Year Of Efficient Eating

Scourering My Way Forward

Pot scourers work better when they are chilled.  Rubbish.  So why did I find two packets of scourers in the fridge?  This mythological chilling might be a palatable option if the idea of impending senility is desirably far-fetched.  A realistic option could be a subconscious recognition that cleaning up my eating habits fell into yet another hole yesterday when too much food hit the garbage bin.  Time to clean up my act – again.

Six months in.  The Year of Efficient Eating started with a surge.  The tide has been going in and out ever since.

Where it all started

The aim of my Year of Efficient Eating was … to … eat more efficiently … and to enjoy the benefits that would come from changing some bad habits.  The financial benefit was upper most in my mind.  Efficient usually means using less and spending less.  Weight loss would be a great added bonus.

Original Posts:  The Year Of … and Introduction

What’s been happening

It has become less about spending less and more about shifting what I spend it on.  Right from the beginning, the focus was the minimum daily requirement to meet the body’s needs.  By eating the right amount of protein and fibre each day, and knowing/avoiding which foods disagree with me, a lot of the bad stuff has just fallen away.  Not all of it but a decent chunk and pushing on is a worthwhile proposition.

So, I flipped through my Year Of posts to remind myself where I started, what I was thinking (not “what was I thinking!”)and to reflect on successes and failures.  Below is a quick update.

The Gear

Good tools are very important for the success of any project.  Investing in a slow cooker and steamer is paying dividends.

Original Post:  January 5th – Slow Cooking.

The Food

Protein turned out to be the best place to start.  Protein = Energy.  And with the success of my first food group came the enthusiasm to continue.  On the down side, I found it difficult meeting the daily minimum because it is linked to weight – the heavier you are the more protein you need to eat.  The higher cost of protein is a great argument for the economic benefits of weight loss.

Original Post:  January 18th – Protein Got To Eat More Of It.

I was then captured by the lure of sustainable fish consumption.  “Vary the types of fish you eat” was the message.  Unfortunately, I fell into the habit of only buying deboned and skinned flathead fillets.  They cost a little more but made life so easy.  I reaffirm my commitment to buy different varieties when I’m at the farmers’ market in future.

Original Posts:  January 8th – Protein Fish;
and January 24th – Fish From The Farmers Market.

Finding a milk I liked was a bonus that came with a very subtle lesson I could easily have missed.  Surprisingly, it is easy to get addicted to things that are good for you.

Original Post:  February 3rd – Protein Milk.

And still in the diary section, baked ricotta also taught me a lesson.  Some things should not be overdone.  Putting baked ricotta in my salad three days in a row was not a good idea.  It was a couple of weeks before I could stomach buying it again.

Original Post:  February 9th – Protein Baked Ricotta.

The fibre category proved the most difficult and, perhaps consequently, the most interesting.  I cannot rely on grains and cereals because they do not agree with me.  So, it has been a delightful foray into the worlds of fruits and vegetables, with much to learn.  The local farmers market is proving a useful source for edible oranges and apples.  The best way to learn about the look, smell and feel of ripe fruit is to compare a ripe piece side-by-side with an unripe one.

A pile of oranges and apples sits on my kitchen counter.  I checked over the pieces to see which will be the best eating for that day.  Sometimes, the answer is “not any of them”.  They’re just not quite ready yet.  Thankfully, the local supermarket usually has a nice stock of grapes and mandarins this time of year.

Original Posts:  February 17th – Fibre;
February 25th – Vegetables Oranges;
and March 21st – Guaranteeing The Fruit Supply.

The Salt

Removing excess salt has been worthwhile.  I’m now noticing the taste of salt in processed foods, finding it very unpleasant and, as a result, trying to avoid them.  For example, the well-known brand of cheesecake I ate yesterday had my heart racing for the wrong reason.  One piece might have been OK, but the salt content makes it more-ish.  I’m also noticing how a salty item at breakfast – a chilly cheese scroll from the bakery each week day – leads to a regular craving for a salty bread item and a hunt for something similar on the weekends.

Original Post:  June 2nd – Salt.

The Cravings

In spite of the cheesecake failure, I can report that the idea of visual distraction works.  I regret to report that my flip book of images was not practical.  In contrast, and with much simplicity, just blinking quickly while moving one’s head from side to side can be enough distraction to switch off the cravings.  (Beware disorientation – no falling over or bumping into things).  But, like many habit changing strategies, the biggest stumbling block occurs at that decisive moment.  Will I or won’t I bother to blink?

Original Post:  February 11th – Cravings.

What next?

There are other categories to tackle – sugar and fat.  There’s the thorny issue of how much to drink and what to drink.  And then, having worked out the daily minimum requirements and established some good habits, it will be time to address the issue of dollars.

I suppose a yearly resolution should take a year to resolve.

But I’m really worried now.  Having found the scourers in the fridge, I’m wondering why they are still there?