Check In: Go One Month Without Eating Out

Monday, March 3, 2014

We're on not eating out day 14! We're in March! That means the 20th isn't that far away. I've noticed 10 things the past two weeks that I'd like to share.
  • Photo 1: Traveling makes things difficult. On a recent, short trip, I had to pack our breakfast for day one, our lunch for work, our dinner for the road and breakfast for the next morning before we came home. We accidentally left our granola bars in the car during the night, and they were frozen on the drive home. We pressed them on the heaters until we could bite into them. And refused to stop for coffee. 
  • Photo 2: I've cheated a bit. Every time I go to my parent's house (and I go to my parent's house often), my mom gives me enough homemade Iranian food to feed an army. I started this challenge with 32 Tupperware full of the most delicious meals from her. I've only eaten two of them the past two weeks (I'm trying to do this on my own!), and I share them with Brian, but she sure has made things easier. 
  • Meal planning is important. On Sundays I have started making a list of everything I'll eat for lunch and dinner that week. It makes things much easier and helps ensure meals are balanced. 
  • Grocery shopping can be expensive if you follow your heart and not your mind, and cooking for one means things spoil easily. These are revelations I should have come to 10 years ago. 
  • I don't buy a lot of whole meals out. I've always packed my lunch every day, and I try to eat my main course at home for dinner. What gets me is snacks. It's not uncommon for me to get a smoothie or coffee on the way to the office or leave my desk for a little snack in the afternoon. Cutting these little things out has been the biggest challenge.
  • Eating and drinking out is a huge social thing for me. I've felt trapped when meeting friends lately! I met one at a bookstore last week because I didn't know what else to do. Happy hours are a go-to, and not having that luxury has made things a bit difficult. I could invite friends over for dinner. But then I'd have to clean the neglected piles. Let's just keep meeting at bookstores. 
  • I miss Thai takeout. I kind of want to call the neighborhood joint and apologize for my absence. Please don't take the crispy pad Thai off the menu, guys. I'll be back soon!
  • Technically, what does eating out even mean? Can I eat (always disappointing) grocery store sushi? Is that eating out? I feel like it isn't, but my conscious won't let me.
  • There have been (not homemade, not grocery-store bought) donuts in the kitchen at work three times, and I've eaten them every time. Sue me. 
I started out with a group doing this with me that has so quickly dwindled. Still, must keep going. It's not too late to join, either. Consider it! My whining aside, it's helping me lead a much healthier lifestyle and realize how privileged I am to have the opportunity to create or purchase three meals every day. And Girl Scouts cookies aren't eating out, so there's THAT.


  1. Hey Ladan! I saw your post on Facebook about this and followed the link. My boyfriend and I have tried to do this a few times, and we've never made it a full month... but we have taken some good lessons from it! We used to eat out when we were feeling lazy, but now we have lots of freezer meals and go-to pantry meals to combat that. My mindset has changed to be that eating out should be special. It could be a fancy dinner out, or a happy hour catching up with friends, or Thai food on the couch, but I try to have it be something that we planned out or can't replicate at home in order to be "worth it."

    Good luck with the rest of your month! :)

    1. Caitlin! So wonderful to hear from you! Also so glad to hear it's been tough for you and your boyfriend in the past, we've felt so silly struggling around here.

      I totally agree with making eating out feel special. Sometimes Sunday night Chinese takeout feels like a million bucks, but usually I just waste money out of convenience. Love your mantra, adopting it :-) Thanks again for sharing!

  2. Stay strong, you can do it! And I totally agree, Thin Mints are not classified as a "going out" food. They're totally fair game!

    1. It feels so silly that I need encouragement (But I do! Thank you!). It should be easy! Girl Scout cookies are totally saving the day :-)


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