The others have covered the disease itself. As for your food issues, McDougalling is not pricey ... me and my hubby don't have much money and do just fine. A few good sources for recipes include the newsletters on this site (just go to the main page and check out the archive), "The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook" is great and the recipes are easy. Also, to get the program basics along with some recipes, check out "The McDougall Program: 12 days to dynamic health" This book is available on this site, both as a full book or an e-book, but you can also take it out of your local library and buy the cookbook instead.
Some things I eat:
-Shreaded wheat (100%) with 1/4 cup soy milk mixed with 1/4 cup of water
-Oatmeal topped with a dash of cinamon and 1 tsp of turbinado sugar (it has flavor as well as sweetness) and a 1/4 cup of soy milk or les
-2 oz whole wheat pasta, cover with water, add 1/2 small onion, some chopped veg of your choice (I like zuchini or summer squash or snap peas or green beans) some green peppers if you like (I buy the frozen ones and use just a small amount to flavor the dish... or buy one and freeze most of it) and either 1/4 cup salsa, 1T reduced salt soy sauce or tamari and a 1/4 tsp asian seasoning of your choice, or a chopped tomato with a bit of oregano.
- 1 tsp no oil added hummus on a whole wheat bread with lettuce, onion, pepper rings, sliced cucumber and occasionally a tomato accompanied with either some baked no salt guilt free gourmet tortilla chips and salsa or a simple salad using iceberg, carrots, cabbage and fat free salad dressing
- bean burritos (see any McDougall cook book)
- whole wheat pasta with fat free maranara and a salad
- stir "fry" using water instead of oil with a lot of vegies (cabbage works well with onions, broccoli with mushrooms) with some tofu (firm Chinese style), seasoned with garlic, soy sauce, ginger, crushed red pepper, over brown rice
- brown rice toped with black beans, salsa, onion, and tomatoes.
-curried vegies (potato, onion, peas, 1 can chopped tomatoes, and maybe some seitan) over brown rice
I hope this helps
"Through difficulty lies opportunity" Albert Einstein