As (self proclaimed) champion of cuisine and the lean I must confess I have been living a lie over the past few months. As much as I have been working out and trying to revive my sexy my eating habits have been the worst.This was my day yesterday:
6am – Woke up with the intention of working out, instead hit the snooze.
7:45am- Got out of bed and stumbled into the shower.
9:10 am- Arrived at work.
9:10 am-1:30pm- Cooked a week worth of meals for a family, only tasting as needed, and drank 3 cups of water.
2:30pm – Visited a friend with a new baby at the edge of the earth, or Carnarsie.
2:30pm-6:00pm-Watched the Real Housewives of New Jersey while being a baby whisperer, ate 20 Ranch Pringles and drank a cup of water.
6:30pm-Ate an apple.
8:30pm-Arrived home, ate three corn tortillas with hummus, contemplated yoga or the gym.
8:45pm-Ate the last of my pretzels sticks dipped in Nutella while sifting through Netflix movies.
9:00pm-Ravenously ate only the marshmallows from the Lucky Charms box and turned on some stupid movie from Netflix.
9:30 pm- Went to sleep.
So despite all the unimportant details the main point is all I ate yesterday was tastings of food, three tortillas and hummus, pretzels and Nutella, and Lucky Charm marshmallows. Not nearly enough and literally no nutritional value.
As I was putting the nasty party of the cereal that looks like cat food (also full of gluten) on a plate wondering why they don’t just make a cereal full of marshmallows, the plate nearly overflowed onto my bed. It was then, in that grand moment of self-reproof, I knew something must be done.
If you haven’t heard nutrition is 80 percent of the battle to be healthy clearly you have been living under a rock, your whole life. You also have been living under an even bigger rock if you haven’t noticed all the insta-(pirational) trainers and nobody’s (there’s a lot of them too) who post their meal plans for the week. As a chef “Meal Prep Monday” (MPM) makes me shudder. Sure, I do a MPM of sorts for a paying client, but that takes me four hours and I make real family size meals. I don’t have time or energy to do that for myself, plus I’m not getting paid. (I should assume payment is being well-fed but that’s not how my mind works) Most of the time for these young singles MPM is 7 neatly lined up boxes with chicken and broccoli, some fruits and berries on the side. Boring!
My three main problems with MPM:
1. Who wants to eat the same thing everyday?
2. The meals look like they are made for a bird or my non-existent 4 year-old niece.
3. That’s entirely too much organization/work for my personal life.
But as I go over my eating habits today, no breakfast, tasting of food at work until 6pm, egg tacos and a V8 for dinner I realize it is time for my own intervention of sorts. I’ll never be a fitness model by January if I keep this up. Skipping meals is so bad for your metabolism and Nutella is not a food group. I’m constantly preaching about how easy and fun it is to cook, but I totally get it cooking is hard and time consuming. Life gets in the way and before you know it a 4 dollar deli sandwich or 8 dollar pizza seems to be a very delicious and nutritious choice. There has to be a way that meal prep can be easy, interesting, and satisfying.
The first step in the journey to easy home cooked meals is stocking your pantry and fridge correctly. Use this guide to help you figure out the state of your own.
A-At least 5 spices or spice mixes, sugar/flour/thickening agent (cornstarch), breakfast cereal (oatmeal or cold), dried fruits, chicken stock or boullion, at least two grains (rice, pasta, quiona), baking supplies (baking soda, baking powder, vanilla), onions, potatoes, canned beans, olive oil, soy sauce, salt, vinegar, Nutella (just kidding)
B-At least 3 spices, at least two grains, chicken stock or boullion, cereal, olive oil
C-At least 3 spices, ready made boxes of food, cereal,
D/F– I won’t even address you get your life together. You probably don’t even have salt.
This is currently the state of my pantry.
I give myself an A. I have enough supplies that if I brought home a protein and a veggie I could successfully make a decent meal. Maybe even, if I put my mind to it, extraordinary. The point of the pantry is that you don’t have to think, they are staple items that are always there.
A-Milk(almond, soy), eggs, butter, shredded cheese, tortillas, onions, garlic, ketchup, mustard, mayo,juice, frozen fruit, frozen potatoes.
B-Milk, eggs, cheese, condiments.
D/F– Single men who only have mixers and liquor. Oh and me right now.
This is currently the state of my quadrant of the fridge. On the right.
I give myself a D because I could technically make a meal (egg tacos) but not a very well balanced one. If you notice next to my emptiness my roomates is overflowing with greenery and all kinds of sauces to create a quick, tasty, and healthy meal. She would most certainly get an A.
In case why you are wondering why I have a quadrant: In a effort to keep the fridge more organized with four people we have divided the fridge into sections to keep it tidy. We reserved the top for drinks, eggs, and leftovers. Everyone gets a quadrant and we share the door and drawers two by two. It seems to be an effective method with four people. I am also happy to report, if you remember from last year our house is very much a home.
Over the next few weeks I will continue to explore this idea of pantry and fridge preparation. Of course I haven’t figured out the formula just yet, thus my self-inflicted intervention, admitting is the first step right? However I am working on exciting, simple, wallet friendly week plan that anyone will be able to complete. So hear ye to the lazy, tired, and uninspired people who stay as far away from the kitchen as possible help is on the way.