July 6, 2011

Good Eats

As much as I hate household chores, I find that you really can't beat the relief and accomplishment of having them finished. A few nights ago I tackled our bedroom and bathroom, I've been slowly catching up on laundry, and last night's challenge was the kitchen. Typically my kitchen stays in pretty good shape because I don't cook just throw everything in the dishwasher (I really do cook, I promise!) After a busy end to last week and spending most of the weekend out of town, though, by yesterday the piles of dishes had started to get ahead of me. Trying to find a clean glass was a bit of a challenge, and I knew that something had to be done. Luckily, I had the perfect motivation: my fridge was also remarkably empty, so after I finally finished cleaning up, I went grocery shopping to restock my freshly organized cabinets.
Confession time: I went to two different grocery stores last night. I started at our brand spankin' new Whole Foods (we've had one for years, but they recently moved and upgraded) and picked up tons of exciting things: butternut squash, mini eggplants, dried fruit, herbed cream cheese, pumpkin seeds, a fantastic loaf of bread, and other fresh and delicious-looking things. I decided to try shopping here this time around in an effort to infuse a little more healthy food into my diet. I have a tough time merging healthy eating with my allergies (peanuts, fresh fruit, and soy) and have to work a little harder to find foods that are good-for-me and also won't-cause-me-to-stop-breathing. It's a delicate balance. Soy can hide in the most unexpected places. I often ponder how much easier life would be if I were allergic to oreos and cupcakes and too much ice cream... but as much as I miss fruit, I'd never be willing to trade! So I was excited to poke around Whole Foods and come out with several healthy eats that I can actually eat.
Of course, on the way home I still had to hit up good old Harris Teeter (I do have sort of a love affair with that store, it's one of my very favorite places) for some staples: gatorade, my favorite yogurt, the pasta sauce I can't live without. I felt guilty going to two stores in one single night, but I knew if I didn't go last night, it would only be a matter of days before I caved in and went to the second store anyway. It's not unheard of me to run by Harris Teeter three times in a week to pick up a few things I need. I think that's why I love the place so much... it's a little like a second home.
When it was time to pack food for work today, I honestly couldn't decide what I wanted to eat first. Everything looked so yummy! I ended up with an english muffin for breakfast, topped with my favorite almond butter and raspberry jam -- so good! For lunch, I brought a few slices of the incredible Whole Foods bread (9 grain something I believe) with a little honey butter I whipped up that complimented it perfectly. I also brought some fresh pineapple (the only fruits I can eat are citrus) and cottage cheese. It's been forever since I've eaten this well at work -- usually my lunches look more like yogurt and pretzels or a boring salad. The best part of this, though: I spent less than I usually do on groceries. I was expecting to pay higher prices (for better quality food), but I was pleasantly surprised by the totals. Definitely beats frozen meals or going out for fast food!
So as much as I procrastinate on the household chore thing, I'm really looking forward to going home to a clean kitchen with all kinds of yummy options for dinner... even though tonight I have to vacuum.



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