A couple of month ago once I had finished working and officially became a housewife/stay at home mum (I hate those labels but not really sure what I prefer) I decided the only way to remain sane over the next few years would be to embrace it as wholeheartedly as I could. Ok, so I’m still working on the ‘wholehearted’ part but baby steps.
The first thing I decided to do was to take over the cooking from Hubby. I hate cooking so I always left it him to decide what we had for dinner. I would help if I could but generally I wasn’t interested. I love baking, but cooking…. I can’t stand it. Go work that one out! Understandably as Hubby had been at work all day and often didn’t do the grocery shopping our diet was poor, repetitive and generally boring. This was made even more unacceptable as the girls have a much healthier balanced diet as I cooked for them! We don’t eat with the girls during the week as it isn’t fair to expect them to wait until 7pm for their dinner, the exception to this is a Sunday, we always try to eat together as family on a Sunday.
Now I have taken this one step further…. I must be mad….. Instead of being responsible for the dinners for all of us I have decided to also provide Hubby with breakfast, lunch and snacks to take to work with him. This means now I have to think of foods that are transportable, healthy and edible in advance for a whole week! I’m not sure I really thought this through and I am already getting cold feet over it all. I haven’t done this to try and win a ‘wife of the year’ award, I just wanted to see if I could improve our diet and save us some money at the same time. If I don’t make lunch for Hubby then he goes and buys it. Lets be honest, every now and again an M&S sandwich isn’t going to do any harm, but food like that isn’t good everyday and it gets bloody expensive!
Hubby and I are not fans of the word diet. We both dieted last year to get ‘beach ready’ for a holiday. I had some baby weight I wanted gone and he had some excess to loose. We both hit our target and somehow I have remained the same weight ever since. Hubby hasn’t however and I’m sure it is because we had to cut too many fun foods out. This time we aren’t calling this a diet but a lifestyle change, mostly because it isn’t something to get us to a holiday but because I want it to stick. I have spent too long nursing stroke patients preaching about lifestyle choices, I think its time to put my own advice to the test!
So my plan to make this stick…
- Menu plan
I will try to do this in advance where I can and hopefully I will be able to be flexible during the week as plans inevitable change.
- Try new things
I notoriously dislike chicken (no really, I do) and Hubby doesn’t like broccoli. However over the last few weeks we have both eaten things we never used to like and so far have actually enjoyed it all.
- If it doesn’t work move on
I tend to get a little disheartened when things don’t go as planned. If something doesn’t taste as good as I expected I can find it hard to motivate myself to try again. It is simply really, if it doesn’t work adapt the meal or just don’t make it again.
Instead of spending every day ‘slaving over a stove’ as it were, I will make as much as I can at the weekend. This weekend I spend only a couple of hours in the kitchen preparing salads, breakfast bars and snacks. These will last all week in the fridge as long as the salads aren’t dressed so now all I have to do is cook dinner every day. I actually thought this part of the plan would take up more time but maybe I just got lucky with what I made this week. This also gives me a chance to either get a little child free time or to spend time teaching Pinky how to cook.
- Stock up
This is something I already do for my baking. I ALWAYS have the basic ingredients in the house to make a cake or a brownie. This Philosophy hasn’t previously applied to basic larder ingredients but now it will. I’m hoping by keeping basic supplies up if a particular meal does fail then I can actually quickly change it.
- Everything in moderation
If we need a glass of wine or a G&T then thats ok. I will still bake as much as I already do, I just might give my in-laws a few more portions than I already do. If I remove everything we enjoy then we will fall back into old habits really quickly.
The long term plan is to get the girls eating the same food as us so I can reduce what I have to cook further. Sadly Pinky has reached the age where there isn’t much she will eat. Perky still eats everything. I have tried various techniques to get Pinky eating more variety again, but nothing works. She will eat everything on offer at nursery though so I’m not worried. Once both the girls have been through this stage and come out the other side I will encourage them to help me with the cooking (sneaky teaching/learning right there) and they can eat what we eat when we eat it. No arguments no exceptions. My mother spent her whole time cooking different things for all my brothers to accommodate what they did and didn’t like until they left home in their 20’s! I’m not doing that.
So after 6 weeks of healthy dinners, this is week 1 of healthy days! The breakfast bar this morning wasn’t as great as I had hoped so already feeling disheartened. Must refer back to point No.3 and move on…. Plus there is a full laundry basket to distract me. It’s all rock and roll here!