by Liz on 02.13

Standards of living have slackened in the old Moorhead house these days. A combination of lacking money, lacking time and lacking creativity has landed us in a fattening food rut.

Back when Josh was still working full time and I was at home by myself with Little Josh all day, I enjoyed trying to piece together meals and snacks that were healthy and delicious and inexpensive all at once. It was like a tasty puzzle.We had a really modest monthly grocery budget, and still managed to eat pretty well.

Then, you know, job loss struck and our “modest budget” diminished to “nonexistent” and we were forced to eat only whatever was in the house. That meant our mostly fresh vegetable and whole grain diet got swapped for boxed pasta and frozen meat.


A few months and several pounds later, we’re both feeling sluggish and haven’t enjoyed food in awhile. Scraping to put together a meal out of whatever scraps are left in the cabinet isn’t exactly a fun or rewarding kind of puzzle. This extra weight and lethargy feels especially unfair because it wasn’t even enjoyably gained! It’s not like I went on a cheese fry binge or decided, screw it, I’m eating ice cream every day for breakfast. Not fair.


So, it’s time for some changes around here. I feel newly motivated to figure out some ways to get fresh vegetables on the table, and for awhile, we’re hoping to go totally veg to balance that steady intake of refined carbs and heavy meats.


Have you ever slipped into gross eating habits by no fault of your own?


Your Comments | Add a Comment

Lauren says:
Feb 13, 2012 6:46 am

yes. It’s called visiting my in-laws or the Glaswegian diet. Delicious but so far from nutritious. It’s sad because though they are lovely people we actually have to avoid staying with them for too long because the temptation to just have what everyone else is having is too strong.


Emily says:
Feb 13, 2012 10:28 am

Yes to in-laws. I always feel so gross after a few days staying with them, and it totally makes me want to cut our trip short. But their issue is the opposite of yours, Liz – they just don’t like cooking and eat out for virtually every meal, so you end up with those big oily restaurant portions for every lunch and dinner instead of just specially budgeted nights out.

Good for you, going veg! I hope you all start feeling great soon. And earn a few days of ice cream for breakfast :)


Evie says:
Feb 13, 2012 11:17 am

Oh, lord, my in-laws as well. We call it the ‘beige diet’ when we visit, nothing has any color whatsoever.


Jaclyn says:
Feb 13, 2012 9:00 am

Ugh, I hear ya. Food is expensive. I can’t believe how much food prices have skyrocketed (at least here in Ontario…) My mom told me what her food budget was for two adults and three teenagers — It was approx. what Dan and I spend to feed the two of us now. You couldn’t feed a family on that nowadays. And by nowadays I mean like 8 years later. :(


craftosaurus says:
Feb 13, 2012 9:20 am

Totally. It happens to me to some degree every winter. I can’t WAIT for summer, with veggies in the yard, and just more variety available (without breaking the bank) in general.


Sitting in a tree. says:
Feb 13, 2012 10:00 am

Oh I definitely slip into bad food habits, but sadly, it’s almost always all my fault. Or maybe just the fault of the delicious pre-packaged high calorie chemical filled food. No, it’s me.


Erin says:
Feb 13, 2012 10:06 am

Same here, sad to say. Sigh.


Alycia says:
Feb 13, 2012 3:31 pm

Liz, are you close to a Produce Junction? It might be worth a trip because you can get so much fresh produce for so little. It’s pretty far from being locally grown, but it is a cheaper way of getting those much coveted fruits and veggies on the table.
Good luck!


liz says:
Feb 13, 2012 4:17 pm

Thanks, yeah, they’re my favorite! Unfortunately, most of the veggies there aren’t very… sturdy? So even though we’re getting, say, 3 heads of romaine for $1.50, the last two heads go bad before we get to use them! Have you had better luck?


Alycia says:
Feb 14, 2012 10:23 am

So true! My luck varies with the Junction too. And it sucks to waste all that food…I usually get so inspired when I buy it but once I am home I ask myself what is a single person going to do with two pounds of mushrooms??!


nikki says:
Feb 13, 2012 6:27 pm

some veggies I have to buy fresh (tomatoes, onions, lettuce) but a lot of the time I buy frozen ones — spinach, green beans, carrots, broccoli, you name it. I just throw them into whatever I’m making, or microwave them with a wet paper towel on top for a few minutes to steam them.


kathleen says:
Feb 13, 2012 7:58 pm

YES. for so, so many reasons. definitely the in-laws (“vegetables are for the cows!” “I don’t think you put enough butter and cheese on the broccoli – add more.” “so since you’re a vegetarian, what do you eat??”) also the whole convenience thing. but I guess at the end of the day, it’s all my fault :-)


Lyn says:
Feb 14, 2012 4:28 pm

Our average diet consists of tons of vegetables and fresh meats, with as few processed/packaged food products as possible (including sauces). And let me tell you, it is CRIMINAL how expensive this method of eating is. I rarely get a chance to don my tinfoil hat, but when you take a step back and really marvel at how — in the span of 60 or 70 years — the food industry and our diets became centered around the concepts of convenience and cheapness, it makes me incredibly paranoid about all the different levels of stuff in our food. It boggles my mind that I have to pay so much more for the privilege of eating something WITHOUT rBGH in it, you know?

My friend and I were having a convo the other day about how incredibly effed up it is that “better” eating is only available to those with the money to pay for it. “Gross” eating habits are the norm in this country out of socioeconomic necessity, and changing that would mean a radical shift in the entire structure of the food industries, not to mention mentality/habits.

But, um, yeah. Here I go trainwrecking your comments once more. I still enjoy the occasional slip into gross eating now and again. What’s up, boxed mac & cheese and sour patch kids?


Jo says:
Feb 19, 2012 3:13 pm

I have worked so hard lately to eat a lot of fruit/veg. It makes a HUGE difference in how I feel–and a HUGE difference in our grocery budget.

I’ve found that the farmer’s market during the summer is a good place to get cheap veg as they’re about to close (they sell for pennies) but that’s very seasonal.


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