My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, January 24, 2010

my weekend report....

Remember how I was bragging about not being sick in 2010? A cold/sinus/upper respiratory thing settled in on me last night. My eyes are burning... my nose is running... and my lungs are junky. Good times. However... I have confidence that this will not be as bad as what I dealt with last year because I now know that I have power over these symptoms by making good food choices.

It's pouring rain outside. I'm keeping my sick self home to rest today and concentrating on putting together healthy meals for the week. It's a slight challenge as we're at that point in the paycheck that I refer to as "living off the bounty of the pantry". However... since I've been actually buying groceries instead of fast food and planning meals instead of doing the dash and dine duty (as opposed to dine and dash - that's something completely different)... I'm confident that we can not only survive off the bounty of the pantry, I know that we can eat well.

Today I've got a crockpot going with dried pintos, onion, green pepper and celery- it's a half bean/half veggie ratio. Better than just plan old beans... better from a nutritional standpoint and also a taste standpoint! We'll eat them with brown rice. The pintos were $1.19 for a bag. The rice was $1.39 for a huge bag - enough to make rice three or four times this week. Onion, pepper and celery is super cheap. Out of these we'll have 3 or 4 meals. At least. I could even add canned tomatoes later in the week to perk it up.

I know it's a challenge to eat healthy on a budget... but it's definitely possible. I bought a bag of frozen chicken breasts for $6.50. Enough for 3 or 4 meals. One meal at Subway is that much by the time you add a drink. (I know this because I had a Subway meal recently - salad and bottle of water and it was over $7!) I bought two bags of frozen salmon (wild - not farm raised) for $3.50 each. Each bag will give us two meals. I have milled flax that can add protein and fiber to a smoothie in the morning - and frozen blueberries and strawberries to make smoothies! Again... a couple of dollars for each bag of frozen fruit but cheaper than driving through McDonalds.

The real cost of nutrition has to factor in not having missed work due to illness. If I can stay healthy, I can stay at work. The days that I go to work sick, I'm making my hourly salary but I'm not doing much to earn commission... and for us to stay ahead on bills, I have to sell stuff. I have to feel good. Some healthy foods aren't cheap... but they're cheaper than missing work!

Last night Austin and I split a pomegranate. We love pomegranates but they're expensive - about $3 each. However... as we spent time together preparing it... seeds and juice everywhere... and then enjoyed it... I realized that we spent less on that piece of fruit than we would on a trip to Dairy Queen. DQ is usually around $3 EACH with absolutely no nutritional benefit.

We love to have baked butternut squash for breakfast. I sprinkle it with nutmeg and cinnamon and bake it in the oven. One butternut squash costs around $2-3 - but it will feed two people for two breakfasts.

Collards are packed with nutrients and incredibly yummy. A package of ready to cook (i.e. cut and washed) collard greens is around $3. I cook them in the crockpot with a little olive oil and salt. One pack will give us around 8 servings each of collards. I think that's a great deal!

My yummy turkey veggie meatloaf that Austin would LIVE on if I would let him... is equal parts turkey and veggies... usually ground chickpeas and whatever else I have on hand. I usually buy canned chickpeas but I could buy dried and make it even more affordable. Using the milled flax seed as a binder stretches it even further, gives it more bulk, protein, fiber and flavor. I typically just save bits and scraps of veggies to toss into the meatloaf.

And then there's oatmeal... a tin of steel cut oats is around $4 - more expensive than traditional oatmeal but it goes a long... long... way.

So even though it's winter and produce isn't in abundance or cheap... it's still FAR cheaper to eat healthy than to eat junk.

Yesterday was "Sugar-Day" ... meaning that it's my treat day. No one can sustain any type of diet that is completely exclusive of things that you love. By designating Saturday as my "ok to indulge" day, it's easier to stay on track during the rest of the week.

Austin and I decided to play tourists and go to Helen. It was a perfect day to go since the busy tourist season has ended and Helen is a ghost town! We walked the length of town (not far - it's about a half mile loop) and had breakfast at Hofbrau - a place that is usually so thick with tourists that you can't even get in the front doors. Austin had corned beef hash (which he loves) and i had french toast (and wished I had gotten the corned beef hash!).

We also decided to indulge at the candy shop. Helen has a couple of those really amazing touristy shops that has the homemade fudge, peanut brittle, caramel apples and just about any other chocolate treat you can think of. Typically we pick something we like and get one or two... like... one or two chocolate covered cherries... just a bite. It's cheaper and it's plenty. He had a caramel apple and I had a chocolate covered pretzel stick.

And that was it. That was the limit of my indulgence for the day... an order of french toast and a chocolate covered pretzel. And it was plenty.... and came in the middle of an hour of walking (strolling).

He's in there coughing and sneezing so I guess I'm not alone.

For lunch yesterday I had the turkey meatloaf and some collards. Dinner was raisin bran and a half of a pomegranate. Snack was some wasabi almonds. I haven't tried to calculate calories or points but I know that what I'm eating is WAAAAY better than what I had been eating... and once again I'm glad that the bakery and North Georgia BBQ are closed for the winter.

We also went to the library. It made our residence here seem so much more permanent but... wow... if I ever come into money I'm going to make a huge donation to the library. It is so small that the entire fiction section is on one of those spiral racks... and half of it is science fiction. The entire building could fit down into the children's section of the library I went to in Jacksonville. There are about twenty parking spots outside the library. It's amazing. Sometimes I forget how small and sparsely populated this area is - especially since we have a good bit of tourist traffic. But the number of people who make this area their full time residence - far, far less than any other place I've lived. To be fair... the Helen library is the newer library in the county. I'll check out the Cleveland library next weekend and hopefully it's a bit bigger with a larger selection. In Georgia your library card is good for almost every library in the state. There's a library near my office, although it's in a different county, I can check books out there as well.

Today I'm going to stay in and rest. Stasha will be mad that I'm not at church this morning (Sorry, Stasha!) but I just want to do everything I can to nip any sickness in the bud. There have been a lot of sick people at church... and I don't want to add to that or pick anything else up. I watched a lot of ice skating yesterday and will watch more today. I'm so excited about the upcoming Olympics! Wow! I just realized that I was in New York during the last Olympics! It's hard to believe it's been that long ago... and hard to believe that my sister-out-law Candice has been a part of our lives for that long!

Hope you all have a great Sunday. Stay warm, safe and dry! *hugs*


Kathy said...

I love my slow cooker too! I am posting my healthy slow cooker recipes on my blog You might fine some that interest you and fit in with your food plan.

stasha said...

I am not mad at you silly! I was just thrown off for a sec at the beginning off the service b/c BOTH you and Angie where not there! but I'm ok now! haha! me and you lunch this week for sure! Love you! :)

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