Several years ago I made a list of things to do before I die. It’s got all the usual suspects: pray in Tibet, safari in Kenya, cruise the Galapagos Islands, read War and Peace. Blahdy-blah. Barring sudden tragic death, I’ll probably get around to most of it. Possibly even all of it. (I finished War and Peace in March—thank god that’s over.)
But I threw in one item that I never really thought I would accomplish: No fast food for one year.
Well. As of yesterday… DONE! Check that baby off the list! Boom!
Thank you very much.
It wasn’t easy. Cuz here’s the thing: I love fast food. My head understands that it’s bad for me, but the rest of me loves it like a crazed stalker. When WP and I were in high school, we’d go to McDonald’s every morning. And then again on the way home from school. Taco Bell was for special occasions.
But when I started changing, well, pretty much my whole entire life about a year ago, the fast food had to stop. And since I’m an abstainer, not a moderator (that’s a Gretchen Rubin/The Happiness Project reference) it had to stop completely.
Which doesn’t mean that I started cooking—at least not at first. For several months, I had a terrific company called Nutrifit deliver all of my meals. And when I needed to branch out, I found a whole slew of great restaurants in my neighborhood where I could eat by myself and not feel like a total loser. And I came up with options for those moments when I’m starving and need food NOW— little packets of nuts from Trader Joe’s, a glass of milk, or delicious spring rolls from the Vietnamese place around the corner.
And eventually, I did start cooking. Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa have become my very best cookbook friends— on the weekends, anyway, when I have time to shop (I heart the Silverlake farmer’s market) and chop and stir and mix and broil and bake. I've perfected a cauliflower puree based on a recipe from my trainer, Rita. I can whip up a lovely creamed spinach. My herb-tossed grilled steak is fiiiine, if I do say so myself. And though I’m still working on getting comfortable with pork, chicken, and fish, I’m starting to believe that one day soon I’ll be able to serve up a moist pork loin to go with my favorite side dish, rosemary potatoes.
You wanna know something amazing? My rosemary potatoes are even better than French fries.
What have you given up to make your life better? And do you have any great, healthy recipes to share?
(I hesitated about putting in a link to Nutrifit, but if anyone's looking for that kind of service I've recommended them to lots of people who've been very happy. Just to be clear, though, I'm not any kind of spokesperson, I'm not affiliated with them in any way. Just a satisfied customer.)