There was a time when I cooked dinner every day. Going out to a restaurant was reserved for special occasions and drive-thru’s were for a morning tea on the way to work or a quick bite while on the road travelling. Somewhere along the way that changed.
I could easily say it was my kid that changed things but since I am the one responsible for all the meals it falls on me. Getting home at 7:00 each evening did not easily lend to making a healthy home cooked meal each day. For a long time I would cook on Sunday’s and that would be my meals for the week while I made, or picked up, something my son would eat (chicken, always chicken!). Then I would skip a Sunday here or there and pick up dinner for both of us. Just this once, I’d say. Silly me.
Just this once became most days and Sunday cooking fell by the wayside. When food delivery apps became the big thing I’d just order us dinner so it would arrive shortly after we got home. I could order from just about any restaurant and have a good hot meal with no effort. There would be days I never set foot in the kitchen at all. I’d use my pain as an excuse, and it is quite unbearable at times, but when technology can make it so you don’t have to put in any effort you stop even bothering to try.
I mentioned last week that my doctor recommended me for weight loss surgery. It will help my weigh, which will help my pain, which will allow me to then have the knee surgeries to help with the pain and mobility even more. That’s the thought anyway. But what happens when you have the surgery is that it completely changes your relationship with food and the way your body digests it. This means that in addition to limiting how much you can eat it also changes the types of food you can eat, how often you eat, and significantly limits the amount of nutrients your body gets from that food.
The thought of having the surgery freaks me the fuck out. The thought of not having the surgery, dying young, being in constant pain for the rest of my life and eventually becoming immobile also freaks me the fuck out. So what’s a girl to do? Figure out how to change my relationship with food now. Change eating from a mindless activity to a mindful one. Make meals with my own two hands preparing and cooking it rather than just pushing buttons to order delivery. Swap out sugary breakfasts for something more healthy and protein rich. Most importantly, don’t use food to comfort.
To help me change my relationship with food and start eating healthier meals I decided to try Hello Fresh, a meal kit delivery service. I pick the meals I want each week and they deliver all the ingredients to my door on Sunday. I chose to get the 3 meal plan for 2 each week. Since my son won’t eat much of anything besides chicken strips and corndogs, that means 6 healthy meals for me. It’s great because I don’t have to think about what will be for dinner every night. I know it will be something healthy and delicious, and not some last minute drive thru crap. The 6 meals has turned into more than that a few times which is even better. This past week I had a grilled veggie, chicken, and orzo meal. I decided to skip the orzo and add some fresh green beans I had instead. That was my regular two meals. The next day I made the orzo, adding tomatoes, pesto, and chicken I had in the freezer. Bam! Two more meals.
What to do for the rest of my meals? Weekday breakfasts are protein shakes and and some fruit. Protein helps satiate to prevent hunger and overeating, and the fruit kickstarts your metabolism as it is the fastest food to digest. Weekday lunches are either the second meal from the previous day’s dinner or another healthy alternative. Bento boxes have been fun. Yesterday was a bento box of boiled eggs, cheese, cucumber, snap peas, and raw almonds. Also, water. Lots and lots of water. Weekends are less structured but still filled with healthy choices. I also allow a “cheat” treat on the weekend. Yesterday’s was a handful of dark chocolate chips. Today it will be my favourite tea, earl grey with one sugar.
I’ve started making changes and notice the difference after only a few weeks. I don’t crave the sweets like I used to. I even turned down donuts, cake, and cookies at work this week. It didn’t even phase me. I’ve been sleeping better and getting up earlier on the weekends. Some clothes are fitting better. This biggest thing I’ve noticed is that my energy is much more even over the day and I don’t feel the need for those long afternoon naps on the weekends. I know I’m not going to be healthy and skinnier overnight, but all the little things each day do add up.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get ready for swimming with the boy child.