Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 22 - Chinese Takeout and Lady Gaga

Diet tip of the day: Break away from your daily or weekly routine. If you always have chicken one day or beef on another, try something different. If you're really busy on Wednesday and tend to get fast food, make your meal a night or two before and stick it in the freezer until you're ready to heat it up. You'll thank yourself later when you are skinnier and your wallet is fatter.

Every Thursday night starting in the Fall of 2008, my boyfriend, one of our friends, and I would order Chinese food from the same take-out place and watch Survivor and The Office. I wasn't a fan of Survivor, and my boyfriend didn't like The Office at first, but now we both enjoy the tradition. We'd almost always get the exact same thing. I would get Orange Chicken or Sesame Chicken with fried rice, my boyfriend would get either Orange Chicken or Beef Tips, and our friend (the spicy food champ) would always get General Tso's Chicken. After a while, we'd add crab rangoon (one of my big favorites). Then it was sweet rolls for dessert. Soon enough, our bill was $13 a person, if not more some nights. Every single week... that adds up.

With the start of this diet, we cut out Thursday night Chinese (though our Survivor/Office tradition has remained), and we are noticing a big difference. On top of just cutting out Chinese food, we've been eating a lot less and making our food budget go a lot further for us. With all the money we've saved the past month or so, my boyfriend informed me he made a big purchase that he couldn't have made if we weren't dieting. He bought us Lady Gaga tickets! And not just any tickets. These tickets are for a show in my hometown on the night of our two year anniversary! I can't describe how excited I am.

It just goes to show how much money you really do save from cutting out all the excess junk in your life and in your diet. You can enjoy your traditions without sacrificing your healthy eating. This week, I'm going to try to make some Chinese-inspired cuisine for Thursday night's dinner. Maybe some real orange infused chicken instead of sticky, gooey fake orange slop. We'll have to see what ends up on the menu.

The results of the dieting poll are in! A lot of you said that carbs are what pull you off your diet track, which salty foods coming in a close second. Salt and carbs often go hand in hand. A lot of starches are salted for flavor. I'm not much of a sweet-tooth myself (I've got more of a taste for everything than I should...), so I too fall victim to carbs the most often. No matter what your vice, find something to substitute. Try soy chips instead of potato chips, sugar free candy instead of a chocolate bar (though we all know the dangers of going overboard on sugar free candies). Find a healthier alternative and stay on track! :)

And for an exercise, try increasing your walking speed a bit while you're on your way to class, work, your house, or some other destination. Even while you're grocery shopping you could pick up the pace. It will give you more time to do what you need to get done and burn a few more calories if you get your heart pumping a little more.


  1. Thanks for all the tips and personal details. It makes your blog easy to relate to and I draw inspiration from your challenge. Not quite ready to start my "diet" yet, though I have been motivated to increase my activity level through your tips. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous, can I ask what's stopping you? Is it personal, physical, emotional, psychological? I've been through every reason not to start dieting. I won't belittle anything you say, because everyone has different hurdles to jump over when they jump start their dieting journey. If you want to e-mail me, go right ahead. Maybe I can help you put whatever is in your way behind you, or at least share something that lets you know you're not the only one with hurdles to jump.