3 Ways to Avoid the Chocolate For Dinner Trap

Dinner last night was a bust…On the menu was chicken friend rice from Trader Joe’s with some chips and a handful of Mini-Eggs… yikes.

mini eggs

The second part of my “I have nothing to make for dinner” dinner.

 

I almost always have something in my fridge that is super quick and easy to make which helps me avoid the above situation.  Not the case last night! On top of not going to the grocery store this week, I also forgot my wallet so I couldn’t stop on the way home to pick something up. This happens very rarely and it’s certainly not ideal but it did happen and it got me thinking… 

I have clients who tell me they forget to eat or go long stretches of time without eating quite often.  I always thought “I could never forget to eat! I don’t get it!” but I do get it.  We get busy, we get wrapped up in whatever it is we’re doing and before we know it, it’s dinner time and we haven’t eaten since 12pm and will settle to eat anything in our paths!!  Watch out, Turtle 😉 

So what can we do?  Well first, we can just accept that this happens from time to time.  It’s nothing to beat ourselves up over because if it’s only happening every once in a while it’s not going impact on our body or health whatsoever.  It’s only when The Mini-Egg Dinner happens repeatedly that we get into trouble 😉 

I have three easy and convenient solutions for you. 

  1. Get to the store and buy the essentials
  2. Go for prepared foods
  3. Get out the menus and order some takeout

 

Get to the Store and Buy the Essentials

I get it…grocery shopping can take lots of time and I’m always hearing people talk about how much they don’t like going but if you want to set yourself up for success…you gotta go.  So why not just make it super easy on yourself.

Here’s how: Write a list of all your staples that you’ll buy every week.  I’ll share mine with you for an example:

Grocery Basics

I certainly buy other things, too, just not weekly. My “others” list includes items like chocolate, coffee, sandwich thins, peanut butter, chips, salsa…but those things last me longer than a week so I just grab them when I need them.

Having a list of essentials makes for a quick trip (usually less than 15 minutes) and it’s pretty cheap, too ;).   I know some of you are probably shopping for more than one person but this can work for you, too, you might just have to beef up the list a bit. A client recently told me she can’t make it a quick trip because her kids and husband need certain things. When time is an issue, your kids don’t need their fruit snacks/ice creams/chips and your husband doesn’t need his candy and soda.  They’ll survive a week without them 🙂  Pop in for the essentials and leave the rest.  You can get the other stuff when you have more time.

Check out how I use my essentials here —> http://bit.ly/1PE07YB

 

Get Prepared Foods

Almost every grocery store has a prepared food section or deli. If you need a quick lunch or dinner and have nothing prepared (and didn’t forget your wallet ;( ) there are a few great options:

  • Salad bar
  • Pre-made salad
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Sushi
  • Deli Sandwich (most delis will make you a sandwich to-order)

The salad bar is one of my faves because there are so many options.  When I go to a salad bar I almost never get an actual salad, I just get all the fixing that I like.  I’ll get some roasted peppers and asparagus, chicken or hardboiled eggs, feta cheese, artichoke hearts and mayyyyybe a chicken finger or two if I’m at Whole Foods 😉 …you get the idea.  A rotisserie chicken is great too because then you can just pop over to the salad bar and get some veggies and you’ll have a whole meal ready to go!

Sure it can be pricey to buy prepared foods but again, you’re not doing it all the time!  It’s just for an emergency situation and it’s much better than chips and chocolate for dinner lemme tell ya!

 

Order Takeout

I was talking to a client about the prepared foods strategy and she told me salad bars gross her out, so chooses to order pizza or a sub instead.  That’s perfectly fine but if you’re doing that a few times a week and are complaining about your weight, you might want to check yourself 😉

I get take out and/or eat at restaurants probably three or four times per week. It’s super easy and convenient and sometimes I just want a break from my usual menu.  Getting takeout doesn’t mean ordering pizza or Chinese.  I mean sometimes it does…I do love my pizza 😉 but I also love Greek, Antipasto and Caprese salads or my new fave is a grilled chicken burrito with rice, salsa & guac with a side of plantains. Usually a takeout order is enough for two meals so it’s well worth it! 

Lots of times when I visit my sister, we’ll order pizza, and when we do, we get a salad to go along with it.  I’ll put a slice or two on my plate and fill the rest with salad.  By the time I’ve finished my plate, I’m usually pretty full but if not, I go back for more (remember mindful eating). So then I get to have my pizza and have my veggies…win/win!

When you find yourself at a restaurant, I have two suggestions.  You either have the bread basket/appetizer, a cocktail or dessert.  Not all three.  Also remember that you can make substitutions.  Most restaurants have really healthy options available but still, don’t be afraid for modifications. Pick the dish you like and see how you can make it your own.    You can forgo the fries and double up on the mixed vegetables, or you can ask for the butter to be left off of your potato.  OR you can get the fries but eat your protein and vegetables first, then whatever room you have left over, if any, you’ll have for the treat. 

 

So there you have it!  Three super simple solutions for a healthy meal on the fly!  Now I’m off to the grocery store…with my wallet 😉

**February Challenge–**  Get to the store once per week.  Who’s with me?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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