Usually when I'm not working out like I should, I tend to just let my eating habits go south as well. (I'm kind of an all or nothing kind of girl, if you haven't noticed.) The past couple weeks though, I've accidentally embarked on a healthier food track. It all started with a bag of lettuce that was past its expiration date....
I love to buy groceries on sale, in bulk. (I ALWAYS have at least 3 boxes of oatmeal in my pantry.) I know the Food Lion sales cycles and it usually works out for me. Even if we don't eat something before the expiration date rolls around, there's always the freezer. Meat, vegetables, bagels, it's all up there- bought at the peak of sales and lying in wait frozen.
There's pretty much only one thing that I can't freeze and that's lettuce. So when I discovered a bag of salad greens (only just a little) past the expiration date in my crisper, I had to take immediate action and pack a salad to take to school that day. And it still seemed to be okay the next day, so salad again it was. Then, when I shopped that afternoon, I just couldn't resist a buy-one-get-one-free coupon on two fresh bags of spinach and lettuce! At this point, I'm packing a salad each day for lunch just trying to keep a little ahead of the expiration dates.
(I should mention, at this point, that I've only been a salad eater for a few years, and really only started "craving" salads in the past months. I think I was served a salad about once a year in my childhood, so it didn't really catch on. It's really amazing in itself that I'm making or eating these green dishes at all.)
Anyway, my students seem to be amazingly obsessed with whatever I'm eating, sometimes trying to get their little faces and hands alarmingly close to my food. I feel pretty lame and a horrible example when I get questions like, "Oh! What kind of Hot Pocket is that?!" ("Kids, it's a Lean Pocket, okay, that would be totally disgusting if I ate Hot Pockets on a weekly
(It's obvious that I don't actually say those things, right?)
So, I always feel better when I pack something healthy and their little eyes light up just as much over whole wheat sandwiches, fish, or yogurt. It's been a real treat though, to field their questions over two weeks of salad: "Agh! Are you eating leaves? Did you forget that you're a teacher and not a giraffe?" ("Dear children, that's real greens with nutrients you see there, not the iceberg filler they put in your side salads.") and "What are those chunks of stuff in your salad?" and especially, "Don't you need to put some ranch on that, Mrs. ______?" ("No, kids, no one needs 3 packets of ranch dressing for one salad or really anything on this earth.")
I hope I don't sound like a food snob here (remember I'm the same girl with the Lean Pockets), but I'm just kind of fed up with this whole cafeteria food thing....but that's an issue for a whole other post. It did make me smile though when one of my students said proudly last week, "Look, Mrs. _______, I'm just like you! I'm having a salad and a bottle of water!" I'm a little bit less ashamed of my example now. Let's see how many more salads I can show off between now and the last day of school!