Tips to get started

So this article has seven tips for eating out less. While it was written by a New Yorker, I found that it definitely had some beneficial info that I could use as I start this journey.

PLAN!!! Yeah, I hear ya, who has time to sit down and write out a menu for the week and then compile a grocery list and then get to the grocery store? I tried really hard to make it happen this week. I’m not usually one that finds reward in marking things off a list, but I will admit that I felt like super mom/wife walking into the grocery store with a pre-designed plan.

PREP!!! Again with this time thing, I have a four month old child! Sunday evening while the babe and hubs were snoozing on the couch, I did as much “prep” as I could. I trimmed up all the chicken and organized ingredients in my pantry that would belong together later in the week. Will I always have time to make this happen? Maybe, but I’m making a great effort here in the beginning.

Our progress:
I’m happy to report we are doing great this week! I’ve successfully made dinner Sun-Wed nights, and yesterday we were with family celebrating Independence Day. I took a yummy squash, zucchini, and corn casserole that I doctored up from a Pinterest recipe I found. I will admit I’m really tired of washing dishes. Between bottles and dishes, I feel like I’m constantly at the sink, but it’s worth it! There’s a pork loin in the crockpot for tonight. Yay for five days free from a restaurant!

How’s your week been? Were you able to make dinner at all this week? Are there any other tips you found in the article that you think are super useful? Let me know! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

4 thoughts on “Tips to get started

  1. One thing I’ve found very helpful is to simplify!

    I love cooking and sometimes I make something fancy or elaborate. But simple food is just as tasty and nourishing. I gravitate towards dishes with few ingredients for the majority of my meals.

    Along with that, I am a big fan of “planned overs” and reusing a main dish twice. For example, I might grill a pork loin tonight and serve it with fresh grilled veggies and maybe baked (microwaved) potatoes. Then tomorrow, I will chop up the leftover meat, make rice and beans and serve pork soft tacos/fajita for dinner. (If I want to get fancy, I’ll make a homemade peach or mango salsa to go with this, but it’s strictly optional!)

    One key to making this work (and stopping weight gain where it starts!) is keeping an eye on portions. My best laid plans are shot as soon as I don’t have the leftovers I’d planned on. But, if I’ve portioned correctly, both in terms of what I cook and what I eat, it works out. I eat only exactly what I need and have enough for multiple meals.

    I also have go-to quick meals. Like frozen cooked chicken fajita or boca patties or frozen stock (which I make from veggie trimmings and rotisserie chicken carcasses that I’ve picked over for other meals…$5-ish at Sam’s Club!) That way, if my day gets away from me, I have some quick meal options besides eating out.

    More than anything, what you declared in an earlier blog is a HUGE key for me, both in terms of weight loss/maintenance and not eating out. You have to understand what is a special occasion and not co-op special occasion behavior for the every day. You wouldn’t wear your best dress to hang out at home all day. Neither can I eat special occasion meals (at home or in restaurants) without paying the price, both on my waistline and my wallet. Find a metaphor that resonates for you and keep special occasions as special occasions!

    I’m enjoying reading about your efforts on this end! Keep up the good work!

    • Tori, I love this! Before Blake was born, I tried to make and freeze and bunch of go-to quick meals. It really helped in the beginning but got boring pretty quickly. I wish I had just cooked and froze different meats(shredded chicken, ground beef, pork) and then could easily build meals around it. There are still two or three bags of frozen soups in the freezer.

  2. Hey! I’ve been making a menu and grocery list since January and I still find it challenging. I worry that my menu will become boring and repetitive, so I am going to find new recipes to add in to the rotation.

    I will definitely continue to follow your blog. I am sure I will learn lots. :)

  3. Hi Amanda! This is such a fun blog and it’s great to hear your “voice” through it. One tactic I use to eat home more involves challenging myself as a cook. If I really like a meal or dish from a restaurant I challenge myself to recreate the dish at home. So examples that I have tried include spicy cumin roasted breakfast potatoes from this ridiculously amazing and sadly expensive breakfast place in our neighborhood and the ubiquitous bistro steak complete with herbed butter. The former is a dish that is a healthy, delicious potato option I can whip out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And the latter is a casual but sophisticated meal that I can serve for special occasions. Having mastered both dishes I feel less of a craving to go out but still get to enjoy some of my favorite flavors. Additionally I feel like I have learned some new skills along the way to transform other dishes in my repertoire. Hope this helps! Thank you for writing and sharing your questions and thoughts about balancing your life. I look forward to the next post!!

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