Tuesday, February 22, 2011

you DO have the time

i'm quickly learning that in the time it takes to

a) go get something to-go and come home...


b) cook something not-so-good for you...

you can make a delicious home cooked meal and have the dishes done! not to mention how much better it is for YOU...

there's a few things required to get to this point... organization and planning... which leads to a little bit of prep work.

on sundays or saturday night, i get most of my planning done. i sit down and jot out when lee's working late, what meals i'll be cooking, what groceries do i need, etc. i even found a cute dry erase board in the back-to-school clearance this past fall:

sometimes this becomes "the grocery list" and we forget the cute little days (that you can BARELY see) on the left...

anyhoo... once i get my groceries, i go ahead and clean the produce (thanks for the tip, rachael ray!)... this in itself saves lots of time!

and if i'm 1/2 way conscious when i head out the door in the morning, i'll set the non-refrigerated/frozen stuff out on the counter before i leave work! that'll shave 2 or 3 minutes of your personal record.

generally, i'm roasting or sauteeing veggies (and the occasional "boil")... so while my oven is preheating or pan is getting hot (or pot boiling), i cut up the veggies... (time saver!)

then, while they're cooking, i go ahead and do what dishes/cleaning i can do... cleaning cutting boards, knives, putting stuff back in the fridge i didn't use... you get the idea. (time saver!)

and although i don't always live by this next rule, but once dinner is on a (paper) plate, i try to do the rest of the dishes first*... and then, if you're time's running close (if it took you two hours to cook.), you can enjoy your dinner while you enjoy your nightly tv...

*if not, i can get 'em done during commercials! :) and its SOOO MUCH faster when its a "family activity" ...my kitchen sign says it best:

OH! and the wayyyy up-side? we're on the cusp of vegetable, home cooking, fresh food perfection... SUMMER!! hello, grill!! i've missed you... i hope you didn't rust when we left the cover off of you all winter.

now, don't get me wrong, i love eating out (and am also learning to make better choices when doing so) and i do sometimes pick something up when lee's out of town or working late. i'm working very hard on making the eating out a treat. a reward. the dangling carrot.

and a lot of its psychological (i beat myself up over this from time to time)... if you want to make it work, you will. if not, you'll just keep doing what you've been doing.

cooking at home certainly has its own set of "ups" and "downs"...when we're extra busy at work, i can sometimes fall off the wagon... but its a learning process for all of us... i enjoy reading your tips just as much as i enjoy sharing... this whole "food challenge" thing has really spurred lots of conversation... i love it!! i'm learning so much, not only from my own reading/research, but from you and your tips and recipes... others have inspired me and i'm hoping to inspire others... VIVA LA REVOLUCION... ok, maybe not quite that extreme.


Edwin and Jessica said...

I do the same thing with cleaning as I cook, it saves so much time! Then when Edwin's not working, he does the rest of the dishes (aka puts them in the dishwasher) and puts away the food after dinner.

Li'l Miss Muffet said...

Thanks for the wisdom "if you want to make it work, you will; if you don't really want it, you'll just keep doing the same old thing" (or something like that). Anyway, it gave me perspective.

Analee said...

i think you're doing a great job. the worst diet is the one where you remove the foods you love from your mouth. you're doing a good job of an actual lifestyle change because you are not removing foods you love, but just giving healthy options and seeing what happens. it is sorta a body-driven response.

eating out is a fun thing to do and it is a great way to test self control. not only by making food choices, but by making one large meal (that they serve) into two reasonable meals for you! that is both a smart choice for your belly and your wallet.

you are such a great mommy. the best part is how much of an example you are setting for her. she doesn't even know it but she's learning your and lee's smart ways even at 1! not only the way you choose what you eat, but the way you organize your grocery lists, unpack your groceries, cook your meals, and share lovin' during the dish-washin'! ha!