February. Winter slows everything down. 2012 turned into 2013 with no shortage of change. At the end of December, my body informed me that it was done. My immune system opened its doors and set up every intruder with a “Welcome Home” t-shirt and gift bag. Over the last eight weeks, I’ve had the flu, a stomach virus, a handful of colds, two ear infections… you name it, I’ve had it. Anyhow, I’m happy to report that I’m doing much better now.
The solution has been shockingly simple. It’s nothing new. It did not come to me in a flash of light. Are you ready for the miracle cure?
Eat well. Sleep when you’re tired.
I know, right?
Let’s be honest. Travel does not make for easy, healthy dining. You grab what you can (er, that might be a few pieces of string cheese and some beef jerky) and head to the next gig. It’s not good. For the record, I will not EVER be taking another road trip without a menu-plan and a prepared list of locations for various Whole Foods/Trader Joes/local natural what-have-yous along my route.
But organic food is expensive, right? Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to tell you that you do not need to spend a ton of extra money to eat healthy, whole, organic foods. Nope. You just need a brain. Since you’re reading, odds are looking pretty good. I will now break down the process into a series of straight-forward, easy-to-follow steps.
1) Familiarize yourself with standard prices of staple organic products where you shop.
2) Create food budget.
3) Map out simple, healthy meals for the week using items that fit within aforementioned budget.
4) Recognize when you need to make time to cook things in advance.
(This keeps food waste down. “Oh, I meant to use this… cabbage…?” *slime and sadness*)
Once again… I know, right? We can all do this. For ourselves. For the environment.
In defense of Whole Foods, they actually have some great prices on produce. In Chicago, their prices are the same as Jewel, if not lower. And their 365 brand is priced for winning. Winning at not taking all of your money.
A note on Trader Joe’s: If there’s one in your vicinity, for the love of all that is holy, go there. The prices are low and their products couldn’t be more straight-forward. In my experience, their fresh produce is pretty short-lived, but hey. Make a plan. Stick with it. Avoid slime sadness.
“But Laura. I can’t plan organic, simple meals. I don’t know how to cook.” What. You can’t make brown rice? Time to learn. Good, now mix some kale and chicken and garlic in with it. Look at you. You’re cooking. Isn’t your body (your temple!) worth it? Yes. In the meantime, I’ll put together some sample meals for those of you who are blinded with confusion and terror upon being handed a saucepan. It’s okay. We can work through this together.