These days, I often feel pulled between conflicting objectives.  Just yesterday, for example, I felt torn between my recent efforts to be healthier and avoid high fructose corn syrup and my very serious desire to buy a bag of Tootsie Rolls from the Halloween candy aisle at the grocery store.  (Improbably, the healthy lifestyle beat the Tootsie Rolls.  I rewarded myself for my good behavior by eating three packets of M&Ms I’d swiped from work as soon as I got home.)

Or take, for example, the constant tug of the more stuff/less stuff battle.  I’ve been trying hard to keep clutter to a minimum, to stop accumulating so much, to keep closer tabs on my spending.  I’m trying hard to be more mindful of what I actually need, or really want for reasons other than just “ooh! shiny!”  Shoes and books are my biggest culprits- we definitely do not need a single additional shoe or book in this house, yet I find myself consistently eyeing a new pair of heels or boots, and I can’t seem to walk out of a bookstore empty handed.  This has led to a lengthy list entitled “Shoes I covet but am not allowed to buy” (actually exists on my computer), and a strict “no bookstores” policy.

(What, you want to see an example?  Fine.  Here you go.  Aren’t they beautiful? )

As part of this “accumulate less stuff” campaign, I’ve also started trying to waste less food by meal planning.  This does not always work (see, eg, last Thursday’s steep descent into fiscal and culinary irresponsibility via Homemade Pizza Company) but it’s helping, and it’s gratifying to use up all the groceries I buy in a week without letting the veggies go slimy in the drawer.

Sometimes, though, being such a frugal and waste-free consumer is a major bummer.  Case in point:  I made some blondies from a recipe that looked really delicious the other day.  They smelled awesome, looked awesome, and tasted….not awesome.  But they weren’t terrible, either.  Therein lies the problem.  If they were truly wretched, I would have been able to overcome my reluctance to waste food and throw them away.  But since they’re merely average, not awful, my “waste not want not” ethic is butting up against my “be healthier” mission, and I’m stuck.  Because I really don’t want to undermine my health efforts by eating a bunch of high calorie, less-than-fully-delicious blondies, but I can’t justify making a new batch of more-delicious goodies until this current batch is gone.

You would think, perhaps, that this would be a good thing: uninspired by current treats, but with no other treat options in the house, I would forego treats entirely!  Break the sugar cycle! Become the kind of person who doesn’t crave desserts!

You would be wrong.  Last night I ate 12 jumbo marshmallows from a bag that was leftover from a camping trip.  A camping trip we took in August.  Yes, clearly this “avoid high fructose corn syrup” thing is going swimmingly.

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