Monday, September 10, 2012

Learning the rhythms

The reality of the challenge I'm facing has begun to sink in, as evidenced by my somewhat unhappy post last Thursday.  My enthusiastic beginnings are being lost under the recognition of what it means to live a sustainable life.  But it's not all rainclouds - the lessons are mostly good ones, about getting into the rhythm of my new department, the farmer's market, and my own habits. 

Learning the rhythms of the Greenmarket took me a few weeks.  Milk and yogurt? Only midweek. Bread? Still haven't found one that balances taste, freshness, and price, but I bought a loaf yesterday that seems promising.  Eggs? Both days, but one of the midweek sellers is from near my undergrad, so nostalgia's making the decision there.  Fish? Only on the weekend.  And there's a daily rhythm as well - essentially, shop in the morning because by mid-afternoon there's not much left that's worth eating.

I'm still learning the rhythms of the department.  A light breakfast is ok on these days, because we have department coffee/tea & snacks mid-morning.  Don't bring lunch on this day because we have department pizza, or on that day because grad students go to lunch with the visiting speaker.  Some other days I'll go to lunch with the other grads, I'm trying to see if anyone else carries theirs and maybe we can eat together so that we aren't just eating at our desks.

My own habits are proving to be the most challenging.  First off, I didn't plan that well in terms of how much I bought when I went shopping a few weeks ago - I didn't get enough snack-type food (nuts, granola, dried fruit), or any pasta, which is a staple for me.  I had to go to the store yesterday (to 4th Street Food Co-op - more on that Thursday!).  My goal is to only go to stores once a month - If I want to avoid future mid-month trips I'm going to have to get better at predicting how much I'm going to eat. 

Part of making sure I buy enough food is realizing how much food is required to make myself 2-3 meals every. single. day.  I'm realizing how much I depended on the dining hall and campus restaurant.  Just to see friends, I ate there with some frequency, but also if I was working late in my lab or didn't have any food in the fridge, I just headed over to the dining hall.  That's not an option any more.  Better planning to make sure I have a well-stocked pantry is imperative going forward.

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