Eat In Month 2011 Recap

Happy Monday friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and an even better start to your week!

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I stayed up a bit too late blogging after our super fun Super-Dance-Bowl party, so this morning was rough.

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Nothing a little coffee and some oatmeal can’t fix, though.

And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who likes bananas on top of my oats.

Today was a loooong day at work. I got in around 8:45pm but didn’t leave until just before 7pm! Luckily, I at least took a real lunch break today (as in I didn’t eat at my desk…hooray!). I’m going to work on getting away from my desk during the day more. I think it’s healthy to try to balance your work day.

Two fortunate things happened on my way home:

  • I made it through almost every stoplight! That never happens. I feel like I usually catch them. lol
  • Hubby was ready to make dinner at home as soon as I got back.

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Hubby started us with a side salad with organic romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, and sprouts. I used sundried tomato vinaigrette on top.

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And for the main event – breaded chicken parmesan and tomato basil soup. Plus some buttered whole wheat toast that I was simply too exhausted to photograph. After staring blankly like a zombie for awhile eating a balanced meal, I was feeling much better.

I caught a couple episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Have you seen it? I think it’s my new favorite TV show! If there are any No Reservations marathons coming up, you let me know, kay? ;) I think a day spent eating yummy snacks and watching No Reservations sounds like a pretty awesome day to me.

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Eat In Month Recap

So, Eat In Month 2011 officially ended a week ago, and I’m feeling pretty relieved. Just like last time, I think it was a great experience, and I learned some lessons, but I prefer to live my life sans rules. I prefer guidelines.

So what did I learn? Well, there were some things I remembered from the 2010 challenge and some new ideas from 2011.

I learned that inside and outside of a challenge month:

  • A well-stocked pantry will encourage eating in, on a regular night or when you’re in need of a quick fix meal.
  • You can get a lot of satisfaction by pushing past your fatigue/laziness/whatever when you feel like taking the easy way out by preparing something tasty at home.
  • Meals IN don’t have to be perfect or gourmet – sometimes the simplest ones are best.
  • Sometimes it’s about making a better choice, not the perfect choice. While I think you should always eat whole foods as much as possible, if your choice is fast food versus some healthi-ER but not from scratch food at home, go with the latter.
  • You shouldn’t “not eat out” for the sake of it, if you’re in a situation where you need food and wouldn’t be able to eat in. For example, say you’re on a road trip. Now, if you can…definitely plan ahead and pack food ahead of time to enjoy later. But if you meant to pack food in the morning but spilled your entire container of oatmeal in the kitchen thereby making you late because you had to use your food-packing time to clean up rolled oats, by all means, eat something out! Don’t starve yourself!
  • Don’t skip social events just because you “can’t eat out.” You can always go after dinner and just have a drink. Or, if you’re not doing the challenge, go out to eat! Live a little.
  • Of course, you can very easily enjoy social events in the comforts of your home. Have a pot luck. Host a game night. Put on a movie marathon. Enjoy the company of your friends and eat in, too.
  • You don’t have to go out to eat to celebrate a birthday or other special event. Try cooking a special meal at home. Hubby and I celebrate in all the time, like how we celebrated his January birthday dinner IN during the month of the challenge.
  • Keep healthy snacks at work so you aren’t tempted to buy snacks out. It’s usually healthier and more cost-effective.

Check out this awesome recap by Brie Fit (click). Did you write a review? Let me know and I’ll link it up. ;)

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And because I haven’t shared a good quote in awhile, this one seems somewhat fitting at the moment:

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
~Helen Keller

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Did you participate in Eat In Month? What did you learn?

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Comments

  1. says

    Did you find that you saved much money eating in all month (I’m new to your blog, so if you addressed this already sorry)? I like the point you make about rules vs. guidelines- so important when wanting to prevent burnout and anything!

    • says

      Hi Christine, I didn’t calculate my savings. But, I know we did save money. I just don’t have an exact number. The commenter just after you saved $500!! I would say we saved at least $100. Maybe more!

      And welcome to TCL – thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment! Come back soon! :)

      • says

        Thanks! I initially found your site through someone’s link to the dough balls. Oh. My. God. The best. I left you a comment on that page hinting for a snickerdoodle dough ball recipe! Loving this blog, especially the recipe section.

  2. says

    I saved over $500 in January on our grocery bill. I learned a couple of things..
    1. I enjoy the food I make than the food we eat out.
    2. Planning is imperative. I menu planned for the month of January ahead of time.
    3. Lunches are hardest for me.

    • says

      OMG! Nice job! I can’t believe you guys saved so much…that’s great. I hope you treat yourselves with at least some of the money you saved. Thanks for sharing your lessons learned. :)

  3. says

    I did not do so well in the challenge this year =/ but did fairly well. I learned not to get really sick during Eat In Month because when your sick you don’t want to make anything! lol There were a few times I had to just go out and get some comforting Pho :)

  4. says

    I tried to be aware of my eating out habits for January, and I don’t usually go out for meals too much, but rather for coffee. Sometimes twice a day! Also, I’m usually disappointed when I end up going out to eat unless it’s a fine restaurant for a special occasion. So, I truly think that it’s best to save dining out for special occasions only.

  5. says

    I really enjoyed the Eat in Month. I didn’t really eat out much (going to a restaurant or cafe) prior to this, but I really did eat a lot of ‘plastic wrapped crap’ and this challenge took that out of the equation!
    One of the things I found really made a difference was having pre-cut fruit and veggies in the fridge. It made it easy to have a snack, pack a treat, and get plenty of nutrients in the process. I ate more fruits and vegetables, and just felt so much better in general as a result.
    But how easy is it to slip into old habits? Certainly, being ‘allowed’ to eat out is a relief when short of time, but planning ahead isn’t really that hard, it just takes a bit of thought!
    There’s a quick recap on my Challenges page here: http://chasingtheblackwood.wordpress.com/challenges/
    Thanks for the Challenge idea! I loved it!

    • says

      Thanks for playing in the challenge! Sounds like you had some positive take-aways. I love your fresh fruit/veggie trick. I definitely notice I eat more fruits and veggies when they’re readily around and easy to eat, but I forget to prep them a lot! lol :)

  6. says

    Those are all great tips! I have struggled with eating lunch out at work, but I find if I bring a huge lunch with a bunch of snacks, I’m always looking forward to at least part of it! I rarely eat it all, and have enough snacks to keep me going throughout the day.

  7. says

    I just wrote a paragraph to kind of wrap it up but I was glad I did eat-in-month. I saved so much money from eating out and got so used to eating home-made things that since I’ve been eating out again the food just tastes strange.

    • says

      Glad you saved money and thanks for playing in the challenge. I know what you mean about restaurant food tasting weird. Sometimes it seems so heavy especially!

  8. Tabitha says

    I participated in Eat in Month and was one of the peeps who didn’t want to give up/count Starbucks as eating out. HOWEVER, I only purchased lattes twice the first week and bought a Senseo coffee machine the second week, and I have been making my own frothy coffee beverages ever since! The money I have saved on lattes alone was great! I also really enjoyed cooking more, and found that this challenge made me feel very focused on my 2o11 goals overall, such as budgeting my money better. I did eat out once for the best friend’s b-day, so I deem “Eat In Month” a success! Thanx for the inspiration!

    • says

      Hey Tabitha, Aww this is one of the best EIM take-aways I’ve heard of! I used to go to Starbucks more than once a week…at one point I was going almost every day. And since I don’t like brewed coffee at the ‘bucks, I was always getting lattes. Omg…it added up so fast with $ and calories. lol. That’s why I celebrate Starbucks Monday – lattes once a week…to get my week started on the right foot. ;) Sounds like you did a great job and the positive ripples from the challenge will continue! Thank YOU for participating! Keep up the good work! :)

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