Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adventures in Shopping

I made a quick shopping expedition to my local Whole Foods Market yesterday after work. Here was my list: milk, tomatoes, dates, coconut, almond butter, cayenne pepper, dried basil. I added a pint of half-and-half, since I've been missing drinking coffee in the mornings. Over the course of the evening, the milk went into a batch of yogurt, while the tomatoes are now cooling their heels in a tasty marinara sauce.

While walking down the canned fish aisle (picked up some tinned sardines and kippered herring), I stopped and perused a snack. Unfortunately, the aisle which contains canned fish also contains most of the fried carbohydrate snacks: potato chips, tortilla chips, cheesy poofs. While they may be all-natural, that doesn't mean they're good for me. A package of Inka Chips made its way into my hand. The ingredient list is brief: plantains, palm olein, and sea salt. Achieves a snack trifecta: crunchy, salty, sweet.

I resisted. I had to. I feel as though I can't let any packaged food into my life right now, so that I can break the cycle of junk food. (Seriously, yesterday there were cookies, pastries, and pretzels all over the break room. I could have just grabbed three or four of the large cookies and eaten them in secret. No one would know, so no one would care. No one, except myself. It's still hard to pass up free carbs.)

These brief moments of struggle enable me to understand how hard it can be for most people to eat only real food. It takes so much time and energy.

Take the marinara sauce, for which I peeled and chopped seven tomatoes, one onion, and three cloves of garlic. Once it started simmering, I could walk away from the stove, but still had to come back periodically in order to stir. Tonight I'm going to pluck all the leaves off my basil plant, wash and chop, then mix them in. Compare this to the ease of buying a jar of sauce. To some people, it just doesn't make sense to cook. For me, it is all worth it. (Though I wish I could have bought the tomatoes at a farmers' market. Must plan ahead next time.)

Of course, now I'm thinking that I should find some plantains, slice them thinly, then roast them in my oven. I can have my chips and eat them, too! As an occasional (very occasional) treat.

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