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A Minimalist Grocery List

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Must buy fresh:

Apples (or favorite seasonal fruit)

Almond butter (fresh ground from Fresh Market)

Eggs

Quinoa Bread (Fresh Market Bakery)

Salad Mixes/Pre-chopped vegetables

Lemon

Kale

Avocado

 

Always in my pantry/freezer:

Butter (organic, unsalted)

Salt

Fruit Spread (Smuckers all-fruit, Strawberry and Blackberry)

Almonds/Pecans/Walnuts/Sunflower seeds

Chicken Tenders (Bell&Evans, Gluten-free)

Rice

Garlic (love the little frozen cubes from Trader Joe’s)

 

{Now I know what to buy in bulk which always been tricky because I hate wasting anything. That leaves me eight ingredients that are always on my list. I can buy eight things even when I am hungry, distracted and overwhelmed-which are common symptoms I experience while grocery shopping.}

 

 

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The Art of Eating: Dinner

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This is my cheap and easy dinner.

It’s simple and delicious.

Garlic Chicken Tenders+Rice+Roasted Kale with Lemon=my favorite meal

We eat this so often it’s embarrassing. We almost always have the ingredients and it takes between 20-30 minutes to put it all together.

The other night I bought a nice pizza for the rest of the gang and cooked this up for myself. I figured since we had eaten it the night before no one else would want it. Both my son and my husband ate their pizza and then ate the chicken and rice that was still on the stove for their second dinner. My daughter is not always eating meat but her favorite version of this meal is rice+avocado+soy sauce.

This meal always tastes good, always sounds appetizing and it doesn’t get old.

I get the rice started in my little rice cooker after rincing it a bit, pour the kale on a cookie sheet, drizzle it with olive oil and put in the oven at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, heat up olive oil and crushed garlic in a skillet and cook the chicken (from frozen) 5 minutes on each side. For extra crunch and extra garlic yum, sauté the kale in the skillet with the tenders for that last few minutes.

Serve in one bowl, rice on the bottom, chicken and kale on top with lemon and salt sprinkled on top.


My Dinner Essentials

frozen chicken tenders (Bell&Evans*)

jasmine rice

kale (pre-chopped and washed)

garlic

olive oil

lemon

sea salt

avocado (for my girl)

*Special note about the chicken: These tenders are yummy and worth the extra cost, not just any tenders will do. It is because they are so delicious that we are happy to eat them night after night. https://www.bellandevans.com/frozen/breaded-chicken-breast-tenders

 

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The Art of Eating: Lunch

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After Thanksgiving (and four days of eating leftovers), I was ready for some healthy food. With all of the many opportunities to eat delicious treats over the holidays, Winter is the perfect time to eat clean and healthy in all the meals between.

For a while now I have been on the lookout for a good fall/winter idea for my seasonal lunch. While scrolling through Pinterest, I found this crunchy salad at The Harvest Kitchen and then I remembered about my favorite creamy coconut soup from The Gluten-Free Goddess and this old standby from a few years ago compliments of a Cup a Cup a.

Both the Harvest Salad and the Green Soup have “detox” in their title. While that word is not appetizing to me at all, I do love that both of these meals include ingredients like ginger, apple cider vinegar, lemon and garlic known for their cleansing properties.

If I am recommending a recipe it is because it is, in my opinion, both GOOD and GOOD FOR ME. I do not have a powerful appetite so deliciousness (even if it is plain or simple) is essential. No choking down anything just because it is on some list of super foods.

I want to want to eat.

In order to keep this process simple, I buy the ingredients for/make only one of these recipes a week. For me, three recipes on rotation is enough variety.

It helps if I make the meal the same day as I buy the ingredients. Once I put all of these vegetables in their spots in the fridge they tend to get comfortable there. The thought of pulling them out can feel overwhelming but when they are already out it almost seems just as easy to make the food as it would be to put it all away.

If you are reading this blog, I am going to assume you are not judging me for feeling overwhelmed by putting away or taking out groceries.

It seems petty, doesn’t it?

But, in my study of rest, I have learned there are some very tiny things that overwhelm me. I spent many a years trying to convince myself that I shouldn’t be overwhelmed by certain things. Now, I try to work around them.

Skipping over the small step (but giant leap for jenny-kind) of putting away/taking out ingredients gives me twice as much energy to put toward actually creating my colorful salad or creamy soup.

In my dream world, I cook on Sunday or Monday so that I have a large container full of tasty food waiting for to get hungry in the middle of the day. It is also easy to pack in my bag when I know I will be out most of the day.

If you do not want to spend any time chopping or cooking, you can combine several packages of salads (coleslaw mix, broccoli carrot slaw, diced cauliflower, baby spinach and kale or whatever is on sale) with sunflower seeds and roasted almonds (or whatever nuts you like). Toss it all in a dressing of olive oil, lemon, apple cider vinegar and ginger. There you go-lunch for the week. I prefer to add the nuts right with each serving it so they stay crunchy but it is still yummy if they are already mixed in.


My Lunch Essentials

Ingredients for this week’s meal:

olive oil
garlic
onion
ginger
broccoli
spinach, kale
parsley, cilantro, and mint
coconut milk

*large container with lid to store in fridge

*serving size containers for lunch on the go


 

What about you?

Do you have a usual lunch?

Do you pack a lunch?

Do you ever forget to eat in the middle of the day?

What are your strategies for eating food that is good and good for you?

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The Art of Eating: Breakfast

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I have a brilliant idea. Well, it is brilliant for me. If you have my brain, my life, my appetite, my particular issues and idiosyncraticites.

Think capsule wardrobe for food.

In case you are not familiar with the term, a capsul wardrobe is a about thoughtfully choosing and purchasing articles of clothes that can work in several ways with each other. Here is my favorite blog about this: http://www.Un-fancy.com.

Some people find the idea of a minimal waredrobe to be boring. Not me. As far as I am concerned, boring is the new novelty.

The genius of the capsule wardrobe for me is dreictly related to decision fatigue. I wrote about this in Day 1 of 30 Days of Rest:

“Because of technology, we have the option to do hundreds of things at any given moment. All of us are suffering from decision fatigue. This means that we are exhausted before we even get started on doing whatever it is we eventually choose. You might consider using these 30 days to let your mind focus on one thing at a time, to set up some new boundaries for yourself in how you use technology. Enjoy phone free hours. Drive with your phone powered off. Take a social media sabbath once a week.”

My closet was where I began this process of simplifying everything. But the truth is that I eat way more often than I get dressed. You know what I mean by that, I don’t get for real dressed in real outfits. I live in workout clothes and pajamas 70% of the time.

But I eat every single day.

Several times a day.

Deciding what to eat and when to eat is exhausting.

Yesterday I had the idea to use what has been so helpful for me about Un-fancy and apply those same principles to my food.

I thought long and hard about what almost always sounds good to me+what fits into my eating plan. Research shows that we are creatures of habit regardless of how much variety we want in our lives, so I wonder if you might be more like me than I think.

Let’s start with breakfast. With no appetite in the morning, I was struggling to figure out what I could stomach. Usually this meant that I would eventually forget to eat or eat something that was not good for me. This fed into me being too hungry and impatient to figure out what I would eat for the next meal so often, I would get some take-out and continue the cycle throughout the day.

In case you are wondering, my eating plan is Paleo+wine+occasional bread+special sweets. Mostly good stuff a little of the not so good but so delicious stuff.

In the mornings, my breakfast plan is a protein+fruit+fat. I love hard boiled eggs served warm with butter and sea salt (thanks to my egg cooker). I love honey crisp apples and fresh ground almond butter. This is my seasonal breakfast. It is what I plan to have every single morning.

If I am especially hungry, have a big workout planned or am in need of comfort food, I replace the apple with a banana or sprouted quinoa bread (from Fresh Market) which I slather with almond butter and all-fruit blackberry spread.

Yum. Yum. And Yum.

I haven’t missed breakfast since I started this strategy and even more impressive than that, I look forward to eating breakfast. I thought I would change up my meal once the season changed but I am still enjoying it because the apples are just getting better. But I really like the idea of using my favorite fresh fruit as it is in season: strawberries in the summer, apples in the fall, citrus in the winter.

 

My Breakfast Essentials:

🍎 Apples (or favorite seasonal fruit)

Almond Butter

🍳 Organic Eggs

Organic Butter

🍞  Sprouted Quinoa Bread

Sea Salt

All-fruit spread

 

What about you?

 

Do you reach for the same things when you open the fridge?

 

Do you order the same things when you go out to eat?

 

Does your grocery list include mostly the same items each week?

 

Do you buy all of the stuff you know you should eat and then it rots in your house while you go out to eat and order fancy drinks, stuff your face with all that fresh bread and spend too much money at restaurants?

 

Was that too much self-disclosure 😳?

 

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