Today’s prompt: “How has eating on a limited budget impacted your mood? Your concentration? How has that impacted your interaction with family and coworkers?”
I’m not as happy and motivated as I normally am. My concentration is a mess. I’m constantly thinking about food – whether we will have enough, when I can eat next, why the hell is my stomach always grumbling?!, what I will do if we run out of food. It’s definitely affecting my productivity at work. I can’t say my interactions with family and coworkers has really changed. The biggest change between Mike and me is that I am constantly asking him if he’s doing ok, if he’s hungry, if I can get him anything. I’m worried about him and obviously don’t want him to be hungry. I feel bad for making him go through this when he’s trying to study for his exams.
My energy levels are l-o-w. I went for a 7 mile run after work today and it… sucked. I don’t know how else to put it. My legs felt like lead the entire time. My stomach ached. I didn’t have gum to chew. At the end, my body felt like it had just done a 20 mile run, not a 7 mile run.
Here’s what we ate today:
- Breakfast: toast with peanut butter (Mike) and savory oatmeal with fried egg (me)
- Snack: red grapes
- Lunch: three bean turkey chili with elbow macaroni
- Pre-run snack: 1/2 banana each and a couple raisins
- Dinner: pepper chicken with white rice
- Snack: spoonful of peanut butter (Mike)
- Snack: peanut butter banana oatmeal raisin cookies
The best thing I had today were the grapes. They were so sweet and juicy and I had to stop myself from shoving fistfuls into my mouth. I brought about a cup of grapes to work and rationed them throughout the morning. Every time I finished a project or approved a contract, I got to eat a grape. Oh, and the iced tea with lemon juice I had with dinner? So good. I’m usually a plain water kinda gal, but I really needed something else to drink!
I’m not gonna lie – dinner was pretty fabulous, too. During my run I went past a couple Chinese restaurants (and a few bars… and a few chocolate shops…) and it all smelled so good. Like it was taunting me. Jerks. I was sweaty, tired, and worst of all – hungry. I wanted to cave in and get takeout for dinner, but that obviously wasn’t an option. Thankfully, this pepper chicken hit the spot! Mental note: do not run down streets lined with restaurants/chocolate shops/bars/bakeries any more this week.
Takeout Fakeout – Pepper Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chile peppers, thinly sliced, optional
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
steamed white rice, for serving
- Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper and the salt over the sliced chicken. Dust chicken with cornstarch until well coated.
- Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 – 5 minutes. Move to a bowl and keep warm.
- In the skillet, add in onions, garlic and chile peppers (if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add in bell peppers and mushrooms. Stir in soy sauce, white pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper until well combined. Cook for 3 minutes or until bell peppers are tender-crisp. Stir in cooked chicken and toss to coat with sauce.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.