Drive-Thru Diets and Experiments

I am working on refining my experiment, and trying to resolve a few details. One, I have not found a consistent measurement of the average American family’s monthly food budget. I have seen various numbers ranging from $550/month to over $750/month. Therefore, I have decided to set my budget at $600/month, which gives me $150/week for a family of four (still working on this since we are usually only a family of 2 or 3 most days). I do not plan to post my breakfast or lunch menus since they stay fairly consistent, but those meals will come out of my weekly allotted budget. Eating out has provided another area of thought…what if we are invited to dine at a friend’s house or go out to eat? I don’t plan on this happening with any frequency, but I will make note of any of those occassions when/if they arise.

In a mildly related subject, Taco Bell is testing their new ‘Drive-Thru Diet’. Apparently 70% of Americans believe that if fast food restaurants offered healthier food options in their drive-thru menus they would feel encouraged to eat healthier…Really? I mean…REALLY??? Am I missing something? How sad is it that our society has become so dependent on fast food that it NEEDS the fast food industry to influence its eating habits? Haven’t we been influenced enough by the industry? Even more mind-boggling to me is the fact that these choices are touted as ‘healthier’ choices, which does not mean they are actually ‘healthy’. Fast food has gone from the occassional treat to a several-times-a-week reality for many. We ALL need to take responsibility…Yes, we are inundated with fast food establishments – they are everywhere. However, they wouldn’t be everywhere if they were not supported. Our lives have become so chaotic and filled with stress that we look for ways to make life easier. In many cases these solutions are fine, but food nourishes our bodies, our souls…family dinners keep us connected…is this the sacrifice we are willing to pay for these time-saving short-cuts???

And that’s my rant for today…what do YOU think???

My Whole Foods Healthy Food Challenge for February…

I often hear Whole Foods referred to as ‘Whole Paycheck’. Are their prices higher than the average grocery store? Yes. In my opinion it is a small price to pay to get good food which nourishes one’s body…they research all of the products they choose to carry in their stores, and I feel good about the food they offer. I am in the fortunate position to not have to worry about the amount I spend on food, so if I am in the mood for something in particular I can usually buy it, no matter the cost. I know I am blessed in that respect.

HOWEVER, I have decided to set out on an experiment to prove that one does not have to pay a lot of money to eat delicious yet healthy meals. For each week in February I will develop a menu plan which makes use of in-season, healthy foods at a reasonable price. I will not use any processed foods/ingredients (this ain’t no ‘Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee!!), and I will NOT cut out meats/fish/poultry; however, I may include vegetarian meals in my plans and my portions will be reasonable. In other words I don’t plan to skimp on the food – we will not go hungry to prove a point. In the spirit of the average cook with time constraints I plan to design meals which are time-sensitive. I will set a budget – a budget the typical American family usually spends on food per month for a family of four. I am researching what that amount is and will post the results before the onset of my experiment. February 1, 2010 is the start date and the experiment will last the entire month.

I welcome any budget suggestions or ideas to incorporate into the experiment…

Where to begin???

Wow! I have been feeling rather overwhelmed at designing a website and have had difficulty deciding where to begin my quest for knowledge. My mind is finally envisioning how it will look – I now have to figure out how to get it out of my head and online. In the meantime I have been checking out other blogs (not only food ones) to see what I like, how easy they are to maneuver, and what I don’t like…It is going to be a longer process than I realized, but I know the final result will be well worth the effort. And I have stumbled upon some fabulous websites – “Livefire” being my favorite so far!

Stay tuned…I’m going as fast as I can (but remember I support the slow-food movement, so ‘fast’ is all in the eye of the beholder!!)


I recently read that one of the top five New Year’s resolutions is to blog/start a website, so I suppose I am one of many thousands of newbies out here in cyberworld trying to make a go of my new passion. I have been giving a lot of thought to what I want to do with my website – design, content, etc. I knew there were tons of foodie websites floating around before I set out on this journey, but I did not realize how many truly *fabulous* sites there are. I am feeling quite a bit humbled at my meager attempts to record my food adventures, but I keep reminding myself that everyone started somewhere. Perhaps some waited until they had laid out a precise plan…I, on the other hand, am flying by the seat of my pants (or would that be apron?) and am letting my blog take me where it will. I believe whatever plan is out there for me, my blog and my website will unveil itself when the time is right. So if you are out there paying attention – and I suspect you are *not* – keep up the faith! Evolution may prove to be a slow process, but progress is coming!!!