WIAW: Good Groceries

G’day eaters!

This week is kicking my butt a little. As in, I fell asleep as soon as I climbed into bed at 10pm last night. I tried so hard to stay awake, but I failed miserably.

(Side note: my mind is in such work mode that I almost typed “10p” instead of “10pm,” because that’s how we write times at work. And I spend a lot of time writing out times.)




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So here’s yesterday’s food.

Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and cheese, with an apricot on the side.

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and cheese, with an apricot on the side.

I felt the need to eat somewhat healthy yesterday since I barely even thought about vegetables while at the beach. Also, I was dying to eat an apricot.

Apricots are one of my favorite fruits, but I never buy them because they’re so expensive. And because half their weight is air and a pit.

WIAW702

Sadly, these apricots weren’t too great, which only reaffirmed my thought that I like them dried better than fresh.

Lunch:

Nachos made with tortilla chips, TJ's black bean dip, avocado, Wholly Salsa, jalapeños, Cabot cheddar, and hot sauce.

Nachos made with tortilla chips, TJ’s black bean dip, avocado, Wholly Salsa, jalapeños, Cabot cheddar, and hot sauce.

As I was unpacking groceries on Monday I was dreaming up this lunch. I love breakfast nachos and having fresh avocado, homegrown jalapenos, and black bean dip from Trader Joe’s makes them all the better.

Dinner:

Bean and chicken bake.

Bean and chicken bake.

I got the idea for this recipe from Kath’s blog. I was drawn to it because it’s so versatile and we always have chicken in the freezer. Here’s my scaled down version with white kidney beans, grape tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, and a bone-in skin-on chicken thigh and leg.

Bean and Chicken Bake

Yields 2 servings

1 can beans, drained and rinsed

2 c vegetables, chopped

2 T fresh herbs, chopped

1 T oil, plus a little extra

1 T acid

2 chicken pieces

salt and pepper

Mix the beans, vegetable, herbs, oil, and acid in a baking dish with salt and pepper.

Rub oil over the tops of the chicken and add salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the baking dish on top of the bean mixture.

Bake at 425F for 35-45 minutes, depending what parts of the chicken you use.

This dinner ended up being delicious, without being too wintery. And it was a great way to use up our small stash of tomatoes, since neither Leon nor I eat raw tomatoes.

Snacks:

Throughout the day I kept dipping my hand into a tub of Trader Joe’s animal crackers and sipping some of my homebrewed kombucha.

And there you have it — a pretty normal day of eats. If I was more sensible about my snacking I would have kept my hands out of the cookie jar and instead made myself a solid afternoon snack, but that didn’t happen. Not yesterday. not today. And I won’t have time for it tomorrow, either.

Maybe Friday?

Your turn, eaters:

What are some of your favorite groceries that you rarely buy?

Are you a snacker/mini-meal person or a grazer?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Back On Track

G’day eaters!

It’s Wednesday. I’m exhausted and the hard part of my week hasn’t even started yet.

How are you doing?

Ha! Sorry to complain. I’m adjusting to having two jobs (I’ll tell you more about that eventually) and still trying to figure out how to fit the rest of my life around them, so I’m a little worse for wear right now.

I’m especially worse for wear because, after a few too many days of a few too many treats and a little too little movement, I’m trying to tighten up my healthy intentions again. And I don’t care how healthy you eat or how hard you workout, getting back on track after a little detour is always hard.

It’s especially hard when all you want to eat is pizza and cake and a job that makes you especially sedentary.


Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with leeks and apples with cinnamon and pb.

Scrambled eggs with leeks and apples with cinnamon and pb.

I had leftover leeks that needed using and I figured they would add enough flavor to my eggs to make this very healthy, but very over-eaten breakfast more palatable. I also added some cinnamon to my apple for the same reason.

Lunch:

Leftover moo shu vegetables and sweet and sour chicken.

Leftover moo shu vegetables and sweet and sour chicken.

Not the healthiest (with the deep fried sweet and sour chicken), but the moo shu vegetables weren’t too bad a choice.

I followed this up with lots and lots of mints, because this was a little stinky for an office lunch.

Pre-Crossfit:

Half an apple and pb with a GNC wheybolic protein shake to fuel me through my workout.

Crossfit:

We did a burpee ladder yesterday and it was a surprising ass kicker.

The ladder goes: 1 burpee, 1 breath, 2 burpees, 2 breathes, 3 burpees, 3 breathes, etc. all the way up to 10 and back down. (You, of course, could breathe as much as you wanted while performing the burpees.)

I really thought it would be easy, because I can easily do 10 burpees in a row, but the breathing part kicked my ass. My body wanted to breath fast and shallow, but to maximize my rest time, I wanted to take slow and deep breathes.

I was fighting a losing battle.

Dinner:

Homegrown lettuce with bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, and steak.

Homegrown lettuce with bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, and steak.

I really wanted a frozen pizza, but we had a ton of homegrown lettuce that needed to be eaten up and, ya know, frozen pizza isn’t really the healthiest meal.

I compromised with myself by saving that if I got hungry after dinner I could have dessert — vanilla pound cake with vanilla Greek yogurt and berries — but I never got hungry.

So I ended up with a pretty damn healthy day. I managed to resist the candy dish full of peanut M&Ms, too.

In a couple of days I know that my cravings for junk food will pass and I’ll be back to my usual 75/25 (or 80/20, if I’m feeling ambitious) balance. But until then, I’ll keep chugging water and reminding myself that no one has ever died from not eating enough candy.

Your turn, eaters:

How do you handle cravings?

Tell me about the last workout you did that was a surprise ass kicker.

Later eaters!

WIAW: Magical Mexican Soup

G’day eaters!

I want to start off by saying a big ole Congratulations to Jenn, the host of WIAW, for getting knocked up!

Everyone around me seems to be getting pregnant. It’s awesome and all, but…

I really hope it’s not contagious.


Pre Crossfit:

Half an apple. A lot of pb. A vanilla whey protein shake.

Crossfit:

#PROOF of my 105# floor press PR!

#PROOF of my 105# floor press PR!

PRs are my favorite.

Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and avocado, and a pair of cuties.

Scrambled eggs with bell pepper and avocado, and a pair of cuties.

This is my new typical breakfast.

Yup, I’m still on the scrambled eggs and cooked veg breakfast.

Side note — these are the smallest, cutest clementines I’ve ever seen. I finally feel like I’m getting “cuties,” not like those small-ish oranges I’ve been calling “cuties” all these years.

Lunch:

A Cobb salad of sorts — bib lettuce (my favorite!), rotisserie chicken, bacon, bell pepper, cheddar, avocado, and balsamic dressing.

A Cobb salad of sorts — bib lettuce (my favorite!), rotisserie chicken, bacon, bell pepper, cheddar, avocado, and balsamic dressing.

Look! I did something “healthy living blogger”-like and made my lunch the night before while I was making breakfast. Let’s ignore the fact that I ate it at home.

Another pair of cuties.

Another pair of cuties.

Having it ready was still mighty handy.

Snack:

Let’s play the game where you don’t scold me for buying a giant bag of Twizzlers because it was $1 and I won’t pretend I only ate one serving.

Dinner:

This meal knocked my socks off! That’s real talk, eaters. Real talk.

A pork tamales and a pair of salsas, because I was indecisive.

A pork tamales and a pair of salsas, because I was indecisive.

First, I made the pork tamales over the weekend as part of my thesis. And while they were good on the day I made them, they were so much better a few days later when the exhaustion of making them had worn off.

Second, this soup was pure magic. I wanted to make some sort of lazy tortilla soup so I mixed a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and then leftover “broth” from the tamale meat (which was the pork cooking water pureed with cooked garlic and cooked onion). I added a little bit of spice and pureed the whole deal again.

The most magical of all Mexican soups, topped with cheddar and tortilla chip crumbles.

The most magical of all Mexican soups, topped with cheddar and tortilla chip crumbles.

And by the grace of the Mexican food gods (who I imagine have heads made out of grilled cheese sandwiches) it ab-so-freaking-lutely rocked!

The end.

Your turn, eaters:

What was the last winging-it meal that turned out magical for you?

What’s your favorite candy?

Later eaters!

Pre-Thanksgiving Feast

Hi eaters.

It’s been a long and slightly painful day, thanks to a visit to the chiropractor.

But Leon bought me pie for dinner dessert and now my dog is lying on top of my leg (yes, just the one leg) so I’m pretty happy.

Now let’s talk Thanksgiving, shall we?!

Dinner was set for 3pm on Saturday, so the cooking started on Thursday. And the bulk of it was done of Friday. But we still had plenty of cooking to do Saturday morning.

I'm in my cooking crevice.

So while Leon and I cooked, Mother set the table.

Light and airy, just like I like it.

As you can see, I kept it all very simple. I fell in love with the idea of butcher paper and crayons, so that’s exactly what we did.

Crayons in reused jars, because they're classier than the crayon box.

And then I went around and wrote everyone’s name above his or her plate. (Fyi, “his or her” is the proper pronoun here, not “their.” #WordNerd)

While everyone was mingling we snacked on a little appetizer plate of cheese and crackers and dips and a bowl of candied almonds that Leon made.

Three cheeses. Three spreads. Two crackers.

Please don’t confuse the three cheeses and three dips as any sort of pairing. The only thing that was even slightly paired was the goat’s milk brie and mixed berry jam.

And finally, after a long morning and one last frantic cooking spree, dinner was served.

The most beautiful bird I've ever seen.

On the menu:

Guinness roasted turkey, sausage and cornbread stuffing, Eureka Paprika split pea soup, mashed potatoes, balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts, wild mushroom and butternut squash risotto, cranberry chutney (a simpler version than the recipe I posted here), a massaged kale salad with roasted acorn squash, 1/3 whole wheat rolls, gravy, and maple butter.

Yes, that is our unused flat sheet used as a tablecloth.

I think that’s it. I’ll be posting recipes for a lot of those dishes this week, so stay tuned.

I piled my plate high and ate every bite. And surprisingly, I didn’t feel grossly full. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that everything save for the turkey, stuffing, and gravy was vegan.

So.Freaking.Good.

Mother’s boyfriend is vegan and I certainly don’t mind vegan food, obviously. And once Leon agreed to make mashed potatoes with Earth Balance and coconut milk we were set.

Anyway, everything turned out really, surprisingly well. The Brussels sprouts were a touch underdone, but that was the only glitch so I was beyond thrilled.

I was so thrilled by how well everything went that all day I was walking around punching the air and yelling “O’Doyles rule!” (Two points if you can tell me what movie that’s from.)

Everyone retired to the RV for a while (Did I mention that Mother and her boyfriend drove up in his giant RV?) to watch the NC State vs Clemson game. I took a little nap first. And then we had dessert.

Dippables.

I know I was talking in my earlier post about bourbon sweet potato casserole and vegan coconut nutmeg pudding. But when I thought about it, I really didn’t need another complicated thing to the list of things to cook. So I went easy. Really easy.

Thanks to this fondue, I've got a really awesome chocolate tip to post about.

And it doesn’t get easier than chocolate fondue in a crockpot, let me tell you.

The only problem with chocolate fondue is that there are no leftovers, hence the pie for dinner tonight.

Possibly the best part of the whole day, though, was that Mother did ALL the dishes. But then, Charlie’s bow tie is a close second.

Isn't he handsome?

What do you think, eaters:

Could you vegan-ize or mostly vegan-ize your Thanksgiving feast? What wouldn’t you compromise on?

What would be the best thing a house guest could give you/do for you?

G’night eaters!

PS — Seriously, get ready for as many Thanksgiving recipes as I can cram in before Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Teaser

Hiya eaters!

My family was in town for our Pre-Thanksgiving party. A great time was had by all, but boy, did it make for a stressful week.

Luckily, it all paid off with roughly 48 hours of fun and food with my family.

But now both Leon and I are absolutely exhausted. And I’m laying in bed eating leftover hardened chocolate fondue off a spoon.

12.5 lbs of golden poultry perfection.

So for tonight, I’ll leave you with this picture of the gorgeous turkey Leon cooked and a promise to be back tomorrow with the first of a few recipes that you should almost definitely work into your Thanksgiving menu.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you have your Thanksgiving menus set?

And for my Canadian eaters, what was your favorite dish at your Thanksgiving?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Spoiler

Hello eaters!

Sorry I didn’t post anything last night. I got so caught up in watching the election results. I seriously did not expect it to get called so fast.

But now that the election is over I look forward seeing less tweets and statuses about politics and more about high school girls posting passive aggressive things about their frenemies.

Because seriously, those are hilarious!

Alright, time to get down to business.


Breakfast #1:

You know what a few apple slices and some pb look like, right? If not, see here, here, here, or below.

Crossfit:

Class on Tuesday was so freaking frustrating. We did the benchmark “Cindy:”

20 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible)

5 pull ups

10 push ups

15 squats

I’d done this WOD before and got 14 full rounds plus 5 pull ups (which were jump assisted for me then) and 5 push ups.

The idea with these benchmarks is to see how much you’ve improved. Ya know, improve your time/score and the weight/skill level of what you’re doing.

So logically I should have gotten more than 14+5,5 rounds and been able to do the workout with kipping pull ups.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, I got 12+5,7 with kipping pull ups the first 3 rounds and then a more difficult than before jump assisted pull up.

I know I could have done a lot better had my back not made kipping pull ups really painful and that once my injury is all healed up that I’ll be back to beasting benchmarks like before, but it doesn’t make this any less frustrating.

End whine.

Breakfast #2:

Rotisserie chicken, lettuce, and avocado on Great Harvest higher protein Dakota.

I really need to work on taking faster showers so that I actually have time to make breakfast. Instead, I eat things like this while running around the house trying to leave on time. (Spoiler: I still never leave on time.)

Chiropractor:

During this appointment we went over my x-rays, planned out my treatment, and then I got an adjustment.

I’m going to go into all the details tomorrow, I promise. (And tomorrow I’ll have copies of my x-rays, which will be really cool. Right?)

Homework:

It’s really not amusing when professors think that you not only don’t have other classes, but that their class is your full time job.

Lunch:

Ghetto fried rice.

Here’s a recipe: almost completely scramble an egg, add in leftover rice and stir fry, drizzle a bit of oil, and mix everything together over medium-low heat. And then you have ghetto fried rice.

Snack #1:

Please don’t try to get how many mini packets of Whoppers I ate yesterday. (Spoiler: the bag is empty.)

Snack #2:

Apple and pb.

While I was eating this in class it came up that one of my friends had only ever eaten Granny Smith apples. He even asked if pb and cinnamon were good on apples besides Granny Smith.

I was blown away.

Dinner:

Moo shu vegetables time 2 plus a few bites of sweet and sour chicken.

Chinese twice in one day? Yup, it was take out night for the week and I was craving moo shu vegetables. (Spoiler: I ate that for breakfast today.)

Dessert:

Wine while I watched the election results. And then some more Whoppers.

What do you think, eaters:

What’s one food/cuisine that you could eat almost every day?

How do you deal with being injured?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Cheesy

Hellooo eaters!

I’m smack dab in the middle of another busy day and I’m trying to keep myself pumped up and going.

Ya know, #SoProductiveItHurts.

So let’s do this…


Breakfast #1:

Self explanatory.

Do you know what this means?

It means I finally bit the bullet and went to Crossfit at 6:30am on a day when I worked 10am-3pm and then went to class from 4pm-8pm. And I’m so glad I did because…

Crossfit:

I don’t remember anything about Crossfit yesterday except for the fact that I DID KIPPING PULL UPS!

I did several pairs of kipping pull ups. And I was so shocked and excited when I got that first one that I almost jumped down off the bar.

It was freaking awesome!

Breakfast #2:

Savory oats with spinach, cheese, chia seeds, and a fried egg.

Can you tell that my fridge is getting bare?

Oh well, this was tasty and pretty darn close to Zone balanced.

Snack #1:

A carrot with sunflower seed butter. Half a cheese on rye sandwich. Assorted Jelly Bellys.

I didn’t get to take my break and eat my snack until much later than I had hoped, so I went with the carrot and sunflower seed butter and DIDN’T scrape the container clean in hopes of not ruining my appetite for lunch.

Lunch:

Leftover seitan chili with cheese.

Leftovers are my favorite, especially when I can use someone’s microwave to heat them up.

Ya, I don’t have a microwave.

Snack #2:

After my second cup of coffee and my first class I scarfed down my mini cheese on rye sandwich with a side of Jelly Belly. Then I spent two hours playing with text on Photoshop.

Dinner:

Baked chicken breast stuffed with balsamic Swiss chard, and roasted red and sweet potatoes.

This was already in the oven by the time I got home from school, which was beyond wonderful.

Dessert:

A sliver of cake and an extra hot cup of tea ended my night and warmed me up a bit in my extra cold house.

Did I mention the gas for our heat isn’t getting turned on until Monday? Yeah, this cold business is getting old.

Side note — Did you see how I managed to work cheese into most of my meals/snacks yesterday? I only missed breakfast #1, snack #1, and dinner. Oh, and dessert. Does that make me a winner?

Your turn, eaters:

Do you eat dessert at home?

How many cups of coffee do you drink a day? How many is too many? Same question about cheese.

Later eaters!

Chicken & Waffles

‘Ello eaters!

Another day of running around and doing lots of homework is in the books. Isn’t that a lovely feeling?

Sure, there were points in my day when I reallyreallyREALLY wished that my schedule was a lot lighter and I could lounge around like I did during the summer. But I almost wouldn’t trade the feeling of satisfied exhaustion I have after a long day.

And that’s how I feel right now — satisfied and exhausted. And thoroughly satiated.

Which brings me to…

Ya know how I off handedly mentioned in my Things That Make Me Smile post from the other day that I’m reading a book for my thesis?

Well, I finished it the other day. Not only is it a very approachable book for anyone looking to get into personal essay or memoir writing, but it is full of prompts to get your juices flowing. And one of those prompts — in the section about writing gastronomical essays — was about the best meal you’ve ever had.

Now I don’t know what the best meal I’ve ever eaten is, but I do know one meal that I still can’t get out of my head — the Apricot Chipotle Roasted Chicken on a Cheddar Maple Waffle that I ate from The Half King the last time I was in NYC.

Yup, chicken & waffles.

Class and sophistication are clearly not lost on me.

Since that meal was on my mind Monday when I was meal planning (and since Leon brought to the house a waffle iron that I’m yet to use) I decided it was high time that I tried to bastardize that meal.

Yup, bastardize.

Once again — pure class and sophistication right here.

Spicy Chicken & Sweet Potato Waffles

Waffle recipe adapted from Amazing Paleo. Meal inspired by The Half King.

Chicken

1 chicken leg-thigh segment (or two legs or two thighs)

2 T oil, divided

1/2 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1 t (smoked) paprika

½ t chili powder

½ t cayenne (or as hot as you can handle)

If need be, separate the leg and thigh.

Mix all the seasonings together. Coat both pieces in about half the oil and then rub each part with the spice mixture. Drizzle the rest of the oil onto the bottom of a glass baking pan and place the chicken in it.

Bake in a 375F oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

Waffles

1 medium sweet potato, baked

2 eggs

2 T agave

½ t baking soda

½ t salt

1 c almond meal/flour

¼ c corn meal

3 T oil

Slice the sweet potato into hunks and toss it into your food processor. Whirl it away until it forms a chunky paste. Add the eggs, agave, and oil, and whirl away until it’s smooth and well combined. Add the dry ingredients and whirl away until smooth and well combined.

Thick batter isn't a bad thing here.

Note — This batter will be considerably thicker than your regular boxed waffle mix. That’s fine.

Spoon ~1/5 of the batter (~1/3 c) into the middle of a greased waffle iron. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until your waffle iron says it’s done (if you’re fancy like that).

Greens

3 c hearty greens, roughly chopped (I used Swiss Chard, but kale or maybe collards would work)

¼ c apple cider vinegar

½ T butter

Pour the vinegar into a pan and bring it to low-medium heat. Cook the vinegar for 6-8 minutes, swirling regularly. Add the butter and swirl it until it melts. Add the chopped greens and toss constantly for 1-2 minutes, or until the leave are wilted to your desired consistency.

Layer half of the greens on top of a waffle and top it with your deliciously baked chicken and get ready for a truly unforgettable bastardized experience.

I’ll be honest — this doesn’t compare to my chicken & waffle from The Half King. Maybe nothing ever will.

But this stack of sorta Southern comfort is still ah-maze-ing.

And I’ll be honest again — part of the reason it’s so ah-maze-ing is because it just doesn’t seem like all the parts should work together.

But somehow they do, they really do. And when you get that perfect bite of hearty, cakey, slightly sweet waffle, tangy and refreshing greens, and hot, spicy, juicy chicken, you’ll understand.

And then you’ll eat the leftover waffles with butter and syrup for breakfast.

Dinner and breakfast in one tasty swoop.

What do you think, eaters:

How do you feel about chicken n’ waffles?

Pancakes or waffles? And do you dip your bacon in the syrup?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: And Then…

G’day eaters!

Tomorrow I leave for Vermont and I’m so freaking ‘cited!

But because today is not tomorrow, let’s talk about yesterday.

That’s logical, right?


Crossfit:

I had every intention of going at 6am yesterday, but with a super long day ahead of me I decided that sleep was more important.

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with chia seeds and a plum, topped with peanut butter, and a piece of bacon on the side.

We still haven’t turned the heat on and it’s been getting a little nippy in the mornings. So I used that excuse to not eat the same breakfast I’ve been eating forever.

It was glorious.

And then I chugged the last few sips of my tea and left for work.

Snack:

A pear and Justin's maple almond butter, and a Balance bar.

Halfway through my shift I took a snack break for what was by then a slightly scraped up pear and almond butter.

And then I chugged the last half of my first tall coffee of the day and got back to folding denim.

Lunch:

A salad with bib lettuce, yellow bell pepper, a bit of chicken, a piece of bacon, and balsamic vinaigrette with lots of pepper.

After work I headed over to school, found a sunny bench, and enjoyed this really delicious lunch.

A cheese sandwich on Great Harvest High Protein Dakota bread.

And then I quickly grabbed my second tall coffee of the day, skimmed a few chapters in my textbook, and did research for a project that my professor hasn’t assigned yet.

Snack:

After my first class I ate the Balance bar pictured above.

And then I spent two hours doing a pretty stupid PhotoShop project that involved lots and lots of rotating and lasso selecting. But in the end I turned a picture of a pear into a line of Rockettes, so that’s kind of cool, right?

Dinner:

A roast beef, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese sandwich with tater tots from the Lindley Filling Station.

After school I went home and figured out what take out to order because neither Leon nor I felt like cooking or doing dishes.

And then Leon went to pick it up. And I ate the whole thing.

And that’s it. Another super busy day in the books, but I’m more then okay with it because it brought me one day closer to Vermont.

#HotDamnHooray!

Your turn, eaters:

What’s more important to you — sleep or exercise?

What are some lunchbox-appropriate snacks I can start packing?

Later eaters!

Invest in Your Food

G’evening eaters!

I hope your Mondays were good.

After a weekend of no exercise and lots of junk food I was beyond thrilled to hit up Crossfit, eat some vegetables, and drink plenty of water today. And I did just that!

In the process of all of that, I had a pretty interesting conversation about food costs that I thought you eaters might be interested in.
After we finished the WOD at Crossfit this morning (which was called “Death By Pull Ups”), the coach and a few of us got to talking about food. I don’t really know how we got on the subject, but we started talking about where we grocery shop.

Allow me to paraphrase the conversation:

My friend Nikki (who is easily the strongest, most nicely badass girl at the gym) and I: We shop at Whole Foods.

This other guy, Jamie: I’ve been to WF a few times, but I didn’t like it. I shop at Harris Teeter.

Our coach, Blaine: WF is nice, but I feel like it’s a bit of a rip off because you’re paying a premium for the experience.

Me: I don’t think so. I think you’re paying for a whole different product. Sure, WF’s whole, raw chickens are considerably more expensive than Harris Teeter’s, but they’re organic and free range and antibiotic free. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a chicken like that at Teeter.

Nikkii: I’ve seen chickens like that at Teeter, but they’re often more expensive than at WFs.

Blaine: Yeah. Recently my wife and I decided to start buying better quality food and our food costs went up to total about 10% of our income, which felt like a big jump, but in reality aren’t really a lot.

Nikkii: That does feel like a lot, but I think that’s just because Americans spend the least amount on food, in terms of percentage of their income. And we’re going to pay for that down the line.

There was also some talk of Tyson chickens and the size of almond butter jars, but this was the main gist of the conversation: Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than almost any other country in the world.

And frankly, that’s really bad.

Source.

Why is that really bad?

Because the reason we’re able to spend so little on food is because we thrive on convenience and/or factory produced foods. And we’ll pay for all of that ease and convenience down the line (or not so far down the line) with the inconvenience of sickness and disease.

Example: I saw in a Target weekly flyer a few weeks back that a 2.5 lbs bag of frozen chicken breasts was $5.

Now for most people that sounds like an awesome deal, right? I mean, if you figure each chicken breast is about half a pound, then that 2.5 lbs bag has about 5 breasts in it. So a dollar per chicken breast is an awesome deal, right?

Not when you think about what it took to produce a chicken breast that cheaply. Not when you think about all the hormones and antibiotics (which are needed to combat the sickness caused by substandard living conditions) that are pumped into that chicken breast. Not when you think about the quality of life of the animal and the quality of meat that’s produced when a chicken grows from chick to full grown in something like two months.

This WF chicken weighs 3.9 lbs and cost $10.43.

Example: A 10 oz bag of Popeye Field Select baby spinach is $2.69, which equals $0.27 per ounce. A 5 oz bag of Earthbound Organic baby spinach is $3.69, which equals $0.74 per ounce.

It seems like the logical choice would be to pick the conventional spinach. Not only are you getting more spinach to eat that week (which seems like the healthy thing, right?), but it’s roughly a third of the cost, ounce for ounce, of the organic leaves.

But then when you factor in the residues from 48 pesticides found on conventional spinach, which includes 8 known or probably carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 8 neurotoxins, and 6 developmental/reproductive toxins, suddenly that extra $0.47 per ounce doesn’t seem so outrageous, does it?

So what’s the point of this long, preachy post?

If you can financially afford to, invest in your food. Invest as much as you can in the food you eat. You may not be able to tell a difference now, but in the long run, after years of NOT subjecting your body to carcinogens and neurotoxins and antibiotics and growth hormones, you’ll be very glad you did.

Alright. That’s the end of my preaching for the night.

What do you think, eaters:

Why do you buy organic? Why don’t you?

Are you willing to spend more money on food?

G’night eaters!