26 Feb The Sunday Ritual That Boosts My Week
If your bookshelf (or Kindle) is a reflection of your interests, then recently I have been a self-development guru. I always want to improve my process and routines because I know that if my day-to-day choices and behaviours are top-notch, I am really setting myself up for success in those domains of life.
One of my favourite reads of 2015 was 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - an oldy but goody. It recognizes that habits are incredibly difficult to change if one does not make the effort to create a ritual for every intended goal. As an example, if you wanted to be more organized in 2016, having an agenda always on-hand , using it, and reviewing it daily would be your ritual to help you create change and install new habits. More general goals like, "lose 25 pounds", require multiple rituals because your goal requires multidimensional habitual changes in nutrition, exercise, self-care, sleeping habits etc. Good rituals lead to new habits. Good habits lead to success.
A ritual that all-but guarantees I am going to have a nutritious and successful week, and one that our house enjoys immensely, is the Sunday cookout.
Coming from a household in which food is one of our highest values, I refuse to use the sterile, cold, passionless term "meal-prep", which makes creating beautiful and nutritious food for the week seem like a robotic, and over complicated process. Good nutritious food is easy
Regardless of what you want to call it, taking a couple of hours to ensure you have nutrient rich (healthy) food in the house and prepare some things for the week, will make an immense difference. If one of your goals for 2016 was to say, "eat healthier", "lose weight", "have more energy" or to "be healthier", this is a ritual that is a must. It will empower you to control what food you are putting in your body and help you avoid an excuse to get take-out. On that note, do you realize that if you brought lunch everyday to work that over the course of your career, you could buy yourself a fancy sports car with the savings - but that is beside the point.
Here are 7 foods and ideas that can make all the difference in the world
1 ) Roasted (root) veggies
With 20 minutes of prep time, while your oven preheats to 350ºf, you can prepare a plethora or delicious and nutritious veggies for any meal
ie - Chop an assortment of veggies like potato (sweet, brown, waxy - whatever your heart desires), carrots, fennel, parsnip, butternut squat, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, whole mushrooms with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic cloves. Roast for 45-60 min and voila, vegetable accompaniment for any meal
2 ) Roasted tomatoes
Great in a salad, with eggs in the morning, or as an addition to a pastas, wraps and sandwiches, oven roasted tomatoes are deliciously sweet and nutritious
Section a bunch of tomatoes into slices (4-6 per tomato), toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and put skin-side down on parchment paper (with your roasted veggies from above!) in the oven until caramelized and a little scorched
3 ) Roast beets
Okay these are messy and take a bit more work but they are awesome to have in the fridge because they go great with
If I got paid to eat hummus, I would be sooooooooooo rich. Hummus is awesome because it is a good source of unsaturated fats, fibre, and a decent source of proteinn. As well, it makes prompt you to eat more vegetables because it serves as a great dip for snack time.
Hummus is also an amazing spread for toast and sandwiches, for mixing with tuna, or great on the tip of your finger when your partner / co-workers are not looking at you.
Obviously it is better if home-made, which requires a food processor. Spending $130 to get a Cuisinart on Amazon is one of the best kitchen investments I have ever made and if you like to cook, I think it is a must. Not only do a lot of great recipes ask for it, I can make a hummus in under 5 minutes with my food processor.
5) Roast Chicken
Whether you choose to use thighs, breasts or a whole chicken, preparing chicken on the weekend if fantastic. If you want it as a source of protein for breakfast, for salads, sandwiches, wraps, pasta or with your roasted veggies you've already prepared for dinner, it really reduces your meal decision fatigue during the week.
The recipe for success is to preheat the oven to about 350ºf, and in the interim, toss the chicken into a large preparation bowl. Coat it with olive oil and the spices of your choosing. Whether it is just garlic, pepper and salt, herbs like thyme, oregano, rosemary, paprika, or you want to get wild with curry powders / pastes, you cannot go wrong. Jamie Oliver has some amazing recipes, which are very easy to follow
6) Don't buy the junk
I am like every other human - if there is junk food in the house I am going to eat it. There is no simpler way to state it than to just not buy the ice cream, Triscuits, or tempting morsels in the first place.
7) Home-made tomato sauce
This is my all time favourite thing to prepare. It fills your home, and will make your condo neighbours jealous with the amazing aroma, can be frozen for future meals and used with a host of different meal options
Jamie has a great simple recipe, or do a simple Google search to find one that works best for you. Whether you freeze the sauce or keep it in the fridge to combine with pasta, roast cauliflower, roasted portobello mushrooms, or eggplant, it makes dinner fast, easy and provides ample leftovers.