First, an update on the past three days.
Friday, February 1: I ate all healthy, wheat-free stuff that I had made myself (smoothie, flaxmeal turkey wrap, leftover cauliflower pizza, flourless chocolate brownie). Not gonna post recipes, though, because I’d have to post three recipes right now and that’s a lot of writing.
I guess I should interject here to say that my goal when I set out with this idea of “cooking stuff myself” is to eat healthy by eating whole ingredients. By whole ingredients I mean not eating things like the mac and cheese with powdered cheese. (Blech!) To me, “healthy” means being made of stuff that’s minimally processed and mostly available on the perimeter of the grocery store rather than the aisles in the middle. The fat and caloric contents of canned EZ cheese and slices of dill havarti may be similar, but to me one is healthy and one is not because one is real food and the other is not. As few ingredients listed as possible, and only stuff I know what it is without consulting Google (magnesium stearate? huh?).
Saturday, February 2: Fruit smoothie for breakfast. Corn chowder for lunch and dinner. Snacks were a slice of turkey (before mid-day run), a few pickles, and an attempt at zeppole made with almond flour since I was wanting a doughnut; I put it a plate of it in front of the D&D group that proclaimed it acceptable but not very filling, but they had no problem finishing the plateful. Meh, just okay to me. Gluten-free flours aren’t that great. Easier to just cut out stuff that’s made of flour rather than try to replicate it.
Sunday, February 3: Fruit smoothie for breakfast, but then I thought about my calendar. Away from home from 8:00AM through 9:30PM. Yikes. This would have to be a cheat day. There was no way I was going to try to pack a day’s worth of food and carry it around in a cooler in my car all day. So I had a Panera salmon ceasar salad for lunch (it pained me to throw the yummy croutons out the window for the squirrels), and various munching of super bowl snacks for dinner (veggies and hummus, grilled chicken, cheese slices, grilled squash, and fruit salad).
Monday, February 4: Fruit smoothie for breakfast (hey, they’re easy [ 1/2 banana, raspberries, apple juice, and flax seed], portable, and yummy) and leftover corn chowder for lunch. Dinner hasn’t happened yet, so let me rant a bit about that.
The corn chowder is stressing me out. I made it Saturday afternoon and it’s delicious. It’s also has dairy and isn’t going to keep for long, so I need to eat it fast before I have to throw it out. I live alone, so I have to eat all of it myself. For the month of January I cooked quite a bit. I generally made one main meal and ate it over a week (chili, chicken tikka masala, and chicken tortilla soup), but I didn’t eat it for every meal because those kept longer. I supplemented with salads, turkey wraps, cheese, nuts, yogurt, and the occasional Chipotle burrito bowl.
But now I feel like everything in my kitchen is on hold until I can get rid of that chowder, and I probably have three more big servings of it left. Grr.
Also, I have to admit this challenge is stressing me out. Yes, four days in including one cheat day and I’m already stressed!! Not about eating healthy or eating wheat-free; both of those are pretty easy. But stressed about having to prepare all the food I eat. Because sometimes life gets busy and I need food and it’s easiest to grab something I didn’t make – that is still healthy, or at least the unhealthy things are consumed in moderation (like my boss keeps a supply of chocolate turtles in his office).
Tonight I have to stay late at work for a meeting. But dinner is being provided – salads and sandwiches – by a local restaurant that only makes food from whole, simple ingredients, exactly the way I want to be eating. But the way I set up this challenge, I can’t eat it because I didn’t make it myself! Ugh. It’s delicious! And it’s free!
I’ve considered throwing this month’s resolution out and starting a different one instead, but rather I think I’ll revise the resolution. The ultimate purpose of my challenge was to eat healthier by consuming less processed food. Since that is really difficult to find in our culture, that means a lot of the time I’ll have to prepare my own food. But, I’m going to allow myself to eat foods I didn’t prepare myself if I can find something not overly processed. (And still sticking with the wheat-free experiment.)
So that salmon salad from Saturday – just salmon filet on romaine with some cheese and a little dressing? It’s okay. Still best to make my own food whenever I can, but I’m not going to beat myself up over not being able to do that 100% of the time. That’s not what the whole point of this was. I’m only human. Hungry human.