Keep it Simple
Just when I think that I have exhausted all of my handy time saving tips, this is what happens to me.
My husband and I were at a poetry reading the other night, when a lady came up to me and said, “Hey, aren’t you Char Nolan from Engine 2? I heard you speak at an event last year.” I confessed, in fact, that I was Char Nolan.
The woman, whom I didn’t know, scanned my table to see what I was eating (brought my own food)…I find that people love to take an inventory of what I am eating.
As our conversation developed, she told me that she had really tried the “E2 Thing,” but that she just didn’t have time for all the work involved in the food prep. I tried not to roll my eyes. But at that exact moment, I thought this:
It isn’t the time factor, chica, it is the fact that you are moving from the lane of convenient and fast food (that is loaded with preservatives and “food gunk”). You are comparing the quick opening of a microwaveable meal to preparing vegetables. Of course there is a time difference in what you think isn’t “enough time.”
But in my Yoda voice I said to her, “Well, start off at a salad bar, and make a salad everyday.” Start small. Make foods in bulk (brown rice, baked potatoes, etc.), get frozen fruits and veggies. Keep it simple. Focus on the big picture, rather than the dot matrix. I then said to her (at this point, my husband, Patrick, is really rolling his eyes):
Well, you know, when you weren’t plant-strong, you probably spent loads of time preparing a meat-based dish, basting it, etc., You don’t have to do that with veggies. Vegetables are life’s pure and simple foods. Are you trying to shave off a few minutes because you want to watch re-runs on the CW?
She looked at me and said, “Oh, I never thought about it. Why do I think I need to have so much time when I prepare vegetables? It took way longer to prepare a roast, or whatever. I see where you are coming from.”
Consistency, planning, and loving what you do will make this plant-strong journey more fun and much easier. Think about the fact that you used to cut corners with pre-made, pre-packaged dinners. And now, you might have to clean the veggies, scrape them, then steam them. One of the things that I loved about my intro to the Engine 2 Diet was that Rip’s recipes were easy to follow and QUICK! I used to think about the firefighters at Engine 2 (I’ve been there!!!) and the fact that they were the ones who really needed to save time, because they never knew when a bell would ring, and then they’d have to be on their way…to save a life.
Start small. Keep in simple. The longer you are Plant-Strong, the easier shopping and preparing foods will become.
This picture was taken more than two years ago when I escaped from an Immersion and visited the Engine 2 Fire Station. I’ve seen the Vatican, Buckingham Palace, the Mayan Ruins, and more, and frankly, for me, going to the Engine 2 Firehouse was just as much of a joyous occasion.