Continuing Saga of Meal Planning

So, it’s Tuesday. Last night, I got home from work and took a two hour nap. I was exhausted. Partially due to a book hangover. I stayed up late reading If I Stay. Finished it! But after a harrowing morning commute and my daily routine disrupted by the absence of my student, I was spent. Dinner consisted of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Triscuits,

What good does meal planning do when I lose all desire to eat? Well, not to eat exactly, more like cook & clean up. I know it would be different if I had a family where there would be demands for dinner and help with cleaning up, but alas, that is not the case here.

My friend Megan is one of those uber organized, inspiring, Stay-At-Home Moms. She has recently begun meal planning again. I looked over her menu for January. She is a Beach Body coach and is really trying to keep her family eating healthy. So I have a good model to follow.

The worst part is I LOVE cooking. I like experimenting or just throwing a bunch of ingredients together.

Saturday I followed through on my plan. I inventoried my pantry, weeded out expired soup, pudding and cookie mixes, rearranged things so I can notice them easily and began composing a list of things I need to replace. Sunday, I clipped coupons, trying to stick to things I NEED. But that’s as far as it got. Have an inventory and half composed list and coupons….

One thing I am trying to abide by is sticking with NEED vs. WANT. I’ve always been of the opinion that coupons are incentives to try new items. Things I wouldn’t buy otherwise. They are also an excuse to stock up on ten bottles of shampoo or Swiffer refills. So while I have more toilet paper, shampoo and Swiffer sweepers than I will utilize this year, I have no cans of tomato soup or jelly.

Reading this simple plan, I am again reminded that this is geared for a family.

What about us single gals who want to eat healthy on a budget? What about us people eating alone who may lose the ambition to prepare something healthy, in lieu of something quick and cheap?

My normal day of meals looks somewhat like this:

Breakfast – coffee with flavored creamer… Maybe two
10:15 am Snack – cereal with splash of milk or yogurt if I’m lucky
12:00 Lunch – maybe school lunch, maybe a sandwich from home, maybe nothing
5:30 Dinner – on an almost good day: buffalo chicken quesadillas or scrambled eggs, on a good day: a piece of fish and couscous, on a typical day: PB&J or ice cream

That is not helpful for someone with a Type 2 Diabetes and gas probably contributed to it. Over a decade of not eating well has taken its toll. My goal for 2015 is to remedy that.

I am going to make a meal plan for next week. I will give myself the rest of this week to slide by.

Sunday – dinner with my parents
Monday – day off, so I will cook something…. I will research recipes
Tuesday – extra long day, so something quick and easy: breakfast for dinner
Wednesday – another extra long day : buffalo chicken quesadillas with peach mango salsa
Thursday – last extra long day! Soup & panini
Friday – fish

I CAN DO THIS

Baby steps. Starting simple. This will help me focus my grocery list, but mostly I am utilizing what I already have on hand.

If this works, I’ll do it again the following week. And so on. Baby steps. I also need to plan lunches. This will dictate my grocery list as well. Our school is going peanut free which is going to be difficult for me as peanut butter is my go to. I buy lunch occasionally.

Did I mention I am a picky eater? I generally do not eat beef, unless it is hamburger or the rare veal cutlet. I will rarely eat pork. So it’s mostly chicken and seafood. I have only just recently discovered that I like vegetables. This complicates the whole eating healthy process.

Posting here is cathartic because it holds me accountable for my actions. If anyone has suggestions for planning meals for the single gal, I’d love to hear them.

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