Friday, August 27, 2010

Boredom, Laziness, and Kitchen Amnesia

Like Katie, I'm not opposed to occasionally "cheating" when I want to experience something delicious at a social event or if I feel like I might die if I don't have whatever indulgence I get a strong craving for, but I really do feel bad about going off plan when I know I'm doing it out of boredom or laziness.

Switching from a lifestyle where I eat 75 to 80% of my meals out to one where I try not to eat out more than once or twice a week has been a special challenge. I only enjoy cooking when I get really in the mood to do it (which is not all that often), and when my laziness combines with hunger, I develop this condition in which I suddenly forget about all of the delicious and healthy food in my fridge and cupboards just waiting to be eaten, and all I can think about is going to a restaurant where I will be sure to be tempted by bread baskets and loaded mashed potatoes and dessert menus. This is bad for both my waistline AND my bank account. It breaks my heart when I have to throw out the vegetables I find practically liquefied in my fridge, all because I never felt like chopping them up and exposing them to a heat source. Sometimes I really miss the days of Bagel Bits and Kraft Dinner.

I'm trying a new experiment, though -- one that will hopefully keep me from feeling that dreaded "But there's nothing to EAT here!" feeling that I get before mealtimes, and one that should keep me from letting good food go to waste. Right after I went grocery shopping yesterday, while our house's food inventory was super fresh in my mind, I wrote out a list of EVERY POSSIBLE healthy, low carb meal I could think of that I could conceivably prepare with the foods in my kitchen, and I posted this list to the fridge. I made a second list for snacks and posted it, too. The plan is to continue updating the lists as I use up groceries and shop for new ones so it's impossible to forget what I have. Now, when I feel myself getting hungry and I can't think of anything to make, I can go to my lists, and hopefully I'll be interested enough in something on them to work up the excitement I need to want to eat at home and stop craving restaurant food.

Think it'll work? What techniques do you use to make sure you get the most of your groceries?