I'm at a Point Financially Where I Have to Choose Between Rent Money and Affording My Restrictive Diet -- and I'm Choosing My Diet

I know I’m probably going to get killed in the comments for this, but I like being conventionally attractive. It’s an easy life.
Publish date:
May 2, 2013
money, food, body, paleo diet

For more Olga, check out our sister site, xoVain.com.

At some point toward the end of last year, I decided I needed to make some upgrades. Since I had already upgraded apartments, I figured next up should be my body.

I'd tried going vegan and vegetarian before, but the diets made me tired and slow. Also, I love meat, dammit, and I don’t care who knows it. Surrender all of your steak.

I began looking into Paleo because I was looking for a diet that would not only whittle me down, but also fuel me with energy to work out on a daily basis. Paleo, or my interpretation of it, seemed simple enough –- eat your meats, eat your vegetables and eat your fruits and nuts. That’s it. No gluten, no dairy, nothing processed and packaged. Also, I figured this would be a great way to keep my body in shape and take in more nutrients.

Side note: This is about me. Not you. I know I’m not fat. I’m not advocating others should be Paleo, too. I am also not calling anyone else fat just because their body doesn’t look like mine. I’m not striving to be skinny. I just want to look the best I can for the standards I have set up for myself and no one else. You do you, homie. And I’ll do me. Living.

And we’re back!

I’ve been gluten-free on and off since 2006. That’s right. Before it was cool. So cutting out pasta and bread wasn’t going to be difficult for me. What was going to be difficult was walking by The Bedford Cheese Shop every day. Oh, and Paleo is expensive, yo.

Since you’re limited to only fresh produce and meats, you can’t just buy stacks on stacks on stacks of Ramen Noodles and call it breakfast, lunch and dinner. You have to start buying ingredients and begin cooking.

Also, it’s encouraged to buy organic produce and grass-fed meats. That stuff costs a lot of money.

I am not from a wealthy family and my writer’s salary covers the basics, but I’ve recently been hit with this horrible awful thing called taxes. On top of my regular bills, I now owe the government some cash.

(Hi there, IRS! I’m really working on getting you your money –- and if Charlie Sheen is reading this, I owe way less then $100k, so if you can throw this perma-drunk blonde with serious daddy issues a few grand, I’d really appreciate it. K. Thnx. Byeeee.)

Now I have to make a decision. Do I go back to eating crap because it’s cheap and risk stomach bloat and bad skin all in the name of paying my rent or do I walk to Whole Foods and buy my groceries for the week, remaining in banging shape, thank you very much?

Yeah. I’m going with the latter. Jane’s favorite word to describe me is “superficial” and she’s absolutely right. Also, I just got these awesome skinny jeans and it would be wasting money if I couldn’t fit them anymore.

I mean, obviously I’m going to pay my rent. Are you kidding me? I’m 28 years old and I don’t have the luxury of moving back in with my parents. But I made a promise to myself in January that if I was going to be 28 years old and single, then I’d be 28, single and out-of-control hot. Hold on to all of your boyfriends.

Also, I’m kind of over being so noncommittal in life. My diet is a commitment I want to keep to myself. I’m eating better, I’m cooking more (my one domestic skill!) and I’m exercising and overall, living a pretty healthy life.

I know I should be buying up the Foodtown’s supply of Hot Chilli and Shrimp Ramen instead of buying $10 cans of coconut oil and $4 bushels of kale, but the thought of eating that processed crap and what it’s going to do to the inside and outside of my body kind of makes me want to gag, you know?

And come to think of it, why is it that cheap eats are always the most processed and unhealthy? Why are fresh foods so expensive? How are people with a lower income supposed to maintain a balanced diet when processed foods, as well as fast foods, are more affordable and therefore preferable due to their convenience? Is the advertising for these cheap processed and fast foods aimed at low-income families contributing to the growing food insecurity in this country? Has something as simple as good nutrition become a privilege amongst the “haves” while the “have-nots” are caught in cycle of poor nutrition, poor health, and possibly bad skin?

Whoa. What happened? I blacked out. What was I talking about? Oh, yeah, the Paleo diet is helping me look good and that’s really shallow but super-important to me. I know I’m probably going to get killed in the comments for this, but I like being conventionally attractive. It’s an easy life. Hot girl privilege is awesome.

As far as making sure my bills and debts and rents are paid, I’m picking up all the writing projects I can, cutting down on clothes shopping, eating out less, never saying no to free drinks, and walking my friends’ dogs. All in the name of eating an avocado every day.

Also, eating Paelo has kind of transformed me into a decent chef in my kitchen. The more limited I am, the more creative I get with my meals. I’m cooking up all kind of stuff. I make a mean silky zucchini ginger soup (served best chilled) and I’m loading my burgers up with spinach, onions and garlic. Yum!

Also, I look pretty, you guys!

I can’t be the only one making irresponsible financial decisions. Repent in the comments and relive your guilt. Or brag. Whatever.