Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life, Emotions and Food

***  I'm going to go a little offtopic here today - if you don't want to listen to me rant and rave about stress and life, you're welcome to move on to the next article in your blog reader.  ;-)  ***

I know - it's been quiet around here, hasn't it?  Ever since my mom left a week ago Monday, I've been going through a bit of ennui.  (You can thank Gilmore Girls for adding that word to my vocabulary.)  It wasn't really depression - believe me, I know the signs - but more of an uninspired moment of boredom with my life. 

I've had these moments before - I think all writers do.  Your muse isn't talking, the wolves are the door, the kids are screaming and fighting, and all you want to do it crawl under your desk, plug your ears, and hum loudly.  (Actually, I've done that - it doesn't work but it does make the kids leave you alone for a while.)

Now, I'll be the first to tell you that I'm an emotional eater - most of the women in my family are.  Food has always been our best buddy when it came to dealing with crisis and stress.  (Explains why we're all overweight, doesn't it?)  Whenever these moments of ennui hit me in the past, I'd run straight into the arms of something sweet and not stopped eating until the mean people went away.

But not this time....

When the storm clouds of self-doubt and chaos began to form around my head, I "circled the wagons", turning all of my attention and energies towards my family and myself.  I did a lot of writing and meditation.  I read funny stuff and watched comedies on Netflix to keep my spirits up.  I got away from the computer and spent as much time as I could outside in the spring sunlight, getting a good dose of VitD in me. I did stuff and spent time around other people. 

Most importantly, I kept an eye on my eating.  I'll tell you from experience that yes, you can binge on Paleo-friendly foods and that yes, you will gain weight from it, and that yes, you will feel like shit the next day.  I wasn't going to let that happen - not this time.  So, I made a concerted effort to plan my meals and log everything into  Keeping myself accountable really help reel in those "bury my feelings by eating everything in the house" moments.

Thankfully, the darkness began to lift this week - it's nice to see the light again.  You can always tell when I'm recovering from an illness (mental or physical) because I want to clean clean clean.  I don't think my kitchen floor has ever been this clean before.  I'm also starting to reorganize my life, make a list of things that need to be done, and slowly ramp back up into the chaos that is my life.  And most importantly, I'm writing again.  Yeah!!!

So, all I can say now is....Hello, life!  I'm ready to rumble!  ;-)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time vs. Money - Conversations With my Mom

(( looks like Blogger rolled back a full 24 hours, and in the process, ate yesterday's post.  So, I'm going to try to recreate it but I'm not sure it if will be the grandeur that it once was.  Sorry for anyone who tried to reach the post in the last 24 hours and only found a 404 page.))

Hi y'all!  My mom is visiting this week, which has kind of thrown our normal schedule up in the air.  From her comments and looks, I have a feeling she thinks I spend waaaaay too much time on the computer (she can't seem to understand that that's my job...but that's another story for another blog! ;-)  ) so I'm trying to keep my internet time to a minimum.

Anyway, my mom made 2 comments this week that I thought I'd share here:

1) "Cooking from scratch is good and all...but doesn't it take up a lot of your time?" - We have much to teach her, don't we?

2) "You sure eat well for someone who's on such a limited budget." - Yes...yes, we do.

Even though these conversations happened a few days apart, they are very much related.  To me, the Paleo lifestyle can be "easy and expensive" or "a little harder but cheaper".  If you have the money, you can enjoy some of the finer (and easier to cook) cuts of meat like steak or boneless chicken breast that you can quickly fry up for dinner or buy the prepackaged already-clean-and-prepared veggies in a bag.

On the other hand, the Paleo lifestyle is still very much reachable for those of us on a "limited income" as long as we're willing to work for it.  I don't mind buying bone-in chicken (I get the bones to make broth - yum!) or having to wash and cut up heads of romaine for a salad.  I enjoy being inventive with what I find on sale that week...but that's me!  I love to cook!

So, yes, Paleo can take some time and effort, but I swear, it's well worth it!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Chunk o' Pig

What better way to wake up in the morning to find a 10 lb pork shoulder roast beautifully cooking in your oven? 

No, the protein fairies didn't come for a visit last night (I wish they would!).  On the way home from my Friday night dinner with friends, I stopped at Lucky's Grocery store and bought one of the pork roasts that were on sale ($1.19/lb .... the other store, Safeway, had them for $1.49 / lb on the same week!  Insanity!).  Got home, popped it into the oven, following Jamie Oliver's Overnight Pork recipe, and went to bed. 

Woke up this morning to a delicious smelling house...  MMmmmm...pork......

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Food Budget Update 2011 - April Update

My household food budget remains the same for 2011 - $200 to 225 a month (the extra $25 is for when I find a great deal on protein or other bulk items).  I thought I'd periodically post my expenses throughout the year of 2011 to show that yes, it is possible to eat Paleo on a Budget.

April was an nice quiet month for us.  We are slowly but surely eating our way through the food in the freezer.  I ended up cleaning it out again just to see what was still in there.  That's when I discovered a couple packages of last Christmas' ham in the back.  Oops!  Gotta eat those!

Anyway, here are my April receipts:

You'll notice that there's not a lot of fruit on that list.  That's because we're still eating our way through the box of apples that my friend gave me last month.  The kids will probably finish those off in May so I'll have to start getting inventive about fruit purchases. ;-)

My mom arrives tomorrow for a 10-day long visit.  I'm looking forward to her visit....but man, that's going to play havoc with my $200/month food budget.  I'm having to keep her visit in mind while buying groceries and restock the freezer with protein this last weekend.  I hope she doesn't mind eating a lot of chicken! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Have The Most Fun Conversations....

Target had a sale on eggs this last week - 99 cents a dozen.  Since I don't get a Target ad every week, I didn't know this (oops!).  So imagine my happiness when I saw the sale sign on their cooler!  YAH!  I picked up 16 dozen - enough for the next 2 weeks (I usually buy 5 dozen per week but my mom is coming up for a 10 day long visit and I need the extra).

I got up to the checkout, dump everything but the eggs on the belt, and handed the cashier one dozen eggs.

"I have 16 of these," I told her, "And don't worry about bagging them."

She glanced into the cart and then at me...and then at the cart, "Wow, that's a lot of eggs."

"Yes.  Yes, it is."

She starts scanning my items, "I hope you don't mind me asking but...what do you do with all of those eggs?"

This is where I had to stop myself from spouting some sarcastic, foolish thing that probably would have gotten me in trouble. ***

Instead, I told her plain and simple, "We eat them."



*** I had the greatest urge to tell her, "Oh, I'm going to fling them at cars off the freeway overpass." or "Hatch them into chickens.  Cheap protein." 

You're welcome to add your own comebacks below...  ;-)