I’m really excited about making some New Year’s Resolutions, mostly about what I’m not going to do this year.
I have decided that I spend way too much time with food. Planning it, buying it, cooking it, eating it, storing it, wiping it, mopping it, cleaning it out of my fridge, and I am so DONE with it. I wish my children could have the metabolism of a camel—if I could just feed them once every two or three weeks and call it good.
That being said, I reluctantly admit that we still have to eat. I’ve thought a lot about the kind of food I’m making and whether it really makes sense anymore. If I really want to slow down and honor my inner tortoise girl, I’ve got to simplify some things. Here’s what we’re doing.
1. No more salads
I am actually very good at making salads. I know how to whip up a homemade dressing, I know what cheeses go best with what fruits and nuts, I’m quite a fan of the avocado, and bacon has been known to make quite a few guest appearances on my spinach.
But my children don’t appreciate my salads so why am I wasting so much time preparing something they don’t even eat? A vegetable tray with some ranch dip or hummus is eaten quite quickly. It’s faster to prepare and stores much better as well. I’ll keep fresh fruit out for snacking.
2. Oatmeal for breakfast
Oatmeal is our new breakfast staple. It’s cheap, quick to prepare, uses up less milk, and keeps the kids full longer. It’s especially good with some added fruit and perhaps a few nuts. Of course we’ll cook other things sometimes too, but this is our default breakfast.
I’ve decided it’s even easier than cereal. Kids are always sticking their hands in the box and leaving such a trail that you’d think they were Hansel or Gretel. I have to buy so much of it, I have to throw out the boxes in the recycle bin, and I’m constantly wiping and sweeping it up.
I’ll keep some boiled eggs on hand as well in case the boys would like to add a little protein to their meal.
3. Homemade bread for lunch
Homemade bread will be our new lunch staple. The boys can make almond butter and jelly sandwiches or tuna sandwiches to take to school. My little ones love bread and milk for lunch. The bread is a mix of spelt, kamut, and oats so it’s very nutritious. Sure, we’ll throw in carrots and an apple and maybe even a cookie for lunch, but bread is truly going to be our staff of life.
4. Beans and Rice for dinner
I know. You think I’m absolutely nuts right now, and maybe I am. Must have been all that ham and chocolate and cheesy potatoes and candy canes I’ve been eating last month! I’m not going to be rigid on the beans every night, but it will be our go to dinner—we will always have beans on hand, corn tortillas, rice, and some veggie toppings on hand. Most of the people in the world eat this way (without the veggies) so I think we’ll be just fine.
I’m perfectly aware what beans are known for, but I don’t think it can possibly get any worse for our boys anyway. I have a seaweed I throw in that is supposed to help, and they the only way to really adjust to beans is to just eat them more regularly. The rice and beans together are supposed to make a perfect protein, and they are both so cheap!
5. One big batch of a homemade treat each week
On Saturday, we (meaning my boys) will make one huge batch of chocolate chip cookies or pumpkin cupcakes or whatever they choose. We will freeze them in individual bags which can be used for lunches and snacks. I’ll still use coconut butter and oil instead of butter and spelt flour instead of white flour. I wish there was an inexpensive substitute for sugar. Does anyone know of one? Yes, it’s a little more work making up a batch, but I will no longer find a stash of fruit leather and granola bar wrappers on my storage room floor.
6. There’s always popcorn
We have a popcorn machine downstairs, and it’s so cheap and easy to make. If the kids are hungry, they know how to use the machine.
To sum up:
I have so much oatmeal, spelt, rice, kamut, beans, and popcorn on hand that I think it’s about time I start using it. It’s about time to start using up all the stuff that’s been wasting space in my freezer too. We’ve got frozen veggies, frozen bananas, popsicles, and various other freezer burned foods that need to be either eaten or thrown out.
I think I can greatly reduce my trips to the store. I hear there is a veggie and fruit co-op close to our home where I might get produce for cheap. I won’t need to go shopping much, and I might actually even save money by getting our milk delivered. I think we can save a lot of time, money, and even eat much better if I make these changes. So do you think I’m crazy?
How do you want to start eating this year?