What I Tried in January

Life is an experiment. Really, that’s about all it is. I’m not referring to your religious belief system or afterlife expectations. Just in day to day living, everything is an experiment. Should I do the same thing as yesterday? Should I change it up? Should I hit “publish” on this blog post? All experiments.

I try to change things up just a little every month. If each month I try one small project, at the end of the month I can judge success or lack thereof and adjust accordingly. My goal at the start of the year was to pack more breakfasts and lunches before work to avoid eating food that was handed to me through a drive thru window.

Simple, right?

But that was my goal in December as well. And November. And October. But it wasn’t happening as much as I wanted it to. It turns out that lunches don’t pack themselves. Also if the refrigerator contains food that needs to be converted in some way before it becomes and edible meal, I have to intervene with the conversion (cooking) before the edible meal emerges.

This is not profound.

In January I decided to jump on board with meal prepping. On Saturdays I grocery shop and on Sundays I cook and pack. Then my refrigerator contains food to pack for breakfasts and lunches all week with minimal effort at 6 in the morning when I am trying to pack food and make coffee before running out the door.

But since I’ve known myself for quite some time now, I knew that food buying and the resolution to cook on Sunday was not enough. So I added something to the mix. I started an Instagram account. I called it Practical_Meal_Prep. Several times per week I post pictures of different foods I have prepped and packed for my week day meals. I have found that maintaining the photo feed keeps me accountable for what I am doing. If I want to post healthy meals or food choices, that influences what I buy at the store and what I cook at home. It also makes me less likely to order pizza on Tuesday and then eat cold pizza for leftovers on Wednesday. Granted, I don’t post pictures of everything I eat. This isn’t a food journal so much as it is a tool for me to keep up with my goal.

In January I packed 21 of 21 breakfasts and 20 of 21 lunches. In December I packed 14 of 19 breakfasts and 8 of 18 lunches. There were other factors involved as well of course, but the fact remains my new system seems to be working better than my old one. Old system: set a goal and hope for the best. New system: keep myself accountable with public posts of what I am doing.

Will this work for everyone? Probably not. Is it working for me? So far. February is looking good too for prepped and packed meals and healthier choices.

February’s experiment is exciting. I can’t wait to share it with you next month.

What is something you tried that worked? Or maybe something you tried that didn’t? Either way, you can always change it up and try something else. It’s all just an experiment.

Meal Prep Instagram: Practical_Meal_Prep

Personal Instagram: CarlyHansonPresents

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