T Nation

How Bad is Low-Quality Whole Food 'Healthy' Protein?


title is pretty self explanatory, since I just arrived in SF and sh*t is pretty expensive I don't wanna spend $150 a week on food during my internship. This period will only last 6 months, after that things will be much better and I'll go 100% organic

I digest lactose pretty well so whole milk is a cheap option but I'd prefer eating rather than drinking, are $2 a dozen eggs (12 or more a day) the best option?
Even chicken breasts are like $10 at local traders joe, that's twice as expensive as in France hahafck. Not even talking about red meat (that I choose every time when I get invited to a restaurant)

6 months on low quality eggs is certainly not that long is it? I've seen people talk about cheeseburgers diets for a pretty long time, will never do that tho

I've found that fruits, avocados, veggies, buckwheat, shredded coconut and brown rice are healthy and cheap sources of carbs and some fats. Protein is the only concern really


[quote]tontongg wrote:
Even chicken breasts are like $10 at local traders joe, that’s twice as expensive as in France hahafck.[/quote]
Most supermarkets have pre-cooked whole chickens for half that price. That’s two breasts, two thighs, two drumsticks, two wings. That’s easily 2-3 meals, more if you make a soup with the carcass afterwards. It won’t be organic, but organic foods are a luxury, certainly not mandatory.

Whole eggs are obviously a great idea, but you can probably find other meats if you shop around a little. 80/20 ground beef, organ meats, large (66oz) cans of tuna. If there’s a Costco or Sam’s Club or some other kind of bulk warehouse-type shop, look into getting a day pass or trial membership to do your shopping there. Some Wal-marts and Targets also have decent prices in their “supermarket area” too. Check papers or online for coupons.

Also do a search on the forum here for threads like “eating in college.” Those are usually based on a tight budget.

I’d say 6 months is a relatively-long time when we’re talking about eating the same one or two foods.


Agreed generally, just one little thing on the ground beef: It depends on the deal, but many times 80/20 ground beef really isn’t a bargain compared to 90/10.

Looking up a supermarket chain price on the web right now, as a random example (but typical for what I often see at the grocery store) I find 80/20 ground beef at $4.49/lb while 90/10 from the same supermarket is $4.99/lb.

As the protein content of 90/10 is 17% higher, but it’s in this case priced only 11% higher, for protein content the 90/10 is the better deal, and it already provides suitable fat.

As business sense, I suppose there’s no reason really for them to necessarily provide more lean content for the dollar while grinding in scrap fat from other cuts to make the 80/20.


I coincidentally also just arrived in SF, if you can find a “Sprouts Farmers Market” near you, it’s an amazing grocery store with super clean, high quality food at great prices. Yesterday I bought a few pre-packaged meals of shredded chicken breast, turkey meatloaf and veggies, rice, etc., all for like $5 each. Awesome store and totally worth it if you can find one and get there.


Agreed that I should have done more research prior to posting, found great College stuff doing so. Apologizes for that

Actually this was more a cultural question lol, I mean I had no clue where to go besides my local traders joe, Walmart and Costco being too far away at the moment. Thanks for the names and info provided.

Also, I didn’t say I’d eat eggs only. More like 12+ a day as a basis and then some meats every 2 or 3 day. The issue I had was about the quality of those protein sources when buying low cost for 5-6 months

And finally I have ordered plazma and can’t wait to receive it tomorrow but I might continue with gainers for the remaining period. Just a transition tho


Rice and beans (or other legume (peas, lentils, etc) have everything you need and are cheap as, and also a good complex carb, fiber, vitamin and mineral source.


You won’t find much “cheap” food in San Francsico. As of mid last year it supplanted NYC as the most expensive city to live in the U.S. If you have a car and can make it over to Daly City to hit the place Robstein mentioned, do that. Mi Ranchito in the Mission, Golden Veggie Market in Nob Hill have awesome prices as well. Try to find a small non-corporate market in your neighborhood (use yelp). If can’t find anything small…Stay away from Whole Foods. Safeway generally has decent deals on chicken breasts and eggs. Oakland is another option if you have transportation.

Decent cuts of meat are going to be absurdly expensive pretty much everywhere as will seafood…welcome to SF! (I moved from Boston 8 months ago and still deal with sticker shock here).


I plan to move in the mission by the end of summer, will definitely try the ranchito
Plus World Gym would not be far away, can’t wait.


A quick one: how good (or bad) is beef jerky from kraze? I thought $5 for a 270kcal beef snack doesn’t seem that bad, ingredients are not horrible


Haven’t had the kraze, but have a hard time spending the $5-7 for a few chunks. If you have an oven or dehydrator much cheaper and better to make your own? Have a pretty good recipe for solid meat if you want. Ground meat works well but need a jerky shooter.


If you’re on a budget, spending money on jerky seems like a terrible waste. You could buy a pound of grass fed ground beef for less or same than 3oz of jerky.


Forgot to mention I don’t have a kitchen

Nvm, found a hack for cooking eggs using the office’s microwave lol