Dinner Makeover: Kicking the Takeout Habit
Andi Jordan's hectic schedule has caused her to rely heavily on takeout. Here, Real Simple gives her the tools to reclaim family dinner.
Andi Jordan, 42
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Andi Jordan calls herself the Director of Domestic Affairs: She’s the mom of three teen athletes—Meghan, 19; Rachel, 16; and Matt, 13—and the wife of Chris, 48, who works long days as a city manager. Around dinnertime, her duties get especially tricky. “Matt will have soccer practice, Rachel will have a lacrosse game, and all of a sudden it’s nine and we haven’t eaten,” she says. Further complicating matters is her flagging energy: Andi was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2007, and the debilitating illness is draining. “My best hours are between noon and three,” she says. “By evening, the last thing I want to do is think about dinner.” As a result, the family often relies on takeout: pizza, burgers, the occasional rotisserie chicken. Chris is happy to cook when he gets home, but you wouldn’t call him a friend to vegetables. “My cooking mantra is ‘Everything’s better with bacon,’ ” he says. Eating more fresh produce would help Andi’s arthritis and be healthier for her family, and she does her best—but when she gets to the supermarket and faces a wall of greens, she feels overwhelmed: “I don’t even know where to begin.”