So we've discussed the fact that my food choices are lousy, my calories are too low, and I am getting REALLY sick of eating the same shit day in and day out. I think I have found the reason so please allow me to paint you all a quick picture. "Temptation" says "We need to go shopping" so I get a piece of paper and a pen and we sit down to make a list. Cat food, litter, batteries, and bras are the first items on the list. Well we can't eat any of that. Next is milk, cookies, and soda (all "Temptation's" suggestions) ... okey dokey I have proven we can have cookies in the house without me having a melt-down so let him have his cookies. But what next?
Well I try to think of shopping in terms of "meals". What should I eat for breakfast? I have a whole box of mini-wheats that I haven't opened yet because I got sick of them in late November so I guess I'll get some skim milk for myself and start eating those. Fiber One bars were suggested so I'll check those out as a breakfast option too. Lunch: tap, tap, tap goes my pen on the desk. My lunch break is one hour long: now that I'm going to the gym every night I no longer need to spend my lunch breaks working out but I also don't necessarily want to spend them cooking. I prefer to nuke something and watch shows I Tivo'd while at the gym the night before, then do a little crocheting when I'm done eating. Tap, tap, tap. Frozen dinners are easy and nuke-a-ble but they usually taste like crap. Tap, tap, tap. Bagels are easy to snag and munch but I'm getting sick of them. Tap, tap, tap. Finally "Temptation" cuts through my silent revelries with "Let's return the rice cooker, get a foreman grill and I'll make burgers." So I add ground meat, tomatoes, onion, and buns to the list. Tap, tap, tap.
I'll come back to lunch, let's think dinner. Tap, tap, tap. We've had chicken every which way from Sunday for months now so "Temptation" wants red meat. Tap, tap, tap. We could get steaks but every time I try to cook them they come out tough and dry. Tap, tap, tap. Spaghetti goes on the list but I'm getting sick of it too. Tap, tap, tap. Finally we hit the grocery store with a sorry-ass excuse for a list and start our usual routine, up the meat section on the right all the way to the back of the store where dairy is located, then work our way to the front of the store one isle at a time. Except my list sucks and as I pass up the Beef-A-Roni, Mac n' cheese, chef boyardee, and frozen pizza's my eyes scan the isles lined with food and I can't see anything that sparks an idea.
Before we know it we have everything on the list and we're hitting the check-out with two bottles of soda, cookies, pudding, milk, bread, frozen pizza's, a bag of chips, (all for "Temptation") a few cans of veggies, some ground beef, a bag of tomatoes, and pasta sauce. WOOPS! The point I'm trying to make, you ask? I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO SHOP! What I eat sucks because what I buy sucks and what I buy sucks because I spent so long buying the same-old crap that I have no idea how to buy anything else so I end up buying next-to-nothing instead! *ding goes the light over my head as I finally realize this after three months!*
Good eating starts with good shopping, good shopping starts with a list or a plan of some kind but since I don't know what to get or make or buy I get to the store and turn into a deer in headlights. Ok so I bought a cook-book, which you will all hear ALL about later tonight, and I think it's going to help A LOT for dinner ideas and maybe the occasional breakfast or lunch but I need someone to teach me how to shop. Here are my limitations:
- I'm short on tupper-ware and, although I could buy more, I also lack the cupboard space for more than what I already have so pre-cooking and freezing lunches seems like a perfectly sound idea that I really do want to try but it's going to have to be done in moderation. I have plastic zip-locks though so if it's something I can baggy and freeze single servings I'm all for it.
- I shop at Wal-Mart because every time I try to shop anywhere else I get the same stuff and pay twice as much. Wal-Mart has shitty produce and I'm not opposed to hitting fresh and easy for produce and wal-mart for all else but I can't afford to buy things like bread and milk at fresh n' easy, or albertson's, or whole foods because it's literally twice as much.
- I have shitty cook-ware. It's on my list of things to buy. I have a stock pot with no lid, a few sauce pots with one lid, a really bad frying pan, and a skillet (the kind you plug in to the wall), oh and now I have a george foreman.
- "Temptation" is a food natzi except he only eats bad food so ideas must be 2-4 servings max so I can eat them by myself without having so much of them that I get sick of them (like I did the prison soup).
- I'm not a good cook. I'm really not. If it's simple and doesn't require extensive knowledge I can "wing" it or get by but cooking just isn't my forte.
- If it doesn't taste good my motivation to eat it will be low. I'm the kind of person who would rather just not eat than eat something that doesn't taste good. I can force myself to eat something that doesn't taste good but the chances of me forcing myself to cook something that doesn't taste good is highly unlikely. Weird for a fat girl - I know.
- My weekly food budget is approx $100 and that has to include all of "Temptation's" crap.
- I am looking for lunch ideas, something new that I haven't considered before. Dinner is too complex because of "Temptation" so I'll have to work that one out on my own with the help of my new cookbook but lunches are where I really get stuck.
- I get up at 5 am most days to do school work before I have to report for work-work at 7 am so the chances of "getting up early to prep lunch" are highly unlikely.
- My primary focus here is how to shop smart. Recipes are good too but I need lunch ideas that are around 400 cals or less for a single serving and don't require a lot of prep, ingredients, or time. Frozen dinners are obvious; let's see if we can get really creative.