I’m going to do my best not to take a simple topic, meal planning, and weave it into a life philosophy. It’s Monday after all, an early Monday morning at that. No one wants to be reading deep thoughts on meal planning at a time like this, yet still when I sat down to write out our meals for the week, I felt unmotivated and decided to talk about it.
Usually I thoroughly enjoy the task of planning food for the week, but not always. Sometimes mentally plowing through the week’s schedule and determining appropriate meals is daunting.
Sometimes I need to listen to the theme song from Rocky before heading into two different grocery stores with a toddler (who loves to help and charms other shoppers, but is still a busybody to keep up with).
Occasionally I need a fresh baked cookie to jazz me up about unloading the car and putting away the weekly haul.
And more often than not, a hot cup of tea and a mental pep talk is required to get the wheels of weekly food prep in motion at almost 7 months pregnant.
But at the end of the (Sun)day, I do it. Not so I have something to blog about (though that’s a perk!), but because eating and serving healthy food to my family is important to me and nothing worth having ever came without some work.
Think about your ability to run a long distance, your kick-@$$ job, your meaningful relationship, the baby in your arms, the degree you hold, the number of burpees you can do, the recipe you’ve mastered… did those things just fall into your lap? Probably not.
Sure, there are tips and tricks to making meal planning more efficient, short-cuts to making planning for a week less daunting and, like anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets. In fact, some parts of it are downright enjoyable. Perusing the winter farmers market? Yes, please!
But at the end of the day, I’m not always skipping around with meal planning joy. I do it because it’s important to me and I believe if something is a priority, you make time for it. Please remind me of this when it comes to me trying to be a runner after baby arrives.
So, there it is. After telling you I wasn’t going to get philosophical, I just wrote an entire post likening meal planning to running a marathon or having a child. Pretty silly stuff, but I often get comments or emails from people saying the idea of meal planning is intimidating and seems so challenging.
But if you’re new to meal planning and think it’s too hard, have faith. It gets easier. You are right, it does take work in the form of mental energy and time to prep, but putting in those couple hours up front results in a full week of never wondering what’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner and having healthy, nourishing foods at the ready. In my book, it makes it worth it!
So start simply and reap the rewards… which includes knowing the answer to “what’s for dinner?” without having to think about it for an entire week straight!
What’s something you put time and effort into because it’s important to you?