Once upon a time, I absolutely abhorred cooking for myself. However, when it came to cooking for my family and friends, I happily did so without question. I enjoyed experimenting with different recipes, creating various dishes to serve with a smile to those I love. I just didn’t see a comparable benefit in putting the effort to cook for myself as opposed to cooking for others. It was easier to just throw together a yogurt bowl, a turkey wrap, or pop a frozen Amy’s meal in the oven. Part of me felt this way due to fear of lack of skill, that I wouldn’t be able to create wholesome, nourishing, one-plate-wonders for myself; the lack of motivation to engage in a time-consuming activity that required a lot of pre-planning and experimenting; the thought that I didn’t need or deserve the fancy-schmancy meals and presentations that I offered to my family and friends. Looking back on this thought process now, it really doesn’t make all that much sense.
Since I’ve returned home to Pennsylvania, I’ve decided that I needed to adopt a new thought process when it came to cooking: Of course I deserve to nourish my body with wholesome, fancy-schmancy meals. Meal planning and meal prepping is worth the energy, effort, and time it requires. I am capable of cooking for myself. With this new thought process, I observed my kitchen as a place of curiosity and potential as opposed to fear and disappointment. For the first time, I feel excited to cook wholesome, nourishing meals for myself, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with new recipes, flavor combinations, and products. I’m eager to apply what I’ve learned about food and its nutrients to assist me on my journey to wellness in both body and mind. All in all, I’m really excited. There really isn’t any other way to phrase it.
In light of this new headspace, I was able to do my first official grocery run this afternoon, where I scored a few great deals on various products. At a local grocery outlet, I found a shelf of Purely Elizabeth granola–one of my go-to brands–advertised for $1.99 a bag. Yes, you read that correctly: $1.99! Compared to the $5.99 I pay at the grocery chain I frequent, this was an impressive discount. Saving money AND finding a quality product that I love? Now that is the definition of a great deal. I also found a great deal on Erewhon’s cereal, which I just recently discovered (and my tastebuds have fallen in love with, in all honesty). As I strolled down each aisle, I tossed a few other fun food finds into my basket, including a bottle of Mamma Chia juice, organic kefir cups, 2% Fage greek yogurt (my go-to brand–so good!), cottage cheese, greek yogurt cream cheese, sunflower seeds, gluten-free crackers, and an organic sprouted rice and quinoa blend.
After scoring big at the grocery outlet, I ventured to my regular grocery store. I loaded up on produce and a few frozen items. Produce-wise, I stocked up with a plethora of sweet potatoes, some zucchini squash, an eggplant, broccoli and cabbage slaws, organic spring mix, and garbanzo beans. I also found two new brands of veggie burgers that I’m eager to try: Dr. Prager’s and Hilary’s. I’m thrilled to have a refrigerator full of fresh, nutrient-rich produce and a freezer full of some new goodies. I can’t wait to start cooking!
As for my process of meal prepping, I began this afternoon by cooking some sweet potatoes, boiling a large pot of the organic sprouted rice and quinoa mix, and washing and slicing veggies. My mother generously offered to take care of cooking a few chicken breasts and hard boiling some eggs, while also dicing some fresh fruit (isn’t she just great?). I also have deli turkey, salmon, shrimp, floretine-seasoned chicken burgers, and veggie burgers, which don’t necessarily require prepping ahead of time. I also have plenty of nutrient-rich fats–avocados, hummus, nuts, greek cheese spreads, and coconut oil–to incorporate into meals as well. I figured that planning out my meals and prepping ahead of time would best help me hold myself accountable to nourishing my body adequately, wholesomely, and fancy-schmancily.
I’m excited for the busy week ahead, as I have a lot to check off of my “To Do” list this week. It’s certainly a huge weight off of my shoulders to have most of my food prepped and ready to go, making nourishing and taking care of my body my top priority. It will certainly take practice to get into the swing of a new routine, but I feel that I’m off to a solid start by taking the extra step to plan and prep. Given that I’m completely new to this whole “meal prep” routine, any tips or tricks would be appreciated!
Here’s to the beginning of a great week, friends!