Why is lunch the most stressful thing ever?

The Babe passed out hard on our way home from Gymboree class. I managed to transfer her from the car to her crib with minimal disruption; a true rarity when it comes to nap time in our house.

That was the good (nay, great) news.

The bad news? I had to figure out what to eat for lunch, cook it quietly, and then go downstairs and cram in as much work as humanly possible.

The easy grab and go items in our fridge: pasta, beef kebabs, granola, black + kidney beans, hummus, quinoa, and stuff for salad. All things that in theory are great. But not a single thing sounded appealing to me.

I didn’t want to eat the pasta because it was pasta. I didn’t love the beef kebabs that I had made the night before (the cinnamon was too strong for my liking). I would have happily had granola, but the yogurt I have to pair it with has too much sugar (gave me a wicked headache this morning) and we were out of almond milk. I’d had hummus yesterday for lunch and it didn’t really fill me up, so out that went. And I’d been eating the quinoa bowls for the past three days and was in dire need of a break.

I stared into the fridge with hangry eyes.

I opened the pantry five times, praying that something — anything — would jump out at me and scream EAT ME.


Not. A. Thing.

15 minutes of this back and forth and I was still standing in the kitchen, hungry and desperate. I finally gave in and had another quinoa bowl. I found some shredded chicken in the freezer and sauteed some snow peas and carrots.

It was fine.

And by fine, I mean it was edible and filling and healthy and avoided everything I wanted to avoid. But it left me feeling like I was starting to give up on life. Like I had thrown in the towel and just taken to eating whatever was the most bland, boring, and basic food out there.

I want lunch to be fun and exciting. I want to look into my refrigerator and feel happy about the contents. I want to eat things that make me feel good and also make me excited about eating. Most of all, I want to be able to open the fridge and know what I’m going to eat in 5 minutes or less.

I guess that means I’ll be perusing Pinterest for the rest of the night trying to come up with a plan.

Because I’m seriously over this.

Image credit: © 2004 Jim Borgmann, Cincinnati Enquirer

More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a therapist turned holistic health coach, podcaster, meditation encourager, and seeker of everyday magic. Emily recently kicked off her third #The100DayProject, focusing her efforts on daily meditation.

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