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a surefire sign of adulthood: getting real with your eating habits

It hit me the other day when I was checking out at Trader Joe’s that I eat like a five-year-old. I always have mini pizza bites and Morningstar buffalo wings in my freezer, and regularly eat a bowl of plain rice, polenta, or cereal for dinner. I drink apple juice out of boxes marketed for schoolchildren, and my favorite lunch is grilled cheese and tomato soup.

It’s weird because sometimes I feel like I come off as someone who’s all about organic food, loves to try new vegetables, and shops at farmer’s markets. All of these things are mostly true–but I also realized I’ve gotten to the point where I’m realistic about how and what I eat. Like when I make a salad at work–a year ago I would have loaded it up with a little bit of everything, and then ended up picking around certain things. I like the idea of tomatoes, but I’m not one to pop cherry tomatoes for a snack. And I’m probably only going to want one slice of cucumber. AND I’ll probably avoid that hard-boiled egg.

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This mentality of having an internal discussion about what I’m actually going to eat has translated to grocery shopping. You know those cardboard cartons of soup? I’m not gonna finish that before it expires. I’ll probably heat up one bowl, and then forget about it in the back of the fridge. Bagged lettuce? No way am I going to eat all that before it starts turning brown and squelchy. (Wow, for a food writer, these descriptions are on freaking point.)

I deeply believe that life is all about balance. Sure, I’ll have Kraft mac & cheese for dinner every once in a while, but I also eat a banana for breakfast everyday. I ate a donut yesterday, but I also spent 45 minutes in a cycling class. So even though, @TraderJoesCashier, the only things in my shopping basket the other day were cookie butter, Gouda cheese, avocados, yogurt, and fruit leather, I PROMISE you I bought a salad for lunch every day this week.

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can’t stop, won’t stop (thinking)

One of my earliest and most meaningful memories is from a school assembly I went to as a kindergarten student. I have no idea what the premise was for gathering a group of 5-12 year olds in the school’s gymnasium, but I clearly remember one woman introducing another–I couldn’t tell you whether they were firefighters giving a safety presentation or teachers being presented with awards, but the way this woman was introduced *literally* impacted my life. She was presented to myself and my fidgety, cross-legged sitting classmates as someone whose brain never shuts off, someone who is constantly thinking.

For some reason, this struck a chord with five-year-old me. I wanted to be the kind of person who was always thinking, the kind of person who woke up in the middle of the night with a great idea and kept a notepad on their nightstand to record those inconvenient moments of brilliance. Whether or not my brain works this way because of this assembly, I’ll never know, but it literally never shuts off. I’m not saying I’m a genius because I’m definitely not, but I am constantly thinking, and it’s actually super annoying.

Most of the ideas I have for posts on this blog come from random thoughts I have while binge-watching Family Guy at 2am or staring at my ceiling, sleeplessness c/o caffeine overdoses and insomnia. When I have new ideas for posts, I have to write a note to myself on my phone–plenty of times, I told myself I’d remember the next morning, but sure enough, those thoughts were lost to the void. Of course, quite often when I later look at the notes I typed when I was half-asleep, they’re incoherent and a little amusing.

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I like to tell prospective employers that I’m the kind of person who’s never not working–and it’s true. I may work 9-5 in an office everyday, but when I’m not freezing to death at my desk I’m pitching and writing freelance pieces or pouring my heart into this blog. My brain is also never not working, though not always productively. I’m constantly thinking about the future, overthinking the past, and under-thinking how much sleep I need.

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