One of my struggles is overwhelm. For the past year, I have been working from home and you would think that would make my life easier, but it has just made things more difficult.
There is little separation between worklife and homelife. It was made even more difficult these last couple of months because I also had to be my husband’s caregiver with his meds, appointments, and other stuff related to his medical emergency from Christmas. By the time dinner came around, I was fried and just could not process one more decision. We were eating a lot of takeout because of this. We don’t really have a lot of options in SOMD…
My therapist suggested that I have my son and husband take over making some of the meals. Which is all well and good except my son has days where he is overwhelmed with school work and my husband was still recovering from a serious medical issue. My problem was more figuring out what to make than it was actually making dinner. It was decision fatigue.
During the pandemic, I have become a little addicted to online shopping.
I order my groceries from Instacart and I have Amazon subscribe set up for a lot of our monthly recurring purchases (like tissues! You would not believe how many tissues I go through. I hate pollen!). I tried meal planning so as not to spend too much money, but it was hard to do if an ingredient I needed wasn’t available from the store that week.
We don’t exactly live in an area with a lot of options. So I would have to switch plans which would only make me more frazzled.
I am also not good at estimating how much of something I need and if I changed my plans, sometimes it meant something would sit in the refrigerator unused to the point that it just ended getting thrown away because it spoiled. My freezer is packed, but I would still have no clue where to start. There had to be a better way.
One of the things I have started this year are subscription boxes for various products. In my FabFitFun box there was a coupon code for HelloFresh. My guys are picky eaters, but after checking the website, the one thing I liked is that everything came portioned out as individual ingredients. Which meant if something called for onions or peppers, I could keep that to the side and not part of the main meal.
We are now three weeks into our subscription and not only has it taken some of the decision making off my plate, it has also given us something to do as a family. All three of us take part in the cooking because each meal comes with step by step directions. So one person could be manning the stove, while another is washing produce or cutting ingredients. Plus the guys have been open to trying new things since they were part of the process of cooking it! Win-win!
We have discovered some things that have not worked out. For example, four is really our limit for meals because we do still have nights where we want fast food or want to celebrate a special event with a meal out. So I have cut back the number of meals we order each week. I also add on some of the protein add-ons because I tend to gravitate towards seafood and chicken, but the guys really want red meat. Plus my son and I both have anemia, so it is good for us to have more red meat in our diet. So I might swap something out.
Yes, we have had some meals that were not wins for us (we are not fans of the burger options), but we have had more that were. We have also learned ideas to try on our own for combining different food pairings.
I highly recommend that if you feel overwhelmed with the thought of cooking dinner, try a meal service. There are lots of options out there, but HelloFresh is the one that is right for my family. It might work for your’s too! Click this link to get up to $70 off!