Holy crap has it been a long time since I published! I have very much missed writing and sharing with you, but for the past 3 months I just couldn’t do it. No reason to panic, I’m all good. It’s totally okay. I spent the better part of the last 3 months ready to barf at any given moment, which means very little to zero desire to cook/bake anything.
I started a new medication because I have become an insulin-resistant T1D. There’s no fun like being a T1- unless you become an insulin-resistant T1, and then it’s a whole new level of fun-ness. My Endocrinologist warned me that I would probably hate her for up to 2 weeks because this medicine has a high potential to make the patient nauseous while it’s making changes in body processes. I deal with things much better when I know what I’m up against, so, come what may… But YIKES! I was truly blessed by God to never have a minute of morning sickness with any of my pregnancies, so I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. WHOA! I was nauseous nearly every minute of the day for the first month solid. I ate very little, bland things, and not often. I threw up a few times, mostly in the middle of the night, which is great. I have no clue how women who deal with this kind of morning sickness have more than one child- it’s terrible!!!! I literally slept with a barf bucket next to my bed just in case. This was not fun! But I wanted this medicine to work, so I kept taking it. And I lost 5 pounds, so that was a silver lining. After the first month things got a little better. The nausea calmed to only when I smelled food or thought about food. I am the food preparer in the house, so every day I still made Superman breakfast and packed his lunch, made Little Guy breakfast, and attempted to make dinner most nights, but there were a lot of “make a frozen pizza, boys, it’s not happening tonight!” which they were just fine with. That inability to cook was terrible! Thanksgiving was so hard. Dinner was at our house and although it smelled delicious, it was difficult. But I was getting used to feeling like crap, which is not something I ever wanna do again. Cooking and baking give me so much joy that I had to push through when I was able. I stopped taking that medicine last week (after 2 1/2 months) and started on another one, so hopefully I feel better soon. This is not a pity party story, I promise- it’s an explanation of my silence. And I apologize for the barf talk on a food blog. I hope this post is helpful to you and maybe even inspires you to try my plan.
Now that I am not so sick, I am getting back into my actual life. I am starting to cook again, grocery shopped with a plan for the first time in almost 3 months, baking a bit, and I even started exercising again. I bought myself a new stationary bike so I can ride in crappy weather or when no one is here to stay with Little Guy. It’s so crazy to start feeling more like myself after so long. I am so grateful to be able to start picking up a bit of my normal!
So what is this earth-shaking thing that I am doing? It’s meal planning. I know, I probably should have told you to sit down before I dropped that on you. But seriously, I LOVE to meal plan so I can grocery shop effectively (and cheaper) and not have to ask myself or anyone else “What should I make for dinner tonight?” Don’t laugh at me or roll your eyes- this will seriously change your life!! You may be asking yourself where I got this earth-shaking idea call meal planning. Well, I got it from my mom. I remember her planning out our weekly meals, making a grocery list, and heading to the grocery store in the next town over once a week. She never did the I’ll just grab something for dinner thing, and only ran to the grocery store in town in an emergency. With 7 people to feed, she had to have a plan. At least that’s how I remember it. She may tell a slightly different story, but this is my blog…
So why in the world do I meal plan? The same reason you have a calendar or do any planning at all. Because it makes life SOOOOOOO much easier. I love to grocery shop (I admit to being very odd with this one) but I don’t want to be there every day wandering the aisle looking for inspiration, or rushing through the store on my way home from work and praying that the spaghetti noodles I am fairly certain are in the cabinet are actually there. And I absolutely loathe the question, “What do you want for dinner?” You may be saying to yourself, “Sister-friend, meal planning is not gonna change my life. Don’t be so dramatic,” Well, I disagree. It’s a little thing that makes a HUGE difference in my week, and one less thing to worry about after a long day at work means I have less stress, more enjoyment, and more time in the evening. Give it a week or 2 and try it, I promise you’ll feel awesome about it. And you’ll save money with less trips to the store when you are hungry.
Yesterday I was busy all day. I meal planned and made my list, grocery shopped, grabbed a few yummy bottles of wine, picked up the house, made a delicious dinner and pie, had a fantastic bike ride, wrote a bit, snuggled and played a video game I suck at with Little Guy, and had friends over for dinner. And I felt amazing! It’s so crazy how finally feeling like yourself and doing things you love can make you feel incredible. That and blaring music while you cook and clean, duh!
This is what we will be eating in the Johnson house for the next 3 weeks, and I will be sharing some of these recipes in upcoming posts. Week 1 is the first entry on every day, week 2 is the middle one, week 3 is the third entry. You may notice that I am making a soup/stew on Sunday night. I can eat soup or stew every day for lunch until it’s gone, and that’s exactly what I do. I make a huge batch for dinner, then eat it for lunch every day until it’s gone. I love good leftovers, and talk about simple lunch prep. You may notice a few FFY days. That means Fend For Yourself where I grew up. When Superman works nights, Little Guy and I tend to eat whatever needs little to no prep. Or we eat popcorn for dinner and feel amazing about our choices. Sometimes I make things Superman doesn’t like since he’s not there to eat it anyway. But since he’s working nights, I still plan what I will be sending with him to work because making sure he doesn’t have to eat popcorn for dinner while working midnights is important to me. He doesn’t care, I do. The other thing to know about this plan is that you don’t have to stick with the plan. Wednesday’s dinner doesn’t sound good on Wednesday? No problem. Make another night’s plan. Tacos are set for Tuesday, but Monday finds you with a craving you can’t wait a day for? Go for it! You have all the supplies you need to make each week’s meals, so do it in any order you want. And if anyone asks what’s for dinner you can just point to the list. Freedom in your choices without a trip to the store. I’m telling you- life changing! Last night I made deep dish pizza. It just so happened to be next Saturday’s meal according to the meal plan, but I made it cause it sounded really good and I was in the mood to cook. So I did it. And tonight the plan says chili, but it felt more like a chicken stew kind of evening, so I went for it. No guilt, no trip to the store, just options and good food. Winner winner, Chicken Stew dinner!
Perhaps this post will not actually change your life, but if you want to simplify your life a little, have a cheaper grocery bill, and enjoy more peaceful evenings, please give this a try. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see your meal plans. You can post a pic in the comments section and let me know what you love about it, or what it does to help your evenings. My meal plans also change with the seasons. They are heavy on soups and warm comfort in the winter, lots of grilling and fresh fruits/veggies in the summer. Feel free to create a meal plan with your favorite meals- budget savers, 30 minute meals, special diets, and freezer meals just to name a few. Just make sure to share it in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Here’s to one less thing to think about…!