Being a Paleo vegan is much more difficult than choosing between one or the other. There are many dietary restrictions to worry about, and prices can get high if they aren’t monitored — not to mention the constant struggle to find essential vitamins and proteins.

advertisement - learn more

Lucky for you there are ways to find all of your essential nutrients affordably. It just boils down to knowing what to look for and where to find it, then integrating a couple lifestyle hacks to make it all work. It’s easier than you think, and once you crack the code you’ll notice major differences in both your bank account and your diet.

Basic and Beneficial Vegan Paleo Ingredients

There are many healthy ingredients to choose from when creating a meal that is both cost-effective and nutritious. Whether you want ingredients to add healthy sweetness, keep meals hearty, freshen up mealtime, or add more flavour, knowing where to look is half the battle. Here are a just few vegan/Paleo staple ingredients to get you started. (1)

The Sweet Treats:

  • Cacao
  • Coconut
  • Maple syrup
  • Dried fruit

Staying Full and Hearty:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Keeping Things Fresh:

advertisement - learn more
  • Leafy greens
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bell peppers
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

Finding Your Flavour:

  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Keying Into (Affordable) Vitamin Intake

Vitamin A

Why It’s Important? Vitamin A helps keep your vision and immune system strong (2). Beta-carotene is the component of vitamin A that aids the retina, cornea, and membranes of the eye. An easy indicator of beta-carotene is a vibrant orange hue in fruit and veggies.

Where to Find It:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Apricots
  • Butternut squash

Vitamin C

Why It’s Important? Looking for a healthy serving of antioxidants? Vitamin C is a great source to turn towards. Antioxidants help us avoid chronic conditions and many diseases (3). Side note: Certain fruits and veggies offer a much tastier option to get this awesome vitamin than the typical store-bought capsules.

Where to Find It:

  • Oranges
  • Red bell pepper
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Blueberries

Vitamin E

Why It’s Important? An anti-inflammatory, Vitamin E offers immune enhancement and can delay heart disease. Other diseases that may also be put at bay incude cancer, eye disorders, and cognitive decline. (4). This vitamin can most easily be found in seeds.

Where to Find It:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Broccoli

Calcium

Why It’s Important? You’ve heard this before, but the ones that benefit most from calcium are your teeth and bones. But did you know that blood vessels, muscle function, and hormone secretion are also part of the equation? (5) Calcium takes on more roles than you think, and can be used to add greenery or spice to your meals.

Where to Find It:

  • Kale
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Cumin
  • Coriander

Magnesium

Why It’s Important? You’ve heard magnesium is so important, but what does it actually do? Well, it supports muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, normal heart rhythm, and blood pressure regulation (6). It actually does live up to the hype, and is found in greens and nuts.

Where to Find It:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Spinach
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic

Iron

Why It’s Important? Are you thinking that finding iron as a paleo vegan is a lost cause because of the meat industry’s advertisements? Put your mind at rest, because meat isn’t the only source of this producer of myoglobin (protein that transfers oxygen to muscles), growth, and metabolism (6). Nuts and dried fruits can be swapped in meat’s place!

Where to Find It:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Kale
  • Cacao

Omega-3 and Fatty Acids

Why It’s Important? I know what you’re thinking: fish oil. You’ll be happy to know that you can also find this enhancer of brain performance and memory in some plants and nuts, which makes it a simple topping to add in salads (7).

Where to Find It:

  • Seaweed
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Coconut (and coconut oil)

Potassium

Why It’s Important? Blood pressure, electrolytes, and breaking down carbs into energy are important, and potassium won’t let you down (8). Banana is the poster child of potassium, but there are other lighter options to find it, too. Plus, avocados double up with healthy fats!

Where to Find It:

  • Bananas
  • Beet greens
  • Avocado
  • Bok Choy
  • Acorn squash

Zinc

Why It’s Important? You’ve likely heard that zinc plays a major part in cold remedies. However, zinc also serves your sense of taste and smell, and your cellular metabolism, too (9). Oh and don’t worry, it can be found outside of red meat and poultry.

Where to Find It:

  • Leafy greens
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Maple syrup

Options For Cost Efficient Protein

Nuts

Nuts are rich in nutrients, unsaturated fats, and vegetable protein. They have also been linked to the reduction of coronary heart disease and gallstones. Almonds and pistachios offer the highest levels of protein at six grams per ounce, while walnuts and pine nuts offer four grams per ounce (10). They are a great meatless way to inject protein into your diet every day with minimal effort. 

Seeds

Seeds are great because you can eat them by the handful or grind them up and sprinkle them in your meals. Sunflower, hemp, and chia seeds are all popular and easy ways to get in enough protein daily. Chia seeds in particular are beneficial, being high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein (11). Chia seeds can be costly, but the good news is, a little goes a long way here. A tablespoon of them sprinkled on a salad or in a smoothie will do a world of good.

Greens

Leafy greens surprisingly offer good amounts of protein as well, not to mention that they also help fight off cancer (12). Greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are key players here, and they are also the most affordable way to find proteins — they all cost less than five dollars per pound (13)!

Where To Shop

Farmers’ Markets

A great way to find all the in-season fruits and veggies at a decent price is to visit a farmers’ market. Local farmers gather to sell their prized produce and keep rates lower than grocery store prices. Although many think they are more expensive, prices tend to be  lower than the market value. Make sure to ask the vendors if your selection is top quality; they want you to buy from them again, so they will help you find the best produce.

Organic Stores

Organic stores tend to be on the more expensive side, but you will get a much better product than your standard supermarket. You can rest assured that your products aren’t hiding any chemicals or genetically modified ingredients. Stick to the produce in these stores, however, as the other items can be bought online for a lower price.

Speciality Markets

There are speciality shops where you can find any ingredient, ranging from Mexican, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and everything in between if you search for them. Produce is sold at a decent price, and you might even stumble on a few items you wouldn’t normally buy as well. Make sure your products are at the highest quality by giving them a quick visual scan, smelling for freshness, and squeezing lightly to ensure they are firm.

How To Keep Meals Affordable

  • Grow fruits and veggies in your backyard
  • To reduce waste, don’t buy perishables in bulk
  • Do stock up on grains and seeds, because this bulk buying won’t spoil quickly
  • Buy spices from bulk bins, too
  • Freeze fruits and veggies to preserve fresh produce
  • Conduct weekly inventory on your refrigerator to ensure you aren’t doubling up
  • Stick to a weekly meal plan so you don’t over-purchase
  • Don’t forget about making and eating leftovers

Making these simple swaps pays off in the long run. For example, when you buy spices from bulk bins, you need only purchase the amount you want rather than a full jar you may never use, and you’ll save money by avoiding packaging. Limiting waste makes your money go further, and becoming self-sustaining only costs a few dollars. Partaking in these things can easily add up to saving you $100 per week if done regularly.

Creative, Cost-Effective Recipes To Try

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

spvb

Not only does this recipe offer amazing levels of beta-carotene and protein, these veggie burgers also boast vitamin C, iron, and magnesium! Talk about benefits. By the way, it only takes 30 minutes to make this meal possible.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Crispy Garlic Brussels Sprouts

cgbs

More magnesium and iron coming in hot here! This is a yummy side dish with big time benefits. Grill up cauliflower steaks or mash some sweet potatoes to keep you full.

Recipe: Crispy Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Poblano Sauce

Sweet-Potato-Noodles-with-Creamy-Poblano-Sauce

This recipe is creamy, comforting, and flavourful. Veggie noodle dishes are always cost-effective and easy to make. Add some zucchini noodles to the party if you want as well!

Recipe: Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Poblano Sauce

Healthy Blueberry Cobbler

real-healthy-blueberry-cobbler-recipe

You can be a paleo vegan and still have your dessert time, too. How sweet it is to get antioxidants and vitamin C while enjoying a freshly baked cobbler!

Recipe: Healthy Blueberry Cobbler


Having Trouble Losing Excess Weight?

Having trouble losing excess weight? This could be one of the biggest reasons why.

We know so much about food now yet much of the population is overweight and unhealthy because of the quality of our food and our perception about food.

Luckily there's a quiz that you can take to find out where you stand on food addiction. You can take it here.

After you will get results and specific information based on your score. Try the quiz!