Good morning! It’s a nippy one up in our neck of the woods… 16 degrees. What happened?
I’m hoping the chill in the air breaks by lunch time, because I am finally feeling more like myself enough to run again. I’m hesitant, however, and all too familiar with this go-getter-goes-too-hard-too-fast type of pattern.
Girl feels good after getting over a cold, girl goes out for a run, girl catches another cold, girl questions all decisions to voluntarily subject herself to frigid temperatures. It’s happened quite a few times since we moved to Michigan.
Is it summer yet?
I’ll take that as a no.
Anyways, I didn’t come to complain about the cold. Now that the weather disappointments are out there, let’s shift gears and talk about meal planning. Or, in my case, lack of meal planning.
Are You a Meal Planner?
I have never been one to plan out my meals more than a couple of hours, or at best, a day in advance. It’s just not me. Instead, I usually fly by the seat of my tastebuds and hope for the best. It’s not an ideal theory, but it usually works.
I realize this would probably change if I had a full-time job outside of the home, and at this point in my life I feel very grateful to be able to drive back and forth from work to home whenever I really need to. Don’t hate me.
But then again, maybe it wouldn’t. The years when I was working away from home the majority of my days and nights, I still went in a make whatever, whenever type of pattern. It wasn’t uncommon for me to cook an egg and veggie scramble for dinner, and I often relied on Scott to grill something while I came up with whatever sides sounded good that night.
As time goes by and night events creep up on our calendars, however, I am starting to realize that I will most likely need to change this pattern. Eventually. But, I’m weary.
If I have a goal of making a meal plan for more than a day, I will sit at home and make a grocery list for what feels like hours. I get so overwhelmed. And then if I don’t figure out everything I think I need, I’ll sit in the parking lot of the grocery store and thumb through apps on my phone and recipes on Pinterest in order to nail down exactly what I need for a ridiculous amount of time.
You guys. This happened on Sunday. Unsure of what I wanted to make, I scrolled around so long that I actually got tired and took a quick power nap in my car. In the parking lot. I can’t make this stuff up y’all, it’s bad.
To say I get overwhelmed by the thought of needing all the things for all the recipes at once is completely accurate. Extra stress factors in when it’s cold outside and I don’t want to go through the process of fighting it to get to the store for one or two ingredients, too.
How do you guys do it?
At best, I will plan one or maybe two full dinners on the weekends and then make another trip to the grocery store later that week if I need to. It’s just what I do. Maybe I’m spoiled by having access to a car and a decent grocery store right down the road, but I feel like I can’t be the only one who feels this way.
I realized that something needs to change as I made my husband his requested pasta dinner last night around 10:30 p.m. Seriously. After a long day and several unfortunate events that held him up at work, he got home after 11 at night and asked for pasta.
I whipped up what I thought to be a sorry excuse for spaghetti that consisted of whole wheat noodles and canned marinara sauce, and he loved it. He literally thanked me for it three times. No add-ins, no protein, no nothing. Straight up noodles and sauce is exactly what this guy was looking for and loved.
(This is the closest picture I had to share. Ignore the meat add-in.)
This made me think about how I have incidentally set the bar extremely low for myself.
Was it the break from gluten-free noodles that he liked? Was it the absence of every vegetable in our fridge from the sauce that pleased his tastebuds? I just can’t wrap my head around it.
I have to give myself a little credit though. During the NBA season, if I want dinner at a reasonable hour, it will most likely be me, myself, and I eating at the dinner table. Knowing this doesn’t serve as the best inspiration to get creative with my meals. I know things will change during the off-season and even when we eventually have more mouths to feed, but for now, it is what it is.
After sleeping on it, I have come to a conclusion that I need to be a little more proactive in my meal planning. Miracle spaghetti at midnight isn’t going to cut it for very long around here.
So, avid meal planners, where do you start?
I would love to hear your strategies on tackling meal prep and planning on the weekends. How do you buy everything for specific meals on top of your normal groceries without spending an arm and a leg at checkout?
Any tips on how to create a somewhat original menu without stressing yourself out to the point of wanting to take a nap in the grocery store parking lot would be much appreciated. <3
Questions of the Morning
• Are you a weekend meal planner? If so, how many nights do you plan and buy for at once?
• Any tips? (Show us your ways!)
While I’m probing for questions and answers, I would love to hear any that you might have on what to do once you get your certification in personal training. I’d like to talk about my experience of transitioning from getting my CPT into working at a gym. Do you have any specific questions? I would love to take a stab at answering them.
Leave your thoughts, questions, and comments below!