I have a love/hate relationship with doing the dishes. Sometimes, I find it therapeutic to stand at the kitchen sink and concentrate on the dishes. It’s ten minutes of my day where I can zone out and let my mind wander. Maybe it’s the repetition of scrubbing, or the feeling of accomplishment seeing the all the once-dirty dishes clean. Other times, dishes pile up in the sink for days and days, as I walk past them pretending I don’t see them. And when I finally do, I rinse them just enough to add them to the dishwasher and then let the dishwasher do its job.
So how does doing more dishes connect to healthier eating? Chances are the more dishes you have to wash, the more you are eating at home. The less you have to wash, the less you are eating at home (unless you eat off paper plates which is another subject altogether).
It’s true that it is entirely possible to eat healthy at restaurants. But it’s expensive and for a lot of people, me included, the temptation is so high it’s much harder to eat healthy.
So I’m here to tell you: Do dishes, eat healthier.
The weeks my eating is more consistent and more balanced, I’m eating more at home which also means I’m doing dishes at least every other day. While it can be time consuming, I use how often I’m doing dishes in a week as one of many indicators for my eating. If I realize I haven’t done dishes in a while, I first check the sink to see if it’s overflowing with dirty dishes. If the sink is fairly empty, I think back on the previous couple days to determine what I ate. Chances are I’ve been eating out, which could lead to unbalanced eating for me.
Cooking and preparing foods at home help me to control the ingredients. I can add more vegetables to things that when ordered in may not have vegetables, like pasta and sandwiches. I can control the sodium levels in foods that are typically high sodium like soups and hearty meals. And I can skip unnecessary ingredients that I won’t miss, like cheese on a sandwich.
Challenge yourself to hanging out at home, eating balanced foods that will make you feel good and making your own meals. Not only will you feel better, you’ll save money and will have a better grasp of being healthy. Challenge yourself this week to doing more dishes!