January 5, 2014

Fast Food Banished Forever! (Or At Least Until February 1st...)

photo:  med-health.net
It's funny. Each year about the time the fall/winter holidays crank up, so does our consumption of all things fast food.  It starts innocently enough with one of those damn pumpkin spice coffees anytime I see a Starbucks.  Then McDonalds, who sucked with their pumpkin spice coffee, managed to create the most magnificent white chocolate mocha EVER.  Cherry on the sundae?  I have 3 McDonald's at my whim and fancy, so no more driving 30 minutes to the Starbucks.  Score!

From there it is just down the hill into the cesspool of cheeseburgers and fried chicken nuggets.  We go upscale some nights to Bojangles or Zaxby's, but usually it's a Wendy's or McD's drive-thru.  This lasts for about six weeks until we are all gut-sick with preservatives.  But, wait!  New Year's is just around the corner, sassy and dripping with resolutions, so we'll be alright.

Last year we got a little carried away at Christmas and realized we needed to get a grip on the family budget.  When we looked over the checkbook register, we realized all our frivolous spending was fast food stops...biscuits on the way to school...coffee in the afternoons...cheesy pizza goodness after soccer. We decided to go one month without any fast food.  Any.  Nothing. Nada. Damn.

We made it with relatively little pain. I had kinda forgotten how to cook, or maybe I just blocked it out.  I have a household of 4 picky eaters and then me.  I eat everything. You want comfort food?  Buttery mashed taters? Shiny, greasy meatloaf?  Fluffy, steamy biscuits. Syrupy, ice cold sweet tea? I got you.  Wait?  You wanna be healthy? Okay.  I can do roasted brussel sprouts drizzled with balsamic along with lemon-caper chicken and never will a touch of butter or oil touch the pan.  I'll whip you up a salad sans creamy dressing and croutons, and we'll have lukewarm water with lemon juice.  Like I said, I got you.  The rest of the family?  Not so much.

I have 66.6% (repeating 6 'cause it drives the math teacher in me a little batty) of my children allergic to shellfish and nuts.  My husband thinks he's allergic to all vegetables, except green beans.  My son will only eat when and if he's hungry or has conquered the latest level in whatever stupid game he's playing.  (No offense, J.)  One has texture issues and one just has issues.  The Hurricane is a drive-by eater.  She cruises by the table, takes a bite, then does a lap through the house.  We don't worry because we know she'll come back. Usually.

So, it's January 2014, and here we are again.  No fast food month for us.  We did cheat a little and used gift cards we'd been given for a gift on the 2nd after a day of 4 dentist's appointments.  We deserved that one.  Other than that, we've been off the pipe.  I've cooked and we've not starved.  The cupboards are full of stuff I've forgotten I liked. Last night we had pan-seared filets with blue cheese and garlic shrimp and salads.  I'm fixing soup beans today.  I know I'm the only one that'll eat them, but it's okay.  Eat a biscuit if you don't like it.  Or not.  Either way, we aren't going to the drive-thru!

We'll fall back into the pattern come end of the school year when time somehow becomes smaller and shorter and schedules become fatter and fuller.  Maybe not, though.  Maybe I'll morph into super mom or win the lottery and quit my job to become super mom.  For now, I'll settle for 26 more days of no fast food.  How are you changing it up for 2014?

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