I'm just like you (especially if you happen to live in the city) and live a fairly busy but normal life. But I'm a woman, and that makes me likely to obsess about food, calorie intake, exercise, that extra cocktail or handful of fries and just how my pants are fitting that day. These are things that every woman thinks and things every man dreads hearing about. Sure, there are girlfriends to talk to but lets face it, it's pretty easy to exaggerate, omit and the worst: to justify.
The mental progression goes something like this:
1. "'ll just order a salad and drink water tonight.
2. Well it looks like everyone is ordering some appetizers for the table...maybe I'll just graze a little.
3. Oh, that [insert fried food item here] is delicious. It's ok, I'll exercise after dinner.
4. A glass of wine? That can't hurt. I guess I can just wake up early and exercise in the morning. 5. Morning: It's soooooooo early.....I'll be good for breakfast and lunch and try to avoid the appetizers during tonight's happy hour!
Sound familiar? Keep reading.
This is where I come in. My life is full of situations like this. Who wants to sacrifice social interaction or say no to the shared appetizers? Not many of us can really enjoy the evening with a glass of water in hand in order to appear to be "drinking". And WHO really fills up on water before the meal? Most of us fill up on bread. With butter. These are inevitabilities: situations you always think you can "be good" at, but never are.
Things I regularly try and fail to avoid:
1. Happy hour cocktail (alcohol is on the no-no list of ALL diets)
2. Extra glass of wine or beer with a nice dinner
3. The handful of fries, the forkful of chocolate cake
4. The free muffins/bagels/pizza/pasta/sandwiches at work
5. The holiday weight
6. The vacation splurges
So I have learned to practice defensive eating. This is the result of the last justification. My mission: to honestly document my attempts at defensive eating and the things that regularly trip me up in my endeavors to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I will discuss both the things that I eat that I'm proud of and the situations where "being good" is unlikely. I'll also try to throw in reviews of restaurants and/or watering holes and how likely they are to cause guilt or pride.
I'm 28 years old and am a pathology resident living in New York City. This one sentence means a lot of things. 1) I make a very modest, some might say frugal salary but have a somewhat demanding job 2) My kitchen is pretty small and I have few gadgets or pieces of fancy cooking equipment 3) I don't bulk shop, so my refrigerator is generally stocked with alcohol and condiments and 4) Much of the food around me is expensive.
So here's my promise to my readers. I will not cook with ingredients that are hard to find/expensive/used only once. I will not use bulky or expensive kitchen equipment. I will buy food that is on sale, rarely will it be organic or local. I don't hesitate to use shortcuts, canned or frozen foods, and above all, am willing to try whatever lo-cal/fat-free option I find in the supermarket, chemicals be damned.
I will also be brutally honest in these posts. I will chronicle my kitchen successes and failures. I will document foods that I try that are worthwhile, which things can sit in my fridge without growing colonies of mold and which foods are good for the general public vs the foods that are purely good for defensive eating purposes. In short, I will try to blog about how to manage food in life without letting it become my life.