You’ve finally gotten home after “one of those days” at work or school. You’re fried, spent, and maxed out. You can’t imagine lifting just one more finger, but you muster the strength to produce some sort of nourishment for your sad, tired soul. In this burst of motivation, you find yourself reaching for something instant, housed in cardboard or wrapped in plastic. To you, I say, STOP RIGHT THERE.
It can be easy to settle for a less-than dinner on a busy weeknight. It’s a quick fix, no prep, minimal effort solution to a common problem: we’re busy as *heck*. However, I believe a certain saying goes that we can’t pour from an empty cup. That being said, I will always argue against skipping dinner (or settling for a makeshift one). Here’s why:
I’ll be the first to admit that my obsession with routine hasn’t always been a fruitful one. However, in some cases, it’s important. Establishing a routine of healthy, substantial dinners (and remember, they’re not all elaborate and time-consuming!) will get you on track with good habits.
After a long, hard day, what kind of reward is a bowl of cereal or a plate of chicken nuggets? (Nothing against chicken nuggets – anyone who knows me knows I love a good nugget – but you get the point I’m trying to make here.) Dinner should be a well-deserved break that we take the time to enjoy – not a hasty obligation.
Let’s get one thing clear: I’m not arguing that you get to work on a three-course feast the moment you roll in from your nine-to-five. It could be you cooking pasta to throw in with some leftover veggies, flipping a quick grilled cheese to have with soup, or even improvising a tricked-out omelet. Additionally, you also have the opportunity to plan meals ahead: whether you’re cooking up a bunch of rice and veggies to have throughout the week, taking a scroll through some slow-cooker recipes online, or a variety of other tactics. Just remember: you’ve got options!
For me, planning is key, and dinner is important. So, on Friday’s, I plan out my meals for the following week before my trip to the grocery store. That way, I’m buying no more and no less than what I’ll use, and I’m also formulating a plan for the week ahead of time. Lately, my boyfriend and I have been designating our Sunday’s to trying a new slow-cooker recipe each week. With Sunday being my “homework day,” it’s great to come home to a yummy, substantial, real meal that’s ready to go!
What are your favorite ways to keep dinner a part of your busy weeknight schedule?
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