Confession: I have never been to Rome. Tijuana and Winnipeg are the only cities outside of the United States that I have spent any time in. The saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” makes me think about how our culture and surroundings influence or choices.
To do, or not to do? Perhaps that is the important question. Sometimes where you live and work can influence what is done and not done. Isn’t it amazing how environment can impact choices?
When in NW Rochester, MN
Our home is close to the newest Hy-Vee grocery store in Rochester. It boasts a large produce section and everything in the Health Market is 10% off on Wednesdays. My fiance and I are members of the Rochester Athletic Club (RAC), which is a ten minute drive from our door. A block up from our house, there’s a bike path. I believe it’s part of the Douglas State Trail. My office is in our home.
Since it’s close and wonderful, I shop for fresh groceries two to three times per week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Almost every day, I go to the RAC. My yoga mat is almost always rolled out on our bedroom floor, so I do at least a flow or two each day. When it’s nice out, my fiance, our Jack Russell Terrier Lucy, and I go for walks on the trail near our home. I cook at home most days and bake once or twice a week.
When I Lived in Elgin, MN and Worked in Rochester
Elgin is 20 minutes outside of Rochester. Groceries were purchased using my bi-weekly checks. So, every other Tuesday, I would go to the grocery store and stock up. Back then, I shopped at Target more. I also bought way more processed foods. With work, commuting, and my stress level, I didn’t cook often. When I did, it was usually burnt grilled cheese sandwiches and french fries. You can ask my daughter, she’ll be happy to inform you that sometimes she misses burnt grilled cheese sandwiches. She’s in shock about how much my kitchen skills have improved.
Also, often when I’d been unsatisfied in my work, I’d turn to sugar and chocolate to get me through the day.
Toward the end of my time living in Elgin, I did join the RAC. I became a member when I started selling cars. To take the edge off after work, I would go to the gym and get on an elliptical. After some time, I started taking some of their yoga classes. There was a path in Elgin, not far from the house I lived in. Sometimes, I would go for walks alone.
When I think about how location can influence food and wellbeing choices, I think about how hard it must be to live in a place with limited access to adequate food choices. In my life, I’ve noticed a massive shift for the better thanks to where I live and work. How does someone living in a food desert feel in terms of hope and well-being? What choices does someone living in a refugee camp have?
What about you? Has your routine ever changed because of a move? I’d love to know. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is part of a series inspired by Eat Pray Love.