Meal Planning for the Spontaneous

The phrase ‘Meal Planning’ makes me sweat. It’s not the sheer amount of organisation that goes into it, it’s not even the thought of braving a supermarket with a wild toddler in tow. No, It’s just dull, isn’t it?

As I write this, it’s Saturday and I can tell you with certainty that I do not know what I want to eat for lunch on Thursday. I can plan it but chances are Thursday will roll around and I won’t want ‘Tuna salad wraps’. I’ll fancy a Sandwich instead. It’s my right, isn’t it? My last hurrah as a woman without so much as a teaspoon of spontaneity left? I do not want to plan my meals BUT I know it would help me if I did.

Let me explain. I embody ‘chaos’, really well. Like, I can make it an art form. I do not plan, I do not schedule. I am not ordered. All this worked pretty well when I wasn’t in charge of a small human being. Apparently small people need routine, all the books say so, as does the health visitor, parenting websites, forums and all the random Internet articles you can consume on ‘how not to mess up your child’ – Yes, I’ve checked. I’ve looked for one piece of reassurance that would tell me ‘It’s OK to fly by the seat of your pants Ceri. All the best parents do it’ – Apparently not. I am a non-baby-group-attending, books-hotels-at-last-minute, never-planning, odd-socks-wearing human. And up till now, it’s been fine. Up till now I have never, ever meal planned and now I am. I almost want to de-friend myself.

I do not cook. Ever. I can cook. I like cooking but I do not cook. The end. I live with a man that cooks. He doesn’t just cook, he’s a Pro. A Fancy-restaurant-cheffing, Been-on-MasterChef-professionals, award-winning, catering company owing chef. ‘Ahhhmayzing’ you are probably thinking to yourself but no. There is a downside and it is my waist.


Now I don’t talk weight, well not in the scales, clothes sizes kind of way. I’m all for self-confidence, feeling great in your body and a whole pantry full of self-love but I have to admit I was a little shocked when I realised I weigh what I weighed at 40 weeks pregnant! Except, I had the baby and he’s now nearly 2! There was no snapping back. there was no ‘weight dropping off while breastfeeding’ and I definitely didn’t settle into ANY kind of routine.

2 years of sleepless nights have not helped anything. I drag myself downstairs after a night of broken sleep, I regularly still go to the little one FOUR to SIX times per night. So I guess I do have a routine but it’s nothing like it should be. My routine is a vicious cycle of poor sleep, sugar – to make me feel human, no exercise – because I’m tired AND REPEAT.

I don’t feel good and the spontaneity I used to love now feels like I’m out of control. I need to take responsibility and the only way I can do that is by a) Planning what we are going to eat and b) Taking back some of the cooking (Note, I said some, Not all!).

I want to feel a little more organised. I don’t want to be feeding the little guy on the fly all the time AND I want to feel a lot more energised and I know the key to that is eating better. Small steps.

Now I know you probably didn’t come to this website for Pinterest worthy meal planning tips, so that’s a good thing but as with all writers/bloggers I am totally using this as a form of accountability. Tomorrow I shop and next week is ‘Meal Planning WEEK 1’.

I’ll be popping a post up tomorrow with some of the really simple meal ideas I’ve collected, so if you like that kind of thing look out for it and let me know in the comments what your own healthy ‘cook every week’ meals are.

Oh and make sure you have signed up for Y CLWB our weekly newsletter with exclusive content and offers because I have some great food related stuff coming up over there really soon.

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