Where’s the Motivation?

Everything is going well. School’s back. Routines are back. So why am I suddenly losing all motivation to make meals that keep me and the fam on track? Is it the distractions? It is just easier to default to easy, and easy is the premade crap lining my pantry.

So I’m at a bit of a fork in the road: do I make the “easy” less easy by getting rid of it or do I try to reinvent “easy”? What if the pre-made crap in the pantry were instead ready-to-eat good things, like homemade trail mix or low-GI protein bars? That adds a bit to the meal prep agenda, and we’re already getting neck deep into social and academic commitments.

Anyway, here’s a look at what I have planned for the upcoming week:

Friday lunches: not applicable (Bubs is sick and Peanut had an “e-learning” day. Hubs had a lunch meeting)

Friday dinner: frozen chicken nuggets and fries (because I was homebound with a sick kid. It is what it is)

Saturday lunches: PBJs

Saturday dinner: out, likely at a place like Tacos 4 Life because Hubs is skipping town for a wedding

Sunday lunch: Carowinds with friends

Sunday dinner: Chicken broccoli casserole

Monday lunches: turkey sandwiches with fruit

Monday dinner: tilapia fish tacos with slaw

Tuesday lunches: cheese rollups and salsa

Tuesday dinner: spaghetti and meatballs (zucchini boats for me)

Wednesday lunches: PBJ “sushi” and fruit

Wednesday dinner: beef tostadas

Thursday lunches: pasta salad and fruit

Thursday dinner: potstickers and stir fry veg

Another Week of Meals

Planning out lunches and dinners has been a big success for me and for the family. I naturally wake up at least an hour or two before them, and not having to use the creative side of my brain at 5 a.m. is a good thing. Hubs also shared that he likes having the balanced nutrition ready when he comes downstairs because he’s a night owl who struggles in the morning. Without packing his own lunch, he defaults to places like food trucks and Bojangles.

Here’s a look at the week ahead:

Friday lunches: leftover jambalaya

Friday dinner: frozen pizza (a fam request)

Saturday lunches: sandwiches and chips

Saturday dinner: dinner out – birthday celebration

Sunday lunches: quesadillas

Sunday dinner: Pioneer Woman ranch-style chicken with roasted baby potatoes (brussel sprouts for me)

PW chicken and roasted brussel sprouts

Monday lunches: sandwiches and apple slices

Monday dinner: pot roast (beef, baby potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, etc.)

Tuesday lunches: pasta salad and fruit

Tuesday dinner: Date Night! Kids get nuggets and fries

Wednesday lunches: “sushi rolls” and chips

Wednesday dinner: hibachi chicken/shrimp and veg

shrimp stir fry

Thursday lunches: leftovers

Thursday dinner: Breakfast for Dinner night

Friday lunches: sandwiches and fruit

Hard to Find a Groove

I entered this week fully committed to getting back into good habits. I started back to the gym and I scaled back on my high GI foods. Maybe it is that beginning-of-the-year cootie swap, or maybe I’m just having a hard time getting back into a groove. Over the summer it was relatively easy to set my mind on making good choices. This week I’ve struggled, even with good options directly in front of me I’ve craved the sugars.

So at this fork in the hand, err I mean fork in the road, where I can choose between making healthy meal choices or going for the quick, the easy and the high GI, I’ve been leaning toward the high GI. I think that perhaps I’ve unintentionally scaled my caloric intake too much and my body is just craving food in general. Remember how I mentions a while back that when I’m in the zone doing work or a project that I just don’t recognize hunger cues? Perhaps I’m skipping over times when it would be good to get some food in me, then grabbing whatever is easiest once I hit the hunger wall?

I’m not really sure, but now that everything has started to settle in I’d like to really focus on making those good choices and making them stick.

I was worried that I was on a nasty plateau in terms of progress, but I got a welcome surprise on the scale this morning. Maybe I’m not doing so bad after all?

Weight Resistance

I’ve noticed that when I skip the gym I don’t see results. Yes, Captain Obvious. But more specifically the gym is where I do weight training. I was going 3 times a week during the summer, and since school has started back I’ve been pulled in a million directions.

Client requests a call. Client needs something now. Migraine. Plumber coming at 10. Bubs can’t handle kid watch at your favorite gym and the other option doesn’t open kid watch until 9 so either way you have to go when he’s in preschool.

All the things that pull me away from the nice routine I’d established of quick cardio then 30-45 minutes of targeted strength training. And I can see the difference, too. I was getting good numbers each week. Now that I’ve taken 2 weeks and done things like hike and bike, my results have almost entirely come to a plateau.

I guess it is time to start prioritizing, or getting creative, about getting to the gym.

I guess it is time to start prioritizing, or getting creative, about getting to the gym. The magic hour is between 9-10 a.m. because I can drop off Bubs, knock out a workout and clean up before I need to get him. It leaves time for client work or any errands. It’s almost like the universe keeps throwing one-off instances that will prevent me from getting to the gym during that magic hour and I need to get serious about carving out that time.

Really Real Food

Hubs and I wanted to watch something different last night, and we landed on this show called “Salt Fat Acid Heat” on Netflix. We watched the “Fat” episode, which centered around this author exploring the rich fats native to northern Italy. I was blown away.

Now when they sipped olive oil straight from the press I wasn’t intrigued, but once they started showing how Parmesan is made and how these artisans butcher hogs to create these amazing charcuterie dishes, I was mesmerized. Then this nonna takes fresh eggs and created these amazing noodles.

When it was all done I was in a tizzy. First, I feel like I need to plan a trip to Europe and eat a lot. But it also got me thinking about how we, as Americans, don’t really know what we’re missing. We’ve become so reliant on the processed and pre-made products we can pick up and prepare quickly that the art of fresh ingredients is lost.

It has inspired me.

What would our lives look like if we really paid attention to the ingrendients we used? How would we enjoy a meal with authentic flavors, not the artificial ones they add to make it seem more like the original products?

I’m afraid my grocery budget won’t be able to handle gourmet ingredients for every meal, but I am inspired to try to remove all the artificial mess.