May 21, 2016

Making Things Happen in the Kitchen

Avoiding eating out has always been a struggle for Charles and I.  We are big fans of so many of Orlando's locally owned restaurants, and we'll try a new dish any opportunity we get. We'll eat everything from curry, sushi, tacos, to pho. We've been especially obsessed with ramen since our trip to Japan last summer.  How can something be so good and bad at the same time?! I love that we're both huge food enthusiasts and enjoy gourmet adventures together, but jam-packing too many of these outings in a couple of weeks can wreck havoc on your wallet - and - love handles.

It's all about moderation. As we've been simplifying our lives, we're also making it a point to cut back and cook more at home. Both of us have sensitive stomachs so we feel way better and energized when we eat wholesomely too.

I've found that buying lots of greens and fruits alone doesn't equate to a week full of healthy home cooked meals though. I hate to admit it, but there have been plenty of weeks we've thrown out untouched melons, legumes, and even meat following a shopping spree. I'd get home from work tired and look in the fridge thinking "what should we cook tonight" only to give up and order take-out after being overwhelmed by all of the scattered, uncooked items in front of me.

As with other aspects of our lives, I'm finding that simplifying and organizing helps us practically meet our goals. We're choosing basic ingredients that can be used for multiple dishes. I'll keep in mind how I can use a vegetable in at least two different meals while planning. I think it's important to limit how many items of each food group you want to buy at the store beforehand also because if you're anything like me, the organic section can lure you into buying way more than you intended. That way you're buying just the right amount of produce for the week. I plan mainly for dinners since we take left overs to work for lunch and try not to buy more than 3-4 kinds of fruits and meats, and 4-6 kinds of vegetables. That's about the amount of fresh food we actually consume. You can always add frozen veggies or meatballs if you run out. If cooking isn't really your thing either - which is totally okay - meal planning may help you whip out dinner throughout the week. meal plan with grocery list

Btw, most grocery stores replenish during the middle of the week. That's the case with Aldi, (where we typically shop) so it's smart to buy groceries then to extend the livelihood of your produce. You can free up the weekend for funner activities that way, too. We've loved making the switch!

For motivation and accountability's sake, I took pictures of our simple meals this week. Here's a glimpse at what was on our table.


We need to exercise more and stop caving in to our sweet tooth - but I'm so proud of us for cooking dinner this entire week! You gotta celebrate the little victories. I'd love to hear what works for you in the kitchen. Do you meal plan?

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