Monday, October 18
Today I finally had the crucial discussion I needed to help me to continue my no fast-food diet as planned. I spoke with my nutritionist Delinda Horton, the absolute necessity in this experiment. She gave me some much-needed answers to questions concerning my diet.
Delinda told me that my food portions depend on the amount of calories I use daily. “Calories in, calories out,” she said. For me that simple formula gets complicated. True, I don’t get a lot of exercise, although all the lifting and running around I do at my department store job is a workout. But I also can’t pack a lunch or eat out during the day.
Sometimes I survive on just apples. Not a good idea, Delinda told me.
She encouraged small, healthy portions when I can afford it. She also reminded me not to regulate my diet too much right now, since I’m often just trying to survive on what I can afford, and not go hungry.
And get this: I can eat chocolate chip cookies! She told me that I should treat myself to something sweet once a week. This was a concern of mine, since I have a huge sweet tooth. I want to stay committed to this experiment, but everyone has a breaking point. Mine would be going without any sugar.
I have also wrestled with the fast food question. I don’t always know what “fast food” is. Would a salad with lettuce, tomato and cheese from McDonald’s spell the end of my commitment to eating well, especially if I had to choose between that and going hungry? “All fast foods are not bad foods,” Delinda replied.
Where I live right now, I have almost no control over my meals, which are all prepared for and served to me. I can’t request “a little more of this” or “just a little of that.” I do not have a kitchen to use as freely as I please, and I don’t have access to a refrigerator. When it comes to choosing between healthy eating and the cheap convenience of junk food, I feel as if I’m being backed into a corner.
However, I will continue my fight. “Eating healthy – I don’t care what people tell you – costs,” Delinda insisted, summing up much of my experience so far. Until I get paid later this week, I only have enough cash for my hour-long commute between home and work.
Therefore, I will have to figure out what I will do about lunch since I will be at work.
I will have to make the most informed decisions I can about what I eat, as Delinda encouraged me to do. That involves being choosy about the food I’m served at the facility where I am living.
Today for the first time, I actually ate a healthy snack that didn’t taste so bad. My editor Christopher gave me hummus and sugar snap peas to snack on when I let him know that I hadn’t eaten lunch.
“Not bad. Not bad at all,” I thought to myself as the taste of hummus – which I’d never had before – reminded my taste buds of chicken and mayonnaise.
I can do this.