Healthy Eating on the Cheap

You know, temporary unemployment really puts your budget in perspective. Who knew that I’d be paying such close attention to my own advice when it comes to food and finances so soon? After Monday’s pizza pity party, I’ve made it my goal not to spend money on food until the weekend. So all week long, we’re going to be playing my favorite game: pantry roulette!

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Start with an on-its-last-legs zuke from the fridge (purloined from your sister’s CSA share), add a kajillion knife cuts (I really need a mandolin) and some fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and set aside.

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Meanwhile, cook up some whole wheat pasta and stare longingly at the beautiful label on the newest kind of spaghetti sauce you’re trying from Trader Joe’s.

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Add in zucchini “noodles”, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, whatever, and shake it all about.

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Garnish with a random cherry tomato you found at the bottom of the produce drawer and some fresh basil from the plant that you still can’t believe hasn’t died on your windowsill. Eat.

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Another way to save the cash monies when you’re trying to scrimp and save? Eat dinner at the parentals’ house! 😀

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My mom and I made a decadent and delicious meal together for the fam that consisted of creamy mushroom risotto (O.M.G.), chicken, salad, and whole wheat bread for EVOO dippage.

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And fruit for dessert! Crazy exotic fruit, that is.

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Papaya and “dragon eyes” (related to lychees). Mmm.

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The only not-so-economical part of my day? Paying for the mutts to be transformed from their previously shaggy selves into this:

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Worth it. 🙂

Day 1

Hmm, so contrary to all of my at-work daydreams, apparently I am not very good at not working. Yesterday was merely Day 1 of pseudo-unemployment and I managed to spend nearly the entire day playing video games and eating pizza. Womp womp.

I did manage to drag myself out of the house (guilt over singlehandedly eating half a medium pizza is a powerful motivator) for a run. I pounded out a miserable 2 miles (okay, fine! It was 1.9! Geez.) I’m not really sure what caused me to think that going out to run at 4:45 PM in August was a good idea, but just in case you were unaware, let me assure you that it wasn’t. I was drenched in sweat. Somehow, I think it motivated me to run even faster though, just because I wanted it to be over. Or maybe thin-crust Hawaiian is just the perfect pre-run fuel. Either way, I’m proud of getting it done, but the whole day did make me realize I need to formulate a gameplan if I’m going to not be working for a while (the latest reports say that it might be September before Congress reconvenes to resolve the furlough! Ugh!)

So given that I ate 2 “meals” yesterday (overnight oats for breakfast, pizza for lunchdinnerdessert. Oh and a brownie. Oops.) and spent the non-running, non-showering parts of my day pretty much prostrate on my bed, here are my basic tenants of non-working life:

1. Get out of the house at least once a day.
2. Eat normally on a regular schedule, moron.

Pretty simple, eh? I refuse to let myself lose all sense of time and human decency, and so far today I’m on track. I ate breakfast at 8:45 this morning, not 11! Granted, breakfast was a coconut donut, but, well, baby steps. And it was consumed after returning from walking the puppers to the groomer (we live 1/2 a mile from the groomer – convenient, right?) so I knocked two birds out with one stone. It’s all about efficiency, people.

In case you didn’t notice from the yesterday’s puppyriffic post, the pupperonis were starting to look, well, just a smidge shaggy:

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And since the last time I tried to groom my dogs myself didn’t exactly work out as planned, I was happy to drop them off in the hands of some professionals. Even if it is gonna cost a lovely $60 a pop. Er, I mean, a pup. Heh. Not so sure they were as thrilled though…

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Puppy Dog Eyes

Sorry to those of you who may be suffering from pup-picture-overload at this point, but, well, c’mon. It’s me. You kinda knew what you were getting into.

What are your tips for keeping my life on track while I’m on hiatus from working?