**This might not be especially stimulating at first, but the end is worth it, I promise!!!**
I found myself at Whole Foods a couple of hours ago.
That isn't unusual; we used to go there almost every single day. I get food there, sure, but also shaving cream, toothpaste, etc.
Lately, though, I have been working out a food budget. You all know the story about my husband; he can and will eat anything, so he is happy that I am no longer forcing organic whole wheat pasta and all-natural soda into his adorable face.
"Working out" a food budget means trying to see how much we spend on what we need (in my world, wheatgrass to make juice is a need, but I can do without expensive dried berries and raw nuts...the things make me sick anyway...anyway, it's all relative) each week and figuring from there. I way overshot my gas budget, I guess preparing for the worst in terms of $5 per gallon gas. Really, though, when I get into my routine of yoga, work, gym, I will drive a total of something stupid like 400 miles a month if I don't go a bunch of extra places (where will I go? Shopping??!? Um, no...) and don't waste gas. So I guess we have a little wiggle room for food.
Most people balk at the amount of money we spend on groceries. However, most people don't seem to account for the soda they buy on their way to work, the lunches out, the delivery for dinner, the free things they eat at work or wherever (I don't eat fast food, can't eat food even if it is offered at work unless for some odd reason they have something I can actually eat, and I don't eat at restaurants except the occasional sushi, and that is usually when someone wants to take us out for a birthday or whatever.) So yeah. For a while, we didn't make a food budget, because we didn't need one. We just bought what we wanted, and that was that.
Now, we do need one.
So I set us up for a whopping $360 a month.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA YEAHHHHHHH RIGHT!
Never in a million years. It takes me $400 just to feed my little self with things that don't make me sick or cause some reaction. So I am trying to keep us at $500 a month. Ben gets free food at work. We like Ben getting free food. Free food is good. (And if you want to tell me about my "ridiculous" food budget, add every last Starbucks, fast food, restaurant, and bar receipt to your grocery receipts for a week. If it is really under $125 a week, you are lucky, and I can imagine you don't have any dietary restrictions at all.)
Most people, if you have read this blog at all, know that I try to stick to a raw foods diet. This is mainly because I can't eat anything from a package, because I can't eat soy, wheat, colorings, MSG, many spices, and a whole bunch of other things. (Well, I can, if I want to become ill enough to miss 2-3 days of work and working out, and/or see the doctor.) However, it is very expensive to eat raw (I won't even start to think of how much!) and that is a problem. So, I am making do with a diet that is about 60% raw and eating lentils, plain potatoes, and/or rice for dinner. (These are the only two things that don't disagree with me right now. I have tried oatmeal, oat bran, brown rice pasta, quinoa, teff, handmade granola, soy and wheat free vegan burgers, wheat free bread, etc, etc, etc...and my body liked NONE of them. The burgers were good, but all the onions and garlic and stuff made me sick. Damn.)
Some day I would LOVE to replace my cooked food choices with inexpensive raw foods (so many people eat 100% raw for pretty much free--if you live in the right area, you can basically forage and have all the fresh fruit you want. This makes me want to give up my mountain dream and move to Bali.) Bananas, apples, a whole pineapple for dinner, a bag of grapefruit. I have done this before, with a lot of success, but one, I do eat totally organic now (to me the organic part is more important than 100% raw right now, so if the choice is organic rice or conventional apples, you bet I'm going to eat the rice) and two, my TMJ and teeth are so bad that I cannot chew most things. Yeah. That's the bigger reason why I eat smoothies, mashed up Organic Food Bars, and baked potatoes and lentils. I can't chew a damn apple. I can try, and end up swallowing huge chunks of food that my body cannot handle. All the teeth on the left side of my mouth don't meet, and therefore cannot grind...every tooth is either broken or chipped...and I had a big one extracted last May, so I have a big hole. Thanks to TMJ. God, I sound like your 95-year-old grandmother, don't I?
So yeah, there is my stupid, pathetic food story. Let's hope I can make our new budget work. (Ben gets excited to think of a future filled with dinners consisting entirely of instant mashed potatoes and cheap macaroni and cheese. No, really, he has eaten that for dinner every single night for the past month. Even when I have offered to make mashed potatoes from scratch, or bake a fish filet I found in the back of the freezer. Nope. I call it "ghetto pie" and he loves it. I must say, though, that it is a step up from his obsession in 2007--when we first started dating, it was instant mashed potatoes squashed together with a cheap chicken pot pie. I kid you not.)
Unfortunately, I was unable to resist the siren song of Yoga Journal at the Whole Foods checkout. It has been a relatively long time since I have purchased a magazine. I used to buy about 20 a month (no, really) so this is a huge improvement. I saw it and had to have it. First of all, I will be returning to Bikram yoga at the start of February (and I am not ashamed to say it: my momma is paying for it for a while, to help us out...she knows how much it has helped me) and I want to get back in to doing yoga every day. I liked myself a lot better when I did.
Second of all, I saw the Lululemon ad on the back cover before I even saw the front cover, and just this one ad makes it $4.99 well spent:
That's just...the greatest thing ever. It actually made me get teary-eyed.
Just...wow. I love it!!!
[image: Ann Taylor]Ann Taylor is having a big sitewide sale, but it’s coming to an end tonight!…