Month: June 2015

Eating Well Doesn’t Cost A Lot of Money

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to cook. Mom started me out baking cookies and from then showed me how to make soup, spaghetti (it was never called pasta at Our house), fried chicken, potato salad, how to bake cakes and all the staples. But I went farther in my love for cooking. So much so that I almost prefer watching the cooking shows on PBS than I do most fictional television. Right now, I’m stuck on New Scandinavian Cooking and John Besh’s New Orleans Cuisine. He rocks.

Because money is tight, I’ve had to reign in my food expenditures, like everything else. This doesn’t mean I still don’t eat well. I might even be eating better. Not having extra money means I don’t eat out, I don’t spend money on extras like snacks or rich, packaged foods and nearly everything I consume now is made from scratch.

Now that most everything I make is from scratch, I can be pickier about the sources of my food. I try to make sure that most of my produce is organic. Sure, not all of it is going to be. But the majority is. One way to cut down on my costs is to only buy what I will consume. This seems like such a simple thing, but it’s really not so easy. Most packaging isn’t made for us single folk, so again, I do better buying the basic products or in bulk, where I can determine just how much I need.

This weekend I roasted a whole chicken. It’s my most favorite food, honestly. But it’s also great because I can make meals out of it all week. And then, I’ll make soup from the bones. I bought a free-range, organic chicken for around $11.00 at Trader Joe’s and it will be two meals a day for me at least through Wednesday. I will probably freeze most of the soup.

There is a cost on my time with all this good eating. I need to do more shopping than most, and that means more shopping in a few more places. I go to Trader Joe’s, the local vegetarian co-op, Farmer’s Markets and even the grocery store if I need basics.

I also plan out my meals. This not only helps my budget, but my weight. I’m losing pounds, to get down to my best running weight and I couldn’t be successful without having alternatives to the empty calories I used to turn to when hungry lurks. I know myself. I know how I get when I’m hungry and have no healthy alternatives  to eat. Take tonight. Even after dinner I was hungry. I waited 20 minutes to see if I was really still hungry and I was. Over the weekend I bought a big bag of deliciously sweet cherries and had a handful of those. That was perfect! They filled me up, cured my sweet tooth and gave me some nutrition besides.

Our lives are busy, I understand. But even though they are busy, there is time to take some moments to think about what we’re eating. This doesn’t mean you need to stop eating out, but maybe think about cooking once in a while. I’ll try to include more recipes in the future, with pictures of course.

Cheers!

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Full Days and a Good Run

My days are nearly completely filled now. Sometimes it takes all my strength and will power to stick to the plan and do what I need to do.

I’m commuting to Oakland now that the office has moved. And it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it really is. It takes extra time and energy and being away from the center of a big city during the day is disappointing. But it is life at the moment, so I’m accepting it for now.

Much of my extra time has been spent studying for my NASM personal trainer’s exam. I’ve taken the practice exam a couple times and did well, so I’ll take the final this weekend. Then I’ll be ready to take the CPT exam in July. I need to pass both of those. And I will.

Most of the rest of the time when I’m not sleeping is spent running or going to the YMCA, or planning my runs or workouts. I have two half marathons this summer and a full marathon in December. I love running so much, more than anything else I do in my whole life. Nothing else brings me the joy of the feeling I get when I’m cruising on a great run.

Such as tonight. I ran 4 miles through Golden Gate Park. It was a lovely night. I took some side paths, dirt paths and main roads. I crissed-crossed and looped around. I had no course set before I left home, I just knew I wanted to run 4 miles. It was magnificent.

At the end of the run, Credence Clearwater Revival started playing “Run Through the Jungle” and I ran across a raccoon feasting on some breadcrumbs left out for the ducks at a small pond. It couldn’t have cared less if I was there. Being a Big City Raccoon, it was used to people and had no fear of us, there was dinner to eat!

Raccoon in GGP

My life right now is filled with pressure, stress; there are lots of problems and things to worry about. But I’m going to try my best to quiet down the worries. I know being hard on myself isn’t going to solve anything. But maybe a good run will help, if only for the moment….

Cheers!

Crawling Is Better Than Not Moving At All…

Last week three very negative things happened. First, the company I work for moved across the bay. No more walking to work. No more nice walks at lunch. No more quick trips to Trader Joe’s or the gym after work. In fact, I now have to shell out $136 per month in commuting costs. Secondly, my favorite team, the New York Rangers lost in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the last thing, I got a very bad cold for the first time in over a year.

I did go on my first run in over a week last night. It was only two miles, and really hard, especially when my throat got dry it started to hurt. But it lifted my very down spirits just by running.

My life has been really difficult these past few weeks…a slow 2-mile run was all I could muster last night. And that was enough for me to feel better, to have a slightly better attitude.

I ran again tonight, this time for three miles. It was still difficult, but a teeny bit less so. I wore my hydration vest, so I brought water and throat lozenges with me. This was the first time I’ve ever run sucking on a lozenge, but it helped my sore throat for part of my run. I’m nearly over my cold, but when I breathe heavy my throat is still dry and hurts, so that helped a lot. Other than that, the run was good.

I’ve been sidelined long enough; I can’t allow sickness to take me out of my training any longer.

Financially, I’m strapped in a bad way and until I find a better paying position things will be harsh for a while. I really have to find a way to pay for my entry into the California International Marathon this December. And somehow a trip to Florida next year looks unfeasible at the moment. But, hopefully things will get better. At least I’m running again.

Cheers!