At work, as I'm microwaving my lunch, people often say something like, "That smells great! Did you make that?" (Unless it's fish, in which case they politely hold their noses and wish they weren't seated next to the microwave.) "You're so good about making your lunches."
I go to work each day with a lunch kit (that's what we call lunch boxes in Texas) filled with a day's worth of snacks, lunch, and even, sometimes, dinner if I'm going to stay late at work.
This can make others throw up in their mouths a little bit. I admit it, it's gross when someone seems to have their life so together.
Let's get this out of the way: my life is not that together. Just ask my cat, who would probably appreciate it if I was as scheduled about cleaning his litter box.
|This is a slightly excessive plan I created in order|
to cook THREE meals at the same time. I know, right?
I am an organized person. I'm not crazy about it, OK, but I'm organized. I became moreso when I started attempting to be "light green." If you are going to cut down on processed foods, that means you have to carve out some time to process (a.k.a. cook) the food yourself.
Therefore I've developed a routine for most Sundays so that I can prepare for the week ahead. Here's how the magic happens:
1. Meal Planning
I dig out my cookbooks, my laptop, and plan out all of my meals for the week. This usually involves planning to cook three times: I cook 1-2 things on Sunday (or one Sunday and one Monday). I alternate these meals for dinner and lunch, and often cook once more mid-week. From this plan, I craft my shopping list.
So then I buy the food.
I'd like to say I go to the farmer's market or something like that, but when choosing between sleeping in and getting the the farmer's market, the choice is always, always sleep in.
3. Here's where it gets crazy.
So then I unpack all the food and fill up a couple of bowls with vinegar and water, and I wash all the fruit and veg. I spread towels out and lay out all of the produce to dry. Why do I do this? It's not as though washing an apple right before you eat it takes up all that much time.
Well, as a kid I really hated washing the produce whenever I had to make a salad. All of the wet lettuce just felt slimy. In my adult life, I've solved the slime problem for myself by cutting down the washing to only one day a week. Pretty much my whole adult relationship to vegetables is dictated by my childhood hatred of salad.
|These are herbed egg, turkey and goat cheese|
breakfast cups from the blog Back To Her Roots.
I then cook one or two of my weekly meals, and sometimes bake something for breakfasts. When I make the meal plan, I strategize so that I'll be cooking one meal on the stove top and one in the oven or toaster oven. For mid-week, I like to use the slow cooker.
5. Pack meals for the week.
Here's where I slowly start to fall apart... oh, you thought I was some organizational genius, did you? Usually, this entire plan begins two or three hours later than I intend it to, usually because I like to read and drink coffee for a long time on Sunday morning. And I think I mentioned, I enjoy sleeping in.
So on Sunday night, I put together my food, eat my dinner, and then ... there are a lot of great shows on Sunday nights! HBO always has their best stuff on Sundays, plus there's The Good Wife, and Homeland is starting next week! So then I end up shoving the food in the fridge so I can just lie down on the couch and watch TV. The next morning, I hit the snooze button way more times than I should, and end up throwing my lunch together at the last minute anyway.
Hmm... maybe I'm not that organized after all...