I'm really enjoying this. Okay, so I haven't been nearly as strict as I should be on it, but it has changed my perspective significantly.
I'm enjoying quite a bit more energy - something that goes hand in hand with my new exercise buzz. I had decided that I would get some exercise after new years in an attempt to save me some money. Wait... Save money? Yep. Save money. I was having back problems and seeing a chiropractor who was charging me near on $50 / visit. I realised that all I really needed to do was to get out there and allow my back to sort itself. So $50 / week saved - just by getting some exercise. Of course, I went for a free option - plugged into a pair of headphones while jogging around and up and down Mt Eden. I've even gotten the rowing machine out - so that gives me an option for winter.
The kitchen was getting painted and so I found myself without a kitchen for a little under a week. Sod it - I can pause the project for a week right? Only it was REALLY difficult. The way that I eat has changed significantly. A burger and some chips from Burger Fuel one day for lunch cost around $15 - and I felt like crap afterwards. It wasn't that the food was particularly bad. It's just that my body has adjusted to meals that have a focus on fibre and nutrition (I think). I don't eat nearly as much as I used to and the meals I've been making don't really have a great deal of fat.
Funnily enough, I haven't been losing weight as you'd expect. The combination of the change in food and exercise has me building muscle. I'm hoping for a bit of weight loss soon though I'm kind of enjoying having the muscle tone.
What really surprised me though is that I'm not struggling with this. Okay, so I could do with a few more recipes. But the food is satisfying. I'm not missing the expensive ingredients (I watched an episode of Master Chef Master Class where one of the chef's was talking about anchovies and claimed the reason people don't like them normally is because they're eating cheap anchovies. He then went on to say that at his restaurant they use anchovies that cost $1.60 / fillet. That's almost a meal!) TOO much.
But what's really surprised me is the contrast between $2.25 / meal and what people see as reasonable. Someone said to me that they'd brought a huge (2 litre container) amount of salad for $18! She was horrendously excited about it. $18?!? While I've got to admit it was an okay salad (I prefer my beetroot to be in smaller bits - small cubes or grated), that's ridiculous. A few years ago I considered anything under $10 to be a bargain.
Which brings me to an interesting point. I didn't realise that I had gone to a primary school that was considered "decile 10". Basically, in a wealthy (The decile system also has letters associated to it. So decile 1A is the poorest of the poor while a 10Z - I don't believe this actually exists - would be scaringly wealthy) area. It turns out that no one around me considers themselves to be well off BUT they live in an area that's considered well above average in terms of income. What do I conclude from this? That we're taught to live outside of our means and to view ourselves as not as good off as the next person.
So what would happen to the weekly grocery bill if we all started to look at what food items we're actually buying and buying more... appropriately? Would we still all look for that $15 steak? Would a "price of a cup of coffee" still be used as an indication of how inconsequential an amount was?
Oh - one bill has increased. Given my exercise, I'm now having to wash my clothing on a heavy cycle rather than just regular. So a bit more water and electricity. Still, given the benefits, that's a sacrifice I'm perfectly willing to make.
While we're on the whole diet discussion - I always hate it when the news comes up with a story about how some food item is unhealthy for you because someone was an idiot consumed stupid amounts of something. The latest in that vein has been the Coke death. The woman in question had had health problems for months leading up to her death and didn't consider up to 10 litres a day of Coke to not be in her own best interest. She had fair warning and STILL didn't do anything about it. I remember a few years ago there was something similar said about smart drinks. ANYTHING consumed in stupid quantities will kill you - Too much oxygen (concentrations above 50%) will kill you. So will too much water (drowning and water overdose).... This warning's been given before.
Super Size Me was spurred on by lawsuits against MacDonald's about their food being unhealthy. People should know better... or listen to their body's warnings.