For two days now I have had an experience that I have not lived in a long time. I have worked outside the home in a full time position.
When I started this blog, my aim was to share my favorite recipes, tips and promote healthier eating. Today as I dragged myself to my car after an 8 hour shift, starving, exhausted and just longing to get home, all I could think about was what was I going to do about dinner.
Knowing that today was Sunday and I would be eating alone made it all the more tempting to stop and pick up take-out. What stopped me? Several things and I will discuss them.
1- Money. I am not the only person who is trying to stretch a dollar and although I could have picked up something to eat for under $10, why spend any money when there was food at home? (my cheapness always is #1)
2- Bad Habits. Since I have been self-employed/unemployed for so long, I have had all the time in the world to cook healthier meals. Why would I want to upset that healthy balance now?
3- Guilt over laziness. Yes, I was exhausted. Totally. My body hurt and I just wanted to be home, change into "comfort" clothing and relax. What do people who work every single day do? Certainly they don't get take-out every evening?
As I drove home and passed places that would be acceptable to stop at and pick up something to eat, I kept going and talked myself out of take-out.
I got home and immediately put a container of spaghetti sauce into the microwave that was in the freezer. While I changed my clothes, fed my cats and threw a load of laundry in, the sauce defrosted. There was leftover pasta in the refrigerator and after a quick heat-up in the microwave, I had dinner. I still had the $20 in my wallet (my emergency $20) and a meal.
It didn't take a whole lot of effort to do this and this is thanks to cooking in bulk, freezing and avoiding the take-out trap. Knowing that there is always something in my freezer to make a meal out of quickly will keep me from stopping from an unhealthy take-out meal.
Fortunately for me, my new job is a work-from-home position. I will be working in my comfy clothes, without makeup and unlike other working people, I will have time because I won't be leaving my house.
My suggestion for 9 to 5 working people is still the same.
Spend some time on the weekend cooking. Get your kids involved (if you have kids). Plan out several easy meals in advance by pre-cooking, cooking in bulk and freezing whenever necessary. If you like pasta, cook some extra. It can be revived in hot water or your microwave.
Have items like tortillas (they are great to wrap leftover meats and veggies in for a quick dinner) peeled,washed and cut veggies in ziploc bags (great for salads, stir-fry,steamed in the microwave) and avoid processed foods!
Get yourself in a habit where you prepare ahead of time for those days when you return home exhausted. If no one is waiting for you to have your meals ready, make it easier on yourself by planning ahead.
I am so glad that I did. It sure made my night a whole lot better!