Weight Loss & Being Frugal

A nice bowl of stoup!

This isn’t about comparing the relative costs of grass-fed beef against factory-farmed meat. Nor is it comparing the merits and pricing of organic veggies to those herbicide and pesticide-laden choices we sometimes make. This is about the challenge of sticking to a diet when you’ve been endowed with the frugality gene. And I am so endowed with the frugality gene!

Being raised in a household where “clean your plate” was a dinner time mantra, I learned my lessons well. Perhaps too well. I struggle to leave that token amount on the plate. What a waste of good food, I just can’t do it! My habits are more to the contrary, and I’ll mop up whatever residue remains on the plate with just one more bread roll. Buttered, heavily, of course. Now that I mostly don’t eat bread, I have nothing to mop up my plate with. And I haven’t reached the point of licking the plate yet! But I have transferred the expression of my frugality gene to the fridge.

As we approach garbage day, I start surveying any foods that are likely to wind up in the garbage. Or that I know will not be consumed by other members of the household. I feel obliged to consume such foods. And I often do it in the form of a stoup. A dish that is too thin to be stew. Yet too thick to be soup.

My latest stoup was an Irish-German-Mexican-Thai fusion! Garlic & onion, sauteed in the bottom of a large pot starts the process. Add a liter of (organic, as it happens!) chicken broth to the pot. One large, peeled & sliced, potato as a thickener for the broth. Then I go hunting through the fridge. A full head of cabbage, excellent! A bunch of ignored cilantro. Half a dozen wieners that somehow survived a barbecue. Oh look, a little bowl of leftover mashed potato! And another chicken broth container, with a little less than half the contents remaining. A quick smell … yep, that’s good too. Good job I had that extra mashed potato to thicken up all that extra liquid! A couple of slices of cooked bacon. Wash the inside of that German mustard jar with a little broth & in that goes to the pot. Another half an onion in a container. And … wait for it … half a tub of sour cream! Season that pot with some salt, pepper, some other weird condiment mixes & then … a spoon of curry powder. Absolutely essential that.
Oops, now I’m short some liquid. Can’t spoil the pot by adding water, can I? But a can of coconut milk will do the trick!

I can tell you that this was quite delicious. And I should also admit that that one cute little bowl of stoup in the pic wasn’t all I ate!

It probably wasn’t the perfect dish to have on what should have been a low-carb day. Though I’m sure I’ve done worse. But, being frugal, I’m forced to eat all those leftover foods that others (all of them skinny!) won’t eat. It’s just not fair!

But … with all the money I’ve saved … we’re going out & I’m going to treat myself to a nice steak dinner now! 🙂

Let’s Get Fat!

Let’s Get Fat!

Today, if you ask me if I have a sweet tooth, I will say no. In fact, I have always totally denied any leaning towards sweet things.

“Give me a rib steak over dessert any day!”, I would assert.

My history might suggest otherwise!

Doughnuts (or donuts!) are really cheap in my part of the country. If you buy them in a quantity of 6 or more, they are then considered food and are, therefore, tax free. The rough logic is that anything considered a snack is taxable, while anything considered food is not. A couple of doughnuts are a snack. A dozen are considered food for the family. We typically buy them by the dozen. Now it does make sense that a family pack of doughnuts would be tax free. But it’s not a family pack in our house, or at least not for me … they are nothing but a snack. All 12 of them!

As part of my “Let’s Get Fat” program over the years, the occasional box of doughnuts might find its way into our house. Everyone else would have one. I’d put three on a plate and grab a large glass of cold milk. The cold milk is essential if there are any chocolate doughnuts in play. It didn’t matter if I’d had a big breakfast, and lunch, and dinner that day … I always had room for three doughnuts after dinner. And then three more! After which I’d pray everyone would go to bed so I could have whatever might be left in the box. Without them watching me walk to the cupboard and fridge again. Well, in my defense … at least I felt guilty about it!

I consider myself pretty strong-willed. Capable of mustering the discipline and will-power necessary to accomplish most things I set out to do. And most folk who know me would probably agree with that. But not when it comes to doughnuts. Nor cookies. Nor apple pie. Along with a whole host of other products that have an addictive recipe of sugar, refined starch and fat. That modern blend is the perfect storm for getting fat. And I’m just one more outcome that proves the proposition.

It would be pretty delusional of me to imagine that I might ever lose weight by pandering to my addictions, wouldn’t it!?!

It might be even more delusional to think that I could maintain any weight loss achievement by going back there again.

Good thing I really enjoy my rib steak! 🙂