Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week 2 - Eating out

When we first started this week of only eating out, I was stoked. Not only did I not have to worry about cooking all week, think of all the options! For a whole week I wouldn't just be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at my desk at noon but actually leaving the office to seek out exciting options. There would be no dishes after dinner or snacks in the cupboard beckoning me in the evening! Sadly, I think the abundance of options in Uptown Charlotte was too overwhelming for me. On Day 1, instead of going to get a burrito or exciting soup and sandwich, I just went across the road to the Federal Reserve building dining room and got whatever veggies they had grilled up and a soda. But that's the thing about eating out when you don't do it every day - it seems really exciting until you actually have to make a decision and then poof! it's just too stressful and you end up eating an eggroll.

For about half of this week, Russell and I were on the road to a wedding of good friends in D.C. Despite being in one of the more expensive cities on the east coast, we found some reasonable meal prices while there thanks to some local help. We also stopped to have lunch with some college professors in Roanoke, VA, and then in Durham/Chapel Hill, NC, on the way home to see family.

Total cost: $307
Garbage: Only one bag at home but the take-out containers definitely built up at my office and we were out of town most of the week so who knows.
Weight: Good question. Being out of town meant we never made it to the gym just before or just after our eating out week. However, we both feel flabbier though that could be due to less exercise and more sitting in a car over the last week.

General observations:
  • Being vegetarian, let alone vegan, isn't easy when you eat out. I've written about this numerous times before but when you're limiting yourself to eating out, being vegan is nearly impossible. Non-meat options almost always include cheese or cream of some sort.
  • My stomach can't take restaurant food 7 days in a row. Though we were able to stay close to vegetarianism, eating at restaurants means heavier food and more preservatives than our standard diet which meant more bellyaches.
  • Eating out is not cheap. I'm sure there's some way you could translate the amount of time I didn't spend cooking or procuring ingredients into money but just looking at the totals, my pocketbook took a hit this week.
  • We saw a lot more of our friends, at least for dinner. Eating lunch out was still a solitary activity but we ended up sharing many a meal both in Charlotte and D.C. with friends we don't see often.
  • Soda comes with everything. Taking a page from Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me, I bought a soda every time a restaurant cashier suggested adding it to my meal. This meant that I drank a lot more than my once a week non-water drink.
Meal highlights:
  • Pizza. We ate pizza both at a great restaurant in Charlotte, the Pizza Peel, and one in the Eastern Market neighborhood in D.C. called Matchbox. Both were far better than your average Domino's but, of course, we paid for it.
  • Woodlands Pure Vegetarian Indian. Trying to maintain our vegetarianism, we took some friends to our favorite Indian restaurant in Charlotte, Woodlands. They specialize in vegetarian and vegan options and it was, as always, absolutely delicious.
  • K.O. Sushi. This is a restaurant in Uptown that does take out/delivery only and they have a mean vegetarian udon soup. Spicy, but delicious, and only $7 including tax.
Sounds pretty delicious right? It was but I'm not sure if it was three-times-the-price-of-grocery-store delicious. Next week: eating only what we find at the farmers market or local bakeries and restaurants.

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