Your Story - The Karen Family

Your Story - The Karen Family

Pictured: Andrea and John share a meal together. (Submitted by the Karen family)

Do you want to eat together more often with the people you love? We want to hear about it!

karen-andrea-80x80.jpgAndrea Karen and her partner, John, live in Humboldt, Sask.

1. How many people in your family eat together and why do you think it's important to share meals together?

In our family there is just the two of us but it is very important to us that we share meals because we don't get to spend much time together - so it's a time to catch up and enjoy each other's company.

theresa-albert-70x70.jpg Nutritionist's Corner with Theresa Albert, DHN, RNCP

Theresa is a sought-after media commentator and lifestyle pundit on many topics with a particular focus on human relationships with food and culture. Her writing has appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Today's Parent, Canadian Living and Canadian Family, Best Health and Shape Magazine. She is a regular guest on Steven and Chris. She has two books published in Canada and the U.S.: Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day and Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck.

She can be found on twitter as @theresaalbert and at

The greatest commodity right now is time! Streamline the process and find more of it!

1. Prep time can be "together time" if you do it on the weekend. You can save time by purchasing and prepping all vegetables on the weekend. It will encourage you to eat more of it too. Prep all vegetables, marinate all chicken and rub all beef before you store. Then a simple text or note that reads "thawed chicken in fridge, place in casserole dish, 350 F, 40 minutes" can help you communicate what to do nightly.

2. Your slow cooker is your best friend. All bones and vegetables can be simmered on the weekend while you prep - and a healthy and simple broth is ready for the weeknight's soup or rice. There are some fabulous one-step, updated (a.k.a, non-canned soup!) recipes that can make even the busiest day end blissfully. And, big batches are great for freezing - ready on nights when only one of you is home.

2. How successful do you feel at sharing meals with your family?

We've got it down pat about 85 per cent of the time. Sometimes we end up not enjoying dinner together because of our work schedule. But we manage to prepare meals in a unique way. I work evenings and John works days, so while he is at work, I prep everything: chop veggies or assemble a meatloaf, then I place it in the fridge and go to work. When John arrives home about an hour before I'm due home, he finishes preparing supper ie. pops meatloaf in the oven, cooks the pasta or reheats the chili and makes biscuits.

3. How often do you eat with your family?

Almost every day. For us the biggest challenges are difficulty staying organized: meal planning, budgeting, grocery shopping, and competing priorities with activities and schedules.

4. What do you love to eat together?

One of our favorites is pizza! But John is just getting used to my cooking and I'm just learning his likes so the favorites list is slowly getting longer.

5. What would help you and your family reach your goals to becoming healthier?

A better work schedule :P and better budgeting. Spending discipline ... John likes to drink Tim Horton coffee a little too much and I enjoy my chocolate a little too much.

6. Other comments/suggestions you'd like to share with the Live Right Now community (eating goals, lifestyle approach, recurring challenges, etc.):

For us it's the struggle to make our work schedules work - it's a bit tough for us.

Thank you, Andrea Karen, and family for your submission.

Do you want to eat together more often with the people you love? We want to hear about it!


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