Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One Month Restaurant-Free

On September 5, 2010, the Nelson family undertook the great task of withdrawing from all restaurant outings.

The final pronouncement: Not painful at all, and actually, worth continuing.

Oh sure, there were times we craved non-homemade-food. I mean, how can we physically not crave it when we live in such a processed-food-world? But mostly, suppressing the urge to indulge was easy (or at least, grew easier with time).

So, dear readers - let me give you the highlights.

1. I purchased a nice, new food processor, which has allowed me to make fresh salsa, mashed sweet potatoes, and broccoli pesto - just in the last week.

2. Slowly but surely, Brent and I keep dropping weight. I believe this can be attributed to smaller serving portions and the elimination of junky, processed foods from our pantry.

3. We have become more resourceful. Bags of lettuce or produce are no longer being thrown out because of spoilage - we are actually eating them before they go rotten. This in turn leads to smaller grocery bills (this I really can't confirm with hard evidence, it's more of a gut feeling).

4. Our children are more invested in the meals - because they help us prepare them now. Also, we are more creative when it comes to meals, and we are actually excited when a new recipe is up on the rotation.

5. Okay, yeah, part of me misses being catered to and served. I mean, eating every meal at home means I am somewhat a slave to my kitchen. Happily for me, though, it's a place I like to be!

6. Many of our (Brent and I) conversations are based around food. How we take it for granted, how we use it to solve our problems, what kind of role it plays in our lives, etc. This provides for good conversations.

7. Dinner times seem to be more relaxed these days, more chatty. I have no idea why that is.

8. Doing this project does require a bit more planning and forward-thinking. That could be stressful for families who are pretty busy. I mean, who really wants to spend time packing a cooler full of bologna sandwiches for a weekend soccer tournament when it would be easier to go to Subway?

9. Brent and I have begun to compile a list: "Foods We Will Eat More Of When Our Kids Leave The House" (currently: squash, sweet potatoes, tortellini soup, and salmon).

Ultimately, we (even the kids) have no real desire to eat out now. So, we are going to soldier on for another month.

However, I foresee a weekend in mid-October where a trip to an out-of-state Renaissance festival might necessitate a trip to an out-of-state Italian joint.

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