Although the meals I planned for this week’s Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC FNS Challenge are pretty filling, I find myself craving those items I couldn’t manage to squeeze into the budget. A fresh squeeze of lime juice would add so much flavor to the Cuban-style black beans. A few pecan pieces sprinkled on the morning oatmeal would have added crunch and a small spoonful of sugar wouldn’t hurt. I wish the mushrooms that are on sale now at the store had been on sale last week so I could have added them to the rice stir fry to fill out that meal. I really miss my morning cup of coffee too.
Half way through the five-day challenge I can’t help but notice food is everywhere. On my drive to work, a Krispy Kreme truck crosses my path. When I’m at work, co-workers have their meals at their desks. I don’t usually pay any attention to vending machines, but yesterday a package of almonds tempted me into counting the change in the bottom on my purse. There wasn’t enough. The workplace has been the biggest challenge to following the guidelines of avoiding free food. People brought snacks to a training class to share and the company has planned a small event for Friday afternoon that includes food for a potluck.
Thursday evening I have plans to go out and I’m half dreading it. Not for the social interactions but because I know others will be eating and drinking while I abstain. Although I’ll be among many people I know, I suspect I might feel a bit out of place. Under normal circumstances I welcome all things food, including images in my social media feeds. But this week I’m avoiding scrolling through feeds where everyone shares their meals and culinary creations. Those pictures remind me of what I can’t have and incite cravings that are challenging to deal with at times. On a positive note, my kitchen is sparkling clean. There’s just not much activity in there this week to make it messy.
With just a couple more days to go on this challenge I’m more aware of how pervasive food is in my day to day life, how difficult it is to avoid and how it impacts my mood. Also, I may have been the slightest bit “hangry” while writing this (if you detect a slight “edge”, sorry about that).