How To Get All Of Your Nutrition From Food

Constructing A Meal Plan

Final Recap

At long last we have come to beach on the sandy shores on our heroic journey to create a nutritionally-complete meal plan Now I know what you might be thinking. Wouldn't it have been easier to simply take a multivitamin every day instead of delving headlong into the nitty-gritty details of nutrient composition of foods? Why, I suppose it would have. But if we hadn't embarked on this adventure, we'd probably still be sitting on the couch at home watching people on the television tell us how easy-peasy it is to get all of our nutrition from food, and we might have been lulled into a false sense of security in knowing that we eat a salad every day for lunch.

Now I was going to review our nutrition charts one last time, but I figured you are probably getting sick of those, so you will just have to take my word for it that we have met all the nutritional requirements in my food tracker. There is only one thing that is still a bit short, which is vitamin D. But since we discussed vitamin D sources and supplementation already, I will let that sit for now.

So it looks like we're done! Oh wait... shoot! I just remembered that there were a few things that we left along the way because our software did not track them. Let's see here, there was: iodine, chromium, molybdenum, biotin, and choline. Luckily, a quick check over at the essential nutrients pages at World's Healthiest Foods assures me that those nutritional needs have been met with our meal plan. Besides, you trust me.


Maybe not. Turns out that if you actually went ahead and checked my work, you would have found that we are still coming up short on one very important nutrient: iodine.

Now, if we had added a quarter teaspoon of iodized salt instead of the sea salt we would have been fine. But we didn't and if you are like me, you might want to consider a more nutritionally-complete option. In this case, a quarter teaspoon of dried sea vegetables, such as kelp or dulce, will ensure that we are getting enough iodine from our diet, as well as a healthy sprinkling of other important nutrients. Incidentally, it will also contain enough sodium so as to have removed the need for the sea salt altogether.

Alright, that's it for the meal plan, I promise! Let's have another look at it, along with the cost:

Nutritionally Complete Meal Plan With Food Costs
Nuts and Seeds: 1 cup ($1.93)
Beans: 1 cup, dried ($0.43)
Whole Grains: 1 cup, dried ($0.36)
Dark Leafy Greens: 2 cups, raw ($1.17)
Mushrooms: 1 cup, raw ($1.07)
Whole Milk: 1 cup ($0.25)
Sardines: 3 ounces ($1.25)
Sea Vegetables: 1/4 tsp, granulated ($0.06)
Total Food Cost: $6.52 per day

Adding this up brings us to a grand total of just over $6.50 for a day's worth of healthy, nutritious food. That is approximately equivalent to the pay one receives for a single hour of work at minimum wage, less income taxes. Which is some pretty good news because so many of us have heard that nasty myth of how expensive it is to eat healthy, that we may have never even tried to do it. Kudos to you for making it through this article intact!

Now I know you might still have some questions, such as:

What if I am a vegan?
What if I can't eat nuts/seeds?
What if I can't eat beans/legumes?
What about phytates and oxalates?
Where is the fruit in this meal plan?
Food is nice, but what about drinks?
What if I just wanted to take the multivitamin?
How can I make this meal plan more appetizing?
How does your nutrition plan compare with government guidelines?
... and many more...

No worries. I will address each of those questions... in time. For now, I have some other things I need to attend to, so if you will be patient with me, I will come back around and address those questions. Of course, if you have a question that you don't see listed here, feel free to contact us with your questions.

Bon Appétit!

Last Reviewed: 16-02-07