Dinner Time

This is just another of those posts that is coming off of the top of my head. Just letting it out before I forget it and it’s lost forever. My thoughts tonight are about dinner.

It was a heavy duty day today. One of those days with lots of emotions hanging in the air. I had several Zoom meetings with discussions about the future of the university where I work, talk of how students, faculty, and staff are handling the stress of working from home, and just lots of acknowledgement of the reality that we’re in. Add to that a sort of informal interview with a potential employer and my weekly guitar lesson. ( I love my guitar lessons, but I admit I do stress myself out a little with wanting to get things perfect which they aren’t. I’ve only been playing a month now.)

By 5pm I was hungry and deciding between a bowl of tortilla chips with melted cheese or walking to the grocery store to get either some bagels to have with a bit of cream cheese or a frozen pizza.

I thought of my list of possibilities and acknowledged the lack of vegetables or pretty much anything of value to my body in the list. Then I thought about how tired I am of the making the same dishes over and over. Lately, dinners seem to involve a lot of ravioli with a mix of vegetables or scrambled eggs with some combination of vegetables. So, I was back to saying “I don’t have frozen pizza very often and it’s quick. That would be good since I’m hungry now.”

The thing that stopped me though is that step of going to the grocery store. It sounds lazy as heck to me as I type it. Going to the grocery store would have involved getting into going outside clothes, putting on my mask, getting my shopping bag, deciding what else I needed to buy since I don’t want to make more than one grocery trip a week, and then taking the short walk to the store, shopping, and coming home before I could put the pizza in the oven. Ultimately, the whole experience would probably take almost an hour. It’s not much, but I get cranky when I’m hungry and I don’t want to be around me.

So, I asked myself, “what might be easier and address the reality that I don’t want to eat the same old stuff?” It was such a simple question, but one that I sometimes forget to ask myself. It turned into about 15 minutes in the kitchen steaming some vegetables and frying a few fresh shiitake mushrooms that I had growing in some oil. Add a few salad greens and some cottage cheese and voila! Dinner is served.

There’s one of the big tricks to eating healthy food. Make it easier than eating unhealthy food. Sometimes I love to spend hours in the kitchen and sometimes I want to eat right now. It’s important for me to be ready for those moments that I want to eat right now with a healthy option that’s easier to access than that frozen pizza or ice cream or whatever. The plus is that it tends to taste better too!

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