I challenged my family and all of you to not eat out at all during the month of March. I hope that all of you that accepted the challenge were able to see it through, or at least learned how to eat out less.
Why did I initiate the challenge? Lately, I have been very bad about planning ahead when the kids and I need to leave the house for an extended period of time. Or maybe I should say not planning ahead! We would leave the house without realizing we would be gone during a regular meal time. There’s really no excuse for that. All it takes is a little planning!
So, since I would neglect to plan ahead and check to see if we would be gone during a meal time, I would find while we were out and about all of a sudden everyone is hungry (including myself)! I am then forced to make a meal decision that I am not proud of. This type of thing had been happening more often than I’d like to admit. Again, I want to stress that it was all avoidable!
How was it avoidable? Well, all during the month of March, because of the no eating out challenge, I made a concerted effort to know exactly when we were leaving the house and when we were coming home and plan accordingly. I would make sure to make sandwiches, bring fruit, and any other snacks I had on hand. At first, it seemed overwhelming, because I had gotten myself so out of the habit. It quickly changed and became simple. Making sandwiches and taking them does not take a lot of effort, really.
I am so glad that I did this challenge!
We I had really gotten our family in this horribly unhealthy habit that totally goes against all that I stand for as far as nutrition goes. I mean, let’s face it, there is nothing ‘natural’ about going to fast food restaurants!
Here are some things that helped make our No Eating Out Challenge a success:
- Everyone was on board with the challenge! That being said, if your spouse or significant other is not interested, please don’t let that discourage you from improving your health. If he/she stopped brushing their teeth, you wouldn’t stop would you?
- The crock pot is my best friend! If you normally eat dinner at 5pm and you know you will be gone until 4pm or later, that is the perfect time to put a meal in the crock pot. Dinner is ready when you get home! I highly recommend the Crockpot Lady’s recipes!
- Peanut butter and honey sandwiches and turkey wraps are quick and easy to fix when you realize you will be out of the house during lunch time.
- Grab a banana and/or apple on the run.
- If you are really on top of things, you can make a bunch of sandwiches during the weekend. While you’re at it, cut up some apples and put them in baggies (put some lemon juice or orange juice in the bag with the apple and slices won’t change to a yucky brown that some kids won’t eat), cut up some celery and carrots and put them in baggies. You get the idea. Put all this in the fridge and when it is time to leave the house just grab what you need and you are set!
- Granola bars are a nice on the go treat.
- Other ideas for snacks on the go are nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cheese, and raisins.
- We also made guacamole quite a few times and ate that while we were out.
If you missed out on the challenge, don’t fret! It doesn’t matter when you do the challenge. You can start now. You can wait till the beginning of a month or week. Just set the dates and stick to it. You might be surprised at how easy it is to change your eating out habits.
I hope some of the suggestions above will help you in your No eating out challenge success!
Did you join with me on the challenge? How did you do? What did you learn about yourself or your family? How hard was it for you? Do you have any tips that helped make it easier for you that might help others?
P.S. I feel the need to tell you that there was one day the kids and I ate lunch at school (we go to a school one day a week). I made all of our lunches and then left them at home! I was so upset! My husband didn’t think this counted as ‘eating out’ and didn’t see the need for me to confess. However, in an effort to be completely honest, I had to tell you!