When I was in school I used to get straight A’s on all my math tests, and I never studied. Never never never.
History was a different story.
(yeah, I like numbers)
I think my teachers were being kind to me when they gave me C’s and D’s. And that was WITH studying. I just couldn’t memorize the material, no matter how hard I tried.
Here’s another tidbit. When I was a newlywed, I used to pull out the cookbooks each afternoon, trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Only the recipe would call for something called oregano, and I didn’t know what that was or how to use it, let alone have it in my home. I so badly wanted to be organized and have dinner ready when my husband came home and I kept getting stuck on things. It was really stressful!
Eventually I realized that I have a need for systems in my life. I’m not one of those “born-organized” types, and so I rely on having systems in place to make sure that I get done what I need to do. You know, things that are probably really familiar to you like how to manage the laundry load (no pun intended), keep the clutter to a minimum, and putting nutritious and delicious meals on the table that my family will actually eat.
These systems have changed my life and so today I’m going to share with you my systems for making good, healthy meals happen no matter what.
Yup, I have systems. Plural. I have multiple systems in place for making sure that I get good food out to my family.
Before you start panicking and thinking that I use these systems simultaneously, hold on. I only use one at a time, and in a second you’ll understand why.
Here are the systems I use to keep my kitchen running smoothly:
System #1: Plan your meals for the week on Motzei Shabbos
System #2: Cook double and freeze for later or cooking before Shabbos for most of the upcoming week
System #3: Keep it super simple
Are you starting to realize why I need more than one system?
Because we’re people and not robots, there are times in our lives when we’re more organized, and times in our lives when we’re more distracted. Yet even when we’re more distracted, we still need to stay on top of things, so we need systems in place to make sure those days don’t fall apart.
I use system #1 when I’m super organized. I sit down on Motzei Shabbos and plan out my menu for the week, make a list of any special ingredients I need to buy, and when I need to defrost raw food from the freezer (like chicken or fish).
I use system #2 when I’m anticipating some major time crunch, like if I have upcoming deadlines or any extra-busy week.
I use system #3 when I’m feeling distracted, or need a last minute change of plans.
This past Lag B’Omer is a great example. It was one of those days where time seemed to exist in half-time. Suddenly it was time for lunch, and we needed to leave the house shortly thereafter to go to a community outing.
And…it was one of those weeks that was SO busy!
We needed to eat, and we needed to leave the house. Oh — and I don’t keep any “fast-food” in the house like frozen pre-made shnitzels. So what were we going to eat?
I fell back on System #3: Keep it super simple.
I pulled out a can of chickpeas that I keep for situations like these, surveyed my fridge to see what vegetables we still had, and came up with this recipe: Hot & Cold Chickpea Salad. It was a huge hit! It was a perfect balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and those good-for-you vegetables. We were full until dinner time.
What systems do you have in place for keeping your meals running smoothly? If you don’t have any systems, what ONE system could you try to implement into your life to make things run more smoothly? If you do have a system and it’s not quite working for you, what small change would make it work better? Comment below.