29th May 2016
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao Tzu
Not being able to get to a Weight Watcher meeting and not going because you don't want to step on the scales after a bad week are two very different things, the first is sometimes unavoidable, the later is only going to make matters worse because you're going to miss out on the much needed group support from all the other members and your leader. Heck I've had members who've said, I'm coming but I don't want to get weighed so just put me down as stayed the same, that's better than totally avoiding, at least you go away with some new ideas and a bit of motivation. I'm not going to lie, it also ensures your leader gets her wage and can pay her bills - so it's a win/win as a leader without members has no job. I could've very easily not bothered to go to my meeting on Friday as I had so much to do, places to go but I'm glad I did and one question she asked me was "why do you make the effort every morning to have those breakfasts you make when you're so busy". My reply without thinking was 'if I can't find ten minutes a day to prepare myself a meal I really enjoy then I need to rethink my life". Thinking about that now, that goes for everything that's important to me and my life including my meeting, if I can't find the time for those things that are important to my health and happiness, then something is wrong and out of balance with my life and I need to sit down and work that out and do something about it.
Today's doing something for me involves planning my week ahead, I want to have a go at No Count, I finally have my own copy of the cook book so I'm going to sit in the garden with a pad, pen, WW mags and recipes and plan me a good No Count week so I can have a good weight loss. Meal planning can be really off putting, scary even, so it's good to start somewhere and I find that to be in the kitchen, sort it all out, your cupboards and freezer, see what you have to start with. It's amazing how much easier it is to cook when your cupboards are organised and tidy and you know where everything is.
Next get to know yourself a little better and how you tend to behave in the kitchen. Which of these are you;
· I tend to recycle the same handful of meals from one week to the next
· I improvise a lot and end up cobbling meals together with whatever is in the fridge/cupboards
· I ‘sort of’ plan meals in my head or scribble ideas on bits of paper but never seem to stick to it
· I spend far too much time shopping and cooking
· I don’t have enough time to shop and cook
· I've got a stack of cookbooks but rarely use them
· Shopping feels like a chore
· Cooking feel like a chore
· A lot of the food I buy goes to waste
· It feels like I never have enough time/incentive/energy to make different/exciting meals
· I would like to rely less on processed food/ready meals/frozen foods
· I sometimes feel like I’m running a restaurant
· I often eat out/order in because it’s the quickest/easiest option
· I often find myself racking my brains mid afternoon to come up with an idea for dinner
· I feel like I spend my life dashing to the supermarket/corner shop for last minute buys
· I tend to batch cook and eat a lot of leftovers
· My shopping basket is often loaded with a random items
Once you know where you are starting from, you can work out your meal plan or how to change if necessary.
Next get yourself a pad or sheet of A4 for the planning to commence, what day do you want your planner to start, answer questions like
· who is in, who is out
· time to cook
· who's doing the cooking
· where is the recipe (link or a page number from book)
· ingredients to shop for
· things to do for meal (take things out of freezer, soak ingredients, make marinade etc..)
· adaptations for different family members
Is there anything else you think you would find useful to know at a glance?
It might seem challenging but remember once you've done a few of these, you'll get into a routine, you can re-use them and you don't have to stick to the plan 100%, it's not set in stone.
You'll find the more you do it, you'll be able to build up your own recipe book, I have a box file with a lot of mine in and a folder on my computer with even more then I can find them easily and store them simply, I then email it to myself and I have the recipe on my phone or ipad.
My favourite part of planning, is to spend some time writing my 'to eat' list, that list of foods I love to eat, especially the easy stuff that isn't really a recipe, it's more build a meal, beans on toast (delicious), poached eggs (epic), egg & chips (legend meal), meal planning doesn't have to be complicated recipes.
Make a list of those 'easy eats' that you cook regularly and without a recipe (or with a simple recipe as a reminder if your memories as shocking as mine!) Then add to the list those meals and food you buy ready cooked (e.g. fish fingers, soups, pasta sauces and other ready meals) those foods you like and are happy to keep on the menu. There's family favourites too, what about the dishes that you like and know how to cook but maybe have forgotten about. We get so stick in a rut of serving the same things that we forget about dishes that we know how to cook or that we like eating. Spend some time thinking about these meals and meals you'd maybe like to learn to cook.
Now you have a base to fill in that meal planner, decide what kind of cook you are right now and do it. Are you a play is safe, hassle free, cooking only dished you know 100%, or are you more of an experimental cook, happy and keen to try new stuff. Or maybe you're a combination of the two.
How many nights a week do you want to cook from the regular stuff and how many do you want to try something new. Don't stretch yourself too far or at all if you're not up for that. It's not about having to become a accomplished adventurous cook if you are not, it's more about getting organised and the more you stick to what you do well, the easier that will be.
Once you've got the meals you want planned, then you can write the shopping list.
I'm liking this idea because I won't overbuy on my food which is what I did last week, it'll also be one extra thing I won't have to think about all week because I'll have a plan and I don't have to stick to it 100%, the meals will be interchangeable and flexible. Mostly I'm looking forward to sitting in the garden in the sunshine whilst I do it ;) Bank Holiday weekend, I have no desire to go anywhere in the busy, thank you very much.
Right I've had my lie in, I don't have a headache today, I think it could have been caffeine withdrawal that triggered that, I've not had any since Thursday, been drinking hot and cold water instead and I've not missed it. I feel good and ready for a day all about me, planning, reading my book later, sorting my kitchen cupboards out, eating the potato curry I cooked Friday or it'll be no good! Over bought see, too much food I do have! So I will be using that up before I buy anymore.
Enjoy your day whatever you're up too BeYOUtiful, remember this is your life - live it!