You’re in the middle of a big project and you break for lunch to head to the kitchen. You open the fridge, look around, and have no clue what to make. How frustrating – you just went grocery shopping yesterday!
You close the fridge, mutter grumpily, “there’s nothing to eat!” and walk over to the drawer next to the sink to grab the takeout menu for the local sandwich shop.
I get you because I used to be you!
And I’ve worked with clients just like you to set up their kitchen and food habits to prevent this exact situation.
Let’s talk about how YOU can feel ease in the kitchen.
Today, I’m going to share with you three easy steps to go from “there’s nothing to eat” to ease in the kitchen.
1. Create possibilities
The first key to ease in the kitchen (and the one that the other 2 revolve around) is to be able to open the fridge and see possibilities.
To accomplish this, start with only buying foods you know what to do with. You want to be able to look in your fridge and know what you could use each item to make.
For example, if one of my meal plan clients opens her fridge and sees she has beets in the crisper and knows she has sweet potatoes and lentils in the pantry, it reminds her she can easily toss them together in a pot to cook the grounding root veggie soup I included in her custom cookbook.
This is often when meal templates come in, and it can be helpful to keep ingredients for different meal templates in separate zones of the fridge or pantry. (More on meal templates here, but the following are examples of what I mean). I keep my smoothie ingredients in one section of the fridge, salad ingredients in another corner, and one-pot meal ingredients in yet another.
Contrast this to opening the fridge and seeing specialty ingredients you bought on a whim – e.g. what the heck do you do with nettle greens? Or maybe there’s chaos in your fridge and you can’t tell what’s in there. (Ever discovered something molding in the back of the veggie drawer and forgot you even purchased it?)
Open the fridge and see that, and you’d feel like making a meal is just too hard.
Now that you’re dying to create possibilities in your fridge, here are two simple healthy living strategies for doing so:
2. Prep in advance
An hour to prep at the beginning of your work week can mean the difference between quick meals that power your days or settling for meals that drain your energy.
I have my meal plan clients make up a batch of beans and grains (separately) for the week.
They use this for their foundation meal: a Buddha Bowl. You can use this simple meal template for lunch whether you work from home or pack it to bring to the office:
Simply cook a cup of broccoli or frozen veggies & reheat 1/2 cup each of beans and grains. Then toss it all together in a bowl with a delicious & healthy dressing. (Try this dressing recipe or one of these.)
3. Keep a stocked fridge
You can’t eat what you don’t have.
Be prepared with a fridge stocked with fresh, whole foods.
Want to eat more salads? Make sure you have romaine and baby kale on hand. If you want to start a green smoothie habit, make sure you’ve got plenty of spinach.
Likewise, keeping a container of cooked quinoa from the advance prep in step 2 or a few cans of garbanzo beans on hand will allow you to top those salads with healthy plant protein.
If these steps seem too palm-to-forehead duh simple, it’s because they are.
If I came in here with a complex, elegant plan, you’d be impressed but wouldn’t take action on it (or at least I know I wouldn’t!)
But, if I remind you of concepts that are common sense, there’s a much higher probability of it sticking.
Now it’s your turn.
Which of these simple steps are you going to implement *today* to start feeling ease in the kitchen?
Go ahead and share it in the comments because I want to know!
Warmth and joy,
I help female entrepreneurs balance health and hustle. As an Architect turned Plant Scientist turned Healthy Living Strategist, I offer straightforward guidance for making healthy living part of your business plan.
WANT TO JOIN ME? (YOU’LL LOVE IT.)
Sign up here to join my lovely community and get actionable & strategic insight every week. (It’s free!)