Ian and Cassie discuss the reality of living on a pension in Australia and eating good clean healthy food. Can it be done on $65 a week?
What do you think?
Ian Hamilton: Hi guys. Ian Hamilton and Cassie Bond again. We just got an email from a lady called Alma. I’m going to read it out to you.
“I’ve written to you about ten days ago. There are a huge proportion of older Aussies out there alone, like me, who do care about their declining years, and want to be effective in living as well as we can. So as I said before, in the age of pension, I can’t possibly buy this amount of food over a fortnight, so again, what is there available in cheaper choices, I can use to a similar effect, to strike a balanced, alkaline way of living? This list is a huge amount of animal product.
In the past, I thought it was amongst the highest acid forming food possible. Once I have paid my way in this world, I have a hundred and thirty dollars to buy two weeks household and groceries. That is sixty-five dollars a week. I think your idea is wonderful, and I do hope you can find a way to help those like me who do not use credit cards, do not smoke or drink alcohol, or use recreational drugs, and who do grow their own greens when able. Best Wishes.”
Wow. Sixty-five dollars a week. That’s tough.
Cassie Bond: That’s a challenge.
Ian Hamilton: That is a challenge. We wrote to …
Cassie Bond: Living alone also is more expensive.
Ian Hamilton: Living alone. It is, isn’t it?
Cassie Bond: Yeah.
Ian Hamilton: Hopefully, she doesn’t have to pay rent, but it sounded like …
Cassie Bond: No, she’s saying, after all that.
Ian Hamilton: After all of that. Yeah.
Cassie Bond: Sixty-five dollars.
Ian Hamilton: Wow. A___, I can’t do the maths for you. Cassie and I put together an email that we sent to you. A few things about the way we live, and we are not great consumers. We are not particularly interested in being great consumers.
Cassie Bond: Why don’t I just explain what I actually said in the letter?
Ian Hamilton: Yeah.
Cassie Bond: For me, it’s really important that we have absolutely no processed food. We do have some, however, and I’ve actually made a little list of that. Do you want to just mention them?
Ian Hamilton: Well, half of it was the meat.
Cassie Bond: Well, no. Processed foods.
Ian Hamilton: Oh, the processed food. Yes, tinned fish, prosciutto, salami. That’s about it.
Cassie Bond: We have a little bit of that in our salad every day, just to give a little bit of taste. The most important thing, though, A___, is that, in actual fact, when we, for instance, buy a steak, say the steak’s about that big, we cut it in half and that’s our dinner. We don’t have a lot of meat. What we do have on that meat, is usually something we have. I make my own pesto or mayonnaise, or if you can eat butter, you can have butter on there. That, along with lots of greens, occasionally maybe some sweet potato, is what we eat for our dinner.
It’s the fats that will fill you up. It’s not the protein.
Ian Hamilton: This is the key.
Cassie Bond: It’s not really going to be the vegetables, it’s going to be the fats.
Ian Hamilton: The healthy fats.
Cassie Bond: You’ll find as you start eating more fat less carbs, you’ll actually get more full. You’ll feel a full feeling. Well, you don’t have to eat a lot of protein to get that full feeling, it’s from the oils.
The other thing we put on our vegetables apart from the mayonnaise or the pesto, is also just some olive oil and some lime, or lemon, and some salt. Very easy dressing, but it just adds a bit more, and makes it very tasty.
Ian Hamilton: The olive oil, of course, we got that from Italy. They always put olive oil on their food. The lime is a fabulous alkalizer, and the salt, if you’ve stopped having high carbs, you actually do need salt.
Cassie Bond: You do need more salt. The other things is breakfast. Well, yes, we do have bacon with our meal, but, as Ian’s pointed out, the bacon we get is like really, really thin.
Ian Hamilton: It’s a millimeter thick. It’s gorgeous.
Cassie Bond: What we actually end up with is not very much, but if that’s too much, just have it a couple of times a week.
Ian Hamilton: Yeah. I’ll just say something about the meat there. When we got off our carb and sugar addiction, we probably halved our meat anyway. We reduced our whole food intake, because your carb and sugar addiction is getting you into this mood swing, where you need it all to feel good, and you are always hungry. I called myself the human vacuum cleaner. I would eat anything on the table, but that just doesn’t happen anymore. In terms of economy and good food, both those things are working for you.
Cassie Bond: Fats, again fats. Fats are in the eggs, and when you start to have a bit more bacon, there’s fat in the bacon. If you’re not having the bacon, the eggs have still got a fair bit of fat in them. They will actually fill you up for breakfast.
Ian Hamilton: Look at the times we used to buy the meat with no fat. Lean meat was the [goal 00:04:47]. Ridiculous.
Cassie Bond: Yeah, I agree. Lunch. All right. We have the salad, we have a little bit of, as you said, prosciutto …
Ian Hamilton: Lots of lettuce.
Cassie Bond: Ian has some salami, I don’t have it as I have a reaction to the garlic. We have plenty of greens, vegetables, which we do, when we can, we grow ourselves.
Ian Hamilton: We’ve got two hundred cos lettuces in at the moment.
Cassie Bond: Yeah, we do. It’s very exciting. Apart from that, anything else we buy is usually just fresh fruit and vegetables, which are in season. They are going to be the ones that are going to be the cheapest. We don’t eat a lot of fruit, which is the most expensive of those.
Ian Hamilton: Why?
Cassie Bond: Because it’s full of fructose, which is sugar. It’s all right as a special treat.
Ian Hamilton: You’re getting your greens from your veggies. The fruits, yes people make a lot of noise about all the good things in fruits, but, yes, you can get it from the veggies anyway. You don’t need the volume of fruits that we have accustomized ourselves to, especially juicy fruit. Juice is a massive fructose hit.
Cassie Bond: We did say that tinned fish is quite a cheap way of getting some fish. If you can afford a fresh fish, we do have fresh fish once a week. Not a big serve again, and pesto’s wonderful on that. Yummy. Occasionally, we do have some sweet potato. We don’t have white potato. We don’t have sweet potato every single night, just occasionally as a special treat. It’s all very unprocessed food. We don’t really buy much in the way of processed food. I’m trying to think what else we actually …
Ian Hamilton: Coconut oil.
Cassie Bond: Well, we do buy some coconut oil …
Ian Hamilton: That is a luxury.
Cassie Bond: … And we buy olive oil. Well, it’s a luxury, but if you know you can eat butter, if you can eat butter, that’s great, eat butter, but we can’t. We can’t eat any dairy, either Ian or I, so we just stay away from cheese and …