I’m busy. I’m married, have a 15-month old son, a full-time job, I workout, I cook for my family every day, and my husband and I try to keep our social life alive. You’re probably thinking to yourself “That’s nothing, guess how busy I am!?!?”. Good point…we’re ALL busy (well, most of us). We’re all busy, and we all like to talk about how busy we actually are to each other. It’s like a bad rash that never goes away; you talk about it, you over analyze it, you ‘why you’. Well, I say let’s actually DO something about it!
I felt like I was going crazy…NOT enough time in the day to do what I wanted to do. Then I had a little bit of an epiphany; HEY, Annie! This is YOUR life, YOU have control over everything that you do on a daily basis. Even better, YOU are in control of how much free time that you have! Wait, WHAT??? You mean my job doesn’t control me (well, maybe a little bit), the baby doesn’t determine how I spend my time (yeah, yeah, he kind of does)?
Okay, so I didn’t win the lottery, get a full time Nanny, an in-home chef and a personal trainer. What I did was look at how I spend my time each day and try to identify places where I can make my life easier. One of my favorite things to do in this life is cook for and provide my family with good food! We’re moving towards a more Paleo diet and I’m constantly trying to come up with new and creative ways to cook meals that doesn’t take too damn long.
So, in an effort to minimize the planning, shopping, and prep time I started making a list of 3-4 main meals for the upcoming week. This way I take a lot of the guess work out of what to make for dinner tonight. I also have a concise shopping list that I make one trip to the store to get, and then I do as much prep as I can in free time so when it’s ‘GO’ time I’m ready! I can’t tell you the relief I feel when I know that all I have to do is a little heating, maybe throw a salad together, and voila, dinner is served!!!
So, here’s my plan for last week that I’m just winding down:
– Bacon covered Meatloaf on Cabbage Steaks
– Chicken and Veggie Stirfry
– Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles
Everything turned out pretty tasty, and I made enough of each one so that I would have leftovers to take to work for lunches, we could have another dinner or two, and the husband and baby could snack on it all, too!
Okay, so that’s the plan! I’ll give you my meal plan ideas, and if you want, you can share yours with me! Let’s make this day-to-day living a little easier, want to???
Kelly Girl says
Hey Annie, I love this! I certainly have been trying to simplify my life. Like you, I love to be in the kitchen preparing fresh food for my family. Since we’ve gone Paleo, I actually have found that my meal preparation time is shorter. No more side dishes like rice or potatoes!
I will share some of my recipes with you, but I wanted to touch on another subject that I have found that simplifies my life. Becoming a minimalist is helping to simplify my life tremendously. Something as simple as removing things from my kitchen counter makes it easier to prepare meals and allows me to focus on my task at hand.
Clutter and unnecessary possessions take away from a harmonious environment, and actually create more work for us. I have taken on this task of creating an uncluttered home, and it’s liberating. It doesn’t take but a few minutes each day to fill a small box with things that no longer serve me. By the end of the week, the trunk of my car is full of things to take to the Goodwill.
I am enjoying my new minimalist lifestyle and it certainly is bringing some simplicity to my life.
I SO agree with you, Kelly Girl!!! We’ve definitely scaled down on all the ‘stuff’ around us! Even cutting back on cable and other expenditures to keep things as simple as possible! Let me know when you’re going to the Good Will…I’m sure we’ve got MORE stuff to take!!! Cheers! xoxo
Great article! I love to meal plan and know what I am going to have for dinner the next few days! I always get home from work and I am always too tired or lazy to make dinner, but when I know its already prepped it feels good!
@kellygirl I love your comment! Being a minimalist is a great way to find simple peace in your life!
I agree with you, Megan! There’s such a relaxed feeling that comes along with knowing what’s for dinner and not having to try and come up with something on the fly. I used to laugh and think that I didn’t need to ‘plan’ my meals! Then I laughed at myself running through the grocery store on my way home from work, trying to find what I needed for dinner! No thank you!!!
Elijah Selby says
LOVE THIS!!! You’re clearly an amazing cook. I definitely would love to share meal plans with you…I try and do the same thing but haven’t been as successful as you. Or maybe I have and I’m just being hard on myself? Hmmmm….
One thing I do every week is get a bunch of organic chicken thighs (we’re a chicken thigh clan but obviously it works with any cut of chicken), grease a Pyrex baking dish with coconut oil, but the thighs in and season with sea salt and za’atar (you can use any seasoning you want, of course). I bake for 40 minutes at 350 (but everyone’s oven is different, so bake until done), let them cool and then store in a glass container in the fridge. They are now available for lunches, dinners, snacks, WHATEVER as the week goes on. It is soooo easy and saves my butt all the time. When I make salad (which I do almost every night) I make enough for lunch the next day…when cleaning up from dinner I pack a container with salad and chicken in it for hubby (if I’m not sending him with leftovers from dinner).
The other thing I do once a week is make a big pot of soup! Soup always tastes better the next day anyway, so I love leftover soup. It is a very nourishing meal and can supply many lunches, snacks dinners, depending on the week. I don’t tend to get sick of stuff, so that helps, I suppose. I don’t mind having the same thing for many meals as long as I have other meals that are fun and interested interspersed. xoxo
Sounds to me like you’re being hard on yourself, Elijah!!! You’re doing way better than me! I love the chicken thigh idea…will be giving that a go! I also like to roast a bunch of veggies and use them throughout the week! I try to pack lunches with all the leftovers, too…sometimes it goes really well, and sometimes it’s more of a struggle! Cheers to your hard work! Let’s definitely share some ideas!!! xoxo
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