top of page

6 Steps I Used to Break a Bad Habit

Breakfast of berries, yogurt, and granola

Like many people, I stopped eating out during quarantine. Periodically my husband and I would order to-go meals from local eating establishments. We spent about 25% of our normal amount on dining out. Last week, someone asked me how I stopped going out, and I jokingly replied “I don’t know - I just stopped.” Of course, that got me thinking, how DID I make this change? I broke it down into these six steps.

1: Know Your Why

The “why” was partly because restaurants in Iowa were only open for to-go orders. I also felt like my husband and I had more time to plan, shop, and cook. But I think that the biggest “why” is that I have been using this time in quarantine as self-care and eating healthier, home-cooked meals was one way I could do that! I also remembered that I used to enjoy trying new things and cooking new things. Let’s face it - when I go out to eat, I usually choose my favorite meals and don’t stray beyond 2 or 3 things at a particular restaurant.

2: Batch Your Week

My husband and I would sit down on the weekend and answer the age-old question: what sounds good for dinner. We made a list of 10 or 12 meal ideas. Because we wanted to help limit trips to the grocery store, we would prepare ingredients in advance (cook hamburger and use half today while freezing the rest).

3: Plan for Spontaneity

By having meal ideas and not ingredients, we planned for spontaneity. It worked to have ingredients for meals yet not be boxed in because I was planning lasagna on a Tuesday but I didn’t feel like all of the long prep process to make it. Or sometimes a chicken breast and roasted asparagus sounded much better.

4: Let Go of Perfection

I also let go of my ideas of what a perfect, healthy meal should look like. Since we were preparing 3 meals a day, sometimes a frozen pizza or chicken strips were just fine!

5: Simplify