Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tools of the Trade

As a budding homemaker, one of my joyful duties is meal preparation.  Since my husband and I both work full-time currently, he often steps in to help with dinner, which I greatly appreciate.  Typically, however, it is my honor and privilege to craft our meals - from the early morning tea to the packed lunches to the healthy dinners.  There are a few tools I use on a daily/weekly basis that make my meal planning and preparation so much easier.

First, actually creating a meal plan - even if I don't follow it to the letter.  Jotting down a week's worth of dinners before I head to the grocery store helps me plan my shopping and make sure I don't waste any food I've already got at home.  Plus, I KNOW there will be food to make because I have it planned out.  Granted, there are very few weeks when I actually follow the meal plan exactly, but it definitely keeps me from binge shopping and ending up with way too much food.

When it comes to lunch preparation, it gets a bit trickier.  My husband and I both commute to work, so I prepare a bagged lunch.  I try to stay away from grains or other carbohydrates, especially at lunch, since they slow down our functionality and increase our sleepiness.  So salads it is.  Now, that may sound boring . . . but you haven't seen my salads.  And my salads are "boring" . . . I'm not too adventurous.  But salads in my house typically include a combination of chicken and bacon, dressing, tomatoes, boiled eggs, walnuts, dried blueberries or apples, carrots, and more - all served over a bed of lettuce, of course.  For more salad ideas, I suggest browsing Pinterest.  That website has been a lifesaver when it comes to meal planning - both on a budget and with dietary restrictions.

I <3 how easy these tools make lunch preparation.
Packing salads for lunch can get dicey, especially with dressing and various types of foods.  Luckily, I have two amazing tools to pass on to you.  First, the Bentology Lunchboxes.  These are amazing.  They come with various sized containers that all fit within the lunchbox itself.  Two of the containers even have lids for those food stuffs with extra liquid.  There's even a salad dressing container that holds the perfect amount of dressing - no more over dressing your salads!  What makes the lunchboxes I have even more incredible is that they fit perfectly into the bottom of my Around-the-Clock Thermal bags from Thirty-One Gifts.  Once I've put these lunchboxes in the bottom (over an ice pack if necessary), there's still enough room to include additional food items (apples or such) and the bowl/fork needed for salad, and juice boxes.

I have to admit that there are days when I really don't want to make lunch.  Or evenings when I really don't want to wash the dishes.  But then I remember the joy that comes from fulfilling duties even in the midst of distaste.  (Or my amazing husband offers to chip in and help.)  Regardless, I believe any job gets easier if you have the right tools - and for me, the lunchbox and thermal tote are just the tools I need to prepare lunch every day.

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