Monday, March 21, 2011

Oops! I Did it Again...

Oh me oh my. When will I learn?

This weekend was full of family, friends, and food. Heavy on the food part. Oh so heavy on the food part. Dinner out every night, pizza delivery and not one but TWO outings to the local ice cream's a wonder I can waddle down the hall! I'm feeling digusting right now, and it's my own damn fault. I get caught up in the social aspect of food. Think about it. Almost everything we eat is shared. We come together with the ones we love and yuck it up over a plus size plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Rarely (at least in my case)  do we think much about the actual nutritional value of the food when we are eating socially. It tastes good, it feels good, and everyone else is doing it.

I've been trying my hardest to combat Candida and a host of other problems, most of which I believe, can be vastly improved or even remedied by changing my diet. I do well for a week or two and then one social outing blows me off course and leaves me feeling squishy and grumpy. But it ends today. I've got two words for you people: MEAL PLAN.

I used to be quite good a the whole meal planning thing. At one point, I was even planning out a month's worth of dinners at a time. Because I now shop in season and with coupons, month long meal plans aren't as practical for me anymore but a week's worth is completely managable. I've recently invested in some fab vegan cookbooks and it's time to use them. If I know what we're eating and I have the ingredients with which to make it, those foods that make me feel squishygrumpy are much less likely to end up in my mouth.

My meal planner is nothing fancy. I typed it simply because I'm anal about symmetry and have tacky handwriting. But really, a sheet of recyled notebook paper will do just fine.This time around, I included lunch plans to make sure I'm not just eating a handful of cashews and the kid's sandwhich crusts to fuel me at midday. I also listed any social events where we might be eating, like at my neighbor's birthday party this weekend. Healthier week at a time.

A few tips on meal planning:

-Veteran meal planners suggest making a 21 meal list. This is a list of the 21 or so recipes that your family regularly cycles through. For us that would be things like tacos, fritattas, grilled chicken, ect... If ever you just can't think of what to make, you can refer to your handy list and hopefully find something to fill the gaps.

-Shop with your ads and coupons. Store ads come out weekly. Use the ads to plan your meals around what's on sale. In season produce is usually much cheaper than those Chilean grapes your kids make you buy. Eating in season is better for your health, your planet and your wallet. Winners all around!

-Have a planning party. Who doesn't love a party? Invite your friends over and ask them to bring five copies of their three healthiest and easiest recipes. Hand out blank calenders and wine. Swap recipes and fill in those meal plans!

-Plant a garden! Growing food in the backyard is one of the easiest ways to make sure you have nutritious food to eat at every meal. Before sitting down to make out your weekly plan, take a quick jaunt around the garden and decide what needs harvested and include it in your meal plan. This will help you avoid baseball bat sized zuchinnis and bolted salad greens.


  1. I love that: squishy grumpy. I know EXACTLY what you mean. Food is a big celebratory/social thing in my family, too. Like we always feel ENTITLED to eat whatever the heck we want. Wonder why I struggle to lose my "baby weight" (I can't really blame my kids anymore...the youngest is 2).
    I created a budget today to try to manage our money better, and one of my pro-active ideas was to create a weekly menu/meal plan! Timely post, this was. Looking forward to sharing a few recipes with you!

  2. Menu planning has been a life saver for us lately as well! We do a once a week shop, have a list of meals we are going to eat throughout that week, and then pick and choose what order we would like them as the week progresses. I cannot believe how much money we save by doing the shopping once per week as well, and it is SO nice coming home from work and already knowing what I am going to make. No more time wasted on deciding what I feel up to making, and no more last minute convenience dinners. I am ALL about the meal planning!

    Brenna :)

  3. love the idea of gathering together the regulars in a list. I have then spread out through different cookbooks, recipe files, computer files...would be much easier to see what at a glance might be quick and easy to make. As opposed to wracking the brain!

  4. I have to plan I'm the cook/vegetarian/vegan in the house full of meat eaters :)

    hopping and following from green blog hop