Day Zero: a month without (buying) takeout

I haven’t actually been paying a lot of attention to my Day Zero list since I started it (in December 2012), but after a random series of reminders, I took a look at it again a few weeks ago (I’m really not doing well), and decided it was time to start working toward some things again. And because I don’t believe in easing my way into things, I figured I’d start with one of the harder goals on the list: going a month without buying takeout.

June, I thought, would be a perfect month. I’m not teaching so I have time to cook. My schedule is lax enough that I can easily plan it around meals. Also, June only has 30 days.

Now, when I say takeout, I’m not just talking about Wendy’s (although I do love their french fries and Frosties). No, for me I defined this as any non-service restaurant or establishment where I might buy pre-prepared food in its final state (so things like Meijer rotisserie chickens are still okay). This means no fast food, no delivery (or pickup, I suppose) pizza, no soft pretzels while I’m at the mall, no Panera…

I’ve made a few exceptions, though. I’ll eat the food on the above list if someone else purchases it for me, or if I’m invited out and it would socially unacceptable to sit there looking sad and hungry. Mostly, these exceptions are just so that my already-lacking social life doesn’t die completely during this month. Oh, and I’ve also made an exception for movie theater popcorn because, come on!

To a lot of people maybe this doesn’t seem that hard, but it has been a challenge for me so far (and I’m not even halfway done!). I don’t grab burgers every day, but I eat probably more than my fair share of takeout, and I have a horrible soft spot for Auntie Anne’s Pretzels every time I go to the mall. But I did go through a phase in February and March, when I was moving and traveling, where it seemed that almost every meal was restaurant or takeout, and I swear I’m still feeling the after-effects of that (both health- and money-wise).

So I’m hoping this will inspire me to cook more, and help me get back on the right track health-wise. It might be a bit early, but I’m tentatively calling this goal a success!

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