The Menu

“When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.” ~ Chinese Proverb

The HARDEST part of my week, honestly, is planning the menu.

The MOST IMPORTANT part of my week, seriously, is planning the menu.

This is my constant conundrum:   How does one prioritize something so important, when it is such a drag to accomplish?  Ug.

Finding the time to actually SIT DOWN and  THINK about what you might eat three days from now can seem both ridiculous and overwhelming.  This is why you MUST approach this task with…

~ BALANCE~

and

~FLEXIBILITY~

I know, for those of us that like to:

  • be in charge
  •  maintain control
  • follow the directions
  • and NEVER, under any circumstances, color outside the lines…

…it’s tough to maintain a balanced approach. 

I am not sure that I will ever develop the perfect system or find the most amazing solution that takes away all the fear and chaos. However, I have learned that when I get overwhelmed about what to buy and then prepare, I go back to some of the concepts I discussed on the previous post, “Declaration of Self”.

~LISTEN ~ to the inner voice .

          ~ THINK ~ about how you will feel and what you need to do your LIFE!

               ~ PAY ATTENTION ~ to your emotions

What do you need as fuel this week?

What is going on in your world?

Is there a new recipie you’ve been wanting to try?

Do you need to counter-balance emotional eating with a little added protein?

Have you felt a loss of appetite?  Do you need to plan a special dinner (or even just dessert) with some good friends to connect and talk about what’s on your mind?

Is someone in your family being celebrated with a birthday, good news, etc?  Maybe you want to make a special meal in their honor?

Food is a great connector. 

One of the great concepts I learned from the most amazing nutritionist I have ever worked with (Barb Freeman) is the difference between eating and feeding.

An example of “eating” might be when you are driving and hand a chicken nugget back to the munchkin for fear of a mock 10 meltdown 😉  

“Feeding” is when you thoughtfully partake in a meal and connect with those around youThe food is not the focus, it’s an accessory.  The focus is the connection and sharing that enriches us as human beings.

Personally, whenever I want to disconnect from people, I tend to disconnect from food…or, I disconnect with balance and burry my emotions in ice cream.

My plan of attack on the menu is to

sit down,

think,

write, and

ORDER!

Yes, order 😉 If you have online grocery shopping, DO IT!

I promise you will save money because you are not getting side-tracked every 2 seconds by things you absolutely do not need!  I still go to the store at times, but nothing beats ordering from my list in my jammies at 10 pm.  For me, it’s a total gift.

This is the template I use for my family’s menu:

You will notice that I haven’t completed page 2…I can’t think that far ahead this week!  Sometimes you have to think about the week in sections, and that’s ok!!

I’ve got what I need for now; I will sit down on Friday morning and see what’s on tap for the weekend.  I’m hoping for a date night, so that will mean some good stuff for the sitter, Ella, etc.

This is where flexibility and balance comes in. 

Rather than not do anything, because I don’t know what the weekend holds,

I do something because it’s only Monday and we need to fuel our lives starting now!

Please know that I am not a nutritionist and I am not making any recommendations for anyone.  I am going to see Barb soon, and I would guess her recommendation to me will be to remove the serving sizes attached to the food categories.  Everyone is different.  I left them on for now to give you a guide.

I really try to listen to my body.  Some days I might require an extra snack; some days I may not feel as hungry – I never force myself to eat exactly what I have planned.

You may wonder why my breakfast is always the same…it’s because I hate it.  I prefer black coffee until 10 or 11 am.  Unfortunately, that is not what my body needs.  Therefore, I found something that covers all bases nutritionally, and is easy for me to swallow (literally).  Skipping this meal can make or break my day and how I feel about myself.  I rarely skip it anymore – been there, done that.  So not worth it.

Take this for what it’s worth.  It’s a guide, something that has helped me.

Tracking a meal plan is related to this – I don’t do that too much anymore, but for those of you interested in tracking your intake, I can share a few different tools I have used that have worked well – more on that later 😉

Food is life.  Food is medicine.

Plan it, prepare it, enjoy it!

Bon Apetit!

xo

p.s.  If this post freaks you out, and you have suffered or are suffering from any type of disordered eating, I encourage you to take some time to journal about

CONNECTION

and

FEAR.

See what comes up…

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