Monday, August 15, 2011

Planning Meals through the Crazy times: A cry for help!

My hats are off to you working mamas...

I'm not sure I could pull it off anymore and I just was in a bit of your world Saturday.  I had a clinic in the morning for an hour and a half and then traveled across town to do another clinic for another hour and then got home and gave a lesson...

And then I promptly died on the couch.  Clay-rimmed ankles and everything.

(I can't say that I miss THAT from the softball field!)

I couldn't think of anything dinner or cleaning...I'm telling you, I was down for the count. 

So, I did what any exhausted person would do = asked my loving husband if we could go out to eat.

And do you think that we went to the cleanest, healthiest restaurant in town??  Oh, you know me better than that.

Mellow Mushroom is one of our favorites and it is right in the middle of downtown and when you go a little after 5, you can get right in and get a seat with your little children who hate to wait. 

And Saturday night, after working all day, it hit the spot.

An order of soft pretzel appetizers, a token salad and half of the best calzone I've ever eaten later, I was feeling somewhat human again.  And that somewhat borderline was crossed over by a quick trip to Ben and Jerry's afterwards.

Which was a fun trip because as we walked in, Elizabeth announced that she wanted vanilla.  I said, "Honey, they have all kinds of flavors here...why don't we just look and see what they have and then you can decide what you want?"  So I picked her up and let her smear her greasy little face along the glass and peer at each tub of yumminess.  Then she turned and pointed at the one she wanted.

It was vanilla.

So later, as I lay in my food induced, sunburned coma, I began counting the endless calories I had consumed in the time that I was exhausted. 

How easy it was to say, "Forget it...I'm just doesn't matter...I've worked hard all day."  Every statement making excuses for food I really shouldn't have been eating.  Perhaps you might be reading this, feeling sorry for me and thinking that maybe that I had earned it?  I hadn't...I didn't workout that day and I barely did more at the clinics or lesson then stand and walk around, probably only burning off the calories from the Coke I consumed in between clinics. 

Not that cheat days stress me out all that much.  There are a lot of programs that encourage you take a day to eat whatever you want - saying that it keeps your metabolism in check, as well as your mental sanity, as long as you eat clean for the rest of the week.  When Scott and I were staying pretty strict to the Body for Life once upon a time, we would wake up on Sunday mornings and celebrate with a dozen donuts and a package of bacon.  So please realize it isn't that I can't give myself a break.  But you see, we had just had a couple of McDonald's sandwiches for lunch...and Zaxby's for dinner the night before because it was Friday and I hate to cook on Friday...and Mexican two nights earlier because I had burned the soup to a crisp.  

Can you burn soup??  Oh yes...I can.

So I know that it is merely a product of me being tired and not organized.

And as my lessons pick up (such a blessing) and my time becomes busier, it will become more and more important for me to plan.  Currently, I plan my meals a week out, but think I might need to go further out - like a month.  I need to better utilize my freezer and Crockpot.

So my question to you:  how do you plan healthy meals for your family when your schedule is busy or you are working?  What are your best go-to resources for the rest of us?  (I will list mine below and please list yours in your comments.  And by all means, if you cover this on your blog, promote yourself!) 

I, I know...if I knew that I was coming home to something already prepared, then I'd be less likely to go through a drive thru / order take out / go to a restaurant.  So what do you do?  Do you give into temptation?  Do you plan ahead?  How far ahead?  Do you have a single day cooking bonanza?? 

Share!  I need to get back to meal planning...

My favorite meal planning resources:


  1. Well... I haven't been doing so great with dinners, but I have made sure to have plenty of yogurt, applesauce, microwave-steam broccoli, carrot sticks, cheese, and other healthy sides on hand for the babysitter to give the kids with their oh-so-healthy (not) chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If your family will eat leftovers, it's good to cook extra on the nights that you do cook (lasagna and meatloaf are great as leftovers because my family will actually eat them.). By all means, share whatever else you come up with, because I am having a hard time getting dinner planned too!

  2. It is SO easy for us to fall into this trap, too... last week was VBS from 6:00 - 8:15, and there was soccer camp all morning... but I digress. The biggest thing that helps me is making double batches of stuff when I do cook, and then freezing half of it. Depending on your families' appetites, you can either break things into smaller batches or actually double the recipe. For example, when I make a meatloaf, I use two pounds of meat and form it into 2 (or sometimes 3) loaves. Then freeze the extra 1 (or 2). When I make a caserole-type dinner, I pour it into 2 8x8 dishes instead of 1 9x13 dish and freeze the extra casserole. (You don't have to double the recipe that way, but you get 2 dinners.) Hope that helps!

  3. well, i may not be a mother or wife, but my hectic life still leads me into the same trap way too often. i learned from my mom, though, who was great at balancing the "single mom with two kids" act and keeping our bellies happy. we both believe in the weekly or biweekly kitchen blow-out. i actually just did one this past sunday. i cooked for about 8 hours straight and FILLED my freezer (and my work freezer) with portioned out meals. i live off of these. i remember my mom being able to pull something out of the freezer in a pinch on crazy nights or days when she didnt have the time to cook. ive followed in her footsteps!