I used to scoff at the idea of pre-planning my weekly meals. I thought it would somehow remove the romance from my evening, the spontaneity, the fun. Then it hit me, on weeknights there is no fun! The spontaneity of not knowing what to cook isn’t romantic, it’s annoying. That blank stare into the fridge is soul destroying (or perhaps something slightly less dramatic) and since I’ve started planning my meals, not only am I eating ridiculously healthy, I spend a lot less time in the kitchen wondering what to do and a lot more time eating tasty food. And if you haven’t picked up on this already, eating is my favourite thing to do. Anything to make it easier is a win in my eyes.
Sure, it means I usually know what I’ll be eating all week, and I guess there is a part of it that can feel a little unadventurous, but most weeks the boy and I do try to chuck in a couple of new recipes found on the internet or in one of our many cookbooks. So we can knuckle down and experiment with something new.
So, every Sunday we sit down and decide what we want to eat during the week. Every dinner meal is different and is usually a combo of something new we want to give a go, something we’ve recently tried and loved (our latest buzz is paleo pizza), and great classics that are always tasty (like roast dinner). We figure it out so that on the days we have workouts planned after work our meals are quick (to avoid just giving in and getting take out), and at the beginning of the week we have things that could make up a few tasty lunches.
From that, we create a shopping list and off we go!
I remember once reading the “shop the perimeter” diet guide and thinking how odd it was, but it’s pretty much all I do now. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, it is an idea that shopping only perimeter of the supermarket will keep you health on track. It tends to mean that you hit up the veggie/fruit, meat/fish and dairy areas of the supermarket (usually around the outside) and avoiding the packages foods (middle aisles). It’s completely unintentional, but 90% of our list is ticked off before we even leave the fruit and veggie section. We skirt around the edges for some fish and meat and mostly the inside aisles are ignored apart from the spices, nuts and tea (oh, and the magazines of course – skipping them would be madness). We don’t have much use for the rest of it. We make a quick stop at the dairy near the end, I mostly drink Almond milk, but the boy still has cows milk, and we have a bit of yoghurt and cheese (not together, ew) and we stock up of frozen peas and eggs (pretty much our breakfast every day). So this is what our usually trolley looks like…
I love knowing what’s for dinner. I love knowing that everything I need is tucked away waiting for me (well, the boy) to get started the second I get home. When the day is dragging and the minutes feel like hours I love being able to think ‘t-8 hours until amazing nut crusted salmon straight from the oven’. It gets me excited. Almost as excited as a new pair of shoes.
Wow. I’m such a food freak.