Part of my early retirement plan involves simplifying what I eat. What I mean by this is reducing the variety of meals that I eat with each meal fulfilling the following characteristics:
- Reasonably cheap
- Quick and easy to prepare
- A high proportion of it fresh, raw or lightly cooked
- Delicious – well, I’ve got to like it!
It’s important to me that this is a middle way strategy – I’ve toyed with the idea of extreme diets in the past, such as raw foodism or extreme budget diets, but I have a suspicion that many of these are at least as much about identity construction in the late-modern age as much as they are about what they claim to be about it – What I mean by this is that while people advertising their healthy diets are obviously keen on the supposed health benefits, and while people on extreme money-saving diets are clearly interested in saving money, it is just as much true that the people on these diets have a psychological need to be recognised as a ‘raw foodist’ or the ‘budget cook’ (ok maybe its less the case with the later).
I’m not claiming to be any different by writing posts like this by the way – I really do want to retire early, and this requires renunciation – but I also like the idea of being (in 7 years time) the guy who managed to (semi-) retire at 48 through employing renunciation as part of of his strategy. Somehow blogging about this now motivates me towards this goal.
Anyhow, my food/ diet plan. (BTW I should make it clear my diet I simply mean ‘food plan’ with a goal to simplifying, being healthy and saving some cash, I am not doing this as a means to weight loss – Lord knows I’m thin enough already!
My meal plan –
Breakfast – Everyday
- Muesli or porridge with milk or yoghurt – What can I say, I love porridge and I love muesli!
- Home-made muffins
- Home made flapjacks
Lunch – Some kind of carb with as much salad as I can stomach
- Bread and soup with as much salad as I can stomach, basically whatever comes off the allotment
- Whatever I’ve got available in bread (i.e. a sandwich)
- Sardines on Toast
- Last nights dinner with cous cous
- pancakes with fruit
- Tuna pasta (especially if running l8r)
Dinner – some kind of carb with whatever veg comes off the allotment
- Potatoes with roast veg
- Ratatouille with rice
- Stir fry
- Dahl with courgette
- Home made pizza if I’ve got the time
- Beans and eggs on toast
- Home made muffin(s) and fruit* for dessert
As far as I see it – there’s sufficient variety above – and every single meal type ticks most of the criteria. Sorted.
Eventually I hope to evolve into ‘man of the forest’ and just graze, but that’ll only happen post-work. This is a pragmatic meantime strategy.
*My fruit strategy involves buying about 15 apples and 10 pears and oranges a week as well as having blueberries, strawberries and raspberries from the allotment for about 3 months of the year.