I’ve been on a mission to save money and the planet by spending less and using less. Like for many people, food has been a primary culprit in my house.
So yesterday I decided to try something I had done a few months ago, that is, eating only what I already have in the house.
Mind you, I haven’t done a decent grocery shop in a couple of weeks, but I knew that with my pantry and cupboards there was no way I didn’t have enough to survive.
When I’m waking up on time and not rushing off to work, my typical breakfast is 2 scrambled eggs with onion, mushroom, peppers and asparagus on a slice of toast. And, of course, coffee which I drink black on weekdays. When I’m in a rush I’ll have a peanut butter sandwich and a banana with my coffee.
So yesterday I had no eggs, no bread, no waffles. Things were looking dire. I had just gone for a bike ride and my metabolism was in high gear, so cereal was not going to cut it. No food after a workout is a recipe for my turning into a raging bitch before my body gives up and I become a lethargic zombie. No words. No thoughts. Dead inside.
Here’s what I was able to come up with.
While it wasn’t my usual comfort food, it was pretty filling. Next time, I’ll take it off of the stove sooner and add more liquid. It gets thick so quickly.
Ingredients: Whole grain oats, tri-colored quinoa (any kind would do) organic milled flax seeds, dried cranberries, nutmeg. You can add almond milk and honey as well.
For lunch I got super lazy as I was so busy that I wasn’t thinking about food until I was starving. And we all know the bad decisions that are made through desperation. My answer to lunch was this.
Naturally, I was hungry again 20 minutes later and had to figure out a second lunch. Basically, my morning work out was wasted on empty carbs. Great job, Lyz.
So back to the drawing board. I actually had to think for a bit before I figured out what I could put together. Finally I was able to assemble this.
This was really good. I had totally forgotten that I had veggie burgers in my freezer and there’s always some sort of pasta in the house. If I didn’t have sauce, I would’ve used ketchup, which I actually love on pasta. My whole family does.
Dinner was an embarrassment. When I tweeted about wanting to cut up some cheese instead of packing, I wasn’t kidding.
I love cheese! With crackers! And fig jam! Yes, it’s a terrible dinner, I could’ve eaten the leftover pasta and another veggie burger, but damn it I wanted this so bad. I justified it by telling myself that I could either have dinner and then cheese, or I could save the calories and just have the cheese.
Anyhow, I hope that this inspires you to try the challenge out for yourself. I’ve done it a few times and I’m always shocked at how wrong my perception of how much food I have actually is. It reminds me of just how fortunate I am in my life to have so much food that I forget what I actually have. But I don’t just want to feel more grateful, I want to do better.
If you try this out, please let me know how it goes, or better yet, make a post about it. I’m calling it the Zero Dollars Food Challenge. Btw, typically when I’m doing this for a week at a time, I’ll allow myself $15 that week to spend on restocking, usually produce.
Here is a list of ways to spend less on food.
Our planet is in desperate need of help. The problem of worldwide hunger is incomprehensible and, quite frankly, vulgar. This is just one step, but a step moves us forward. I know that the problems of this world can feel overwhelming. I feel the same way. However, starting with our own home is possible and does make a difference.
I challenge you!
Good luck and good vibes. Mother Earth loves you.