Plans for the New Year: Pin it ’n’ Stick it! (I: Diet)
If I carve out my agenda for the year in tablets of stone, print it out, place it everywhere I look, then I can definitely make my phylacteries broad and prominent; in the least hypocritical manner possible!
Many of you will find this stuff boring; that’s obviously fine. Others may gain inspiration themselves.
A lack of organisation is a problem in modernity. People aren’t always living in a highly ritualised society; people get anxious, from a lack of structure.
Let’s try and get away from that!
- Three ‘slow cooker’ days a week (crock pot, as some of you non-Euroweenie folks across the pond would say!)
- Three meat and soup days.
- One soup and huel day (meat fast).
1. Food Budgeting
I have several months worth of Huel; I moved from making it my only food, to making it an excellent nutritional supplement. So I don’t expect to run through my current stock until at least the summer!
And I have a HUGE bag of rice (plus a few meals’ worth of the previous one). So again: months to play for, even if I used more than three days’ worth a week (as per plan above).
And like the Huel, I’m the only person using it…
COST: £0 per week.
Soup every day is expensive. I’m going to ONLY have soup on the three meat & soup days; plus the fasting day. If I want, I can have two fasting days and thereby skip a meat and soup day. Either way, I’m looking at about £7.50-£10 on soup a week.
COST: £7.50–10 A WEEK.
Skimping on milk is foolish. Not only is it very nutritious, but it also encourages clear-headedness. It calms anxiety; better milk than expensive and (potentially dangerous) alcohol!
Filtered milk lasts a whole week; quite a lot for one person too!
So let’s go with week of filtered milk + four days break + three days of cheap milk, and repeat the cycle.
This require serious scheduling.
COST: £2 A WEEK (average)
Fruit and vegetables
For three days of meals with the slow cooker, plus a few fruit or vegetable snacks the rest of the week…
Say £10 maybe?
(I know they say ‘Five-A-Day.’ But I have to be pragmatic. Anyway, I’m getting a lot of vegetables four days a week from my soup).
COST: £10 A WEEK
Others (Sauces, Condiments, Tea, Coffee)
If you’re not overdoing it with peppermint tea, black tea, or whatever, it shouldn’t cost you very much. To keep myself hydrated, I’m setting a new rule: every mug of tea, coffee, whatever, must be compensated with a two mugs of water. All three drinks must be well spaced out. This will hopefully reduce the risk of dehydration, thus assisting my mental and physical health and general wellbeing; as well as boosting productivity.
So, not very much to spend on these. And condiments are not a big deal; they are not even so important. One jar of cooking sauce per week, the odd bit of salt, pepper, herbs or spices.
COST: £0–10 A WEEK
Alcohol (at home)
Ha ha! You knew this one was coming, didn’t you?
I have a stash of alcohol in my house that I am keeping for emergencies. I get anxiety attacks, albeit very rarely; less than once a month, in fact. But I am essentially swearing off alcohol completely, at home and out alike; until the springtime. I will review the situation in early March.
Alcohol (Pubs) and Coffeshops
No more going to the pub on my own.
If my friends are going, then yes.
Or if I have an open-mic.
This is a great way to make sure I don’t go.
No alcohol. Period!
Get a tonic water or something.
Leave the house with just a couple of pounds in your hand, if that’s what it takes.
IT’LL BE FUN!
Same rule for coffeeshops; don’t be just randomly wandering in. If you are meeting friends, great! If not, not. But when you do go, make sure you really treat yourself (within reason!)
And where appropriate, your friends.
COST: £10 a week.
Junk Food, Vending Machines and Takeaways
No vending machines. EVER.
And in general, junk food and takeaways require serious budgeting.
Allow yourself £20, for a bit of a treat. Where possible, spend under that, and treat yourself to some kind of non-food stuff. Set aside a pot of money.
COST: £20 a week.
Total cost per week:
Let’s say: withdraw £250 at the beginning of the month.
If I can spend under this per month, the amount should be noted, and rolled into a ‘fun fund’ for small luxuries.
This is a diet which is not too austere (given my weird problems with my digestive system and excessive hunger), but is also moderate and responsible. Some people spend over £100 a week on nice food; that won’t be me. However, this ‘Via Media’ or ‘Middle Way’ is enough to encourage restraint and discipline, without discouraging me.
It’s a bit like what Guru Nanak tried to do in India.
You can’t allow yourself to become luxurious and decadent; it’s spiritual and material suicide.
But you can’t be too austere either.
True ‘askesis’ means being disciplined; but it also means being disciplined about your discipline.
More to follow next on other expenses!
Some of this will have seemed very pedantic and boring; but I hope I’ve inspired a few of you to plot and strategise yourself; as well as thinking about some of the deeper philosophical and spiritual issues I’ve just raised.