Day 10: Make Lunch Today & Plan Next Week's Breakfasts & Lunches

The Cooking Cure Spring 2014

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Day 10: Friday, March 14
Today's Assignment: Make lunch!
Weekend Assignment: Plan all of your breakfasts and lunches for next week
The Cooking Cure: See all assignments so far here

Here we are at the end of the second week of our Cooking Cure. High fives all around! How did things go this week? Did your breakfast plan go smoothly? Run into any snags? Were you able to go shopping yesterday for your new lunch?

Today's assignment is simple: make — and eat! — your lunch. Take the rest of the day off to relax and catch your breath; this weekend we're going to be jumping into meal prep with both feet.

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Today's Assignment (Time Estimate: 5 to 30 Minutes)

  1. Make (And Take!) Your Lunch Today: Dig out that recipe you picked yesterday, grab the ingredients from the fridge, and make yourself some lunch! If you had to rush out the door this morning before seeing this assignment, no worries — either roll today's recipe into next week's plan or make yourself an extra-special Saturday lunch.
  2. Share Your Lunch With Us: We'd love to see what you brought for lunch today! If you're feeling particularly proud of your lunch creation, take a picture and share it with us over on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter (#cookingcure).
  3. Take a Minute to Reflect: Think of today's lunch as a dry run for bringing your lunch every day next week. How did it go? Did you realize you need to give yourself a few more minutes in the morning? Or maybe that you need some new lunch containers? Did everything go more smoothly than expected? What else would help with your lunch prep?

Weekend Assignment (Time Estimate 1 to 2 Hours)

This weekend, we're asking you to not only plan out your breakfasts for next week, but also your lunches. See how we're starting to stack on the habits? Making a plan and figuring out how to make it work with your upcoming week are little behaviors that will gradually become habits and help you maintain your meal routine in the months to come.

If you're already an ace meal planner and prepper, then your job this weekend is to help out those who are new to the habit! What little things make all this easier for you? What helped you establish your weekly habit?

Here are the steps to think through to make breakfasts and lunches next week happen without a hitch:

  1. Think Through Next Week's Breakfasts and Lunches: Sit down with your breakfast and lunch recipes and think through the week day by day. What do you want to eat every day? Not every meal needs to be entirely new — it's ok to throw in some oldies-but-goodies or plan on taking leftovers for lunch a few days. The important part is just making a plan.
  2. Write Down Your Plan: First, write down what you plan to eat every day. Second, think through what steps you need to take for those meals to happen. If you need to prep your salad greens on Sunday or make some rice on Tuesday night, write that down on your schedule. If you need to make a run to the special grocery store across town, make a note of that. Break big tasks down into little tasks. This is the moment to get completely Type A with your meal-planning and plan out even the minor details.
  3. Make a Shopping List: Back to those recipes once more — this time to write down all the ingredients you need for your breakfasts and lunches this week. Also, think about any extra things you might need to make your breakfasts or lunches a little easier: a new lunch bag, a knife and fork to take to work, a happy new bowl for your oatmeal routine, jars or containers for carrying things or storing prepped ingredients.
  4. Go Shopping: Get thee to the grocery store!
  5. Prep on Sunday: The new week truly starts on Sunday. This is when you set everything in motion for homemade meals all week long. For you, maybe it's making the breakfast casserole you'll be eating every morning or roasting vegetables for your lunch burritos. Or it might be giving yourself a little pep talk so you feel ready and excited for the week ahead.

Share!

Share Your Weekend: Want some company as you shop for lentils or chop up all that cauliflower? Share what you're up to over on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with #cookingcure.

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(Image credits: The Kitchn; Bethany Nauert; Emma Christensen)