My family made it through day one of the two-week vegetarian challenge not only intact, but with another participant; my employee, Stephanie Hall, has joined us on our quest to eat meat free. This will make my journey so much easier with support at work, where I spend the majority of my time. And Stephanie has excellent eating habits that will hopefully rub off on me — as long as they don't involve condiments.
Last night I did something I haven't done in years. I went to the grocery store. By myself.
I used to love this time alone, taking an hour or two to fill my cart, reading labels and plotting total meal plans while utilizing my dozens of coupons. Since my foray into retail management I've let my husband do this work and we've relied heavily on processed foods and whatever slop is the easiest to whip out. The store was incredibly crowded but I still found it relaxing, getting back to my core and this task I have missed over the years.
The total bill: $112.00. I'm not the cheapest shopper, as I aim for glass bottles over plastic and buy fresh/frozen over canned. I also kept the menu safe and flavorful so we are less likely to fall off the bandwagon; pasta, fruit, and salad greens topped the cart. My daughter goes ape for black olives so I bought a hummus that she might enjoy, and polenta to try with salsa and beans. The only bad part of my grocery experience was not realizing how much plastic is used to house the vegetables. Next time I will be more prepared with a bigger bevy of reusable bags.
Day one and I've already learned some lessons. The food I brought to work (two boiled eggs, a salad made with greens, carrots, pumpkin seeds and cottage cheese) did not suffice for my thirteen hour shift. My next lunch sack will be brimming with grab-n-go's like celery sticks or chunks of cheese. Something to snack on so I'm not tempted by the vending machines.
On the agenda tomorrow? I've already made my peanut butter and honey sandwich for breakfast, the meal I've skipped most of my life. I can tell by the rumble in my stomach that I'll definitely have a hard time waiting until then to eat it!