothie had kale, spinach, avocado, coconut water, lemon, apple and ginger. My daughter’s had strawberries, orange, coconut water and honey. We split a medium fry as a treat at Chick-fil-a. My smoothie was $8.99 and the fries that my daughter and I split was $1.65.

Food Diary: smoothies from Clean Juice

Again, my total spend on food for the week for my family of 6 was $253.78. The food above reflects just what I ate.

So there you have it! Everything that I ate last week. I hope this was fun to read and would love to hear your comments below. Oh, and since I love seeing other people’s meals, if you have an Instagram page that you think I’d love, please share it below! Thanks for reading.

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26 thoughts on “Reader Food Diary: Kiran’s Food & Spend”

  1. Yes, thank you Kiran! I really appreciate the simplicity of your meals, but also very nutritional even on the go with a healthy bar when needed. Although I do not have too many food sensitivities, I sometimes feel the struggle to stay away from the not-so-clean stuff is a sacrifice of sorts – foods you want but can’t or shouldn’t eat. So in that way, I was encouraged and inspired by your commitment to eat what makes you feel your best. Thank you for sharing your food diary!!

  2. Hi Kiran, good job being creative with your diet! Your dietary issues are very similar to what I’ve been experiencing for years. It’s worth mentioning that I ended up getting diagnosed with SIBO, which explains the auto-immune issues and food sensitivities. Something worth looking into if you continue having problems, as it won’t get better without treatment. Hope that’s not it for you and that you can figure it all out soon!

    1. Kiran Dodeja Smith

      Super interesting. I have had testing for SIBO a year ago and it didn’t show up, but it’s worth looking into. Sending you a direct email, as well:).

  3. I would love to know how you keep your grocery bil down!! I’m working on it but feeding 6 mouths 3x a day is expensive!! Thx for sharing! I’m going to follow you on Instagram! I too love seeing what people eat?!! Weird? I do t know but I got done good ideas!

    I’m – @crunchymamawannabe

    1. Kiran Dodeja Smith

      Girl – I hear you!!

      My best tips are buying in bulk, buying when on sale and freezing, and eating leftovers. But I’m guessing you already to these?:)

      Just gave you a follow, too!!

      Kiran

  4. Thank you to Lisa for beginning my journey of real food (and thanks go to her family, too, for being all in!) and to you, Kiran, for sharing your posts. All the best to you and your health. I like reading all variations of menus, foods, cleanses, etc., because I find it to be all very interesting. I do agree with reader Kathy, that it’s difficult for families to find/follow/afford some of the ingredients for juicing, meal oreo, etc. I’m single so it’s a bit cheaper for me! Still, I’m a believer in balance, finding what works for yourself/family. I’m grateful for this site b/c it started us CONSUMErs to really notice what’s in our food, what the animals eat, and what pesticides/GMO grains/greens they (and we!!) eat. So thank you—all of you—and here’s to health and happiness!

  5. Lindsay Untherbergus

    Hey there Kiran, thanks for sharing! I think that I have food sensitivities as well and want to get tested. If you could share some details about how you got that done, I’d appreciate that :) Good luck!!!

    1. Kiran Dodeja Smith

      Sure thing.

      I did ALCAT years ago which I’ve heard mixed reviews on. Then I did blood tests through my rheumatologist, and recently I did applied kinesiology, which showed that I had sensitivities to most foods that were in line with AIP. I have tested positive for autoimmune and also have a number of antibodies, so this is the direction that I’m trying to go – heal myself so that I can get to a point of being healthy. I hope that this is helpful!

      Kiran

  6. Hi Kiran and Lisa,

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this site, and have successfully cut out almost all processed food from my house over the last 5-10 years. I have always loved this site (and cookbooks!) as a down-to-earth place to find good information that is blessedly free from a lot of the “hype” surrounding healthy food on other sites.

    I do NOT want this comment to come across as negative towards you, Kiran – I feel terrible that you are going through food issues and possibly health issues, and I am so very lucky not to have to deal with any of that. I truly wish you the best of luck.

    I did, however, want to express a bit of disappointment with the reader diaries chosen so far. I truly believe that for most of us, there is nothing evil about dairy, wheat, grains, or meat, to name a few . . . and agree with Lisa’s take on cleanses and other extreme measures. They are not necessary or even ideal/healthy in any way. I would love to see the focus of this site to go back to normal people, feeding their families in ways that do not included expensive and fancy green juices, bars that I do not consider to be “real food”, and breakfasts consisting of coconut oil coffee with no food in sight. I just don’t think that this is what “real food” means, and I think that the average person would be terrified to try to eat this way.

    I have 4 kids, and I feed them and myself A TON more food than any of the diaries so far have shown, and we are all at our ideal weights and our health is wonderful. Eating healthy is not complicated, and that is one of the things that I love about this site . . . no nutritional yeast, no “humans weren’t meant to eat grain”, no “just drink apple cider vinegar every day and you will achieve these 100 amazing things” and things like that. Simple, unprocessed, wholesome food . . . let’s go back to that!

    Thanks for all you do, I am sorry to be critical. :( I just don’t want to lose my favorite site!!

    Kathy

    1. Kiran Dodeja Smith

      Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your candor and your opinion.

      Let me first start off by saying I don’t disagree with you in terms of food not being evil. That’s certainly not my belief by any means.

      My 3rd daughter has had significant reactions to gluten, including constant dark circles under her eyes and hyperactivity that were helped with the reduction of gluten. I’ll spare the details on one of one of my other daughter’s and my symptoms, but we both – fortunately and unfortunately – felt MUCH better without gluten. Including sleeping better, thinking clearer and less acne. Suffice to say, that the other 3 members of my family have no sensitivities whatsoever, and I cook them foods WITH gluten, dairy, etc. Just because I have found myself feeling much better without certain foods doesn’t mean I’m preaching it to everyone, starting it with my family. Yes, I end up cooking LOTS of food in a week;).

      My belief is that we are all individual; we all have our own makeup and with that foods that make us feel good and those that make us not feel good. Trust me when I tell you – I WISH that I could have gluten, grains and everything else. It sure would make eating a heck of a lot easier. And for the record, that was the first time I’ve tried a juicing cleanse AND nutritional yeast for that matter. As I said – this ended up being a very crazy week for me to report, but isn’t that life?

      I’m hopeful that with time I’ll be able to heal and add back in some foods. I’d seriously love some brown rice or oatmeal, lol. But for now, I’m feeling a whole lot better without those foods, and that’s what I’ve got to go with.

      Thank you again for taking the time to comment. I hope this helps clear some things up; I certainly don’t want to give an incorrect picture of my beliefs.

      Kiran

      1. So, was the $258.73 what you spent on just your food or food for your family too? What did they eat all week? Was that a separate grocery list?

      2. Yes … that was the total spend for all of us. Some of the foods that I made we all ate – like the Taco Pasta and the muffins. But that price included all of the other foods, too, including ones that I’m not able to enjoy right now;).

      3. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply, and good luck with all your food issues.

    2. Hi Kathleen,
      would you not share your “food week”? I think it would be nice to see someone with a completely “normal” diet, if there is such a thing. No offense meant to anyone here, because I think no one person eats the same and everyone’s “normal” is different, and not all weeks are created equal. Your week would be interesting to compare to e.g. Kiran’s.

    3. Thanks for your feedback Kathy. Funny enough after sharing my own food diary, I was hoping to pick others to share that were “different” from what we usually eat (for some variety). When Kiran (and Eileen – both on our team) told me they wanted to participate and record theirs I didn’t know what would show up on their list until it was finished. I personally thought it was interesting to see variety and also to see what all is going on in their lives, but still stand firm in my personal beliefs for my family to eat as “normal” as possible. We’ve got just a few more of these left in the series and then back to regular posts!

      1. Thank you for your feedback. I completely agree that variety is a good thing, and it never hurts to think outside your own box! :). It just concerned my to see a food diary presented as healthy that for most people (even petite women like me) would not be a healthy amount of food, nor do I believe it is a healthy way of approaching food. It may have been entirely appropriate to present Kiran’s diary on a site for people struggling with illness and forced to adhere to strict diets, but a site committed to real food is not the place for it. I do believe that healthy food can cure many of society’s diseases . . . Absolutely! But I am just not on board with the current trend that cutting out entire food groups can cure your ills, and hyper focusing on Every. Single. Bite is, (in my totally non-medical and humble opinion), causing more harm than good.

        Sorry, I got stuck on my darn soapbox again. ;) Thanks for your time. I will continue to enjoy your site!

  7. I’ve been following the autoimmune protocol (AIP) for almost a year now – so I feel your pain. Hope you get the results you want from your dietary changes! Your food looks really tasty.

      1. The AIP has been good, but not perfect. I started with a Whole30 (and I still use their template to design my meals). I eat so many more vegetables now, and lots of healthy fats (primarily avocado and olives). I try to limit sweet things and fruit. I was doing really well this summer and feeling great, but I have autoimmune thyroid issues and they flare in the cold weather, so I’m struggling now despite the diet. I don’t think food can fix everything, but it’s an easy place for us to start. Plus, eating more vegetables and healthy fats is never a bad thing!

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