Two weeks ago Andrew and I decided that instead of the typical "New Year's Resolutions" that always make me feel guilty and inevitably fail (mostly because I forget about them), we carved out one small lifestyle change (and I art-ed about a few Life Journey stuffs I wanted to realize).
Pre-made meals (such as zoodles, Kraft Dinner, frozen pizza) only ONCE a week.
Previous to that we were averaging about four of these bad boys a week, and my dry compost pile (and ridiculous amount of gross preservatives and unhealthy nutrition) was piling up. It was just so much easier to have a meal in 10 minutes (KD) than 45min. That and a few other obstacles (check out the post for details) meant it felt like a daunting task.
Surprisingly, these past two weeks have been a fabulous success! We stuck to our 1 pre-made meal (ordered pizza on Sunday) and we've survived. A few things that I feel have helped so far:
- Sitting and chatting about this life change together. Sometimes I get excited and make all these changes or plans without consulting Andrew. As a result, they often feel like "my" goals or plans, placing the onus solely on myself. I feel burdened, stressed and guilty and ultimately it fails. This time we sat down around coffee (fair trade organic!), chatted about what we'd BOTH like to change and made a decision together.
- Meal planning. So far each Sunday we've sat down and planned what we'd like to eat for the week. Then (after some coffee) we head out to the market and grocery store to purchase what we need.
- Choosing some easy meals and some more involved meals. Tonight we had chicken quesadillas. Easy peasy that I used to make during my undergrad.
- We make our meals together. I can't emphasize enough how much easier cooking healthier meals can be when I have a cooking partner. We both take on important roles and do our fair share of the work. Then we thank each other for the lovely meal. :)
EcoYogini's Ginger Beef (modified from Chef Michael Smith's "Chef at Home" recipe)
cubed beef (if you can find grass fed beef that would be ideal- confession, we didn't...:S)
1 knob of ginger, thinly sliced
1 cup of organic beef broth (or broth you made yourself! we are not that crafty yet, small steps!)
1 jar of orange marmalade (again, if you made this yourself that is seriously fab)
1 cup of orange juice
1 tbsp of 5 spice powder
1 clove of garlic, chopped.
Prior to searing, salt the beef (Andrew used Kosher salt). In a large-ish pot (we used our awesome Green Pan dutch oven-y thingy), heat the pan and using tongs sear the beef (Andrew flips them once to sear two sides: "It's a lot of beef").
Take the beef out and put it aside.
Add the ginger with the beef juices (ick) until it softens, then add the garlic.
Re-insert the beef and add the liquids (and marmalade and the spice powder).
Put on a tight fitting lid and let simmer for about an hour.
Serve with rice and veggies of choice! It tastes so deliciously like yummy spicy citrus. We had enough left over for my lunch today as well. Here's to hoping this meal planning, sans boxed healthy eating lasts past the one month mark!