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.
The Challenge: ‘I Want to Kick the Takeout Habit.’
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.”