I was part of a conversation during the retreat I attended last month that made me realize having a meal plan doesn’t have to mean cooking everything from scratch but instead could mean just having a general plan for food and eating. And that plan might include ordering a pizza one night etc.
This is seriously a huge aha because the idea of a meal plan always brings up such shame for me. Meaning: meal plans are for people who love cooking for their families and are good at it and always know just what to make and and and and... I had created a whole story around the idea that meal planning is for supermoms who have lists of recipes and love grocery shopping not moms who often realize it is 4:30 and say, "shit shit shit what are we going to do for dinner?" while dreading stopping at the grocery store with a hungry, tired kid.
I don't hate cooking. It's actually that, as I said to a friend at the retreat, I love to cook but I’m in a season of life where cooking can feel impossible some days. Add in the grocery store several times a week and I'm ready to just take a nap and can't we just have cheese and crackers for dinner thank you very much.
BUT this weekend, armed with my new take on a meal plan, I created a general plan and then an actual grocery list. I focused on simple meals we like that don't take much time (love this cookbook) along with deciding I would try the "roast a chicken once a week" method for a while because it has always been a good one when we've done it in the past. (Bone broth! Leftovers that can be used for lunches and other meals!) Then, EJ and I went to Trader Joe’s to make things even easier (especially since we already had several things we needed), and there were peonies!
With this simple shift in realizing what a meal plan could actually be, I pretty much know what we’re going to eat for the week with wiggle room for my need to be more human than super mom and an internal agreement that it really is okay to get takeout when the day goes upside down and there isn't time to cook. I'm also reminding myself that it's about making one move each day toward the life I imagine; it's not about being perfect.
How do you tackle meal planning? I'd love to know your tips.