Could we quit 'Hangry' for good? This kitchen hack is pure gold!
I’ve been working on something for the last 6 months and it changes EVERYTHING in my kitchen. Today - I get to share it with YOU!
If you’re like me, you LOVE learning from someone else's experience (especially if they learned it the hard way!) So here I am - 6 months in, telling you that this hack WORKS.
SIDE NOTE: WHY am I wearing orange so often for Meat Monday?! Because that’s my marathon shirt from last year, and sometimes you just need to prove to Monday that you’re capable of awesomeness.
Back to our hack: Why do we need this hack?
Because we’ve ALL been there before: It’s time for supper. Hanger is gnawing at your patience…and your ability to have rational thought. Hanger already ate the patience of your “starving” toddler (or husband? ;)... and then you realize that dinner is still frozen in the freezer.
THEN Hanger throws open the door for its self-deprecating thought-friends who burst inside your head like a bunch of overly-comfortable house guests.
“Why didn’t I plan ahead?”
“Seriously… I mean, How hard is thawing meat?... Am I that pathetic?”
“If I was a better wife, I’d __________”
“My life is just so busy”
“If I was successful, I would have a plan”
“This is a disaster”
“Will someone make that loud toddler stop?”
“I can’t think”
“...I’m a failure”
“Just grab something easy and GET IT IN THE MICROWAVE”
All the while, if your three-year-old is like mine, they are wrapped around your leg BEGGING for something that is NOT on the menu like their life depends on it.
I get frustrated, because I KNOW he won’t die. Have a little patience, dude. …But negotiating with Mr. Impossible at this point feels a little more like trying to juggle a wasp’s nest with a couple chain saws. It’s not going to end well.
If I’m honest, I’m frustrated that my toddler is yelling, but I sort of feel like yelling when I’m hungry too. ….But yelling and screaming over dinner isn’t what adults “Do”.
I just might start though if someone else was in control of my food intake, (Just ask my pregnant-self when I’m trying to wait for Jonathan to finish up something on the farm before coming in for a meal… my patience and my stomach are embarrassingly tied)
If you’re like me, this scenario happens way too often. Living meal-to-meal is sort of like living paycheck to paycheck.
There isn’t any margin in paycheck to paycheck.
If an emergency arises, you’re basically forced to make unhelpful decisions that you’ll regret later.
Same with living meal-to-meal. There is no margin, and it forces us to make unhealthy decisions that we will regret later.
“There has GOT to be an easier way”, my mom-friend shared, “Why mess up the kitchen and dirty all those dishes for ONE meal that's devoured in 20 minutes?!... I just want to go outside and enjoy summer with my kids while feeding them nutritious food!”
Yes, yes, and YESSSSSS Momma. You are asking the RIGHT question. And there IS an easier way!
It’s called Meat Monday - and it’s the beautiful answer to shut Hangry and it’s friends up for good.
How does it work?!
1. Take 5 minutes on Monday morning to visit your freezer.
2. Pull out 5-6 days worth of meat and place it in a roaster pan. (SPICEY HOT MOMMA tip!!!!!!: We don’t need meat dripping all over our fridges, because then we might cry, so make SURE you put it in SOMETHING that can catch all the meat juice when it thaws!!!)
3. As you walk to the fridge, point to the different cuts of meat and name the meals you’re ready to make. It sounds silly, but this step is fun AND it will PROVE to your brain that you are an awesome rockstar. It’s like declaring war over all the negative meal-thoughts in your week. No matter what happens, “I’m ready for; burgers, tacos, steaks night, kabobs, and a hotdish…” Take THAT Monday! Hangry isn’t going to know what kit it.
4. Decide what’s for dinner tonight, (I usually do something easy with ground beef) and then I ask the “cook once, eat twice” question: What can I cook once, and eat twice?
Example: Tacos and Hot Dish both have cooked ground beef. Why not cook the meat for both and then separate it before you season it?
Why? Because you just dirtied ONE pan instead of two and you *basically* time traveled your next meal. You don’t even have to get a pan OUT to brown meat for making hotdish. (much less think about thawing it before you get the pan out!) This is pure gold when it comes to saving time in the kitchen.
If you’re ok repeating a meal within the next few weeks, maybe the “cook once, eat twice” rule would make a double batch and pop one in the freezer. (Because then you don’t have to prep it AT ALL (much less think about it!), you just pop it in the oven and 20 minutes later, you are ready to rock and roll.
This is rock-star mom stuff right here. The ultimate question is, HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS EASIER so we have more time for what matters and so we spend less time in hostage negotiations with our hangry people.
I’m telling you: There is nothing that feels better than knowing you’re ready for anything AND then have the margin to prove it. When suppertime is coming and I can point to three meals that I’m ready to make, I feel like I’m winning. Not only nutritionally, but relationally.
Mom-life is WAY TOO VALUABLE to live meal-to-meal.
If “failing to plan is planning to fail” (whoever said that didn’t even realize they were talking about mom-life and frozen meat ;)... Then let’s STOP failing to plan!
Let’s take 5 minutes on Meat Monday and change the course of our whole week.
TRUST me: my 6 months of experimenting proves that this is game changing.
If you could compare my “Meat Monday” weeks to the ones where I forgot to do it, you’d see more stress, frustration, impatience, and and overall worse-off mom than when I KNOW that I KNOW that I’m prepared.
Do YOU have a mom-hack that’s saving your life? TELL ME! Comment below share it! (or even better yet! - shoot me an email. I LOVE email :)
Have you TRIED Meat Monday?! - TELL ME! - What does it mean for your week?
Hi!! I'm Liz Gerdes, and I'd like to be your encourager.
My husband and I are dairy farmers in SE MN and friends to anyone who is interested.
I help moms feel awesome about what they feed their families with farm fresh milk!
Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com or follow me on Facebook @gerdesfreshfarm or Instagram at @gerdesliz for more info.
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