Monday, November 12, 2012

A different kind of gratitude list and meal planning


So I've been reading all over the internet about these gratitude lists.

I'm a very grateful person but I've never been able to keep a gratitude journal. Isn't that strange? The best I did was last year when I gave my day a rating out of 10 for a whole month to keep a coaching client company :)

Today I'm grateful for ... 
  1. a post on Facebook that still makes me laugh every time I think of it. A certain blog friend wrote, "I'm grateful for a husband who is very good with his hands" and of course, I couldn't help but think dirty thoughts :) LOL
  2. my new work laptop that finally arrived today at 4 pm after working with a defective PC for 3 months. I was a MACHINE until 5 - I'm sooooo happy I can actually leave my desk and not worry about a blue screen when I return
  3. 6 meals in my freezer - yes I cooked on the weekend and tonight
  4. light at the end of the iphone tunnel
  5. a really neat and tidy study. About to go do two shelves inside the cupboard while I'm in the mood.

    But let's talk some more about meals and meal planning.

    One of my friends has her menu planned out for the whole week - they eat the same thing every day.

    I love the idea of knowing what's coming up but I get bored with food far too quickly so I like lots of variety.

    As you know, I've been menu planning nearly 7 years so I write out the meals Mon - Fri on a pad on my fridge and then I move things around within the week if I feel like it. Like tonight, I didn't cook Mon's meal because I wasn't in the mood for pasta when I got home.

    I do make sure we don't have the same carbs two nights in a row - so it'll be rice, pasta, potatoes, wraps, etc.

    What I've been toying with though is to have a chicken night, meat-free night, pasta night, fish night, etc.

    But tell me about your system.

    Do you plan your meals?
    What's your system?


  1. I too had dirty thoughts when I read that FB update earlier today!
    I don't have a system per se. I work with whatever is in the cupboards. I don't really cook on a Monday because we tend to do lunch/dinner on a Sunday and so I'll cook enough for Monday as well. If this is not an option then it's something that goes quick like pasta - am very tired on a Monday. My parents had a chicken night, fish night, pasta night etc. I guess it was fine. I do make sure not to do the same protein every night. So, one night chicken, one night mince, one night fish etc. And I try not to do the same carb every night but I do occasionally fail with this one because rice is quick and easy and cheap.
    I could probably do the same meal every night for a week - however, the rest of my family won't cope with that.

  2. I do plan our meals (indirectly though). I cook up a storm - stews, beans, fish and chicken and meals that take more than 30 mins to prep most weekends and rotate what we eat during the week from whatever we have in the fridge/freezer and would just make some rice or pasta or stir fry depending on what else we (or I ) feel like, which takes care of dinner. And I usually take some of it for lunch as well.

    PS: meat-free nights (LOL) while I technically hardly cook beef, Y would ask for his protein (fish or chicken) even if I make mince meat. Hence very rarely do we do meat-free in our household

  3. What's the light at the end of the phone tunnel?
    No I don't plan meals... apart from knowing that every Monday is mince night and we alternate between spag bol and mince and mash

  4. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Meal planning? We're lucky if we have meals!!!

  5. Yes I meal plan, and coupon! I check the ads and make my lists and make a meal plan based on what is on sale. I currently work as a house manager and I cook and shop for them as well so I need to have a plan and be very orgainized to run two houses.:)

  6. meal planning for me means that i select things to make for the week, then shop for those things so we have them. meals get moved around based on what our schedule looks like or what our appetites tell us :) in general i try to vary the protein and also have a few meatless meals. there are a few things that we can ALWAYS make: taco salad, black bean quesadillas (Deanna linked to this recipe months ago), cilantro lime chicken, a few soups. i also went crazy a few weeks ago and made a bunch of things and put them in the freezer. so we always have those to fall back on, too :) i'd like to get a little better with freezer meals...but will take baby steps!

  7. I only plan MOnday to Thursday and my options are somewhat limited because I have a range of things L:ucy can make. Fridays are take aways or home made take aways. The weekend we take "on the moment" unless we invite friends over.

    I do a chicken, pork, fish and meat (mince more often than not) night for the 4 nights - often pasta will be with one of them like chicken pasta or spaghetti bolognaise. I make sure I have everythiung on Sunday and put it out in the morning for Lucy.

    I have to say that Facebook update had me thiking exactly the same...

    Yeah for new PC and iphone progress!

  8. A great list of gratitude's.
    I do meal planning but in the way you want to. One soup, one pasta, one beef, one rice and one sweet potato / potato night. Works for me :)

  9. We do the rating thing as a family :) If D gets home early enough we sit down together and rate our day - it is fun.

    I find gratitude journals helpful when I am feeling overwhelmed or down - they help gain perspective.

    Meal plans - I think I do similar to your friend - one night we have chicken, one fish, one mince and then one something else - its a set plan BUT I don't always cook the same dish - I just mark the meat down. I will also change a little if I am not in the mood or if say tomorrows meal is quicker than tonights and I have limited time tonight.I also try and switch carbs around. We eat very little pasta - maybe once a month so its either rice or potatoes :)

  10. Lesley8:54 pm

    Sometimes I plan meals and go through cookery books and plan 'new' things for the week and then i write them down ( i have a nice notebook i bought just for the purpose). Mostly i just 'plan' as i go shopping, I see whats there (anything on offer always good) then i get what i need to make the meals. I do vary carbs and proteins in the week and i also vary vegetables and salad. We do 'meat free Monday' - but sometimes its not on Monday : )
    We often have fish on Friday - because that's when its sold fresh and cheap at the market.

  11. My current system is low maintenance. ;-) Nicola does her big eat at school for lunch so very often she's not really hungry come dinner-time. I don't force her to eat anything but at the same time I don't feel like standing in from of the stove for an hour slaving away only to hear, "I'm not hungry" at the end of it.

    So until our routine changes this is what typically happens at our place:
    I throw something quick in the oven or in the electric pan (like crumbed chicken breasts, fish fingers, hamburger patties) - then I microwave some frozen veg and ta-dah! Dinner is served.

    Or I might fry up a few things quickly and add it to pasta of some sort - we do this maybe one a week. In general we hardly ever eat carbs at home at night. I've actually stopped buying potatoes because they keep going off or sprouting before I can use them all up.

    Of course we eat a proper cooked meal at my folks too when we go there - sometimes Nicola eats, sometimes she doesn't, but it's not my hour wasted!

    I think that we'll probably do more normal cooked meals once she goes to school and her lunch becomes a sandwich, but we'll see.

  12. We shop for two weeks of food, and we make lists based on 10-12 dinners. When we make those particular dinners during the two week range is completely random and based on what we feel like. The other nights are for delivery, going out, or leftovers.


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