30 Days of Cooking Challenge

(If you are looking for the recipes and pictures, find them below!).

Do you cook?  Or do you eat pre made meals at grocery stores?  Restaurants?  Fast food maybe?

Here is a guilty secret of mine…. I rarely cook myself meals!

I think it’s tied into my type A personality that makes me feel like if I am not working or doing something productive then I am wasting time (apparently my subconscious believes cooking is not productive, which is probably due to the fact that in Vancouver I can get good healthy food anywhere I look!).

Unfortunately that means I spend a fortunate at whole-cheque (or Whole Foods, as otherwise known) buying premade meals.  I tend to buy a lot of bagged salads, rice crackers and hummus, whole chickens, sushi, or other easy to grab foods.  And fortunately I also live with an amazing man who really enjoys cooking and cooks for us a lot.

The things that hold me back from cooking are:

–  I tend to want my meals prepared quickly.  I don’t like meals that require a lot of prep and make me wait when Im hungry!

–  I train my clients 5-8 hours a day, do my own exercise, keep up with the behind the scenes business work, maintain a relationship, and try and keep a clean house and hobbies.  AKA- just like everyone else I am quite busy.  What I find is it’s not being busy that’s taxing, but my work can drain a lot of my physical energy from moving, talking, coaching, etc. all day.  Therefore the last thing I like to do is keep moving when I’m home!

–  I hate the thought of trying recipes that involve me spending $50 in new ingredients just to try one recipe.

_  I feel like my skills and talents are better spent elsewhere…

ANYWAYS!  I have decided to put myself on a 30 day cooking challenge.  When you set a goal you NEED to also write down the reasons behind your goal.  Without the “WHY” you will get halfway to your goal and most likely talk yourself out of finishing it (when it becomes tough).  By listing my ‘why’ here I can remind myself why this goal is about more than just cooking

My reasons for doing this include:

–  to more easily maintain my weight ad health.  Eating unprepared meals and on the go like I was before makes it much more challenging to truly know if  you are getting all your food groups, vitamins and minerals.  In an effort to stay tride and true to my Optimal Health Coaching business of Optimal Health I want to continue to do my best, and challenge myself in a new way to be as healthy as I can.  (PS-  I used to cook all the time, for years we cooked two times a week in batches for the week, I have simply fallen out of the habit).

–  To save money (this is a huge one!!)  with 4 trips still to go this year I can’t be spending hundreds of dollars on groceries a week.

– To stick to my belief of limiting processed foods in my diet.  I found myself grabbing a lot of rice crackers, hummus, premade guacomole, and venturing even into wraps and other processed foods.  I was doing this out of convenience, not because I thought they were the healthiest choices for my body.  I am eager to eliminate them again, as especially the processed carbs have cause a lot of inflammation in my body.  Just one weekend of eating regularly cooked foods and my clothes are fitting nice and loose and comfortable again 🙂  ( I tend to get swollen and gain a lot of water weight from sugars and too many carbs).

–  Although I don’t plan on having kids in the next few years, I still very often think to myself “what would my kids see/believe about my if I act this way”, or “am i being a good role model”.  For some reason this really motivates me!  As a mom I know life is going to be a million times crazier than it is now, and I regularly check in with myself that I am building good habits, systems, and structures that will come in handy when kids are in the picture.  I want to teach my kids to eat healthy, and how to cook properly from home, so I need to refine my skills and habitst!

–  I want to be able to support my clients with more recipes and cooking ideas

–  I want to spend more time being creative and practicing my hobbies (like cooking) on my off time, rather than watching Netflix.

–  I actually want food to taste good!  Generally when I cook, if it turns out well it’s actually a surprise.  I am awful at following recipes.  I want to make food and invite friends over to enjoy it with me.

–  I want to feel more prepared and organized in my life.  My personality thrives off preparation.  I don’t necessarily like routine (and prefer variety and adventure), but I HAVE to be prepared in my variety/adventure.  Having prepared snacks and meals with me regularly will allow me to feel calm, relaxed, satisfied, and full!

The plan

As a result of my desire to cook more, I am on a quest to cook one meal a day for the next 30 days!  Each Monday I will share with you my recipes.  I promise the recipes will be simple, easy, and delicious.

If you try cooking them, or have any that you think I would enjoy, please post as a comment on my blog, Facebook, or Instagram!

I will most likely still be posting other blogs, of various other health topics- if you have a suggestion for something you would like to read about, send it my way, I am always happy to do some research.  

Recipe #1:  Black Bean and Potato Nacho Plate

The link for this recipe is here:  http://ohsheglows.com/2013/04/08/black-bean-and-potato-nacho-plate/

Most of my recipes will be from the Oh She Glows blog, as she creates fantastic recipes, and I want to try them all!!

So as I mentioned before, I suck at recipes, and this is something I am looking to improve.  For example, I didn’t have use of an oven for the potatoes, so I boiled them then fried them (this was a horrible idea as they mostly turned to mush).

I chose not to use the corn chips, and used a store bought coconut cashew dressing rather than the homemade one she listed (which BTW, I have made before, and is delicious. I just didn’t have a blender to use).

Also, I took a picture right at the end of the meal so you don’t get the full effect from my picture, but look at how delicious her recipe picture looked!

IMG_0954

Let me know if you end up enjoying it 🙂

The second recipe I tried was also from the same blog.

No Bake Almond Joy Granola Bars

http://ohsheglows.com/2014/05/23/no-bake-almond-joy-granola-bars/

These taste absolutely delicious.  But naturally, I didn’t measure things together very well (and when I got home realized I didn’t have enough almond butter) so as a result my ‘granola bars’ are actually just granola once they come out of the freezer for more than a few minutes….

It still tastes delicious, was SUPER easy, and will be a great snack in a little bowl to bring to work.  I want to try these again another time, trying to create actually individual wrapped bars.

IMG_0960

So that’s it for now, as I only started on Saturday 2/30 days done!

Do you have any recipe recommendations for me?

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