Friday, May 21, 2010

Mailbag Day...5?...6? Does It Matter?

Sorry about flaking yesterday, but I was out from 8:30am to 11:00pm, so I was not able to get a post done.  Double strength blog today.  Today is the last day of the mailbag, so I'll wrap it up with a couple of great ones.

From Amy Vorpahl once more:

What about dating/social events? How does that affect what/how you eat? That's the MOST difficult time for me because I throw out all sense of nutrition knowledge on dates for some reason (or in any social situation)--sometimes I get so nervous about it, I'll decline for that reason only!

Social events are hard.  I have been lucky in a way that most of the events I have been to since starting the diet have been of the pot luck variety.  Because of that I have been able to bring something that works for my diet, which at least gives me an option.  The biggest thing has been to make the best of all available choices.  It comes back to building good habits.  It is unrealistic to think I will always have an ideal dieter's option to eat, but thinking over the long term making the "better" choice when possible adds up to better health over time.  The other tactic has been moderation, which I find really hard.  So far though I have been able to indulge reasonably in adult beverages or the occasional treat without going crazy (like I want to sometimes).  As long as it is one or two beers or cocktails, or a taste and no more of things that are less than ideal then I feel okay about it in a party situation.  As for dating, well, when I get one I will probably eat whatever I want to celebrate.  I am completely fine with a cheat meal (not day) every once in a blue moon, but honestly I would rather have the consistency unless I have something to celebrate.

And this one is another Maureen Allen question:

How has your new diet affected your budget? Has it been more expensive to shop for healthier foods? Where do you do most of your healthy shopping?

It has been more expensive, but not by much.  I order out far less than I did before, so that is a big savings.  Surprisingly I am probably eating more food now than I did before, it is just much better for me, so that has added to the grocery bill.  I shop at the usual grocery store when in a crunch, but will try to get to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods when I can afford them.  I like going to the latter places not for organics or things like that, which are nice, but not something I buy into much, but rather for variety.  I eat cheese with my breakfast everyday, and at Whole Foods I can get aged Gouda from overseas, or a new aged Swiss I have never tried.  I have eaten the same breakfast almost 90% of the time and I have yet to get tired of it because of the variety I have been able to achieve at the store.  I can also get healthy frozen meals, ethnic ingredients, and some produce that your usual Jewel or Dominick's doesn't carry.  All of that adds up to more cost, but when you add in the fact that I haven't bought a soda in 4 months (on which I was spending probably $20 a week), that I only eat order take out maybe twice a month now, and that I quit smoking last year (God knows how much wasted money went there) I have been able to cover the costs.  I have even had some disposable income to buy new things for the kitchen or new and exotic ingredients that may cost a bit more.  It has been a large factor in my success and money well spent.

That's it!  The mailbag is closed.  That doesn't mean I don't welcome questions or comments in the future, though.  It has been great to examine my progress through your questions, many of which I hadn't thought of until you asked.  As the Joes would say, "knowing is half the battle", and through this examination I have come to know more of the elements to my success. Tomorrow is accountability day.  See you then.

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