As you already know if you follow me on Twitter, on Thursday I made the decision to stop drinking coffee! Writing I Can’t Quit You, Coffee (and reading your mostly unsympathetic comments about it) motivated me to make the change. Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is one of the most important personal goals I have, and I believe that drinking coffee every day is not supportive of that goal. When I’ve tried in the past to completely give up coffee, it hasn’t worked because I enjoy it so much. Life isn’t all about getting yourself in shape to run 26.2 miles, and I have lots of intellectual needs and goals as well. Going to Barnes & Noble on a Saturday and getting a cup of (caffeinated) coffee while I browse the new math, science, and gambling books is just too perfect an experience to never have again. So that’s why with this new commitment to give up coffee, I’m allowing myself one morning of caffeinated bliss each week. It’s so much more blissful when it’s just once a week anyway.
So that’s the plan, and I expect you to hold me to it. One great thing about writing this blog is that my commitments are broadcast to everyone I know, and to many that I don’t! So breaking them makes me look like a real horse’s ass. If you need to get leverage to make some changes in your life, just start a blog!
The Joy of Vegetarian Grocery Shopping
I went grocery shopping today and bought ingredients for the week’s meals, and as I was standing in the checkout line it occurred to me just how different our diet is than what most people are eating. The woman behind me had some frozen fried jalapeno poppers, Kool-Aid popsicles, and lots of other processed stuff, the healthiest of which was some prepackaged deli turkey slices. The most disturbing part to me is that her kids have to eat this way, and to grow up believing that it’s the “normal” way to eat. I’m not criticizing, because it wasn’t all that long ago that my grocery basket looked like this (ok, save for the popsicles). But something about standing in that line made crystal-clear the enormous discrepancy between these two ways of eating week in and week out. If our bodies literally become what we put into them, then it should be no surprise that hers has become a pile of s***.
But eating this way is, of course, much more expensive than an ordinary diet. Wrong! Stop buying meat and your wallet will get swoll’ ! I spent 90 dollars at the store today and got enough food to feed myself and Erin for the entire week, buying mostly high-quality and organic groceries. And it would be easy to make it even cheaper by skipping the organics, if thriftiness were your primary goal. I realize that a grocery list isn’t exactly riveting blog content, but just this once I want to list every item I bought today, just to give those of you eating the “normal” diet a little extra boost:
- red onions
- sweet potatoes
- portobello caps
- frozen blueberries
- frozen strawberries
- frozen cherries
- Trop 50 orange juice
- chipotle salsa
- organic popcorn
- oat bran
- Post Grape-Nuts
- whole wheat couscous
- organic rolled oats
- La Brea whole grain bread
- small-batch roasted decaf coffee
- Wasa multigrain crispbreads
- organic whole wheat fusilli pasta
- Kitchen Basics vegetable stock
- diced tomatoes
- black beans
That’s it; nothing more, nothing less. No fish this week, but that wasn’t by design. We just happened not to pick any fish recipes. In fact, it looks like this week’s diet is actually vegan. Who knew? And before you say that we can’t possibly making anything resembling a decent meal out of those ingredients, keep an open mind and check back during the week. The black bean and sweet potato enchiladas I’ve been salivating about are up tonight! And yesterday I made Patatas Bravas, a Spanish tapas-style dish, so one day this week I’ll put up two posts to make up for yesterday’s gaping hole in the post calender.