Gretel Hallet, is a trained Chocolate Fairy and is running the Getting Started half day workshop in Norwich. If you live in East Anglia and want to know more about Beyond Chocolate, get in touch with Gretel.
I never thought it would come to this ... but I am becoming bored with eating out. For the record, I have always been a person who loved to eat out, who ate out at every opportunity, who never passed a cafe or a fast food shop without buying something. Eating out has always been a big treat for me - I suspect it stems from the fact that when I was a child we almost never ate out (my parents couldn't afford it) and I remember long car journeys where my long-suffering mother passed round the cheese and marmite sandwiches she'd been up early preparing. Also, when I was a child, there were fewer opportunities and options when it came to eating out. There have always been cafes but the proliferation of cafes of all shapes and sizes has been a relatively recent phenomenon; particularly the outbreak of coffee vendors (often branches of huge companies - you know who I mean!). Now there is a bewildering array of food outlets and constant opportunities to eat at all times of the day and night, even in the small market town where I live.
So what has happened? Why am I feeling this ennui about eating out? Several things have changed for me recently;
1. I've moved jobs from a position a mile away from shops to one in the centre of town.
2. I've moved from being part-time (3 days a week) to full-time.
3. I've had to re-organise myself so that I'm using time in the mornings to do a bit of housework and some preparation towards the evening meal, to save me time in the evenings and to prevent the housework all piling up for the weekend, so I have less time to prepare packed lunches.
4. I don't much like packed lunches, I find them boring.
5. I've been working with Beyond Chocolate for 3 years now and there have been a number of significant shifts in my attitude to and relationship with food.
All of these have combined to make me feel less enthusiastic about eating out - which is most unexpected.
So now I have to think what I want to do about this .... I guess the options are:
1. rotate my lunch-hours round the various cafes and eating places available to me
2. rotate packed lunches with eating out
3. go back to packed lunches
4. take it a day at a time and decide which I want to do today
5. stop eating at lunch time.
All, apart from number 5, are reasonable options and I'll have to experiment and see what works best for me. At least my meals are no longer prescribed by whichever diet I'm following at the moment, at least now I get to choose - although, clearly, choice carries with it its own burdens ... will I never be satisfied?!