Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shifting Priorities

Yep, I’m still writing. When I go out to eat, I still blog about it. What’s changed? I haven’t really been going out to eat lately. When I began this blog early last year, it was a fun way to share and re-live some of my more memorable dining experiences. I was Top Chef-crazed, waist-deep in Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman books, and I couldn’t get enough of the scene. Then shortly after New Year’s, I did something that was either really, really wise, or really, really stupid: I totaled up all I had spent in 2009 on dining.

It was a lot.

My brother lectured me on the importance of maximizing my Roth every year (“My what?” was my adept reply). A buddy pestered me to accompany her on a two-week adventure to Egypt; I told her she was nuts—that would cost, like, an eighth of what I spent on food the year before. My scale was either broken, or my detergent was shrinking my clothes. My apartment was… not a 32-year-old’s apartment. In short, I needed to re-focus my spending, and find a cheaper hobby.

The past few months, I’ve been on lock-down with my funds. While being thrifty doesn’t necessarily mean food has to be boring, that’s exactly what it’s become to me. Not because I don’t still love food, but mostly because of my new time sink: preparing for two 5ks. And while food and 5ks do go together, they don’t in the way I was hoping they would. Minutes into Day One of training, the Mexican burrito that was so delicious for lunch was not nearly as delightful sloshing in my stomach at the track. Turkey, eggs, tuna, fruits, veggies, and whole grains (boiled, steamed, baked or raw) have become my friends simply because they seem to stay down well. And give me more energy for suicides, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, throw-ups, running, sweating, stretching, icing, cursing, cheering, collapsing.

In some ways, my food is not nearly as exciting now, and certainly doesn’t warrant a blog entry; in other ways, I’m so much hungrier lately, I don’t know if I’ve ever appreciated or looked forward to my meals more. It’s been an eye-opener in terms of how and why I eat.

So where does that leave this blog?

I promise I won’t go all Running Blog on you (I would never forgive me either, but I will take this moment to thank Westchester Road Runner for finding me a sneaker that doesn’t make my shins scream). Instead, expect more infrequent entries. When I’ve got noteworthy, exciting food to write about, I’ll post. Two in the pipeline: Zarela and Indochine.

In the meantime, wish me luck with my races! I’ll need it and appreciate the support.