Starting on November 25, I’m participating in the 100 Days of Real Food: 14 Week Mini-Challenges. Each week, I’ll post a reminder about my new weekly challenge and a recap of how my week went. I want to engage in this process mindfully and gently. My goal is to find a healthier path overall, which will be easier if I treat myself kindly. You can read the whole series here.
Now, pretend that it is Monday, December 23. That’s when I wrote this, before going on a trip to Nebraska…with no computer. Then, I noticed on the road that I had accidentally cut and paste half of my blog front page onto this post. So, rather than try to delete it on my phone or tablet, I just unpublished it. Real Food Mini-Challenges posts will resume next Monday, after my week hiatus.
This week, my goal was to have no fast food or deep fried food. And I said that it should be a snap. (Direct quote from last week’s post.) Well…it was less of a snap than I anticipated, honestly. This was a surprising week for me, which gives me good insight into the ways I need to adapt my eating habits.
What I Ate This Week
On the surface, this was going to be a great week. I made a really nice salad for my week of lunches: hard boiled egg, bacon, avocado, garbanzo beans, blue cheese, lettuce and green onions. But then, I looked at my calendar. Hello, work lunch celebrations and work happy hours: all. week. long. The standard in most colleges is to work hard through the semester and then celebrate our successes at the end of the term. Well, last week was finals week, so I had lunch at a pizza joint, lunch at a fast food place, and happy hour at a sports bar. Oops.
Successes & Challenges
Breakfasts and dinners were fine. I ate at home and I didn’t go out. Considering that I am breaking a 2-3 bagel per week habit, I consider that a success. But, lunches and happy hours, OMG. Not so successful. I did my best with the menus I encountered, but I wouldn’t say that I followed this week’s directives.
What I’ve learned is that my eating is not always in my control. This is when my eating is challenged the most. I want to be part of the group and enjoy food as the social connector. So, do I advocate for myself and suggest healthy restaurants (in a small city with not a lot of healthy options) or do I go with the flow and order the best options on the menu? This week, I chose the latter. I did eat a serving of french fries (oops) and some tortilla chips that were probably fried (oops, again). But, I didn’t pig out and I didn’t get the worst stuff on the menus.
What I’m Taking Away
In the middle of this holiday season, I’m doing my best and forgiving the rest. As I’m typing this, I’m about to take an 8+ hour trip from Wisconsin to Nebraska and I know that our meal options will be fast food only. So, I’m having a healthy breakfast at home and hopefully finding the best options I can on the road. When I get to Nebraska, I am going to again make the best choices I can, knowing that others will be making the food choices with me.
That being said, I’m going to put a little pause on the challenge. I’ll resume the challenge after my holiday trip and I’m going to start again with Week 4, since it didn’t go so well this week. The first three weeks have given me such a good base to grow from and I’m going to do my best to retain their directives during my trip: 2 veggies/fruits per meal, real beverages only, and less meat (when possible).
See you in a few weeks!