I got chills they're multiplying
It was a morning like any other. As I fleetly ambled down the stairs and reached into the fridge to grab some milk for my Rocky Road Oats a chilling sensation trickled down my spine. Before the intellectually astute amongst you get smart and suggested I close the door, it was what I saw before me that left me cold and forebode. A full day of food all gracefully packed in tupperware and tinfoil fanfare had gone a.w.o.l.
I scrambled around and basically started pointed the finger of blame at all around me. I was softly electronically informed via text message afterwards that the cleaner had gutted the fridge and basically thrown out everything "that looked off". Until I got the D.P.P. on the case I had to dash out the door as I had a busy day ahead of me.
Like many great experiments this one occurred by complete accident.
Let me preface the following with; I absolutely love eating out and Dublin is probably the epic centre of gastronomical diversity. I get excited by seeing new menus, intelligent interiors and getting a feel of an atmosphere of a restaurant that has been carefully and methodically nurtured through design and vision. I remember a time when your healthy options were about as varied as whether you wanted a brown or white bread roll with your mutated deli fillings.
In a nutshell the way this particularly day ended, I had a mini epiphany when I discussed it with my fellow coach Ciaran. Through a combination of meetings, locations, and lack of access to all those planned meals and snacks a big realisation dawned on me.
It is shocking how much money I can spend in a day on eating out!
I made to the best of my knowledge informed decisions and selected the best of what I had on offer, none of the following were in sit down restaurants and all were capable of being taken away.
Porridge with Nuts, Seeds, Berries and a trickle of honey and yogurt
Scrambled Eggs, Spinach, Toast
Cup of Coffee
Bottle of Water =Roughly 15 euro
Roast Beef, Potatoes , Mixed Salad , Avocado
Bottle of water = Roughly 17 euro
Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Rice, Avocado, Mixed Nuts
Bottle of Water
Black Coffee = Roughly 16 euro
Snack from shop
Bang for your Buck
So 51 euro. For 3 out of the 4 meals I ate that that day, which were all very tasty, but left me wanting/needing more. The ratios of all my meals were inadequate for what I specifically wanted/needed. Generally the ratios are tipped heavily towards the carbs and fats side as opposed to the protein/veg side as this has the highest price point and eats into margins/has the shortest shelf life.
Remember aswell you've culturally been brought up for the most part,if you've been brought up in Ireland, to finish every last morsel on that plate, box, wrap etc. So eating more of what you don't need and less of what you do is a shortcut to where you don't want to be!
FFS Nutrition Fundamental: Eat until your satisfied, not stuffed
Lets stretch that out further; say for example I just ate a breakfast and lunch out 4 days a week that's about 130 euro, over a month 560 a year 6,720. That's a substantial sum to pay for something that tastes great but is still inadequate for what I need and will eventually start to dilute my performance, health and body composition.
You deserve more bang for your buck!
Launching a spaceship of a paddle boat
I don't need to think too hard of the consequences of this repeated pattern, I lived them for about 8 years. I had access to unlimited free food for about 3-4 years in a previous career ( and they we're all informed choices) and all the training in the world couldn't escape the fact that I was trying to launch a spaceship of a paddle boat. No matter how much energy, grit, volume I put into training I wasn't going to get the results I wanted.
Now let's think in more general terms and have a honest reflection how it pertains to you. Chances are if we are eating out for lunch, breakfast or dinner during the week that can be multiplied for our weekend activities. Friday night drinks and meal, Takeaway at home during the Late Late, Brunch/ Lunch down town on Saturday after some shopping, Sunday morning brunch/fry and the Sunday night takeaway after a box-set.
The trick is not to demonise eating out, it's a fantastic experience but like all good things moderation is best. Your wallet, belt line and output will be the better for it.
Master of your own Universe
Learn to cook, learn a few simple lunches, dinners, breakfast and learn one at time. There is usually a direct correlation between being able to cook, prepare your own meals and health, body composition and performance. If you are in position to prepare your meals, you are in a position to directly contribute towards your progress. All financial leanings aside , you are empowered to determine what goes into your body, the quality of the ingredients and the quantity of the portions. The effect this will have on your progress or perceived lack of it can sometimes be outstanding, particularly if you consider yourself to be physically active but have qualms about what your getting for your effort.
Simple tip for you if you are consistently eating out for lunch. Try and replace one of those lunchtime excursions with a homemade lunch and apply the following principle to its preparation.
After you've done it once, take note of your energy levels, fullness levels and performance afterwards. If it goes well try with another meal and so on so on. You will be shocked at how much you can save, how much you have for other activities holidays etc. A simple habit with humble beginnings can turn into lifestyle, a process which fuels you to perform better, feel better and look better. You will find in a little time that you as your own personal chef can determine your taste,portions and quality better than anyone else and you've hurdled a major stumble block for most of us in 21st century.