I disappeared off the face of WordPress for awhile because I was finishing up my master’s degree. I haven’t received my grades yet, so I don’t want to declare myself graduated, but I’m done with school, at least for the time being.
I spent my holiday break vegging out at home with Chris. The snowstorm here, which my lovely friend Deanna aptly dubbed the “snowpocalypse,” kept us pretty isolated at home. It was great. I relaxed a lot, and we subsisted mostly on canned soups and tuna and the like. Chris made a ton of awesome cookies using this recipe because he didn’t want to bust out the stand mixer, though he did end up creaming the butter and sugar together with the food processor.
He bought me Mark Bittman’s Food Matters for Christmas which, much to his chagrin, has got me trying to be more conscious of our food consumption. Bittman’s book is in the vein of Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, a book that’s been on my to-do list for some time, and he advocates cutting back on meat and eating a diet mostly of plant foods. He insists this will lead to better personal and planetary health, and his argument is convincing.
There are a few problems with adopting this diet, aside from my husband’s avowed carnivorousness. First of all, we live in Bed Stuy. The nearest grocery store is a Compare Foods that isn’t even listed on Compare Foods’ corporate website, where the produce is expensive and sub-par, and whole grain options are pricey and scarce. Physical access to food aside, even if we had a sparkling Whole Foods nearby, I can’t afford to buy this much unprocessed, whole food. It’s just a fact that Associated brand Macaroni and Cheese and Top Ramen, with their exhaustive and semi-frightening ingredient lists, are insanely cheap. It’s hard to be a young, broke couple starting out. We’re educated enough to know better, but how can we justify spending $100 on groceries each week, when we can spend so much less?
I’m trying to make a few changes. Instead of eating highly processed cold cuts for lunch, I’ve been eating peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread. I’ve been making my own tasty hummus, which is easy and fun, and taking it to work with carrot sticks. I’ve been eating oatmeal instead of processed cereals for breakfast. These changes are affordable, and pleasant. But we’re still buying ground beef to bulk up our dinners, and when I’m lazy, we’re eating Ramen and Mac & Cheese.