Thursday, April 8, 2010
I think I’ve said this before, but when some people get busy, they get take-out and eat junk food. When I get busy, I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and raisin bran. I actually think that’s not all that bad of an option, given the alternatives.
Other favorites when I’m busy are deviled eggs (well, any kind of eggs, really, but with deviled eggs you get a lot for the same amount of work as a few and they are so good), any kind of fruit, oatmeal (my new favorite breakfast), nuts, dried fruit, chickpeas (as hummus or just on their own), and good easy raw vegetables like carrots and grape tomatoes. I also like to cook up a bag of edamame in the pod — they taste good and they take a while to eat, so you feel like you’re eating more than you are.
Other good options (that I happened to have cut out are recently) include olives (not so cheap, but a good snack and a little goes a long way), preserved fish like smoked salmon and pickled herring, and cheese and crackers. Whole Foods used to have this smoked tofu that I liked a lot but they haven’t had it in a while. But I decided to restrict my sodium intake so all of those things went right out the window.
If you bring home a can or two of beans (black beans or refried beans), some cheese, some salsa, and some tortillas, you can have dinners for a week — beans and rice, beans and rice in a tortilla, quesadillas, scrambled eggs and black beans in a tortilla … the list goes on and on.
Basically when I’m busy, I’m even less inclined to try for variety than I am under normal circumstances. As long as I’m not hungry and don’t feel gross from eating gross processed food, that’s all I really care about. Every meal doesn’t have to be a party.
So I’ve been more or less in sustenance mode the past few weeks while trying to finish three or four projects that all seem to need to be done at the same time. About a month and a half ago. Eggs, peanut butter and jelly, cereal with milk, fruit and raw vegetables have been the order of the day.
In terms of my reporting, I’m skipping two weeks and starting fresh with last week, 3/29 to 4/4. (The week before that I was away, and the week before that, I had leftovers from my mom’s visit and three work-related meals, and then I left town, so there wasn’t much to report for that week anyway.)
My plan was to start back and have some good stuff but when I walked in to Whole Foods at 4pm on Monday 3/29 with all those people and all that food, I realized I didn’t have the energy for it and needed to stay low key until I actually finished getting through some things . Also I had some food left that I decided to try to use up: half a loaf of Arnold wheat bread, half a box of Kellogg’s raisin bran, some chickpeas, some cooked brown rice, most of a jar of salsa, and some sliced jalapenos. Also some thing that weren’t going to go bad and I knew I’d use, but that I’ll report on in the interest of full disclosure: most of a jar of Whole Foods crunchy peanut butter and half a bag of Midel ginger snaps. As if the Girl Scout cookies weren’t enough, I had to stop and pick up more cookies
For breakfast on Monday, I had half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bowl of oatmeal, and some raisins. Later that afternoon, I went to the store.
I picked up a quart of milk for the raisin bran (plus the bottle deposit, which I will get back), a bag of carrots because I couldn’t remember whether I had any or not (I did), bananas, a lemon to make the hummus and a cucumber to eat with it, a bag of mini pink lady apples, and a half gallon of orange juice, which was twice as much as I really wanted but I figured I could freeze half of it (I did).
When I got back from the store, I made hummus using the things I had on hand already (garlic, tahini, olive oil, chickpeas) plus the lemon I had bought. For dinner, I had that with some pita bread that had been in the freezer (thawed and heated in the toaster oven), and carrot sticks and an apple. Then I had a bowl of raisin bran with milk for dessert along with some cookies and some chocolate covered espresso beans.
Tuesday I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with banana and milk and ginger snaps for my first meal, and a mix-and-match dinner of rice with salsa, bagel with cream cheese, hummus with carrot sticks and an apple, and cole slaw I made from the cabbage in the fridge from a few weeks ago. Cabbages last forever. And you can’t go wrong with cole slaw. Then I had some cookies for dessert.
I decided I was likely to forget about the salsa and have it go bad, so I put it in the freezer along with the jalapenos. So those I’ll have for later.
Wednesday I continued with the theme of raisin bran with milk, a banana, and a glass of orange juice, but I think this was not a good first meal as I was starving about halfway through the day. Too much carbs, I think, and not enough fat and protein.
I had some cucumber and hummus while getting dinner ready, then had ham and bean soup with corn muffins with peanut butter on them (which I know seems like a bad combination with ham and bean soup, but I really like peanut butter on my leftover cornbread, what can I say) and cole slaw, and an apple, but I still felt hungry so I had a bowl of cereal with milk and then I totally od’ed on cookies. Many too many cookies. I’m blaming the bad breakfast.
In an effort to take control of the cookie situation, I put the ginger snaps into the freezer. The first box of thin mints are gone so I don’t have to worry about those any more, and I think I can resist the siren call of the peanut butter sandwich cookies. As long as I don’t start, I don’t think about them, it’s just hard to stop once I’ve started. And no more cereal and oj for breakfast, unless I have an egg or something along with it.
On Thursday I was out in the morning seeing a client, and I considered stopping at Cosmic on the way home so I could have a burrito and not have to worry about what I was going to eat later but I was really tired and wanted to take a nap and decided that if I went straight home, I could have a quick sandwich and still make it under the wire for nap time. So that’s what I did — pb&j and a banana and a glass of milk followed by a 4 hour nap where I dreamt that the project I’ve been working on was going to cost the client $4 million dollars so they stopped it. (This has not yet come to pass.)
On Friday, I worked in the yard for a few hours and then fixed some scrambled eggs and an English muffin with jam, and a smoothie made from a frozen banana (my last one), orange juice, and frozen cranberries. When I was done working, I wanted the burrito I had forgone on Thursday, so I walked to Cosmic for dinner, and stopped at Whole Foods on the way home.
I picked up some strawberries and some eggs, and when I got home, I had a nice bowl of strawberries for dessert.
On Saturday, I was helping a friend with her taxes, which gets me several free meals. This one was a Bloody Mary for starters (we’ve found that alcohol greatly improves the tax process) along with some artichoke dip, and then a very good tuna burger with not so good fries at Broad Street Cafe. I watched basketball when I came back from that, and ate jelly beans and easter candy, and never got hungry for dinner.
On Sunday, I had a nice Easter brunch of scrambled eggs with an English muffin, and a sausage patty, and a bowl of strawberries with milk. And more jelly beans and chocolate easter eggs. And I had had grand plans for a nice Easter dinner, lamb chops or something, but on Friday at Whole Foods I couldn’t decide what I wanted and then on Saturday I forgot all about it, and on Sunday, I ended up starting work right about when I should have been starting dinner, so I didn’t eat until late and at that point all I felt like was an apple and some oatmeal. So that’s what I had. Maybe one of these days I’ll get a good Easter dinner, but not this year. At least I had a good breakfast.
So that’s my week of cereal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which I realize is not going to impress anyone who is looking to spend less on food — I can just hear the chorus of, “Sure, it may be cheap, but who wants to live like that?” now — but the alternative this week was not mixed baby greens with grilled salmon and dill sauce, but Doritos and Pop Tarts, as I had no energy at all to put toward food, and eating something I like and don’t have to think about at all was what I needed.
In theory, I will eventually be getting a handle on work, and will be able to cook myself a nice dinner, but I’m not exactly sure when that’s going to happen. The fact that it’s suddenly 90 degrees I think is also contributing to my lack of hunger. It’s just too hot. But I’ll get used to that eventually too. So hopefully there will be something more interesting to report soon. I the meantime you’ll just have to live with this.