April Wellness Challenge: Cook More

Wellness Challenge Cook More

It might be almost halfway through the month but that doesn’t mean we can’t start a new wellness challenge right? I hope you’ll join me for this one because it’s going to be fun, healthy, and save us all some money. But first, a quick recap of last month’s challenge…

Daily Meditation Recap

I had a really really hard time with daily meditation. I realized a few days in that apps were my downfall and that was why I couldn’t enjoy it. For some reason, I felt so much pressure with any of the guided meditations which I realize is the opposite of what most people feel. Go figure.

Instead, I decided to take a few minutes each day, whenever I felt like it, to sit down, close my eyes and think about what I was feeling grateful for. Then I would center my breath and do a full body scan. Sometimes it would last literally 30 seconds and other times, when I was really feeling it, it would last up to 5 minutes.

The whole point of my daily meditation challenge was to feel more grounded and present, and that practice achieved it so I’m counting it as a success! I don’t plan to stop anytime soon either. How did it go for you?

April Wellness Challenge: Cook More

I love to cook. I find it almost meditative and my body feels good when I eat homemade food. I also feel a bigger sense of appreciation for the food itself when I am part of making it come together. But since we had Amalia, we’ve ordered in more often than ever.

Over the last week or two, I’ve gotten back into my meal prepping and have been making more dinners at home. It feels really good and it’s been fun to experiment with new recipes (like this one) and ingredients (like shishito peppers).

When I cook at home, not only do we all feel healthier, but we save money in the process. My Seamless and Uber Eats receipts were getting OOC. I’d rather spend a fraction of that money on high-quality ingredients that go into delicious recipes.

To make this more structured I’m giving myself a “rule” to cook at home for everyone in my family at least 5 nights per week for the month of April which will allow us to order in or go out twice a week. Anel is now in charge of dinners on Thursday nights so I personally will create four of the five meals.

The plan is to meal prep to some extent on Sunday and Monday nights and then create one new recipe each week to keep things interesting. That plan might not work out perfectly but as long as we cook five nights per week, I’ll consider this challenge successful.

I put together a list of some of my go-to sources for cooking inspiration. I like to peruse these passively all week long, and when it comes time to put together my shopping list, I can go back through the recipes I’ve saved and be sure I have all of the necessary ingredients. I also love to share recipes with family and friends so I draw a lot of inspiration from there as well. I’m looking forward to some inspo from you too!

My favorite recipe sites

Bon Appetit
Pinterest (yep!)
Sprouted Kitchen
Inspiralized
Design Love Fest: Bri is one of my favorite bloggers and when she posts recipes I always pin them because they look so beautiful and delicious.
Half-Baked Harvest
New York Times Cooking

Comment below with your favorite recipe websites. I’m always on the hunt for something new!

Previous Wellness Challenges

January: Dry January
February: Break a Bad Habit
March: Daily Meditation

Who will be joining me this month? Don’t forget to join the Facebook Group for extra support.

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Comments

  1. Kristin said:

    Oooh… I love the Skinny Taste website. She has all kinds of healthy but not boring recipes and she has about a dozen searchable categories (slow cooker, dairy free, gluten free, etc.). I find I can get tons of inspiration from her sites and add in things like meat, dairy, etc. to my taste.

    Also Smitten Kitchen. Deb’s recipes are amazing – so good it’s my first cookbook I bought from a blog and everything has been spot on.

    4.12.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yes! Love her and how her site is set up too. I haven’t used Smitten Kitchen in forever, good call. I need to go back, thanks for the reminder!

      4.12.19 · Reply
  2. Meghan said:

    What are your favorite meal prep meals? How many servings can you get out of them? How long do they keep?

    4.12.19 · Reply
  3. Jacqueline said:

    https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com

    Lots of great recipes! Also, inspired me to meal prep this Sunday.

    4.12.19 · Reply
  4. Emily said:

    Love this! Eating at home just makes me feel so good, too! Can’t wait to try this challenge this month.

    4.12.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yay so glad you’ll be joining us!

      4.12.19 · Reply
  5. Libby said:

    It is so ironic that this is the well challenge because I have been trying to be better about this, this month too! I am realized that it is far too easy to order in, or grab food on my way home from class, so I told myself that we are going to try to cook as much as possible, even if you are feeling utterly lazy ahaha! I definitely think I could also cook for myself 5/7 nights. Also, I still use Pinterest for everything too, especially recipes!!

    xx Libby
    https://premedwearspearls.blogspot.com/

    4.12.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      So glad you’re on board for April’s challenge. Good luck!

      4.14.19 · Reply
  6. Erin said:

    Skinnytaste, What’s Gaby Cooking, Pinch of Yum, and the Kitchn!

    4.12.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oooh I need to try some recipes from What’s Gaby Cooking. I’ve seen her contribute on Cupcakes & Cashmere but hadn’t looked at her site. It’s gorgeous. Thanks for the tip!

      4.12.19 · Reply
  7. Ashley Perault said:

    A Cozy Kitchen has great recipes, and Camille Styles often has super-simple ones that make their way into our rotation all the time! I’ve been trying to eat more plant-forward in general this year, and Sweet Potato Soul has some amazing vegan food, as does my local friend Coco Verde!

    4.12.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Good recs that I haven’t seen before, thank you!

      4.12.19 · Reply
  8. Marisa said:

    Smitten Kitchen, Cookie & Kate, Love and Lemons, College Housewife

    4.12.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Never heard of the College Housewife but I’ll check it out!

      4.14.19 · Reply
  9. Marisa said:

    Smitten Kitchen, Cookie & Kate, Love and Lemons, College Housewife, and the Kitchn

    4.12.19 · Reply
  10. Mai-Ly said:

    I’m doing the same – cooking more at home.

    Thank you for sharing the sites! I also goto foodtv.com because I love Barefoot Contessa’s recipes. Whole Foods, Sur La Table, and Williams Sonoma also post delicious recipes.

    4.13.19 · Reply
    • Mai-Ly said:

      I forgot about Deliciously Ella!

      4.13.19 · Reply
  11. Thanks for including Inspiralized! :*

    4.15.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Of course! We love your recipes around here 🙂

      4.16.19 · Reply
  12. Danielle Weisberg said:

    Love this post! I also love to cook (and bake!) and have a baby so I understand how tough it can be to get dinner on the table. My go-to site lately is Damn Delicious – she has so many meal prep, freezer, crockpot/Instant Pot meals….all of which are key when you have a baby. I’ve literally never made a bad meal from her site. Pinch of Yum, Cooking Light and Real Simple are my other favorites for easy, healthy meals. I’d love to see more cooking/wellness posts from you!

    4.15.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Love the name of her blog haha. I’ll check it out thank you!

      4.16.19 · Reply