The truth is this: I’m starting to get discouraged with my meal planning efforts, which in reality are barely on paper; just wishes, hopes, and dreams in my mind.
After reading this wonderful the post Mastering Meal Planning from The Nourishing Home I realized what the number one thing that is holding me back. Her first step is “create a “Master List of Meals” that your family enjoys.” Really, really good advice I thought! And then quickly I realized we are a family of very few meals. I rarely use recipes. Rather, I just sorta bake a meat and a veggie or two (not anything fancy from a recipe mind you, just the plain ole peas steamed with maybe a dab of butter), and throw in a fruit for dessert.
We just eat very simply.
This is good and bad. I grew up with my mom always having lots of variety and trying out new recipes. My dad would eat anything, and if us kids didn’t like something we still tried it and politely expressed we preferred a different meal better.
The reason I don’t really use recipes is because I can’t make casseroles, soups, rice dishes/stir frys, I can’t make things that are too saucy, too spicy, too vegetably, too…DIFFERENT! The reason I can’t is because I would be the only one eating said exciting, flavorful, variety packed dishes, and that just isn’t very economical! Though Sweet C is not a picky eater, she does like to have her food prepared rather simply and separate. I have not trained her to do this, but she automatically separates her meat, pasta, veggies, whatever from each other. It’s okay if they touch, she just doesn’t like stuff mixed together…Know what I mean? And my beloved hubby, well, he is just sort of a meat and potato man. Although he does eat fruit and the occasional veggie on the side.
So, what’s a wise woman to do? I need to manage my home, be prepared, economical, organized, and feed my family in a healthy way. I also need to be respectful of my husband. And then it dawned on me…I mean, really, there must have been a little light bulb that flashed above my head!
Simple is GOOD!
Not the simple of “let’s just eat mac and cheese” and the easy, non-healthy processed food and fast food diet. (Which we have done in the past and are now choosing to leave those ickies behind!) The simple I am referring to is: don’t stress out and do what is good for your family. What is good for my family is not lamenting over recipe after recipe I can’t make and everybody else is making (or at least pinning over on Pintrest). I am choosing to no longer stress out over “if onlys”.
What I am going to do is be who we are as a family. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on leading a healthy lifestyle. There are still tons of ways we can improve, but it doesn’t have to be through all the other recipes people are posting. As long as we are getting the nutrients that our bodies need and we like the taste of what we eat and I’m not breaking the bank…then I am going to CELEBRATE!
So, I will make a master list of meals (or just plain old whole foods, sort of like fruit and veggie list). And if it only has ten meals on it, then so be it!
After I get a little routine going, then I have decided to have my fun, and experiment, and add variety through simple side dishes. I will aim to always have two side dishes. A guaranteed side hubby will love (ie mashed potatoes) and a side me and Sweet C can enjoy, and if dear hubby wants to take a taste he will be more than welcome to it!
Off the top of my head here is the beginning of my meal list:
Spaghetti with Prego Sauce and Ground Beef
Beef Pot Roast
Pizza with pepperoni (and bacon if possible)
Eggs and Toast
Simple Sides I already make and no recipe required:
Baked sweet potato
Steamed brocoli (but haven’t made in a while due to breastfeeding…)
Steamed green beans
Diced tomato (mainly for Sweet C, one of her absolute faves!)
and whatever fruit we have on hand, just plain and raw, but delicious!
Here’s to the simple life, learning to be content with things you can not change (perhaps this is also flexibility peppered with grace?), and also making the changes starting in your own life that need improved.
What do you think of simple is good?