I have been hearing more and more that I am not eating a well balanced diet. What is really scary is what people would have said if I had been posting my diet online before I began this challenge because it certainly contained a lot more junk food than I am currently eating and would have been far less balanced. That, however, doesn’t mean that I should not be eating well balanced meals and this is something that I will try to address as this challenge progresses further.
One of the main problems I have is trying to determine what a well balanced meal is. While searching for this I seem to come across conflicting information – some say that a lot of variety is good while others say that too much variety makes one overeat. What I need to find is something that makes the “balanced diet” easy to understand (it is not good when you get a headache just trying to figure out what a balanced diet is). I know that I am probably not getting enough protein as I should and I could use more of the “super foods” in my diet.
This is part of a continuing challenge to eat well while spending an average of only $1 a day on food. You can find the beginning and the rules of this challenge here
The truth is that I am never going to be a health nut when it comes to food. I like my junk food too much. That’s not to say that I don’t want to be healthy (and I consider myself in pretty good health — despite my recent intestinal problems, all my health stats indicate that I am in pretty decent shape). That being said, it’s something that I will have to work on to help lower some of the criticism of this challenge.
I did manage to go on my morning walk this morning. The early blackberries are getting more difficult to find, but there should be a lot around the corner with blackberry bushes like this now in full bloom with lots of bees buzzing around their flowering fruit:
I was able to find some, but it looks like there is going to be a lag of about a week for more unless I can find some more bushes that haven’t been discovered by others already (while these look a bit under ripe, they are actually the sweetest ones I have come across thus far):
The weather here has warmed up this weekend and I have my fingers crossed that the increase in temperature will help ripen them all more quickly…
These last few days have been extremely hectic as I tried to catch up on my lost productivity from having to go in for some additional testing. With work and my other projects beyond this new challenge, even small disruptions cause a huge backlog in the things I need to get done. I think it is going to take me a bit of time to work out time management issues so that I don’t get too far behind so that I can’t catch up. I actually think that this is a good thing (although quite stressful at times) since it is the time factor that seems to be the biggest worry from most people when it comes to couponing (again, for me, it is the meal preparation, not the couponing)
I had a very simple breakfast of a bowl of Cheerios with half a banana and some of the blackberries on top:
For lunch, I boiled up a couple of eggs and made an egg salad sandwich by adding a bit of onion, some lettuce and a bit of Miracle Whip on whole wheat bread. I cut up a carrot to make carrot sticks to dip into cream cheese and then had a side of corn chips that came from the Hamburger Helper package that I have taken apart:
I asked for help in creating meals and have been flooded with suggestions from people (I still have a bunch to get back to, so if you emailed me and I haven’t responded, that is on my growing list of things to do). It is giving me hope that I will be able to create some interesting meals that are more appetising to all with some practice. I tried the first one of the suggestions from Ruth W. who wrote the following:
Ranch Scalloped Potatoes
Using a small single-serving oven/toaster oven-safe baking dish (or larger if you want leftovers)–it should be at least 1-inch deep–coat the inside of the dish with a light swipe of oil or butter. Wash a couple potatoes and start slicing them thinly (not so thin that they fall apart, but not too thick either). With or without skins, as you prefer.
Place a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish. Top that with a teaspoon or tablespoon of ranch dressing (depends on how big a dish you’re using) and spread the flavor across the layer. Sprinkle dried onion bits across that. Top with a light dusting of flour (will work best if you use a sifter to keep the dusting VERY light).
You may want to slice a turkey frank or two and add it to the layers in this dish, or just cook it separately for your protein with this meal.
Keep layering–potatoes, dressing, onions, flour, maybe turkey frank–until the dish is full. End with a layer of potatoes and dressing.
When the dish is full, pour milk over the layers until you can just see it at the top corners — it should not cover the top layer.
Bake this at 375 until the potatoes feel done when you stick a fork through the layers. (Start checking at 30 minutes). Most of the milk should be absorbed, so it should be neither sloshy nor dry. The top layer should brown slightly.
I decided to do it without the turkey franks (just wasn’t in the mood for that taste tonight). It was funny because I had to take my computer into the kitchen after about 10 minutes because i was getting tired running back and forth to check on my computer what to do next. I ended up using two medium sized potatoes and had plenty left over to eat at a later date:
They turned out quite tasty. I could have probably put a little more ranch dressing in the layers and a bit more of the onion flakes, but it was still good enough for me to go back for seconds. In addition to the scalloped potatoes, Ruth also had a carrot salad for me to make:
Carrot Side Salad
Grate a carrot (or use a peeler to peel it into ribbons, but it will look better if you use a grater). Add a box of raisins. Stir with one teaspoon of Miracle Whip until everything is coated. (Use a bit more if necessary.) Stir in one teaspoon of sugar. Let set in the fridge until the sugar dissolves (about an hour).
Having completed the recipe without burning down the house or requiring another hospital visit, I am encouraged that with some time, effort and practice, there may be a day when I can actually say I know how to cook. Of course, in order to celebrate this I had to have another one of my cups of ice cream in the evening 🙂
Money Spent $34.65
Money left to spend: $26.35 ($1.33 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $793.22