Help! I’m Addicted to Convenience Food!

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fries

One of my biggest green sins is my diet. More than anything else, I am an extremely lazy cook. If I can take it out of the freezer and pop it in the oven with little thought or effort, I’ll buy it. And on days when I’m REALLY feeling lazy, I’ll just skip the kitchen altogether in favor of fast food. The problem with most of these foods, of course is that they are about as far from sustainable as it gets. They are laden with preservatives, artificial flavors and hormones, aren’t organic, and many come in plastic, often non-recyclable packaging.

But I truly can’t help myself. Unlike my husband, who loves to cook, the kitchen isn’t one of my favorite places to be. In fact, it’s probably one of my least favorite places to be. It’s not that I can’t cook. I can throw down when I’m in the mood. The problem is that I’m not in that mood very often. So I wind up cooking the same easy, unimaginative meals over and over again, never adding or taking away any ingredients or trying anything new. I also chalk that up to the fact that I’m a terribly picky eater. I like what I like, and I don’t handle changes well.

I have gotten better over the years, thanks to my husband’s incredible cooking, and I’ve added a lot of things to my diet that I never would’ve thought to try. But he doesn’t cook every day.  My goal is to try cooking at least 3 meals a week from scratch. Nothing pre-cooked. That’s the goal, and I KNOW I’ll have to work hard to get there.  Ideally, I’ll cook in bulk, so I don’t have to do it everyday. But I’m so comfortable in my shopping and eating habits that I may need an intervention. It doesn’t help that packaged foods are often cheaper than fresh produce or other individual ingredients.

I really need some help and motivation for cooking healthier meals. I’m sure my waistline will be happy about it too! Does anyone have suggestions for getting motivated to shop for and cook for meals that don’t come in a package? I’ve fallen victim to the crutch of convenience, even though I know better. Trust me when I tell you I need your help.

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6 responses
  • Carla | Green and Chic August 26, 2009, 11:11 am

    Since I was young, I always had a love of cooking, so convenience food always took a back seat. I did struggle with my weight at one time (as noted in my personal blog http://beyonditall.net/?p=117) and though there were certain things I had to eliminate from my diet with no exceptions (sugar, starches, gluten, etc), I had to take it one step at a time and take it slow.

    Write a list of goals, but don’t try to do everything at once! Never starve and allow yourself a treat every now and then. Only shop at product markets, farmers markets, meat/fish markets, etc where you wont have a chance to buy anything in a box. If that’s not possible, only shop at the edges of the grocery stores.
    .-= Carla | Green and Chic´s last blog ..Changes at Green and Chic =-.

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  • spirit August 26, 2009, 2:12 pm

    I too struggle with my diet because I’m a workaholic and don’t like to take time out to make food (but do love to eat). My friend made me take the “Nivea Say Goodbye to Cellulite” challenge with her and it gives you a meal plan for 4 weeks, every day. I basically followed the plan to the letter, except I bought everything organic. It made it kinda fun for me to commit to eating real foods every day and yet it wasn’t too time consuming to make most of them. Now I would totally recommend it because it’s free and easy to understand and follow with a great variety of foods. The meals are generally affordable too – even with organic ingredients. Let me know if you’re interested I’ll send you the link!

    Reply
  • kristaf September 1, 2009, 6:12 am

    It might be more fun for you to get a bunch of friends together to help you. Some Sunday afternoon – share a bottle of wine and make lots and lots of veggie lasagna. When you’re done, slice it up – you can have some hot and fresh for dinner, and then everyone takes home a share of what’s left. You can freeze it so it lasts a long time and it won’t make you feel like you’re straying too much from frozen convenience food.
    .-= kristaf´s last blog ..Kennedy’s Death Leaves Environmental Gap in Senate; Chamber of Commerce Wants Climate Change Trial; and More =-.

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  • jennae September 1, 2009, 7:40 am

    @Carla I took your advice and went to the farmer’s market this past weekend. It’s pretty far away so it’s not practical for weekly or bi-weekly shopping, but my husband and I figure if we go once a month, we can stock up on fresh produce and freeze it. It really is refreshing to be able to buy strawberries that don’t come in a plastic container and fresh corn still in the husks 🙂 The prices there are a fraction of what they are at the grocery store too, so that was an added benefit!

    @spirit That’s not a bad idea at all. It’s easier for me to cook when there’s a plan I have to stick to. I’ll cook, but I’m not a fan of spending tons of time in the kitchen, so anything that helps that process along is welcomed! I’d love to get that link form you 🙂

    @kristaf: That’s a fabulous idea! Now I just have to make some friends in real life…lol. Seriously though, this is a great idea for something my husband and I can do together. He loves to cook, and I have a lot more fun in the kitchen when I’m with him. And since he’s a vegetarian, this is right up his alley. Thanks a lot!

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  • Carlos September 1, 2009, 8:21 am

    I known what you mean about not wanting to be in the kitchen but wanting a healthy meal. My wife does most, if not all, the cooking in the house. When she’s working late or hanging out with her friends, I usually take my little man to Mc Donalds or it becomes pizza night. Not the most healthy choicea but the most easiest for me. We also tend to like to snack on a lot of unhealthy foods.

    What we recently have done is change our diet. We currently eat healthier foods and watch what we eat. We have all started to take vitamins and eating healthier, more organic, snacks. My wife actually has lost about 5 pounds and I’m loving it. She actually has been taking an “Attain” bar that has a natural crave blocker.

    So maybe you can start taking vitamins and eating healthier snacks. I know this doesn’t solve the issue of cooking in the kitchen. But maybe you will be to full to really need to make a huge meal and just a lite dinner.

    Reply

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