I’m 14 days into the #eatathome challenge and I’m so glad I jumped in with both feet. In the future, I need to do more of this “wading in blindly” business. I always say that I’m indecisive, but I’m more of an over-thinker. I analyze, project, and research until I understand every possible risk, if it can be avoided, and whether it’s worth the end result.
On paper, eating in every day of the month with only days to prepare sounded like a terrible idea. So did The William Morris Project two years ago–another project I jumped into blindly–but both have been amazing experiences.
I have five observations after 2 weeks. This means (1) I could notice more positive changes in the future and (2) I’m still in the hearts and flowers honeymoon phase.
- I waste less food. We get to the vegetables before they rot. Leftovers used to die in our fridge. Now I eat them the next day or re-purpose them into a new meal.
- I eat less. I don’t know what they put in the food we eat outside the home (Salt, Sugar, Fat–for starters) but it flips a switch in me. In most Americans, I bet.
- I’m more relaxed.Does that sound as crazy to you as it does to me? I cook more, I’m in the kitchen more, I now have to work at feeding my family more, and right now I’m alone a lot more than I have ever been. You would think I’d be sobbing gently into cupped hands, but aside from the usual frustrations that pop up, I’m far less agitated. Again, at the risk of sounding woo-woo, I think the food I ate outside the home affected me more than I thought. Yes, this observation can be all in my head or real but something unique to me. We’ve all heard of the people who smoked and ate McDonalds and then lived to 114 years of age.
- I’m less bloated; I feel lighter. I’m sure the loss of salt has a lot to do with this, but if you’re watching what I eat on Instagram, you know I’m not dieting. I don’t count calories, fat, carbs, or random nutrients. I eat, and try to eat mindfully. This, by the way, is a lot like saying I try to ride my Pegasus every weekend.
- I’m more organized. I kind of have to be. I need to think about what I’m making and how I can use it the rest of the week. Case in point, and the purpose of this post, buttermilk.
I’ve tried countless pancake recipes over the years, and have played around with buttermilk pancake recipes since October started. I found and tweaked a keeper of a recipe, but it required 3 cups of buttermilk. The remaining cup of buttermilk spoiled the first week, which killed me. The second week, as I was making pancakes, I started thinking of all the things I could make with one cup of buttermilk. Ranch dressing seemed like the most obvious solution, and wouldn’t you know it, I found a recipe for homemade Ranch dressing I could easily double. So that’s what I did, and we had it on our salads for dinner the following night.
What does this have to do with my Little Things project this month? I needed to cull all our condiments on the door shelves in order to fit the dressing in the fridge. I planned to limit myself to the doors, but it went so quickly that I went ahead and did the rest of the fridge.
That’s another positive to eating at home. With the contents of your fridge constantly in rotation, it doesn’t get as messy–or at least it’s not as hard to clean when it does because you’re not tossing much out.