An Experiment With Less: Week 2

Week Two of my experiment with avoiding alcohol, sugar, flour and processed foods might have gone fine…if it weren’t for the sullying of my home food environment. I’m quite adamant that willpower is fickle, but smart strategies win the day, and setting up your home food environment for success is a critical strategy when you are trying to make any sort of nutritional improvements. (See this post for more on that topic.)
It all started when Jeff got a wild hair to bake banana bread this weekend. OK, fine, I figured, it’s homemade, it’s yummy, and it doesn’t have nearly as much sugar as most quick breads. Half of it got wrapped up for freezer, and we enjoyed the rest with eggs for breakfast and as a not-too-sweet dessert.
Then we went grocery shopping at PCC, and a small (short) baguette and a hunk of good cheese fell into our cart (not by my hand). OK, fine, I figured, a bit of baguette and cheese isn’t a huge deal in a weekend filled with lots of healthy food (protein, veggies, and so on).
Then Tuesday, as we were riding home on the train, I noticed that his Whole Foods grocery bag contained not just a full-size baguette (which I was trying to ignore) but also two cupcakes. Two good cupcakes. Clearly a conversation needed to happen, and here is a somewhat dramatized account of how that conversation went down:

Me: “Dude, seriously? What are you trying to do to me?” 

Jeff: “Huh, what?” 

Me: “Really? Bringing baguettes and cupcakes into the house, right after the banana bread thing?” 

Jeff: “Oh, well, you don’t have to have any.” 

Me: “If cupcakes and baguettes are in the house, I will end up eating cupcakes and baguette. Hello…home food environment? Critical!” 

Jeff: “Yeah, I think I read a blog post about that.”

So we came to an agreement that no spontaneous breads and sweets will follow him home from Whole Foods (or elsewhere). I’m all for spontaneity, but not with cupcakes. That’s a treat that should be planned for, so the anticipation can be enjoyed and savored well before the first bite.
Honestly, other than when those foods were right in front of my face (and, again, this was quality bread, quality cheese and quality cupcakes), I have not missed sugar, flour or alcohol, other than the most fleeting bits of wistfulness. I think going with out any lovely glasses of wine (sigh) has been the easiest. Not quite sure why, maybe because it’s not food as is more easily dismissed as being nonessential. Actually, avoiding processed foods has been easy, too, mostly because we eat so few of them to begin with.