Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Excuse Avoidance

Yesterday morning should have been a Monday morning. I got up early to catch an earlier bus than usual, then realized as I was brushing my teeth it was in vain because it was the wrong bus. The right bus had already gone by 15 minutes earlier. Then as I was walking out the door to catch the next bus, I looked down at the peanut butter sandwich I had packed myself for breakfast and realized the bread had gone moldy. How did I miss that last night? As I got on the bus and sat down I realized my cell phone was sitting on the table by my front door. Then after popping into work, I went down to the university and found out that my instructor had started the seminar sessions before he had the first class, and I had already missed one.

Does this sound like a Monday to anyone else?

Anyway, the whole point of this post was avoiding excuses, specifically in the food department. When I realized my packed breakfast wasn't going to do, my first urge was to stop off at Starbucks on the way to work. Old habits die hard. But, I didn't do it. Why not? I had back up. In my desk at work I have a plastic container of Raisin Bran, a small bag of quinoa puffs, dried miso soup, almonds, pistachios and tea. I've also kept oatmeal, dried fruit, other dried soups and chocolate in there in the past, as well as a frozen container of homemade stew in the lunch room freezer. I tend to get hungry throughout the day, so having food available is a must. Instead of grabbing a morning latte and scone, I grabbed a banana out of the company fruit bowl, had a handful of almonds out of my desk, and made a cup of tea. Not exactly a hearty breakfast, but it certainly calmed the beast growling in my stomach. Thankfully I had also grabbed a couple containers of pasta out of the fridge for lunch, but even if I had forgotten those I would have had lunch as well. As the Girl Guides say: Be Prepared.

It isn't actually that hard to do, you just have to actually think ahead to do it. Even if you don't have a desk at work where you can stash a bunch of food, you can stash a full meal in your purse if you think about it! The space it takes to throw a dried soup packet and a tea bag or instant coffee packet is about the space of a make up compact. Add some nuts, dried fruit or a granola bar and you're around the volume of a small wallet. Lets be honest, most of us have enough room in our bags for that. Throw it all in a sandwich bag and you don't have to worry about digging through your bag (as much) to find it. You could add reusable cutlery and a collapsible bowl and mug if you want to or if work doesn't have anything in the coffee room/your situation calls for it, but you can usually get a container and some hot water from a food court vendor for anywhere from 25 cents to free.

A little bit of forethought can save a lot of money in the long run.

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