Kath Eats wrote a great post yesterday titled Thoughtfultarian. I changed my diet dramatically based on what I was eating, but more slowly making strides to be conscious of where my food comes from. Today seemed like a good day to examine my own guidelines for my daily eating habits, because today is what we call Free Lunch Wednesday in my lab. Every Wednesday my department has a group meeting where lunch is provided. It is nothing fancy it usually rotates between things like sandwiches, Chinese, Mexican, etc. The term free food has popped up several times already on my very new blog. Working at the Medical Center comes with the perk of being able to get 1-2 meals per week here for free. I take advantage of this added benefit because I am living on a tight budget these days. Research hours tend to be long and the pay is not very high. Add that to an extremely expensive city, and my significant other is still a medical student strapped for cash.

Regardless, I am very happy, but I’m not living exactly how I would like to at the moment. If I could I would be cooking every night, and everything I bought would be organic and local. At the moment this is just not possible for me. Bryan and I agreed the extra money is worth it for organic, hormone free chicken and meat. Milk and eggs are also something I prefer to buy organic. We also try to buy organic fruits and vegetables when we are eating the skin of that produce. Despite the tight budget, I also shop at places that make buying healthy food easier likes Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and the Green Market in Union Square. This is all based purely on health reasons, like no added hormones and pesticides, and natural diets for the animals. I just want to put the best things in my body that I can. Bryan and I are not vegetarian. I tried vegetarianism once in college, just because I never really ate a lot of red meat growing up. I still do not. I’ve generally always said I was flexitarian, if I had to put a label on it. Bryan is very much a carnivore though, and is changing his eating habits because of me. Through compromise we decided to focus on fish and natural white meat chicken, as well as more vegetarian meals.

So I talked about my groceries shopping, but sometimes our schedules make it so that we have to eat out and eat cheap. And then there are the free meals at the medical center. So what do I do then? Well, I tend to just go heavy with the veggies and grains available. And definitely fruit, if it is offered. Today we had Chinese, and I was starving by the time the talk was over.

Here is my plate:

I have a large portion of brown rice covered with pineapple. This has always been a favorite of mine when eating Chinese. Rice with Pineapple on top. The rice soaks up the pineapple juice nicely, and it tastes great! Then there are all the veggies – I went heavy on the broccoli, then there are water chestnuts, grilled peppers, onions, and cabbage I think. I did get one piece of chicken with the broccoli. That is when I decided to write this post.

Reflecting on the post from Kath Eats yesterday and my lunch choice today. I realized I never really think about where my food comes at a restaurant. I sat down and made up rules for our shopping, but never eating out. Why have I never thought of that? Luckily, I do most often eat vegetarian. Vegetables with tofu is my favorite/go to option for Chinese and Thai. But from now on when I do eat meat out, I am going to be more conscientious of the quality and where it comes from.

I started this already! I am bad, and if I have a extra lunch container in my drawer I go back for seconds. Once everyone else has eaten of course, and there is enough left over. I save them in the refrigerator for lunch the next day too. So when I went back just veggies and rice!

This is how I prefer to eat anyway. It makes me feel better physically and mentally.

So, there you have it. No one is perfect, and I am still learning. But this how I try to live the healthiest way I know how right now.

Have a good hump day afternoon!