We’ve all been there. You realize that you have been eating out or ordering out for almost every meal since god knows when … In fact, you can’t remember the last time you went grocery shopping or cooked a meal. And your refrigerator has food in it but absolutely nothing that goes together or nothing you could make a meal out of.
Here is what I do when I get off track with my eating and how you can get back on track:
1. Forgive yourself. You are a human being trying to juggle many different things. You were probably trying to get this or that done which is why you didn’t make time for your eating. That is okay – it happens to everyone.
2. Make a plan of attack. When is the next time that you can get yourself to the grocery store? When this happens to me I usually have to end up ordering out 1 or 2 more meals before I can actually get myself to the grocery store so that I can break this pattern. In the meantime, you can have a smile on your face because this pattern will end soon.
3. Put together your grocery list. Don’t go crazy. Just put together a list of foods that you always like to have around the house – for breakfast, snacking, and one meal that you can cook for yourself that is easy, fast and satisfying to you. My list is yogurt, nuts, fruit, avocado, lemon, bread, tea, coffee, peanut butter, chocolate, and tuna.
4. Go grocery store shopping and stick to your list! Do not get anything not on your list (this is important). I repeat. Do not get anything not on your list. But why? If you didn’t need it when you were at home, you do not need it now. You can make a mental note of it and include it on your list next time.
5. Set up a monitoring system. I keep a “fruit bowl” at home. I fill it up with fruit that I enjoy and then every time I see it running low, it is a visual reminder to stop at the store on the way home to get more fruit. Same goes for your refrigerator and freezer. Does it work for you to keep a shopping list on the refrigerator? Do you prefer having a stock list and then highlighting each week what items you need? Whatever system you use, keep one. Having a list prepared means that you never have to make time to make a grocery list.
6. Set a regular time to go grocery shopping and set one day of the week that you dedicate to cooking a meal for yourself. When we leave grocery shopping and cooking up to chance, or for whenever we have the time, something will come in the way.
7. Consider joining a CSA. Once I joined a CSA, my time spent grocery shopping and figuring out what to eat was almost cut in half. All I have to do is show up at my CSA distribution (which is set at the same time every week – removing Step #6 from your staying on track list). It is like someone has already done grocery shopping for me, and all I have to do is show up. Not to mention, it is seasonal and local, meaning that it is far superior to anything you would find at a grocery store. For help finding a CSA near you, go to http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ or send me a message!