Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Motherhood...and meal planning

I have ALWAYS loved food.  Which naturally lead me to mostly enjoy cooking.  When I met my husband, we spent countless meals grocery shopping, prepping, and creating recipes together.  Usually rather expensive, decadent recipes.

About a week after my first baby was born, my mother was staying with us for two weeks to help, and I remember so vividly this feeling of overwhelming panic when this very sentence appeared in my mind.  "I have to make dinner for this child.  Every day.  For at least the next EIGHTEEN YEARS."

Even now, it still sends a bubble of anxiety into my stomach, remembering how daunting and impossible that task seemed.  Cooking, for pleasure, is so enjoyable.  Cooking out of necessity - it's down right exhausting.

This is clearly one of the reasons why places like KFC and Pizza Hut and the countless other "bring home dinner in a pinch" establishments have flourished like wild fire over the past decade.  Who on earth truly wants to plan, shop for, prepare, AND clean up after a home cooked meal every. single.  day. ????

No one is the answer.  Not even the most "devoted" of care givers wouldn't love a day off, or seven, every now and then.

But - all that being said.  Living in Tampa, the availability of "to go" foods is pretty pathetic.  It's all terribly unhealthy, not very tasty, and really not all that inexpensive either.

When we first moved here I imagined I would actually lose weight just from not wanting to eat out nearly as much as we did in LA where every cuisine imaginable was at our fingertips and DELICIOUS.  Yet, habits are habits and I quickly found myself eating the readily available food just out of convenience because cooking is tiring and hard.

Today is day 6 of this challenge and I am so thrilled to report that so far it has literally been a delight.  I almost feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders - that the "option" to pick up dinner or order delivery is just gone.  So I have no choice but to meal plan and cook and that's that.  I think back to my own childhood, where growing up in a town with no streetlights, and no sidewalks, there were CERTAINLY no delivery options nearby.  My mother was also an incredible budgeter - and take out was budgeted as needed, and never more.  She HAD to cook.  So she planned, and she prepped, and there was a healthy, family dinner on our table literally every night.  It was just that simple.  She had to do it, or we wouldn't eat.

Taking away the "option" of fast food has, in these six short days, actually felt very freeing.  I HAVE to make myself a cup of coffee before I drive JR to school in the morning because stopping at Starbucks isn't available to me.  I HAVE to know what I'm having for lunch because grabbing something quick while I'm running errands can't be done.  It's like when you tell a child their choice is one cookie, or no cookies.  Suddenly, not having 5 cookies doesn't seem so bad because at least you can have one.

I guess it's what some might refer to as "simplifying" your life.  So far, I'm a big fan.

No comments:

Post a Comment