I am not going to write about my knee today, although I do want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my blog or page, or who sent me emails. I really do appreciate your concern and well wishes and the occasional smack upside the head that I need to be reminded to stop whinging. So, thank you!
Instead I am going to talk about food ruts and bad choices.
Part of the reason I did my vegan challenge was because I wanted to be mindful of what I ate, not just because I wanted to make sure that I was eating a balanced diet, although that is part of it, but also because I had just sort of gotten into the habit of coming home and pulling whatever was easiest out of the fridge and eating it. I have said that I am never going to be a food-is-fuel person; I like food and cooking way too much for that. Food is one of the great pleasures of life, right up there with sex and napping; there is no way that I am going to deprive myself of pleasure. However, I was basically eating like a food-is-fuel person, only without the benefits. I was eating stuff I didn't particularly enjoy, simply because it was expedient. Being vegan for a month made me conscious of everything I put in my mouth.
Now however, I am back to old habits. The combination of laziness, being single, and limited choice has made it easy for me to fall back on a handful of tried and true meals, none of which are particularly healthy or enjoyable, and all of which are higher in calories than is really wise. If I buy something, I either have to eat it right away or freeze it, and the power here has not been reliable lately, so I have avoided buying much in the way of frozen food. Unfortunately, aside from pineapple and avocados, the produce here is not great. OH, mangoes too, but I do not really like them. And you can only eat so much pineapple--too much and you get big canker sores inside your mouth. (Ask me how I know this) So I have been eating a lot of eggs, lentils, beans, and tortillas and pita. All of which are fine, but it is way too easy to go overboard on the cheese, and there is only so much hummus you can eat before you begin to want to make brownies. Mmmm Brownies. It is amazing how many reasons I can find to make brownies.
So the other day I went to the mall with my friend. I never go to the mall; it is across town and I do not have a car. But he was going, and I figured I would tag along. They had broccoli at the grocery store in the mall. It was about ten dollars for a head. But it actually looked good, not all brown and wormy like it sometimes looks. So I bought a head. (10 dollars for a SMALL head I should add.) I wish I had bought three, because I could have eaten that whole head of broccoli in one sitting. As it was, I ate it in two, roasted with garlic and a little olive oil and then tossed in lemon juice and some parmesan.
It was so good! I also bought butternut squash and roasted that--a little olive oil, some allepo pepper, salt and pepper and it was delicious. I tossed it into some leftover roasted chicken and pasta. YUM.
Eating food that actually tastes good, that I have taken time to prepare, has made it significantly easier to stay within my calorie range. Now, there are some other issues at play--I bought a bunch of chicken, so I have low-calorie protein cooked and ready to go, and I have had an easy week at work--but still, the days I have eaten yet another pita with hummus, or tortillas and cheese have been the days that I have eaten way more than my allotted calories. I think I am so bored with what I am eating that I am just using volume to make up for enjoyment.
I just tossed another batch of squash in the oven. This time I tossed a little brown sugar and cinnamon on it, and I am going to try eating it for breakfast with yogurt.