Inspiration is everywhere. You just have to look for it. Take this morning for example. While wracking my brain, trying to pick out one, of the too many numerous things I’m passionate about, it hit me. Ok, it didn’t literally hit me, but I heard him on the phone. His name is Joe and he works for the same company as my husband. They were chatting on speaker phone, so you could hardly call it eavesdropping. Anyway, Joe is like most of us, trying to fill our plates and our bellies, fast and cheap. Joe works on the road a lot. He lives primarily on the fast food dollar menu. I overheard him making a joke, about stopping to get a .79 cent 64 ounce soda, before dining at the restaurant famous for their all-you-can-eat, white, doughy bread sticks and unlimited iceberg lettuce salad special. Smart shopper right? Since the restaurant charges three bucks for a soft drink?
People have all kinds of excuses for eating poorly. Most are lacking one or more of three things; time, money or energy. But doesn’t it make sense that if you use your time wisely, you could have more energy AND save money? The truth is in the cooler. As in the portable, take-me-on-a-picnic, good ‘ol ice chest. There is an endless array of sizes and styles to suit anyone. Of course, the important thing is WHAT you put in it. (Sorry honey, I’m not thinking chocolate milk and mini powdered sugar donuts.) I’m thinking more along the lines of some fresh slices of cucumbers and cashew hummus or maybe some almond butter and a big Honeycrisp apple . Maybe some big chunks of sharp, cheddar cheese and some sort of jerky, I like turkey or venison. Or some tuna salad scooped up with sweet baby bell peppers. Since we’re headed into cooler weather what about something warm and satisfying like a hot thermos full of homemade soup or stew? Or some stick-to-your-ribs chili? The variety of things to take on the road are limitless.
What’s missing here is the plan. Many of you live from moment to moment and catch something to eat on the run. Like Joe. Like most of us. However, with a little pre-planning you CAN eat healthier. Write down a few menu ideas and make sure you shop for everything to complete those meals. This saves from those last-minute, oh-yeah-I-forgot, trips to the store. Keep in mind meals that work both for dinner and for lunch the next day. Take some time to clean and prep your vegetables. Make some hard-cooked eggs and if your family eats rice, prepare a big pot of whole grain, brown rice to use in meals throughout the week. Use that huge timer saver you have tucked away. You know, your crock pot. Getting up a wee ten minutes earlier in the morning, to put your goodies of the day together, will improve both your health and your wallet!
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for four hours
1/4 C tahini (sesame butter)
1-2 garlic cloves
juice of a fresh lemon
Sea salt and fresh, cracked pepper
Drain water from cashews, saving some water for processing. Place together in food processor or blender with next four ingredients and process until smooth and creamy, adding water as necessary for desired consistency. Season to taste. Enjoy with a medley of fresh veggies!