Back in my days of wasteful spending, before mortgage payments, real estate taxes and common charges, I would buy my lunch daily during the work week at a restaurant or salad bar. Looking back on how much discretionary income went into that makes me cringe today. The adjustment from needing to cut back and change my lifestyle was uncomfortable at first. I resented feeling deprived in that I could not just dive in to the old wallet whenever I wanted.
The good news today is I’m so over that. I feel like I’ve discovered a far better lifestyle, and in fact, I now feel blessed. Since I cook up tasty meals and have plenty of dinner leftovers, I prepare a lunch where I’m in control of the ingredients, portion size and flavor. I control the quality of what I eat and how much I eat. In a restaurant, I had little knowledge of the quality of the ingredients, what was added to the dishes, such as salt and fat content, etc., and the portion sizes in most restaurants were servings for 2-3 people. If the dish was very tasty, I often ate the whole thing rather than save half and take it home. So eating out was expensive and undermined my efforts to eat healthy and lose weight.
My typical lunch included two small roasted Cornish hen legs with jerk seasoning; quinoa with pigeon peas, onions and raisins; and roasted onions, garlic and peppers in extra virgin olive oil. I washed it down with light lemonade at 15 calories per serving. If I say so myself, the dish was quite tasty and satisfying. I didn’t feel overly stuffed and my taste buds were happy.
I suspect if I had to pay for a similar meal in a restaurant, it would have set me back at least $15.00. As I walked from the office lunchroom microwave with my heated meal, the aromas wafted through the corridor as I headed back to my office. Now it was my colleagues who felt deprived. 🙂
Written by Richard Taub
Edited by Denise Pov