I made a realization last night that I think the reason most people “fail” when they’re trying to adopt a more healthful lifestyle has everything to do about preparation, NOT lack of desire or willpower.
And why did I have this realization? Because I almost fell into this trap.
Sunday’s is typically my “meal prep” day – or the day that I make my lunches for the week. I definitely have my favorites but I like to try something new every now and then. The mistake I made this week was that I was disorganized due to the stat on the Monday. I had literally prepared nothing. Nothing for my lunches or dinners. Sometimes I can pull something out of my hat for dinners – and I make more so I can have leftovers for lunch the next day.
I even failed at that.
So one thing I have noticed is lately we’ve been eating a lot more comfort foods – burgers and fries, pizza, pasta etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I usually have that for a treat – not as fallback meals.
So I decided to hit up Pinterest and I found a meal that sounded perfect- full of veggies, chickpeas, and quinoa. As I needed a lunch for the next day, I walked over to the grocery store at lunch and bought all the ingredients to make it for dinner that night.
However, when I got home from work, as the evening went on, I lost all motivation to make this healthful meal so I decided to make something easy: pasta.
Thankfully after about 10 minutes of sitting there feeling guilty, I made that realization and decided to make the meal as I had planned. It really didn’t take long – the only thing I had to cook was the quinoa- everything else was raw. And the quinoa had to be cooled so I made the quinoa early and waited until it was closer to dinner to make the rest. And it was delicious!
This easily could have been a missed opportunity for a yummy new meal because it’s happened many times in the past; I find a new recipe, I get all the ingredients, I don’t feel like making it, “I’ll make it tomorrow” which never comes, and I have to throw out most of the ingredients. It’s incredibly frustrating!
Does this sound familiar?
Here’s some tips to help you get organized and prepared to combat the evening slump:
- If you eat meat, keep pre-cooked, diced chicken in your fridge.
- If you cook rice, cook extra and store in the fridge – this is helpful in the summer when it’s hot and you don’t want to heat up the house any more than you have to.
- Keep salad kits in the fridge. You know the ones; comes with the dressing and everything. It’s easy enough to add more veggies, maybe diced avocado and diced protein to balance it out.
- Embrace the slow cooker – though easier to do going into the fall.
- Cook more and freeze to make “on the go” meals.
- Spend an hour on the weekend and wash/cut up veggies and store in containers. Easy to grab as a crunchy snack, add to your salad, or making a stir fry.
What are some of your favorite ways to cut down on how much time you spend in the kitchen?