Hello my lovely readers! I wanted to take a minute and chat with you about a transition that we had at our home earlier this year. It took a little time, a lot of dedication, and something that has really changed our household. I wanted to share a little bit of the journey that we went through and how everything came about.
I’ve always loved cooking (and baking). I always loved creating meals from scratch and experimenting with foods. When my husband and I first started dating, we somewhat shared the cooking duties, but my husband kind of did it a little bit more than I did due to our schedules. At the very very beginning, we had kind opposite schedules, so he would cook and then I would eat when I got home. Then once our schedules balanced out and matched we split the kitchen duties. We cooked from scratch some, and used frozen dinners or box dinners for quite a bit as well.
Then we moved to South Carolina and my husband became a Drill Seargent. Honestly, nothing could have prepared us for what that was going to be like. The long hours and the constant “tiredness” for my husband changed a lot. We started to rely on the box or frozen meals as they were quick to prepare, kept relatively well on the cooktop, and they allowed for quick eating late at night. Honestly, I kind of despised what I was making for dinner and felt very stuck in a rut of unhealthy but quick meals. This was a little over two years and that habit (even though I didn’t like it) became very easy to fall into. I made a promise to myself that once we moved and left that lifestyle I would make more of an effort to make full meals from scratch, no more boxes.
Fast forward to a few months after our little human was born, I finally felt like I was in a place where I could make good on that promise I made myself. Typically in our household it takes about 2-3 weeks to make a habit “stick” and one weekend I just decided that we were not having anymore box dinners. That’s exactly what happened. I looked up a couple of recipes to try out and made a meal plan that had Rigatoni, Casseroles, etc that I knew would be a good entry into this new lifestyle of dinners.
Honestly the only thing I kept thinking to myself was “Stick to it. 2 weeks, just get through 2 weeks”. I knew deep down that at the end of those 2 weeks I would be so hooked and it would feel like the new routine. And those first 2 weeks weren’t easy. They weren’t hard, per se, but they weren’t a breeze. Our little human was just starting to become more of a handful and it was difficult to set aside the time, but I made myself. I knew that it would be better for our family once I got into the routine and got away from the unhealthy things that we were eating.
I got through those 2 weeks and sure enough, the habit stuck and I started loving being back in the kitchen. I started venturing into new recipes and started making more complex recipes again. Along with this change, I tried to implement a couple of other changes, I cut most of my soft drink intake (only one a week, except on vacation) and started trying to eat better lunch and breakfast meals. I am also trying to start adding more salads and vegetables into our dinners.
Here is the biggest part of our transformation. Although this wasn’t a sudden change, when I decided to do it was and so therefore, we still had one Hamburger Helper meal left in our cabinet. My husband didn’t want to simply waste the box and I wanted to test and see how much we had really left the box dinners behind. About 2 months after making the homemade meals every night, we made the Hamburger Helper. It just so happened that it was one of my husbands favorite ones. After finishing, he found that he didn’t want a second helping (unheard of) and that he didn’t really like the meal! I knew at that moment that we weren’t going back and that we were back on track.
We’ve been eating homemade meals for ~4 months now and are happier and much healthier with the rest of our choices in food as well! My biggest takeaway was to just stick with the change, even if I had a night that I didn’t really want to cook I knew that I had to and that it would be worthwhile. It was and still is! Now, I’m off to eat my Chicken, Rice and Salad dinner. Until next time…
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