“The Force is with you…

 …young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.”

After reading about “Clean Eating Non-Negotiables” on Healthy Endeavors, convictions of my current meal planning habits plague my mind like…a giant plague.  When I switched from blogger to wordpress I’d meticulously post my detailed weekly meal plans, including breakfast, lunch , dinner and snacks.  You should have seen me plan my meals. I did it with as much fervor as an English major dissecting Moby Dick. 

First, I took inventory – writing down what I had on stock, what meals I could make from ingredients in the pantry and fridge, etc.  Next came out my cookbooks.  All of them.  I browsed for ideas, meals my husband could manage, and for exciting new recipes.  Once I had a solid grocery list and menu, I hopped on the computer and entered meals and snacks on Sparkpeople.com for a calorie count.  Finally, I lovingly wrote out my whole menu and posted to my blog (See example).

Are you tired yet? 

I did this all in the name of weight loss.  Then the reality of Intuitive Eating fell out of the sky and knocked me on my bum.  Actually, I read about it on a blog and ordered the book on Amazon.  Progressively, I stopped counting calories (praise Jesus) and minimized my meal plans to dinner only (lunch is left-overs, snacks are fruit and veggies, breakfast is oatmeal and fruit).

But, with my new health crisis (or whatever), the veracity of the necessary evils of food preparedness is staring into my soul like my dog’s Jedi mind tricks. 

At this point I would like to pause and say: While I do intend on sharing some specific details of my health, I really really need to get past the point of whining.  I should note, however, my food limitations are quite impressive.  The responses I’ve gotten are mixed emotions, such as, “What the heck can you eat?” and “There are more choices than you think, you just have to be creative.”

I’ll stop before I whine more.

Where was I?  Oh.  Meal planning is now a huge non-negotiable to my “clean eating.”  But my question is how do I make time?

I work 40 hours a week.  I know, I know, a lot of people do.  I also know a lot of people actually function and have a social life outside of work.  I am not quite to that point.  When I am not working Monday-Friday my weekends are jelly-packed with yoga teacher training intensives, spending time with friends and family or renovating my home.

My solution is to break this process up into parts.  1.)  Wednesday of the week before, menu plan and grocery list. 2.) Monday the week of, send husband to grocery store.  3.) Monday evening, batch cook and prep.

I am coming to terms with the idea that my Monday night will be devoted to prepping and cooking.  I don’t see any other time that is consistent.

Do you meal plan?  What are your solutions for time?  Do you batch cook for a month or a week in advance?  Any advice?  I used to be so good at this.  😉

 –Shawnee, The Ex-Perfectionist

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3 Responses to “The Force is with you…

  1. Kate says:

    on the weekends i will make a big batch of rice or quinoa and a dinner with left overs to eat throughout the week. both art and i work or have school in the evenings so we only end up eating dinner together once a week and on the weekends. we talk about what we want to eat before i go grocery shopping. it can be a process…. sigh!

  2. I don’t think I have very much advice to offer. I do plan out all our dinners for the week on Sunday before grocery shopping. I take note of what we already have and what I need to buy at the store. I plan according to how I know our days go… On Mondays Hubbs works late and it’s unpredictable, so I make something that can sit on the stove… soup, slow cooker, spaghetti sauce, etc, and use the same method for the rest of the days.

    I don’t think I could plan every meal I eat throughout the week… it’d drive me bonkers 🙂

  3. Simply Life says:

    First question – what did you think of the move to wordpress? I hear of so many people who do this but don’t completely know what the benefits are? Am I missing out on something?! Thanks!

    Second – I do meal plan and love it! If I don’t have a plan, my dinner usually is cereal or a can of soup…and a grouchy me! I only meal plan dinners and leave 1 per week for “random/leftover” when my husband and I might have other plans, evening classes, etc.

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