I dread a counter full of dishes. After a long day, shuttling the kids around, helping with homework, and cooking dinner, the last thing I want to do is stand at the sink and wash a ton of lunchboxes, water bottles, tupperware and all other items I don't put in the dishwasher. The other night, though, as I was finishing the clean-up, I felt a real sense of accomplishment. Not only for being DONE for the night, but mostly because that counter full of dirty dishes meant we ate a home cooked meal. It meant my kids ate lunches made by me that were well balanced and healthy. We had made it through the leftovers from the pot of chili made a few days ago when I had a few spare minutes and the butternut squash roasted yesterday. All of those empty containers meant that we ate delicious, nutritious, homemade meals. That's pretty damn great, and totally worth the effort of washing a few containers. What if we all spent more time appreciating the benefits of eating well instead of lamenting the challenges? The end result could be amazing!
Focusing on the benefits of healthy behaviors allows us to think positively, instead of thinking of healthy living as a chore. Here's another example...instead of dreading the meal planning on Sunday afternoon, don't forget to think about how much time it will be saving you later in the week. Or, after a stressful day at work, instead of thinking of a trip to the gym as one more thing on your to-do list, think of it as the perfect way to blow off steam, clear your mind and prep your body for tomorrow. I bet you would even put more effort and energy into that workout. Walking the dog? Another "chore" that allows you some fresh air and the benefits of extra steps in your day. Changing your mindset, or the way you approach things, can improve many aspects of your life.
Try this One Pot Chicken Lo Mein dish for a quick dinner this week, great as leftovers too. I use whole wheat pasta and add more veggies (or less pasta) than recommended. It could also be made with veggie broth and no chicken for a vegetarian version. While it's cooking, pull up a quick workout video on-demand or take the dog for a quick walk. Enjoy! :)