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100 Blocks January 9, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.

Big-BenA few months back (about 7400 blocks ago), Tim (@ Wait But Why) did an interesting post on time allocation ~ 100 Blocks A Day.

Definitely worth a read if “better time management” is one of your resolutions for 2017.

While I appreciated his approach, two thoughts occurred to me as I considered his analysis:

(1) When deciding whether to cook dinner (3 blocks) or order in (0 blocks), the time used that day doesn’t take into consideration the hours given up to earn the money to buy food vs. paying someone else to do the cooking.


We save time by hiring others to do stuff we don’t want to do for ourselves . . . but we’ve already spent time to earn the money needed to pay them.

Perhaps we need to factor in those hidden costs in deciding whether to cook or hire someone to cook for us.

(2) We might also want to take into consideration the blocks of time lost down the road by ordering in “junk food” instead of preparing healthy food.

If we get diabetes or heart disease, we may lose years of blocks off our grid.

I think we’ll cook for ourselves tonight!

Aah . . . that’s better!




1. Rainee - January 9, 2017

You make some valid points there Nancy!

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Thanks, Rainee. I had another thought this morning:

Maybe Tim inherited his dough . . . with no trade off of time or energy. Then again, maybe he viewed the earning portion of the equation as “sunk costs.”

For most of us, we need to strike the right balance between trading $’s to save time or time to save $’s.

2. Jill Weatherholt - January 9, 2017

I’ll always choose cooking for ourselves. Eating out will pack on the weight and cause health problems…even if you think you’re making smart choices.

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

I concur, Jill! There are healthy options out there, but temptation abounds. Besides, I like knowing what we put in the food that we put into our mouths.

An occasional night out is plenty for us.

3. Under the Oaks - January 9, 2017

I’m thinking that is a healthy slice of pizza there!

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

That’s a delicious and nutritious Spanakopita Pizza, Pix.
Here’s the recipe . . .


Under the Oaks - January 9, 2017

Thank you!

nrhatch - January 9, 2017


4. Ally Bean - January 9, 2017

Where I live it would take at least 3 blocks, probably more, to order in food because we’d have to drive there and back home. No delivery service. SO cooking for ourselves, which I prefer, requires fewer blocks than ordering in. *yeah!*

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Living “off the grid” can be such a timesaver! When we lived on the Eastern Shore of MD, we were 20+ minutes drive from the closest restaurant, pizza parlor, or fast food ~ we developed healthy habits that stuck with us when we moved back to “civilization.”

Ally Bean - January 9, 2017

That’s what happened to us. We used to live in a small town where we could walk to any restaurant we wanted, but once we moved the suburban wasteland dining out became a chore. For all the bad rap that the suburbs get, this cooking at home is a good thing no one mentions.

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Good point, Ally. And think of all the exercise suburbanites get from mowing the yard, taking out the trash, picking up the mail, and hoeing the garden!

Having favorite restaurants within walking distance would be a great temptation. Here, we’re 3 miles from the closest restaurant. Going out has to be a conscious decision.

5. Joanne Sisco - January 9, 2017

I’ll have a plate of what’s in that last photo, please.
oh, you don’t deliver? C’est dommage 😉

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Delivering to your neck of the woods would take a few too many blocks, Joanne. C’est la vie!

Most of our meals are a mish-mash of tastes and textures using mix and match ingredients ~ a trick I learned watching a friend fix lunch for her toddler. We take a little bit of this and a little bit of that and end up with a “party on a plate.”

Joanne Sisco - January 9, 2017

That’s a great idea. I especially liked the celery and peanut butter. This is not something I would have thought to do, but it’s a excellent addition.
I will occasionally have apple slices with peanut butter, even carrots, but celery is a new one 🙂

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Love peanut butter and celery AND peanut butter and apple. Now I have to try peanut butter and carrots. 😀

6. Kate Crimmins - January 9, 2017

Your dinner looks good although I love sweet potato fries too. I’ve learned how to make them “healthy.” 🙂

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

We make steak fries by baking potato wedges with a bit of olive oil and seasonings. Is that how you make sweet potato fries?

Kate Crimmins - January 9, 2017

Yes. they are wonderful like that.

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Thanks, Kate. I’m going to give them a try. Most of the time, I bake sweet potatoes whole or steam and mash them. Sweet Potato Steak Fries will be a nice change of pace.

7. Tippy Gnu - January 9, 2017

I sometimes find blocks of frozen food in the freezer. It’s real handy. I just stick it in the oven at 350, and it comes out tasting semi-edible in about 45 minutes.

But I agree. Cooking for yourself is much healthier and tastier than relying on fast food or preprocessed crap.

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Frozen food looks and tastes better after a time out in the oven!

8. colonialist - January 9, 2017

One needs to be a blockhead not to take those factors into consideration – or is it a mental block?

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Haha! To unblocking our mental roadblocks!

9. Behind the Story - January 9, 2017

Many of us have tendencies one way or the other–to think first about saving either money or time. It’s a good idea to consider both possibilities. I agree that home cooking is best, but every week or two I allow myself to save a little time and buy something at the deli at the local coop. They have healthy food, and besides saving time, it’s nice to try some new tastes.

nrhatch - January 9, 2017

Absolutely agree, Nicki. We don’t eat out often, but it’s a nice change of pace . . . especially if we order something that isn’t in our regular repertoire at home.

10. Bun Karyudo - January 10, 2017

I can’t fault your logic! I think we may cook our own dinner tonight.

nrhatch - January 11, 2017

Topped off with a home brew . . . of cappuccino!

Bun Karyudo - January 12, 2017

Hey, sounds good! 🙂

nrhatch - January 12, 2017

Yes, you must make the most of your new machine!

11. Debra - January 11, 2017

I think your analysis of the “block math” is congruent with how I think, too, Nancy. We have some wonderful vegetarian, vegan and extremely nutritious options for dining very close to home, including take-out, but you pay dearly for quality. Once in a while we enjoy that, but I don’t find cooking and food preparation a chore, at least not generally. I tend towards finding it relaxing. Doing dishes…I would love to hire someone to do the clean-up! 🙂

nrhatch - January 11, 2017

I’m the same, Debra ~> cooking is a relaxing and pleasant creative endeavor . . . most of the time. BFF often acts as sous chef and/or handles clean-up. If neither of us is in the mood to cook, we can usually find something stashed in the freezer to heat and eat. But it’s also fun to eat out on occasion, especially if we order something that we can’t easily fix for ourselves.

12. L. Marie - January 12, 2017

Wow. I never thought about it before, but cooking for myself is less time consuming. If I cook something in the oven, I can multitask while the food is cooking.

nrhatch - January 12, 2017

Yes! Some food is fussy . . . I leave those recipes to other people to fiddle with. But lots of our favorite recipes are easy, delicious, nutritious and not terribly time consuming.

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