I am not sure how many of you have discovered the wonderful stress saver of making a menu, but let me tell you right now that if you aren’t making a menu each week- you should be!
When I was living off campus at school a few years ago, I used to spend so much of my time
worrying thinking (during class of course) of what I was going to make for dinner each night. By dinner time each night, I was a bucket of stress. Who wants to come home to that? About this same time, my wonderful friend Lisa told me one day that she would meal plan a week or two out, grocery shop every Saturday, and prep as much as possible on Sunday and then spend little time in the kitchen the rest of the week. I remember thinking ‘Well of course you have it together! You are like Martha Stewart!’
I reached my wits end when I was student teaching only a year later. We had recently gotten married- so of course I wanted to impress Nate all the time with my meals. If I made good meals before we married, I wanted them to become GREAT meals.I would literally spend my lunch hour/prep hour quickly trying to find a recipe that had all the things we had at our house. I usually gave up and then picked something that sounded good. After long day at school, I would go to the grocer (almost every day mind you) to pick up what I needed for that meal. This of course, would result in me finding a lot of excess that we did not need. I ended up only spending a lot extra cash and filling our itsy bitsy flat to the brim with junk. I may have been cooking healthier and more delicious meals than when we were merely engaged… but coming home to a woman
Then I had an epiphany- What if I meal planned? So I began making menus on extra lined sheets of paper. Within a few weeks, I was finding that I was less stressed out… our meager bank account wasn’t dwindling as quickly as it had been before… in fact it was beginning to look healthy again! I discovered that the half hour after I got done teaching could be spent putting my feet up for a well deserved rest. My husband was no longer afraid to ask questions during meal prep. What had I stumbled on?
It has been about a year and a half since I discovered the power of a simple meal plan.. and I refuse to go back. We have a few things in the house that can be go- to items in case we just have one of those days- you know the ones- where you just can’t bring yourself to spend time in the kitchen.. you just want something fast. We also don’t necessarily eat the food always in the order that it appears on the list… you can pick what sounds good off that list for each day. It may be organized but you can be flexible within it.
My MIL was so impressed by watching how our system worked that she has begun to incorporate it too. Give it a shot for yourself- I promise that if you will like it!
Later this week, I hope to share the menu I have for this week, along with the recipes for our Valentine’s Dinner! I will be sure to keep you all posted as well to how this week is looking for weight stuff. I will be starting a new job as a nanny to a 2 year old which I am sure will be its own workout. My duties as a nanny in conjunction with the carb cleanse I am starting tomorrow should help kickstart something