Sunday, June 5, 2011

How Meal Plans Saved Me From Myself.

Alright that's IT!  No more unnecessarily lazy, non-posting days.  Starting today. 

Today I gotta talk about groceries.  You might be surprised to learn that I have a slight problem with anxiety.  And I mean slight - nothing debilitating to be sure.  But one of the things that used to set off my anxiety pretty severely was grocery stores.

I'd show up with a half-assed list of things I couldn't forget (granola bars, milk, deodorant etc.) and then promptly become overwhelmed by 80 different brands and flavors of spaghetti sauce, and torn between the cheap produce and the organic produce while simultaneously trying to figure out what I was going to eat for dinner the following Thursday.  I couldn't think.  I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't function.  I had to get out of there!

This happened every week.  And I rarely had anything to eat in my house except granola bars, milk and deodorant.

And then I discovered meal plans.  They seem like a lot of work, I know.  And kind of stupid.  Because how are you going to know what you'll feel like eating on Friday when today's only Sunday?  But you just gotta do it.  Meal plans saved me and they can save you too (plus, if you put lasagna on Friday and you want to make it on Tuesday - who's to say you can't switch days, right?)

So, all you have to do is sit down with your favorite recipe books, pick the dishes you're going to make and write down the ingredients you'll need from the recipes.

My boyfriend and I like to do it together every Sunday morning.  We'll decide on recipes together, and then I send him to the kitchen to check whether we have the stuff while I make the list.

To do the list, we use a smart phone app called Grocery IQ.  It's free and the best part is that you can sync with someone else so that when you check off Apples on your list, it gets checked off the other list too.  This way you can split up at the store and get things done quicker.  I recommend it if you and your shopping partner both have smart phones.

Anyway, so now when I go to the grocery store I don't have to think about anything because I've already thought about it in the comfort of my own home.  I can just mindlessly grab things off shelves and check them off lists.  Sure I fret about organic vs. non-organic and I usually send The Boyf to the pasta sauce aisle, but believe it or not, I actually enjoy grocery shopping now. 

And we eat healthier. 

And I have one less thing to be anxious about.

If you don't already do meal plans, try it for a month.  Trust me, it'll be awesome.

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