We’ve all heard the expression: “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”. I can tell you in my life, this rings SO true. We are all busy these days…running around like chickens without heads trying to cram as much into one day as we can. This kind of lifestyle is stressful, and can lead us to believe there’s just no time to eat right, exercise, or remove stress.
There are a lot of people who will tell you to “remove stress from your life”. Although I agree that we should try to minimize our activities and learn to say NO to things from time to time, I also live in reality. My reality at present is there is nothing I can cut, and I assume it’s much the same for most people, especially moms. Keeping that in mind, I want to help you create a bit of extra time and lessen your anxiety by helping you figure out how to plan ahead a little. I promise you this will seem like a bit of work at first, but it gets easier if you persist, and it will relieve so much pressure and give you peace of mind that no matter what comes up, you can still eat right and get in some exercise. That’s one less thing hanging around the back of your mind, and one less drive through (and guilt) trip.
Starting out: Carve out one hour on a Sunday or other day off. Make a cup of coffee or tea, grab a pad of paper and a pen, fire up that laptop, and get ready.(Don’t tell me you don’t have an hour. Turn the TV off, get off YouTwitFace, and get started. 🙂 Go through your pantry and food cabinets, and either a.) throw out/donate all that boxed, processed garbage, or b.)set it all aside on ONE shelf or one cabinet, not at eye level, not at kid level. Then, do the same for the fridge. Place all the Meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy oils at eye level and in front so they’re the first thing you will see. If you’re eating fresh, healthy foods, you shouldn’t have too much in there, as they will expire week to week.
Now that you’re all organized, take an inventory of the healthy foods you DO have. Sit down with your cup of whatever and make a list of things you could make with what you have . For example, in my freezer, I have 2 lb grassfed beef, 5 chicken breasts, and a pork loin. In my fridge, I have a bit of romaine left, some bacon, zucchini, broccoli, a red bell pepper, a can of coconut milk, and leftover taco meat. In my pantry, I have olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, apples, and some kiwi, and an onion.
Right away, I know I have the option to make: Meatballs.- I have the meat, tomato sauce, spices and zucchini. I need spaghetti squash for noodles. SO, on my second paper, labeled “meal plan”, I write Meatballs over spaghetti sauce. On the back of that paper, “grocery list”, I write down SPAGHETTI SQUASH. I also have the stuff to make B.O.A.R.S chicken – so I write that on the meal plan, and on the grocery list, I write spinach , and check to see that I have rosemary. I don’t. On the list it goes. The pork loin goes on the list for Wednesday, I’ll rub that down with spices and throw it in the crock pot and serve it with Sweet potatoes and broccoli. Sweet potatoes are huge, so I’ll put 3 sweet taters on my grocery list for 6 of us. I’ll use the leftover taco meat on romaine for a taco salad lunch at work Monday. Tuesday I’ll take leftover meatballs. Getting the hang of it? Not rocket science, I know, but most people feel overwhelmed by the idea of meal planning and I am trying to make it very simple for you. I’m out of meat now, so I put Salmon and spinach on the menu for Thursday. Spinach is already on my list, so I add Wild Caught salmon to the grocery page. Friday night, I think we’ll do a Meatsa, so 2lb ground beef, mushrooms, (I have tomato sauce and bacon) will go on the grocery list. See, easy-peasy. For lunches, the kids roll up Boars head or Applegate lunch meat, take bell pepper slices, carrots, apples, and cheese slices for lunch. Double check for all these things and add to the grocery list as needed. For breakfast, we have eggs, smoothies, or leftovers. Eggs, bacon, bananas, all go on the list. There. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
Now, on the grocery list, decide where the best place to get your groceries will be, and write a letter next to the item. Example: I shop at Super Target for some things, the farmer’s market for fruits/veggies if I can, and Costco for some of the bigger items. I write the letter of the store where I can get the best deal. My Target now carries grassfed ground beef, so that’s a huge score for me. I also have the Target rewards debit card, so I save 5% when I shop there. Plus, they have a great organic section. Costco carries Kerrygold Cheese (grass fed) and butter for a LOT less than most places. Plus, I get the non-food essentials like TP there. 🙂
SO, gather the homewreckers, throw em in the car, and head off to teach them what it looks like to buy healthy, preplanned food. In the next blog, we will talk about prepping for the week so you don’t get caught off guard, and we’ll later discuss where to fit in exercise. If you have questions, PLEASE feel free to ask, here or on the Facebook page. Much love! ~Cavemomma