I remember distinctly the very first moment I realized that I was fat. Standing straight up, I noticed that my T shirt touched my stomach quite a good amount. Being about 10 or so, I didn’t have a huge feeling of ugliness or undesirability, I was just surprised and figured that if I walked with a slight forward lean from then on, the problem would be resolved. I didn’t think on it too much, but after that I was strikingly very aware of the fact that unlike everyone else I always pictured myself to be, my stomach rolled up when I sat down.
Years passed, and changes to my diet soon followed. I no longer heaped as much butter as I could on my toast, and I eschewed French fries. Fried food was bad, as was anything with a high calorie or fat content like cheese, the yolk of eggs, frosting, or even (gasp) peanut butter. I was an avid follower of volumetrics; why have one small sandwich when I could have a veggie burger, two plain baked potatoes, and a salad for the same calorie count? In essence, I was learning what every girl learns very early, the art of inefficient eating, aka the art of eating as much as possible for the smallest number of calories. Especially as a vegetarian who doesn’t need to worry about fat content (vegetarians need fat, and they shouldn’t exclude it completely from their diet… have you checked your cholesterol lately? I bet it’s fantastic….) this wasn’t for health reasons, though it fell under the headline of “I’m just eating healthy.” But then again, what girl hasn’t used that phase to justify her newest diet?
Well I have news for you. If you’re reading this blog, you are on a diet my friend, a diet for your wallet not your waist. Food is fuel for you to do what you want to do, whether that is run a triathlon like me, cross fit like a champ, or take dance classes for 4 hours a day. We train for results, and we eat to be effective. A peanut butter budget girl is an athlete first and foremost. Strong is sexy, skinny is not sexy, and we can make any man or woman who doesn’t think so kiss our muscular asses.
So as athletes, we need to eat a crap ton of food. And as budgeting girls, we need to buy as little food as possible. Thus, throw out any ideas of buying low fat this or no fat that. In order to consume calories and save money and not eat bales of freaking kale, we need to unlearn inefficient eating, and learn efficient eating. How much does butter really cost per calorie? Peanut butter? Olive oil? Coconut oil? Yes by all means eat kale every freaking day, make the vast majority of the grains you consume whole grains, eat lots of fruit, and don’t live off of peanut butter alone. However, put some butter or coconut oil on every serving of rice and beans you eat. Make your glass of milk whole milk, and double your calorie intake for your buck. Eat the whole freaking egg. Hell, eat three a day. It may go against every grain you were ever taught, but you want to maximize the number of calories per cup of food, not the opposite.
I am not saying this is going to be easy. Every time I eat a buttery spoonful of rice and beans I feel this guilt rising up inside of me. Not only am I eating and trying to gain weight, but I’m not even getting maximum enjoyment out of the process. Why can’t I just have the rice and beans, and save the extra calories for a cupcake? Because one, the butter is healthier, and two the cupcake costs more. Suck it up and don’t suck it in. Find your inner fat child again, and learn to love them.
This Week in Updates:
Admittedly, Jesse is visiting this weekend so it gives me a little bit of a budget break. Why? Well, if we are going out to eat so much, I don’t need to buy groceries! Nevertheless, I made an awesome discovery at the grocery store this weekend. Honey sells at the co-op by the pound! Doing a little experiment, I weighed a jar of honey, and subtracted about 0.5 pounds per the jar. I then looked at the cost of the bulk honey for $5/pound, and found out that I would save $3 per pound of honey! That is kind of an amazing amount of savings. It means this week I even bought some pasta for snacks. Pasta! Yay! And boyfriend! Yay! So this update will be short, because ya’ll, I have a few better things to do.
The Recipe: The Perfect Stove Top Popcorn
Super simple recipe this week, though if you have never made popcorn on the stove before it may blow your mind. Popcorn is super cheap, by definition a whole grain, and all that healthy fat in the olive oil you use to pop it is very good for you. I’ve eaten stove top popcorn many ways over the years, but it wasn’t until recently that I tried adding a dash of pepper. Sounds weird, but it beats Parmesan, garlic, and even ranch!
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon butter for extra goodness!
To make stove top popcorn, coat the bottom of a deep pan (w/ a good lid!) with a thin layer of popcorn kernels. Dump olive oil on it until all kernels are coated. Heat on medium high, shaking as the popcorn pops so that it doesn’t burn. As the popcorn gets to the top of the pan, dump it out before replacing it on the burner until the popping slows down. If it is spitting oil at you, you added too much! Melt butter and dump over popcorn. Sprinkle with salt to taste and a dash of pepper. Enjoy!