By Jessica Waggoner
When I was asked to contribute as a guest blogger for Runitlikeamom, of course I said yes. I would do pretty much anything for one of my best friends, including glue myself to the computer for a night so that this mediocre writer could produce something decent! But then the panic set in, and I immediately cursed my bad habit of saying yes to EVERYTHING! I questioned what I could possibly offer this group of rock star, physically fit, social and successful working moms! After all, my version of running a marathon is running 3 miles in under 30 minutes. My version of exercise is participating in half of the insanity max workouts my husband does daily. I find that I easily hit 10,000 steps in my daily routine of working mother, housekeeper, wife, social worker, etc., and I use this as an excuse for why I don’t need a “workout.”
But then I figured I could share something I love. I LOVE cooking! I am sure some of you are groaning and rolling your eyes, thinking “come on, she really loves to cook” (trust me, this is what I think when people tell me they love to run), but it is true. I actually enjoy reading food magazines, watching cooking shows, and perusing cookbooks (now don’t get jealous, truthfully I haven’t had time to leisurely do any of these things in the past 7 years!).
I have made a goal to feed myself and my family, nutritious home cooked food on a regular basis. There are many nights that I question this ambitious goal, but I also know it is part of what keeps my family happy and healthy.
Here are some tips that make it work for me:
- I plan out my meals for the week every Saturday morning. I get up a little earlier than the kids so that I have time to drink my coffee and look at websites to see what looks appealing to me for the week ahead. I factor in how much time I have to spend on cooking each night. There are those nights that we get home from soccer practice or dance at 7pm and I have 15 minutes to throw together a meal. On the other nights, I can make the more complicated or longer cooking dishes. I write out my list by days.
- Then I complete my weekly grocery list. Like many moms who utilize the same grocery store week in and week out, I have the aisles memorized. I write my grocery list in order of where things can be found in the store- this prevents looping back numerous times and wasting precious time.
- As long as I am not cooking seafood, I almost always double the recipe. My husband and I then bring the leftovers into work for lunch the next day or two. Healthy dinners= Healthy lunches.
- Allow the kids to help. I must admit, there are many nights that my girls have offered to help me cook, and I turn them down because their “help” tends to mean more clean-up for me but the more I get them involved in the cooking, the more adventurous they are in eating. If I ask them to each pick out a meal for the week they are more apt to eat it, and if I let them pick out the fruit at the grocery store or scan the cereal, they are much less likely to whine.
- 5. I use the web. My go to sites for recipes and meal ideas are Cooking Light and Skinny Taste. I have truly found that these recipes are not only healthy, but they taste good 9 times out of 10. I also love that both sites utilize portion size suggestions, as this tends to be one of my struggles.
Here are my current top five favorites…
- Cooking Light- Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream
- Skinny Taste- Skinny Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
- Skinny Taste- Cajun Chicken Pasta on the Lighter Side
- Cooking Light- Beef and Broccoli