Lightening up and Keeping it Simple-Eating Well in 2020

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It’s no secret, I LOVE sunsets (and sunrises!) The beauty God displays makes me stop in my tracks. The windows above our kitchen sink face west, so I get to see some spectacular views as I’m making, eating or cleaning up supper. This particular view was eye-opening. Note how the sun, even as it’s sinking is shooting a brilliant column of light to the heavens. The brightest form of energy in our universe giving glory to God. It made me think of simple ways to give glory to God by taking better care of our bodies with our food choices–without sacrificing time, money or flavor!

Keeping meals simple really lightens up the load in the kitchen. Unless you really enjoy complicated, multi-ingredient recipes. Keep it simple. Most of our meals consist of a simple meat and a vegetable (OK, probably a vegetable with onions–because I put onions with everything!) We don’t eat grains. My body doesn’t tolerate them well and they take a lot of time to prepare (noodles, rice, quinoa, etc). We use that extra space on our plates for more non-starchy vegetables that are better for our health in the long run. Keeping it simple.

Simple Roasting & Food Prep

People ask me all the time how I eat. Honestly, it’s pretty boring. I don’t like to cook, but I like to feel good & I like my food to taste good without breaking the bank. So, I keep it simple. I roast almost all our vegetables. It’s not the most energy-efficient way to cook, but a light browning makes for delicious veggies! No mushy vegetables. No water boiling over. All the good vitamins & minerals.

If you’re hesitant to try veggies, check out Bacon Leftovers where I show you how to roast the veggies with bacon. (I’ve gone to using parchment-lined cookie sheets instead of a glass baking dish, but use what you have.) Might have to flip the bacon at 20 minutes and put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or even take the bacon off to let the veggies brown a little. But YUM! And clean up? Throw the parchment away & put the cookie sheet in the dishwasher. Like I said, simple!

I also like to cut up my onions (6-10 large ones) once a week and keep them in an old commercial potato salad container that has a very tight seal. It takes less than 10 minutes to do all of them and then all I have to do is add them to the pan. No need to cry as I’m cutting them up every night. In the spring & summer I’ll also do this with fresh vegetables, sometimes doing it twice a week. In the winter, I usually buy frozen vegetables. Very easy-open the bag & dump! I’ll do this with the fresh veggies I like to snack on too, like celery, carrots, radishes and the like. The one thing I don’t usually do this with is lettuce. I’ll just rip it into my bowl right before I use it.

Plan for Leftovers

With just the two of us at home now, I like to cook enough at supper to have at least enough leftovers for lunch the next day. Maybe even another meal or two. Cooking extra servings and reheating leftovers takes way less time than whipping something up from scratch at every meal. And for those of you who do not like leftovers the next day. Add an herb or spice to change the flavor or wait a day or 2 to eat them for lunch. You could even freeze it in a canning jar to eat a month later. (This works really well for soup!) Just don’t wait too long and it all goes to waste.

And don’t forget to do this with breakfast! Take some time to heat up some sausage or make an egg bake once a week to start your day off right. Or get some cheese sticks and boil some eggs to eat on the go. Doing this helps you avoid the donut, pop-tart, pastry, breakfast pizza, bagel pitfalls that tend to zap our energy and prompt those hunger pangs to start calling before its lunchtime. I used to brown a pound of ground meat on Sunday & Wednesday to reheat and enjoy with salsa for breakfast-sprinkled with cheese. Now I usually only eat 2 meals a day (with an afternoon and sometimes evening snack). Making it even simpler!

Menu Planning

Our simplified meal plans these last 2 weeks.

Another thing is menu planning. I’ve gotten away from this over the last few years as it’s pretty easy for me to whip something up, but thought I’d better practice what I preach to my clients and followers. I can say 1st hand, there’s a LOT less stress in the kitchen since I started this again. If you’re not sure where to start, send me an email at julie@juliegrunklee.com & I’ll send you my menu planning guide. It doesn’t have to be formal, though. Nor does it have to be set in stone. I love having a list of meals Dave & I both agreed on to choose from. And since I’m not thinking about food all day, I don’t snack as much. Making the grocery budget go even further. Yay!

We also sit and eat together at our kitchen island almost every night. A highlight of my day, getting to enjoy a meal with my favorite handyman! Yes, I still read the daily paper or something else while I’m eating, instead of eating mindfully. A habit I’m working on. Probably has to do with that whole productivity/multitasking mindset I’m trying to shift. But we’re all a work in progress and I’m working on enjoying the path God lights up for me on my journey, one gorgeous sunset at a time.

How do you like to lighten your load and keep it simple in the kitchen?

Are you struggling to with your health? Finding it hard to keep those New Year’s resolutions? Are you ready to invest in yourself, your health, your productivity and make positive changes that will have a positive affect on your quality of life for years to come? Wish you had someone who will work with you and your unique situation instead of just telling you what to do? I have a few open coaching spots. Email me at julie@juliegrunklee.com to set up a time for a free 30 minute call to learn more. I’d love to help you light up a path to better health and wellness so you can be who you want to be, do what you want to do and enjoy your journey!

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