Week Twelve

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week Thirteen had tax day in the middle, and Week Twelve started with the culmination of Duke’s fabulously surreal National Championship run, followed by two days of wall-to-wall work and then another work episode and some volunteer work and Full Frame and a natural cleaners demo. All of which meant that the Week Twelve write-up did not happen in a timely fashion. So sorry. You get what you pay for.

So here, without further ado (adieu? hmm…), is Week Twelve (April 5 – 11)

I had been working on a project that I hoped to finish up over the weekend but didn’t. However I’d finally gotten to the point where I was close enough to being done that I figured if I could ignore everything else and just work on that, I could get through it and send it off. So that’s what happened Monday and Tuesday, I tried to ignore everything else — except basketball, which is not ignorable in April when Duke is still playing — and worked worked worked.

This also meant that I needed to eat what I had on hand, and the good news (for me at least, probably not so good for the blog) is that when I’m working working working, I’m generally not hungry. Or tired. I just work, nothing else is there.

So on Monday for breakfast I had oatmeal and an apple and a soft-boiled egg, and a piece of toast with peanut butter. For dinner, I pulled some canned salmon from the freezer and made a little salmon salad with celery and mayonnaise and onion. I had one (1) red potato from a weeks-ago purchase and decided to make a mini-potato salad, since I had everything I needed for that, celery and mayonnaise and eggs. So dinner was half a bagel toasted with salmon salad and some potato salad, and a devilled egg.

While moving things around in the fridge, I discovered a yogurt container with one serving of yogurt still in it. Who knew. So for dessert I had strawberries with yogurt. And some Easter candy.

Tuesday was work work lunch nap work work work. Lunch was more or less the same as Monday dinner: toasted bagel with salmon salad, potato salad, apple, Easter candy for dessert. Nap was fabulous. No second meal. Who needs food when you have Filemaker. Project sent 1:15am. Hooray.

Wednesday probably would have been another day of salmon salad however I discovered when I went into the kitchen on Wednesday that I had been so caught up in work work work on Tuesday that I failed to put it back in the fridge. I’m willing to break a lot of food safety rules in the name of not throwing things away, however even I will not eat a mayonnaise-based food item that has been sitting on a kitchen counter for 18 hours. So no more salmon salad.

For breakfast I had oatmeal, egg, strawberries, toast with peanut butter. Tried to get caught up on everything I didn’t do Monday and Tuesday, including a trip to the grocery store.

Week Twelve, part I

Week Twelve, part I

I was planning on making empanadas so picked up about half a pound of ground beef (80/20 Ln Grnd Chuc) and a jar of salsa (Fresh Tomatillo Sa). When I was almost home, remembered that I was supposed to get flour. Doh! So no empanadas for Wednesday.

I also got some fruit — strawberries (Berries Straw 1# P) , bananas, and a kiwifruit that was at my price point — along with some green beans to have with the empanadas.

I had a 4:30 phone meeting that got delayed and then I got caught up with other stuff and decided I needed to just finish the project I was supposed to have finished on Tuesday, that got pushed back because I didn’t finish the project that was supposed to be done on Monday until Tuesday. Sent Tuesday’s project off at about 11pm Wednesday and felt very happy. And suddenly very, very hungry.

So I made spaghetti with bread crumbs and also ate a Sahlens hot dog that my mom brought down when she came — which are really nothing like hot dogs you get other places, I don’t even want to call it a hot dog, they’re really good — and had some carrots with hummus while everything else was cooking.

Thursday tried to regroup.

Had the week’s standard breakfast — oatmeal, toast with peanut butter, and a little fruit salad with strawberries and a banana. Got dropped off at King’s after my 4pm tax meeting and picked up a five-pound bag of flour so I could make the previously deferred empanadas.

Week Twelve, part II

Week Twelve, part II

Walked home, made the empanada filling, started to make the dough and remembered that I was also out of baking powder. Doh! So a quick ride to Compare for some baking powder.

Week Twelve, part III

Week Twelve, part III

The empanadas were really good, though not hugely healthy — lots of flour and shortening. I can give the recipe if anyone wants it, it’s from More-with-Less. It’s definitely a loaves and fishes recipe, you get a lot from hardly anything.

Had those for dinner along with steamed green beans.

Then I procrastinated for a while and then talked on the phone and then finally got around to trying to deal with the other work things I’d been ignoring while doing the deadline things on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Due to a series of complications that you really don’t want to hear about, I ended up working very late, not even finishing everything, and then not sleeping well either, which seemed especially cruel. It seems like if you go to bed four or five hours later than you normally do, the least you can expect is to actually fall asleep.

But I did not, so I started Friday in the hole, and had to try to finish the things I should have finished on Thursday, before heading out to Mebane to help my friends at stone circles get ready for their fundraiser on Saturday.

I had a banana and some empanadas while working and then had a lovely afternoon in Mebane chopping vegetables. I also had a nice visit with the resident chickens, who I have to say really don’t look exploited at all. They look pretty darn happy to me. Vegans can say what they will, but I say we should all be so lucky to live like a chicken at the Stone House.

I brought home some eggs from the happy chickens, along with some extra lasagna noodles that didn’t fit in the lasagna that was being made for Saturday.

On my way home I realized that it was later than I thought, and my choice was to eat lasagna noodles for dinner, to stop and get something and eat on the way home, to not eat at all, or to skip my Full Frame film.

Skipping the film wasn’t an option. If I had had a normal week of eating — or even a sort of normal week of eating — I probably would have gone for the lasagna noodles or not eating. However I’d had a week of really not eating right at all, so by this time, I was hungry and decided not to pass up a golden opportunity for some junk food.

So I stopped at Wendy’s in Hillsborough and got a Frosty and a spicy chicken sandwich (which used to be called the Spicy Cajun Chicken Sandwich — I’m always fascinated when things change name like that, did not enough people know what Cajun meant? Did the Cajuns threaten to sue? Did someone complain that it wasn’t really Cajun?). It hit the spot.

Saturday resumed the downward slide.

I was not at all prepared for the demo I was doing at Chapel Hill’s Earth Action Day so I had to spend the morning getting things ready for that, and the thing I thought would take twenty minutes took an hour so I didn’t get out there until two o’clock and then ended up not eating anything while I was there and helping my friend Muriel with the recycling before helping pack up the Swap. So a long day with no food. Otherwise known as Intermittent Fasting.

I’d planned on having a leisurely morning and getting to Southern Village at about one and going to Weaver Street and getting a sandwich or something for lunch, so I was sort of in Weaver Street mode, and even though the lunch didn’t happen, I decided to stop on my way out and get something for dinner.

I was going to see the soccer movie at Central Park, which I’d been hearing about for about three years and was really excited to see, so didn’t have a lot of time but by now was very hungry.

Week Twelve, part IV

Week Twelve, part IV

This was sort of a classic instance of shopping when you’re hungry, which is never good.

I couldn’t decide exactly what I wanted and was going to get a sandwich or something to eat in the car but since I was actually going home I couldn’t talk myself into $5 for a sandwich or $3 to $5 for any of the prepared dips.

Instead I got some grapes (grape white seedless), and some crackers (Crackers Og Rosemary) and a Kind bar (Bar Fruit Nut Deli) and a sparkling lemonade (Sanpel Limonata) to have on the way home. But then my eye was caught by some bread reduced from $3.99 to $2.25 for quick sale. So I got a loaf of that (Reduced Multigrain) and some almond butter (almond butter freshl) (plus $0.25 for the container, Non-foods) to eat with the bread on the way home, instead of the crackers, which were rosemary and would not go well with the almond butter. And then I forgot about the Kind bar, so had grapes and bread with almond butter while I drove. Will save the Kind bar for future use.

For dinner I decided to have this nacho dip that I really love but don’t make very often because the start-up costs for it are huge, I have to buy everything and everything needed for it comes in a large size so it’s almost always $15+, which is normally more than I spend in a week, it just feels totally ridiculous. Also it’s all super high sodium, so it’s really been off the table lately, and not necessarily something I want to eat a bunch of days in a row. But whatever, that was what I wanted.

So I got a package of cheese (A & E Blocks Colby J), a can of spicy refried beans (Refrd Beans Og Pinto), a large bag of my favorite Nana’s Cocina tortilla chips (Nana Cocina Tort Chi), a jar of Green Mountain Gringo salsa (Gr MT Medium Salsa), two roma tomatoes (tomato roma), a jalapeno (pepper jalapeno), and a green pepper (pepper bell green). Total for those is $17.88 (!), and while it is enough for more than for one meal, unlike most of my meals, it’s not a meal I feel good about eating for three or four days in a row. So I really only make this for special occasions. Apparently one of which is when I’ve had a really long week with not very many good meals and I only have an hour to fix dinner and eat before I go out again.

So anyway, I went home and made the dip, which is basically chopped vegetables mixed with salsa, on top of refried beans, with shredded cheese over the top, heated in the oven until everything is hot and the cheese is melted. Eat with tortilla chips. Do not serve to anyone on a low-sodium diet.

(And, for the record, for my own personal accounting, I counted that receipt as $23.97 for food and $6.78 for outside meals, which has a separate budget. But I’ll leave everything together on the Expense Summary Page totals, which I finally updated, so as to not confuse people and make everything hopelessly complicated.)

Then I went and watched Pelada which I totally loved, especially the part where they showed pickup games all over the world being interrupted for things passing through the field — people and donkey carts and chickens — which totally reminded me of when I lived in DC and we played pickup in front of the Capitol and tour buses would let people off on the street in front of where we played and instead of walking around on the sidewalk to get to the building, they would just walk right through the middle of our field like the game wasn’t even going on. Hello? Just one more thing for us to hate the tourists for.

Sunday it was really time to regroup, as most of my deadline stuff was done and I had now been eating from the freezer and pantry for weeks and it was getting to be slim pickings. And I finally had a chance for a shopping trip that wasn’t in the middle of something else.

Week Twelve, part V

Week Twelve, part V

So this was pretty much straight staples reload trip: two bags of pasta (Spaghetti Pasta 16, Fusili Pasta), milk (Whole Milk 32oz) plus bottle deposit, fruit (Yellow Bananas CV, Apples Granny Smith), bulk popcorn (Organic Popcorn), dried fruit (Bulk Organic Pitte), whole wheat English muffins (English muffin whe), a potato (Russet Potatoes), and some seltzer water, which I wanted to mix with the orange juice I had in the freezer from a few weeks ago. I was feeling the need for some potassium to balance out the crazy sodium chips and dip.

When I got back from the store, I had the rest of the grapes from Saturday and a bowl of fresh granola from Bryant, and some strawberries. For a snack I had a very large bowl of popcorn and some seltzer and juice. For dinner I had bacon and scrambled eggs from the happy Stone House chickens and an English muffin with jam.

Overall I think this was probably my worst week in terms of healthy food, and definitely in terms of spending — I spent a total of $66.11, which is a lot! But most of that is making up for really limited purchases for nearly a month.

Also I feel like it was a short-term sacrifice, I felt like if I could just get some of the work out of the way I could try to get back on track again after that was done. And, as I said, once I get into work mode, that’s all I think about. It’s only when I’m done that I start to think about the fact that I haven’t slept or eaten or showered in days.

This was just a bad combination of a work-mode week coupled with other prior commitments — plus procrastination and technical difficulties. And Full Frame. And basketball! At least not all of it was bad.

And I’ll try to get the Week Thirteen report up quickly to get caught up again. But no promises. Life is hard these days.

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