Meal Management Theory…or, A Festivus for the Rest of Us

It’s finally that time of year when my work day begins and ends in darkness…I left the house at 5:10am and got home at 6:15pm and on both occasions the sun was nowhere to be seen and I couldn’t get my keys to find the front lock and was left struggling to lock/unlock the door.  Yay for 13-hour workdays!This morning, I stole away from my company formation and met The Man to go for a 4-mile run on some of the tank trails instead.  It was pretty chilly but that’s my absolute favorite running weather–cool enough not to sweat much but not so cold I have to put on a ton of outer layers.

For breakfast I had some of the Almond-Flax Bread with almond butter:

Yummmmm.
I’ve got Robb Wolf (among many, many others) on Google Reader, so I came across this article as soon as it posted and my interest was immediately piqued.
The article is essentially systems engineering practice applied to meal planning…just like software, a meal can only be 2 of these 3 things: Easy, Cheap, or Good (in the case of food, “Healthy”).  There was a systems graphic attached and I decided to be all high-speed and made one that applies to the discussion of food:
(I’m a champ on Paint…no big deal)
Basically, the Meal Management Theory says you should understand that your meals can be:
1.  Easy and Cheap, but not Healthy (i.e. crappy fast food or packaged meals…that make you fat)
2.  Cheap and Healthy, but not Easy (because it requires a lot of planning to make and buy)
3.  Healthy and Easy, but not Cheap (god, what I’d give to spend 3-months’ pay for at Whole Foods)
Like many industrial bosses, most people opt for the simplest route:  Cheap and Easy (but soooo not Good/Healthy) and suffer the consequences.  If you’re fortunate enough to be rolling in it and can afford Option 3 100% of the time, then Mazel tov!–you’ve made good decisions in life and have gotten where you need to be.
For the rest of us poor schmucks who refuse to settle for shitty food because we’re “busy” (I work 13-hour days…don’t give me that) or “broke” (again…just don’t), it is totally possible to find and prepare food that is both Cheap and Healthy.  We have to work a little harder for it, but it is possible.  Those of us willing to go the extra mile know exactly what the payoff is and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
That’s why I plan all our meals a week in advance so I can guide my trips to the grocery store and save money everywhere I can.  That’s why I stockpile recipes so I  have a ready stash to choose from rather than let laziness take over and run crying to Papa John’s.  That’s part of the reason I started this blog, so I could keep myself accountable for how much I’m spending, what I’m eating, how I’m working out, and sharing that with anyone who is trying to do the same.

Anyhow, I have THIS baby in the oven and it’s calling my name:

Grass-fed lamb roast seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary…**drooling**
See you tomorrow!

 

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