I'm kicking off a new mission in my life: to prepare more of my meals and to eat more mindfully. And I'll be sharing recipe recommendations with you here on the blog!
I'm doing this for several reasons. 1) My insides. I occasionally suffer acid reflux, and last fall I had a bout with diverticulitis. (It was awful.) Both of these conditions are all-too-easily affected by what I put in my mouth and when.
2) My outside. In the last few years, I left my walkable college town and started working full-time at a desk job. I'm just as active as I used to be, and it shows through the weight I've put on. I'm not unhappy with myself or uncomfortable in my skin, but I do want to get back to a size that feels more comfortable. (Note: I'll be combining my better eating with more physical activity, too!)
3) My budget. Grabbing food to-go or from the the convenience station at work is hard on my bank account, so I need to plan my meals and grocery-shopping trips to alleviate the strain.
Since that emergency room visit last November, I've been trying to be more mindful of food. But the holidays happened – all that Christmas food and dining out while visiting family in Philly! Last weekend, it caught up with me. G and I were celebrating not only my birthday and Valentine's Day, but also our three-year anniversary. (Yay!) Our weekend eating habits included going out for Mexican one day, Chinese the next, and partaking in more Moscow mules than we probably should have. It caught up with me Sunday night and I felt like absolute crap – my intestines were not happy with all the heavy sauces, carbs, and alcohol. It really woke me up and reminded me that I didn't want to go through what I did in November – the crippling pains and other awful symptoms.
So this week, I dove head first into rethinking my meals. I actually planned them out – based on shared ingredients so I could narrow my grocery list and use items up. I did a week's worth of grocery shopping in one trip – and at a very affordable store: Aldi. And I chose my meals based on what my body needs to feel good and function properly: more fiber, more veggies, less carbs, less meat.
I made my first meal last night: this cumin lime chickpea salad from Budget Bytes. Chickpeas, onions, and cilantro are three of my favorite things – and they come together beautifully in this fresh, filling, easy dish that also includes olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and cayenne. I divided up the dish into three containers – one I ate that night, one I ate for lunch today, and another that I'll eat for supper. Next time, I think I'll add some jalapeno, red bell peppers, and tomato. The beauty of this recipe is definitely in the versatility.
Click on the link below to see the full ingredient list, budget break-down, and recipe instructions on Budget Bytes.